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CHAIRMAN'S AWARD

Montgomery County Commission Chairman Dean Receives Chamber Chairman’s Award

February 2012

By David Zaslawsky

In interview-after-interview, Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton N. Dean, Sr. talks about the importance of partnerships.

“I can’t ever say enough about working together,” said Dean, who was first elected to the County Commission in 2000 and has been re-elected twice.

While introducing the recipient of the Chairman’s Award as someone who constantly preaches partnerships, Dean had no idea that the immediate past Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Chairman of the Board of Directors Larry Puckett was talking about Dean.

“As much as Larry Puckett and I talk and as much as the mayor (Todd Strange) and I talk, I had no idea about the award,” Dean said.

When Puckett announced that he Dean was receiving the Chairman’s Award, Dean was visibly surprised, humbled and deeply moved.

“I felt like what I’ve been doing was really worth something and somebody recognized it,” said Dean, who received the award at the Chamber’s 139th Annual Meeting held at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center.

“Lots of times you do things in your life and you wonder if people really notice because I’ve always been a person (where) it hasn’t been about me – it’s what I can do for others,” Dean said. “I try to bring people together. I guess (it) proves to other people that people can work together and they can sit around the table without protesting or boycotting. I just want to prove that to other people.”

The Chairman’s Award, which is not given every year, states: “In recognition of your willingness to serve, assist and offer your time, talents and visions which have helped to provide positive, progressive growth for our communities. 2011”

Dean, who has been Commission chairman since March 2009, accepted the prestigious award “on behalf of everybody in that room (Montgomery Performing Arts Centre) because everybody has participated in the success of Montgomery.”

That – making Montgomery a better place to live, work and play – is Dean’s priority.

“Like I always say, ‘it’s not about me.’ I just do things because I think it’s right. People need leaders, but I don’t consider myself a leader. I consider myself a team builder; a morale builder. I think success comes from when you can make people feel good about themselves and that they can recognize that they can be successful when you’re working together.”

There he goes again talking about working together.

Dean said the Chamber Chairman’s Award is a “prestigious honor, but I also recognize that there is more to do. We will never get where we want to be, but we’re making great strides and efforts in getting there. When I say we will never get where we want to be that’s because there is always room for improvement.”

He understands that partnerships are key for making those great strides.