OGDEN -- After three decades of service to the Ogden area, Ken Warnick is riding off into the sunset.
For all his good works, members of the Ogden-area business community will don their Stetsons and kick up their cowboy boots to recognize Warnick at the chamber's Western Big Hat Dinner today at the Timbermine Restaurant in Ogden.
"This is a humbling honor," Warnick said. "If you look at those who have won Big Hat over the years, it's an illustrious group of individuals who have accomplished a lot, not only here in Ogden but in their lives, and to be a part of that group is a big honor."
Since 1948, there have been 132 winners of the Big Hat Award. Winners are nominated by members of the Ogden-Weber Chamber of Commerce for extraordinary service to the community.
Warnick will be presented with the Big Hat (a fitted gray Stetson from Smith and Edwards), a proclamation from the city and the county, a flag that has flown over the Utah Capitol and a plaque.
Rachel Keoppel, special events coordinator for the chamber, said Warnick was chosen for his activity in the community.
About 37 years ago, Warnick moved to the Ogden-area from Utah County. For 32 of those years, he served in various aspects of the community.
His first assignment with the chamber was the Business Education Partnership. He later served on the board of directors, moving through the officer ranks to become chairman in 1995. He later served as chairman of the transportation board and legislative affairs committee. In 2001, the chamber presented Warnick with the Wall of Fame award.
Through it all, Warnick was known for keeping the atmosphere light.
"Ken has the ability to find fun in the middle of all the work," said Dave Hardman, president and CEO of the Ogden-Weber Chamber of Commerce. He said Warnick liked to joke around with a dry sense of humor. "It's part of his personality."
Warnick also devoted time and efforts to many organizations including the Utah Defense Alliance, Weber County School District and numerous other groups.
"You don't find time, you have to make it a priority to get involved with the community," Warnick said.
But after three decades of serving the Ogden-area, Warnick finds it time to move on.
In February, he retired from R and O Construction, where he worked in business development.
Warnick and his wife decided to move to Draper to be closer to his children and his wife's mother.
Warnick has not ended his commitment to service. He is already busy with volunteer work with the perpetual education fund for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"Right now, I pretty much decided in the coming years to dedicate myself to volunteer work," Warnick said.
"I'm 66, it's probably time to move onto a different stage of life."