MCEDC seeks nominations for George Holst Award


The legacy of the late George Holst of Palacios is certainly one to be celebrated and the Matagorda County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) will do just that at its annual meeting in December when the 20th recipient of the George Holst Award for excellence in community vision and economic leadership is announced.

Each year the MCEDC board of directors seeks nominations from the community for outstanding economic leaders to be considered as recipients of this prestigious award.

According to guidelines set out by the MCEDC board, good candidates should be of good moral character, have the ability to give solid reasons for an action and be able to move people emotionally and intellectually. 

Because of Holst’s enthusiastic activism in county economic development throughout the late 70s, 80s and 90s, he became the namesake for the only award given by the Matagorda County EDC.

Of his many noble character traits, Holst was a leader in unifying the county at a time when many viewed the Colorado River as a dividing line in the county. 

Holst was the superintendent of schools in Palacios at the time that the county’s largest employer, South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company, was being built. Holst was a crucial supporter of that project and went on to be instrumental in founding the Matagorda County Economic Development Corporation alongside then County Judge Loy Sneary in the late 90s.  

For these reasons and others, Matagorda County EDC created an award in his name to honor those individuals who work diligently to pursue growth and progress that benefits the county.

Since 1998, it has indeed been some of Matagorda County’s finest who have been added to the ranks of the elite George Holst Award recipients: 

1998 – Willie Younger, Texas A&M University operator of Kharma Floating Classroom Boat and Marine Education Center in Palacios; 

1999 – Myra Brhlik, Community volunteer extraordinaire and Palacios EDC; 

2001 – Mike Sherrod, Palacios EDC executive director;

2002 – Jim Frankson, Bay City CPA and member of Industrial Foundation and Matagorda County EDC;

2003 – Kathy Nichols, Palacios Hospital Administrator and City Councilwoman;

2004 – Bert Huebner, Bay City Attorney;

2005 – Bobby Wilkinson, Matagorda County businessman and member of Industrial Foundation and Matagorda County EDC;

2006 – Lower Colorado River Authority;

2007 – Mitch Thames, President and CEO of Bay City Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture;

2008 – Richard Knapik, Bay City Mayor; 

2009 – Nate McDonald, Matagorda County Judge;

2010 – Ken Johnson, Palacios businessman and member of the Palacios EDC and Matagorda County EDC;

2011 – DC Dunham, Executive Director of the Bay City Community Development Corporation; 

2012 – Owen Bludau, Matagorda County EDC executive director; 

2013 – Betty Scurlock, Matagorda County Hospital District and economic development activist from Palacios; and

2014 -  Erwin Ward, Bay City realtor and past member of the Matagorda County EDC and Bay City Community Development Corporation.

2015 – Michael D. Griffith, Port of Bay City Authority Chairman; 

2016 – John Chipman, Palacios area businessman and member of the Matagorda County EDC and Palacios EDC; and 

2017 – Arthur J. Milberger, Matagorda County businessman.

The newest Holst Award recipient will be announced at the MCEDC Annual Meeting on Thursday, Dec. 13 and the MCEDC board will rely on nominations from community members as the committee chooses the worthiest candidate. 

Individuals and organizations can make nominations or self-nominate. There are no restrictions as to age, race or gender.

A nomination form should be submitted by Thursday, Nov. 29 and can be obtained at the Matagorda County EDC office, 2200 7th Street - Suite 402 in Bay City, or at the Palacios Chamber of Commerce, 420 Main Street in Palacios, or by calling 979-245-8913 or by emailing MCEDC Director of Communication Heather Menzies at  

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