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Top chamber volunteers of the year recognized
The Great Hall Chamber of Commerce board of directors honors it's top volunteers Thursday afternoon with Silver Shovel Awards. Seated, from left, are John Breakfield, Brett Fowler, Andy Kalinauskus, David Dickerson, Rope Roberts. Standing, from left, are Stacey Poole, John Simpson, Darryl Workman, Lila Westmoreland, Caroline Lewallen , Madeline Wirt, Sarita Madera, Louise Dufour-Zavala and Brent Cook.

Fifteen people were recognized Thursday as the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce top volunteers of 2016-17.

The annual Silver Shovel Award went to:

• State Court Judge John Breakfield

• Georgia Department of Transportation District Engineer Brent Cook

• Brett Fowler of Turner, Wood & Smith Insurance

• Andy Kalinauskas, Conditioned Air Systems

• Caroline Lewallen, Jaemor Farms

• Sarita Madera, Homestar Financial Corp.

• Stacey Poole, McDonald’s

• Rope Roberts, Georgia Power Co.

• John Simpson, Lakeview Academy

• Greg Vitek, IMS Gear

• Lila Westmoreland, Brenau University

• Madeline Wirt, Whelchel, Dunlap, Jarrard & Walker

• David Dickerson, Whelchel, Dunlap, Jarrard & Walker

• Darryl Workman, BrandBank

• Louise Dufour-Zavala, Georgia Poultry Lab Network

Plaques were handed out to the winners at the chamber’s monthly board of directors meeting at the Gainesville Civic Center.

“Thank you … for your contributions to the community,” new chamber Chairman Perry Barnett said to the group. “In looking at your backgrounds and walks of life, you represent a great cross-section of Hall County and bring a lot to the table.

“We look forward to having your efforts again in the future.”

Kit Dunlap, the chamber’s president and CEO, said the chamber’s executive committee determines award winners.

“We’ve got hundreds (of volunteers), so it’s tough,” she said. “We try to make (the winners list) a little diverse — whether they’ve helped you in small business, economic development, in South Hall.”

Poole, one of the winners, said after the meeting “it’s nice to be able to work for a company where we get to do things with the community,” allowing for such recognition.

“It’s an honor,” Wirt said. “We appreciate the opportunity to speak at the chamber — that’s why we were awarded this — for the programs we’ve given on employment and business law.”

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