This year’s “Citizen of the Year” winner, Dallas insurance agent John Henderson, said he was surprised by the award.
“I was completely not expecting this,” he said.
He was told his pastor from West Ridge Church had won the award, and he needed to be there to support him, Henderson said.
“It was a big setup,” he said.
Caric Martin, past chair of the chamber, read some comments about Henderson.
“A friend said the [Bible] verse Matthew 6:3 is a great example how this gentleman has his faith, and demonstrates his walk with Christ daily,” Martin said
The verse says in the New King James Version of the Bible, “But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”
Martin said the verse describes how Henderson, who served three terms on the county school board, gives to others without wanting recognition.
The winner of the “Business of the Year” award received his award in different fashion. Dr. Harvey Sacks of Wellstar Cardiovascular Medicine was out of town, so he sent a video thanking everyone for the honor.
“I am lucky to be here practicing for 34 years,” Sacks said in the video.
He attributed his success to having his patients know at least one of his staff members personally.
Chamber members made the nominations for the citizen and business awards.
“We send out nomination forms,” said Kevin Kirby, director of member services for the chamber.
Once submitted a committee of members reviewed the nominees and decided who they believed was the best candidate, Kirby said.
The Chamber also honored one of its members as “Ambassador of the Year.”
The award is given to a chamber member who goes above and beyond to recruit new members and retain current members. Terri Heaton of SunTrust Bank does just that, Martin said.
“Terri is always the first to volunteer,” he said.
Heaton said with her job she calls on many different businesses on a daily basis, and she uses it as an opportunity to talk about the chamber.
The event marked the ceremonial passing of the board chairmanship from Martin to 2013 chairman Don Barbour.
Keynote speaker was longtime radio personality Rhubarb Jones. Jones spoke in comical and serious terms about his life growing up poor in Tallapoosa and how he got to where he is today.