Local News

May 17, 2014

Bob Chandler gets Humanitarian Award

— Dalton business and civic leader Robert M. “Bob” Chandler, a man whose more than four decades of selfless community contributions can be measured in health care brick-and-mortar, sleeves-rolled volunteerism and relentless optimism, was selected to receive the Whitfield Healthcare Foundation’s prestigious Humanitarian Award for 2014.

“I believe the dedication to making Hamilton the best possible health care system in the area is evident in his commitment to service and financial support of the institution,” foundation Chairman Robert Smalley said. “The betterment of our whole community’s health and well-being is of utmost importance to him. And his commitment should serve as an example of extraordinary service to all of us who call this area home.”

Created to acknowledge the “best among us,” the Humanitarian Award is presented only in alternating years. Its roll of 15 previous winners reads like a “Who’s Who” of northwest Georgia; individuals whose influence and contributions have reached well beyond and endure for decades. Smalley made the presentation to Chandler at a recent dinner honoring the Westcott Fellowship. Westcott Fellows are major contributors to Hamilton through the Whitfield Healthcare Foundation.

In presenting Chandler with the crystal eagle poised to rise in flight, Smalley briefly highlighted Chandler’s lifetime of service to Hamilton Health Care System, Dalton and the surrounding region and his fellow citizens.

That service has included his role as a Hamilton Health Care System trustee since 1988, and similar active roles with Hamilton Medical Center, the Hamilton Physician Group and the Whitfield Healthcare Foundation. He also cited the Chandler family’s vital involvement and financial contributions in major Hamilton giving campaigns, leading to new structures and capital improvements. Bob and his wife Susan are recognized as Westcott Fellows of Distinction for their generous support of Hamilton Medical Center and the Whitfield Healthcare Foundation since 1984.

Chandler, vice president for commercial sales with Shaw Industries, is the son of the late I.V. and Ethel Chandler. His father and a group of fellow businessmen during the 1950s founded a company that would soon be among the first to manufacture tufted carpet. After earning an undergraduate degree in mathematics and a master’s in business administration at the University of Georgia, Chandler returned to Dalton in 1973 with his wife to a position with Patcraft Carpets. During more than a decade, he rose through the ranks to become president of the company in 1984.

“Beyond health care,” as Smalley noted during the presentation, “Chandler has for decades remained a tireless contributor to his community in countless ways, including being an elder at ChristChurch Presbyterian; a board member of the Boys & Girls Club of Dalton-Whitfield County and chairman of the United Way Drive 2000.

“It’s safe to say he surely doesn’t mind rolling his sleeves up,” Smalley added, “to ring the bell in front of a Salvation Army donation pot, or serve hot food to the hungry and less privileged.”

And, he added, “It’s always been with no expectations for special attention or reward.”

Past Humanitarian Award honorees are in order of their presentation: Art Lauman, Jack Turner, James Brown, Norman Burkett, Fannie B. Jones, David Hamilton, Dr. Paul Bradley, Dr. Murray Lumpkin, Lamar Lyle, Carl Griggs, brothers Ken and Jim Boring, Jack Bandy, Charles Hendry and, in 2012, Bob Shaw.

The foundation is an affiliate of Hamilton Health Care System whose mission is to encourage charitable gifts that support and advance the quality of health care provided by the system and its affiliates. As a not-for-profit philanthropic organization, the foundation allocates charitable funds to facilities, equipment and programs to enhance patient care, promote health education and improve the quality of life for citizens in the northwest Georgia area.

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