Thu, April 25, 2024

Former young professional honorees share experiences, wisdom at Chamber event

Each year, the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce and Augusta Magazine compile a list of 10 young professionals who are successful in not only their careers, but also in giving back to the community.

This year’s Top 10 in 10 Young Professionals to Watch includes business owners, realtors, higher education professionals, and banking executives. On Thursday, they were honored at the Chamber’s Member Economic Luncheon, an event that also included a panel discussion with four past honorees:

  • Shanteka Glover, Senior IT Technical & Business Analyst, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions
  • Paige MacKenzie Miller, Assistant District Attorney, Macon Judicial Circuit
  • Karlton Clay, Founder, Victory Productions
  • Will Dyer, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church of Augusta
Will Dyer

Dyer, who was selected in 2019, served as the moderator and asked the other three about their experiences as Top 10 in 10 honorees and how being selected has changed their lives.

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For Glover, a 2020 honoree, the recognition has led to more opportunities to serve the community, specifically in promoting STEM careers to students.

Shanteka Glover

“It has opened so many doors professionally and personally,” she said.

In Sept. 2020, Glover went on to be selected for Georgia Trend Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40. A few months later, she earned her second master’s degree.

In the discussion, Glover shared one of her favorite sayings: “If they don’t invite you to the table, bring your own chair, and if they don’t invite you into the room, create your own room.”

When asked what advice she would give this year’s honorees, she said, “Commit to being your authentic self.”

MacKenzie Miller, who earned degrees from both Augusta University and the Mercer University School of Law, was honored in 2017.

Paige MacKenzie Miller

“My five-year plan was to become an attorney, so I’m glad I made it,” she said. “It’s a very fun job.”

Like Glover, MacKenzie Miller said being selected has given her more opportunities to serve others.

“It showed the work that I had done,” she said.

MacKenzie Miller, who recently celebrated nine years of sobriety, previously worked for Hope House, a substance abuse treatment center for women.

“I’m getting more involved in organizations,” she said. “You get more involved because people know your name; you have a sphere of influence.”

Clay was honored as one of the Top 10 in 10 in 2017 and Georgia Trend Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 the following year. As founder of Victory Productions, he has written, directed, and produced numerous stage plays, films, and TV series. He also serves as a digital producer for WJBF News Channel 6.

“People look at you as an example,” Clay said. “I’m excited to be part of my community.”

He said the relationships he has formed with other media professionals, such as news anchors, Brad Means and Jennie Montgomery, have been invaluable. Clay said both Means and Montgomery also serve as examples by giving back to the local community.

At one time, he left WJBF and was unsure about returning because he feared it would mean taking a step backwards.

“It’s been the best decision I’ve ever made,” Clay said.

This week, ABD will feature this year’s Top 10 in 10 honorees.

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