Lauren Siebert, Areawide News reporter, was honored at the 2019 Spring River Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards & Recognition Banquet on February 4, 2020 with several top awards, including the E.Wilson Green Award and the Volunteer of the Year Award. 

When Lauren was presented with the award from  Susan Jett , who was one of the recipients last year, her attention was directed at the side of the room where her parents were standing. “Here I was at 30 years old being honored with an award you get once in a lifetime,” Lauren Siebert mused, “ and when I saw my parents, whom I was not expecting as they were supposed to be out of town, I almost lost my mind! Here I was surrounded by my parents, grandmother, friends and people I highly respect sharing this highlight of  my life with me!”

Previously, SRACC President Ethan Barnes had presented her with his Volunteer of the Year Award, whom is chosen by the president to the volunteer that has supported the chamber the most.  “It is a difficult decision because there are so many hard working board members that donated their time throughout the year, but Lauren is always the first to step up when needed without being asked, and she has brought in more new chamber members in the last two years than any other volunteer. She highly deserved this recognition.”

Ty Rowland, son of Pam and Jeremy Rowland, won the Future Leader Award which was started last year to honor a young person who has provided excellent service to the community.  State Representative Fran Cavenaugh sponsored the Future Leader Award and presented each of the nominees a coin from the House of Representatives. This is the second year this award was given.

Member of the Year Awards were presented to Ozark Classic Crafts Mall (Bronze); Mike Watson State Farm Insurance – Highland and Melbourne offices (Silver); First Community Bank (Gold); Ozarka College (Platinum); Mission of Hope (Nonprofit), and Kasey Carter (Individual).

The 2019 Photo Contest had two winners, the 2020 Annual Guide Cover Award was won by Chuck Averwater, and the People’s Choice Award was won by Leigh LaCaze.

The 2020 Banquet was held at the BPOE Highland Elks Lodge and was the highest attended banquet with over 270 tickets sold.  The Chicken Florentine dinner was catered by Artisan Grill.  Guest speaker Dr. Shane Hunt, professor in sales leadership and marketing at Arkansas State University, gave a fabulous presentation about brand building, which really starts with how others perceive you or your company.

SRACC President Barnes emceed the event that also included a summary of the chamber’s 2019 accomplishments and goals for 2020.  Executive Director Kari Hollis announced the chamber has literally doubled in size in the last couple of years and is offering members more and more benefits in advertising, promotion, shop local events, member-to-member discount program, and Blue Ribbon Welcomes.

The SRACC is thankful for thier sponsors, which included the WRMC Medical Complex as the Awards Sponsor, and the following Table Sponsors:  Art Center of North Arkansas; Centennial Bank; City of Cherokee Village; Coldwell Bankers Ozark Real Estate Co.; State Representative Fran Cavenaugh/Future Leader nominees; Highland Assembly; King-Rhodes & Associates Real Estate; Mike Watson State Farm Insurance – Highland & Melbourne offices; North Arkansas Electric Cooperative; Ozark Classic Crafts Mall; Ozark Gateway Realty, OGWLLC; Ozarka College; Triple R Pawn and Bail Bonds; Spring River Draft House; St. Bernards First Care – Highland; Tri-County Farm & Ranch Supply, and WRMC Medical Complex.

The SRACC 2020 Board of Directors was installed and include:  Ethan Barnes, President; Lauren Siebert, 1st Vice President; Kasey Carter, Secretary; Laura Clute, Treasurer; Eddie Ishmael, Past President; and directors Debra Ball, Joey Cooper, Nathan Criss, Marc Herring, Fred Holzhauer, Susan Jett, Angela Phipps, Rhonda Messer, Jody Smotherman and Clint Wiles.

The silent auction was a huge success that raised over $1,800 with items donated by Ozark Gateway Realty Ozarka College, B&B Supply, Platinum Rive, r Hardy Village Antiques, Ozark Classic Crafts Mall, Progressive Eye Center, Spring River Draft House, Biggers Bed & Breakfast, Centennial Bank, Arts Center of North Arkansas, The Master’s Bouquet & Christian Book Store; Twomey PC Repair; Leaves & Beans; Triple D Package Store; Frontier Lanes; The Tanning Bed, FNBC, and  Rox Outfitters. Also , Dr. Shane Hunt donated a signed book. And the 50/50 raffle netted $296 for the Scholarship Fund.