By Staff Report

The Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce recognized area businesspeople for their community service and volunteer hours during its Annual Dinner held Friday, February 1 at The Regent, located in Riverview. Nearly 400 members of the Greater Brandon Area business community attended the event presented by Title Sponsor Tampa Tribune, Brandon News and Tribune &

As incoming Chamber Board Chair, Copper Bell Café–Riverview and Service With Style’s Darren Denington received the gavel from immediate past Board Chair and Bivins & Hemenway, P.A.’s, Bob Bivins.

“These are challenging times and what I have seen over the past four or five years has proven to me that this is an organization and a community that is strong and driven,” Denington said. “We have figured out how to build a community in an unfavorable economy. We have figured out new ways to support our members. We have learned how to raise the bar and it’s all because of the superstars in this community and in this room.”

Susan Saunders was named the 2012 Key Citizen for her numerous volunteer hours spent working with the Chamber, the Brandon Outreach Clinic and the Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. Saunders was presented a framed photo recognizing her service by 2011 Key Citizen Tammy Holmberg.

Former Florida State Representative, Rich Glorioso, was given the 2013 Greater Brandon Community Leadership Award for his longtime service to the local community, with a primary focus on the foster children programs and services. In addition to serving in the Florida House of Representatives from 2004 to 2012, he served as a city commissioner in Plant City from 1998 to 2004. Glorioso, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, received such medals as the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Combat Readiness Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and Humanitarian Service Medal. Glorioso was presented his award by 2012 Greater Brandon Community Leadership Award winner Earl Lennard.

Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce board member and Sullivan Rehab’s Amy Marsh received the 2012 Chairman’s Award from outgoing Chamber Chair Bob Bivins. Bivins selected Marsh because of her positive impact on Chamber goals and initiatives over the past year.

CF Web Professionals’ Deb Long was named 2012 Ambassador of the Year for her countless volunteer hours helping the Chamber host numerous events, ribbon cuttings and membership anniversary celebrations. The ambassador award recognizes a local businessperson who has gone the extra mile to serve the area’s business community and is annually chosen from the monthly ambassador winners.

Hillsborough County Commissioners, Ken Hagen and Al Higginbotham, were in attendance to present a commissioners’ commendation to the Chamber, recognizing the organization’s 2012 successes.

Annual Dinner Co-Sponsors included Tampa Electric, Extravaganza Productions, Inc., The Regent, SavvyCard, The Law Offices of Thomas L. Young, P.A. and Ultra Custom Group.


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Kelly Wise Valdes
Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.