Wendell Godwin, dean of the East Central University School of Business, received the 2013 Ada Area Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year Award.

Godwin achieved the award by virtue of his outstanding contributions to the Ada Area Chamber of Commerce and City of Ada. He has chaired the Fire Station Committee, served on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and has volunteered to serve on the Leadership Committee for Career Discovery Day for Pontotoc County eighth graders.

"I believe that volunteering is critical to Ada's future. I work with students of all ages to understand the importance of giving back and believe that leading by example is required to build credibility and earn respect," said Godwin. "What I most enjoy about volunteering is that it allows you to spend time where you want to spend your time in order to achieve the greatest payback. Giving back is one way to impact others positively and it really does have a domino effect."

He has instituted two big programs at ECU, including Oklahoma Business Week and Junior Tiger Academy. Oklahoma Business Week serves over 100 high school students from across the state during the summer while Junior Tiger Academy is comprised of fifth and sixth graders from Willard Grade Center in Ada as they learn about business practices through a lemonade stand project.

Godwin has worked the past three years to support the university's efforts to fund the new Chickasaw Business and Conference Center. He has provided direction for new technology, both in the building and the classrooms.

He is also an active participant in the ECU School of Business classes providing insight from the business world as he teaches leadership courses at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Godwin came to ECU in 2010 after a 26-year professional career that enabled him to live and travel across the United States.