Willie Mae Samuel, 2020 HOC Award Recipient

A native of Allendale, South Carolina, Willie Mae has been a resident of Rome And Floyd County for 50 years.

She received her undergraduate degree from Paine College in Augusta and her Master’s degree in English from Atlanta University with a concentration in African-American Studies.  She spent 31 years as a classroom teacher of high school English.

Since retirement she has involved herself in many phases of volunteer work.

*Child Advocate for Youth Programs sponsored by her Sorority
* Volunteer organizer and instructor for 100 Black Men’s Black History Bowl
* Founder of Gateway Performing Arts Troup
* Community Outreach Coordinator for Thankful Baptist Church Soup Kitchen
* Director of Cultural Arts of Fairview/E.S. Brown Restoration Project
*  Director of Fairview Glee Club Singers
* Advisor for Domestic Violence Organization
*  Assistant Program Coordinator-East Rome Association’s Senior Group at Fielder Center
* Director of Friday Night Drama Presentations Martin Luther King Celebration
*  Contributing Writer for Rome News Tribune
*Director/Founder African American Connection for Performing Arts 2006-Presnt
*Judge for League of Women Voters Annual Poetry Slam Contest
* Board Member of the AHHA Organization in Cave Spring

Nominated by Quida Sams and Laney Stevenson “The word “love” is also an action word.  It is what it does. Willie Samuel-Sams loves this community and demonstrates this love in her daily living”.


Dr. Ryland and Jennifer Scott, 2020 HOC Award Recipients

Rome is very fortunate to have “Power Couples” in our community.

One such couple is Dr. Ryland and Jennifer Scott.

Together they have participated in the following
* 5 International Mission Trips to Guatemala, Honduras Mexico
* Board Members of Restoration Rome
* Foster Parents
* Founding Members of Young Life Ministry

Individually they also contribute:

Dr. Scott:
* Championed and Implemented ERAS protocol(Enhanced Surgical Recovery)
* Developed Bariatric Program in Rome
* Deacon, First Presbyterian Church

*Open Door Home board 2003-2017-Past Chair
*Several teaching and committee roles at First Presbyterian Church
* South Rome Redevelopment committee 2017
*Fundraising for South Rome Early Learning Center
* Community Foundation of Greater Rome Grant Committee
* Mentor to Moms n Recovery
* Heart Walk Committee Honoree 2008
* Heart of the community Young Heart 2010

One nominator said of them” They make a wonderful married team raising triplets of their own.  Through public speaking and private counsel. Many couples have benefited from their openness of marriage and realities of raising kids”


Peggy Nash, 2020 HOC Award Recipient

 A graduate of Shorter College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and a Master’s Degree in education from Berry College, Peggy is now a retired Floyd County educator. She can be found volunteering at many places in Rome.

Volunteer Activities and recognitions have or do include:

*Teacher of the Year 1993
* Participates with Retired Teachers of Rome
* Former Pink Lady at Floyd Medical Center
* Junior Service League, Sustainer in 2001
* St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Missions, Outreach, Loaves and Fishes and Children’s Church
* Former Chiaha Board Member
* Volunteer Toys for Tots
* Volunteer Good Neighbor’s Ministries
* Former Board of Chieftain’s Museum
* Volunteer Rome Community Kitchen
* Friends of the Library
*Pepperell Elementary School Volunteer and Mentor
* Good Neighbors Ministry

Peggy has one son, Robbie, and his wife Autumn and two granddaughters, Callie and Hannah Grace


Jarrod “JJ” Johnson, 2020 HOC Award Recipient

J.J, a business leader in Rome Ga and the Floyd County community and is now a small business owner of the Smoothie King franchise. Moving here from Houston, Texas, J.J. served the public as a law enforcement officer.

He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Houston and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Texas Southern University.  He and his wife, Dr. Bridgett Dingle, Neonatologist at Floyd Medical Center have been very active in the Rome community.

His community activities include:

*Board Member of Rome Floyd Chamber of Commerce
* Rome City School Partner
* Leadership Rome 36 Graduate
*Leadership Georgia 2020
* High School Leadership Rome Volunteer
*Murder Mystery Theatre for Floyd Against Drugs
* Boy’s and Girls’ s Club Board
*  Committee Member- Walk a Mile in Her Shoes
* 100 Black Men Member and donor to 100 Black Men and Distinguished Gentlemen
* Can-A-Thon For Community Kitchen Regional Donor
* Donates % of sales to the Giving Kitchen Organization.

Nominated by Jeanne Krueger “J.J. lights up every room he enters and has the ability to put everyone at ease. He is a servant leader by example”

Linda Hatcher, 2020 HOC Award Recipient

A native Roman, currently residing in Silver Creek, GA, Linda graduated from Coosa High School and received a B.S Degree in Science from Shorter College.  She later completed her Master’s Degree in Middle Science Education from Berry College

At the University of West Georgia she completed a specialist degree in Middle School Science and Administration.

Nominated by Glenda Almond and others, “Everything she does is done with enthusiasm and a gracious smile.

Her examples of “giving back” include:

*Provides support financially emotionally to many who have challenges
* Adopted classrooms and provided financial needs for students and teachers
* Posts jobs and hires former students
* Offers her home to those in need following surgery
* Stuffed backpacks for United Way
* Member of One Community United
* Board Member for Habitat of Humanity
*House leader for Habitat for Humanity
* Went to Guatemala and Costa Rica with Trinity Methodist  Church
*Volunteer Good Neighbor Ministries
*Volunteer DIGS Program
*Board Member of Exchange Club of Rome
*  Coordinator Toys for Tots
* Provided transportation for International Handicapped Tennis tournament
* Provides  rides for voters
* Volunteers Branch Bragg Scholarship golf Tour
* Volunteer Floyd Medical Center
*Provides furniture and household  item to those in need in setting up housing
*Holds coat drives for needy in the winter

She often posts quotes on social media to inspire others.  One such quote “My mission is not merely to survive, but to thrive and to do so with some passion, compassion and some humor and style.”

Dr. Daniel Goldfaden, 2020 HOC Honorary Award Recipient

In recognition of his upcoming retirement and the importance of his contribution to heart health and care, the Heart of the Community Foundation is presenting an Honorary Award of Honor to Dr. Daniel Goldfaden.

Born in Detroit. Michigan in 1951, Dr. Goldfaden knew the only thing he didn’t want to study was medicine. By the time he got to his third year in college he decided that medicine was the best option for him.

He attended the University of Michigan for undergraduate and medical school.  He knew as soon he entered medical school he wanted to study Cardiology.

During his residency, he met Dr. John Kirkland who was from Rome and who was doing his Surgery Residency at the University of Michigan as well.

After Kirkland returned to Rome to start the Vascular Surgery program, he approached Dr. Goldfaden into visiting Rome.

When the certificate of need for Cardiovascular Surgery was approved, he was again approached about returning to Rome to begin the program at Redmond Park Hospital. The program began in 1986.

Thirty years later he and his team do about 450 Open Heart Surgeries each year.

A highly respected mentor to  medical students and residents, Dr. Goldfaden will be missed when he retires.

Northwest Georgia Is very lucky to have a family member and friend like Dr. Daniel Goldfaden.

We are glad he chose Rome and recognize him with this Honorary Award of Honor for his commitment to heart health and care.