For the first time in Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce history, a person was honored posthumously at their annual awards banquet. Tommy Shearrer, well respected in every aspect, was chosen to be honored as Man of the Year. Shearrer, died of a senseless murder last October. Shearrer was honored as Young Citizen of the Year in 1983 and he and his wife Sharon were named Couple of the Year in 1987. His family accepted the honor in his memory.
Prior to naming the citizens honored for the evening, attendees enjoyed a social hour and the banquet meal of roasted brisket, mashed potatoes and green beans – catered by McBee’s Barbecue of Pleasanton.
The event, emceed by Chamber President Chico Cox, introduced the speaker for the evening, Tom Kennelly, Project Manager for UTSA Institute for Economic Development Rural Business Program. Kennelly gave stats for the current oil production in the Atascosa County area, which went with the theme for the evening, “Pleasanton – Gateway to the Eagle Ford”.
After the speaker, nine well deserving citizens were awarded by active community groups.
The recipients and their nomination letters follow.
Tommy Shearrer in Memoriam Man of the Year Sponsored by Pleasanton Lions Club
Tommy Shearrer was born September 26, 1956 to Carl Dean (“Tinker”) and Beverly Gail Matthews, where he was then raised on the Perry Feeder’s Dairy and attended school in Pleasanton.
He was actively involved in his community from an early age. He represented his school and community as the Texas State President for FFA, where he set a precedent for the next generation of his family. He attended college at Southwest Texas University for two years before returning to marry his beloved wife. He met the love of his life while he was in high school and knew immediately she was the one. He married Sharon Lynn Yow of Poteet on June 10th, 1977. Shearrer was a devoted husband of 35 years and he and Sharon’s blissful marriage served as a model of happiness for his children and nieces and nephews. He and Sharon had sons Wesley Dean in 1982 and Matthew Wright in 1985. He raised these boys into young men who admire him deeply. He held a deep faith in Christ and was a founder of Gateway Church in Pleasanton, where he served as an elder and taught Sunday school each week. He lived an example of a faith-filled life and gave scripture advice…in a frank, plain English way.
He spent his entire life working with agriculture, from growing up on a dairy to his more recent work with cloud seeding to increase rain production in drought ridden South Texas. He also worked with peanuts for 35 years, most of which have been with Wilco Peanut Company, running their buying point in Jourdanton. He also raised cattle with his family.
Through his work with farmers and ranchers he saw the dependence and need for rain in his community and he was integral in bringing cloud seeding to his community. He served as President of the South Texas Weather Modification Association, President of the Texas Weather Modification Association, in addition to President of the National Weather Modification Association and served on various other boards and committees. Shearrer worked diligently to establish a successful construction business, SIMCO, where he helped to grow his community and build homes for numerous growing families and businesses. He was known to give any of his workers a helping hand when in need. He also served as an Atascosa County Commissioner for 8 years, where he served his constituents and improved his community.
He was involved in various other organizations in his community including: President of Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce, Director of Pleasanton Cowboy Homecoming Association, Member of the Alamo Area Council of Governments, Member of Evergreen Underground Water Conservation District, President of the Pleasanton Airport Board, Director of Texas Ag Finance, and many other positions of service.
As quoted by Sue Brown: “…on a personal level he was humorous, personable, open and honest and carried himself like an everyday son of Pleasanton, Texas. But, when he walked into a room everyone knew it and everyone was glad he was there because things would just get better.”
Judy Greene Woman of the Year Sponsored by Pleasanton Rotary Club
Judy Greene and her husband, Gary moved to Pleasanton after he retired from the US Air Force in 1986. She and her husband attend First Presbyterian Church in Pleasanton. She works tirelessly for their church serving in many capacities. They have four children and five grandchildren. All four children graduated from Pleasanton High School.
She is a retired school teacher who taught school for 34 years, teaching 16 years at Southside High School and 18 at Pleasanton High School. Of those years, she most enjoyed working with the students in the clubs she sponsored and in planning PROMS.
She is a member of the Woman’s Club of Pleasanton and is actively involved in or leads the organization’s projects, such as making pillow cases for patients and families at Ronald McDonald House, collecting and distributing gifts to the local nursing homes, and working on Monday’s at the Club’s Thrift Shop. She also serves as Second Vice President for the Woman’s Club as well as she serves as a Texas Federation of Woman’s Clubs Alamo District Department Chairman. She collected old cell phones from both the Woman’s Club and Atascosa-McMullen Retired School Personnel for the “Cell Phones for Soldiers Project” sponsored by Verizon which trades each cell phone collected for one hour of call time for our military servicemen and women.
She is a member of the Atascosa-McMullen Retired School Personnel Organization where she serves as an officer and was in charge of the Organization’s Children’s Book Project – they collected over 400 books which were distributed to area schools. She planned and helped prepare food for the local ACT Dinner Theater night sponsored by AMRSP.
She has completed training as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer to work with the courts to ensure that the best interests of children in the Child Protective Services System are met. She was sworn in on Feb. 14th, 2013.
In her “spare” time, she likes to sew, make quilts, read, fish, and camp (as long as it’s in a cabin). A lady of boundless energy and compassion, she drives in full force on any project she is involved in.
For her unfailing positive attitude, her bubbling personality, her ability to get the job done and get it done correctly as well as her passion for serving her community.
Bill Lamb Senior Citizen of the Year Sponsored by STRMC Senior Circle
Bill Lamb was born on October 29, 1934 in Macon, Missouri. He graduated from Macon High School 1952, started college at Missouri Valley College and then transferred to University of Missouri where he graduated in 1957 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. He then served in the US Army for 28 years.
In 1958 he started his career in Fort Sam Houston, Texas and transferred to Korea as a staff engineer for 16 months. In 1959 at Fort Sam Houston Lamb trained new recruits in the environmental health field as he met and married Loretta E. Hayes in December. In 1962 he transferred to Minneapolis, Minnesota attending the University of Minnesota doing post graduate work in Public Health and Environmental Engineering. In 1963 he transferred to Fort Totten, New York working on design and development of military field equipment.
In 1965 he transferred to Fort Sam Houston for specialized military training. In 1966 he transferred to Vietnam where he was responsible for hospital construction and environmental health for the troops. In 1967 he transferred to Edgewood Arsenal Maryland where he was responsible for water pollution studies at Army installations. In 1968 he transferred to Fort Sam Houston where he was responsible for training officers in Environmental Engineering. In 1972 he transferred to Edgewood Arsenal Maryland where he was responsible for organizing hazardous waste monitoring. In 1974 he transferred to Okinawa Japan where he was selected to command the Environmental Health Engineering Agency in 1976 he transferred to Camp Zama Japan where the Environmental Health Engineering Agency moved to. In 1977 he transferred to Fort Mead Maryland where he was Chief of Preventive Medicine. In 1981 Lamb transferred to Edgewood Arsenal Maryland to the Army Environmental Hygiene Agency where he was Deputy Commander of all regional programs. In 1983 he transferred to Fort Sam Houston where he served as Staff Sanitary Engineer for Army Health Services Command until his retirement on March 1st, 1986.
From April 1986 to October 2000 he was Public Works Director for the City of Pleasanton. In July 2004 he was City Manager for the City of Pleasanton. He retired from work with the City of Pleasanton on the first of July 2004. It is our pleasure to present to you Pleasanton’s Chamber of Commerce 2013 Senior Citizen of the Year Bill Lamb.
Walt Rakowitz Young Citizen of the Year Sponsored by Pleasanton Young Farmers
Walt Rakowitz was born in 1977 in San Antonio, TX to Lonnie and Gina of Pleasanton. He attended PISD schools and graduated from Pleasanton High School. He attended Texas A&M at College Station. He and his wife Nicole, have two children. Alexis and Kenzie.
He is an engineer and owns his own successful business, Rakowitz Engineering in Pleasanton. He is currently working on becoming a Registered Surveyor. He has grown his business from scratch and is active in promoting and bringing growth to Pleasanton. It takes courage to step out and start a business and he has done that successfully.
Rakowitz is a member of St. Andrew’s Catholic Church and a member of the Small Business Association. . He serves in his church and has served as a Eucharist Minister.
He supports many charitable functions and is generous with his auction bidding to benefit the organization.
He represents the young upcoming businessmen and family men in our community. The City of Pleasanton needs more young men and women to come back home and contribute to the community and to the economic growth in our area.
Gilda and Lupe Rangel Couple of the Year Sponsored by Pleasanton Woman’s Club
Lupe Rangel obtained his peace officers certification from McClennon Community College in 1998. And Gilda Rangel obtained her BA in Elementary Education from Baylor University in 1998. They married in 1998. They have two children Justin, 12 and Max, 7. She is currently the PISD Academic Lead for Secondary level (Intermediate and Jr. High Campus) He is employed with Pumpco / Superior Energy Service. They are members of the St. Andrew’s Parish where she teaches kindergarten, high school, third and fourth grade catechism classes. She also worked as the PISD District Dyslexia interventionist.
Lupe served two consecutive terms as a director on the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce (2007-2009, 2009- 2012). He served on the Campus Performance Objective Council (CPOC) for Pleasanton Elementary (2008-2010). He also was a member of the Pleasanton ISD redistricting committee in the spring of 2012.
He served as head coach for Texas Youth Soccer Association Pleasanton Y-5, Y-6, Y-10, 2006-2010. He also served as head coach/ co-manager for South Texas Cougars Baseball Club Team, Fall 2010. He also was head coach for Pleasanton Little League 2006-2011, and was an executive board member in 2011. He served as assistant coach for Rattlers Youth Football League in 2008. He continues to serve on the CPOC for Pleasanton Intermediate. Lupe is also currently serving on the Pleasanton ISD Education Foundation Committee.
They helped the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce start the Thanksgiving dinner drive. They have adopted many children and their families through different donations providing shoes, clothes and food during the holidays. Lupe and Gilda have learned a child can truly be educated if they know they are cared for.
Roger Wells Businessman of the Year Sponsored by Chamber of Commerce
In 1978 after graduating from Pleasanton High School, Roger Wells attended TSTI in Waco, furthering his education in construction. He had been around this kind of work all his life with his father, a local contractor, working with his grandfathers and uncles in building and construction in and around Atascosa County. He is the son of Nettie Mae and the late Ted Wells.
After college, he came back to Pleasanton and worked with his father in the family owned business, Adept Construction Company. Unfortunately, in 1993, Ted passed away after a year-long battle with lung cancer. Leaving him at the age of 33, with a wife and two young sons to make the difficult decision of keeping the construction business going or close the doors and move on.
With limited business management experience and only six years working with his father, Roger decided to continue to run Adept Construction. His goal was to keep operating for at least one year in honor of his dad. He changed the name of the company to Wells Construction, and 20 years later, due to his commitment, dedication, motivation and well-informed business strategy, Wells Construction has grown to be a successful and well respected business entity.
His enthusiasm, work ethics, energy and vision has lead Wells Construction to play a major role in the development of residential and commercial ventures. Such as Jamestown II, Williamsburg II, and The Villages of Riata Ranch, as well as the commercial projects of Capital Farm Credit in Jourdanton, River Bend Golf Club in Floresville, Texas Community Bank in Somerset, McAllen, Del Rio and San Antonio, and the Choke Canyon Exxon and BBQ in Whitsett plus numerous projects for AT&T.
Wells continues to invest in the community by supporting Project Graduation, Main Street Outreach, C.A.S.A., the Atascosa County Jr. Livestock Show and Auction, the local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the Aggie Club, Career Days at Pleasanton Jr. and Sr. High Schools and numerous other non-profit organizations. For several years, he graciously and very discreetly dedicated his service as Santa Claus to a local children’s organization each Christmas season, passing out toys and gifts to needy children. He served as Vice President of the Atascosa County Economic Development Corporation, helping to promote business investments in the county and was instrumental in starting the Youth Leadership Program. Wells recently served as a member of the City’s committee appointed to select the architect and contractor for the new City Library and Community Center.
He is a 32nd Degree Mason and is a member of the Davy Crockett Lodge in San Antonio. He is a visionary, a leader, a mentor and a dedicated family man. With a humorous personality and a familiar face well known in Pleasanton and Atascosa County, it is our pleasure to present to you, Pleasanton’s Chamber of Commerce 2013 Business Person of the Year, Roger Wells.
Mike Wood Teacher of the Year Sponsored by Pleasanton Firemen’s Auxiliary
Mike Wood was born in Charleston, South Carolina. The family moved often due to his father’s military career. He graduated from Samuel Clemens High School in 1976. He was recruited to play college football for Texas Lutheran College where he earned a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Education-History- HPER in 1982. He later attended Texas A&I University to earn a Masters of Science degree in Mid Management in 1985. He is the son of Roy and Bonnie Wood.
His first teaching/coaching job in 1982 took him to Smiley. He taught Social Studies, PE, was the assistant football coach, head basketball coach and track coach.
After Smiley consolidated with Nixon in 1983 Mike took a job in Stockdale where he taught history, was an assistant football coach from 1983-1985, became the head football coach from 1985- 1988, head basketball coach and head track coach. From 1985-1988 he was also the Athletic Director for Stockdale ISD.
He married Teri in 1985. They have two sons, Zachary 25, and Cameron 21.
In 1988, he moved his family to Pleasanton where he taught Elementary PE, was an assistant football coach and head track coach until 1998. In the fall of 1998 he took an Elementary/Jr. High Assistant Principal position and coached basketball, track and football in Jourdanton. He remained in Jourdanton until 2001.
In 2001 Wood returned to Pleasanton to teach US History and Teen Leadership, he was the Social Studies department chair from 1999-2011. He has been an assistant football coach, and is currently the Girls Athletic Coordinator, head cross country coach for Junior High and High School, head girls’ track coach and teaches at Pleasanton High School.
He has coached a total of 31 years, 22 of them in Pleasanton, and is a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church.
Zade Llamas Teenager of the Year Sponsored by Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce
Zade Llamas has actively helped in restoring the atmosphere of Pleasanton High School. He has helped with cleanup, painting, and helped paint the mural in the library.
He has been a mentor to younger children in the community, he knows these children look up to the football players. He encourages them to keep their grades up, and have long term goals such as college. He has set an example of how an athlete should act, being respectful, doing their school work, and being a good citizen both on and off of the field.
Zade has been an active member of LEAD (Leading Eagles Against Drugs) so that he can talk to the kids at the elementary and primary in hopes of keeping these children from making wrong choices. He is especially active during Drug Awareness Red Ribbon Week.
He has been active in hosting a 5K run for three years and in hosting a golf tournament to raise money for BPA competitions.
Zade worked as Head Lifeguard for the City of Pleasanton for the summer. He was responsible for all aspects of the pool, including cleaning, health compliance, safety, cashier, scheduling of employees, swim lessons and working with the public.
Throughout his school years, he always excelled in all of his classes. His love of sports made him a competitive player on the field and court. His courteous and helpful attitude made him an asset to have in the classroom and as a teammate. His main focus has always been to do the best in everything he attempts so that he can reach his goal of attending the University of Texas at Austin. His dream is coming true; he will be attending the University of Texas in the fall of 2013.