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  • 2020 Annual Banquet Awards & Ceremonial Passing of the Gavel

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    February 07, 2020
    Henry County, GA – February 1, 2020 - Held in February, this community event of the year is the Henry County Chamber of Commerce combined Annual Awards and Dinner Meeting also known as the Chamber Banquet.  The Henry County Chamber of Commerce celebrates years of connecting and growing the business community in Henry County with a premier program at its Annual Meeting & Awards Dinner.  The event celebrates the Chamber’s successes of the previous year and is the ceremonial passing of the gavel from one Chairperson to the next.  Held each year the first Saturday of February, this signature event is dedicated to celebrating leading business owners and entrepreneurs, corporations and supplier diversity advocates, government and community leaders. During the Awards ceremony, the Chamber recognizes excellence by presenting awards to recipients chosen for their exemplary leadership and dedication to improving our community.
    The meeting was held at Eagles Landing Country Club, 100 Eagles Landing Way, Stockbridge, GA 30281 and was sponsored by Piedmont Henry Hospital. The group enjoyed a social hour of networking co-sponsored by Chamber members SERVPRO of Henry and Spalding Counties and, Whaley, Hammonds, Tomasello, P.C. whose representatives formerly served on the Board of Directors for the Chamber.  The social hour occurred prior to a served meal, followed by a fast-paced program.
    After the passing of the gavel, Incoming 2020 Chair of the Board, Christy Chewning, of Central Georgia EMC, thanked Sharon Ponder of Bennett International Group for her service as chair of the board in 2019 and for her leadership before presenting her with a commemorative gavel as a gift from the Board. Past, Present and retiring Board Members were also recognized at the event.  Social Hour and Musical Entertainment were provided by local talent, The Moonlight Jazz Trio.
    More information and pictures from the event can be found here.
    See below for a rundown of Saturday night's award winners:

    Business of the Year 2019 – 15th Street Pizza & Pub, Patrick, Katie & Dennis McHugh
    The Business of the Year 2019 is 15th Street Pizza & Pub owned by Patrick, Katie & Dennis McHugh. Patrick, Katie and Dennis are the type of small business that makes a community proud. Walk into their restaurant during lunch or dinner, and you'll find a melting pot of people enjoying great food in a relaxed atmosphere. Servers know their customers by name, Patrick and Katie are usually seen bussing tables or getting drink orders, and everyone that walks in the door feels welcome. But beyond being the best pizza in town, Patrick, Katie & Dennis McHugh quietly support their community in countless ways. As an active member of the Chamber, Conventions & Visitors Bureau (CVB) board, and past Leadership Henry board member, Patrick lends his business expertise and leadership skills whenever called upon. He is the first to volunteer to greet guests at a CVB event or schedule speakers for a Leadership Henry program day — or raise his hand for whatever need arises. Despite his active participation in these roles, it's the McHugh's quiet contributions that make them especially deserving of this award. They support veterans and law enforcement through several events that they organize each year. Every Thanksgiving, they close the restaurant so kids from the local children's shelter are treated to Thanksgiving lunch at 15th Street, prepared and served by the McHugh’s and their family and friends. From socks to canned goods, it's rare that 15th Street is not a collection point for whatever community drive or initiative is happening. There are so many more examples of how 15th Street and the McHughs give back to Henry County. They truly embody what it means to be a part of the business community.
    Volunteer of the Year 2019 – Laura Turner, Chief Development Officer, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
    Laura Turner epitomizes what the very idea of being a “volunteer” means. It seems like every time an opportunity to serve the Chamber and the wider Henry County community presents itself, Laura is there with her hand raised. And it results in more than just “being there;” in her case it means always contributing in thoughtful, positive, and productive ways. Just a few of the many specific places she has served include: on the Chamber board and its executive committee; as a long-time member of the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, currently serving as board chair; active support for and tireless efforts leading to the passage of SPLOST V; a 2008 Leadership Henry graduate; as past chair of the Leadership Henry board and engagement with several of its subcommittees; and actively contributing member of the Chamber CEO search team. She is also a leader in the Henry County Kiwanis Club and a principle organizer of the Henry County Fair. Knowing Laura, there are certainly many other ways she has served. And, also knowing her heart and her character, she has served well and faithfully in all that she has volunteered for. There’s no other Henry County citizen who is more deserving than Laura Turner of being finally recognized.
    The Billy Carter Public Service Award 2019 – Susan Crumbley, Retired Executive Director, Connecting Henry
    Susan Crumbley retired earlier this year, making this a great time to recognize her contributions to our community. As executive director of Connecting Henry, she fostered partnerships and relationships with the many organizations and agencies that serve the citizens of our community. Through her dedicated work, countless families were connected with the resources they needed, and partners were able to better serve their constituents with her guidance and leadership. One example of this is the Non-Profit Collaborative which Susan created to bring together community partners on a bimonthly basis for networking, professional development, and sharing of resources and information. The collaborative also helped to form several other events and action committees including the Healthy Children Conference. In addition to her contributions to the community through Connecting Henry, Susan has been an active member of the Leadership Henry board of directors, Kiwanis Club of Henry County, and the Henry County Chamber of Commerce.

    Citizen of the Year 2019 – Frankie Hopper, U.S. Army (Retired)
    Frankie Hopper, U.S. Army (Ret.), perfectly exemplifies and epitomizes the virtues of outstanding citizenship and has gone over and above the call of simply volunteering his time and life serving others throughout our community. Frankie's unwavering and passionate work with the homeless and disenfranchised in the Henry County community has spanned nearly 20 years and earned him the prestigious Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Holiday Heroes in 2012 for his incredible dedication and service to those in need across the Henry County landscape. Bo Emerson, reporter for the AJC, captured the essence of this hero of a man, placed among us after a long, distinguished military career, which included service in Vietnam and difficult assignments all over the world for 20 years. When Frankie and his wife Linda decided to retire from the Army after 33 moves, he says that "the Lord brought them here and planted them at Jodeco United Methodist Church and put him in the food pantry." Providing for the needs of the poor and underserved has always been his personal passion and calling. Soon after connecting with their food pantry, Frankie became a powerful advocate and led the food pantry to unbelievable and ever-evolving heights in service to the hungry and those in need of love, kindness, and assistance. No mission is ever considered too great or too difficult for Frankie! Even as he lost the ability to walk upright, he fought his way back, and through the constant pain and with the assistance of his cane is still serving others today. With much prayer and collaboration, church leaders launched a new, ecumenical ministry called H3 (Help, Heal, Hope). The first effort dealt with hunger via hot meal service and later expanded to offer health screenings, housing opportunities through Habitat for Humanity and the Fuller Center for Housing, as well as many other community resources designed to restore hope and relieve suffering and destitution for our poorest county residents and transients. The H3 Ministry has now evolved into a total "outreach only" ministry, which was the original goal and intent of H3. Frankie Hopper is the human glue that keeps all of this connected, motivated to serve and in step with the vision, purpose, and mission of H3.
    The Henry County Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the business climate and making our community the best place to live, work and play. Through our efforts in membership, economic development, and advocacy, we create the environment to help our members prosper and succeed through a proactive working partnership with all levels of government and community organizations to achieve a strong local economy and high quality of life.
    Barbara Ingram | Director of Communications
    Henry County Chamber of Commerce
    1709 Hwy 20 West | McDonough |  GA |  30253
    Office: (770) 957-5786 | Fax: (770) 957-8030

    bingram@henrycounty.com | www.henrycounty.com

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