B U S I N E S S + C U LT U R E 53 Jonathan Miller returned to his hometown of Valdosta in 2011 to work alongside his father, Dutton, and brother Richard, in the family business. Miller Hardware Company was established in 1908 in Lakeland and then moved its flagship location to downtown Valdosta. As a young business owner, Miller understands the importance of a highly trained workforce. He recently started an awareness campaign to showcase graduates of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, and the how their skills are making a positive impact within the communities. “I believe it’s important for young business people to recognize that each and every objective, or accomplishment if you will, that you diligently work toward and obtain the ability to compound and positively impact others around you,” he said. “For a community of our size, positivity can easily and quickly magnify.” Miller is active in various community organizations including serving on the United Way of Lowndes County Board of Directors. On a national level, Miller serves on the Board of Directors for the Evergreen Marketing Group, which is a cooperative of 60 independent construction and industrial tool distribution companies located throughout the U.S. and Canada. Inspiring young girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident is the mission of Girls on the Run, a national nonprofit organization with councils throughout the U.S. Claire Walton started Girls on the Run (GOTR) South Georgia in 2015. Serving as council director, Walton is passionate about teaching young girls to believe in themselves, work as a team, and help make the world a better place. The after-school program teaches life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons, and learning games. GOTR started at two elementary schools with 32 girls. This year, the GOTR program is offered at 11 elementary schools and serves more than 200 local girls. Using a researched and established curriculum, the volunteer coaches teach the girls lessons that show how setting goals and taking small steps will lead to positive results. Claire Walton Jonathan Miller