Thursday, November 15, 2018

Vicki Tomlinson Rountree

Vicki Tomlinson Rountree was born in Hahira, Georgia at the old Smith Hospital in 1963 to B.J. and Joyce Tomlinson. She was fortunate enough to be raised in Hahira during the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s and enjoyed so much of what is now considered Hahira’s “good ole days”.

Like most children in the South, the summer days not working in the tobacco fields were spent cooling off at the Lion’s Club pool or playing outside until dark. While attending school at Lowndes High, she also worked at Fiveash’s Food Store in downtown Hahira. Being a “Fiveash’s girl” meant doing everything that was needed within the store from cutting meat to bagging groceries to having the bags on the counter when the customer walked in because she already knew what they wanted. Her passion for customer service started rather early as she catered to the needs of everyone who walked in Fiveash’s Food.

After high school, Vicki studied Accounting and begin working in an Accounting office. She soon realized her passion was interacting with customers and found her niche at Griffin Corporation as a Customer Service Representative. After spending 8 years there, she went to work in the pharmaceutical industry as a Sales Representative, all the while raising her two children as a single parent. After nearly 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry, she retired to open her own business in Hahira. Monkey Britches was born from an idea and a passion for providing our area with boutique children’s clothing at affordable prices.

Her store is constantly gaining new customers and has grown exponentially since she first opened the doors in 2015. When asked the most important factor in running a business, her answer will always be “customer service”. Growing up watching her parents run their business with impeccable customer relations, Vicki observed what customer service really means. Making someone feel important and always treating them with a sense of urgency is what makes a business succeed.

These days, Vicki holds many titles in our community. As President of the Hahira Merchants Association, she is responsible for providing leadership to our local business owners and serves as a liaison between these business owners and the city to produce and promote community oriented events. In her position as Director of the Downtown Development Authority, Vicki works on behalf of the city to recruit businesses and assist potential new merchants in establishing their roots in Hahira. As a Commissioner for the Greater Lowndes Planning Commission, she serves as a member of the recommending body that governs the zoning decisions within the county in an effort to plan for the future growth of greater Lowndes County.

With so many titles to choose from, it would be easy to get lost in all the tasks she keeps up with on a daily basis. However, when asked her favorite title, she simply responds, “Wivi”, which is what her grandchildren call her. She seamlessly juggles these jobs while still making sure family still comes first. As a focused and passionate businesswoman, Vicki’s ultimate focus is the future of Hahira. Fortunately for our community, what she tackles she conquers. Vicki and her husband, Hahira native Stacy Rountree, live in a historic downtown Hahira home with their three fur babies.

Robert Spearman

Robert Spearman photoRobert Spearman was born in Hahira, Georgia. He grew up working in his parent’s stores–Spearman’s Grocery and Hahira Hardware Company. He attended Lowndes High School in Valdosta and graduated from Georgia Christian School in Dasher.

For the past thirteen years, Spearman has lived in China where he graduated from Beijing Normal University with a degree in International Trade.

He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and owns a trading and consulting company in Zhuhai, China. He sits on the board of two Chinese manufacturing companies as a foreign advisor. In late 2016 Spearman opened a publishing company, Rice Paper Press, located in Zhuhai, Guangdong, China.

In addition to his export and publishing businesses, he is the author of two novels, Carnies and Wildcats: Ulciscor, and Obadiah: A Ghost’s Story.