Local residents, businesses honored at Chamber Banquet

Lifetime Achievement Award - Ruth Ann Short was honored for her lifetime of public service by the Arcadia Valley Chamber of Commerce Saturday night at the organization’s annual meeting.

Members of the Arcadia Valley Chamber of Commerce gathered Saturday evening at Meadow Heights Church in Ironton for the organization’s annual banquet meeting.

Chamber President Brian Parker addressed the crowd noting that the evening theme “Coming ‘round the Mountains,” was about what is right in front of us - the mountains and that, no matter what your mode of travel, a mountain is a hard climb.

“The other side of the mountain is the future of our town; the future of Arcadia Valley,” Parker said. “What is our town going to look like in 10 years? How do we get there?

“No one is going to come and save Arcadia Valley. There is not one big business that is going to come in and suddenly we are going to have 1,000 new jobs.

“This town is saved by the people sitting in this room. We are not always going to get it right. Some of our businesses are going to fail. Sometimes as business owners we are going to come up short and sometimes we are going to let people down.

“But I believe as a community we will persevere. We are going to build something better and this town will last for our grandchildren.”

Parker said he asked a lot of random people what they thought the challenges facing the community might be. The responses ranged from lack of retail compared to surrounding communities, to needed water treatment facilities, to a new jail, to a lake of skilled workers for local businesses.

“That is our mountain. That is the mountain in front of all of us,” Parker told the group. “Some days as a business, it probably feels like you are alone. But you are not alone. We are in this together.

“That is what Chambers are for. That is why we are here, to do things together, that any one of our businesses can’t do by themselves.

“If each of us do our part and we pull in the same direction, we can go around that mountain.”

A highlight of the evening was the presentation of special annual awards to businesses and residents in the community.

The “Teen of the Year” award, sponsored by Froggy 96 and presented by Dustin Kopp, was given to AVHS student Thomas Fisk.

Kopp had the following to say as he presented the award: “As in year’s past the Teen of the Year must meet certain criteria that includes being well-grounded, community involved, and possessing academic excellence.

“(Thomas) volunteered with the Salvation Army, the Adopt-a-Highway Program, raised $600 for Wolf conservation, and volunteered at Backpack Impact. In 2014 he participated in the NATC Challenge, he has been a part of the Scholar Bowl, as well as Upward Bound, the Robotics Club, and the Student Council. He is a member of the National Honor Society and the Future Business Leaders of America.”

The “Business of the Year Award,” sponsored by The Mountain Echo and presented by Brad Wooten, was given to Big Creek RV Park and Campground owners Craig and Patty Claney.

In presenting the award, Wooten noted that the business is a top rated Good Sam Park, rated a perfect 10-10-10 rating for both 2016 and 2017 and that it received the 2014 Small Park of the Year Award by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds. That honor is based upon size and only four parks in the United States receive the coveted honor each year.”

The “110% Award,” sponsored by KREI/KTJJ and presented by Matt Greenwood, was give to Ruth Ann Short.

Greenwood said in making the presentation: “Ruth grew up on a small farm south of Memphis, TN. She later graduated from Millsap’s College in Jackson, MS with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education. She taught four years in a Colorado elementary school where one of her students was Karl Rove, who grew up to be an advisor to President Bush.

“If you have an opportunity to visit the Baptist Home, Arcadia Valley Campus, you will likely meet Ruth Ann – she is always walking and is always in a hurry down a hallway to help in an activity or to assist residents to the Chapel for a special service. You might see her working outside on the grounds helping to pick up debris or clear lilypads from the pond.

  1. might think Ruth Ann does this sort of activity to keep her mind busy and to stay physically active; however, once you hear Ruth Ann’s background you will realize it is so much more than that.

“Ruth Ann spent the greater part of her life in service to others, felt called to missions and eventually served as a foreign missionary in Nigeria. She worked as a teacher and dental hygienist along with her husband, Doc Short, for many years.”

The “Lifetime Achievement Award,” sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and presented by Brian Parker, was given this year to two people, Judy and Roger Medley.

Said Parker: “This lady has given over 30 years of dedicated service to the citizens of Iron County. She began her service to the Valley not long after completing Mineral Area Community College’s School of Nursing in 1981. She completed an Associate of Arts Degree, along with an Associate of Science Degree simultaneously, becoming the first person at MAC to achieve this feat. Shortly after passing the Missouri State Boards for licensing, she became a Registered Nurse and began her service to the community by working for The Baptist Home and later for the Iron County Health Department.

“During her tenure with the Iron County Health Department she attended Cardinal Glennon’s Pediatric Nurse Practitioners program, becoming the first certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Iron County. After taking a position with the Arcadia Valley Hospital, she was instrumental in setting up and operating the county’s first rural health clinic, the Annapolis Family Clinic. All the while continuing her education and graduating with a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science Degree in Nursing.

“She is now an MSN, RN, FNP, CPNP, Nurse Practitioner Specialist in Pilot Knob. She is affiliated with many hospitals, including Iron County Hospital Board and Madison Medical Center Stockhoff Memorial Nursing Home. She also corroborates with other physicians and medical groups including The Big Springs Medical Association.

“Her husband of 38 years has over 40 years of public service himself, which includes law enforcement, fire protection and emergency services. During this time he has earned degrees in Criminal Justice, Fire Science and Aviation Mechanics. He has attended the Missouri Law Enforcement Academy, the St. Louis Police Academy, a Missouri Criminal Investigations Course for a major case squad, Police Traffic Management, and the National Police Academy for Arson and Narcotics Investigations.

“He has attended a Military Police School, a Fire Protection Specialist School, an Emergency Response Terrorism School, the National Cryptology School for Operations Security Fundamentals, the US Air Force Protection of the President training, and US Air Force Counterintelligence Courses.

“He served for 27 years in the military as a helicopter pilot and earned the FAA’s Rotorcraft license with an instrument rating and over 2,000 flight hours. His military service included the Panama Canal Zone, Operation Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Bright Star, Noble Eagle, and Enduring Freedom.

“He has received the Missouri Conspicuous Service Medal, two Missouri commendations, the US Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Achievement Medal and numerous letters of appreciation.

“He was elected Sheriff in 2010 and continues to serve in that capacity.

“In their spare time, they helped with Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H, Relay for Life and many other organizations.”