David Gunn, owner of Knight Furniture, was honored by the Sherman Chamber of Commerce with three awards, including the President's Award, Small Business of the Year, and the Community Leader of the Year.
More than 330 people attended the Sherman Chamber of Commerce Awards Luncheon on Friday at Austin College to recognize all the service-minded individuals in the community. Bob Utter Ford, Lincoln and Kia was named the Large Business of the Year and Knight Furniture and Mattress was named Small Business of the year during the ceremony.
Sherman City council member Shawn Teamann presented the Community Leader of the Year award to Gunn, who received a standing ovation.
“I'm sorry if I seem a little more emotional than normal,” Gunn said. “I honestly didn't think I had a chance of being recognized with this because of the quality of the other nominees.”
Sherman Chamber of Commerce President Eddie Brown presented the President's Award to David Gunn. It is an award Brown said isn't handed out very often.
“I am honored to give this out today,” Brown said. “(Gunn) has worked with the chamber on many events, tourism, and Main Street. He does an outstanding job in our community from everything to those serving on committees in our community to chasing ghosts in downtown Sherman.”
Gunn also accepted the Small Business of the Year award for Knight Furniture and thanked customers over the years.
“I want to start by saying thank you to everybody who has ever shopped with us you have given us 107 great years here in Sherman,” Gunn said. “They say small businesses are like sucking on a lemon drop candy, you have to suck on the sour for a long time before the sweet comes.”
Brown spent much of the day recognizing everyone in the room for their efforts in community service.
“There is no better place to be today than Sherman, Texas,” Brown said.
Sherman Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Jennifer Thompson introduced Brad Douglass, president of Douglass Distributing, to present the award for Large Business of the Year. Douglass Distributing had been the recipient of the 2018 Large Business of the Year Award.
“Last year, Douglass Distributing and Lone Star Food Store were honored to receive that recognition,” Douglass said. “Our family of over 400 team members really appreciated that honor.”
Douglass announced Bob Utter Ford, Lincoln and Kia as the Large Employer of the Year and “another great family business.”
Sherman Mayor David Plyler talked about last year's excitement for the city and the focus on continuing that in 2019.
“Even with all the good things we have done in the last few years, 2018 stands out as one for the record books,” Plyler said. “Last year, Sherman added more than 900 new jobs, 200 new homes and $287 million dollars of new property. This year is poised to be even better.”
Grayson County Judge Bill Magers told the crowd that things were about to get interesting in the county with plans for roadways and the potential for new growth.
Trish Woods, of the North Texas Young Professionals, then presented the award for North Texas Young Professional of the Year to April Daniel.
The non-profit of the year award was presented to Master Key Ministries and Odee Ayala was named Ambassador of the Year.
Sherman Chamber past president Joanne Johnson told the crowd about how the chamber was in it's strongest position economically in years.
“I am really excited for what is going to happen in Sherman,” Johnson said. “I think the chamber is in wonderful hands. I am really excited to see what is going to happen in 2019.”
She then introduced keynote speaker Kent Sharp, who is president of Sherman Economic Development Corporation.
Sharp took the stage he continued the momentum of praising all the volunteers across the city and county who worked to bring everything together.
He talked about his and his wife's excitement when they learned he was hired at Sherman, then praised all the hard-working individuals who provide services to the community.
“People want to see a community that is united and cohesive that plans well,” Sharp said. “That is exactly what you have here in Sherman.”