Small Business Person of the Year awards are this week

CONYERS - One local business owner will be singled out this week and recognized by his or her peers.

The Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce will sponsor the 2008 Small Business Person of the Year during its Business After Hours from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Held at the Always Banquet and Conference Facility, the event will be an exposition for several local restaurants to showcase their fare for attendees, said Katy Zahradnik, vice president of the Chamber of Commerce.

But the focus of the evening will be on the six local business owners who have been nominated as the 2008 Jerry Barboe Small Business Person of the Year. According to the Chamber, the Barboe Award, which was established in 1987 and named after a long-time Rockdale County business owner and community advocate, is presented to a local business person who represents the highest ideals of business integrity and dedication to the community.

Rockdale County Superior Court Judge David Irwin will emcee the evening and will announce the winner.

Past recipients of the Barboe Award include Benny Atkins, CEO of National EMS; Danny Lockhart, owner of A Clean & Tidy Carpet Cleaners; Jefferson Riley, owner of THP Printing; and County Commissioner JaNice Van Ness, owner of Peachtree Academy.

Nominees must be the owner, president or major stockholder in a business located in Conyers or Rockdale County for at least two consecutive years. The person must be active in the day-to-day operations of the business, and in addition to being a member of the Chamber of Commerce, must also be active in the community.

This year's nominees are:

· Lorraine Harrison of About Conyers Magazine;

· Dr. Fred Hedrick of Hedrick & Dodson Family Dentistry;

· Brian Howe of ThinkTank Coaching;

· Gary Lockman with Manor Homes;

· David Shipp with Puritan Cleaners; and

· Scot Ward of Scot Ward Funeral Home.

Aimee A. Jones can be reached at aimee.jones@rockdalecitizen.com.