Canton banker Jeff Mitchell received the ethics award and Georgia Power local manager Rod Drake the vocational excellence award.
In making the presentation to Drake, Rotarian, Tribune columnist and former Waleska mayor Marguerite Cline pointed to several of the power company executive’s traits that set him apart in the community.
“He is one of those who keeps his feet on the ground no matter how many awards he gets and he does not make enemies, but friends,” Cline said. “Rod, you are truly a man of God and one of the finest people in Cherokee County and we thank you for your service.”
Cline pointed out the Georgia Power motto, “A Citizen Wherever We Serve,” and the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self” as describing Drake.
Cline pointed out that Drake, a Canton resident, has worked for Georgia Power for 40 years and has been married to wife Becky for 42 years.
“He has a lot of bright ideas. He is organized in all he does,” Cline said. “Everyone that works in his position at Georgia Power is a wizard of sorts.”
She praised him for his community service, including as a Malon D. Mimms Boys & Girl Club board member, member of the Cherokee County DUI/Drug Treatment Foundation Board, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Foundation Board/ Executive Committee and Reinhardt University “A Day” Executive Committee and 2013/2014 chairman.
In addition, he is a past Cecil Pruitt YMCA board member, Cherokee County United Way Campaign Cabinet Member and Cherokee County Chamber Past Board Chairman/Present Executive Board member.
Drake said in accepting the award that he was humbled to be chosen.
“It is just humbling to be a part of those who have received this award in the past,” he said.
The first award in the early 1990s went to Garland Pinholster, and last year banker Dennis Burnette was chosen.
Cherokee Clerk of Courts Patty Baker presented the ethics award to Mitchell, the immediate past president of Rotary and city executive and senior vice president at Community Bank & Trust in Canton.
The award is designed to honor those who promote the ideals of ethics, foster ethical practices and have a record of personal integrity.
Last year the award went to Cherokee County Manager Jerry Cooper, and the first year the award went to attorney and former Probate Court judge Kip McVay.
Baker said Mitchell has devoted much of both personal time and professional life to uphold the ideals and being a leader in the community.
Mitchell’s 28 years as a banker, and his service to the Rotary Club and its Four-Way Test were underscored by Baker.
“His beliefs and practices have made a difference in the community,” Baker said at the meeting.
Mitchell has been involved in the community as a member of the Cherokee YMCA board of directors, the Malon D. Mimms Boys & Girls Club board, with Bethesda Community Clinic and has twice served as campaign chair for the United Way in Cherokee County.
He is heavily involved in the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce, is a 2011 graduate of Leadership Cherokee and is vice chair of the program this year.
Mitchell is married to wife Amy and they have three children.
The banker said community leader and First Citizen recipient Bill Wester was his sponsor in coming into Rotary.