Taking Care of Business: Chamber hands out awards for 2018

By Kristen Tribe | Published Saturday, February 16, 2019
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Jonathan and Michelle Cortez

Jonathan and Michelle Cortez

Gary Currie

Gary Currie, Warden of MTC Correctional Facility, and staff

J D and Leah Clark

J.D. and Leah Clark

Melynda Lilly

Melynda Lilly

Terry Everett

Terry Everett

Erick Macias

Erick Macias

The Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce sang the praises of its members at its annual banquet last Saturday at the Decatur Conference Center.

The highlight of the evening was Jonathan Cortez being named Citizen of the Year. But that’s not all, his Edge Crew Construction also won Individual Business of the Year.

Other awards included:

  • Corporate Business of the Year – MTC Correctional Facility
  • Dr. James E. Hunter Humanitarian of the Year – Erick Macias
  • Presidency Award – J.D. and Leah Clark
  • Director of the Year – Terry Everett
  • Ambassador of the Year – Melynda Lilly

Pete’s Piano Bar entertained a packed house, and although I don’t have video … there was a guest or two who showed off some legit dance moves to the likes of Tina Turner and Elvis.

Like most of these events, there was also a silent and live auction. The big prize was a cooler packed with $2,000 worth of goodies. Five keys were available through the live auction, silent auction and raffle, but only one key would open it.

Guess who won? Michelle Cortez, Jonathan’s wife. It was their night, folks! If it was me, I might have made a trip to Winstar after a night like that.


U-Haul Company of Texas announced last week that Big Z Food Mart in Rhome is now a U-Haul neighborhood dealer. They will offer trucks, trailers, towing equipment and moving supplies.

Big Z Food Mart owner Sam Chhim is proud to team with the industry leader in do-it-yourself moving and self-storage to better meet the demands of Wise County.


This week I was invited by a close friend, Matilda the Bulldog, to help her devour Chick-fil-A nuggets packaged sweetly in a heart-shaped box. It was such a generous and thoughtful gift, so imagine my despair when I had to decline. You see, Matilda and her family, the Deadys, live in Magnolia, and a road trip this week was out of the question.

Days without Chick-fil-A in Wise County: 152.

Kristen Tribe is publisher of the Wise County Messenger. If you have a business tip, call her at 940-627-5987 or email

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