If not you, then who?
by Dennis McEntire, 1989 Coweta Citizen of the Year
Editor’s note: The Times-Herald in the Shared Wisdom feature is including thoughts from several past Coweta Citizens of the Year, including this week’s installment by Newnan Utilities Manager Dennis McEntire. Coweta’s Citizen of the Year program is expanding its nomination period to include the summer months, with a final deadline of Nov. 1. For more on how to make a nomination, contact Bette Hickman at firstname.lastname@example.org .
I spend a lot of time out in the community, speaking to people of all influences. One of the most common things I hear when I introduce myself as the general manager of Newnan Utilities is how great our employees are. I am always proud to hear that and it makes me feel blessed to be a part of this great organization every single time. I truly believe that in many ways, these reactions come from our employees’ involvement in the community.
Part of Newnan Utilities’ culture is a spirit of volunteerism and helping in the community. The folks in our organization are involved in a variety of ways, from coaching little league, to teaching Sunday school, and everything in between. Over my time in Newnan, I’ve volunteered to serve on a lot of boards and have worked with many organizations throughout the community as well. I’ve come to find that these have been some of the most rewarding experiences of my business career.
If I have any advice to give to fellow Coweta citizens, it is to get involved in your community. You will receive much more benefit than you give. There are so many wonderful organizations and opportunities out there that it is hard to choose which ones to participate in. There are many worthy organizations that work tirelessly to make our community great, but I will highlight a few in which I have been personally involved.
Communities In Schools (CIS) of Coweta County is a newly reactivated organization in our county. It is part of the national independent nonprofit corporation, Communities In Schools. The goal of the organization is to provide services to communities with support in developing programs and services to combat the problems of school failure and dropouts in their schools. CIS of Coweta recently hired its first site coordinator who will serve students at East Coweta High School beginning this school year. CIS is always looking for creative, excited minds and helping hands to work toward their goal of making our schools a success.
The Coweta County School System’s mentoring program is a way to help our community’s children individually. Being a mentor myself in the past, I can tell you that it is one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have. For many children in the program, their mentors are one of the few positive role models in their world. Being a positive influence and them knowing that someone cares makes a tremendous difference in their lives. I encourage anyone who is willing to learn more about the program and participate if they can.
The Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce, the largest business organization in Coweta County, has been a driving force of business in our community for a number of years. They have played a leading role in supporting new businesses in our area and helping existing businesses to grow and flourish. They also take an active role in legislative issues that affect our community. There’s many volunteer opportunities at the chamber, including networking events and much more.
These are just a small handful of the many, many organizations in our community that would appreciate your individual talents, no matter what they are. Not only does volunteering allow you to meet new people from all walks of life, but you’ll receive the blessing of helping others time and again. I encourage you to take the first step to look up a website, make a phone call, talk to a teacher, or ask a friend and get out there and take an active role in making our community even better. If not you, then who?