The Greenbrier Chamber of Commerce intends to “take more time to honor the people here in Greenbrier who have contributed to our positive growth,” according to board Treasurer Shawn Johnston.  

Their annual banquet, with a theme of “Grand Ole Greenbrier,” is set for March 6 at the Greenbrier Junior High Cafetorium.  

It will have a fresh new format with the presentation of several new award categories. 

New awards will include Best Small Business, Best Bigger Business, Best New Business, Non-Profit of the Year, Green Business and Student of the Year. 

Awards will also be presented for the traditional categories of Volunteer of the Year and Citizen of The Year.  

In an effort to freshen their image, the traditional keynote speaker format will be gone. 

“One of the only things that has not changed from last year,” laughs board member Treva Branscum, “is that we are having a banquet.” 

“By far the most unique award to be presented this year is the one for our Green Business category,” said chamber board member Christopher Rister. “We actually wanted something that was repurposed, so we talked to Mr. Breeding, GHS Agriculture teacher, who is working with his students to design the trophy.”  

It’s going to be a conversation piece,” explains Executive Director Amie Regester, “which will just raise awareness for those businesses making an effort to practice sustainability.”

Another big change is the board’s decision to have an appreciation concert following the awards presentation. The concert will be a special performance by popular Nashville trio Eden’s Edge.  All three members of the group are originally from Arkansas and attended the University of Central Arkansas early in the band’s formation. They are enjoying success on tour and are even scheduled to open for Randy Travis in early March.  

“We recognize that 2009 was a tough economic year, and we are so glad to be a part of a community that continues to support our small-business owners.  We want this concert to be a way to thank all of our members and volunteers for making a significant difference and contribution not only to the Chamber but throughout our community,” said Regester.

A silent auction will be another first for Greenbrier’s Annual Chamber Banquet. 

“Some of our items include autographed Jermain Taylor boxing gloves, a ‘ladies night out’ package including a limo ride, a sterling silver and Dendrite necklace from Faye’s Diamond Mine, along with many more items donated by local businesses,” said auction committee chair Paula Winn. The following Chamber members are valued sponsors for the 2010 Annual Banquet. They are: A&J Collision Repair, First Security Bank, 501LIFE Magazine, Chesapeake Energy and First Service Bank. 

The décor, menu and entertainment are designed to be elegant, but not stuffy. Suggested dress is “cocktail” for her or “business dress” for him. The Southern-style buffet will be catered by MarketPlace Grill. The silent auction will kick off the event at 5:30 p.m. 

Tickets are $40 for non-members and $35 if purchased by Friday. You can purchase in Conway at A&J Collision Repair on North Creek Drive and at The Log Cabin Democrat at 1058 Front St. In Greenbrier,  First Security Bank, First Service Bank and Daisy-A-Day have tickets.  For additional information, contact The Greenbrier Chamber Of Commerce at or (501) 679-4009.