MT. VERNON — Annual award recipients presented by the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce were announced Tuesday.
Named as Small Business Person(s) of the Year are Marshall and Sandi Newell of Newell Furniture and The General Store, based in Woodlawn. Larry Smith was named Citizen of the Year, Matt Flanigan is the Young Professional of the Year and Bill Beck was named recipient of the President's Award.
"It used to be Endicott (Lyle) Interiors and I worked for him 21 years," said Marshall Newell. "He was like a second dad to me. I kind of learned the business from him, we hung around, and ended up buying it."
The Newells have owned the business since 1999 after working for the Endicotts and another family. Between them, the couple has over 50 years of experience in the furniture business.
"There are a lot of furniture stores so we try to make it as entertaining as possible," said Sandi Newell. "We do a lot of visual displays so women can get good ideas and enjoy coming. We've built onto the General Store four times because as sales people we listen and they mention things they would like to have. We try to make the store like a 'wow' experience. We've coined the phrase, 'a feel good store' because that's what everybody calls us."
The Newells are heavily involved in civic and social organizations. They pride themselves on running a business with integrity, respect and honesty, information states.
"Sandi and Marshall put their heart into their business. I have known them professionally for years and they always to quality work," stated James Richard, owner of Furniture Mattress Outlet.
Smith, a former construction tradesman, was instrumental in the renovation of Lifeboat Alliance Family Shelter. He is a CASA advocate, Senior Saint and has served on the Habitat for Humanity Board, as well as Jefferson County Comprehensive Services.