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Robby Burdge recognized as chamber's citizen of the year

By ALLISON MILES
Jan. 27, 2011 at 9:02 p.m.
Updated Jan. 26, 2011 at 7:27 p.m.

Robby Burdge

A CLOSER LOOK:Citizen of the yearRobby Burdge, with Klean Corp. International

"What Robby does for this community is second to very few, not only in his vision for the future of Victoria, but his commitment to non-profits in this community." - Randy Vivian, chamber president

Ambassador of the yearLola Castro, with First Victoria Bank

"Lola has been a tireless worker in our Ambassador program. That's what she is - an ambassador not only for her business, but for the community and chamber as a whole. When we have events, she's there." - Randy Vivian

Small-business partner of the yearCal-Com Federal Credit Union

"Cal-Com has integrated into the chamber and sponsors events. They not only put their dollars into projects for others' benefit, but they put their manpower there, too. That's something that really goes a long way in a community." - Randy Vivian

Corporate business partner of the yearFirst Victoria Bank

"First Victoria has been here since the 1800s. It's one of the oldest independently-owned banks in the country. Their employees volunteer and integrate into the community in a positive way." - Randy Vivian

Entrepreneur, volunteer, adviser and friend. Those are a few of the words people used to describe Robby Burdge.

And, on Thursday, they added another honoree to the list.

Burdge was recognized as citizen of the year at the Victoria Chamber of Commerce's annual banquet.

This year's decision was an easy one, Randy Vivian, the chamber's president and CEO, said.

"He has a passion for this community that is second to none," he said. "He wants to see this community become a better place and, because of that, we felt we really needed to honor him."

Janet Jones works as advancement director at Perpetual Help Home, where Burdge has been a board member since 2002. She described him as a person who "just never stops."

"He's inspirational because of how much he does in the community," Jones said, explaining he's worked with the Boys and Girls Club of Victoria, sponsored the Texas Kickin' Bullride and worked with a variety of other organizations. "He's dedicated and he loves what he does."

Omar Rachid co-chaired Victoria's 2009 United Way campaign with Burdge and called him both an awesome leader and good motivator.

"He is extremely genuine," Rachid said. "We are blessed to have him in our community, doing the work that he does. Truly, he is for the betterment of the greater good."

Rachid said that, whatever non-profit cause he becomes involved in, he knows he can count on Burdge for guidance, leadership and even monetary support when necessary.

"He is just an absolutely extraordinary person," he said. "There is only one Robby."

Burdge said the recognition as citizen of the year - his second time to receive the award - was humbling.

"This award is not so much for me as it is for all of Victoria," he said. "We're really doing great things here, and without a doubt, it's very cool to be a part of Victoria."

Other awards given out through the evening went to Lola Castro, for ambassador of the year, Cal-Com Federal Credit Union, for small-business partner of the year and First Victoria Bank, for corporate business partner of the year.

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson was the evening's keynote speaker.

Although awards went out to specific companies and individuals, the banquet was also a chance to celebrate chamber members and thank them for their work, Vivian said.

"We can't do the job without our members," he said. "We're proud of them and want to honor them, too."

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