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DRC/Al Key

Karina Ramírez: Denton chamber sold on husband-wife team

The Denton Chamber of Commerce on Friday named Denton Depot owners Tonya and Larry Parker the chamber’s Small Business Persons of the Year.

“They understand that being a part of a community is more than just selling a product,” said Michele Barber, senior vice president of Northstar Bank and former chairwoman of the chamber’s board. “But the products they do provide come with exceptional customer service.”

Denton Depot was established in 1987 as a promotional product business, according to its website. The Parkers bought the business in May 2008 and since have remained very community involved in the Denton chamber, Leadership Denton, the Denton Main Street Association, Denton Festival Foundation, the University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University.

“Since buying Denton Depot in 2008, Larry and Tonya have jumped right in, joined the chamber, and did things textbook style,” Barber said. “By that I mean they not only ‘joined’ as a member, but became involved immediately.”

In 1994, Sherrie Day, the first owner of Denton Depot, received the Small Business Person of the Year award from the Denton chamber, according to Denton Record-Chronicle archives.

The Parkers are native Texans — Tonya from Brady and Larry from San Saba.

Larry Parker has 43 years of experience in sales, marketing, and executive level positions, according to the business’s website. Tonya has 25 years of experience in accounting and loan servicing. Prior to purchasing Denton Depot, she served as vice president of a loan servicing company.

Last year, Larry Parker was named Volunteer of the Year at the chamber’s annual organizational meeting.

“Although Tonya and Larry Parker are not the original owners of Denton Depot, they have embraced their ownership, and their relationship with our community, as if they were starting entirely from scratch,” Barber said.

A record 53 nominations were received for this year’s Small Business of the Year award, only 33 of which were actually eligible and considered. Eligible nominees own or manage a business in the Denton area for no less than two years, have no more than 50 full-time employees and are members of the chamber in good standing.

The Small Business Person of the Year award is an offshoot of the chamber’s Small Business Initiatives, headed this year by Bookkeeper Girl owner Kim Pollard.



Northstar Bank’s ranks grew by two this week.

Jason Coleman was named regional president and credit officer. He will head up Northstar’s Lewisville banking center and the future Flower Mound banking center. Coleman, a graduate of Texas Tech University, has more than 20 years of banking experience, according to a news release.

University of North Texas graduate Wendy Kochanski was named compliance officer. She’s worked in the banking industry since 2003. Kochanski will work from Northstar’s downtown Denton office, the company’s headquarters.

Meanwhile, the bank announced several recent promotions.

* Jeremy Fykes was promoted to senior vice president of lending and will continue his work from the Denton headquarters.

* Michael Zangoei was named regional credit officer and will be responsible for the credit underwriting and portfolio management of the Southern Region’s banking centers under the direction of Jason Coleman.

* Rise Caldwell was named assistant vice president and banking center operations manager in Lake Dallas.

* Regina Payton was promoted to banking officer in Denton.

* Kevin von Atzigen became banking officer with the medical lending division.

* Heather Roberts became executive lending administrative assistant in Denton.


Coming up

The Boys and Girls Clubs of North Texas, a nonprofit charitable organization with headquarters in Lake Dallas, will give Quickbooks and bookkeeping advice to local business owners at two upcoming seminars.

A seminar planned for Wednesday, Feb. 29, will take place in the community room at Kroger Marketplace, 2671 Little Elm Parkway. Another set for Thursday, March 1, will be held at Lake Dallas City Hall, 212 Main Street. Both events will run from 8 a.m. to noon.

Cost to attend is $50 for Lake Cities and Little Elm chamber members and $75 for the public. The seminars are free for BGCNetwork members.

To RSVP, call Rick Troutman, vice president of resource development for the Boys and Girls Clubs of North Texas, at 972-898-3879.

KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878. Her email address is