Alums Choat & Green Honored

Posted on: February 17, 2012

TWC Alums Gene Choat and Angie Green were honored by the Etowah Area Chamber of Commerce for their community involvement and spirit.

A four-decade career of serving others garnered Gene Choate this year's R. Frank McKinney Award during Thursday's Etowah Area Chamber of Commerce Banquet.

Sponsored by The Daily Post-Athenian, the award is named for McKinney, who was for many years the editor of The Etowah Enterprise and involved himself in civic organizations and causes throughout the community.

"He wanted to create a better quality of life for the community," said DPA Publisher Tommy Wilson when presenting the award. "Our winner this year exhibits those same qualities which make this community great."

Choate attended Tennessee Wesleyan College and worked for a time in Chattanooga before forming Choate Printing 40 years ago.

He served the community in numerous capacities, including as a past president of the Etowah Chamber and long-time director of music at Delano Baptist Church before retiring from the post in 2004.

A founder and leader of the Etowah United Fund, Choate has overseen the distribution of more than $500,000 to different agencies over the years.

"That probably saved many agencies that were in a bind," Wilson said. "That legacy he created will continue for generations."

Choate was honored to receive the award - named for his mentor who taught him the printing trade as a high-schooler -¬ and considered it a privilege to serve such a great community.

"I couldn't have done what I've done without your support," he said. "This city, McMinn County, the state of Tennessee and other parts of the country have all supported Choate Printing. What I've done is because of what you've done for me."


Business Person of the Year

Angie Green, plant manager of ConMet, was named Business Person of the Year for her leadership in the face of a harsh economic climate.

"A few years ago, industries were downsizing, people were being laid off - it was a tough time to be a leader," said Durant Tullock, executive director of the Etowah Chamber. "She is proof a woman can survive and thrive in a tough environment. In tough times, we know she's a tough person equal to the task."

Business acumen and strong leadership are in Green's genes. Both her mother and grandmother were successful business owners in Etowah.

After attending Tennessee Wesleyan College for a bachelor's of business administration and Webster University in St. Louis, Mo., for her master's degree, Green began her career in human resources for the largest staffing agency in Central Florida. Upon her 2001 return to Etowah, she became quality engineer for ConMet and later took the lead as plant manager.

Under her leadership, the plant received the Masters of Quality Award from Daimler Trucks North America and continues to be a viable business as she works to keep costs under control while maintaining a competitive edge in an ever-changing market.

Active in the community, Green teaches adult Sunday school at First Baptist Church of Etowah and has served on the Etowah Chamber board and Tennessee Wesleyan College Alumni Board. She also teaches in the college's business school as an adjunct professor.

Green said she was "honored and grateful" not only for the award and community support, but also to be able to work with "38 of the best employees in the world."

"Twenty-five years ago," Green recalled, "Dr. (John) Forgety gave me the Elks Teen of the Year Award. He patted me on the back and told me to go do great things. Those were my marching orders. That was the beginning, and I'm grateful for all of the support the community has given me since then."

The Business Person of the Year Award is sponsored by the Etowah Area Chamber of Commerce.

Greg Moses, Community Life Editor
Daily Post Athenian