George Davis of Henrietta was honored by the Henrietta and Clay County Chamber of Commerce Saturday night with a lifetime achievement award. His was one of four accolades given during the organization’s annual banquet.
In attendance were 182 business and civic leaders representing all areas of Clay County, the largest crowd in the banquet’s history.
Guest speaker Rick Langford, economic development director for the Henrietta Growth Corporation, said the high attendance represents a change in direction for Henrietta and the county.
“I feel the momentum in Henrietta changing,” said Langford. “I look out into the crowd and I see the future of our city, and of our county. You being here tells me that you are interested in this community and what its future holds.”
Jeff Fitts was named Individual of the Year. Also nominated were George Davis, Lonnie and Dotty Morrison, Tabitha Pierce and Robert Forrester.
ReBoot Computers and Aunt Pam’s Closet, owned by Bill and Pam Schenk of Henrietta, was named Business of the Year. Byers Café, Coyote Creek, Davis Funeral home and Mosley’s Trading Post were nominated.
A new category, Community Beautification Project, was awarded to The Rock Barn, owned by Teresa and Duaine Covert. Also nominated were the Bellevue Children’s Park, Byers Park, Frank Douthitt Law Offices and the Pioneer Home Medical Supply building.
In accepting the lifetime achievent award, Davis was introduced by newly elected Chamber Treasurer Kelley Bloodworth.
Davis served in the U.S. Army Reserves, and was activated during the Berlin Crisis in 1959, serving 10 months at Gray Air Force Base near Killeen.
He was a charter member of the Henrietta Jaycees in the 1960s and served as president. He was a charter member of the Henrietta Lions Club, and helped organize clubs in Petrolia, Byers and Bellevue.
He and brother Doyle Davis founded Davis Funeral Home in 1973. Earlier this week, the business received a Torch ethics award from the Better Business Bureau.
In February 1995, Davis was appointed chairman of the capital funds drive for the 1890 Jail Museum. He served on the executive board of the Clay County Historical Society and is a life member of the organization.
Davis is a past director of the Henrietta and Clay County Chamber of Commerce. He was a charter member of SPUR, Serious People Urging Revitalization, where he served as president for two terms, as well as vie president and treasurer.
He has been a member of the Henrietta Housing Authority since May 1994, and served as chairman of the board from 1996-2000.
He is a member of the Henrietta Masonic Lodge, and served as Worshipful Master in 1978. He has been a member of the Scottish Rite since 1976.
Davis served as director for Legend Bank.
George and wife Ann are members of the First Baptist Church of Henrietta.
Earning Business of the Year, Bill and Pam Schenk are active members of the Henrietta and Clay County Chamber of Commerce.
Bill has provided free computer and software services to the chamber of commerce when necessary; donates his materials and services to create replicas of the 1954 Clay County DVD for the Chamber to sell as a fundraiser; and offers his place of business and donates his materials and time to provide free photos to any child that wants a photo with Santa during Clay County Christmas.
Pam is a devoted Turkey Fest volunteer, sewing, designing and decorating for the Full Strut Banquet each year; she assists her husband by creating memories for area children during Santa’s photos; and she is invaluable during Pioneer Reunion by designing/making rodeo queen attire for area contestants.
Most of the contributions made by Jeff Fitts, Individual of the Year, fall under “Anonymous.”
Fitts is a “go-to” person for the chamber of commerce, not to mention numerous other organizations such as Henrietta ISD, Pioneer Association and the Nine Man Board, First United Methodist Church, Henrietta VFD, Clay County Dove Salute, North Texas Rehab, and others. When in need for heavy machinery, hay bales for props or seating, or a location to hold events, Fitts steps up to the plate each time to share. It is never unusual to see him pulling stuck vehicles out of the mud or during ice-storms, whether they are residents of Clay County or not. He often serves as an unofficial county ambassador by welcoming newcomers to the community whom would otherwise be overlooked and lost. The Chamber is especially thankful for the donation of his culinary talents and of his cooking crew during Turkey Fest.
The Rock Barn faced demolition until the Covert’s purchased the building from Clay County.
The large rock structure was constructed during The Depression as a county livestock barn, and was home to the Clay County Livestock Show for many years. It was alter converted into the Clay County Senior Citizens Center.
The Covert’s went through the entire building, shoring it up structurally and renovating the interior. The Rock Barn is now the ideal location for weddings, receptions, reunions and other events.
Chamber officers for the New Year are President Kathy Pierce, First Vice President Randy Schaffner, Second Vice President Melissa Roberson, Treasurer Kelley Bloodworth and Ex-Officio Kay Lynn Gonzenbach.
Directors for 2012 are Linda Burleson, Clay County Memorial Hospital; Duaine Covert, RoadTrack, Inc.; Chris Dowd, United Methodist Church; Tonya Gilmore, Wells Fargo Bank; Amy Payne, Adult Protective Services; Stephen Ross, Jr., Trinity Air Conditioning; Lisa Swenson, Clay County Memorial Hospital; and Sharon Tucker, Atmos Energy.
Betty Ellsworth is executive director.
Outgoing officers are 2011 President Kay Lynn Gonzenbach and second Vice President Carla Sue Pullen.
Outgoing directors are Deborah Clark (ex-officio), Matt Kelton, Michael Russell and Janette Cantrell.