Mitchell Drilling Awarded 2012 Large Business of the Year


Businesses of the Year Awarded at Annual Chamber Dinner


As outgoing president of the Carmi Chamber of Commerce, one of the final responsibilities for JC Tinsley was to honor the 2012 Small Business of the Year and the 2012 Large Business of the Year. After talking about his time at the helm of the organization and the things he was most proud of that were accomplished, Tinsley announced Jo Haley’s Merle Norman Cosmetics and Boutique as the 2012 Small Business of the Year and George Mitchell Drilling Company as the 2012 Large Business of the Year.

Haley took over the Merle Norman business in 2007 and has built up a reputation for quality items and service. She has remodeled the facility, located on East Main Street, and has increased her inventory to include various new items, showing growth for a smaller business in Carmi. Haley thanked the Chamber for the honor and also thanked her husband, Henry, who she referred to as her “fishing partner” for his support in purchasing the business five years ago.

Mitchell Driling 2012 Large Business of the Year

Tinsley then introduced a business that has been in operation in Carmi since 1939. George Mitchell Drilling Company puts meaning back into the term “family business” that currently has three generations working side by side to keep the company competitive in their industry. George, Chris and Ryan Mitchell bring different skills to the table for the company, which now employs 85 people. The reputation of providing quality work and innovative advancement has kept George Mitchell Drilling at the top of its game for more than seven decades. Chris and George Mitchell accepted the award from Tinsley on behalf of the company with Chris pointing out, “Our business is all about people. We are where we are today because of the people involved with us. It is a true family operation that came from Oklahoma.”

Tinsley now moves into role as past president of the Chamber and passes the torch to incoming president Doug Devore. Tinsley noted when he came on board, he “had statements to make and things to do,” and was “ready to dig in and get my paws dirty and make a difference.” In recent months, he has reflected on his time at the Chamber and pointed out some of the items that have been advanced during his time in the Chamber. Some of the events that have seen improvement include the e-newsletter for the Chamber, the Radio Days fundraiser that now includes an on-air auction and assistance with the Home and Garden Expo this past spring. He said with the board’s approval, he will continue to work on the street lamp banner program, which will be a solid fundraiser for the Chamber in years to come. Tinsley noted it was a definite “we” concept that got a lot of things done and he complimented many people for their commitment to the Chamber, including outgoing executive director Glenn Coleman, who left his post Monday, Oct. 1 to pursue a new bed and breakfast venture complete with a patio grill and state of the art convention area. Ashleigh Knight, who was introduced to the crowd earlier in the evening, has been hired to replace Coleman as executive director of the Chamber.