King & Queen Nominees 2018

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Cherokee Queen ~ Karen Lance


Karen McFarland Lance grew up in Canton, GA.  After growing up in the grocery and trucking industry in family businesses, she has been selling real estate with Metro Brokers for the last 17 years in Cherokee county and the areas surrounding.   Karen has several awards for production such as top producer for her company, multi-million dollar producer for the local board of realtors, and the esteemed Phoenix Award.  Karen has served several terms and continues to serve on the Cherokee Association of Realtors Board of Directors and has also served on several committees there on the local, state, and national level.  She has been a member of the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce for the last 14 years and has had extensive involvement serving in such capacities as Board of Director, Governmental Affairs committee, and Education committee to name a few.   She has a heart for Habitat for Humanity, with the start of the relationship between the local Realtor Association and Habitat several years ago.  She also volunteers with the Boys and Girls Club with recent projects such as the shoe and backpack drive for the children going back to school.  She also served on the Sheriff Roger Garrison Charities Board of Directors for a number of years. She has served in several rolls in the local PTA organization at her children’s school and continues to volunteer and donate to the school.  Karen has a business degree from Floyd College.  She is looking forward to her new opportunities for involvement at Georgia Mountains Hospice.   Karen and her two teenage boys live in Ball Ground along with their dog Toby and mini- donkeys Peanut and Butter.  Georgia Mountains Hospice is vital to our community and the services that they offer to our families are critical.



 Cherokee King ~ Scott Evans


Scott grew up in Tate, GA. While attending Reinhardt College, extracurricular activities provided him the opportunity to volunteer with the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce. After college, a professional opportunity opened the doors for a brief career in Latin America. When that door closed Scott returned to the States and became a staff member with the Cherokee Chamber. Eventually Scott would go on to become a successful management consultant specializing in leading distressed businesses through financial turnarounds and providing strategic planning services for organizations creating new initiatives. Today Scott is the Senior Project Manager for the Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce creating the Chamber’s first economic development initiative to focus solely on retaining and recruiting high-tech companies for Forsyth County. Scott and his wife Beth live in the Hickory Flat community. Scott’s wife Beth, when not watching their two grandchildren, serves as a hospice volunteer.




Dawson Queen ~ Seanie Zappendorf


Seanie was born on a small island in Taiwan and started traveling around the world at the age of 10, and currently resides in Dawson County with her husband, Ron and two boys.She graduated from Georgia State University and is currently serving on the board of directors for the GSU Alumni Association. She works as a chief financial officer for a veteran owned racing company, a job she has held for the past 15 years. Seanie also works as a casting agent during her free time that specializes in minors, hard to find cars, discovering talents, and looking out for her background artists. Her latest venture is being a silent partner at the Hacienda restaurant in Forsyth County.Seanie serves as the Vice Chairperson of the church council at Bethel United Methodist Church as well as the church charter organization representative with the Northeast Georgia council of Boy Scouts of America. While working as a city official of Dawsonville Downtown Development Authority, Seanie signed to reissue a bond that saved the city $1.9 million, signed for the purchase of 19 acres to build a downtown park, helped create and raised over $80,000 for the Sparks in the Motorsports Park fireworks event for the last four years to celebrate our nation’s independence day.  She also initiated a guideline process for Dawsonville Downtown Development Grant Project Fund application packet, the application for the Facade Revolving Loan, assisted 4 grant recipient with their businesses, and conducted the meetings as the acting chairperson. She is also a graduate of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce Leadership class of 2016.

In addition, Seanie has participated, volunteered, sponsored, and/or helped fundraise for many of the community events and organizations like the Music and Beer Festival, Moonshine Festival, Rotary events, Good Shepherd’s Clinic, Wee Books, Boy Scouts of America, United Way, Lion’s Club, City Christmas Parade and Santa photo.  Seanie judged and audited pageants for Miss KARE for Kids and Relay for Life Beauty Pageant. Seanie also served as a celebrity waiter for the Dawson Family Connections.

Seanie started her voluntary efforts in Dawson County at her boys’ middle school by serving on many boards and committees. She was instrumental in initiating a running club, and annual 1 mile/5k race that is still being held 9 years later.

Seanie is serving or has served on a number of boards including the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce, Dawson County Republican Party, Georgia State University Alpha XI Delta Corporation Housing Board, Reay for Life, Bowen Center for the Arts and the First Chair of the Republican Women of Forsyth County.   Seanie also was Dawson County Citizen of the year in 2014.

Seanie believes in our efforts at Georgia Mountains Hospice and hopes to benefit as a philanthropist and a volunteer.



Dawson King ~ Chris Gaines


Chris Gaines was born in Huntsville AL in 1977 and has since lived in TN, CO and GA. He has currently lived in Dawson County since 2001 with his wife Jessica. They have 3 boys ages 7 and twins 5 years old. The Gaines family loves camping and boating together while Chris also is an avid hunter and enjoys golf.Chris holds a business management degree from North Georgia College and University as well as several insurance licenses. He started his career in Dawson County working as a Banker for Regions Bank and Appalachian Community Bank before leaving to open his own insurance agency in 2008. In 2013 he sold his agency and joined PointeNorth Insurance Group. There he is a commercial insurance producer and relationship manager for companies in many different industries.In addition to his career in insurance he has a passion for serving others and was elected to serve as the Dawson County District 2 Commissioner in 2016. His main focus to offer a conservative, business and family perspective to help shape the future of Dawson County.Chris is also serving or has served on a number of boards, Government offices  and Non-profit Organizations including  Mayor Pro-Tem – Dawsonville GA, City Council- Dawsonville GA, Co-Chairman – United Way of Dawsonville, Chairman – Downtown Development Authority of Dawsonville, Board Member – Boy Scouts Troop 422, Member- Rotary Dawson County, Board Member – Optimist Club of Dawsonville, Board Member- Dawson Leadership Program, Mentor – Dawson County Mentoring Program, Member – Jaycees of Dawsonville, Board Member – Dawson County Chamber of Commerce, Member – Dawson County Lions Club,   Co-Chairman – Friends of Scouting Fund Raising Team, Team Leader – Partner in Education, and Team Leader – Audio/Video Production, Public Relations and Youth Mentor at First Baptist Church of Dawsonville.


Gilmer Queen ~ Melinda Hadden


Melinda Holloway Hadden grew up in Cherry Log, Georgia.  Melinda’s Daddy was Bud Holloway, owner of the Pink Pig BBQ in Cherry Log.  Her daughter and son in law, Samantha and Jacob Callihan presently own the Pink Pig.  Samantha previously served on the Georgia Mountains Hospice Board of Directors.  Melinda will always be grateful to Georgia Mountains Hospice for the care & guidance they provided during her father’s terminal illness.Melinda is the Owner/Broker at Century 21 In The Mountains which she and her husband, Bob, founded in 1989.  She has been a real estate Broker for over 30 years and currently has offices in Ellijay and Blue Ridge.  With the unexpected passing of her husband in 2015, Melinda has continued to pursue their passion for real estate and civic activities in the community.Melinda began serving in the Gilmer County Rotary Club in 1992 where she has served as Club President and Assistant Governor.  During her tenure in Rotary, Melinda has been instrumental in founding the InterAct Club at Gilmer High School, The Blue Ridge Rotary Club and the Boys and Girls Club in Ellijay.In addition, for the past three decades, Melinda has had an extensive involvement with the Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce including being appointed the first female Chair.  She served on the first Gilmer County Planning Commission and was appointed to the first Ellijay Downtown Development Authority.She has served on the Gilmer Arts Board of Directors and continues to support the organization as a business sponsor through her company as well as with her own personal membership and contributions of her artistic talent.Melinda is compassionate about the care & support provided by Georgia Mountains Hospice.  She feels like that at the end of the day and your race has been run, they are the ” Angels “ God sends to a familiy to insure their loved ones have a peaceful and painless crossing.

Gilmer King ~ Robert Westmoreland


Robert Westmoreland is a lifelong resident of Gilmer County. (Married to Deborah and one daughter Anna)

  • Graduate of Gilmer High School and the University of Georgia –
  • Served on the University of Georgia Alumni Board as a Vice-President from 1980 – 1982 –
  • Served as President of the North Georgia Bulldog Club/UGA Alumni Society Chapter –
  • He has been an Insurance agent/owner since 1974 in Ellijay. He is presently the owner/representative of the Country Financial Insurance Agency in Ellijay (formerly Cotton States Insurance).  He has received many awards over his career for the sales and servicing of family insurance since entering the business –
  • He is a lifetime member of the First United Methodist Church of Ellijay and has served on several church committees over the years –
  • He has served in Leadership roles in local fund raising for the Georgia State Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation working with many local friends and supporters with great success over the years –
  • He believes in the excellent care and support that Georgia Mountains Hospice has provided to its patients and their families. He has seen the importance of good hospice care provided to member of his own family and death was approaching a loved one.



Pickens Queen ~ Karen Proctor


Karen is a native of Birmingham, Alabama, and a graduate of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

She has lived in Chicago, New York, Atlanta and now Jasper where she has resided since 1995. A graduate of the acclaimed Bank of New York Credit Management Training Program, she is a one of the most experienced and well respected experts in International Trade Finance industry. She has over thirty years of experience with such well known institutions as Scientific Atlanta, Bank of New York, Royal Bank of Scotland, and she is now a Senior Vice President with Wells Fargo Bank.

She and her husband Dr. Sonny Proctor live in a beautifully restored home in Jasper, and she is well known for her gardening knowledge, skills and interest, her involvement in the community, and her positive attitude, pleasant disposition, and her commitment to the betterment or her community. She and Sonny are the proud parents of a well-known icon on the sidewalks of Main Street, their 19 year old son, who is an Honor graduate of Pickens County High School, and now a Dean’s List student at Berry College in Rome.

Always committed to her community, she has served as a board member for the Geriatric Activity Place, the Pickens County Chamber of Commerce, the Mountain Conservation Trust, and as a charter board member of the Friends of Piedmont and the Pickens County A-DAY Committee for Reinhardt University, a fundraising organization that helps Pickens County students attend Reinhardt University. She also serves on the City of Jasper Zoning Board of Appeals.

Karen has experienced firsthand the wonders and commitments of hospice care when she witnessed their loving spirit take care of Dr. Proctor’s mother, and her dear friend, Peggy as she slowly slipped away to Alzheimer’s disease.

Ladies and gentleman, please welcome the Dragon Queen nominee of Pickens County, Mrs. Karen Proctor!



Pickens King ~ Dr. Carlton Wilson

Carlton has lived in Pickens County for the past 23 years with his wife, Cindy, and has four children and 4 grandchildren. He received a BBA in Management and Marketing form Mercer University, a Master of Education Leadership from the University of West Georgia and a Doctor of Education in Education Administration from the University of Georgia with an emphasis in School Law and School Finance.

Working with Pickens County School System, Carlton served as a middle school teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, and now as superintendent.  During his tenure with the school system, his schools won several state and national recognitions including Direct Instruction’s National School of Excellence (Only School in the United States), he has been recognized as Educator of the Year by the Ga. Association of Elementary Schools, District 16 Principal of the Year, and a Georgia High Performing Principal by the Governor and State School Board.

After retiring in 2015, Carlton served as a Magistrate Judge for the Appalachian Judicial Circuit, Pickens County. On May 12, 2017, the Pickens County Board of Education named Dr. Wilson as Superintendent of Schools for Pickens.

Carlton is an adjunct professor and has been teaching for Piedmont College for the past 17 years in their teacher’s masters and specialist programs, and served on several doctorial committees. He serves as a Captain with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office over the Reserve Unit, a general instructor, and a firearms instructor.  He holds numerous firearms instructor certification and has been teaching civilian classes for 20 years.

Carlton along with his wife Cindy and partners George Weaver Jr. and Jenni Weaver have just opened Appalachian Gun Range.