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Posted: Thursday, November 7th 2013 at 7:16am

9 recognized for innovation, entrepreneurship; Wilheit named Entrepreneur of the Year

By Staff
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Philip Wilheit, far right, addresses Wednesday's "Masters of Innovation" event at Featherbone Communiversity.
GAINESVILLE - Nine people were recognized Wednesday by Featherbone Communiversity for their innovation and entrepreneurship and one of them, Philip Wilheit, Sr. named Entrepreneur of the Year. Wilheit was nominated for the award by the University of North Georgia (UNG) and the school's Mike Cottrell College of Business.

Wilheit and the others were recognized during the fourth annual "Entrepreneurs: Masters of Innovation" event held at the Featherbone Communiversity in Gainesville, sponsored by BB&T. By showing recognition and appreciation for successful local entrepreneurs, the event aims to encourage and provide a path for others to strive for excellence through innovation.

Wilheit is president and CEO of Wilheit Packaging Inc. in Gainesville and vice chairman of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

Wilheit began working at Wilheit Packaging Materials upon graduating from college 40 years ago and has worked in all facets of the organization warehousing, delivery, purchasing, sales, and management. Wilheit also has been very active in civic groups on the local and state level, having served as chairman of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. He also has served on the Georgia Department of Economic Development Board of Directors, the Commission for a New Georgia, the Georgia Chamber Transportation Commission, and the Georgia Chamber Advisory Committee on School Board Governance.

At the event, honorees shared their stories of entrepreneurial success with hundreds of guests, including some 150 high school students from across Hall County, and took questions from the audience.

"I'm just thrilled about being honored today and that the University of North Georgia nominated me for this great honor," Wilheit said. "I've been so impressed with the presentations I've heard this morning. I think we're never too old to learn and I'm learning something today."

Others honored at the event include Rich Cavangnaro, AdEdge Water Technologies Inc.; Dennis Darnell, Direct Medical Imaging; Tony Paramore and Jason Everett, Gainesville Design Center; Lewis Halski, Halski Systems; Sheri Hooper, Interactive Neighborhood for Kids; Heather Wayne, Performing Arts Dance Academy; and Noah McNealy, Slingshot.

The event is one of a series of events established in 2009 by Featherbone Communiversity to honor "masters" in a variety of areas including teaching, nursing, building, and entrepreneurship.

Featherbone Communiversity is a collaborative learning community supported by UNG, Brenau University, Interactive Neighborhood for Kids, Lanier Technical College, the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center, Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute, Gainesville City Schools, the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, and Hall County Schools.
Associated Categories: Business News, Local/State News

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