Lowrie and Cude honored by NADC

Wednesday, August 22, 2018
JoAnn Lowrie (left) and Rita Cude (right) share their respective awards with each other given to them by NADC for outstanding service to community action.

Northcentral Arkansas Development Council (NADC) recently honored one former and one current employee with a newly named JoAnn Lowrie Above & Beyond annual award at NADC’s recent August board meeting.

JoAnn Lowrie, of Salem, retired last year after beginning her career with NADC beginning as a classroom aide with Head Start in 1993. She was promoted to a classroom teacher in 1994, and in 1998, she resigned to open a day care operation. JoAnn was also instrumental in making it possible for NADC to purchase the current NADC Fulton County facility which houses both the Head Start Program and Community Outreach Program.

In 2000, NADC rehired her as the Fulton County Coordinator and served in that position until last year. During her career at NADC, she served the Fulton County area with dedication and loyalty to helping people to have a better life.

During her retirement party, NADC Executive Director Charlie Morris announced at the event he was honoring JoAnn’s service with an award to a current NADC Outreach employee annually who exemplifies her passion, caring and helpful attitude in helping others maintain a better way of life.

“I thought on the trip from Batesville to JoAnn’s retirement party, there has to be a way to show her a lasting tribute to what she has meant to NADC and Fulton County and the annual award would be a great way to do that,” said Morris.

At the recent board meeting, Morris invited Lowrie, her mother and son to attend. After words of praise to her, she was presented a version of the same award that will be given annually to a current employee.

Morris then announced Rita Cude, Independence County Outreach Coordinator, to be the first recipient of the JoAnn Lowrie Above & Beyond Award. Morris said Cude, who has been a 14-year NADC employee following a similar path as Lowrie beginning in the Head Start program in 2004 as a teacher, then became the Sharp County Outreach Coordinator in 2009. This year Cude took over the Independence County Outreach Coordinator position.

“When our previous coordinator took another position outside the agency, I ask Rita if she was interested in switching since she lived in Cave City. Plus, Independence County has more programs than our other counties and Rita was our most experienced person. She said she would if I would move her desk from Ash Flat and put her in a larger window in her office and I said no problem,” said Morris. “Since then she has moved into the position very seamless with a great attitude and new motivation just like JoAnn would have. For that I felt she was deserving of the award.”

NADC is one of 15 community action agencies in the state created by the LBJ administration and the only congressional mandated agency formed to fight poverty. They serve Fulton, Independence, Izard, Sharp and Stone counties with programs such as Head Start, Early Head Start, Energy Assistance Programs, Commodities and other emergency type programs and services.

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