Kinlee Farris, former executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Commerce, was named New Executive of the Year by the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce Executives (OCCE) on Nov. 3.
Farris was recognized for her “outstanding performance and exceptional leadership as a new Chamber executive,” according to a press release from the Yukon Chamber.
The award is given to people who have been in a paid chamber leadership role for three years or less.
OCCE chairman Suzanne Shirey said the award is a significant honor for a new executive.
“We were so honored to give this award to Kinlee because of her true leadership shown throughout her tenure. She was a beacon and inspiration to not only her board and members, but also to her fellow chamber family,” Shirey said in the press release. “She was chosen for the considerable positive effect she has had on the Yukon Chamber and community in her short time there and for her work enhancing existing Chamber programs and expanding Chamber membership.”
Board member Cherie Logan wrote Farris a letter of recommendation for the award.
“Kinlee Farris has the ability to bring people together and keep the peace among business leaders, city officials and our community as a whole, especially in a time of growth and change as in the City of Yukon this past year. Kinlee has grown our chamber membership consistently since she has been with us. Soon after accepting the position as our Executive Director, Kinlee began to face personal issues that would have stopped most of us in our tracks. The challenges have not defined Kinlee and they have not affected her amazing ability to lead and grow the Yukon Chamber of Commerce,” the letter read.
Farris didn’t have much to say on the award except that she was surprised.
“I was shocked and I was honored,” Farris said. “I did not expect it at all.”
Farris resigned as Yukon Chamber CEO on Oct. 24 due to her health issues. She’s fought cancer for several years, but it was recently diagnosed as terminal.
“She will be dearly missed by her coworkers, board, and the community she has so tirelessly served for almost two years,” the press release read.