RCB Board Member Larry Murphy Honored in Ponca City
published on 02/06/2012
By LOUISE ABERCROMBIE
News Business Editor
An atmosphere of jovial spirit, quality honorees, popular entertainment and a menu second to none, highlighted the 118th annual Ponca City Area Chamber of Commerce banquet Thursday evening. Before a capacity crowd the audience gave not one — but two — standing ovations for Larry Murphy, the 2011 Outstanding Citizen awardee, for his leadership in a number of Ponca City causes.
Never at a loss for words, Murphy took control of the mike with ease and proceeded to do a monologue that resonated with the business and community crowd. Murphy credited his wife for much of what he has accomplished over the years. Murphy said in their 39 years of marriage they got along on almost every thing but music. “I like both kinds ... country and western.”
Murphy also mentioned a number of the Outstanding Citizens who have gone before him and their inspiration and generosity to the community. He said important ingredients for a successful community are about giving “time, talent and treasure.”
MaryAnne Potter presented Murphy with his award.
This year’s recipient is not a native Oklahoman. He was born in what some folks call a foreign country ... Texas. He moved with his family to Ponca City when he was a young child and adopted the indomitable spirit of Oklahoma. He attended Ponca City schools and graduated from Po-Hi. He then attended Northern Oklahoma College and graduated with a degree in marketing from the University of Central Oklahoma. While attending UCO he played on the golf team, a game with which he continues a love/hate relationship to this day.
Ponca City’s Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year is a self-made man. As a youngster he had a paper route. Later on he washed cars at his family’s auto dealership, did construction work and also worked as a night clerk at a hotel. After graduation from college, he sold cars and rose through the ranks to become sales manager in a short period of time. Wanting more challenges, he joined a local business in 1979 and in 1983 he established his own successful business, a business that still exists and flourishes today.
Ponca City’s Outstanding Citizen of 2011 has the unique capacity to inspire others to follow him. Vince Lombardi likened leadership to a spiritual quality; the power to inspire, the power to inspire others to follow. Our individual is a “Leader among leaders.”He has served on numerous civic boards and has been elected board chairman of many.
He has served as chairman and board member of the Child Development Center, president and advisory board member of Westminster Village, chairman and board member of the Ponca City Medical Center Foundation, chairman of the Ponca City Development Authority Board, board member of the RCB/Pioneer Bank and board member of the Ponca City Country Club.
He has served as tournament chairman of the Hospice Memorial Golf Tournament since its inception in 1994. He is a past recipient of the Chamber’s Volunteer of the Year award.
In civic, charitable organizations and at church, Murphy has also excelled. He has served as a board member of the Ponca City School Foundation, a volunteer for the United Way and a fundraising volunteer for the YMCA. He is a member, board member and a Paul Harris Fellow for Rotary. He has served as volunteer and board member of the Ponca City Chamber of Commerce and a member of Ponca City’s Main Street Program. He has served as an elder, deacon and a Sunday school teacher at church. He has been featured in his industry’s professional magazine as a leader among leaders.
When asked to describe this year’s recipient many have said he is a man of the highest character and integrity. He is hardworking, caring, humorous and loving towards his family and friends. He loves God, his family, and his community, all in that order. The one quality that makes him so unique as a leader is his wonderful sense of humor. His quick wit and self-effacing manner, combined with his thoughtful and common-sense approach to problem-solving, makes him an effective leader.
This individual has touched the future with his vision that Ponca City could be a better place to live, to work and to play.
Janet Martin served as mistress of ceremonies. Lee Evans, incoming chairman of the Ponca City Chamber of Commerce, accepted the gavel from Daren Wilson, 2011 chairman.
Others honored during the evening were: Joe Theobald as Ambassador of the Year; Sue Lunsford, Larry Hughes Leadership Award; The Ponca City News, Business of the Year; American Metal Fabrication, Industry of the Year; Lynda Clark, Volunteer of the Year; David Keathley, Gary Martin Outstanding City Employee.