Chamber of Commerce honors young professionals

While many might call young professionals the leaders of tomorrow, Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver believes that is not quite accurate.


"You are current leaders of the city," Copenhaver said at Thursday's Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce June Member Economic Luncheon at the Augusta Marriott Hotel and Suites.

The luncheon honored the "Top 10 in 10 Young Professionals to Watch," a group of area professionals younger than 40.

Michael Wall, senior director of state government affairs for Comcast Cable Communications, said he was glad he was not competing against this year's class because of their many accomplishments. Wall was recognized by Georgia Trend magazine in October 2009 as one of Georgia's top professionals under the age of 40.

Wall, 30, of Atlanta, spoke about leadership and success.

Often, people think of Franklin Delano Roosevelt or John F. Kennedy, but Wall talked about the quiet leaders such as Rudy Ruettiger, whose life story was captured in the 1993 film Rudy , and Ferris Bueller, the lead character in the 1986 film Ferris Bueller's Day Off .

Ferris, he said, had "charisma, intelligence and was quick on his feet" and in the end, he really did care about his friends.

Caring about people is probably the important aspect of leadership, said Wall.

"Sometimes, we see people as something else," he said. "We are not objects from which you can get something. Remember, they are all people. Treat them as people not objects."

In caring for others, Wall said people move from just being successes to becoming significant.

A success is something people achieve for themselves; significance is how they impact the lives of others.

"You are going to get a lot more fulfillment by meeting the needs of others," he said.

Augusta's Top 10

The Augusta region's Top 10 in 10 Young Professionals to Watch:

- Caroline Ashe, Realtor at Blanchard & Calhoun Real Estate

- Kristina Baggott, director of marketing at Comcast

- Rebecca Best, director of marketing, SME & Co. CPAs

- Helen Trotter Caldwell, Deposit Development Office at Georgia Bank & Trust

- Al Dallas, client relations manager at RBW Logistics

- Davis Dunaway, partner at Hull Barrett PC

- Dr. Audra Ford, staff family physician at Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center

- Melissa Furman, assistant dean of outcomes at Augusta State University's Hull College of Business

- Lynnsey Gardner, morning anchorwoman for WRDW-TV

- Rebekah Henry, executive director of Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art