Celebrating the 2022 Horseshoe Bay Business Alliance Citizen of the Year Don Eckelbarger (center with flowers) are 2019 Citizen of the Year Mary Daniel (left), 2017 Citizen of the Year Louraine Robertson, 2022 Citizen of the Year finalist Sherry Olson, Citizen of the Year Committee Chairman Reagan Lambert, 2022 Citizen of the Year finalist Wayne Ratisseau, and 2021 Citizen of the Year Jim Jorden. Courtesy photo
Don Eckelbarger received the Horseshoe Bay Business Alliance’s Citizen of the Year Award during the group’s Christmas party on Dec. 5.
Eckelbarger served in the U.S. Army for 32 years before retiring as a major general in 1991. Upon retirement, he found new ways to lend a helping hand to neighbors by ushering at his church, attending community events, and contributing to his local newspaper, the Horseshoe Bay Beacon.
“Although recognition isn’t why they volunteer, it is a respect and distinction we can show them along with a resounding ‘thank you’ for helping,” said Mike Brittain, the alliances’ founder and managing principal. “It is the reason HSBBA is always excited to take on the annual selection process — with the help of a very special committee.”
As the winner, Eckelbarger will get a placard in City Hall, light the Christmas tree at next year’s Holidaze festival, host the organization’s Fourth of July celebration, and receive recognition at each of the alliance’s 30 meetings in 2023.
Selection for the Citizen of the Year Award is a timely and careful process. The alliance begins receiving nominations each August. A committee of unnamed alliance members uses a list of criteria to judge each person’s merit.
Criteria for the selection process includes past and current civic or community involvement, accomplishments and contributions to Horseshoe Bay’s economic growth, and outstanding characteristics such as friendliness and kindness.
Eckelbarger was described by those who nominated him as “modest, unselfish, and always willing to offer help in any fashion.”
After carefully combing through each nomination, committee members select five candidates. Of those five, only three advance to the finalist round of the selection process.
Eckelbarger joined Sherry Olson and Wayne Ratisseau as finalists for this year’s ceremony.
A 501(c)3 nonprofit, the Horseshoe Bay Business Alliance was organized in 2009 and incorporated in 2010. The alliance hosts a litany of community events each year that serve as networking opportunities for local business owners and residents. To learn more about upcoming HSBBA events, visit the organization’s website.