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Chamber bestows its top award to Hitchens
Rep. Bill Hitchens
Rep. Bill Hitchens addresses the audience at the Local on Laurel on Thursday night. - photo by Submitted photo
SPRINGFIELD -- Georgia House District 161 Rep. Bill Hitchens received the prestigious John Adam Treutlen Award at the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce’s 2022 Awards Reception on Thursday evening at Local on Laurel.

The award was presented by Hitchens' son, Lt. Col. William Hitchens III, deputy commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety. His wife, Norma, and daughter-in-law Angie, a descendant of John Adam Treutlen, were present for the honor.

Rep. Hitchens has served as a state representative since 2012. Prior to his election, he served 47 years in the military and state law enforcement. He is a Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and he served 28 years on the Georgia State Patrol (GSP) prior to retiring in 1997. He also retired from the Coast Guard Reserve with the rank of commander. In January  2003, former Gov. Sonny Perdue selected him to be the first director of the Georgia Office of Homeland Security.

DJ’s Home Care Specialists LLC was chosen as the 2022 Small Business of the Year. DJ’s Home Care Specialists was nominated for providing “excellent in-home care for their patients. Compassionate, empathetic, going out of their way to provide the best care possible. Professional, positive attitudes and teamwork.” The award was presented by the chamber's incoming Vice Chairman Troy Allen of Southern Oak Advisory.

The chamber’s Ambassadors selected Tina Browning, assistant vice president/at work banking & financial literacy coordinator for Queensborough National Bank & Trust Co., for the Beacon Award as Ambassador of the Year. Browning serves on the chamber’s board, chairs the Ambassadors and Member Relations Committee, and chaired the Effingham County Diversity and Inclusion Conferences in 2021 and 2022.