Farmington Chamber Hands Out 2018 Honors
ANNUAL BANQUET HAS RECORD ATTENDANCE
FARMINGTON — Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce took the opportunity last week to recognize the 2018 Business of the Year, to honor a person who has made an impact on the community and to show its appreciation to a longtime Chamber board member.
About 100 people attended the Chamber’s spring banquet held in the commons area at the new Farmington High School. Nelson Peacock, executive director of Northwest Arkansas Council, was guest speaker.
Mike Willard, Chamber board president, presented Thomas Cornwell with an Appreciation of Service award for his involvement with the Farmington Chamber and other community organizations.
Legend Realty was named 2018 Business of the Year and high school Principal Jon Purifoy was recognized with a new honor called the Impact Award.
Cornwell served as a member of the Chamber for 20 years and as a member of the Chamber board of directors for 15 years. He recently resigned as a board member.
“Tommy is always willing to volunteer for his community to do whatever possible to make a difference,” Willard said.
An Arkansas native, Cornwell earned a degree from the Dallas College of Mortuary Sciences. He used his degree serving as an embalmer with a special unit during his service in Italy with the U.S. Navy.
Returning home to Northwest Arkansas, Cornwell continued his career in the funeral home industry working in Fayetteville, Bentonville and Mountain Home. In 1966,
Cornwell changed his career focus and opened an insurance business that continues to be successful today.
After the banquet, Cornwell said he has enjoyed serving on the Chamber board of directors.
He spearheaded the Chamber’s golf tournament and said seeing that event grow has been one of the highlights of his term.
He was most satisfied, he said, with the Chamber’s ability to offer college scholarships to Farmington graduates.
“It’s been an honor to serve,” Cornwell said.
Farmington Mayor Ernie Penn presented the 2018 Business of the Year to Bob Daughtery, one of three owners with Legend Realty.
For the past five years, Legend Realty’s gross sales have grown from $1.4 million in 2013 to almost $5 million in 2017.
“Your community is going to grow with your neighborhoods,” Penn said in making the announcement. “They represent our community and bring people to our community to help our community grow.”
Legend opened in Farmington in 1999 with Keith Marrs and Mike Tooley as original owners. Marrs, Tooley and Daughtery are current owners. Today, the firm has 19 brokers and agents.
Penn said many factors set Legend Realty apart from other firms, including the honesty and integrity of its agents and staff.
The business has local people and professional agents who have a knowledge of their markets, Penn said, noting employees give back to the communities they serve.
“The success of any business is defined by the strength of its associates,” Penn said, in thanking Legend Realty for being an integral part of the Farmington community.
Bryan Law, superintendent of Farmington schools, presented the Impact Award to Purifoy, a new award given to someone who has had a “real impact” in the community.
The school district received around 100 applications when it began its latest search for a new principal about five years ago, Law said.
“This one guy kept calling,” Law said. “He wanted the job and was passionate about the job.”
District staff brought in three top candidates for the position and then decided to see how Purifoy interacted with the students.
“I think from the minute that started we knew who our high school principal would be,” Law said.
Purifoy started as principal in July 2013.
Law acknowledged being a high school principal is a challenging job and probably could be described as the most challenging job in a school district.
“We are blessed with wonderful employees and tonight we are going to recognize one of them,” Law said.
In accepting the award, Purifoy said he was caught by surprise.
“I love this place. I never want to go anywhere else,” Purifoy said. “The biggest thing here is the people I have with me. I’m very proud to be here and I’m glad I can serve this community.”
In closing the banquet, Willard recognized the Chamber board members: Josh Frye, Melissa McCarville, Tammie Shelley, Brittney Holloway, Tracy Nelson, Nancy Woodward, Diane Bryant and Marty Trudell.
He also expressed his appreciation to banquet sponsors: Bank of Fayetteville, Arvest Bank, Flowers-nFriends, Farmington School District, PG Telco, Ozarks Electric and Ozarks Go and Lewis Automotive Group.
The Farmington Arvest Junior Bank Board assisted by helping to serve the meal and giving out door prizes.
“Your community is going to grow with your neighborhoods. They represent our community and bring people to our community to help our community grow.”
Ernie Penn Farmington Mayor
Legend Realty was named the 2018 Business of the Year by Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce.
Mike Willard, president of Farmington Chamber board, presents an Appreciation of Service Award to Thomas Cornwell, who served on the Chamber board for about 15 years.
Bryan Law, superintendent of Farmington School District, right, presents the Impact Award to Jon Purifoy, Farmington High School principal. The award recognizes the impact Purifoy has had on the community.