Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

January 29, 2013

Chamber banquet: The 'tick-tock' method of presentation made for efficient, power-packed event

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — Monday's Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce banquet was brisk, interesting, delicious, and to the point.

Nathan Jones, a 22-year veteran of Austin Bank and Immediate Past Chairman of the Board, was honored as 2012 Outstanding Citizen of the Year at the chamber's 88th annual event.

The lunchtime affair at The Legacy attracted hundreds of area residents, who laughed, clapped, and cheered while munching on delicious salad, lemon chicken and crusted pork loin with berry sauce. The parking lot outside, meanwhile, was literally packed with cars.

Inside, Elton McCune, recipient of the "2011 Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award, presented Jones with the honor.  Jones is Austin Bank's Regional President, and is responsible for the oversight of the "Cherokee County region" — Jacksonville, Rusk and Troup.

Jones took the time during his comments to highlight 2012 accomplishments and discuss the importance of family and community. The chairman's award is typically given to people who do extraordinary work in thankless positions.

On Monday, Jones did double duty as the presenter of the Division Chair Of The Year award to Randy Gorham, Chamber treasurer, and the Chairman's Award to co-winners East Texas Medical Center-Jacksonville and Trinity Mother Frances Hospital-Jacksonville.

As predicted, the lunchtime event held to a tight timetable, as the cowboy-hatted Robin "Boogie" Butt, master of ceremonies, kept the program going with his unique brand of radio-voice cool.

Butt made sure the crowd moved ahead from door to table to buffet within the allotted time frame.

Pastor Dale Jamerson delivered the invocation, led the pledge of allegiance and delivered the benediction.

The event was made notable by comments by incoming chairman Brett Brewer of Norman Law Firm, who announced goals for the coming year.