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Awards and recognitions presented to community leaders during Cobb Chamber Annual Dinner


The Cobb Chamber of Commerce recently held its 81st Annual Dinner, a networking and social event held to recognize achievements within the community. The dinner celebrated the many accomplishments of 2022 and shared the Chamber’s strategic priorities for 2023. Members of the chamber and volunteers were among the over 1,100 business leaders and their guests in attendance.

Several special awards were presented to leaders committed to improving the community. Among those receiving awards and recognitions were former Cobb District Attorney Joyette Holmes, an attorney with Gregory, Doyle, Calhoun & Rogers, and Pete Quinones of MetroAtlanta Ambulance Service. The two were presented with the 2023 Len Gilbert Award by Britt Fleck, outgoing chair of the Chamber.

The award is presented to an outstanding board member who achieved new heights for a chamber initiative, program, or event through leadership, commitment, and dedication. Holmes and Quinones served as 2022 Strategic Planning co-chairs, recruiting a large steering committee, leading thoughtful conversations, and attending multiple focus groups and meetings. The pair helped to facilitate a process to develop a five-year plan that addresses the county’s economic and community needs.

Sonya Grant of WorkSource Cobb received the 2023 Chairman’s Award for being a dedicated partner to the chamber and an active member of the SelectCobb Workforce Taskforce, a 2022 committee devoted to finding solutions to address current workforce challenges.

Grant led the ReAlign ReStart Program, a workforce development effort between the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office, WorkSource Cobb, Construction Ready, and the Cobb Chamber that trains and prepares inmates for jobs in skilled trades, like construction and welding, and gives these individuals essential skills needed to find their next job.

Kat Schwaig, President of Kennesaw State University received the 2023 Mack Henderson Public Service Award which recognizes an individual who embodies the philanthropic legacy of Mack Henderson through outstanding commitment and dedication to building a better quality of life for the citizens of Cobb County.

As KSU’s president, Schaiwg has focused attention on enrollment growth, KSU’s research infrastructure, and engaging first-year students. She also relaunched HatchBridge, the business incubator that welcomes innovators from throughout the community and offers access to courses, funding opportunities, mentors, office space, and networking, all tailored to start-ups.

Ron Newcomb, President of Chattahoochee Technical College, was presented the 2023 Dr. Robert A. Lipson Award, which is presented to someone who is a visionary, a friend, a mentor, and a leader. Newcomb has played a critical role in both the launch and growth of the Cobb Workforce Partnership. Prior to becoming president of Chattahoochee Technical College in 2012, Newcomb served 20 years as a Smyrna City Councilman.


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