The Mtn. View Chamber of Commerce held its yearly banquet Saturday night at the Mtn. View Community Center, catered by Debbie Duddridge and attended by about 80 community and chamber members and Mtn. View, Howell County and area officials.
Outgoing Chamber Director Trish Stoops was the master of ceremonies and expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to help promote Mtn. View businesses. She praised the many chamber members and volunteers who make possible events like Pioneer Days, ribbon cuttings for new businesses, the Angel Tree for children in need at Christmastime, and fundraising efforts for local charities.
Stoops unveiled a new Mtn. View city information guide that features businesses, events and resources in Mtn. View and the surrounding area, and recognized Youth Chamber members Kayna Willbanks, Kyle Renshaw, Amy Copen and Madison Smith for their volunteerism through the year at events like the Christmas Parade.
She also encouraged audience members to take their time to enjoy visiting with other community members and jokingly threatened to let some of the many state and local candidates in attendance take the mic if the event didn’t seem to be lasting long enough.
Jeanne Roles was awarded Volunteer of the Year, cited by presenter and Mtn. View Garden Club President Marty Tolls for her service not only as secretary of the garden club for the past 19 years, but as a volunteer and president at Newborns In Need for about the last 25 years and a volunteer at the Good Samaritan Clinic.
Business of the Year was presented to John and Johnna Swineford, owners of Viandel Vineyard, noted by presenter Cindy Weatherford for their dedication to growing their business and their partnership in the veterans’ breakfast.
“They’ve given so much time and participated, and now they are raising funds for student lunches,” Weatherford noted.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Loren Smith, finishing his last year as principal of Mtn. View-Birch Tree Elementary after a 21-year career as an administrator, 20 of those years as principal. Smith was born in the Current River area, was a teacher at Hazelwood West in the St. Louis area and got his master’s degree at Southeast Missouri in Poplar Bluff before taking a job as assistant principal in Mtn. View.
Smith became principal the following year.
Stoops concluded the evening’s program by recognizing chamber board members President Mark Castaneda, Vice President Lindsay Holden, Treasurer Stephanie Jester and members James Hurtt, Roger Strosnider and Matt Willbanks, and recalling how they were “wonderful to work with.”