Pasco News

Memoli, Fasano earn Chamber's top awards

NEW PORT RICHEY - Bob Memoli got the eminent pioneer honor while state Rep. Mike Fasano got kudos as outstanding public servant at the recent West Pasco Chamber of Commerce annual banquet.Other winners included Tina Shelton, Rotary Club of Trinity, PACE Center for Girls, Pasco Kids First and Gigi Evans. Hall of Fame inductees are Richard C. Williams and Scott M. McPherson.U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, accepted a special award, Spirit of Enterprise, from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Moore Hallmark, Southeast Region executive director, presented the award.In addition, Jamie Mick took the helm as chair of the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce board. Other officers are: Candace Glewen, chair-elect; Paul Friedlander, first vice chair; Victoria Barley, second vice chair; Tina Shelton, secretary; Larry Schalles, treasurer; and Bruce Mills, past board chair.Memoli, who hails from Manhattan, has lived in West Pasco for the past 28 years. Named Chasco Fiesta's King Pithla in 2012, he wore his crown at many local events the past year.Memoli has volunteered for many causes, including the Richey Elementary School PTA. He was the Leadership Pasco Class of 2005 president and past president for the Leadership Pasco board of directors. Now serving as chairman of the Take Stock in Children advisory committee, Memoli for the past nine years has mentored Brendan Gorman, a Saint Leo University graduate who will attend the Barry University School of Law in the fall.Numerous other accomplishments include being past president of the Seven Springs Rotary Club, current chairman of the political affairs committee for the West Pasco Board of Realtors, a member of the Seven Springs Rotary for Life team for 10 years and a board member for the Center for Independence.A deacon at Spirit at Grace Lutheran Church, Memoli was church council president for six years.Past honors include the Rotary Excellence Award, Paul Harris Fellow, Outstanding Young Man of America and the Outstanding Citizen award, to name a few.The outstanding public servant honor recognized Fasano, R-New Port Richey, for dedication during his 43 years in Pasco. Since 1994, he has served as both a state representative and state senator. "We have a true friend in Tallahassee," Chamber President Henry "Chip" Wichmanowski said about Fasano.Fasano is a member and lector at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church and a member of the Knights of Columbus 3rd Degree. He has served on many local boards including the Area Agency on Aging, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Boys and Girls Club of Pasco County, AFIRE and West Pasco Youth Soccer League.As outstanding citizen, Shelton has served as a leader in Keystone Rotary, Trinity Rotary, the Community Service Council of West Pasco, Junior Service League of West Pasco and many more.She also devotes time to PACE Center for Girls, the Chamber Young Professionals Group, Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind, United Way of Pasco County, Good Samaritan Nurses Gala Committee and countless other groups.Shelton leads Leadership Pasco as its current president. She is the current Honorary Governor of West Pasco, a fundraiser for the Chamber and charities. Rotary Club of Trinity earned outstanding service club honors for many programs to better the lives of children here. Founded 16 years ago, the club now has 70 members.The club works with Metropolitan Ministries to buy underprivileged kids new school clothes to help build their self-esteem. This year the club began providing food over the weekend for 23 families at a local elementary school.The Rotary club supports two Interact Clubs, the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen and the RAP House for Cook 4 Kids.As the top youth organization, PACE Center for Girls currently has 52 young women under its watch with 12 staff members and 14 volunteers. During the past 15 years here, PACE has schooled girls who had run away from home, come from neighborhoods with a high crime rate or suffered from substance abuse. After leaving PACE, 98 percent had no further interaction with the juvenile justice system within 6 months of leaving. Nine out of 10 girls improved their grades. In the transition program, 88 percent were in school or employed three years after leaving PACE.The 24-year-old Pasco Kids First organization got the nod as outstanding nonprofit. More than 30 staff members work to prevent, assess and treat the effects of child abuse and neglect. They evaluate more than 600 children per year and provide in-home parent coaching and child development education to more than 250 families per year. A sexual abuse treatment program provides therapy to more than 300 children and caregivers per year.As Chamber Ambassador of the Year, Evans helps welcome new businesses with ribbon-cutting ceremonies as new chamber members. The group spreads good will in many other ways as well.