Fayette Chamber names Mark Gray as Business Person of the Year

Randy Weaver (R), the incoming 2013 chairman of the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce, stands beside Chamber CEO Virginia Gibbs at the annual event. From left, outgoing Chamber Chair Peggy Thomas and Mark Gray, named the Chamber’s Outstanding Business Person of the Year. Photo/Gwen Griffin.

The Fayette County Chamber of Commerce held its annual awards luncheon with just over 200 in attendance Jan. 18 at the Wyndham Conference Center in Peachtree City.

Mark Gray, State Farm Insurance agent in Peachtree City, was named as the Outstanding Business Person of the Year. This award is chosen by the previous award winners and is given to a person who owns, operates or manages a business or profession in the county. They must have demonstrated unselfish support of the community affairs and must also excel at managing and leading their business. Gray was the Chamber chairman in 2006.

The theme of the luncheon was “Back to the Future Fayette Edition” and speaker Ann Cramer referred to it several times.

She said she was familiar with Fayette County for the past 40 years beginning with the administration of Gov. Jimmy Carter.

“Fayette County is a community,” she stated. “As the demographics have changed so have the types of leaders that have served here. The present leaders must continue advancing your values. They must acknowledge your outstanding post secondary education levels and realize that every child has the capacity to improve. They can help advance this community and create a community that offers good jobs. Those of you here have the power in your hands to help in this endeavor and to advance Fayette County’s future.”

In announcing the award winners for 2012, outgoing chair, Peggy Thomas, announced the name of the new cafe at the Chamber’s new location that will open soon. Each year it will be named for the Small Business of the Year award winner. This year’s winner is CMIT Solutions, which provides IT support for Fayette and Coweta counties. CMIT specializes in managed services and system monitoring, new network installations and network security.

The Dreambuilder Award was first given in 2002 by then-Chairman Mike Hofrichter. It is given to someone who had a significant vision for the community and has selflessly given of their time and talents to make a difference in Fayette County. The award this year went to Chick-fil-A owner, Truett Cathy.

The Ambassador of the Year was given to Rick Barnes of Minuteman Press. He was chosen due to his high attendance at events, successful mentoring relationships and exceptional efforts at meeting and greeting during events.

The Chet Wells Award was named for a man who was active in the mid-1970s in the Chamber. The recipient is chosen by the outgoing chair and is given to someone who made a significant difference during the chairman’s tenure. This award was given to Greg Detwiler, an executive with Georgia Power Company.

Madeline Dobbs, Serenity Hospice Care, received the award for Young Professional of the Year. She was recognized as a young professional who demonstrated community involvement and leadership and showed an aspiration to succeed in their career.

At the close of the luncheon outgoing chair, Peggy Thomas, turned over the gavel to the 2013 chair, Randy Weaver, Allstate Insurance.

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