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Shipp named Small Business Person of the Year
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David Shipp, center left, and (left to right) his wife Jenel Shipp, father Jim Shipp, and mother Nancy Shipp. - photo by Michelle Kim

Puritan Dry Cleaning and Laundry owner David Shipp was named the Jerry Barboe Small Business Person of the Year by the Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce at the Thursday evening after-hours expo. 

Shipp, 52, chairs the Chamber governmental committee and is the third generation to run Puritan Dry Cleaning and Laundry, which has been in the area for more than 80 years.

"This is what we're talking about," said presenter and guest speaker Rockdale County Superior Court Judge David Irwin as Shipp, surprised and somewhat embarassed at the honor, walked up. Irwin added that small businesses such as this that employ people in the community are what drives the economy. "The economy's not going to grow until small businesses do."

"It's a great honor, " said Shipp. "All the other (previous) recipients, I've such a high regard for all of them. I know they've all served in our community for so long. I hope to rise to their level."

Past recipients attending the expo, which was held at Cameron Hall, included Lorraine Harrison, Benny Atkins, Mark Shurrett, Danny Lockhart, Ed Cowan, Jeff Riley, Jesse Walker Brown, Anita Smith and Ron Simpson. Last year's winner was Roger Rehorn.

Shipp is the 23rd person to be presented the award after it was named for owner of Citizens Office Supply Jerry Barboe, who died in 1987. Barboe's widow Jackie was on hand to greet the former and present winners.