William T. Richardson, who recently retired as president/CEO of Tift Regional Health System, was named to the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce’s Wall of Fame during the chamber’s Annual Meeting & Banquet Thursday night at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. Other honorees Thursday included former state court judge and state Sen. John “Dickie” Crosby, who received the Stafford Award; Melinda Moore, named the Prince Business Woman of the Year; Danny Griffin, who received the John Hunt Entrepreneur of the Year; Jody Benson, winner of the J. Lamar Branch Award; Austin McAlpin, who received the Rotary Club of Tifton’s Ethics in Business Award; and Allison Powell, named Chamber Ambassador of the Year. Richardson, a native of Brewton, Ala., began as CEO of Tift General Hospital in 1988 and led its growth to Tift Regional Health System, a network serving 12 counties. Under his leadership, the hospital’s services grew to include specialties such as oncology, cardiovascular care and dialysis. Today, Tift Regional has 2,500 employees and a $554 million impact on the local economy. Crosby began practicing law in Tift County in 1962 and served as both a state court judge and Tifton city commissioner from 1971-78. He was elected as a judge to the Tift Superior Court in 1980 and served in that capacity for 20 years. In 2008, he was elected to the state Senate, where he represented this area for six years. He was named to the Chamber’s Wall of Fame in 2015. Moore is senior vice president of operations at South Georgia Banking Co. and is responsible for maintaining operations of the bank’s nine locations in five counties. She serves on the Board of Directors for Brother Charlie’s and on the finance committee at First Baptist Church. She has been a mentor with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and has been involved with the Tift County Cooperative Extension and 4-H Endowment Board and was a past officer of the Organization of Professional Women. Griffin has led the growth of his family business since joining his father Dan to buy the local Ford dealership in 1986. Today, he owns Griffin Ford Lincoln and Griffin Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram. He has served as the chamber’s economic development chairman, as a Tiftarea YMCA board member, board chairman for the Georgia Automobile Dealers Association and is a member at First Baptist Church. Benson, a sales consultant with Georgia Premier Services, is active in the Chamber of Commerce, serving as an ambassador. The J. Lamar Branch Award is given to a “rookie” chamber member who best exhibits Branch’s character, professionalism and leadership. McAlpin, through his company McAlpin Entertainment, has changed the local music scene by bringing big-name acts to the area, such as Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Vince Gill. Along with his wife, Kirsten, he has created the McAlpin Foundation to serve disadvantaged local youth. Proceeds from each of his concerts go back into the community in the form of school supplies, Christmas gifts and scholarships for kids to participate in organized athletics. Powell, with Rehabilitation Services of South Georgia, has been a chamber ambassador for several years, attending ribbon cuttings, groundbreakings and serving at special events, such as the annual golf tournament and other networking events. Also at the dinner, Chamber Chairman Tyron Spearman welcomed Bill Marsh, who will serve as chairman for 2018. Marsh is Tifton city president at Colony Bank. Brian Marlowe, chamber president and CEO, noted accomplishments in economic development during the past year, including construction of American Textile Co.’s new facility and several other industries who relocated or expanded.
Source: Tifton Grapevine