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Chamber highlights 'stars' Dawson County at gala
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roger slaton

It was an evening of stars at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Friday night.

Thats when the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce held its 23rd annual gala, whose theme this year was Stars of the Chamber.

Chamber President Christie Haynes said 175 people attended the event.

During the gala, new chair Gloria Wyatt, secretary and treasurer Mandy Power and chair-elect Carla Boutin were sworn in to the chamber board. And recipients of the Don Gordon Business Leader Award, the Jim Wallace Volunteer of the Year Award and the Chairmans Award were announced.

Haynes presented the Don Gordon Business Leader Award.

The man receiving this award is one I bet almost every person in this room knows, Haynes said. Hes a man thats been dedicated to this community for many years. Im of course speaking of Roger Slaton.

Slaton has been a member of the chamber for more than 25 years, Haynes said, including serving as chamber chair for two terms. A State Farm Insurance agent since 1980, he is a member of the Dawson County Board of Education and the board of Lanier Technical College. Slaton also has been heavily involved with Relay for Life and the Mountain Moonshine Festival.

In addition to his business leadership, hes been committed to our community in every aspect of his life, Haynes said. I think its safe to say anything thats happened in this community over the last 30 years, youve definitely been part of it and I couldnt be prouder to give you this award this evening.

A teary-eyed Slaton was quite surprised by the honor. I think for the first time in my life, I might be speechless, he said.

Haynes also presented the Jim Wallace Volunteer of the Year Award. This woman is known for her commitment to organizations across the county. We are particularly grateful for what shes dedicated to the chamber, this past year in particular, Haynes said. This year wed like to recognize Carol Tyger.

Tyger serves as co-chair of Leadership Dawson and on the board of the chamber. She is also an Ambassador representative and is part of the chambers membership and marketing committee, which helps organize and plan chamber events. I just have to say we couldnt have had someone as dependable and reliable as Carol is, Haynes said.

Tyger also was surprised. I love this community, and I love working with all of you, she said. Thank you very much.

Pete Hill, 2013 chair, presented the Chairmans Award.

Hill said he had been thinking for the past six months whom he wanted to receive the award. We have a lot of people who give a lot to the chamber, but what I was looking for was someone who truly was a star, he said.

That star was Doris Cook.

Some of the things they (her colleagues) said about her was she has a unique ability to bring diverse groups together for common goals, Hill said. Some of the words used to describe her are encourager and team builder. Shes described as dependable, trustworthy, capable.

Shes one of the most caring individuals Ive ever been associated with, Hill said.

Cook has served three terms on the Dawson County Board of Education. Shes been involved with the chamber since the late 1990s and participated in Leadership Dawson in 2000. Her accomplishments are very long, Hill said.

This years chair, Gloria Wyatt, closed out the evening. It is our goal to continue serving our members as we strive to explore new and innovative programs to help our community grow and prosper, she said. We have so much to offer at our chamber, and we will continue to strive to make Dawsonville and Dawson County the preferred location for businesses and families.