April Sorrow was named the Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year at the annual luncheon held on Nov. 20 at The Venue in Flowery Branch.

Sorrow is a Girl Scout leader and has coached softball teams and been active in the community, including through work with the Empowerment College and Career Center.

“Thank you all for honoring me with this award. In honoring me, you honor all of these people behind me and other people who are out there today. When I moved to Jackson County when I was 11 years old, I was in the middle of a personal hurricane and I was scared, very quickly you all wrapped me in this huge community hug. Really quickly, I was in a Girl Scout troop, I was on a basketball team. Those leaders had a huge impact on my life. They were a huge support system for me when I was a kid. Because of that, I think it is really important to give back in the lives of our young people. That is why I am a Girl Scout leader. That is why I coach. That is why I care about the Empowerment Center. These things are really important. You never know what kind of impact you are having on someone. Thank you for very much for honoring me with this. You are honoring yourselves. You are honoring your community. You honor all of these amazing people who were a part of building me and helping me be able to give back.”

The nominees for Woman of the year were: Karen Bridgeman, Rosa Crescenti, Kay Hardy, Jennifer Harrison, Jacqui Lister, Roshuanda Merritt, Michele Price and Natalie Thomas.

Past recipients are: Martha Martin, 2008; Dee Lavender, 2009; diAna Kunz Huckins, 2010; Dr. Emily Howell, 2011; Annette Studivant; 2012; Theresa Kenerly, 2013; Tracy Jordan, 2014; Jennifer Scott, 2015; Linda Foster, 2016; Ali Merk, 2017; and Janis Mangum, 2018.

The keynote speaker at the annual luncheon was Barbara Dooley, who spoke on some of the humorous experiences during her marriage to Vince Dooley, the former long-time head coach for the University of Georgia Bulldogs. She is an author and radio and television personality known for her volunteer and community service as well as her real estate career.

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