The Bridge City Chamber of Commerce held its 59th Annual Banquet Monday, January 14, 2019 at the Bridge City Elementary School. The Chamber strives to make this event fun and lively every year. Good old Cajun music provided by the Gulf Coast Playboys band set the tempo for the “Taste of the Bayou” as attendees sampled food and beverages from: Brick Oven Pizza, Caryn’s Bakery, Chicken Express, Domino’s, Fresh Prep, Gulf Coast Cajuns, Judice’s Cajun Café, Las Rosas Mexican Restaurant, Seafood Shack, Sweet Bee Boutique & Desserts, Texas Roadhouse, and The Stuffed Mushroom, and Tico’s Cuban Café. Don Bonnin provided a Sports Memorabilia Auction with a wide variety of items for guests to bid on. Chris Slaughter wowed the crowd with his amazing vocals while singing the National Anthem acapella. Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Kirk Ellender.
The first award of the evening, Bridge City Chamber Citizen of the Year went to Eric Andrus. Eric Michael Andrus is the son of Thomas and Carolyn Andrus of Bridge City, Texas. Eric has lived in Bridge City all his life graduating from Bridge City High School in 2001. His family opened Central Office Supply in the 1975. In 2005, Eric took over the family business and renamed it COS Printing. Eric joined the Bridge City/Orangefield Rotary Club in April 2007 and has received the following Rotary Club awards, recognition, and activities: Paul Harris Fellow, Past President, District Spotlight Award, Rotarian of the Year, Roll of Fame, and the Presidential Citation Award 2014. Andrus served as Bridge City Chamber President in 2011 and currently serves as Ambassador Vice Chair and on the Board of Directors. As an Ambassador for the chamber, Eric has chaired numerous Murder Mystery Dinner events as well as many others. He has also received the following Bridge City Chamber of Commerce awards: Business of the Month November 2011, Business of the Month July 2018 and Business of the Year 2009. Eric was elected to Bridge City City Council May 11, 2010 and is still currently serving as of 2019. Andrus volunteers for Rotary events and activities such as: The Annual Bunny Run and Easter Egg Hunt, dresses up as Josh the Otter to teach local children about water safety and volunteers at the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). RYLA is a three-day long event that helps 300+ students each year to become future leaders in the way of Rotary. Eric received the Bridge City Masonic Lodge 2018 Community Builders Award. Andrus also volunteers at the annual Light of the World/Project Glow Christmas program benefitting the Bridge City/Orangefield Ministerial Alliance. His hobbies include, woodwork, participating in community events, traveling, acting and transforming into Batman for birthday parties and various children’s events in the community. In 2015, Eric married Caitlin Herman Andrus and they reside in Bridge City.
Olson Engineering won the Chamber’s Business of the Year award. Mike and Karan Olson founded Olson Engineering, Inc. in 1998 after they decided to start their own company that focused on safety, responsiveness, ethics and quality. The company started small as a Process Control Systems and Capital Project Management Company, providing Instrument and Control Systems Engineering to local industries. By 2000 they added employees, expanded services to include Electrical Engineering and Design, as well as adding other client facilities to the client portfolio. In 2006 the Olson team relocated to rented office space in Bridge City, Texas where the business began to grow over the next several years. By 2012 Olson Engineering needed additional office space which led to a newly built 10,000 square foot building in Bridge City, Texas. True to form, the company continued to grow significantly both in services and employees resulting in an additional 4,000 square foot of office space being opened in 2017 at the same location.
Lanie Brown, Regional Director of Community Relations for Congressman Brian Babin, presented Eric Andrus and Olson Engineering with certificates of appreciation from Congressman Babin.
Olson Engineering, Inc. is now a full-service, multi-discipline engineering company with Professional Engineers in every discipline providing the petrochemical market with both in-office and in-plant services focused on safety, responsiveness, ethics, and quality, the very cornerstones established when the company was first founded in 1998. Significant growth has continued over the last few years and Olson Engineering is now developing plans to move to a new, larger building in Bridge City. One that can support growth for years to come.
Scot C. Shaffer, owner of Farmers Insurance Agency, and Dave Derosier, owner of OhainWEB.com, received the honor of becoming a Lifetime Ambassadors. This award goes to those who have served for 8 continuous years as Ambassadors for the Bridge City Chamber.
The Ambassador of the Year award went to Rani Dillow, Loan Originator at Westin Mortgage Group. Dillow is also on the Chamber’s Board of Directors and 2019 Ambassador Vice-Chair.
2018 Ambassador Chairperson Candace Mulhollan, Realtor for RE/MAX ONE, passed the gavel to Eric Andrus.
Bridge City Chamber of Commerce 2018 Terri Gauthier passed her gavel to 2019 President Beth Arnold. Beth, CU Marketing Executive for Wellspring Credit Union expressed her gratitude upon accepting the gavel and thanked Terri for her service to the chamber in 2018.