Leaders "Toast to Business" at Annual Chamber of Commerce Event
Published February 1st, 2013
GAINESVILLE - It was a 'who's who' of community business leaders at Thursday night's Chamber of Commerce "Toast to Business" event.
Despite the challenges of a still shaky economy, optimism was the theme, as hundreds of business leaders from across the region gathered to raise a glass to the upcoming year.
The Hilton University of Florida conference center was packed as 390 business executives attended the event for food, fun, music, and conversation. The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce brought in the new year by saying goodbye to the previous chair of the board, Mike Gallagher, and welcoming the new one, Mitch Glaeser.
A number of notable faces were spotted in the crowd, including Gainesville Mayor Craig Lowe, Alachua County Commissioners Susan Baird and Lee Pinkoson, as well as state representative and local business owner Keith Perry.
A number of awards were also handed out Thursday night:
-- RTI Biologics was awarded the "Innovation Award"
-- Adrian Taylor, the senior pastor at Springhill M.B. Church, was awarded the "Volunteer of the Year Award" for his contribution to the Chamber's Transportation Task Force.
-- Kristen Hadeed, a UF graduate and founder of "Student Maid" won the "Diplomat of the Year Award"
-- Santa Fe College won the "Chairman's Award" for educating the future workforce
-- The Plum Creek community was awarded the other "Chairman's Award" for its work with the "Envision Alachua" project
The Chamber's longtime vice president and chief operating officer, Sonia Douglas, was also recognized for her years of service.
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