2022 Membership Meeting & Awards Celebration Recipients Announced
September 15, 2022
For more information contact:
Laurin Kocurek, Vice President
Operations & Communications
President & CEO
2022 Membership Meeting & Awards Celebration Recipients Announced
The Abilene Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2022 Abilene Chamber Awards Celebration. The Annual Meeting that took place the evening of Sept. 15 is the Chamber’s annual celebration for the business community to reflect on the previous year, celebrate the year to come, and to honor those who have helped shape that future.
“As staff, we often hear others describe the Chamber as ‘doing all those things most people think just happen.’ We are thrilled tonight to recognize those who make those things happen. The doers. Our volunteers. The backbone of our organization,” said Doug Peters, President & CEO of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce. “The Abilene Chamber has been driven by the leadership of its investors for 114 years, and it’s their hundreds of purposeful, incremental and strategic moves that helps to move our great community forward. For those reasons and so many more, we salute these recipients.”
This year’s recipients are:
Excellence in Agriculture – Dr. Kelsi Mangrem, Holland Hearing Center; Redcoat of the Year – Jessica Andrade, Primerica; Hispanic Business Council Champion – Pete Leija, Hitman Hog Trapping & Coyote; Corporate Star Award – Enprotec / Hibbs & Todd, Inc.; Leadership Abilene Award – Patty Fuentes, First Financial Bank; Military Affairs Committee Award – Mindi Nagy, Abilene Country Club; Nonprofit of the Year Award – Cancer Services Network; Mark Rogers Young Professional of the Year – Elizabeth Wallace, McMahon Surovik & Suttle, P.C.; Chairman’s Award – Scott Dueser, First Financial Bank; Norman Archibald, Hendrick Health.
Get to know the award winners
Redcoat of the Year – Jessica Andrade sponsored by Fullerton & Associates – CPA
An employee by day for Primerica, Jessica Andrade has been an active Chamber Redcoat Ambassador for one year. Her fellow Redcoats describe Jessica as a ray of sunshine, supportive and encouraging to all new Redcoats and Chamber members. Jessica is always willing to step in and lend a helping hand whenever needed whether it be at a social event or even at a restaurant. Jessica enjoys promoting local businesses in person and through social media. She always wears a smile and loves the community she lives in! Jessica is actively engaged in the Chamber’s Hispanic Business Council, Business Mercado and serves on the Beyond Trafficking Board. She takes pride in getting to know each Chamber member at their special events. Congratulations, Jessica!
Corporate Star Award – Enprotec / Hibbs & Todd Inc sponsored by Hendrick Health
Established in 1989, eHT provides personable and reliable professional services to public and private entities throughout Texas in civil, environmental, and geotechnical engineering. eHT’s management team holds a common vision, which attracts competent businesspeople who cooperate, make timely and consistent decisions, take responsibility for their decisions, believe that the greatest asset to a corporation is its people, and share information regarding the welfare of the company. Congratulations, eHT!
Excellence in Agriculture Award – Kelsi Mangrem sponsored by Taylor Telecom
Dr. Kelsi Mangrem received her Bachelor of Science degree in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences as well as her Doctorate of Audiology from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Whether a patient, employee or industry colleague, the philosophy of service to others resonates throughout her character. Dr. Mangrem serves on the Abilene Chamber of Commerce Executive Board of Directors and is Past Chair of the Chamber’s Ag Committee, a proud member of the 2020 20 under 40 class, Leadership Abilene Class of 2019 as well as recipient of the 2021 Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. Growing up in a rural environment helped foster Kelsi’s love for all things agriculture which es evident through her passions of advocating for the industry throughout all she does. Congratulations, Kelsi!
Hispanic Business Council Champion Award – Pete Leija sponsored by Black Plumbing
Retired Airmen, Pete Leija, is the proud owner of Hitman Hog Trapping & Coyote and enjoys serving the community by helping to eradicate the invasive species of feral hogs throughout the Big Country. A servant leader at heart, Pete and his team are incredibly active in giving back and firmly believe in the power of networking and grass roots marketing. Pete is the proud recipient of the SBA 2022 Veteran-Owned Business of the Year award and looks forward to continuing to network within the Big Country through programs such as the Hispanic Business Council. Congratulations, Pete!
Leadership Abilene Alumni Award – Patty Fuentes sponsored by Coleman County State Bank
Patty Fuentes is a Senior Vice President and Retail Administrator at First Financial Bank. With over 15 years in the banking industry, Patty began her career at First Financial in 2008 as a personal banker until she was promoted at First Financial Lending in their Retail Banking Group as Branch Administrator with over 100 employees. Patty is a great example of earned leadership opportunities for minority women in Abilene. A 2013 graduate of Leadership Abilene, Patty went on to be serve as the Leadership Abilene Chair in 2018 and the co-chair in 2019 totaling over four years of service to the program. Patty has served on the executive committee of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, is active in the Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee, serves on the boards for Junior Achievement and the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, and is on the Cattle Barron’s planning committee. Congratulations, Patty!
Military Affairs Committee Award – Mindi Nagy sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield
Mindi Nagy is the Membership Director for the Abilene Country Club serving their members and guests since 2007. An active volunteer for the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, Mindi has been a Redcoat since 2014, has helped plan Business Expo, Chamber Celebration, and Business Mercado planning committee. Mindi got involved with the Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee in 2017 and is currently serving on the Executive Committee as Deputy Vice Chairman and for the Air Mobility Command. Mindi participates in the Civic Leader outreach program and is currently the honorary Commander for the 317th AW/CV at Dyess as well as serving as a civilian advisor to the four-star AMC General Mike Minihan. Congratulations, Mindi!
Nonprofit of the Year Award – Cancer Services Network sponsored by First Financial Bank
Cancer Services Network plays an important role in our community as they provide help and hope to local cancer patients, cancer survivors, their families and caregivers through direct financial, emotional, spiritual, and social programs and services. Providing all services at no charge to clients, Cancer Services Network plays an instrumental role in helping patients get through the day while maintain as much life as possible. Congratulations, Cancer Services Network!
Mark Rogers Young Professional of the Year – Elizabeth Wallace sponsored by AbiMar Foods
Elizabeth Wallace, attorney at McMahon Surovik & Suttle, P.C., receives this award for her dedication to the mission of AYP – attracting, retaining, and engaging the 21-40-year-old demographic in Abilene. A member of the original taskforce that helped form the program, Elizabeth has worked tirelessly to help plan, expand, and execute the AYP program and continues to be an advocate of AYP’s mission to new Abilenians. She has shown tremendous commitment in engaging the young professional demographic through various philanthropic areas in the community such as United Way, Young Audiences of Abilene, the Grace Museum, St. John’s Episcopal School and more. Congratulations, Elizabeth!
Chairman’s Award – Scott Dueser and Norman Archibald sponsored by The Grace Museum
Scott Dueser and Norman Archibald are both previous Citizen of the Year honorees from the Abilene Chamber of Commerce. And despite receiving what we deem the most pinnacle award of our community, they are both honored again this evening for their commitment and contribution to leading the initiative over the past year – LEADAbi. Live, Educate, Advocate, Develop or LEAD Abilene is the private sector’s five year-effort to support economic and community growth through the Chamber’s Abilene Industrial Foundation (AIF), putting the organization’s priorities into action.
Developed in partnership with community economic development partners, this plan ensures that public and private resources are used effectively. The plan seeks to deliver needed services by leveraging resources to grow our economy without duplication of efforts that are crucial to our region’s continued growth and prosperity. Thank you, Scott and Norm, for ensuring our community is poised for the future.
Since 1908, the Abilene Chamber has served as a catalyst for business growth, a convener of leaders and influencers, and a champion for developing and promoting the economy and quality of life. For more information on the Chamber and the 1,200 businesses it represents, visit www.abilenechamber.com