Photo: Gary Justice at R & K Distributors in Nacogdoches.
The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday that its annual Business Excellence Awards will now commemorate past chairman Gary Lee Justice, who died in an auto accident in May. Justice worked as a manager for R&K Distributors.
“By christening these awards the Gary Justice Business Excellence Awards we are doing two things,” said current chair Paul Smith III.
“First, we are remembering a friend of the Chamber and Nacogdoches,” he said.
“Secondly, we are acknowledging Gary’s personal involvement in these particular awards.”
Chamber President Bruce R. Partain described Justice as "the rock" that kept the chamber focused and successful.
"During his year as chamber chair, he asked us to adopt a theme called "An Attitude of Gratitude,'" Partain said. "Serving others and appreciating God's gifts were his key aims in life and in business."
The Gary Justice Business Excellence Awards include the Small Business of the Year, Medium Business of the Year and Large Business of the Year.
“Gary served first as our Vice Chair of Membership, then our Chairman in 2004-05,” Partain said. “He took a hard look at how we organized the selection process of the awards, and came up with a very logical, workable solution,” Partain said.
“The result is that now our entire membership is asked to submit names for these three awards and our Citizen of the Year award,” he said. “Our executive committee reviews the nominations, then submits nominees to the entire board for voting. It is a very democratic approach.”
The Chamber board recently met to review 2009-10 nominations, and the awards will be announced in coming days.
“The awards will be part of our Annual Meeting and Banquet on September 28,” Smith said.
“We look forward to honoring not only the businesses and our 32nd Citizen of the Year awardee, but also saying thanks to Gary Justice for his contributions to our community.”