The Gordon County Chamber of Commerce honored AdventHealth Gordon, formerly known as Gordon Hospital, the City of Calhoun, Starr-Mathews Insurance and Synovus, formerly known as Georgia Bank & Trust, with Keep It In The County Legacy Awards.
The awards, which salute their continuous, historical support of the Chamber’s shop-local campaign, were handed out during the Chamber’s 59th Annual Meeting, held last month at Belmont Baptist Church.
All four Chamber members have sponsored the event since it launched in 2009 and as it begins its second decade. Chamber President Kathy Johnson presented each with an etched, sterling plate offered in consideration of their loyalty and support.
First conceived at the Chamber’s 2008 Planning Retreat and launched at a July 2009 Booster Breakfast sponsored by Starr-Mathews Insurance, Keep It In The County has become one of the Chamber’s signature programs. The goal of the program is to educate citizens about the importance of local spending and the economic impact those choices have on the business community.
Johnson, the president and chief executive officer of the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce and the Development Authority of Gordon County, offered comments about the value of the campaign before presenting the awards, beginning with a presentation to AdventHealth Gordon.
“At AdventHealth Gordon and AdventHealth Medical Group, our mission is to extend the healing ministry of Christ throughout the communities we serve,” said Garrett Nudd, AdventHealth Gordon & Murray’s marketing director and AdventHealth Gordon Foundation president. “While our awards and accolades tell a story of top-quality care, the real story is that the fabric of Gordon County is woven together in a tight-knit bond. We are neighbors taking care of neighbors. When someone experiences loss, the community experiences loss. When someone celebrates a victory, we celebrate with them. And when someone needs help, we pitch in to help.”
“The Keep It In The County sentiment runs deep at AdventHealth Gordon. We support our community, and the community supports us. With more than $170 million given back in community benefit over the past five years, including more than 4,250 combined hours of community service last year, AdventHealth’s commitment to Gordon County has never been stronger,” he concluded.
Johnson continued the Legacy Award presentation by commending the City of Calhoun for its support, offering the commemorative plaque to Mayor Jimmy Palmer as he accepted on behalf of the city.
Paul Worley, the assistant city administrator for the city and the Chamber’s 2019 chairman of the board, acknowledged the value of the campaign.
“Mayor Palmer and the City of Calhoun were honored to receive the Legacy Sponsor Award at the 2019 Annual Meeting. The mindset of Keep It In The County has a meaningful impact to our local economy. Not only does it support businesses, but it also helps support our local government and our local school systems,” he said.
“Keeping our commerce on a local level makes us a stronger community. Our community becomes a better place to live, work, and play when we support our local businesses, our neighbors, and our friends. The City of Calhoun is proud to lead by example in support of the Keep It In The County program,” he concluded.
The third recipient of the four Legacy Awards was Starr-Mathews Insurance and agency President Jim Mathews accepted on behalf of his insurance company, which has deep roots in the business community and will celebrate its hundredth anniversary next year.
Vice President Robert Mathews spoke about the importance of local spending and the value of community relationships in his remarks.
“Starr-Mathews Insurance is proud to have supported Keep It In The County since it launched in 2009 at one of the Chamber’s most successful Booster Breakfast events, which we were happy to sponsor. We immediately recognized the value of the campaign and knew from day one that this was an initiative our agency would always support,” he said. “Our history in Gordon County certainly speaks for our commitment to programs of this nature.”
Barry Blevins, the market president at Synovus in Calhoun, shared similar sentiments as he accepted on behalf of the bank, which has two branches in Gordon County.
“Synovus is known as the ‘bank of here’ and for all of us at the local branches, ‘here’ means Calhoun-Gordon County,” he said. “We are proud to receive this honor and proud to support the campaign’s premise, which so seamlessly blends with our own pledge to serve every customer with the highest levels of sincerity, fairness, courtesy, respect and gratitude.”