Names due Friday for 2018 chamber awards


Just a few days remain in the nomination period for the Kilgore Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards, including its oldest accolade, Citizen of the Year.

In recent years, the chamber added honors for businesses large and small as well as Industry of the Year. For 2018, Chamber President Jill McCartney and her board have incorporated an Educator of the Year distinction as well.

It’s easy to dig back into any person’s memory, McCartney says, to “that one, specific teacher who shaped, molded, educated, brought out, influenced this person in some way. Not just educationally, but for the betterment of who they are as a person.

“I can think of one teacher who did that for me. She was just amazing.”

As with the other awards in contention, the new honor is for a person who resides in Kilgore or works here. Nominations are due to the chamber office (815 N. Kilgore St.) by Friday. Anyone can submit a nomination.

“It’s that educator who goes above and beyond,” McCartney said. “It’s that person who has an interest in those students beyond the test scores.”

Nomination forms are available at the chamber or via email to

“Citizen of the Year is normally an honor bestowed upon an individual or an organization who is a prominent leader in the area. It’s somebody that everybody knows is basically a champion for Kilgore, Texas in one aspect or another,” McCartney noted. “They have a high amount of community involvement and are really unselfish of their time and effort for those endeavors.

“It’s those people you always see at events supporting one thing or another. They’re selling tickets for some upcoming event, just championing some cause.”

Sisters Julie Beck and Carrie Jackson are the current, dual Citizens of the Year after receiving the chamber honor in October 2017.

The 2018 honors will be awarded during the chamber’s Star Gala this fall. To qualify for ‘Small Business of the Year,’ commercial or retail candidates will have 25 employees or fewer; to be in the running for the year’s ‘Large Business’ accolade, the company will have 26-plus workers). Industry of the Year highlights operations in manufacturing, distribution, oil-and-gas and other sectors.

“Business of the Year, for both small business and large business, it’s really businesses in our area who promote excellence in their business practices, there’s profitability, growth or sustainability along with commitment to community service,” McCartney added. “Not just a commitment to good business practices but also a member of the community who is willing to step out and support the chamber or KISD or Kilgore College or the Lions Club” and others.

“Those businesses and organizations and educational facilities that make Kilgore a great place to live, learn, work and play.”

With just days until the deadline for entries, McCartney emphasized businesses and individuals are welcome to submit their own names for consideration.

“Self-nomination for these categories is absolutely allowable,” she said. “if you’re doing good in the community, then you should shout it from the rooftops. It’s not something that needs to be hidden. Being recognized in this way is truly an hour. It allows the people who live here and work here to know who is supporting their community.

“Not everybody puts a banner up. Not everybody promotes something visibly. There are those organizations and businesses that support places here quietly. We need to know who those people are so we can thank them and be able to recognize them in a proper fashion.”

For more information, email or call 903-984-5022.


Special Sections