Gainesville, GA – June 19, 2009: The Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce recognized annual award recipients at the June 18 Board of Directors meeting at the Frances Meadows Center. The event was sponsored by AT&T The Real Yellow Pages, and business awards included Gold Shovel Awards, Silver Shovel Awards, the Small Business of the Year, Family Business of the Year, Community Service Award, Ambassador of the Year, and the Chairman’s W.G. Mealor Award.

A year of success and accomplishments was celebrated with the transition of officers and the passing of the Chairman’s gavel from 2008-2009 Chairman R.K. Whitehead, Whitehead Die Casting, to incoming chairman Emily Bagwell, Whelchel, Dunlap, Jarrard and Walker.

• Small Business of the Year Award

The Jaeger Company

The Jaeger Company, a local design and planning firm, celebrated its 25th year in business this year. The firm has two offices, one in the historic Logan Building in downtown Gainesville and a second office in Athens. The Jaeger Company’s Principal Landscape Architects include Dale Jaeger, who founded the company and Chet Thomas, who manages the Athens office.

Landscape Architecture, Historic Preservation, and Planning are the professional and technical foundations of the firm. The multi-disciplinary staff of twelve includes Registered Landscape Architects, Certified Planners, Architectural Historians, Landscape Historians, Graphic Designers, and related support staff. The primary project focus of the firm is the public sector with approximately 90% of the firm’s client base made up of governmental entities at municipal, county, state and federal levels as well as many nonprofit groups.

Currently, the firm is involved in a number of local projects including: Hall County Multi-purpose Trail for the county; Gainesville Midtown Greenway Trail for the city; Streetscape projects for the cities of Oakwood and Gillsville; and several projects at Gainesville State College, including the campus master plan, landscape design for the new Academic Building, and roadway enhancement plantings for the campus frontage on Mundy Mill Road. Field of Dreams / Hall County, an athletic field for handicapped children and adults, and Alberta Banks Park in South Hall County.

• Family Business of the Year Award

Simpson Trucking & Grading

Simpson Trucking & Grading is truly a family business. James Simpson began his business as owner and operator in 1985 with two trucks and two pieces of equipment. At the time he had five employees and primarily worked residential projects. In 1987 his sons, Greg and Gus, joined the company to help expand the business into commercial projects. His daughter Angie became a part of the everyday decisions and running of the business. Later his grandsons, Shawn and B.J., started working as operators for the business and continued to work their way up. Now our office summer time help are granddaughters, Hanna and Haley.

Over the past 30 years Simpson Trucking & Grading has grown tremendously with employees and construction. Simpson Trucking & Grading has provided employment to many individuals and is among the top 100 Hall County employers. Among the local projects are Laurel Park, Free Chapel, Hall County Detention Center, Banks County Court House Annex, Barrow County Jail, Lakewood Baptist Church, Sugar Hill Elementary School, Davis Middle School, the new Hall County Middle High School, Jefferson Distribution Center, Peach State Speedway, many shopping centers, and numerous subdivisions.

James Simpson has worked hard in his business and contributes time and money to Hall County, including a substantial contribution to the YMCA and many other organizations throughout the years. In the mid 90’s Simpson Trucking & Grading, Inc. became a drug free workplace.

• Community Service Award Award

Jim Syfan and the Syfan Family

Jim Syfan, his wife, Gloria and their son, Greg, started Turbo Logistics in 1984 with only one paid employee. Six months later when their second son, Steve, graduated from high school, he joined the work force at Turbo Logistics as an equal partner. Over the next 25 years, the company grew to over 130 employees and became one of the largest truck transportation brokers in the country. Today, the Syfans continue to contribute to the truck industry by operating The Truck Center which is the largest full service truck and trailer repair and tire facility in Northeast Georgia.

The Syfan Family has always supported family involvement and encourages the people that work with them to participate in their own. Through the years, God has blessed the Syfans with family and friends as well as good work ethics. Through these blessings and resources, the family developed a philosophy of giving back to the community. The family has a passion for children and works closely with Challenged Child, the Hall County School Mentor program and the Chamber’s Partners In Education program. The family has provided for an outside playground at Northeast Georgia Medical Center and was a major contributor to the newly opened Women’s and Children Pavilion at the hospital. Other contributions include Egleston Children’s Hospital and Emory Hospital.

The Syfans have served on many community boards and continue to participate in many civic activites including: Hall County Civil Service Board, Northeast Georgia Medical Center Board of Directors, Hall County Planning Commission, Board Member of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce and Gainesville-Hall County Metropolitan Planning Organization.

• W.G. Mealor Chairman’s Award

David Lee, Jackson EMC

The W.G. Mealor Award is named after the first President of the Greater Hall Chamber (W.G. Mealor, Chamber President, 1908-1917) and has a long tradition of recognizing outstanding citizens in our community. The recipient is chosen by the current Chamber Chairman. David Lee has served on the Chamber’s Executive Committee, is an integral part of the Hallmark campaign, has served on the Gainesville-Hall County Economic Development Council, and has participated in VISION 2030 activities. His most long-lasting contribution has been laying the groundwork for the Greater Hall Chamber’s South Hall Council, which is a tremendous success.

• Gold Shovel Winners

LeTrell Simpson, Con-Sen-Sus, and Frank Norton, Jr., The Norton Agency, for co-chairing the Greater Hall Chamber’s 100 Year Anniversary Celebration

• Silver Shovel Winners

Mike Allen, Georgia Trust Bank, South Hall Council

Benny Bagwell, Jackson EMC, Economic Development

Bev Ann Bonds, Business Support Solutions, Leads Group

Gail Detraz, Northeast Georgia Surgical Associates, Leadership Hall/Toys for Tots

Scott Dixon, Scott’s on the Square, HealthSmart/Restaurants

Sean Johnsen, iCardNow, Membership Development

Joe Nation, Gainesville Sign & Graphics, Ambassadors Council/Membership

Jody Nelson, Georgia Power, Youth Leadership Hall

Candy Robinson, Riverside Military Academy, Get Fit Stay Fit 5K Run/Walk

Phil Sutton, Hall County Government, SPLOST VI Campaign

Carroll Turner, Lanier Tech Manufacturing Center, Economic Development Incubator

Erin Williamson, The Longstreet Clinic, HealthSmart promotional materials

Cindy Wilson, SunTrust, Membership Development

• Ambassador of the Year

Sherry Ridgway, Capital Data Service, Inc. Sherry was selected by her fellow Ambassadors for this award for her ongoing work on the Ambassador Council.

• Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Officers 2009-2010

Chairman: Emily Bagwell, Whelchel, Dunlap, Jarrard & Walker

Chairman Elect: Darrell Snyder, Georgia Power Company

Treasurer: Brian Daniel, Carroll Daniel Construction Company

Vice Chair Economic Development: Russell Vandiver, Lanier Technical College

Vice Chair Education: Beth Baldwin, Edward Jones Investments

Vice Chair Community Development: Dixie Truelove, Truelove Dairy

Vice Chair Government Affairs: Cooper Embry, United Community Bank

Vice Chair Marketing/Communications: Jay Jacobs, Jacobs Media Corporation

Vice Chair Membership: Allen Nivens. The Norton Agency

Vice Chair South Hall Council: Mike Allen, Georgia Trust Bank

Co-Chairs HallMark:

Paul Chambers, AT&T

David Lee, Jackson EMC

Mimi Collins, The Longstreet Clinic

Executive Director VISION 2030: Denise Deal

Chair VISION 2030: Rob Fowler , Turner, Wood & Smith Insurance

Senior Advisor: Benny Bagwell, Jackson EMC

Immediate Past Chairman: RK Whitehead, Whitehead Die Casting

Greater Hall Chamber President & CEO: Kit Dunlap

– END –