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Riverside to honor Wilheit, Cleveland with Beaver Entrepreneurial Leadership Awards
Ralph W. Cleveland
Ralph W. Cleveland

Sandy Beaver Entrepreneurial Leadership Award dinner

When: Aug. 11, cocktails at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m., awards at 8:20 p.m.

Where: Alumni Hall, Riverside Military Academy, 2001 Riverside Drive, Gainesville

Cost: $75 per ticket for dinner; corporate sponsorships available for tables of 10 for $1,000

More info: Contact Amanda K. Griffin at 770-538-2924

Philip A. Wilheit Sr. and the late Ralph W. Cleveland will be honored with the third annual Sandy Beaver Entrepreneurial Leadership Award on Aug. 11.

The dinner will be held in Alumni Hall on the Riverside Military Academy campus.

The annual award dinner, which begins with cocktails at 6 p.m. followed by dinner and the awards, supports the Riverside Military Academy Foundation and is named to honor the entrepreneurial and leadership legacy of Sandy Beaver, Riverside president from 1912-1969.

Gov. Nathan Deal and first lady Sandra Deal will be honored guests at the dinner.

Wilheit is president and managing partner of Wilheit Packaging, the family business started by his father, Tom Wilheit, in 1954.

He is known as the campaign manager of 17 successful congressional and gubernatorial elections for Deal.

He serves on the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, is vice chair of Brenau University, is chairman of the Gainesville-Hall Development Authority and is chairman emeritus of the Northeast Georgia Health System.

Cleveland, who died in 1999, was a New Holland native who began his career as a cotton broker and was a pioneer in the poultry feed business of northeast Georgia.

He served as chairman of Gainesville National Bank and ended his career as a self-educated and successful securities investor.

Cleveland and his wife, Mary, were instrumental in the creation of Gainesville Junior College, and he served on the board of Brenau College, now University, for 40 years. Cleveland was 92 when he died.

The RMA Foundation was created in 2013 to provide an ongoing source of funding for tuition assistance for students at Riverside.

Riverside, started in 1907, is a college preparatory, military academy for boys in grades 7-12.  Enrollment exceeds 500 and includes students from 27 countries and 33 states.

“The vision, leadership and philanthropic spirit that Sandy Beaver exhibited throughout his tenure as Riverside’s president are the qualities we honor in Mr. Wilheit and Mr. Cleveland,” said retired U.S. Army Col. William J. Gallagher, current president of Riverside.

Last year’s honorees were James A. Walters and the late Wilbur Ramsey.

Tickets for the dinner are $75, and corporate sponsorships are available for tables of 10 for $1,000.  

For more information, call Amanda K. Griffin at 770-538-2924.

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