Michele Jordan was Ambassador of the Year. Mary Lynn Hastings was Business Person of the Year.
A year that has seen 60 ribbon cuttings, successful leads groups, and Riverfest on the Halifax, the Port Orange-South Daytona Chamber of Commerce celebrated the installation of its new chairman, Shawn Goepfert, at the annual banquet Dec. 5, at the Riverside Pavilion.
"We are open for business," Shawn Goepfert told the crowded room. He thanked his wife for allowing him the time to serve in the community. He thanked Past Chairman Nick DeSantis for welcoming him when he first got involved in the chamber. And he introduced a new slogan for 2019.
"We are Port Orange-South Daytona Chamber," Goepfert said. As a continuation of the slogan, he gave a list of other descriptions of the chamber, including passionate, inspired, aware, open-minded, fun, strong and community.
Dr. Jamie Young, who was last year's chairman and whose slogan was much shorter ("Connecting communities"), responded: "I talked to the person who does our letterhead, and that's not going to fly." Goepfert and the crowd laughed.
Goepfert also thanked Young for her leadership. He said she had "showtime enthusiasm" in her tenure — so much so that Goepfert said, "Every event, I was sure someone was going to win a new car."
DeSantis also got laughs from the audience when he introduced Goepfert. He pretended to begin reading Goepfert's bio this way: "Bad, bad, Leroy Brown." Then he quipped, "Oh, sorry, that was Brian Toung's bio." (Toung was recognized earlier in the night for having completed his term on the Board of Directors, as was Ann Pintiliano.)
Other awards given in the night included the Ambassador of the Year, which went to Michele Jordan, who organized an effective program for retention of chamber members, Young said. She accumulated the most points awarded for attending events and bringing in new members.
The Friend of the Chamber Award was given to two people — Frank Crooks and Chick Munhall — for their role in growing the Wednesday night golf league, in which over 80 people participated throughout the year. Munhall accepted his plaque, but Crooks was absent. "He's playing golf, so he couldn't be here," Munhall quipped.
And finally, Young awarded the Business Person of the Year Award to Mary Lynn Hastings. She beamed when she accepted her plaque and said she was shocked. Young read her bio, a dramatic story of a woman who left home at age 17 to become a hairdresser, then got into real estate, became a broker, served as president of the National Association of Women in Construction, and now manages 300 rental units in Pelican Bay. She defied naysayers at every step of the way.
"A chamber member since 2003, Mary Lynn has demonstrated all her life that hard work and dedication will bring success," Young said. Hastings received a standing ovation.