Mon, July 15, 2024

15-year anniversary of Top 10 in 10

The Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce presented ten young professionals who represent the next generation of leaders.

The Top 10 in 10 Young Professionals to Watch began in 2009 to shine the light on a diverse group of individuals between ages 25 and age 35 who are leaders in their field and at their respective employers.

Sue Parr, President and CEO of the Chamber, said selecting the top 10 each year is a challenging process. She said the committee members review applicants and winnow the pool down to the best of the best.

“This program has actually grown over the state,” she said. “Maybe one of our next goals for the program should be that we’ll have Georgia alumni of Top 10 in 10 Young Professionals to Watch. The name varies according to the chamber and the community, but this program has really been a model for across the state, communities that want to showcase talent.”

It has been a tradition for the Mayor of Augusta to serve on the selection committee, and Mayor Garnett Johnson helped present the awards to this year’s cohort.

“Make sure that you represent the award that you receive today,” he urged the young professionals. “We have a lot of need throughout the community, in our nonprofit world, in our government sectors, our great universities. I only ask if you get engaged, get involved. Make this community better.”

Photo courtesy of Rhian Swain, RedWolf Advertising

This year’s honorees include:

  • Nicholas Wood, Piedmont Hospital, Executive Director, Hospital Administrator;
  • James Whitehead, SouthState Bank, Premier Private Banker;
  • Taylor Lamb, Augusta University, Director of Marketing and Creative Services;
  • Shiamanté Grimes, Textron Specialized Vehicles (TSV), E-Z-GO, University Relations
    Lead;
  • Kirsten Conrad, Club Car, Project Execution Manager;
  • Raysean Ricks, Augusta University, Senior Digital Communications Coordinator;
  • Jeannine Steinkuhl, Crowne Plaza North Augusta, Director of Sales;
  • Aherial Polite, Augusta Technical College, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences;
  • Abby Bryant, Costa Farms, Business Process Manager for Field Operations and
  • Taggert Vinzant, House of Tag, Founder/CEO
Photo by Dana Lynn McIntyre

Dr. Mark Thompson, Dean and Professor at the Hull College of Business at Augusta University was a member of that group in 2009. As keynote speaker, he told this year’s honorees to stay true to themselves and their passions, but don’t be afraid to step out of their comfort zone.

“Take chances, especially when opportunities present themselves, and it is okay to pivot, set goals, and then reset them and hold yourself accountable,” he advised the group. “Don’t just build your network. Build up your network. The people around you and this community are one of the most important resources that you have. You have already done great things to be recognized today, but remember that this award highlights the potential that you bring to your professional career. So, don’t be afraid to take chances.”

Parr urged anyone who applied, but was not selected this year, to apply again. The Top 10 in 10 is sponsored by Augusta Magazine.

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