Audie Dennis named 2024 Outstanding Citizen of the Year

Apr. 25—Audie Dennis was named the 2024 Outstanding Citizen of the Year on Thursday night at the 107th annual banquet of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber recognized members for achievements and contributions to the community during the banquet.

The chamber held what it themed the "Chamber Banquet Game Show" at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center at Missouri Southern State University.

—The chamber's 2024 Business of the Year award, which recognizes the impact of small businesses and not-for-profit organizations on a community's economy, job growth and creation of new products and services, went to two organizations:

—All Seasons Sign and Printing, in the category of 50 employees or fewer.

—Community Support Services of Missouri, in the category of 51 employees or more.

—The nonprofit winner was FosterAdopt Connect in Joplin.

—The Young Professional of the Year, an award that recognizes a Joplin Chamber member under age 40 who displays a commitment to the chamber's Young Professional's Network Program and who is a leader in the organization and the community, was Jessica Carr, with FORVIS.

—The Joseph Newman Rising Star Award, a new award this year, went to Unearth Potential. It honors a young and growing small business that is less than three years old and is introducing a new product, service, or model of doing business to the marketplace and is well on its way to achieving success in its industry.

—The Consider It Done Award was also introduced, given to an individual member who has demonstrated a consistent track record of supporting the chamber by committing time and resources to help fulfill the mission of the chamber and chamber events through the year. That award went to Rikki Smith with Freeman Health System.

—The Spirit Award is another new award at the 2024 banquet. The award recognizes a chamber member who exemplifies selfless dedication and enduring support to the mission of the chamber, the chamber states. Recipients of this award go out of their way to encourage and inspire their peers to follow their example and demonstrates a commitment to the success of chamber programming. Shawn Patterson, with Bug Zero Pest Services, earned the honor.

—Milestone Members at the banquet were FORVIS, which has been a chamber member for 100 years, and Ray Alburty Company and Joplin Supply Company, which have been members for 50 years.