A death-defying acrobat on aerial silks, a juggler on stilts, a fire breather and more were under the big tent at the Greatest Show in Grimes County March 10, at the Grimes County Expo Center.
The sold-out crowd enjoyed the circus themed awards banquet presented by Navasota Grimes County Chamber of Commerce. Chamber Director Lucy Ybarra was pleased to present a banquet sourced solely in Grimes County from decorations, circus performers which included Navasota Junior High seventh grader Kya Hill, pork loin and seafood pasta catered by McGinty’s Best Thing Smoking, wine from local wineries and auction items that featured local stay and play packages, a locally built BodyBilt office chair, etc.
Ringmaster Jon C. Fultz drew attention to the center ring to recognize 2023 Chamber Award winners. Stacey Ross earned Citizen of the Year, Navasota Realty was named Chamber Partner/Business of the Year, Katherine Lee was presented with Employee of the Year, Navasota Citywide Mission received the Community Service Award and Bobbie Ullrich was recognized as Chamber Ambassador of the Year.
Citizen of the Year – Stacey Ross
When Navasota Grimes County Chamber of Commerce evaluates candidates for Citizen of the Year, they look for someone who is a perfect representation of the community.
Ross is vested in the community not only as a local co-business owner, but more importantly as a supporter of youth. She is actively involved in numerous non-profit organizations including Chamber of Commerce, NISD Education Foundation, Navasota Kiwanis and Grimes County Go Texan. Ross is always happy to help, and never wants any recognition.
As part of the Go Texan Committee, she has helped award approximately $50,000 in scholarships to Grimes County youth per year. The committee also supports other organizations directly impacting youth including Navasota ISD Education Foundation, Anderson-Shiro CISD Education Foundation, Grimes County Little League and more.
Ross embodies Grimes County in its entirety - a heart for the community, advocate for the county and someone who puts her passion in action.
Chamber Partner/Business of the Year – Navasota Realty
Nancy Perry and Navasota Realty consistently supports both the Grimes Co. Chamber and business in Grimes Co.
Perry’s understanding of the community, commerce and what families need to establish a home here is beyond infinite value. As a woman founded, owned and operated business Perry and her team gives thousands of younger generation members a business to look up to and model. From supporting her children in their business ventures, to various family members – Perry embodies the “family first motto.” Navasota Realty loves Grimes County and proves that in their daily actions.
Employee of the Year
Katherine Lee, who works for Grimes Co. Environmental and Emergency Services, demonstrates the skills and dedication to her community and her job that aren’t always present in others.
She works hard to provide quality services, educate her community and sacrifices her personal time to strengthen her skills as a volunteer emergency responder. As a 20-plus year employee of Grimes County, Lee has worked in numerous departments. Daily she demonstrates the ability to think with a level head and make proactive decisions whether it be working in Environmental, 911 addressing, elections, or assisting with Emergency Operations. Her dedication to a job well done is something everyone should all strive for.
Community Service Award – Navasota Citywide Mission
Nominated by Grimes County Pct. 3 Commissioner Barbara Walker, Navasota Citywide Mission works tirelessly to address the needs and the wellbeing of those who are less fortunate, seniors and at-risk youth.
NCM are a group of local church representatives working together to assure the senior citizen population is not forgotten in times when family interactions and reassurance is generally expected from family members. They provide needed necessities and gifts to the various homes and assisted living facilities to residents that have been identified by local churches or organizations. Working collectively with local businesses and organizations, they provide Thanksgiving meals throughout the county and ensure families receive a nutritious meal along with the ability to sit down with others.
Annually Navasota Citywide Mission organizes the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade and program, hosts a youth summit during the summer providing opportunities for our youth to showcase their contributions they make in the community, etc.
“This organization and these individuals do these tasks and programs with passion and love for their communities,” stated Walker.
Ambassador of the Year- Bobbie Ullrich
Bobbie Ullrich, the Marketing Director for the City of Navasota was named The Ambassador of the Year.
The award is presented to a person who actively participates in the Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Program. Ambassador of the Year exemplifies volunteerism, attends chamber functions including ribbon cuttings, business after hours, ground breakings, etc., They volunteer for Chamber activities, are very active among the Ambassadors, and are willing to help with any activities that arise.
The annual Awards Banquet is the largest fundraiser for the Navasota Grimes County Chamber of Commerce. Learn more about the chamber by visiting www.navasotagrimeschamber.com.