Contact: Wendel Sloan at 575.562.2253
PORTALES–The Eastern New Mexico University Foundation awards for Business of the Year, Philanthropists of the Year, and Volunteer of the Year will be presented at the 37th annual ENMU Foundation Breakfast on Saturday, Sept. 29, during homecoming on the Portales campus.
The recipients are:
Business Environments – Business of the Year
Established in 1973, Albuquerque-based Business Environments is coming up on their 40th anniversary. The company, originally Leasing Services, Inc., was purchased by I. B. Hoover and expanded from leasing to office furniture sales. Today, brothers Bruce Hoover and Scott Hoover are 50/50 owners of Albuquerque Business Environments, where Bruce serves as the CEO and Scott as president. The company continues to be a family business, where I.B. Hoover, their father, who is nearly 80, is still involved on a day-to-day basis, and Sharon Thorpe, their sister, also works at Business Environments.
The family's philanthropic philosophy is about, "Giving back to the community that helped us as a family and in establishing the business," Bruce Hoover explains. ENMU, and four other state institutions, have all benefitted from Business Environments generosity. The family is also a long-time supporter of United Way. Every place that Business Environments conduct business, they try to get involved with the community, either through schools or other philanthropic opportunities. Community involvement is also very important to the employees of Business Environments.
"Giving back is a win-win. It strengthens business relations and the overall community," Bruce Hoover says. Bruce, who served on the Lobo Club for 10 years, is a member of the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, Albuquerque Economic Development, Executive Association of Greater Albuquerque, New Mexico Bowl Board of Directors, and US Bank advisory board.
Ed and Barbara Foreman – Philanthropist of the Year
Alumnus Ed Foreman and his wife, Barbara, live a "terrific" life and have a philosophy of giving back to their communities. Foreman grew up on a sweet potato and peanut farm in Portales. He attended ENMU for two years before transferring to New Mexico State University to earn a degree in civil engineering. He holds an honorary Doctorate of Letters degree from NMSU and is a member of the Council of Peers Award for Excellence Speaker Hall of Fame.
As a petroleum engineer, he developed a technique for drilling wells safer, faster and more efficiently. Foreman became financially independent and was elected to the U.S. Congress, first from Texas, then from New Mexico, becoming the only person to be elected to the U.S. Congress from two different states in over 150 years.
Barbara has devoted her life to her family and to organizations such as Easter Seals, PTA, The Salvation Army, Chi Omega, and the Girl Scouts of America. The couple continue to be generous to numerous charities.
"We prefer to give to organizations that truly help people to help themselves," explained Ed Foreman. "ENMU, NMSU, NMCCH (New Mexico Christian Children's Home) and many other charities we support educate young people of America. Giving back is good for the people where we live and have lived."
Glen O'Rear – Volunteer of the Year
Born in Clovis, N.M., Glen O'Rear has lived in the area his entire life. He was a farmer, along with his family, before he started with Edward Jones 16 years ago. He graduated from ENMU with his bachelor's in business administration and finance in 1990. All four members of the O'Rear family, which include his wife and two sons, have attended ENMU.
Edward Jones encourages its advisors to volunteer in community-based organizations. O'Rear is involved with the Portales Rotary Club, the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico, as well as the ENMU Foundation. Most recently, he was appointed president of the newly established Roosevelt General Hospital Foundation Board.
"There are a lot of people that have needs in the community. Sometimes they don't have the expertise to do what they need to do, so it's just nice to be able step in and help," said O'Rear.
When he started at Edward Jones, a lot of people had helped him. Now, he has been helping the ENMU Foundation for over six years by providing advice on investments and the economy. Consulting with the ENMU Foundation is O'Rear's favorite volunteer role, because of the research and planning that is involved. His other volunteer activities include Meals on Wheels, Dairy Fest and pumpkin giveaways. One cause that is especially meaningful to him is the Food Bank's backpack program for in-need kids to take home on the weekends so that they have nutritious food. O'Rear hopes to set an example for both his and generations to come by volunteering in different organizations in hope they will do the same thing.
"People kind of get less involved within communities... We need to bring it back, especially in the smaller communities so that they'll stay stronger," O'Rear says. "If everybody would give a little bit of time to volunteering, it's an easy, no-cost way to make our world a better place."
For more information on the ENMU Foundation awards, call 575.562.2412.