Riverview Chamber Annual Dinner Riverview business owners had a lot to celebrate during The Greater Riverview Chamber Annual Membership and Award Dinner held at the International Independent Showmen’s Association in Riverview. In addition to passing the gavel to 2009 Chamber President Jill Andrew, the chamber announced its new Honorary Mayor, wished former Executive Director Kitty Cunningham well in her retirement and named the Riverview Citizen of the Year.
“This chamber has the biggest heart and this is the hardest decision I ever had to make,” said Cunningham who accepted an honorary chamber membership and a Summerfield Crossings Golf & Country Club membership and is retiring to spend quality time with her grandchildren.
Billie Gordon, 2008 Chamber president, said, “We had a few trying times with the economy, but we made it. The board will do us justice for next year.”
“We currently have 405 members in good standing,” said Gordon. “We have been adding eight to nine new members per month which is not bad at all.”
The Riverview Chamber Awards Included:
The Business of the Year: DeForest Brown of Brown Comfort Systems Air Conditioning Business Person of the Year: Walt Vickers, St. Law Pest Control.
“I take care of people first, business second and my business is thriving,” said Vickers.
Ambassador of the Year Joe Eletto with Pure 4 You., Inc., said, “I look forward to making some great changes and do what we can do to help those business patrons.”
Margy Watkins Volunteer of the Year, Donna Fore with P.F. Auto Glass.
The Riverview Citizen of the Year was named as Jim Johnson, representing Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC, who credits a supportive employer for his community involvement. “One of the best blessings I have is working for a company that encourages community involvement,” said Johnson who also credited his wife for her support.
Riverview Honorary Mayor 2008 Mike Wick introduced the two 2009 Riverview Honorary Mayor candidates: Aaron Fredricks of East Coast Pizza and Christa Jerome of New York Life Insurance. Though a close race and with more than $15,900 raised, Fredricks was announced the winner. The Honorary Mayor of Riverview is an honorary designation for business owners who raise the most amount of money for charity in a designated time. Fredricks donations will benefit the Bloomingdale Library Attack Victim Special Needs Trust whose recipient is currently continuing the road to recovery at home while Jerome benefited the Boys & Girls Club of Riverview.
“The charity wins here,” said Jerome. “Thank you all for donating.”
In addition to saying goodbye to Cunningham, the Riverview Chamber welcomed its new Executive Director Tanya Doran.
The evening ended with the Installation of Andrew and the 2009 Board of Directors including Ed Booth, president-elect, Sherri Walker, treasurer, Billie Gordon past president, Annette Bilyeu, Jeanne Bush, Joe Eletto, Ryan Esto, Donna Fore, Jim Johnson, Dr. Earl Lennard, Diana Niles, Carol Todd and Bert Wallin.
Food was offered by Carrabba’s Italian Grill and served by Oakfield Café and Catering, and desserts were created by Superior Residences of Brandon Memory Care.
Sponsors included Mosaic, TECO, Superior Residences, South Bay Hospital, East Coast Pizza, SunTrust Bank and Valrico State Bank.
For more information, events and activities for the Riverview Chamber, visit www.riverviewchamber.com.

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Marie is the Managing Editor at the Osprey Observer. She covers news, transportation, education and likes to make a positive impact on the community and be 'in the know'!