Jimmy Stallings, president of Envirotech Engineering and Consulting Inc., had to leave Enid to find out how much he liked it here.

Born and raised in Enid, Stallings left to attend Auburn University.

“Dad had actually graduated from there,” Stallings said. “I was looking for an opportunity to go somewhere where I didn’t know anyone. Auburn had a really good engineering school.”

After graduation, Stallings moved to Atlanta to work for an engineering firm. He moved back to Enid in 2002.

“I grew up here and appreciate the quality of life. Living in a city like Atlanta, it was fun when you’re 22 years old,” Stallings said. “I think sometimes you have to move away from Enid to appreciate the things we have to offer.”

Stallings is one of four honorees for the 2016 Pillar of the Plains. Other honorees are Leonard Northcutt, John Little and Barry Pollard. The four will be honored — and the 2016 Pillar of the Plains named — during a ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 12, in the Benson Room in Convention Hall in Central National Bank Center.

The Enid News & Eagle, along with community partners, created the Pillar of the Plains award to honor local people who have been active in the community. These individuals have taken on tasks and projects beyond their professions to better the quality of life in our community.

“It’s an honor to be nominated with a that group of guys,” Stallings said. “I really appreciate it and I am really humbled by it.”

Past Pillar of the Plains Lee Thompson, who nominated Stallings, said it was about time the honor began going to younger folks who do so much for the community.

“This is supposed to honor guys that have done a lot for the community, and this kid has done more in his few years here than most have in their whole lives,” he said. “I don’t know anybody that has contributed more then he has.”

Thompson said he’s known Stallings since he was a boy and watched him grow up. He said since Stallings returned to Enid from Atlanta, Stallings has done almost all there is to do.

“When he came back, he just started doing all kinds of stuff,” Thompson said. “He just doesn’t join, he leads. He’s not just a member, he’s president. I think he’s deserving of this honor.”

Stallings served as chair of Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce from 2009 to 2010. He served two terms on the Airport Advisory Board. He also served seven years on the Enid Regional Development Alliance Board of Directors.

Stallings was tapped to be a Key Economics Networks regional leader for Gov. Mary Fallin’s Oklahoma Works program. He was one of nine Oklahomans selected for the position.

“We put together business and industry with assets at the state and local government, like ERDA and chambers, and also the education systems, whether that’s common ed or CareerTech, ” Stallings said.

He also served six years on the Vance Development Authority.

“Chad Dillingham and I co-chaired the campaign effort for the most recent school bond,” Stallings said. The two organized support for and raised money in support of two bond propositions.

Proposition No. 1 asked voters whether or not to approve $90.23 million to repair, remodel and build new district facilities, increase safety and security measures on campuses, improve technology infrastructure, provide one mobile device per student, and add fine arts and athletic facilities. Proposition No 2. asked voters whether or not to approve $2.6 million to upgrade the district’s transportation fleet. Both passed.

Oklahoma State School Boards Association selected Dillingham and Stallings as recipients of the 2016 Barbara Lynch Community Partner Award for their work in Enid Public Schools’ strategic plan and bond election.

Stallings also was selected as one of Enid Young Professionals 10 under 40 for 2015. He has served two terms on Enid Rotary Board of Directors. Stallings currently serves on the Central National Bank and Trust Company board and is chairman of the Integris Bass Governing Board.

“Each and every one of those boards and organizations benefits our community,” Stallings said. “I feel like as a member of this community, and it’s certainly been great to me, it’s my obligation to give back. When I see something I am passionate about I definitely want to give my time and bring my assets back to the table.

“I think it’s a great place to live. Our cost of living is fairly reasonable, we don’t have to fight traffic, and I enjoy being able to hunt and fish and do things outdoors,” Stallings said. “I have a business here. While we go out everywhere in the country I have always been able to find good employees here.”

Stallings had this advice for others in the community.

“Everything I’ve done I do it because I want to live here and love the community,” he said. “If there are things they can do to better the schools, or the community as a whole, I would encourage them to get involved because that’s what makes Enid great.”