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Leadership Augusta bestows top awards

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Leadership Augusta honored two program graduates and a former educator for their leadership and service.

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Pat Blanchard, the retired vice chairman of First Bank of Georgia, received Leadership Augusta's 2013 Service Award.  SPECIAL
SPECIAL
Pat Blanchard, the retired vice chairman of First Bank of Georgia, received Leadership Augusta's 2013 Service Award.
Jenna Martin
Business Reporter
Twitter: @JennaNMartin
E-mail | 706-823-3217

On Friday, the organization presented its 2013 Leadership Award to re­tired U.S. Army Col. Thom Tuckey.

Pat Blanchard, the retired vice chairman of First Bank of Georgia, received the 2013 Service Award, and Dr. Ruth B. Crawford became the first recipient of an award named in her honor.

Tuckey serves as the executive director of CSRA Alliance for Fort Gordon and the director of military affairs for the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce.

Tuckey is a 2002 graduate of Lead­ership Augusta’s executive forum program. In his 30-year military career, he served numerous tours and participated in operations Just Cause and Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Tuckey also was a military science professor at Carnegie-Mellon University and served as the Fort Gordon garrison commander from 1996-1999. He retired from the Army in 2002 after his last post as a chief information officer for the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe, Va.

Blanchard is a graduate of the 1988 Leadership Augusta class. The Georgia Southern University graduate was the founder and CEO of three commercial banks and two holding companies: Georgia State Bank, Georgia Bank & Trust, First Bank of Georgia, Georgia Bank Financial Corp. and Georgia-Caro­lina Bancshares.

Blanchard served on the board of directors for the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau, Rotary Club of Augusta and Doctors Hospital, among others. He also has acted as the chairman or president for Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia, local units of the American Cancer Society and several more groups.

He stepped down as First Bank of Georgia’s vice chairman in May.

Leadership Augusta’s newest award is designated for local residents who did not graduate from the program but have inspired others to create a positive change in the community.

Crawford is a 1939 graduate of Paine College and a former Richmond County educator. She retired from the school system in 1977 after 38 years and created Shiloh Comprehensive Community Center. Crawford volunteered for 30 years as the center’s founding executive administrator, assisting the elderly and providing food, clothing and shelter for those in need. She also continued to help educate youths and rehabilitate first-time criminal offenders.

Leadership Augusta launched in 1980 and has seen 1,500 adult and youth members graduate from the program. Since 2002, it has awarded alumni for their achievements.

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