Reception will honor three new inductees

Three local businessmen will be inducted into the 2007 CSRA Business Hall of Fame at the Augusta Marriott Hotel and Suites on Thursday.

This year's inductees are Weldon Wyatt, William P. Copenhaver and the late Charles Whitlow Norwood.

Mr. Wyatt is a successful real estate developer and founder of Sage Valley Golf Club in Graniteville.

Mr. Copenhaver is the former chairman and president/CEO of Columbia Chemicals in Augusta.

Mr. Norwood represented the 10th Congressional District from 1995 until his death earlier this year and w as a champion of several groups, including soldiers and small businesses.

The men will be honored at a black-tie-optional dinner sponsored by the Junior Achievement of Augusta. They are honored in three categories respectively: "active," for business leaders working in their desired field; "retired" and "historical."

Junior Achievement of Augusta created the Hall of Fame three years ago to recognize the role that individuals past and present in business have played in the history and prosperity of the Augusta area. The event was established to honor business professionals and present role models in business for youth.

Laurie Cook, the executive director of Junior Achievement of Georgia-Augusta District, said the Business Hall of Fame is the organization's signature event.

"We recognize three individuals that epitomize business excellence and civic mindedness," she said. "Each of these individuals has done some amazing things in their areas of expertise. "

Reach LaTina Emerson at (706) 823-3227 or


WHAT: 2007 CSRA Business Hall of Fame reception

WHEN: Thursday; reception and silent auction, 6:30 p.m.; dinner, 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Marriott Augusta Hotel & Suites

COST: Individual tickets are $125 ; reservations required

ATTIRE: Black tie optional

MORE INFORMATION: Call the Junior Achievement of Augusta at (706) 722-8345.


William P. Copenhaver

Raised in the Virginia countryside, Mr. Copenhaver began his career as a captain in the Army Air Forces in Europe in 1942. During his service, he flew in 17 B-17 bomber missions until 1945.

After his military service, Mr. Copenhaver began his business career as an engineer with the Celanese Corporation. He worked his way up the corporate ladder to become chairman, president and CEO of Columbia Chemicals in Augusta, where he retired in 1990. After a string of acquisitions, the company became part of PCS Nitrogen.

Laurie Cook, the executive director of Junior Achievement of Georgia-Augusta District, said Mr. Copenhaver is well-known for his leadership, integrity, business acumen and extensive philanthropic efforts. He is the father of Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver.

Charles Whitlow Norwood

Mr. Norwood achieved recognition as a political champion for soldiers and small businesses by focusing on property rights, tax reform and health care issues while representing the 10th Congressional District for six terms .

Mr. Norwood was born in Valdosta, Ga., and graduated from Georgia Southern University. He went on to earn a degree in dental surgery from Georgetown University and later served as a captain in the Army Dental Corps in Vietnam, where he earned the Combat Medical Badge and two Bronze Stars.

Mr. Norwood was discharged at Fort Gordon in 1969 and soon began a successful dental practice in Augusta. The businessman also had a passion for political reform and ran for office in 1994 . He became the first Republican to represent his district since Reconstruction.

Weldon Wyatt

Mr. Wyatt is a "self-made" businessman and real estate developer based in Aiken County. Ms. Cook said he built his fortune through hard work, determination and an entrepreneurial spirit.

Mr. Wyatt launched Wyatt Development Co., a business that spanned the Southeast, and retired to start a series of business ventures based out of Aiken.

He is also the founder of Sage Valley Golf Club in Graniteville.

He won the American Institute for Public Service's Jefferson Award , one of the nation's highest awards for public service, in 2001. He is also the recipient of the Champion for Public Education Award from the South Carolina School Board Association in 2000.

Past inductees:

Active-Patrick G. Blanchard, Ed Presnell, W. Cothran Campbell, Terry D. Elam, E.G. Meybohm.

Retired-Carolyn Maund, Gordon Huff, George W. Parks Jr., Kenneth Walz, J. Pierce Blanchard.

Historical-Peter Seymour Knox III, Clayton (Red) P. Boardman Jr., Dr. Joseph M. Still Jr., Gregory L. Hodges, William Hammond Burkhalter, George G. Weiss