Last year’s Citizen of the Year, Jennifer Day, introduced John Jackson as this year’s winner of the top award at the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce’s annual Changing of the Gavel Banquet Tuesday, June 30.
Jackson, among many other things, was instrumental in pushing the local Economic Development effort after Hurricane Harvey, which ultimately led to the creation of the Aransas County Partnership Economic Development Corporation and the Aransas County Alliance Local Government Corporation.
He won the award in 1996, as well.
“Each one of the other nominees are to be congratulated and are also deserving in their own right,” said Jackson, “Each one of them is an asset to our community.
“I don’t get involved in things seeking or expecting recognition. I do them because I have a sincere passion for certain causes where I think I can help make a lasting difference, whether it be in education, arts, local history, youth development (particularly Scouting), chamber work, or church work.
“You may have noticed I left out politics. I’m not sure I have the right temperament for that.
“My latest passion came as a direct result of the Hurricane Harvey recovery, which I got involved in because I believe it gave us a second chance to finally make a major difference in one particular area where this community has been disadvantaged for far too long – the lack of an organized approach to economic development, which had previously been tried in the late 80s.
“I saw this as a silver lining in the Harvey cloud, primarily for two reasons. First, because of the direct infusion of capital here, mostly from grants and insurance proceeds as a result of being in the eye of that storm, and secondly, my belief there has been a change in the collective mindset of this community and its leaders, and the political will to work together to get it done right this time.
“You don’t often get second chances in life, but I felt like we needed to seize this chance and that it was my calling to help make another major difference in this community, which we all deeply care for.
“Please accept my heartfelt thanks for this honor.”
Reba Kindell, Scott Mapes, Robert Mitchell, Michelle Picarazzi, Gail Schuller, and Lisa Gordon, Jessee Pilgrim and Mary Theisen (Aransas County PPE Sewing Relief Group) were also nominated for the award.