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10 local tradesmen honored during Master Craftsmen event
Event held at Featherbone Communiversity
Hall County School District Superintendent Will Schofield speaks Thursday morning at visitors of the Featherbone Communiversity during the fourth annual Mster Craftsmen Awards. Awards were presented to 10 skilled tradesmen from North Georgia during the event.

In partnership with Lanier Technical College on Thursday, officials honored 10 skilled tradesmen from around the county who, according to Hall County School District Superintendent Will Schofield, “get up every day, get the job done and teach the next generation.”

The fourth annual Master Craftsmen Awards Program at Featherbone Communiversity in Gainesville on Thursday morning was attended by hundreds who showed up to support the men being honored for their contributions.

Among those receiving an accolade were:

Tracey Phillips, sitework

Michael Carew, mason/stone

Steve Shaw, plumber

Bob Cornett, HVAC

Ira Woodard, electrician

Elmer Hopper, residential builder

Jerry Chambers, machinist/toolmaker

Aaron Wortman, welder/fabricator

Don Morgan, carpenter

Harold Kilgore, specialty construction

The event also included a moment of silence to honor former Warren Featherbone Company CEO Gus Whalen, who passed away in June.

Schofield relayed a discussion from long ago between himself and Whalen concerning the Featherbone Communiversity Master Series Program.

“Gus once said to me, ‘We don’t spend nearly enough time honoring the true heroes among us,’” said Schofield, who was keynote speaker Thursday. “‘What about the guys and gals who can build something with their hands, who can do something none of the rest of us can do? We need to honor them.’”

Carroll Turner, director of the Manufacturing Development Center at Lanier Technical College, said “if we don’t have craftsmen, we don’t have much of anything. It is an auspicious occasion always to recognize the craftsmanship around our community.”

Added Turner: “These gentlemen being honored, from the depths of our hearts, we want to show them our appreciation for what they do.”

Each of the 10 tradesmen got to speak to the crowd.

Award recipient Michael Carew said he was honored to have been considered and spoke some encouraging words.

“When you do something in life, I think you should do it with all your heart,” Carew said. “There’s two kinds of people. There’s the type of person that says, ‘that’s good enough.’ And then, there’s the type of person who performs a task like they’re performing it for God. They put passion and pride into it.”

The Master Craftsmen event is part of the Featherbone Communiversity Master Series Program in partnership with Lanier Technical College. The award aims to showcase the industry and promote to young people and the community the importance of construction in the economy while recognizing those individuals with outstanding skills in their trade.