Parker County Today May 2016 - Page 50

Larry Fowler Law Enforcement Hero Award - Ethan Stark Growing up, Ethan Stark knew he would choose between one of two career paths. “I knew I’d either become a preacher or a cop,” he said. “I was better with a gun than a Bible.” Stark joined the Parker County Sheriff’s Office over four years ago. Now 26, he’s the youngest corporal at the S.O., something he feels good about.  “I worked hard and got promoted early,” Stark said. “I like leading my guys … I believe that people go into law enforcement to help people.” Stark understood in the beginning that h is chosen career doesn’t always show him the best side of humanity and he works hard to avoid becoming cynical. “My father was a big teddy bear who loved everybody, a tremendous people person,” Stark said. “Then he went to work as an ER nurse. Things he had to deal with changed him, caused him to become disgruntled when he saw what he had to deal with. We’ve talked about that. I try my hardest not to be a cynic.” What helps him deal with some of the horrors of the streets?  “Early in my career, at the end of the day a mom had gone to pick up her kids and then gone to the grocery store,” Stark said. “She was gone about 20 minutes, but in that time her house was burglarized.” Stark recalls seeing her child crying, afraid the burglar would return and hurt them. During Stark’s next shift, he caught and arrested two burglars.  “It makes me happy when I can help solve problems for people,” he said. “It’s not every day that you’re able to help people, but the days you do makes it worth it.”  Jerry Durant Philanthropist Award - Misty Engel Born and raised in Weatherford, Misty Engel has deep roots in the community. She is passionate about helping people and is a Certified Pre-planning Consultant with Galbreaith-Pickard Funeral Chapel. In January she graduates from a specialty school and will become a licensed funeral director. She is the third generation of Plowmans working at the funeral home. “When I was a senior in high school I opened a flower shop here in the funeral home,” she said. “I graduated in 2000 and kept the shop till 2010.” She sold the flower shop and became an employee of Galbreaith-Pickard. Engel believes in making her place a better place for everyone. As part of the local CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) organization she works to ensure the well-being of the county’s greatest assets — its children. “I want to continue serving families in Parker County and surrounding areas,” Engel said. “That’s it.” MAY 2016 PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY Ric Williamson Charitable Visionary Award - Allison Willis Who doesn’t love being recognized, but getting an award named for your highly-regarded mentor is even better. “This may be a little bit loftier of an honor for me because I used to work for Ric Williamson,” Allison Willis said. “It’s more meaningful because when I started in oil and gas it was working for Ric. He’s not just a name to me. I have a lot of respect for the Williamson family.” After graduating Henrietta High School, Willis earned her BBA in Management from Tarleton State University. Willis has called Parker County home for 14 years and currently works as operations manager for OXXN, an oil and gas services and production company based in Weatherford. She believes one should give back to the community. “As a [Parker County Today] bachelorette I raised funds for Careity,” she explained. “I look primarily at local charities because I think it is important to support your local community where you can see your money changing lives and growing the community.” 48