The Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting and gala held Jan. 25 at the Batesville Community Center attracted nearly 400 guests and celebrated community work toward IMPACT goals in 2018 and outstanding business and individuals.
“We are so grateful to our presenting sponsor, First Community Bank, and our event partners, Edward Jones, Peco Foods, UACCB, and White River Health System, who make it a priority to invest in this event so that we can celebrate community accomplishments and maintain momentum for IMPACT work” said Jamie Rayford, BACC’s chief operating officer.
Guests were greeted at their place setting with a vinyl record that sported the event logo in the center and a commemorative album jacket labeled “2018’s Greatest Hits” which listed major accomplishments in economic development, tourism, education and health care.
A video, created by Batesville High School’s EAST program, highlighting the year’s milestones also looped on the large screens as guests entered the event. It reviewed a number of business grand openings and new construction projects of note from 2018.
Outstanding businesses and individuals awarded during the ceremony included: Excellence in Business – Intimidator Group; Community Collaboration – The Independence County Library; Excellence in Customer Focus – The Melba Theater; Leader in Healthcare – Gary Bebow former CEO of White River Health System; Leader in Education – Heath Wilson of Cedar Ridge; and Chamber Ambassador of the Year – Brittney Harris of Independence County Off Road.
The Chamber reported over 50 nominees for the awards process, nearly 20 of those being in the education category which Wilson received a standing ovation for.
The 2018 Leadership Batesville Class graduated from the nine-month program Friday night as well. Graduates are: Nick Baxter (City of Batesville), Rachael Fisher (First Community Bank), Laura Garrett (White River Health System), Dr. Michael Hester (Batesville School District), Julie Hinkle (Bank of Cave City), Julie LaRose (Cedar Ridge School District), Kim Poole (Southside School District), Alan Price (FNBC), Jeanne Roepcke (Batesville School District), Stacey Rogers (Crye-Leike Real Estate), Bryon Simmons, Ph.D. (FutureFuel Chemical Company), Brooke Stevenson (Ind. Co. Cable TV), Jessica Sutton (Citizens Bank), and Matt Swaim (Approve Home Medical).
The gala, held immediately following the meeting, kicked-off with a meal provided by Colton’s Steakhouse and musical stylings that had guests “hustling” to an LED dance floor. Attendees also had the opportunity to take home photos taken by posing in front of a full-length interactive photo mirror.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Lacy, 34, spent most of her life in the hills of Lawrence County. Today, she lives in Cave City, the home of “World’s Sweetest Watermelons,” in what’s known as the Prince Matlock house. Its former owner helped create what’s known as the Cave Courts where the city’s cave lies above the Crystal River. He fashioned his home out of the same rocks and materials that are found among the cave’s property, and she feels blessed to now be its caretaker for many more years to come.