Chamber honors businesses, volunteers

Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer

Honors were dished out to business owners for their dedication to their businesses and community volunteers for dedication in helping others during the annual Roosevelt County Chamber Banquet.

Meanwhile T.J. Casey, a singer/poet cowboy from Billings, Mont., dished out the jokes to entertain the crowd. Casey has been a singing entertainer for more than 30 years.

Casey shared the spotlight with Portales residents who were recognized for their success and help. Craig Hughes, owner of Craig Hughes Welding, was one of those persons who was recognized.

Hughes, who has lived in Portales all of his life, was awarded the 2005 Harley and Faye Borden Memorial Award. The Harley and Faye Borden Memorial Award is given out each year to the person who expanded his or her business. Last year, business owners for Creighton’s Town and Country, Steve Hudson, CPA and Trader Horn’s True Value each won the award.

Hughes said he was surprised to win the award and said the reason for his business’ growth is because of good customer service. Hughes said Craig Hughes Welding has been operating in Portales for 17 years. According to Hughes, it started out as a business with two people and has grown to 35 employees.

Hughes said business has been steady due to the growth of the dairy industry in the area.

People came together to organize the greetings of commissioners and put together meetings during the summer in for the Base Realignment and Closure Commission hearing in June in Clovis. In the midst of all of the people helping welcome the BRAC commissioners was Sharon Davis. Davis attended several meetings in the weeks before, helped with publicity and organization of the welcoming crew.

Chamber officials presented Davis the Workhorse of the Year Award. Mickie Williams was the winner of the award in 2004.

“It’s a nice honor,” Davis said. “I have a lot of friends on the list of people who have won the award. We weren’t sure how many people were going to come out (during the BRAC hearing). I think we’ll win that. The reason we are where we are today is because the BRAC commissioners were so impressed with our communities.”

Davis also operates Calton Furniture along with her brother Bill. Calton Furniture has been open since 1959. Davis said she and her sister used to get paid 25 cents a week for dusting the furniture store when they were younger.

Sharon and Bill’s mother Clytie retired and the children began running the business in 1995.

Kim Huffman, Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce executive director, awarded Jack Willis the Warm Heart of the Sunbelt Award. The Warm Heart of the Sunbelt award is given out to honor an individual who has committed unselfish dedication to the prosperity of Roosevelt County and isn’t given each year because a person must show extraordinary dedication to the community as deemed by the chamber committee members.

Huffman said Willis helped line up the parades, with Ag Expo and helped put together the Rough Rider Challenge, all on a volunteer basis.

Williams is the outgoing chamber board president and on Thursday John Pugh was introduced as the new president.