Carroll County Chamber presents community awards at 62nd annual dinner

CARROLLTON, GA - - Highlighting the 62nd Annual Dinner of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce was the awarding of Citizen of the Year to Cynthia Langley, Horizon Award to John Jackson, Entrepreneur of the Year to Bob and Tish Stone and family, and the Thomas S. Upchurch Workforce Education Award to Dr. Faye McIntyre.
Volunteer leadership of the Chamber also changed hands as outgoing Chairman Gary Hewitt, co-owner of Southland Insurance Agency, passed the gavel to 2017 Chair Amy Brown, State Farm Insurance/Amy Brown in Villa Rica. Brown’s theme for the coming year is “Launching into the Future.”
Daniel Jackson, President and CEO of the Carroll County Chamber, expressed his appreciation to Hewitt, stating if the Chamber was there, Hewitt was there. He also shared reflections on the past year and expectations for 2017.
“From large employers to small, from healthcare to education to industry to retail to restaurants to professional services to the service industry, to media, to government staff and elected officials, we are a blessed community,” Jackson said. “We thank all of you for providing us a great product to sell – Carroll County!”
New upcoming activities of the Chamber include the U.S. Congressional Forum, an additional membership breakfast, additional involvement of young professionals, and many continuing initiatives that support the five areas in the 2017 program of work: business development, government development, member support, leadership development, and workforce education.
Jackson and Brown announced the launch of a new year-round campaign , ThinkCarrollFirst, that moves beyond just retail and dining and making cash registers ring. Kelly Meigs, chair of the Chamber’s Business Development Committee, led the concept and design efforts for the campaign that will encourage Carroll County consumers to think of purchasing all goods and services locally.
As outgoing chair, Hewitt presented the awards for the evening. Citizen of the Year recipient Cynthia Langley has been the Executive Director for Communities In Schools of Carrollton/Carroll County since its incorporation in 2012. Prior to this position, she had a distinguished career in the Juvenile Justice System for 17 years and ended that career as the Juvenile Program Manager over the Carroll County office of the Department of Juvenile Justice. During this tenure, she established an advisory board for the local DJJ office; began one of the pilot Intensive Supervision Units for the state of Georgia; and was instrumental in developing an Alternative to Detention Initiative in Carroll County, among other initiatives.
With Communities In Schools, Langley has led this organization through the national accreditation process and developed partnerships with both local school systems to provide external services to at-risk students in order to further raise the graduation rate. This program currently serves six high schools and one middle school. She has worked to establish the Carroll County Mentoring Village, and the successful Eighth Grade Career Expo, in partnership with the Carroll Chamber’s Workforce Education Task Force.
Currently she serves on the Board of Associates for KidsPeace, the Georgia Sheriff Youth Homes Board, the Alice’s House Board of Directors, and the executive board of the Carroll/Carrollton Education Collaborative. Her past volunteer activities have included: Bowdon High Athletic Booster Club, Jonesville Middle School Council, Carroll County Mediation Center, and Georgia Juvenile Justice Training Network.
The Horizon Award for outstanding volunteerism was presented to John Jackson of the Law Office of John B. Jackson & Associates. Formerly a partner in the firm of Greer Jackson Tisinger, he started his own law firm in 2015 and has practiced law for 13 years specializing primarily in litigation.  
As an active volunteer with the Chamber and throughout the community, Jackson has served the last three years on the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce Board and as Chairman of the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee.  Under his leadership, the Government Affairs Committee has expanded outreach to our state legislative delegation via networking meetings, the legislative appreciation reception and the annual Day at the State Capitol, and to the U.S. Congressional delegation with the bi-annual Washington Fly-in, and town hall meetings. In addition, his committee was instrumental in monitoring legislation that impacts Carroll County businesses, and educating the Chamber membership on various issues.
He currently serves as President of West Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, President of the Rotary Club of Carrollton, on the Alice's House Board and on the Tanner Health System’s Magnolia Ball Men's Committee. He is a member of First Baptist Church serving on the By-Laws Committee and the Greeters Committee.  
Bob and Tish Stone and family were named Entrepreneurs of the Year.  Back in 1971 in their living room, this local couple founded Systems and Methods, a business process automation company. SMI, now in its 46th year in business, is in the second generation of leadership. The areas of government served have shifted but the family to family approach of doing business has remained.
As the food stamp coupon era transitioned, so did SMI. Under the leadership of the second generation, led by Joe Stone and Bill Stone, SMI found the next niche market in supporting Health and Human Services agencies in the area of child support and accounting solutions management. SMI currently has locations in 14 states and provides payment remittance services in 15 states. In the past two years SMI has added 307 team members. The SMI family is now 588 members strong.
In 2010, the smiONE card was launched to provide additional services to state clients. The smiONE Visa Prepaid Card now has over one million cards in circulation. With the smiONE card, child support services and Georgia government solutions, SMI served over 5 million families nationwide in 2016.
Challenged over the years, the leadership team has created, invented, re-invented and redirected their business many times. At the same time, the Stone family demonstrates a commitment to give to and serve the community. This family footprint is on schools, hospitals, civic clubs, non-profits, churches and faith based ministries, the Chamber and Carroll Tomorrow, the City, the County, West Georgia Regional Airport, and much more.
The Thomas S. Upchurch Workforce Education Award went to Dr. Faye McIntyre, Professor of Marketing and Dean of the Richards College of Business. She has over 70 publications and received numerous awards for her research. She has been invited to present her work at such forums as the American Marketing Association’s Global Marketing Conference and the International Franchising Association’s Annual Convention.  She has served as a corporate consultant or project coordinator for organizations locally, regionally and across the southern states.
Among her recognitions, McIntyre has been named among the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Who’s Who in Education nine times. She received the University of West Georgia Alumni Association’s Spotlight Award, and the Richard College of Business Faculty Service, Faculty Research and Faculty Development Awards.  She has also been named to Who’s Who Among Professional and Executive Women.
She serves as a member of the University System of Georgia Regents Advisory Committee for Business Administration, Management and Economics.  She has been Chair of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Advisory Board for The Burson Center. She has served on the Workforce Education Task Force for five years, and was a member of the Board of Directors for seven years. Six other Chamber committees have benefitted from her involvement over the years.
She is a member of the Carrollton Rotary Club and the Heflin, Alabama Industrial Development Board, and volunteers in several other non-profit organizations.
More than 300 Chamber members attended the event held at the Campus Center Ballroom at the University of West Georgia.  The annual dinner was sponsored by Advantage Office Solutions, Carroll EMC, Georgia Power, Gradick Communications, Southland Insurance Agency, Southwire, Tanner Health System, UWG Richards College of Business, United Community Bank and West Georgia Technical College.
The Carroll County Chamber of Commerce represents more than 660 businesses and industry members with a mission of “Growing Business in Our Community.”  For more information about membership, contact the Chamber at 770-832-2446 or visit www.carroll-ga.org.
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