MAN OF THE YEAR. A fixture at community events such as the chamber banquet is Man of the Year Bob Cargile. The award was presented by last year’s winner, Sheriff Butch Morris.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD. Former State Sen. Neely Cassady is joined by his wife, Nina, at the end of the annual chamber awards banquet Monday night in Nashville.
WOMAN OF THE YEAR. Nashville Senior Outreach worker and senior volunteer Vivian Wright and her husband, Charles, talk before the banquet. Anna Blase, 2013 recipient, presented the award.
By Louie Graves
There were many standing ovations and some misty eyes Monday night at the annual awards banquet of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce.
At the banquet, Mary Woodruff of The Printshop officially succeeded Wendy Haddan of Bell’s Vision Center as president of the chamber board.
Among the standing ovations were those for Man of the Year, Bob Cargile, and Woman of the Year, Vivian Wright.
Cargile is a fixture at the chamber banquet and other community gatherings, providing music from his mental musical repertoire and electronic keyboard. Sheriff Butch Morris, winner of the award last year, noted that Cargile was an East Texas Aggie – “But we don’t hold that against him” – who came to Nashville when the chainsaw manufacturing plant moved here from Shreveport. “I never expected we’d live in Nashville 27 years,” the recipient said.
Last year’s winner, Anna Blase, presented the Woman of the Year award to Wright who was cited for her tireless work on behalf of senior citizens and disabled persons. Wright is also an elected member of the Nashville City Council. She is also the third African-American woman to win the award. Previous black winners were the late Edna Benson and the late Voncille Bullock.
The misty eyes occurred during presentation of Memorial Recognition Awards by Sen. Larry Teague. Family members of the deceased honorees were on hand to accept the plaques. Fondly remembered were former senator and representative Jim Hill; former school superintendent and coach Dwight Jones; and former basketball coach and teacher Willie Click. All of the men died during 2013.
A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to former Sen. Neely Cassady who was saluted for his influence in economic development for the area as a businessman and as a legislator.
Shirley Hamilton is still serving on the board of directors of the chamber of commerce, and she was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her longtime presence on Main Street and in the business community with Quality Shoe Store.
The Orange and Black Education Award went to James “Bunch” Nichols, athletic director and director of transportation for Nashville schools. The award was presented by last year’s winner, Superintendent Doug Graham. Nichols was cited for his interest in Nashville students and athletes long after their graduation. Nichols is “an adopted Scrapper,” Graham said, who still gets Father’s Day telephone calls from his former students.
Two New Building Awards were presented for buildings completed during 2013. They included the new Nashville High School basketball arena, and the Howard Memorial Hospital medical offices building.
Donny Woods accepted the Remodeled Building Award for Woods and Woods Public Accountants.
Nashville police patrolman Casey Parker, representing the department which won the Community Heroes Award last year, presented the re-named Community Spirit Award to the organization of Nashville police officers wives for their work raising funds for cancer research and cancer victims through the Relay for Life. The group calls itself “COWS” which stands for City Officers Wives. Accepting the award were group members Ruth Steely, Beverly Tedford and Valerie Bohn.
Four members of the chamber board completed terms in office and were presented plaques. They were Fred Hintze of Hintze Sound Service, Sandra Jones of Southern Belle Inn, Tim Pinkerton of First State Bank, and Dena Kay Tollett, Husqvarna Outdoor Products. Pinkerton and Tollett also served as president of the chamber board.
New chamber board members were introduced, including: Jenny Westbrook of Westbrook Electric; Deb Bolding of Farmers Market; Dennis Green of Heritage Computers; Kristi Chandler of Red River Federal Credit Union; and Wanda Carter of Ivan Smith Furniture.
Chamber manager Mike Reese gave a review of the chamber’s busy year, and musical selections were performed by Jenny Westbrook, David Riggs and Sydney Pope.
The meal was served as usual by Chapter AM PEO as a community service project. The meal was in the Family Activities Building of First Baptist Church.