The winners of the annual Leadership DeKalb Alumni awards were honored Tuesday night during the Chamber of Commerce Membership Banquet at the Elizabeth Chapel Baptist Church.
Casey Midgett received the Community Leader of the Year Award and Kay and John Quintero were presented the Legacy Award.
The Community Leader of the Year award goes to someone who has made a significant and positive impact on the county, specifically during 2010 and in a capacity beyond commitment to his or her profession. In 2010, Casey was named Chairman of Relay for Life in DeKalb County, an event which has become one of the largest community-wide endeavors of the year and raises tens of thousands of dollars annually for the American Cancer Society. Casey is also very active in his church. He volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and will be coaching T-ball this summer. Casey believes in this community and works to ensure that it is a better place for those who live here.
The Legacy Award goes to the person or persons who have made a significant and positive impact on DeKalb County over a considerable period of time and in multiple or lasting ways. Kay Quintero has been a licensed professional counselor for several years and both she and John have been Mission Service Corp volunteers. Recognizing the great need for services locally for those dealing with drug and alcohol addictions, the Quinteros approached the leadership of the First Baptist Church and Haven of Hope was established. Haven of Hope is a Christian centered source of encouragement for hurting people. It offers individual and group counseling, support groups, and a safe place where people can seek solace from the constant pressures of life. The Quinteros are committed to getting people the help they need. John runs the ministry portion of Haven of Hope as its volunteer Executive Director. John is also a member of the local Drug Court program. In addition to her work with Haven of Hope, Kay serves on the Board of Directors of the Smithville Housing Authority and Lighthouse Christian Camp. She is part of the DeKalb County Community Advisory Board and the DeKalb Prevention Coalition. Both John and Kay are very involved with their church where Kay teaches Mission Friends for pre-schoolers and is the church pianist. John is Sunday School Assistant and sings in the choir.
The guest speaker was Dr. Steve Morse, an economist and director of the Tourism institute at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, who spoke about the economic impact tourism has in DeKalb County.
In his remarks, Dr. Morse said statistics show that for the year 2009, more than $34 million was generated in direct tourist spending in DeKalb County; that tourism produced more than $7.22 million in worker income and paychecks; created $4.65 million in local county tax revenues; created $1.97 million in state tax revenues; and generated 279 jobs.
As a result of taxes generated by 2009 tourist activity in DeKalb County, Dr. Morse said each household here paid $746 less in local and state taxes; each household paid $524 less in local county taxes; and that each household paid $222 less in state taxes.
On an average day in 2009, tourist spending in DeKalb County created $12,751 daily in local county tax revenues; created $5,404 daily in state tax revenues; and generated $19,784 in daily worker paychecks.
Dr. Morse added that while the 2009 recession had a downward impact on most all Tennessee economic sectors, including the tourism sector, DeKalb County faired better than many other counties.
According to Dr. Morse, statistics show that when tourist spending is compared to all other consumer retail spending from 2008 to 2009, retail spending decreased by 8% in Tennessee while tourist spending decreased by only 4.1% during the same period in DeKalb County. As a result, Dr. Morse said tourist spending in DeKalb County was relatively stronger than overall consumer retail spending during the 2009 recession.
The source for this data is the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, the Tourist Institute at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Tennessee Department of Revenue.
Meanwhile, the retiring members of the Chamber board were recognized including Judy Sandlin of the DeKalb County Fair Board and Robin Driver of Center Hill Realty
New members are Bill Little, CEO for Cannon County Hospital, LLC.; Janna Gillard, publisher of the DeKalb County Guide; Tony Luna of the Real Estate Team and Sligo Marina; Lori Manns, owner of Manns Master Mechanics; Valerie House, active community supporter who is involved with the Cookeville Rescue Mission, the Genesis House, and the Leadership DeKalb Alumni Association, and Rhonda Caplinger of Liberty State Bank.
Other member of the Chamber board are Tom Miller of Liberty State Bank; Keith Blair, Attorney-at-Law, George Oliver of the Smithville Rotary Club; Jason Ray, Leadership Alumni from the Class of 2009; Mike Williams of the DeKalb County Fair Board; Angie Meadows of the Smithville Review; Rob Willingham of Middle Tennessee Natural Gas; Michelle Burklow of the DeKalb County Board of Education; and Kathie McGlamery of the Appalachian Center for Crafts.
The 2011 officers are Vice President; Janna Gillard, Secretary Valerie House, Treasurer Jason Ray, and Past President Tim Hintz. A new President will soon be named.