Chamber honors Regenold for Lifetime Achievement

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Monday was the Annual Greater Blytheville Area Chamber of Commerce Banquet and Awards of Excellence, and this year's banquet set a record for attendance, selling out for the first time in event history.

John Ed Regenold was honored during the Greater Blytheville Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet and Awards of Excellence with the 2014 Lifetime Community Achievement Award.

The banquet was held Monday night at the Briggs-Sebaugh Wellness Center at Arkansas Northeastern College.

A man who typically prefers to work behind the scenes, Regenold was touted as a stalwart member of the community, always looking for ways to push Blytheville, as well as the entire state of Arkansas, to be better and embody this year's theme, "Spirit of Courage."

Named the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award winner by the Chamber of Commerce, John Ed Regenold kept his comments brief but sincere after being presented with his award Monday night.

The son of Golden and Eddie Regenold, he attended the Kentucky Military Institute and graduated from the University of Arkansas. He married his wife, Martha, in 1952, and now has four grown children, Dixie, Dale, Edward and Lee, as well as a growing group of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Regenold has been an active member of the community for several decades, from coaching little league baseball to serving on various committees and boards. He served a long tenure as the chairman of the Mississippi County Hospital Board, and several years ago received a gubernatorial appointment to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. He is also about to put a cap on a 10-year term on the Arkansas Highway Commission, a position to which he was appointed by Gov. Mike Huckabee. During his time on the Highway Commission. Regenold was instrumental in the development of the new Highway 18 overpass project under way.

The Chamber recognized L.C. Hartsfield as its Citizen of the Year. Hartsfield is the chairman of the Main Street Blytheville board, as well as chairing the East Arkansas Planning and Steering Committee and the Blytheville Leadership Institute. A former member of the Chamber of Commerce board, Hartsfield also spends time counseling people suffering from substance abuse issues.

Other awards were given to Dr. Scott Johnson Vision Care for Pride and Property of the Year, Family Eye Care as the Small Business of the Year, Nucor-Yamato Steel as the Large Business of the Year, and Tracy Plunkett of the Blytheville Primary School as Educator of the Year.

During Monday night's celebration the Blytheville Leadership Institute graduates were also honored. This year's class is the 26th graduating BLI class.

The banquet also featured an address from Chamber President Lisa John-Adams, who spoke on the banquet's theme, "Spirit of Courage."

During Monday's celebration, the Chamber honored its yearly award winners. The Pride and Property award went to Dr. Scott Johnson Vision Care; Small Business of the Year was awarded to Family Eye Care; Large Business of the Year was given to Nucor-Yamato Steel; and Educator of the Year was warded to Blytheville Primary School teacher Tracy Plunkett. The evening's two big awards, Citizen of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement awards, were awarded to L.C. Hartsfield and John Ed Regenold, respectively.

cpinkard@blythevillecourier.com