After 40 years of community service in Plano, Olin Jaye was awarded with the Plano Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year award at the Best of Plano Awards Oct. 1. The Austin native and commercial real estate broker has more than 30 years of experience in general business management in the real estate, hospitality, construction and distribution industries. Jaye has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona and a master’s degree from the University of North Texas.

How did you get involved in the community once you moved to Plano?

We had a growing family and bought a house in Plano, and we grew up with the city. We got involved in sports and all this, and somewhere along the line we began volunteering and the volunteering became taking leadership positions. That’s how this community developed. Volunteering was a very important part of it, before me up until today. Plano Sports Authority is huge, and [the founder] started it because his kids were playing soccer. [Today] it’s one of the largest youth sports organizations in the country. Where did it start from? A bunch of volunteers and soccer moms and dads.

How important is it for people to support local nonprofit organizations?

You may not get all the recognition—you may not get anything. But if you think it’s the right thing to do, you’ll get it internally. It’ll eventually come back to you because you’re doing the right thing. There are a lot of resume builders, but there’s a lot to be said about the nameless faces here that make [these organizations] happen. They all do great work and it’s all volunteers and mostly funded by contributions, in the midst of one of the richest counties in the United States. And they’ve been able to thrive for a long period of time.

What are some values you have instilled in your children?

They have a sense of service. They can’t always do what they would like to do, but I think they care a lot about people. Sometimes we [as people] get so self-centered, all of us. I think [my children] realize that there’s something out there besides them. And we’ve been rich and we’ve been poor a couple of times. It is critical to find service to get [one’s children] out of the bubble of Plano.

Who inspires you?

There are some people locally that I admire a lot that I met in my early years. My mentor was [former Plano] mayor named Jim Edwards. Both had been successful in business and in public policy.

I am [also] an admirer of Florence Shapiro. There are so many things that she’s done over the years that people don’t realize. Her record of service has always impressed me. It’s people like that who decided to make a difference a long time ago that have had an influence on me.

Past and present community and public service

• Current vice chair, Medical Center of Plano Board of directors
• Past chair and director, Plano Chamber of Commerce Director, Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce
• Chair, Collin County Central Appraisal District Board of Trustees
• Chair, Collin County Planning Board
• Council member, city of Plano
• Charter Review Commissioner, city of Plano
• Member, Regional Transportation Council (Council of Governments) and Regional Housing Council Chair, Goals for Plano
• Officer and Director, Plano and Collin County Crisis Center
• Director, City House Board
• Director, The Plano Rotary Club
• Director, South Collin County Infant Program
• Collin County Community College District: Organizing and Election Task Force–College Founders Group
• City Council appointee to the original Plano Cultural Arts Council
• Treasurer and director, Heritage Farmstead Museum
• Director, North Central Texas Private Industry Council
• Secretary-treasurer, Collin County Private Industry Council
• Member, PISD committees:  Major Studies Lay Advisory Committee, Vocational Advisory Council and Career Advisory Committee
• Member, East Plano Redevelopment Task Force
• Bond Election Task Forces for both the city of Plano and Collin County
• Masters of Public Administration (MPA) Advisory Committee–University of North Texas
• Director, Independence Bank of Plano
• Regional vice president, Texas Association of Realtors
• Director, Realtors Commercial Alliance (RCA)
• Board of Governors of the Commercial Investment Division
• Past president and director of Collin County Association of Realtors
• Recipient of the CCAR Distinguish Service Award and 2006 Realtor of the Year for Collin County.