Berryville chamber celebrates business leaders
BERRYVILLE -- Local business leaders, government officials and representatives of civic organizations broke bread over fried chicken and coleslaw before honoring a select few businesses and people at the Annual Chamber of Commerce Awards on Tuesday.
"We have had a lot of compliments on this year's banquet," said Ginger Oaks of the Berryville Chamber of Commerce. "They liked the taped videos of the honorees, the relaxed atmosphere and -- maybe more than anything -- the cotton candy."
The Junior Chamber Board served cotton candy for children, but people of all ages seemed to enjoy it. Oaks was surprised the cotton candy was enjoyed by the mature crowd as well, she said.
Of course, the main purpose of the night was the awards.
The first two awards were presented by Randy Forst of the Carroll County University of Arkansas Agriculture Cooperative Extension Office to Mike and Lisa Sigmon for beef farmer of the year and Tony and Shelly Fultz for best dairy farm of the year.
After that the award for noteworthy new business was presented to Cassey Phillips from Wonderfully Made. This award is for businesses which have been open for less than a year that have brought a positive impact as well as economic development and employment opportunities.
"I was very honored," Phillips said. "I have only been open a couple months and I am trying to get things started and this was very unexpected. I am just very grateful for it."
Phillips opened Wonderfully Made on the town square on Aug. 1. She sells handmade products such as custom-embroidered items, children's clothing and home decor. She continued to say that opening a business is a learning experience and thanked the community for the "unbelievable amount of support" she has received.
The award for business excellence was presented to Mercy Hospital.
"Mercy Berryville was honored to have received the Business Excellence Award," Kristy Estrem, hospital president, said. "It is our mission to be a good community partner and because of the generosity of other businesses in town, collectively, we have been successful through the years in addressing the growing needs of our community. Mercy is invested in this community and will continue partnering to meet the growing number of challenges.
"We couldn't do it without the help of our staff, physicians, auxiliary, foundation, volunteers and our board members."
The business excellence award is presented annually to a business with more than 25 employees that contribute to the local economy and residents of the area. This company also provides quality employment opportunities and demonstrates excellent operate citizenship, according to a statement released by Chamber of Commerce officials.
Small business excellence went to Poynter's Daylight Donuts and was accepted by Tim and Laura Poynter. The award goes to a company with less than 25 employees that demonstrate the same qualities and business excellence award recipients.
"We are very grateful, extremely grateful," Tim said. "The award should go to my employees, and we could not do this without Arvest Bank, and they were behind us 100 percent and Janice McKeldy Woodland from Century 21."
Tim is a graduate of Berryville High School that has done a lot of travelling personally and for his career in the Navy. He said he plans to add a lunch portion to the menu for Daylight Donuts soon and invites all local musicians to come and jam with him on Saturday mornings.
The next two awards were for youth and community ambassador and went to Clinton Summers and Bill Ray, respectively. The youth award is presented to a minor who demonstrates leadership in a school setting with community involvement and academic achievement. The community ambassador award is presented by KTHS Radio to an individual whose life and work promote the area.
"It was fantastico it was really a surprise to me," said Ray when asked about his achievement. "Never in my foggiest memories would I have dreamed of something like that. There are good, hardworking people in this county, so I always felt good trying to help them and provide work for them."
Ray was born and raised in Carroll County and has been retired for the last 15 years. He has served on the airport commission, the hospital commission and worked for the poultry industry. He added that Carroll County was a great place to raise a family, and he is grateful to retire here.
The award for business beautification went to the Berryville McDonald's. The award was presented by Dustin Walker and accepted by employees Amanda Beilfuss and DJ Wadel.
"Well, I am grateful that people have taken notice and appreciate what we did, said Terry McCarty, McDonald's store owner and operator. "We are definitely up to speed on McDonald's new look. It is nice that people appreciate our efforts."
The distinguished citizen award was presented by Cody Qualls to Keith and June Ham. The chamber reserves this award for those whose life have become synonymous with living and working in the community.
"We appreciate this award, knowing that there are many others just as qualified for it," Keith said. "We feel our greatest achievement during our years in Berryville is to see our four children filling important positions in our area and they will undoubtedly contribute much more than June and me."
The two moved to the county 45 years ago because a trusted friend advised them that this place had ideal conditions for cattle farming, Keith said. He has been president of the Cattleman's Association, active in the Carroll County Conservation District, vice president of the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts, and he has also served on the Berryville Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club.
"I couldn't have been more proud than when my parents were being recognized for this award," Estrem said. "At 89, and married for 68 years, they both continue to remain enthusiastic and energetic about life and serve as a wonderful role model to us all. They are continuously giving of themselves to help others."
The community humanitarian award was presented by Jerri Marlowe to Dwayne Davis. This award is presented annually to someone whose service to the community consistently rises to higher levels and who contributes either through volunteering or exceptional service in the workplace.