Category Archives: Member Announcements

Central Monitoring, Second Harvest Food Bank Warming Albany One Coat At A Time

one-warm-coat-blogWinter is approaching – and no one should have to go without such a basic necessity as a coat!

Once again Central Monitoring is teaming up with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Southwest Georgia to collect new and gently used coats to distribute – free of charge – to local children and adults. The Albany “One Warm Coat” project is being held in collaboration with a national endeavor with the same name. Coats of all sizes are welcome; children’s sizes are most needed.

“The program is an easy way for all of us to pass along coats and jackets that we no longer need,” said Central Monitoring Owner/President Judy Randle. “Our donations of something so simple and so essential may very well turn out to be the best holiday gift received by many people in our community.”

With the help of the Albany Fire Department, Central Monitoring is making donating a coat simple: Coats may be taken to any Albany fire station or to Central Monitoring’s headquarters at 522 Pine Ave. From there, Central Monitoring will collect the coats and give them to the Second Harvest Food Bank, which will distribute them locally.

While this important community project will continue through the holiday season, the sooner the coats are donated, the sooner they will be provided to families that need them. So we encourage people to make the donations now.

The Albany “One Warm Coat” project’s official kickoff will be November 17, 2016. The “One Warm Coat” project will run through January 16, 2017. The One Warm Coat hotline is 229-434-1176.

Who: Sponsored by Central Monitoring on behalf of Second Harvest Food Bank of Southwest Georgia

What: The community is requested to donate new and gently used coats which will be given free of charge to local families

Where: Donated coats are being collected at all Albany Fire Stations and Central Monitoring, 522 Pine Ave.

When: November 17, 2016 thru January 16, 2017

Why: To ensure that everyone in our community has a warm coat this winter

Info: 434-1176


Leadership Albany Offers FranklinCovey Courses

Leadership Albany is excited to announce our partnership with FranklinCovey to bring their popular training to our community at a discount. Our initial offering focuses on personal effectiveness by including the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the 5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity, and Project Management Essentials.

Each course is available online and on demand so that you and your team can choose the best time to incorporate this training into your individual schedules. The number of passes available for this is limited and the time to complete the courses is February 28th. Contact Mary Ligon for more information.

Retired Albany surgeon Charles Gillespie receives Medical Association of Georgia award


Dr. Charles B. Gillespie, a retired Albany surgeon, received the Physician’s Award for Community Service during a ceremony that took place in conjunction with the Medical Association of Georgia’s (MAG) 162nd House of Delegates meeting in Savannah recently.

The MAG award recognizes physicians who demonstrate a love for their community outside the regular scope of practice, officials with MAG said.

“As the chair of the committee that Gov. Jimmy Carter appointed in the early 1970s that formed Georgia’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system, Dr. Gillespie was instrumental in establishing the regulations for the EMS service in Georgia,” outgoing MAG President Dr. John Harvey wrote in a nomination letter for the award. “He also reformed the EMS training process in a number of important ways, including the implementation of an EMT oath that was adopted throughout Georgia and is now used across the U.S. and beyond.

“Dr. Gillespie has been a tireless advocate for a universal 911 service in Georgia – and he is widely considered to be the ‘father’ of emergency medical services in Georgia.”

MAG recognized physicians in several categories at the meeting. Gillespie, who retired from practicing medicine 20 years ago, won an award in another category during a prior year — making the most recent award the second he has received from MAG.

“It (the community service award) means a lot for me to get it, especially since it recognizes not only my medical works but my service to the community as well,” Gillespie said.

Gillespie established Albany Technical College’s EMT training program in 1972, which now has a training center bearing his name. The retired surgeon has served as a member of the Georgia Department of Human Resources Emergency Health Services Advisory and Medical Directors Advisory councils, the U.S. Department of Health Education and Welfare, the Georgia EMT Committee and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

As a member of the Governor’s Military Affairs Committee, he came up with the idea to install directional and mileage road signs to help visitors get to Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany, a concept he extended to Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, and Air Force bases in Warner Robins, Fort Benning and Fort Stewart.

Gillespie also worked with Humana to reduce the number and complexity of the pre-certification processes for more than 400 Tricare surgical procedures. As a member of the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport Commission, he played a key role in the design and construction of a $12 million terminal at the airport.

Outside his role as a physician, Gillespie said his contributions to the airport commission are among the ones he is most proud of.

“The airport commission is one of the more favorable ones,” he said.

Gillespie received his medical degree from the Emory University School of Medicine in 1961, and he completed his orthopedic residency at Grady Hospital in 1966.

Courtesy of The Albany Herald
By Jennifer Parks

CTSI Acquires Medical / Financial Technology Company

ComNet Technical Solutions, Inc. (“CTSI”) is pleased to announce the recent acquisition of TDC Technologies (“TDC”).

TDC is a leading provider of IT and Helpdesk Services in the Medical and Financial Markets. Garland Braswell, Owner of TDC, will join CTSI as a Professional Consultant.

For the past 18 years, CTSI’s corporate mission has been to become a global provider of IT and Helpdesk Services for Industrial, Manufacturing, Small Businesses and Professional Services Providers. The acquisition of TDC reinforces CTSI’s already strong presence in the Southwest Georgia market and helps strengthen the CTSI brand and presence in the Atlanta, Georgia and Central Florida Markets.

Tammy McCrary, Founder, CEO & President of CTSI, stated:

“This is an important acquisition for CTSI and forms part of our business growth plan through multi-market strategy. TDC operates a business model we appreciate and compliments our business. TDC has a reputation for excellent services and deep client relationships. These are important criteria for a successful acquisition which will provide us with a solid platform for continued growth of the CTSI brand.”

Garland Braswell, Owner of TDC, stated:

“I am excited to be joining CTSI, which provides an exceptional fit for our business and a great opportunity to further develop our services. CTSI is a well-regarded and highly respected organization and I look forward to continuing to develop high standards of excellence for our Clients.”

CTSI is a leading provider of IT and Helpdesk Services with a Client base in 17 states and 3 countries. CTSI was founded in 1998 by Tammy McCrary. CTSI was Small Business of the Year in 2009 in Lee County, Georgia and 2015 in Albany, Georgia and has received numerous awards and recognitions for industry achievements, professional services and community service. Visit CTSI on the web at or find and “Like” them on Facebook.

Hometown Heroes 2016 Awards Banquet


December 3 | 6 p.m. | The Knights of Columbus, 2009 Gillionville Road | 229-883-3384

Tickets – $250 Sponsorship (includes 8 seat table + ad in program | $20 Single Ticket | $150 Table of 8 | Cash bar available
Tickets can be purchased at Tony’s Gym, Brooks Furniture and The Knights of Columbus

For more information contact Candy Carter, manager Council #3607 Inc. at 229-883-8834 or Crystal Lund, President of Team Lund’s Personal Training and Nutrition Corporation at 229-483-9977 or 229-869-2463.

Albany State University selected to participate in $47-million initiative to improve training of aspiring principals

The Wallace Foundation selected Albany State University to participate in a national $47-million initiative to develop models over the next four years for improving university principal preparation programs. The initiative will examine state policy for efforts to strengthen quality training statewide.

“This award is a significant development for Albany State University and the school systems in Southwest Georgia,” said Thomas Thompson, dean of the ASU College of Education. “With the high level of poverty and diminishing opportunities for gainful employment in this region, particularly among our population of teenagers and young adults, access to high quality public education via highly effective elementary and secondary schools is crucial; and it all starts with the quality of leadership provided by the principals in our children’s schools.  This project will ensure that southwest Georgia has an adequate supply of effective principals who are ready to lead when given the opportunity.”

Albany State University will redesign the Educational Leadership program, offered by the ASU College of Education. The institution is one of seven universities selected by the Wallace Foundation and one of two historically black colleges or universities (HBCU) in the nation to receive funding, this year, for the initiative. ASU is also the only college or university representing the State of Georgia.

“The redesign of Albany State University’s Educational Leadership program is a wonderful opportunity for the institution to improve the effectiveness of educators in the region and the state,” said ASU President Art Dunning. “Our faculty and staff members are dedicated to ensuring that exceptional training is provided to all Educational Leadership program participants. The grant from the Wallace Foundation will allow ASU to raise the bar for the university and for the state of Georgia.”

ASU will receive assistance for the redesign from Gwinnett County Public Schools (GA) Quality-Plus Leader Academy and the New York Leadership Academy, two organizations who have previously gone through the process with the Wallace Foundation. The university will partner with the Dougherty County School System, Pelham city schools, Calhoun county schools and the Georgia Professional Standards Commission to ensure that the training is revamped with local school needs in mind. The university, along with district partners and state partners will receive $7.75 million over a four year period to complete necessary requirements

“We have proposed a program that is performance-based where we take the training out of the ivory towers and into the school systems where our students will be paired with mentors and coaches that will allow them to apply the principles of excellent school leadership,” said Deborah Bembry, professor and chair of the Department of Counseling and Educational Leadership. Bembry is the principal investigator for the project. “With the university, districts and state working together, we will produce a model of principal preparation that can be used across the state and even the nation.”

The Wallace Foundation was interested in finding university programs that serve districts with large numbers of disadvantaged students, whose schools could particularly benefit from effective school leadership. After a selection process that included site visits and assistance from experts in state policy and education, the foundation selected these six other universities: Florida Atlantic University, North Carolina State University, San Diego State University (California), the University of Connecticut, Virginia State University and Western Kentucky University.

“We know from research that school principals require excellent training with high-quality, practical  experiences to become effective leaders—but most are simply not getting this,” said Will Miller, president of The Wallace Foundation. “Because many school districts don’t have the capacity to train as many principals as they need or to train future principals at all, the best way to reach more aspiring school leaders is through the university programs that typically provide needed certification. We are confident that the selected universities want to raise the bar for their programs, work in partnership with their local school districts and serve as models for other universities.”

The Wallace Foundation University Principal Preparation Initiative builds on 15 years of Wallace-supported research and experience about what makes for effective principals and their “pre-service” training at universities. The foundation hopes the initiative can contribute over the long term to the development of a new national approach to preparing effective principals, one focusing on evidence-based policies and practices in three areas:

  • Developing and implementing high-quality courses of study with practical, on-the-job experiences.
  • Putting in place strong university-district partnerships.
  • Developing state policies about program accreditation, principal licensure or certification, and other matters (funded internships, for example) to promote more effective training statewide.

“The more we talk with education leaders no matter at what level of the education system, from state to university to district, the more we hear it is the right time to conduct a university-focused initiative like this,” said Jody Spiro, director of education leadership at Wallace. “We are seeking to learn how these seven universities accomplish their program redesign as an important first step in improving how principals are prepared for the demanding job of leading school improvement across the country.”

A luncheon to celebrate the redesign of the program and to recognize Albany State University College of Education faculty members, local and state initiative partners and Wallace Foundation representatives will be held Monday, Oct. 24 in the Student Center Ballroom.


About Albany State University … Albany State University, in Southwest Georgia, has been a catalyst for change in the region from its inception as the Albany Bible and Manual Training Institute to its designation as a university. Founded in 1903 to educate African-American youth, the university continues to fulfill its historic mission while also serving the educational needs of an increasingly diverse student population. A progressive institution, Albany State University seeks to foster the growth and development of the region, state and nation through teaching, research, creative expression and public service. Through its collaborative efforts, the university responds to the needs of all of its constituents and offers educational programs and service to improve the quality of life in Southwest Georgia. For more information, see Follow the university on Twitter at @AlbanyStateUniv and on Facebook at Albany State University Official Page.

The Wallace Foundation seeks to improve education and enrichment for disadvantaged children and foster the vitality of arts for everyone. The foundation has an unusual approach: funding efforts to test innovative ideas for solving important public problems, conducting research to find out what works and what doesn’t and to fill key knowledge gaps – and then communicating the results to help others. Wallace, which works nationally, has five major initiatives under way:

  • School leadership: Strengthening education leadership to improve student achievement.
  • Afterschool: Helping selected cities make good afterschool programs available to many more children.
  • Building audiences for the arts: Enabling arts organizations to bring the arts to a broader and more diverse group of people.
  • Arts education: Expanding arts learning opportunities for children and teens.
  • Summer and expanded learning: Better understanding the impact of high-quality summer learning programs on disadvantaged children, and enriching and expanding the school day in ways that benefit students.

Find out more at

Albany Techncial College 2016 Fall Career Fair

Southwest Georgia employers will participate in Albany Technical College’s Annual Fall Career Fair Thursday, October 20, 2016, at the Kirkland Conference Center from 9:00AM to 12:00PM. The Career Fair is a great opportunity for job seekers to speak with employers and learn about various companies and career opportunities.

Albany Tech is hosting this event in conjunction with the Georgia Dept. of Labor -Albany Career Center, to provide a forum for employers to discuss career opportunities and options with Albany Tech students and graduates. One of our goals is to showcase a significant representation of employers within the southwest Georgia region. About 50 employers are expected to attend.

Employers will accept resumes, offer information about career fields, employment opportunities, conduct interviews for internships, part-time and full-time positions and promote their businesses.

Albany Technical College Ranks in the Top 400 Best Community Colleges

Albany Technical College (ATC) recently ranked in the top half of the nation’s best community colleges, according to a study by WalletHub. Out of the 12 Georgia colleges considered, ATC is the only college in Georgia south of Macon to make the top 400.

ATC placed seventh out of the 12 Georgia colleges represented, and 337 out of 821, nationally. As a state, Georgia was named the eleventh best state in community college education.

The study analyzed 821 schools from the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), and each school was given a score out of a possible 100 points. ATC received a score of 47.34.

These points are based on twelve different metrics falling under the three following categories: cost and financing, educational outcomes, and career outcomes. Some factors included tuition, retention, student-loan default rate, and student-faculty ratio.

ATC has emerged a community college leader in South Georgia. Although the Wall Street Journal named Albany the sixth poorest city in America in 2013, ATC is paving the way for higher education in the region and bringing success to its low-income community.