In most cases, they represent a diverse array of ideals in the spectrum of humanity ranging from business success to spirited community-mindedness.
The Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce seeks to identify — and to honor — local leaders at both ends of this spectrum through its two most prestigious awards, the M.C. Headrick Free Enterprise Award and the Robert W. Varnell Leadership Award.
Each revolves around business.
Yet, each strives to recognize an extreme in ideals.
The Headrick Free Enterprise Award honors the community business leader who best personifies the spirit of capitalism as evidenced by bold and courageous ventures that have benefited the community, the residents of that community and the entrepreneur who launched the initiative.
The Varnell Leadership Award honors the community business leader whose civic-mindedness and commitment to cause(s) has distinguished that leader as one who cares, one who works in support of others and one who values the noble concept of “service above self.”
To better define the pair of distinguished Chamber awards, perhaps it is best to list the 2010 award recipients.
Winner of the 2010 Headrick Award was Brenda Lawson, founder of Brenda Lawson & Associates LLC.
Winner of the 2010 Varnell Award was Nancy Casson, co-owner of The Red Ribbon.
All are surely aware of the business impact within our community of Lawson and her willingness to step forward — while others retreat — in the pursuit of business opportunities that not only support her spirit of free enterprise but her desire to support as well her community’s economic well-being.
And who among us is unfamiliar with Casson’s community side? Check her reference sheet of civic causes to which she has given monetarily but most importantly her time as a dependable volunteer. Such a list would include United Way of Bradley County, Junior Achievement of the Ocoee Region, the Museum Center at Five Points, MainStreet Cleveland and the Chamber of Commerce, among others.
We name drop Brenda Lawson and Nancy Casson because they are the epitome of what these Chamber of Commerce awards are all about.
Business in leadership from a free enterprise perspective.
Business in leadership from a community service perspective.
Our Cleveland and Bradley County hometown community is blessed with many successful businesses and even more service organizations. All are supported by the tireless efforts of leaders. No one knows these leaders better than our residents.
These residents are ...
The local Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for both awards. Deadline for each is Monday, Nov. 29, at 5 p.m. Nomination forms, resumes and support documentation must be submitted to the Chamber offices by that time.
Recipients for both awards will be announced at the Chamber’s 85th Annual Meeting scheduled Jan. 18, 2011, in the Professional Development Building at Life Care Centers of America. Additional information about the awards, or the nomination process, may be obtained by contacting the Chamber at 472-6587.
As we said, no one knows better than our community residents those who personify the spirit of each of these prestigious Chamber awards.
We urge you to identify your nominations.
Complete the paperwork.
And submit the information by Monday’s deadline.