SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Some of Savannah's brightest stars were honored Friday. Every spring, Savannah Tech invites community members to recognize unsung heroes.
This year at the "2017 Tribute to Community Stars" there was a very special award recipient.
The room was filled with people who stop in their everyday lives to do for others. However, Friday was all about them.
"We stop and we take a moment to thank you," said Mahogany Bowers, founder of Blessings in a Bookbag and Keynote Speaker.
Twenty-two people received awards for their selfless contributions to our community. These are folks who give back when they think no one is looking.
"That is the real MVP," said Bowers.
A special star couldn't be here to receive his award. However, even though WTOC anchor Don Logana has passed away, the light from his star continues to shine brightly through the many organizations he served.
"The MS Society, CASA, Ambucs, and countless others that I couldn't even name. Don set records for the money he raised," said the event emcee and WTOC News Anchor Dawn Baker.
"The things he did to make life better for lots of people is just immeasurable," said Larry Silbermann, WTOC General Manager.
Silbermann received the award on Don's behalf. He was very moved that Stratton Leopold nominated Don for this honor.
"Stratton saw what Don did for the community and vice versa and I think they just appreciated the effort the other was making," said Silbermann.
"All of you should know, that he was just a warm, loving, engaging, caring man," said Stratton Leopold, owner of Leopold's Ice Cream. "He was part of the fabric of Savannah as well as our friend."
It was a special tribute to our special star.
"To be able to kind of stop and say, 'Hey big guy, you're not forgotten.' That was amazing," said Bowers.
What would Don think about receiving this award?
"Go get 'em. Go get 'em. That's what he'd be thinking. Continue the work. Continue the service," said Bowers.
Don was one of 22 people to receive a star award. Here's a list of the others and their important contributions to our community:
- Marcia Banes, Account Executive, Old Savannah Tours
- Sponsored by StayInSavannah.com
- Marcia Banes is a Marketing and Networking Specialist with more than twelve years of professional experience in Savannah with an emphasis on Hospitality and Tourism. She sits on several boards and committees including: The Savannah Voice Festival, Leukemia Lymphoma of Savannah, Savannah Food and Wine Festival, Coastal Concierge Association, Art Walk Savannah and is the 2017 Vice President of the Buy Local Savannah Organization.
- David Burkoff, Partner, HunterMaclean
- Sponsored by HunterMaclean Attorneys
- Dave Burkoff has made a name for himself through his significant involvement in the community, serving on the Executive Committee of the Savannah Sports Council’s Advisory Board, and the Executive Committee of the West Broad Street YMCA’s Board of Directors. He's also a graduate of Leadership Savannah. Dave Burkoff was also named a 2016 NEXT Rising Star of Business.
- Michael Burris, Records Clerk, Chatham County Superior Clerks Office
- Sponsored by Coastal Center for Development Services
- Michael Burris is an amazing individual who is independent, self-sufficient and an example to others. He currently volunteers at Mayfair Community Pool teaching young people how to swim. He says that he likes to be a mentor and show people what they can do! He has also volunteered as a flag football coach at Chatham Academy. He participates in Special Pops Tennis Savannah, AMBUCS (American Business Club), Savannah bowling, and he and his girlfriend recently attended the Tim Tebow “Night to Shine” Prom in Savannah.
- Terry Coleman, President, Coleman Company, Inc.
- Sponsored by Evans General Contractors
- Terry Coleman has coached youth baseball, served as a youth small group leader at Savannah Christian Church, volunteered with Chatham County Prison Ministry and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He currently serves with Kairos Prison Ministry, Abilities Unlimited and is a founding member of the "Band of Brothers" Men's Bible Study. Terry and his wife Diane have been married for 33 years and are blessed with two children, Greg and Kelly.
- Reed Dulany, III, Chairman and CEO, Dulany Industries, Inc.
- Sponsored by Dick and Judy Eckburg
- Reed Dulany, III is the Chairman and CEO of one of the oldest privately owned and continuously operated industrial corporations in the U.S. He serves on the Board of the Georgia Historical Society, the Chatham Club, the Savannah Benevolent Association. Reed is a member of the Young Presidents Organization and is a strong supporter of The Savannah Classical Academy which he sees as not only a model for improving education in Savannah.
- Elizabeth Genard, Savannah Technical College EAGLE Student of the Year 2017
- Sponsored by Savannah Technical College
- Genard is currently enrolled in the Adult Education/GED classes at the Fort Stewart Army Ed Center is Hinesville, Ga. As a great motivator for her classmates, she encourages them to come regularly and shoot for the stars. She excels in her class assignments, and once she earns her GED, she will attend college. In her spare time, Elizabeth enjoys reading, writing and taking pictures. Her ultimate goal is to become a photojournalist. She was born in Perry, Ga, and now calls Midway, Ga. home.
- Stephen Hartley, Founder and Department Head, Historic Preservation, Savannah Technical College
- Sponsored by Friends of Stephen Hartley
- Stephen Hartley is a frequent lecturer on heritage conservation throughout the United States and abroad. He serves on the boards of the US Green Building Council, Georgia Chapter, Savannah Branch, Historic Savannah Foundation, and the American Glass Guild. For the past two years, he has been working for the University of York on the National Park Service Centennial Challenge project on the Cockspur Island Lighthouse.
- Holden Hayes, Regional President, South State Bank
- Sponsored by Savannah Morning News
- Holden Hayes is the regional president of South State Bank and the past president and director of The Savannah Bank. He is currently the chair of the Step Up Savannah board, and serves on the Georgia Conservancy board, the Savannah Music Festival board, Historic Savannah Foundation board and is a member of the Rotary Club of Savannah—just to name a few.
- Skylar Huggett, Savannah Technical College's GOAL 2017 Student of the Year
- Sponsored by a Friend of Savannah Technical College
- Skylar Huggett is a welding diploma student who is on track to finish coursework/graduate in Spring 2017. She has been on the dean’s list with a 4.0 she started in 2015. She is the president of STC’s student chapter of the American Welding Society and was selected to represent STC at the Skills USA Welding Sculpture state competition, where her welded dragon sculpture won silver.
- Hurricane Heroes Maria Burns and Kevens Mosley, Customer Service Representative and Lead Lineman, Georgia Power
- Sponsored by Georgia Power
- Maria Burns, a 13-year Customer Service Representative and Kevens Mosley, a Lead Lineman and 30- year company veteran, represent the more than 237 Georgia Power Coastal Region employees, who met the challenges of an extreme storm season in the last quarter of 2016.
- Tropical Storm Hermine and Hurricane Matthew brought devastation with massive outages throughout Southeast Georgia. During Hermine 1,900 employees from sister companies, other utilities and contractors helped Georgia Power’s Coastal Region restore service to more than 100,000 customers in 48 hours. With Hurricane Matthew 95% of 338,000 outages, including 141,000 in Savannah, were repaired in less than four days – a monumental task.
- We appreciate the service and commitment of all employees of Georgia Power Coastal Region. Their dedication, working through difficult circumstances, contributed to the successful response Georgia Power faced during the storms of 2016.
- Ted Kleisner, Retired CEO, Greenbriar Resorts and Hershey Entertainment and Resorts
- Sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank
- In the short time he has called Savannah home, Ted has been involved with the Telfair Museum, Savannah Airport Commission, Memorial Health Foundation, Savannah Music Festival and Savannah Classical Academy, among other organizations.
- Laura Kyser, Professor of Mathematics, Savannah Technical College
- Sponsored by Savannah Technical College Foundation Board
- Laura Kyser is one of Savannah Technical College’s most celebrated professors. She has been an integral part of redesigning the MATH ACE course to better serve Savannah Tech’s students and also played a major role in developing the master shells for College Algebra which is used by all instructors in the College’s transition to the online learning platform, Blackboard.
- Don Logana, Anchor, WTOC-TV Savannah
- Sponsored by Leopold’s Ice Cream
- WTOC Vice- President and General Manager Larry Silbermann will accept this award.
- Don Logana was the epitome of a community star. He was the life of the party! Rarely did we see Don without a smile or hear his big laugh in our newsroom. Not only was he a journalist with a passion for getting to the truth in his investigations, but he loved this community. You could see that as this gentle giant led the way volunteering and raising money for the MS Society, CASA, AMBUCS and countless other charities. Don set records for the money he raised. We will never forget Don at WTOC and his memory will live on in the hearts of so many of you.
- Chris Maynor, Tool Crib DIRTTbag
- Sponsored by DIRTT Environmental Solutions
- Chris Maynor is a Savannah native who began working right after graduating from Savannah High School. Since joining the DIRTT, Chris has thrived. He loves facing new challenges every day and looks forward to learning as much as he can, working with his great co-workers.
- Rudolph Quarterman, President, Coastal Environmental and Construction Management, Inc.
- Sponsored by J.E. Dunn Construction Company
- Born in Savannah, Rudy Quarterman graduated with economics degrees from Morris Brown University and Atlanta University. He was drafted into the US Army where he served proudly for two years. This father of 6 and grandfather of 10 has spent his life in this community working with businesses and governments to support inclusion and help men and women find success.
- Dana Schultz, Director of Club Operations/Director of Golf, The Westin Savannah Harbor
- Sponsored by Savannah Harbor Foundation, Inc.
- In addition to her illustrious career in golf, Dana has an impressive resume of community involvement including her work with the Savannah/Low Country Executive Women’s Golf Association, the American Cancer Society Golf Tournament, the Savannah Harbor Foundation, East Chapter Georgia PGA and the Savannah Area Tourism Leadership Council.
- Cori Sessions, Vice President of Operations, Advertising Specialty Services
- Sponsored by Advertising Specialty Services
- Cori Sessions is a sought after volunteer who loves to give back. She is a wife to Matt, mother to Brody, daughter to Diana and friend to many. One of her hobbies is training at Hyperformance Athletics where her Crossfit skills and the health of her friends and family have become a priority.
- Dr. Ben Spitalnick, Physician, Pediatric Associates of Savannah, PC
- Sponsored by Joe Marchese Construction
- Dr. Spitalnick is a founding board member of the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Savannah, the American Medical Association and currently serves as President of the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Dr. Kelley Waldron, Head of St. Andrew’s School
- Sponsored by Howard and Mary Morrison
- Dr. Kelley Waldron came to St. Andrew's School in 2002 and held a variety of positions before becoming the Head of the School. She is an alumna of Leadership Savannah, serves on the board of Savannah Horizons, is co-founder of Teach the Future Fellowship, and was selected as a 2015 Rising Star by Savannah Magazine. She enjoys working with children of all ages and is passionate about the vision and community of St. Andrew's School.
- Don Waters, Former Chairman, President and CEO of Brasseler USA, Inc.
- Sponsored by Dick and Judy Eckburg
- Don L. Waters is a native of Savannah. He is a member of the Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia and was inducted into the Junior Achievement Savannah Business Hall of Fame in 2013. He has served for many years on the board of the Union Mission and is also on the Board of Curators of the Georgia Historical Society. Waters is one of the founders of Savannah Classical Academy.
- Lisa Wilson, Registered Nurse, Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
- Sponsored by The Cory Joseph Wilson Fireball 40 Memorial Baseball Tournament Committee
- Lisa Wilson is a powerful example of strength in adversity, working tirelessly to promote heart health awareness. Together with her husband Kenny and daughter Morgan, she formed The Cory Joseph Wilson Foundation, Inc., which has placed Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in various facilities throughout our community. She has also provided CPR training to thousands of people.