Homer Thompson named NAHRO Member of the Year

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

SouthBank President Homer Thompson, of Blytheville, has been selected for the distinguished honor of Arkansas Chapter of National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) Member of the Year Award for 2009 for his service on the Mississippi County Public Facilities Board in Osceola.

Barbara Suber, Arkansas NAHRO president, Homer Thompson, 2009 Member of the Year recipient, and Renee Rooker, National NAHRO president. (photo provided)

Thompson has served on the board for 11 years as commissioner and six years as chairman. He is currently serving as vice president of commissioners for the Arkansas Chapter of NAHRO.

"Being in the banking business enabled me to see where there was a need for help that banking could not meet," Thompson said. "The more I learned about public housing the more I fell in love by the work done by the service. There was an opening for a Mississippi County commissioner in 1998 and I was appointed to fill that position. Once I starting serving on the board, the more I could see the full range of needs met by housing. The state organization of NAHRO has held a special place in my heart once I started attending the meetings and taking part in their training sessions. The more training we receive, the more we can bring back to help the residents here at home."

Barbara Suber, president of the Arkansas Chapter NAHRO, nominated Thompson for the award.

"Homer has served on local, state, regional and national committees during his 11 years as commissioner," Suber said. "He is an outstanding example of the leadership that NAHRO wants to recognize. On June 29, Homer will also be receiving the Southwest Regional Commissioners Service Award in St. Louis, Mo."

Thompson is also very active as a member and leader in many other organizations in his community, which include Kiwanis, Chamber of Commerce, Masonic Lodge, Shriner, First Baptist Church, United Way, Air Base Community Council, Foundation Board of Arkansas Northeastern College, president of SouthBank Arkansas, past president and treasurer of Blytheville Federal Savings and Loan, manager general adjustment, and active military service in Germany.

Thompson and his wife Henrietta make their home west of Blytheville. They have two daughters, Suzanne Thompson and Kimberly Unsworth, both of St. Louis, and two grandchildren, Adam and Abigail.

"There will always be a need for housing," Thompson said. "During this housing crisis we have seen more and more people looking for a place to live."

"Housing is a first responder in America when people need a hand up," Suber said. "There will always be need for trained and committed volunteers like Homer."

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