Opportunity Award Gala

The Annual Opportunity Award Gala recognizes those who have devoted their lives to creating opportunities through technical education. The event honors deserving civic leaders that have demonstrated a commitment to creating opportunities for Georgians, both locally and at the state level.

Previous Opportunity Award Honorees

  • In 2022, we raised more than $100K plus an in-kind gift of $50K to honor long-time military advocate Bill Cathcart.
  • In 2021 there was no honoree due to COVID-19.
  • In January 2020, we raised more than $250K to honor Savannah business leader and entrepreneur Kevin “Catfish” Jackson. 2020 Opportunity Gala event photo gallery.
  • In 2018, we honored Savannah hospitality visionary and third-generation hotelier Ted Kleisner.  2018 Opportunity Gala event photo gallery.
  • In 2017, we honored Chef Jean-Yves Vendeville, department head of the Savannah Culinary Institute at Savannah Technical College. 2017 Opportunity Gala event photo gallery.
  • In 2016, we honored Technology, celebrating celebrate the technologies that create added value in the workplace for our graduates and set the technical education experience apart. We proudly integrate technologies into our classroom and lab instruction in all academic areas. We understand that to prepare students for work, we must teach them with tools and equipment that prepare them for what they’ll see in business, in the hospital, on the shop floor, in a warehouse, in the kitchen, or in the office. And the applications are as many and as varied as the industries that hire our graduates. Ever-changing technologies continue to revolutionize how work is accomplished and reshape the workplace as employers focus on efficiency, economy, accuracy and excellence. See event photo gallery.
  • In 2015, we honored Health Sciences, celebrating the many opportunities they create for improving the quality of life in our region. Savannah Technical College, with its commitment to workforce development and community, places great importance on providing the skilled workforce to support the healthcare industry. The College has highly-regarded Health Sciences programs offered at Savannah, Effingham and Liberty campuses, with each offering specialties uniquely suited to local workforce needs. Students participate in hands-on, clinical experiences every semester that ensure they have the knowledge and skills they need for safe, compassionate patient care. Every year, approximately 800 Health Science students graduate into the local workforce and contribute to the quality of healthcare in coastal Georgia. See event photo gallery.
  • In 2014, we honored Heritage Tourism and Culinary Arts – two important contributors to the fabric and quality of life in coastal Georgia. The area’s rich history and its commitment to preservation define Savannah as does the thriving tourism industry. As a destination city, guests from around the world visit Savannah to explore our many museums and historic sites, walk the cobblestone streets,  take in the sights and sounds, and enjoy the diverse culinary scene. Savannah Technical College takes its commitment to workforce development in these sectors very seriously, operating the only hands-on public Historic Preservation program in the southeast, with connections to artisans around the world and providing hospitality and culinary professionals trained in one of the country’s top programs, led by the 2014 American Culinary Federation National Chef Educator Chef Jean Vendeville. See event photo gallery.
  • In 2013, we honored Advanced Manufacturing, celebrating our industry partners for their commitment to creating opportunities for success. The evening featured Scrap Metal Sculptures handcrafted by STC welding students. See event photo galleries featuring food preparation and service by students in the College’s award-winning Culinary Arts program.
  • 2012 honoring Stratton Leopold. See photos of the Leopold’s Ice Cream sign renovation featuring work by students in the nationally-recognized Historic Preservation and Restoration program. See event photo gallery.
  • 2011 honoring Howard Morrison including photos of the handmade sugar sculpture of the Morrison Family crest. See event photo gallery.
  • 2010 honoring Bob and Alice Jepson
  • 2009 honoring Arthur Gignilliatt
  • 2008 honoring Dick Eckburg