Dr. Stephen Patterson accepted the gavel from outgoing President Tad McKee Thursday at the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce Banquet, held at the Shahan Center on the Lamar-Orange campus.
McKee joked that Patterson, Orangefield ISD Superintendent, should feel right at home with his orange colored Presidents jacket. Each president selects a theme and Patterson chose “Building Better Tomorrows” and added that when it comes to moving Orange forward, “we only get out of it what we put into it.”
Several awards were handed out. Kristin Placette received the Ambassador of the Year Award. The Non-Profit Community Service Award went to the Gulf Coast Cajuns Chapter of the Cajun French Music Association. Chevron, represented by Craig Lemons, won the Business Community Service Award. McKee selected Wade Smith as his Board Chairperson of the Year. A Lifetime Achievement Award was given to retired realtor Jerry Hughes. Glen and Debbie Hughes accepted the award for him. Lanie Brown with Congressman Babin’s office also handed out Congressional Certificates of Appreciation to the winners.
Russell Bottley was chosen as the Citizen of the Year. Bottley has been a dedicated volunteer in the Bassmaster fishing tournaments that have come to Orange. Bottley, who also coaches at West Orange-Stark, is sponsoring the schools new bass fishing team. He also volunteered and helped organize a Back to School event to hand out school supplies. He also spent many hours helping others during Harvey recovery.
Kim Dickerson was recognized for her tenure as Ambassador Chair which will now be chaired by Whitney Jones. David Jones emceed the event and Rev. Barry Bradley of First Baptist Church provided the Invocation and Benediction.
Patterson’s Executive Board includes Chair Elect Ed Barr, Jessica Hill, Steve Jones, Johnny Trahan, Jim Malain, Daniel Moreaux, Chris Kovatch, McKee, and Ida Schossow, who serves as the President/CEO.
-Gary Stelly, KOGT-