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12/8/2020
Mitch Rhoden Named 2020 East Cobb Citizen of the Year

The East Cobb Area Council has selected small business owner and entrepreneur Mitch Rhoden as its 2020 East Cobb Citizen of the Year. The Citizen of the Year Awards, created by Cobb County Rotary clubs and co-sponsored by the Cobb Chamber Area Councils and Cobb County business associations, have been presented to extraordinary individuals for the work they have done in Cobb County. And through a continued partnership with Cobb County civic and business organizations and the Cobb Chamber Area Councils, the Citizen of the Year Awards continue to recognize outstanding, service-minded individuals who have exceptionally impacted one of several areas of Cobb County.

“Mitch Rhoden has been an outstanding leader for our community for more than 20 years,” said Sharon Mason, President and CEO of the Cobb Chamber. “In addition to leading a small business and chairing many key initiatives and organizations over the years, for 2020 in particular, Mitch has been a champion for helping our non-profits and small businesses stay afloat during the pandemic with spearheading the launch of Operation Meal Plan, a program that raised funds to source meals for local non-profit organizations and keep local restaurant workers employed. Also this year, he volunteered many hours of his time to lead the critical Cobb SPLOST renewal campaign, and it passed by a wide margin. He is much deserving of this recognition and is a role model for our community.”

Mitch Rhoden
Mitch Rhoden, President & CEO of Futren Hospitality, has been named East Cobb Citizen of the Year for his years of community service and stepping up to support his community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In March, Rhoden spearheaded Operation Meal Plan, a small business and non-profit support initiative created to provide food to those in need, help local restaurants keep their workers employed, and provide a vehicle for citizens to help each other. Supported through a community-backed fund, local restaurants received orders in increments of 25 meals, which they delivered to non-profit organizations around Cobb who serve meals as part of their missions. The restaurants were paid at unit cost from Operation Meal Plan.

Since March, 21 participating restaurants provided over 11,000 meals to 23 non-profits. Through Operation Meal Plan, restaurants were able to keep their workers employed and Cobb’s local non-profits were able to provide food to those in need.

In his professional capacities, Rhoden is responsible for the management and operations of Futren Hospitality, Indian Hills Country Club, The Orchard Golf & Country Club, Woodland Hills Golf Club, the National Alliance of Private Clubs, and Highground Land and Hardscapes, as well as other corporate interests.

Since starting his professional career in 2001, Rhoden has been involved in many efforts to improve life for others. He is devoted to his family and spends a lot of time setting an example for his three young sons as a scout leader, and further gives back to that organization through board service. Rhoden has also been a leader within the Cobb Chamber, and has served in almost every possible volunteer role, including East Cobb Area Council Chairman; Membership Campaign Chairman; Marketing Chairman; Member & Community Programs Chairman; and Board of Directors Chairman in 2019.

Recently, he served as Chairman of the 2020 Cobb County SPLOST Renewal committee, working to ensure renewal of the special purpose local option sales tax that will ensure future funding for Cobb's parks, libraries, roads and other quality of life initiatives.

In addition to his volunteer service at the Cobb Chamber, Rhoden has devoted himself to several local non-profits. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for The Atlanta Area Council for the Boy Scouts of America, is an advocate for and supporter of Shepherd’s Men; is Past President of the Rotary Club of Marietta, and has served on the Board of MUST Ministries.

If there is an initiative underway in Cobb County with a mission to better the community, increase opportunities for businesses and residents, and to make Cobb the best it can be, Rhoden is likely to be involved, generously volunteering his time and talents.

For more information about Area Councils, please contact Katie Guice at kguice@cobbchamber.org or 770-859-2334. Thank you to Series Presenting Sponsor, Kaiser Permanente, and Program Sponsors, Cobb EMC, Taylor English and Taylor English Decisions.