Chamber honors many members for service


Posted on March 23, 2020 1:53 PM



Chamber leaders and other outstanding community members were recognized and honored at the Logan County Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Dinner Thursday, March 5. Leading the program were 2020 President Leann Martin, 2019 President Ethan Hollloway and Executive Director Karen Logan.

Jama Richardson accompanied the Logan County High School Ambassadors as they greeted attendees and helped them find food and seats.

Members of the Col. Benjamin Logan Chapter Sons of the American Revolution were in costume and led the Pledge of Allegiance before Emma McReynolds—daughter of new Chamber Communications Coordinator Ann McReynolds and a student at Belmont University—sang the National Anthem.

Chamber Board

President Martin introduced the Chamber board, noting, “The mission of the Logan County Chamber of Commerce is to promote and develop strong vibrant businesses creating the best quality of life for all of Logan County. These 17 individuals serve to be the voice of business in Logan County and to make a difference in our community as a whole.”

They are Vice President Jeff Manley, Treasurer Shannon West, Ami Brooks, Bart Flener, Carl Seidler, Dee Brown, Ethan Holloway, Kathy Edmonds, Kim Reeves, Mandy Henley, Marie Gamble, Myla Porter, Paul Mullins, Peter Patel and Tom Harned.

Special recognition was given to retiring board members Gary Grohovsky, King Simpson and Judge Joe W. Hendricks Jr.

Chamber Ambassadors

Long-time Ambassador Kim Reeves said, “Our Ambassadors are often referred to as the ‘goodwill arm’ of the Chamber. They promote awareness of membership, it’s benefits and services, encourage members, convey member needs, attend and help at events and committees, but most of all, they build relationships between our members and our organization.”

Ambassador officers are President Myla Porter, Vice President Dee Dee Brown and Secretary Karen Kirsch. Holli Black is in her eighth year as an Ambassdor with Richardson and Reeves in their seventh. Seth Boortz and Henley are in their fifth years with Carl Seidler, Stacey Cundiff and Manley in their fourth. Other Ambassadors are Tracy Houchens Keith Batchelor, April Scipio, Sharon Shanklin, Shane Hayes, Shelley Head and West.

Logan County Judge-executive Logan Chick administered the oath of office both to the Board and to the Ambassadors.

Beautification Committee

Committee President Keith Batchelor talked about the new Beautification Committee, noting: “In 2019 the Logan County Chamber’s Beautification Committee was revived by a group of volunteers and we have just presented our first award in the Residential Category. The mission of the Beautification Committee is to enhance the visual beauty of Logan County, preserve its historical values, and to promote our community for the common good of our residents and businesses.

In addition to Batchelor, Beautification Committee members are Vice President Amy Ross, Secretary Kirsch, Treasurer Manley, Bart Flener, Carla Statton Anderson, Holloway, Black, Jennifer Smotherman, Kaye Phillips, Lisa Haley Miller, Porter, Mullins, Paula Timberlake and Harned.

Dinner Committee

Bart Flener said, “Our Annual Dinner Committee comes together to plan, in detail, this very event. From your meal, to décor, and theme, the ideas turn into a fafntastic and fun-filled night for our members to enjoy. We appreciate all of those that have served on this committee.”

Recognized as committee members were Bobby Blackford, Brown, Manley, Kirsch, Reeves, Martin, Henley, Porter, Boortz and Head.

Business Expo Committee

Carl Seidler said, “The Logan County Business Expo serves as a platform for our local businesses to showcase what they have to offer to both our community and other local businesses. We want to show off what Logan County has to offer in buying local and looking professional in the workplace.

Committee members were Ben Kemplin, Blackford, Seidler, Brown, Kirsch, Henley and Porter.

Women in Business Luncheon Committee

Mandy Henley said, “Our Women in Business Luncheon is a wonderful event where over 200 women come together for a time of refreshment with an inspiring speaker, lunch and amazing networking opportunity. The proceeds from this event go to fund a $1,000 scholarship to a senior female, currently attending school within Logan County, who will be seeking a business degree in college in hopes that when she graduates, she will bring back her skills and utilize them right here at home.”

The Women in Business Committee consisted of Cheryl Baltzell, Christina Barnett, Brown, Black, Henley, Porter and Head.

Festival Committee

Judge Hendricks noted, “The Logan County Tobacco & Heritage Festival is Logan County’s largest event of the year. With over 30,000 in attendance in Logan County, downtown Russellville in one day, enjoying our Craft & Flea Market, Festival Parade, Kid’s Zone, Entertainment on the Square, Carriage Rides and food trucks…not to mention the multiple events leading up to that day. This requires many volunteers from our community in order to make this a success.”

The Tobacco & Heritage Festival Planning Committee consisted of Adam Haley, Amy Cowan, Barry Kennedy, Brian White, Clay Bilyeu, Don and Lisa Davis, Evelyn Richardson, Frank & Dana Bell, Haley Robertson, Frank and Dana Bell, Harley Robertson, Jeff Sanford, Jenn Siebold, Jered Patrick, Mary Ann Henry, Morgan Vick, Paige Dockins, Polly Steenbergen, Richard Estes, Sheila Scruggs, Porter, Kemplin, Brown, Hendricks, Kirsch, Batchelor, Porter and Shanklin.

Special recognition was given to Chairman Adam Haley.

Logan United Award

Long-time Chamber leader Marie Gamble presented the Logan United Award. She said the following:

“The Logan United Award is given to individuals and groups that set aside their own personal needs and go to great lengths to make a lasting, positive impact on Logan County. Let me tell you a little about them…

“The Point Church has been established in Russellville for 3 years. Pastor Muryd Scipio and the entire Point family strive to show compassionate care for those in need. Their desire is to have the kind of contagious Christianity that can influence and encourage our entire community, one life at a time. With one of the church's core values being generosity, The Point has been a visible presence in Logan County.

“Each year the church hosts a “Serve Day” where they spend the day impacting our community in very tangible ways. From putting on new roofs, to serving in a senior living facility to feeding first responders, their footprint is felt tremendously. Additionally, the church is involved in our school system and in our community's non-profit organizations.

“At the end of each year, the church takes up what they call a Legacy Offering. 100 percent of everything that is received is given back into our community. This past year, through their Legacy Offering, The Point was able to give a total of over $53,000 to this community.

“Outreach is not just something they talk about. It is a foundation that is lived out week after week. The church attributes this to God's blessing and the faithful individuals who are generous with their time, talents, and treasure. It is because of their generosity that the church is able to make a difference in our community.”

Ambassador of the Year Award

Myla Porter said, “We recognized our Ambassadors earlier and all that they do. In addition, we want to recognize one Ambassador that has gone above and beyond. This award is given each year by vote of the active Ambassadors that serve.

Kim Reeves has been a devoted Ambassador for 7 years and served as Ambassador President for the last few of those. She also joined the Chamber Board in 2018. She is very creative and serves on several event committees. She often adds her decorative touch to events just like tonight, adding to its success. We appreciate her and her willingness to serve her community through the Chamber.”

Teacher of the Year Award

Paul Mullins presented the Teacher of the Year Award with this statement:

Logan County is privileged to have so many wonderful educators in our community. Teachers make a difference each and every day through the children they come in contact with. While there are many teachers that deserve to be recognized, we have the honor of recognizing one special teacher tonight!

“Rebekah McKinney is a teacher at Auburn Elementary. In the nomination, it was written of her that, ‘Becca’s positive attitude, energy and encouragement toward her students brings out the best in each of them. Her calm and pleasant demeanor sets the tone, as you’ll find students happy & engaged in the task at hand. She was referred to as “a reliable presence who is always willing to help anyone…”, “she is esteemed by her peers…” “and leads with positivity, hard work, and integrity.”

“This is her 31st year of teaching special education at Auburn School. She has taught 8th grade down to 2nd grade. She has had students that now have children in her classroom. She said, “I thank God for the opportunity to have taught in such an amazing school district all these years. I have been a blessing to teach with wonderful people throughout her career. I can’t imagine every having done anything other than teaching.”

Farm Family of the Year Award

Leeann Martin, who is the Logan County Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent, presented the Farm Family of the Year Award. These were her remarks:

“From food on our tables, providing countless jobs, to keeping community tradition alive while thriving in a modern world, Logan County Chamber recognizes how vital our farmers and agribusiness are.

“Russell and Patsy Poore have been farming for over 55 years. When they first started they raised row crops and tobacco. Russell soon became a pioneer when it came to farming practices. He was one of the first to raise tobacco plants in greenhouses, bail tobacco and adopt outside tobacco structures. Around 1980 Russell began raising produce. They have raised fruits and vegetables for both wholesale and retail. It soon became a family affair and now includes four generations in the operation by promoting and supporting their projects on the farm. This includes tobacco crops, show cattle, pigs and chickens. Raising fruits and vegetables to sell at their Certified Roadside Market and the Logan County Farmers Market. They also raise greens and vegetables for Champion Pet Food.

“Along with farm operations Russell has served in various leadership rolls in the local agriculture community as well as state and national committees.

“Russell and Patsy think the most important role they have held over the years is being a mentor and role model to their family and area farmers. They have always strived to care for their land and their community.”

Small Business of the Year Award

Jeff Manley said, “Each year the Chamber recognizes a small business that has a big impact on our community. Though the business may be considered “small”, it is an integral part of the continuous circle of business, making a huge impact on our community that is endlessly far reaching.

“Lewisburg Banking Company recently celebrated 125 years in business. They have 4 locations spanning Logan County and currently adding a new technology center. They have a great balance of forward-thinking innovation while retaining old-school values and ethics. Their employees’ community involvement efforts are seen in churches, schools, the Chamber, and in civic clubs like the Russellville Lion’s Club & Rotary. Employees are treated like family and encouraged to develop both personally and professionally. They have supported our community financially and socially since 1894.”

Corporate Recognition Award

Kyle Hines said, “The Logan County Chamber selects a corporation to recognize each year that has made a significant contribution to Logan County.

“Champion Petfoods is the maker of award-winning ORIJEN and ACANA premium dog and cat foods. With a reputation of trust spanning more than 30 years, our brands feature unmatched inclusions of fresh ingredients and are made exclusively in Champion’s own kitchens. Founded in a small town in Alberta, Champion today exports to almost 100 countries around the globe. Champion is Trusted by Pet Lovers Everywhere.”

Volunteer of the Year Award

Karen Logan said, “The Volunteer of the Year award is given to a very special individual who is dedicated to serving our community through the Logan County Chamber.

“There are those that come into your life for a moment and some for a season. Some make such an impact you get to call them friend and maybe even mentor. The Chamber is served by many that utilize the skills they’ve achieved in their profession to improve the organization. Gary Grohovsky did just that. He joined the Board of Directors in 2014 and it wasn’t long before he accepted the position of Treasurer. I got to meet him when I joined the staff in 2016. Now a Logan Aluminum retiree, he has rolled off the board. While serving, he spent countless hours answering my questions, helping me to get a budget together, helping me with tax questions, you name it. He always had a willingness to help and a heart to serve. No matter what he always worked with me until we could get it done right. I appreciate him so much and this is my opportunity, our opportunity, to say thank you.”

Past President Award

Kyle Hines said, “At this time, I’d like for us to recognize our 2019 Chamber Board President, Ethan Holloway. He has done a fantastic job leading our board over the last year and we appreciate him serving in this position.”

All the past presidents of the Chamber who were present came to the stage for the annual Passing of the Gavel ceremony. It began with Mark Reynolds, who had served first of the group and went to Danny Coffey all the way to Holloway presenting the gavel to current president Leann Martin.

Shown, from left, in order of the years they served are Judge Logan Chick, Mark Reynolds, Danny Coffee, Edna Hughes, Chris Milam, Sandra Kinser, Brian White, Holli Brown Black, Brent Summers, Shane Hayes, Judge Joe Hendricks, Mandy Henley, Ethan Holloway and Leann Martin.

KAREN LOGAN: GROWTH & EXCITEMENT OVER THE LAST YEAR

If this is your first Annual Dinner to attend, please raise your hand! We are so glad all of you are here tonight and enjoyed it.

58 New Members in 2019

If you are a brand-new member, please raise your hand!

We currently have 345 members

All support that you give our Chamber goes right back into our community. Thank you for being a member of the Logan County Chamber!

Executive Director Karen Logan: The Logan County Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner was another sell-out event thanks to 305 of our members in attendance. The dinner from Dick’s Drive In & BBQ Catering was fabulous. The dessert, sponsored by H&H Sheet Metal, and made by The Peanut Butter Sucker was out of this world. We would like to thank everyone that was involved in this event. We had so many volunteers, sponsors, and members to participate. I am so proud of our organization and it’s easy to see that what we’re doing at the Chamber is making a difference in our community and we are proud to serve right along-side you!

President Leann Martin: The true wonder of Logan County shined!




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