Houston to be honored as Person of the Year
Cladis "C.D." Houston will be honored Friday as the Person of the Year during the annual Black History Banquet in Mountain Home.
The 22nd Annual Black History Banquet will be held Feb. 18 at the Elk's Lodge in Mountain Home.
The theme of the event, sponsored by the Mountain Home Community Black History Committee, is "Dream with a Vision, Live with a Purpose."
Social hour begins at 6 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m.
The cost is $30 per person and anyone attending is urged to RSVP by calling 587-3227. Dress is business attire.
The guest speaker for the evening will be Cherie Buckner-Webb, the first African-American elected to the Idaho Legislature. She represents District 19, Seat A, in Boise.
A retired Air Force senior master sergeant, Houston, 57, was born in Jackson, Miss., where he became senior class president at Lanier Senior High School. He graduated in the top ten percent of his class.
He was selected as a member of the Mississippi State All-City Band as the lead percussionist. He received an academic scholarship to Jackson State University, which he attended for one year before joining the United States Air Force in 1974.
Houston arrived at Mountain Home Air Force Base in 1993 where he served in a dual capacity as superintendent of the medical logistics flight and as superintendent of the 366th Medical Support Squadron. He oversaw the medical group's War Readiness Material projects, valued at $7.5 million, and managed an Air Force fund for six years that had annual sales of $1.5 million.
He was reassigned to the 366th Medical Support Squadron and Medical Flight at McGuire AFB in 2000, where he served as squadron superintendent, overseeing 350 military and civilian personnel.
While there he was chief planner for all medical rsources staged at McGuire AFB during the 9/11 attacks, directly responsible for staging and redeployment of more than $75 million of medical equipment and supplies for USAF medical facilities nationwide.
Houston is a graduate of the Noncommissioned Officers Preparatory Course, NCO Orientation Course, Air Force NCO Leadership School, Military Airlift Command NCO Academy East and ultimately, the USAF Senior NCO Academy in-residence at Maxwell AFB, Ala. He is the only enlisted graduate of the American Airline Senior Leadership Course.
He received numerous awards during his 28 years of service to the nation, including being named Air Combat Command's Senior NCO of the Year for both 1998 and 1999.
He holds an associate degree in applied science logistics from the Community College of the Air Force and earned a bachelor's degree in education and business from Southern Illinois university. Houston also has accumulated several hours of graduate work at Emery-Riddle University.
Houston retired from the United States Air Force on Jan. 1, 2003, at McGuire AFB and he and his family returned to Mountain Home in July of that year.
He started his own business and made an unsuccessful bid for the Mountain Home City Council in 2007.
He is active in the Mountain Home community where he has served as the First Congregational Church Council's moderator.
He currently serves as treasurer for the Mountain Home Citizens on Patrol, of which he is the only remaining active chartered member.
He is a lifetime member of the DAV.
In 2008, he was elected to represent Idaho's Second Congressional District as a delegate at the state's Democratic Convention.
He has served as a Mountain Home School District board trustee and is a long-time Air Force Appreciation Day volunteer.
He is a lifetime member of the NAACP and serves as the first vice president of the Treasure Valley chapter.
He also serves as a volunteer at the Idaho Youth Ranch Thrift Store.
He has been married for 27 years to the former Becky J. Reed of Kansas City, Mo. They have one son, Matthew, 16, who is an honor student at Mountain Home High School.
Houston will be honored at the banquet along with the winners of the essay and poster contest.
The featured speaker for the evening, Buckner-Webb, chose to effect change by running for public office in 2010. She was elected with 68 percent of the vote.
Her platform included restoration of funding for public schools, sound preservation and conservation practices, and economic growth for Idaho businesses through innovation and education.
Buckner-Webb is the founder and principal of Sojourner Coaching, "supporting highly motivated women and men to navigate the waters of their lives with purpose."
Her extensive international business background includes positions in program management, diversity consultation, sales and marketing, business and organizational development, operations, and e-commerce.
Her expertise includes cross cultural collaboration, leadership development, facilitation, consultation and coaching for individuals, teams and organizations.
In addition to her on-going work in the corporate environment, Cherie assists institutions of higher education in the development of diversity curriculum and training.
She is the winner of numerous awards, including the 2005 Jefferson Award for Public Service, in acknowledgement of her history of commitment and devotion to volunteerism in the community.
Buckner-Webb is a motivational speaker who also uses her voice to raise awareness about diversity, inclusion and human rights topics.
Her credo is "leave a legacy." To that end, she donates countless hours to a variety of community programs.
Buckner-Webb also is an accomplished gospel, jazz and blues vocalist. She has recorded with jazz great Gene Harris, released her debut solo CD, "By His Grace," and received the Award for Excellence in the Arts at the 2004 State of Idaho Governor's Awards in the Arts Celebration.
Buckner-Webb earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Management and Organizational Leadership from George Fox University, and a Masters of Social Work in Management/Community Planning/Social Work Administration from Northwest Nazarene University.