With nearly 400 members in attendance, the La-Grange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce announced three award winners and welcomed Casey Smith from Calumet Bank as its incoming chair during the 2018 Annual Meeting on January 23 at the Callaway Conference Center.
Casey Smith, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Calumet Bank, has previously served as treasurer on the Chamber board. She succeeds John Asbell of Georgia Power as Chamber chair for the 2018 calendar year. The membership also approved a new slate of directors and officers to serve on the Board.
Each year, the Chamber honors volunteers and community leaders who have made a lasting impact on the community. This year’s recipients have enriched the lives of many through their contributions.
Speer Burdette, President and General Manager of Callaway Foundation, Inc. and the Fuller E. Callaway Foundation as well as President of Charitable Services Company, was honored as the recipient of the 2017 Jane Fryer Award.
Established in 2008, the Fryer Award is given annually to recognize a member of the Chamber community who has gone the extra mile to get involved in programs and activities that benefit our community.
Burdette served as Chairman of the Chamber Board in 1997. He continues to serve on local boards and hold multiple leadership positions with the Development Authority of La-Grange, Troup County Parks & Recreation Commission, Downtown LaGrange Development Authority, La-Grange Personal Aid Asso ciation, Medical Park Foundation and LaGrange College. Speer is also an elder of First Presbyterian Church.
Nick Woodson, recently retired from the LaGrange City Council, received the 2017 Otto Korth Diplomat of the Year Award. Woodson embodies the welcoming spirit of Otto, dedicating countless hours to attending special events, mentoring new members and thanking existing members. Created in 2015 to honor Korth for his service as Diplomat Extraordinaire, the award is presented annually to a Diplomat that excels at serving as a liaison to Chamber members.
In 2013, the Chamber board created the Ida Tarver Jones award in her memory to recognize an individual who exemplifies her volunteer spirit. During her years as a volunteer, she dedicated countless hours of service to answering the phones and covering the front desk. Ida was a true servant leader. The 2017 Ida Tarver Jones Award was presented to JJ Kuerzi of Troup County Parks & Recreation.
Known for her dedication to sports tourism, Kuerzi represents the community and the chamber at recruitment events throughout the country, helping to garner programs that generated $7.9 million in economic impact to Troup County last year. In 2016, she worked in partnership with La-Grange College to host the USA South Sports Festival, bringing almost 900 athletes, their coaches and families to the community. Thanks to her outstanding leadership the event will return to Troup County in 2018 and 2019.
LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce is the economic development organization that regional leaders depend on to get the job done through a core strategy of fostering and nurturing relationships. For more information go to www.lagrange chamber.com. Roster: EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Chairman: Casey Smith, Calumet Bank Past Chairman: John Asbell, Georgia Power Chairman-Elect: Marlene Rhodes, Renasant Bank Secretary/Treasurer: Bill Stankiewicz, William & Mary’s Antiques President: Page Estes, Chamber Vice Chairman for Public Policy Council: George Bailey, City of Hogansville Vice Chairman for Leadership Development: Monica Barber, City of West Point Vice Chairman for Resource Development: Dale Jackson, Jackson Heating Vice Chairmen for Talent & Workforce Development Partnership: Jason Ransbottom, Powertech America & Loraine Allen, West Georgia SHRM Vice Chairman for Marketing & Advertising: Rob Goldstein, Wild Leap Brew Co.
Vice Chairman for Tourism & Visitor Council: JJ Kuerzi, Troup County Parks & Recreation Vice Chairman for Membership Development: Patricia Rogers, WellStar West Georgia Medical Center Vice Chairman for Hogansville Business Council: Jake Ayers, Pioneer Project Vice Chairman for West Point Business Council: Chris Beirne, Point University BOARD OF DIRECTORS Latesa Bailey, Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc.
Eric Blackman, Emory at LaGrange Al Brannon, Marketplace at Lafayette Square Robby Burch, Interface Jay Brown, Interface Kathy Carlisle, thINC College & Career Academy, Inc. Stuart Countess, Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc.
Michael Dollar, Hutchinson Traylor Meghan Duke, City of West Point Brandon Eley, 2bigfeet .com Robert Hiett, Three Rivers Regional Commission Ken Horton, Sewon America Jamey Jackson, Malone Workforce Solutions Opal Hogg, Jindal Films Chunk Newman, Batson Cook Company Leigh Newman, West Georgia Technical College Martha Pirkle, LaGrange College Beth Schiller, Courtyard by Marriott Kathy Tilley, Troup County Center for Strategic Planning Jason Weldon, Houze & Associates Derek Woodham, Axis Milling AFFILIATES James Emery, Ex Officio, West Point Lake Advisory Council, Troup County Commission Trae Long, Ex Officio, HYPE, Gay & Joseph, CPA, PC Cheryl Magby, Ex Officio, HYPE, City of West Point Rick Brock, Ex Officio, Network Group, Golden’s Bike Shop Cliff Meeks, Ex Officio, African-American Heritage Project, 100 Black Men of West Georgia.