The Young Professionals Connection (YPC), a program of the , has announced its Top Ten Young Professionals of 2011. The Top Ten Young Professionals of 2011 is recognition of young professionals in Douglasville and Douglas County who embody YPC’s mission and vision. The awards were presented at the AT&T Business After Hours on Jan. 26. These awards were sponsored by the Douglas County Chamber and .
The Young Professionals Connection was founded in 2008 and its mission is to provide opportunities for young professionals to connect with their peers, connect with their community, and connect with their future. YPC combines personal and professional development through social, community service and professional activities. YPC’s vision is to create an inclusive and collaborative network of resources that empowers talented individuals to achieve their goals for professional growth and success; provide employers with an engaged and competitive workforce; and propels Douglasville and Douglas County forward. More information about YPC can be found on www.ypc-dville.com or by contacting Sara Ray at the DC Chamber, 770-942-5022.
Top Ten Young Professionals of 2011
Chad Benton, , age 36
Chad has been actively involved in the Douglas County community through the Chamber for eight years. Starting as a Diplomat in 2004 and serving as the 2008 and 2011 YPC Co-Chair, he has made a strong impact in the business community. Chad uses his leadership skills gained through the Leadership Douglas program to mentor a Youth Leadership Douglas student and help raise funds for various local charities. On a professional note, Chad is an integral part of the sales team that helped Gold’s Gym West Georgia receives the “Best Customer Service World-Wide” award out of more than 600 locations.
Alicia Doherty, American Red Cross, age 33
As an employee of the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States, Alicia has a direct impact on the community blood supply in the metropolitan Atlanta area. In 2011, 7,037 pints of blood were collected in her territory which can help save up to 21,111 lives. In the past five months Alicia has received two promotions which demonstrate her genuine work ethic, integrity, passion and leadership abilities. When she isn’t helping save lives, Alicia is an active member of the community as a Board Member, Co-Chair of the 2012 Leadership Douglas Class and 2010 graduate, former YPC Co-Chair, secret Santa for a child in the Douglas County DFACS and former Diplomat.
Kyle Gable, Ackerman & Co., age 29
Kyle’s commercial real estate career is soaring as he was selected one of the top “30 Under 30” for the National Association of Realtors out of 1.2 million members. His successes did not stop with this award and he has contributed to the community in assisting with various projects and purchases for Douglas County and DC Chamber members. Kyle is not only passionate about his career, but also about the community he grew up in. He is a student in Leadership Douglas, actively involved at his church with the young married class and youth program and football coach at his alma mater.
Philip Godfrey, Georgia Power Company, age 38
While Philip’s career is not what one would expect with his MBA and Business degree, he credits his success and career path in the Engineering field to dedication, hard work and establishing a network of mentors and colleagues. His professional successes have geared to being more efficient with their dollars and employee productivity. On the service front, Philip strives to help make Douglas County a better place to live, work and raise his family. His involvement in the Chamber’s Leadership Douglas program as a graduate in 2009 and 2012 Co-Chair, a Loaned Executive for the United Way in 2012 and softball coach for his daughters’ teams have demonstrated his commitment to the community.
Heather Ison, Morris | Hardwick | Schneider, age 36
Partner at the Douglasville location, Heathers successes with MHS are astounding. As the 2010 Associate of the Year, an award selected out of 200 attorneys and Chair of Managing Attorney Council, Heather is the first in her firm to receive both honors consecutively. While her professional career and successes occupy her days, she still finds time to give back to the community. A Chamber Diplomat, member of YPC, a current student in Leadership Douglas, Habitat for Humanity volunteer and Susan G. Komen 3-Day walker and advocate, Heather gives her all at anything she is involved in.
Randi Miles, City of Douglasville, age 28
As our youngest Top Ten Young Professional to date, Randi has several major accomplishments. Professionally Randi is a graduate of the three year Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College, AMTA Board Member and Membership Chair, GACVB Benchmark Leadership Program participant and constantly executes successful community events for Douglasville including the West Georgia Quad, Bridal and Family Reunion Workshops and more. Randi’s professional successes do not stop her from giving back to the community. She is a current student of the Leadership Douglas class, 2012 YPC Co-Chair, Youth Leadership Douglas Mentor, and Chamber Diplomat. Randi is also an advocate for the , , Herobox and an active member of her church.
Michael Miller, Miller & Hightower- Attorneys at Law, age 39
Mike began his own law firm in 2005 and due to rapid growth, relocated his business to downtown Douglasville in 2006. While his list of successful cases is impressive, his involvement in the community is top notch. As a member of the School Board, founder of the West Metro Young Republican Organization, Boy Scout Advocate and 2011 Fundraising Chair, Leadership Douglas graduate and much more, he is also running for State House Representative this year.
Tiffany Smith, United Community Bank, age 32
As the Branch Manager at , Tiffany received the Golden Spike Award for Superior Customer Service and Leadership and her branch has been recognized for consistently being a Top Performer in Customer Service. Tiffany’s leadership skills shine through her service to the community as a Board Member for S.H.A.R.E House, Partner in Education, Women's Bible Study leader for several years at her church, softball coach for her daughter’s team, and PTA member at her children’s school. Tiffany is active in the Chamber as a 2011 Leadership Douglas Graduate, member of YPC, Douglas County Chamber Diplomat, and Youth Leadership Douglas mentor. She is the epitome in creating a balance between a professional career and family.
Breezy Straton, Mercer University, age 29
Breezy is passionate about all she does. Whether she is promoting and encouraging students to attend Mercer University as part of her career, striving towards her Masters in Public Administraton or participating in one of the many committees and organizations she is a member of, Breezy gives 100 percent each day. Her hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed. Breezy is a current student in Leadership Douglas, member of YPC and Chamber Diplomats as well as the founder of both the Student Advisory Council and Reservation for College programs, and United Way advocate. She currently has two policy recommendations up for the 2012 state legislative session.
Fhonda Strong, Douglas County School System, age 38
As a native of Douglas County and a product of the Douglas County School System, Fhonda has a personal commitment to this county. Coming from a family line of successful educators in the , her vested interest is in the future of the students and this community. She has proudly served in various leadership capacities such as teacher leader, math department chair, and Instructional Coach for the school system. She is currently the Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction for New Manchester High School. Fhonda’s commitment to the community doesn’t stop at the school doors; she is also an active member of New Mountain Top Baptist Church, DC Character Coalition, United Way, and Relay for Life, and Partners in Education.