Annual Community Awards Winners Announced at Chamber’s 98th Celebration of Business & Community

Published Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce honored exceptional businesses and individuals from the community at the 98th Annual Celebration of Business and Community Awards Ceremony Saturday, February 8 at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center in Rogers.

Community Award Winners
Access photos of winners at this link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/8vc8axoyf52v69n/AAAzCBWXcUc0FOhMZ2jZl5U1a?dl=0\

Small Business of the Year (2019) – Ozark Beer Company
Volunteer of the Year (2019) – Hannah Cicioni
Ambassador of the Year (2019) – Erica Vaughan (Aloft Rogers Bentonville)
Elbert S. Graham/Elza Tucker Award – Scott Dillard (Central Research, Inc.)
Spirit Award – Dawn Stewart/Career & Technical Education (CTE Dept.) at Rogers Public Schools
Dick Trammel Good Neighbor Award – Tom Allen (Cushman & Wakefield/Sage Partners)

About the Community Awards & Winners
Small Business of the Year (2019)
Each year, the Chamber’s Small Business Council recognizes four businesses (one each quarter) that embody success and are good corporate citizens. Each of the four businesses is an automatic nominee for the Small Business of the Year. This year’s winner, Ozark Beer Company, helped spur economic growth and revitalization in Downtown Rogers and was also on the forefront of the rapidly growing craft beer scene across the region and state. Ozark Beer Company has expanded multiple times since it was founded and is seriously committed to the community.

Volunteer of the Year (2019)
This award is presented to a volunteer who provides exceptional leadership and dedication to the Chamber and for last year (in particular) to Downtown Rogers. Hannah Cicioni served three years on
the Main Street Board, initiated the brunch program at the DTR Market (Downtown Farmers Market) where she has spent numerous hours volunteering. She raised $12,000 for Downtown Rogers through two of her annual crawfish boils. She was the DTR Market Season Sponsor in 2019 and is the Presenting Brunch Garden Sponsor for 2020. She is truly an advocate for Downtown Rogers.

Ambassador of the Year (2019)
The Ambassador Committee serves as the liaison between the Chamber and its members. Ambassadors participate in a variety of activities designed to welcome, orient and involve the membership in Chamber activities and promote a better understanding of the Chamber’s Mission. Erica Vaughan demonstrated outstanding dedication, service and enthusiasm to the community. She greeted over 20 new businesses to the Chamber and attended over 50 ribbon cuttings last year. She also volunteers many hours of her time helping at Chamber events.

Elbert S. Graham/Elza Tucker Award (Lowell)
This award was first awarded in 1974 and is the highest award for outstanding service to the community of Lowell. It was named in honor of Elbert S. Graham and Elza Tucker who embodied significant contributions to the betterment of the Lowell community. Scott Dillard founded his business in Lowell in 2002 along with his father and has seen tremendous success resulting in the creation of hundreds of jobs in Lowell. The core values of his company, Central Research, Inc., are integrity, loyalty, and excellence and they exemplify these values every day by serving the community and giving back through volunteering. His company has been recognized as one of the most veteran-friendly businesses in America.  Recently, he announced new expansion plans for the company that will bring new commercial development to unused property in Lowell and create new career opportunities for residents.

Spirit Award
This award began in 1983 and is given to a business, organization, or group of individuals that have engaged in unusually significant, worthwhile activities benefiting the community and/or region. This year’s recipient is Dawn Stewart (Career & Technical Education Coordinator for the Rogers Public Schools) and the entire CTE Team she leads. She and her team work tirelessly every day to better the lives of students by putting them on career pathways for in-demand careers in our region. Their workforce development work has led to over 8,300 middle and high school students being educated in career and technical education across 60 courses in the 2019-20 school year. Together, they embody the spirit of hard work and dedication to the Rogers-Lowell community.

Dick Trammel Good Neighbor Award (Rogers)
This award was first awarded in 1974. It is Rogers’ highest community honor and presented in recognition of an individual who has contributed to the betterment of Rogers and Northwest Arkansas.
Tom Allen relocated here with his wife in 1994 and opened a Backyard Burger franchise in Rogers, and later one in Bentonville as well as a convenience store. He then spent eight years with Walmart Real Estate before joining the Pinnacle Group, which later became what we know today as Hunt Ventures.

In 2016, as Hunt Ventures merged with Sage Partners, he became Executive Vice President handling the Hunt Ventures account. His work and dedication, along with the Hunt family, has contributed greatly to the Pinnacle Hills Region. The 10-story Hunt Tower, Topgolf, the Walmart AMP all have the generosity and tenacity of the Hunt family, but they also represent the skill and wisdom of Tom. In the square mile around the convention center there is $2 billion in investments. That just didn’t happen. It took a lot of people and a special kind of leadership like Tom’s.

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