Mark Shriver, an attorney with Shriver & Gordon P.C. in Woodstock, was awarded the Justice Robert Benham Award for Community Service by the State Bar of Georgia.
Ten attorneys and judges throughout the state this year won the award, which honors lawyers and judges who have made positive contributions to their communities.
Shriver, whose law partner, Rudy Gordon, nominated him for the award, said he was surprised by the recognition.
"I was really honored and pleased to be recognized by my peers," said Shriver, 60.
Gordon said he nominated Shriver for his contributions to the community including through Optimist International, which includes more than 3,000 Optimist clubs worldwide.
"Mark has been involved with various community service (projects)," he said. "I think he deserves it."
Shriver's passion for the community, Gordon added, sets him apart.
"I think that Mark demonstrates that lawyers are very important people in the community," he said.
Shriver became president of Optimist International on Oct. 1 and will serve in that role until Sept. 30. He said his next position with the organization will be to serve as the chairman of the board of directors.
Optimist International is an association in which adult volunteers conduct community service projects to benefit the youth. Each local Optimist club does projects based on the need of its local community.
Shriver said he joined the organization's Canton club in 1981 because he was attracted to its "philosophy of life" creed. He also said he liked its hands-on service with children.
"We don't just write checks and give money to other organizations," he said.
As president, Shriver said he wants to increase the number of volunteers in North America, reach out to more children and create more Optimist clubs.
So far, Shriver said the organization has been successful in creating more than 20 new clubs throughout the world, which has brought an additional 2,000 volunteers aboard.
"There's a lot of energy and enthusiasm for the work we do," he added.
Shriver grew up in northern New Jersey and New York and when he was a junior in high school, moved to Toronto with his family.
He graduated from the College of William & Mary in 1971 with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 1973, he graduated from Emory University with a master's of business administration.
After obtaining his master's degree, Shriver worked in management consulting for five years before deciding to go to law school.
He graduated from Emory University's School of Law in 1981 and immediately began practicing in Cherokee County.
Shriver lives in Atlanta with his wife, Dr. Patricia S. McKay. The couple has five adult children and one grandson.
Shriver said he's hoping more people realize the positive impact Optimist Clubs bring to the community.
"It's an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children directly," he said. "You really feel like you are giving back to the community and making a difference."