More than 400 residents and business leaders were brought together Friday, Feb.19 to honor the very best in McKinney during the McKinney Chamber of Commerce 2016 Awards Celebration held at the Sheraton McKinney Hotel. Since 1951, the Chamber and community partners have come together to celebrate the accomplishments of the community and recognize the contributions of special citizens and businesses.

Special guest at this year’s celebration was Madi Davis, the 17-year-old singer-songwriter who has just returned home from Season Nine of NBC’s Award Winning “The Voice.” She kicked off the evening with a soulful performance of “What’s Going Goes,” an original piece that will be on her upcoming album and “Big Girls Don’t Cry.”

McKinney Chamber President Lisa Hermes welcomed attendees and praised the community for a highly successful 2015.

“We are excited to have so many of our community leaders, distinguished citizens and Chamber members here this evening to celebrate our city’s accomplishments, and the many reasons McKinney is truly the best place to be,” Hermes said. “The McKinney Chamber of Commerce has been hosting this important community celebration since 1951. We are proud of our long history of service to the McKinney business community and City of McKinney.”

Johnny B, the morning show host and program director of 97.5 KLAK-FM, along with Sara Thomas of Square One Mortgage, served as the masters of ceremonies for the evening. The McKinney Police Color Guard and Madi Davis led the audience in the national anthem, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, led by U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson.

Davis was then presented with a Key to the City by McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller.

“What is really so meaningful to me is how well she has represented McKinney on a national stage.” stated Loughmiller. “We are thrilled to welcome her home.”

McKinney Chamber Board Treasurer Brandon Johnson offered the invocation.

John Rattan, Owner of The Body Shop Collision Repair, presented a video produced by Emmy Award-winner Greg Vaughn about Collin McKinney. The video was made possible by donations from David Craig of Craig International and Daniel Jones of Encore Wire. The video explained the important role Collin McKinney played in our community. Rattan invited everyone to attend the 250th birthday celebration of “one of our Texas greats” this April. The book based off the life of Collin McKinney, “Texas Maker,” written by Eric Nishimoto, was given as a gift to each attendee by The Body Shop.

Independent Bank was presenting sponsor for the evening. Vice Chairman Dan Brooks congratulated the night’s award winners and expressed his pleasure about being able to serve in this thriving community.

“Tonight we are surrounded by innovators and mentors, the creative, the wise and the driven. Because of you, McKinney has become a destination for entrepreneurs, workers, families and visitors.” said Brooks.

Judy Gay speaks after being named the recipient of the 2016 Carey Cox Citizen of the Year Award.

Photo by Tom Knapik / tomK Photography

Judy Gay speaks after being named the recipient of the 2016 Carey Cox Citizen of the Year Award.

The 2016 Carey Cox Citizen of the Year Award, sponsored by the Carey Cox Company, was presented to Judy Gay, who has committed countless hours to community service – from her church, the McKinney Chamber and many other local non-profit organizations.

Gay’s commitment to excellence in all that she does, and her support of the community through fundraising and volunteerism, made her the perfect candidate to be placed among the prestigious list of past recipients.

The Chamber’s Small Outstanding Business of the Year Award was presented to Michael Dodson, owner of Ink & Toner Texas. Since his business opened in 2008, he has shown a commitment to enhancing the business environment of his community. His exemplary customer service and his commitment to giving back to the community as a whole through his leadership and volunteer service truly sets him apart.

The Chamber’s Outstanding Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Encore Wire, was presented to Methodist McKinney Hospital for the vision and dedication of its leader, commitment of its employees and their outstanding patient care they provide.

The 2016 Leadership McKinney Alumni of the Year Award, sponsored by Johnson Insurance & Financial, was presented to Harvey Oaxaca, for his numerous leadership roles in McKinney, tireless volunteer service and his commitment to our youth during his 22 years as an administrator with McKinney ISD.

“To be up here representing the city and people that I love, no words can describe it,” said after receiving the award.

The following awards were presented by the City of McKinney:

  • Non-Residential Historic Preservation Project of the Year Award – The Pantry Restaurant (Tom and Cleo Meredith).
  • Residential Historic Preservation Project of the Year Award – 310 North Oak Street (Chris Vickrey and Michelle Malmay).
  • Development Project of the Year Award – Adriatica, St. Paul’s Square.
  • The Spirit of McKinney Moving Forward Award – Collin College.

Additional awards presented were:

  • Main Street’s Main Street Partner of the Year Award – Patt Lobb’s Toyota of McKinney.
  • McKinney Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Tourism Partner of the Year Award – Local Yocal.
  • McKinney Community Development Corporation’s Quality of Life Award – St. Peter’s Episcopal Church – Empty Bowls event, and Dana Riley, Volunteer McKinney.
  • McKinney Economic Development Corporation’s Corporate Performance Award – Wistron Greentech Texas Corporation.
  • McKinney Economic Development Corporation’s Encore Wire Award – Emerson Process Management and StatLab Medical Products.

Each recipient was also presented with a flag flown over the state capital by McKinney Chamber Board Treasurer Brandon Johnson.

Johnny Rutledge, Chairman of the Chamber Board of Directors in 1983-1984, shared his thoughts about this year’s awards:

“When I was Chamber Chair, we were trying very hard to convince businesses to move to McKinney. Downtown was not attracting people and merchants were having difficulty staying open. Last Friday’s Awards program was what we had hoped could happen in our city. The atmosphere and the young enthusiastic people in attendance was most rewarding for those of us who have always known we had something special in McKinney. They are keeping that dream alive and expanding on who we are and what we can become. It’s like a dream coming true. Thanks to everyone who has helped create this exciting time in McKinney.”

Additional sponsors for the evening were:

Program Sponsor: Randall Reed Volkswagen of McKinney.

Valet Sponsor: Bob Tomes Auto Group.

Red Carpet Sponsor: Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP.

Community Sponsor Partner: McKinney Main Street.

Event Hosts: Pogue Construction; CoServ; McKinney Community Development Corporation; McKinney Economic Development Corporation; Patt Lobb’s Toyota of McKinney.