Chamber of Commerce Presents 2021 People’s Choice Awards


The Chamber of Commerce Serving Lexington, Buena Vista, and Rockbridge County presented the 2021 People’s Choice Awards in conjunction with their Annual Meeting held on November 3, 2021.

The People’s Choice Awards recognize some of the outstanding individuals, organizations and business in Rockbridge across five categories: Volunteer of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year, Educator of the Year, Employer of the Year and Citizen of the Year. Nominations are submitted by local civic organizations, the Chamber Board of Directors and the community at large.

Jeannie VanNess was named Volunteer of the Year for her selfless service to the Community Table, Rockbridge County School System, Lexington Woman’s Club, Social Services and, most recently, Balloons Over Rockbridge.

Starting with a community supper for eleven-year-old Samuel Golladay in 2015, Samuel’s Supper has grown into a 501c3 organization with the mission of hosting an annual meal to collect donations to support local families with children needing critical medical care. Their work in giving back to the community earned them the Humanitarian of the Year award.

Haywood Hand has spent thirty-three years in public education after starting his career as an elementary school physical education teacher. Since then, he has worked with the Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, Amherst and Rockbridge County school systems. His experience and dedication to his students earned him the honor of being named Educator of the Year.

As the pandemic presented challenges, Carilion Rockbridge Community Hospital went above and beyond to serve as our first responders. Their dedication to providing local access to high quality care here in Rockbridge was rewarded as they were named Employer of the Year.

The 2021 Citizen of the Year award was presented to Bobbie Wagner, who went above and beyond during the past year to ensure that the Rockbridge community could continue to work and thrive. In her position at the Rockbridge YMCA, she empowered the organization to expand their services to include more full-time child care, learning centers, after school care and a preschool. Bobbie truly overcame when faced with adversity and challenges.

It is a privilege to work with and know these individuals and organizations. The Chamber was honored to recognize them for all they do in service to the greater community.

The Chamber of Commerce Serving Lexington, Buena Vista, and Rockbridge County was formally established in 1923 to promote neighborliness among the residents of the community. Our mission today is to champion civic and economic progress for our community. Visit for more information.


The 2021 Chamber of Commerce People’s Choice Award Winners (left to right): Tracy Lyons (Chamber Executive Director); Spencer Golladay (Samuel’s Supper, Humanitarian of the Year); Haywood Hand (Educator of the Year); Greg Madsen (CEO Carilion Rockbridge Community Hospital, Employer of the Year); Bobbie Wagner (Citizen of the Year); Christy Harris (accepting on behalf of Jeannie VanNess, Volunteer of the Year); Jim Jones (Chamber Board of Directors President). Photo credit: Cynthia Frazier, Frazier Films.