“There’s a lot of other people in the community that deserve it. I’m just one of many,” Bottoms said of the recognition.
About 85 people attended the event at the Mansour Center conducted by the Marietta Area Council of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce.
“He’s not only successful as a businessman, but as a family man and as a good citizen,” Mayor Steve Tumlin said of Bottoms. “He’s a volunteer extraordinaire from Georgia Tech to the Chamber, church, president of almost every civic group you can see, and even his son, David, does that. If you want something done in this community, he’s usually one of the ones you call, especially if it’s for the common good.”
Among the organizations Bottoms has chaired is the Center for Family Resources, where he is admired by that group’s CEO, Jeri Barr.
“He had this steady way about himself handling everything that a board chair has to handle. … I just love Gary Bottoms,” Barr said. “He’s certainly deserving of the award, and I think our organization thinks very highly of him.”
Cobb Chamber Chairman Tony Britton said Bottoms has a civic passion that is contagious.
“He’s so involved in numerous causes. In almost every case, it’s a cause that has nothing to do with him, but it’s a cause for an organization or for the community,” Britton said. “I think he has certainly set a great example for all of us and is extremely well deserving of the recognition. He and his son and I think his daughter is part of the practice now, they’re doing the same thing, I see them out in the community and getting involved in organizations, so he’s not only living it himself, but he’s sharing it with others in the community and sharing it with his family.”
Bottoms is president of The Bottoms Group, which provides employee benefit and insurance services for businesses and individuals.
Born in Marietta’s Kennestone Hospital, Bottoms, age 60, is a member of the McEachern High School Class of 1970 and Georgia Institute of Technology Class of 1975.
He and his wife, Melissa, have three children and one grandson, age 13 months.
The couple attends Buckhead Church in Atlanta.
Two of his children, David and Laura, work with him in the family firm.
Community service has made him a better person, he said.
“The big heart gets developed by what you see,” Bottoms said. “People initially get involved for different reasons, whether it’s for networking or whatever, but once you hear stories and come into contact with people that are unlike us, that really struggle, needing pots and pans … and they worry about food, they worry about getting kicked out of their apartment, that’s what the Center for Family Resources does, they listen to those stories and have a process to help people become self-sufficient, not a handout, but here’s how you do a resume, here’s how you get your GED, so that grows your heart the more you see of that.”
Bottoms has chaired such organizations as the WellStar Health System Foundation and the Cobb Community Foundation, has served as president of the Cobb Schools Foundation and Rotary Club of Marietta and as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Cobb County Government Employees Pension Plan and Georgia Tech Alumni Association.