Zaxby's restaurant franchisee George Deuhring took home the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce's top annual prize -- the Lifetime Achievement Award -- during a Monday awards ceremony.
"You're blowing me away here," Deuhring said during his acceptance speech at the chamber's Member Celebration Dinner and Awards Night banquet held at the DoubleTree Hotel.
"I'm so honored by this award," he said.
County commission Chairman Ron Cross, who presented the award to Deuhring, referred to him as an everyday hero who "works hard" and is "thankful for his blessings."
The Business of the Year Award went to Gerald Jones Volkswagen Inc.
The company is credited with revitalizing the Columbia Square area and supports numerous chamber, community and school functions and fundraisers.
"All you got to do is treat people with respect," Gerald Jones Vice President David Jones said of his company's success.
"We're very fortunate to be in this area," he said.
Phil Alexander, the founder and president of CallingPost Communications Inc., won the award for Entrepreneur of the Year.
"I'm very humble," he said.
"We just hope to keep trying to do what we do in helping others."
Other award winners included Yvonne Meeks, of SRP Federal Credit Union, for Ambassador of the Year and Pat Goodwin, of the Medical College of Georgia, for Volunteer of the Year.
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