His biography is impressive. But it was his 37 years of service and dedication to his community that earned Dwain Bruner a distinguished recognition.

Bruner, owner of Bruner Motors, Inc., was presented with the Award of Excellence in business leadership by EMBARQ Thursday during a luncheon at City Hall at City Limits.

Bruner was among an elite group of business leaders who were recognized for the significant contributions they have made to the community and industry they represent.

Showing grace and the humble spirit that has come to define him, Bruner thanked EMBARQ for the award and quipped that it was due to his “longevity.” Others, he said, were more deserving of the honor and credited his wife of 50 years, Carolyn, and his family for his success.

“The best deal I ever made was when I married my wife,” Bruner told the audience during his acceptance speech.

Bruner has served Stephenville and the surrounding area in countless ways. He is actively involved in First Baptist Church, serving as a deacon, Sunday school teacher and choir member.

He has been a Kiwanis Club member for almost 50 years, was a founding director of Town and Country Bank and has served on the SISD Board of Education, Central Appraisal District board of directors and STEDCO, as well as many other boards and committees.

The other nine nominees included Joe Altebaumer of Altebaumer Insurance and Financial Services; Danny Boitnott of Star Council on Substance Abuse; Bryan Davis of Century 21 Home and Ranch Real Estate; Ed Horton of Tanglewood Pharmacy and Medical Supplies; Quentin Howard of United Cooperative Services; Kent Reeves of Lone Star Realty; Kirby Stephens of Saint-Gobain Abrasives; Paul Sullivan of Lone Star Arena; and Gary Sult of Boucher, Morgan & Young.

In 1969, Bruner moved his family to Stephenville and purchased the Chevrolet dealership. Moving to new facilities on the South Loop in 1970, the dealership has grown from 15 employees to nearly 130, carries 10 new car franchises and has six facilities located in Stephenville, Glen Rose and Brownwood.

“He is not only a leader in his industry, but demonstrates the value of giving back to a community through funds, time and talents to make a positive difference in the lives of others,” July Danley, president/CEO of Stephenville Chamber of Commerce, said.

Bruner said he feels fortunate to live and do business in Stephenville, saying, “This is the best city to live in the United States.”

Sara Vanden Berge covers courts, law enforcement, and business and political issues for the Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at sara.vandenberge@empiretribune.com. Her work number is 968-2379, ext. 240.