November 28, 2007 Edition

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Swaim, Turnbull receive honors

Dr. Jerol Swaim (right) and Judy Turnbull were named Man and Woman of the year at the annual Chamber banquet Tuesday night at Williams Baptist College.
Gretchen Hunt

Dr. Jerol Swaim and Judy Turnbull were honored as Man and Woman of the Year Tuesday night at the Chamber of Commerce's annual banquet held at Williams Baptist College.

Swaim, who is president of WBC, was selected for the honor for his contributions to the college and the community. Williams Baptist College has benefited from Swaim's leadership. During his years at the college's helm, the school has experienced growth in the student body, advancement in academic programs and improvements to the campus.

"I'm really honored and grateful," Swaim said. "It is a tremendous honor. I'm grateful to be a part of this community."

Turnbull, an active volunteer in many community programs, was selected for her service through CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and her efforts to establish a children's shelter in Lawrence County.

"I was completely surprised," Turnbull said after receiving the honor. "It's just amazing. The whole community got us where we are."

Turnbull displayed the spirit that earned her the honor by saying, "We still have a lot of work to do."

Several other awards were also presented during the evening's events, including three Community Service Awards, which were presented to Lewis Slaughter, the Sloan and Smith families and Carrie Mae Snapp and Company.

Slaughter, owner of Black Rock Auction, was recognized for his service to the Rails to Trails project, as well as his many contributions to local organizations, including the proposed children's shelter.

The Sloan and Smith families received the honor in recognition of their donation of land for a building location for the children's shelter.

Carrie Mae Snapp and Company were recognized for their productions, which benefited the children's shelter, and work on the Roots and Rails project on the history of Hoxie. Snapp, who owned and operated Front Street Theatre in Walnut Ridge for many years, has continued to provide entertainment to the community in support of local causes.

In addition, Rotor Craft, a Black Rock company that overhauls and repairs helicopter blades, was named industry of the year, and The Times Dispatch, which has been owned by the Bland family for three generations, was named business of the year.

Chamber members also got a sneak peek at the Chamber's new website, which can be visited at .

Mike Gaskill, mayor of Paragould, was the guest speaker. He told those in attendance that the secret to success is community spirit.

"You've got to love where you're at," he said. "Know your community and be able to tell people what's good about the place you live."

He said there will always be failures that accompany the successes, but the last thing community leaders need to do is sit on their hands.

"Some of it is luck, but not all of it" Gaskill said. "You get lucky because you worked to get into that position."

He said developing a community is like building a highway ~ it will take more than a year, maybe more than 10 years.

"Someone's got to say I won't be here to see it, but I'm more than willing to help start the foundation," he said.

Keith Brand, Karen Williams and Debbie Smith, outgoing Chamber Board members were also recognized for their service. Rev. Steve Trail, who recently moved from Walnut Ridge, also completed his service this year.

New board members were announced. They are John Howard, Kari Shanks, Adam Staples and Lorra Whitmire.

Additional coverage of the Chamber banquet will be in next week's issue of The TD.

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