Cham­ber hon­ors lo­cal busi­ness­men

The Covington News - - Front page - By Tharon Gid­dens tgid­dens@cov­

Cov­ing­ton den­tist Melvin O’Neal Baker is the re­cip­i­ent of the R.O. Arnold Award, given an­nu­ally by the Cov­ing­ton/Newton Cham­ber of Com­merce.

The 61-year-old Ox­ford res­i­dent earned the honor for his life­time of ser­vice to the com­mu­nity. The award was pre­sented Thurs­day at the cham­ber’s 2011 an­nual meet­ing, held at DeKalb Tech­ni­cal Col­lege’s Newton Cam­pus.

Dr. Baker has been in den­tistry 34 years. He earned a de­gree in bi­ol­ogy at Clark Uni­ver­sity and at­tained his den­tistry de­gree from the Med­i­cal Col­lege of Ge­or­gia.

Louise Adams, who pre­sented the award, noted that Dr. Baker is chair­man of the board of the Washington Street Com­mu­nity Cen­ter, a stew­ard of St. Paul AME Church, and was the 2010 win­ner of the pres­ti­gious of the Martin Luther King I Have A Dream Award and a Leg­ends award in 2010 from Al­pha Kappa Al­pha Soror­ity.

Also Thurs­day, the Dick James Small Busi­ness Award was given to Mer­ry­vale As­sisted Liv­ing. Its di­rec­tor, Gena McClen­don, ac­cepted the honor.

The Spirit of Ex­cel­lence Award for ex­tra­or­di­nary vol­un­teer ser­vice for the cham­ber was given to Ric Bur­nette of Wheeler Fu­neral Home.

Guest speaker for the evening was Ga. Sec­re­tary of State Brian Kemp.

Brit­tany Thomas/The Cov­ing­ton News

From the Cham­ber: (Above) Melvin O’Neal Baker re­ceived the R.O. Arnold Award for ser­vice. (Be­low) Ric Brunette re­ceived the Spirit of Ex­cel­lence Award; Jimmy Dukes ac­cepted on his be­half. (Right) Sec­re­tary of State Brian Kemp served as guest speaker.

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