Chamber hosts annual awards

Tia Lynn Ivey News

The Madison-Morgan Chamber of Commerce held its annual meeting last week at Amici’s Italian Cafe in Madison, doling out awards and recognitions to local businesses and families making a difference in Morgan County.

Georgia Pacific won for Manufacturer of the Year,” and The Conrad Family Foundation won the “Community Service Award. The 2017-2018 Leadership Graduates were also recognized for their accomplishments completing formal leadership training through the chamber as they move on to better their communities.

Chamber President Bob Hughes presented the awards. Hughes praised Georgia Pacific as a “great corporate citizen,” noting the company is the largest employer in Morgan County with 450 employees. Hughes also praised Georgia Pacific for the numerous financial donations given to pivotal organizations in the community, including the Morgan County Charter School System and Morgan County Fire and Rescue.

Brian Ward and Tracy Brewer accepted the award on behalf of Georgia Pacific.

“We appreciate Morgan County and the City of Madison for all they support they have given us,” said Ward.

Hughes was delighted to present the Community Service Award to the Conrads Family Foundation, praising their legacy of generosity that began with the late Jim and Jinny Conrads and is now carried on through the foundation and their five children: Karen Conrads Wibell, Heitzso, Linda Conrads, Nancy Pendergast, and Michael Conrads.

Hughes noted how the Conrads Family played pivotal roles in various projects throughout Morgan County that have improved the quality of life for the citizens including Town Park in Madison, the new hospital, and the new schools. Hughes also noted the foundation’s support for community groups like Partners In Education and the Madison-Morgan Boys and Girls Club.

“There’s just too many to name,” said Hughes as he presented the award. Karen Conrads Wibell accepted the award on behalf of her family’s foundation, crediting her parents for their charity work and instilling the same values of generosity into each of their children.

“Our parents did not have much when they got married,” began Wibell. “They certainly did not have money, but they did have strong beliefs. They believed in family. They believed in faith. They believed in friends. They believed in hard work.” Wibell went on to add her parents gave her and her siblings the vision and strength to carry on the work they began.

Terence Johnson, with the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, presented the 2018 Leadership Graduates with awards for completing the formal leadership training.

“This group was engaged 100 percent of the way and I know you will all be engaged when you go out into the community,” said Johnson.

Graduates present at the event were: Jennifer Butler, Shey Daniel, David DiRocco, Kristen Higgins, Ashley Hunt, Victoria Jolley, Victoria Morris, Carrie Peters-Reid, Mark Smith Jr. and Nedra Williams. Others who graduated from the program this year:  Ed Freeman, Chase Stephens and Maureen Ronan.

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