K-REDI Director of Job Creation given Hall of Fame Award

Thom Van Vleck- Tourism Ambassador Award

The Kirksville Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual banquet Thursday evening.

The banquet consisted of a buffet dinner, an award ceremony, and then for the first time, a guest speaker- Kirksville R-III School Superintendent Patrick Williams. Williams talked about the school district cutting staff due to hard times and tight budgets, as well as how the Early Childhood Education Center is an asset to the community.

The Hall of Fame Award was given to Phil Tate, the outgoing K-REDI Director of Job Creation. The organization said they selected Tate for the award because he was always willing to speak at their events. Also, they said he worked hard to keep the Kirksville Career Center open and fought to keep commercial air service in Kirksville. Tate said he was shocked to receive such an honor and is looking forward to retirement.

"It feels great. it was a very kind thing for them to do and a very nice way to end my career in economic development, which has taken several paths over the last 35-40 years," Tate said. "So, it's a very nice and I appreciate it very much. It was also a great way for me to say thank you to the people that have supported me and K-REDI along the way."

Tate started working for K-Redi in September of 2003. His term expires Jan. 31, 2012. After that, Carolyn Chrisman will takeover, who he said would take the organization to the next level.

Also receiving awards were Paul Shipman, who won the Chamber Member of the Year Award. Shipman helped the commerce with its cooking school. He is also a member of the commerce's Board of Directors. Shipman works for Bott Radio Network.

Thom Van Vleck was given the Tourism Ambassador Award. Van Vleck has hosted the Kirksville Highland Games for the past 12 years and in 2011, he brought a national weightlifting championship to Kirksville.

Tim Peters was recognized as a retiring board member and the new Kirksville Area Chamber of Commerce President was announced- Janet Gremaud. Gremaud is the store manager of the Kirksville J.C. Penny. She has lived in Kirksville for the past 12 years.

The banquet ended with a performance from Truman State's Franklin Street Singers.