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Integrity, Respect and Responsibility in GA Business is Alive and Well as 5 Leaders and 2 Organizations Win Top Honors for Leadership and Organization Character

 

(Atlanta, Georgia) – Over 450 business leaders recently joined Turknett Leadership Group and Kennesaw State University’s RTM Institute for Leadership, Ethics and Character to honor integrity in Georgia business at the 2nd Annual Leadership Character Awards held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Atlanta.  The ceremony celebrated the character and integrity of 62 nominees, and awarded the winners, a select group of five individuals and two organizations that best exemplify the standards in the Turknett Leadership Character Model.

 

The top honorees include (listed in the order in which awards were made):

 

Non-profit/Education AwardPaula Lawton Bevington, Marcus Institute
Associate AwardDeborah Kennedy, Federal Aviation Administration
Small Organization AwardSanders Financial Management
Executive/Manager AwardFredia Chambers, BellSouth ICS
Executive/Manager AwardBill Williams, BellSouth Technology Group
CEO/President AwardAnn Stallard, Graphic Communications
Large Organization AwardMAPICS

 

Attendee Sonia T. Lucas, CEO, LucQue Group said of the event, “It is very refreshing and inspiring to attend an event where so many high caliber leaders in our community are being recognized for their integrity, respect for others, and for taking personal ownership in the success of their teams and organization.  Turknett Leadership Group has done an outstanding job in reminding us what our purpose is, not only work, but also in life. Congratulations to Turknett Leadership Group, the nominees and winners."

 

With 62 nominations to consider, Turknett Leadership Group (TLG) welcomed back four outstanding senior leaders who agreed to serve a second year as the advisory group to select the statewide awards.  Members of the group include Oz Nelson, retired chairman and CEO of United Parcel Service; Conchita Robinson, former vice president of IBM Corporation; Betty Siegel, president of Kennesaw State University; and Frank Skinner, retired president of BellSouth Telecommunications.  The advisory group assisted in presenting the awards at the ceremony.

 

“With so many qualified nominees, the selection process was debated passionately by the Advisory Group.  It was heartening for all of us as we poured over the many good stories about Georgia leaders and organizations who embody leadership at its finest,” said Bob Turknett, co-founder and CEO of Turknett Leadership Group.

 

Dr. Betty Siegel, president of Kennesaw State University said of MAPICS, winner of the Large Organization Award, “This is a company founded on such core values as respect, openness, risk-taking without fear of admonishment, and personal and business integrity.  The balance of respect and responsibility that CEO Dick Cook and his leadership team have created is clear.  He often says, “Our most important asset goes home every night…and comes back each day because they believe in our company vision.”

 

Turknett’s work with leaders and organizations is centered on developing a culture of leadership at all levels, and therefore the awards recognized excellence not only in top management, but also throughout the organization.  Complete descriptions of both leadership character and organization character can be found at www.leadershipcharacter.com.

 

NOTE: Award winners and advisory group members are available for interview or to provide comments to the media.  Photos are available on request.

 

Paula Lawton Bevington, Vice President of Development, The Marcus Institute –Non-Profit/Education Category

 

Self-effacing though she may be, Paula Lawton Bevington is well known and widely respected for her outstanding contributions to the Atlanta community.  In 2001 she chaired the annual Legal Aid Society, which raised over $1,000,000.  She has served as president or chair of the Justice Center, Junior League, American Red Cross, the Georgia Human Relations Commission, the Georgia Council for International Visitors, the National Conference of Christians and Jews / GA region, UNICEF, and the Downtown Rotary Club – just to name a few.  In each and every position Paula has assumed, she has taken on the tough questions and led the discourse to discover the right decision through unbiased and firm leadership. She is trusted to be fair, intelligent and totally professional. In all instances, Paula exemplifies integrity, empathy, inclusiveness, and an ability to grasp the important issues. Paula is a unique balance of a visionary and a “good soldier.” She does not stop in the middle.  Her inner standard of excellence surpasses the notion of responsibility. She is a true leader, accountable for the ultimate outcome and willing to share the praise and glory of her accomplishments.

 

Deborah Kennedy, Hazardous Material Agent, Federal Aviation Administration–Associate Category

 

Having earned the respect of her superiors, peers and all members of her team, Deborah Kennedy is known as the “go to / can do” person in her organization because she graciously accepts responsibility for any task assigned and is capable of assembling the resources necessary to accomplish the mission.  Additionally, her patience and willingness to listen to others even though she may not agree with them make her a valuable collaborator.  Her division manager said about Deborah:  “I have always been able to rely on Deborah's integrity and professionalism in handling highly sensitive aviation security and internal security matters.  I have often called on her to intervene on my behalf when dealing with confidential and controversial personnel matters, knowing that her candor and tactfulness would successfully resolve any situation assigned.”She recently was detailed as the special assistant to the national director of security in Washington, even though she is physically located in a different city.  He was willing to do this because he was aware of Deborah's ability to work independently, collaborate with others, and provide him with a quality work product, no matter what the task.

 

Sanders Financial Management - Small Organization Category

 

Despite a volatile economy and increasing competition, this Norcross-based investment advisory and financial management firm, has continued to grow and thrive.  The company has succeeded because their philosophy is grounded in the belief that character and integrity are critical to day-to-day operations and long term strategic planning.”  This core belief is reflected in what clients say about the firm: “Sanders has the same values as me - they are honest and straight shooters.”  Another client stated, “They treat us like we’re family.”  Sanders Financial Management clearly takes their clients’ trust and their responsibilities seriously.  When the unexpected happens, they communicate promptly – making their clients aware of any negative news that may impact their investments. Together, they design an appropriate course of action.  Clients sum it up this way: “They epitomize customer service.”  Sanders places an equal focus and value on their employees and their collective contribution to the firm’s success.  The work environment is such that everyone feels respected, talent is fostered and all employees participate in the decision making process. Another key part of their culture is diversity.  This is demonstrated in the fact that 80% of their current employees are women or minorities.  IN addition, Sanders Financial has established a strong reputation for serving those in need through non-profit sponsorships as well as financial and in-kind support. 

 

NOTE: The category of Executive/Manager is quite broad, encompassing leaders from the executive to the supervisory level.  As a result, Turknett gave two awards in this category. 

 

Fredia Chambers, Director Employee Productivity, BellSouth ICS –Executive/Manager Category

 

Fredia Chambers is described by one of her nominators as an individual “of the highest level of integrity, courage, conviction, and unparalleled leadership – always doing the right things for the right reasons with an eye for continuous improvement.”  A second nominator had this to say: “No matter what the challenge, Fredia faces it with an unyielding resolve to ensure a successful conclusion.”  Not only does she give her personal best for the customer and the company, but she also inspires others to do the same every day.  Through Fredia’s expert guidance, Wholesale Operations has earned a significant percentage of Presidential Honors Awards for the past 2 years.  Fredia’s core strength is seeing the gaps and filling them and doing what needs to be done to improve performance, morale, and human capital development. Recognizing one such gap, Fredia conceived, designed and implemented a management development program called STEP that stands for Stimulating Talent, Excellence and Potential.  STEP provides top performing managers with targeted opportunities for personal and professional growth.  After one year, this program has received acclaim across the company and serves as a prototype for similar programs in other areas.

 

Bill Williams, Vice President - BellSouth Technology Group –Executive/Manager Category

 

“In my 25 years in professional life,” said one manager of Bill Williams; “I have met no other person who stands with Bill Williams in integrity.”  Another said, “In my 22 years, I’ve not met anyone I more respect and admire than Bill Williams. Rarely have I met a person who genuinely cares so much for others.”  Bill is further described as the embodiment of trust and respect, an exceptional listener, a man of his word, very humble, yet confident and always able to step up to the tough issues with a gentle, firmly persuasive style.  He is also a “big picture,” action-oriented person who never shrinks from making a decision in the interest of the organization, regardless of personal impact.  Bill was brought into a major turn-around situation, where he had to quickly learn the specifics of a unique part of the business.  As he prepared to implement the necessary change initiatives, he was shaken to the core with the news of a very serious family emergency.  Throughout this most difficult personal time, Bill continued to lead his team with a confident and positive demeanor and applied calm resolve to his business responsibilities.  In time, he not only succeeded in restructuring the organization but also achieved phenomenal results.  He did this while providing strength and unwavering support to his family. 

 

Ann Stallard, Partner, Graphic Communications Corporation –CEO/President/Partner Category

 

Ann Stallard, Co-founder and Principal of Graphics Communications Corporation based in Lawrenceville is a highly successful businesswoman, award-winning member of the Printing Industry of GA, sought after speaker on the national and international level, member of the National Initiative on Women’s Business Ownership Task Force, co-founder of United Way’s Women’s Legacy Initiative, Advisor to the Atlanta Women’s Network, and the first businesswoman to be elected National President of the YWCA.  As impressive as that is, that’s only a part of who Ann Stallard is.  Ann has demonstrated integrity and the utmost responsibility and respect in every aspect of her life – in business, community service, and as friend. As a business owner of impeccable service, Graphic Communications one of the most respected printing companies in the southeast.  Their customers receive the best in professional service as well as Ann’s personal attention to detail and can-do attitude, no matter what the request.  Known for her collaborative style, Ann’s influence extends well beyond the State of GA and crosses races, gender, age, networking and political lines. She is – above all - a thought leader, always asking hard questions and tolerantly listening to others’ points of view.  She purposefully stimulates debate and fosters good discussion and decision-making.  In her own words – “Person, family, work and social responsibility – they’re all woven together in my thinking and my actions – the whole cloth of my life.”

 

MAPICS - Large Organization Category

 

MAPICS is founded on such core values as respect, openness, risk-taking without fear of admonishment, and personal and business integrity.  MAPICS is a publicly held manufacturing solutions company headquartered in the greater Atlanta area.  Under the leadership of Dick Cook, President and CEO who is also an individual nominee this year, MAPICS has become a company that truly models the way for leadership.  One of the leaders on Dick’s team is another of this year’s nominees, Sandy Hofmann – an outstanding role model in every sense of the word.  In addition to the company’s values, there are several guiding practices at MAPICS which contribute to the development of leaders.  These practices are captured in such phrases as:


-        Do what you say, when you say

-        If you can’t do it, tell people in time to do something about it

-        If you blow it, admit it - don’t blame others

 

The balance of respect and responsibility that Dick and his leadership team have created is clear.  He often says, “Our most important asset goes home every night…and comes back each day because they believe in our company vision.” At MAPICS, employees at all levels are expected to operate as process professionals. “Professionals aren’t hired hands; they are hired heads and hearts”. 

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