Community Impact Award
From the desk of Ted Corcoran - Chamber President and CEO.
I attended my first Fort Walton Beach Chamber monthly breakfast in 1998. Immediately upon entering the banquet room, I became aware of a guy "doing everything." He was greeting people, helping check them in, assisting with door prizes, and making announcements. He seemed to be the entire chamber rolled up into one guy. I attended various events through the years—and he was always there.
In December 2005, I became the President and CEO of the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce—and finally got to know the one and only Hugh Kendall. I learned that Hugh had a military and a military contractor career, was married to fellow Chamber member Jill Kendall—and now the Chamber was his "job." Of course, not a paid job, but when you wanted something done, you called Hugh. Before I arrived at the Chamber, Hugh had already received the Ambassador of the Year award (2000) and Member of the Year (2001). In my first few years at the Chamber, Hugh was on the Board of Directors (as an individual member-not business affiliated—it is VERY Rare to have an individual member selected to the Board—you really have to make an impact to get that position); he was Chair of the Ambassadors; Restaurant of the Week committee; Bowlegs Festival—and basically every other event that the chamber held. Year after year, Hugh was at every event. He was awarded the "You Made a Difference" award in 2007. But quite frankly, he would have won volunteer of the year every year—but our fairness policy only allows one award per person. Through all his chamber years, he was also volunteering with Crime Stoppers, The Corvette Club—and who knows what other organizations benefited from his benevolence.
Hugh was the Chamber Guy that everyone knew, He was the Chamber Welcoming committee, He was the Name Tag Police, he was our Volunteer Extraordinaire. He was a husband, an incredible Dad—and he was my friend.
Hugh passed away in 2018, and we continue to miss him every day. To honor Hugh’s memory we have created the Hugh Kendall Community Impact Award.
Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce
Nomination Submission Guidelines:
To submit a nomination for the Hugh Kendall Community Impact Award, please download and complete the nomination form found HERE. Once completed please submit the form to the Chamber via. mail, email, fax or by hand. Nominations should be marked, "Care of: Ted Corcoran." Nominations must be received at the Chamber by 5 pm on Friday, December 13, 2019. The award will be presented to the winner at the 2020 First Friday Coffee on Friday, January 3, 2020.
The Hugh Kendall Community Impact Award will be open to nominations from any Chamber-member business, organization, government agency, that utilizes volunteers in any capacity. The nomination would be for their selected volunteer who goes above and beyond (one nomination per FWB Chamber membership). The organization that submits the nomination MUST be a FWB Chamber member, but the nominee does not have to be a FWB Chamber member. Self-nominations will not be accepted. Volunteer spirit and service must have been performed in Okaloosa County.
All award nominees should clearly demonstrate:
- Deep commitment to partnering with others for the betterment of the overall community
- Outstanding ability to lead and inspire others
- Tangible evidence of sustainable impact of his or her work
The inimitable Hugh Kendall
The winner of the Inaugural Hugh Kendall Community Impact Award in 2018 - Wanda Stapleton from Twin Cities Hospital - pictured here with (from left) Nick Chubb, 2018 Chamber Chair; Ms. Stapleton; Maci Kendall, Hugh's daughter; Jill Kendall, Hugh's widow; and Bobby Kendall, Hugh's son.