Annual Celebration and Volunteer Awards

Campaign Chair, Bob Hardaway, is an avid Clemson Tiger football fan and when it came to motivating his campaign cabinet, this quote from Clemson Football Head Coach Dabo Swinney perfectly encompassed how he felt:

“To be an overachiever you have to be an over-believer.” This quote set the stage for an incredible year of over-believing in the impact that United Way can have on Building Better Futures in our community.

At United Way of Northwest Georgia’s Annual Meeting and Volunteer Awards, Bob Hardaway and President Amanda Burt thanked all the CEOs, campaign teams, and employees who supported United Way by giving, advocating, and volunteering throughout the year.


            Ken Jackson, United Way Board Member, shared, “United Way’s mission is simple: Improving Lives. Inspiring Donors.

Uniting Community. United Way brings diverse groups of people together to fight for the education, basic needs, and health of every person in our community.

Over 57,000 lives were touched by United Way in Whitfield and Murray Counties in 2019,” stated Jackson.


Ken also shared some highlights from 2019. “We implemented the first year of our 3-year strategic plan which will guide United Way into the future and ensure our sustainability and relevance.

Our affinity groups gained momentum with a fabulous recognition event for our Alexis de Tocqueville and Peacock Legacy Society, the annual Spring Symposium hosted by Women’s Leadership Council, and the formation of Mentors United led by the

Young Leaders Society in collaboration with Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Northwest Georgia Mountains.

We also allocated the most ever to our Community Partners and programs– with 97.6% rate of request fulfillment, some getting 100%.


In 2019, we continued United Way’s work in education and workforce development with our Career Exploration.

We partnered with Georgia Northwestern Technical College to teach 600+ Dalton Public School 5th grade students about potential career options.

This event falls in line with United Way’s strategic guideline for education to get kids career and life ready by high school graduation.


During Make a Difference Day, Brown Industries and Phenix Flooring partnered with United Way to install a Born Learning Trail in the Harlan Godfrey Civitan Park.

The Born Learning Trail is a series of 10 interactive signs that offer fun, active learning activities for young children and their families”


President Amanda Burt presented two awards for those who are leading the charge, and inspiring change!

Bob Goodroe and John Adams were presented the Campaign Coordinators of the Year award for their hard work and dedication to the Dorsett Industries Campaign. Burt stated,

“Dorsett has continued to include all their employees in their United Way campaign and do it successfully.  They continually have one of the highest participation rates of all corporate campaigns.


The President’s Above and Beyond Award was presented to Jonathan Sierra, Technical Manager in Nonwovens at Shaw Industries.

He boldly took on the Dalton Grand Prix, a 2-day cycling race in Dalton. “Working as a volunteer, he passionately raised $5,600 in 2018 and in 2019, raised over $17,500 for United Way of Northwest Georgia.

We are so thankful for dedicated volunteers like Jonathan who go above and beyond,” shared Burt.


Bob Hardaway shared, “This year we had the privilege to witness to 10,858 individual donors respond to the call to Build Better Futures! Thousands of lives are being improved in Whitfield and Murray counties.

Approximately 200 local companies held employee campaigns for United Way, giving their employees an easy way to give through payroll deduction. In addition, 54 companies make corporate gifts, sharing their profits, to make lasting change in our community.”


            United Way annually awards corporate partners for reaching Strategic Giving Levels, achieving 5-Star Champion status, and earning top ranks.


United Way 5-Star Champion Award Commitments

Make a CEO gift and a corporate pledge,

Choose a dynamic Campaign Coordinator and team,

Allow employees to go on United Way Impact Tours,

Host leadership and company-wide campaign meetings with dollars up over last year and reported to United way by October 31st

Encourage employees to volunteer with United Way.


United Way Strategic Partner Levels

$50K Community Collaborator

$100k Community Patron

$250K Community Samaritan

$500K Community Builder

$1 Million Community Pillar


2018-2019 United Way Corporate Awards:

Americhem: Highest Participation Award

Browne, Draper, & Land: Small Business Influencer

Brown Industries: 5-Star Champion & Community Collaborator Award

Dalton Utilities: 5-Star Champion & Community Collaborator Award

Dorsett Industries: 5-Star Champion & Community Patron Award

Engineered Floors: 5-Star Champion & Community Builder Award

Floor Productions: Newcomer Award

Marketing Alliance Group: 5-Star Champion & Community Collaborator Award

Material Handling, Inc.: 5-Star Champion and Largest Percentage Growth Award

Mohawk Industries: Community Builder Award

Phenix Flooring: 5-Star Champion Award

Shaw Industries: Community Pillar Award

Textile Management Associates: Community Patron

Textile Rubber & Chemical Company: 5-Star Champion & Community Patron Award


Stuart Nelson, Volunteer Center Chair, led the Volunteer Awards portion of the Annual Meeting.


Volunteer Award Winners:

Karah Smith: Connie Woodward Award for Outstanding Volunteerism in Whitfield County

Jessica Whealy: Elaine Butler Award for Outstanding Volunteerism in Murray County



In honor of the legacy of Elbert Shaw’s commitment to volunteer service and youth development, Shaw Industries annually partners with United Way of Northwest Georgia to offer two $5,000 scholarships for high school students.

Ken Jackson and John Shaw presented the scholarships to Natalie Vance and Madelyn Tenney. Madelyn also received the Youth Volunteer of the Year Award.  


Chuck and Jody McClurg were announced to follow Hardaway as the 2020 United Way Campaign Co-Chairs.

Volunteers interested in helping Chuck & Jody or companies interested in setting up a new campaign can contact Amy Ross at 706.876.2552 or



Joe Young, 2020 Board Chair, shared his “2020 Vision” for continued success at United Way. He closed the meeting with an inspiring video and invited everyone to accept United Way’s call to action – Give. Advocate. Volunteer. Live United.


Visit to learn how to give, advocate, and volunteer and to view United Way’s Annual Report. Follow United Way:, or search @UnitedWayNWGA on Instagram and Twitter for updates.