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My friend Olin recently received Plano’s most prestigious award and let me say right here at the beginning, it’s about time.

By now I’m sure most Planoites know that Olin Jaye was named the Citizen of the Year during the annual Plano Chamber of Commerce Best of Plano celebration Thursday, October 1 at the Hilton Dallas/Plano Granite Park Hotel. This award was first presented in 1951 and has a proud history of honoring the leaders that have successfully taken Plano from a small agricultural center to the booming city it is today.

It was no surprise to me or most people who know Olin that he would be singled out for this honor. His volunteer efforts in so many areas of the community are well known. A former member of the city council and chairman of the board of the Collin County Central Appraisal District, he has been active in local politics and for many years been an observer and advocate for Plano in Austin spending much of his own time monitoring legislation that could effect our city and Collin County. Olin is a past chairman of the chamber and has served in numerous leadership roles with nonprofit organizations in Plano and Collin County. He was named Realtor of the Year in 2006 by the Collin County Association of Realtors and is a past president of CCAR.

While he was the headliner Olin wasn’t the only honoree at the gala dinner and awards presentation. Eight other individuals and businesses were cited for there contributions to this community. Former chamber chairwoman and ARTA Travel president Tammy McSwain received the Athena Award. The Small Business Person of the Year went to Pete Hutchinson, Hutch-N-Son Painting & Drywall. Rookie of the Year honors were received by a new publication, Community Impact Newspaper. The Corporate Citizen of the Year Award was received by Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano. Plano’s historic Haggard Family received the first ever Outstanding Philanthropist Award. My Possibilities was named the Community Partner of the Year. Flowerama founder Tom Cao received the Fred Moses Minority Business Development Award and Business Executive of the Year honors went to AT&T’s Holly Reed.

One last kudo to Olin. I nominate him for Best Acceptance Speech of the Year. It was the last of the evening and direct, insightful, self deprecating, peppered with quips and jokes and it was short. Congratulations to Olin Jaye and all those honorees past and present for helping make Plano the community we all enjoy today.

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Mike Newman

Mike Newman is a native Texan, born and raised in east Dallas. After serving as a photographers mate in the U.S. Navy, including one tour of duty in Vietnam, he moved to Plano and joined the newspaper...