Written by Anthony Moujaes
Surprised, pleased, and honored. Those are words Douglas R. Hooker used to describe his reactions when the Atlanta businessman learned he will be recognized for his work in the community by a national radio show. Hooker, executive director of the Atlanta Regional Commission and member of First Congregational Church UCC, is one of six people that the syndicated ecumenical radio program Day 1 will recognize for commitment to their churches and community.
"When I was told, I was very flattered, because we've got great people in our church," Hooker said. "It's a big recognition from an organization of faith, and it shows that my faith has shown through my work in the community."
In his role with the ARC, the official planning organization for the 10-county, 70-city Atlanta region, Hooker oversees regional planning programs in the areas of transportation, community development, land use, water and natural resources, aging services, workforce development, and more.
"There are two things I've been blessed with professionally," Hooker said. "I have a long career in the Atlanta region and have been civically engaged with a lot of different people and groups. And the second is the specific job I'm in now with the Atlanta Regional Commission. The job itself is very visible in the region."
The fifth annual Day 1 benefit banquet is March 19 in Atlanta, where the event will honor leaders in the Atlanta area for their commitment to their communities, and to their congregations.
Representatives from each of the five participating denominations on Day 1 will be recognized. This year's honorees include:
- Cooperative Baptist Fellowship: The Rev. R. D. Spear, Jr., Chaplain and Vice President, Cecil B. Day Foundation, Dunwoody Baptist Church
- Episcopal Church: Winifred Davis, Community Volunteer and Tread Davis, Senior Counsel, McKenna, Long & Aldridge, All Saints' Episcopal Church
- Evangelical Lutheran Church: The Honorable Dorothy Toth Beasley, Senior Judge, State of Georgia & Mediator and Arbitrator at Henning Mediation & Arbitration Service, Inc., Lutheran Church of the Redeemer
- Presbyterian Church: Florida Ellis, Community Volunteer and Doug Ellis, Former CEO, Southern Mills, First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta
- United Church of Christ: Douglas R. Hooker, P.E., Executive Director, Atlanta Regional Commission, First Congregational Church UCC
- United Methodist Church: Lillian Darden, Retired President and CEO, the Foundation of Wesley Woods and Buddy Darden, Senior Counsel, McKenna, Long & Aldridge, Marietta First United Methodist Church
Day 1 is distributed nationally to more than 200 stations each week and has been broadcast weekly since 1945. Formerly as "The Protestant Hour", the program is produced by the Alliance for Christian Media based in Atlanta, and presents weekly sermons from preachers throughout America. For more information, visit Day 1.org.