Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce Batesville Area Economic Development Alliance Batesville Advertising & Promotion Commission Impact Independence County

Spirit of Independence Campaign

Spirit of Independence | Honoring Champions of 2020
Presented By
First Community Bank
White River Health Systems
Sonic

Our home, Independence County, isn't just a place - it's a lifestyle defined by the positive impact and can-do attitude of those who live here. The Spirit of Independence was on full display in 2020 with countless members of our community stepping up to be a true guide - navigating others through unprecedented challenges. In January, the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce honored some of these amazing individuals with a surprise, on behalf of community sponsors, to say thank you for their impact within our community. 


We invite you to join our campaign throughout 2021. Tell us who you think reflects the "Spirit of Independence," going above and beyond to make a positive impact and inspire others. Follow us on social media and share your stories and photos with the hashtag #spiritofindependence to help spread our community's spirit far and wide.


Featured Honorees
Honorees
Lisa Barber
Lisa Barber
Sponsor: Bad Boy Mowers
Lisa assumed a brand new role in Virtual Learning with Batesville School District in the midst of unprecedented challenge. She and her team worked through broadband connectivity issues, which forced her to make rapid changes to the program she was in the process of building to ensure all students would have the best opportunity for success. Lisa has gone above and beyond communicating and shepherding students and their families through a transition that many did not have positive feelings about.
Micah Beard
Micah Beard
Sponsor: Arkansas Sheriff's Youth Ranches
As outgoing president of our Board of Trustees, Micah has overseen two of our most successful years at the Ranch in recent memory. His work on behalf of the bank to help the ASYR secure a PPP grant allowed us much needed margin during what has been a difficult year for many nonprofits. Micah also helped the Ranch on Giving Tuesday this year by increasing Citizens Bank's matching gift by 50% to encourage even more donations, which helped the Ranch have its largest single day of giving in the organization's history!
Andy Bullington
Andy Bullington
Sponsor: Sonic Drive-In
Andy has helped developed two great managers for our organization and the exciting thing is that both were from the Batesville area. Andy has also worked really hard during the pandemic to keep his restaurant open to serve our great customers. He has a big heart for the Batesville community and has done a great job in staying involved with the local school districts. We are proud to have Andy on our team and recognize his spirit of Independence. 
Natalie Cox
Natalie Cox
Sponsor: Vital Link
Natalie speaks the universal love language of food. Food is comforting, just like her warm, welcoming personality. She has fed countless groups of people during extremely difficult times, often times at no charge. She's done all this while taking exceptional care of her own team. Every person who needed a meal delivered, and especially those who were too busy to know they needed to eat throughout the pandemic, have benefitted from Ms. Natalie's smile, willingness to help, and unwavering work ethic. 
Mandi Curtwright
Mandi Curtwright
Sponsor: Centennial Bank
Our 53 Main Street merchants are "mom and pop", "locally owned" small businesses that rely on foot traffic coming into their stores and  have been heavily impacted by COVID.  When the pandemic stopped that traffic, Mandi put all of her effort into creating a safe environment and a reason to get people downtown and in those stores.
Cheyenne Diaz
Cheyenne Diaz
Sponsor: Southern Bank
Cheyenne is passionate about helping students with their education and personal needs that allow them to get to and from school, feed themselves and their families and earn a degree in the process. This is apparent by the time and effort he contributed to provide students at UACCB meals from the food pantry during the onset of pandemic with drive-thru service. We are proud to recognize Cheyenne’s spirit of Independence and thank him for going above and beyond his primary job duties. 
Steffanie Evans
Steffanie Evans
Sponsor: Walmart
Steffanie makes herself available 24 hours a day for anything needed or anyone that needs her. This in and of itself, demonstrates her commitment to those for which she advocates. Beyond that, she leverages numerous resources and collaboration with other organizations and law enforcement agencies to work each individual case with fidelity. We are so proud to recognize Steffanie for her passion and fight to help our most vulnerable be not just victims, but survivors. This is the spirit of Independence. 
Becky Foster
Becky Foster
Sponsor: First Community Bank
Since the founding of John 3:17 in 2012, there have been over 100 ladies graduate the program. We want to recognize Becky for the commitment she has made to helping each resident understand and reach her full potential. This is done in a nurturing environment that provides family support, open and honest communication, and recognition of individuality. Proper supervision and enforced boundaries also help in the process of restoring health and happiness. This is the spirit of Independence and we could not be prouder to honor Becky as part of this community campaign. 
Tammy Gavin
Tammy Gavin
Sponsor: LaCroix Precision Optics
At the onset of the pandemic, Tammy was always willing to listen to what our plan was and make any suggestions to improve what we were doing.  When we moved into Phase 2 and 3 protocols, again, she was there to guide us so we could make our workplace as safe as possible for all of our employees. LaCroix Precision Optics and many others in our community have benefitted from her leadership during the most challenging of times. 
Chad Graves
Chad Graves
Sponsor: White River Health System
In a short 15 months, Chad Graves built a successful Pastoral Care program with a team of volunteer chaplains, bi-weekly bible study, and other activities to serve the spiritual needs of White River Medical Center patients, their families, and our employees. When the COVID health emergency forced suspension of the program, Chad rolled up his sleeves and serves as the sole Chaplain for WRMC. Chad serves with a cheerful smile, sincere listening, and words of encouragement. 
Ted Hall
Ted Hall
Sponsor: First Community Bank
For 32 years, Ted has served our communities underprivileged at a time when they really needed a helping hand. Without him as a driving force behind the volunteer base and coordination of Christmas Brings Hope, especially during the pandemic, some local families would not have Christmas dinner at all. 
Tammy Hicks
Tammy Hicks
Sponsor: ARCare
Tammy demonstrates ARcare WIT (Whatever It Takes) by giving her patients undivided attention, visiting with patients via Telehealth, and going above and beyond to ensure her patients' care gaps are closed. Patients who find themselves in difficult or frustrating situations know Tammy will listen, understand, and respect their wishes or point of view. 
Novella Humphrey
Novella Humphrey
Sponsor: White River Area Agency on Aging
Novella is a true leader and inspiration. She leads with confidence, grace, and passion. She is a champion for students, teachers, staff and our community.  Everyone she comes in contact with can feel her passion for serving others.
Cole Keller
Cole Keller
Sponsor: Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce
Cole represents all that is great about living in Independence County - caring neighbors who take of one another and cheer for each other’s success no matter what may come. We are so proud to recognize him for his December acts of kindness and share his spirit of Independence with our community.
Stacey Lindsey
Stacey Lindsey
Sponsor: FNBC
We know the school has faced many challenges during the pandemic. Stacey works countless hours trying to make sure all students and her staff are safe and taken care of on all levels. She has come up with all kinds of solutions to help her students learn during this trying time. Stacey is one of the best educators we have in our community.
Paula Lovell
Paula Lovell
Sponsor: Merchants & Planters Bank
Paula spends extra time each week trying to find ways to help those less fortunate. When Cedar Ridge had to transition to virtual learning due to COVID-19, she spent countless hours developing a plan so the school could provide a way to take food to families that relied on it.  She also worked with the transportation director to devise the best routes to deliver to everyone. She is always helping others. She is like the stage director - making sure everyone is doing their part for the plan to be carried out effectively.
Kathy Magness
Kathy Magness
Sponsor: Cedar Ridge School District
Mrs. Kathy Magness has worked for the Cedar Ridge School District for 40 years and is dedicated to the students and to the Newark community. As an administrator, Mrs. Magness has led the elementary through impressive improvements in their school letter grade by pushing her faculty and students to do and be their best. She is the epitome of an educator.
Lorrie McClure
Lorrie McClure
Sponsor: Lifeplus
Lorrie has intentionally networked and built partnerships on behalf of BSD families so that she may reach out effectively for any need. She has helped businesses and nonprofits meet their goals of reaching out to families and she has referred many families to their businesses and agencies for services. She utilizes a unique relationship management approach to her work and her students, staff, and families benefit from all of her creative partnerships and spirit of collaboration. 
Dr. Lesley Milton
Dr. Lesley Milton
Sponsor: Ind. Co. Cable TV
Dr. Milton has worked prior to COVID-19 and throughout the pandemic to provide exemplary dental care for all patients regardless of ability to pay. She truly cares about our community and their hardships beyond how it benefits her personally or grows her business. Dr. Milton leads a wonderful team and has built a work culture full of employees that strive to positively impact all families that entrust them with their care. She and her clinic are a blessing to this community. 
Jodi Moody
Jodi Moody
Sponsor: UAMS
Jodi is well respected and has the confidence of leadership in the UAMS clinic. She has truly been our COVID champion. Jodi has been steadfast in keeping our team members not just accountable but also motivated.  Without her diligence, our staff would not be able to provide the same level of care safely. 
Juli Reding
Juli Reding
Sponsor: Wood-Lawn, Inc., Woodcrest, and Wildewood
Juli has been a dedicated, loyal employee since 2004. From the onset of the pandemic, she has been the foundation of finding COVID supplies and equipment and keeping all three facilities stocked at great levels. Because of her, PPE was always supplied and employees did not have to worry to go home to their families. She made our community safer and allowed us to deliver the quality of care our residents expect and deserve.
Helen Shaw
Helen Shaw
Sponsor: Citizens Bank
Helen's role as Facilities and Security Manager became one of the most, if not the most, pivotal function in the organization overnight. In her charge to acquire supplies, develop procedure, and educate team members, Helen has made a 24/7 commitment to keeping our customers, associates and families safe.
Sheriff Shawn Stephens
Sheriff Shawn Stephens
Sponsor: Bank of Cave City
Shawn's motto when he ran was "a true WORKING" sheriff.  We feel he lives that motto everyday, as he is always working, always on call, and always protecting. He is one with his work responsibilities, representing our community 24/7, 365 and protecting all of us. We love our sheriff! 
Amanda Stevens
Amanda Stevens
Sponsor: Atlas Asphalt & White River Materials
We are highly dependent on Amanda's role as human resource manager in managing our team. She did an outstanding job communicating internally, seeking and providing guidance on essential HR principles, and providing PPE during an unprecedented event. Our business has certainly benefitted from Amanda's leadership, adaptability, and management skills, which means ultimately the communities where we have construction projects benefited as well. 
Bryan Tuggle
Bryan Tuggle
Sponsor: First Community Bank
Without organizations like John 3:16 Ministries, that Bryan and his wife, Beverly founded, there would be a large portion of the community that would most definitely go underserved and sadly, lives that could come to devastating ends without intervention. Because of Bryan Tuggle and his own past hardships, many have a reliable helping hand to look to in these unfortunate situations and it certainly has an impact. Not only do the participants in the ministry walk away from this organization as changed men, but this change has a ripple effect on their family, friends, and ultimately our community. 
Jud Weaver
Jud Weaver
Sponsor: Sonic Drive-In
Jud should be considered a champion among us as he has overseen the operations and kept five locations open in the Batesville market during the pandemic. He bent over backward to make sure his employees' health and well being was a priority while serving our guests in a safe manner. DHR very proudly awarded our crews over $50,000 in COVID relief bonuses between the three stores in the Batesville area, and Judd was a big part of that. 
Crystal Winston
Crystal Winston
Sponsor: Sonic Drive-In
Crystal made the best of the worst situation brought about by the pandemic by bringing a smile into work with her every day. She makes work fun while holding her staff accountable. She is a great restaurant operator and a even better person. She has unwavering passion for raising her beautiful family and running a business in this great community. 
Chairman's Circle Sponsors - Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce
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