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Affton Chamber of Commerce Announces Citizen, Business Person of the Year

Honored citizens are involved in school, church, scouts and chamber.

The has announced the Affton Citizen of the Year and the Business Person of the Year for 2011.

Shirley Eckert is the Citizen of the Year and Michael Bamvakais is the Business Person of the Year.

Eckert volunteered many hours with her four children’s school and has continued to give her time to the community since then.

She is an inaugural Retired Resident member of the Affton Chamber of Commerce and still works with the chamber.

Eckert is a member of the and is Chair of the Kitchen at Oakland House. She helps at many events, including Santa House and Bunny Hutch. She also volunteers at the St. Louis Peregrine Society and is chair of the Cancer Dressings.

Eckert is a member of the Affton Historical Society and is chair of the kitchen at Oakland House.

She attends where she belongs to its ladies sodality group. She assists with funeral meals at church and is a Eucharistic minister. She is also a member of the Servite Secular Order and the 1904 World’s Fair Society.

She is a graduate of the St. Anthony of Padua High School.

Eckert and her husband, Arthur (now deceased), have four children—Richard, Stephen and Thomas Eckert, and Catherine Consolino. She is also grandmother to Stephanie and Angela Consolino; and Joshua, Andrew, and Caroline Eckert.

Bamvakais is a principal of the law firm Dill, Bamvakais & Newsham, P.C. He has practiced law in the Affton area for more than 32 years, currently concentrating his practice in the areas of estate planning, probate law, probate estate administration, trust law, and trust administration.

He is a graduate of the University of Missouri, St. Louis and received his law degree from the Washington University School of Law.

Bamvakais has been active in community service throughout his career.

He has served numerous terms on the board of directors of the Affton Chamber of Commerce and served as its president in 2004-2005.

Bamvakais is a community director for the South County Branch of Citizen’s National Bank of Greater St. Louis. He also serves on the ’s A+ Advisory Program Committee and, in the past, served on the district’s Independent Financial Review Panel.

Currently, he is serving as President of the Affton Historical Society Endowment Trust’s Board of Trustees, and has served as a trustee of the Endowment Trust for a number of years.

Additionally, Bamvakais has held leadership positions with the Boy Scouts, both in the Gravois Trail District and the Greater St. Louis Area Council.

Bamvakais has 32 years of perfect attendance at his Rotary International Foundation weekly luncheon meetings.

Bamvakais lives with his wife, Liz, in the Oakville area. His daughter Alexis Hagenhoff, is married, lives in Indianapolis and is a clinical pharmacist. His daughter Sara Bamvakais lives in Charlotte, NC, and is a mechanical engineer. His daughter Lauren Bamvakais lives in St. Louis and holds a master's degree in criminal justice.

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