The Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce honored members of the community at its annual meeting and banquet June 11.
The Chamber presented five awards at the meeting: ambassador of the year, business person of the year, citizen of the year, volunteer of the year and the civic improvement award.
The meeting also officially passed the gavel from immediate past Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce Chair Kyle Hockmeyer to the new Chairwoman: Krista Roberts, CEO of St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center.
“As I attend many board meetings in our community as do many of you, I sit in those meetings often and I’m in awe at the number of people who just continually pour in… a lot of effort to continue moving our community forward,” Roberts said. “For that reason, I had no hesitation when Kyle asked me if I’d be willing to do this.”
Ambassador of the year was awarded to Tricia Mitchell, who has been a chamber ambassador since 2012 and has served on the ambassador executive committee for the last four years. The ambassador award is presented to the ambassador who demonstrated dedication to the Chamber and the community through their volunteerism.
“While she couldn’t be here tonight, we know she is very excited to have received this honor,” said Lori Earl, the 2018 ambassador of the year.
Business person of the year was presented to Greg Hodgen, President and CEO of Groendyke Transport, Inc., one of the nation’s largest tank-truck carriers.
Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce Chair Kyle Hockmeyer said Hogden has an “extensive record of service” at the state and local levels, previously serving on the Board of Directors for the Enid Chamber and currently serving on the Enid Higher Education Council as well the OBA School Board.
“There are a lot of things about Enid that make it a great place to live, a great place to raise a family, and a great place to operate world-class businesses,” Hogden said. “I thank you for this honor...I am very grateful that you have chosen me.”
The civic improvement award, an honor traditionally given to an individual or organization that has improved Enid aesthetically, socially, educationally or otherwise, was given to the Retired Senior Volunteer Program for its advocacy and opportunities it provides to the elderly.
RSVP gives leadership opportunities for over 400 senior volunteers in Garfield, Grant, Noble, Alfalfa and Major counties. The organization also runs the RSVP Senior Center, a transportation program, Enid Mobile Meals, and placement of senior volunteers in 50 other non-profit service organizations.
In the past year, RSVP delivered 36,942 meals to homebound seniors, made 540 minor repairs to the homes of seniors, delivered 864 seniors a monthly box of groceries, transported seniors to 2,436 doctor appointments and served 6,800 hot lunches at the senior center, according to the Chamber.
District Attorney Mike Fields said that the attorney’s office has partnered with RSVP to help prevent and identify elder abuse and exploitation, meeting together to discuss cases of people RSVP often already had relationships with.
“We are so grateful and so honored to be recognized for this,” said Christy Baker, executive director of RSVP.
Volunteer of the year was presented to Mike Riddle, a loan officer for the Bank of Kremlin and president of the Academic Board of the Kremlin Public School. Riddle is also “very active in the community” as a member of the Kremlin Lions Club, a Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteer and a coordinator for 4RKids Miracle League, 2018 volunteer of the year Carmen Ball said.
“This was a surprise,” Riddle said. “All the stuff I volunteer for, there’s always people there that probably put nn way more hours than me and they’re probably more deserving, but I appreciate this. Thank you very much.”
The Citizen of the Year Award, presented to those who have made life-long contributions to the community and its residents, was awarded to Oklahoma Gas and Electric Community Affairs Manager Mike Ruby.
“(Ruby) serves Enid in many capacities,” Roberts said. “To quote one of the people he works with, ‘Enid is blessed to have an advocate, ally and friend’ like tonight’s recipient. ‘His leadership, dedication and citizenship are a force to be reckoned with here in Enid!’ ”
Ruby and his wife moved to Enid in 1975 after college, and he has worked for OG&E since 1988, holding various positions within the company over the years. He also serves on many organizations in the Enid community, including on the boards of Loaves and Fishes NW Oklahoma, Enid Rotary Club and the Chamber, among others.
“I work for a great company that from the CEO on down it supports volunteerism, it encourages us to organize and just show up in the community and help out. I’m thankful that they allow me to pursue my passion of making Enid a better place,” Ruby said. “Thank you, I’m grateful, and this is truly a highlight of my life.”