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ETCOG Announces Regional Award Recipients for Exemplary Contributions to East Texas
ETCOG Announces Regional Award Recipients for Exemplary Contributions to East Texas
Pictured left to right: ETCOG Executive Director David Cleveland, Tyler Stroschein, Mayor Ronnie Spradlin, Jamal Moharer accepting on behalf of Kristy Range, Dr. Beverly Waddleton Johnson, Darren Renshaw, and George Roberts. Judge Robert Johnston is not pictured.
East Texas, March 27, 2023: The East Texas Council of Governments (ETCOG) honored regional citizens who exemplify excellence in performance, innovation, and contributions to the community at its 103rd Semi-Annual Board of Directors Meeting last week at Bear Creek Smokehouse in Marshall, Texas. Award criteria and recipient information are as follows:
ETCOG conferred two Regional First Responder Awards, recognizing first responders who have rendered extraordinary service, putting their lives on the line for our safety while performing their duties. Tyler Stroschein with Longview Police Department, and Darren Renshaw with Emory Volunteer Fire Department, and Reserve Deputy for Rains County Sherriff Department were this year’s award recipients.
Officer Tyler Stroschein was selected for the award for an extraordinary act of service in which his training and experience came to aid. On October 16, 2022, Officer Stroschein responded to a shooting where an individual accidentally shot himself in the leg, causing severe damage to his femoral artery. Officer Stroschein acted quickly and applied a tourniquet to stop the bleeding, which allowed the subject to receive medical attention. Thanks to Officer Stroschein’s timely intervention, the subject was able to keep his leg, regain full motion, and walk again.
Darren Renshaw was selected for the award for his outstanding service, dedication, and commitment to his community. In his award nomination, Rains County Commissioners Court expressed their admiration for Darren’s selflessness and unwavering dedication to the betterment of the community. Darren has been a key figure in the Volunteer Fire Department and in his service as reserve Deputy for Rains County Sherriff’s Department, having been on the scene for over half of the 1155 calls in the past two years. He has also played a significant role in recruiting and mentoring numerous individuals into the VFD. Despite his busy schedule, Darren always makes time for others, leading by example and inspiring others in their citizenship and servanthood. The Court called Darren one of the best role models in the community and thanked him for his tireless efforts in making the community a better place.
ETCOG’s Regional Citizen of the Year award is designed to honor a citizen of East Texas who has contributed to the well-being of the East Texas region. The City of Kilgore’s Mayor, Ronnie Spradlin, III, and Dr. Beverly Waddleton Johnson of Quitman were honored with the awards.
Mayor Spradlin, a lifetime resident of Kilgore, has been awarded this prestigious award for his unwavering commitment to education and community service. Mayor Spradlin’s dedication to education is evident in his work mentoring and funding the dreams of many students, as well as supporting KISD and the Rangerette organization. His community involvement spans several decades, co-founding organizations such as the Kilgore Historic Preservation Foundation, Kilgore Boys and Girls Club, and the Community Development Corporation and helping to establish the Texas Shakespeare Festival and Hearts Anonymous. His contributions to the community include a quarter of a million dollars to The Lazy S Splash Pad in Kilgore to honor his late parents, donating land for the Kilgore Dog Park, and serving on the city council from 2007 to 2010 and as Mayor since 2010.
Dr. Beverly Waddleton Johnson has dedicated over 40 years of service to her community, making significant contributions to the field of medicine and community involvement in East Texas. She was the first Black female physician in Wood County, where she served as Clinic Medical Director and Cardiac Rehab Medical Director at UT Health East Texas. Dr. Waddleton’s unwavering commitment to education and medical care is reflected in her various board memberships, including the Tyler Junior College Wesley House and the Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry for the Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. Her contributions to the medical field have been recognized through numerous accolades, including being chosen as one of the 50 Heroes for Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2020. Dr. Waddleton is a member of several community organizations, including the Wood County Economic Development Health Committee, Quitman Chamber of Commerce, Quitman First United Methodist Church, and the Quitman Rotary Club. After more than 40 years of selfless service to her community, Dr. Waddleton now enjoys a well-deserved retirement.
The Regional Corporate Citizen of the Year award honors a corporate partner in East Texas that has contributed to the well-being of the East Texas Region. The ETCOG board conferred the award to the Northeast Texas Public Health for their unwavering commitment to public health. Every month, NET Health clinics see approximately 28,000 pregnant women, new mothers, new fathers, and children up to age five, ensuring healthy pregnancies, healthy babies, and healthy young children. The NET Health Regional Laboratory is also instrumental in ensuring public safety, performing regulatory milk analysis of dairies throughout northeast Texas, and testing municipal water supplies. “The organization has also played a significant role in protecting the community against emergencies such as weather-related events, bioterrorism, and most recently, COVID-19,” said ETCOG Executive Director David Cleveland. “Their dedicated service during the pandemic has been especially noteworthy, with George Roberts and his staff doing everything possible to educate, encourage, and vaccinate vulnerable East Texans against COVID-19. They are the rock stars of public health, addressing nearly every major threat to public health in East Texas, including West Nile, H1N1, Tuberculosis, Zika, Ebola, and Whooping Cough, and more.”
Former Anderson County Judge Robert Johnston has been awarded this year’s Regional Statesmanship Award for his valuable and dedicated service to regional cooperation. Since taking office in 2011, Judge Johnston has served Anderson County, ETCOG, the East Texas Region, and the State of Texas in a variety of capacities. He has been a member of the ETCOG Board and Executive Committee since his tenure began and became Chairman in 2015. In 2022, Judge Johnston was elected the first ETCOG delegate to serve as President of the Texas Association of Regional Councils Board. This statewide association of regional councils focuses on enhancing the quality of life through regional strategies, partnerships, and solutions. “Judge Johnston’s leadership has been marked by several characteristics that make him an outstanding public servant. He loves the region he serves, always does what he believes is right, and consistently supports our agency. He is a humble, dedicated public servant who always places the needs of others before his own,” said Cleveland.
Kristy Swan Range serves on the ETCOG EasTexConnects transportation committee. Through her exemplary service, she was chosen for the Regional Committee Service Award, which recognizes an individual who has demonstrated a sustained, dedicated commitment to ETCOG efforts and activities. Kristy is an exceptional public transportation advocate and passenger who has made outstanding contributions to the development of East Texas and the well-being of its residents. Kristy’s passion for educating the public on their transportation options is unmatched, and she has worked tirelessly to ensure that everyone has access to public transit. She serves as the Regional Mobility Manager for East Texas and is actively involved in several committees, including the East Texas Veterans Community Council, EasTexConnects Regional Transportation Committee, Smith Co Passenger Advisory Committee, and Smith Co Transportation Advisory Committee.
Photos of the event are available on the ETCOG Facebook page,
The East Texas Council of Governments (ETCOG) is a voluntary association of counties, cities, school districts, and special districts within the fourteen-county East Texas region. ETCOG assists local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit, and coordinating for sound regional development. Established in 1970, ETCOG, either directly or through its contractors, provides programs and services for East Texas seniors, employers, and job seekers. ETCOG and its contractors also build the 9-1-1 emergency call delivery system, provide peace officer training and homeland security planning services, and deliver rural transportation services, business finance programs, and environmental grant funding for the region.
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