CedarStone Bank president and CEO Bob McDonald, Paul Bauman Award of Excellence winner, flanked by CedarStone's John Sloan and former chamber chairman Carolyn Christoffersen.
On January 22, CedarStone Bank's John Sloan, now the active Chairman of the Mt Juliet Chamber of Commerce, and Carolyn Christoffersen, the former Chairman of the Chamber, announced the Chamber Choice Award winners at Covey Rise. Among them was CedarStone president and CEO Bob McDonald, who was honored with the Paul Bauman Award of Excellence. The award is given annually to a business person who, through his or her community and civic efforts, has made our community a better place to live and work. The award is named after Paul Bauman, an influential businessman who was instrumental the early success of the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce.
Even though Paul passed way in 1996, he will always be remembered as one of Mt Juliet’s most respected and influential businessmen. Paul was a 1959 graduate of The Citadel (where he rose to Lt. Colonel), was President of John Deal Companies, a member of the Board of Trust at Cumberland University, a founding member of the Mt Juliet Breakfast Rotary Club, and was active with Camp Easter Seals and the United Way. He lived his life with a belief in giving back. His favorite quote was “to whom much is given, much is required.” In 1988, John Deal Companies was awarded the United Way Advocate Award, given to a company which best represents the United Way spirit of giving. Paul demanded little attention for his good deeds, preferring to serve quietly, out of the spotlight. He was a well-respected pillar of the community and is still remembered today for his noble character, strong ethics, dedication, and his passion for quietly serving others.
Given annually to a deserving individual, the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce Paul Bauman Award of Excellence is the highest honor the Chamber can bestow upon on a business leader in our community. As this year’s recipient, CedarStone Bank founder and president, Bob McDonald continues to exemplify those important and time-tested business principles for which this award is named. As a respected member of our business community, Bob also quietly serves his community by sharing his time, talents, and treasures. Bob also encourages everyone on the CedarStone Bank team to do likewise.
Congratulations to Bob; you have the community's gratitude for you have done and continue to do each day to make our community such a special to live, work, shop, play, and pray.
Mt. Juliet Chamber Choice Awards
Gaye Lynn Wilson, Volunteer of the Year
Kandi McElhannon, Ambassador of the Year
Tina Hutenpiller, Chairman's Award
Dorie Mitchell, Leadership Wilson
Billie & Dwight Belew, Lifetime Achievement
Bob McDonald, Paul Bauman Award of Excellence
Ray Daniel, Chick Fil-A, Business of the Year
James Christensen, MJPD, Community Enhancement of the Year
Marquita Hall & Carmelita Stafford, Sister's Whimzy, Business Women of the Year
The following is chamber chairman John Sloan's address to the banquet attendees.
Ten years ago tonight, I stood before this group and passed the ceremonial gavel to Judy White. It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years, but it most certainly has. Time really does fly. As the noted philosopher Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
So let’s take Ferris at his word and take a look at what’s happened in the last ten years...
Ten years ago:
- Providence did not exist
- My hair was brown
- The “worst economy since the Great Depression” was still two years away
- My son David was not quite one year old
- We had no Starbucks in Mt. Juliet
- I was about 30 days away from going to work at CedarStone Bank
- The new high school had not yet opened
- The font size on my speech was a lot smaller
- The Music City Star was not yet operational
- The Titans had a good football team
- The City of Mt. Juliet consisted of roughly 15,000 residents
- Many of you were not here
So let’s see just how Mt. Juliet has changed. How many of you were not here then? If you have lived and/or worked in Mt. Juliet less than 10 years, please stand up. THIS is how Mt. Juliet has changed in the last ten years. We’ve been blessed by these new folks and their ideas, their contributions.
You may sit back down.
Each one of those folks was attracted to Mt. Juliet because of the work done by those of you who didn’t stand up…those who laid the groundwork for the explosive growth we are now experiencing. The explosive growth that occurred, by the way, during the worst economy since the Great Depression. And it’s the contributions of everyone in this room that make Mt. Juliet what it is…a friendly, compassionate, progressive city of over 25,000 people.
You’ve all helped make Mt. Juliet a city that compares favorably with any “edge city” in the country. You’ve helped make Mt. Juliet one of the fastest growing cities in the country. You’ve helped make it a city with one of the best school systems in the state of Tennessee. You’ve helped make it an “IT” city, a playful City, and a business-friendly city. In short, you’ve helped make it a great place to live, work, shop, worship, and play.
We truly have a great thing going here. But it won’t keep going by itself. Progress is a process, and that process requires vision, planning, execution, and follow-up. So, let’s make 2015 a year of continuing – and expanding – the process of progress. Let’s plan for the next 10 years – and beyond.
Let’s have housing that meets the needs of all those who want and need to live here.
Let’s have consistently applied zoning and land-use plans that serve our city well, but do not serve as a barrier to those seeking to build a business or home in Mt. Juliet.
Let’s put the infrastructure in place – before it is needed – to attract quality growth in the office, industrial, retail, and residential sectors.
Let’s continue the work of the small business owners and civic leaders who have made Mt. Juliet what it is today…people like Hale Moss, Tina Hutsenpiller, Phil Smartt, Bill Robinson, Ed Rice, Paul Baumann.
And let’s not forget that, like those folks I just mentioned, we are all called to serve, so get out there find a way to make a difference. Find a way to make this great city just a little bit better than it was before.
How will your Chamber help make Mt. Juliet better?
- By advocating for the businesses – large and small – who call Mt. Juliet home.
- By connecting Chamber members and citizens with the resources they need to be successful.
- By promoting Chamber members in the community.
- And by supporting Chamber members with the information they need to start, grow, and operate their businesses.
These are the things your Chamber does every day. These are the items on Mark’s and Anita’s “to-do” list every day. They define the purpose of the Chamber, the reason it exists. But they can’t do it by themselves. They need our help. So, are you ready to contribute your time, talent, and treasure to help make Mt. Juliet better?
I know you are. How do I know this?
Because you’re here tonight. Because you’ve given of your time and resources to help those who need it. Because you’ve made Mt. Juliet what it is today. Let’s all continue that work – the process of progress – to make Mt. Juliet even better. Let’s make the next ten years even better than the last ten years.
Let’s make it the best ten years ever.