On April 28 the Springhill-North Webster Chamber of Commerce held its 57th Annual Banquet at the Springhill Civic Center. More than 300 attendees crowded into the auditorium to visit, listen and dine on food prepared by Little Frenchie's Fixins' and Lisa Ellen's Cakes and Catering.
Janet Gray Reeves, out going Manager of the Chamber, welcomed everyone, recognized many dignitaries and thanked each of the 24 sponsors for their support.
The key note speaker for this gala event was James K. Elrod, CEO of the Willis Knighton Health System. Todd Eppler introduced Mr. Elrod who gave a power point presentation illustrating interesting facts about our health care system and options we are offered. He emphasized that Willis Knighton re-enforced community owned hospitals and tithed a portion of their income to help others. Chamber President, Tommy Boggs of Citizens Bank and Trust, presented Mr. Elrod a large porcelain American Eagle in appreciation for his participation in this banquet.
Mr. Boggs then introduced the Chamber Officers and Board of Directors: Vice-President: Todd Eppler, Springhill Medical Center; Secretary Joel Salley who holds an individual membership; Treasurer and immediate Past-President, Don Teague, of Don Teague CPA. Directors: Dianne Blake, Inspirations; Robert Bryan, The Place; Rudy Furr, Fountain View Nursing and Rehabilitation; Beverly Glass, Farmers Bank and Trust Company; Jacque Rhea, The House of Diamonds; David Scruggs, Kenyan Companies; Denise Shaw, Regions Bank; and Debbie Stubblefield, Carter Federal Credit Union.
He then presented framed certificates of appreciation to those "rolling off the Board" after many years of service, Robert Bryan and Joel Salley.
Three new directors were announced: David Anderson of Citizens Bank, Robert Gann of Walmart and Toby Stephens of the North Webster Parish Industrial District. New Chamber Manager, Kim Gillespie, was introduced.
Much recognition was given to Janet Reeves for the five years she has served as Chamber Manager.
President Boggs commented on the many accomplishments made over the last year and boasted that the Chamber had held ten ribbon cuttings, several "after hours" and now has 191 members. He then turned the 2011-2012 presidency over to Todd Eppler with sincere wishes for continued growth and success.
Among the many highlights of the night were the announcements of the award winners, including McMahen Veterinary Hospital, Business of the Year; Derek Melancon, The Civic Award; Janet Gray Reeves, Ambassador of the Year; Donna Williamson, Businesswoman of the Year; Robert Smith, Businessman of the Year.
The Life Time Achievement Award is a special award that is presented only when there is a deserving individual that should be given recognition. W.F. (Billy) Smith of Smiths South-Central Sales Company has led a life of hard work, determination and integrity and was given the award.
When each of the new award winners came forward their qualifications were expounded upon and each was congratulated. Another winner was congratulated as the name of Stephanie Thompson of Bossier City was drawn by Denise Shaw to be the proud new owner of the 47 inch LCDHD TV.