Planning for the 2017 Oklahoma Wesleyan University Foster Bonanza is already underway, and this year’s event will feature special honorees — the first ever Pioneers in Free Enterprise Fellows in the Keating Center Pioneers Hall of Fame. This designation will be given to celebrate key individuals who have been pioneers in the marketplace, the community, and in the church.
The Pioneers are defined as individuals who are leaders that “open or prepare – a way, a business or organization — and then set the stage for occupation or development by others.” In other words, pioneers go first. They are selfless, assertive and forward thinking. They are bridge-builders, bringing others together and helping them flourish as well. This year’s inaugural Fellows are Kevin and Dorea Potter, of Bartlesville, and Richard and Alice Adee, of Sioux Falls, S.D. Both couples are being recognized for exceeding the standards for being pioneers in their fields and communities.
Richard Adee was introduced early to beekeeping by his father and four uncles. Teachers by trade, they stumbled onto beekeeping as a way to supplement teaching salaries during the depression years. He married his high school sweetheart, Alice Bergstrom, in 1959. Together they worked to grow the company, and today, Adee Honey Farms is the largest commercial beekeeping operation in the country. Richard and Alice are longtime members of the Linwood Wesleyan Church and Alice served as an OKWU Board of Trustees member for 17 years. Upon her retiring from the board, her daughter Marla joined as a trustee in 2010. The newest dorm on the campus of OKWU will be named in their honor for their many years of service and generous giving to the university on the same day of the Bonanza.