McKINNEY, TX -- The community came together for a night of fun and entertainment on Thursday, April 22nd to help the McKinney Chamber of Commerce honor the individuals and businesses at their annual Community Awards, presented by CoServ. It’s an event that’s been held every year since 1951.

“We are excited to have many of our community leaders, distinguished citizens, and Chamber members join us in person as well as those who are tuning in from all over McKinney this evening,” said Lisa Hermes, President and CEO of the Chamber, at the beginning of the hybrid event. “As you’re all aware, we’re orchestrating a truly community-wide celebration as we live-stream the awards all over the city.

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

The Carey Cox Citizen of the Year Award was awarded to Early B. Milstead.

“I’m so thankful for winning this award. I feel I’ve been blessed throughout my life to have a supportive family and great friends,” said Milstead. “It is important for me to leave this place better than I found it. And being a good steward of what has been placed in my responsibility is important to me. God has amply blessed me. I am humbled to follow in the footsteps of the outstanding community leaders that have received this award previously.”

The Leadership McKinney Alumnus of the Year is being awarded to two people this year - Patrick Cloutier and Jason Hernandez. The two men have been outstanding leaders in McKinney for many years. Cloutier, a small business owner in McKinney, is a graduate of the 2013 Leadership class. Hernandez, who went from being incarcerated to being instrumental in many charitable endeavors throughout McKinney, graduated in the 2017 Leadership class.

The Outstanding Small Business of the Year went to Gather in Downtown McKinney.

“I’m at a loss for the exact word that describes the past year in the event industry,” said Jennifer Klassen, owner of Gather. “But I can tell you that the word ‘awesome’ describes what it feels like to own, with my family, an events venue in McKinney and to have so many clients trust us with their life events in the past 10 years.”

The Outstanding Business of the Year went to a company that has played a major role in the community not only during the past year, but since opening in McKinney in 2012. Baylor Scott and White Medical Center – McKinney employs over 600 full-time workers and continues to grow its footprint within the city. In addition to its continued development, the not-for-profit hospital exemplifies the type of corporate culture we should all strive for: one that puts the well-being of the community as one of its priorities.

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 – Amy Pyeatt for the rehabilitation of the Rockin’ A B Children Retail Store
  • City of McKinney - Residential Historic Preservation Project of the Year – Eric and Dara Havemann for the rehabilitation of the L.A. Scott House
  • City of McKinney - Development Project of the Year – Bill Guthrey with KDC Development and Eric Jacobson with SRS Distribution, Inc.
  • City of McKinney - The Spirit of McKinney Moving Forward Award – David Craig of Craig International and Chief Danny Kistner of the McKinney Fire Department
  • MEDC - Corporate Performance Award – KVP International
  • MEDC - Encore Wire / Business Retention & Expansion Award – MyTelemedicine
  • Main Street McKinney - Main Street Partner of the Year – Andrea Holmes
  • Visit McKinney - McKinney Tourism Partner Award – McKinney ISD Athletics
  • MCDC - Quality of Life Award – Individual: Kim Sanchez
  • MCDC - Quality of Life Award – Organization/Project: Feeding Friends and Families

This year’s event was emceed by NBC 5’s (and a McKinney native) Katy Blakey.

To watch the event in full - click here.