They received the award at the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce's Lone Star Annual Meeting, attended by about 525 people at the Harvey Convention Center.
“This year's T.B. Butler Award recipients truly meet the test of the best attributes of leadership, generosity and focus of purpose,” said Nelson Clyde, publisher of the Tyler Morning Telegraph and president of the T.B. Butler Publishing Co. “Our recipients have characterized Tyler as their forever home and have cultivated a family tradition of generosity in their children and grandchildren.”
He said faith has been a cornerstone of their giving traditions.
“It has been said they wish to help those who are really in need, those who are helpless and homeless. Feeding people is an extremely important issue to them,” Clyde said.
The T.B. Butler Award, presented by the T.B. Butler Publishing Co., was first presented in 1929. It was established in the memory of the founder of T.B. Butler Publishing Co. Inc., the late Judge T.B. Butler, and his son, the late Tom Butler Jr. Award recipients are selected for outstanding contributions in leadership, service or community improvements.
“It has been a privilege for our family to present this award each year at the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce banquet to encourage aspirations of leadership, contributions of citizenship and to recognize significant acts of service,” Clyde said.
Clyde said when the Owens gave millions to Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics to establish the Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital, Mrs. Owen made it clear that her hope was that their gift would serve as an encouragement to others in the community to give as well.
“The joy and humility that they demonstrate through their generosity serves as an encouragement to us all,” Clyde said.
Mrs. Owen said, “I can't thank you enough. I don't think we're worthy of it.
“We only give what the Lord has given us and we can only spread it through His will. Hopefully we can continue doing that.”
Owen said they were overwhelmed to receive the prestigious award.
Louis W. Owen and Alberta Marie “Peaches” Owen met as teenagers and started dating after high school.
Growing up, Mrs. Owen always had a job, first as a babysitter, then a soda jerk, and gave most of her earnings to her parents. After high school, she worked for Prudential Insurance Co. and became the youngest office supervisor in the company. She worked there until Owen graduated from Rice University.
Owen's first job was as a grocery sacker at 14. He worked at a refinery as a coal screen operator during high school and he worked during college, doing sample analysis in a refinery on the Houston Ship Channel. After graduating from Rice University in 1957, Owen worked for Tennaco Oil Co. for 15 years.
Owen, a chemical engineer, was a partner in Atkins, McBride and Owen Consulting Firm for 10 years with George Atkins and Olin McBride. Owen and Atkins authored a technical work that was included in the Petroleum Encyclopedia.
The company that would become Petrofac was almost eight months old in 1982, when Owen accepted the position as head of engineering, bought into the company and accepted a board position.
Owen saved money from his jobs and ended up using his 401k savings to buy 14 percent of Petrofac, which would become worth about $250 million. When Petrofac went public in 2005, the Owens became one of the richest families in Tyler. They started the Owen Family Foundation with $20 million, according to the Owen Family Heritage Statement, a written legacy about their lives and beliefs, signed by the couple on June 2.
In 2010, Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals & Clinics opened Phase One of the Louis & Peaches Owen Heart Hospital. It is a 24-bed facility inside the Ornelas Tower. That facility converted the fourth floor into a cardiac intensive care unit, now formally named the Dr. William Powell Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. Hospital officials have said the Louis & Peaches Owen Heart Hospital established a model for heart care for the entire region.
Last year, Mother Frances broke ground on the region's first freestanding heart hospital, Phase Two of the Louis & Peaches Owen Heart Hospital, expected to be completed in December.
To celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary, Owen and Mrs. Owen donated $18 million to allow Mother Frances to build the seven-story heart hospital. It was the largest single donation ever made to a medical facility in the region, according to earlier reports. The 90,000-square-foot building, which will feature 48 intensive care unit beds as well as 16 cardiac observation beds, is adjacent to Mother Frances Hospital.
The Louis and Peaches Owen Family Foundation has supported many local organizations, including the Bethesda Health Clinic, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Tyler Junior College, Literacy Council of Tyler, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, Parent Services Center Inc., American Cancer Society, Women's Symphony League, The University of Texas at Tyler and the East Texas Crisis Center.
“Money is not wealth, that's just money,” Owen stated in the Owen Family Heritage Statement.
“Happiness is wealth and what you put into this world is what you get out of it,” Mrs. Owen wrote.
Both said they attribute their successful marriage to forgiveness.
They have three children, John, Celeste and Louis Paul.
W.C. WINDSOR AWARD
Past W.C. Windsor Award recipient Shannon Dacus presented him with the award. She said Katz was truly deserving of the award and he is a leader in the truest and purist sense of the award.
“He serves and leads daily,” she said. “He will continue to lead this community and serve this community for many years to come.”
The W.C. Windsor Award is presented in conjunction with the W.C. Windsor family to honor an outstanding Tyler citizen younger than 40. The award was started in 1952 by the late W.C. Windsor with the purpose of encouraging leadership and community service among young people.
“That was quite a surprise,” Katz said when receiving the award. “This has been a great community. I keep getting involved because my heart leads me there,” he said, adding that Congregation Beth El also has supported and encouraged him to serve.
Katz is rabbi at Congregation Beth El. He grew up in Virginia Beach, Va. In college, he spent his junior year in Israel studying at Hebrew Union College. After earning his undergraduate degree in political science from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., he married Jennifer Brown and became full-time director of Youth and Social Action Activities at Temple Sinai in Washington D.C. He spent two years at George Mason University doing graduate work in counseling and earned his Masters in Arts of Hebrew Letters in 2003. He received his rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Katz moved to Israel in 1998 to begin his seminary training and pursued his love of Jewish music as an active song leader for various camps, youth groups and congregations. He has released three CDs of his original Jewish music, as well as a folk-music CD.
While in rabbinic school, Katz served as a student rabbi at congregations in Great Falls, Mont., Tyler and McGehee, Ark.
In 2005, Katz was honored with the T.B. Butler Award, sharing the award with Anwar Khalifa, leader of the East Texas Islamic Society. The award was based on their work with the Abraham House, a joint Jewish-Muslim Habitat for Humanity project benefiting a Christian woman.
Katz taught “Introduction to Judaism” courses at Tyler Junior College and taught Jewish Philosophy at The University of Texas at Tyler. He has been active in the greater Tyler community.
He was president of the Tyler Ministerial Alliance, is a graduate of Leadership Tyler and was the board president of PATH (People Attempting to Help). Katz also served on the Ethics Committee for The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler. He serves on the boards of the Hospice of East Texas, the Discovery Science Place, the Jewish Federation of Tyler, and he is the secretary on the founding board of the Samaritan Counseling Center of Tyler.
Katz is a member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and serves as treasurer for its Southwest Association. Katz and his wife Jennifer have a son, Micah, and two daughters, Lila and Rebecca.
The Large Business of the Year was given to Hospice of East Texas, which was incorporated in 1982 and is now recognized as one of the oldest and most respected nonprofit organizations in East Texas. The organization is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
With an annual operating budget of more than $19 million, Hospice of East Texas employs 267 people, ranking it among the top 25 local employers and creating significant economic impact in Tyler and the East Texas region, Jerry Woolverton, outgoing chamber chairman, said.
“Many thanks to all of you for this recognition,” Nancy Lamar, vice president of community relations, said.
Marjorie Ream, president and CEO of Hospice of East Texas, said she accepted the award for the nonprofit organization's employees, as well as its 270 volunteers.
“Our business is to provide care with passion,” she said, adding that they look forward to serving for many years.
The Small Business of the Year Award went to Davis-Green Paint & Body, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.
Davis-Green was founded in 1952 by W.O. Davis and Doug Green – both had mechanics experience from their war-time training and opened a small shop on Erwin Street. In 1978, Davis' son, W.O. “Bill” Davis Jr., and his wife Barbara bought the business and within four years, they built a larger shop behind Cavender's Boot City. In 2000, they moved and expanded again to the current facility, at 5005 Old Jacksonville Highway. Bill and Barbara Davis' son, Darren Davis, returned from his military duties in 2004, and has been part of the business for eight years, now serving as president.
Davis-Green is a family owned business that repairs about 140 cars per month and has 36 employees, most of which have been there 10 or more years.
Bill and Barbara Davis accepted the award.
Davis said he grew up in the Tyler community.
“It's been good to me; it's been good to my family,” he said. “We appreciate the chamber and each and every one of you.”
The chamber's Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Rosemary Jones, attorney and partner at Ramey & Flock, P.C., for her work as chairwoman of the successful Business Workshop, a seminar that teaches local employers about labor and employment law. Mrs. Jones recently was elected to serve as the chamber's chairwoman-elect, a position she took Monday.
The Volunteer of the Year Award was selected from four individuals who were chosen during the year as Volunteer of the Quarter.
Chamber Chief Operating Officer Henry Bell said 525 tickets were sold to the banquet, which highlighted the accomplishments of the chamber's fiscal year.
PAST T.B. BUTLER AWARD RECIPIENTS
1999 to 1990: 1999 Elizabeth Fritter McNally; 1998 Cowan Center project at The University of Texas at Tyler; 1997 Dr. George A. Hurst; 1996 Norman Shtofman; 1995 Herbert C. Buie; 1994 Randall L. Roberts and John Tyler Football Team (Special); 1993 Dr. James M. Vaughn; 1992 Junior League of Tyler; 1991 B.G. Hartley and Billie Hartley; 1990 Don Chaney.
1989 to 1980: 1989 George W. Oge; 1988 Lottie Ray Caldwell; 1987 Buddy Story; 1986 United Rubber Workers Local 746; 1985 James W. Arnold, Willie Lee Glass; 1984 James Borgerding; 1983 James C. Wynne Jr.; 1982 Louise Lindsey Merrick; 1981 James W. Fair; 1980 Charles L. Childers.
1979 to 1970: 1979 C.C. McDonald; 1978 Shirley Simons Jr.; 1977 Dick Hightower, Earl Campbell (Special); 1976 William M. Shamburger, Kelly Spratlin (Special); 1975 Harry Loftis; 1974 Isadore Roosth; 1973 John A. Warner, Frank Martin (Special); 1972 Floyd Wagstaff; 1971 Henry M. Bell Jr.; 1970 Mrs. W.G. Watson.
1969 to 1960: 1969 D.K. Caldwell, Robert J. Phillips; 1968 A.W. Riter Jr.; 1967 Earl Andrews; 1966 Mrs. W.C. Windsor; 1965 Connally McKay, F.O. Penn; 1964 J. Harold Stringer; 1963 Jerry Nasits; 1962 George Pirtle; 1961 Wilton Fair; 1960 Tom W. Joyner, Dr. Harry E. Jenkins (Special).
1959 to 1950: 1959 M.J. Harvey; 1958 Joe Zeppa; 1957 Watson W. Wise; 1956 Memory of Mr. and Mrs. L.A. Grelling (cash gift to Tyler schools); Dr. Porter Bailes Sr.; 1955 J.S. Hudnall; 1954 H.J. McKenzie; 1953 Smith P. Reynolds; 1952 J.H. Calhoun; 1951 W.C. Windsor and W.E. Stewart; 1950 Johnny Wright and Mrs. Alex Woldert Sr. (Special).
1949 to 1940: 1949 Claude Holley and Hugh E. White; 1948 Galloway Calhoun; 1947 Foster Blaisdell; 1946 Wilton Daniel and Dr. Robert Hill (Special); 1945 Roy E. Smith; 1944 None; 1943 Troop F. Cavalry; 1942 Glenn Flinn; 1941 R.W. Fair; 1940 W.A. Pounds.
1939 to 1929: 1939 S.P. Burke; 1938 R.L. Tayloe; 1937 Tom Swann; 1936 Gus Pinkerton; 1935 H.M. Bell; 1934 T.B. Ramey; 1933 Mrs. Henry M. Eagle; 1932 E.P. McKenna; 1931 S.A. Lindsey; 1930 W.M. Roberts; 1929 Gus F. Taylor.
PAST W.C. WINDSOR AWARD RECIPIENTS
1999 to 1990: 1999 Mike Thomas; 1998 Nelson Clyde IV and Joey Seeber; 1997 Andy Navarro; 1996 Robert Peltier; 1995 Susan Davis; 1994 Loren Bennett; 1993 Kevin Eltife; 1992 Jan McCauley; 1991 Jerry Woolverton; 1990 Andy Guinn.
1989 to 1980: 1989 Barbara R. Bass and Tom M. Woldert; 1988 A.W. Whit Riter III; 1987 Lonny Uzzell; 1986 David Bibby; 1985 Chris Woldert; 1984 Henry Bell III; 1983 Lee Loftis Jr.; 1982 Phil Hurley; 1981 J. Cris Pinkerton; 1980 Greg Nordyke.
1979 to 1970: 1979 Franklin Shaffer; 1978 John Tindel; 1977 Art Johnson; 1976 Tommy Butler; 1975 James N. Daughtry; 1974 Stuart Chesley; 1973 Clark C. Corky Nelson; 1972 Joe Elliott Jr.; 1971 Robert W. Stone; 1970 Kenneth Barron.
1969 to 1960: 1969 Dr. Patrick Thomas; 1968 Richard Harvey; 1967 J. Robert Dobbs; 1966 James M. Scurlock; 1965 Tyler Junior Chamber; 1964 Frank Sewell Jr.; 1963 W. Abe Pounds Jr.; 1962 Dr. John Turner Jr.; 1961 Henry M. Bell Jr.; 1960 Byron Tunnell.
1959 to 1952: 1959 Horace Clarkston; 1958 A.W. Dub Riter Jr.; 1957 Smith Reynolds Jr.; 1956 Calvin Clyde Jr.; 1955 William Streckert; 1954 Harold Lawler; 1953 Sam Gibbons; 1952 Fred Bosworth.