ABILENE, Texas (News Release) — The Abilene Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 Abilene Chamber Salute to Small Business Awards.

The Salute to Small Business Awards Luncheon, which took place the afternoon of May 4, is the Chamber’s annual celebration to honor the impact small business has on our local economy.

“Challenge has become a large part of our vocabulary over the last year. Between COVID and SNOVID –our small business community has shown grit and determination in navigating the many challenges that have been put in their path,” said Doug Peters, President & CEO of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce. “That’s why this year’s Small Business Week is perhaps more important than ever before. It’s a time that we, as a community, pause to celebrate the job creators, the risk-takers and those whose bodies and minds are filled with the entrepreneurial spirit.”

This year’s recipients are:

  • New Business of the Year: FireCycle Abilene
  • Small Business Community Investment Award: IN-Focus Digital
  • Small Business Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award: Dr. Kelsi Mangrem with Holland Hearing
  • Family-Owned Business of the Year Award: Sitzes Self Storage

This year’s luncheon also paid tribute to the Agriculture Family of the Year that is traditionally awarded during the Chamber’s Agriculture Scholarship Luncheon, which was canceled due to COVID-19.

Awarded in partnership with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office –Taylor County, this year’s recipient is The Hogan Family. Tricia and Ken Hogan are longtime residents of the Potosi area. As a hay producer, Ken farms forage sorghum, wheat, oats and coastal Bermuda grass on over 500 acres. He also custom bales hay for the public, baling over 14,000 bales a year. In addition, he has provided hay to the Abilene Livestock Auction for over forty years. His farming career began with his future father-in-law in 1964 and has farmed his entire life except for a couple years that he served his country in Vietnam in the 1st Calvary Division. Ken holds a degree in animal science from Texas Tech University, and in addition to his farming, Ken has served on the Potosi Water Board for many years. He is a deacon at Wylie Baptist Church where he and his wife, Tricia, devote their service currently. Together, they have three children and 12 grandchildren. Ken considers one of his greatest pleasures in agriculture as being able to farm with his son for the past 14 years.