Tallahassee Mayor's Office honors 2017 Keys to the City recipients

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By: Mariel Carbone | WCTV Eyewitness News
June 28, 2017

Shacafrica Simmons, David Ross, Dr. Mary Coburn, Mike Franck (Courtesy: FSU, Facebook)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – Unlocking the City of Tallahassee.

The Mayor’s Office honored four local “heroes” as well as one corporate company with a key to the city at Wednesday’s commission meeting.

"Each of the 2017 honorees offers a glimpse into what makes Tallahassee so special. Our community is made better by their actions and accomplishments and I am thrilled to present them with one of Tallahassee’s highest honors."

Honorees included Shacafrica "Chef Shac" Simmons, David Ross, Dr. Mary Coburn, and Mike Franck (posthumously); as well as the company DanFoss.

“I thought it was pretty unbelievable. I just couldn’t’ imagine that anything I could’ve done was worthy of this recognition,” said Dr. Mary Coburn, The former Vice President of Student Affairs at FSU. “I’m just so humbled. It still really seems surreal.”

Coburn has served in higher education in Tallahassee for more than 40 years. She’s helped the campus of Florida State University through its time of expansion and through hardships.

Recipient “Chef Shac” said it’s humbling to receive something like this in a place she calls home.

“It may be even more special than winning "Chopped." It means so much to have my community support me. I’m out in the community, I’m working in the community. So to have this come back is amazing,” she said.

Simmons is a regular on WCTV and recently took home first prize on the Food Network show “Chopped.”

Another honoree with national acclaim, was David Ross.

“When you get to be presented with a key to the city in your hometown, that’s a pretty special event," said Ross. "It’s really special just to be recognized in this manner. It’s a special, special thing. Tallahassee is special to me and to represent Tallahassee in a positive light ...that means a lot to me."

Ross recently wrapped up a stint on ABC’s "Dancing With the Stars." This, after winning the World Series in Major League Baseball with the Chicago Cubs.

Other award winners include Mike Franc, who lost his life after he was hit by a bullet while pushing others out of the way in the line of gunfire. Franc’s family accepted the award on his behalf.

Gillum also honored DanFoss, an air conditioner manufacturer, with a key. DanFoss just opened up a state of the air development facility in Tallahassee’s Innovation Park.


By: WCTV Eyewitness News
June 26, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum has announced the recipients of this year's Keys to the City.

On June 28th, Mayor Gillum will present the 2017 Keys to the City of Tallahassee to honorees Shacafrica "Chef Shac" Simmons, David Ross, Dr. Mary Coburn, and Mike Franck (posthumously).

Mayor Gillum said in a statement, "Each of the 2017 honorees offers a glimpse into what makes Tallahassee so special. Our community is made better by their actions and accomplishments and I am thrilled to present them with one of Tallahassee’s highest honors."

The Mayor's Office detailed this year's honorees:

Shacafrica Simmons

Known throughout Tallahassee as "Chef Shac", the former Florida A&M University Executive Chef has made a name for herself not only in Tallahassee for her delicious meals at her “Sensory Experience”, but across the nation as well. At one-point experiencing homelessness and catering food out of her hotel room, Chef Shac recently appeared on the Food Network show “Chopped” where she took home first prize and $10,000 in the nationwide competition. Chef Shac uses local ingredients, and touts Tallahassee as a food destination wherever she goes.

David Ross

A Tallahassee resident and a graduate of Florida High, David Ross is a two-time World Series Champion, first with the Boston Red Sox and most recently the Chicago Cubs. Upon his retirement from professional baseball after last season, David became a crowd favorite on the hit TV show – Dancing with the Stars – finishing second overall in the competition, and his new book, Teammate has landed on the New York Times Bestseller list.

Dr. Mary Coburn

Dr. Coburn has compiled over 40 years of leadership in Tallahassee’s higher education sector, rising to Vice President of Student Affairs at Tallahassee Community College before assuming the same role at Florida State University. During her tenure, she guided her campus communities through times of great triumph and expansion as well as turmoil and hardship and kept the town and gown relationship with the Tallahassee community a major priority. She has also served the local Tallahassee community in a variety of civic organizations, most notably Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida.

Mike Franck, posthumously

Mike came to Florida at age 10 with his mother Josette and his two siblings. A graduate of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering and a successful aerospace engineer with the TECT Corporation, Mike tragically lost his life on April 1 when he was shot in Tampa while pushing others out of the line of gunfire during a random, senseless drive-by shooting. In his memory, the Mike Franck Memorial Scholarship was launched for first generation, immigrant, and African American engineering students. To learn more about this effort, visit http://spark.fsu.edu/Project/322/Mike-Franck-Memorial-Scholarship-for-Engineering.



 
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