, Port Arthur, Texas

January 20, 2014

Groves’ Manuel to hand over gavel

Mary Meaux
The Port Arthur News

GROVES — The past two years have passed by pretty quick for Kent Manuel.

As outgoing president of the Groves Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Center, Kent spent not the usual one year term but stepped up to the plate when needed and stayed on an additional year.

“These two years have went by fast, it really has,” Manuel said. “I’ve enjoyed being president. We have a great group of board members and executive committee.”

Manuel will turn over the gavel during the Groves Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Center’s annual installation breakfast at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Magnolia Manor in Groves.

Manuel, Opelousas, La., native, was tapped to serve a second term and eagerly stayed in that role.

“I really can’t say enough about Kent,” Ronnie Boneau, executive director of the Groves Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Center, said. “He was outstanding. He agreed to take a second year. We had some changes over the past two years and Kent stepped up as president and took it head-on and handled it. He’s a tremendous leader for our chamber and board of director. We can’t thank him enough. He was always there at a moment’s notice.”

Gene Venable, the incoming president of the Chamber, also felt Manuel did a great job.

“I think Kent did a superb job, especially as he was so agreeable to take on the president’s job for two years which is no easy task. It takes a lot of time,” Venable said. “When we had a need, Kent was readily available and that’s something I’d like to continue.”

The Chamber oversaw a successful two years under Manuel’s guidance, from the annual breakfast held at the beginning of he year, feeding the city workers and annual Easter Egg Hunt to the Mother and Father of the Year events, helping with the Texas Pecan Festival and holiday events.

Manuel, of Edward Jones Investments in Groves, gave praise to others — Boneau, Groves Chamber’s administrative assistance Debbie Snell and volunteer Betty Legnon — for making the two easy successful.

“As president, the way I  look at it, the biggest ones are Ronnie, Debbie and Betty,” Manuel said. “They are basically what makes the chamber work.”


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