Mount Ida Area Chamber honors local heroes

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    The Montgomery County Nursing Home Ladies Auxiliary Thrift Store was chosen to be the 2016 Mount Ida Area Chamber of Commerce Non-Profit Organization of the Year. Pictured left to right: Anita Watson, Mae Minton, Pat Hopper, Maurene Tanner, Jeneva Robbins, Jackie Cox, Judy Carlton, Helen Daniels, Tommie Johnston; (kneeling) Sherrie Morris andLinda West.
    The Montgomery County Nursing Home Ladies Auxiliary Thrift Store was chosen to be the 2016 Mount Ida Area Chamber of Commerce Non-Profit Organization of the Year. Pictured left to right: Anita Watson, Mae Minton, Pat Hopper, Maurene Tanner, Jeneva Robbins, Jackie Cox, Judy Carlton, Helen Daniels, Tommie Johnston; (kneeling) Sherrie Morris andLinda West.
    The Montgomery County Nursing Home Ladies Auxiliary Thrift Store was chosen to be the 2016 Mount Ida Area Chamber of Commerce Non-Profit Organization of the Year. Pictured left to right: Anita Watson, Mae Minton, Pat Hopper, Maurene Tanner, Jeneva Robbins, Jackie Cox, Judy Carlton, Helen Daniels, Tommie Johnston; (kneeling) Sherrie Morris andLinda West.
    Dr. Mary Anne Shaw (left) and Kenn Greene (right) were chosen to be the 2016 Mount Ida Area Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year and Man of the Year respectively.
    Dr. Mary Anne Shaw (left) and Kenn Greene (right) were chosen to be the 2016 Mount Ida Area Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year and Man of the Year respectively.

    MOUNT IDA – Those in attendance at the Mount Ida Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet received valuable information regarding mountain biking and tourism in the area. The chamber also announced the winners of the Man of the Year, Woman of the Year, Business of the Year and Non Profit Organization of the Year.
    This year’s winners include: Man of the Year – Kenn Greene, Woman of the Year – Dr. Mary Ann Shaw, Business of the Year – Mount Ida Service Center, and Non-Profit Organization of the Year – Montgomery County Nursing Home Ladies Auxiliary.
    Gar Eisele, Director for Arkansas Regional Coalition for the Ouachita (ARCO), shared ARCO’s new branding initiative, “One More Day.”
    The purpose of the new initiative is to develop a common theme and graphic that can be used to market the many things to see and do in the ARCO region, which includes Montgomery, Polk and Yell counties.
    The idea he shared is to encourage visitors to stay one more day in the region. He stated that thousands of people visit the area each year and they are often unaware of the things to see and do in the three counties.
    According to studies by Arkansas Parks and Tourism, if visitors were to stay one more day it would increase travel and tourism in the area by 31 percent, which could mean $16.5 million to the area.
    The ARCO brand will be available for websites, signage, advertising and other means of promotion.
    He also announced the launch of a new website, visitouachitas.com.
    Joe Jacobs, the “bicycle guy” at Arkansas Parks and Tourism, spoke on “What to do with mountain bikers.”
    Jacobs has been a road cyclist since the 1970’s and has ridden mountain bikes for over 20 years. He stated that the Womble Trail was his first mountain trail in Arkansas.
    He talked about the unique opportunity Montgomery County has with three IMBA Epic trails. He also pointed out that the trails are open year round. This is a draw to cyclists from northern states.
    Jacobs added that there is a need for shuttle services in the area. He provided photos of easy ways to shuttle cyclists to and from the trails. He also pointed out the need to promote the shuttles.
    He also shared that hotels and lodges can make themselves cyclist friendly by simply adding a wash station and allowing cyclists to keep their bikes in their room.
    State Representative Nate Bell and State Senator Larry Teague presented grant checks to South Fork-Center Volunteer Fire Department and the Mount Ida Volunteer Fire Department.
    The chamber held their annual auction which featured several items donated locally. The highlight of the night as usual were the pies donated by Shangri La Resort.
    The night wrapped up with the announcement of the winners of the annual awards.
    Derwood Brett announced the winner of the Man of the Year Award, which was presented by last year’s winner Robert Cavannaugh. The finalists included Kenn Greene, Robert Craw and Morris Ragel. Kenn Greene was announced as the 2016 Man of the Year.
    Pat Smith announced the winner of the Woman of the Year Award, which was presented by last year’s winner Dr. Barbara Holt. The finalists included Dr. Mary Ann Shaw, Aimee Greene, and Sherry Wisneski. Dr. Mary Ann Shaw was announced as the 2016 Woman of the Year.
    Jennifer Sweeney presented the Business of the Year award to Mount Ida Service Center. The finalists included Mount Ida Service Center, 1010 Mall and South Fork Volunteer Fire Department.
    Joanne McGibboney presented the Non-Profit Organization of the Year Award to the Montgomery County Nursing Home Ladies Auxiliary. Finalists included  Montgomery County Nursing Home Ladies Auxiliary, Mount Ida Senior Adult Center and the Mount Ida Library.