Cook County Economic Development Commission Memorial Hospital of Adel Micro Chem Company
Adel-Cook County Chamber of Commerce
Brian Harrell
Jason Walker
Michael Purvis
Jere Anna Hargett
Liza Tillman
Sharon Harnage

2017 Man and Woman of the Year Biographies

Brian Harrell - Chris Grosser once said, “Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.” Brian Harrell did just that in March of 2001. At the age of only 23, Brian dove into the world as an entrepreneur in Cook County. What evoked as an automotive accessories business has now evolved into the graphic and sign business that it is today. “We’ve learned to adapt to the market and be as versatile as possible,” says Brian. 

In October of 2015, Brian was featured in the Signs of Times magazine, winning First Place in a vehicle wrap contest for ‘Best Signshop Vehicles of 2015’. 

The small business that once lie in a very quaint 4th Street location in Adel, has now expanded to its current 206 S. Burwell address, and will soon utilize the full 13,000 sq ft facility. 

Brian says he loves being a part of downtown Adel, and will continue to do his part to support this amazing community. He is very grateful for all of the support from his family, community, customers and most of all, the success that God has bestowed upon him and his business. He quotes from his most revered scripture in the Bible, Matthew 19:26, which says, “With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”

Brian is the husband of 11 years to Jamie Harrell and father of Carver and Aubrey Harrell. When he’s not working, you can usually find him cheering on his son Carver, age 10, at the baseball field or supporting his daughter Aubrey, age 6, dancing on stage. He graduated from Berrien County High School in his hometown of Nashville, GA in 1996.

Jason Walker - My name is Jason Walker, I am 37 years old, and I was born and raised in Lenox, GA. I am married with three children. Together, my wife and I run a very successful business, Walker's Construction LLC. We do all types of construction, residential and commercial. I am very active in my community. I volunteer in times of need, I donate to various charity's and help out my neighbors. I, along with some friends, served food and drinks to Florida evacuees for three days prior to Hurricane Irma. I provided generators for many people with out power. I donate to American Cancer Society, CURE childhood cancer, and Georgia Sheriff's Boy's Ranch. My wife and I enjoy helping out family's and individuals in times of need, such as donating items to a homeless family, providing a hotel room for a homeless man, and paying for meals for various people during the holidays. After any natural disaster, I have volunteered my time to help my neighbors clean up their yards, and remove debris from roofs. When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my family, hunting, and fishing.

Michael Purvis - Michael was born in Valdosta, Georgia, and has lived in Cook County since birth. He has two children, LeeAnn and Jansen. An avid sports fan, Michael loves the outdoors and sporting events, in particular Football. He screams, “Go Dogs, Sic’ em” every chance he gets. He has coached recreational football over the years as he believes in the importance of sportsmanship and dedication to the principals of teamwork. On any given weekend, you will find him participating in outdoor activities from swimming with the kids to fishing with friends. 
Michael began his career at Memorial Hospital of Adel in 1996 as a Radiology Technician. Throughout his tenure at Memorial Hospital of Adel, he rose to leadership service as the Director of Radiology and later the Director of Customer Service and Special Projects all while continuing his education. In 2008, Michael accepted a position as the Chief Executive Officer at Brooks County Hospital, a campus of the Archbold Health System. 
Michael’s passion has always been in healthcare and in particular the health needs of the community in which he resides, his hometown. In 2010, Michael returned to Memorial Hospital of Adel as the Chief Executive Officer. In 2012, Memorial Hospital of Adel transitioned to Cook Medical Center under his direct leadership. During the first year at Cook Medical Center, Michael led the team in opening a 12 bed geriatric psychiatric unit, the Sylvia Barr Center. The primary goal of the center is to provide a safe place for healing the mind, body, and spirit of the geriatric population. In addition to leading Cook Medical Center as CEO, Michael became administrator of Cook Senior Living Center in 2014. Michael enjoys leading this team in providing excellent care for the residents at this 95 bed skilled nursing facility. He has also lead the way for the construction of a new facility for Cook Medical Center, which is anticipated to break ground in early 2018. 
In 2015, Michael was elected Adel City Councilman At- Large, holding the only councilmen’s seat that represents the entire City of Adel. His community involvement includes the Adel-Cook Boys and Girls Club, where he served as Vice President of Operations, board member of the Adel-Cook Chamber of Commerce, as well as the chairman for the Cook Certified Literate Community Program (CLCP). In 2015, Michael participated as a contestant in the Dancing Stars of South Georgia, which benefits the Alzheimer’s Association. He then served as a judge for the 2017 Dancing Stars Competition. 
Michael is dedicated to not only serving the health needs of the Cook County community, but also serving the residents of Cook County in many capacities. He is proud to be an integral part of the development of this community and is honored to be nominated for the Man of the Year award.

Jere Anna Hargett - I am a product of the Cook County School System and have lived in Cook County all of my life except the four years that I attended the University of Georgia. The major highlight of my college days was playing Alto Sax in the Redcoat Band. I am a die hard Hornet, Georgia Bulldog, and now a CCA Soaring Eagle!

1969 was a HUGE year for me! I married Richard Hargett and sent him to serve our country in Korea AND became a first year teacher at Adel Elementary School. This year taught me more than 4 years of college. In my years with the school system, I taught 1st, 2nd, 2nd-4th reading lab. During this time, we developed the first Cook County Chapter I program. I moved to the Board of Education in August of 1978 as Curriculum Director. Then in August of 1992, Superintendent Larry Hunt named me Assistant Superintendent of Cook County Schools. I wore many hats at the Board of Education. I am extremely proud of the PreK program of which I wrote the grant and supervised the program. It grew rapidly from 1 class to 10 classes and served 200 children each year. This program with its excellent staff was a highlight of my career. I also worked 49% for 3 years and then did some contract work (hospital homebound) for the Board of Education. I have truly been blessed that I have loved all of my jobs and the people I have worked with. I had wonderful superintendents to lead me and teach me along the way. During these years, I also received my Masters Degree as a k-12 reading specialist, administration & supervision certification, and my 6 year specialist degree in curriculum and instruction.

In the community during these years, I have been very active with the Pilot Club serving as president a couple of times. Pilot Club serves Cook County as a leader in making our community a better place to live. I also am a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an honorary society for women educators. In 1987 I received the Exchange Club “Golden Deeds” Award. This was so one of the greatest honors of my life. 

Richard and I were not blessed with children of our own, but have so many children in our lives. Nieces and nephews that we love as our own and then there are my church children at Brushy Creek and all of the school children. Children that you teach or work with become a part of your heart forever. So my HEART is full of beautiful children.

Another highlight of my career began when I came to Community Christian Academy as administrator in August of 2012. What a joy this has been to me and for me! Every day is such a blessing! 
At CCA, I have watched God’s work unfold before me with growth in the number of students, with adding a grade each year, and with adding an athletic program. For the first time in recent years, CCA will have a graduating class in 2018. CCA offers a Christ-centered education for young people from 3 year olds to 12th grade. I would love to share more but I know that is not the purpose of this biographical sketch. Come visit CCA and let us share so that you can witness the joy.

When I think about what have I contributed to Cook County? How have I made it better? I am not sure that I am worthy of this nomination. I have given my life to the young people of Cook County and hope that in some small way our county is a better place to live. I do believe that the investments that you make in young people impact your community in a positive way for future generations.


Liza Tillman - Liza Tillman moved to Cook County in 2011 when she began working as the Director of Marketing for Cook Medical Center. She now works as Public Relations Director for Tift Regional Health System. She has lived in several parts of the country, but came to Adel after receiving a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communications and Public Relations and a master’s of Public Administration, both from Valdosta State University. She is married to Jason Tillman and they are currently expecting their first child in February.

She believes one of the greatest things about Cook County are the people who live in it. “When I moved to Adel, people asked me where I call home. Because I’ve lived in several different places, it was always difficult to answer that question. Everyone has welcomed me with open arms and I can now call Adel ‘home’. Because of the acceptance and hospitality I have experienced, I certainly believe the greatest parts of Cook County are the people who live here.”

Since arriving in Cook County, Mrs. Tillman has become affiliated with many community and civic organizations. She has been a Kiwanis Club member since 2011, and served as their President in 2012 until 2013. She was a Pilot Club of Adel member from 2011 until 2012, where she sat on the fundraising and membership committees. Liza has served on the Relay for Life of Cook County Committee in various capacities since 2011. She is a graduate of the Georgia Academy for Regional Economic and Leadership Development as well as a recent graduate of Leadership Cook 2013. 

Liza currently serves on the Adel-Cook County Boys and Girls Club board of directors as Vice President of Operations. In addition, she serves as a committee member for the Puddleville Project for Childhood Cancer. During the 2017 tornadoes, Liza became actively involved in the relief effort and served as a member of the Adel Tornado Relief committee. She is an active member of the Georgia Hospital Association for Marketing and Public Relations and an alumna of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. Mrs. Tillman attends First Baptist Church of Adel where she has been a member of the choir since 2011. 

Upon receiving this nomination as woman of the year, Mrs. Tillman states: “I am deeply honored and proud to receive this nomination. I have enjoyed serving the residents of Cook County and living in this community for the past seven years. I appreciate the opportunities to do so granted to me by Cook Medical Center and look forward to serving Cook County to the best of my ability in the future.”

Sharon Harnage - Sharon Harnage has lived in Cook County for 14 years and is married to Paul Harnage and they have one daughter, LaNae. She is the owner and founder of Quick Consulting & Business Services in Adel. She is an Advanced Certified QuickBooks.
Her community affiliations include: Finance Committee for Boys and Girls Club of Greater Cook County Area; Relay for Life Accountant 2014; Graduate Leadership Cook 2015; Graduate Georgia Academy for Economic Development 2016; Down Town Development Authority 2016; Tourism Authority since 2014; Board of Directors Adel-Cook County Chamber of Commerce; Membership Chair Adel-Cook County Chamber of Commerce; Chair Woman of Adel-Cook Chamber of Commerce 2018, Speaker for Future Leadership Cook 2015; Entrepreneur of the Year 2014; Toys for Cook Kids Contributor 2016 & 2017; State Coordinator for National Day of Prayer; Annual Cook County Bed Race Fundraiser; Executive Committee for The Puddleville Project 2016 & 2017, Adel Tornado Relief 2017.
She says one of her Greatest Rewards was serving on the Committee to bring the Moving Wall to Adel in 2013. So many friends were made and bonds that will never be broken during that week of healing.
Mrs. Harnage says one of her greatest accomplishments of 2016 was the Christmas in Cook event of December 5, 2016 Having the community come together to purchase a new tree for downtown and adding events for the community to enjoy was a vision for many years. Which still continued on in 2017 adding the fencing and permanent placement of the Tree, and adding decorations in 2017.
Mrs. Harnage says she loves Cook County and its citizens, and is always amazed at the unity of our Community. When one hurts we all hurt, and when one is in need we all pitch in to fill the need.
As a business woman she is proud to have built a solid successful business with a reputation of trustworthiness and honesty. She employees 5 full time employees and serves clients all over the South East United States heavily concentrated in Georgia. For years the majority of her client base was outside of Cook County, she is proud to report since purchasing her new location in 2014 the trend has changed and she is heavily supported in Cook County by Small Business Owners, and is very grateful for the local support.
When asked if there was one thing she could change about Cook County and how she would accomplish that goal she said: I would like for our citizens to embrace change, see the vision for the future of Cook County and be proud of their community. Look forward not behind, look to the future with positive thoughts and leave the negativity behind. We have such a bright future and so many good things are happening. By CHOOSING to say positive things, and work in a positive direction will keep our momentum going and accomplish great things. If you hear someone being negative, simply bring up the positive changes and do not let anyone dwell on things of the past. This is a new day, lets rejoice and be glad in it.
Her favorite quote is a scripture: Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

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