This points to the significance of the Cleveland Media Association’s recent selection of its 2011 Excellence in Communications Award.
He is Bob Gault, public information officer of the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office and 40-year veteran of the communications industry. His was an appropriate selection — especially upon review of the past calendar year and the recipient’s impact on our community’s recovery.
Many communicators throughout the Cleveland area, in both professional and volunteer roles, found their focus and priorities suddenly one-dimensional in the aftermath of the unbelievable death and destruction that befell our residents. Gault was among them.
The 2011 award recipient was among those organizing the community’s first press conference on the day following Mother Nature’s violent assault on our people. At that public briefing came the tragic news of nine fatalities and hundreds of homes destroyed or badly damaged.
In days and weeks to come, we were to learn of 285 destroyed homes and more than 300 others that had suffered severe damage. Hundreds more had minor to moderate impact.
Communicating to our Bradley County community — and especially to the families and individuals whose lives were directly impacted — became a priority. Helping all to understand the next steps and which organizations would be taking the lead in the community’s immediate response was of utmost importance. It was a role Gault took seriously while conducting himself professionally in dealing with other entities, decision-makers and just as importantly other communicators.
As crucial as the BCSO’s voice was to Bradley County’s recovery from those 12 hours of infamy, Gault’s elite performance in his duties is not limited to 2011 and post-storm recovery. The likable Cleveland resident has a long, storied and proven history of excellence in the field.
In the past seven years, is work with the Sheriff’s Office has been exemplary, and most importantly consistent. Too, he is a communicator on whom news agencies rely for timely messaging, accurate details and full disclosure.
The professional’s expertise has served as an incredible value to other organizations and personal interests: The Hiwassee Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Law Enforcement Committee of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce are just two of many. His role in media production at North Cleveland Church of God is just as impressive.
Gault’s selection to the 2011 prestigious honor is appropriate for another reason. He served as one of several CMA co-founders, and has held its highest offices.
We applaud Cleveland Media Association members for their selection.
Gault is another in a long line of worthy honorees who include Cameron Fisher, Beecher Hunter, Dr. Michael Laney, Allen Mincey, Nancy Neal, Tom Rowland, George Starr and Corky Whitlock.
All are the epitome of communications at its best.