01/28/10 — Seegars named 2010 Cornerstone winner

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Seegars named 2010 Cornerstone winner

By Laura Collins
Published in News on January 28, 2010 1:46 PM

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Wes Seegars accepts the 2010 Cornerstone Award from 2010 Wayne County Chamber of Commerce board of directors Chairman Julie Daniels.

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Local businessman Wes Seegars, right, reacts with surprise at the Wayne Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting Wednesday as he realizes he has been named the 2010 Cornerstone Award winner. At left is attorney Phil Baddour; behind Seegars is County Commissioner Andy Anderson.

A local business leader was honored Wednesday by the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce not for only his business savvy, but for how he has touched the lives of countless county residents outside of the working world.

Wes Seegars was named the recipient of this year's Cornerstone Award, which is given to someone who has shown longtime dedication to making Wayne County a better place to live, work and raise a family.

John Hine, of the law firm of Baddour, Parker and Hine, and a close friend of Seegars, spoke of his character, vitality, influence and accomplishments.

"He is perhaps the only person that I know that has well spent, or might we say, invested, every day of his life," Hine said.

Seegars, a former chairman of the board of the Chamber of Commerce, is a noted outdoorsman and has served as chairman of the State Wildlife Commission. He also has served on numerous state and local economic development committees, is active in military affairs and has served on the boards of directors of several corporate and community organizations.

"Whenever any organization in this town wants to raise money, his telephone is one of the first to ring," Hine said. "People seek him because they hunger for his leadership and thirst for his advice."

One of Seegars' most influential roles, however, might have been as scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 3 at First Presbyterian Church, his friend said.

"The troop started with eight boys. By the time we called it quits, well over 100 boys passed through that troop. About 40 attained Eagle," Hine said. "In Troop 3, attaining Eagle was not a square-filling, merit badge counting exercise. The boys had to demonstrate leadership, the ability to withstand deprivation, the willingness to accept responsibility and obey the Scout Law. Wes demanded it."

Seegars, who appeared genuinely surprised to be chosen for the award, said his accomplishments would not have been possible without the help of many others.

"I might have had a few good ideas along the way," he said. "But if there's one thing you learn you can't do -- you can't do it by yourself."

"It's a very humbling thing to be recognized by your peers," Seegars said. "It's certainly one of the most prestigious and outstanding awards I've ever received. To be recognized by your community for what you've done means a lot."

He encouraged those in attendance to continue making the community a better place to live, to give back to the less fortunate and to lend a helping hand whenever possible.

Seegars built his family's business, Seegars Fence Co., into one of the nation's most successful fence companies, building on the start made by his late father, Neal, who also served as chairman of the chamber board.

Previous winners of the Cornerstone Award are Dick Moffatt, Hal Tanner Sr., Clarence "Icky" Peacock, William Dees Jr., Hal Plonk, Bertha Wooten, Ollie Toomey, Troy Pate Jr., Jimmie Edmundson, Bill Kemp, Dr. Ed Wilson, David Weil and Bill Bryan.

A ceremony to add a plaque with Seegars' name on it to Cornerstone Commons on Center Street will be held Thursday, Feb. 4, at noon.

Seegars was joined by his family at the podium at Lane Tree Golf Club as he received the award from incoming chamber chairman Julie Daniels.

Prior to the presentation of the award, Ms. Daniels accepted the ceremonial gavel as the new chairman from outgoing chairman Terry Jordan, who described the chamber's achievements during the past year and recognized those members who contributed to the organization's various enterprises.