Bye, bye Becky

left to right: Chamber Vice-President Allison Hudson stands with Becky Katz, retiree, and Chamber President Paul Landry, IV at the surprise party at the Grapevine Café and Gallery Monday night.

There’s never a right time to say goodbye. Monday night at the Grapevine Café and Gallery, Becky Katz and friends learned that firsthand as laughter brought on tears and tears brought on laughter. Katz, the Executive Director for the Donaldsonville Area Chamber of Commerce, spent the last 34 years as the face of business in Donaldsonville. Now she bids her farewell.

The Chamber’s Board of Directors, spear-headed by Vice-President Allison Hudson, hosted a surprise party for Katz in celebration of her retirement.

“This is a tremendous surprise and the people who know me well believe me because I came with clothes I wore to work today,” Katz said to those gathered at the Grapevine. “I would’ve never done that.”

After drawing some laughter from friends, Katz went on to share stories and experiences in her years at the Chamber.

“I have made so many wonderful friends and met people I probably would not have known otherwise,” Katz said. “I’m so grateful for that.”

A short program was presented where the Chamber’s Board of Directors President Paul Landry, IV and Hudson presented Katz with a plaque.

“To see how one person makes a difference is truly amazing, and Becky is that for the Chamber,” Chamber President Landry said. “We get to partner with her and take the glory a little bit but really it’s Becky Katz. We’re just excited we get to share a little of that glory right here with you. You are a special woman. We’re just excited to celebrate you tonight.”

Hudson and Katz have built a relationship over the years that garner Hudson referring to Katz as “maw-maw.”

“Maw-maw, I love you and thank you for everything you’ve done,” Hudson said, holding back tears. “It was the toughest thing to talk to you almost every day and not tell you about your own party.”

The presented plaque read: “Becky Katz, 35 years of service, in recognition for your contributions and devotion to the Donaldsonville Area Chamber of Commerce and your commitment to excellence. On behalf of the members and board of directors, we award this plaque for your service to this community and organization.”

Donaldsonville Mayor Leroy Sullivan, Sr. and Council Chairman Raymond Aucoin presented Katz with a key to the city and shared expressions and memories.

“Becky you have truly been a friend, a mother and when I think about you I understand why you are a New Orleans Saints fan because, truly you are a Saint,” Mayor Sullivan said. “You are a Saint because for 34 years you showed love and dedication to the City of Donaldsonville, you cared for everyone in this community and we appreciate everything you have done and will continue to do for the City of Donaldsonville.”

“This key symbolizes a love that we will always have for you because you are a true pillar of this community and we love you,” Mayor Sullivan said.

Katz added, “Thank you all so much, you have no idea how much all of this means to me.”