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Bonne Terre Citizen of Year is Doug Calvert

BONNE TERRE — Former Chamber President Donna Jean Weber had the honor of presenting the Bonne Terre Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Hall of Fame Award to her father. 

The Bonne Terre Chamber of Commerce Installation and Awards Banquet was held Saturday night at the Knights of Columbus Hall. 

During the event, Don Hawkins received the Bonne Terre Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Hall of Fame Award while Linda Black was named the Chamber’s Home Town Hero and Police Chief Doug Calvert was named the Daily Journal Citizen of the Year.

Hawkins came to Bonne Terre and bought Don Hawk’s grocery store in 1977. Weber said they weren’t from this area and didn’t know a soul but her father believed the way to become part of the community was being active in the community.

Hawkins was active in many groups. He was named the Daily Journal Citizen of the Year in 1982 and has also received the Business Leader of the Year Award. 

He owns Save-A-Lot, and apartments including Don Hawk Apartments. He is a past co-owner of Bonne Terre Dairy Queen. 

Weber said her father has been a mentor and partner in their family business for 45 years and is one of the Good People in the great city of Good Earth, Good People. 

She said her father has always been a hard worker and a dedicated father. She’s seen her dad put extra groceries in people’s bags and has seen him take money out of his own pocket to give to someone in need.

Hawkins said Bonne Terre has been good to him. 

Chamber Vice President Dave Bahr presented State Rep. Linda Black, D-Bonne Terre, with the Chamber’s Home Town Hero Award. 

“… I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve this,” Black said, adding that the community means so much to her. 

Black, a former school teacher who is beginning her second term, will chair the Corrections Committee. She is also on the Agri-Business, Emerging Issues in Animal Agriculture, and Tourism and Natural Resources committees. 

Black joked that where else but Bonne Terre could you find a state representative with a scar on her head from the police chief. She said when they were 4 years old, they both wanted the driver’s seat of the locomotive in the park. She fell off and hit her head.

Police Chief Doug Calvert was the last award winner of the night. While his department as a whole had already received the Froggy 96 Elite Service Award, Calvert was the recipient of the Daily Journal Citizen of the Year Award.

Calvert said so many people he has looked up to have been past recipients of the award. He said he has to share this award with many people. He said he has a great family, good bosses and a good team of officers. 

In his earlier speech, Calvert said the police department is lucky to have the “community we do behind us.” He said while they often see the worst in people but they also see the best in people.

As a boy, Calvert used to ride along with Former Police Chief Gene Archer. He knew back then that he wanted to be a police officer and work to make his community a better place. 

Calvert told the audience his first job was working at Don Hawk’s.

He is lifelong resident of Bonne Terre and a graduate of North County High School and Mineral Area College where he earned an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Management.

He worked as a reserve officer for St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department and as a police officer for Leadwood and Leadington police departments.

In May of 1993 he was hired as a police officer for the Bonne Terre Police Department. In 1995, he was promoted to corporal and then to sergeant and captain.

In January of 2005, Calvert became the interim police chief. In July of that year, he was sworn in as the police chief. 

In addition to being a police officer, he has volunteered many years for the Bonne Terre Fire Department. He is a former St. Francois County Ambulance District Board Member.

Calvert is married and has one child. His parents are Lee Roy and Joyce Calvert. 

Other Awards

Blackwell Motors was presented the KFMO/B104 Business Leader of the Year Award. Dan Tinsley accepted the award for Kevin Blackwell who was at a charity event. 

The car dealership has been located in Bonne Terre for the past four years. Blackwell, who has been in the business 30 years, does a lot of fund raisers for the community. 

Dennis Coleman and Sam Herdon-Payne of Expressions By Dennis received the KTJJ/KREI 110 Percent Award for sharing their talents and opening their business to host events for community groups like the Chamber. Kim Long said they are an asset to Bonne Terre and are giving and unique entrepreneurs.

Special Chamber awards were also given to Gordon Bess Construction, Politte Ready Mix, One Touch Electric and AAC Concrete for their help in building the stage at Bonne Terre City Park. 

Awards were also given to chamber auction chairwomen, Mitzi White Tyrell and Alexia Hampton for hosting fun and successful auction. Lois Ann Meyer was given an award for always volunteering at Chamber events — unless she has St. Louis Cardinals tickets.

The chamber also thanked outgoing Chamber President Marty Umfleet, who was unable to attend the banquet because of work; retiring Treasurer Tammy Baranovic; and retiring Board of Directors member, J.J. Vickers.

Vice President Dave Bahr talked about the accomplishments of 2010. The chamber restarted the Community Betterment Committee, held their annual blood drive, the Fourth of July festival and the Christmas parade. They also used proceeds from the license office to build a stage at Bonne Terre City Park. They also hired a company to create a new website and added 16 new chamber members.

The 2011 Board of Directors are Brandon Hubbard, president; Dave Bahr, vice president; Janice Bess, treasurer; Marty Umfleet, immediate past president; and Kevin Andres, Jamie Bess, Carolyn Kaeser, Samantha McDowell, Mitzi White Tyrell, Ginger Williams and Amber Young.

The Gold Member was First State Community Bank. The Silver Members were Joyce Wood and Associates; and Wood Land and Cattle. Lead Members were Bonne Terre Dairy Queen; Parkland Health Center; and Pharmax Pharmacy.

Teresa Ressel is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 179 or at

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