Monday, I did something for the first time. I qualified as a candidate for the position of an Irwin County Commissioner. I have grown up around local politics as my dad, Gary, serves as an Irwin County Board of Education Member. And, my father-in-law, Billy Zorn, serves as a County Commissioner in Irwin County’s First District.
In 2002, Jorjanne and I moved home to start my family’s processing business, Muscadine Products Corporation (MPC). After our move from Atlanta, I commented that one day maybe I would have the opportunity to serve as a Commissioner and redeem my Georgia Tech Civil Engineering degree. Civil Engineering is essentially solving the problems of society – providing clean water for a region; designing safe roads and bridges for a community; or, constructing hospitals and industrial parks. Except for a few years serving on Ocilla-Irwin County’s Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Irwin County’s Industrial Authority, I have focused my entire professional attention on building my company. MPC produces regionally grown fruit products for people around the world desiring a healthy, natural life. Now, when I think about it, my responsibilities as a civil engineer and President of MPC are similar – to solve problems, improving life for others.
When I arrived at the Courthouse on Monday to complete my application, I realized I was the first person to sign up. All eyes were on me. That was a little awkward. And, then when I arrived at my Ocilla Rotary Club’s meeting three hours later, everyone knew that I qualified. (Who needs social media when there is an election in a small town?) Everyone congratulated me on qualifying…except one good friend. He frankly asked, “Have you lost your mind?!”
I haven’t lost my mind. I am just doing what I have learned to do. God has blessed MPC beyond my wildest dreams, and now I realize I have an opportunity to help solve problems, improving life for my neighbors.
Question: Have you ever volunteered to serve and someone asked if you lost your mind? What was that like?
I look forward to hearing from you!