Wednesday April 17th, 2024 8:13AM

Gainesville Jaycees award Young Man, Young Woman of the Year

By Christian Ashliman Anchor/Reporter

Over 70 years of tradition continued Thursday night with the presentation of the Gainesville Jaycees' annual Young Man and Young Woman of the Year awards at the Chattahoochee Country Club.

The 2023 winners were Callie Flack and Casey Ryals. The annual banquet honors those men and women in the community who have been stewards through unselfish volunteer efforts and service, according to information provided by the Jaycees website.

The criteria for which the men and women are nominated and honored must have been performed before their 40th birthday, the award rules state.

The event included a presentation of the recipient’s accomplishments in the form of a speech by last year’s Young Man and Young Woman of the Year, which was Erin Williamson and Nathan Crumley.

Callie Flack won the Woman of the Year award, affirming how much of a supportive effort it was for her to be honored by the Gainesville community.

“It's hard to think that I would live up to a lot of the things that other folks in this community have done,” Flack said. “And as someone who's not originally from Gainesville, it's so special that this community has taken us in and our family in and really made this home and been so encouraging and supporting of me and my family.”

She went on to thank those who have encouraged her in her accomplishments.

“I wouldn't be standing here tonight if it weren't for a lot of people in my life that believe in me more than I believe in myself and pushed me to do a lot of things that I've done through the years,” Flack said.

Flack is an Account Director at Forum Communications where she manages marketing strategies for her clients. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Casey Ryals won the award for Man of the Year. He noted how honored and humbled he felt to receive the prestigious award from his peers.

“A lot of people say you're a combination of the five people you hang around the most,” Ryals said. “So I really think this is a bigger testament to the people I hang out with, than me. And so it means a lot in that a lot of those people are here in the room.”

Ryals manages an insurance agency in Gainesville while also being one of the co-founders of Ryals Bros, a company that specializes in asphalt paving, concrete, hauling and grading work.

The Jaycee Awards were founded in 1945 for Gainesville Junior Chamber of Commerce members who have positively impacted the city through various forms of service.

Since 1945, the awards have been given to men like John Jacobs, Nathan Deal and Drew Echols. Some prominent women who have received the award include Robyn Lynch, Jessica Butler and Katie Dubnik.

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