GKCC gives Aycock year's top honor

Herald/Gabe Wolf - Sen. Troy Fraser and House Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock visit in the foyer before the evening’s festivities.

By Don Bolding

Killeen Daily Herald

State Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock became the 18th recipient of the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce Roy J. Smith Award at the chamber's annual membership meeting and banquet Tuesday night at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center.

The prize, named for its first recipient, is the most prestigious of three the chamber awards annually for outstanding community service. Aycock, a veterinarian and rancher before beginning his first term as a state representative, now serves on several legislative committees and has become renowned for responsiveness to constituents and achievements for the Killeen district.

Outgoing chamber board chairman Patton Kaufman presented the prize plus the award for Large Business of the Year to Stan and Paula Lohse of Toyota of Killeen and for Small Business of the Year to Jim Foster of Killeen Power Sports, all for exemplary community service.

Aycock said his award "really should have gone to the community. I've really fallen in love with this community."

Kaufman, before passing the chairman's gavel to incoming board chair Jerry Haisler, said, "I've served in three chambers of commerce, and this is by far the best. I've traveled coast-to-coast in this country and have found no one as optimistic about his community as I am about this one. The grit, fortitude and entrepreneurship of the 450-plus members of this chamber engender confidence in the community, and I know we'll only improve our confidence and show our successes."

He recognized chamber president John Crutchfield, each member of the chamber staff and the 2008-2009 board, including Mary Lindley Wiley, vice chair and organizational advancement sector chair; Jose Segarra, treasurer; Jim Hawkins, place design sector chair; Ken Finch, Fort Hood military relations sector chair; Tim Stroud, member services sector chair; Ross Caviness, business development sector chair; Vickie Carpenter, governmental affairs sector chair; Judy Anderson, talent development sector chair; and Stephanie Hobson, Dr. Garry Ross, John Lohse, Mike Emmons and Shawn Trainum. Kaufman remains on the board as immediate past chair.

Kaufman introduced Haisler by some of Haisler's favorite quotations, including "It's all about people," and "Have as much fun as possible, no matter what you're doing."

Haisler, director of operations of Workforce Solutions of Central Texas, said, "I couldn't be anywhere that has the climate for innovation that this community does. Our 450 members are our customers, and we want you to know that we're working on all our goals all the time." He cited a Milken Institute report that said the Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood metropolitan statistical area had risen from 33rd to 13th place among 200 MSA's studied for creating and sustaining jobs and an A&M study that found Central Texas growing "well above the national average."

"We're in an action mode based on innovation and strategy," he said.

Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, Fort Hood and III Corps commander, brought greetings from Fort Hood and thanked the community for its support, pledging cooperation into the future. Professional juggler and humorist Mark Nizer provided featured entertainment.

Contact Don Bolding at dbolding@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7557.

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