Sid Jones (left) was presented with the 2021 Jefferson Matters Above and Beyond the Call Award Tuesday, March 22. He's seen with the 2020 winner, Harry Ahrenholtz.  BRANDON HURLEY | JEFFERSON HERALD

Smooth-talking Sid Jones named 2021 recipient of Jefferson Matters’ ABC award

By Brandon Hurley
Managing Editor

Sid Jones is suave. He never wavers.

It’s why he’s so adept at guiding plans through the finish. No situation is too big for him.
The president of the Greene County Development Corporation is the leader that pioneers community growth. When he’s behind an idea, the room listens and the community reacts.
“He does not get rattled. It’s incredible,” Chris Deal said during an awards ceremony Tuesday night honoring Jones with the 2021 Jefferson Matters: Main Street Above and Beyond the Call award. “Some of the meetings we’ve been in, they’ll start to get a little contentious. Without fail, Sid starts talking and everything will calm back down.
It was like magic. Every time he’d do that.”

Jones, CEO of Home State Bank, is one of the more prominent businessmen in the community. He’s admired and cherished by his employees. But outside of work, he’s a team player. He was instrumental in developing the concept for Greene County’s new high school and career academy, which was finished in 2020. He’s also guided the Greene County Development Corporation, engineering dozens of important projects over the years. He’s now helping push the Greene County Diversity Project, which is striving to bring an influx of Latino families into the community.
The ABC Award (Above and Beyond the Call) is “presented annually to an individual or couple who through their personal involvement, their leadership qualities and their unselfish giving of time and talent, have positively affected activities or accomplishments beneficial to the community at large,” according to the Jefferson Matters: Main Street website.
Jones’ work is never done. He’s more than willing to help enact positive change. His wheels are always turning.
“When you have an idea, the first person you go to in this community is Sid Jones,” Deal said. “And this is regardless of how crazy the idea might be. He’s willing to sit down and start brainstorming on how something can come together.”

Jones’ expertise in commanding a room comes from his success as a communicator. He’s a gifted story teller, Deal said. He creates a level of calm through his knowledge of a subject.
It’s a well-known characteristic for those who work with Jones on a daily basis. He’s the closer. When crunch time nears, the long-time Greene County resident is ready to bring the hammer home with admirable sophistication.

“I learned that there is some terminology that his employees (at Home State Bank) call it – Golden Velveeta Cheese,” Deal said.
Jones was a strategic leader and organizer on the capital campaign for the Greene County Medical Center, renovation and new construction project. He also was one of the initial supporters in the Early Learning Center’s mission to build a new childcare center. He eventually transitioned into a role as a strategic leader in the fundraising campaign. Jones is also active in his church life.
He’s as well-rounded as they come. It’s obvious Jones has a strong love for the Jefferson community and surrounding areas.

“I have known and worked with (Sid) in various projects over the past few years,” 2020 ABC winner Harry Ahrenholtz said Tuesday. “If I were to describe (Sid) in one word it would be leader. There are a number of other attributes that come to mind right after that. He’s an advocate and dependable. Positive thinker. He’s calmly determined and quietly dedicated.”

Nearly Jones’ entire family was present on the night of March 22 at the Greene County High School for Jefferson Matters’ annual awards presentation, hoping to catch one of the community’s most-prepared citizens off-guard. From his children to grand-children and many friends, Jones was rather emotional when he took the podium to accept the prestigious award.

“Wow, this is really surprising to me,” he said. “It’s so nice to have all of you here.
You look at all of the accomplishments that have been done in Jefferson and Greene County, I’m amazed at what happens.
But then you look at the number of (volunteers), a lot of them have been mentors of mine.”

The Greene County Diversity Project is Jones’ latest passion. He’s hoping the community can attract hundreds of Latinos to move here, an initiative that will usher along new jobs and perhaps enhance Greene County in other ways as well - from the parks to the schools.

“I think this will have the biggest impact,” Jones said Tuesday. “The project is huge. You look at the workforce that we have and you try and think of who’s going to replace them, it’s not going to be the Caucasian population.”
This latest endeavor, striving to bring in new families and residents to a county that has shrank by more than 10,000 people in 100 years, is just one of the many things that makes Jones tick. Give him an inch and he’ll take it a mile. He refuses to back down from a challenge.

“(Sid) has this innate ability to take ideas and synthesize them together to create something that’s even greater than the sum of its parts,” Deal said. “It’s incredible what he can do. We are all so lucky that he’s a part of this community. Sid has had a lifetime of impact here in the community.”

Jefferson Matters: Main Street’s community appreciation night shed light on a number of other area volunteers and projects. Jefferson is in its 10th year as a Main Street community, which has allowed them to pilot several facade projects, roof-top art and alley enhancements along with a multitude of fundraising campaigns.

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