Bob Keith accepted the gavel Tuesday as the new president of the Thomson-McDuffie County Chamber of Commerce. He succeeds Bonnie McCorkle.
The 40th annual membership banquet was held at Belle Meade Country Club.
Among highlights of the evening, McCorkle announced the Volunteer of the Year Award had been renamed for Mike Carrington. The executive director of Forward McDuffie died Jan. 7 at age 51.
McCorkle presented the award to Tina Swann. The art teacher gave credit for much of her community work to the THS Art Club. She said she had enjoyed working with Carrington on committees that organized the Festival Off Main, Jack-O-Lanterns on Journal and other events.
City Administrator Don Powers presented the Small Business Person of the Year Award to Ken Williams, the president of Thomson Construction Supply Co. Inc. Powers said Williams came to Thomson as a chemistry teacher and stayed to sustain a business that had been founded in the 1940s.
Williams presented the Darrell M. Johnson Award to Realtor and civic volunteer Dot Knox for her role with the Ferst Foundation and other projects. Knox said she stood in awe of the award’s 25 previous winners.
Riley Stamey, the acting executive director of Forward McDuffie, said the board will advertise for a new director by the end of February, and he hopes the position will be filled by Masters Week.
Like others on the evening’s program, Stamey praised the many volunteers who assist the chamber with its mission.
After accepting the gavel, Keith presented a plaque to McCorkle. Keith said McCorkle had led the chamber through a year of challenges.
The audience also heard from Jeb Blount, a Thomson resident and founder of SalesGravy.com. Blount said business success includes being likeable and being a problem solver. He said the foundation of lasting success is trust.