In making the announcement, Steve McPheeters pointed out, Company C currently employs over 80 people but over the years has employed hundreds. "Our winner continuously trains its people to meet new challenges working with the latest technology. It aggressively deploys its employees to new geographical areas on a regular basis to widen its customer base."
And, he added, management and employee relations are above average with the employees staying for at least six years while many others retire from there.
Finally, McPheeters, noted, "especially during times of calamity or natural disaster, the men and women who work for this company are a credit to the Sikeston area."
The award was accepted on behalf of Company C by Guard members Ed Gargus and Dan Armour
It wasn't the end of the patriotic salutes, however.
The 2005 Civic Group of the Year Award went to a group who works to pay tribute to all men and women who served in the Armed Forces - the Veterans' Park Committee. "This group of volunteers works with the common goal of maintaining and expanding the Veterans' Park as an on-going tribute to the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have served and continue to serve their country," said Brian Bradley with the Sikeston Jaycees, the 2004 award recipient. Accepting the award was Steve Taylor.
Walter Bizzell was presented the 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Chamber's Bill Powers. "He is no stranger to hard work having worked three jobs most of the time. He worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 32 years, he delivered flowers for the Flower Basket and helped his son start his own business," said Powers, adding Bizzell also recently retired after serving as a Scott County commissioner.
In addition to his business activities, Bizzell is a deacon in the First Christian Church and has been involved in various sporting activities over the years including coaching and maintaining the VFW baseball field.
Presenting Beth Butcher, a Sikeston Public Schools' art teacher, with the Educator of the Year Award, were Ed Cowan and Bonnie Harris, the 2004 recipients. They took note not only of Butcher's service in the classroom ("there is nothing that she will not try to motivate and inspire every student") but also her example outside of education. "Tonight's recipient had numerous letters of recommendation sent into the Chamber on her behalf. They all mentioned the courage she has shown facing a serious illness that would have stopped others in their tracks," they explained.
Ken Williams' efforts on behalf of the Chamber's Agricultural Business Committee earned him the SACC Volunteer of the Year Award. Described by Tom Austin as a behind-the-scenes guy, Williams was praised for his work to promote the Annual Farmers Recognition Banquet and the Farmers Cook-Out along with the establishment of the Scott Waters' Memorial Scholarship Fund. "He is always trying to find ways to support our future farmers, while helping our existing ones," said Austin.
Instead of an individual, the SACC Law Enforcement Officer of the Year honors went to a group - the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Troop E Division of Drug and Crime Control. Explained David Markham, "Troop E's DDCC Unit has the reputation of being one of the best units with the Missouri State Highway Patrol. They spend countless hours in investigating and following leads in numerous investigations."
The group is headed by Sgt. Bud Cooper and includes Sgt. Phil Gregory, Sgt. Jeff Heath, Sgt. Terry Mills, Sgt. Scott Stoeling, Sgt. Dennis Overbey, Sgt. Don Windham and Sgt. Scott Rawson. Cooper accepted the honor on the group's behalf.
The Jaycees Distinguished Service Award was presented to Mike Conway by Jeff Miles.
"Traditionally, most individuals choose to slow down their volunteer service following the Jaycee presidency. However, tonight's recipient is the exception," said Miles. He explained Conway, who was the club's president in 2001, is the 2005 Rodeo chairman for the organization.
The Small Business of the Year Award was presented by Susie Kenedy to Sabona of London Inc. Calling the company a "leader in their field," she pointed out Sabona began with three items and now produces over 50 different products with a customer base in North, Central and South America to all sizes of businesses.
With 16 local employees, the Sabona's staff is not only busy as their retail market expands but also serving in the community in various school, civic and church organizations. During the deployment of the 1140th Engineering Battalion, the company provided bracelets in their honor to family members. The award was accepted by Darryl Riggs.
The evening's final award, the Citizen of the Year, went to Chester Kordahl. In presenting the award, Scott Matthews noted he is often seen putting out flags for the American Legion along North Kingshighway or may be found cooking the fish for the American Legion Post 114 fundraisers or working in the American Legion concession trailer during Cotton Carnival Week. Also Matthews praised Kordahl for his leadership and hard work to bring about the renovation of the American Legion Post facility.