Katy Area News
  • Katy Area EDC presents 2 Stan Stanley awards

    February 28, 2018
    By: Karen Zurawski - Houston Chronicle 

    The Katy Area Economic Development Council honored a current and a retired Texas legislator last week by presenting each the 2017 Stan C. Stanley Eagle Leadership and Economic Development Award.

    testThe Katy Area Economic Development Council presented the 2017 Stan C. Stanley Eagle Leadership and Economic Development Award on Feb. 20 to District 28 state Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond in the elected official category and to Bill Callegari, retired District 130 state representative in the volunteer category. From left are: Sylvia Zerwas, John's wife, and Callegari.

    District 28 state Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond won in the elected official category, which is in its first year, said Lance LaCour, EDC president/CEO. A physician for more than 30 years, Zerwas is serving his sixth term in the Texas Legislature.

    Bill Callegari, who served in the Texas Legislature from 2001-15 and as a Katy Independent School District trustee from 1984-88, won the award in the volunteer category. Awards were presented Feb. 20.

    Zerwas said he came to know Stanley when he first ran for office and got to know him over the years on an ongoing basis.

    "I was aware of a lot of his efforts and contributions for Boy Scouts especially Eagle Scouts. The thing that impressed me most being around Stan - he was always there to help someone. Once he knew me and understood my political positions, one of his first comments was 'How can I help you?' That was the essence of who Stan Stanley was," said Zerwas.

    Saying he was incredibly honored after receiving the award, Zerwas added, "I hold Stan Stanley as an icon in terms of community service and volunteerism. To receive an award bearing his name is incredibly humbling."

    Callegari said, "I knew Stan Stanley very well. We were close friends, and I admired and respected him very much. We visited often, usually two to three times each week, and shared several common interests."

    When Callegari served in the Texas Legislature, he said he contacted Stanley on a regular basis to keep in touch with what people in Katy were thinking and what issues were important to them.

    Receiving the award named after his friend means a great deal to him. It's very meaningful to get any recognition from people, Callegari added, and having it named after Stanley made it more important and personal.

    "The annual award, which is in its second year, recognizes a volunteer in the Katy area who has made contributions in leadership and economic development to the Katy area," explained LaCour. "All persons volunteering (non-paid positions only) in the Katy area are eligible for nomination. The award winner will be selected by a committee assembled by the Katy Area EDC based on criteria including but not limited to, years of service, leadership skills demonstrated, special achievements, and qualities Stan so greatly exhibited such as being faithful, conscientious, unselfish and committed to the Katy area community."

    LaCour said that criteria for the elected official award includes serving for several years as an elected official "with a proven track record of contributing to community development and/or economic development."

    "The nominee must also exhibit faithful, conscientious, unselfish and helpful service with strong leadership skills," added LaCour.

    Callegari and Zerwas were selected from a pool of finalists which included Ann Hodge, Katy Area Chamber of Commerce; Rick Lawler, Katy Area EDC BOG and Katy Area Districts Council; David Loesch, Katy Rotary/Wild West Brewfest, and Wayne K. Thompson, Fort Bend County constable, Precinct 3.

    "Last year, we did announce the winner in November however we shifted the deadline back to receive more nominations as people were still dealing with the impacts of Harvey in early fall," said Lance.

    A five-member Task Force Committee, chaired by Paul Kurt, selected the winners. Kurt of Kurt and Associates was joined by Katrina Katsarelis of Katy Magazine, Caroline Champion of Houston Methodist West and Karen Kurt and Karl Falk, both of Stanley Signature Signs.

    Last year's volunteer winner was Stan Goss, whose accomplishments include leading the formation of Katy Area EDC Visions events, which helped recruit UH to develop a $46 million campus in Katy area, and leading the formation of the Transportation and Mobility Taskforce.

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