The Nashville Chamber of Commerce held its annual awards banquet at the First Baptist Church Activities building Monday night. The evening’s theme was “Nashville Stars for 2015,” and various awards were given out, including the naming of Nashville’s 2015 Man of the Year and Woman of the Year.
Joan McCrary was named 2015’s woman of the year. Her award was presented by Kristi Vines, 2014’s award winner.
McCrary, who was educated as a teacher, has had a wide array of both professional and personal experiences in her lifetime. She was the administrator for the Nashville Nursing Home in 1966, and has spent more than 40 years in the Children’s Department of First Baptist Church. McCrary recently served as the Children’s Director at FBC, and coordinates the kitchen and snacks at the Howard County Christian Clinic.
She is also active in working to gather items for Operation Christmas Child. “Putting her talents to work for others is her gift,” Vines said of McCrary.
“I couldn’t do it without my family, my friends, and my church prayer warriors.” McCrary said.
The 2015 Man of the Year award was bestowed upon Don Fletcher. The award was presented by Freddie Horne, the 2014 recipient. Fletcher was described as a hard working man and proud farm owner. He enjoys working with the youth of the community, and spends time mentoring youth about farming. He is active with both FFA and 4-H. He also teaches a Sunday School class as well as a weekly Bible class.
He worked at the Pilgrim’s Feed Mill for over 25 years, and recently retired from his
Manager position there. He has been active with a membership on the Howard County Fair Board for many years, and serves as the current Board President for the Fair Board. He spends countless hours planning, organizing, and supervising all parts of the County Fair, all to provide the community with a great annual event.
Fletcher accepted the award on behalf of the Howard County Fair Board, and stated that “I receive this award in their honor.”
The 2015 Lifetime achievement award winner was Barry Wright. The award was presented by Tim Freel III.
The winner of the 2015 Orange and Black award was Joy Freel. The award was presented by James “Bunch” Nichols.
2015’s Memorial Recognition Award honors went to the late Clyde Keaster. Jenny Westbrook presented the award.
The Nashville School District had an exceptional year in 2015, and was recognized with several awards by the Chamber. Nashville Junior High science teacher Brenda Galliher was recognized as being a finalist for the 2015 Arkansas State Teacher of the Year award. Doug Graham, Superintendent, said that out of 35,000 teachers in Arkansas, Galliher was one of 15 finalists for the award.
The NHS School Spirit award was given to the Nashville Scrappers Head Coach Mike Volarvich.
The 2015 Nashville Scrappers football team and coaches also received recognition during the evening for their championship season, as well as the 2015 Nashville High School Cheerleaders, who were the runner ups in the state cheerleading competition. Also recognized were NHS FFA State Livestock Champions for 2015.
The award for Remodeled Building went to Cash Savers, which is located in what was the Charlie’s Thriftway building. Tim Allen, Southwest Arkansas District Manager accepted the award.
The New Building Award went to two buildings this year, Compass Outpatient Behavioral Health and the new medical office building, both located on the Howard Memorial Hospital campus. Dr. Brian Caldwell, Bill Craig, HMH Chief Financial Officer, Debra Wright, HMH Chief Executive Officer and Gayla Beaird accepted the awards.
Outgoing Chamber of Commerce Directors Shirley Hamilton, Bill Moorer, and Lynn Hendry were recognized for their service. New 2016 Board of Directors members Vanna Woodruff, Brent Pinkerton, and Loren Hinton were announced.
Outgoing President Ouida Terrell announced 2016’s Chamber President, Noelle Couch. Terrell was recognized for her service with an award by Chamber Director Mike Reese.
Nashville Mayor Billy Ray Jones talked about the community’s involvement after the May 2015 storm that affected the city.
Dinner for the evening’s event was catered by Starz Family Restaurant of Nashville, and was served to the attendees by the Nashville A.M. PEO Chapter.