Category Archives: Uncategorized

Top Chef to Visit with Albany Technical College Culinary Students

Chef Airis Johnson, a nationally recognized chef and food blogger, and Chopped Food Network winner, will visit with Culinary Arts students and Program Chair and Chef Todd White on Thursday, January 11, 2017, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Culinary Arts kitchen in the Logistics Education Center on the Albany Tech campus.

Johnson will be arriving in Albany today to visit several locations throughout southwest Georgia to promote healthy eating. The purpose of the event is to educate the community about the importance of eating farm fresh produce and meats to reduce the incidences of diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure among African American populations in southwest Georgia. The series of programs, co-sponsored by Albany State University, Albany Technical College, and Ag-First Community (Farmer) Cooperative, will also introduce students to careers within the food and restaurant industry, while also exposing them to a renowned chef and entrepreneur.

With the help of Chef Johnson, the Culinary Arts students at Albany Tech will help to create health conscious dishes named for Albany Civil Rights leaders, such as Attorney Mary Young Cummings, Erma Wilburn, Rutha Harris, Rev. Samuel B. Wells, and Attorney C.B. King. Farm fresh food to prepare the dishes will be donated by Ag-First Community Cooperative, which represents farmers in southwest Georgia.

For 14 years, Chef Johnson has worked in many genres of the food industry for notables such as Danny Meyer (Shake Shake), Gordon Ramsay (Gordon Ramsay at the London, NYC), and Sue Torres (Suenos). She was also featured in the April 2016 edition of Essence Magazine.

Servpro of Albany and Americus

Servpro of Albany and Americus has been serving the Albany area for 48 years. They perform fire, water, mold and biohazard restoration services. They also offer carpet, upholstery, hard surface and duct cleaning. If someone’s home experiences a disaster, Servepro will be there to help even in the middle of the night.

3359 Palmyra Road
(229) 439-2048
Contact: Kyle Carter


—sponsored by—




Thanks to Dunkin’ Donuts for furnishing our Star Businesses donuts each week.

January 2018 Business After Hours

Join us for the January Business After Hours at Merry Acres Event Center, hosted by WALB. They are so excited to be able give a sneak peek of the winter Olympics. They will have door prizes and a “GO TEAM USA” photo booth! Meet new contacts, promote your business and build relationships within the community. Grab a co-worker or friend and join us for the fun!

Chamber-CVB structure benefits Albany, taxpayers

By Bárbara Rivera Holmes, president and CEO
Albany Area Chamber of Commerce
Albany Convention & Visitors Bureau

Structure matters. It matters in art, it matters in engineering, and it matters in organizations. The discussion around the governance structure of the Albany Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) is an important one for the city of Albany, for its tax-paying citizens and tax-paying businesses, and for its dollars-spending visitors.

The ACVB, under the governance of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, has nurtured a flourishing tourism industry. Most recently, a Carl Vinson Institute of Government study commissioned by the city of Albany reported that the ACVB is performing well; is utilizing its funds for their intended purpose; has well respected and capable staff; is employing the industry’s best practices; and has a broad stakeholder input.

The ACVB is funded through the hotel-motel tax that is generated through hotel stays in Albany. The ACVB is allocated $725,000, or 31 percent, of the hotel-motel tax revenue ($2.4 million, FY 2017) that is received by the city of Albany. The Albany Area Chamber provides well-document professional services to the ACVB. It provides savings to taxpayers through shared operational services; comprehensive benefits for employees; and below market-value professional services. The Albany Area Chamber also provides executive leadership and business-led volunteer board leadership to the ACVB.

The ACVB cultivates local events — such as the Albany Snickers Marathon and Half Marathon — and works with attractions, restaurants and hoteliers. Through effective visitor and attractions marketing, sports marketing and hospitality programs, the ACVB reaches an internal audience and promotes Albany to an external audience. This draws tourists, sporting events, conferences, meetings, reunions to Albany, where people stay in our hotels; book our conference centers; utilize our facilities and services; enjoy our recreation, nature-based and outdoor activities; visit our attractions and cultural amenities; shop in our retail stores and dine in our restaurants.

There’s a feel-good component to welcoming visitors to Albany and having them enjoy our community. There’s also a lot of dollars and jobs associated with that. For the July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017 period, the city of Albany, which imposes an 8 percent hotel-motel tax on lodging, recognized $2,335,898 in revenue through the hotel-motel tax (Source: city of Albany). That’s an increase of $399,743 or 22 percent, over the July 1, 2015- June 30, 2016, period (collections of $1,936,155; source: Georgia Department of Community Affairs).

Albany’s tourism industry is growing; according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, in 2016, the industry had an economic impact of $244 million, an increase of 5 percent over the previous year. According to the Georgia Department of Labor, in 2016 Albany supported 4,880 hospitality-related jobs, a growth of 14.5 percent since 2012. This growth — in the hotel-motel tax revenue, in tourism-related economic impact, in hospitality-related jobs — isn’t without intention nor without the effective work of the ACVB.

The city of Albany is examining a policy change to the structure of Albany’s well-performing ACVB — that is, to potentially remove it from under the umbrella of its parent agency, the Albany Area Chamber, by terminating its contract with the chamber and creating a new corporation that would contract directly with the city of Albany. The Albany City Commission will vote on this matter during meetings that start at 6 p.m. Monday, January 8.

The existing relationship of an Albany Area Chamber-led — a business led — Convention and Visitor’s Bureau has facilitated growth in Albany’s tourism industry. The existing relationship is good for the city of Albany, its citizens and its businesses.

The Chamber-CVB structure works. The Chamber-CVB structure works well for our community and our taxpayers. And structure matters.

Albany City Commission

Mayor Dorothy Hubbard
Home: 229-435-5107
Cell: 229-407-0635

Commissioner Jon Howard, Ward 1
Home: 229-436-1102
Cell: 229-344-1769

Commissioner Bobby Coleman, Ward II
Cell: 229-343-0668

Commissioner BJ Fletcher, Ward III
Cell: 229-854-9443

Commissioner Roger Marietta, Ward IV
Office: 229-317-6808
Home: 229-878-0944
Cell: 229-894-2425

Commissioner Bob Langstaff Jr., Ward V
Cell: 229-343-7617
Fax: 229-436-5729

Commissioner Tommie Postell, Ward VI
Home: 229-432-2481
Cell: 229-347-2903

YMCA Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events | Albany Area YMCA

Join the Y | Some of the incredible advantages of being a YMCA member is access to over 70 group exercise classes, pool access, KidZone, basketball, volleyball, racquetball and tennis courts, weight room, cardio room and outdoor track, all included with membership. Facility members also receive special offers and lower pricing on childcare and programs like youth sports, soccer, and swim lessons.  For more information please call 229-436-0531.

Active Afterschool & YES Inclusive Afterschool | Registration ongoing

Register now for active learning with YMCA Active Afterschool and YMCA Inclusive Afterschool for children with special needs. Children learn and grow spirit, mind, and body with homework help, sports, crafts, character education, friends and fun. Snack and dinner are included. Pick up from area schools meeting minimum requirements is also available. Financial Assistance is available for those who qualify. Call 229-436-0531 to sign up. 

YMCA Closed | Central and Lee Branch Closed December 24, 25 and December 31.

NEW YEAR’S Open House | Central and Lee Branch will host FREE Open House from 1 – 4 PM on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018. Get the New Year started off right with the Y! Take advantage of our Main Branch Open House with a Health Fair where you can enjoy a Fitness Analysis from our certified personal trainers, Sample Fit Classes: Zumba Line Dance and H.I.I.T. Strong – tours, music, raffle with giveaways, and refreshments. All FREE! The first 100 guests or new joins receive a free t-shirt! Lee Branch will also be open to the public and award free t-shirts to the first 10 in the doors and to the first 5 who join. At both locations, joining fees will be waived for the day. Call 229-436-0531 for more information.

Holiday Camp | School may be out for the break but our camps are open until Jan. 3 for Dougherty and Lee County students. Kids will enjoy activities, crafts, and sports along with breakfast, lunch, and a snack from 7am until 6pm. Call 229-436-0531 for more information.

Y.E.S. Inclusive Holiday Camp | The Y Easter Seals Program also offers an Inclusive Holiday Camp for kids during the break at their 1906 Palmyra Road location. Kids do not have to be in Easter Seals to take advantage. Camp goes from 7am to 6pm weekdays until Jan. 3. Call the Y.E.S. Program Director at 229-436-0531 for more information.

Holmes Appointed to Board of Regents

Gov. Deal Appoints Chamber President to Board of Regents
Bárbara Rivera Holmes named regent of University System of Georgia

Albany, Ga. – The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that Gov. Nathan Deal has appointed Albany Area Chamber President and CEO Bárbara Rivera Holmes to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. This appointment will be effective January 1, 2018.

“I am honored to be appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to the Board of Regents. I look forward to working with my fellow regents and the chancellor to strengthen Georgia’s higher education landscape, which is foundational for economic growth and opportunities,” said Holmes.

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia was created in 1931 as a part of a reorganization of Georgia’s state government. The governor appoints members of the board to a seven-year term and regents may be reappointed to subsequent terms by a sitting governor. Regents voluntarily donate their time and expertise to serve the state through their governance of the University System of Georgia. The board oversees the public colleges and universities that comprise the University System of Georgia and has oversight of the Georgia Archives and the Georgia Public Library System.

Holmes will represent the Second Congressional District. Other appointed and reappointed board members include Don L. Waters, First Congressional District; C. Thomas Hopkins Jr., M.D., Third Congressional District; W. Allen Gudenrath, Eighth Congressional District; and Erin Hames, At-Large representative.

For more information on the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, please visit


Albany Technical College Appoints Three New Faculty Program Chairs


Albany, Georgia – Albany Technical College (ATC) recently appointed three new faculty program chairs to head up academic programs. Dr. Angela Leverett for Health Information Technology program; Edrian Mallory for Drafting Technology; and Lisa Stephens for Radiologic Technology.

Prior to joining ATC, Dr. Angela Leverett has served as the Executive Director of the Web Bachelor of Science in Information Technology program at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro since 2010. In this position, she provided strategic leadership in developing, expanding, and enhancing the university’s online bachelor’s program by working closely with senior academic administrators and stakeholders to promote online teaching excellence and leveraging technology to optimize student learning.

Leverett served at Georgia Southern University as Assistant Director of Graduate Studies, instructor in the College of Business Administration, and as an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Specialist. She holds two bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration in both Management and Finance from Georgia Southern University (GSU); two master’s degree in Business Administration and Business Administration with a concentration in Healthcare Administration from GSU; and a Doctorate of Ministry in Theology from United Theological Seminary.

“My goal is to eliminate barriers to education for all,” said Leverett. “The Health Information Technology program at ATC offers students a thriving career in both Health Information Management and Health Information Coding and is 100 percent online, offering classes to certify students in-field, and assist with job placement. I also hope to increase enrollment in the program and add more business partnerships.”

Edrian Mallory is no stranger to the Albany Tech family. As a 2012 graduate of Albany Tech’s Drafting Technology program, with specializations in both architectural and mechanical drafting, she comes back to her alma mater to serve as new Faculty Chair of the Drafting Technology program. Formerly a drafting teacher at Monroe Comprehensive High School, she spent much time as an Albany Tech student working on drafting projects for Chehaw Park and Habitat for Humanity.

Redesigning Chehaw’s flamingo exhibit and creating new and interesting floor plans for Habitat homes, Mallory has also designed floor plans for a small contracting company and assisted with renovation and interior design work for several Phoebe Health System locations.

“One of my goals is to increase enrollment in the drafting technology program at a minimum of 30 percent per semester, as well as increase the program’s visibility with business partners throughout the city and surrounding counties,” said Mallory. “I hope to be able to introduce the community to 3D printing and all of its possibilities on a large scale.”

Mallory holds two associate’s degrees from Albany Technical College – one in Architectural Drafting and one in Mechanical Drafting. Prior to her time with Monroe High School, she worked as a draftsman for Metro TPS and served as the CAD technician on projects such as Phoebe Putney Endoscopy, Data Center, Carlton Breast Cancer Center, and Surgicare unit. She was also in charge of space planning and design for these and several other areas for the hospital. Besides work completed for both Chehaw and Habitat, she has also worked on a lobby remodel project for the Flint Riverquarium.

Lisa Stephens has joined Albany Tech as the new Program Chair for Radiologic Technology. Coming to ATC from a sister technical college, Central Georgia Tech in Macon, as a Radiologic Technology instructor, she is no stranger to Southwest Georgia. Graduating from Terrell High School in 2002, she went on to earn associate’s degree in Radiologic Technology from Central Georgia Tech, where she also completed an additional associate’s degree in Advanced Medical Imaging. She continued on to Emory School of Medicine to earn her bachelor’s of medical science degree in Medical Imaging and is currently working toward completing her master’s of business administration in Health from Mercer University.

“As a career and technical education instructor, I have to teach essential skills that our workforce will continue to need in the near future,” said Stephens. “In order for these skills to be honed in on, students need to possess both knowledge and confidence to demonstrate these skills and as an instructor, I bring an open mind, high expectations, sociable atmosphere, but yet a safe and caring environment into the classroom.”

Serving as Clinical Coordinator at Central Georgia Tech since June of 2016, Stephens previously has served as an MRI Technologist for Radiology Associates of Macon; CT Technologist for the Medical Center/Navicent Health of Central Georgia; MRI Technologist for Coliseum Medical Centers, Macon; and a Radiologic Technologist for Medical Center/Navicent Health of Central Georgia. She is credentialed by the American Registry Radiologic Technologists in Radiography, Computed Tomography, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Stephens replaces veteran ATC instructor and chair of the Radiologic Technology program, Richard Parker, who recently retired from ATC after 25 years of service.

PHOTOS: Dr. Angela Leverette, Chair, Health Information Technology; Edrian Mallory, Chair, Drafting Technology; and Lisa Stephens, Chair, Radiologic Technology.

American Proteins Donates Scholarship to ATC Foundation

Harry Wilson, Human Resources and Environmental Safety Manager for American Proteins, Inc., recently presented Dr. Anthony Parker, President of Albany Tech, with a check for the Foundation’s scholarship funds in the amount of $4,000. This is the twelfth year in a row American Proteins has given the donation to the Albany Tech Foundation.

Forsyth County business and civic leader, Tommy Bagwell and his wife, Chantal, established the $500,000 Bagwell Family Scholarship Endowment to provide scholarships for students attending technical colleges located near their family business locations. The family business, American Proteins, Inc., currently has five locations, including one in Cuthbert, GA. Scholarship recipients are chosen using the following criteria: financial need, proximity to the company’s operation sites and the likelihood of their success.

“We want to help as many students as we can to come to college, especially those living in our rural areas,” said Dr. Parker. “This scholarship will give students a chance to achieve their educational goals and become successful members of the workforce. For that, we are grateful to American Proteins and the Bagwell family.”

PHOTO: Pictured left to right: Harry Wilson, Human Resources and Environmental Safety Manager for American Proteins, Inc. and Dr. Anthony O. Parker, President of Albany Technical College.