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Conyers-Rockdale Chamber to honor small business person of the year

CONYERS -- A copy store owner, a dentist and a financial advisor are in the running for this year's annual Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce Small Business Person of the Year Award.

The 2012 Jerry Barboe Small Business Person of the Year Award event is set for 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Corner Market, a shopping center at the intersection of Flat Shoals and Parker roads. The awards celebration is open to the public and tickets are $10 each. Cost includes food and drink.

"We will have a trade show-like environment with Chamber members displaying their products and services; food vendors showcasing their fare for all attendees to sample; and (Rockdale County Superior Court) Judge (David) Irwin will once again serve as our emcee, and his entertaining style keeps the audience engaged and the mood lively," Chamber Vice President Katy Zahradnik said in an email interview.

A committee of Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce members chose the three finalists from a group of eight nominees.

Award committee members examined company growth, vision and significant accomplishments, as well as positive impacts on and personal contributions to the community.

Finalists are Dotti Bala, Elly Dalton and Dr. Fred Hedrick; the five other nominees were Qader Baig, Foy Mainor, Cheryl Pritchard, Cal Rueping Jr. and Robert "Mo" Talley.

"The selection process is difficult because each of the nominees is certainly deserving of this honor," said selection committee member Susan Paul Smith in an email interview.

"Each one has made significant contributions to the community and his or her respective business in Rockdale County."

Bala is the chief financial officer for Copy Central, a quick service printing business at 1264 Parker Road, in existence for 15 years.

She has volunteered for girls softball, football, wrestling, swimming and bull riding. Her company has donated to groups including Rotary Clubs, Girl Scouts, Rockdale Cares and Conyers Rockdale Council for the Arts.

A financial advisor since 2002, Dalton opened her Edward Jones office in Conyers in 2003.

She has supported several service groups and nonprofits including American Business Women's Association, United Way of Rockdale County, Rockdale Rotary Club and the Kim Atkins Foundation.

Practicing dentistry in Conyers since 1978, Hedrick has steadily expanded his business over the decades and he now works alongside his daughter Dr. Aubrey Hedrick.

He has invested time in a host of local community efforts through entities such as Rockdale Cares, Rockdale Emergency Relief, United Way, Rainbow Community Center, A.R. "Gus" Barksdale Boys & Girls Club, the Monastery of the Holy Spirit and the Rockdale Historical Society.

Register to attend the 2012 Jerry Barboe Small Business Person of the Year Awards event online at www.conyers-rockdale.com or by calling 770-483-7049.