CHARLES TOWN – Most of the business owners honored at last week’s annual Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce awards dinner knew ahead of time they’d be winners, but that wasn’t the case for Don Mickey – this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Citizen of Jefferson County Award.
[cleeng_content id="622239990" description="Read it now!" price="0.15"]Mickey knew he’d been nominated for the award – co-sponsored annually by the Spirit of Jefferson and the chamber – but learned he’d won only when the newspaper’s managing editor Robert Snyder began detailing his accomplishments from the podium.
A longtime Jefferson County educator, Mickey also is a leader with the Jefferson County Fair and in providing health care here.
As head of the board of directors of Jefferson Memorial Hospital, Mickey’s efforts helped pave the way for the 2005 merger of the Ranson facility with City Hospital in Martinsburg to become part of the West Virginia University Hospitals system.
“Don’s leadership was key in the endeavor,” notes Carl J. Beyeler, the Charles Town resident who submitted the letter to officially nominate Mickey. “This has facilitated much better coordination between the hospitals, bringing more professional resources to the area and improving the quality and quantity of medical care to the citizens of Jefferson County.”
Many at the dinner praised Mickey for his work and leadership with the school system. He spent 31 years in the county as a teacher, coach, guidance counselor and county administrator.
Another accomplishment of Mickey’s cited at the dinner: his establishment of the Jefferson Livestock Expo 30 years ago. Each May at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, the one-day livestock exposition offers youth and adults the opportunity to show their dairy and beef cattle, sheep, goats, rabbits and horses ahead of the county fair in August.
Mickey also has been a member of the county fair board for more than 35 years.
“Giving back to the community has been a major thrust of Don Mickey’s life,” Beyeler’s nomination letter explains.
Also during the awards dinner, keynote speaker Richard M. “Rick” Adams Jr. discussed misconceptions about banking that have emerged with the global credit crisis and downturn.
Adams said United – based in Charleston and one of the nation’s 50 largest banks following its latest merger this spring – and other traditional banks remain heavily regulated and weren’t making the types of questionable loans that led to the financial meltdown.
“It’s unfair to characterize the traditional, Main Street banks as the problem,” explained the Parkersburg resident, who initially pursued a career as a lawyer before following his father and grandfather into banking. “Unfair and inaccurate.”
Also during the June 27 banquet at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, Uniwest – a commercial/retail construction company based in Falls Church, Va., that earlier this year opened the new Hampton Inn and Suites in Charles Town – won the George E. Vickers Major Industry Award.
Other highlights of the chamber’s 53rd annual banquet: outgoing chamber president Julie DeHaven was recognized and given a Eugene Smith painting of downtown Charles Town; the chamber’s 2012-13 officers and directors were introduced; and business owners who opened new locations or made expansions during the past year were awarded certificates of achievement.[/cleeng_content]