Ogeechee Technical College President Dr. Dawn Cartee was named the 2012 Business Leader of the Year Thursday night during the 90th Annual Statesboro-Bulloch County Chamber of Commerce meeting.
Billy Hickman, of Dabbs, Hill, Hickman and Cannon LLP, presented the award to Cartee after leading up to the announcement with hints as to her identity. Hickman was the 2011 recipient of the honor.
In describing Cartee’s qualities that resulted in her being given the award, he said the business leader “supports the community with time, money and employees … has a clear vision for the business … a tremendous passion for their business and team members.”
Cartee “is a team builder, has courage … strong internal motivation… strength and integrity and Christian values,” he said.
Cartee came from Augusta to attend Georgia Southern College, and graduated with a marketing degree. She later married Jamey Cartee, owner of St. Andrews Builders, and past chairman of the Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber of Commerce.
She “has a passion for health care… worked at a dentists’ office” and both her parents worked in the medical field, he said. She has served as OTC’s president since 1991, with a few years hiatus in between.
Hickman said Cartee is a graduate of Leadership Georgia, was voted by Georgia Trend magazine as one of the “40 Under 40”, is a member of the Statesboro Rotary Club and serves as a member of the East Georgia Regional Medical Center board of trustees.
She is active with the Hearts and Hands Clinic, Keep Bulloch Beautiful, Special Olympics and the Boys and Girls Club of Statesboro and Bulloch County, he said.
“Ogeechee Technical College is her true passion,” he said, noting the many projects and programs Cartee has brought to OTC.
Under her leadership, the college was named “the number one technical college in Georgia for 2011” and OTC’s 2010 annual report was “one of the top three in the nation,” he said.
When Cartee took the stage to accept the award, she jovially chastised her husband for keeping the honor a secret.
“I’m very humbled,” she said. “It is such a privilege to be in a group like this. I truly do not feel worthy to be up here.
“I can only accept this on behalf of my wonderful family, my Ogeechee Tech family, and my husband, who is wonderful,” she continued. “I thank you very much.”
Jamey Cartee was also honored during the night’s program, for being the 2011 past chairman of the Chamber Executive Board,
The highlight of the evening was a video produced by board members. The video theme this year was “Chamber Idol.”
Chamber president Phyllis Thompson played “Cryan Seacrest” in the American Idol parody. Each Chamber committee portrayed Idol contestants and shared the committee’s accomplishments in 2011 before singing a song for the judges.
Kevin Judy, Education Committee chairman, sang “Be True to Your School.” Ogeechee Judicial Circuit District Attorney Richard Mallard, also the Government Operations Committee chairman, brought down the house with his rendition of “Taking Care of Business.”
The Agriculture Committee parodied “Hee Haw” with members popping up from crouching positions as they discussed accomplishments, and the Leadership Committee sang a version of “Leader of the Pack.”
Other committees gave similar performances, with the Special Events Committee touting the annual golf ball drop event by singing “Golf Balls Dropping from the Sky” to the tune of “Raindrops Falling on my Head.”
Judges voted all participants into the “next round,” but while judge Jamey Cartee kept talking on his cell phone, the others “voted him out” in a move symbolic with his leaving the board as past chair.
2012 Immediate Past Chairman Todd Manack gave a report on the Chamber’s accomplishments in 2011, including graduating 17 from Leadership Bulloch and having nearly 800 members of the Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber of Commerce.
He said “2011 was a year certain to be filled with change. We knew the change would be charged with energy and innovation.”
To the chamber members, he said “Without your support, none of our activities would be possible.”
Holli Deal Bragg maybe reached at (9120 489-9414.