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Friday June 18th, 2021 11:18PM

Local business icons inducted into hall of fame

By Staff
GAINESVILLE - In an event to benefit Junior Achievement of Georgia, three local business icons were inducted into the Northeast Georgia Business Hall of Fame Thursday night.

The laureates, Lessie Smithgall, Elton Maddox and the late John Jacobs, Jr., were honored for their involvement in the economic and civic development of northeast Georgia and the entire state.

Smithgall's career includes positions at Atlanta's news/talk stations, WGST and WSB, as well as The Atlanta Journal. She also owned The Gainesville Times with her husband. She was instrumental in forming the Peabody Awards. Smithgall is also known for her philanthropy through Smithgall Woods, The Council for the Arts, Brenau University, and Zoo Atlanta.

Maddox is the CEO of Wayne Farms LLC. He has held many leadership positions in the poultry industry, including director of the National Chicken Council. He has also been a leader in church and mission activities. Maddox and his wife established free Christian camps for children locally and throughout the world.

John Jacobs, Jr., a World War II veteran, founded what is now known as Jacobs Media and was inducted into the Georgia Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1998. Jacobs worked to create a partnership between Jacobs Media and Brenau University's journalism students. His involvement also included The History Center, the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, the Gainesville Kiwanis Club and the Gainesville Jaycees.

He passed away in November, and his wife, Martha Jacobs, accepted the award on his behalf.

In addition to the laureates, Junior Achievement handed out several awards.

Sisters Evelyn Brown and Betty Gillespie were honored as Vounteer of the Year. Teacher of the Year was awarded to Helen Law Perry. Kelly Simmons was recognized with the JA Advocate Award.
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