Three Winters High School graduates and a posthumous alumnus will be honored as Winters High School Distinguished Alumni and will be recognized for their achievements in life during WHS homecoming festivities.
Honorees include Donald Roland (1960) of Annapolis, Maryland; the late Charles Bahlman (1964); Barbie (Bradley) Chambers (1990) of Lubbock; and Wylie Clough (1994) of Denton.
Winters hosts Christoval Friday, Sept. 27 in its homecoming football game.
The following are profiles on each distinguished alumni for 2019:
Charles Bahlman became a Blizzard in the 4th grade. Born in Abilene and spending the first eight years of his life in Ballinger, Charles and his brother Lanny moved with their parents, J.W. and Joyce, to Winters in 1955 when they opened Bahlman Jewelers on Main Street. As Charles progressed through the Winters School System, he tried many activities and found success in various areas. In high school, he was on the newspaper and yearbook staffs and National Honor Society. He was a prominent member of the Pride of West Texas Blizzard Band during its heyday, consistently sitting as First Chair Cornet. Charles also had a particular gift for math and aspired to study engineering. His principal at the time, Mr. Christian, told him that if he wanted to be an engineer, the University of Texas was where he needed to go. So after graduating in 1964, Charles set off for Austin to begin the next chapter of his life and become a lifelong Longhorn. A few years later, he married his high school sweetheart, Jeanie Hood (Class of 1966), and they made their home in Austin until Charles graduated in 1969 with his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.
Charles’s first job out of college was working as a civilian employee for the United States Air Force. It was there that Charles was on a team that was one of the first to develop computerized testing for jet engines. He loved the challenges of combining his talents and training to explore new technologies. He had an innate curiosity to put things together, take them apart, figure out how they worked and investigate how to improve them. He spent ten years there before he got an offer to go to work within another sector of aviation – NASA. Charles and Jeanie now had three children and they all moved to Houston in the summer of 1979 when Charles started his tenure with Control Data Corporation. From his office overlooking Johnson Space Center, he studied and marketed components that were part of the new space shuttle program. Famous names in the space program like Deke Slaton were in the same building and would pop in Charles’s office from time to time. But the excitement of the big city and a fast-paced career could not compare with the special place that Charles and Jeanie always called home, and that was Winters.
In 1983, Charles purchased the Chevrolet dealership from Spec Robinson, and Bahlman Chevrolet began. From the onset, Charles worked tirelessly to serve the community as a businessman and a civic volunteer. Withstanding the volatile economy of West Texas that relies heavily on farming and oil prices, and with Jeanie by his side, he built a strong reputation and a thriving business. He was able to move from the original location on Main Street to the old John Deere dealership west of town in 1994. He was also the go-to man whenever anyone needed to borrow a shiny new car. Each fall he would get cars washed and ready so they could drive guests onto the football field to be honored at halftime for Homecoming. He would also let Sno Queen contestants come down and pick any car out of the showroom to decorate and ride on in the Christmas Parade.
Charles was an ardent supporter of the overall community of Winters. He was the first president of the Winters Area Business and Industrial Corporation, serving in that capacity for many years. In addition, he was on the Board of the Winters Area Chamber of Commerce, being named “Man of the Year” in 2002. He was also on the Runnels County Tax Appraisal Board, the Tax Appeal Board, the Winters Area Foundation and served with Christmas in April, Mayfest and Dove Fest. He was named the first Winters High School Coming Home King in 2014. He used both his corporate background and small-town sensibility to benefit Winters. A close friend, Randall Conner, remarked that Charles could put on a suit, drive down to Austin to meet with important policy makers and politicians, and then drive back home, put on some overalls, go down to the Chevrolet house and tinker on a tractor until evening. He could adeptly move among and between both worlds with ease.
Above all else, Charles was a follower of Christ and let that influence weave its way into every aspect of his life. Charles was known for his honesty, integrity, intelligence, fairness and patience. Those attributes were evident at home, at work, at church and in the community. He took his faith very seriously and served as an elder at the North Main Church of Christ for 32 years. He was a mentor to preachers, youth ministers and members of the congregation. He always gave everyone the benefit of the doubt and cared deeply about the people he served alongside.
What makes Charles’s story remarkable is that he made the most of his opportunities and choices. He took the education and guidance he received at Winters High School and made a way for himself in one of the most difficult college engineering programs in the country. He explored new frontiers, traveling all over the country to build an exciting career in the developing world of computers. He met interesting and sometimes famous people and enjoyed using his talents to make a living. But he also recognized that a good life involves more than just a glamorous job. He valued his family and what the town of Winters meant to them. He and Jeanie had grown up there and they wanted their children to have the same “advantages” they had of small-town living. Their son, Chris, graduated from Winters High School in 1989 and now serves as a Trustee on the Winters School Board. Chris’s children, Christa and Chaney, are third generation Blizzards, having both attended Winters schools. Their oldest daughter, Cara (Bahlman) Bradshaw, graduated from WHS in 1993 followed by their youngest daughter, Jaime Bahlman, in 1997.
Charles passed away on April 8, 2019 at the age of 73. He left behind a legacy of service that will resonate in Winters for years to come. He made the most of what WHS had to offer, took it out into the world, and brought it back again. His family hopes that his story will inspire students and alumni alike to appreciate how special Winters is and to use that as motivation to make the world a better place, no matter what corner of it you find yourself in.
It’s common knowledge that attending school in a small town means kids will often participate in every extracurricular activity available. But in Winters, Texas, that also means you’re likely to have an entire community rooting for you.
At least that’s how Dr. Barbie Chambers feels about her hometown and the school district that she grew up in. Now teaching in the Texas Tech University’s College of Media & Communication with a doctorate in communication, Chambers attributes much of her success to her family and the Winters community.
“Thanks to my mom and dad, I really feel like my roots were established in Winters. That just allowed me to have a great foundation going into college,” Chambers said. “Because of my family, teachers, and friends, I felt that I could do anything I wanted to do leaving high school. I didn’t feel that I was going to be forced to choose a path that wasn’t a part of my dream. I learned I had the ability to do different things that I enjoyed. Those roots and that foundation prepared me well as I went to college and decided what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”
A twirler in high school, she also participated in theater, played on the golf team, served on student council, and was part of the Winters Centennial Celebration Committee. She enjoyed all the leadership opportunities available to her. She remembers petitioning the Winters mayor to paint a Blizzard on the water tower. “He told me it wasn’t in the budget then, but I’m glad to see it finally happened,” she said.
Even in high school, Chambers knew that she wanted to work in advertising. She was so sure of this that she reached out to the Southwest Association of Advertising Agencies to be prepared to explore that field once she left Winters. She even contacted Dairy Queen to tell them they needed to do a commercial featuring Winters as the home of the Blizzard.
“I was student council president in high school, and I think that helped me see the big picture and all the little steps that lead to something bigger,” Chambers said. “I knew in advertising, there were so many different options I wanted to examine, and I was able to do that when I went to Texas Tech.”
Majoring in advertising and minoring in marketing, Chambers knew she needed to find her campus community to continue growing her personal community past Winters. She marched in the Goin’ Band for a semester and participated in a campus choral production. When she started taking advertising classes, she was a member of the Texas Tech Ad Team and participated in the National Student Advertising Competition. She also found a community in Pi Delta Alpha, a professional Mass Communication fraternity designed to bring people in different majors together while building their professional repertoire.
Chambers was setting herself up to run the race, and while unexpected things always happen in life, she just ended up running in a different race.
“I had in my mind that I was going to go be in the rat race in advertising, whether that meant going to Dallas or New York,” Chambers said. “I had big plans, and I was prepared to do that and be a part of a large agency, and then I met my husband.”
Twenty-five years ago, Chambers met her husband, the now-Dr. Todd Chambers, while he was writing his master’s thesis and working in radio. They got married and ended up moving to Knoxville, Tennessee so Todd could pursue his PhD., but not before Chambers got a marketing job at a credit union in Lubbock.
Having met a member of the board of directors of the City of Lubbock Employees Federal Credit Union by chance, Chambers got her first job. She ended up leading the charge to not only build a marketing department at the credit union but also help them rebrand to West Texas Federal Credit Union.
“Establishing that brand when we changed to the West Texas Federal Credit Union, was a great experience and the first I had doing that,” Chambers said. “I learned a lot from the credit union. I think coming out of college you have big ideas and feel like you’re equipped to do anything. But working at that first job, you learn a lot about how business works. Being a team player also means answering the phones or picking up the mail so the business can serve all its stakeholders.”
After that, Chambers and her husband made their way to Tennessee, where she worked for another credit union and also built their marketing program from the ground up.
While in Knoxville, Chambers went to work for a small advertising agency and gained a different perspective on marketing, having only worked internally for companies previously.
“This was in a lady’s basement, and there were like four of us. We were the advertising agency for Reynold’s Recycling,” Chambers said. “I was the creative manager there and worked on projects for Reynold’s Recycling and Southdown, Inc., a cement producer.”
Chambers enjoyed her time at the small agency, but eager to move on, she took a Public Relations job at Methodist Medical Center. She thoroughly enjoyed working for the hospital because of the setting and her coworkers. She designed publications, wrote articles, helped create campaigns, and assisted in the hospital’s merger. Sometime after, her husband took a job at Texas Tech University’s College of Mass Communication, so they moved back to Lubbock. Chambers got a job as an account executive at The Price Group, a regional advertising agency.
It was there that Chambers worked on a variety of accounts. She used the experience she gained at the credit unions and hospital, to work with University Medical Center, Covenant Hospital, and American State Bank. She also found a way to grow the agency’s services.
“I got to the point at the agency where I knew that we needed to be doing more research and brand development. So, I presented a proposal about developing an account planner position,” Chambers said. “As an account planner, I was responsible for developing marketing plans, conducting research, and just being the voice of the consumer in creative meetings. I was involved in many aspects of our clients’ businesses.”
During this time, Chambers and her husband were raising two daughters. “We were thrilled to become parents. Being a mom is one of my greatest accomplishments,” Chambers said.
As a working mom, Chambers was climbing the ladder at the ad agency as a principal and vice president of strategic planning, but life took an unplanned detour. Her husband was diagnosed with stage four cancer in 2004. For a year, he went through treatment, and after he was cancer-free, she decided she needed a stable career where she could give back. Chambers returned to Texas Tech in 2007 to pursue her doctoral degree. Her research focus included consumer and organizational behavior, brand management, and small business marketing. While working on her dissertation in 2011, she took a position teaching management and business communication courses in the Rawls College of Business as an Assistant Professor of Practice and Director of Business Communication. There she taught more than 4,000 students and enjoyed taking students to Barcelona, Spain twice for a study abroad program which she plans to continue in the future.
After researching different generations of “Brandfans” (a term coined by her) of the Twilight series, Chambers focused her dissertation on Brandfans in the Susan G. Komen Organization.
“I was curious to see how people developed strong brand relationships with Komen,” Chambers said. “Was it because they’d had cancer or someone they knew had cancer? Because we had gone through that with my husband, I had a strong affiliation for the American Cancer Society and the work that Susan G. Komen was doing.” She completed her dissertation and graduated with her doctorate in May 2012.
Recently, Chambers’ Business Communication department moved from the business college to the College of Media & Communication, and she’s glad to be back in the college that she attended. Not only that, but Chambers still maintains a consulting business that keeps her plugged into the industry. Her academic schedule also allows time to enjoy her girls. Macy is a junior and active in the Lubbock High School Theater Program and participates in varsity choir and vocal competitions. She’s also proud of the fact her daughter, Emily is a third-generation Red Raider and a sophomore Communication Studies Major.
From student council to advertising, to research, teaching, and consulting, Dr. Chambers has always been multi-faceted, and she attributes her ability to do that from growing up in Winters.
“The students that graduate from Winters High School have the foundation to choose what direction they go after high school,” Chambers said. “I want them to know they can do big things, even coming from a small town. They have a great base for that, and their roots are deep. I also want them to know as they continue to grow into a new part of their lives, they should take those chances, take those risks.”
“I think that looking back, and looking at my family, teachers, and friends, I had amazing support that prepared me to move to the next chapter of my life,” Chambers continued. “I am forever grateful for that, and I wouldn’t trade those days for anything because they made me who I am now.”
Major Wylie K. Clough
Major Wylie K. Clough, U.S. Army Major Wylie K. Clough was born in Floyd County, Lockney, Texas, and raised in Winters, Texas. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology from Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas, in August 2004, where he was a Distinguished Graduate. He received his commission from the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC). He earned his Master of Arts Degree in Management and Leadership fromWebster University in 2013. He is a graduate of both the Signal Officer Basic and Advanced Courses and graduate of the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He is also a graduate of the Space Operations, Strategist and Joint Planners courses. He originally enlisted in March of 1995, as a Private in the Military Police Corps. For the next 5 years he served as an M60 gunner, patrolman, RTO, and counter-narcotics agent. He also deployed in support of Operation Joint Endeavor to Bosnia in 1996. The next 2 ••• years he served in the Army Reserves as a Military Policeman and later a Civil Affairs Sergeant. For over 12 years of active commissioned service, Major Clough has served in a variety of diverse assignments, to include major combat operations. Previous assignments include: Senior Watch Officer, National Military Command Center (NMCC), Vice Presidential Response Officer, Chief of Current Operations Division (COD) and a Presidential Communications Officer, White House Communications Agency, Battalion XO, 54th Theatre Signal battalion, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait; Battalion XO and Battalion Operations Officer, 3-381st REGT, 1st Army (DIV WEST), Grand Prairie, Texas; Battalion S6 OIC, 201st MI BN, Fort Sam Houston, Texas; J6 OIC, Theatre Intelligence Group, Bagram, Afghanistan; Combat Advisor, 2-2 ETT, FOB Bermel, Afghanistan; Battalion S6, 404th ASB, 4 ID, Fort Hood, Texas; JNN Platoon Leader, C CO, 404th ASB, 4 ID, Camp Taji, Iraq; JNN Platoon Leader, C CO, 404th ASB, 4 ID, Fort Hood, Texas Major Clough served in Operations Inherit Resolve, Spartan Shield, Joint Endeavor, Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom in Bosnia and across Southwest Asia. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with one silver Oak Leaf Cluster and “V’ device, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star, Iraqi Campaign Medal with two bronze stars, Afghan Campaign Medal with two bronze stars, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, NATO Medal with 2 bronze stars, German Armed Forces Badge - Silver, Signal Regiment Bronze Order of Mercury and the Combat Action Badge.Major Clough is currently assigned to US Army North as the Defense Coordinating Element’s (DCE) Operations Officer to FEMA Region VI, in Denton, TX. Major Clough and his wife Dominique have a 9 year old daughter, Karyssa. He is a 1994 Graduate of Winters High School and the Son of Margie and Steve Kuykendall and Joe Ivey.
Donald Roland was bom November 14, 1942, in Dalhart, Texas. Don's family lived in numerous towns in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico until he was eleven years old, when the family moved to Winters, Texas. At Winters, Don completed junior high school and attended Winters High School with the WHS Class of 1960.
In 1957 Don's family moved to Manhattan Beach, California, where he completed high school, earned a bachelor's degree at California State University in Los Angeles, and a master's degree at the University of California in Riverside.
In 1966 Don joined the Los Angeles Times in their commercial printing division. Starting as a Linotype operator, Don became Director of Computer Graphics in 1967, and Vice President of Operations in 1980. While there, he earned post-graduate certificates from
the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University and the Anderson School of Management at UCLA.
In 1983 Don joined Treasure Chest Advertising, a $350 million printing and advertising company headquartered in Glendora, California, with facilities throughout the United States. He was nanled President and Chief Executive Officer in 1995, when the company reached $1 billion in revenue and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
In 2000 the company was taken private and was renamed Vertis Communications. Don was named Chairman, President and CEO. At that time Vertis Communications had revenue of $2 billion and over 12,000 employees, with facilities in the United States and Europe. In 2002, Vertis Commlmications was listed as the eighth largest printing company in the world. In 2003, Don was inducted into the Printing Industry Hall of Fame. In 2005 Vertis Communications was named by Fortune Magazine as one of America's Most Admired Companies in Advertising and Marketing. Don retired from Vertis Communications in 2006. Six years after he retired, in 2012 Vertis Communications was bought by Quad Graphics.
In 2008 Don was named Distinguished Graduate of the School of Business and Economics at California State University at Los Angeles.
Don and his wife Kathy have been married 55 years and live in Annapolis, Maryland. They have three adult children and four grandchildren. Since his retirement, Don has been an active community volunteer, including chairing the Board of Trustees of the Anne Arundel County Public Library, as a Trustee ofthe University of Maryland Baltimore Foundation, as an elder at Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church, and as a member of the Almapolis Rotary Club.
Don's hobbies include fishing, boating, and photography. You can view a portfolio of
Don's photography at: http://donaldrolandphotography.myportfolio.com.