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Ola Smith Recognized for Distinguished Service to OTC

The Okefenokee Technical College 2011-12 Board of Directors and OTC Senior Staff recognized Ola Smith at the August board meeting for her 12 years of service to the College. Ms. Smith joined the OTC Board of Directors in 1999 and served as a member representing Ware County until 2005 when she was elected Board Chair. Smith’s term ended June 2011.

As part of the recognition ceremony for Ms. Ola Smith, Adie Shimandle, director of the Technical College Directors’ Association, shared stories about Ms. Smith. She then recognized Ms. Ola Smith with a service award from the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) Commissioner, Ron Jackson, and the TCSG staff. Ms. Smith served on the Technical College Director’s Association (TCDA) for a number of years and served as TCDA President for the 2008-09 year.

OTC President Dr. Gail Thaxton also presented Ms. Smith with a Distinguished Service Award. President Thaxton spoke highly of Ola, describing her as having qualities like that of Thaxton’s favorite gem, a diamond.

Like a diamond, Ms. Smith is sought by many, stated Thaxton. Ola’s leadership abilities, character, work ethic and values make her a popular candidate for boards, committees, and service projects in the community, continued Thaxton.

Ola was likened to a diamond, as well, for her strength, beauty, and endurance. According to Thaxton, Ola, who is CEO of the McKinney Community Health Center, doesn’t give in when she is fighting for her passions: affordable and quality health care, healthy children and families, technical education, diversity, and fairness. “And of course, stated Thaxton “diamonds are the most precious gemstone.”

Thaxton thanked Ms. Smith, for her personal friendship and loyalty to OTC, especially her uncompromising commitment to students.

Those in attendance for the board meeting enjoyed a PowerPoint presentation created by Margaret Fairley that included numerous photos of Ms. Smith at OTC board meetings and TCSG meetings. Everyone also enjoyed a delicious homemade cake and some of Ola’s favorite dishes prepared by Mrs. Fairley in honor of Ola’s 12 years of service on the OTC Board of Directors.

Photo 1

Photo 1 - Adie Shimandle, director of the Technical College Directors’ Association, recognized Ms. Ola Smith with a service award from Commissioner Ron Jackson and the Technical College System of Georgia.

Photo 2

Photo 2– Adie Shimandle and Ola Smith laugh as they recall how they met. Ms. Smith was on the interview team that recommended Adie as the new TCDA director.

Photo 3

Photo 3 - OTC President Dr. Gail Thaxton presented Ms. Ola Smith with a beautiful diamond-shaped award for her outstanding service to Okefenokee Technical College July 1999-June 2011.

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