Former Pickens bank president Dennis Burnette and Polycor plant manager Catherine Fortin present Georgia governor Brian Kemp with a marble nameplate.
Submitted by Dennis Burnette
Following his inauguration, Governor Brian Kemp was presented with the official nameplate for the governor of the state of Georgia. The nameplate is solid white Georgia marble and inlaid with the state seal and lettering in gold leaf. The lettering reads, “Brian P. Kemp, 83rd Governor State of Georgia.”
The presentation was made by Catherine Fortin, manager of Polycor’s Georgia Marble in Tate, and Dennis Burnette, a retired banker and former resident of Pickens County.
Dennis Burnette proposed to Georgia Marble Company in 1982 the idea of a partnership to provide each newly elected governor of the state of Georgia with a marble nameplate. Georgia Marble in white, pink and gray is used throughout the state capitol. Georgia Marble Company enthusiastically agreed to design and craft an official nameplate for Georgia’s governors. The first nameplate was presented by Burnette and Georgia Marble Company to Governor Joe Frank Harris in 1983. Since 1983, Burnette and Georgia Marble, now Polycor, have presented the official marble nameplate to governors Miller, Barnes, Perdue, Deal and Kemp.
Burnette said, “This is our sixth presentation over a period of 36 years. Governor Kemp was very pleased to receive the nameplate, not only because of the tradition, but because he has a special place in his heart for Pickens County where the quarry is located as he received 85 percent of the county’s votes in the general election.”
Marble has been the preferred construction stone for centuries due to its elegant, aesthetic and distinctive nature. Established in 1884, Georgia Marble took advantage of this well-known fact and started the extraction of the most popular dimensional marbles of America. Georgia Marble has been used in such prestigious projects as the exterior of the New York Stock Exchange, the Abraham Lincoln statue in the Lincoln Memorial and numerous other famous structures. Marble tombstones in our National Cemeteries represent a timeless tribute to our veterans.
Burnette retired as a community bank president; a role he held for more than 35 years. He is past chairman of the board of the Georgia Bankers Association, the trade association representing all banks in Georgia.
Living in Canton, Burnette has been a commissioner of the Atlanta Regional Commission for 11 years.
In addition to other quarries in the U.S., Catherine Fortin is manager of Polycor’s Georgia marble quarry and processing plant in Tate. The quarry and plant employ 75 people who extract, cut and finish marble blocks for use in buildings and monuments.
She is a native of Quebec, Canada and has been in Georgia since 2012. A graduate of Sherbrooke University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, she lives in Ball Ground.