The Heber Springs Chamber of Commerce held its annual member banquet Tuesday night at the Community Center. The evening began with music from the Heber Springs High School Jazz Band while members ate their dinner, catered by Arrows.
Chamber President Jeremy Bivens and new Chamber Director Ginger Harper welcomed everyone and said they hope 2019 will be a great year for the chamber and its members. Caitlin Garner was also introduced as the membership development director.
Guest speaker was Walt Coleman, an NFL referee for 30 seasons. Only six officials have done this. He shared several stories from his days as a referee for the NFL. He also spoke about the players who don’t get much recognition but without them the game would be a lot different. He compared this with working together as a community, that not everyone will get to be front and center, but without them it wouldn’t be the same.
Following Coleman, Bivens, Harper and outgoing President Cathy Cox presented the Hall of Honor award to B.L. “Bozy” Johnston. Johnston established Rock Products and was part of building so much of Heber Springs. He passed away in 2005. His son, Bill accepted his award and talked about his Dad while a video put together by Cody David in his honor, aired.
Johnston said his Dad was, “The smartest man I ever knew, then and now.” He went on to say that Johnston was a man of few words, but when he had something to say, you should listen.
Following Johnston, the Citizen of the Year was described by Rep. Josh Miller as, “There are three kinds of people in this world. Those who make things happen, those who know what’s happened and those who don’t have a clue what’s happened. This gentleman makes things happen. He has given away millions of dollars in ideas.” A list of his accomplishments and boards he has served on was given and then Gary Redd was introduced as Citizen of the Year.
Bivens presented Cox with an award as past President. Cox and Bivens then recognized outgoing board directors Tina Moore and Brett Graham.
Sulphur Creek Outfitters Frank Wimberly was presented with Business of the Year. The Non-Profit of the Year was awarded to the Single Parent Scholarship Fund.
Dignitaries present were Judge Jerry Holmes, Mayor Jimmy Clark, Sen. Missy Irvin, Rep. Josh Miller, Judge Holly Meyer, JP’s Chad Evans, Paul Roberts and Alan Malone.
An auction for several items donated to the event was done by Billy Morgan.
Premier Sponsors for the event were Cowboy Chevrolet, First National Bank and the City of Heber Springs.