Conyers Mayor Randy Mills was honored with the A.R. “Gus” Barksdale Lifetime Achievement Award Tuesday. Mills received the award at the Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting. Shown, left to right, are Conyers City Councilman Cleveland Stroud, who presented the award; Mills; and Thua Barlay, outgoing chairman of the Chamber of Commerce. (Staff Photo: Alice Queen)
CONYERS — Conyers Mayor Randy Mills was named the recipient of the A.R. “Gus” Barksdale Lifetime Achievement Award Tuesday, an honor widely considered to be the most prestigious in Rockdale County.
The award was presented by fellow Conyers City Councilman Cleveland Stroud at the Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting, held at the Georgia International Horse Park.
Stroud listed Mills’ achievements as a community and regional leader, and then spoke about him on a personal — and humorous — note.
“I feel that it is an honor for me to serve on the City Council, both with Randy and under his leadership as mayor. He’s a quiet-type leader — and that’s the most dangerous kind,” Stroud said to the audience’s laughter. “When we are arguing something — well, discussing something — he will let you go ahead and say what you want to say, and he’ll say, ‘Good point.’ And then letter by letter, word by word, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, he tears you down and makes you wonder why you brought this up in the first place.”
Joking aside, Stroud called Mills “a great leader, a great man, a man I respect tremendously.”
“This is quite an honor, and I am truly speechless,” said Mills, adding that he had been led to believe that Councilman Vince Evans was the award recipient.
Mills thanked his wife, Carol, and the staff at the city of Conyers.
“My City Council, (City Manager) Tony Lucas, the city staff, we have an incredible team,” he said.
“I want to thank y’all,” he told the packed crowd at the Carriage Room. “This is quite an honor and truly a surprise. Any one of y’all could have had this award, and it is truly gracious.”
Mills served on the City Council from 1990 to 1997, after which he was elected mayor. He was re-elected to another four -year term in November.
Among his other accomplishments, Mills is a member and past president of District Four of the Georgia Municipal Association; serves as a member of the Atlanta Regional Commission and has served in various leadership positions in that group; is a member of the Conyers Rotary Club and has served on its board of directors; and serves as chairman of the Conyers-Rockdale Economic Development Council.
He and his wife are the parents of two children.
The A.R. “Gus” Barksdale Lifetime Achievement Award is named in honor of the late community leader who was one of Rockdale County’s leading citizens and businessmen for many years. The award honors the individual or group that best exhibits the vision, compassion and leadership that Barksdale represented, according to the Chamber.