News & Press

149th Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony

The Chamber annouced its 2009 award winners at the 149th Annual Meeting presented by Cox Business on Friday, March 5th. Held at the City Auditorium, the meeting's theme was "Tell Me Something Good," and the award presentations helped us to do just that.


Presented By: Cox Business
Reception Sponsor: Central Georgia Health System
General Sponsors: Georgia Power & Macon Occupational Medicine.

Centennial Award - L.E. Schwartz & Son, Inc.
2010 marks a very special anniversary for a company that has been a vital part of our business community for 100 years. Three generations of the Melvin, Steve, and Mike Kruger represent three generations of leadership that has lead L. E. Schwartz & Son, Inc. to the success it is today. Congratulations, L.E. Schwartz, Centennial Award Winner!

Rising Star Award - BLC Hardwood
BLC Hardwood opened another new facility in our community and added 20 jobs in 2009. This is the fifth project Macon Economic Development Commission has worked with BLC on and so far they have invested $12.7 million in facilities and added 102 new jobs in the last four projects. Congratulations BLC Hardwood, Rising Star Award Winner!

2009 Economic Development Champion - Janice Marshall
This award recognizes those organizations who have gone the extra mile to make a project work. Janice is passionate that tourism is economic development and has worked tirelessly in her career to ensure that Macon was well positioned for success. She has recieved 2 lifetime achievement awards and under her leadership, the Convention and Visitors Bureau has recieved numerous awards. Congratulations to Janice Marshall, 2009 Economic Development Champion!

2009 Lifetime Achievement Award - Ben Porter
Ben Porter, a Maconite for the past 50 years, has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life in Middle Georgia and throughout the state. An avid outdoorsman, Ben served as the Chairman of the Board of Georgia's Department of Natural Resources, served as a founder of the Ocmulgee Land Trust and Chairman of the Jekyll Island Authority. In Macon, Ben previously served as president of the Chamber, he anchored the Macon Heritage Foundation and serves on the board at Mercer University's School of Medicine. And one of his most instrumental accomplishments in Macon is the creation of the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail. Ben Porter is truly a lifetime achiever and an exceptional visionary whose preserverance and leadership style serves as an example to the Middle Georgia community. Congratulations to Ben Porter, Lifetime Achievement Award Winner!

2009 Chairman's Awards - Cyndey Busbee and James Palmer
Each year, the Chamber Chairman awards the Chamber Chairman's Award to recognize outstanding commitment and performance of a board member. 2009 Chairman Paul Leath awarded this accolade to two very valuable board members. The co-chairs of the Strategic Planning Committee lead a successful strategic planning process, which led to sharpening the Chamber's focus and making us more in sync with the members needs. Congratulations to Cyndey Busbee and James Palmer, Chairman's Award winners!

2009 Ambassador of the Year - Montene Gates
The Chamber Ambassadors are a prestigious group that serve as the public relations arm of the chamber. This crew volunteers as the welcoming committe at Chamber events, and also encourages membership involvement through phone calls and visits.This accolade is awarded to the Ambassador that goes above and beyond the call of duty. Congratulations Montene Gates, Ambassador of the Year for the 2nd consecutive year!
Existing Industry Awards are awarded to Companies that define "Good Corporate Citizens." They not only provide jobs for Central Georgians, but also invest time, money and other resources into the community.

2009 Mid-Sized Existing Industry of the Year - Freudenberg Texbond LP
Our first Existing Industry award winner was truly a green operation - turning shredded plastic bottle chips into carrier material for flat roofing. The company began in Macon in 1986 and grew from 17 employees in 1990 to 110 employees today. They make a conscious effort to be involved in numerous civic and charitable organizations throughout Central Georgia. Congratulations to Freudenberg Texbond LP, Mid-Sized Existing Industry of the Year!

2009 Large Existing Industry of the Year -Boeing
Our second Existing Industry award winner has a rich history in Macon, dating back to when their facility opened in 1988. They have grown from 152 in 1990 to 503 employees today. Boeing has won numerous awards including the Malcolm Bridge Award, the Oglethorpe Award, was reconized as one of the top ten manufacturing facilities in the United States, and their teams have been recognized as the most productive in their organization. Their employees are actively engaged in the community with over 1700 volunteer hours in 2009. Boeing also supports the military through the production of high quality sub-assemblies for the C-17 airlifter, the Chinook helicopter, and the A-10 Thunderbolt. Congratulations to Boeing, Large Existing Industry of the Year!

2009 Citizen of the Year - Chris R. Sheridan
The Citizen of the Year is the highest honor the Chamber presents at the Annual Meeting. The award celebrates what is right with Macon by by highlighting the contributions of an individual who has made a significant difference in the community.  Chris R. Sheridan exemplifies what it means to be Citizen of the Year. He is consistently involved in civic activities including Habitat for Humanity, instrumental in the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail, has led local Community Foundation fund raising activities and fund raisers for local high schools, colleges and universities. He is part of the Medcen Foundation, Leadership Macon Class of '79, and the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. His numerous awards include the Cultural Award from Macon Arts, and the Alumni Career Achievement Award from Mount de Sales. Professionally, he is involved in the Association of General Contractors, Plumbers Professional Association, the Macon Bibb Urban Development Authority and the Chamber of Commerce. On top of all this, he is the CEO of Chris R. Sheridan and Associates. Congratulations to Chris R. Sheridan, Citizen of the Year!

Find out how Macon Economic Development Commission Works for Warehousing & Distribution, Shared Services, Aerospace, Advanced Manufacturing, Automotive and Food Processing