Chamber nominations open for Walshak, Community Service Awards


The Gonzales Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture is requesting nominations for the David B. Walshak Lifetime Achievement and Community Service awards. 

The David B. Walshak Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to honor a local individual for outstanding lifetime service to the community. The nominee must be a resident of Gonzales County or be a good-standing member of the Gonzales Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture. Any job-related task or duty for which nominees are paid a salary will not be considered.

The Community Service Award is an annual award given to an individual, business or organization for meritorious service for one of the following: historic preservation, promotion of the arts, education, commerce/industry, youth motivation, or volunteer work. Nominees must live in the Gonzales Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture area.

The award can be considered posthumous provided his/her death occurred within the last three years for which the award is being presented. Previous recipients of the David B. Walshak Lifetime Achievement Award or the Community Service Award shall be ineligible for nomination. 

Award nominations can be made by emailing or calling the Chamber of Commerce at 830-672-6532. 

Recipients of the awards will be announced at the Chamber’s annual banquet to be held the evening of Thursday, March 2, Texas Independence Day, at JB Wells Expo. The theme, Gonzales Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture presents: An Independence Ball. Awards will be presented. New board members will be announced and retiring board members and officers will be recognized. 

Tables and tickets are for sale in the Chamber office for the program, dinner and dancing. 

Board member nominations have also been mailed to members of the Chamber of Commerce. Nominations can be dropped in the ballot box located at the Chamber: 304 Saint Louis Street.

The David B. Walshak Award

The David B. Walshak Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a person who has proved worthy of distinction in the Community. This Lifetime Achievement Award is appropriately named after a man who gave of himself unselfishly to his family, friends, church and community.

A banker by profession, David B. Walshak was a two-time recipient of the Gonzales Chamber of Commerce "Citizen of the Year Award,” once in 1961, the other in 1972. He served as Director and President of the Gonzales Chamber of Commerce and in 1974 was a Charter Member of the Minutemen, ambassadors of our Chamber of Commerce. He served as Chairman of the Gonzales Sesquicentennial Committee from 1973-1975, President of the Gonzales Area Development Corporation and Director of the Texas Allied Poultry Association from 1975-1976.

He served as Past President of many organizations, such as the Gonzales Noon Lions Club, the Gonzales Apache Quarterback Club, the Gonzales Baseball Association, the Gonzales Warm Springs Foundation/Texas Rehabilitation Hospital and the Board of the Gonzales Independent School District. He was a member of the Gonzales Apache Band Boosters, the Parish Council of the Saint James Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus, where he served as Grand Knight of Council #5090 in Gonzales. He was a member of the Texas National Guard, where he was given the opportunity to aid the victims of Hurricane Carla; he was instrumental in organizing a United Fund Community project and was the Chairman of the United Fund Drive for four separate years and chaired the Cancer Drive on two separate occasions.

David's love for sports carried him from a professional baseball team shortly after graduation in high school to 26 years of play by play announcing of Gonzales Apache football games for the local radio station. In those 26 years he only missed three games. He managed Little League teams from 1955-1960, then again from 1967-1974, and he also managed Youth League Baseball.

David B. Walshak earned recognition from many sources such as: Outstanding Young Men of America in 1965; Personalities of the South in 1973, 1974 and the Bicentennial Edition in 1976; Notable Americans of the Bicentennial Era; Presidential Commendation "in recognition of exceptional service to others, in the finest American tradition; from President Richard M. Nixon in 1973; Honorary Membership into the Texas 4-H Clubs in 1975; Honorary Chapter Farmer in the FFA; Honorary Membership in the Young Farmers in 1976; South Central Texas Semi-Pro Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973; Lions Club "Citizen of the Year" Award in 1975 and "Who's Who Among Texas Bankers" in 1975.