Chris Cuddy


“My first mentor was my father. Our family was in the turkey breeding, growing and processing business where I grew up in North Carolina. He taught me the complementary values of hard work and grit, helping me develop a business mindset that has guided me to this day. He also taught me what it meant to be engaged in the community. The family business provided jobs, but it needed to do more than that. I learned from a young age how crucial it is for employers to enrich the community fabric where they’re rooted by getting involved.”

Read more about Chris here.

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Nicole Bateman


“I carried out a project once that produced an outcome I didn’t intend for it to have. What I learned, thanks to one of my mentors, was that I made the best decision at the time with the information I had, and that you can’t always predict outside forces that impact the end result. Take the next steps and move on. We let negative people live rent-free in our heads by dwelling on the situation.”

Learn more about Nicole here.

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Angela Foulke


“I am proactive rather than reactive. If you want to make a positive impact you need to get out there and do something. Nobody likes an armchair quarterback. This community has made great strides in the last decade. I love being a part of this. Working at the Decatur Family YMCA makes it very easy for me to do so. We make a positive impact on so many people’s lives every day.”

Read more about Angela here.

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Debbie Bogle


“A near death experience taught me to live life to the fullest and enjoy every single day. Live every day like it’s your last…but don’t spend all your money like it’s your last.”

Follow more of Debbie’s story here.

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Zach Shields


“I enjoy people. Humans (like horses) are herd animals. It’s vital to know and feel that we are not alone. And while we can’t always fix someone else’s problem, we can always say, ‘Hey. I’m here.’ I wouldn’t call myself a people-pleaser, per se. But if it’s within our reach to provide comfort or encouragement or support, that’s maybe the most important thing we can do for other human beings. This is especially important for kids. The world can seem like such a mess. It’s critical to remind them it’s not truly as bad as we’re led to believe by a 24-hour news cycle. (Plus probably social media that tends to veer off quickly into crazy). People are much more sane than it seems. So being involved in education and contributing to broaden their horizons… that’s very motivating.”

Continue following Zach’s story here.

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Kevin Breheny


“Don’t be shy. Be visible and be willing to work toward whatever passion that you have in your heart. People in this community will embrace you, they will appreciate you and they will recognize you for your efforts. More importantly you will receive great satisfaction and happiness from knowing you made an important difference.”

Learn more about Kevin here.

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Mike Wilcott


“When I was about 10 years old, my Dad had let me use my BB gun unsupervised for the first time. Although I didn’t shoot my eye out, I did manage to put a hole in the large window in the garage. A couple weeks later my Dad approached me to ask me what I knew about it and I lied to him. He explained to me that he could tell it was a BB hole and that the hole was about the height of my right shoulder, so he didn’t have a hard time figuring out what happened. He proceeded to tell me that he more upset that I lied to him than he was about me putting a hole in the window. He taught me that once you lie, you will have to keep lying. I never forgot that and have tried hard in life to be as honest as I can at all times.”

Check out more of Mike’s story here.

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Clay Gerhard


“When I think of community, I instantly think of our Decatur Community. When I think of all the events and activities this community supports, it’s mind boggling. Every weekend there is an opportunity to be involved in something meaningful to help others, whether it’s the Community Food Drive, the Decatur Celebration, the Judy Mason Thanksgiving Project, or any other serving opportunity. Any time I hear of an organization in need or even a family in need, the generous spirit of people here shows up and they get in the game.”

Read more about Clay here.

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Karla Miller


“Don’t let grand gestures of giving money and time intimidate you or make you think you have to do something on a large scale. It takes just one person’s actions to make a difference, to inspire others, or have a positive influence on a community. One simple act of kindness can have a ripple effect.”

Continue reading about Karla here.

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Amber Kaylor


“My Mother was and is the person I aspire to be like. She is the kindest person I know and she sees the good in everyone. She is the reason I have such a solid faith foundation. Anyone who meets my Mom instantly falls in love. I hope I leave people feeling the way she leaves them feeling.”

Continue reading Amber’s story here.

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