Benham spoke on the particular aspects that make Bartow County the community it is before the more than 400 people gathered at the Clarence Brown Conference Center on Monday.
“For those of you who are new to Bartow County, I guess you’re asking yourself, ‘Well, what’s the county about? What makes it work?’ So let me share with you what makes it work,” he said. “We are a caring community, we are a sharing community, we are a churchgoing community and we are a concerned community. Those four aspects are what make our county great.”
Throughout his address, Benham used anecdotes from his time as a practicing attorney and personal life to highlight how those in the community highlighted each of those points.
“I didn’t make up all these things on my own. I learned them here in Bartow County about how to serve your god, sacrifice for your family, share with your neighbors, perform public service,” he said. “All of these things are part and parcel of life here in Bartow County.”
Appointed to the state Supreme Court in 1989, Benham served as presiding justice from 1994 to 1995. He became chief justice in 1995 and held that position until 2001. Benham continues to serve on the court, having been re-elected in 2008 to a fourth six-year term.
On Monday, the crowd featured Benham’s counterparts of elected officials and members of the legal and judicial sector, including Bartow County Superior Court Judge Carey Nelson.
“I can’t express to you in words the privilege it is to introduce to you a long, longtime friend, mentor, the gentleman who met me when I came back to practice law …, told me where the courthouse was, what I was supposed to do and not do,” Nelson said. “He even shared cases with me, so I could make a little bit of money. They weren’t cases he wanted, but at least, he gave me cases.”
The chamber’s Quarterly Luncheon features a roughly two-hour program, beginning with networking, a buffet lunch and a presentation by elected officials, motivational speakers or business leaders.
The next Quarterly Luncheon is set for November. For more information, call the chamber at 770-382-1486.