Blackwell Chamber Honors RCB Bank with Business of the Year
published on 02/06/2012
By LOUISE ABERCROMBIE
News Business Editor
BLACKWELL — The Blackwell Chamber of Commerce banquet rolled smoothly along Monday evening as the community celebrated accomplishments, activities and volunteers for 2011. The event staged in the Kay Room of Kay Electric played to a near capacity crowd that came together to celebrate.
In accepting the president’s position from 2011 president Tony Swafford, Tom Blundell, said in part, he had moved here 11 years ago to raise his family. “What we have is community, we have family, we know each other and we believe in each other. We are Blackwell.” Blundell is owner of BIPO, Inc.
He added, “I believe in a better Blackwell. We’re good, but we can be better. It takes everyone when asked to step up. We have got to find the positive.”
Jeff Seymour, executive director, was master of ceremonies, introduced the distinguished guests. While guests dined on fine cuisine by Affairs to Remember Catering of Ponca City, they were treated to a slide show of the year’s Chamber activities. He listed a number of new projects. During the banquet a train whistle blew, and Seymour said for the first time in 20 years trains were moving grain shipments for Blackwell. Seymour said “This town is moving forward,” as he listed other accomplishments.
The most prestigious award of the evening was the Outstanding Citizen of the Year, presented to Mike Jeffers by the 2010 recipient Jim Rodgers. Jeffers was recognized as a tireless worker for Blackwell serving as an interim city manager and also for the Chamber of Commerce. Also as a member of the Parks and Recreation Board, the Blackwell Industrial Authority and Blackwell Community Foundation.
RCB Bank of Blackwell was named Business of the Year, by Jill Buesing, last year’s recipient and owner of MYOB Marketplace. Accepting the award was Dennis Bus, President of Blackwell RCB. Also on hand for the festivities were Roger Mosier, President and CEO of RCB Bank, Craig Myers, former Ponca City banker, now with RCB in Claremore and Ashley Wood, Claremore. The bank has 30 plus locations in Oklahoma and Kansas.
Volunteer of the Year was Kalea McBride. The award was presented by Dan Sharp of the Pay It Forward Project Volunteers, last year’s recipients. Sharp, pastor of Blackwell Community Church, gave the invocation during the opening ceremonies.
Seymour announced the Community Service Award, which is not given each year, but only when special recognition is appropriate. The award was presented to the Blackwell High School Art Department, which was involved in a mural project downtown. The art teacher, Ashley Evans Heitschmidt, accepted along with two students.
Chamber staff recognized including Joyce Courtney. Linda McConnell, United Way director was recognized. Seymour called attention to Nancy Thompson with the Blackwell Industrial Authority, who is retiring. A standing ovation was given to Lisa Ward, who retired from the Blackwell School System, due to her health. Tim Kemkeathly of Enid is interim superintendent.
Recognized guests included Sen. Patrick Anderson, District 19, representing Alfalfa, Garfield, Grant and parts of Kay County including Blackwell and Braman; Rep. Dale DeWitt, Cale Walker from Sen. Jim Inhofe’s office, and Brianna Domnick, of Congressman Frank Lucas office. County officials were Christie Kennedy, Carol Purdy, Mary Ramey, Tammy Reese, Tyson Rowe, Brian Hermanson, Everette Van Hoesen, and retired Judge Leslie Page.
Area Chamber of Commerces represented were from Ponca City, Newkirk, Tonkawa, Braman and Perry. Others recognized were Blackwell city officials, Leadership Blackwell alumni, guests from Pioneer Technology Center, Northern Oklahoma College, Blackwell School Board members, Blackwell Chamber Board members and Ponca City Development Authority representative.
Eric Johnson, Blackwell Schools vocal teacher, sang the National Anthem, and the meal was served by the Blackwell High School Junior Class Parents.
Article from Ponca City News