Rowlett Chamber honors ‘Hometown Heroes’ at Awards Banquet

Rowlett Chamber honors ‘Hometown Heroes’ at Awards Banquet


Superheroes paid a special visit to the Rowlett Chamber’s Award Banquet to honor fellow hometown heroes. Photo by Jeff Winget.

ROWLETT, TX (August 30, 2021) – The Hometown Heroes Awards Banquet hosted by the Rowlett Area Chamber & Visitors Center (presented by Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Lake Pointe), was held on Friday, August 27, 2021. The event theme was Rowlett has Super Heroes and included guest appearances by Captain America and Captain Marvel!

“This was a super fun event with an awesome superhero theme! It was a blast watching everyone taking photos with Captain America and Captain Marvel as well as with the superhero mockups,” said Michael Gallops, the Chamber’s President/CEO. “More importantly, it was amazing to get to honor Rowlett’s heroes – medical, educational, first responders and veterans. The bonus of presenting the top three awards was the icing on the cake as these recipients are some of the most deserving people in Rowlett.”

Becky Sebastian wins the Schrade Heritage Hall of Fame Award. Photo by Jeff Winget.

Becky Sebastian, the Vernon Schrade Heritage Hall of Fame recipient has served on the Rowlett City Council, on the Chamber’s Ambassador Committee, was a reporter for a local newspaper covering Rowlett for many years, and even sends birthday cards to city employees year after year!

This year the Chamber presented an additional award – the Spirit of Rowlett – to Ed Balderas, for his amazing service as Rowlett’s Emergency Manager. Ed has guided Rowlett through some of the worst disasters possible, including both the 2015 F4 tornado and the 2021 ice storm. His unwavering guidance through all of 2020 and everything that COVID brought not only protected the City and its residents and businesses but ensured the City has received millions of dollars in disaster funds.

Chris Kizziar (right) wins the Big R Award, sponsored by Housewarmers. Photo by Jeff Winget.

The recipient of the Big ‘R’ Pacesetter, the Chamber’s highest community award, Chris Kizziar, has helped more people in the community than most of us can imagine. His non-profits provide clothing, food, and many other services. He is the founder of Life Message that feeds thousands every month, the Veterans Resource & Outreach Center that serves our veterans in many ways and the Heroes Memorial Park Foundation that will honor the memory of those who have suffered from a disease many still refuse to recognize.

The award recipients are:

  • Police Officer of the Year, Jimmy Patteroson, sponsored by the Rowlett Firefighters Assocation
  • School Resource Officer of the Year, Josh Wilson, sponsored by D4 Construction Services
  • Teacher of the Year, Shannon Friesen, sponsored by My Computer Guy
  • Principal of the Year, Jade Hobbs, sponsored by Landon Homes
  • Public Works Employee of the Year, Joseph Santos, sponsored b FCC Environmental Services
  • Firefighter of the Year, Chad McClerran, sponsored by Atmos Energy
  • Nurse of the Year, Kendra Adams, sponsored by Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Lake Pointe
  • Health Professional of the Year, Dr. Eric Joseph Daniel, sponsored by Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Lake Pointe
  • Veteran of the Year, John Chilson, sponsored by Life Message
  • Vernon Schrade Heritage Hall of Fame, Becky Sebastian, sponsored by Berry Family Services
  • Spirit of Rowlett, Ed Balderas, sponsored by Berry Family Services
  • Big “R” Pacesetter Award, Chris Kizziar, sponsored by Housewarmers of Rowlett

Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Lake Pointe was the presenting sponsor of this year’s banquet. In addition to them and the awards sponsors the following were also sponsors:

  • Pearl Sponsors: Whataburger of Mesquite and Good Goody Liquor
  • Video Sponsor: Nifty Fifty Solutions
  • Super Hero Sponsor: Atmos Energy
  • Candy Table Sponsor: Dallas College Eastfield Campus
  • Photo Booth Sponsors: Sylvan Learning Center of Rowlett and Kids Who Rock

Professional pictures were taken by Jeff Winget Photography and can be viewed at

A video recap by Nifty Fifty Solutions will be available soon on the chamber’s Facebook page at

Submitted press release, edited for publication in Blue Ribbon News. Photos by Jeff Winget. 

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