Category Archives: Chamber News

Open House & After Hours Reception

You are invited to an Open House & After Hours Reception Thursday, February 8, 2018, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Phoebe Learning Center on 311 Third Avenue, Albany. Be present to win a $100 drawing from the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce. Tours of Flaggstone will be available. Hear from residents on their experience at Phoebe and in Albany.


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

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


Strive2Thrive Update Rise N Shine Breakfast

 Join the Albany Area Chamber for Strive2Thrive Update Rise N Shine Breakfast on December 6 from 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. at Sowega Council on Aging. The Strive2Thrive Update Rise N Shine Breakfast celebrates the successes of its families, acknowledges its community partners and volunteers and reports on the future of Strive2Thrive.