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Members “Celebrate” at SeaWorld

An official close to the 2006-07 season was brought on in grand style last night as Florida Citrus Sports held its annual Wachovia Member Celebration at SeaWorld.  The event serves as a thank you to the organization�s membership, while also recognizing the service of an elite few whose contributions went above and beyond.

Prior to the event, an announcement of the 2007-08 Officers and Board of Directors was determined.  Outgoing President and �07-08 Chairman Tony Martin (Tarragon Corp.) recognized those members toward the end of the Celebration and they are as follows �President: Ford Kiene (City Beverages); New Directors: Michael Cantrell (Coca Cola), Orlando Evora (Greenberg Traurig P.A.), Jim Gray (Capital Partners), Tony Jenkins (Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Florida) and Tom Hankins (Realty Capital Hankins Group); New Executive Committee Members: Michel Champagne (Bright House Networks) and Steve Miller (Smith Barney, Inc.); President-Elect for 2008-09: Cathy Weeden (Sun Sports).  

The evening began at SeaWorld�s Ports of Call banquet area where members were treated to dinner and drinks, a live band and appearances by several of the animals � a parrot and sloth among them — that reside at SeaWorld.  

After dinner, the group moved to Shamu Stadium where the 2006-07 award winners were announced.  WFTV Ch. 9 sports anchor Jenny Dunn served as the Master of Ceremonies and helped present the following awards:

Dana Stites (XOS Technologies)…………………………………………………………………….. Rookie of the Year

Paul Biernes (Orlando/Orange Co. Convention & Visitor�s Bureau)………………. Chairperson of the Year

Michael Cantrell (Coca Cola)………………………………………………………………………….. Volunteer of the Year

Chuck Rohe, former Executive Director of the organization, was recognized for his efforts in bringing the games to prominence on a national scale.  Among his accomplishments were earning major television contracts for what is now the Capital One Bowl as well as turning that game into a New Year�s Day tradition.  He was bestowed the honor of Executive Director Emeritus.

The event then turned to the video screens at Shamu Stadium where an introduction took place of this year�s Howard Palmer winner, Mike Vestal (PCE Investment Bankers).  The Howard Palmer Award is a tribute to the FCSports Member who continually strives to make significant contributions to the organization and its efforts without regard for personal recognition.  

The evening ended with the Shamu performance Believe, where eight-year old Holland Mickle � daughter of former Executive Director Tom Mickle — was a special part of the performance.

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