The Chamber board asked Garcia to remain in the chairman position after fired WellStar Health System CEO Dr. Greg Simone resigned from the 2011 chairman duties in September. Chamber chairs typically serve one-year terms, although there have been exceptions.
Garcia, 49, is a 1984 graduate of Auburn University and an east Cobb resident. He and his wife, Teena, have two children, Robert, a high school senior, and Elizabeth, a senior at Auburn University.
"Last year, more than ever before, the Chamber was committed to providing more connections to help companies develop new clients and sources of revenue," Garcia said. "We pledged to give you more valuable programs and services - we did that."
Garcia said he asked the 2010 Chamber board to stay on with him in 2011, and everyone agreed to serve a second term. "I am looking forward to continuing to work with a talented group of individuals who are committed to making Cobb County an even better place to do business." Also introduced as part of the 2011 Chamber leadership team was Chairman-elect Tony Britton of Community & Southern Bank and First Vice Chairman Greg Morgan of Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC.
Garcia said the Chamber was directly responsible for helping to recruit and retain quality companies that built more than 200,000 square feet of new facility development in Cobb, along with the new 84-acre sporting complex at Kennesaw State University. These developments, he said, were worth more than $184 million and created 1,650 new jobs.
"For a year that many would say was clouded by economic uncertainty, I would certainly say that the Cobb Chamber was far from uncertain," said Garcia. "I would submit that your Chamber was right on the mark."
Attendees also formally welcomed the Chamber's new President and CEO, David Connell, formerly regional manager at Georgia Power. The east Cobb resident replaced Don Beaver Nov. 1. Beaver, who is retiring, became the Chamber's President a year ago, replacing the retired Bill Cooper.
The Cobb Chamber also honored its 2010 board and gave several prestigious awards:
The Dr. Robert A. Lipson Award was presented to Jim Rhoden of Futren Corporation for his outstanding leadership exemplary towards others and his passion for being a resident of Cobb County.
The Chairman's Award was given to Ben Mathis of Freeman Mathis and Gary, LLP for outstanding leadership, dedication, support, enthusiasm and commitment to the Cobb Chamber.
The Mack Henderson Public Service Award was presented to two honorees this year - Mayor Mark Mathews of the City of Kennesaw and Heath Garrett of Turner, Bachman & Garrett, LLC. Both were lauded for being a strong force in the Chamber and in their community this year.
The Len Gilbert Award was presented to Chamber board member Mary Karras of Bank of North Georgia for exceptional dedication in service and leadership to the Cobb Chamber Membership Department.
Other honorees included 18 individuals honored with Campaign Lifetime Achievement Awards. Lisa Crossman of the Leadership Cobb Alumni team was honored as the top membership achiever.