Gary Abney, a Realtor, former banker and past Eastern Kentucky University regents chair, received the Richmond Chamber of Commerce’s top award Tuesday night.
Abney was presented the Wallace G. Maffett Award for lifelong community service and leadership.
Maffett served as Richmond mayor in the 1970s and was known for his public service.
In addition to serving on his alma mater’s board of regents for 14 years, Abney also has served several other community organizations “with distinction,” according to his award citation.
These include the chamber of commerce, Madison County United Way, Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority board, Pops at the Park, Richmond Utilities Board and Richmond Industrial Development Corporation Board.
Business of the Year
The Business of the Year Award went to Chick-fil-A restaurant in Richmond Centre.
Operator Heather Redick, her husband Neil, and their crew of 60 plus team members “have led the way in community donations and influence” the award citation stated.
The restaurant achieved Chick-fil-A’s highest sales award in 2011 and consistently ranks in the top 10 percent of all Chick-fil-A restaurants for customer service scores, the citation added.
The local Chick-fil-A has partnered with the Richmond Fire Department, Salvation Army, Light of Christ Ministries and other non-profit organizations in the community in charitable activities. It also partners with Madison Central High School to employ co-op and at risk students to give them a positive work environment.
Small Business of the Year
Cars of Kentucky took home the Small Business of the Year Award.
Owners Gordon and Mike Rice established the dealership on Big Hill Avenue in 1985, seeking to provide exceptional service and fair prices on every car, the citation stated. The business also is known for its philanthropy, having recently donated a vehicle after hearing the story of a young mother in need.
The dealership also supports other local businesses by having all its service and repair work done locally.