Chamber of Commerce
Helping your business grow and succeed is what the Paulding Chamber of Commerce is all about. Learn what the chamber is all about and tap into some of the resources available to you from the Paulding Chamber of Commerce.
Visit About Us to see who's working to help reach our goals through their board membership. Commerce.
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Through an active and diverse membership, the Chamber will improve the economy and quality of life for our members and our community.
Come grow your Business in Paulding County!
Join us in recognizing our featured members.
- Small Business of the Year: Cornerstone Chiropractic
- Large Business of the Year: Georgia Power
- Communtiy Parner of the Year: MembersFirst Credit Union
- Bridging the Gap Award: Chattahoochee Technical College
- Horizon Award: Jim Simpson
- Ambassador of the Year: Rafael Guerra
- Nonprofit of the Year: McKenna Farms Therapy Services
- Young Professional of the Year: Carmen Prather
- Citizen of the Year: David Austin
- Lifetime Achievement: Posthumous Awards: Joe Parker and Charles
- Leaving a Legacy: Ed Cahill
Small Business of the Year: Cornerstone Chiropractic
Our Small Business of the year recipient happens to be celebrating their official 10th year anniversary. Through hard work, dedication and innovative thinking this business not oly survived but has thrived. Small business of the year recipient Cornerstone Chiropractic, implemented a few things that set them apart and helped establish themselves as a well-respected community partner. First is their definition of "Family Care" which to them means a demonstration of taking care of families exactly the same way they would their own. They will often take extra X-rays for peace of mind at no charge, hold a patient's hand or just sit with them in their moments of pain or despair, or even do things like adjusting stuffed animals to make a child feel safe. These are the things that make patients feel cared for-like family. Another approach is their Patient Appreciation Days(PAD): it is one day a month in which Cornerstone only collects donations to give to local charities, schools or charches. They make donations to the organizations of Shepherd's Rest Ministry domestic violence shelter, CAYA Reconciliation Ministries, The Family Alliance of Paulding, Calvery Children's Home, and the Girl Schouts. Many may also know of the Cornerstone Community Challenge. A 5K started by the office that just had its' 10th Annual Run October of 2016 and in which all proceeds are donated to a local non-profit. October 2016, Cornerstone donated a record amount of over 15 thousand dollars. Not too bad for a couple of guys who knew nothing about running a 5K... another testament that sometimes doing things for the right reasons is enough to guarantee success. We recognize Dr. Dan Roberts and Dr. Chris Laurenzi, Owners of Cornerstone Chiropractic as our 2016 Small Business of the Year
Large Business of the Year: Georgia Power
Value, Reliability, Service and Statewardship- these are the four terms that come to mind when we think of our 2016 Business of the Year, Georgia Power Company. Georgia Power works to be the best in energy generation, transmission and distribution and sets a goal of outstanding customer service and satisfaction. High reliability and low prices are cornerstones of their customer commitment, but it doesn't end there. They are equally dedicated to giving back to the communities they serve with their vision being "A Citizen Wherever We Serve" which still holds true more than 100 years after it was coined by the first company president, Preston Arkwright Sr. Georgia Power has served Paulding County well in many areas including being instrumental in bringing the Airport to Paulding and sittin og the Airport Authority Board. They were instrumental in opening the Industrial Park and serving on the Board of Paulding Economic Development. Other community Board positions held include the United Way and Paulding County Education Foundation. They led restoration effors after the tragic tornado struck Dallas in 2011, even providing meals to all of the Public Safety workers during the restoration. Georgia power worked with Paulding County School Syestem and Kennesaw State University informing a two week instructional STEM summer camp for K-5 students free of charge. Georgia Power has served in leadership roles for the Chamber including facilitating Leadership Paulding classes and holding a former Chairman of the Board position. They have strong participation sponsoring commitments of the Chamber's events such as Prime of Paulding Business Expo, Boots Chaps & Cowboy Hats, Annual Gala's and holding the naming rights for our monthly georgia Power Lucheon series. Their commitment to our community and our Chamber has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated and it is a pleasure to call Georgia Power our 2016 Large Business of the Year.
Communtiy Parner of the Year: MembersFirst Credit Union
This award recognizes a business in our county that truly makes an investment in our community trough its outreach efforts, with participation in our schools, our Nonprofits and their involvement with our Chamber and local businesses. MembersFirst Credit Union is a full-service, ont-for-profit, financial service privider that is in the business of serving and was a natural fit for this rocognition. As a major sponsor fo the Paulding County School District, MembersFirst has supported the efforts of the teachers, principals, administration and auxiliary staff by sponsoring various programs and providing well needed supplies. For the past 10 years, MembersFirst has served the Paulding Education Foundation, the Paulding Chamber Workforce Development and Work-Based Learning committees, has participated in Senior Capstone Projects, middleschool relity fairs, Breakfst Buddies, Rising Professionals, Career Days and Read Across America. Recently, MembersFirst was honored to partner with the Paulding County School District's Work-Based Learning Program to provide a fully student run, in-schoolcredit union branch at Hiram High School. Also an initiative of the Financial Services Pathway, this student-run branch, just one of two in the state, has given students the opportunity to participate in real-world scensarios in the areas of finance, marketing, planning, technology and communications. The success of this partnershiphas impacted our students at Hiram High immensely, earning the students awards and financial incentives from entities across the state. MembersFirst is also the exclusive credit union for WellStar Health System and proides free financial education and services to the employees. MembersFirst has partnered with a number of civic organizations and continues to put funds back int the community by sponsoring a vast array of other programs and their employees, many of whom live in the community give back through volunteer hours and by providing donations of school supplies, clothing and pantry items. They have helped our Chamber thrive by participating and sponsoring events suc as Annual Awards Gala, Prime of Paulding Expo, Ragsdale Heating and Air Clay Shoot and the Boots Chaps & Cowboy Hats event and being a member of our Chaiman's Club. As well as having an employee serve on various Chamber committees and on the Chamber Board of Director's. Most recently, Terry Hardy served as the Chamber Board Chairman for an 18 month term in 2014- 2015. The credit union philosophy is People Helping People and MembersFirst ontinues to do just that in each of its business partnerships.MembersFirst Credit Union has a vested interest in Paulding County, calling it home, and it does not take lightly the responsibility of being an actie business leader that contributes to all areas of growht of the Paulding Community. It is an honor to recognize MembersFirst Credit Union as the Communit Partner of the Year.
Bridging the Gap Award: Chattahoochee Technical College
This award was created to recognize a business or entity that has successfully "bridge the gap" between education, workforce development and the private sector contributing to the economic development climate in our Community. Trhrough community outreach, partnership and school district collaboration Chattahoochee Technical College has indeed contributed to the Paulding County growth and development in an impactful way. Chattahoochee Technical College Whose Paulding Campus serves roughly 900 students, is committed to providing affordable and accessible education to the communities it serves. Graduates leave with essential skills and knowlege needed to tackle a carrer or further their education. Chattahoochee Techinal College makes this possible by offering programs relevant to the needs of local businesses and industry, ongoing student support, and highly qualified instructors who provide students with the skills needed to take the next step toward a sucessful life. Working with the Paulding County School district the college enrolled 160 move When Ready students and flly supports the District's efforts toward crating a College and Career Academy. To grant a greater perspective of postsecondary opportunities to the community. Move On When Ready events, Senior Days, and Financial Aid Nights have become a standard in educatingcommunity of education and workforce opportunities. A signature event, Health Career Day, was created for potential students and community members to be introduced to emerging and in-demand careers.Representatives from Chatt Tech's Health are Science programs provide information on the College's programs of study alongside representatives from local emplyers in the industry. Hosted by Chatt Tech at the Paulding Campus, the event features presntation by Chattahoochee Tech, Georgia Highlands College, and community members, giving students an up-close-and personal look at careers in the health sciences field. Chattahoochee Technial College recognizes the importance of connecting to the community. The College's Paulding Engaement team participate in a variety of events including Paulidng Touch a Truck event, Relay For Life, the YMCA's summer lunch program and the Northwest Georgia Heart Walk. Chattahoochee Technical College clearly represents the intent of the "Bridging the Gap" award as they partner with the school district, business and industry as well as community organizations to ensure Paulding County reaches its full potential for quality of life and continued growth. We congratulate Chattahoochee Technical College as our "Bridging the Gap" Award recipiant.
Horizon Award: Jim Simpson
This year's Horizon Award recipient is a pillar of integrity and leadership among his peers and the Paulding commuity. He is a leadership Paulding graduate, a Chamber Ambassador and has been a wonderful asset to the GreyStone Leads to Business and the Bank of North Georgia's Paulding Emerging Professionals serving as Chair of these programs. He has proven himself as an ideal mentor in preparing the leaders of tomorrow and if you have been to one of our Karaoke social events, you will find that he is a local celebrity. We ar pleased to recognize Jim Simpson with American Family Insurnace Office of Jim Simpson, our Horizon Award.
Ambassador of the Year: Rafael Guerra
Chamber Ambassadors have a prominent position of responsibility within our Chamber. They act as a primary liaison to our investors, are highly visible at Chamber events, and are decicated volunteers within our organization. During this Rafael Guerra's invovement with this program; dedication, ambition, and leadership have been consistently demostrated. Having owned his own business in Hiram for the past three years, he has been more than a Chamber Ambassador but an Ambassador to the entire small business and Hispanic communities. Most recently, his business, Cartridge World of Hiram was named as the Paulding Chamber Small Business of the Month. To know him is to admire his commitment, hard work and charm. Rafeal Guerra, owner of Cartridge World of Hiram, is a true asset to Paulding County and is the Paulding Chamber of Commerce 2016 Ambassador of the Year.
Nonprofit of the Year: McKenna Farms Therapy Services
The mission of a non-profit, simplified is to support, nurture and empower communities and individuals of all ages to secure a better quality of life. We recognize McKenna Farms Therapy as our Non-Profit of the Year. They serve more than 500 children a week providing physical, occupational and speach pathology services for children with special needs from ages 0-21, who have a variety of diagnosis. In additon to traditional therapy services they offer a world class Equine program using Hippotherapy, which is providing therapy with the help of a horse and Therapeutic Riding. Therapists work as a team to provide comprehensive interdisciplinary services to ensure a child's optimal development and turns no child away providing scholarship to patients who do not have proper coverage for services rendered. With the assistance of over 200 plus vlounteers a week, they provide a vital resource for families with children with special needs within our community. Few have a passion for lifelong service to others that leaves the world a better place than which they found it, We recognize Jessica Moore for doing just that Thank you McKenna Farms Therapy Service our nonprofit of the year.
Citizen of the Year: David Austin
If you know this man, you will know a spirit of extreme positivity. A man who exudes energy, and sees the glass not only half full but running over. He has never had a bad day. He has a way of turning lemons into lemonade. The ove of his family is deep and his loyalty to his friends if fierce. He relies on his faith when making decisions. He has always related much of how to handle life's challenges to what he learned while playing football. You may have heard him say "When you get hit, you get up and get back out on the field for the next play. " He is one of Paulding County's best cheerleaders. Everything he does and everywher he goes, he promotes Paulding County and looks for ways to bring economic development to the Community. He started working when he was in the 4th grade and has never stopped. He grew up in a Christian home with hard working parents and married the love of his life. When he took the office as Chairman of the Paulding County Board of Commissioners in 2009, it was during the worse economic crisis that the county and country had faced. Hetook it as a challenge and never let it break his focus of working to make Paulding County a better place to work play and live. With a background in management and sales, he was able to help Paulding recover and get back on their feet leaving the county with $40 M of reserves when he left office at the end of 2016. While serving as Chirman, he was a board member of the Airport Authority, Industrial Building Authority, WellStar Paulding Hospital Advisory Baord, and the Paulding Chamber of Commerce. He also served as Chairman of the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission, Vice Chairman of the Cobb County Marietta Water Authority, Chairman of the Regional Transportaiton Committee and Executive Committee, the Workforce Investment Board and Georgia Association of Regional Commissions. Many other positions, but too many to name. He is always looking for ways to put Paulding County out front through these posititions and for ways to bring opportunities back to the community. Some of his accomplishments while in office were never raising taxes in the worst economic downturn of our day, making Paulding a Work Ready Community, achieving the First Certified County of Ethics, and building the first film studio north of 1-20. Other major accomplishments are WellStar Paulding Hospita, a new State Patro Post and a Drivers License Bureau. Most importantly, the 404 permit to begin construction of the Richland Creek Resevoir that will serve Paulding for Generations to come.He always gives credit to the people aroun him fro his many achievements, but without his leadership these great things for Paulding wouldn't be possible. We honor our 2016 Citizen of the Year, Former Paulding County Commission Chairman David Austin.
Lifetime Achievement: Posthumous Awards: Joe Parker and Charles
Mr. Joe Parker, a lifelong resident of Dallas, worked at The Dallas New Era for 55 years, eventually becoing Owner & Editor unitl his death in January 2016. Joe took great pride in the news, articles, and pictures that were published weekly. He enjoyed taking pictures at countless sporting events and phoographed many family and friends weddings and anniversaries. He loved his Alma Mater, Dallas High School graduating in 1962 were he played football and cherished the dear friends from those days. Joe met his beautiful wife, Leola, marrying her on January 12, 1973, together they had 7 children. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, and a loyal friend to many. He was a member of the First Baptist Chirch in Dallas were he attended the Joshua Sunday School Class, and the Dallas Lions Club. He recieved hundreds of Public Service awards over the yars and they are proudly hung in the Dallas New Era office. Joe was a humble, gentle giant, who dedicated his life to the people of Paulding County and loved serving this great community
Mr.Charles Hardy was a lifelong resident of Paulding County founding Hardy Chevrolet Buick GMC in Dallas in 1978 and Hardy Family Ford in 1985. Prior to that, Charles was a successful home builder, moble home dealer and operator of Southeastern International Drag Way. During the mid- 1990's, Charles owned a NASCAR team and later partnered with Bill Elliott to form the Elliott-Hardy Racing Team, in which Bill Elliott drove the # 94 McDonald's Ford. Later, Mr. Hardy owned a team NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series under sponsorship by Ortho. Mr. Hardy was a 50 plus year member of Bartlett Lodge # 139 F& AM, of Hiram, and Yaarab Shrine Temple in Atlanta, He was widely recognized for his philanthropic contributions, especially to the Shriners' Hospitals for Children and WessStar Paulding Hospital. He was very instumental in the formation of the Paulding County Shrine Club where he was Charter mamber. Mr. Hardy cared very deeply not only about his community but his empolyees as well. That feeling of goodwill was eptomized in his trademark slogan, "We love you and we need you!" Greater than any business achievement was his immense love for his family, which included the love of his life and wife of 64 years, Jeanette. His Children, Hohn & Teresa Hardy, Diane & Gen Fuller, Brenda & Terry Hillhouse, Mike & Robin Hardy and Rene & Mike Gordon. His grandchildren and greatgrandchildren who wer the light of his life.
Leaving a Legacy: Ed Cahill
There are some pillars of our community who do so much, in so many ways, that it's hard to know where to begin to list the contributions they have made. Ed Cahill has been a shining light in our community for economic and community progress. I can truly say that Paulding County would not be the county it is today without his leadership and passion. He has served a Vice Dhiaman and Board member on the Paulding County Economic Development Board of Directors, helping to bring quality business and industry to Paulding and representing Paulding's most successful businesses in the healthcare, utility, finance, real estate, and smallbusiness sector. He was one of the first businessmen that David Austin approached when he wanted to put together an Economic Development Team for Paulding County. His leadership, insight and guideance have been instrumental in moving economic development forward by becoming on of the Charter Members and still serving on the Board of Directors today. He has stepped in wherever he was needed. He has served the Paulding County Chamber as a Board Member, Chairman uultiple times, and even as Shelbia's interim President in 2001 actually running the organization in house, when someon was needed to step in. He has been a lobbyist for the Chamber when his influence was needed, helping to get legilation in place that made the difference in the growht of our community. He has been instrumental in helping move the Richland Creek Resevoir forward, the WellStar Paulding Hospital, and the Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport. He supported our students and school system by serving on the Paulding County Education Foundation, as well as serving on the West Georgia STEM board. As Superintendent Cliff Cole said, "One thing about this man is very evident: he truly cares about our community." This is especilly true in his work with the Paulding County School District. He, and his employer have always been an active and engaged partner. He not only supports the Paulding Education Foundation, but he has engaged in a myriad of other educational initiatives over the course of his tenure. As a District, we are fortunate to have had the opportunity to partner with an individual of his caliber and character, and always knew his support was just a phone call away. On hehalf of the paulding County School District, we would like to thank Mr. Ed Cahill for his commitment to the students and staff of the Paulding County School District and wish him will in all future endeavors. Ed Cahill is a family man with a beautiful wife, Cecil and two wonderful children who are just like him, and he is a friend to everyone. He is always optimistic, always positive. Since coming to GreyStone Power in 1989, he hasbeen a true advocate for this Chamber and this community. We have been blessed a the Paulding Chamber of Commerce to have Ed Cahill be such an important part of our organization andlives for so many years. In appreciation to Ed, the Chamber has created a special award that the staff presented to him. Ed Cahill You are truly leaving a legacy.