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Girl Scouts honors Mack as the 2013 Woman of Distinction

POSTED: March 13, 2013 1:08 a.m.
Scott Rogers/The Times

Deborah Mack, right, is greeted by Martha Martin at Gainesville First United Methodist Church during the annual Girl Scouts Women of Distinction awards luncheon Tuesday afternoon. Mack was honored for her service to the Gainesville and Hall County communities.

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The Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia celebrated a “diva” while also commemorating the national Girl Scouts’ 101st birthday on Tuesday.

Known by her family as Miss Mack, Deborah Keith Mack was presented the 2013 Woman of Distinction award for her service to the Gainesville community and the state at the Gainesville First United Methodist Church.

The reception hall was a packed house of colleagues, friends and family members gathering to honor the woman who loves to laugh — and wear hats.

Many of her friends wore fashionable hats in tribute.

Mack retired in 2000 with 34 years of service with the state of Georgia, including 31 years with the Georgia Department of Labor.

And she hasn’t stopped yet.

“She is not afraid of a challenge,” said Sgt. Maj. Tamela Dean of the U.S. Army, Mack’s niece, and a special guest asked to give tribute.

“She is a true woman of God, determined, stylish, a professional, a world traveler and — a diva,” Dean said.

The crowd in the reception hall roared with laughter.

Her niece said Mack had a special interest in mentoring the young, was straightforward and also could find a great bargain anywhere while shopping.

“You have chosen a very deserving woman for this honor,” Dean said.

After retirement, Mack became a respected figure in the city and county as she held leadership positions within the government and on local boards. To name a few:

  • In 2002, Mack was elected to the Hall County Board of Commissioners and served for six years.
  • Member of the board of trustees of First Baptist Church on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
  • Board of directors for the Hall County Board of Health
  • Board of directors for the Greater Hall County Chamber of Commerce
  • Board of directors of the United Way of Hall County
  • Founding member and past president of both WomenSource and Gateway Domestic Violence Center

“She is the one person who can change the world,” said Margaret Skene, CEO, Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia.

“There is no other role model like Mack.”

Skene said there are 16,000 girls and adults in Girl Scouts each year in 122 counties in Georgia.

She said Mack is a great role model for all Girl Scouts.

For Cindy McLaughlin, CEO of Avita Community Partners, Mack is a great motivator.

“She keeps people hopping and is connected to everything,” she said.

“I could never keep track of all the things she does,” McLaughlin said.

Mack also serves on Avita’s board of directors.

“She is extremely knowledgeable and very accessible,” said Alice Bryant, a friend of Mack’s and retired marketing and employee representative with the Georgia Department of Labor.

“I call her my friend and have tried to keep in touch with her,” she said.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle sent a special citation to honor Mack. The Georgia House of Representatives also passed House Resolution 120, which honors Mack for her service to the state.

Her recognitions and awards also include the 2012 National Organization of Black Elected Legislative/Women “Saluting Phenomenal Trailblazers” Award; 2012 Gainesville-Hall Black History Society Inc. Certificate of Appreciation for Excellence in Civic Responsibility; 2010-2011 Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Silver Shovel Award; and 2008 American Business Women of America Woman of the Year.


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