King & Queen Nominees 2019

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Cherokee Queen ~ Lori Davis

Lori Davis was born and raised in Peoria, IL, but grew up in Woodstock, GA when her parents moved their family to Cherokee County in the early 1980’s. She graduated from Etowah High School in 1990 and attended Kennesaw State University with a study in Human Behavioral Science. Lori is a Vice President and Commercial Relationship Manager in the Private Banking Division of Renasant Bank GA. Her banking career started back in 1996 at The Bank of Canton and she has remained a Community Banker in Cherokee County for over 23 years. Lori has been a member of the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce for the past 14 years having participated primarily in the Leadership Cherokee Program. She is a graduate of the Leadership Class of 2005 and has served on the Steering/Planning Committee for 7 consecutive years. Lori has also sat on the board and been a member of several non-profit organizations within Cherokee County over the years. She has served as a member of the Service League of Cherokee County, President of the North Cherokee Optimist Club, a Board of Director for the United Way of Greater Atlanta as the Cherokee County Representative, The Cherokee County Child Advocacy Council, CASA and the Children’s Haven and currently serving on the Cherokee Board of Directors for The Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta. Lori has a passion for children and a great desire to assist those that are most vulnerable and unable to help themselves. She has served as Chair and Co-Chair of several fundraising events including the Service League’s Dancing for the Children, Riverfest and The Traditions Cookbook and the Boys and Girls Club Celebrity Feud that helped raise money and awareness for the needs of Children and families in Cherokee County. Lori and her husband Jonathan and their two kids Nathan and Lauren live in the Freehome Community along with their three dogs Raider, Ryder and Bear. Lori is excited to be a part of the fundraising efforts for the Georgia Mountains Hospice as she knows several families that have benefited from the amazing care this organization provides.

Cherokee King ~ Eddie Robinson

Born and raised in York County, South Carolina, Chief Eddie Robinson today serves as Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services Assistant Chief.
After high school Chief Robinson joined the United States Army, where he served his country, and subsequently joined the United States Army Reserve where he became a Drill Sergeant.  With over 20 years of combined service, he retired as First Sergeant in late 2002.
Chief Robinson and his wife Lorie have two children, a daughter Candace and a son Kenny.  In addition, Chief Robinson has five grandchildren, Kody, Sadie, Macy, Gracie and Little Nick.  They currently reside in Canton, Georgia.

Dawson Queen ~ Andrea McKenzie

Andrea grew up in Warner Robins, Georgia with her four younger siblings. After high school graduation, she moved to Montgomery, Alabama where she graduated in 1997 from Auburn University with a bachelor degree in business. She began to work for a public accounting firm in Montgomery while preparing to take the CPA exam. During that time, Andrea gained experience in audit and tax with a focus in banking and non-profit entities. She became a CPA in the spring of 2001 and continued her career in public accounting. Andrea moved to Atlanta, Georgia in the fall of 2001 to be closer to family and joined a regional CPA firm. Over the past eleven years, she has continued to work in public accounting focusing on assurance services for nonprofits subject to government auditing standards, government proprietary funds, fraud and forensics engagements, employee benefit plans audits, broker dealer audits and construction company audits. Andrea and her husband, Michael, moved to Dawsonville in the fall of 2005. She is a member of Dawson County Rotary Club, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Georgia Society of CPAs. She serves as treasurer for Dawson County Rotary Foundation. She also served as treasurer of the Dawson County Humane Society from 2010 to 2015, Dawson County Wee Books Program from 2014 to 2017, Dawson County Rotary Club from 2017 to 2018 and for The Bowen Center for the Arts from 2015 to 2017. Andrea’s hobbies include boating on Lake Lanier, traveling, volunteer work, and spending time with family and friends.

Dawson King ~ Bob Alman

Gilmer Queen ~ Cindy Thurman West

Cindy West is a seventh-generation Gilmer County native. After graduating from Gilmer County High School, she attended Dalton State College and Kennesaw State University. She worked in the banking industry for 5 years before delving into entrepreneurship. An avid fitness buff, Cindy and her husband, Mark, owned and operated West Athletic Club for 16 years, the final two years of that being franchised to Golds Gym. After selling the business in 2007, she established her real estate career. Cindy has received numerous awards and distinctions as one of the top producers for Re/Max, including the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. Cindy consistently ranks in the Top 10 producing Realtors in the state for Re/Max. In addition, she has been recognized as the Northeast Georgia Board of Realtors Top Agent for Gilmer County an illustrious 4 times in the last 5 years, and she was the Northeast Georgia Board of Realtors number one top producing agent in 2016. Cindy is a member of the Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce and a supporter of numerous organizations, including: the Gilmer Christian Learning Center; Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation; Gilmer High School, Gilmer Middle School, and Clear Creek Middle School athletic programs; and, of course, Georgia Mountains Hospice. Cindy and Mark have been married for 35 years, they have 2 wonderful children, and 3 beautiful grandchildren with another one due soon.

Gilmer King ~ Robert Lee Ferguson

Robert Lee Ferguson was born in Honolulu, Hawaii when his dad was serving in the US Navy.
His family moved to Orange Park, FL in 1970. Robert started playing piano and singing at the age of 12, and his passion for music grew from there. He’s played in everything from his high school and college jazz bands, college choir, pop/rock club bands, church choirs, lead a contemporary Christian worship service in Marietta, GA and toured with a Christian Rock band in the 90s.
After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Audio Engineering and a Piano Minor, Robert was off to New York City where he was honored to work with some music legends such as Luther Vandross, Miles Davis, David Sanborn, Jason Miles, Marcus Miller, and Hirschberg Productions among others.
He and his wife Karleen moved back to the Atlanta area to start their family in 1990. In 1992 Robert starting working as an audio engineer at Turner Studios in Atlanta. His Emmy Award winning career has spanned the last 25 years and he continues to enjoy working on this creative team mixing audio for commercials as a Senior Sound Designer for Cartoon Network, Turner Sports, and other Turner/Warner Media networks from his home studio on their farm in Ellijay, GA.
He and his wife Karleen have raised 4 amazing children. Robert and Karleen are avid supporters and volunteers to Gilmer County. Now that they are empty nesters, Robert has returned to his love of playing, singing, and performing music. His goal is to bring smiles to faces, songs to voices, and dancing to the feet of those who come to enjoy and share his passion for music!! Robert believes that every song brings back a moment or a memory.
Robert is honored to support this worthy cause and help to raise money for Georgia Mountains Hospice.

Pickens Queen & King ~ Michelle Roberson & Gerard Monte

Vote for Michelle

Vote for Gerard

Michelle Roberson is a true Georgia Peach. She is from Gwinnett County and has lived all of her life in Georgia except for a few years in Nashville, TN. Twirling the baton took her to Valdosta State College (University) to be the first feature twirler in the inaugural Blazin’ Brigade Marching Band; while there she studied journalism and marketing with an emphasis in sports broadcasting and promotion.
Ask Michelle about her “amazing” kids – Callahan, an adjunct instructor in the welding department at Chattahoochee Tech in Jasper, Alston, a proud BAMA graduate and engineer, and Lauren, a junior at Kennesaw State University – she will say they are one of the greatest gifts of her life. She looks forward to marrying the “love of her life” Lee Daniel in March.
Her professional time in Jasper is spent on the campus of Holy Family Episcopal Church as their Parish Administrator. “God opened a door for me at Holy Family in 2009. The members there are my family, friends, and mentors. My position is more than a job to me; it is a ministry.” In her spare time, she loves to hike, cook, entertain, travel and raise money. And, that’s why she is our Pickens County Queen.
Gerard Patrick Monte was born in Los Angeles on April 22nd 1958. He was raised in West Covina, California where he graduated Covina High School and attended Mount San Antonio College earning his A.S Degree in Business Administration. His nick name in college was “Senator” as he ran for the Senate Board, won, & continued on to study at the University of Southern California Los Angeles.  Gerard was raised in an Italian and Spanish household where needless to say, he was exposed to family, food and celebration! He attended Sacred Heart Church in Covina and was elected the youngest Presidents of both the Italian Catholic Federation and Sons of Italy. His heritage, sense of community and caring spirit is the foundation of his generosity and philanthropy.
Gerard started his catering company “MONTE”S CATERING” in the early 80’s for his love of food and entertaining. He catered to the cosmetic industry during his 20 years while working in that field as one of the first males introduced to that department. He worked for a series of fine department stores and the prestigious La Prairie cosmetics as their Account Coordinator and Training Director. During his tenure, he was Vice President of the Southern California Cosmetic Association and President of the Customer Service Board for many of the Nordstrom chain of Specialty stores.  He became very involved with various charities in Southern California and Greater Los Angeles area where he developed his skills for fundraising. He partnered with The Estee Lauder Cosmetic Company where he volunteered for over 9 years at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for the “Look Good Feel Better” program.
Gerard began his love for vintage cars during his high school years where he owned two Nash Metropolitans. One being a red and white hardtop, the mascot car of his alumni, and the other a turquoise and white convertible which went on to win many 1st place prizes. He served on the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Car Club of America for an impressive 10 years.
While living in Southern California he met his life partner Hector of over 22 years and they began their first catering business together, Rosmont and Company caterers. They soon expanded and founded the Fountain Court Grill and Tea Room in Hollywood where Gerard volunteered and donated with many non-profit organizations and charities such as Assistant League of Southern California, Pasadena Symphony Association, Pasadena Showcase House of Design and many Junior Leagues of California and Arizona. He helped establish and served on the Board of Directors of the LGBT Los Angeles County for over 5 years. Through his various philanthropic connections, he was honored to cater such events as the Kid’s Choice Awards, Mercedes Benz Week sponsored by Estee Lauder, VOX Vodka and Sephora Cosmetics, Sundance and Outfest Film Festivals, book signing of Doris Roberts ( Everybody Loves Raymond) and Dennis Tito, the millionaire who purchased a flight to the moon space station. They catered to the LA Law Wrap Party and American Idol just to name a few.
While visiting Georgia on a retail buying business trip in 2006 the duo fell in love with the South and relocated to Canton a year later and founded Coast 2 Coast Catering. As business grew, they found and created a charming restaurant and gift shop in Jasper Georgia in 2009 and named it Madeline’s Café & Bakery after Gerard’s mother. The two once again found themselves involved with community, joined the Chamber of Commerce, and catered the North Georgia Mountains Hospice Mardi Gras in the Mountains. Gerard became a founding partner in” The Long Table on Main”, a charity fundraiser that saved the nearly extinct PCAP , Prevent Child Abuse Pickens  from closing their doors and went on to serve 5 years on the board of directors. He has established mentorships with both Ruth House and Timothy House Ministries and employed many of their residents. He established an intern program with Pickens High School Culinary Department where he trained and went on to hire two students permanently. Gerard has volunteered or donated to such charities and non-profits as A.C.E.S., CARES, Habitat for Humanity, North Georgia Pregnancy Center, Boys and Girls Club of Pickens County, Alzheimer’s  Association of North Georgia, Good Sam’s, Home Depot, Pickens County Sheriffs,  Angels on Horseback, Enlighten,  Big Canoe Wellness Collaborative, Legacy of Caring and of course Georgia Mountain Hospice for over 9 years! Through his companies, Coast 2 Coast Catering and Madeline’s and his new venture Wilton Place a Southern Boutique, he has contributed in excess of $250,000.00 to local charities and causes and hopes to add “Mardi Gras King of Pickens County” to his resume.
Gerard attributes his personal and business success to a simple motto instilled in him by his mother …..“Give me your little finger, I will give you my whole hand” and believes he is blessed with a partner and friends that support his will to give back.