The Chamber had 219 in attendance at the Community Leadership Awards Banquet held at the ARK Community & Sports Center.

The Waynesville-St. Robert Chamber of Commerce 2018 Citizen of the Year is Rick Morris. Rick was nominated by the Association of the United States Army FLW-Mid-MO. 

The Chamber had 219 in attendance at the Community Leadership Awards Banquet held at the ARK Community & Sports Center.  

The 2018 Chamber Organization of the Year, Pulaski County Museum and Historical Society, was recognized for their dedication to preserving the history & memory of Pulaski County, Missouri's pioneer families and the rich culture, heritage, and traditions that they bestowed upon us. They continue their tradition with the Chamber, allowing the chance to have an upfront and personal experience with Pulaski County history through the Route 66 Challenge and Leadership Pulaski County.

The 2018 Volunteer of the Year, Carol Patton, was recognized for her aid to the Chamber in immeasurable ways. She has demonstrated her constant willingness to volunteer, being there to lend a hand whenever and wherever the Chamber needs it, even with late or no notice at all.

At any Chamber function you’re sure to see the bright blue jackets worn by the members of the Chamber’s Ambassador Club. They are the Chamber’s army of volunteers, and it is a special privilege to honor them for their dedicated service. The Chamber recognizes two Ambassadors of the Year for 2018, Russ Dixon and Laura Schoephorster. The Ambassador of the Year is determined by attendance at Chamber functions throughout the year. This year we have a tie for the number of points earned, 82. Russ Dixon earned them by attending 67 events and Laura Schoephorster earned them by 64 attended events out of 79 total events.

About CSM (R) Rick Morris

Rick’s selfless service to our community and incredible leadership to a myriad of areas throughout our community have made a positive impact and will be felt for years to come. Rick is the Epitome of the Citizen of the Year. Rick served twenty-three years in the US Army and retired as a Command Sergeant Major. His service to our Community didn’t start when he retired; it started when he was leader in the MP School moving her with the BRAC 95 move in 1999. Rick’s involvement with organizations like the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club (He was the President and Vice President from 1999-2003) and bought it back to life with events that helped Soldiers and families: Inaugural events such as Adopt a Highway, Food Drives, and other events that impacted and addressed the needs of Military Families. Rick organized and stood up the Ozarks Chapter of the Military Police Regimental Association (MPRA) and doubled the membership of the National Association by organizing an effective membership routine that inspired new MP’s to join, this enabled the MP Memorial Grove to flourish into the beautiful grounds that it is today. Rick also jumped in and assisted the Association of the US Army (AUSA) in their events and helped connect community members to Military units. Rick also was and continues to be involved in the Sergeants Major Association that continues to positively impact our community and families. Rick is decorated Combat Veteran of Afghanistan and retired from the Army in 2006 and chose our community as a place to call home. 

Rick has been a shining example of a Veteran, a Business Leader/Owner and Volunteer. His involvement and results have been nothing short of stellar. 

Rick has been a Leader in our Chapter for the past 12 years: he has helped develop the Warrior in Town Program, The Warrior in Need Program and numerous other programs that help our Community and Soldiers and families in need. He’s involvement has helped raise over $250,000 in support to Warriors. From working numerous weekends volunteering building an elevator on a Veterans house, to assisting victims of the tornado that swept through post, Rick was always out-front ensuring that families were taken care of. While Rick was president of the Chapter we were recognized as the Best Chapter in the Army. In 2014, Rick was awarded the Sergeant Major of the Army Bainbridge Medal for his impact. 

Rick has been on the Tourism Board for the past eleven years and has been the president for the past four. He has been an inspiration in showcasing Pulaski County and led actions for our marketing programs such as billboards, the digital sign, and he organized the Hotel and Lodging Association. He routinely travels to DC and our State Capitol to advocate for our Community and his recent efforts helped repeal actions that were devastating to our hotel owners, soldiers and families. 

Rick and the company he leads are 100% engaged in Chamber events; they have repeatedly won the Chili cook-off, they have been recognized as Charitable Business of the Year and he has been named outstanding Contributor of the Year. He inspires his employees to volunteer and lead; his team is always ready to support and lead events. 

Rick was the Honorary Chairman in 2015 and led the effort to raise over $85,000 during the Tree of Lights Campaign. He continues to assist and volunteer to this incredibly worthy cause. 

Rick has been the Chairman of the Committee of Fifty since 2014 and continues to advocate for promoting the strength and expansion of Fort Leonard Wood. 

Rick has been a leader in the Sustainable Ozarks Partnership (SOP) and strong voice for sustainability for our region. Rick travels frequently to visit with Army Leaders, Congressional delegates and other agencies to showcase our community and identify opportunities for growth. 

Rick is involved in other organizations such as Pulaski County Growth Alliance (PCGA), Rotary Club of Pulaski County, Waynesville R-VI Schools, Rick has volunteered with the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) and mentors through his personal experiences in business. He has also been a judge for the District and Stat Competitions. Rick has mentored aspiring entrepreneurs on business planning and development and helped newcomers be successful.

Rick has been a champion for our community and is a proud member who tirelessly gives back to make our community the best!