A native of Dalton, John Neal grew up knowing or knowing about many of the men and women who have been inducted into the Junior Achievement of Northwest Georgia Business Hall of Fame. And when he returned to Dalton as an attorney, he later got to work with some of them.

That made it especially meaningful, he said, to be inducted into the Hall of Fame himself Thursday night at the convention center.

"These are the men and women who built modern Dalton. It's a real honor to be in there with them," said Neal, who is now director of the Anna Sue and Bob Shaw Foundation.

A graduate of Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia School of Law, Neal not only built a successful career as an attorney, but served as a member and officer of a number of community organizations, including the Rotary Club of Dalton and the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce. In 1997, he helped form the Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia and served as an officer and director of that foundation until 2013,

Neal was inducted at the Junior Achievement of Northwest Georgia's 12th annual banquet along with accountant and former Whitfield County Board of Commissioners member Gordon Morehouse and Hamilton Health Care System.

Morehouse said it was an honor to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

"This really wasn't something I was expecting," he said.

A native of north Georgia. Morehouse received his bachelor of science degree in business administration with a major in accounting from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. After his service in the military, he entered public accounting in 1969. He is the founding principal of what is now Morehouse Group PC and practices in the firm.

In addition to his business and political success, Morehouse has been involved in a number of community organizations, including serving as president of the Northwest Chapter of the Georgia Society of CPAs, founding chairman of the Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia, chairman of the United Way of Northwest Georgia,and trustee of the Hamilton Health Care Foundation.

Hamilton Health Care System became only the second organization inducted into the Hall of Fame, following Shaw Industries last year.

"That's a real honor," said Hamilton president and CEO Jeff Myers. "I think that speaks to the hard work and dedication of all of our associates, current and past."

The banquet also honored J.T. Finley as Rising Star of the Year.

"This is really Gordon and John and Hamilton's night, I'm just honored to be recognized in their company," said Finley.

On presenting the award to Finley, Carpet and Rug Institute President Joe Yarbrough said Finley wasn't being recognized just for his business success but also for his community involvement.

The owner of Maryville Jewelers in downtown Dalton, Finley has served as campaign chair of the United way of Northwest Georgia and as a Big Brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Junior Achievement of Northwest Georgia provides programs in financial literacy and entrepreneurship to 6,500 students across northwest Georgia.

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