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Two longtime staples in Owen County business were honored at the 12th annual Owen County Chamber of Commerce meeting Nov. 27.
The chamber honors an outstanding businessperson and business each year, chosen by the meeting committee. Nominations are taken from the membership.
The winner of this year’s outstanding businessperson of the year was Bud Forsee, owner of Meadowview Shopwise.
Forsee attended the University of Kentucky before working with a local funeral home and ambulance service for approximately three years. Afterward, he began working for Eades Grocery and eventually went into partnership with the owner for two and a half years.
In the 1970s, Forsee and Bobby Wesbter built Meadowview on the corner of the Forsee farm where it is still located today.
“This business has been my life,” Forsee said after accepting the award. “When I look out on this crowd I see former employees of mine, friends and family and you’ve all been a part of making this business a success.”
Meadowview has employed several hundred people over the years, the majority being students. Meadowview currently maintains approximately 25 full and part-time employees.
This winner of this year’s outstanding business of the year award dates back to the 19th century.
The winner, First Farmers Bank & Trust Company, received its charter on April 29, 1884, and is also incorporated in First Farmers Bank.
The bank has branches in Owenton, Warsaw, New Liberty and Gratz.
First Farmers was the first in the community to offer Internet banking and bill pay and recently began offering mobile banking.
Darryl Traylor, president and CEO of First Farmers Bank & Trust Company, accepted the award.
“This is an honor for us,” Traylor said. “We’ve always put our customers first and we’ll continue to do that.”
Ronnie Dunavent was added to the Owen County Retired Teachers’ Wall of Fame.
Dunavent taught school in Owen County for 31-years. Along with teaching, Dunavent coached baseball and along with several others, developed the summer baseball program.
The chamber also honored retiring state representative Royce Adams, Veronica Gayle, director of Owen County’s Adult Education program and outgoing chamber president Dallas Stafford.
The Leadership Owen County Class of 2012 was also recognized.
State Senator and former Kentucky governor Julian Carroll, D-Frankfort, was this year’s keynote speaker and shed some light on the future of senate redistricting.
Under the state constitution, redistricting must be done every 10 years but doesn’t spell out exactly when the procedure has to take place, Carroll said.
During the 2011 session Kentucky lawmakers formed a senate district map that reflected changes in the commonwealth’s population.
One of the changes moved Owen County from Damon Thayer’s, R-Georgetown,17th district and into Carroll’s seventh district which includes Anderson, Franklin, Woodford and parts of Fayette counties.
Earlier this year, the Kentucky Supreme Court deemed House Bill 1, which outlined the redistricting, unconstitutional.
“I hope that we are able to get the issue resolved at some point and I hope I end up with Owen County,” Carroll said.