Four Buffalo Island cities receive Arkansas Community of Excellence awards

Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Shawn Poe has added a Taxi-Dry Freeze Drying system to his taxidermist business. He recently completed a training DVD on mounting rattlesnakes. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

Larry Walther, director of the Arkansas Department of Economic Development, presented Arkansas Community of Excellence (ACE) awards to mayors from Black Oak, Caraway, Leachville and Monette during a special ceremony, held at the First Baptist Church in Monette last Wednesday.

Leadership Buffalo Island 2005 President Kima Stewart welcomed those in attendance to the special ACE rectification awards program.

"This has been an exciting day for the Buffalo Island partnership," Stewart said. "This rectification of ACE status establishes the strong bonds that exist between our four communities on Buffalo Island. It will enable us to continue to direct our efforts toward harnessing the resources of the entire Island and use our networks of support to continue success in the future.

"We have learned how important it is to explore ideas, partnerships and opportunities to meet our mission and common goals," she said. "In the next three years we will develop new leaderships and team building and focus on new innovations relative to current needs. We will seek to find real world solutions to maximize our limited resources."

Leadership Buffalo Island began in 1992 when a group of Buffalo Islanders graduated from Entergy's Teamwork Arkansas Leadership training program and began to meet collectively to put what they had learned to work in their individual communities.

The original mission of Leadership Buffalo Island was to form a community partnership to act as a stimulus to improve the quality of life for all of Buffalo Island, to create opportunities for economic development and self-sufficiency, and to become a progressive society.

"Leadership Buffalo Island first gained their ACE status in February 2002," Walther said. "It was the first ACE award of its kind, earned by the five co-operating communities which crossed county lines.

"Today's award of ACE recertification recognizes the four communities of Black Oak, Caraway, Leachville, and Monette," he said. "We commend you for what you are doing."

Walther asked the membership of Leadership Buffalo Island to stand. Framed certificates were presented to mayors of all four cities and other city representatives.

Barbara Suber, 2006 Leadership Buffalo Island president, introduced special guests.

Lunch was served in the church family life center, following the program.

Steve Suber directed a tour of the Colson Plant, north of Monette, following the meeting and luncheon.

The next regularly scheduled Leadership Buffalo Island meeting will be held in Leachville on June 19 at the First United Methodist Church.

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