Long-time city employee and former interim city manager for almost two years Dana Daniel was honored with a luncheon to mark his retirement.

As a large crowd gathered at the Civic in downtown Neosho for a luncheon honoring Dana Daniel, Neosho Mayor Ben Baker welcomed those who attended.

"I want to say thank you for everyone who made a point to come out today," Baker said. "It's a special occasion. We want to make it special for Dana."

Dana Daniel served Neosho as interim city manager from November 2016 until September 2018, stepping down when new city manager Leland Butcher was hired. Prior to that, Daniel served as the Director of Economic Development for the city.

Missouri State Representative Bill Reiboldt presented Daniel with a proclamation from the sate, signed by speaker of the Missouri HouseTodd Richardson. Neosho Public Relations Director and Events Coordinator Paul Richardson presented Daniel with a painting from all the city employees.

Daniel, who attended with his wife, Marilyn, spoke to those who turned out for the event, thanking many of them individually before and after the luncheon.

"I appreciate this time today and I appreciate each of you," Daniel said. "I really prefer to be in the background and the last couple of years, I haven't been but I felt that's where God wanted me to be. Every day that I've gotten up, especially the last four years, I know I couldn't do it alone, God was there. God has blessed this town and not because of me. God hears our prayers. In the last two years, my wife Marilyn has given up so many hours without complaint. Our prayer is that each of you will be blessed and that the town will be blessed. You can make a difference in how this town operates. Thank you and God Bless."

Baker spoke about his working relationship and friendship with Daniel.

"He is a master communicator and leader. That's vital to be a leader. His heart was to do what was right for the City of Neosho. I've learned a lot from him. I appreciate his leadership. He has become a good friend. I will miss him and I know you will miss him. Thank you for your leadership and friendship."

Those attending the luncheon were provided an opportunity to speak about Daniel. Some of this who did included Jill Cornett with the Harry S. Truman Coordinating Council, John Ball, and retired state representative Kevin Wilson.

"Dana provided steady leadership," Wilson said. "It's always level. That's an attribute we really are missing in this nation right now."

"The City of Neosho is a better place because of you," Ball said.

Daniel's retirement was effective November 1. He and his wife plan to relocate to Arkansas to be closer to family members.

The luncheon was catered by Family Market of Neosho.