By Tonya Little
The annual Del City Chamber of Commerce awards and Hall of Fame banquet, with the theme ‘A Night in New Orleans,’ was held at the Del City Community Center on March 30.
The master of ceremonies for the evening was Mayor Floyd Eason, who gave recognition to special guests in attendance including Andy Fugate, the members of the City Council and the Del city fire Chief Brandon Pursell among many others.
The Volunteer of the Year and the Presidential Service Award of 2022 was awarded to Michelle Caruso. The DelQuest Leadership Award was given to Bryce Houlette of Christian Heritage Academy. The City Employee of the Year was awarded to Charles Ward and the Business of the Year was awarded to the Del City Church of the Nazarene. The 2022 Hall of Fame Honoree was also Vera Radley of the Del City Church of the Nazarene.
Outgoing president Michelle Caruso gave a speech which also included a special 2022 Presidential Service Award of her choice, which was given to Pam Finch for her help with the chamber as well as her service projects and supportive nature.
“The City of Del City is better with all the people in this building, everybody in here helps contribute to the City of Del City and that’s what we need. We need a better community, better businesses, better people and this is what it’s about. And I think the new Executive director (Josh Shultz) will continue on making this city better, making the chamber better, helping the businesses grow, because that’s what we need to do,” said Caruso during her outgoing Presidential Speech.
Executive Director Josh Shultz then presented Caruso with the The Honorary Gavel for her time served as president in 2022. Kay Floyd then installed the 2023 Board which included President Jason Baffrey, President-Elect Samantha Mitchell, Treasurer/Secretary Brian Renz, VP Economic Development Jason Coleman, VP Military Affairs Sue Rogers, Mayor Floyd Eason, Vice Mayor Pam Finch, Executive Pastor Chris Neisent, VP for Student Affairs Lance Newbold, Pastor Vera Radley, Attorney Adam Bush, CNO Samantha Mitchell, COO Arti Patel and Community Affairs Kimberlee Adams.
The incoming 2023 Chamber of Commerce President Baffrey also gave his Presidential Address.
“It’s an honor to be accepting this role. I am honored to be here and have become so enamored with this community and the people that are here. It’s just fantastic. Our mission statement is The Del City Chamber of Commerce is committed to serving members’ collective needs and enhancing a viable business climate in the Del City area. It takes a village, and we are the village,” said Baffrey.
The event was sponsored by Integris Health Community Hospital, St. Anthony Hospital, OG&E, First National Bank and Mid-Del Technology Center among others. It included a dinner provided by Pelican’s restaurant.