November 24, 2010 Edition

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Lawrence County Judge-elect Dale Freeman (left) visits with Steve Manley, CEO of Universal Assets Management, at the annual Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce banquet Thursday night. Manley was the keynote speaker at the banquet.
TD Photo ~ Shantelle Prater

Manley speaks at Chamber
banquet, awards presented



The 2010 Community Service Awards was presented to Michelle Culbreath (left) and Diana Shelton during the Chamber of Commerce banquet held at Williams Baptist College.
TD Photos ~ Gretchen Hunt


West Machine Inc./Iron Mountain Metal Works was named Industry of the Year and Hays was named Business of the Year at the Chamber of Commerce banquet on Thursday. West Machine Inc. owner Danny West (left) accepted the award for Industry of the Year, and Hays' General Manager David Snyder accepted the award for Business of the Year.
Gretchen Hunt
Editor

Steve Manley, CEO of Universal Assets Management, addressed attendees of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce Banquet Thursday night.

Manley shared information about the multi-faceted company and how it has developed through the years. The disassembly that takes place at the Walnut Ridge plant, is just a small part of the services offered by UAM, which is headquartered in Memphis.

"We have to be all things to all people in the industry," Manley said.

Services offered include managing aircraft retirements, appraisals, component repairs, lease purchases, asset management and assisting with acquisitions.

Manley said 140 aircraft have been disassembled in Walnut Ridge since the first plane landed in 2003, and the plant currently has 35 disassembly projects underway.

Manley also shared plans regarding expansion of the industry locally. UAM is in the process of taking over space vacated by Morgan Buildings and also plans to use 17 acres of farmland that is adjacent to UAM.

The expansion will mean more jobs, as well.

"We need 50 more people in the near future," Manley said.

Manley said one of the reasons the Walnut Ridge location was so attractive is that Black River Technical College in Pocahontas offers degree programs that provide properly-trained employees.

He said the company has many BRTC graduates, as well as WBC graduates, on its payroll, a trend he hopes will continue.

In addition, UAM also partners with BRTC in its River's End program that awards a car to a lucky graduate and presented the concept and major gift that made Manley Chapel a reality at WBC.

"If a community comes together and helps make our company successful, we feel like we should give back," he said.

Manley credited the work-ethic of local employees as a major reason for expanding locally.

"You have incredible people in this area," he said. "That's why we are here and why we want to add 50 more jobs. I can't tell you how proud we are to be here."

Awards presented

Brett Cooper and Joyce Rose were named Man and Woman of the Year at the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce's annual banquet Thursday night on the campus of Williams Baptist College.

Cooper, who is vice president for college relations at WBC, is active in the Kiwanis Club, of which he is a past president, and is chair of the Chamber's Tourism Committee.

He is also on the Chamber Board of Directors, the Lawrence County Single Parent Scholarship Board and is an active member and deacon at First Baptist Church in Pocahontas.

Rose, who recently served as a volunteer co-administrator of The Children's Shelter in Walnut Ridge, is a retired educator, having been a teacher and counselor for Walnut Ridge School.

She is a member of the Northeast Arkansas Chorale, Schubert Club and the ATOD (Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs) Coalition. She is an active member of First United Methodist Church in Walnut Ridge, where she serves as president of the United Methodist Women.

Community Service Awards were presented to Diana Shelton and Michelle Culbreath. The award recognizes individuals who have gone beyond the call of duty for their community.

Shelton, who serves as president of the Arkansas Business and Professional Women this year, was recognized for contributions to the community, not only through BPW, but also through the Lawrence County Walk of Hope, which benefits local cancer patients. She has also served on Lawrence County Circle of Friends, the Chamber Beautification Committee and the Leadership Lawrence County Alumni Board.

Culbreath was recognized specifically for serving as a volunteer co-administrator at The Children's Shelter in Walnut Ridge. During her time in that position, she logged more than 500 hours of volunteer service at the shelter. She is also a former teacher and counselor and has worked as an administrative assistant and in advertising sales.

Industry of the Year honors went to West Machine Shop Inc./Iron Mountain Metal Works, which is owned by Danny West. The machine shop manufactures components for companies all over the United States, as well as some in South America. The metal works division makes yard signs, banisters, railings, window coverings, staircases, balconies and much more.

Hays was named as this year's Business of the Year. The grocery store has been open in Walnut Ridge since May of 2001 and is managed by David Snyder. Hays not only provides employment opportunities, but also contributes to countless projects, organizations and events in Lawrence County.

New board members named

Recently elected board members were also announced at the banquet. They are Junior Briner, Lloyd Clark, Mel Fender, Terry Lambert, Ashley Burris and Debbie Smith.

Outgoing board members John Allen, Adam Staples, Bill Wilcoxson, Debbie Spangler, Sherry Moore and Gretchen Hunt were also recognized.

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