Teary eyes and two standing ovations greeted the news that State Sen. Jane Nelson is the 2014 Citizen of the Year in Flower Mound.
“As a citizen and a person, I’m so honored to get this award,” Nelson said during the annual awards banquet Friday at the Denton Country Club. “I love Flower Mound. …You’re my friends, my family, you’re my neighbors.”
Nelson told the crowd that she believed the best is yet to come for Flower Mound – a community where she raised five children with her husband, Michael, and where she began her career as a teacher before venturing into politics with the State Board of Education and, later, a Senator.
“We’re successful because we’re a sum of all our parts,” she said of the town’s prominence in the state and the country.
“The Citizen of the Year is awarded annually to a current member of the Flower Mound Chamber of Commerce who has provided distinguished leadership or service to the organization,” said Lori Walker, president of the Flower Mound Chamber of Commerce, in a news release. “The recipient is a person who by regular engagement in his or her business, profession or calling has made a marked contribution to the progress and welfare of the community. This definition IS our Citizen of the Year, Senator Jane Nelson!”
Nelson, a founding member of the Lewisville Lake Symphony, helped create PediPlace and serves on the Christian Community Action and Denton County Child Advocacy Center boards.
Sen. Nelson, who represents District 12, is the chair of the Senate Finance Committee and is the highest ranking Republican in the Texas Senate, according to the news release.
Receiving the Spirit of Flower Mound Award, not given out each year, was Bob Weir, a longtime journalist in southern Denton County who worked 20 years as a New York City police officer.
The award was created in 2004 after two chamber board members, Alan MacMorran and Tom Cooper, died in a car accident while heading to a hunting trip. In honor of their memory, the award is given to a person who exemplifies a giving spirit and embodies all that makes Flower Mound great, noted Chuck Elsey, who presented the awards to both Sen. Nelson and Weir.
Elsey noted that Weir has hosted and moderated a number of public and political debates to keep residents informed and is the author of seven books. He also is a columnist with The Cross Timbers Gazette, where he writes features about the movers and shakers in the community.
“He has been the ‘Voice of Flower Mound’ for as long as I can remember and as such, has influenced and touched each of us in a unique way,” Elsey said.
Weir, who also received a lengthy standing ovation, told the crowd he was surprised and honored to receive the award.
“Whatever I’ve done to deserve this award, I’m going to continue to do it,” he said.
Other honorees at Friday’s annual awards luncheon included:
*Steve Holzworth with Kevin Lewis Properties as the 2014 Volunteer of the Year. Holzworth was honored not only for the many chamber functions he supports but also for the number of community organizations with which he works.
*Sue Bowman with Sam Pack’s Five Star Ford of Lewisville as the 2014 Rookie of the Year Award. She was honored for her involvement in everything from attending luncheons, mixers, ribbon cuttings and LEADS networking to volunteering for the Golf Classic and Fiesta.
*Rett Dean with Riverchase Financial Planning, LLC as the 2014 Ambassador of the Year for his willingness to step forward and serve where and when needed.
*CoServ as 2014 Business of the Year for their ongoing support of and dedication to the Flower Mound Chamber.
*Nate Prevost with Texas LoneStar Staffing as a 2014 Presidents Award recipient for his work in guiding and leading the chamber’s ambassador program.
*Jim Rosengren, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Heritage Health Solutions for going above and beyond to serve veterans in the community.
During the luncheon, outgoing board chair David Hodges of Providence Title Company passed the gavel to incoming board chair Ashley McClellan, chief executive officer of Medical Center of Lewisville.
She plans to focus on leadership in the community, building strong partnerships and growth.
“It is a privilege to give back to a community that has provided so much to me personally and professionally,” she said.