Labor Day Shout-outs!

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 We all want to feel worthy and appreciated, and we need to make sure we are showing that same sense of appreciation back to those we work with every day. We gave our readers a chance to show their appreciation, and this is what they said...

Paul Couch

Submitted by Michael Truitt

Paul Couch (Production Control Manager at Angell-Demmel) is the best manager I've ever had. Great leader, great example, and great all-around guy. Sole breadwinner for his family of three children, Little League coach, and leader at one of Lebanon's oldest factories.

Chuck Rogers

Submitted by Diane Varney

Five years ago, I was offered a job working for Chuck Rogers. He is the Court Designated Worker for Marion and Washington counties. It was a four-year job for people that are 55 or older. I started with Chuck on Aug. 9, 2009. The job ended Aug. 10, 2013. 

That job was the best job I ever had! Chuck became a friend from day one and is still one of my closest friends. Chuck is the sweetest most wonderful person I have ever met. He was not only a boss but he is a friend. He is the most caring person I have ever met! He is always helping anyone in need and never expects anything in return! I have never talked to anyone that doesn't hold the highest respect for him! There was never a dull moment working with Chuck. I loved getting up and going to work. Chuck was there for me through some of the toughest times in my life, never judging always concerned how I was! I know that my words do not do him justice, but everyone that knows him will understand just what a wonderful person he is. If I could go back to work tomorrow, I would hope that Chuck Rogers would be my boss. I just think that everyone should know what a wonderful person he is!

State Farm team

Submitted by Erica L. Barnes, Agent

Without my team of five (Barbara Wright, Lois O'Daniel, John Bradshaw, Wes Carrico and Dee Smith) Erica Barnes State Farm would not be the office it is today. Their hard work, loyalty and commitment to our customers have made the difference between an average insurance agency and an exceptional agency. Because of my hardworking, efficient team our first two years has been more than successful. I have been able to become the community servant that I hoped to be because of their commitment to keep the office running while I am out. It is because of their countless hours in the office that we have grown each month and continue to grow. My team represents Erica Barnes State Farm on and off of the clock and I appreciate that. I also appreciate their passion, willingness to help others and the time they spend away from their families to be with State Farm.

Diane Evans

Submitted by Ara Tungate

Glasscock Elementary Teacher

I am honored to give a “shout out” to and express my appreciation for my co-worker, boss, friend and mentor Diane H. Evans. Diane very recently retired from the Marion County Board of Education. As a Marion County kid who had been called to teach, Diane was the boss who hired me and gave me that chance. She supported me while expecting me to grow as a teacher and person. She was definitely my boss but was “in the trenches” right along beside me at the same time. Never can I recall asking her a question that she didn’t answer or guide me to find the answer myself.

Diane was not only a boss, she is a friend to all who give her the chance. She was one of the first I went to and still go to in both crisis and joy. Diane was one of the first people to hold my babies and was literally “in my driveway” within minutes of my Daddy passing away. I can never give her the recognition she deserves but I’m blessed to know Diane H. Evans.

Missy Forrest

Submitted by Ruby Colvin, Kay Srna and Steve Warner

Missy Forrest is our favorite boss! She is our case manager supervisor at Communicare and works extremely hard all year long. She cares a lot about the consumers we serve, as well as her staff. She is always available to us even on her days off. She is very patient with us when there is something new we have to learn. Missy also advocates for both her staff and consumers. Those are just some of the reasons we want to honor her this Labor Day. Thank you Missy for all you do for others!

Gina Kirkland

Submitted by Harry VanWhy Jr.

I would like to take time this Labor Day to recognize and thank a very special and dedicated individual. Gina Kirkland has worked for me at VanWhy Tax Service for six years now. She has become a very valuable asset to me at my office and I would like to offer her my sincere thanks for all that she does. Gina is the welcoming and pleasant face at my front office. If my clients are not already friends with Gina when she greets them as they come in, they will be by the time they leave. Gina's "southern charm" makes you feel as though you have been friends for years. I must say that Gina is much more than just a front office receptionist. She is also the secretary that copies and collates all of the tax returns that I have prepared each day. That job can be very time consuming. Some days I know it could be overwhelming to a lot of folks. Gina, however, will work as long as necessary to get the job done. I can recall one Monday morning towards the end of tax season. I was working in the office preparing tax returns that morning at 3 a.m. when the front door opens and here comes Gina to collate and copy because she knew I had put in a long weekend. That kind of dedication is hard to find. I will close this by saying the friendly and professional manner that Gina Kirkland presents as the front office receptionist at VanWhy Tax Service is a most perfect fit. Her dedication and commitment to get the job done is so very much appreciated. I just wanted to tell her so!

Mike Phillips

Submitted by Nathan Smothers

I work for FREDS and it's a wonderful place! The people are friendly! This is the time to say thank you to my boss, a friendly kind and very professional man, Mike Phillips! There are only a short number of bosses out there that are like him! I'm glad I have him as my boss!

Thank you, Mike Phillips!


Submitted by Peoples Bank President/CEO Bobby Miles

In banking, we talk about “assets” all the time. At Peoples Bank, cash, loans, securities, buildings, equipment and many other items combine to form a balance sheet with over $50 million dollars of total assets. We were able to build this $50 million dollar balance sheet because of the trust and confidence our clients place with us each day to maintain their deposits and fulfill their various financial service needs.

Something else we often refer to in banking is “off-balance sheet” assets. Bank regulators are keenly interested in what makes up a bank’s off-balance sheet assets. Through the recent financial crisis that has beset the country, exotic and complex off-balance sheet assets destroyed many large financial institutions, and without government assistance would have destroyed many more companies (like AIG).

We are a small community bank, with an unsophisticated balance sheet. Therefore, we only have one sizeable off-balance sheet asset. The off-balance sheet asset that I am referring to is one that may not immediately come to mind, but it is absolutely the most important of all our assets, both on and off-balance sheet. Our most important off-balance sheet asset, by far, is our employees and board of directors. Actually, I should rephrase that and say we have 21 separate and distinct off-balance sheet assets, because each one of our employees and directors bring a separate and unique talent to our team.  

I have a staggering statistic for you. Our 21 employees and directors have accumulated over 400 years of combined service to our company. That’s an average of over 19 years per person.  I am the baby in the family, so to speak, with “only” five and a half years at the bank, but when you have valuable employees (“assets”) like Patsy Gribbins and Janie Drye at the other end of the spectrum, with 45 and 42 years, respectively, at Peoples Bank, it certainly helps the average. With 400 years of knowledge and experience among our employees and directors, Peoples Bank has been very richly rewarded with off-balance sheet assets (the good kind).        

With each day and year that passes, I consider myself more fortunate to have been asked to return home five years ago to lead this company and, more importantly, to lead this great group of employees and to serve at the pleasure of this board of directors. This Labor Day, I want to publicly say thank you to every member of our dedicated team.

Monica Henning

Submitted by Erica Jo Sallee Lawson

I found her in Jan 2011 when I was hired to wait tables while Kelly Cecil was on maternity leave. I was just looking for something temporary to make some extra money, but little did I know that I was walking into the family I didn't even know I had. The first time I called her the "boss-lady" she looked at me and said, "Don't call me the B-word!" I just laughed and asked what I was supposed to call her and she replied, "Just call me Monica." To this day she has stood true. She's not a "boss.” She's a leader! She's a wonderful person, a dear friend, and the best "boss" anyone could ask for! (But don't tell her I called her that!)

Peoples Bank President/CEO Bobby Miles

Submitted by Sr. Vice President at Peoples Bank Janice H. Crews

The Peoples Bank staff would like to show our public expression of appreciation to our boss and Bank President/CEO Bobby Miles. We are very fortunate that five years ago he made the decision to return to his hometown to utilize his banking expertise, which we are certain is second to none. Bobby is a kind, gentle, family man with strong work ethics and morals who would never ask any of his staff to perform a task he has not done or would not do himself. He has shared his knowledge and experience with us and guided us to become a much stronger, experienced and confident staff. Thank you, Bobby, for all you have given to us and for sharing your journey with us!