Beaumont Main Street celebrates 25th anniversary, recognizes local businesses

Around 300 people attended Beaumont Main Street’s 25th Anniversary Celebration Thursday, May 11 at the Event Centre.

The event began with a dance number from iRule Dance Studio, which was a nod to Karen Bourdier and Tim Sudela's photography exhibit Dancing Through Downtown, which will be on display at the Art Museum of Southeast Texas starting Sunday, May 21. John L. Nau, III, Chair of the Texas Historical Commission and President and CEO of Silver Eagle Distributors, gave the keynote address to attendees.

“Mr. Nau is chair of the Texas Historical Commission, and we spoke with him of our vision of this event last November, and he has shown great support since then,” said Reagan Rothenberger, director of Development for Beaumont Main Street. “As chair, he oversees the state's efforts of historic preservation, however, his influence is felt at the national level as well, since he has served on the board of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Civil War Trust, National Council on Historic Preservation, and many others. His influence in the field is absolutely tremendous, and we were honored to have him in Beaumont. Preservation is just his ‘hobby,’ as he is the president and CEO of Silver Eagle Distributors of Houston, the second largest beer distributorship in the United States.”

Nau and Beaumont Main Street presented 20 local businesses with a specially designed trophy that showcased the Texas Treasure Business Award medallion.

“The Texas Treasure Business Award is an award that recognizes businesses that have been in business for more than fifty years, and that have played a significant role in the local and state economies,” Rothenberger said. “Every city has a set of businesses that have defined the city's economy, and the Texas Treasure Business Award is a unique opportunity to award someone by simply being a bulwark business in the community. When you look at the list of awardees, you see family owned businesses that not only support the city by creating jobs, but you also see their generosity toward community causes. … For the 25th Anniversary Celebration, we focused on businesses that currently support Beaumont Main Street. …With that in mind, we hope to award other worthy businesses in the near future.”

Business recognized were Automatic Pump & Equipment; Beaumont Rice Mills; Bill Clark Pest Control, Inc.; Broussard’s Mortuary; Classic Southeast Texas; Coburn Supply Company, Inc.; Del Papa Distributing; Giglio Distributing; H.B. Neild & Sons, Inc.; J.S. Edwards & Sherlock Insurance; Kinsel Motor Co.; Orgain, Bell & Tucker; Steinhagen Oil Company, Inc.; Strong, Pipkin, Bissell & Ledyard, LLP; Texas Coffee Company; Weinbaum Insurance Agency; Wells, Peyton, Greenberg & Hunt, LLP; White Reprographics, Zummo Meat Company and Coastal Welding & Supply, Inc.

“We are honored to be among such a distinguished time-honored group of individuals and their businesses. For more than 50 years, Beaumont and Southeast Texas have provided Coastal and our employees with a great environment for entrepreneurship,” said J.C. “Chuck” Mazoch, president of Coastal Welding & Supply, Inc.

Rothenberger said Beaumont Main Street’s most proud accomplishment is having been a partner in the Jefferson Theatre restoration with the Jefferson Theatre Preservation Society.

“The theatre is seeing a new life with movie nights, and live shows, and we couldn't be happier that it's a source of pride in the community again,” he said. “That was a huge project, and we have been trying to take a look at some of the smaller steps we've had a part in as well. Our revolving loan fund and design assistance have helped to ensure the success of numerous smaller buildings in downtown, like the Santa Fe Depot that is right next to the Rotary Playground. This building is a stunning example of Beaumont's early days as a railroad center. Also, the White Building, which is a part of the Cathedral Square complex was saved with our fund, and it now houses four privately owned lofts.”

As far as future plans for the organization, Beaumont Main Street is currently working on bringing a craft brewery downtown, Rothenberger said, and on bringing more loft living. “The wheels of downtown turn slowly, but we're starting to see some progress after a few slower years since the economic downturn,” he said.

Beaumont Main Street, a project of the 501(c)(3) organization BUILD, Inc., is a partnership between the public and private sectors that is dedicated to the revitalization of Beaumont's historic Central Business District.

Photo by Brandon Gouthier - J.C. “Chuck” Mazoch, president, and his sister, Barbara Mazoch Nelson, asset manager, both of Coastal Welding & Supply Inc. — the Beaumont business was one of 20 local businesses to receive the Texas Treasure Business Award from Beaumont Main Street. The award recognizes businesses that have been in business for more than fifty years and have played a significant role in the local and state economies.