Watford, Miller earn Chamber awards

Both praised as community leaders
Jan. 15, 2013 @ 03:34 PM

A room full of Chair City leaders were on hand Jan. 10 to recognize a pair of prestigious award winners at Colonial Country Club as part of the 64th annual meeting of the Thomasville Area Chamber of Commerce.
George Miller, BB&T vice president and Thomasville city executive, and Ben Watford of Watford Reality, were honored before a crowd of their peers. Miller took home the Chairman's Award, commending his efforts as a part of the chamber development division.
"Each and every one of my board members could have received this Chamber award," said Dr. Karl Milliren, outgoing Chamber board chairman. "But there was one member who stood out. He took on a lot of challenges and really stepped up to the plate. I must say, George did an outstanding job."
Miller was credited with helping the Chamber add 32 members and develop a young professionals network  to link, connect and promote businesses.
Watford was recognized with the Outstanding Citizen Award by Doug Croft, president of the Chamber, who praised an extensive list of community accomplishments. After reeling off a number of Watford's numerous accolades, beginning with his presence as a lifelong member of the Thomasville Jaycees, Croft paused before continuing.
"The nominator put down 'a million other projects,'" Croft said. "That's probably a fair assessment."
After presenting Miller with his award, Milliren offered a recap of 2012 and a glimpse into what Croft classified as Thomasville's "bright future." Lindsey Reedy — a senior at East Davidson High School and intern at the Chamber — personified this bright future in character, as she walked through the room dressed in pajamas to signify the city's developmental infancy.
Milliren discussed the bevy of new programs and services offered by the Chamber in 2012, including the splash that was made when it unveiled its app, My Chamber, for smart phones. Among the other projects that were discussed, Croft's shop local marketing campaign, revamped website and  work in conjunction with the Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce were featured.
The talk of 2012 culminated in an update to the EnVision 2020 project, a community development program from which 32 strategies for the city's business were conceptualized. Milliren proudly announced that 47 percent of the strategies have been completed or are now under way.
"In my tenure as Chamber chair, I have seen our community move from a struggling to a growing community," Milliren said. "I have no doubt we will proceed to a thriving community in the near future.
"What do we do in the face of adversity? We can sit around and complain about how bad things are, or we can adapt and adjust. I'm glad we chose the latter."

Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or at kennedy@tvilletimes.com.