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Roane Chamber & Leadership Roane County Honor Best of Best

April 28, 2017

Roane Chamber & Leadership Roane County Honor Best of Best

The Roane Chamber held its 71st Annual Chamber Awards Banquet on April 21.  Held for the first time at Rockwood’s Walden Ridge Event Center, more than 250 attended the special night honoring outstanding Chamber members.  In addition, Leadership Roane County (LRC) shared the stage with the Chamber by holding their Class of 2017 Graduation and Awards night, resulting in the record attendance, as well as the lively atmosphere.

The awards and recognitions are the highlight of the night, and this year was no exception, with not only more awards but also the most coveted award being renamed to honor the memory of Paul Cowell, Whitestone Country Inn – the Paul Cowell Distinguished Service Award.

  • Paul Cowell Distinguished Service Award went to Barry Stephenson, CEO of Materials and Chemistry Laboratory, Inc. (MCLinc) for his many years of work ensuring citizens have every opportunity to learn;
  • The Woman of the Year went to Glenda Johnson, Coldwell Banker Jim Henry & Associates, Bradbury Tax Service and G&G Gun Shop, for her continued gift of her “time, experience, marketing and real estate to advise and contribute to the betterment of Roane County” as the nomination read;
  • Business of the Year was awarded to Volkswagen Group of America for not only their continued support and active service to the Chamber but for bringing a global presence and brand to the county which helps raise Roane County’s awareness throughout the state;
  • The Paul E. Goldberg Young Professional award was presented to Eric Barger, C.R. Barger & Sons as an under 40 leader that has grown his family’s company from a small Roane County provider of limited precast products to its current status as a premier regional supplier;
  • Ambassador of the Year went to Matt Libby, HealthMarkets Insurance for his service and leadership and willingness to sign up and volunteer for whatever the Chamber needs; and
  • Outgoing Board member, Johnny Griffin, Griffin Insurance, was recognized with a plaque for his service as a long-time board member, not to mention a Roane Chamber member for more than 35 years.

Leadership Roane County honored their 2017 graduating class - a record number of 23 - and presented their special leadership award.  The Dr. Paul Goldberg Leadership Award, given by the LRC Alumni, was awarded to Midway High School’s Principal Scott Mason for his “dedication to building future leaders through his daily example of true servant leadership to all he encounters,” as the nomination read.

Graduates of the 2017 LRC Class were: Emily Belitz, Michelle Crudup and David Lane, Roane State Community College; Courtney Briley and Sam Jones, The Roane Alliance; Kay Christopher, Commissioner Junior Hendrickson and Melanie Townsend, Roane County Government; Joe Eskridge, Roane County NAACP; Ashley Freeberg, Roane County Recovery Court; Toni Haba, Coldwell Banker Jim Henry & Associates; Connie Hendrickson, Genesis Healthcare – Renaissance Terrace; Chad Hill, Signature HealthCARE; Eric Lindsay, Ciphertek Systems; Christy McCormick, Griffin Insurance; Mark Patterson, Patterson Home Appliance Center; Cynthia Plemens, Michael Dunn Center; Debbie Sumner; Jim Sumner, McLinc; Hugh Willett, Roane County News; Cathy Willis, CASA of the 9th Judicial District; Darlene Wright, TCAT – Harriman; and Dennis Yates, Centrus Energy.

“The Leadership Roane County program has partnered with the Roane Chamber in the delivery of the LRC program since its beginning,” said Teresa Duncan, Vice President of Student Services and Enrollment, Roane State Community College, “but a true effort was made this year to partner at a higher level.  There were many small examples of this throughout the program, but combining the Leadership Graduation event with the annual Chamber Banquet has been the highlight of emphasizing our togetherness. Our missions are aligned in that both organizations are focused on building a stronger community.  It is basic truth that “we are better together” and we look forward to developing a deeper partnership over the next several years!”

The evening was possible because of the many volunteers and sponsors that support the Roane Chamber. Title sponsors were Roane State Community College Foundation and Toho Tenax America, Inc.  Gold Sponsors included Centrus Energy, CNS Y-12 (Consolidated Nuclear Security), Coldwell Banker Jim Henry Associates, EnergySolutions,  RegionsUCOR and UT-Battelle.  The Wine Sponsor for the evening was E.ON Climate & Renewables, floral arrangements were donated by Humble Bee Flowers & Gifts, and dessert donated by Blue Bell Creameries.  For a list of our silent auction donors and link to the photos visit

The Roane Chamber, a partner of the Roane Alliance, works to enhance the lifestyle and business climate of Roane County and to promote existing business and industry by developing partnerships with federal, state and local organizations to carry out a variety of projects.  The Roane Alliance is the comprehensive resource in anything and everything concerning businesses, tourism and economic development in Roane County, which includes the Industrial Development Board, Visitors Bureau and Chamber, and programs such as Education Matters and Retire Roane.  Our mission is to create an environment and a unified voice that promotes job creation, economic development, enhanced quality of life, education and workforce.  To learn more about the Roane Chamber or the Roane Alliance please call 865.376.2093 or visit or