IMPACT Awards: Chamber of Commerce’s accolades showcase five extraordinary young professionals

By MARIE NESMITH
Posted 1/10/21

To showcase “outstanding leadership,” the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce presented its second annual IMPACT Awards to five accomplished young professionals. Noble & Main …

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IMPACT Awards: Chamber of Commerce’s accolades showcase five extraordinary young professionals

Posted
To showcase “outstanding leadership,” the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce presented its second annual IMPACT Awards to five accomplished young professionals. Noble & Main Coffee Co. owner Madi Davis, State Rep. Matthew Gambill, Lara J Designs owner Lara Jeanneret, Georgia Highlands College Bachelor of Business Administration Program Coordinator Mecole Ledbetter and Pritchard Injury Firm owner Zach Pritchard received the distinction at the close of 2020. 
 
“While there were many worthy candidates, the five selected this year have no doubt done exceptional work for the betterment of Bartow County,” Chamber CEO Cindy Williams said, adding the award’s out-of-town judges have “yet to disappoint” with their IMPACT selections. “The 2020 list includes several small business owners as well as professionals in politics and in education.
 
“One commonality about all recipients is their heart for the youth in our county. Each of them have invested in some way in the lives and future careers of those who will come along behind them.”
 
To be eligible for an IMPACT accolade, adult candidates needed to be younger than 40 as of Sept. 30, 2020, and be either a chamber member or employed by a chamber member. 
 
“Eligible applicants are asked to demonstrate a positive impact in their career field, in their community as a whole and in the lives of others,” Williams said. “Generally speaking, we receive applications from individuals representing a wide variety of community sectors — corporate, nonprofit, small business, tourism, government, etc.
 
“Additionally, we see applications from all levels within the organizations from owners and managers to entry level positions. This is proof that the positive impact of outstanding leadership can take place at any organization or business and by anyone regardless of their title.”
 
In its first year, IMPACT Awards were presented to Kelly Armstrong — parts operations manager, YANMAR America Corp.; Dr. Marc Feuerbach — superintendent, Cartersville City Schools; Jessica Mitcham — executive director, Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter; Lillie Read — manager, Cartersville Downtown Development Authority; and Tom Shinall — director of development, Savoy Automobile Museum and co-founder/CEO, The TC Show. 
 
“The inaugural IMPACT awards were presented in November of 2019 in an effort to recognize outstanding young talent in Bartow County,” Williams said. “As an organization, the chamber realized that our community is teeming with notable young professionals and we felt that a proper award would not only recognize their efforts, but also inspire others to use their unique talents and skills for the greater good of their organization and this community.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
IMPACT Award winners
 
 
 
 
 
 

• Name: Madi Davis

• City of residence: Cartersville

• Age: 29

• Workplace/title and civic involvement: Owner, Noble & Main Coffee Co., secretary of the board at Tranquility House Domestic Violence Shelter

The Daily Tribune News: What does receiving an IMPACT Award mean to you?

MD: I was honestly shocked to be nominated for the IMPACT Award, much less be selected as [a] recipient. It has served as a reminder that even people who spend their days doing something as simple as brewing coffee can make a difference. It has also acted as the push that I need to continue using my reach and resources to do good and make a positive impact in my community.

DTN: How would you describe your passion for Bartow and its people?

MD: I have considered Bartow County to be my home since I started attending Excel Christian Academy at the age of 8. Through the years, it became evident that the people in this county are hard workers, innovative businesspeople and passionate advocates for causes they care about. When my husband, Justin, and I decided that we wanted to open a coffee shop, it seemed fitting to return to my roots and help cultivate our own special community right here in Bartow County.

DTN: How/why did you get into your line of work, and what do you enjoy most about it?

MD: We chose to open a coffee shop because it is the perfect combination of our love for excellent coffee and passion for community and connectedness. It's hard to pick one thing that we enjoy the most, but if we had to, it would be the relationships we build with our team members and our customers. We have met so many exceedingly kind and incredible people over the past three years, and we can't imagine our lives without them.

DTN: Share some of your most notable accomplishments.
 
MD: Anything that I have accomplished can be directly attributed to our wonderful team of coffee professionals at Noble & Main. During our three years in business, we have successfully renovated an historical gas station; held makers markets for local artisans; launched a barista apprenticeship role; hosted a variety of community events; built a coffee roasting program from the ground up — the only retail coffee roasted right here in Cartersville; and helped develop an entrepreneurship badge program for Girl Scouts.

DTN: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
 
MD: One of my favorite things to do is travel to historic sites and visit museums. After a three-year stint as a tour guide at a historic house museum, I came very close to pursuing a lifelong career in tourism.

DTN: What is the best advice you have ever received?
 
MD: One of my favorite authors, Bob Goff, wrote, "We're all rough drafts of the people we're still becoming." This simple statement serves as a reminder to always look for the potential in others, as well as in myself.
 
DTN: Where is your favorite place to be in Bartow?
 
MD: I love to be at home with Justin and our 10-month-old baby girl, Hallie. I also really enjoy hiking at Cooper's Furnace. It is a peaceful place to get away from the hustle and bustle without going far.
 
 
 
 
 
• Name: Matthew Gambill          

• City of residence: Cartersville

• Age: 39

• Workplace/title and civic involvement: NFP- Business Development- Corporate Benefits. State Representative, Georgia House of Representatives District 15; board chair for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bartow County; board member for Recovery Bartow; past chair of the Boys and Girls Clubs Georgia Area Council; past chair of Murphy-Harpst Children’s Home; board member for Indian Springs Holiness Campmeeting; member of the Georgia Economic Developers Association; member of the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce; member of Tabernacle Baptist Church; graduate of Cartersville High School (1999); graduate of Lee University (2003); graduate of Leadership Bartow (2007); graduate of Leadership Georgia (2010); Georgia Trend Magazine “40 Under 40” (2012). 

DTN: What does receiving an IMPACT Award mean to you?
 
MG: I am honored to be recognized by my community for the work that I have done and continue to do. It is also very humbling to be included with the other individuals who were also selected because they are all extremely talented and successful in their fields.
 
DTN: How would you describe your passion for Bartow and its people?
 
MG: My love for this community has been instilled in me from a very early age. My roots in Cartersville stem to the 1920s when my grandparents moved here to work at the Atco (Goodyear) Mill. I grew up riding the roads of Bartow County listening to stories from my grandfather about many of the individuals and places that we all love so dearly. I have been blessed to travel to many places and meet some remarkable people in my life but it pales in comparison to the love and appreciation I have for being from right here from Bartow County.
 
DTN: How/why did you get into your line of work, and what do you enjoy most about it?
 
MG: Two years ago I transitioned to my current role with NFP (formerly ShawHankins) working in business development. This was after spending the previous 14 years as executive director for the Georgia Association for Career & Technical Education. At NFP, I am responsible for sales team leadership, driving revenue, maintaining and growing business relationships, and am a key part of the implementation of new business plans and the penetration of new markets. NFP is a market leader in public entity benefits for city and county governments and school systems, and for private industry. I have enjoyed this transition, which has enabled me to continue many of the relationships I had built during my association days while expanding the reach of NFP. In addition to my professional career, I also was elected to a State House seat (District 15) two years ago where I enjoy serving the needs and interests of Cartersville/Bartow County in the Georgia House of Representatives. Listening to people and helping them with their needs or concerns is something I have done for a long time. 
 
DTN: Share some of your most notable accomplishments.
 
MG: Accepting Jesus as my personal Savior, marrying Danae Gambill and being the father of Mary Harris, David and James Gambill are my most important accomplishments. Outside of that — board chair for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bartow County; board member for Recovery Bartow; past chair of the Boys and Girls Clubs Georgia Area Council; past chair of Murphy-Harpst Children’s Home; board member for Indian Springs Holiness Campmeeting; member of the Georgia Economic Developers Association; member of the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce; member of Tabernacle Baptist Church; member of Bartow County Rotary; graduate of Cartersville High School; graduate of Lee University; graduate of Leadership Bartow (2007); graduate of Leadership Georgia (2010); Georgia Trend Magazine “40 Under 40” (2012); Boys and Girls Clubs of Georgia — New Board Member of the Year, Board Member of the Year, Chairman’s Award. 
 
DTN: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
 
MG: At the end of the day take me to Ross’ or 4 Way and I am good to go.
 
DTN: What is the best advice you have ever received?
 
MG: “Never forget where you come from because if you do you won’t know where you are going.” — My grandfather, Frank Harris.


DTN: Where is your favorite place to be in Bartow?
 
MG: At home with my family, walking/running at Sam Smith Park and thanks to Russell Archer — anywhere fishing.
 
 
 
• Name: Lara Jeanneret
• City of residence: Cartersville
• Age: 37
• Workplace/title and civic involvement: Owner and creative director at Lara J Designs, located in downtown Cartersville. Board of trustees member, Advocates for Children; Cartersville Downtown Development Authority Promotions Committee member; Downtown Cartersville Business Alliance member; board of trustees member, Art in Bartow; and donor to a multitude of local nonprofit organizations.

DTN: What does receiving an IMPACT Award mean to you?
 
LJ: It is a tremendous honor to be a recipient of this award. I continue to be astonished by the feedback I have had from people in the community and their appreciation for my work and that of my team at Lara J Designs. I love being a part of Bartow County and am very passionate about helping businesses and organizations in our community thrive. 
 
DTN: How would you describe your passion for Bartow and its people?
 
LJ: I am so glad to live in such a wonderful community. My husband and I decided to move to Cartersville after falling in love with the beautiful location and fantastic sense of community that its residents have. The people who live in Bartow County truly care for one another, and try to help each other when they are in need. I am so proud to be a part of this wonderful place, and so happy to raise my children here. 
 
DTN: How/why did you get into your line of work, and what do you enjoy most about it?
 
LJ: I have always loved art, and knew from a very early age that I wanted a career in an art field. My mother was an art teacher in K-12 schools when I was growing up, and my brother and I always enjoyed working on art projects with her before she taught them to her students at school. When I was in high school, I did a weekend class at Art Institute of Atlanta on graphic design and fell in love with it. I went to school at Kennesaw State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Graphic Design in 2005. 
 
I love working with people to help them grow their business or expand their nonprofit organization. It makes my heart so happy to see people thrive and especially to help others. We are able to work on different projects every day and help people from many different types of organizations. It is a wonderful job, and I wouldn’t want to do anything else. 

DTN: Share some of your most notable accomplishments.
LJ: 2020 Frontline Heroes Award for assistance to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic; 2020 Hometown Hero award presented by Modern Woodman Financial; 2019 Cartersville High School Work-Based Learning Junior Mentor of the Year award; 2018 Small Businessperson of the Year as nominated by peers on Alignable; and 2015 Cartersville Downtown Development Authority Chairman’s Award.

DTN: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
 
LJ: I love antique furniture, bright colors and beautiful artwork. I have the largest collection of artwork by artists Kent Mullinax, Casi Cline and Steven Cline. 
 
I am a history nerd. Love to learn everything I can about the town I live in and especially interested in the buildings downtown and their former purposes. The building that our office is in was originally Anderson Livery Stable, built in 1893, and I find it absolutely fascinating. 
 
DTN: What is the best advice you have ever received?
 
LJ: Plan for the bad times and appreciate the good times. 
 
DTN: Where is your favorite place to be in Bartow?
 
LJ: My favorite place in Bartow County is downtown Cartersville. Our office is on Erwin Street, and we love being able to walk to so many wonderful restaurants, shops and museums. We have such a beautiful historic area, and I am so happy that Lara J Designs is a part of it.
 
 
 
 
 

• Name: Mecole Ledbetter

• City of residence: Cartersville

• Age: 39

• Workplace/title and civic involvement: Georgia Highlands College’s BBA program coordinator; chair of Cartersville Chamber Leadership Bartow Program; chair of GHC Healthcare Management Advisory Board; chair of GHC Logistics and Supply Chain Advisory Board; mentor for Bartow County Schools; and a member of the Friends of Cartersville Library board, Etowah Scholarship Foundation board and Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter board. 


DTN: What does receiving an IMPACT Award mean to you? 
 
 
ML: It is truly an honor to receive such an amazing award. While it serves as a reminder that we are always unknowingly on public display, it also makes me proud to know that I am on the right path in my service to others, to my employer and to my community. It is very humbling and serves as a reminder to work even harder in my service to all.  
 
DTN: How would you describe your passion for Bartow and its people? 
 
ML: My passion for Bartow County and the people of Bartow County is one of true sincerity and love. I have built long-lasting personal and professional relationships with some of the most caring and giving individuals in Bartow County. I have been a witness to community efforts that constantly provide resources to those who are in need, opportunity to those who are in search, family to those who have not and love to those who would not have known love. There is definitely a spirit of “togetherness” here. Once we stop looking for what our community can do for us and simply start doing for our community, it is then that we see the huge heart of Bartow County and exactly what it will do for you.  
    
DTN: How/why did you get into your line of work, and what do you enjoy most about it?
 
ML: I realized my passion for higher education during my undergraduate years while working on my bachelor’s degree. From there, I developed a passion to utilize my talents and abilities to help young men and women, as well as adult learners, obtain a higher education, just as myself. The thing I love most about my line of work is helping individuals discover the potential that is already hidden within them, and teaching them how to transform that potential, into profession; and watching them soar. 
 
DTN: Share some of your most notable accomplishments. 
 
ML: Education —  Associate of Science in Business Administration, Bachelor of Business Administration in Management, Masters of Education in Higher Education Administration; Other —  2017 Leadership Bartow graduate, 2019 Georgia Academy for Economic Development graduate, development of two Bachelor degree programs at GHC (Bachelor of Business Administration in Healthcare Management and Bachelor of Business Administration in Logistics and Supply Chain Management); helped to bring the Georgia Logistics Summit, originally an Atlanta-based summit, to Bartow County in 2019, serving on the planning committee from 2018-2019. 
 
DTN: What is something people would be surprised to know about you? 
 
ML: That I dream of being a No. 1 New York Times best-selling author.  
 
DTN: What is the best advice you have ever received? 
 
 
ML: The best advice I’ve ever received was a quote from Gandhi that read “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

DTN: Where is your favorite place to be in Bartow? 
 
ML: For work — Georgia Highlands College; for networking — Bartow Cartersville Chamber of Commerce’s events; for dining — Appalachian Grill; for recreation — enjoying the peace of Dellinger and Hamilton parks.
 
 
 
 
 
 
• Name: Zach Pritchard
 
• City of residence: Cartersville
 
• Age: 35
 
• Workplace/title and civic involvement: Pritchard Injury Firm, LLC, managing attorney; 2020 Leadership Bartow Program graduate; 2020-2021 Youth Leadership Bartow Mentor Team.
 
DTN: What does receiving an IMPACT Award mean to you?
 
ZP: It is a huge honor to be recognized for having an impact in the community that you care so much about. We have so many people who are very selfless and serve Bartow County on a daily basis. I am fortunate to have been recognized for my small part in such a great community.
 
DTN: How would you describe your passion for Bartow and its people?
 
ZP: Bartow County is my home. So many of the people here are people that I’ve known most of my life. However, Bartow continues to grow and it offers me even more of an opportunity to meet new faces and forge new relationships. It is my passion to serve the people of Bartow County, and that passion which drove me to establish my law practice here. To say I am blessed to call Bartow County home is an understatement.
 
 
DTN: How/why did you get into your line of work and what do you enjoy most about it?
 
ZP: I knew I wanted to be an attorney after taking Ken Foster’s law class in high school. Being a lawyer looked like it fit my personality. Then I was able to intern for — now Honorable Judge — Jeff Watkins who gave me a glimpse into the everyday practice of law. I now practice exclusively personal injury law, and I have an absolute dedication to it. I truly love what I do as I get to help those in their biggest time of need and uncertainty. It means something when someone places their health, financial stability, and future in your hands and asks for your help. I take that very seriously. It fuels my fight for them. 
 
 
DTN: Share some of your most notable accomplishments.
 
ZP: Superlawyers Rising Star, National Trial Lawyers Top 40 under 40, America’s Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys.
 
DTN: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
 
ZP: I really enjoy driving my tractor. It’s relaxing and really fun to bush hog.
 
DTN: What is the best advice you have ever received?
 
ZP: “Winners focus on winning. Losers focus on winners.” That advice reminds me to focus on what I am doing, no matter what that may be, and doing it to the best of my own ability. 
 
DTN: Where is your favorite place to be in Bartow?
 
ZP: Ross’ Diner — cheeseburger, mayo only, 1/2 chili cheese fry (fries). There is just something special about Ross’. Seeing Joanie, Stephanie, Mandy and catching up on all the local happenings. Talking with my neighbor Jack Howell about how the Canes played, and of course the food. I love the feel of Ross’ Diner, always seeing people you know.