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Germanna honors Fred Rankin for ‘leadership, generosity and service’

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Fred M. Rankin III, President and CEO of Mary Washington Health Care, was honored as the Germanna Community College Educational Foundation’s 2012 Distinguished Person of the Year Friday night at the Fredericksburg Country Club.

“I’m deeply moved and honored,” Rankin said. “… But the real heroes are the faculty and staff of Germanna Community College.” He said Germanna is playing “a significant role” in the overall local economy and in the lives of individuals. He also praised MWHC’s employees for their work in serving the community’s health care needs.

Rankin said he’s proud that he’s had a hand in MWHC being GCC’s biggest corporate donor, giving $1.4 million over the years–much of that going to train nurses to meet the area’s rapidly growing health care needs.

GCC President David A. Sam said the key words describing Rankin are “Leadership, generosity and service–and I thank you for your leadership in supporting Germanna over the years.”

Gregory L. Hiebert, his executive coach from Leadership Forward in Marietta, Ga. compared Rankin to George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” saying, “What matters in life is who we have been for and to each other.”

“Fred Rankin’s leadership and record of service … has touched the lives of thousands of our friends and neighbors in Fredericksburg and  across the region,”  Chair of the Distinguished Person of the Year Committee and GCC Educational Board Executive Committee member Darla K. Burton said.

Rankin’s past and current service includes:

  • Board Member of Micah Ecumenical Ministries.
  • Past-President of the Rappahannock Area United Way.  Served as Chairman for the 1996 United Way annual campaign. Continues to serve on the United Way’s Board of Directors.  Recipient of the David A. Langford Volunteer of the Year Award in 2000.
  • Past Chairman and member of the Board of Directors of the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce (1996-2001).  Past Chairman and member of the Chamber Enterprises Board of Directors.  2003 recipient of the Prince B. Woodard Leadership Award.
  • Ten years on the Board of Directors of Rappahannock Goodwill Industries.

Former GCC Distinguished Persons of the Year have included Dr. Jane Ingalls, Sen. John Chichester and Ed Allison.

The event’s theme was “The Heart of the Community.”

Burton explained:  ”We chose this theme because Germanna Community College is at the heart of our community, whether for more ‘traditional age’ students who have just finished high school and want to begin their higher education journey at Germanna; the father or mother who has lost a job because of market changes and wants to shift careers; a student who had a challenging time in high school and was unable to secure a diploma, but has chosen Germanna’s Middle College program for a GED and to begin a path toward career development and/or an associates’ degree.  The mission of Germanna Community College is really at the heart of it all…providing hope and helping to change lives.”

Mike Catell, Director of the GCC Educational Foundation Director and Alumni Relations, said Friday night’s event set a GCC record for Distinguished Person of the Year banquets, with 185 tickets reserved and nearly $50,000 donated or pledged.

Title sponsor for the event was Mary Washington Health Care. Gold sponsor was Union First Market Bank. Silver sponsors were BB&T and The Campaign Fund of John Chichester.  Bronze sponsors were GEICO, Hilldrup Companies, Atlantic Builders, Leadership Forward, Lee and Barbara Kane, Jack and Pat Rowley, Donley’s Inc, Bruce and Sandy Davis, The Media Partners, StellarOne, Holmes, Riley & Associates, Insight Physicians, Fredericksburg Baptist Church, the Fredericksburg Economic Development Authority and Rappahannock Electric Cooperative.