While it wasn't a new honor for County Commission Chair Mike Berg, it was the first time that his fellow commissioners and county employees got to see their chair honored with a prestigious ACCG award.
Berg received the unexpected honor in April when he was named the recipient of the Emory Greene Leadership Award, the highest award given by ACCG.
"This award was given to me and, unfortunately, nobody [from the county] could be there," Berg said. "This really is as much an award for the commissioners that serve with me, as well as an award for the citizens of this county who have elected me three times now and said ‘go do work for the county.'"
The highest honor that can be given to an elected county official by ACCG, he received the award during the 2015 Association County Commissioners of Georgia annual meeting in Savannah.
"This award was presented at our annual conference, but the one thing missing at the presentation was the constituents of the respected community," said Ross King, executive director of ACCG.
Named in honor of former Bibb County chairman and former ACCG president Emory Greene, the award celebrates one elected county commissioner who best exemplifies outstanding commitment to his community and state.
ACCG 2nd Vice President and Elbert County Chairman Tommy Lyon presented the award in April.
"His county has thrived under his leadership with massive expansion to include premium outlet stores frequently visited by those from surrounding areas," he said. "The stability of his county government is attributed to his vision and leadership."
Now in his third term as chairman of Dawson's governing body, Berg said Dawson's government center, which opened in 2012 and will be paid off this summer using 1-cent sales tax revenue, is among his most satisfying accomplishments.
"This is the one individual out of over 800 ... county commissioners who exemplifies leadership, vision, capacity and strength of character," King said. "Leadership isn't ... ensuring that you have a friend in every corridor. You cannot, in every community, make everyone happy. [Leadership] is having the capacity ... to take the step to do the job and go the extra mile."
Before moving to Dawson County, he also served as a Gwinnett County commissioner at a time of substantial growth.
He served as the association's president in the 2013-14 term.
"[His] noteworthy leadership extends beyond his county and reaches others through his involvement in ACCG as chair of the lost committee and several sub-committees as well as his active involvement on the association's board of managers," Lyon said. "With his guidance, ACCG released its second strategic plan to lead us through 2020."
Staff writer Michele Hester contributed to this story.