Chamber honors former, current city manager at annual banquet

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A former Madisonville city manager and the current city manager were named Man and Woman of the Year on Friday at the annual Madison County Chamber of Commerce banquet.

Camilla Viator, who was tapped to lead Madisonville at the beginning of this year, was speechless as Chamber coordinator Liz Ward announced her award. Her three sons had traveled to surprise her at the event.

Former City Manager Danny Singletary, who left office at the end of the year and is now serving as the county’s veterans services officer, said he was honored by the recognition.

“My mother and daddy taught me the value of hard work,” Singletary said.

Ward deemed the banquet a “huge success,” as 172 tickets were sold. Proceeds are used to fund local scholarships.

U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady, one of his challengers, Col. Andre Dean, and Texas Rep. Trent Ashby were among the dignitaries at the event, held at the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church.

Guest speaker Madisonville Police Chief Herbert Gilbert said he was honored to address the attendees. He updated the group on local police initiatives, including a special response team, K-9 unit, technology, animal control and code enforcement.

Gilbert, who is from the area and played quarterback for the 1975 Mustangs, said he was pleased to be back home after a long career with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and City of Houston. Next month will mark his one year as chief at MPD.

“I love it,” he said. “I enjoy coming to work, and I love staying late.”

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