In a ceremony hosted in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, November 6, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized former Houston County Commission Chairman, Ned Sanders, with the 2019 Thomas W. Zosel Outstanding Individual Achievement Award. Through this award program, EPA recognizes and honors individuals whose efforts have helped to make progress in achieving cleaner air.

Mr. Ned Sanders was born on July 21, 1931, in Anderson, SC. He attended The Citadel in Charleston, SC, graduating in 1953 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. Mr. Sanders joined the United States Air Force after graduating and served 15 years in Active Duty and an additional 18 years in the Air Force Reserve and Georgia Air National Guard. Following his discharge from Active Duty, Mr. Sanders moved to Middle Georgia, where he began working as a Civil Engineer on Robins Air Force Base.

In 2000, Ned Sanders won a special election to become Chairman of the Houston County Board of Commissioners. He would serve the remainder of that term, and two additional full terms before retiring in 2010. It was during this time that Chairman Sanders spearheaded the formation of the Middle Georgia Clean Air Coalition (MGCAC). Ned Sanders led the development of the organization’s charter and served as the first Chairman. He would later serve two additional terms as Chairman. Mr. Sanders has continued to represent Houston County on the Middle Georgia Clean Air Coalition, even after his retirement in 2010. At the inception of the Middle Georgia Clean Air Coalition, Mr. Sanders promised EPA that the MGCAC would never go away even after the region was in attainment. After 15 years of progress, his promise still holds true.