Former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue will be the featured speaker at the 2012 Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Awards.
The 24th annual invitation-only gala will be held April 10 at Georgia Southern University’s Nessmith-Lane Building.
The event, hosted by the Statesboro Herald and sponsored by many local businesses and individuals, honors members of the community for their spirit of giving and compassion; making a differences in the lives of the less fortunate, and going out of their way to give of their time, effort and otherwise to charitable causes.
Historically, Deen Day Service to Mankind recipients are benevolent people who place others before themselves and perform acts of kindness for the sake of the recipient and not for personal gain.
Hundreds of Bulloch County citizens have been honored for their service to others in the past.
Local businessman Ellis Wood, a past Deen Day Smith award recipient, was instrumental in inviting Perdue to speak.
“He and his wife Mary have been very active in doing volunteer work for many years,” Wood said. “They have fostered children in their home on several occasions and are active volunteers in other areas.”
Perdue is a founding partner of Perdue Partners, LLC, and served as Georgia’s 81st governor. He owns a successful commodity trading company as well as a logistics company. Perdue was named by Governing Magazine in as Public Official of the Year for outstanding leadership, and Reason Foundation’s 2009 Innovators in Action Magazine recognized him as a leader who “aggressively pursued new strategies to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of government and deliver better value at less cost to taxpayers.”
In 2008, the Pew Center on the States ranked Georgia among the best managed states in the nation emphasizing the value and impact of improvements made by Perdue’s Commission for a New Georgia, which he created in 2003. It was populated by 400 of Georgia’s top business leaders to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, accountability and culture of public service. The Commission for a New Georgia made and implemented 130 recommendations and inspired the book “Smart Government: Bureaucracy with a Business Brain.”
Perdue served as Georgia’s governor from Jan. 2003 until Jan. 2011. He served as a state senator for 11 years and was recognized as a leading authority on numerous issues including agriculture, transportation, emerging technologies and economic development.
After earning a doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Georgia and serving as a captain in the United States Air Force, Perdue became a successful business owner, concentrating in agribusiness and transportation logistics.
“He was very excited about being able to work (the Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Awards gala) into his schedule,” Wood said.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.