81st Annual Chamber Banquet

81st Annual Chamber Banquet

held on

February 5, 2016





Additional Details


Congratulations to all of our awards recipients at the 81st Annual Banquet of the Waycross-Ware County Chamber of Commerce.


Agarwal and NisshiRandy Sharpe Health Hero Award

Dr. Mukesh Agarwal and Dr. Nishi Agarwal.

The Randy Sharpe Health Hero Award is presented to the nurse, doctor or dentist who has done something extraordinary in the health care industry. The recipient may also be a plain, ordinary person who has done something extraordinary in the health care. The Randy Sharpe Health Hero Award was presented by Congressman Earl L. “Buddy” Carter to Dr. Mukesh Agarwal and Dr. Nishi Agarwal.

This husband and wife team of doctors is caring, compassionate and concerned about all their patients. Regardless of economic status each patient is greeted with a handshake and a smile. They take the extra time to comfort their patients showing genuine concern to assure every patient they will receive the needed care. The doctors were nominated by a patient they had seen. After being hospitalized on an unrelated illness, the doctors noted an indication of more serious problem from one of the tests performed at the hospital and recommended consultation with a specialist. According to this patient, “They are through and they know their business.” The Agarwal’s have over 50 years of experience in internal and family medicine.


ag winner kager moodyMcGregor Mayo Agricultural Award

Kager Moody

The McGregor Mayo Agricultural Award is presented to a farmer or someone in the agriculture industry who has brought good to the community. The McGregor Mayo Agricultural Award was presented by M. Joseph Slusher, County Extension Agent, to Kager Moody.

Kager is a third generation farmer and operates the only dairy operation in Ware County milking 900 cows daily. He also farms hay and other cattle food, row crops and pecans.


Foss winnerKatherine Foss Education Award

Carol McCloskey

The Katherine Foss Education Award recognizes an outstanding educator in the public school system of Ware County who is innovative in the educational process, a positive influence and improves the quality of education for children of Ware County. The Katherine Foss Education Award was presented by Franklin L. Pinckney, the first recipient of this award, to Carol McCloskey.

Carol is a Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Colleague, Mentor, Adviser and Teacher with over 30 years of experience in the education field. Quotes from her nominations include:
From teaching Kindergarten to mentoring new teachers to unit planning, she give 100%
Hardly ever missing a day, she is a person you can always rely on to not only be at school, but to meet all deadlines no matter the complexity or time span
As a new teacher, I needed a lot of help. She went out of her way to help me every way she could.
She made learning fun, but she worked diligently to prepare her students for the next grade level. The students loved her.

Carol is the educational coach at Memorial Drive Elementary School. In addition to receiving a plaque, she will receive $1,000 from the Katherine Foss Memorial Fund.


mary beth kennedyJack Williams Community Service Award

Mary Beth Kennedy Butler

The Jack Williams Community Service Award is presented to an individual who has been active in the community through Chamber membership, volunteer service, and serving for the good of the community. The Jack Williams Community Service Award was presented by Roger Williams, grandson of Jack Williams, to Mary Beth Kennedy Butler.

Mary Beth has been extremely active in the arts in our community serving as an actor, director, stage manager and even constructing sets. Her involvement extends to community fund raising. Along with her partner, she raised over $25,000 for the Magnolia House in the second annual “Dancing with The Southern Stars”. They also won the “Community Choice Award” for most money raised. She organized and directed “Main Street Follies”, a joint fundraiser for Waycross Main Street and Waycross Area Community Theater. She has been active or continues to be active in Waycross Main Street, the Waycross Christmas Parade, Illuminate Waycross at Christmas, American Cancer Society, Okefenokee Heritage Center, Hospice Satilla and Trinity United Methodist Church. She is currently Public Information Officer for the Southeast Health District.


Henry ClarkeRalph & P.O. Herrin Business & Industry Award

T. Henry Clarke, Jr.

The Ralph and P. O. Herrin Business & Industry Award is presented to the person who has done the most to enhance Economic Development in Waycross and Ware County. The Herrin Business & Industry Award was presented by Danny Yarbrough, 2015 recipient, to T. Henry Clarke, Jr.

In 2013, Ware County’s tourism industry supported 610 jobs and generated $88.1 million in direct tourist spending. Tourism also generated $2.78 million in local tax revenues. Tonight’s recipient has been involved in the tourism industry for nearly 30 years. This Waycross native, after graduating from the University of Georgia, returned to Waycross to work in the family insurance business which remains in downtown Waycross. Never one to seek the bright lights, he has consistently supported economic development in our community. From being jolly old St Nick to hauling trash at Swampfest, he has worked in the background. In October of this year he will have served thirty years on the Board of the Okefenokee Swamp Park. He has also served on the Boards of the Okefenokee Heritage Center, Southern Forest World and the Chamber of Commerce. While on the Chamber Board, he served as Chair and Tourism Committee Chair. He is a past recipient of the Jack Williams Community Service Award and the Gus Karle Award and tonight he joins Gus Karle as the second Chamber Triple Crown winner.


tara crosy morrisonGus Karle Award

Tara Crosby-Morrison

The Gus Karle Award is selected by a majority vote of the Chamber Board Member to honor the Board member who has given exceptional service during the year. Past recipients and the current chair are excluded. The Gus Karle Award was presented by Larry Gattis, 2008 recipient, to Tara Crosby-Morrison.

Tara served as Chair of the Education Committee in 2015 and was instrumental in the implementation of the STEM Summer Internship Program. In partnership with Ware County High School, this summer internship program provided fourteen high school students with real-life job experiences with local businesses. Tara has a zeal for building our community by growing business. It runs in the family blood. Her grandfather received both the Jack Williams Community Service Award and Herrin Business and Industry Award. In 2016, Tara will continue to Chair the Education Committee and in 2017, she will serve as Chairman of the Chamber.