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City of Huntington to recognize 2011 Wall of Fame inductees

Aug. 10, 2011 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- The City of Huntington Foundation has announced its 2011 inductees for the Greater Huntington Wall of Fame.

The inductees are: Thomas J. Bell; Terry W. Fenger, Ph.D..; Maxine Kitchen Loudermilk; Robert E. "Bob" Tweel; and Ron E. Smith.

The foundation, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, picked the inductees at a Aug. 4 meeting.

They will be recognized at an induction ceremony Thursday, Oct. 13, at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena. The reception will be at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m. with the induction ceremony starting at approximately 8 p.m.

Reservations are required and can be made by contacting foundation President Loudermilk at 304-696-5522 or loudermilkm@cityofhuntington.com. Tickets are $50 for individual tickets; $1,000 for a corporate table or $500 for a half corporate table.

Here is more information about the inductees:

THOMAS J. BELL: Bell arrived in Huntington in 1978. He has a bachelor's degree in business administration from Kent State University and pursued graduate studies at University of Michigan and University of Pittsburgh. He serves as the executive director of the Huntington Municipal Development Authority and economic development director for Huntington. Under his leadership in those positions, he has helped bring new tenants to KineticPark, including Amazon.com. He has been longtime member of the Huntington Rotary Club, serving as a Paul Harris Fellow, president and district governor. He is a member of the First United Methodist Church where he previously served as chairman of the Finance Committee and the Administrative Board. He serves on the United Methodist Foundation Board of West Virginia. Bell is a past and longtime member of Goodwill Industries Board of Directors. He recently received a National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Conservation Award for his many endeavors in taking care of our beautiful surrounding in the city of Huntington.

TERRY W. FENGER, Ph.D..: Fenger was born and raised in northern Illinois, and attended Northern Illinois University Dekalb, Ill., and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, where he received his doctorate in microbiology in 1976. He conducted post-doctoral research on the replication of measles virus and herpes virus infection of the eye. When that work was complete, he accepted a position of assistant professor of microbiology at Marshall University. Fenger was involved in the establishment of the Marshall University Forensic Science Center through his work with the West Virginia State Police Crime Laboratory. After Fenger's work in the Glen Dale Woodall case, where a man was acquitted of rape through DNA evidence, the professor developed graduate level courts to workers in the crime lab. That program has since grown into a highly successful educational, research and service center that addressed the need of the national forensic science community and brings recognition and economic benefits to Marshall University and Huntington.

MAXINE KITCHEN LOUDERMILK: Loudermilk was born in Huntington and is a graduate of Huntington East High School and attended Marshall University. She has a long record of volunteer work, including her involvement with the City of Huntington Foundation since 1994. She currently serves as the organization's president. Other volunteer work includes Huntington Rotary Club; past vice president of the Huntington Kiwanis Club; past president of the Kiwanis Daycare Center; former member of the Huntington Lions Club; member of the Service Corps of Retired Executives; member of the Women of the Moose Chapter 2223 in 2001, and has served as Senior Regent, Recorder and Graduate Regent, and her personal honors include Green Cap, Academy of Friendship and College of Regents. She was nominated for the Women of the Moose's award 2011-2012 International Co-Worker of the Year. Under her supervision, the City of Huntington Foundation formed the 5th Avenue Theatre Company in 2000. The theater company has produces more than 15 plays and raised money for the foundation.

RON E. SMITH: Smith was born in Parkersburg and graduated from St. Mary's High School and attended Marshall University. Smith started in business with a record store called Opus One, but his passion for Mexican cooking led to his opening of Chili Willi's Mexican Cantina in 1983. The small 32-seat diner at 1019 4th Ave. was so successful that it eventually lead to an expanded restaurant on the corner of 13th Street and 4th Avenue. Smith also created ChiliFest in downtown Huntington, which has grown into an event that attracts more than 20,000 people each year. The event is a qualifying cookoff for the International Chili Society's State Championship as well as a fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Tri-State. So far, the festival has raised $374, 370 for the house. Smith served 15 years on the Huntington Urban Renewal Authority and was president of HURA during the time Pullman Square was proposed and completed. He also served on the Boards of Directors of the Huntington Area Chamber of Commerce, Huntington Main Street, Huntington Municipal Development Authority, Huntington Municipal Parking Authority, the Ronald McDonald Charities of the Tri-State and is the current president of the parish council of St. George Creek Orthodox Church. He was finalist in Inc. Magazine-Ernst & Young's West Virginia Entrepreneur of the year. He graduated in the Leadership Tri-State Class of 1997.

ROBERT E. "BOB" TWEEL (1932-2009): Robert Ellis "Bob" Tweel graduated from Huntington High School and Marshall College. He was known for his singing early in his career and was in demand to sing for weddings and the national anthem for area events. He performed with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Huntington Symphony Orchestra, Marshall University Musical Arts Guild where he played the King of Siam in the "King and I." He began his teaching career in Mason County in 1961 at Hannan High School. He accepted the band director position at Huntington East High School in 1962 and made it his career for 37 years. He also taught at several end elementary schools as well as Enslow Junior High School. He directed church choirs in the area such as Vinson Memorial Church, the Second Presbyterian Church and Trinity Episcopal Church. He was a member of the Educators National Conference, National Educators Association, Cabell County Education Association, Music Educators Association and treasurer of the National Jazz Association as well as a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity.