Altus Chamber of Commerce retiring President Holley Urbanski was honored for her 43 years of service to the Altus Community with a retirement reception held at the Museum of the Western Prairie, Tuesday, July 22.
State and local officials, Altus Air Force Base leadership, and her many friends and associates, recognized Urbanski for her far-reaching accomplishments by presenting honorary citations, a Governor’s Commendation, awards, and a special dedication of the Chamber building in Urbanski’s name.
State Senator Mike Schulz read an honorary citation on behalf of the State Legislature. “Holley, thank you very much for your years of dedicated service to this community, and know that you will continue to serve this community well,” Senator Schulz said following the presentation.
State Representative Charles Ortega presented the Governor’s Commendation by Gov. Mary Fallin, and said, “What Holley has done for the Chamber and the City of Altus for as long as she’s done it has got to be out of pure love for the progress of this community, and I for one, Holley am very thankful for what you’ve done.”
Ortega also recognized Urbanski’s late husband, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Joseph Urbanski, saying, “There’s a component missing, and I miss him too. He was a very strong individual and cared just as much about Altus as anyone that was born and raised here.”
Urbanski was also presented a proclamation from the Altus Mayor David Webb, declaring her last day with the Chamber, Thursday, July 31, 2014, as “Holley Urbanski Day,” to encourage citizens to celebrate Urbanski’s service and retirement.
Altus Military Affairs Committee Chairman Dr. Joe Leverett then presented the Soaring with Eagles Award to Urbanski. “There are so many things behind the scenes that Holley has done. I hope you have that sincere feeling that you’ve really touched most of those lives,” Dr. Leverett said of the airman and base personnel who came to Altus to train with the C-17 and KC-135 aircraft. “It wouldn’t have been here if not for you, and we would not have probably got the KC-46 Training Unit here if it had not been for your work over the years.”
Leverett also read and presented a letter from Deborah Lee James, Secretary of the Air Force, thanking Urbanski for her selfless service and involvement in building a strong relationship with Altus AFB and the Altus community. Leverett also read a letter from Gen. Mark A. Welsh, III, Chief of Staff of the Air Force.
Col. Bill Spangenthal, Commander 97th Air Mobility Wing presented a letter on behalf of Gen. Robin Rand, Commander the Air Education Training Command, USAF, for her dedication to the mission at Altus AFB. Urbanski was also presented the Commander’s Public Service Award on behalf of the Department of the Air Force.
Lastly, Jim Gover and Rick Vernon, previous Chamber of Commerce Board Chairmen, unveiled the memorial plaques dedicating the Altus Chamber of Commerce building as the “Holley Urbanski Building.”
“You’ve steered us through some tough times, some good times, and it’s been done by a classy lady here who never sought the limelight,” Gover said. “She was always content to make sure that her Chairmen shined… As a former Chairman I can’t thank you enough. Altus is truly a better place for having had Holley Urbanksi at the helm of the Altus Chamber of Commerce for as many years.”