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Purcell Receives Effingham Chamber’s Treutlen Award
Burns and Purcell
Georgia Speaker Jon Burns presented Ann Purcell the 2023 John Adam Treutlen Award on June 29. (Submitted photo.)

Special to the Herald

Ann Purcell, Secretary on the Georgia Transportation Board and a former state representative, received the 2023 John Adam Treutlen Award at the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce's Annual Awards Reception on June 29. The award was presented by Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, Jon Burns.

Purcell is Congressional District 1 representative to the State Transportation Board, re-elected to serve her third term. A former state legislator, she served as chairperson of the State Transportation Board in 2018-2019. She was honored for her lifetime of service to Effingham County.

The event was held at St. Boniface Church Hall in Springfield.

In presenting the award to Ann Purcell, Jon Burns said, “Her example of servant leadership is unrivaled, not only here in southeast Georgia, but Ann Purcell is second to none in the state. For more than 30 years, she's worked on our behalf.”

In accepting the award, Purcell said, “As I look around and I see all of you, you have made me what I am, because you have been a part of my life. You have been an inspiration to me, Jon. It is what we get out of helping one another and the guidance that we give because of the experience that we have.”

Purcell also touched on her Salzburger heritage. “Thank you so much for the honor that you have given me. Because yes, I'm a Salzburger, and I'll be glad to preach to you all day and night. Cause I believe in what they set forth for us as a society and I have kept that in my heart,” she said.

The chamber's most prestigious award, the John Adam Treutlen Award, remains a closely guarded secret until the presentation at the Annual Awards Reception. The award is named in honor of Georgia's first (post-British) governor, born Hans Adam Treuettlen (January 16, 1734 – March 1, 1782), who arrived in Colonial America as an indentured servant and rose to become a wealthy merchant and landowner. The first Treutlen Award was presented in 1986.

Wiley's Home Center in Rincon, owned by Wiley and Detra Thomas, received the 2023 Small Business of the Year award, presented by Kim Iler, the chamber’s incoming Vice Chairman.

Jeannie Lane, Branch Manager for Ameris Bank in Rincon, received the Beacon Award, given to the chamber Ambassador that has gone above and beyond the call of duty. The award was presented by Tamela Mydell, the incoming Secretary of the chamber.

The event was sponsored by Effingham Health System, Georgia-Pacific, Oglethorpe Power, the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority, Lowcountry Foundation Repair, Thomas & Hutton, and RepowerIT.

The Effingham County Chamber of Commerce is a member-driven organization focused on business advocacy and sustainable economic growth in our region. For more information, call (912) 754-3301, e-mail, or visit