David D. Duree
The Odessa Chamber of Commerce is proud to honor David Duree as the 2022 Citizen of the Year Honoree. With decades of service to the Odessa community through business and volunteerism, David was chosen by a panel of Odessa Chamber leaders to receive this distinguished award.
David Duree was born in Crane in 1957. He graduated from Permian High School and attended Odessa College, where he received his Associates degree before continuing to the University of Texas Permian Basin to complete his Bachelor’s in accounting in 1981.
Shortly before graduating from the University of Texas Permian Basin David started working for Midland Memorial Hospital as their Chief Accountant. David worked there for a little over a year before buying into Elms Faris in 1989. David continued to work for Elms Faris until the company merged with Weaver in 2010. David served as a partner at Weaver until retiring in 2022. Since retirement, David runs Duree, LP with his wife.
David served as the Board President of the Odessa Country Club, Past President of the Odessa Chamber of Commerce Jaycees, Past President of the University of Texas Permian Basin Alumni Board, Past Executive Board and Campaign Chair of the Odessa United Way, Past President of the Ector County ISD Education Foundation and Past Treasurer of the Ector County ISD Bond Committee. He has also served on a variety of other committees, boards and councils.
“David has been involved in our Chamber and community in many ways,” Odessa Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Renee Earls said. “Professionally, he has performed audits for many companies and organizations in Odessa. As a volunteer, he has lent his financial expertise to several nonprofit boards and committees throughout the four decades of his career. David has a long history of service to Odessa, and we are excited to honor him as our 2022 Citizen of the Year.”
David currently serves as the Treasurer for Odessans For Education, Board Member of GROW Odessa, Committee Member of the Permian Basin Rehabilitation Center Advisory Board, Member of the University of Texas Permian Basin School of Business Advisory Committee, Member of the University of Texas Permian Basin President’s Advisory Council, Community Member for the Prosperity Bank Advisory Board and many more volunteer positions.
David and his wife Donna will be celebrating their 35th anniversary on February 17th. Together, they have four children: Matt, Sam, Crystal and Pete. They also have seven grandchildren: Ryan, Aubree, Paton, Matthew, Noah, Chloe and Grover. In his downtime, David enjoys golf, working out, traveling and reading.
Healthcare Professionals at Medical Center Health System and Odessa Regional Medical Center
The healthcare professionals at Medical Center Health System (MCH) and Odessa Regional Medical Center (ORMC) have spent the past two years going above and beyond their usual work duties, not to mention the abundant hours they have put in to take care of their patients. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these healthcare workers have undergone extreme measures to care for the virus-stricken patients, as well as those receiving other types of care and treatments. Unlike any other health crisis we’ve experienced before, this pandemic brought on many unknowns and new “normals”.
Each year, the Odessa Chamber of Commerce selects a Citizen of the Year who has spent the last 12 months doing extraordinary things to move the community forward. However, this past year has been like no other. It only makes sense that for the 2021 recognition, the Odessa Chamber of Commerce will focus on not one, but literally thousands of Citizens, as we honor the healthcare professionals at our two local Hospitals.
From the beginning of this pandemic in March 2020, our two community hospitals immediately sprung into action and partnered in ways that had never been seen before. They led by example to show that by working in partnership with each other, we are better together. While on any given day they are competitors, this pandemic allowed these two facilities, led by CEO Russell Tippin at MCH and CEO Stacey Brown at ORMC, to show that the community is the overall winner when you work together as one.
The two facilities hosted joint press conferences to inform the community as to the latest information and statistics regarding the spread of COVID-19 in Odessa. Employees of both facilities worked side-by-side, caring for the community, at testing and vaccination sites. The staffs worked together to provide the latest information through weekly stakeholder meetings, informing Odessa and Ector County officials, as well as the leadership of Ector County ISD, Odessa College, the University of Texas Permian Basin and the Odessa Chamber of Commerce in order to assess the community impact and disburse proper information. Leaders at both Hospitals encouraged citizens and business owners to take extra precautions while participating in large gatherings and recommended the wearing of masks when necessary. Both Hospitals provided expert advice to fellow businesses, organizations and individuals regarding safety protocol and best practices for returning to work after exposure or positive test results.
Some healthcare employees had to deal with reduced hours due to the state-mandated cancellations of elective surgeries, which meant cuts in pay for months on end. Some employees chose to leave the healthcare field all together, due to burnout and the high level of stress brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees on COVID-specific units saw the death rate skyrocket, while also transitioning to inform and console families virtually since they weren’t allowed to be with their loved ones in person. Staff members at MCH and ORMC clinics, temporary community sites and main hospital facilities often worked without reprieve, many with no holidays or weekends off, to make sure the patients received the care they needed. All the while, putting their own lives and their families lives at risk, many testing positive for COVID themselves.
While this virus has impacted so many people of all ages, healthcare workers have not only dealt with the impact on a professional basis, but also personally. Many of us were able to work remotely and take extra precautions to steer clear of crowds and highly exposed areas. However, healthcare workers had no choice but to report to work each and every day to battle this war. While there is still no end in sight, these same healthcare workers continue to fight on the frontlines. As a community, we are thankful for their skills, passion, tenacity, empathy and knowledge. With more than 33,000 positive COVID cases and almost 600 deaths in Ector County, these numbers continue to rise. It is comforting to know that we have more than 2,600 employees at MCH and ORMC ready to step forward and take care of our community, whatever the costs.
The Odessa Chamber of Commerce is proud to honor David Boutin as the 2019 Citizen of the Year Honoree. With decades of service to the Odessa community through business and volunteerism, David was chosen from a panel of Odessa Chamber leaders to receive this distinguished award.
David Boutin was born in El Paso and moved to Odessa in 1952. He graduated from Permian High School and attended Odessa College for a year before completing his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas Tech University.
Upon graduating from Texas Tech University, David worked for Everybody’s Market in Odessa as the General Manager and Co-Owner. In 1993, David became the Director of Environmental and Construction for Southwest Convenience Stores before becoming the Director of Operations. In 2005, David became the Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending at Western National Bank. There he worked for nine years before becoming the Market President at Frost Bank where he retired from in 2018. At Frost Bank he conceived and implemented financial market development plans, supported interaction with and provided guidance to outside banking centers, as well as formulate long term institutional goals and strategies.
David has received distinguished awards throughout his lifetime. In 1988, he received the Odessa Chamber of Commerce Small Business Person of the Year award and in 1989, he was the U.S. (Lubbock District) SBA Small Business Person of the Year. David has also been involved in a number of professional membership organizations.
He served as the Past Odessa Country Club Board President, Past Chairman of the Odessa Chamber of Commerce, Past Chairman of Midland-Odessa Transportation Committee, Past Chairman of the Odessa Citizens Golf Advisory Committee, Past Chairman of the Odessa Development Corporation Workforce Initiative Task Force, Past Chairman of the Odessa Development Corporation Compliance Committee, and Past Chairman of the Medical Center Health System Foundation Board. He has also served on a variety of other committees, boards, and councils.
“David embodies the community-minded entrepreneurial spirit of Odessa. In the short half of a decade or so since I’ve known him, he has been an occasional mentor and a steady friend whenever I’ve called on him. From his humble roots sacking groceries to his keen mind for helping create new business opportunities, David’s energy, code of ethics and heart for others are an inspiration to anyone who wishes to become a leader, not only in Odessa but throughout West Texas” says Aaron Bedell, the Chief Operating Officer of Permian Basin Area Foundation and member of the Chamber Board of Directors.
David currently serves as the Vice President of the Odessa Development Corporation, Immediate Past President of Grow Odessa, Chairman Elect of Odessa College Foundation Board, Treasurer of the Catholic Charities Board and many more committees and boards.
David has been married for 45 years to his wife Cathi. Together they have two children, Lindsey and Jeff and a daughter-in-law, Candace. They also have two grandchildren, Jonah and Jude. In his downtime, David enjoys golf, hunting, cooking and wine.
“We are so proud to honor David for his many years of service to the Odessa community. There are few community projects that David isn’t involved in and you can always count on him to
be ‘all in’ if he is part of something. He loves Odessa and he proves his commitment to the betterment of our community through his hands-on involvement each and every day,” says Renee’ Earls, President/CEO of the Odessa Chamber of Commerce.
Kirk Edwards is President and CEO of Latigo Petroleum, LLC. The company manages, operates and exploits diverse oil and gas assets and surface lands with properties located throughout the United States and the Gulf Coast of Mexico. Kirk is also lead manager for Las Colinas Energy Partners; Las Colinas Minerals, LP; MacLondon Energy, LP; Alexis Energy, LP; Noelle Land & Minerals LLC and the various mineral estates of the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research in Rochester, Minnesota.
Kirk received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin in 1981. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas and worked tirelessly on a volunteer basis as a member of the UTPB Development Board to help bring Division II Football to the Permian Basin.
Kirk has received various distinguished awards throughout his lifetime. In 2008, he received the Excellence in Community Service award in Business by the Heritage of Odessa Foundation, and was inducted into the Odessa Business Hall of Fame by the Odessa Chamber of Commerce in 2011. In 2015 Kirk was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by the Odessa Chamber of Commerce and received the Texas Leadership Award as Outstanding Local Texas Leader from the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute. He was also named to Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s energy committee in 2015 and to the University Lands Board In 2018 by the regents of the University of Texas System.
Kirk has also been involved in a number of professional membership organizations. He has also served as the Past Chairman of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, Past Chairman of the Odessa Chamber of Commerce and Past Director of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, and Past President of the Permian Basin International Oil Show.
In 2015, Kirk spearheaded the Chris Kyle Memorial Plaza project to build a state-of-the-art statue in honor of American Sniper Chris Kyle who was born in Odessa. This 2,800-square-foot memorial has attracted statewide and national attention and brought veterans and visitors from all over the world to pay tribute.
Kirk has two daughters, McKenzie and London. McKenzie attends law school in Chicago at Northwestern University and will enter the Texas Supreme Court clerkship in June of 2019. London is attending Colorado Christian University to receive a master’s in psychology and will graduate in December of 2019.
Gregory D. Williams, Ed. D.
Dr. Gregory D. Williams serves as president of Odessa College, a position he has held since January 2007. Accepting that post was a true homecoming for Dr. Williams, who began his journey in higher education as a student at Odessa College in 1983.
Before earning his doctorate in higher education administration from Baylor University, Dr. Williams’ educational journey also included the completion of three degrees from the University of Texas Permian Basin: first, a bachelor’s degree in psychology, with a certification to teach psychology, history, and learning disabled students, followed by two master’s degrees, in education mid-management and in psychology, respectively.
Since Dr. Williams’ return, Odessa College has experienced nothing less than a major transformation. Solid community support and a successful bond election in 2010 allowed OC to launch and complete “Vision 2015”, a $78 million, campus-wide new building and renovation program. During that same period, Dr. Williams initiated several other innovative programs designed to enhance both community and student engagement with the college. His long-standing personal dedication to the health and fitness lifestyle led to the launch of the very successful “30 for 30 Fitness Challenge”, which takes place annually during the month of September, and promotes both school- and community-wide participation in health and fitness activities for that entire month. Drawing once again upon outstanding community support, Dr. Williams also initiated the “Drive to Success®” program at Odessa College. Made possible by the unfaltering support of several major community partners, “Drive to Success®” is now entering its 10th consecutive year. Operating solely on funds generated by sponsor donations, DTS is the only program in the nation that encourages and fosters engagement and participation in success-driven activities by enabling students to accumulate “points” toward earning a new car – specifically a new Ford Mustang.
Further, Dr. Williams has led the OC team in breaking every major enrollment record, student retention record, student success record, and fund-raising record previously held by the college. His leadership has set OC on the path to becoming the best community college in the nation. . In 2017 alone, Odessa College was first named an Aspen Institute Top 10 Community College, then went on to win the 2017 Rising Star Award for Community College Excellence from the Aspen Institute, and finally, won the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s 2017 Star Award for the program presentation Eight Week Terms: A Pathway to 60x30TX. In February of 2016, OC also was named the first AVID demonstration site in higher education in the U.S. This remarkable list of achievements during Dr. Williams’ tenure has not escaped notice by the press, either. Odessa College has attracted national media attention, with reports and articles regarding OC’s path to excellence appearing in U.S. News and World Reports, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, University Business, and several other print or online media.
On the local level, Dr. Williams currently serves or has recently served on the ECISD Education Foundation Board, Prosperity Bank’s Advisory Board, the Permian Basin Workforce Development Board, and Odessa’s Comprehensive Master Plan Advisory Committee.
On the state level, he serves or has recently served as Chair of the Texas Association of Community Colleges, and on the TACC Executive Committee, TACC Rural College Committee, and TACC Rural College Transfer Sub-Committee. He is a former member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Formula Funding Committee, Community College Advisory Group, P-16, and the Academic Achievement Distinction Committee.
On the national level, he recently served on the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Board of Directors and Executive Board. He also served as Chair of AACC’s Committee on Community College Advancement and on the 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges’ Developmental Education Redesign Committee. Additionally, he serves on the Aspen Institute Change Management Task Force and the JFF Policy Leadership Trust for Student Success. Most recently, Dr. Williams’ appointment to the Achieving the Dream Board of Directors was affirmed by the ATD board and will become effective January 2018. He will serve on the Achieving the Dream Board of Directors for a period of three years.
Dr. Williams and his wife, Karen, have two sons, Kiaran and Gregory, and one daughter, Kara, who also is a graduate of Odessa College – notably as one of the first Dual Credit students to earn an Associate Degree from OC before graduating from high school.
Sondra Eoff, our 2016 Citizen of the Year, is co-owner of OP Partner, Inc. and Eofficial Enterprises, Inc., the company that will spearhead the Marriott Building project in Downtown Odessa, and serves as the catalyst to revitalization for that area.
Until July 2015, she worked as the CEO/Co-Owner of Odessa Pumps & Equipment, a corporation specializing in sales and service of industrial, oilfield, and municipal pumps with eleven branches in Texas and New Mexico. Her previous career was a 14-year stint at Odessa Regional Hospital in various positions ending as the assistant vice president.
Born a native Odessan, Sondra has never forgotten her roots or her love for her community. Sondra graduated from Permian High School in 1980, where she then continued her education at Odessa College and UTPB eventually receiving a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management from LaSalle University.
“There are countless people that Sondra and Toby have helped,” said Peggy Dean in her nomination form. “Numerous organizations on whose boards they both have served, hundreds of employees that have worked with them over the years, and a significant amount of economic development dollars that have been generated by their companies over the years.”
Sondra and Toby work tirelessly to run multiple successful businesses, while still finding the time to volunteer for various organizations within their community.
Sondra is past president of the Education Foundation Board of Directors and past chairman of the Odessa Chamber of Commerce. She also serves and has served on many other boards such as Odessa Regional Medical Center, MOTRAN, Permian Basin Area Foundation, Texas Scholars Advisory Board, Permian Basin Petroleum Association, and is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Odessa.
The Odessa Chamber is not the first to award Sondra for her efforts. In fact, Sondra has been honored with multiple awards including the Odessa Chamber of Commerce 2008 Athena Award, the 2009 Odessa College Honors Award for Business Leader in support of Education, 2009 Girls Scouts Woman of Distinction, and the 2014 Community Statesman Award in Philanthropy.
To the many of those who know Sondra, what stands out about her is that her spirit and generosity has no bounds. Her investment into our community goes far deeper than dollars, and her commitment to the betterment of Odessa is clear within all her actions.
Sondra is also highly active within her church, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton church. Sondra says her philosophy can be summed up in a quote from her hero, Mother Teresa, “God does not call us to be successful, He calls us to be faithful.”
“Very few people are as deserving of this award as Sondra Eoff,” said Peggy Dean. “She exemplifies all of the attributes of a true Odessa Citizen of the Year. She is an excellent business woman, wife, friend, mother and volunteer.”
Sondra and her husband Toby have been happily married for 33 years. Together, they have two sons, Jerrod; 29, and Reece; 23.
Minka Sibert, an Odessan native, has a long and distinguished history of supporting her community through many different efforts. Sibert is the second of seven children raised in Odessa, and graduated from Permian High School, where she then went on to attend Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas.
Minka is the Vice President for Cisco Equipment, a local company that has been servicing the Ector county region since 1978. Sibert has been with Cisco for more than 30 years, where both she and her husband, Scott Sibert, the owner of Cisco Equipment, have worked together to build a successful business which has expanded to the international market.
“Mrs. Sibert is instrumental in many aspects within our company,” said Alexandra Eriksen, accountant at Cisco Equipment. “She values her employees and repeatedly goes above and beyond her necessary commitments to ensure her employees are happy and enjoy their work environment.”
However, Sibert’s dedication and generosity extends far past her family and employees. In 2014, Sibert made the short list for the Nascar Foundation Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award. She has a penchant for helping others, and her investment in this community is unmistakably evident. Sibert is active in many organizations such as United Way, Boys and Girls Club, Catholic Charities, Education Foundation, Permian Basin Rehab Center, St. Elizabeth, Bynum School and many more.
Although Sibert is highly involved in many local charities, her passion is to impact poverty and eliminate hunger. She was an active in the establishment of SHARE services Odessa, an organization that provides services to special needs children and their families, and a generous supporter for the West Texas Food Bank. Sibert is also a board member for the Food 2 Kids program, which targets food insecure children who might not eat between their school provided lunches.
“We are grateful to Minka Sibert for her deep love and commitment to the betterment of the Odessa community and the Permian Basin,” said Risse Rogers, executive director at Samaritan Counseling Center. “It is exceptional that someone as professional and involved with business as Minka, makes the time and effort to be devoted and purposeful in helping others.”
Minka’s hobbies include reading, cooking, baking, and spending time with her family. Sibert and her husband Scott have three children: Andrew DeWoody, professor at Purdue University; CJ Sibert, COO at Cisco Equipment; and Bradley Sibert, manager at Cisco Equipment in Lubbock. Minka and Scott have eight grandchildren and another due in March.
Dr. W. David Watts
A native Texan, Dr. W. David Watts was department chair and a member of the faculty at Southwest Texas State University for nine years. His academic career also includes a teaching stint at Ohio University in the department of sociology and anthropology.
His research expertise centers on sociological issues related to drug and alcohol abuse, prevention, and treatment, as well as education issues. He continues to be active in his discipline through professional presentations and publishing. In addition, throughout his administrative career he has served on a number of state education task forces and committees. In 1990, his department was named the recipient of the Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award of the American Sociological Association.
Dr. Watts holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and English from UT Austin. Both his master’s and doctorate in sociology are from the State University of New York in Buffalo.
As the longest serving president at UTPB, Dr. Watts has been helping to shape both the university and local community since he assumed the position in June, 2001.
“The reputation of UTPB has been significantly advanced, as recognized by both Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report, under his leadership,” said Lorraine Perryman, UTPB Development Board Member and former Mayor of Odessa.
During his tenure, University enrollment has increased 131 percent and student housing has increased from six buildings and 96 beds in 2001 to 37 buildings and 873 beds as of fall, 2014. He has also instituted numerous programs, including Nursing, Music and Petroleum and Mechanical Engineering.
UTPB was the first school in Texas to offer a $10,000 bachelor’s degree in select majors and has numerous national accreditations in Art, Business, Education, Mechanical Engineering, Social Work and Music thanks to Dr. Watts commitment to both the university and community.
Tryon D. Lewis
A native West Texan, Tryon Lewis was born in Kermit, and grew up in Odessa. He attended Odessa College, the University of Texas Austin and Baylor Law School before returning to Odessa to practice law in 1973.
Representative Lewis took the bench as the 161st State District Judge in 1985 and served until his retirement in 2006. Returning to private practice, he is a partner in the Odessa Law Firm of Atkins, Hollman, Jones, Peacock, Lewis and Lyon.
Judge Lewis believes in serving his community and has been on the boards of many organizations, including Meals on Wheels, the Ector County Independent School District Education Foundation, the Permian Playhouse and the Odessa Cultural Council. He is a former Chairman of the Ector County Republican Party and a former President of the Republican Men’s Club. His wife, Trudy, is a retired teacher. They have two daughters, Eleanor and Annie.
Representative Lewis currently serves as the Chair of the Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee as well as a member of the Environmental Regulation Committee. He is on the Steering Committee of the House Research Organization and is the Texas appointee to the National Conference of States Legislators Nuclear Legislative Workgroup. He also is on the Board of the Texas Conservative Coalition and serves on the Texas Judicial Council.