The Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce hosted Celebrate Catoosa Gala and Casino Night on February 29, 2020, at the Colonnade Civic Center. The event celebrated the business community and several individuals who have contributed greatly.
The following 2019 Chamber Business Awards were presented:
♦ Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce Business Person Hall of Fame, Randall Franks
♦ Catoosa County Citizen of the Year, Philip E. Ledbetter
♦ Chairman’s Award, Marissa Brower, Catoosa County Public Schools
♦ Ambassador of the Year, Mike Key, Mike Key Entertainment and Photography
♦ Non-Profit of the Year, Chattanooga Area Food Bank
♦ New Business of the Year, Publix Super Markets Inc.
♦ Micro Business of the Year, SMH Construction Inc.
♦ Small Business of the Year, Flegal Insurance
♦ Medium Business of the Year, North Georgia HealthCare Center
♦ Large Business of the Year, FirstBank
Business Person’s Hall of Fame: Randall Franks
Franks is a public servant who looks for opportunities to promote and serve his community both in his personal endeavors as a music and media professional and as an elected official where he has served as a Ringgold City Council member since 2009.
Some of the local organizations where the Franks volunteers his time and efforts in community leadership roles include:
♦ Founder of the non-profit, Share America Foundation
♦ Past President of the Boynton Lions Club of Ringgold
♦ Past President of the Kiwanis Club of Ringgold
♦ Catoosa Habitat for Humanity Board Member
♦ Past President and current member of the Catoosa Citizens for Literacy
♦ Catoosa County Chamber Board Member
♦ Ringgold Downtown Development Authority Chairman
♦ Catoosa County Local Emergency Planning Committee Board Member
Locally, you will find Franks participating in many community events in Ringgold throughout each year, including:
♦ 1890s Days
♦ Downhome Christmas Celebration
♦ Ringgold Downtown Nights and the
♦ Bi-Annual Veterans Memorial Flag Display
He has assisted in raising more than $1.9 million for various charitable efforts in Northwest Georgia.
Franks’ volunteerism has a national impact as he serves in various capacities in the following musical organizations:
♦ Grand Master Fiddler Championship
♦ Southern Gospel Music Association
♦ South Eastern Bluegrass Association
♦ His awards and recognitions are too numerous to include all, but to highlight a few:
♦ He was honored by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal for philanthropic efforts
♦ He holds 21 Georgia Press Association awards and 1 National Press Association Award
♦ He has been honored with a Georgia Music Hall of Fame exhibit for over a decade
♦ He has been awarded over 20 music industry awards from Male Vocalist of the Year to Songwriter of the Year
♦ In 2019 alone, he had two No. 1 albums and was inducted into America’s Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame honoree Randall Franks expressed his sincere appreciation for the recognition bestowed.
Upon receiving the award, Franks said: “I have had the honor of serving beside some amazing individuals whose dedication has been making our home a better place to live, seeing to the needs of those less fortunate, creating more work opportunities for our neighbors, opening new paths for entrepreneurs, and greater educational advantages for all ages. These people above are who the honor truly recognizes along with generations of my family who toiled in Catoosa County soil to create greater opportunities for those who came next.”
Citizen of the Year: Philip E. Ledbetter
Ledbetter served as principal for 25 years at Graysville and Cloud Springs elementary schools. He has been making an impact in young lives in Catoosa County throughout his career. He is an Eagle Scout and has been a Boy Scout Leader in Catoosa County since 1979. His current position in the Boy Scouts of America is as the John Ross District commissioner for Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties.
As the coordinator for the Catoosa Family Collaborative since 2007 and the director of the Catoosa Family Prevention Initiative since 2009, Ledbetter continues to make a positive difference in Catoosa County and Northwest Georgia.
His current community leadership positions include:
♦ North Georgia YMCA Board Member
♦ Director of UR Choice/UR Destiny Teen Maze
♦ Chairman of Community Prevention Alliance Workgroup
♦ Catoosa Kids Day Coordinator
♦ Partnership 2000 Steering Committee Member
♦ Catoosa Organization Acting in Disaster (COAD) Chair
Some of his honors include:
♦ Georgia School of Excellence Principal – Cloud Springs Elementary
♦ Partnership 2000 Social Service Partner of the Year
♦ Catoosa Citizen for Literacy Award
♦ Modern Woodman Hometown Hero Award
♦ Eagle Scout Class Distinction Award
♦ United Way North Georgia Campaign Volunteer of the Year