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Walmart Academy opens with commencement and ribbon cutting

This center will bring 90 Walmart employees per week into Columbia from 20 different stores around the state. Columbia was selected, according to Andy Watts, Training Academy Manager, because of its central location in the state, parkway convenience and the fact that "it's just a really good store."
Click on headline for complete story with big album of this Historic Red Letter Day event in Columbia.

By Linda Waggener

The Walmart 569 Academy held its first commencement this morning Thursday, January 19, 2017 along with a Grand Opening ceremony in its new facility at the Columbia Walmart Superstore -- the first of its kind in Kentucky and, as County Judge/Executive Michael Lee Stephens said, "it's a great day for Adair County."

VFW Post 6097 presented colors. The opening prayer was delivered by Dean Adams, Lindsey Wilson College Vice President of Student Services and Enrollment Management. Retired Naval veteran Bill Hobaugh delivered the Pledge of Allegiance. Andy Watts, Academy Manager and the Adair County Middle School Cheerleaders led the Walmart Cheer.

The following Forty-nine Walmart employees from the Columbia store completed the 5-days of course requirements and were presented framed certificates of achievement:


Amanda Abbott, Darrien Akin, Melissa Akin, Patricia Anderson, Amanda Bell, Angela Brown, Michelle Brown, Beverly Burress, Joy Burrows, Debra Chambers, Megan Chapman, Vickie Clark Ashley Daniel, Heather Derman, Brittani Deselve, Joe Edmonds

Lori Fleurdelys, Jackie Graves, Tammy Hadley, Tabitha Harper, Beth Henningsen, Gary Hodges, Tammy Hodson, Riley Isenberg David Jessie, Chris Matthews, Monica Mercer, Carmella Mings, Paula Olson, Stevie Parson, Josh Phillips, Twila Phillips, Kristina Railsback,

Kaylee Sanders, Rachel Sasser, David Sharp, Billy Smith, Drew Smith, Rebekah Sneed, Becky Spires, Leslie Stephens, Santana Stinson, Kathy Tartar, Tracy Taylor, Trent Taylor, Nicholas Walls, Phyllis Warriner, Susan Willis, and Anna Viers. (Bold designates Store supervisors.
The Adair County High School Band and Lindsey Wilson College Band were both on hand to provide music, including "Pomp & Circumstance" the National Anthem.

Walmart presented checks to Lindsey Wilson College, the Adair County 911 Center, and the Chamber of Commerce. The closing message was delivered by Sam Scharbrough, store manager.

The Columbia Training Academy Team includes:

- Academy Manager: Andy Watts.

- Academy Coordinator: Robin Smith.

- Facilitators: Traci Stotts, Mindy Alexander, Bryan Jones and Tammy Courtney. Training Facilitors: Tammy Hodson, Joe Edmonds, Vickie Clark, and Austin Hill.

- Training Facilitators: Tammy Hodson, Joe Edmonds, Vickie Clark, and Austin Hill.

- Academy DMs: Becky Spires, Amanda Abbott, Riley Isenberg, Tammy Hadley and Tabitha Harper.

- Store manager is Sam Scarbrough.
- Assistant Managers are Cameron Garmon, Kelly McCann, Crystal Bryant, Hannah Streeval, Cody Sando, Colin Jacobson, Audrey Jones, and Josh Grider.


This story was posted on 2017-01-19 09:28:19
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Columbia KY Walmart Training Academy's first graduates



2017-01-19 - Columbia Walmart, 2988 Burkesville Road. Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener, columbiamagazine.com.
These are the faces of the 49 Proud Columbia Associates who received certificates of achievement in the Walmart 569 Academy's first commencement. Pictured (not in order) are: Amanda Abbott, Darrien Akin, Melissa Akin, Patricia Anderson, Amanda Bell, Angela Brown, Michelle Brown, Beverly Burress, Joy Burrows, Debra Chambers, Megan Chapman, Vickie Clark Ashley Daniel, Heather Derman, Brittani Deselve, Joe Edmonds. Lori Fleurdelys, Jackie Graves, Tammy Hadley, Tabitha Harper, Beth Henningsen, Gary Hodges, Tammy Hodson, Riley Isenberg David Jessie, Chris Matthews, Monica Mercer, Carmella Mings, Paula Olson, Stevie Parson, Josh Phillips, Twila Phillips, Kristina Railsback. Kaylee Sanders, Rachel Sasser, David Sharp, Billy Smith, Drew Smith, Rebekah Sneed, Becky Spires, Leslie Stephens, Santana Stinson, Kathy Tartar, Tracy Taylor, Trent Taylor, Nicholas Walls, Phyllis Warriner, Susan Willis, and Anna Viers.

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ACMS cheerleaders helped Walmart leaders lead the cheer



2017-01-19 - Columbia Walmart, 2988 Burkesville Road. Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener, columbiamagazine.com.
The Adair County Middle School cheerleaders were on the stage helping Walmart managers lead the famous cheer the chain is known for at the start of the Training Academy's first graduation exercise and grand opening. Others from the community serving at the celebration were VFW Post 6097 presenting the colors, The opening prayer was delivered by Dean Adams, Lindsey Wilson College Vice President of Student Services and Enrollment Management. Retired Naval veteran Bill Hobaugh delivered the Pledge of Allegiance.

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Brenda Bennett one of three Charter Associates for 32 years



2017-01-19 - Columbia Walmart, 2988 Burkesville Road. Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener, columbiamagazine.com.
Brenda Bennett, standing, was one of three "charter associates" along with David Jessie and Steve Parson recognized. The three began with the Columbia store on its first day 32 years ago where Tractor Supply is located today. The new Supercenter has been in its present location for the past 11 years.

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Ribbon cutting at new Walmart Training Academy



2017-01-19 - Columbia Walmart, 2988 Burkesville Road. Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener, columbiamagazine.com.
Hands on the official opening ribbon, surrounded by Training Academy graduates and Walmart managers, are from left: Andy Watts, Training Academy Manager; the three charter associates Steve Parson (holding the big ribbon cutting scissors), Brenda Bennett and David Jessie; Columbia Walmart Store Manager, Sam Scarbrough; and Facilitator, Traci Stotts.

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911 received a Walmart gift at the Academy opening



2017-01-19 - Columbia Walmart, 2988 Burkesville Road. Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener, columbiamagazine.com.
The Adair County 911 Center was one of three organizations to receive a grant at the opening celebration of the new Walmart Training Academy. Accepting the check, above, is Adair 911 Director Jason Upchurch.

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Walmart gift awarded to LWC Campus Kitchen Project



2017-01-19 - Columbia Walmart, 2988 Burkesville Road. Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener, columbiamagazine.com.
Walmart awarded three grants to community organizations during their opening celebration of the Training Academy. One was given to the LWC Campus Kitchen Project working for hunger relief. Holding the check, above, is Natalie Vickous, Bonner Program Coordinator at Lindsey Wilson College. - - Linda Waggener

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Chamber of Commerce receives Walmart grant at celebration



2017-01-19 - Columbia Walmart, 2988 Burkesville Road. Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener, columbiamagazine.com.
Columbia Store Manager Sam Scarbrough, at left, quoted Walmart founder Sam (Mr. Sam) Walton who said, each store should support the vision of the community it serves.” As a part of the new Training Academy opening celebratin, the store gave Walmart grants to three organizations. One of the three was the Columbia Adair County Chamber of Commerce. Accepting the gift from Academy Manager Andy Watts are Sue Stivers, Chamber Executive Director, and Ellen Zornes Chamber president at right.

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Walmart Training Academy brings 15 jobs to Columbia



2017-01-20 - Burkesville Road and Cumberland Parkway, Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener, columbiamagazine.com.
This poster in the new Walmart Training Academy shows "Who's Who" in the department located at the back of Columbia's Supercenter. Fifteen people have jobs there in addition to the regular management.

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Edmonton graduate of new Walmart Training Academy



2017-01-20 - Burkesville Road and Cumberland Parkway, Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener, columbiamagazine.com.
Rebekah Sneed, one of the first members of the new Walmart Training Academy to graduate in the opening ceremony, was joined by her husband Jack and their little son, Aiden, four and a half months. Rebekah, a two-year Walmart employee, said she was able to come back to start the training course at the end of her pregnancy leave and is looking forward to how it will help her career.

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Steve Parson's story was highlighted in Walmart celebration



2017-01-23 - Burkesville Road and Cumberland Parkway, Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener, columbiamagazine.com.
Local store leaders, including three charter associates who've been with this store since the first day, were recognized during the the opening celebration of Columbia's new Walmart Training Academy. Brenda Bennett, David Jessie and Steve Parson were given special recognition. The journey of Steve Parson was shared, along with the documentation he has kept in a huge binder, and this keepsake photo of Steve (center) and coworkers Jackie, Molly, Randy, Quinn and David a few years ago. When he heard Walmart was coming to town Steve made a call directly to Sam Walton in Bentonville, AR. While he didn’t get to speak directly with Mr. Sam, his message did get through and Mr. Sam’s secretary mailed an application to Steve. Obviously Steve's call to "Mr. Sam" and follow up worked because 32 years ago on Halloween night in 1984 he began his career, working beside David. Steve says, “The 32 years as a Walmart associate have helped me to pay my bills, buy a home and raise my children.”

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