Cabot’s heritage and future were the themes for the 53rd annual Cabot Chamber of Commerce Membership Banquet, held Friday at Junior High School North. The Chamber members marked the changeover of president and board of directors, as well as honored the 2013 Chamber of Commerce Member and Business of the Year.
Keynote speaker was Jon Talbert.
The 2014 Chamber board directors will be Mark Stocks, president; David Butler, president-elect; Stephanie May, vice president; Brian Evans, treasurer; and members Vikki Parker, James Hertzog, Priscilla Morris, Tonya Everheart, Ricky Hill, Gwen Jones, Stacy Moran and Sarah Owens.
Stocks, in his remarks, said that Cabot has "a very good thing going here, and just want to continue that."
Stocks said he and his family moved to Cabot from Jonesboro 15 years ago. They were just starting their family, so considering the schools and community in making the move were important. Cabot met the criteria they set, "And have never regretted making that decision," he said.
Many people have come to Cabot due to the schools, Stocks said. It extends even to grandparents moving to Cabot to be near grandchildren, who are here for the schools, he said.
Recognizing the demographics and responding to them is important, Stocks said.
"Volunteerism is tremendous here, and the Chamber does not function without its volunteers," Stocks said. "All of you are the reason for the success of the Chamber and the City of Cabot.
During the program, outgoing president Karen Madding announced the 2013 Chamber Member of the Year, and Chamber Business of the Year.
Madding said selection of the Member and Business of the Year is gauged on "going above and beyond" in promoting the positive growth of the Chamber of Commerce and the City of Cabot. "All the nominees are deserving of the award," she said.
Damon Bivins was selected as Member of the Year. Bivins, she said, is "extremely involved." As a volunteer in churches, the school district and through his business, he is an outstanding role model and mentor. As an example of community outreach, Bivins is "extremely involved," as a volunteer in churches, the school district and through his business; he is an outstanding role model and mentor.
Bivins teaches Sunday School classes, has dressed as Santa Claus, is active in Hallway Heroes and numerous other services. He volunteers at school, monitoring car-riders, and greets all with smiles and words of encouragment, Madding said.
Madding announced Hertzog Family Eye Care, Drs. John Hertzog and Chastity Hertzog, as the Cabot Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year. Hertzog Family Eye Care has demonstrated the importance of giving back to the city, and has constantly grown in support of the Cabot community and the Chamber of Commerce, Madding said. It is a small business that shows how giving superior customer service and the advantage of being local can give a competitive advantage while growing the community. It is active in community and Chamber affairs.
Hertzog Family Eye Care has won numerous awards for outstanding performance in their industry, including being named Lonoke County Best. Employees are encouraged to take part in community events, and the business, itself, supports numerous service organizations.
Talbert is a nationally-known motivational speaker, writer, and entertainer. He is the founder of Beautiful Day, an organization that promotes random acts of kindness.