2016 GRAPEVINE COMMUNITY AWARDS
Thank you to all who attended last night’s Grapevine Community Awards Banquet, sponsored by Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Grapevine. It was a great evening celebrating the individuals and businesses that make our community outstanding!
A legend in his own right, Rocky Gribble served as the master of ceremonies and performed The Star-Spangled Banner. With 2016 Chairman, Steve Haley, moving to a new position in Colorado during the year, outgoing Chairman of the Board, Paul Slechta with Panda Embroidery, stepped in to assist with the evening. 2017 Chairman of the Board, Joe Szymaszek with Grapevine Mills, was recognized as our "18-month Super Chairman."
Retiring members of the Board of Directors also were honored, including: Linda Broom, Rovia Corporate Services; Steve Brown, Esparza’s Restaurante Mexicano; Glen Pirtle, Classic Chevrolet; Jim Quinn, Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center; and Eric Wang, Ming Wang.
A special thanks to the Awards Banquet Committee who planned and coordinated the evening, including Lavon Bolech, Bolech Home Selling Team/Keller Williams; LeAnn Brown, Silver Oak Commercial Realty, LLC; Darla Denton, Devin Designs Florist; Dottie DiiBon, Grapevine’s Runway Theatre; Becky Hummer, Bank of the West; Theresa Mason, MIG Real Estate; Walt Mills, Photos by Walt; Shelley Slechta, Bank of the West.
2016 Grapevine Community Award Winners
Included text was taken from the nomination for each award winner
Ambassador of the Year, sponsored by Grubbs Infiniti Grapevine
You cannot attend a chamber event that Linda is not there as well. She not only greets Chamber members to events, but she is diligent in “connecting people”. She has a passion for helping others network together to build a stronger business community. As a member of the Ambassador committee, she encouraged everyone to get involved and helped create a stronger program for the Chamber. Linda also served on the 2016 Board of Directors of the Grapevine Chamber and used her role to encourage others to get involved.
Women’s Division Woman of the Year, sponsored by Box Insurance Agency
Dottie has been a tireless volunteer for our community. She lends her time to so many events and local causes. Per her nomination, she has been a part of the Chamber’s Ambassadors, has volunteered for many years on the Grapefest steering committee as well as taking care of the volunteer sign ups, education and training for the People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic. She has served as a member of the Wine Pouring Society, and the Chamber’s Board of Directors. Dottie came to Grapevine’s Runway Theatre as a patron first, but in 1990, she auditioned and was cast as Ouiser in “Steel Magnolias.” She has been very involved in the theatre ever since. Dottie has worked backstage on 13 productions, has been onstage in six productions, and directed "Forever Plaid" which still ranks in the top 25 shows based on attendance in the theatre’s 34-year existence. She has served on the Board of Directors as Reservationist, Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President and President. Dottie was given the top honor of being inducted into the Runway Theatre Hall of Fame in 1998. Dottie personifies everything the Woman of the Year award represents including the phone call she made saying she had no idea why she was nominated!
Chairman’s Award, sponsored by Silver Oak Commercial Realty
Steve brown, esparza’s Restaurante Mexicano
Steve has been a consistent donor to area non-profit organizations and events for several years. He provides countless certificates and numerous other contributions to help raise funds and “show off” Grapevine in a positive light. His business consistently supports this entire community while providing a unique image that is a part of what makes Grapevine great! As a Chamber Board member, he has been a Grapevine business leader that recognizes the importance of being supportive, involved, professional and active. He has donated meals for the Golf Classic for the Chamber for the last several years as well as any other special event he is asked to do. He never asks for, or even expects recognition, and that is why it is an honor to present him with this year’s Chairman’s Award.
Director of the Year, sponsored by Kristine A. Munaretto, CPA
LeAnn Brown has given a great deal of her time to the Chamber and community. In 2016 she served as the Vice Chair of Business Partnerships, leading the Economic Development Committee and working to reach the Board’s Leadership Goals. One of those goals was to build the Chamber’s Young Professional group, AMP’T (Advancing Modern Professionals for Tomorrow). This group has almost 100 young community leaders engaged and involved in volunteerism, professional development as well as networking. Another major goal was to hold the first Chamber Membership Event in over twenty years. Through her energy and enthusiasm, she was able to lead an effort that brought together over 280 community leaders who in three days added an additional 326 business member investors to our organization making this Chamber one of the top three in the region. Besides those additional partnerships, this brought a great deal of education, enthusiasm and support to our Chamber community. Besides her efforts on behalf of the Chamber, LeAnn also gave back last year, serving as the President of the Grapevine Rotary Club.
Member of the Year, sponsored by Manhattan Construction Company
Wise Guys Pizzeria, Kevin Mcnamara
Wise Guys Pizzeria in Grapevine is famous for its family friendly atmosphere, crowd pleasing pizza, and local craft cold ones. When co-owners Kevin McNamara and Larry McCain open their doors in 2015, they made it their mission to be more than a pizza joint, that they would not only provide exceptional service and food, but they partner with and give back to the community that they loved so much. In the summer of 2016, Wise Guys saved the day at GRACE when the busiest Feed Our Kids site ran out of food to meet the high demand of children in need of lunches for the day. When Wise Guys was called upon to make ten pizzas in fifteen minutes, there was no hesitation. Little did anyone know that the restaurant was in the midst of hosting a beneficiary event for the Grapevine Fire Department. Not only were they already participating in an event to help the community, they stepped up to ensure that every child received a meal that day.
Don Ramey Community Spirit, sponsored by Grapevine Realty
Bruno Rumbelow is someone who, while holding the highest position in the City of Grapevine management, is the first one to recognize anyone else but him. As an employee of the City, he upholds the highest level of ethical and professional standards. But this recognition is for all that he does as a long-standing citizen of the community, that continually gives back without hesitation. While some City Managers would consider their job as the maximum point of benefitting the community, Bruno takes many other roles. An example was when he served as the Grapevine Rotary Club President. He didn’t just lead the club as a “figure head”, but he started the process of strategic goal planning for the organization – which helped develop an even stronger footprint in Grapevine. You will find Bruno donating his time, energy, ideas and support throughout Grapevine, and he will be the last person that would expect this designation, that he so richly deserves.
Ted Willhoite Legacy Award, sponsored by TLC Realty, Inc.
Jon Michael & sue Franks
Jon Michael has had his law practice here and helped many families with his legal expertise. He has been a long-time active member of the Grapevine Rotary Club and he is a member of the "T" Board where he has played an instrumental role in bringing TexRail to Grapevine. Sue, a graduate from GHS, continues her passion for the school and for the Lady Mustangs basketball team. Sue still holds the record for most points scored in a game. It’s rare that she and Jon Michael miss a game. Sue also gives her talent and time and leadership skills to the Senior Activity Center by conducting the Senior Choir and organizing programs with beautiful music for special events such as Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, just to name a few. In addition, Sue passionately helps women through her involvement with the Gatehouse and with the KL Memorial Scholarship Fund. Jon Michael and Sue are deserving of this award individually but as a couple, I can’t think of anyone more deserving in Grapevine to be recognized for their legacy in this town.
Business Hall of Fame, sponsored by Stacy Furniture & Design
Grapevine Mills had the vision to locate to Grapevine, over 20 years ago. By doing so, it set a path for other major national companies to open facilities in Grapevine such as Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, The Gaylord Texan and Great Wolf Lodge. Grapevine Mills generates approximately 1/3 of all sales tax revenue generated in the City of Grapevine. The management and marketing team have immersed themselves in both Chamber and City initiatives. The GM, Joe Szymaszek, serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for both the Chamber and the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. Grapevine Mills recently completing a muti million dollar renovation and continues to be a pillar in the community.
D.E. Box Citizen of the Year, sponsored by Joe & Balla Wright
Shonda began her tenure with GRACE as a volunteer when she was elected as a member of the agency’s Board of Directors in 2003. When the founder of GRACE made the decision to retire in 2006, Shonda was asked to step up from the role of a volunteer to the role of Executive Director. At GRACE, Shonda’s primary responsibility is to keep the organization’s mission in line with the ever-increasing need of the community. Thanks to the leadership and direction of Shonda, thousands of lives have been touched in the community. Shonda is involved in numerous leadership roles in the community including Grapevine Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Division, Grapevine Rotary, Grapevine Leadership Program Advisory Committee, GCISD Campus Excellence Committee, the Colleyville Chamber of Commerce, Southlake Mayor’s Advisory Board, and the Southlake Chamber of Commerce. She is a graduate of Leadership Irving, Leadership Grapevine and Leadership Colleyville, just to name a few.