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February 14--  A Vidalia native who moved back to town in the early 1990's and helped her husband open a trophy shop downtown is the 2014 Woman of the Year in the Vidalia Charter Chapter of the American Business Women's Association.

Chapter President Becky Gillis says Nora NeeSmith is a longtime behind-the-scenes worker.

{mosimage}(L-R) Jennifer Alexander, Nora, Mark Alexander, Natalie Alexander and Fran NeeSmith.

"Nora's been in ABWA since 1994.  We looked at her as someone who deserves it because she's been active and worked hard," Gillis said.

Accepting the award, Nora said, "I think it's a great honor because these women are very active in the community and do so many good things.  I'm just glad to be part of it."

At the chapter's annual Onion Festival pageant, you'll find Nora backstage helping organize contestants for their time on stage.

"The money goes to scholarships for the students.  They come from all the different schools in the area and it's important because it helps raise money for them to go to school," she says.

Each year the chapter names a Business Associate of the Year and this year its Becky Gillis' boss, William McLain.

{mosimage}(L-R) Hamp and Teresa Meadows, Jackie, William and Jeff McLain.

"I have worked with William for 15 years and he's been a really big influence in my professional life.  He got me started in accounting and pushed me to some limits and made me who I am today as far as a business person," she said.

McLain believes women like those in the Vidalia chapter are important to any business.

"I think they pay a lot more attention to detail than men do and they are more family-oriented which is good for a business," he said.

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