Benny Atkins, a native of Kennesaw, is teh Chief Operating Officer of National EMS. He first served the company as a dispatcher in 1984 before becoming an EMT in 1986, followed by a stint as a paramedic and director of operations. In 1999 he became the COO. Atkins also participates in the Rotary Club of Conyers, Hospital Authority, Chamber of Commerce, District 3 EMS Council, Eastmister School Board and other organizations.
Charlotte Gellert is a member of the Conyers-Rockdale Library Board, on her second term since 2005. She also served from 1983-1991. Gellert was a big part of the community in 2010 serving as a co chair of the Conyers-Rockdale Complete Count Committee for the 2010 census. She also helped organize the Friends of the Library in 1985 and is vice-president of the Fieldstone Community Association.
Mike Houchard, a Gees Mill Road resident for the last 40 years, is a member of the Conyers-Rockdale Economic Development Council. A graduate of Florida with an MBA from the Utah, Houchard is a Navy veteran of the Korean conflict, who spent his career as a federal executive in the Atlanta office of the U.S. Department of Labor. He has served as a subcomittee chairman in the last two SPLOST oversight committees.
Ed McBrayer formed the PATH foundation after working in the NASA Skylab space program. He founded the nonprofit PATH foundation after moving to Atlanta from Denver, where he was an avid cyclist. PATH has built over 50 miles of trails and raised over $95 million from public and private sources to fund those trails.
Fred Straub is an Atlanta native who moved to Rockdale County in 1968. Straub, who has been in the real estate profession since 1986 worked on the SPLOST oversight committee. Straub and his wife Kathy have three children and three grandchildren.
Last Wednesday, Conyers Mayor Randy Mills and the city Councilmen presented their annual State of the City message to the residents of the city.
We were pleased to hear that the ship known as Conyers is sailing on steady seas and is on firm financial footing.
We are always impressed by the turnout of local citizens to hear this annual address. It shows the pride and determination to continue to make this city the best place to live, work and play not only in the region but in the whole state.
We salute our elected officials, our public employees and our citizens for that success.
We also salute with pride the winners of Spirit of Conyers award this year: Benny Atkins, Mike Houchard, Charlotte Gellert, Ed McBrayer and Fred Straub. It's the extraordinary service and behind-the-scenes work of private residents like these that makes life better for everyone. Whether it's having a wonderful library and library programs, biking and walking trails to enjoy with our families, raising money to fight breast cancer, or having roads and infrastructure paid without spending as much local tax dollars, these things all contribute to making this place a special place to live.
We also salute Conyers 911 Communications Manager Kelly Honea, the city's employee of the year, whose positive attitude and work ethic made her such a standout.
Thank each of you for your service to our city.