Macon and Elaine Robertson of Nashville receive the 2017 Nasvhille Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Citizen Award. (Graphic photos by Amanda Clark)
Nashville's Chamber of Commerce recognized a couple last week that have given back to Nashville for over 50 years.
Macon and Elaine Robertson were presented the chamber's Distinguished Citizen Award last Thursday during a special ceremony at Nash Arts.
Jordan Lytton, a longtime friend of the couple, presented the award to the Robertsons.
"Since 1960 when Nashville became home to this couple, these recipients have put forth countless hours building and strengthening Nashville," Lytton said upon presenting the award.
The couple quickly got involved when they moved to Nashville, Lytton said.
They established Robertson Realty around 1965, where they built and managed homes and apartments. The couple continue to manage the business today.
The couple spent years serving with Nashville Baptist Church when it was located in the current Nash Arts facility.
Today, the couple volunteer with Rock Creek Baptist Church, a church they helped found. Elaine serves as the pianist for the church.
Lytton said when their children were small, they were at the head of all the children's events, giving wherever they could. Today, they continue to help when they can.
Their service extends beyond their church.
The couple are also involved in the Nashville Kiwanis Club, Nashville Chamber of Commerce and Homebuilder's Association.
They have helped with the Blooming Festival, Relay for Life and Nash Arts events.
"They are proud of their community, of Nashville and of Nash County," Lytton said.
"Macon and Elaine are local problem solvers, never turning an opportunity to help a friend and never seeking recognition."
Elaine said she was thankful for the award.
"Thank you so much," she said. "It is such an honor because it's from our peers. That makes all the difference."
"Nashville has been a wonderful place to live in, to work in and to build a business," Robertson added. "Never did we think when we came to Nashville in February 1960 that it would have such an impact on our lives."
"We've always wanted to participate in things that would make Nashville a wonderful place to live in. We love it and we love everyone in it and we've always wanted to be a part of things to make it better."
A new award was presented this year that recognized a young volunteer.
The first ever Junior Achievement Award was presented to Samuel Smith.
Nashville Fire Battalion Chief Jason Edwards presented the award to Samuel.
The Junior Achievement Award is to honor someone between the ages of 12 and 18 who makes the town a better place to live, work and place, said Cliff Joyner, a member of Nashville's Chamber of Commerce who serves on the Distinguished Citizen committee.
"Our intent is to acknowledge and recognize local youth who are engaged and work to make Nashville and surrounding areas a better place to live," Joyner added. "I think they need to be recognized for their efforts because they are our future."
Edwards said Samuel makes the perfect recipient for the award.
Samuel, 17, is the son of Bobbie and Lewis Smith. He has a younger sister, Allison.
"That family is a wonderful family, a Christian family that will do anything for you," Edwards said. "I know that personally."
Samuel attends Nash Central High School, where he is a junior. He is dual enrolled at Nash Community College, where he is pursuing an associates degree for emergency management.
When he graduates, Samuel plans to attend Western Carolina University to pursue a Bachelor's Degree in Emergency and Disaster Management.
Samuel is also an Eagle Scout, attaining the rank in 2013.
He attends Nashville United Methodist Church, where he is active.
Samuel is also on the varsity swim team at Nash Central High School.
"In his free time, he's attending different fire classes across the county to become a certified firefighter so by the time he graduates high school he'll be ready to go," Edwards said.
"He's just an outstanding young boy," Edwards added. "This (award) is made for Samuel."
Superior Court Judge Quentin Sumner served as the guest speaker for the annual event.
Sumner talked about the different things that made Nashville a great place to live and work in.
"You enjoy a dynamic, diverse community here in Nashville," Sumner said. "Nashville truly is a remarkable place to live."
But what truly makes Nashville great is the people, Sumner added.
"It is really the people of the town that make Nashville the hidden crown jewel it is," Sumner said.