The Salem Chamber of Commerce honored the volunteer of the year and business of the year at the annual banquet in the Orange Room of the North Arkansas Electric Cooperative Oct. 22.
The Salem Flower Shop was named business of the year, and Hans Oliver was named volunteer of the year.
Oliver has been employed at North Arkansas Electric Cooperative since 1998. He was hired to head the home and business security department, and now also works with key accounts. In key accounts he is involved in business growth and community development.
He has been trained to assist communities and businesses in planning for the future, and has recently helped business classes related to this topic with practical guidance and insight. He has worked with several area community groups, including Salem 2020, the group that is forming to discuss the future of central Fulton County. He has been active in the "Four lane 412" project, which has a direct impact on growth, said chamber president Gary Phillips.
Oliver has been involved in the Salem Chamber of Commerce as a representative from NAEC, a board member, president and past-president, and he has accepted the nomination for treasurer for 2004. As president he pushed for the purchase of the house at the corner of the park, which has been converted into a tourist information center and meeting room. The conversion took many hours of volunteer labor, of which he was a major organizer and worker, from knocking out walls to laying wood floor.
Oliver and his wife, Carol, coordinated the first American Cancer Society's Relay for Life in Salem and have been involved in the planning and organization since. He has been involved in athletics from helping to coach teeball to representing Salem in adventure races with Guy Smith and Lena Romine.
Ken Clodfelter, a friend of the Reed family, introduced Fern Reed and her son, Derry Reed, from the flower shop.The shop has remained at the same location for over 30 years.
Clodfelter said Mrs. Reed has been like a mother to him. In 1968 Mrs. Reed and the late Charles Reed purchased Smith Floyd Florist and changed the name to Chapel Hill Florist. They opened the Salem Flower Shop in 1973, he said.Derry joined the floral shop after he attended design training school in Memphis.
The family has missed many holidays in order to provide service for grieving families, he said.
Many residents know they can reach the family 24 hours a day, seven days a week, he said. Mrs. Reed and her son both have telephone extensions in their homes.
The shop has had floats in the parade, booths at the fair and booths during festivities at the court square, and it has delivered singing telegrams.
The shop has also helped decorate previous chamber banquets and special events.
Nominations for the 2004 officers and board was announced as follows:
President -- Gary Phillips
Vice President -- Patricia Watkins
Secretary -- Karen McFarren
Treasurer -- Hans Oliver
Board members -- George Thomas and Mike Richardson (two-year terms)
Salem Chamber of Commerce President Gary Phillips contributed to this report