Many awards and honors were bestowed Oct. 15 at the annual membership banquet and business awards ceremony presented by the Zachary Chamber of Commerce.
Awards were given to the following businesses for significant business and community achievements during the past year: Large Business of the Year, Zachary Community Schools; Mid-size Business of the Year, Complete Collision; Small Business of the Year, Castello Agency; and New Business of the Year, Premier Produce.
Businessperson of the Year was awarded to Danette Castello, of Castello Agency, for her achievements during the past year.
Volunteer of the Year went to Mary Landry. Recipients of this award devote themselves to charitable work benefiting the community and they exemplify service above self, Chamber officials said.
Inducted into the Hall of Distinction for 2015 were Ed Canning and Johnny LeTard, who was unable to attend the ceremony.
Hall of Distinction designations are bestowed to people whose lives and careers have embodied the core values of the Zachary Chamber: community, excellence, faith and family.
Also honored was Zachary’s Citizen of the Year, Greg MacDougall. This award is selected and presented by the Zachary Rotary Club. Recipients display characteristics such as leadership, compassion and a strong desire to make Zachary a better place. In the past, Rotary has honored preachers, principals, doctors, attorneys, bankers, volunteers and others who have significant roles within the community.
Metro Councilman Trae Welch, who is Zachary’s city prosecutor, installed the 2016 Chamber Board of Directors: Mark Anderson, Russell Blanchard, Jack Burk, Ben Cavin, Patrick Campbell, 2016 President Danette Castello, Scott Devillier, 2015 President Karl Kleinpeter, Mark Martin, Jennifer Purpera, Joe Rush and Ryan Talbot.
Returning emcee was Guaranty Broadcasting’s Gordy Rush, a former LSU football player who resides in Central.
Keynote speaker was Jeffrey Marx, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of “The Long Snapper.”
Chamber Executive Director Kate MacArthur provided a snapshot of Chamber events and services, which include networking and relationship-building, listings, advertisement, a visitor’s guide and Chamber directory, ribbon-cuttings, monthly luncheons, a scholarship for a graduating senior, sponsoring the Leadership North program and hosting the annual Christmas parade and membership awards banquet.
From January to October, the Chamber welcomed 27 new members for a total of 239, she said.
The Chamber’s Economic Development Council, comprised of 10 business and city leaders, is working on four active projects in various stages of development that represent potentially about $4 million in investments and more than 365 new jobs, MacArthur said.
The council also is working with 16 retailers on new locations in Zachary. Those negotiations will be carried over into 2016.
The Zachary Chamber is governed by a 12-member board and two full-time staff, MacArthur and Director Heather Prejean.