Leader Blues

Thursday, January 15, 2009

TOP STORY > > Knight’s is business of the year

By JEFFREY SMITH
Leader staff writer

The Cabot Chamber of Commerce honored businesses and individual members who help make the city what it is today during the annual chamber membership meeting and banquet held Friday at the high school cafeteria.
Knight’s Super Foods was honored with the chamber’s first business of the year award. This year is the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Cabot chamber.
“It is a great honor for my family. We try so hard. I wish my dad (Warren) and Bill Greer were here. It is an endorsement. I hope to be as good as them, and this shows I am on my way,” CEO Kent Knight said.
“Our leader taught us well,” he said, referring to his late father, who founded the company with his wife Sandra.
“My husband would be so proud,” Sandra Knight said.
Keith Knight added, “We can’t do it ourselves. It takes all of our employees. This award proves 38 years in business.”
Knight’s grocery store was nominated for giving back to the community. Whenever there is a community or chamber function, Knight’s is always one of the first businesses to donate food or money to help sponsor events.
Also nominated for the business of the year award were Community Bank and Kroger.
Pastor Mark Eisold was recognized as the chamber member of the year. Eisold leads the congregation of Our Savior Lutheran Church. Eisold helped recruit many volunteers for various chamber events and for Cabotfest.
Eishold said, “It is a great blessing to be nominated.”
“I am blessed by my God, by my wife and family and by this community, which in itself is a family,” Eisold said after receiving the award.
“Every day I get to do what I love to — serve God, meet new people and care for those who are entrusted in my care,” he said.
Also nominated were Rhonda House, Bill O’Brien and Don Wilkins.
The winners were selected by an independent panel of judges in Houston, Texas.
The chamber presented a special appreciation gift to Bill O’Brien for the support he provides to the chamber and to Cabotfest. O’Brien received a one night stay and dinner at the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock.
Chamber president Patrick J. Hagge reflected on 2008. He said in the past year, Cabot had 44 ribbon-cutting ceremonies. The chamber had 350 members and welcomed 71 new members.
During the chamber banquet Hagge passed the leadership helm to John C. Thompson, the incoming chamber president.
“Cabot has a lot to offer, it’s a tremendous place to live. Cabot is going to continue to grow,” Thompson said.
In addition to Thompson, other incoming members of the Cabot chamber board of directors are: Amy Ross, president-elect; Corey Williams, vice president; Kenneth James, treasurer; and board members J.D. Buffalo, Jerry Davenport, Don Wilkins, Pastor Eisold, Wayne Cullins, Teresa Craig, Fayon Haynes and Patrick Sinclair.
When the chamber formed in 1959, the first president was Conway T. Carrigan and Jack Lowman was vice president.
This year’s chamber of commerce banquet did not have a special guest speaker. Instead the banquet had a “Showcase of Cabot Youth.” High school fine art students provided the entertainment for the night.
The Forensic Readers Theater gave an amusing presentation about Cabot.
Students involved with the musical theater program demonstrated their singing ability and the dance students showed their moves in dance numbers under the direction of Ashley Tarvin, musical theater dance choreographer and instructor.