A night of festivities culminated in the presentation of several annual awards at the Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet, held at the Bordeaux Events Center on Thursday evening.
The night also capped the tenure of Chamber executive director Debbie Jones, who announced her upcoming departure in December. Jones was feted by chamber leaders throughout the night.
After a cocktail hour and dinner, the prizes were awarded.
Brian Hobbs of The McDuffie Progress was announced Ambassador of the Year by Ambassadors Co-Chair Katie Garcia.
“This person always prioritizes and participates in ribbon cuttings, after-hours business, and a variety of other chamber events…. This person’s light-hearted outlook and eagerness to help make him an invaluable member of our team. This person’s positivity and positive attitude and collaborative spirit have been an inspiration to all members of the chamber family,” Garcia said of Hobbs.
Chase Beggs, Director of the McDuffie County Planning and Zoning Department, was named Mike Carrington Volunteer of the Year by honoree Brittany Dyson last year.
“The Mike Carrington Volunteer of the Year Award is an esteemed honor that recognizes those in the Thomson McDuffie community who go above and beyond in their volunteer efforts. This year’s winner truly exemplifies the value that Mike himself embodied: a unwavering passion for service within the community, strong ethics and a never say no attitude,” Dyson said in announcing the award. “What makes this person so special is not just his commitment to making the place we call home a better place, but his diversity and participation on numerous boards and committees. This individual conveys considerable care for our community and preservation of our unique history. It has been an honor to serve alongside this person in Rotarians, tourism, and other community events. And there is no one more deserving of it.”
Southern Magnolia Farmhouse Boutique was announced Small Business of the Year by Andy Knox, Jr. Owner, Crystal Burton, accepted the award.
“This award is recognition of a business that exemplifies the qualities of excellence, service, innovation and creativity in our community. The Small Business of the Year winner of the Year is a respected member of the chamber and our community. Conveniently located in In the heart of Thomson, this company participates in a number of chamber events throughout the year and is also an advocate for local small businesses, evidenced by its persistent involvement with the local store committee,” Knox said. , Jr. in announcing the award. “Established in 2016 as a children’s boutique, it has grown into a successful adult and children’s boutique with quality home furnishings and décor and we strongly believe that this business contributes to our local economy, earning it this esteemed recognition”.
Chik-fil-A was announced Big Company of the Year by Mark Rodgers. The award was accepted by Ian Moody.
“This company exhibits excellent customer service and quality products that make them stand out in our community. Their activities through schools, churches, and chamber events show their commitment to serve and invest in our area, setting a high standard for other companies from boards of directors,” Rogers said. “This company is the champion of the chamber and its representatives have served as ambassadors and on the board of directors. We are incredibly pleased to honor this company for its presence in our community and its dedication to excellence.”
At the final awards presentation of the night, James I. Alfriend of Alfriend Consulting Engineers broke down in tears as his son presented him with the Darrell M. Johnson Legacy Award.
“It is an honor for me to present the Darrell Johnson Award. I have never met Mr. Johnson, but from what I have learned, he was a great man and a great example…He was well respected for his business professionalism. A strong advocate of community… A lifelong resident with a strong faith and belief in family. And he was recognized for the value of small-town life and friendships,” Allfriend said. “My dad exemplifies all of these traits I just mentioned, and I’m proud to recognize him as this year’s Darrell M. Johnson Legacy Award recipient.
Check out future issues of The McDuffie Progress featuring these award winners.