A busy community volunteer, outgoing board members and several Cassville businesses were honored during the 55th annual Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce banquet that was held Saturday night in the Cassville High School commons area.
Bill Shiveley received the chamber's prestigious Distinguished Service Award. Shiveley currently serves as manager and chief executive officer of Barry Electric Cooperative and is a long-time community volunteer.
The award took Shiveley by complete surprise. He did not realize he was this year's honoree until his baby picture was shown on a big screen, marking the beginning a video tribute that outlined his life and service to the community.
Shiveley also was surprised when he went forward to accept his award and looked out at the audience to see that his two sons, Steve and Greg, were seated at the back of the room, as well as one of his closest and oldest friends, Rex Black, and his wife, Rhonda.
While the video was playing, Susie Jacobs, outgoing chamber president, spoke of Shiveley's achievements and his commitment to volunteer service.
His involvement has included two terms on the Cassville City Council, past president of the Cassville Rotary Club, four years as a member of the Crowder College Foundation Board and past chairman of the Cassville Branch Library Fundraising Board.
Currently, Shiveley, a Navy veteran and graduate of Wheaton High School, serves on the Barry County E-911 Board, the First State Bank Board, the St. John's Hospital Board, the Tri-State Trucking Company Board and the Cass-ville Area Chamber of Commerce Board. He is also extremely active on a number of state and regional electric cooperative boards.
"Bill, you're always thinking of Cassville's best interests and supporting whatever decisions are made, always seeing the bigger picture," said Jacobs. "Your knowledge, advice and skills are sought out by many on a daily basis. We offer you a heartfelt thank you for who you are, what you've accomplished and what you have given back to your family, your work, your church and your community."
In accepting the award, Shiveley said he was honored to be considered.
"I didn't even expect this," said Shiveley. "Cassville, Barry Electric, Emmanuel Church and my family are all very important to me. It's also very important that were serve the community around us and do the best job we can."
In addition to presenting the Distinguished Service Award, Jacobs handed out four community service awards to the Cassville Democrat, the Barry County Advertiser, the Missouri Department of Transportation and Roaring River State Park for outstanding support of the Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce and Cassville business community.
Beautification awards were also announced. The 2008 recipients included: the law offices of Ellis, Cupps and Cole; Super 8 Motel owned by Bob and Linda Percoda; and Hillside Apartments owned by Jenny and John Murrin.
In addition, Jacobs singled out Leslie Smith as the 2008 Volunteer of the Year. Smith was an instrumental part of the chamber's membership drive that netted 18 new members and she also served as master of ceremonies for The Show and the Fall Festival and Chili Cook-off.
Outgoing chamber directors David Waugh, David Payne, Angela Seymour and Jacobs were also honored for their service to the chamber.
This year's banquet included performances by Cassville High School choir members under the direction of Mary Richmiller as well as a hilarious presentation by guest speaker and comedian Kent Rader, who had those in attendance laughing out loud.
Jacobs concluded the banquet by looking back on 2008 during her tenure as president. Some of the highlights of the year included hosting the chamber's first-ever golf tournament, holding an Industrial Tour of four local industries, co-sponsoring a career and business expo with Crowder College and producing a new tourism backdrop that will be used to showcase Cassville at trade and tourism shows.
"I want to thank our all our volunteers," said Jacobs. "Cassville has been blessed with the best of the best, and these volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization."
The chamber meal was catered by Maggie Mae's with decorations provided by Accents & Tents. Cassville FFA members greeted and served the guests. James Weaver, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Cassville, opened the banquet with an invocation.
New Chamber President Richard Asbill and Chamber Executive Director Amy White were also instrumental in planning this year's chamber banquet.