News-Sun photo by ROMONA WASHINGTON Sebring Chamber CEO Steve Nyhan presents Jane Mikulecky with the President's Award for her work helping keep the chamber's books.
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published: Saturday, January 26, 2013
History, awards, future look fill chamber's night
By ROMONA WASHINGTON
SEBRING - The Magic Continues..., the theme for Thursday's Greater Sebring Chamber of Commerce annual banquet, resonated through the night.
In closing his year as board president, Mike McLeod said the past 12 months have reminded him of his service in Desert Storm - a year away from his wife.
The chamber has hosted more than 100 events, hired a new CEO, hosted industry specific lunches, renovated the downtown office, planned the inaugural Thomas McGuire 5K and fully participated in the city's Centennial Celebration. He thanked his boss, Dr. Norm Stephens, president of South Florida State College, for allowing him the time to fulfill his obligation as the chamber's president.
Rob Reed, the incoming president, reflected on the chamber's history, which started 99 years ago as a Board of Trade by the city's founder, George Sebring. Reed said it was the chamber that purchased the first street lights on The Circle and raised money for the first sewer system to serve the early residents. Prior to World War II chamber delegates went to Washington to lobby for Hendricks Field, which is now the Sebring Regional Airport, and it was the chamber that helped save Highlands Hammock State Park.
"Our number one priority is to support and promote business. Steve is a pro business CEO," he said, referring to Steve Nyhan.
"We all know that this great recession has been hard on our businesses and the community, but we've made it through these tough times and I believe we are stronger and better prepared today to build a better community through mutual cooperation. Take advantage of everything this chamber has to offer," Reed told those in the audience.
Several awards were given through the evening. Jane Mikulecky received the President's Award for her work as Nyhan's "number one, number crunching machine." She helps Nyhan with the chamber's book keeping.
Jane Hancock received the Thelma Pyle Volunteer of the Year Award for her relentless hours representing the chamber on every committee assignment that comes her way.
Alan Jay Automotive Network was named Member of the Year. In presenting the award, McLeod said,
The final award for the evening was a new one. Presented to the man it was named for, George Hensley received the George Hensley Citizen of the Year award. Hensley has more than 30 years of public service and "in every respect is the gatekeeper of Sebring," McLeod said.
Coming on the board this year are two new directors - Lora Todd with Plan B Promotions and Julie Fells, marketing director of Highlands Regional Medical Center. Serving with Reed as officers for the coming year are Jane Hancock, chair elect; Don Elwell, first vice chair; Dusty Johnson, second vice chair; Todd Foster, treasurer; and Liz Barber, secretary.
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