Bethlehem Chamber dinner honors community members

Bethlehem's business members and community leaders came out for good food and good times at the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce's annual awards dinner at the Normanside Country Club in Delmar.

The Chamber event was held Thursday, Feb. 12, and honored F. Michael Tucker as businessperson of the year, Roger and Sherley Hannay with the Lifetime Achievement award, and Pat Fritts as citizen of the year.

Chamber President Marty DeLaney presented the awards and introduced each of the award winners.

Some might describe Mike Tucker as one of Bethlehem's Energizer Bunnies." He just doesn't sit still," DeLaney said. "He's involved in so many programs he must be out in the community seven or eight nights a week."

Tucker is an attorney and local businessman who started out with hydroelectric development activities in the state and then moved on to be a CEO of various Mercer Management Companies. He also was a one-time chair of Bethlehem's Industrial Development Agency.

He is now the CEO of the Center for Economic Growth, and continues to help plan for growth in Tech Valley. Tucker lives in Bethlehem with his wife, Lynette, and has three daughters, Meghan, Eileen and Kathleen.

"I first want to thank all of you this really is a reflection on all in our community," Tucker said, then joked, "I am very delighted to have the chance to be honored on Abraham Lincoln's birthday, but not for the reason's you think."

Tucker explained that he used a quote from Lincoln in his high school yearbook that went, "The better part of one's life consists of one's friendships."

"Working together as friends is what we do," Tucker said about the community. "One voice, one vision and one opportunity."

The Hannay's Lifetime Achievement award was presented next.

"Achievement awards come to someone at the end of their career," DeLaney said. "But in this case it's for two special people in the middle of their careers, to honor them as they continue to give back to their community."

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