Nominations Sought For Headrick, Varnell Awards

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Cleveland/Brandley Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for the M.C. Headrick Free Enterprise Award and the Varnell Leadership Award.

“'The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision,' said the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh. 'It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.' Cleveland/Bradley County abounds with leaders who have a vision for this community, who are certain about what they want to happen.  Among those who clearly articulated his vision in the marketplace was M.C. Headrick, for whom the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce named its highest honor given," officials said.

“Each year the Chamber recognizes individuals who have a vision and who best demonstrate the principles of the late M.C. Headrick,” Chairman of the Board Roger Pickett stated. “M.C. Headrick was a successful businessman who believed in the concept of free enterprise. Each fall we invite members of the community to nominate a person they feel best represents the ideals of the free enterprise system.”

Nomination forms and a complete list of award criteria are available at the Chamber office or by calling 423-472-6587. In addition to the form, nominations must include a resume of the candidate and a cover letter detailing reasons the nominee is eligible for the award. J. Lee Stewart, Southern Heritage Bank, was the 2017 recipient of the M.C. Headrick Free Enterprise Award. 

"Additionally, the Chamber of Commerce honors someone who 'fulfills his vision … from passion, not position' (John Maxwell).  One such individual was the late Robert W. Varnell, for whom the Chamber’s named their prestigious Leadership Award," officials said.

“One of the highlights of the Chamber’s Annual Meeting is recognizing an individual who best demonstrates the principles of the late Robert Varnell,” said Chairman Pickett. “Robert Varnell is best remembered for his outstanding community leadership, and this award is presented to a person whose life represents the passion in business, church and community reflected in Robert Varnell’s life.”

Dr. Ronald S. Coleman, Surgical Associates of Cleveland, retired, and member of the ownership group of The Old Woolen Mill, received the 2017 Varnell Leadership Award. Nomination forms and a complete list of award criteria are available on the Chamber’s website or by calling the Chamber office at 423-472-6587. 

The Chamber will present both awards at the 92nd Annual Meeting on Jan. 23, 2018. Deadline for nominations is Nov. 30.



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