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Masters of innovation to be honored by Communiversity
Nine local men and women will be awarded Wednesday
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Darrell Wiley Business: J&J Foods When it started: Father and uncle opened the grocery story in 1976. Wiley began buying the company in 1991. Business philosophy: “We just want to be the favorite grocery store.”

Entrepreneurs, Masters of Innovation

When: 8:30 a.m. Wednesday
Where: Featherbone Communiversity, 999 Chestnut St. SE, Gainesville
Contact: 770-531-6376


Success in business takes more than luck. It takes determination and innovation.

Nine local men and women will be given the honor of Masters of Innovation at the second annual award ceremony at 8 a.m. Wednesday at the Featherbone Communiversity, 999 Chestnut St. in Gainesville.

The Masters of Innovation award is part of Featherbone Communiversity's Masters Series which also honors local teachers and nurses.

"We want to tell the community about these outstanding people living among us," Joe Thomas, marketing department of Lanier Technical College, said.

The awardees were selected based on a list of traits including passion, persistence, integrity, creativity. They will discuss the ways in which these traits have helped them in their business endeavors.

They will also talk about the challenges that come along with owning a business and will encourage others to become master entrepreneurs as well.

"The most awarding part of the whole ceremony was not the actual presentation of awards but was the life stories as told by the entrepreneurs of them and their business," Thomas said.

The event has a particular emphasis on students. Last year, several local high school and business students attended the event.

"The kids were spellbound," Thomas said.

The students learned from firsthand experience the challenges that come with owning a business and how an entrepreneur must take risks and overcome setbacks.

These men and women will share the stories of how they turned their passion into a profitable business and the sacrifices they made to make those dreams come true.

"These are emotional stories," Thomas said. "Most people only see the final product, not the second mortgage and lost spouses."


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