William Myers, former executive director of the Bridgeport Economic Development Corp., was named Outstanding Citizen at the city’s Chamber of Commerce banquet Saturday night.
Myers, who held the Bridgeport post for eight years, resigned late last year to take a job with the Denison Development Alliance.
“I had people tell me I was dead to them for leaving Bridgeport. So is this what it’s like to receive an award posthumously?” he asked with a laugh.
Myers, who was obviously moved by the honor, said none of his work in Bridgeport would have been possible without the investment of private business owners, and he appreciated them being willing to “put their hard-earned money out there.”
“I had a fantastic eight-and-a-half years here,” he said.
The award was presented by Mills Shallene, last year’s recipient. He highlighted Myers’ accomplishments while working at the EDC, which included establishing the Endeavor Bridgeport industrial park, Northwest Off-Highway Vehicle Park and Brookshire’s. He also had a hand establishing the paddling trails on the West Fork of the Trinity River in Bridgeport and volunteered in many organizations related to the activities of his children.
Other citizens and businesses honored Saturday night include: Sylvia Elenburg, Dr. James Hunter Humanitarian Award; Kim Lawson, Director of the Year; Ryan Murphy, Presidential Award; Mann Made Construction and C&O Communications, Individual Business of the Year; and Select Energy Services, Corporate Business Leader of the Year.
Chamber President Will Carpenter also turned over the reins to incoming president Gilbert Horton. Carpenter, who is known for his jokes and antics at Chamber meetings and luncheons, left Horton almost speechless after presenting him with a medal and a director’s chair with no seat (because he won’t have time to sit down until next year).
“I didn’t even know I was going to have to talk tonight,” Horton told the crowd. “I’m winging it … How is anyone supposed to be as witty? If you’re expecting something crazy, you probably won’t get it, but I’m excited to be your president, and I look forward to working with you all.”
Although no final numbers were available by press time Tuesday, silent and live auctions were also held Saturday night. The banquet had a Casino Royale theme and guests played casino games to earn raffle tickets.