Kay Keller, director of economic development and community engagement at the University of North Georgia, sat listening to the description of the Women in Business Diamond Award winner during the Oconee County Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting and dinner Jan. 25 at the Oconee Civic Center in Watkinsville, Georgia.
"She is innovative and progressive and thinks from a big picture point of view," said Deesha Hagwood, chairwoman of Oconee County Chamber of Commerce's Women in Business.
It was until a few more sentences that Keller realized she was receiving the honor.
"I was speechless," Keller said. "I cried and I was very emotional."
Established by the Oconee Chamber's Women in Business, the Diamond Award honors successful women who have excelled in their profession and made a significant impact in their professional and personal world as well as in their local community.
"The Women in Business is a powerful and influential group in that community," she said. "It was a big honor."
Women in Business is a diverse group of professional women affiliated with the Oconee Chamber of Commerce. Since its establishment in 2012, it has functioned as a support and networking group facilitating its members' personal and professional growth.
Previous recipients of the Diamond Award are Sunita Singh with Northeast Georgia Health System and Tammy Gilland with Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center.