Diane O'Leary received the 2015 Director’s Award. She is an active Island business person, a Chamber Education Committee volunteer, an active Community Volunteer, a Board Member for the Boys and Girls Club of the Laguna, a Director for the Laguna Madre Education Foundation, and a Trustee for the Point Isabel Independent School District. A supporter of all major Chamber events and many other community events, this person donates talents, financial resources, activity passes and her time. As Chairman for the Chamber’s Education Committee and for the Laguna Madre Education Foundation, Diane has helped the Chamber to host New Teacher Welcome Luncheon’s and the Chamber Teacher Appreciation Events. Diane is also a graduate of the Chamber’s Leadership Laguna Madre Program. She and her husband own American Diving and The Original Dolphin Watch, both important tourism destination businesses.
Lesa Labar received the 2016 Ambassador’s Award. She has been a chamber volunteer for many years. Is currently an Islander, a member of the Gala planning committee and also happens to be a Chamber Director. Described by her friends and associates as “always willing to help in anyway she can.”
Our second Kukui goes to a hard charging, full speed ahead volunteer. Karla serves on the Gala Planning Committee and is a new Chamber Director. She volunteers her time and her extraordinary catering talents for many, many Island activities and events.
Community Partner Award
Shallow Sport Boats
This year we honor and recognize Shallow Sport Boats – Kyra & Wes Hudson for the economic impact their business has on South Padre Island and for their assistance with our Chamber’s Ladies Kingfish Tournament. At a time when the Island is actively pursuing those interested in fishing, we are proud to have them as a Chamber Member. Carrying on the family tradition, Kyra and Wes host the annual Shallow Sport Owner’s Tournament with over 300 boats and owners participating. The event is held on the Island, at Louie’s Backyard. Additionally, Shallow Sport Boats sponsors many other fishing tournaments in our area. For our Ladies Kingfish Tournament, not only is Shallow Sport Boats a major sponsor, Kyra and Wes both provide extensive volunteer assistance.
RGV Walk of Fame
Each year nominations are received from chambers of commerce and cities across the Rio Grande Valley for recognition in the Rio Grande Valley Walk of Fame at State Farm Arena, sponsored by the City of Hidalgo in conjunction with BorderFest. Nominees are considered for induction based on their life achievements and significant civic contributions. The SPI Chamber's nominee and inductee for 2016 was Mickey Furcron.
Joseph M. (Mickey) Furcron has been an Island resident and businessman for 26 years. Mickey left the corporate world, where he was National Sales Manager and then Vice President of Sales for a national brick manufacturing equipment company, to join his parents in their real estate business in 1990. The transition from corporate business to working for the family business in a small island environment was a challenge and Mickey says “a great experience”.
Mickey immediately emerged himself in the family real state business and in the community, and quickly became an invaluable member of the South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce. This was in the early years of business development on South Padre, when as Mickey puts it “the Chamber did everything and everyone jumped in to make it happen” including organizing most all of the events that occurred on the island. He recalls particularly the annual Fourth of July fireworks shows, with a carnival party like atmosphere and the Annual Taste of the Island. Mickey served as a Chamber Board member throughout the early 1990’s and was in line to serve as Chairman, when in 1995 he was elected as a Trustee for the Point Isabel Independent School District, where his very best volunteer work has been accomplished. Mickey returned to the South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce Board for several additional terms of service and offers regular support for the Chamber’s events and activities. Mickey also served as the Chairman for the Island’s Lighted Christmas Street Parade from 1991 to 1995, an event which continues 25 years later.
While Mickey is proud of his service to the Chamber and the business growth that blossomed out of the Chamber’s efforts, his long standing dedication to the students and staff of the Point Isabel Independent School District is the legacy which Mickey will leave behind someday. Elected in 1995, Mickey has served continuously since then. He served as PIISD Board President four different terms and is currently President. He is most proud of the 2006 School Bond that was passed for 25 million to improve facilities at all school campuses offering our area children greater learning opportunities. Mickey has demonstrated time and again his support for our area students and teachers. Mickey says the next big challenge is to build a new high school.
Mickey is very active with Island Baptist Church. He has served as a Deacon since 1994, and on various church committees. The church does significant community outreach in Laguna Heights, a nearby colonia, including parenting skills, bible study, life skills, ESL training, young mothers, sewing, worship and youth development. Mickey is also a supporter of the local Boys & Girls Club and a member of the Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce.
Mickey is a member of the National Association of Realtors; Texas Association of Realtors; SPI Board of Realtors; Brownsville/SPI Board of Realtors; and Women’s Council of Realtors. Mickey has served on several committees for the Texas Association of Realtors, representing the interests of the Rio Grande Valley on the Public Policy Committee and the Property Tax Taskforce where legislative reforms to influence property tax legislative were initiated.
Mickey Furcron received a BSBA degree with emphasis in real estate from East Carolina University in 1972, was twice named Realtor of the Year by the Brownsville/SPI Board of Realtors, and holds the accreditation of Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) and Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI). Mickey also served as the State Director for 6 years with the Texas Association of Realtors, and was Regional Vice President for Texas Association of Realtors in 2001-2002.
Born in Decatur, Georgia, Mickey is the son of longtime Island business owners Joseph Furcron and Maude Furcron, both now deceased. Mickey is married to Lilla M. Furcron, and they have one son, Joseph “Joey” Furcron II. Mickey has one brother and one sister, and their families, living throughout the United States.
From the Chamber volunteer work, to Mickey’s work on behalf of the real estate industry, to his work with the Point Isabel Independent School District, and his church, Mickey’s dedication to our community is unquestionable.