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OTC Holds Commencement Exercises

Okefenokee Technical College’s summer & fall 2009 commencement was held Friday, January 22, 2010, at the Waycross Middle School auditorium.

Mr. Robert Trimm, president and CEO of Satilla Health Services, was the keynote speaker. In his address, Trimm encouraged graduates to “Do the right thing, and do it right every time. “Regardless of his or her profession,” explained Trimm, ”every person should strive to ‘do the job, and do it right.’”

Trimm praised OTC as an outstanding institution that focuses on work ethics. He referred to Okefenokee Technical College’s values found on the college’s Website, and noted that OTC provides an education that encourages individuals to be responsible employees and employers. Photo 1

Trimm also spoke about the hospital’s experiences when the Satilla Regional Medical Center staff instituted a service excellence program, stating that the principles are basic, but important. One principle Trimm shared was the importance of a happy, productive employee. He encouraged graduates to find their place in the workforce so that they will be happy and productive.

He also talked about the importance of customer/client service. “In every profession, no matter what you do,” stated Trimm, “you will be serving others.” He told graduates to expect to be held accountable for their actions and to focus on values that make a positive difference in the lives of others.

In his final remarks, Trimm reminded graduates that they should remember where they have been and thank those who helped them with their accomplishments; know where they are going and focus on how they are going to get there; and finally, remember to take every opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

The ceremony began at 7 p.m. with the processional of graduates, followed by the invocation and presentation of colors. Austin Johnson gave the invocation, and the Ware County JROTC presented the colors. The audience then enjoyed the National Anthem in a cappella, sung beautifully by Ms. Jessica Moore.  

Danita Cannon, VP for Student Affairs, welcomed guests to the ceremony and introduced Mr. Randall Todd, student representative and current graduate of the Electronics Technology program. Later in the ceremony, Todd received an AAS degree in Technical Studies and a diploma in Electronics Technology.

A 2000 graduate of Ware County High School, Todd, now 27, spoke about the importance of choices and how choices, good or bad, impact the future and mold people into who they are. Following Todd’s remarks, the audience enjoyed the talent of Ms. Moore once again, as she sang “You Raise Me Up.”

President Thaxton then welcomed a number of special guests and thanked Mr. John Pharr, OTC Board vice chair and director of service excellence & physician recruitment at Satilla Health Services, for assisting with the ceremony. Thaxton also recognized OTC faculty and staff for their work and dedication to students and education. “Working beside these professionals every day,” Thaxton stated, “I can say that they are the finest that can be found.” She also commented on the commitment and dedication of local OTC board members and Foundation board members.  

Thaxton’s introduction of Trimm included details of the tremendous growth that has occurred at Satilla Health Services under his leadership. She noted the growth in medical staff, stating that the number of Satilla Health employees has almost doubled since Trimm became CEO in 1998. Thaxton also commended Trimm on the volume of health services that Satilla Regional Medical Center now provides, services that have led to substantial growth in the number of patients served.

Trimm, a native of Tuscaloosa earned a B.S. in accounting from the University of Alabama, graduating from the University of Alabama School of Commerce and Business Administration. According to Thaxton, Trimm has worked in hospital administration most of his career, with the exception of his first years when he worked in public accounting. Happy Students

Trimm was employed as Chief Financial Officer at Memorial Medical Center in Savannah; Vice President and CFO at Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee; and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Memorial Savannah before settling down in Waycross as President and CEO of Satilla Regional Medical Center.

Following Trimm’s speech, Thaxton conferred upon graduates the applicable award of diploma and/or Associate of Applied Science degree. Then Thaxton; Dr. Steve Pearce, VP for Academic Affairs; and Pharr awarded diplomas and degrees to participating graduates. The following students had satisfactorily completed requirements for graduation by either end of quarter summer 2009 or end of quarter fall 2009 and were eligible to participate in commencement:

Appling County: Lessie Aycock, AAS Clinical Laboratory Technology
Atkinson County: Lindsey Clark, AAS Respiratory Care Technology; and Olvido Rodriguez, Cosmetology
Bacon County: Daphne Barnes, Practical Nursing; Wynoka Casteel, Medical Assisting; Kayla Durance, AAS Computer Support Specialist; Angela Ellis, Cosmetology; Stephanie Sears, Cosmetology; and Victoria Smith, Cosmetology
Brantley County: Magen Byrd, AAS Early Childhood Care & Education; Monica Herrin, AAS Respiratory Care Technology; Brittany James, AAS Respiratory Care Technology; Carla Oglesby, Practical Nursing; Kristina Shannon, Medical Assisting; Jill Smith, AAS Respiratory Care Technology; and Dana Wimberly, Business Administrative Technology
Camden County: Aleah Harrelson, Cosmetology
Charlton County: Brian Cribb, AAS Technical Studies; and Tamika Dasher, Practical Nursing
Clinch County: Heather Greenlee, Accounting; and Brenda Herrin, Practical Nursing
Coffee County: Aleisha Bagley, Practical Nursing; Mary Bryce, AAS Clinical Laboratory Technology; Norma Deen, Cosmetology; Breezi Hill, AAS Respiratory Care Technology; Juwanda Littleton, Surgical Technology; Jaime Ott, AAS Clinical Laboratory Technology; Jimmy Ricketson, Forest Technology; Trevin Simmons, AAS Respiratory Care Technology; Patty Smith, AAS Respiratory Care Technology; Rebecca Waldron, Surgical Technology; and Bradley Williamson, AAS Computer Support Specialist
Glynn County: Lucille Dixon, Practical Nursing
Jeff Davis County: Tina Brue, AAS Respiratory Care Technology; Wendy Cason, AAS Clinical Laboratory Technology; and Aron Hurley, AAS Administrative Office Technology
Pierce County: Hannah Batten, Practical Nursing; Katherine Campos, Practical Nursing; Patricia Corbett, Practical Nursing; Jenifer Davis, AAS Clinical Laboratory Technology; Haley Davis, AAS Clinical Laboratory Technology; Carla Deal, AAS Respiratory Care Technology; Lindee Dixon, Cosmetology; David Dixon, Cosmetology; Julia Edwards, Business Office Technology; Jeremy Hill, Drafting; Hitchner Davis, Criminal Justice; Bridget James, Practical Nursing; Jessica Knowlton, Practical Nursing; Sky Long, AAS Respiratory Care Technology; Thomas Melton, Automotive Fundamentals and Automotive Technology;  Arlynn Parker, Cosmetology; Jessie Santana, AAS Networking Specialist & Networking Specialist; Kathryn Sapp, AAS Clinical Laboratory Technology; Kayla Smith, Surgical Technology; Josephine Sweat, Practical Nursing; Carla Thrift, Medical Assisting; Holly Tyson, Cosmetology; Angela Walters, Drafting; and Rochelle Wright, Surgical Technology
Ware County: Angela Barnes, Medical Assisting; Jeanie Berry, AAS Accounting; Robert Carbaugh, Electronics Fundamentals; Sarah Carter, Early Childhood Care & Education; Katie Carter-Miller, Practical Nursing; Brenda Carver, Practical Nursing; Linda Causer, Medical Assisting; Sandy Coe, AAS Respiratory Care Technology; Shannon Conner, Criminal Justice; D’lores Cooper, Cosmetology; Wilhelmina Cunningham, Cosmetology; Delvin Dennis, Automotive Fundamentals and Automotive Technology; Kathy Dixon, Business Administrative Technology; Khandi Frierson, Early Childhood Care & Education; Ronnie Gardner, Criminal Justice; Samirriah Glasper, AAS Technical Studies; Dale Godwin, Welding and Joining Technology; Christopher Gordon, Forest Technology; Connie Grant, Accounting; Martin Greenlee, Welding and Joining Technology; Ellen Griffin, AAS Business Administrative Technology; Vickie Hatcher, AAS Administrative Office Technology; Jennifer Hersey, Environmental Horticulture; Allison Holt, AAS Accounting; Johnna Jernigan, Cosmetology; Courtney Jordan, Practical Nursing; Christopher Knox, Drafting; Rebecca Lampin, Electronics Fundamentals; Cassandra Lee, Medical Assisting; Richard McAlister, Air Conditioning Technology; Jennifer McCarthy, Practical Nursing; Chondra McKelvin, Early Childhood Care & Education; Crystal McLeod, Medical Assisting; Leanora McNally, Practical Nursing; Sarah Nickell, Business Administrative Technology; Gentry Robbins, AAS Clinical Laboratory Technology; Crissy Roebuck, Cosmetology; Carl Ruger, Forest Technology; Brittany Sellers, Cosmetology; Pushpa Singh, Practical Nursing; David Smith, Air Conditioning Technology; Christina Smith, Practical Nursing; Rachel Summerall, Business Administrative Technology; Jesse Thrift, Welding and Joining Technology; Randall Todd, Electronics Technology and AAS Technical Studies; Derwin Tuten, AAS Networking Specialist; Mary Twilley, AAS Business Administrative Technology; Tony Varnadore, Air Conditioning Technology; Elizabeth Valez-Hill, Accounting and Business Office Technology; Cynthia Weatherspoon, Cosmetology; Nicole White, Surgical Technology; Christie Williams, Early Childhood Care & Education; Tamara Wood, AAS Clinical Laboratory Technology; and Bradley Wooten, Air Conditioning Technology.

Michael Ward, president of the OTC Student Government Association (SGA), presented honor pins to eligible graduates, signifying their outstanding accomplishment. Floral arrangements were provided by OTC’s environmental horticulture program instructor, Mark Deal.

Neal Murphy served as Graduation Marshal, and Sondra Chapman was the pianist.

Robert Trimm (left), president & CEO of Satilla Health Services, was the featured speaker at OTC’s commencement exercises on Friday, January 22, 2010. OTC President Dr. Gail Thaxton introduced Trimm to graduates and guests.  


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