Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce honors 10 worthy citizensFree Access

Man of the Year – Dr. Matthew Mann

Sponsored by the Pleasanton Lions Club

Dr. Matthew Mann receives his Man of the Year award from Pleasanton Lions Club member Lillian Cashmer at the chamber banquet.

Dr. Matthew Mann was born in Lafayette, Indiana.  Growing up, his father was in the Army and he was able to travel to many different states and countries.  He attended Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado on a Debate scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1994, majoring in History and Government with a minor in Speech and Debate.  Dr. Mann married his wife Sara that he had met in college that same year.  Dr. Mann and Sara completed their student teaching in the San Luis Valley in the mountains of southern Colorado and Dr. Mann secured his first teaching position in Sierra Grande School District, a rural school with 150 students K-12, as one of two middle school teachers.  Later, he moved to Pleasanton, Texas and went into business with his wife’s family in the produce industry.  For those of you that know Dr. Mann well and have seen how he works with and inspires students, it is no surprise that he chose to return to teaching.  In 1998, Dr. Mann went back to teaching at Samuel Clemens High School as a speech and debate teacher and later taught World History at East Central High School.  Upon completing his Master’s degree from Texas A&M University – Kingsville in 2001, Dr. Mann secured an assistant principal position at Scobee Middle School in Southwest ISD.  Wanting to move closer to his home in Pleasanton, he took a position as an assistant principal at Jourdanton Junior High in 2005.  Dr. Mann completed his doctoral studies at Texas A&M University – Kingsville in 2011 writing his doctoral dissertation on the relationship between school district size and science performance.  He has presented at national and state level educational conferences and has published four articles on various educational topics.  Dr. Mann has been married for 23 years to his wife Sara who serves as the Executive Director of Curriculum for Floresville ISD.  They have two daughters, Kaytlyn, who is studying in the Mays Business School at Texas A&M, and Emily, who will graduate this year and begin at Texas A&M in the fall pursuing a Law degree.

While Dr. Mann has vast educational experience, his greatest impact is in how he serves the community of Pleasanton.  Dr. Mann is an active member of the Church of Christ in Pleasanton and served as a youth soccer coach for 9 years.  He is a member of the Pleasanton Rotary Club and seeks opportunities to give back to the community whether that be ringing a bell at Christmas time outside of Wal-Mart for the Salvation Army, attending city council meetings, supporting the Atascosa County Livestock Show, or helping to host Stuff the Bus at HEB.  Dr. Mann believes that great public schools are critical to the success of any community and he has dedicated his life’s work to guiding students to realizing their own potential.  He has recently worked to build a focus on literacy within the school district and across the community by reading to children at HEB and promoting a reading readiness program designed for families to use from birth to Kindergarten through public and private entities that serve the children of this community.  He recruits his fellow Rotarians to join him at the Pleasanton ISD After-School Care Program once each week allowing students an opportunity to read to him and other adults to practice their reading skills. In his role as superintendent, Dr. Mann emphasizes the importance of reading to students by reading to every PreK, Kinder, and 1st grade class each year.  He purchases approximately 800 books each year so that when he reads to the class, he can present each child with a book that has a message just from him. Sara recently shared a story about a trip to Atascosa Vision Source last month where an employee joked with Dr. Mann about how many times she had read that Teenage Ninja Turtle book he had given her son, and how every time someone came to their house, her son ran to his room to get that book and show it to their guests.  Her son’s excitement was further heightened when Dr. Mann just happened to sit in for a picture of this young boy and his brother with Santa just before the holiday break at a school event.  Now he shows everyone his book from Dr. Mann AND his picture of Dr. Mann.

The community of Pleasanton, and Pleasanton ISD, are no doubt a better place today and will be for many years to come because of Dr. Mann’s selfless service and dedication to the children and families of this community.


Woman of the Year – Lillian Cashmer

Sponsored by Pleasanton Rotary Club

Lillian Cashmer was awarded Woman of the Year. She received her award from Dr. Matthew Mann of the Pleasanton Rotary Club.

Commitment to her community, is a good way to describe our nominee for woman of the year. She is presently running her own business here in Pleasanton. She grew up in Leming and graduated from Pleasanton High School. After marrying and starting a family, she worked her way in to selling insurance.

She found her way back to Pleasanton, working for Johnny Lambaria and Randall Harred, which led to opening her own business.

Being an independent agent has led  to getting very involved in our community, she is a member and involved with the Pleasanton Lions Club, has served as advisor the the Pleasanton LEO Club, their youth organization for about ten years.

She coordinates events with Pleasanton Police Chief Ronald Sanchez, such as Blue Santa and this year’s first annual Beat the Heat. She provides music at events for the Parks and Recreation Department.

She is also board chair for the Atascosa Health Center, as she feels there is a need for the under served people in our community. She is an active member of St. Luke’s Catholic Church in Loire, and her family also hosts exchange students through ASSE.

She has tremendous support from her husband and daughters.

Lillian, owns Germania Insurance and is married to Tommy Cashmer. They are the parents of two daughters, Hillary and Carol. She is the daughter of Sylvia and Daniel Rodriguez

Senior Woman of the Year – Camilla Mitchell

Sponsored by Xi Omega Iota Sorority 

Camilla Mitchell (left)receives her Senior Woman of the Year award from Jolene Disbro of Xi Omega Iota Sorority at the Pleasanton Chamber banquet held March 1.

Camilla Allen Mitchel was born on the family farm/ranch out of Carrizo Springs, Dimmit County, Texas

She grew up in Pleasanton where she was involved as a cheerleader, student government president, participated in plays and in many clubs.

She was also involved in her college years as well. She was secretary of student government, vice-president of her class, was in plays and officer in many of the clubs.

Her teaching career spanned 34 years – one year in San Antonio teaching junior high art; one year in Pleasanton where she began the art program at the elementary level; one year in Pinon, Arizona, where she taught 3rd grade on the Bureau of Indian Affairs School, Navajo Reservation; one year in Belton, as a kindergarten teacher at a Head Start school; five years in Roanoke, VA, teaching high school art; six years in Leming, teaching 3rd grade; 17 years in Pleasanton, High School Art where she also began that program; two years at Coastal Bend College, Pleasanton Branch, Art (began the program)

Her community involvement includes Atascosa County Historical Commission member; Vice-President Pleasanton Cemetery Association; Atascosa Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, member 26 years, officer 25 years; member and officer for a number of other lineage organizations; Atascosa-McMullen Retired School Personnel member; San Antonio Genealogical and Historical Society member

She is a member of First Baptist Church in Pleasanton; member of Girls Auxiliary, attained Forward Steps of Queen Regent In-Service; she has taught Sunbeams, vacation Bible school, Girls in Action, involved with Sunday school and Bible studies.

For the last two years she has been researching the 150 year history of the First Baptist Church in Pleasanton and a book will be printed and sold later this year.

She was also a member and worked Atascosa County’s Sesquicentennial celebration.

Camilla is still teaching art, started having classes in her son’s home but outgrew it and moved classes to Quillian House.  She is now teaching kids of her former students. She continues the legacy by giving a great foundation to her students.


Senior Man of the Year – Rev.  Junior Jones

Sponsored by Methodist Hospital South 55 Plus

Rev. Junior Jones (left) was awarded Senior Man of the Year. He received his award from Brad Mumm, President of the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce representing Methodist Hospital South 55 Plus.

Junior Jones is a very deserving member of our community that is constantly trying to help any and everyone in this community. He was born on Christmas Day in 1934. He served in the United Staates Armed Services for 20 years.

He was ordained as a Deacon in 1968, licensed to preach in 1972 and became an ordained gospel minister in March 1973. He received an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities Degree in August 1998.

Rev. Jones has worked with the armed services, Audie Murphy VA Hospital and Kelly Air Force Base.

He is an active member of the Pleasanton Lions Club, and this year coordinated through the SA Food Bank a location to store food and disperse the food to people that were affected by Hurricane Harvey by using the room at the Lions Club facility. When that was over, he found local churches or facilities that needed the food and took care of them.

Rev. Jones is known throughout the community and especially through his work at the Christian Assistance Ministry (CAM) where he serves as director. He is secretary of Atascosa Ministers Alliance. He also serves with Westside ministerial Alliance, Inc., Santa Rosa Hospice, member of San Antonio Ministers Union, SA Interfaith Flood Recovery Alliance, Atascosa County Red Cross volunteer representative and Alamo Work Force.





Couple of the Year – Clyde and Susie Butter

Sponsored by Pleasanton Woman’s Club

Clyde and Susie Butter received Couple of the Year from Pleasanton Woman’s Club member Annette Anderson (right).

Clyde and Susie Butter met at a fence post as neighbors in Seguin, Texas when Susie was just 12. They dated all through high school and married young. They have five children, one foster son, 11 grandchildren, and countless youth and students that they have impacted.  Clyde and Susie Butter became residents of Pleasanton in 1990.

Clyde was the youth minister at FBC Pleasanton for several years where, as a team, they made a difference in so many lives. Clyde has also been a preacher at FBC Poteet, and for the last 13 years, he and Susie have developed Crosspoint Fellowship Church. Clyde was also a counselor and assistant softball coach for Pleasanton High School.  His love for sports and his desire to develop young Christian Athletes led Crosspoint Fellowship Church to begin the Upward Basketball Program for our youngest citizens.  This great program is currently in its 5th year and serving over 200 local children this year.  Clyde has counseled many teenagers for parents and for Pleasanton High School on alcohol abuse at a moment’s notice.  Along with ministry, Clyde is also a real estate agent and has serviced many of our Atascosa residents through lawn maintenance.

Susie began working at PISD as an aide for a while before she became a full time teacher.  Susie has been a teacher at Pleasanton Primary for about 8 years now and has touched so many lives with her spunky personality, musical talent, and willingness to go above and beyond to make Pleasanton a place where learning is authentic and memorable. Susie teaches choir and leads worship at Crosspoint Fellowship and has been a “mom” to so many beyond those that are her own children.  She and Clyde open their home annually to the PHS Softball team, the area youth groups and young adults.  Susie is known for her delicious spaghetti and brownies and a “Butter” meal is never forgotten.

Throughout the years, Clyde and Susie have used their talents, heart for people, their own struggles and story, and their time to help this community thrive.  They have fed, clothed and mentored so many in our community and continue to do so on a daily basis.  They are the example of grace, compassion, unwavering faith, and dedication, and it is a great honor to nominate Clyde and Susie Butter as Pleasanton’s Couple of the Year.


Teacher of the Year – Noel Garcia

Sponsored by Pleasanton ISD Education Foundation

Noel Garcia (left)was named Teacher of the Year and received his award from Mark Tullos of the Pleasanton ISD Education Foundation.

He graduated in 1973 from Pleasanton High School.  He went to Southwest Texas University and graduated in 1977.  He worked in Devine, Texas for a few years and then went to work for San Miguel. In 1990 he started his journey at Pleasanton High School as a Spanish teacher.

He has been head class sponsor for 23 years.  He has been a student council sponsor for 2 years.  He was also the foreign language club sponsor for many years.  He was selected as a Distinguished Educator and Department Chair.  He has served on District Education Improvement Committee twice.  Noel also assists with Business Professionals of America when they travel.  He also works at Bealls part time.

He is a member of Sacred Heart Catholic church.

He married his wife Cris Garcia in 1980.  They have four children, Esmeralda, Felicia, Xavier and adopted their great niece Larianna.  Noel and Cris have also hosted a foreign exchange student.

Noel is well liked by all of his students.  Noel is not only a great teacher but he serves as a good role model.  He truly cares about his students and takes a special interest in them personally.  He shows this by attending events that they are active in.  He supports Pleasanton High School and the students by attending almost all of the games.

A former student said “Mr. Garcia was a teacher that did more than just lecture.  He wanted to build relationships with his students.  He wanted to see his students succeed inside and outside the classroom.  Mr. Garcia is more than just a teacher, he is a mentor.

Noel’s caring attitude and dedication to Pleasanton High School is why we have chosen him as Teacher of the Year.


Young Citizen of the Year – Sarah Franklin

Sponsored by Pleasanton Young Farmers

Sarah Franklin (left) receives her award of Young Citizen of the Year from Megan Martin of the Pleasanton Young Farmers.

Sarah is a 28 year old hometown girl who returned to Pleasanton after graduating from Texas A&M college to marry her childhood sweetheart and begin her career in Pleasanton. Her effervescent personality and radiant smile lights up the room as she knows no stranger.

She comes from a strong farming family and her college degree, career and

volunteer work reflects her agricultural interest. Her parents, brother and sister­in-law continue the farming operation today. Sarah is the branch manager for

Texas Farm Credit in Pleasanton.

She was very active in high school at Pleasanton ISD with FFA, honor society, and other clubs, received the Chamber of Commerce Teenager of the Year award and graduated Valedictorian. Her volunteer works continues now as she volunteers at Pleasanton Young Farmers Equipment Auction and PYPC Rodeo with proceeds for youth scholarships. Sarah also volunteers at Atascosa County Junior Livestock

Show in assisting with the swine show and auction. She volunteers at San Antonio Livestock Exposition as Vice-Chairman of the Livestock Committee and serves on the Board of Directors.

Sarah also volunteers at St Andrew’s Church annual Turkey Dinner and picnic and at Black Hill’s annual Turkey Dinner.

She graduated sum cum laude from Texas A&M with a Bachelor of Science Agricultural Economics degree.

She is married to Matt Franklin, local attorney and co-owner of Martin Abstract Company, daughter of Charles and Julie Novak, and sister to Ryan Novak and sister-in-law Jeralyn.

Our community is very fortunate to have such a remarkable young woman who chose to come back to her hometown. She definitely shows a history of giving back to her community through her many hours of volunteer work.

Businessperson of the Year – Susie B. Martinez

Sponsored by the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce

Susie B. Martinez (left)received the Business Person of the Year award from Jackie Brown of the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce.

Susie was born on January 19, 1955 to parents Tony and Cecilia Brown and lived in the Rossville area. She attended school in Poteet, where she graduated from Poteet High School in May 1973.

She attended San Antonio College where she studied office management and after finishing school she went to work for frost national bank working in the safe keeping department. In August 1975 she married Fred Martinez, a graduate from the University of Texas at Austin College of pharmacy.

In 1982, she left Frost National Bank and went to work for Clarke American, a check printing company. She was instrumental in working with the company sales force nationwide providing support to the sales force as they dealt with multi-million dollar companies throughout the country.

In 1993 Suzy left Clarke American to pursue more of her dreams and she became involved with the Poteet School system as liaison between the school district and the community. She was closely involved in implementing career day trying to expose students to what was out there in the way of colleges, and she also was in multiple committees at the school district level helping students move on to the next steps in their lives.

Around 1996 she stumbled into a new venture which is making cakes and little did she know she had a God-given talent in sculpting and decorating cakes. She started making a few cakes from home as she improved her skills.

In 2002 she moved her business Creations Cakes to a commercial kitchen at the Ol’ Windmill beverage barn in Rossville where her business gradually grew. In August 2006 Susie move her business to Pleasanton at 122 North Bryant St. and from that day forward her business took off like a rocket. She is a perfectionist and as a result, her cakes are not only beautiful to the eye, but great tasting as well and she would not have it any other way. Through the 11 years that she been in Pleasanton , her business reputation has grown tremendously, and her work speaks for itself and as a result she has developed a great reputation in Atascosa County, San Antonio, Boerne, New Braunfels and surrounding South Texas area.

Since she has been involved with San Antonio Wedding Magazine and The Knot, which are both bridal magazines, she has received their highest awards every year. From the San Antonio Wedding Magazine she was rated by our local South Texas brides and given the award of “Best of Wedding” in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. The Knot awarded her “The Knot Best of Wedding” 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

She has received awards from both the Couples Choice Award and Bride’s Choice Award for 2015 , 2016 and 2017.

Susie has participated in the Taste of Atascosa for many years and was given an award in appreciation for her support and contributions to the event. She won 1st place Showmanship in 2006, Top Showmanship in 2010 and 3rd place Best Booth in 2016.

Susie has had her own business for 20 years and has done a great job, not only in making beautiful and delicious cakes, but as a female business owner. She currently operates Creations Cakes with a staff of six full time employees.

Teenager of the Year – Peter Korus

Sponsored by Pleasanton Athletic Booster Club

Receiving the Teenager of the Year award from Debra Owen was Peter Korus. It is sponsored by the Pleasanton Athletic Booster Club.

Peter Korus, the son of Michael D. Korus and Marie B. Korus, is a senior at Pleasanton High

School. He has proven himself to be a selfless and community-minded young man over many years of volunteering in organizations such as the Pleasanton Young Farmers, Pleasanton Lions Club/Leo’s Organizations, Pleasanton FFA, Mesquite 4-H, Pleasanton Police Department Blue

Santa Program, San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo as a Tour Guide, St. Luke’s Loire Catholic Church, and the St. Andrew’s Teen ACTS community. He is also a member of the National Honor Society and helped organize their 2017 blood drive.

He grew up on the grounds of the Atascosa show barn, being an extra set of hands working alongside the men of the Pleasanton Young Farmers, and showing pigs, rabbits, and commercial heifers at the county show. In FFA and 4-H he has participated on multiple district and state award-winning teams, and has earned the highly competitive place as the Texas Team Member in the National 4-H Archery competition. He has also participated in the South Texas Bobwhite Brigade.

In addition to an exceptional level of participation in extra-curricular activities, community service, and maintaining a high GPA, Peter is also his father’s right hand on the family farm. He knows the meaning of hard work and has given countless hours volunteering for events like the Pleasanton FFA Ag Booster annual fund raiser, clean-up of the Lions Club Wild Game Dinner,

livestock operations and grounds maintenance for the Pleasanton Young Farmers Rodeo during the event and throughout the year, and the St. Luke’s Loire Fall Festival.

Peter will be attending A&M Corpus Christi in the fall studying Mechanical Engineering.

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