Locals awarded at Chamber banquet

Larry and Ginny Mross were presented with the Couple of the Year award by Betty Rackley with the Pleasanton Woman’s Club at the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet. NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

Larry and Ginny Mross were presented with the Couple of the Year award by Betty Rackley with the Pleasanton Woman’s Club at the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet. NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

A number of talented and hardworking citizens were recognized at the 68th Annual Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet held on February 28 at the Pleasanton Civic Center. You can read excerpts from their nomination letters below

Man of the Year – Ronald Sanchez

The 2019 Man of the Year was awarded to Pleasanton Chief of Police Ronald Sanchez and presented by Lillian Cashmer of the Pleasanton Lions Club. Here is an excerpt from his nomination letter:

“He came from humble beginnings being the fifth of five children. His parents raised all their children to be hard working, contributing members of society. Therefore, he is no stranger to hard work. He and his wife started out their first years of marriage struggling financially so he started to explore his options: What and where did he want to be in 5-10 years? Growing up as a child, he was fascinated with cowboys and Indians, cops and robbers, soldiers and guns. He was intrigued with good guy/ bad guy scenarios. It came as no surprise that his calling was in law enforcement. Months passed and he completed his program, becoming a Texas Peace Officer. He went to work as a jailer for Sheriff Tommy Williams for some time before finally finding his home at the Pleasanton Police Department in February of 1997. He started from the bottom working every holiday for several years, working night shifts, day shifts, extra shifts, always hungry for the next adrenaline rush of keeping a bad guy off the streets. He never complained about anything. He always left to work and came back home with a smile. He had found his passion, his calling. He wasn’t “working”, he was living his dream. Anyone who knows him, or is acquainted, knows how unique he is. He is a very personable man. He has a wonderful sense of humor, especially for the line of work that he is in, and he treats everyone like family. He has established an environment of excellence and accountability amongst his department and it is clear in their everyday performance. His high expectations make every officer better as an individual and in turn, makes this community safer. He never asks nor looks for recognition. He is a man of actions, not words. He doesn’t care what accolades he is given. All he cares about is the legacy he leaves behind to his family and to the community he has vowed to serve and protect over the past

The Young Citizen of the Year award was presented to Greg Leach at the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet by Daryl Ashley from the Pleasanton Young Farmers. AMANDA VELASQUEZ | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

The Young Citizen of the Year award was presented to Greg Leach at the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet by Daryl Ashley from the Pleasanton Young Farmers. AMANDA VELASQUEZ | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

Senior Citizen Man of the Year was presented to Bob Byrd at the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce Award Banquet by City of Pleasanton Parks and Recreation Event Coordinator Tony Aguirre. NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

Senior Citizen Man of the Year was presented to Bob Byrd at the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce Award Banquet by City of Pleasanton Parks and Recreation Event Coordinator Tony Aguirre. NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

Woman20 plus of years.” the Year – Christy Reed

Christy Reed was named 2019 Woman of the Year by Noel Wilkerson Holmes with the Pleasanton Rotary Club:

“Over the years, Christy Reed has dedicated her life into service of children in her community. She has opened her home to foster children, Freedom for Children and many others along the way. She has donated many hours to organizations like Upward Basketball, Pop Warner football, varsity soccer, Pleasanton Little League Circle, several Pleasanton food booths, was a member of the City of Pleasanton Parks Committee. This past year, Christy has continued her dedication by organizing the city park cleanup crew in partnership with Chief of Police Ronald Sanchez and the City Parks Manager Greg Leach. She planned and helped with the very first Sock-It to Cancer event that was done to help raise money to be donated to St. Paul’s Roots Foundation, a non-profit children’s camp for research organization. Along with 35 people, Christy shaved her head for donations and several local businesses donated time and their money to help raise just over $43,000.”

Tannah Tolbirt was presented with the Senior Citizen Woman of the Year award by Ruth Marsh of the Xi Omega Iota Chapter at the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet. NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

Tannah Tolbirt was presented with the Senior Citizen Woman of the Year award by Ruth Marsh of the Xi Omega Iota Chapter at the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet. NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

Senior Citizen Man of the Year – Bob Byrd

Pleasanton Parks and Recreation Event Coordinator, Tony Aguirre presented Bob Byrd with the Senior Citizen Man of the Year for his dedication to improving the community through the park renovation:

“This gentleman has showed great support in the Pleasanton Parks and Recreation, and at the same time, to the community, by assisting the Parks Foundation through its tireless efforts. He had donated time, skills, his resources and money in order to see the renovation of the park become a realization, as well as other programs and events that Parks and Rec hold. He has advocated relentlessly for the skate park, has been a key factor in the overall success of its design. He has a heart to see this community thrive in a wholesome environment and he has served the citizens to the best of his abilities. He continues to promote many Parks and Rec activities, and wishes to see the youth and young adults in Pleasanton thrive in an active lifestyle. At his senior age, he outworks many people and sets an example of being a dynamic citizen.”

Greg Schwab was awarded as Teacher of the Year by Sue Brown with the Pleasanton ISD Education Foundation at the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet. NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

Greg Schwab was awarded as Teacher of the Year by Sue Brown with the Pleasanton ISD Education Foundation at the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet. NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

Senior Citizen Woman of the Year – Tannah Tolbirt

The Senior Citizen Woman of the Year was presented to Tannah Tolbirt by Ruth Marsh of the Xi Omega Iota Chapter:

“Tannah served our country as a Marine when she married her husband on January 14, 1967. They moved to Pleasanton in December 1977 when they bought the Western Auto Store and Furniture place located on Hwy 281. She became very involved in the community. They sold their businesses and at that time, she became interested in real estate, and got her license. She now co-owns ReMax Realty and continues to sell and help many families choose their home and get settled in Pleasanton. Being very involved has been a way of life for her serving on the school board, helping with our local theater group, and whatever job they needed. She is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Pleasanton, and serves on many of the committees and on our church council. She has a daily presence at the Heights Nursing Facility where her mom is a resident, and she has developed a habit of checking on many other residents that reside there, making new friends. There’s not a more caring, loyal, and trusted person than this lady. She has a hard time saying no to anyone that asks something of her. She has always been very willing to volunteer and help out in any way she can.”

Lillian Cashmer was presented with the Business Person of the Year award by Jackie Brown with the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce at their Awards Banquet. NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

Lillian Cashmer was presented with the Business Person of the Year award by Jackie Brown with the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce at their Awards Banquet. NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

Couple of the Year – Larry and Ginny Mross

The 2019 Couple of the Year was presented by Betty Rackley of the Pleasanton Woman’s Club to Larry and Ginny Mross:

“This couple met when she took a summer job in the grocery store in San Antonio. She married her boss in 1972. In July of 1981, they determined that Pleasanton would be their forever home and the home of their grocery store business. The grocery business was their way of life for the next 20 years. Several years ago, he created and worked the Thrive Through Lives, facilitated easier and faster pickup for many people who bought turkey plates to go. She was a member of Pleasanton Woman’s Club for 10 years. She dedicated some of her time volunteering for the Club’s annual Christmas pilgrimage and raised money for scholarships. Each year, this couple devotes many hours planning and helping post an annual holiday party. They devoted most of their time to their family’s supermarket business until is was sold in 2000. When Nest Feathers Gift and Home Decor opened in 2003, she became the founding sales chick for Nest Feathers. In August 2016, opportunity presented itself for this couple to purchase and operate Nest Feathers. Through Nest Feathers they routinely generate generous donations from the store to local franchises. This power couple are parents of three sons, three grandsons, and one little granddaughter.”

Young Citizen of the Year – Greg Leach

Noel Wilkerson Holmes read the Young Citizen of the Year nomination on behalf of the Pleasanton Young Farmers Association and Daryl Ashley presented Greg Leach with the award:

“From day one, he said this community has made both him and his family feel as if they have been here their whole lives. Developing a 30 year old park to where we are today, shows the markings of a great leader, has the ability to dream big, work collaboratively and with people at every level, and be energetic and passionate, enough to make it all look like a day’s work. Greg’s relationship with city leaders and city workers working with them side by side as a team member and hands on leader has been extremely impressive. Greg has helped ensure that there is something going on for everyone in this town, and we say Greg, we need the whole Parks and Rec Department and with the city’s backing, that there is something going on for everyone in this town if not for free, then just for a few dollars. Greg listens when people talk to him, and he is open to ideas. He praises his team. He does not micromanage, and he lets others take the lead and receive the praise when they help on projects.”

Teacher of the Year – Greg Schwab

Pleasanton ISD teacher, Greg Schwab was named Teacher of the Year. Presenting him with his award was Sue Brown with the Pleasanton ISD Education Foundation:

“Our Teacher of the Year started his 12th year at PHS, and he’s popular among all the students and his fellow teachers. Reading over the bio, I learned some things about him that I didn’t even know about him. First of all, he’s an Eagle Scout. And he’s multi-degreed. He has a BS in marine biology from Texas State at Galveston. He has a BS in veterinary science in Texas Public Station, and an MS in veterinary anatomy. He also has 80 plus post graduate hours with the College of Veterinary Medicine. He was also named the Pleasanton School District Teacher of the Year back in 2009, 2010, and mainly because of his efforts to start an aquatic program, plus a robotics program. So if you don’t recognize this gentleman, or you don’t recognize his name when we announce, you surely will recognize his voice, because he’s the voice of the Pleasanton Hip Rallies. He’s the voice of the Pleasanton Football games, Eagle Band halftime show, and he’s also been our MC at many of our fundraisers for the Education Foundation.”

Teenager of the Year – Zorayda Martinez

The 2019 Teenager of the Year award was presented by Deborah Olin with the Pleasanton Athletic Booster Club to Zorayda Martinez:

“She is currently ranked first out of 231 seniors with a GPA of 106.0363. Her senior advisor for Trio Upward Bound, Mr. Nicholas Lopez, wrote this letter on her behalf: “ As her Upward Bound advisor, I’ve been impressed by her intellectual curiosity, work ethic, maturity, and humility. She is persistent and diligent and brings a positive attitude to all of her endeavors. I’ve watched this young woman set and achieve goals that have helped her take the necessary steps to attain her ultimate dream of being the first in her family to earn a college degree. Over the 15 years that I’ve been advising and mentoring students as they prepare for the rigors of college, Zorayda stands out as the hardest working, most focused student that I’ve had the privilege of knowing. She has worked hard and devoted countless hours to create her outstanding academic record, and still managed to actively participate in activities that both enriched her, and allowed her to give back to her community. Additionally, I would like to say that Zorayda is personable and easy to work with. She is always cheerful, dependable, handles responsibility well, and keeps calm under pressure.”

Business Person of the Year – Lillian Cashmer

Lillian Cashmer was named the 2019 Business Person of the Year by Jackie Brown of the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce:

“This year’s Business Person of the Year, she was proudly born and raised in Pleasanton, Texas. She graduated from Pleasanton High School in 1990 and dabbled in different industries until her insurance career began in 1998 in San Antonio. In 2009, she started working for Randall Harred Insurance Agency. After working for him for seven years, he decided to semi retire and sell his business to her. She became the first Hispanic female agent of record for Germania on September 1st, 2016, when she opened her independent insurance agency. In 2019, she won Germania’s Texas Star award for her district, beating out 50 other agents for the fiscal year of 2017. This is the first year an agent that took over the agency ever won this award in their first year. Lillian enjoys giving back to the community. She donates a percentage of her salary to local charities, causes and fundraisers. Her business has won Christmas decorating awards with the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce. You can catch her bright red 1956 Chevy pickup in parades around town. She was born to stand out and be different.”

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