Cham­ber hon­ors Loe­ble

Ac­tive vol­un­teer given life­time ser­vice award

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - GABRIEL KHOULI gkhouli@cov­

Bill Loe­ble has de­voted much of his life to im­prov­ing the lives of oth­ers at ev­ery stage of de­vel­op­ment, from young men learn­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity and na­ture skills, to col­lege stu­dents pre­par­ing for a bright fu­ture, to man­u­fac­tur­ing la­bor­ers earn­ing a steady wage and pro­vid­ing for their fam­i­lies.

For a life­time of hard work and com­mu­nity ser­vice, Loe­ble was given the R.O. Arnold Award, one of Newton County’s most pres­ti­gious hon­ors, at Thurs­day’s an­nual meet­ing of the Cov­ing­ton-Newton County Cham­ber of Com­merce.

Loe­ble’s bio con­tains a laun­dry list of lead­er­ship po­si­tions for lo­cal, state and na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing his beloved Boy Scouts of Amer­ica, as well as his church, his alma mater and a hand­ful of lo­cal non­prof­its. And on top of all of that, he helped trans­form lo­cal Mans­field in­dus­try Beaver Man­u­fac­tur­ing from a re­gional provider of in­dus­tri­ally treated yarn into a global force.

“He is an out­stand­ing com­mu­nity leader as well as a busi­ness­man, and he has con­trib­uted so much to lo­cal, state and na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions,” friend Lee Aldridge Thurs­day said be­fore the cer­e­mony. “He has re­ally made an im­pact on the busi­ness and in­dus­try in Newton County.”

Loe­ble was nom­i­nated by past R.O. Arnold win­ners Jerry and Lee Aldridge and Nonie Need­ham, whose late hus­band Ed founded Beaver Man­u­fac­tur­ing.

Loe­ble is the pres­i­dent of the board of di­rec­tors of the Arts As­so­ci­a­tion in Newton County, is on the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee of the Mir­a­cle League of Newton County, is an elder at First Pres­by­te­rian Church of Cov­ing­ton, helped re­cruit Ge­or­gia Perime­ter Col­lege to the county, has served on the cham­ber’s board of di­rec­tors and eco­nomic roundtable, and has re­ceived some of the high­est hon­ors avail­able to Scouts, in­clud­ing the Sil­ver Beaver and Sil­ver An­te­lope.

“He is very de­pend­able. When he says some­thing, that could be writ­ten down as law, be­cause what he says he will do, he will do,” Lee Aldridge said. “He loves the Lord, loves work­ing in his church and loves be­ing part of the grow­ing re­li­gious com­mu­nity in Newton County.

“He is a very kind man. He’s un­der­stand­ing. He’s like a gen­tle gi­ant. He is real.”

Loe­ble re­tired in De­cem­ber af­ter a 20-year ca­reer as Beaver’s vice pres­i­dent and chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, dur­ing which the com­pany grew from 90 to 140 em­ploy­ees and from one man­u­fac­tur­ing plant to three.

Loe­ble and his wife, Diane, have a daugh­ter, Janet, and a son, Dex­ter.

Other awards

The cham­ber gave out sev­eral other awards Thurs­day night.

• Mys­tic Falls Tours, “The Vam­pire Diaries” tour com­pany run by Jes­sica Low­ery, was named the small busi­ness of the year.

Find­ing her­self an un­em­ployed para­pro­fes­sional af­ter cuts at the Newton County School Sys­tem, Low­ery started blog­ging about “The Vam­pire Diaries” and re­al­ized the show’s grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity could be turned into a busi­ness op­por­tu­nity. Her com­pany now does sev­eral tours most weeks, for dozens of visi­tors from through­out the United States and the world.

• Right at Home, an in-home care­giver com­pany, re­ceived the Emerg­ing Busi­ness award.

Mark and Dr. Ni­cole Ross opened the lo­cal Cov­ing­ton fran­chise in 2012, and it has grown to 70 part-time em­ploy­ees.

• Newton Fed­eral em­ployee Greg Prof­fitt re­ceived the Spirit of Ex­cel­lence award for his five years of ser­vice to the cham­ber’s ex­ec­u­tive board as its fi­nan­cial di­rec­tor and trea­surer.

Cham­ber Pres­i­dent Hunter Hall said Prof­fitt spends many hours each year work­ing on bud­gets for the cham­ber’s small busi­ness, tourism and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment arm and was ac­tive in help­ing to shape cham­ber pol­icy.

•The Deal of the Year was awarded to the Newton Col­lege and Ca­reer Academy and its prin­ci­pal, James Woodard, for earn­ing a Ford Next Gen­er­a­tion Learn­ing grant, which will help the academy ex­pand cour­ses and pro­grams. The academy is cen­tral to the county’s ef­forts to im­prove its work­force, said James John­son, the cham­ber’s di­rec­tor of ex­ist­ing in­dus­try and work­force de­vel­op­ment.

Dar­rell Everidge/The Cov­ing­ton News

Bill Loe­ble won the R.O. Arnold Award from the Cov­ing­ton-Newton County Cham­ber of Com­merce at the Char­lie El­liott Wildlife Center ban­quet hall Thurs­day night. Pic­tured, left to right, are: Hunter Hall, Loe­ble, Nonie Need­him and Lee Aldridge.

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