By QUINTON LILLEY
Mineola resident Jack Jones took home two awards during the Mineola Chamber of Commerce’s annual Banquet held Thursday evening in front of a record-breaking crowd at the Mineola Civic Center.
With more than 200 local residents in attendance, Jones was presented with the 2017 Humanitarian award as well as the Mineola Man of the Year award.
Other award recipients included Dr. Robert and Lupita Wisener who received the Lou Mallory Historic Preservation award, Jill Quiambao who received the Woman of the Year Award, Dacia Taylor received the Teacher of the Year Award, Wayne Collins was given the inaugural Entrepreneur of the Year Award which will be named after him after this year and Ela Reinertsen received the FCA Student of the Year award.
Diane Holmes, Pilot Club president presented the Humanitarian of the Year Award, while Greg Hollen of the Mineola Rotary Club presented the Man of the Year Award. Jones was seen holding back tears as he spoke about his love for the city of Mineola and his late wife. Jones served in the Navy and trained in Navy Special Operations EOD (Navy Diving and Explosives Ordnance Disposal). After his service with the Navy, he went to work for the government. Jones is a member of The First United Methodist Church. He served on the City Council for two separate terms. During his service as a councilman, he was very active with the local police department, and the Citizens Police Academy. Jack recently joined the Kiwanis Club. Mineola Civic Center saw the construction of a new building adjacent to the Splash Park. The building serves as a concession stand and pavilion and was funded by our humanitarian. The grand opening was last September for the Peggy and Jack Jones Pavilion.
Martha Holmes with the Landmark Commission presented the Lou Mallory Historic Preservation award. Dr. Robert and Lupita Wisener have helped to preserve the Wisener Field Airport as well as the updated Royal Flying Circus Museum which includes aircraft, automobiles and artifacts associated with the golden age of aviation and with the daring barnstormers Henry and Bryce Wisener who formed the original Royal Flying Circus in 1926. This past July 4 the airport celebrated its 100th anniversary with a BBQ, multiple flyovers, aerobatic routines and a display of vintage aircraft.
Cle Walton assisted by her niece Cassandra Sampson the Mineola Lions Club presented the Woman of the Year Award. Jill Quiambao represented the Anchor Club as a teen at their national convention in Philadelphia, she also served as queen at the state convention of the Lions Club. Locally she has served on the Mineola School Board, the MISD Education Foundation, the Community Advisory Board for Mineola Community Bank, is a member of the Kiwanis Club and is a nurse practitioner at ETMC. Quiambao is a mother of two, a soccer coach and helps at the back to school event at the Methodist Ministries center.
Mary Lookadoo with the Kiwanis Club of Mineola presented the Teacher of the Year Award. Dacia Taylor who teaches English III at Mineola High School has been a faculty member in Mineola since 2015. She previously taught at Chapel Hill Middle School in Tyler, Chapel Hill High School and earned her BA in secondary english from UT Tyler. She is also a long-time East Texas resident as she was a salutatorian of her graduating class at Quitman High School.
Mineola Chamber of Commerce President Vic Savelli presented the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Wayne Collins and the Collins family were long-standing business owners locally. The Collins family began owning businesses in Mineola in 1922 and later opened the city’s first dry cleaning plant. In 1930 the Collins family began selling men’s clothing and then Wayne Collins himself joined the business full-time in 1948. In 1950 Collins purchased the BrookShop in Mineola where both men and women could shop for various fashion items. While the Collins clothing businesses closed in 1995, Collins then began devoting his time to the formerly known Wood County Airport which is named in his honor, as Wood County Airport Collins Field.
Reverend Demetrius Boyd with Mineola Ministerial Alliance presented the FCA Student of the Year award. Ela Reinertsen is a Mineola High School senior whose family moved from Nepal to Texas in search of a better life. Reinertsen was an orphan at a young age before being adopted and brought to America. Reinertsen aspires to serve others as a biomedical engineer with the hopes of helping save lives. She also plans to join the army reserves after graduation.