Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

January 18, 2013

Jacksonville Chamber banquet should be tasty, to the point

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce's 88th annual banquet – scheduled for Monday, Jan. 28 – is expected to move ahead in a brisk, timely fashion. For the nearly-200 expected to attend, officials say it definitely will be time well-spent.

The Jacksonville Chamber has claimed the 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. time slot at The Legacy, 782 County Road 1511. The  "tick-tock, tick-tock" philosophy employed in the banquet's execution is a departure from many similar events that take place at night.

Kathleen Stanfill, banquet coordinator, is a retired chef and caterer who brings to the table an understanding of presentation and timeliness.

 "We have a well-scripted program to get everything done in the allotted time we have at lunch," Stanfill explained. "There was some conversation about who should serve as emcee, and my thinking was, frankly,  Robin 'Boogie' Butt is a professional who really keeps things moving."

Butt will make sure the crowd moves ahead from door to table to buffet within the allotted timetable, Stanfill said.

"People will still be chewing when Robin stands up to begin the program – but at least we won't have people still in line," she said. "It will be a good, solid, trickle and not a cattle call to the buffet."

Like Stanfill said, the Chamber follows their script very closely, said Amber Mayfield, information coordinator for the chamber.

 "Plus, we want to entice everyone, not just members," Mayfield said. "This is not a 'members only' event."

Peggy Renfro, president of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, said this is the fourth year the chamber has held the event during the day.

"I got the idea when attending a Texas Chamber of Commerce conference," Renfro said. "They suggested polling members to see exactly when the biggest percentage of them would like to have it. We did that, and our majority selected lunchtime. They said they would prefer it that way because it wouldn't take away from their time with their families after 5 p.m. Plus, the price of would be less for a lunchtime banquet ticket."

The buffet will provide patrons with a delicious  assortment of salads, plus entrees such as lemon chicken, crusted pork loin with berry sauce, Texas-style shrimp pasta, grilled vegetables, rice pilaf, steamed mixed vegetables, rolls and tea with a variety of cakes and pies.

The event has its "must-see" attractions, such as the one by Elton McCune, recipient of the "2011 Outstanding Cit-izen of the Year Award." McCune will present 2013's 'Outstanding Citizen of the Year.'

The Immediate Past Chairman of the Board, Nathan Jones of Austin Bank, will present the Division Chairperson of the Year award and highlight 2012 accomplishments.  

The 2013 Chairman of the Board, Brett Brewer of Norman Law Firm, will be announcing his goals for the year 2013.

Brewer is expected to time his remarks to end a minute earlier than those of predecessor Nathan Jones.

"That's a point of contention with our board," Stanfill said with a laugh.

Stanfill said people probably will be interested to see who win's the chairman's award this year.

Traditionally, it is given to people who do extraordinary work in thankless positions.

Reservations can be made at the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, 526 E. Commerce Street in Jacksonville.

They are $25 per seat for Chamber member and $30 for non-members.  

Tables for 6 can be reserved for $160  for Chamber members and $ 190  for non-members.  Tables for eight are also available $210 for Chamber members and $250 for non-members.

Because of limited seating, no reservations will be sold at the door.

To inquire further, contact Amber Mayfield at the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce at 903-586-2217 or visit our website www.jacksonvilletexas.com.