Locals gathered at the DoubleTree Hotel Tuesday evening to celebrate the Roswell Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) 22nd Annual Meeting and Community Awards dinner.
The May 7 banquet, attended by approximately 220 people, honored community members for their tireless efforts to better Roswell.
The CVB recognized several leaders in the community with a variety of awards:
History Maker of the Year Award – Sally White
White is not originally from Roswell, but rather from a neighboring city. However, she has been actively involved this city since 1959, serving on numerous committees, boards, and task forces. She was a founding member of the Roswell Recreation Association and served for many years as chair. Today, the association, through the hard work of its members, has contributed almost one million dollars to the Recreation Department to help purchase parklands, playground equipment, additions to the Physical Activity Center, furnishings for the Adult Recreation Center, assistance in establishing the Visual Arts Center and perhaps their biggest “Splash” was the donation of funds to build the highly successful Sprayground at Riverside Park, which opened in July 2009. White helped coordinate - for many years - the highly success Roswell River Raft Tours, whereby members of the residential & business community, along with the press and dignitaries, toured the historic sites, the parks, the nature center and enjoyed rafting on the river. Her husband often referred to her as the architect of the Roswell Historic Trail Systems and, together, they certainly helped lay the foundation that constructed the Roswell Recreation & Parks Department, a nationally recognized and accredited agency. White was also a member of the Jaycees, volunteered in schools, taught Sunday school, served as a Ddeacon at First Baptist Church, served with the Roswell Woman’s Club and the Roswell Rotary Club, participating in a mission trip. She serves on the Historic Roswell Alliance and is passionate about the historic Roswell Town Square. She has also worked closely with members of the LeitaLift Board and city officials to help secure the donation of 104 acres of parkland to the city of Roswell. That donation became the Leita Thompson Memorial Park, one of the largest parks in the city of Roswell. The donation was valued at over $20 million. White has also previously served on the the Roswell City Council.
President’s Award - Tom LaDow
LaDow is a native of Birmingham, AL and graduate of Birmingham Southern College with a degree in Mathematics. He began and ended a 36-year career with Colonial Properties, a real estate trust. He was the first chairman of the North Fulton Community Improvement District and has given back to the community in many ways through many organizations. Soon after his retirement from Colonial Properties, LaDow agreed to assist the Roswell Business Alliance with the interpretation, implementation and priority setting of the Roswell Strategic Economic Development Plan. He devoted countless hours studying in-depth the activities, responsibilities and timeline of the plan to ensure a successful launch of the economic development plan for the city.
Roswell Folk & Heritage Bureau: President’s Award -
A new award which will annually recognize a long-term Roswell business.
Hicks has been doing business in Roswell since the 1950s. In 1956, he purchased a business located at the site of the present day Nagoya restaurant and later did business from the basement of the old "Rock Inn," operating an automotive repair shop. After merging with Doris Holbrook, Hicks formed a business relationship that endured more than fifty years. In later years, the business would change its name from Roswell Tune Up to Hicks Automotive, which more effectively reflected the full range of services it provided. Hicks is often seen driving his red 1965 Mustang convertible in the Youth Day Parade, raising funds for the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital and at the Roswell Masonic Lodge.
Economic Development Award – North Fulton Medical Plaza
The North Fulton Medical Plaza, a new 52,000 SF, three-story outpatient facility, is the first class A medical office building in the vicinity, located at 4500 Hospital Boulevard. This building will not only be an asset for the hospital, but for the community as well. The building will house North Fulton Hospital’s Pain and Spine center and Roswell Imaging Center. North Fulton Hospital and Duke Realty were recoginized for developing a place that not only offers the highest-quality healthcare, but for continuing to be committed to the sustainability of our community.
Economic Development Award – Hawthorne Retail Partners
A $2 million makeover of Holcomb Woods Village is re-energizing east Roswell and will be a central destination for families and friends to meet to dine, shop and connect. Connexion Holcomb Bridge offers over 41,000 square feet of prime retail space, including what will be the iconic tower piazza area. With its best-in-class restaurants, specialty retail shops, courtyards and patios, connexion at Holcomb Bridge reaffirms the importance of redevelopment and stands as a shining example for future opportunities in the community.
Young Professional Award - Ryan Pernice
Pernice served as Roswell High School’s student body president and attended Cornell University after graduation. Following college, he spent time in New York City, where he learned about the restaurant industry operations from some of the best in the business. Returning home, he followed his dream opened Canton Street's Table & Main in 2011. The restaurant has received numerous awards and acclaim including inclusion in the AJC’s Atlanta 50 Top Restaurants, Jezebel Magazine’s Top 100 Restaurants and the Atlanta Magazine’s “A” List.
In a statement following the evening, Pernice said: "Having grown up in Roswell, I'm thrilled to be in a position to give back to my hometown and make a difference in the place where I live. This award is very special because it shows that the community values the hard work and efforts of my entire team at Table & Main. Chef Ted and I are beyond excited to continue serving our friends and neighbors at our next restaurant, Osteria Mattone!"
The evening also featured entertainment by Georgia Ensemble Theatre, showcasing its upcoming production which features the music of legendary singer/songwriter John Denver.