Elected to three-year terms on board were Janell Patton, from Cox Monett Hospital; Scott Smith, from Huffmaster Insurance; Cindy Stone, from Wal-Mart; and Jeremy Vanderbol, from Buchanan Funeral Home. Rod Anderson, from Produce Brokers, and Noel George, from Monett Church of the Nazarene, were named alternates.
Danny Vaughn, the outgoing president, reviewed the chamber's past year as he presented personal awards to each of the board members.
"It's been an honor to serve as chamber president," Vaughn said. "It's been great fun and a lot of work."
Randy Henderson and David Young were recognized for their efforts in hosting the chamber's two agriculture conferences. Vaughn said 250 people attended the two sessions along with 16 vendors. In addition, more than 100 area young people exhibited livestock at the annual Junior Livestock Show, held for the first time at South Park.
Vaughn, with the assistance of his wife, Julie, gave gifts to each board member fitting their service. Henderson and Young received heavy-duty rakes for moving livestock manure.
Jay Apostol, chairman of the Industrial Appreciation Golf Tournament, managed approximately 90 players who attended and the post-event dinner. The chamber's sound system went up in smoke during the dinner. In commemoration of that moment, Vaughn gave Apostol a large plastic microphone.
The Festival of Lights had 59 displays and 11,000 vehicles passing through South Park. Keith McCracken was the chairman and managed 200 volunteers. The festival was marked by the disappearance of three lighted chickens from the Tyson food display which reappeared at the end. Vaughn gave McCracken a bag of chicken scratch for better luck.
Clif Crockett, chairman of the Prayer Breakfast, got a dozen eggs and a scrambler to help with the breakfast offered for the event by the Monett Kiwanis Club. Leonard Witt, chairman of the Christmas parade, received a Santa hat and a toy trailer to make up for the judge's stand which Vaughn jokingly said was missing on parade day.
Around 300 people and 20 vendors participated in the Festival of Flavors, run by Cindy Stephens and Janell Patton. Vaughn recalled the first thing vendors generally request is access to electricity, which often involves an extension chord. In commemoration of the power failure that has occurred with a mass plug-in, Vaughn gave the co-chairpersons both extension chords and flashlights.
Membership committee members Regina Bowsher, Stephens and Patton each received a pom pom for their cheerleading efforts running the membership mingles. Doug Childress was given a bag of apples for his part as chairman of the new teacher luncheon in August, hosting 20 new teachers.
Walter Branch received a toy lion tamer's whip for his part with the Monett Leadership program. Branch also received a box of chalk and a roll of masking tape for running the chamber's first sidewalk art contest during Broadway Nights.
Giant pens were presented to Jim Haston, Childress, Bowsher and Henderson as members of the finance and budget committer.
Henderson, Witt and Haston received plaques from Vaughn in recognition of their three years of service on the board. Vaughn received a plaque from Bowsher, the incoming president, for his service as president. Vaughn will remain on the board for an additional year to provide continuity.
Bowsher returned to the evening's theme in her comments as the new president. She observed over the years she had several chances to relocate but ultimately concluded Monett was home for her.
Bowsher cited the community's willingness to raise $10 million for a new facility to house the Monett Area YMCA and the support shown to the school district by voters in the April 2010 bond issue election provided two examples of why the Monett community stands out from all others.
"It's no wonder there's no place like home in Monett," Bowsher said. She concluded with a quote from anthropologist Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."