SIFE to honor three at Women in Business Banquet

April 13, 2011

PLAINVIEW – Wayland Baptist University’s Students in Free Enterprise chapter will honor three local business leaders at its Sixth Annual Women in Business Banquet, slated for Thursday, April 28.

The banquet will honor Shayla Whalen of American State Bank, Velma Gonzales de Solorzano, owner of Solorzano Tax Services, and Teressa King, co-owner of King Carpet and Furniture Expressions.

The awards program is an effort to honor local women who have contributed greatly to the local business environment, in keeping with their six core principles: ethics, market economics, free enterprise, financial literacy, entrepreneurship and sustainability.

Keynote speaker for the banquet will be Nelda Laney, longtime West Texas resident and an active community volunteer. Laney is a graduate of Plainview High School and Texas Tech University. She served as president of the National Board of Directors for the Tech Alumni Association in 2010, spearheading an effort to raise funds for expansion and updates to the Merket Alumni Center. In addition, Laney serves on the Texas Advisory Board for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; the state board for Friends of Libraries and Archives of Texas; the board of Central Plains Community Partners and Greater Texas Community Partners. She is a member of the Omega Delphin Study Club, Kappa Alpha Theta Alumni, Mortar Board Alumni, the Tech Chancellor’s Council and the Tech Century Club.

Laney was formerly the vice chair of the Texas Capitol Restoration Celebration and co-chair of the Capitol Fund Drive for state capitol renovation. She has served on the Legislative Ladies Club, the Young Homemakers of Texas, the Texas Tech Foundation board and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, South Plains Chapter, among many others.

Nelda is probably best known for her work creating the Texas Capitol ornament series that generated funds for preservation and education, started in 1996 while husband Pete was still serving in the Texas House of Representatives. From 1996-2002, more than 300,000 ornaments were sold, raising more than $2 million for the capitol. Due to the popularity, Laney was asked to help design ornaments for other projects such as Keep Texas Beautiful, M.D. Anderson Hospital, the Vatican Exhibit, Texas Tech, Bob Bullock State History Museum, centennials for Post, Clyde, Rotan, Plainview and Lubbock; Rotary International, and Prevent Child Abuse, among others. She also created two ornaments of Wayland buildings for the Hale County Historical Commission.

She has been honored as a Distinguished Alumnus of Tech College of Education; the Stars Over Plainview Award; the Woman of the Year for Texas Extension Association and for Plainview; Citizen of the Year for Hale Center; and a special recognition by Texas Women’s Alliance for her capitol restoration work, among many others. She was the first recipient of the Women of Achievement Award by the Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs.

Nelda and Pete have three children, KaLyn Laney, Jamey Phillips and husband Ronald, and J. Pete Laney and wife Melonie, and six grandchildren.

The event will take place in the McClung Center, Room 211, at 6:30 p.m. and includes a dinner and the program. Tickets are $20 per person and the deadline to make reservations is Monday, April 25.

To get tickets, call Debbie in the School of Business at 291-1020 or SIFE sponsor Sam Van Hoose at 291-1029.