Hesperia's Becky Otwell is an endless well of energy
HESPERIA • Becky Otwell is probably the most politically active Hesperian to never run for political office.
"Oh, I'm smarter than that," she laughed in her office at the Main Street branch of Shear Realty, surrounded by plaques and commendations from various civic groups. “I don’t like to be out front. ... I’d rather get people that I think (are) good.”
It may be that she doesn’t have enough hours left in the day to hold office: Otwell is the vice-president of the San Bernardino County fair board, a former director of the Hesperia Chamber of Commerce, serves on the board of the Hesperia Police Activities League, was formerly was the president of the San Bernardino County Fair Foundation and has been a member of the Hesperia Kiwanis since 1988. She was the Hesperia Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year in 2007 and is a three-time Victor Valley Association of Realtors Realtor of the Year.
Now Otwell is one of the Daily Press’ 2012 Most Inspiring Women.
“She encourages the people around her to be active and support their community as well,” said Yvonne Woytovich, president and CEO of the Hesperia Chamber of Commerce. “Since meeting Becky five years ago, I myself have become much more active and involved in my community. I am truly inspired by her, and I am not the only one she’s influenced in that way.”
Otwell estimates about 30 percent of her time is spent volunteering and calls her cell phone a “godsend.”
“Becky Otwell is unselfish and always giving of herself and involved in the community,” said Diane Smith, the executive officer of the Victor Valley Association of Realtors. “She has boundless energy and is always there helping in all the boards and committees that she belongs to. The work that she does supports the people of the High Desert. One day she is working on the Hesperia parade for the Kiwanis, the next working on the San Bernardino County Fair, always there to lend a helping hand wherever it is needed.”
In a way, Otwell is making up for lost time.
For years Otwell worked 3 p.m. to midnight at a local grocery store so she could be a Cub Scout mom. But once she got her brokers license and followed in her father’s footsteps in the real estate business, she had the time and flexibility to throw herself into good causes.
“I’m blessed with energy,” the 68-year-old Otwell said. “I’m truly, truly blessed. People laugh at me.”
The recession has made fundraising harder, according to Otwell.
“There’s so many hurting now, it’s hard to ask for money,” she said. “The people who have steady jobs, they can’t see how hard it is for the people who are out of work.”
But even if she isn’t likely to run for office herself — Otwell prefers to find a candidate she trusts and help get them elected — she’s not shy about her conservative political beliefs. In addition to her other causes, she serves on the board of the Victor Valley Republican Club, is a member of the Republican Women’s Club and is on the board of the San Bernardino County Republican Party.
“My husband’s said, ‘You’re probably hurting business by being so outspoken,’ but as a certain point, you’ve got to say something,” she said. “I believe in helping people, but I actually believe in helping people help themselves.”