BVCC History

The Bella Vista Computer Club was incorporated in 1995.  The original officers and Board members included John Ruehle (Pres), Robert Coleman (VP), Arvie Matalon (Sec/Treas), Earl Cummings, Dean Dufur, and William Youngman.  Robert Colemen and Earl Cummings were still listed on a November 2008 roster, but none of the original Board were left on the roster in 2011.   Based on a Weekly Vista interview of John Ruehle in 1999, BVCC began in 1988 with five members; but was not incorporated until 1995.   John Ruehle served as President from September 1994 through August 2000, at which point he ceased to be a member of the Board.

The first BVCC Training Center was established by the BVCC Board at 1493 Forest Hills Blvd in November 2000 and was named the "John R. Ruehle Center".   The timing was dictated both by a need for a Training Center closer than Gravette, but also to provide a place for the Board to meet other than John Ruehle's home.   My understanding is that BVCC officers and especially then-President Chuck Billman worked during the planning stages of Highlands Crossing Center in Bella Vista to lay out the facility that is now the John R. Ruehle BVCC Training Center.  BVCC moved into those facilities in September 2004 and carried over the name of the previous Training Center.  

It has taken many dedicated volunteers over the years to keep BVCC functional -- serving as officers or Board members, teaching classes, giving programs, working at the Help Clinics, maintaining the Training Center, and doing all the other tasks necessary to keep things working.   We need more to help.   You don't need to be an expert to start.   Some who became our greatest assets started as neophytes but learned through classes and experience with BVCC to become experts!

The 2005-06 Board of Directors approved a plaque to honor members for outstanding service to BVCC.   Individuals were selected based on their years of service and the amount and variety of work they have done for BVCC.   That plaque was presented at the September 2006 General Meeting with the first three names, and is now displayed on the wall at the BVCC John Ruehle Training Center.  

    Those honored September 2006:
Chuck Billman  

Helen Weeks  

Ryan Smith  

    Those honored August 2007:
Earl Cummings
Marie Herr

    Those honored September 2008:
Mary Lou Zolli
Richard ("Dick") Clark
Pauline Clark

    Those honored September 2009:
Julea Bell
Blake Collins
Rose Krier
Don Schatz

    Those honored September 2010:
Don Hood
Jim Prince
Linda Young

    Those honored August 2013:
Nancy Jones
Ann Schaefer
Nan DeLaney

    Those honored August 2023:
Joel Ewing  

Woody Ogden  

The lack of any additions to the plaque between 2013 and 2023 was not intentional, but was a side effect of Chuck Billman's death in December 2015, followed by Ryan Smith's death in November 2016.   The loss of these two individuals who were heavily committed to BVCC also resulted in the loss of some the historical traditions of BVCC, including the periodic recognition of members on the BVCC plaque.   The intent of the Board is to try to revive that tradition.   The only reason why some of past honorees do not also have their contributions to BVCC listed is that first-hand knowledge is lacking, and time has been scarce to do a detailed search through all the old BVCC minutes and newsletters.