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Chamber Pacesetters recognized, part 2

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Recently the Nevada/Vernon County Area Chamber of Commerce awards banquet was held with more than 200 in attendance -- another successful annual event. Last week the column included discussion on the Individual Pacesetter Award which went to Terry Ramsey. This column will continue the discussion about the awards.

Agriculture and agricultural businesses are a major force in the local economy and therefore it is only appropriate to give recognition in agri-business. Last year the 2006 Agri-business Pacesetter award winner was Prairie Pride Inc. It was their team that announced Ag Provision LLC as the winner of the 2007 Agri-business Pacesetter award. Ag Provision was represented at the podium by Michael Brown.

For years the building Ag Provisions occupies had been vacant. It was built as a shell building to promote industrial development. When I congratulated Mike on the company receiving this special honor, he replied that it will be a challenge this year to live up to the recognition. This is a feeling that many recipients express after receiving recognition from the community.

It has been my intention to go out and visit Mike and get a better idea of the enterprise they have going out there. With the amount of products going through the building for distribution is tremendous. The products go a large number of plants and farms as far away as Texas. It is good that this industry choose our community for its warehouse.

A statement made during the presentation was, "We congratulate everyone from North Carolina to Missouri who have made the 60,000- square-foot spec building come alive with a multi-distribution center and retail partners, with new ideas around every corner."

There are many in this area who are accomplishing much in in agri-business. Certainly Ag Provision is to be congratulated for this special recognition.

Murphy Brown LLC and Record Harvest were selected as the other finalists in agri-business. Both are congratulated for being selected as finalists.

Murphy Brown LLC and Ag Provision work together to create distribution and storage operations in the Nevada Industrial Park spec building. Local grain producers and consumers are benefiting from these efforts. Bill Gregory represented Murphy Brown at the awards program.

Record Harvest is an innovative program in agriculture. What they are doing in precision agriculture is the future in agriculture. Represented by Steve Cubbage, the operation is recognized nationally. The operation helps each producer to take the guesswork out of farming.

We are fortunate in this area to have several small businesses (fewer than 50 employees) that are setting a good pace in their business and in the community. Out of these, three were selected as finalists, Evergreen Memorial Chapel, Fortner Graphic Solutions and J. Wray Company.

Out of this unique group Peery Cash, representing Cash's Quality Electric, last year's Small Business Pacesetter of the Year, announced Harold Fortner and Fortner Graphic solutions as the winner of the Small Business Pacesetter for 2007. It is great that this company chose Nevada to locate their specialized service that reach across America and back. They were recognized for creating new jobs, for their worldwide services and providing growth potential for Nevada, under the guidance of Hal Fortner, owner.

Evergreen Memorial Chapel, owned by Jason Claspill, was selected for outstanding service and community support by management. Jason is active in many community activities.

J. Wray Company, owned by Janet Wray, was saluted for a unique approach to home based industry trying and trying again to find new ways to teach and market specialized yarns and meeting with success.

Congratulations go to these small businesses and for what they have achieved. They are setting examples for others.

The category for large business and corporate had great finalist. This category is for those employing 50 or more persons. Michael Hunter, CEO of InSite Support Services, last year's Large Business Pacesetter presided over the presentation.

For their extensive support of chamber and community events, economic impact to our area and the quality care of so many young people the Large Business Pacesetter went to Heartland Behavioral Health Services, represented by Mike Ham, CEO, and the Heartland Team.

During the presentation, the presenter said, "We appreciate the commitment Heartland has made to Nevada and your efforts to recognize the potential in each and every young person. The Heartland philosophy of team work is exemplary and one we're so proud to be a small part of -- together you can and indeed you do."

The other finalists were the US Bank Home Mortgage, represented by Alan Leimkuehler, for leading the way to a solid employment base in an ever challenging business environment -- US Bank under Alan's leadership has a can do attitude that works and Precision Aero Services represented by Ken and Judy Loomer and June Johnson for efforts in taking a start up operation with lots of promise and even more challenges, to a contributing and steady growth operation Nevada can be proud of.

Congratulations to these three large business finalists and special thanks for the many contributions to the community and to society.

Leonard Ernsbarger
Leonard At Large