Pictured from left to right: 2008 River Bend Growth Association Chairman Kent Scheffel, Gary Hoggatt, Jr. of National Bank and Melissa Erker, 2007 RGBA Chairman.
Gary Hoggatt, Jr. has been recognized as the 2007 Ambassador of the Year by The River Bend Growth Association (RBGA).
He was honored at the association's 2008 Annual Dinner with a video presentation and a plaque.
Hoggatt, assistant vice president at National Bank in Edwardsville, said he was surprised to receive the honor.
"The presentation was one of the highlights of my life," he said. "To have my wife, my children and my employer say such wonderful things about me in front of such a great group of people - I was overwhelmed."
The award is an annual presentation given to one of the 36 members of the association's Ambassador Committee.
Joell Aguirre, director of RBGA Member Services, said that each ambassador earns points throughout the year for their volunteer efforts at various functions such as ribbon cuttings, ground breakings and networking events, and for their help in recruitment and member retention.
Hoggatt also serves as the chairman of the RBGA Promotions Committee, and is an active volunteer for fundraisers, such as the annual Duck Race and the River Bend Golf Tournament.
"His enthusiasm for what he believes in is contagious and is greatly appreciated," Aguirre said.
Harry Hutchison, president and CEO of National Bank, said in a press release, "Gary's role in the Growth Association is important because he needs to stay abreast of the community's specific needs and plans."
"Gary's customers like his personal touch and his dedication to customer service," Hutchison added. "Gary has a strong belief in God and those values portray the values of National Bank. We are very proud of Gary and his contributions to the Growth Association, and we really appreciate your efforts to recognize him."
Hoggatt said he was honored to serve as an Ambassador for the Growth Association.
"It is a real privilege to serve in this capacity," Hoggatt said. "I look forward to each opportunity to be of service to our membership, to work on ways to improve our networking events, and to recruit new members. I am grateful for all of the business contacts I have made and the way that each relationship has enriched my life."
At National Bank, Hoggatt is responsible for residential lending and business development. He also manages the Edwardsville Banking Center, including teller operations, new accounts and retail lending. Hoggatt has 20 years experience in the banking and finance industry.
Hoggatt also is active in his church, Faith Baptist Church of Godfrey, where he teaches a young-adults Sunday School class.
Hoggatt and his wife, Donna, live in Alton with their two children.
National Bank was founded in Hillsboro, Ill., in 1869 and currently serves south central Illinois with 10 banking locations. The Edwardsville Banking Center, located at 1611 Troy Road, opened in May 1997.