Keith Griffin, Kim Owen and Britt Burris were the 2011 honorees at the Star City Chamber of Commerce banquet on January 12, 2011

Griffin Funeral Services, Kim Owen, and Britt Burris were recognized for their contributions to Star City when the Star City Chamber of Commerce presented its annual awards to the Business of the Year, Man of the Year, and Woman of the Year at the Chamber of Commerce awards banquet Thursday night. 

Business of the Year honors went to Griffin Funeral Services, which has served families in Lincoln County for more than 75 years. Keith Griffin, the current owner, took over the family business in 1979 and later purchased four others in Southeast Arkansas and built another facility in Pine Bluff.

Griffin Funeral Services and its employees have been a significant part of the community through their involvement with Relay For Live, the annual Star Daze Festival, youth athletics, the public school system, health and senior fairs and other community events and functions.

Star City Chamber of Commerce first vice president Amy Allen, who presented the Business of the Year award to Griffin, said he was a crucial part of her business start-up 10 years ago.

“I personally look up to the owner because he was an integral part of starting up my business 10 years ago with his entrepreneurial ideas and knowledge of finance, marketing and business, that’s why this year’s business of the year award goes to Keith Griffin and his staff at Griffin Funeral Services,” Allen said.

In accepting the award, Griffin said Star City is a great community with great people and he is very appreciative of the award.

“I don’t know if we deserve this award but we certainly appreciate it and I hope you feel we’re worthy of it,” Griffin said.

Woman of the Year honors went to Kim Owen, an LPN at Gardner Nursing Center and active volunteer in the community.

She has been the chairperson for Relay for Life several years and is involved in the Lincoln County Fair Senior Day as well as other community events.

“Anything that comes down the line you can count on this person to be there and get stuff done,” said Jim Towers. “She is dedicated to her job and the residents of Gardner Nursing Center. She’s been an LPN, treatment nurse and does our CNA scheduling. She’s been there many, many years. To find a good person in that business is truly a gift from God and I’m honored to say I work with her.”

“Thank y’all so much,” Owen said, accepting the award. “I just do what I love and try to give back to the community I love. Thank y’all so much.”

Man of the Year honors went to Britt Burris, a loan officer at the Bank of Star City and active volunteer in the community.

Burris, who is involved in virtually all community events, many times working at the events up to 36 hours before going home, raised nearly $34,000 for the community last year, Bank of Star City president Mark Owen said in presenting the award to Burris.

“You hear a lot of us older heads talk about the younger generation and their work ethic… but every now and then, you have that exception that comes along,” Owen said, referring to Burris.

Owen said Burris is young, aggressive and shows as much love for his job as anyone he’s ever known.

Burris is a graduate of Monticello High School and the University of Arkansas at Monticello. He and his wife, the former Lindsey Free, have one child.

In accepting the award, Burris said he was honored to be recognized by the community.