In its annual awards banquet, the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce recognized several members for outstanding contributions.
Named as the Outstanding Business Person of the Year, Peachtree City attorney Doug Warner has served the county in a number of capacities.
He is a graduate of College Park High School and has a law degree from Emory University. He has practiced law in Georgia since 1975, and was admitted to practice before the Ga. Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court. He has served as president or board chair of organizations including the Peachtree City Rotary, the Georgia EMC Counsel Association, and the Fayette County Bar Association. He is the senior partner in the Peachtree City law firm of Warner, Hooper and Ramsey.
This award is based on someone who owns, operates or manages a business or profession in Fayette County. Recipients must have demonstrated unselfish support of the community and are selected by a vote of prior recipients of this award.
The oldest award given is the Chet Wells Award. He was a man who gave much of his time and effort in the building and growing of the Chamber.
The recipient this year was Randy Weaver. He is a member of the Chamber Board of Directors, and has gone above and beyond the call of duty in helping to define the future visioning efforts for the Chamber.
The Ambassador of the Year Award went to banker Charlie Cave. His passion for people has led him to be an ambassador for over three years. He leads by example and continues to make a difference in the community. He is active in the Fayette County Kiwanis, participates on the Advisory Board for the United Way and coaches the women’s softball team at his church.
The Dreambuilder Award was begun in 2002 to recognize the people who have gone above and beyond over a long period of time in Fayette County.
Chosen this year was Norman Paschall, who started what is now the oldest manufacturing business in Peachtree City. Though originally in Atlanta, he opened a plant here in 1961 and it is still in operation. His vision resulted in a lasting, job-producing business for Peachtree City and Fayette County.
The Small Business of the Year is awarded on the basis of an outline by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Small businesses represent more than 99 percent of all employers, creating three-fourths of all new jobs, and accounting for more than one-half of the nation’s gross domestic product.
The winner of the award this year was Ajako, Inc., a promotional advertising and marketing company. It has been in business in Fayette County for over 10 years. This company supports the community by being an active member in the Chamber and by supporting Fayette County Schools through the Partners in Education program.
It is owned by Patricia Kadkhodaian, who employs six part-time employees. She is active in Peachtree City Rotary and in also involved in Boy Scout Troop 118 in Brooks.
The Chamber of Commerce had held its annual meeting in a different venue this year. Instead of a more formal night meeting, it was held as a luncheon at the Dolce Atlanta Peachtree Hotel on Aberdeen Parkway in Peachtree City.
The theme for the luncheon was “Embracing the Future, While Celebrating the Past.”
The keynote speaker for the occasion was Jack Uldrich, a best-selling author and futurist. He is known as a global futurist, and addressed the audience with information concerning future trends, emerging technologies, innovation, and the change coming in management and leadership.
His main point to the attendees was that we should expect more change to occur in the next 25 years than has occurred in the past 110 years. Vastly accelerated technological change will present both the most problems and the most opportunities, he said.
His presentation used many illustrations from his most recent book, “Jump the Curve.”
“Knowledge is good,” he said, and gave several examples of the changes in technology from the year 2000 to 2010.
In 2000, two college graduates began the search engine Google. In just 10 years, the increase in usage comes to a thousand-fold increase.
The developer of NetFlix began putting the concept together in 1990. In another five years, it is expected that storefront CD and DVD rental companies will no longer be in business.
In 1910, 50 percent of the population lived on a farm; today it’s less than 1 percent.
In 1947, the first computer was constructed. It filled a room the size of the average living room, and had to be built on a floor on tiles with holes in them, and an air conditioning unit installed underneath the floor to keep the behemoth cool. Today we can hold one in our hand.
“Technology,” he concluded, “helps us to do the same thing faster.”