This year, the audience was delighted by the entertainment of Joe Turner, a mentalist who reinforced his business message with a few dazzling tricks. Turner delighted audiences with presentations such as filling a box of 16 squares so that the boxes all added to the number 114 no matter which way an individual counted it. Turner used the trick to encourage attendees to always find a way to their goal despite the circumstances or difficulties they may be facing.
"It might not be what you expected, but if you want to hit your goal you will find a way," said Turner.
Emery next presented the Small and Large Businesses of the Year award. The Small Business of the Year award went to Animal Care Hospital, which has averaged a 6 percent growth since 2005. Employing 19 people, Animal Care Hospital has been heavily involved with the Dyersburg-Dyer County Humane Society raising $1,800 during this past year's Bark in the Park, as well as an active participant in the Boy Scouts of America, Canterbury Place and Lifeline Blood Services.
"I have it easy," said Dr. Pierce White, accepting the award on behalf of Animal Care Hospital. "My wife runs the business and I come in and play with dogs."
The Large Business of the Year award went to Amteck, a design/build electrical contracting firm specializing in industrial electrical construction, tele-data installation, and electrical automation and engineering services. Despite being involved in various projects across the country, Amteck shows its commitment to the Dyersburg community by being involved with organizations such as Boy Scouts, local flood relief, the Humane Society, the YMCA, Relay for Life, Life Choices, Lake Road Softball Fields, United Way and many more. The award was accepted by David Wagner who thanked the Chamber for their recognition on behalf of their 130 employees.
The Distinguished Woman of the Year award went to Beth Bell of the UT Extension Office. Bell has particularly been an advocate for a healthier Dyersburg and Dyer County over recent years serving on the Dyer County Health Council, the Pioneering Healthy Communities Committee and Walk Across Tennessee Committee. She has also participated in organizing the Hazardous Household Waste Collection and been actively involved in Healthy Kids Day, the Ecumenical Financial Literacy, the Holy Angels Parish Council, the Office on Aging Advisory Council, the Family & Community Education Club, the Hispanic Women's Health Conference, and the Right Choices Advisory Council.
"This is a community of 'yes'," said an overwhelmed Bell. "When I moved here, I did not know a single person and I have never heard the word no."
Agee shared with attendees that Allmon has applied that statement to all facets of his life including his community involvement. Allmon is serving as the president of the Dyersburg Kiwanis Club and is also serving on the Dyersburg State Community College Alumni Association Board, the DSCC Business Advisory Board and the McIver's Grant Public Library Board. His business leadership includes the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors where he served as president and membership chairman. He graduated from the Leadership in Life Institute and the Hartford School of Insurance. Upon receiving his award, Allmon thanked White and Associates for the faith they showed in him.
Agee concluded the evening presenting the chamber's own version of the State of the Union Address commenting on the unity and clear vision the chamber has to continue to spur business growth and development in the area. Agee also reported that the chamber was directly or indirectly involved with bringing over $23 million in grant funds to the area as well as bringing new businesses in Big LOTS!, Dairy Queen and Chick-fil-A.