Former Arkansas Rural Development Commission Chairman Sam E. Angel, II, of Lake Village, recently was awarded one of the state’s most prestigious awards.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Rural Services Director Alex Johnston and Economic Development Commission Deputy Director Amy Fecher, presented Angel with the 2015 Rural Advocate of the Year award at the Arkansas Rural Development Conference held May 19-21 in Little Rock.

The Rural Advocate of the Year award is one of the most prestigious awards in the state and recognizes Arkansans who provide exemplary service to rural areas. The Rural Development Commission selects an honoree each year, and past recipients of the award include Senators David Pryor and Dale Bumpers, former state legislators James Scott, Randy Laverty and Phil Jacobs, Lake Village Mayor Jo Ann Bush, Annett Pagan, and former members of the ARDC, Bruce Leggitt and Senator Larry Teague.

“I am truly humbled and honored to receive The Rural Advocate of the Year award,” Angel said. “I would like to thank Governor Asa Hutchinson, the Rural Development Commission, and the Department of Rural Services for this recognition. I strive every day to make my community a better place to live, work and raise a family.”

Angel was elected to the Lake Village City Council in 1991 and was later elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 1994. After serving for six years in the state legislature, he returned to local government and was again elected to Lake Village City Council, where he continues to serve today. He is also the Lake Village Fire Chief, Captain of the Chicot County Sheriff’s Reserve, Board Chairman of the Chicot County Memorial Medical Center and is a member of the Lake Village Economic Development Commission, and the Bank of Lake Village Board of Directors.