By: Susan Erler | Category: Other | Issue: February 2010
(L to R): Chamber Service Award winner Wyatt Hockmeyer, Chairman of the Board Ken Grant and Owasso Chamber President Gary Akin.
The ceremonial passing of the gavel from one leader to the next is a long-time tradition for the Owasso Chamber of Commerce. It is a time to celebrate the accomplishments of the previous year and to welcome the ideas and insights of the new “commander in chief.” The 2010 Annual Awards and Installation Luncheon for the Owasso Chamber of Commerce was held Friday, January 22, at the Bailey Education Foundation.
Guests were treated to witty insight and amusing jokes from long-time Owasso resident and Master of Ceremonies Steve Mowery. Steve, owner of Mowery’s Funeral Service, has been master of ceremonies for the luncheon for a number of years, but those in attendance all agreed that this year was his best ever.
Outgoing Chairman of the Board Dr. Jeff Housley spoke to the group about his perspective on the chamber. He has observed the Owasso Chamber as a body of influence within the community – one that provides quality programming, creates networking opportunities and brings families together. He closed his speech by discussing the many ways that the local chamber builds alliances on the local, regional and state level. After thanking everyone for allowing him to serve this year, Dr. Housley passed the leadership gavel to the 2010 Chairman, Mr. Ken Grant.
Ken, co-owner of Waterstone Private Wealth Management, addressed the gathering by speaking about the “power of one,” an old concept that is also new. He and his wife, Melanie, are the creators of the Owasso Character Coins program. The coins are handed out to people who are exhibiting any one of many character traits promoted through the Owasso Character Council. Ken added that these coins have spread to every state in America and several other countries too, proof that many people still believe in maintaining a high level of morality and character. And, he added that the community will be a better place for all of us to live if we each make an effort to make a difference in the lives of others.
The luncheon is also a time to recognize those who have excelled during the previous year. Three awards were given to very well deserving individuals. The Chamber Appreciation Award was given to Lowes Home Improvement Center manager Mr. Rick Owens. This local corporate entity has been extremely supportive of the chamber’s endeavors. They have partnered with the chamber by providing merchandise that has helped the chamber raise profits during several events throughout the year.
Another award that was presented is the Chamber Service Award. This was given to Mr. Wyatt Hockmeyer with the University of Phoenix. He is a chamber ambassador and volunteered tirelessly throughout the year as a presenter during Leadership Owasso and during numerous ribbon cuttings and other events. Wyatt has showed true Owasso Chamber spirit, and his actions are very much appreciated by Chamber staff.
The final award of the day is perhaps the most prestigious. The Chamber Member of the Year award was given to local businessman Mr. John Cash, owner of Trails End BBQ. Mr. Cash has distinguished himself through his unwavering dependability and support of not only the chamber, but the entire Owasso community.
Featured speaker for the day was former OU football star and Congressman Mr. JC Watts. JC held the audience riveted in their seats with stories about his time spent at the capitol and what his time spent there meant to him. He stated that he felt humbled to be able to walk down the same halls that many of his heroes like Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass had walked before him. He spoke about the influence a single person can have on someone’s life – how a friend, a coach or a coworker can encourage others to become better than they think they can be, and how that person can go on to accomplish greatness. Oklahoma is an amazing state, he said, and we need to be proud of our accomplishments, but always strive to achieve more.
The 2010 awards luncheon was a sell out again this year, making this the fourth year in a row.