Two Cartersville residents rank among 40 Under 40
by Matt Shinall
Oct 02, 2012 | 2576 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Each year, Georgia Trend ranks the state’s best and brightest in the annual 40 Under 40 feature. Among the list of young movers and shakers this year are two Cartersville residents, Executive Director of the Georgia Association for Career and Technical Education Matthew Gambill and Director of the Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter Jessica Mitcham.

In the monthly magazine of state business and political news, Gambill and Mitcham rank alongside three county commissioners, multiple CEOs, a number of business owners, one state representative and professionals from around Georgia, including such companies as Gulfstream, Southern Company and Hewlett-Packard.

The 40 individuals named in the October edition of Georgia Trend were nominated by readers from across the state and represent various sectors, including private business, government, military, nonprofits and finance.

For Mitcham, director of the local homeless shelter with a capacity of 23, the ranking came as a surprise as most making the cut are players on a state and national stage. Serving about 375 people each year, the Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter was praised in the listing for recent growth, in which computers and transportation resources have been secured to help residents meet their personal, educational and professional goals.

“For me, it’s really humbling to be included. I’m sure lots of people really aspire to be included in this and I was not really even aware that this kind of recognition existed and was done annually,” Mitcham said. “It just reminds me of how thankful I am for our success over the last almost two years since I’ve been here. The shelter has really experienced a period of improvement in our finances and being able to offer some new services to our guests. It’s humbling just to be a part of that.

“I think more than anything it is a great opportunity for the shelter. There are readers of Georgia Trend all across the state, so people are going to see information about the Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter that didn’t even know it existed because we are a tiny local nonprofit organization. ... It’s just a great opportunity for the word to get out about what we do. In the brief piece they included, I was really excited that the only direct quote they have from me is about our funding because we get so little government funding. This shelter only exists because this community is so generous.”

Mitcham, 32, is married to real estate professional Ty Mitcham. Together they have two children, Asa and Emily Rose.

Gambill, on the other hand, has been making state headlines for years at the helm of the Georgia Association for Career and Technical Education since 2004. Gambill was named the 2011 New Board Member of the Year by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Georgia, serves a number of nonprofit organizations and has worked side-by-side with state legislators as a champion for technical education.

“It’s a very high honor for me. I was not expecting it. I was working with a couple of people around the state who asked me, basically, if they could nominate me. And so I was honored that a couple of them decided to do that this year and low and behold I actually got it. Georgia Trend has been doing this for a while now and I’ve been reading it over the years, but never imagined I’d be in it myself,” Gambill said. “For me, growing up in Cartersville, graduating from Cartersville High School and coming through our community, I think of all the people who invested in me over the years.

“My family ... teachers at the high school, elected officials. I think of Sam Smith and people like that who invested in me as I was growing up. It means a lot to me to be able to carry on a strong tradition of leadership and realizing that I need to be active in my community as well as at the state level.”

Gambill, 31, is married to Danae Gambill with two children, David and Mary Harris.

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