Regional success is defined through individuals like these who go the extra mile and make a lasting impact on the world around them.
SHERMAN, September 19, 2014 – Susan B. Thomas, PhD, Executive Director of Texoma Council of Governments (TCOG), announced today the Cooke, Fannin and Grayson County Citizens of the Year and the Texoma Regional Citizen of the Year, all of whom were recognized and presented with awards during TCOG’s 2014 Annual Event.
“Since 1986, we have recognized individuals who have made outstanding contributions to and truly made a difference in the region,” stated Dr. Thomas. “Regional success is defined through individuals like these who go the extra mile and make a lasting impact on the world around them.”
The recipients of the awards are as follows: Judge John Roane, Cooke County; Ms. Emily Porter, Fannin County; Ms. Brenda Hayward, Grayson County; and Mr. Jerry Chapman, Texoma Regional Citizen of the Year. Since 1986, TCOG has recognized individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the region. Each recipient was selected by a panel consisting of TCOG Governing Board members from each respective county.
Cooke County Judge John O. Roane was born in Gainesville in 1946. He dedicated 20 years of his life to the service of our country in the United States Air Force, following in the footsteps of his father who was also made his career in the Air Force. As citizen and cattle rancher, Mr. Roane has served the Cooke County community in a variety of ways over the years, serving on numerous boards and holding elected public offices including Justice of the Peace. Mr. Roane and wife, Gail, have two children and six grandchildren and will celebrate 46 years of marriage in November. He has served as the Cooke County Judge for the last 5 years, is the honorary chairman of the Cooke County United Way Campaign; he’s a TCOG board member and a champion for our region.
Emily Porter graduated from Bonham High School and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Oklahoma State University; she taught seventh, eight, and ninth grade science and High School Home Economics in Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama and Georgia; and she’s a member of Bonham First Baptist Church, teaching Sunday School Classes first grade through adult. She helped organize, train and schedule the first volunteer guides at the Sam Rayburn House and Museum. She’s the Past President and member of the Fort Inglish Board of Directors. She served as Boy Scouts of America Cub Scout Leader, Cub Master, and Merit Badge Counselor – receiving multiple awards including the District Award of Merit, the Bronze Bear, and the highest volunteer award: the Silver Beaver. She worked to bring the Main Street Program to Bonham, serving as chair of the Main Street Committee. She is Chair of the City of Bonham Tourism committee; chaired the Artful Affair, Bois d’Arc Festival, Autumn in Bonham Bike Rally, Bonham Quilt Hop, and assisted with Bonham Heritage Day Festival. She’s been named Bonham Area Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, Bonham Area Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year, received the Friends of Sam Rayburn H.D. Dulaney Public Service Award and now serves as President of the Bonham Economic Development Corporation.
Brenda Hayward has led the Child and Family Guidance Center of Texoma since 2002, and holds an MBA from Texas Woman’s University and BA from Southeastern State University. She served on the United Way of Grayson County redesign committee, TCOG’s Criminal Justice Advisory Committee, and the State Bar of Texas Ethics Committee. Currently she serves as a member of the Children’s Medical Hospital of Dallas’s Beyond ABC – Assessing Children’s Health in the North Texas Corridor Advisory Board, the Grayson College EMT Advisory Board, and the Grayson County Social Services Organization.
Jerry Chapman, a Sherman native and 1963 graduate of Austin College, recently retired from a 45-year career of distinguished public service to our area communities. During this time, he worked on some of the most pressing issues facing a region that was enjoying new industrial growth and connectivity to an expanding North Texas economy. In 1969 he became the first Executive Director of the Texoma Regional Planning Commission – the forerunner of present-day TCOG. Mr. Chapman assisted with the creation of the Greater Texoma Utility Authority in the late 1970s, serving as general manager since 1982 until his retirement earlier this year. He represented the Texoma area in state and regional water planning efforts, chaired activities of the Lake Texoma Advisory Committee, served in area Chamber of Commerce leadership positions, is a frequent speaker and panelist on public policy, and has given back to area communities in countless ways. Mr. Chapman now resides in Austin, Texas.
In addition to the recognition of these individuals, TCOG Executive Director Susan B. Thomas, PhD, called on area leaders to embrace TCOG’s new vision, Better Leaders Building Better Lives, and make it a regional vision where every government agency, non-profit, and organization from our schools to our churches and our families, work to develop, support, and be better leaders and ultimately add to the quality of life in our region.
The Texoma Council of Governments is a voluntary association of the local governments in Cooke, Fannin, and Grayson Counties. Established in 1968, the Texoma Council of Governments promotes economy and efficiency in the coordinated planning and development of the tri-county region through its community and economic development activities. Either directly, or through contractors, the Council provides housing, utility assistance, and weatherization services for low-income citizens in the region and assists the elderly through a variety of Area Agency on Aging programs. The Council also facilitates the delivery of grant funding for homeland security and criminal justice.
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