McKINNEY, TX  – The community came out on a Friday night in late February to help the McKinney Chamber of Commerce celebrate individuals and businesses at their annual Community Awards Celebration held at the Sheraton McKinney. It’s an event that’s been held every year since 1951.

“It’s our pleasure to have so many community leaders, distinguished citizens, and Chamber members attend this event year-in and year-out to help us celebrate this city’s accomplishments and the many reasons why McKinney is a fantastic place to live and work,” said Lisa Hermes, the President and CEO of the Chamber.

For its part, the Chamber gave out four awards: Carey Cox Citizen of the Year, Leadership McKinney Alumni of the Year, Outstanding Small Business of the Year, and Outstanding Big Business of the Year.

The Carey Cox Citizen of the Year Award was awarded to Robbie Clark.

“Winning this award is very special to me. I see names on the list of people who have received it in the past and I certainly don’t feel like I’m deserving. Many of those people, as a young businessman or even in high school, are who I looked up to and wanted to be like. It’s just a wonderful opportunity for me to be recognized in this way,” said Clark.

The winner of this year’s Leadership McKinney Alumni of the Year Award is Beth Bentley, who has been a consistent and outstanding leader in McKinney for many years. She was a graduate 2004 Leadership class – then called Citizenship McKinney – and is an active member on that committee today.

The Outstanding Small Business of the Year went to Appian Commercial Realty.

“The best part of the company is the freedom that it allows. It’s not something that everybody will want to do. There’s no schedule, there’s no one to push you to tell you to get up in the morning and work, but I kind of thrive on that,” said Ray Eckenrode, the founder of the company. “Other than that, it’s just the privilege of working in the community that I live in.”

The Outstanding Big Business of the Year went to a company that has almost single-handedly shaped the region we live in. Without their expertise in law and giving advice to the municipalities and other clients they represent; there’s no telling how different McKinney would be. This year’s winner is the law firm of Abernathy, Roeder, Boyd & Hullett.

The Chamber wasn’t the only entity honoring individuals or businesses within the city. The City of McKinney, McKinney Economic Development Corporation, Main Street McKinney, Visit McKinney, and the McKinney Community Development Corporation also gave out awards:

  • City of McKinney - Non-residential Historic Preservation Project of the Year – William Williams Rare Jewels, William Williams
  • City of McKinney - Residential Historic Preservation Project of the Year – 504 Tucker Street, James and Florene West
  • City of McKinney - Development Project of the Year – The Yard, the 33 Restaurant Group
  • City of McKinney - The Spirit of McKinney Moving Forward Award – First United Bank
  • MEDC - Corporate Performance Award – Dynacraft
  • MEDC - Encore Wire / Business Retention & Expansion Award – Independent Financial
  • Main Street McKinney - Main Street Partner of the Year – The Sanchez Group & Patina Green
  • Main Street McKinney - Partners of the Decade, Kaci & Robert Lyford, Luann VanWinckel
  • Visit McKinney - McKinney Tourism Partner Award- Tupps Brewery
  • MCDC - Quality of Life - organization – McKinney PD – Neighborhood Police Officer Unit; McKinney Fire – Community Healthcare Program
  • MCDC - Quality of Life - individual – Mary Carole Strother




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