Entrepreneur of the Year Award & Business Hall of Fame

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June 3rd, 2021
11:00 AM
Odessa Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
305 E. 5th Street

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In order to emphasize the importance of Odessa's small business community, the Odessa Chamber of Commerce honors one individual each year as Entrepreneur of the Year.

Additionally, the Odessa Chamber of Commerce inducts one or more individuals into the Business Hall of Fame. Help us recognize these individuals by nominating a business leader today.

Entrepreneur of the Year - Mike Withrow

Mike Withrow, an Austin native, attended the University of Texas from 1980-1981 majoring in Business Management and was on the baseball team. Mike was drafted after his junior year to play professionally for the Chicago White Sox. In 1984, following his professional baseball career, Mike entered the title insurance industry and worked in Austin, San Marcos and finally in Odessa.

In 2005, Mike opened the doors of Basin Abstract & Title, a title insurance company that serves residential and commercial buyers and sellers throughout Ector County. Basin’s philosophy is to treat every customer the way they would want to be treated. They strive to inform and protect their customers at every turn. Mike says, “It is truly gratifying to be a part of many first home or business purchases. We get to see the excitement in their eyes as they close on the property of their dreams.”

Mike is a member of First United Methodist Church. He serves on the board of Odessa Industrial Development Corporation, as an Agent at Large for Texas Land Title Association Board of Directors, a member of the Compliance Committee of Odessa Development Corporation and is an Affiliate member of the Odessa Board of Realtors. He has previously served on the board of Odessa Housing Finance Corporation, North Ector Little League, Odessa Youth Baseball Association and was also a volunteer varsity baseball coach at Midland Christian for nine years.

Mike has been married to Judy for 38 years and they are the proud parents of three sons: Chris and Jaclyn, Steve and Ali, and Matt and Kristin, who currently make their homes in the Odessa/Midland area. They are also proud grandparents to five grandchildren with number six on the way.

Business Hall of Fame - Phil Fouche

Phil Fouche was born in Hobbs, New Mexico. He later relocated to Odessa where he played for the Permian High School football team, winning state in 1965. After graduating, he attended East Texas State University where he received a degree in Biology and Education, and a minor in Speech.

Phil has not only traveled as an instructor all over the world but has owned multiple companies over the years. First, he was the owner of Cobra Coating in 1978, then went on to own Quatro Products in 1986. In 2003, Phil went on to own Rexco. Rexco is a supplier of polyethylene pipe connections and assorted materials.

Phil has served the community in multiple ways. He has served as President of the YMCA Board of Directors, Elected as the President of the ECISD School Board, Officer, Board of Directors of the Ector County Appraisal District and Chairman of the Political Redistricting of Ector County. He also has been an active member of the First United Methodist Church for over 62 years.

On top of serving the community and being a business owner, Phil is a published author of two children’s books and is currently working on his third. He is a private pilot, shrimper, as well as an offshore fishing captain.

Phil is married to Cindy and together they have five children and nine grandchildren.

Business Hall of Fame - Roy Gillean

Roy Gillean was born and raised in the Sacramento Valley of California.

He worked during the high school summer months at Dan Russell & Cotton Rosser rodeos in the arena and would play fiddle at his family’s ho-downs. In 1983 Roy joined the Air Force and officially started his food service career. In 2004 Roy purchase the Legendary Barn Door Steakhouse. When you step inside, look around; from the giant windmill, to T-Bone the steer, to pairs of cowboy boots and hats donated by beloved customers, to the sizzling char grill cooking up those mouth-watering steaks, to the cowhide decorated stage sporting Roy’s familiar fiddle, you know that Roy is a country boy at heart. Roy also is the proud owner of Johnny’s Barbecue ad Diner in Midland.

Every year, Roy organizes and feeds all the Sand Hills Rodeo contestants, sponsors, and board members, and has done it for years. In addition, Roy is a State Board Member of the Texas Restaurant Association, two-time past president of the Permian Basin Restaurant Association, and loves to share his passion for the restaurant industry with local high school students using his 42’ mobile kitchen. Roy is also supporter of The Odessa College Rodeo program, Permian Basin Fair, Odessa Chamber of Commerce, Midland Association of Retarded Citizens, Permian Basin Rehab Center, The Aspasia Center, Centers for Children & Families and one of his favorites, Hunt for Heroes, plus countless others over the years. Roy also served as the Odessa Chamber Board of Directors Chair in 2017.

Roy is married to Tami and together they have three daughters and two grandchildren.

Business Hall of Fame - Rodney Hurt

Rodney Hurt was born and raised in Midland and Odessa. He graduated from Permian High School then later attended Odessa College and Texas Tech University. He received a degree in Secondary Education and a minor in Geology. Rodney worked as a teacher and coach for a few years as well as owning a sports calendar company for over 13 years. In 1988, he opened the doors to Rodney Hurt Insurance Services. They are a full-service independent insurance agency, which means they shop a network of trusted insurance providers on behalf of their clients to select the right policy for a price within their budget.

Rodney has been a valued member of the Odessa community and have served on many boards. He currently serves on the Rehab Center board. He has been a part of the Education Foundation, YMCA, Region 18 Service Center, Ector County Appraisal District, Odessa Rotary Club, and the Texas Health Insurers State Board. He received the Extra Mile Award from ECISD in 2001 and was honored as Rotarian of the Year in 2007.

Rodney enjoys fishing, golfing, traveling, boating, and chasing the grandkids. He is married to Deby and together they have three children and six grandchildren.

Business Hall of Fame - Ron Kirby

Ron Kirby is an Odessa transplant where he graduated from San Antonio Winston Churchill High School. He moved to Odessa in 1980 after he had graduated from the University of Texas-Arlington with a degree in Accounting.

Upon graduating, Roy went to work for one of the nationwide accounting firms, Arthur Young & Company then later worked for Mid West Electric. In 1986, Ron opened Ron Kirby, CPA. They offer a variety of services including all types of income tax, financial statement audits, reviews and compilations, general accounting and bookkeeping, quick books assistance and IRS audit representation.

Ron has continued to serve and help the Odessa community. He currently serves on the board for Head Start and has previously served on the board of Permian Basin Chapter CPA’s.

If you have ever seen Ron, you may have also noticed he always wears a Hawaiian shirt and may wonder why. Well ten years ago, Ron borrowed money to make a significant financial investment and told himself that as incentive to pay the debt off, he would wear a Hawaiian-style shirts to work every single day until it was paid off. In his free time, Ron enjoys collecting coins.

Ron is married to Cathy and together they have three children and three grandchildren.

Previous Entrepreneur of the Year Recipients 

1988 – David Boutin

1989 – Dane Widner

1990 – James O. Reese

1991 – Bobby Cox

1992 – Bob Barnes

1993 – B.R. “Barnie” Jones

1994 – Clay Wood

1995 – Bill Massey

1996 – Wanda Jones

1997 – John Bushman

1998 – C. Richard “Dick” Sivalls

1999 – B.L. Crenshaw & Harvey Page

2000 – Fred D. George

2001 – Sam Holloman

2002 – Don Wood & Jack Wood

2003 – Dr. Sudhir P. Srivastava

2004 – C.R. “Dick” Saulsbury

2005 – Herbert Graham

2006 – Larry G. Lee

2007 – Frank Deaderick

2008 – Trina Moralez

2009 – Toby Eoff

2010 – Jane & Mark Knox

2011 – Larry Feeler

2012 – Collin Sewell

2013 – Scott Sibert

2014 – Les Littlejohn

2015 – Kirk Edwards

2016 – Austin Keith

2017 – Dr. Jayaram B. Naidu

2018 – Billy Bassett

2019 – Kevin Slater

Previous Business Hall of Fame Honorees

Gordon Allbright

Roy Allen

Arthur Ray Anderson

Lavon Anderson

Perry Anderson

Ed Barham

K. Barlow

Barney Barnett

Ronnie Lee Barnett

C. Bassett

Billy Bassett

Don Bennett

Oliver “Ollie” F. Blank

Shelby Bogan

Mac O. Boring, Jr.

Jim Breaux

Buz Browning

Terry Bryant

Don Bullock

John Bushman

Jim Butler

Charles L. Carlson

Robert L. Chappell

Raymond Chavez

Robert M. Chavez

John Cooper

Ann Crenshaw

Lisa Crenshaw

Paul Crump, Jr.

Murray A. “Drew” Crutcher

Frank Deaderick

Peggy Dean

Jerry Debenport

Paul B. Dobbs

Dubb Duff

Emery Eckel

Kirk Edwards

Bill Elms

Roy Elsner

Tommy Ervin

Robert Fair

Gary Felker

A.B. Finch

David Fitzgerald

Ronny Flowers

Vern Foreman

Mike Forrest

Lois Fowler

Nick Fowler

Nathan C. Galloway

Fred George

Richard “Dick” Gillham

Ben Glast

Robert J. Glast

James B. Goates

Rufina V. Gonzalez

Manuel E. Gonzalez, Jr

Orman Gorman

Herbert Graham

L. “Woody” Gregory

Balie L. Griffith

Gary N. Haner, P.E.

Bentley F. Hawley

Judy Hayes

Leldon Hensley

Daisy Bell Hester

Bill Hext

“Bro” Hill

Lionel “Tito” Hinojos

Ted Hogan

Daniel J. Hollmann

Sam Holloman

Josefina Hooker

Dan Huffman

Joe Hurt

Sajjadul Islam, M.D.

Herbert Itz

Herbert L. Johnson

Larry Johnson

Fred M.“Mickey” Jones

E. Jones

Bill Knighten

Mark Knox

Maxine Laird

John Landgraf

John Late

Lonnie Lawrence

D.W. Leach

Nelda Lee

Curtis Lewallen

Les Littlejohn

Kenneth & Jo Lunceford

Ben Mancha

Bill Massey

Norlene Ervin McBride

Tom McMinn

Larry L. Melton

Mark Merritt

Elizabeth T. “Liz” Midgley

Laura Willis-Myers

SC “Trey” Myers

Harold Moore

Trina Moralez

Ruth Morrison

Jayaram B. Naidu

D. “Bill” Noel

Alex “Buck” Ogilvy III

Mickey Olliff

Jesse Owens

Harvey Page

M.C. Parekh

Charles Perry

Efrain Ramirez

Bill F. Rea

Louis Rochester

Ted G. Roden

Tom “Pinkie” Roden

E. G. Rodman, Sr.

Sony Roethmeyer

R. “Dick” Saulsbury

W. “Woody” Sewell

Shafer

Ravi Shakamuri

John H. Sheets

Eddy Shelton

John Ben Shepperd

Scott Sibert

David Simpson

Richard “Dick” Sivalls

Monnie Sparkman

W.E. Stewart

Ray Stoker

Denise Swanner

Jack Tidwell

Jimmie Todd

Nalin Tolia

Virgil Trower

Craig Van Amburgh

Bessye Cowden Ward

Don Williams

Jane Williams

John Willis

Homer Windham

Mike Withrow

Clay Wood

Joe Young

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