Recognitions made during annual membership luncheon
The Weslaco Chamber of Commerce held its annual membership luncheon Nov. 1 at the Knapp Medical Conference Center, awarding Man, Woman, and Business of the Year awards, as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Woman of the Year
Melissa Neuhaus is the 2017 Woman of the Year. Neuhaus served on the Weslaco’s board of directors for six years, and served as board chair in 2015-2016. In addition to her involvement with the Weslaco Chamber, Neuhaus has served several regional organizations. These include the Gladys Porter Zoo, Museum of South Texas, Estrella’s House, Hidalgo County 4-H Foundation and the RGV Livestock Show Round-Up Club. She is past president of the Algodon Club, the Weslaco Literary Review Club and is a member of the BW Chapter of the PEO Sorority.
Man of the Year
The 2017 Man of the Year is Rick Talbert, who is currently serving his second term and is the board chair of the Economic Development Corporation of Weslaco. Talbert has served on the board of Easter Seals and as a director at John Knox Village. Talbert is a member of the Lions Club since 1974, where he has held every local office except secretary. From 2001-2008, Talbert served as district governor and was president of the Texas Lions Camp. Currently, he serves as council chair for Lions of Texas.
Lifetime Achievement Award
The Weslaco Chamber of Commerce also honored Richard Vaughan with the second Lifetime Achievement Award. Vaughan’s past roles as board chair or president include Rotary Club, Weslaco ISD School Board, Knapp Medical Center, the RGV Partnership and the Weslaco Chamber of Commerce. He has also served on the boards for the Aurora House Foundation, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, TSTC Advisory Board and RGV Bible Institute. Vaughan became president of Burton Companies in the early 1980s and held that position until his retirement a few years ago.
The 2017 Business of the Year was awarded to Magic Valley Electric Cooperative. Celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, Magic Valley serves 97,000 members in the Rio Grande Valley. MVEC has funded over $1.3 million in scholarships and annually donates more than $100,000 to various charities. It also supports economic development and sponsoring a variety of events.
Additional honorees included Volunteer of the Year Alex Montenegro, Frost Bank; Chamber Board Member of the Year Carla McCaleb, McCaleb Funeral Home; and Retiring Board Members Mary Arce and Sue Peterson, Weslaco ISD.