Honorees Announced for 37th Annual Distinguished Service Awards

Posted by Natalie Evans on 01/26/2022


OKC Beautiful’s annual Distinguished Service Awards is an opportunity to recognize individuals and organizations working to improve the beauty and environmental health of Oklahoma City. 

The individuals and groups being honored represent those in Oklahoma City working to create a more beautiful and sustainable community. The Distinguished Service Awards Luncheon will be on March 24, 11:30 a.m., at the Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club. 

This year’s honorees are the 84 Hospitality Group, the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area Tree Canopy Assessment, Cox Communications, Robbie Kienzle, the Metro Park Neighborhood Association, Lillian Timber Farms, Donnie Wilson, and Restore OKC.

“We look forward to celebrating  this amazing group of individuals, businesses and groups who share our mission of beautification and environmental stewardship through collaboration, education and advocacy,” said Lisa Synar, Executive Director of OKC Beautiful. “The results of their efforts foster community pride and contribute to the character and economic viability of the entire metropolitan area.”

Receiving the Mayor’s Award is 84 Hospitality Group, for their efforts volunteering in the community and championing more sustainable business practices. During 2020 and 2021, staff members of 84 Hospitality teamed up to do a series of clean ups in Oklahoma City. Recognizing the impact of single-use plastics and styrofoam products, they evaluated their business practices to identify ways in which they could reduce their impact on the environment.

Receiving the President’s Special Recognition Award is the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area Tree Canopy Assessment, made possible by the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments, Oklahoma City Community Foundation, and Oklahoma Forestry Services. The project provided data for managing central Oklahoma’s urban forest, with a comprehensive study of the tree canopy of 536 square miles of the metropolitan area. 

Cox Communications is the recipient of the Aubrey McClendon Corporate Award for their Cox Conserves program. This program, launched in 2007, has the following core goals: send zero waste to landfill by 2024, and to be carbon and water neutral by 2034. They are progressing on these goals by focusing on alternative energy, community engagement, employee engagement, energy conservation, waste diversion and recycling, and water conservation.

Robbie Kienzle, City of Oklahoma City’s Arts Liaison, is the recipient of the Pendleton Woods Lifetime Achievement Award. With a decades-long career in municipal planning and public art and cultural affairs, she has brought to life many of the public art enhancements that beautify Oklahoma City. 

Two separate organizations are receiving Community Spirit awards: the Metro Park Neighborhood Association and Lillian Timber Farms. The Metro Park Neighborhood Association has mobilized to connect neighbors in their district while beautifying their corner of the city. Through median beautification and litter cleanups, they have improved their shared spaces, while bringing neighbors together. Lillian Timber Farms is a nonprofit organization that is creating community through teaching and learning sustainable farming practices. They were founded as a response to food insecurity in northeast Oklahoma City, and with a team of volunteers, have built and sustained several community gardens. 

The Volunteer Spirit Award is recognizing Donnie Wilson this year. OKC Beautiful was first introduced to Donnie when he was recognized by KFOR’s Pay it 4Ward series for his consistent litter clean ups in the 39th Street District. He frequently volunteers his time beautifying the district and keeping it clear from litter. 

Restore OKC is the recipient of the Visionary Award. They are bridging relationships of reconciliation for restorative justice by serving the physical, social, emotional, educational & economic needs of neighbors in northeast Oklahoma City. They are doing this through initiatives for education, housing, job training, and farming.

Terri Cooper, active volunteer in the Oklahoma City area, is serving as the Honorary Chair of the Distinguished Service Awards this year. “I am honored to serve as the Distinguished Service Awards event chair,” Cooper said. “What the honorees have accomplished is inspiring.  It is the dedication and vision of groups like these that are making a difference in our great community.”

The presenting sponsor for the 37th Annual Distinguished Service Awards is W&W | AFCO Steel. 

To learn more about these honorees of the 37th Annual Distinguished Service Awards and purchase tickets, you can visit www.okcbeautiful.com/luncheon.