Chamber honors Sondra Eoff as Citizen of the YearVolunteerism, energy cited by friends, colleagues

The Odessa Chamber of Commerce named Sondra Eoff, who with her husband is investing millions in the city-supported downtown hotel and conference center, as the 2016 Citizen of the Year during a Thursday luncheon.
Eoff and her husband, Toby, agreed last year to invest about $40 million through their company Eofficial Enterprises in a 150,000 square foot Marriott hotel with more than 200 rooms, after selling their business Odessa Pumps in 2015.
But beyond the project intended to anchor a broader downtown redevelopment, chamber officials praised Eoff’s support of various public causes like the Education Foundation and the Permian Basin Area Foundation as reasons why she deserved the award. Eoff is also a past chamber chair and the founder of Young Professionals of Odessa.
“Sondra Eoff is synonymous with Odessa,” Chamber CEO Renee Earls said. “She and Tobey have given so much energy and love into the community. They want Odessa to succeed. They want the people around them to succeed, and they never forgot where they started.”
Peggy Dean, Eoff’s accountant, nominated her for the award.
“Her investment into her community goes far deeper than dollars and her commitment to the betterment of Odessa is clear within all of her actions,” Dean said.
Mayor David Turner said the Eoffs’ support for the hotel and conference center was crucial.
“When the council started looking at downtown redevelopment, it was a dream because we knew it was going to take partner to do that project,” Turner said “. . . We couldn’t have hand picked a better couple to be partners with than the Eoffs.”
The $77 million project intended to anchor a broader downtown redevelopment is scheduled to break ground in March in the area of East Fifth Street and Texas Avenue. The city is investing about $30.8 million in the 78,000-square-foot convention center, an open air plaza, a 300-car parking garage and a remodeled Ector Theatre.
Eoff, who said she was honored by the award, encouraged other businesspeople at the ceremony to invest in the downtown area, recalling a time when the area was livelier.
“There’s so many amazing memories from downtown that our kids wouldn’t have right now at all,” Eoff said. “. . .There’s nothing about Odessa that we can leave for memories for our children, so I think that’s why downtown is so important.”