Marley Abell, left, presents Rod Brooks with
the Chamber Member of the Month Award.
Rod Brooks, owner of the Mazzio’s Pizza franchise in Sallisaw, was recognized as the Chamber Member of the Month during the January membership meeting of the Sallisaw Chamber of Commerce Wednesday.
Marley Abell, presiding over his first chamber membership meeting as president, presented the award to Brooks as chamber members dined on a meal catered by Charlie’s Chicken at Indian Capital Technology Center.
“In 1998, he officially started his own management company and partnered with his mother, the late Sharon Brooks Brown,” Abell said. “Rod was over operations of the Sallisaw Mazzio’s Pizza while Sharon was over bookkeeping and marketing. Together they grew a very successful business.”
After his mother’s death in 2008, Brooks became sole owner and attributes the store’s success to the Lord’s blessing and a solid foundation that he and his mom built together into a very supportive community.
Brooks said he was honored to receive such a reputable award.
“My parents were always giving; they were extremely generous and believed in investing back into the community,” Brooks said. “They have set an example before me and we have tried to follow in her footsteps.”
In other chamber business, Sallisaw wrestling coach, Darrell Hume, thanked the community for supporting the recent Paul Post Wrestling Tournament hosted by Sallisaw High School, and solicited additional support for upcoming tourneys, which will bring an economic boost to the community from the out-of-town visitors.
Hume also mentioned a girl’s wrestling program is set to begin next school year.
Brooke Lattimore of the Sallisaw Health and Wellness Center shared information about a free overdose rescue training that the center will host on Feb. 21 for anyone wanting to help save lives in light of the opioid epidemic.
Guest speaker Charla Sloan, KiBois Area Transit System director, then shared information about the transportation services KATS has provided since 1998 and continues to provide today. On any given weekday, 19 KATS vehicles are transporting more than 300 riders to either work, dialysis, medical appointments, classes, the grocery store, shopping or other appointments.
“We want to provide transportation and we want to make it as affordable as possible,” Sloan said. “We’re open to the public; we’re open to anything. Just call us.”
To close the meeting, Sallisaw City Manager Keith Skelton gave an update on the veterans center relocation to Sallisaw after a Latimer County state representative authored legislation to repeal the laws to close the Talihina center and relocate it. He said his staff is in contact with the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs on a weekly basis.
“ODVA is 110 percent committed to Sallisaw in their decision to relocate the center to Sallisaw,” Skelton told the Chamber members, adding that it may be 2020 before ODVA gets funding for the project and construction may not begin for three years. “We are proceeding as though there’s going to be no hiccups in this and ODVA feels the same way.”
Regarding the bill, Skelton said his contacts say that bill will pretty much be “dead on arrival” and may not even be heard in committee.
Pam Cloud, Managing News Director
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