Bay City, Tex – Former Matagorda County Judge Loy Sneary was named the 2018 George Holst Award recipient for excellence in community vision and economic leadership in Matagorda County during Matagorda County Economic Development Corporation’s annual meeting at Bay City Country Club Thursday night, Dec. 13.
MCEDC Board President Mitch Thames also honored two representatives of the Bay City Community Development Corporation – DC Dunham and Bobby Wilkinson – who recently finished their terms serving on the MCEDC board of directors. Dunham, former BCCDC Executive Director, served on the MCEDC board from 2013-2018 and during that term was elected board president and board secretary. Wilkinson, served on the MCEDC board from 2015-2018 and during his term chaired the George Holst Award selection committee and several other key guidance committees.
After a brief look back at the birth of the MCEDC and the inception of the George Holst Award, presented by none other than the unsuspecting honoree – Sneary, Arthur J. Milberger, last year’s George Holst Award recipient, presented MCEDC’s annual spotlight award to Sneary. Milberger made the following speech in his presentation of the Holst Award:
“I am honored to tell you the story of our well-deserving 2018 George Holst Award recipient. A graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School Class of 1968 in Dallas, our Holst Award winner went on to attend Texas A&M University and graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1972.
Our recipient took on his first connection with Matagorda County when he married a local girl in 1972. Together this city boy and country girl were off to Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island and then on to our nation’s capital where our Holst Award recipient then served three years active duty with the Armed Forces Police Detachment at the Navy Yard for three years.
Following his active duty service, our recipient and his wife finally landed in Matagorda County where he completed three more years with the Reserves and was honorably discharged from the United States Navy with the rank of Lieutenant.
Following his military service, our recipient began a long and successful career as an agribusinessman making a name for his family in cattle ranching, hay farming and rice production. Over the years our recipient has served on numerous Rice Industry committees and boards at the local, state and national levels. In 1988 our recipient was chosen as part of the USA Rice Council’s Inaugural Rice Leadership Program which led him to serve on the advisory board of the Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leaders program since it was modeled on the Rice Leadership Program. Our recipient served on the Texas Council on Research Education and Teaching at Texas A&M and was named Man of the Year in Texas Agriculture.
In 1993 our George Holst Award recipient decided to take on a larger role in the life of Matagorda County when he accepted an appointment by County Commissioners to complete the last term of Bert O’Connell. It was his love for this county and his great ability to pull people together to work for the common good that inspired him to seek and win election as County Judge in 1994. It was during his term as judge that he caught the vision and brought a committee together to create the very organization that we are here to celebrate tonight -- the Matagorda County Economic Development Corporation. Because of the success he saw bringing regional partners together on various issues, our Holst Award winner decided to follow a higher calling to run for US Congress. He earned his party’s nomination in 1998 and ran a hard race against Congressman Ron Paul in 1998 and 2000.
Since that time, our recipient has continued his successful ranching business and began offering his professional consultation services forming Sneary & Associates. In his consulting role he works with new and startup businesses to develop sound strategic and financing plans. He has been a consultant to a national media consulting and crisis management firm where he conducted spokesperson training, media relations training and crisis management for Oil & Gas companies, nuclear power plants and large hospitals throughout Texas and the Mid-West.
Our Holst Award recipient is currently President and CEO of Gulf Coast Green Energy, a representative for the ElectraTherm Power+ Generator. In his role at GCGE he took the company from start up to becoming a leader in the new Waste Heat-to-Power industry. Our recipient and his Team took the new technology to market and reached prospects and customers across several industries in the US and Caribbean. He is a member of the Pew Charitable Trusts Clean Energy Business Network (Pew) and the Heat is Power Association (HiP).
Our recipient also provides consulting services for agricultural and rural landowners through his land management company Windmill Farms. And for the last 8 months he has provided consulting services to Matagorda County Navigation District #1 in Palacios to improve Port Development activities.
Since 2003, our award recipient has served as co chairman of a volunteer organization that is near and dear to his heart – Wellness Matagorda. During his service on that committee, the organization has provided means to help change lifestyle habits for all residents of Bay City with the construction of the Hike and Bike Trail – a safe place for people to walk, jog and bike. This trail provides a lighted path for people of all abilities to get out and get moving in a safe space. Wellness Matagorda also partnered with Matagorda Regional Medical Center to help provide money for workout/rehab equipment to be used daily in the FEMA Shelter Dome project. And most recently, our Holst Award recipient has begun the tireless effort to see a County-wide aquatic center come to life for Matagorda County. This facility would provide a competitive swimming venue as well as recreational facility and health and wellness swimming and water activities for every man, woman and child in the county.
Aside from his passionate work on Wellness Matagorda, he has again stepped up to have a direct hand in the economic development activities of Matagorda County as he currently serves as a board member of the Bay City Community Development Corporation and the Matagorda County Economic Development Corporation.
Whether it is serving on one of these numerous committees or boards of directors or in various capacities with the First United Methodist Church of Bay City, our recipient is known to put his whole heart and soul into his efforts to make the world around him, wherever he is, better because he is in it. A lesson, his wife suspects he learned early on as an Eagle Scout – bloom where you are planted.
Although our recipient has earned many accolades and accomplished many great things, we suspect that his proudest roles has been that of husband to Helen, father to Shannon and Adam and grandfather to his four grandsons – Will, Craig, Jack and Luke.
And now it is my honor to pass this torch on and present the 2018 George Holst Award for excellence in community vision and economic leadership to the man who we just learned has been involved in the life of this organization since its inception, the man who was so adamant about working for the betterment of the entire county that he saw to it that this award was named for Mr. George Holst, a man for whom this award may be long overdue -- my friend Judge Loy Sneary.”
Each year the MCEDC board of directors seeks nominations from the community for outstanding economic leaders to be considered as recipients of this prestigious award.
According to guidelines set out by the MCEDC board, good candidates should be of good moral character, have the ability to give solid reasons for an action and be able to move people emotionally and intellectually.