The Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce recognized several businesses and individuals in their 2017 Annual Chamber Banquet and Membership meeting Thursday night including KTLO, Classic Hits 101.7 and The Boot. During the meeting Chamber leaders also outlined their innovative plan to attract more visitors to the Twin Lakes Area.
One of the highlights of the evening showed a short video of a larger production in the works which will give viewers the opportunity to see the Twin Lakes Area through a virtual reality experience. The marketing tool places a virtual reality headset on the viewer's head allowing them to have a 360-degree view of activities Mountain Home and surrounding areas have to offer. For example, one may be able to see firsthand what the White River looks like from the perspective of a fisherman.
The virtual reality tour project is in the works. The chamber intends to take it to trade shows in St. Louis and Dallas, two cities that generate the most internet traffic for interest in the area. The chamber also plans to make it available to chamber members to use as a marketing tool.
Outgoing President of the Chamber of Commerce Board Scott Copeland presented awards in 10 different categories including Outstanding Business or Industry, Outstanding Organization, Educator of the Year, Medical Professional of the Year, Spirit award, Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, the Jim Gaston Friend of Tourism Award, Ambassador of the Year and the Chairmans Award.
The Outstanding Business Award is given to a local for-profit entity. The award acknowledges businesses that bring recognition to the Twin Lakes Area because of the commitment made to local citizens. The business of the year is a role model for other businesses and conducts its business in a fair and ethical manner.
KTLO was the winner. Other Nominees were Auto Services, Ritter Communications and XL7.
The Outstanding Organization Award recognizes a local not-for-profit organization. The recipient is selected for its commitment to serve those in the area. The organization excels in putting service above self by serving others in local communities. The organization provides benefits that are an invaluable asset and serve as a model for other organizations.
Care Center Ministries was the winner. Other nominees include Gamma House, Good Samaritan Society, the Mountain Home Education Foundation's Project Promise, Serenity Inc., The Performing Arts Council at ASUMH, and the Twin Lakes Community Foundation.
The Educator of the Year Award recognizes a local individual. This person is dedicated but is also proactive in assuring the educational needs of his/her students are met.
Dr. Julia Gist, Dean of Nursing and Health Sciences of ASU Mountain Home was the winner. Other nominees include Jeff Kincaid of Mountain Home Public Schools, Jennifer Veloria-Dunn of Baxter County Library, Jill Czanstkowski of Mountain Home Public Schools, Martin Eggensburger of ASUMH and Mindy Fulcher of ASUMH.
The Medical Professional of the Year Award honors a unique, respected individual who has given unselfishly of his or her self to promote the best possible healthcare to persons of the Twin Lakes area.
Dr. Tom Knox was the winner. Other nominees include Amanda Thorton, ANP, Corinne Hiser, CNP, Dr. Dan Swoyer, Dr. Gregory Elders, Dr. Jacob Dickinson, Dr. Jennifer Foster, Dr. John Spore, Dr. Louis Elkins, Dr. Mark Ungerank, Dr. Michael Adkins and Dr. Russ Rauls.
The Spirit Award recognizes an individual or entity that acts as an Ambassador to the Twin Lakes Area, continuously promoting our community of "Three Rivers, Two Lakes, One Beautiful Life." The recipient of this award captivates individuals, families, businesses and/or industry with the thrill of living/working in the Twin Lakes Area.
Tommy Hagan was the winner. Other nominees include Jewell Pendergrass, KTLO, Tracy Myers and Wes Wood.
The Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award recipient has demonstrated success as measured by sales and profit; increased employment opportunities; developed and/or utilized innovative or creative business method; innovativeness of product or service and contributes to community-oriented projects.
Brendan Shay of Shays Appliance was the winner. Other nominees include Ashley Havens of Ashley Havens State Farm, Greg Alexander & James Moore of Vision Amp, Russell Tucker of Rapps Barren and Scott Estes of Denali Rods & Aspire Outdoors.
The Volunteer of the Year Award is designed to honor an individual performing outstanding community service, largely without recognition. The recipient may volunteer in the public and/or private sector with longevity of service playing a role in the selection.
Rick Garner was the winner. Other nominees include Ashley Southard, Audrey Burns, Brandy Jordan, Deborah Knox, Judy Garner, Kelly Nosari, Nancy Tester and Patty Shay.
The recipients of the Jim Gaston Friend of Tourism Award promote the Twin Lakes Area at each and every occasion and invests themselves in the area to make it a better place not only for visitors but for everyone. The Friend of Tourism not only participates in this industry, but his or her true goal is to share the natural beauty of our area, while teaching others to enjoy it and to treat it with respect.
The late Steve Eastwold was the winner. Other nominees include Bob Knight, Gerald & Judy Oates, and Tobias Pugsley.
The Chamber Ambassador of the Year 2017 went to Judy Garner.
The Chairmans Award went to former Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Tracy Jones.
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