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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Chamber recognizes outstanding citizens at awards banquet

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

From left, top row: Dr. Pierce White representing the Small Business of the Year, Animal Care Hospital; David Wagner representing the Large Business of the Year, Amteck; Distinguished Man of the Year, Lewis Norman. Seated: Diplomat of the Year, David Doss; Distinguished Woman of the Year, Beth Bell; Emerging Leader of the Year, Tommy Allmon.
The Chamber of Commerce hosted the Annual Chairman's Awards Banquet on Saturday evening filled with food, entertainment and recognition. The evening is a once-a-year opportunity for the chamber's partners to come together and recognize the outstanding citizens in the community for their civic leadership during the previous year.

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.

Dyersburg/Dyer County Chamber of Commerce Chairman Jeff Agee delivers his State of the Union address for Dyer County during Saturday evening's Annual Chairman's Awards Banquet, held at the Lannom Center.
After Turner's performance, Immediate Past-Chairman Joe Emery presented the first three awards of the evening. The first award was presented to Davis Doss in recognition of being the Diplomat of the Year. According to Emery, Doss made a big impact in his first year of service by attending numerous ribbon cuttings and various other events. Doss, who serves as the marketing director for The Highlands of Dyersburg, is also a member of the Dyersburg Noon Rotary Club, a tiger cub leader for the Boy Scouts and has served as a substitute teacher at Dyer County High School.

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.

Joe Turner (center) delighted the banquet attendees with his business message mixed with entertainment. Turner, who is a mentalist, had a few dazzling tricks including this one where he was able to escape the rope that bound his hands only to emerge handcuffed to one of his onstage volunteers.
Presenting the final three awards of the evening was current chamber Chairman of the Board Jeff Agee. Agee first presented the Distinguished Man of the Year award to Lewis Norman. Norman's civic offices have been wide-ranging serving at one time as city alderman, city school board member and president of the Dyer County Fair Association. He also served on the board of directors for the following organizations: Dyersburg/Dyer County Chamber of Commerce, the Dyersburg Jaycees, the Dyersburg Rotary Club, Habitat for Humanity, the Dyer County Historical Society, and the Tennessee Technology Center. Norman served for 27 years as the assistant administrator of Parkview Hospital and worked for Dyersburg Fabrics for 17 years.

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."

Northwest Tennessee Red Cross Executive Director Lynn Fritchey (third from right) enjoys the evening as a nominee for Woman of the Year with her family. The award eventually went to Beth Bell of the UT Extension Office, but Fritchey commented that it was an honor just to be included and recognized in this manner by her peers.
The last recipient of the evening was Tommy Allmon who was recognized as this past year's Emerging Leader. According to Agee, Allmon is motivated by the statement, "If you don't put anything into it, you won't get anything out of it."

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.

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What this area needs is industry! This county is dying! The loss of jobs in the area continues to be staggering. It seems as if it is the "elephant in the room" that no-one wants to acknowledge. We are losing more people to Arkansas, Missouri and Jackson and no one seems to care. The chamber and local industy needs to remove their blinders and welcome competitive industry to the area and not be afraid of companies that "pay for performance" or that offer better wages and benefits.

I welcome Chick-fil-a and their Christian roots, Dairy Queen and Big Lots but there are very good people in this county that just want a chance to prove themselves in an industry that rewards initiative.

Congrats. to each of the above-mentioned individuals but the Chamber needs to wake up! Maybe if their pay was based on THEIR performance????

-- Posted by southernborn1 on Tue, Jan 31, 2012, at 3:59 PM

why don't you just march yourself down to the chamber and ask them point blank what it is they are doing before you make some ill-advised assumptions.

-- Posted by metrist on Tue, Jan 31, 2012, at 4:10 PM

i would have to march down there because i cant afford gas. thanks chamber, thanks for nothing.

-- Posted by dburgscoundrel on Tue, Jan 31, 2012, at 6:05 PM

Well, I am absolutely positive that businesses do not stay here because they might win an award. Also, I am sure that they do not come here for one either. They are wasting resources, time and money to award some deserving individuals and businesses for what? The best "Big" and the best "Small" business? Says who? And the most distinguished people? Who cares??? Sorry, but all of the "REAL" people of Dyer County want to hear about is how they are going to bring new business to this area to replace so many jobs lost in the past couple of years. C'mon Chamber - put this much effort into that!!! And as for marching down and point blank asking them what they are doing, well we all just read about what they are doing now didn't we???

-- Posted by raspberrie on Tue, Jan 31, 2012, at 6:22 PM

hello out there--u chamber people---you're losing your creditability quickly!!! stop your celebrating & partying and go to work FOR dyersburg & dyer county!

-- Posted by closerlook on Tue, Jan 31, 2012, at 9:06 PM

Amen Jaydwain!

-- Posted by raspberrie on Tue, Jan 31, 2012, at 9:41 PM

That is all the chamber is good for. Patting each other on the back and raising funds for crooked politicians. They make me sick.

-- Posted by jms58 on Wed, Feb 1, 2012, at 8:00 AM

As the old saying from Cool Hand Luke movie......"What we have here is a FAILURE to COMMUNICATE. Some people you just can't reach".

The chamber members are made up of the Good ole Boy club. Party is their middle name or at least that is the appearance the community perceives. This community used to thrive, but none the less it is on the decline in many areas.

Allen Hester, over a year ago, contested a report that the paper published regarding the Dyersburg/Dyer County community. Mr. Hester offered up every excuse possible why the survey was skewed. At that time, I commented regarding the survey, stating that the survey be taken to heart and start undergirding the weaknesses it exposed with regard to perspective industry coming to this area. At the same time, start promoting heavily on the positives as well, but ensuring on a timely basis, the weaknesses within the Chamber and our community such as training,etc. are transformed into positive attributes for this area. Dyersburg/Dyer County needs to be a premier area for industry to locate and call home.

Industry drives discretionary income that workers use to spend at "small businesses" around the area. Small business startups are not the answer as statistics prove that 70%+ of these fail within their first year.

Let's cut to the chase...........A change in leadership with regard to Mr. Hester needs to take place. The Chamber needs a new executive that can be leader and make things happen for this community.

Secondly, I know Jeff Agee and he is a good man. I think Jeff needs to suggest an operational change within the Chamber committees and subcommittees that I would assume they have. Instead of the perceived party atmosphere, make sure that everyone feels the "sense of urgency" within this community everyone has regarding jobs.

Bottomline, guys......MAKE IT HAPPEN!

-- Posted by Lil Money on Wed, Feb 1, 2012, at 2:54 PM

Let me add to my previous comment as well.

It would be great, if the Chamber reported quarterly or even monthly via the State Gazette or before the Board of Mayor and Aldermen regarding efforts to secure new industry, status of committees and subcommittees,etc. Let as much as they can be made public.

Preferably via the State Gazette, for at least the information will be in writing and they live up to such.

-- Posted by Lil Money on Wed, Feb 1, 2012, at 2:59 PM

Lil Money:

That is a great idea! I doubt it will happen, but it is a great idea just the same. Accountability for the Chamber, hmmmmm. At least we would know if they were even trying....

-- Posted by raspberrie on Wed, Feb 1, 2012, at 5:55 PM

I'm glad we have so many citizens who have all of the answers. You people are a bunch of idiots. First you don't have any clue what it's like to make those decisions because you've never had a job that had responsibility. Second, you don't even know all of the circumstances involved as to why the plant closed.

-- Posted by blindmanbluff on Wed, Feb 1, 2012, at 9:02 PM

Oh yeah and to the smart guy who said they needed to answer to the mayors quarterly.... They have a meeting every month with the mayors and a board of directors to let them know what is going on with industry. Nice try though, thanks for playing. Geek

-- Posted by blindmanbluff on Wed, Feb 1, 2012, at 9:04 PM

Finally! blindmanbluff, your comment amplifies the idiocracy of the prior posts and the insults their comments have cast upon those of us who do care about our community and work hard to keep what we do have. It amazes me how many people that are so negative towards this community and the people that volunteer so much of their time and resources continue to belittle our town but do nothing about it except complain about how awful it is here in Dyersburg. These nay sayers and their "qualified and educated" solutions, if you call it that, will kill this community faster than anything they could possibly imagine. Just have one question for them:

If you hate Dyersburg so much and think there is a better place to go, then why are you still here?

-- Posted by metrist on Thu, Feb 2, 2012, at 8:23 AM

take a look at downtown dyersburg, compared to downtown newbern. there is no comparison--newbern in comparison is booming! dyersburg looks more like a downtown trimble. i was born in trimble and love that little jewel, but the downtown area would be a laugh if it weren't so sad. let's make newbern the county seat. they apparently know how to run a town/government.

-- Posted by closerlook on Thu, Feb 2, 2012, at 8:38 AM

Let me cut to the chase with Blindmanbluff.

I hold a job in the city of Dyersburg that I love to call home. Thus, my concern and reasoning behind commenting on this blog regarding this article. I have my engineering degree as well as my MBA. I've worked hard as hell, paid my own way through college, no loans,etc. I've held a job since old enough to work in the public at 16 years and mowed yards, shoveled snow whatever it took to earn a buck before I was 16. I know what it means to work, DO YOU? I learned my work ethic from my parents. Christian parents who worked hard for a living, and put forth the extra with less than a 12th grade education because they wanted more for their children,etc. Are you of that caliber? Or someone that has had a silver spoon so to speak all your life. Inquiring minds would like to know!

Further, as I stated,and on to the important subject at hand, I love Dyersburg and Dyer County, born and raised here. Are you? That is why many others are concerned as well.

I WILL NOT let someone of your caliber shoot down my remarks.

I realize per your post above, that they meet. I'm not stupid. Hey we have TV, Cable One in Dyersburg.......get the gist......GEEK.........Citizens of Dyersburg watch these meetings and it would be good to hear from the Chamber monthly.

This morning, I received an email from Mayor Holden stating that items of public interest will be posted on a new Facebook account for the City of Dyersburg. I'm not a FB fanatic but will look at it as a new mode to communicate with the community we concerned citizens so much like to call home.

Mayor John Holden is a good man as well, and I think this is a move in the right direction. Do you? Or do you operate in glass half empty mode all the time.

-- Posted by Lil Money on Thu, Feb 2, 2012, at 11:50 AM

Oh to Blindmanbluff............to knowing what it is like trying to make hard decisions........I think you see from my previous email.........I do.......

-- Posted by Lil Money on Thu, Feb 2, 2012, at 11:54 AM

blindmanbluff and metrist: You two are obviously Chamber members. I do have a job, I work and pay my bills. I am one of the lucky ones, but my neighbors were not. The plant they worked at, World Color, shut down and they lost their home. It was very sad for that family. And no one said that the Chamber was responsible in any way for the shut down - BUT WE NEED TO KNOW AS A COMMUNITY THAT YOU ALL ARE TRYING to bring in new business> So, get over it and do your job, and we would like reports on your work. No one asked you to do what you do, if you don't like it and can't handle the pressure from the people who really run this town then quit!

-- Posted by raspberrie on Thu, Feb 2, 2012, at 1:37 PM

If you work for the city then you should be the first to acknowledge the work that is going on. President Obama has quite the education as well, and what has he proven? The initials behind your name don't give you the knowledge to run the place. For anyone to sit here and criticize every single decision that is made is ridiculous. You don't even know what goes on at the negotiation table. I've never seen the CEO from a manufacturing group meet someone at their cubicle and I doubt it will happen at your's either. By the way my glass always runs on half full, I'm the one supporting our community, not bashing it. Thank you

-- Posted by blindmanbluff on Thu, Feb 2, 2012, at 1:37 PM

I actually do not work for the Chamber in any shape or form, but I don't think it is right for me to voice my opinion and sit here and think that (I) could do a better job. You all sit here and put your remarks like you have all of the answers. What makes you think that you do have the answers? Obviously you've never been in the position to make the decisions on how things are to be done. If you have held the position before you're obviously not in the same spot anymore for some reason.

-- Posted by blindmanbluff on Thu, Feb 2, 2012, at 1:46 PM

Blind man I hold a managers position at a manufacturing plant here in Dyersburg. I've been in manufacturing for 24 years. I've held management positions for 24 years. Made many decisions over that time. High dollar decisions, firing several that worked for me as well.

That is why I cut to the chase and call an ace an ace and a spade a spade. Too many including you don't have the cahunas to do so. No where did I bash Dyersburg or Dyer County. Evidently the nickname fits you.

With regard to education I worked for it holding down two jobs to make it happen. A person can be an educated fool such as yourself but at least I do have a good bit of common sense which gives me the leg up over you.Thank goodness.

Thus, my comments regarding the Chamber AND the good old boy network here in Dyersburg.

As for doing a better job and voicing opinion, yes sir , I know I could and I don't have any problem in pissing in my four corners and marking my territory.

If we had more of that going on we could move Dyersburg forward.

By the way you are correct about Obama. I do agree with you there. I vote Republican 99% of the time.


You are correct on all issues. Definitely the Chamber is in no way responsible for plant moves or closures. But they function in a Leadership role for luring perspective industry to DBG/Dyer county.

Again I go back to the fact have a sense of urgency and M?ake it Happen.

I saw the Under Contract sign on Quebecor For Sale sign last week. Maybe we will hear good news from this when the Chamber and City is released to make public.

One thing we do forget to do but should be to lift the communities need for jobs up to the Lord in our prayers daily. I know hopefully we all can agree on that. I've seen prayers answered for me only when I'm humbly surrendered to the Lord's Will in my life.

Blind man I think both of us have been yanking each others chain but I think we all love Dyersburg and we wouldn't voice our opinions if we didn't. Best public schools in my opinion in the state. Great road access. Good airport. Newbern Votech. Many positives but as I stated earlier turn our weakness issues to positive.such as completion of Cates Landing which then becomes an opportunity for steel mill or forging/casting operation. Tie this via tennkenn rail to DBG to a possible TVA megasite Auto assembly plant with Tier one suppliers in NW TN and watch this area flourish.

-- Posted by Lil Money on Thu, Feb 2, 2012, at 11:04 PM

Honestly I just enjoy pushing buttons. I agree with you 100% on your next to last paragraph.

-- Posted by blindmanbluff on Fri, Feb 3, 2012, at 10:29 AM

Blind man bluff I appreciate that honesty and maybe through both of our key punching...... folks that read our blogging .............simply remember that prayer is key in everything we do, this community and this nation.

God bless.

-- Posted by Lil Money on Fri, Feb 3, 2012, at 9:38 PM

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