Talon News - Good Local News

By Debbie Israel


Aztec Chamber of Commerce Banquet 2017


October 6, 2017

Debbie Israel

Susan Aguirre, owner of Business of the Year Lil' Aztec Flower Shop, Herb Stinson, Citizen of the Year, and Bliss Schlueter, Educator of the Year

The highlight of the Aztec Chamber of Commerce's annual banquet is always the naming of Business of the Year, Citizen of the Year and Educator of the Year.

Chamber President Teri Bailey had the honors of presenting awards to Susan Aguirre of Lil' Aztec Flower Shop for Business of the Year; Herb Stinson for Citizen of the Year; Randy Hodge for Citizen of the Year; and Bliss Schlueter, Educator of the Year.

Business of the year, Lil' Aztec Flower Shop, was nominated because of the owners' "Positive outlook and determination to help grow the City of Aztec, and most importantly, downtown Main." Her nominator also said, "She is living proof that success does live in Aztec, NM, and businesses can prosper, thrive and grow with a little know-how, and a love for our city."

Citizen of the Year went to two people this year. Herb Stinson received the award because of his involvement with the youth in our community. He has coached football, baseball and Wrestling, and now volunteers at the youth Wrestling program. He founded the Aztec Hall of Honor to recognize past school employees and students and serves as Chairman of the Aztec Wrestling Program building board. The person who nominated Stinson said, "I believe Herb Stinson embodies what a Citizen of the Year should be. He puts the needs of others before himself and gives back to this community."

Randy Hodge also received the Citizen of the Year award. He is passionate about the Aztec Municipal Golf Course and the quality of life it brings to our community. "Not only has Randy overseen the day-to-day operations of the golf course, but he has expanded the services of the property to include meetings, banquets and even wedding rehearsal dinners," according to his nominator. He has also made sure that the First Tee program is a success for the youth of the county. Randy was not at the banquet to accept his award.

Chamber President Teri Bailey (left) and Sandra Lanier (right) take a moment to pose with Marilyn Monroe at the annual Aztec Chamber Banquet

Educator of the Year, Bliss Schlueter, started at AHS as an English teacher where she taught sophomores, juniors and seniors for thirteen years. In 2013, she moved into the math department. According to her nominator, "Bliss is highly respected by administration, fellow teachers, parents, students and the community. She builds relationships with students and cares about the things they love and are involved in beyond the classroom." Last year, Schlueter started a chapter of Educators Rising at Aztec High School. The program is designed to support students who have an interest in entering the field of education after they graduate.

The banquet, held on Sept. 30, included dinner, silent auction items, a live auction, raffles and keynote speaker Warren Unsicker, CEO of Four Corners Economic Development.

Thanks to the Chamber members, citizens and businesses who volunteered their time and money to produce the annual Chamber Banquet.

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