The annual Mannford Chamber Awards Banquet is an opportunity to bring the community together to celebrate the past years’ accomplishments, and look forward to what is to come in the following year. We honor outstanding businesses and individuals who have made memorable contributions to the good of the community. Awards include: Business of the Year, New Business of the Year, Citizen of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year, Dana Woodson Heartening Award, and more as determined by the chamber board.
2022 Business Milestone: Mannford Funeral Home 25 Years
Running a business is no small feat, and reaching a milestone like 25 years is something to be recognized and honored. As we thought about recognizing this business, we thought, who is more appropriate to present this award, than the daughter who has lived through those 25 years of business, experienced the ups and downs, and has now also joined the business.
Daughter Rachel Fast’s Words:
In the mid-90’s our lives changed. The many trips back and forth from our home in Tulsa to Mannford began. We would all load up to go check on the progress of the building construction. I vividly remember my dad taking a tape measure and double checking each door frame. To most people, door frames are a standard size but to a man building a funeral home, the width of a door frame is very important in order for caskets to fit through them. It was always my dad’s dream to have his own funeral home and towards the end of 1997 that dream became a reality. The funeral home was ready to open. In December of 97 Mannford Funeral Home conducted their first service. I was 7 years old and my little brother was 4.
25 years… it’s hard to believe. That’s 25 years of being on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Nights, weekends, holidays, they never know when the phone might ring and they must go. Through the years they selflessly took care of others while raising a family and when their own lives threw them curve balls. We have had deaths in our own family and the grief that follows, my dad survived a heart attack and my mom won the fight against breast cancer. You would have never known at the time that they might be going through a personal struggle, they stayed strong because the families they were serving depended on them. Most don’t get to see what I see; a lot happens behind the scenes. You don’t see my dad spending hours trying to get a hold of the military, trying every line of communication possible and not giving up until he reaches them, because the Veteran who has passed, deserves to have his military service honored at his funeral. You don’t see the hours my mom spends doing hair, makeup and nails.
She sometimes even re-curls hair the day of visitation and again the day of the service because the lady who has passed, deserves to look her very best one final time. Some might argue it’s just a job, but it’s more than a job to them. They truly care, they take pride in their work and they want to help people through difficult times.
The older my brother and I got, the more we learned about the business and pitched in a helping hand. It’s be a part of us for most of our lives. After a lot of thought and prayer, I finally decided that I wanted to do what my parents do. I couldn’t imagine driving down the big hill in town heading to the schools, looking down to my left and seeing the funeral home sitting there and knowing it’s not a part of me anymore. So, I graduated from mortuary school, passed the big licensing exams, did the hours of apprenticeship and became fully licensed. I plan to take over the funeral home one day, keep it in the family and keep their legacy going. I’m looking forward to another 25+ years.
I couldn’t discreetly count the files without them knowing so, it’s hard to know exactly how many families they have served in 25 years. Some families we are now serving for the 4th or 5th time. Thank you, Mannford and our surrounding communities, for welcoming us, trusting us and allowing Mannford to become our home. I know I can speak for my parent’s and say if it wasn’t for the support of the town, they wouldn’t have made it and they are grateful, honored and blessed to serve you.
One thing this career teaches you is that life is short, you never know when it might be someone’s last day. I will be forever grateful and cherish the memories I make every day working with them. I know the time will come that they start slowing down and I will start taking on more. I have big shoes to fill but I’ve also have had the best teachers. I know I’m biased, but you also haven’t seen it from my point of view. The love, care, tears, dedication and kindness they have shared and will continue to share to others. I’m proud I get to call them my parents and we all take pride in still being a family owned and operated funeral home for the years to come.
Congratulations to Bill and Dee Glenn on 25 years!
2022 In Memoriam: Gary McBride
Gary McBride was a dear friend to the Mannford Community and the Chamber.
He was a long-time resident of Mannford, a fireman and Storm Watcher for 21 years. He was an avid supporter of Mannford FFA and Athletics, and donated countless hours, equipment, resources and more.
Because of his extensive knowledge of the city’s electrical layout and workings, he was often called upon to help restore power to the city during storms and outages day and night.
He was a priceless resource during the 2007 ice storm, and again during the 2012 wildfires.
He served on the Indian Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees, and was nominated as Citizen of the Year twice.
In light of his passing in 2021, we would once again like to recognize his commitment to our community, and express our gratitude for all that he did, for all of us.
2022 In Memoriam: Steve Myrter
Steve Myrter, wife Tara and their four daughters moved to the Mannford Community in 2018. Before they had even enrolled in Mannford schools, Steve took the girls to the Mannford Public Library’s summer event so everyone could get a book, meet people, and find out what was happening around town. The three youngest were also enrolled in the Mannford Youth Cheer Association or MYCA. Steve combined his past talents for refereeing, coaching and managing into a fulltime availability to help whenever needed. Always quick to volunteer, soon he began organizing and working on fundraisers for four years with MYCA and during the last year was Vice-President on MYCA’s board.
Once the girls started Mannford school in Fall 2018, Steve joined Mannford PTO, becoming President in 2019. He remained active on that board until COVID hit and the PTO was on hold. His last PTO fundraiser was the Daddy/Daughter dance of 2020.
In 2022, his youngest girl joined Mannford Competitive Cheer. Steve, like always, got involved and was recently on their fundraiser committee. He even assisted with a fundraiser over the summer while in the hospital. In addition to cheer, softball came into play in 2020, and Steve was there to help gather information for uniforms, fundraise and assist at practices/games.
One of Steve’s favorite activities was joining the board of North 48 Volunteer Fire Department in 2019, where he was the Treasurer. He got to assist during several planned burns and was constantly on the lookout for fire.
Steve never met a stranger and was always there to offer help to anyone and everyone. He had a joyous spirit, enjoyed having fun, and spent much love and energy making special times for those around him.
Steve Myrter entered his final rest surrounded by loved ones after a long hard-fought battle on Wednesday, August 31, 2022, in Tulsa at the age of 48. He fought with strength and courage.
We are honored to recognize his commitment to the youth of our community.
2022 New Business of the Year: The Market
Becki Pierce opened The Market first as an online store, but her dream was always to be able to have a brick and mortar store.
In August of 2022, she was able to realize that dream by opening The Market storefront in Mannford. Part of her mission for her store has been to support other local artisans and start-ups by putting their items in her store.
She and her two daughters currently operate the store as it is still in its early stages.
Becki has always been eager to help others and the community.
Perhaps her greatest endeavor has been helping with the Tacket Tough Scholarship honoring the former Mannford High School girls basketball coach Tyson Tackett. Becki sold beanies, bracelets and rings with the COMPETTE logo to raise funds.
Mannford is home and she loves giving back and supporting other local businesses.
2022 Business of the Year: Dragonfly Mental Health
Angee, or as we like to call her “Red”, is one of the most compassionate and caring people you will ever meet, and she has always worn her heart on her sleeve.
There are countless stories of her going above and beyond for her family and for her patients. For example, there was the time when she discovered that one of her elderly patients was struggling to afford food, and she began anonymously having groceries delivered to them every week.
She is the daughter of Don and Terry Wadley. She has been the wife of Robert Mackey for 32 years. She is the mother of six awesome kiddos Tyler, Kaleb, Kaity, Jacob, Hannah, and Dakota. Mother-in-law to Paige, Kaye, Jessie, and Maddie. A very proud “Tall” grandma to Peyton, Grayson, John, Elijah, and Kinsley. She loves nothing more than playing on the floor with her grandbabies. She also enjoys traveling, reading, and rooting for the OSU Cowboys.
She grew up in Afton, Oklahoma and after many years of moving around and raising children, decided to return to school. She then earned her bachelor’s degree in community counseling from Rogers State University and pursued her master’s in clinical social work from the University of Oklahoma.
She began her career working with children at various practices across Oklahoma. And finally, in 2019, she started a practice of her own in Mannford, Dragonfly Mental Health.
Dragonflies are believed to be a sign of new beginnings, hope, and change; that is what she has always aspired to bring to Mannford and everyone else she meets.
Angee has had the opportunity to work with so many people in the area, including children. She truly believes in helping guide children alongside their parents to ensure Mannford never loses the hometown family feel that the community has proven to share in the short time she has been here.
Mental Health plays a very important role in our community, schools, and homes. Everyone deserves to be heard and given the opportunity to be a Dragonfly.
2022 Dana Woodson Heartening: Charlie Hudgins
Charlie Hudgins is the Son of Chris and Lisa Hudgins. He has lived his entire life in Mannford Oklahoma. He has an older brother Garett and older sister Madison. Charlie is a member at Lakeside Baptist Church where he serves on the media team.
Charlie’s activities include Band, FFA and National Honor Society, He has been active in band since 7th grade, and has served as section leader and drum major for the past two years. In the concert band, he plays the saxophone.
Charlie’s FFA journey began in eighth grade. He is active in showing steers and competitive speech. As a sophomore he was sentinel, as a junior he was secretary and he is currently serving his senior year as President for the Mannford FFA.
Charlie was selected as one of the 25 students across the state to serve on the Oklahoma Ag youth Council. This council works with businesses and organizations to better understand agriculture in Oklahoma.
This has been an incredible year for his livestock showing. In September he was chosen as Reserve Grand Champion Steer at the Tulsa State Fair and received a scholarship.
Charlie is currently vice-president of the Mannford National Honor Society. His favorite activity with NHS is the Santa Project. Each year they provide Christmas gifts for boys and girls on the angel tree.
This fall, he will be attending Oklahoma State University where he will pursue a degree in business. He comes from a long line of Oklahoma State alumni and he will be a fourth generation graduate at OSU. We look forward to what the future holds. His future is bright.
2022 Ray Goodman Humanitarian: Kevin Remington
Kevin Remington has been a citizen of Mannford, Oklahoma since he was a young boy. He grew up on a small farm just south outside of the city limits. He grew up with humble beginnings, always appreciative of everything his family had. His family taught him the importance of hard work and the importance of a servant’s heart.
With the help of his wife, Tawni, Kevin decided to pursue his lifelong dream of owning his own small business. He has operated a small farm for almost 25 years, raising all forms of livestock. Kevin saw the need for meat processing and readily available high-quality protein in the community and decided to take personal action towards satisfying the need.
He has been active in supporting the community by giving back to the agricultural education program for over 20 years, especially service to the booster club.
Since the opening of R and D Meats in 2021, Kevin has been passionate in continuously blessing the community. He is not one to brag about his charity, but Kevin lives each day for God and those around him. He loves the community he lives in and is always willing to give back.
Kevin and Tawni have 3 children: Kevin II, Jillian, and Alex. The two are also blessed with daughter-in-law, Nicole, and grandkids, Ryder, and Wrenley. Some of Kevin’s favorite things to do are spending time with his family as well as raise and show livestock.
2022 Bill Phelps Citizen of the Year: Gordon Stewart
Gordon M. Stewart was born on September 20th in Larbert, Stirlingshire, Scotland.
He was educated at Carlisle Grammar School in Carlisle England, and Christopher Wren School London, England before graduating from Gipsy HIll College, Richmond, Surrey with a bachelor of Education.
He worked 11 years for British Airways rising to the position of Partnership Marketing Manager before moving on to work as the Business Travel Manager for Hertz Europe and then Marketing Director for Hertz UK. He then worked as Marketing Director of Advente UK.
In 2005, Gordon emigrated to the USA and is now retired.
He has volunteered for the World War II Airborne Demonstration Team since 2002 and is currently the treasurer of the World War II Airborne Demonstration Team, Tulsa Squadron. He has also volunteered as a docent for the Tulsa HIstorical Society.
His hobbies include officiating as a soccer referee at both the recreational, competitive and high school level since 2014.
He is married to Tracey, who is a 30-year civil servant with one daughter, and one grand-daugther, aged 3.
In 2013, Gordon joined the Keystone Crossroads Historical Society, volunteering in numerous capacities and currently holds the office of Treasurer. Gordon is an invaluable member of KCHS, being ready, willing and able to complete just about any research question presented to him. He is lauded for his skillset and talents in this area.
He is one of a few volunteers who regularly help keep the museum open several days a week, as well as representing the Historical Society at regional museum meetings.
Gordon has helped make a huge difference in the organizing, marketing, and operations of the Keystone Crossroads Historical Society and the museum.