After more than four decades, Cumming Mayor H. Ford Gravitt has earned many honors for his public service to the city. His latest award recognizes his regional contributions.
Gravitt received the Chairman’s Award earlier this month during the Georgia Mountains Regional Development Commission’s annual meeting.
“It was a big surprise,” Gravitt said. “It was a great honor on behalf of myself and the city of Cumming.
“I’ve received many honors but this was a big honor to be selected by this group ... I was picked out of the regional commission of northeast Georgia by the chairman, so this makes it that much more special.”
The commission, which represents more than 50 local governments including 13 counties, focuses on planning, economic development, information services, finance and administration.
The commission presents several awards, often to elected officials, but the chairman’s award is different.
“I implemented it about four years ago when I became chairman,” said David Stovall, chairman. “It is the chairman’s choice of an individual or a group in the region who has had a significant impact or had supported the regional commission in various and sundry ways.”
The recipient can be anyone who has a relationship with the commission or has had a substantial impact on the region.
Last year, Stovall selected Mike Beatty, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
Stovall said he chose Gravitt for a number of reasons.
“One is his tenure as mayor of Cumming and all the work that he’s done for the city of Cumming at no cost to the taxpayers,” he said. “They’ve had a lot of projects that have been completed and all without debt. I find that just amazing.”
James McCoy, one of Forsyth County’s three representatives on the commission, said Gravitt should be proud of the prestigious honor.
“It’s a recognition by your peers for something outstanding,” said McCoy, president and chief executive officer of the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce. “In my view, the highest honor you can receive is an honor you get from your peers.”
McCoy attended the annual meeting. He said it was nice to see Gravitt, “who has truly dedicated his life to being the mayor of Cumming, be recognized by a group outside of our community for his service.”