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PN Chamber celebrates success, calls for participation

PORT NECHES — Port Neches Chamber of Commerce saw a busy year with 35 new members, 11 ribbon cuttings, scholarships awarded and more.

But the accomplishments wouldn’t be possible without businesses, the city and the chamber coming together.

The 2017 Port Neches Chamber of Commerce officers and directors.  David Ball/The News

The 2017 Port Neches Chamber of Commerce officers and directors.
David Ball/The News

Port Neches Mayor Glenn Johnson was master of ceremonies of the Port Neches Chamber of Commerce’s 76th annual banquet, held at the Pompano Club on Thursday. He told the crowd of the importance of the partnership between the city, chamber and school district and that it takes volunteers to step up to make it happen.

“You have to get out and make it happen,” Johnson said. “You want to get involved with the city, call them up. You want to get involved with the school district other than PTA, go to the administration building. You want to be involved with the chamber, call them.”

Port Neches Mayor Glenn Johnson shares some humor while serving as master of ceremonies during the banquet. Mary Meaux/The News

Port Neches Mayor Glenn Johnson shares some humor while serving as master of ceremonies during the banquet.
Mary Meaux/The News

Outgoing chamber president and police chief, Paul Lemoine, ended his two terms of service saying it was an honor and a privilege. Usually the role of president is a one-year term, but because another member was busy with his business, Lemoine volunteered for the second term.

“It’s been fun, but I will not stop participating,” Lemoine said. “And like the mayor said, it’s very important to participate.”

Incoming president Olin Clotiaux also called it an honor to serve.

“It goes way back with my family,” Clotiaux said. His grandfather once served on Nederland City Council and his father was involved with the community of Jasper. “It’s just something you’re supposed to do, give back to the community.”

Johnson, Lemoine and Clotiaux all gave kudos to chamber executive director Debbie Plaia for her hard work, dedication and countless hours spent making every event a success.

Plaia took the podium and gave an update on two projects that have been in the works — the formation of a goodwill ambassador group and a Student of the Month program.

Plaia became somber for a moment and her voice broke as she told of a woman who works with the chamber that has been diagnosed with cancer — Nan Gregg.

“She is probably one of the strongest women I’ve met, and she will still be around because she’s a survivor,” Plaia said.

Mary Marioneaux, a longtime volunteer, is stepping up to help Plaia while Gregg tends to her health concerns.