By: Eddie Stephens | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: March 2007
Bill Berry, Chairman of the Board of American Heritage Bank, was honored on January 25th.
Each year the Sapulpa Chamber of Commerce seeks outstanding individuals to be recognized as their Citizen of the Year. A group consisting of past recipients review individuals and select one to honor at their annual banquet in January. Bill Berry was honored on January 25 with the prestigious award. Berry, Chairman of the Board of American Heritage Bank, is a diligent business leader who has served in numerous civic capacities throughout his life in Sapulpa.
Berry’s civic resume is as deep and thorough as his roots in the community are. His banking career traces back to his grandfather, an early pioneer of the Sapulpa bank, who passed it on to Berry’s father and on to him and his brother, Guy. Berry has energetically worked for the enrichment of his community by serving as president and chairman for the Jaycees, Rotary Club and the United Way. He has served on the Creek County Industrial Foundation and Sapulpa Industrial Foundation boards.
Betty Calley, Sapulpa Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, confirms the qualities Berry and the Citizen award exemplifies. “We look for leadership in the community on a variety of fronts, including church, school and civic roles. It’s not limited to business prowess. Sometimes it’s an individual’s volunteer capacity that gets noticed.”
Collette Beil is a 2002 recipient of the award. Her service on the appointed review committee clarifies what they seek in each nominated candidate. “We look at their community contributions spanning not just the previous year. The history of a person’s service or efforts over a period of time is considered as well.” The appointed committee could not help noticing Berry’s long time investment of energy. He has led the pack in school bond issues; the most recent one he co-chaired passed by 83 percent due to his work.
Berry is currently involved, as he has been for some time, on the board of St. John Medical Center - Sapulpa. From school and hospital issues, to the recognizable “Big Build” project and related Parks & Recreation projects, to his work with the Salvation Army Center and his role as a local church Elder, his fingerprints are throughout Sapulpa and greater Creek County. Berry is a proud recipient being born and raised in Sapulpa. He works for the betterment of his community in keeping with the previous efforts of his father, mother and brother, who are each past recipients of the award.
“We couldn’t ask for a more generous and gracious supporter of the Chamber,” says Calley. “He goes above and beyond in every way while being lavish with his productive wisdom in every organization he serves.” Years will come and go just as the citizens of a community do. There are a few whose legacy remains and among them is Sapulpa’s Citizen of Year, Bill Berry.
Congratulations Bill Berry! Thank you for your outstanding leadership and commitment to making our community a better place to live, work and visit.