Batesville Area Chamber announces annual meeting and gala


The Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce’s (BACC) annual meeting and gala will be held on Friday, Jan. 25 at the Batesville Community Center, 1420 20th St.

The “Friday Night Fever” 70s-themed event is expected to attract in excess of 350 guests and celebrate community work toward IMPACT goals in 2018.

“First Community Bank, the event’s presenting sponsor, and partners, Edward Jones, Peco Foods, the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville (UACCB), and White River Health System afford us the amazing opportunity to come together at the start of the new year and celebrate accomplishments toward continuous community improvement,” said Jamie Rayford, BACC’s chief operating officer. “This is important because it not only builds momentum and re-energizes residents for what is to come in 2019, but because IMPACT has been a transparent broad-based community effort from day one and we always want to keep it that way.”

Among the items on the agenda for the evening is a special reception for VIPs, an IMPACT Independence County 2018 Year in Review, an awards ceremony honoring outstanding area businesses and individuals, and Leadership Batesville’s Class of 2018 matriculation.

“This year’s contest for awards is especially stacked with worthy nominees. I do not envy the awards selection committee’s job in choosing the winners,” said Rayford. “With 17 nominations for the Leader in Education award alone, it’s clear that our residents are engaged in making our community a better place to live, work, and learn, and we love that we get the opportunity to highlight so many great businesses and individuals county-wide,” said Jamie Rayford.

Award nominees for Leader in Healthcare are Gary Bebow, former CEO of White River Health System; Vital Link EMS; and Wood-Lawn, Inc.

Finalists for the Leader in Education award are the Batesville School District Board of Education; Annette Castleberry, career services specialist at Lyon College; Byron Difani, principal Eagle Mountain Elementary; Leigh Keller, Batesville High School counselor; UACCB’s Nursing and Allied Health Division; and Heath Wilson, custodian Cedar Ridge Elementary.

Competing for the Excellence in Customer Focus award are the Melba Group and Simply Southern Imprinting.

Nominees for the Community Collaboration award are the Batesville Area Arts Council, Goodwill Industries, and the Independence County Library.

Citizens Bank, FutureFuel Chemical Company, and Intimidator Group will all vie for the Excellence in Business Award.

Award nominees and finalists will be highlighted at the event and winners, including the Batesville Area Chamber Ambassador of the Year, will be announced live.

For table or ticket reservations, please contact the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce at (870) 793-2378 or

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