Smyrna Residents Honored At Gala

Neal and Krystall FinaleThe Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Georgia Chapter announced its Atlanta Man & Woman of the Year at their campaign’s Grand Finale Gala at the Loews Atlanta Hotel on Saturday, June 14. Sixteen local community leaders — nine men and seven women — have been competing with each other for the last ten weeks to raise the most money for LLS. In its sixth year, the event raised $748,197, exceeding the original goal by nearly $125,000.

Smyrna resident Dr. Neal Shah with Feather Touch Dental was named the 2014 Man of the Year, raising $87,327. Krystall Waters with UBS Private Wealth Management was named the 2014 Woman of the Year, raising $82,821. The Man of the Year runner up was Ryan Plantz of Lincoln Financial, and the Woman of the Year runner-up was Melanie Romanaux of Somedia Solutions, Inc.

Shah is a dentist for Feather Touch. He enjoys spending time with friends, kickboxing and golfing. “I was humbled to join others in finding a cure for blood cancers and improving the quality of life for those in treatment,” says Shah. Neal dedicated his campaign to Shelley Paulin and Lauraine Frank.

Smyrna resident Libby Hoover of Benchmark Physical Therapy won the Mission Integration Award; the award to the candidate that demonstrated exceptional mission integration into their campaign.

Ms. Hoover is a senior physical therapist and the clinic director of Benchmark Physical Therapy. She is an Orthopedic Board Certified Specialist. Libby volunteers at Buckhead Church as a greeter. She enjoys hiking, traveling, watching live music and trying Atlanta’s new restaurants.

“After seeing a good friend participate in the campaign last year, I was moved and excited to help support LLS,” says Hoover. She dedicated her campaign to her dad, Bill Hoover, who passed away from Multiple Myeloma complications in August 2013.

Kelly Wallace of YEAH!BURGER was awarded the Community Involvement Award; the award to the candidate that facilitated exposure in the community and built a strong program and team.

“We were pleased to recruit such an outstanding class of candidates for this campaign. While only two people are awarded the titles Man & Woman of the Year, we are extremely proud of all of our candidates.  Due to their tremendous fundraising efforts we have raised critical funds to find a cure for blood cancers.  We couldn’t be happier with their results,” said Tracy Manning, senior manager for the Atlanta Man & Woman of the Year campaign.

“The Man & Woman of the Year campaign is a great opportunity for participants to network with other candidates while raising money for an important cause,” said Tracy Manning. “We applaud the tireless efforts of our incredible candidates and thank each of them for making such a significant difference in the lives of so many people.”

Every dollar the candidates raised counted as one “vote” and the candidates with the most votes were awarded the title Man & Woman of the Year. Dr. Neal Shah and Krystall Waters will now be entered into the national competition for Man & Woman of the Year, which will be named in July.  All the candidates competed in honor of LLS’s Boy & Girl of the Year, Robert and Callie, local children who are blood cancer survivors and sources of inspiration to others. 

From the July 2014 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton and Austell, GA.