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Newton Chamber of Commerce presents awards at annual meeting and awards dinner
chamber awards
The Newton Chamber of Commerce held a sold out awards dinner on Thursday, March 14. - photo by Courtesy of the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce

The Newton Chamber of Commerce held its annual meeting and awards dinner on Thursday, March 14 in front of a sold out crowd. Four presentations were made during the event, too, hosted at Oxford College of Emory University. 

Mike Hopkins, the executive director of the Newton County Water & Sewerage Authority, was the recipient of the 2023 R.O. Arnold Award. 

Hopkins shared that receiving the honor was “totally unexpected.”

“Never in a million years would I thought that I’d receive such an honor as that,” Hopkins told The News. “I don’t know…I’ve been at all the Chamber functions and dinners and stuff in the past and saw the recipients receive awards and just nothing that I ever thought that I would receive. I don’t know if shell shocked is right, but just really blown away by it all. 

“It’s huge for me. It’s an individual award, but it’s certainly, for me, there’s so many other folks that had input in my career and what we’ve done out here. It couldn’t be received without the thought and support of others. I am just really honored by the whole process.”

Awarded the 2023 Dick James Small Business of the Year award was Mayfield ACE Hardware. 

Lee Mayfield labeled it as a “tremendous honor.”

“It was really a tremendous honor. It kind of served as a capstone for us this past year. 2023 was our 50th anniversary and, for me personally, we’re definitely celebrating at the store. It was also a year of reflection for me because all of my growing up life has been surrounded in the store. So, you couple that with my mother’s passing the year before and just having spent the year digging through old things and looking at old things, it brought a whole bunch of memories,” Mayfield said. “For me, I’ll be able to look at this as kind of a physical reminder of, basically, all the people have gotten us to the point where we’re at. Past employees, past people that aren’t with us anymore, my current staff – that just does a tremendous job for us – as well as the community and the community rallying around us when times were really bleak.”

The Deal of the Year went to Archer Aviation this year as well. 

Tosha Perkins, the chief people and partnerships officer, highlighted what it meant for Archer to receive such an honor. 

“Winning the 2023 Deal of the Year at the Newton Chamber Awards for the high-volume manufacturing facility we’re constructing is a testament to the amazing partnership we’re building with the community of Covington,” Perkins said. “I’m proud of the role our company plans to play in providing meaningful employment opportunities for local residents and contributing to the economic development of Covington. This award is a reflection of our dedication to building strong, sustainable relationships within the community.”

Drew Hale, a financial advisor at Edward Jones in Covington, was awarded the 2023 Spirit of Excellence.