The winners of AACOG’s 2017 Regional Awards were recently presented their awards at the AACOG annual meeting of the Area Council and Board of Directors, held on December 6, 2017, at Norris Conference Center. The awards, given out annually since 1974, are presented to individuals, companies, and community and government projects that contribute significantly to the advancement of the communities in the AACOG Region (Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Comal, Frio, Gillespie, Guadalupe, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Medina, McMullen, and Wilson Counties). All awards were presented by AACOG’s 2017 Board Chairman and Medina County Judge Chris Schuchart, and AACOG’s Community Affairs Chairman and Universal City Mayor John Williams. This year’s awardees are as follows:
Government Project of the Year:
Central Texas Technology Center Expansion Project, Presented by Chester Jenke with Alamo Colleges
According to Michele Valadez with the City of New Braunfels, who nominated CTTC for this award, the CTTC is a regional campus providing education for tomorrow’s workforce. The rapid student population growth since 2010 necessitated the recent expansion of the campus to more than 25,000 square feet, with the capacity to serve more than 1,200 students. The expansion includes new labs, a library, and more student centered space. The expansion also accommodated an increase in courses offered, including an Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training Program delivering high-wage, in-demand job training for a diverse regional population.
Community/Non-Profit Project Award (2):
1. RSVP of South Central Texas, Presented to Del J. Bauer
According to the nomination by Laurie Pruski, AACOG Employee, RSVP pairs volunteers with at-risk students at 30 area schools who are struggling academically, particularly in reading. The free program offers the students a chance to receive additional help outside of the classroom, during school hours. RSVP covers a large region, including, Comal, Seguin, New Braunfels, Marion, La Vernia, Stockdale, Schertz, Floresville, Navarro and Poth ISD. Teachers and staff are pleased to have the assistance of the RSVP program and welcome it with open arms. The program has been sponsored by Texas Lutheran University since 1974.
2. China Grove Lions Club, Presented to Shelly Chance. According to Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert, who nominated the Club for this award, the Club recently partnered with Roy Maas Youth Alternatives to furnish and design a new house in their Turning Point Independent Living Program. The project, entitled “Making this House a Home”, inspired state-wide support and several news stations produced stories on the new home. Through Shelly Chance’s leadership, the club and RMYA achieved their goal by receiving donated furnishings from local businesses, custom art from local artists, a home library tailored to the resident’s interests, and much more. Completed the first week of May 2017, the home provides shelter for young adults aged 18 through 23 who have aged out of the foster care system and have no place to live. They are currently working on completing additional homes.
Business Steward of the Year:
Get Right City LLC, Presented to Jarvis Moore.
According to the nomination by Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert, Jarvis Moore and Get Right City LLC is a success story that demonstrates that if given a second chance via a support network and resources, former offenders can turn their life around and become success stories. Get Right City provides an avenue for former offenders to learn about the hiring process and how to market themselves. Get Right City has a long history of successfully getting former offenders hired in full-time companies. Get Right City urges offenders to be honest about previous convictions, but to explain and highlight the education and skills they acquired via workforce development programs and Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) work assignments to their advantage during interviews to demonstrate work experience and skills.
Community Steward(s) of the Year:
South Texas Energy Economic Roundtable (STEER), Capitol Aggregates, Martin Marietta, CEMEX, Alamo Cement, Texas Aggregates and Concrete Association (TACA), City of San Antonio, Bexar County, and CPS Energy
According to a Joint Nomination by Leon Valley Mayor Chris Riley and San Antonio Councilman Roberto Treviño, in June 2017, the Governor’s Office announced a veto of $1.4 million in funding for air quality planning programs in our region. Funds provided by the organizations recognized (listed above) paid for AACOG’s work in forecasting harmful ozone levels, conducting emissions inventories, monitoring what’s in our air, and developing unique strategies for reducing regional ozone impacts. This happened during a critical time, when our region’s potential designation of nonattainment, and billions in economic impacts, could be announced at any time. These nine companies came forward to assist by providing over $300,000 in funding and services to continue these critical activities. These organizations understand the importance of air quality and its relationship to our region’s economic vitality. They are models of corporate stewardship and deserve recognition for their significant commitment to our region.
Regional Citizen of the Year:
According to Guadalupe Cornejo, James Pobanz assists veterans and families as a case worker at the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic, where they provide quality, accessible, and comprehensive mental health care to veterans and their families at no cost. Services are available to any Veteran regardless of role or discharge status. James works with Veterans and their families to facilitate services for them that they would usually be unable to receive. He also works to provide used furniture for veterans & their families who were once homeless or recently released from prison or a mental health facility. He also set up fundraisers for homeless Veterans during San Antonio’s Big Give, raising more than $10,000 in the past two years. James is an exemplary community partner, building bridges and partnerships between non-profits and city organizations.
Photos of the winners are available on AACOG’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/aacog.
For more information including the completed nomination forms, or photos of individual awardees, contact Tiffany Harris, Communications Coordinator at (210) 362-5204, (210) 508-3714 (Cell) or firstname.lastname@example.org.