On July 23, 2020, Kathryn Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Richmond Hill – Bryan County Chamber of Commerce, was welcomed into the membership of the Richmond Hill Rotary Club. Paul P. Harris, the founder of Rotary, described Rotary as, “Whatever Rotary may mean to us, to the world it will be known by the results it achieves.”
I suppose that I have reached that special time in life where I probably spend more time on reflection than I do accomplishing anything of significance. This past week as our Leadership Bryan class resumed monthly events, I thought of Ms. Johnson and her family from over twenty years ago when we returned to Richmond Hill. After meeting her parents, Eric and Kelly Johnson at Richmond Hill United Methodist Church we learned that Kathryn’s sister, Emily, and our son, Michael, were both born on February 12, 1996 in Bay County, Florida and that all of us now lived on Belle Island Road. Kelly was the person who invited our family to join Richmond Hill United Methodist Church.
Over the years we watched as the “Johnson girls” and our son served as acolytes at Church, their progress in school and other community organizations, and all of their “growing up”. But just like little Jackie Paper of Peter, Paul, and Mary fame, although “Dragons may live forever, but not so little boys” [and girls].
Growing up in what used to be rural middle Georgia we heard comments from our grand parents and other folks their age about young’uns who came from good stock when a child was recognized for an accomplishment in our county. Sometimes we would hear the opposite as, “I don’t know what happened to that boy (or girl), they had a good mama and daddy.”
Most of us are certainly proud of our own children, whatever their accomplishments or bumps in the road they may have encountered. I am also extremely proud of Kathryn and other friends of Michael’s who I have watched grow up in our community. Through the events of this year, and last, we have all had the opportunity to see Kathryn’s demeanor, professionalism, and community involvement for the benefit of Richmond Hill and Bryan County. While that is certainly a reflection of her as an individual; she comes from good stock and is now known for the results she achieves.
Mike Fordham, Keller