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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