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Apopka Area Chamber of Commerce Honors Area Business Leaders


How best to describe last night's gathering of Apopka's business and community leaders? The official title was the Black Tie Gala. There were certainly plenty of men wearing black bow ties. And women in formal gowns and cocktail dresses. But this wasn't just any opportunity to "dress to the nines," and enjoy an excellent meal at the Highland Manor

The Apopka Area Chamber of Commerce annual Black Tie Gala is about honoring those who have made significant contributions to the Apopka Community during the last year. And those honored were not limited to successful business people as the Chamber also honored the Firefighter and Police Officer of the Year.

The Chamber Business and Community Awards for 2016 went to:

  • Businessman of the Year - Eric Bennett, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Businesswomen of the Year - Barbara Bombalier, Orlando Federal Credit Union
  • The Burnie Roberts Award - John Ricketson, The Apopka Chief and Planter
  • The Rising Star Award - Sam's Club, Apopka
  • New Member Award - The Orlando Solar Bears
  • The Alice Alfano Torchbearer Award - Natalie Arrowsmith, Arrowsmith Realty
  • Chairman's Award - Ralo Flores, DJ's Unlimited/First Card Merchant Services
  • The CenturyLink Innovative Business Award - Dr. Brian Pearson, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
  • The John H. Land Award - Douglas Michael Bankson
  • Firefighter of the Year - Jerry Maynard
  • Police Officer of the Year - Ashley Sullivan

The Apopka Area Chamber of Commerce also recognized the Graduates of the 2016 Leadership Apopka program:

  • Ben Bankson - Victory Church World Outreach Center
  • Joe Bankson - Victory Church World Outreach Center
  • Robert Bellamy - Duke Energy
  • Chris Bowman - Duke Energy
  • Shannon Costello - A&C Printing
  • Sheree Grant - Waste Management
  • Daniel Hinden - Rochelle Holdings
  • Tim Hutching - Florida Hospital
  • Glenn Irby - City of Apopka
  • Randy Steil - Tijuana Flats Foundation
  • Wanda Renea Walker - AMI Kids
  • Chuck Webb - Orlando Health



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