Heart of the Community to honor 11 at ‘An Affair of the Heart’ on Feb. 9.

Heart of the Community to honor 11 at ‘An Affair of the Heart’ on Feb. 9.

On Saturday, Feb. 9, eleven of Rome’s “unsung” heroes will be honored at the Heart of the Community Awards of Honor gala called “An Affair of the Heart.”  For 32 years, Redmond Regional Medical Center has sponsored these awards to recognize and honor individuals whose commitment through volunteer service has made this community a better place in which to live, work and raise a family.

The latest recipients include:  Bill and Faith Collins, Board of Governors Award; Chantz McClinic, Young Heart Award; The Ball Corp., Business Award;  and Awards of Honor Recipients: Nancy Knight,  Tannika King, Barbara Beninato, Harry Brock, Mark Webb and Jeff and Mary Margaret Mauer.


Bill and Faith Collins,
Board of Governors

Bill and Faith each were born in Rome and Floyd County.  Bill graduated from West Rome High School and Faith graduated from Pepperell High.  Faith also attended Floyd Junior College. Their community activities Include:

*Rome City Commission since 1996
*Current Mayor Pro Tem
*Chair-Redevelopment Committee
*Chair-Kelsey-Aycock –Burrell Center
*Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth
*Noon Optimist Club
*Northwest Georgia Minority Business Association
*Life of Jesus in Action Church
*Mercy Care of Rome Board
*Rome Floyd Chamber of Commerce
*Northwest Georgia Minority Business Association
*Patient Advisory Council-Floyd Medical Center
*Rome School Board for 17 years-Current Chair
*Life of Jesus in Action Church

Bill and Faith are the owners of Collins Auto Clean Up.  They have a track record of hiring many employees who are trying to get back into society after incarceration. They are a positive influence
by employing men and women who need a second chance. Bill and Faith are the parents of two grown children, William II and Sara, and devoted grandparents to Tyler, Marquez and Faith.

Nominate by Wendy Davis:  “Growing their business from the ground up while helping others …  productive members of society. Leading our city schools and the city is what make Bill and Faith worthy.”

Barbara Beninato

Barb Beninato is a native of Omaha, Neb., and graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical Center with a degree in Medical Technology. Her community service activities:
* Rome Symphony Orchestra Board and Past President
* Rotary Club of Rome
* Hunter’s Glen Subdivision Home Owners Association
* SPLOST Citizens Committee
* United Arts Collaborative
* Four Seasons Garden Club
* Downtown Rome Development Plan
* Economic Development Committee Rome Chamber
* Intercity Visits, Rome Floyd Chamber.
* Leadership Rome
* 2014 Recipient, Rome Area Council for the Arts Award
* Rome First United Methodist Church

Barb and her husband, John, have two daughters, Leigh and Leslie, and two grandsons, Lucas and Miller.

Nominated by Linda Jennings who says,  “Within minutes of meeting her, she was telling me about all of the volunteer opportunities and asking me where I would like to get involved?”

Harry Brock

A native of Rome, Harry truly loves this community. He graduated from the University of Alabama before returning to Rome.  Before entering real estate and starting his own business, he worked in the bicycle industry. He has contributed to the enhancement of our community through his more than 20 years of active volunteer service. His activities:

*Downtown Development Authority – Past Chair
*Rome-Floyd Chamber-Past Chair
*Rome-Floyd Development Authority – Past Chair
*Greater Rome Convention and Visitors Bureau – Past Chair/Current Board Member
*Heart of the Community – Past Chair
*Local Organizing Committee for Tour de Georgia – Past Chair
*Leadership Rome Graduate
*Leadership Northwest Georgia Graduate
*Leadership Rome and High School Leadership Rome Coordinator
*Vice-Chairman Open Door Children’s Home
*Past Board Member of YMCA
*Founding Member and Board Member of TRED
*Member of Rome-Floyd Land Bank Authority
*Former Board Member of Georgia Highlands College Foundation
*Recipient of the Wesley F. Johnson Award of Merit for Leadership
*Recipient of the William M. Fricks Award for Downtown Development

Harry and his wife, Dawn, are parents of two children, Bailey and Cooper.

Nominators have said of Harry: “Harry is known to all those ‘who work behind the scenes’ as a trusted friend, one who personally gets things done/makes things happen and someone who leads with integrity with the best interest of our citizens and community at heart.”

“Harry is engaged in our community in so many ways. He has a servant’s heart; he gives his time for the right reasons,”  says Allison Watters.


Tannika King

Tannika has called Rome home since 1990 when she moved from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She is a graduate of Rome High School and earned a B.A. in Communication from Berry College. She currently serves as the Director of Communications at Darlington School, where she has been for 15 years. Her community activities Include:

*Board Member and Past President, Sexual Assault Center of NWGA
*2017 SPLOST Citizens Advisory Committee
*2013 and 2017 Rome-Floyd Citizens for Progress (SPLOST YES)
*Chairperson, Citizens for Roberson
*Court Participant and Prom Queen, A Night to Remember: An Adult Prom for Alzheimer’s Association
*Leadership Rome Participant and Volunteer, Rome-Floyd Chamber of Commerce
*Committee Member, Run for the Rescues Animal Welfare Fundraiser
*Harbor House Adult Spelling Bee Participant
*Board Member, Greater Rome Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
*Board Member, Rome International Film Festival

Tannika lives in Rome with her 12-year old Jack Russell mix, Asa.

Nominated by Frank Beacham and others. Says Frank: “Tannika is blessed with outstanding people skills and leadership skills, and she tirelessly uses those to serve Rome and Floyd County.”


Nancy Knight

A native of Rockmart with a B.S. Degree from the University of Georgia, “Nancy shatters the myth that people who work full time don’t have time to serve their community,” says Allison Watters.

Her community service activities include:
* Co-Founder of North Georgia Animal Partnership
* Co-Founder of Claws for Paws
* Chieftain’s Museum Past Board Member
* Chieftain’s Plant Sale Chair
* Leadership Georgia
* Heart of the Community Past Board Member
* Rome Floyd Chamber Board and Executive Committee
* St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
Finance Chair
Chair- Rector Search Committee
Chair Building Renovation
Senior Warden
Loaves and Fishes

Nancy and her husband, Jack, are small business owners and the parents of three adult children, Ford, Katherine and Cliff. They also have a house full of rescue dogs.

“She rarely says “no” when asked to help,” say Ginny and Doc Kibler.

Jeff and Mary Margaret Mauer

Through decades of service to the community, the Mauers have committed their lives to the foster care crisis in Rome and Floyd County. They serve are co-founders of Restoration Rome.

Mary Margaret is a native of Homerville, Ga., and Jeff was born in Plainfield, Ill. Jeff and his family moved to Rome when he was 10 years old. The Mauers attended Oxford College and Emory University where they met.  They married shortly after graduation.  Mary Margaret received a Ph.D. from Georgia State University in Biological Sciences and Jeff received his degree from Shorter University in Business Administration.

Service activities for Mary Margaret include:

*Global Impact International – Foster Care Services
*Junior Service League – Past President & current Sustainer
*DAR Constitution Week
*Leadership Rome
*Co-founder, Floyd Faith Coalition for Families
*Murphy-Harpst Children’s Center Board -Past Chair
*Murphy-Harpst Auxiliary
*Providence Preparatory Academy Board
*Church Sunday School Teacher, Vacation Bible School Director, and Leader of Foster/Adoption Ministry

Service activities for Jeff Mauer have included:
*Chairman, Global Impact International Board
*Community Engagement Pastor at Three Rivers Church
*Young Presidents Organization
*Georgia Chamber of Commerce Board
*Rome Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth Board
*Providence Preparatory Academy Board
*Darlington School Board
*Heritage First Bank  Board
*Greater Rome Existing Industry Board
*Criminal Justice Board
*Rome YMCA Board
*Boy Scouts of America NWGA Board
*Harbor House Board
*Heart of the Community Board
*Floyd College Board of Regents
*Leadership Rome
*Rome Floyd County United Way

Nominated by Ryland and Jennifer Scott, who said,  “Having personally experienced the process of becoming foster parents, they began to understand the definition of the word crisis. They responded to the call with the creation of Restoration Rome.”

Mark Webb

A native of St. Simons Island and a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College, Mark received his law degree from Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. He has been a trial attorney with the law firm Brinson, Askew and Berry for 30 years. His community service activities include:

*Rome Jaycees
*Dancing with the Stars Cast
*Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Participant
*Murder Mystery Theatre for Floyd Against Drugs
*Strike Out Child Abuse Team Member
*NAIA Team Host committee
*Up the Creek without a Paddle Ride
*Foster Care Parent’s Night Out
*Rome Hand Cyclist Race
*R.A.C.E. Rome Kids Triathlon
*Rome Children’s Academy
*Junior Service League Follies
*CRBI Volunteer
*Cystic Fibrosis Theatre Fund Raiser
*First United Methodist Church
*Georgia High School Mock Trial
*SPLOST Campaign Advocate

Board Participation:
Hospitality House, Past Chair
Coosa Valley Cycling Association, Past Chair
Heart of the Community Board, Past-Chair
Coosa Country Club

TRED (Trials for Recreation and Economic Development)

Mark and his wife Renee are the parents of one daughter, Ailsa.

Nominated by Dr. J. Paul Ferguson, who said: “Mark has continually demonstrated his love and commitment to the Greater Rome community.”


Chantz McClinic
Young Heart

 A native of Rome, Chantz graduated from Darlington School and Wake Forest University.  As a member of the Wake Forest football team, he brought that experience and love of sports back to Rome and has been very involved in sports and other activities. At age 32, he has participated in activities that include working with young people in a variety of ways:
*Youth Basketball Coach YMCA
*Coach with Rome Floyd Parks and Recreation Dept.
*Rome Youth League Football Coach
*South Rome Development Committee Member
-Property Development Committee
-Early Learning Center Committee
*Mentor Annie K. Davie Elementary School
*Darlington School Alumni Council
*Wake Forest University Deacon Club
*YMCA Board Member
-Executive committee, facilities
*NYANYA Project in Tanzania building homes for grandmothers who are caring for foster children diagnosed with AIDS
*Changed for Life Ministry Program

Chantz currently works as a team leader and Manufacturing Supervisor at Southeastern Mills in Rome. Chantz and his wife, Whitney, belong to Lovejoy Baptist Church.

Nominated by Cheryl Bishop, Linda Owens and Rev. Carey Ingram, they have said he “gives his heart deeply and the impact he makes is significant in the lives of the boys he coaches. When he gives himself, he does so with his whole heart.”

Business Award: Ball Corp.

The Ball Corp. acquired the Metal Container Corp. in Rome in 1993.  For 25 years, they have been a low cost producer of U.S. beverage cans producing between 11 and 12 million cans a day.  The company focuses on safety and quality, and remains highly efficient and technology advanced. The Rome plant employs 180 people who are encouraged to volunteer and give back to the community.  Every year, they choose a variety of projects in the community and employees have the opportunity to earn volunteer hours that will also earn money for their charity of choice. Their community service includes:

  • Every other month, employees volunteer at the Community Kitchen; four hours of time per visit.
  • Every other month, employees volunteer at the Action Ministries Food Pantry; four hours per visit.
  • Annually participate in the “Let’s Can Hunger” food drive. The Ball Foundation will donate $1 per pound to the charity of choice. 2018 donation to Action Food Ministries was $27,510.
  • Annually provide Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for five families in nerd in the Rome community.
  • Annually provide funding for Restoration Rome to purchase mattresses and bedding needed for foster care.
  • Annually provide Christmas gifts for 45-50 senior citizens through the Sheriff’s Santa for Seniors program.


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