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Otto, Herbert take home chamber honors for 2010

Two local business people, Patty Otto and Dave Herbert, took home Carolina Foothills Chamber of Commerce awards last week.
Patty Otto was named the Carolina Foothills Business Person of the Year for her work with the Hare & Hound Pub in Landrum and the Lake Lanier Tea House.
“Patty runs a great business,” chamber president Andy Millard said last week in presenting the award at the chambers annual banquet held at the Stone Hedge Inn.
“She has been a very hard worker for the past seven years. She provides delicious meals, donates to local causes and is great to work for.”
Millard also cited the fact that Otto brought the Lake Lanier Tea House back to life after its closing.
“She was running one restaurant and just had to get another,” he said. “The Tea House had sadly closed and now, to the delight of our area residents, she is doing a great job with that.”
Otto, a Cincinnati native, lived in Hilton Head, S.C. where she owned a restaurant and worked as an event planner, prior to moving to Landrum in 1996. In 2002, she bought the Hare & Hound Pub. Five years later, she bought the Lake Lanier Tea House.
After four months of renovations, she reopened the Tea House on August 8, 2007. Between the two restaurants, Otto employs 52 people.
“I am blessed to live in a community where we all take care of each other,” Otto told a reporter the day after the awards. “I spent every dime at Christmas this year locally.”
Dave Herbert, the owner of Watson Flooring & Appliance in Columbus, and the chambers vice president, was named the Carolina Foothills Chamber of Commerce Skip Seaman Volunteer of the Year for his work on the chambers Buy Local, Save Local campaign.
“This was part of an effort to reposition the chamber focus to helping members drive commerce,” Herbert said. A marketing survey will be undertaken to determine the success of the campaign, and from that it will be tweaked and renewed in 2010, he said.
Herbert along with Stacey Lindsay, county executive for Carolina First Bank, also began the chambers new Foothills Leadership Initiative, a program to identify and train up-and-coming leaders in the community.
In 2010, Herbert said the chamber is planning a new Business Development Series, to help train local business people who want to improve their operations and customer service.
“If there is a type double-A personality, Daves got it,” Millard said in making the award.
Herbert, a native of Chas, S.C., was raised in Columbia, S.C. and earned his bachelors in journalism and marketing communication from the University of South Carolina.
Herbert worked for Whirlpool Corp. for 26 years, holding nine different assignments, including one international assignment, before retiring.
Herbert and his wife Linda, a teacher at Polk County Middle School, moved to Columbus in 2003 when he became Southeast Sales Division Director for Whirlpool. He retired in 2007 and purchased Watsons Flooring & Appliance.