Roswell CVB hosts awards gala

Honors Roswell leaders for service

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ROSWELL, Ga. – The 22nd annual community awards ceremony of the Roswell Convention and Visitors Bureau was held May 7 at the Doubletree Hotel in Roswell to honor many of the town's movers and shakers for their efforts in improving the town and maintaining a high quality of life.

Dotty Etris, executive director of the CVB, Ken Davis, president of the board, and Steve Stroud, director of the Roswell Business Alliance, emceed the event, which features 20 of Roswell's finest – including Mayor Jere Wood and members of the City Council, city employees, members of the cultural and arts community as well as many of the people who have lived in and served the city for decades.

The History Maker of the Year award went to Sally White. White was a founding member of the Roswell Recreation Association, a group that has contributed almost $1 million to the Recreation Department for the purchase parklands and playground equipment and donated funds to build the Sprayground at Riverside Park, which opened in July 2009.

White served 10 years on the Roswell Recreation Commission and, after the death of her husband who served on the Roswell City Council, she ran for council and served four years.

President’s Award – Presented to Tom LaDow

The recipient of the President’s Award is a native of Birmingham, Ala. and graduate of Birmingham Southern College with a degree in mathematics. He began and ended a 36-year career with Colonial Properties, a real estate trust. He was the first chairman of the North Fulton Community Improvement District and has given back to the community in many ways through many organizations. Soon after his retirement from Colonial Properties, LaDow agreed to assist the Roswell Business Alliance with the interpretation, implementation and priority setting of the Roswell Strategic Economic Development Plan. He devoted countless hours studying in-depth the activities, responsibilities and timeline of the plan to ensure a successful launch of the economic development plan for the city.

Roswell Folk and Heritage Bureau President’s Award – Presented to David Hicks

The person honored this year has been doing business in Roswell since the 1950s. In 1956, they purchased a business located at the site of the present day Nagoya restaurant. Later, they did business from the basement of the old “Rock Inn,” operating an automotive repair shop. Then the business merged with “Doris” Holbrook and formed a business relationship that endured more than 50 years. In later years, the business would change its name from Roswell Tune Up to Hicks Automotive, to more effectively reflect the full range of services it provided. The President’s Award is presented to a man often seen driving his red 1965 Mustang convertible in the Youth Day parade, raising funds for the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital and at the Roswell Masonic Lodge, among other things. The bureau saluted Hicks and thanked him for being a part of the fabric that has made Roswell a strong business community.

Celebrating development and redevelopment projects

2 Economic Development Awards

Steve Stroud, Executive Director RBA and Ken Davis presented the awards.

Economic Development Award – North Fulton Medical Plaza

The North Fulton Medical Plaza, a new 52,000-square-foot, three-story outpatient facility, is the first class A medical office building in the vicinity, located at 4500 Hospital Boulevard. This building will not only be an asset for the hospital, but for the community as well. The building will house North Fulton Hospital’s Pain and Spine Center and Roswell Imaging Center. The RBA honored and recognized North Fulton Hospital and Duke Realty for developing a place that not only offers the highest-quality healthcare, but for continuing to be committed to the sustainability of the community.

Economic Development Award – Hawthorne Retail Partners

A $2 million makeover of Holcomb Woods Village is re-energizing east Roswell and will be a central destination for families and friends to meet to dine, shop and connect. Connexion Holcomb Bridge offers over 41,000 square feet of prime retail space, including what will be the iconic tower piazza area. With its best-in-class restaurants, specialty retail shops, courtyards and patios, Connexion at Holcomb Bridge reaffirms the importance of redevelopment and stands as a shining example for future opportunities in the community. Hawthorne Retail Partners was presented the 2012 Economic Development Award for bringing a much needed vision to an area that was in need of energy and revitalization.

Young Professional Award – Presented to Ryan Pernice

Ryan Pernice has many accomplishments. He served as Roswell High School’s student body president, has lived in Roswell for 22 years, attended Cornell University and spent time in New York City where he learned about his industry operations from some of the best in the business.

Returning to his hometown, he followed his dream and in 2011 opened his restaurant on Canton Street – Table and Main – and awards followed.

He is expanding, growing, serving the community and adding jobs.

In recognition of his accomplishments, leadership abilities and commitment to the community of Roswell, Pernice was given the Young Professional Award and thank him for being a voice for tomorrow and a representative of the hospitality industry and business community.