Chamber honors exceptional efforts

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Hank Dickenson, deputy athletic director for the University of North Texas, was the unanimous choice to receive the Otis L. Fowler Award from the Denton Chamber of Commerce on Thursday night, and we commend members of the selection committee on their choice.

In our view, the criteria for the award — the highest honor bestowed by the chamber — could have been written with Dickenson in mind.

Chamber president Chuck Carpenter said the Otis L. Fowler Award is meant to honor someone who, in doing their job, has excelled at promoting the city. Dickenson has been able to do this as a color commentator, he said.

“Every year, there’s some question about whether we’re really recognizing this person for going in and doing their job, so it was fun with Hank because nobody questioned it on the committee this year,” Carpenter said. “The unanimous agreement was: he does his job and he does it well, and look at all the times he gets to mention Denton, Texas.”

As a color commentator, Dickenson’s voice has been heard on many radio and television broadcasts, and his community contributions include being a longtime member of the Denton Noon Kiwanis, where he is acknowledged as a primary resource for the annual Fourth of July fireworks show.

Named the chamber’s Volunteer of the Year for the 2006-2007 program year, he is actively involved in the Salvation Army and the city of Denton Downtown Development Task Force.

Bettye Myers, last year’s recipient, presented the award to Dickenson during the chamber’s annual banquet.

Myers, a professor at Texas Woman’s University, served on the committee to help choose the award recipient, and said she was “tickled to death” to help in selecting Dickenson.

“I worked with Hank personally on many community committees throughout Denton throughout the years, and I really can’t think of anyone at this point in our lives, and at this point in Hank’s life, who deserves it more,” she said. “It’s a perfect match: the Otis L. Fowler Award and Hank Dickenson.”

We agree, and we congratulate him on this well-deserved honor. A past board chairman, he has contributed much to the chamber, and we can’t think of anyone who does as much to promote Denton so enthusiastically.

Volunteer of the Year

Erik Clark, an agent with the Wellspring Insurance Agency, was given the Volunteer of the Year Award on Thursday night, and we congratulate him on the honor.

Among his other contributions, Clark was recognized for his role in overseeing the Small Business of the Year Award and serving as chairman of the Small Business Initiatives Committee.

Clark received his award from Ellen Painter, a former recipient.

“Having received this award myself in 1995, and, having served as the chair of the board for the 2001-02 chamber year, I definitely understand that volunteers are basically the labor force of this organization,” Painter said in her presentation.

Painter is right on target. Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Denton Chamber of Commerce, and thanks to their efforts, Denton is a better place to live and work.


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