Nancy Law could hardly express how she felt after she learned that Pilot Bank was the Ed Hanna Business of the Year for 2012.
The Greater Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce announced the honor at its January Luncheon Wednesday at the Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club.
"I'm so excited," said Law, manager of the Temple Terrace branch of Pilot Bank and a Chamber Ambassador. "You have no idea."
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Pilot Bank was one of three finalists in the running for the award, which was established in 1990 by Ed Hanna, a local certified public accountant who thought that Temple Terrace should recognize companies that had successfully grown their business and contributed to their community.
Other finalists included:
- Antonio's Pasta Grille, an Italian restaurant owned by Jim Montevago that opened in Temple Terrace in 2000; and
- DeVane Financial, a full-service firm owned by Ken and Mindy DeVane that has been in Temple Terrace since 2001.
Sponsors of this year’s award were: CGM Services Inc.; Hanna, Lemar and Morris; and Republic Bank.
The chamber also presented a special recognition award to Florida College for its service to the community.
"We believe that our school, our students, and all that we do contributes to the ongoing of this community," said Dr. Buddy Payne, president of Florida College.
Florida College was founded in 1946 and is a four-year liberal arts college granting bachelor's degrees, as well as two-year associate degrees.
The college is setting a record this spring, Payne said, when it welcomes 505 students, the largest spring enrollment it's ever had.
"Our goal is to break our all-time record next fall of 560, and then keep growing right on up to as high as we can get," Payne said.
He said the college is also excited to be involved in Temple Terrace's revitalization project and is in the process of converting its buildings to the Mediterranean style. The goal is to makeover the entire campus with the exception of Hutchinson Auditorium, the distinctive triangle-shaped building.
Payne said Florida College was also proud to have representatives at Tuesday's celebration of the Temple Terrace Golf Course's listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
At the celebration, Tim Lancaster, president of the Temple Terrace Preservation Society, announced that the society is raising money to buy, create and install two historic markers at the Golf Course and the Country Club. The total amount needed is $5,000.
To help kick off the society's fundraising, Payne presented a $1,000 check to Barbara Sparks-McGlinchy, the chamber's executive director, to give to the society.
Roy Hellwege, president and CEO of Pilot Bank, accepted the Business of the Year award.
The bank is celebrating its 25th anniversary, according to the chamber. It opened as one location on Fowler Avenue and has grown to five locations.
Pilot Bank is a partner of the PTA at King High School and Greco Middle School, a sponsor of Buddy Baseball, according to the chamber. For more than nine years, the bank has participated in Banking Days at Florida College Academy. For four years, it has been involved with the canned food and toy drives an volunteering efforts at Metropolitan Ministries.
At the end of the luncheon, Law and other Pilot Bank representatives received personal praise from fellow chamber members.
"It was a very great honor just to be nominated," Law said. "But to win it just puts it over the top."