The Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce presented its William H. Booth Lifeftime Achievement award to Jim Scott, founder and organizer of the Jackson County Community Outreach program that awards scholarships each year to high school seniors in the community at its annual banquet Jan. 31.
Scott founded the program in 1998 when it awarded a scholarship for $1,000.
Since then, the JCCO has awarded $246,500 in scholarships to high school and GED graduates.
The group held its 21st banquet in December at the Jefferson Civic Center. It gave 23 scholarships to graduates that totaled $28,000.
In 2016, the group began a scholarship of $2,000 to a technical college student. Three scholarships were awarded this year to students who will attend technical schools.
Scott is the president of JCCO and heads a board of 16 other people.
“Jackson County is a vibrant and diverse growing county that the workforce produced has not always matched up with the need,” Scott said for the recent awards banquet.
Other recognitions at the chamber banquet, held Jan. 31 at the Jefferson City Center, went to:
Ambassador of the Year – Thom Price, Visiting Angels, Hoschton.
Small Business of the Year – Wilco Printing, Kathy and Kevin Lindberg, owners, Braselton.
Large Business of the Year – Toyota Industries Compressor Parts America and TD Automotive Compressor Georgia, represented by Ken Suito and Hayward Sanders, for TICA, and Clint Cummings, with TD Automotive Compressor Georgia.
Volunteer of the Year – Natalie Thomas, director for the Commerce Downtown Development Authority.
Citizen of the Year – Patricia Massey, who lives in Commerce and works at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center.
The 2019 and 2020 chairmen of the chamber’s board of directors gave brief presentations. Both encouraged the chamber to look to the future.
Andy Garrison, the 2019 chair, said, “Our gift to our self is to be involved.”
He thanked the outgoing members of the board of directors.
Joe Hicks, the 2020 chair, talked about his children – he has three.
He said the chamber would focus on three items, a strategic plan and an increased social media presence and looking seriously at a tiered dues structure for the chamber.