The Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce honored top volunteers and businesses at its annual dinner, held Thursday, Jan. 28, at Chapman Hill in Jefferson.
A smaller banquet was held this year due to COVID-19 with the awards ceremony also being presented virtually.
The awards recipients were:
•Ambassador of the Year, Michele Murphy - Primerica.
•Citizen of the Year, Jeff and Sherry Grant - iServe Ministries.
•William H. Booth Lifetime Achievement Award, Mayor Doug Haynie - City of Arcade.
•Chamber Volunteer of the Year, Michele Price - Visiting Angels.
•Small Business of the Year - Jaemor Farms at Banks Crossing, Daphne Echols Hendrix.
•Large Business of the Year - Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton.
CHAMBER LEADERS SPEAK
Chamber president and CEO Jim Shaw opened the banquet saying the event would "celebrate the companies that made it a great year." Outgoing chairman Joe Hicks also spoke and said the chamber "has served as a unifying force" during 2020 as challenges arose due to COVID-19.
"The chamber rose to the occasion and will continue to do so," Hicks said.
Outgoing board of directors, Andy Garrison, April Howard, Roshuanda Merritt and Jonathan Milford, were recognized.
Hicks "passed the gavel" to the incoming chamber chairman for 2021, Dylan Wilbanks. Wilbanks spoke on some of the plans for 2021, including forming a Junior Leadership Class comprised of high school students and moving the chamber office to the new Empower College and Career Center (which will be located at Jackson County Comprehensive High School when the new high school opens).
Wilbanks also recognized the new board of directors, Jon Howell, Donna McMullan, Stacey Rucker, Kendell Sims and Randy Winfied.