2022 Heart of the Community Awards of Honor Recipients

This year, seven of Rome’s “unsung” heroes will be honored at the Heart of the Community Awards of Honor gala called An Affair of the Heart.  For 36 years, AdventHealth Redmond has sponsored these awards to recognize and honor individuals whose commitment through volunteer service has made this community a better place in which to live, work and raise a family.

Our 2022 recipients include: Rev. Norris Allen, Tina Brinson, Board of Governors’ honoree Villa Hizer, Business Award honoree Hardy Realty, Lauren Sklar, Scott Thompson and David Thornton.

Proceeds from the event will be designated for heart education and safety programs in the Rome and Floyd County community. Previously funded projects have included the Heart House for families of critically ill patients on the Redmond campus, AED units in public facilities in Rome, a fitness course at Ridge Ferry Park, fitness equipment at the Thornton Center, swimming scholarships at the YMCA, exercise equipment for Summit Quest and grants to various humanitarian and heart related agencies in Rome and Floyd County.


For more information on the Heart of the Community, contact:  Wanda Whitten, 706-802-3924 or  Heart of the Community Facebook.

Villa Sulzbacher Hizer, 2022 Board of Governors’ Award Recipient

Villa Sulzbacher Hizer,
Board of Governors’ Award

A native Roman whose family came to Rome in the 1830s,  Villa graduated Thornwood School, now Darlington, and earned her B.A. degree in mathematics at the University of Georgia.  She and her late husband, Courtney, owned and operated North Georgia Distributing Co., a beer and wine wholesale company for 28 years.

She continues to serve on the following Board of Directors:

Boys & Girls Clubs of NW GA -38 years -Received a Distinguished Service Award Chieftains Museum serving as President and Treasurer and now on advisory board
Community Foundation for Greater Rome
University of Georgia Libraries Board of Visitors

Other community involvement has included:
Greater Rome Chamber
Women in Management
Leadership Rome
Darlington School Alumni Council
Darlington Distinguished Alumni Award
Leadership Darlington
American Cancer Society
Heart of the Community
Rome Area Heritage Foundation
Summit Quest
Regions Bank
Junior Service League   Sustainer of the Year 1997
Historic Desoto Theatre Foundation
Georgia Beer Wholesalers

Supporter of many non-profits

Leisure Activities:
Seven Hills Garden Club
Co-Vestors Investment Club
Bonneville Land Speed Racing

2022 Award Recipients:

Rev. Norris Allen, 2022 HOC Award Recipient

Rev. Norris Allen, Award of Honor  

Norris is a native of Calhoun County, Ala.  He received his elementary education in Floyd County and attended Main High School.

He and his wife, Gladys, have been married for 60 years and are the parents of 5 boys and one girl. He received certification in Electrical Wiring and certifications in Blueprint and Design.  He also earned a certificate in Interior Decorating Design.

His activities include:

-Rome Historical Museum
-Hope Ministries
-Southern Christian Leadership Conference Minister’s Council
– Founded Northwest Georgia Minority Business Association
– Founded Camp Sirron-a camp to teach current and past history to youth
– Founded Martin Luther King Christian Celebration
-Founded Student of Excellence Scholarship Foundation

Nominators: “Norris has been recognized with 50 proclamations from Rome and other cities.  He is a champion for diversity and acceptance.”

2022 Award Recipients:

Tina Brinson, 2022 HOC Award Recipient

Tina Brinson, Award of Honor

Tina Brinson has been described as a giving selfless person volunteering for years behind the scenes. Her activities include:

-Sexual Assault Center-Past Chairperson and Fundraising volunteer
-Rome Celebrity Dancing with the Stars
-Producer of plays at Rome Little Theatre
-Darlington School-Parent Teachers Association and Fund Raising committee
-Volunteer with Berry Half Marathon
-Volunteer and Fundraising for Northwest Georgia Boys Scouts
-St. Mary’s School board Member and fund raising
-Volunteer with Underground Rome Tours

Tina is married to Rob Brinson and they are the parents to Maggie Grace and Madison.

Nominator: “Tina has been volunteering for years. She remains calm in all situations.  When Tina volunteers, her whole family volunteers.”

2022 Award Recipients:

Lauren Sklar, 2022 HOC Award Recipient

Lauren Sklar

Lauren is a native of Rome and a graduate of West Rome High School. She attended Converse College and received a master’s degree from the University of West Georgia. Lauren is married to Marc Sklar and they are the parents of Abby and Emma.

Her community activities include:

-Junior Service League past president and a Sustainer of the Year recipient.

-First Baptist Church — Deacon, missions teacher, Sunday School teacher, Women of the Church chairperson and chairperson of the flower committee.

-Leadership Rome graduate and Leadership Rome coordinator

-Darlington School parent

Nominator: “Lauren is adaptable and flexible no matter what comes her way. She loves and is passionate for this community.”

2022 Award Recipients:

Scott Thompson, 2022 HOC Award Recipient

Scott Thompson

A native of Marietta, Scott attended Young Harris College, majoring in Theatre. He and His wife, Dana, share their home with “five fur babies.” Scott is known as a singer-songwriter community advocate and champion of all things Rome.

His activities include:

-Christmas Back Home Concert free tickets to Davies Homeless Shelters and Open Door Home
-“Sing for Your Supper” fundraiser concert for Community Kitchen-Thus far has raised $20,000.00
-Board member and Events Chairman of Coosa River Basin Committee
-Volunteer and Board of Rome Area Council for the Arts
-Member of Downtown Development Authority Promotion
-Originator of Brown Bag Concerts
-Mentor for local high school student

Nominator: “Scott’s passion for creating change for the better and changing the status quo has brought vibrancy to downtown Rome.  His passion for serving the community cannot be denied.”

2022 Award Recipients: