An oil executive and a sales director who is a committed local volunteer took home awards Tuesday night honoring their community service to the Tyler area.
The celebration happened at the annual meeting of the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce at Harvey Convention Center, where business and civic leaders attended a banquet and watched presentations of community service awards.
John R. “Bob” Garrett, the president of Fair Oil Company of Texas and a local real estate developer, received the T.B. Butler Award for outstanding citizenship in 2018 from Nelson Clyde, president of T.B. Butler Publishing Co.
The T.B. Butler Award has been presented annually since 1929 to recognize outstanding leadership in the community. The award is named for Judge Thomas Booker “T.B.” Butler and his son, T.B. Butler Jr.
“This year’s recipient is a wonderful example of the qualities people value in a leader, wisdom, honesty, integrity, and humility,” said Clyde, who presented the award. “Reaching out to some friends of our recipient a few themes rang true.
“The right thing — three different friends wasted no time in saying things such as, ‘He quickly arrives at, what’s the right thing to do here,’ or ‘He is married to doing what is right.’
“His word — His word is gold,” Clyde said. “When he tells you he is going to do something you can take it to the bank. He is as honest and honorable a guy as I know.
“He was described as a rare breed, also as frequently being the smartest guy in the room, who takes great care to how he goes about getting things done,” Clyde said.
“His capacity — I’m amazed at his ability to do just about anything. My only challenge is trying to keep up with him,” Clyde said. “He can have something land in his lap he has never done and quickly analyze and handle it as well or better than others.”
Garrett is the vice president of the R.W. Fair Foundation and serves on the development board of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler.
He is a past president of the Tyler Area Builders Association and past chair of the city of Tyler’s Unified Development Code Committee.
He served on the board of directors for the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce and the Tyler Economic Development Council. He attended Stephen F. Austin State University and received his MBA from the University of Texas at Tyler.
“In this world we live in, where we yell at each other, the only way we’re going to change things is to persuade each other, and the way you persuade people is to live an authentic life,” Garrett said, quoting former Congressman Trey Gowdy who spoke recently in Tyler.
“And as I look around the room … so many of you you live authentic lives, and that has inspired me for whatever I’ve done,” he said. “I’ve done it because I wanted to be like you. We live in a community that is full of people like that, and that’s why our community is so special.”
W.C. Windsor Award
Lindsey Shaver Harrison, 38, received the W.C. Windsor Award. She is the director of sales for the medical device company NanoVibronix.
Previously, Harrison was a sales representative for Texas Spine & Joint Hospital. She was a home renovator and property seller who founded FlippingTyler.com, and she started the high-end consignment website for Tyler Area Business Trading.
The W.C. Windsor Award has been presented since 1952 to Tyler’s most outstanding person under age 40. The award is named for Wilbur Cunningham Windsor, who lived from 1891 to 1958 and served in various community leadership roles throughout East Texas.
“My passion for volunteerism and community and everything really stems deep in my family and especially from my grandmother, who I think probably just stopped volunteering three or four years ago,” Harrison said in accepting the award.
Harrison is a board member of the Children’s Advocacy Center; the public relations chair of the Cattle Baron’s Committee for the American Cancer Society; the Oktoberfest Chair for Parents’ Anonymous.
Other organizations she has been involved with include Pi Phi Alumni-Tyler, the American Heart Association, the Junior League of Tyler, the Texas Rose Festival, Meals on Wheels, and Green Acres Baptist Church.
Harrison graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in 1999 and Texas Tech University in 2004.
New board chairman
Skip Ogle, who served as chairman of the board from 2018 to 2019, passed the gavel to June Cheatham, who was elected chairman for 2019 to 2020.
Ogle’s motto was, “I choose Tyler,” which displayed his passion for the city. Cheatham challenged the audience to reflect on her motto, “Live, Love, Tyler.”
“After choosing Tyler, I challenge you to live and love Tyler,” Cheatham said. “What does that mean to you? Just think on it for a moment. Live Tyler for me is to be thankful to be in such a wonderful community.”
Cheatham has been the administrator at Eye Care Associates of East Texas, an ophthalmology clinic in Tyler, since 1999.
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Many breast cancer survivors and community members came together Tuesday to raise awareness and money for those affected by breast cancer at the 11th annual Turn Tyler Pink on the T.B. Butler Fountain Plaza in downtown Tyler.
The event is presented by the Tyler Professional Firefighters Association. Tyler firefighter Cancer Awareness & Relief Effort (CARE) shirts were sold to raise money for local women’s cancer organizations.
Firefighter Scott Dodgen, CARE chairman and Turn Tyler Pink event coordinator, said turnout and sales were good this year.
“We are here to honor these women who are survivors and those who are no longer here,” Dodgen said. “We’ve had a lot of people come out. A good shirt sale year enables CARE to donate more.”
He said the event showcases helpful resources and recognizes the journey women and men battling cancer go through. Various health and medical organizations had booths to educate attendees on cancer and health information.
Over the 11 years, $71,210 has been raised for local women’s cancer organizations, $22,300 for current and retired Tyler firefighters and their dependents battling cancer, and $2,300 for national firefighter cancer organizations, Dodgen said.
Survivors signed the pink CARE firetruck during the event.
Linda Dill, of Tyler, a breast cancer survivor for 11 years, said the event is wonderful. She recalled her cancer journey as challenging, but having loved ones by her side helped.
“At first, it was hard, but I had a lot of support from my family and friends,” Dill said.
Maria Barrera and Iysesi Rayas with XCO Latin Workout by Jackie presented an interactive workout to improve muscular activity and increase mobility and endurance. Barrera said the exercise is a dynamic, fun class that mixes Latin music with athletic movements.
Rubye Kendrick, of Tyler, enjoyed Turn Tyler Pink and the exercise presentation. She is a physical therapist and her sister is a breast cancer survivor.
“There’s so much information that you can have access to,” Kendrick said. “Exercise is really important when it comes to disease and it keeps our bodies healthy.”
Jennifer Kielman, a KLTV-Channel 7 anchor, served as emcee for the event. She is a nine-year breast cancer survivor.
CARE shirts will be available for purchase through October at Carter BloodCare (815 S. Baxter Ave.), Cavender’s Boot City (2025 WSW Loop 323), Gallery Main Street (110 W. Erwin St.) and Holiday Inn (5701 S. Broadway Ave.), Dodgen said.
Changes to Tyler’s zoning laws approved Tuesday could help increase the diversity of housing styles that exist in the city.
The Tyler City Council approved the changes to the city’s universal development code, which is reviewed twice a year.
The new code creates a designation called “neighborhood residential” that allows attached and detached single-family homes on a single lot.
This will be aimed toward developers seeking to build townhome-style housing without dividing up individual plots of land for individual owners.
Developers seeking to build similar townhome-style housing with a higher number of units per acre can choose “planned unit residential.”
Previously, developers seeking to build this type of housing have chosen “planned multifamily,” which is the same zoning designation for building apartments.
Earlier this year, Roosth Properties requested multifamily zoning for townhome-style homes and received pushback from those who perceived that multifamily housing meant apartments for low-income people.
“Most cities in Texas of comparable size utilize a single planned unit zoning district with development proposals being evaluated on an individual, case-by-case basis,” Heather Nick, a managing director for the city, wrote in a memo to the City Council.
“Tyler’s allowance for three types of planned unit residential zoning has resulted in unintentional confusion and concern related to proposed developments of townhomes and detached homes on single lots,” Nick wrote.
Additionally, the changes bring back a zoning type called “two-family residential,” which is geared toward duplexes. That zoning existed historically, but new applications were halted in 2008.
Kyle Kingma, the city’s planning manager, said in an interview Tuesday that the change could spur housing that is affordable to more people.
“One of the No. 1 ways to help address affordable housing is to try to address housing diversity,” Kingma said.
He said different families have different housing preferences based on their life cycles, such as being empty nesters.
“I think this change would help that provide the flexibility,” Kingma said.
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