Albany Area Chamber Celebrates 114 years

Jay Houston 

Albany Area Chamber of Commerce 









Albany Area Chamber Celebrates 114 Years 


Albany, Ga. — The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce’s 114th annual meeting brought together esteemed community and business leaders for an evening of celebration, recognition, and strategic visioning Thursday on the Bricks at Thronateeska Heritage Center in downtown Albany. 


Against the backdrop of downtown’s historic herringbone brick streets, a golden sunset lit up the event, presented by the city of Albany and The X for Boys, 2023 Board Chairman Perry Revell, CEO of AB&T, transferred the role to financial advisor Jeretha Peters, the 2024 chair of the Chamber’s board of directors. The organization also laid out its new strategic focus, sharing with shareholders how the Chamber will continue moving forward in the coming years through its #ImpactABY2026 initiative. 


“Serving as the chair of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce is an honor, and I’m humbled to have been in this capacity twice. With purpose, our Chamber serves to champion the collective interests of our members and foster a thriving environment for business and community growth,” said Revell, who served as chairman in 2020. “In 2023, we upheld and propelled this purpose forward through our #ImpactABY initiative. Emphasizing substance over appearance and practicality over form, we’ve remained future-focused, confronting challenges and envisioning the future with a spirit of service, hard work and leadership. #ImpactABY2026 is a pivotal plan, the culmination of our Chamber’s focus, and its execution is essential for our lasting impact. Together, we are sculpting the future of our region.” 


“I am honored to lead the Chamber into the next chapter of growth and prosperity,” said Peters. “With the support of our dedicated members and community partners, I am confident that we will continue to make a positive impact in the Albany Area. 


“The event recognized two outstanding community servants: Cindy Wisham of the United Way of Southwest Georgia was named the Chamber’s 2023 Ambassador of the Year for her demonstration of exceptional commitment to promoting Chamber initiatives and embodying the spirit of community engagement; and the late Dr. Anthony Parker, long-time president of Albany Technical College, was posthumously awarded the Chamber’s Lifetime Service Award.

“Dr. Parker’s commitment to empowering individuals through education reflected a genuine passion for nurturing talent and fostering success, and his visionary leadership and unwavering advocacy have fostered meaningful collaborations with local businesses, highlighting the interconnectedness of education, personal growth, and economic prosperity,” said Peters. “His legacy of generosity, innovation, and unwavering dedication will continue to inspire generations to come.” 


Throughout the evening, Albany Area Chamber President & CEO Bárbara Rivera Holmes highlighted the Chamber’s achievements and unveiled the ambitious goals outlined in the organization’s #ImpactABY2026 initiative. She underscored the Chamber’s commitment to excellence by listening to its members and aligning purpose and pursuits into a future-focused vision.  


“For 114 years, the Albany Area Chamber has helped businesses connect, build, influence and lead through programming, resources, access and advocacy. At the core of what we do is build a thriving community,” Holmes said. “From working with decision makers to inform smart policy, to working with employers and educators to build a modern and adaptive work force to solving businesses’ biggest challenges – what we do designs the path and builds a community in which people want to live and businesses want to invest.” 


Holmes shared examples of the Chamber’ significant achievements of the Chamber its recently-culminated strategic plan, #ImpactABY2023. These accomplishments included the introduction of a new tiered benefits investment model aligning member benefits with business goals; establishment of the Albany Area Political Leadership Institute to cultivate future public servants; redirection of the Albany Area Chamber Foundation towards talent and innovation; revitalization of Chamber programs such as Propel, Political Leadership, Ambassadors, and the annual meeting for enhanced value and impact; statewide expansion of the Chamber’s renowned Biz magazine and the launch of The Ray, a distinctive field guide to Albany; adoption of a technology strategy for digital transformation; and proactive leadership in talent development and impactful advocacy, among others. 

In its new strategic plan, #ImpactABY2026, the Chamber outlines a comprehensive approach focusing on three core pillars: Talent, Economy and Community. These pillars are supported by strategic divisions, each with its own set of initiatives aimed at making a significant impact across various sectors.   


“The Albany Area Chamber leads with competency and character, delivering results that drive business, community and regional success,” Holmes said. “#ImpactABY2026 represents our commitment to inclusive, visionary and bold leadership that empowers businesses and the community to thrive.” 


The Government Affairs Committee remains dedicated to advocating for pro-business policies and fostering job creation by collaborating closely with governmental partners. Initiatives including the Albany Area Political Leadership Institute are instrumental in cultivating a pipeline of informed public servants.  


Meanwhile, the Investor Engagement Committee plays a vital role in strengthening the bonds within the business community, facilitating networking opportunities, and recognizing members’ contributions through various platforms.  


The Military Affairs Committee continues to champion the interests of military personnel and their families, offering unwavering support to Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany and advocating for critical Congressional appropriations.  


The Talent Catalysts Committee is committed to building a robust workforce pipeline by forging connections between employers, educators, and students. Initiatives such as Albany’s new Chamber-affiliated young professionals organization underscore the Chamber’s dedication to nurturing the next generation of talent.  


Furthermore, the Albany Area Chamber Foundation, under the leadership of Board Chairman Matt Reed, serves houses programs including the Albany Innovation Roundtable, the Albany-Dougherty Talent Strategy 2.0, the FLEX ABY youth entrepreneurship program, Propel+, and Thrive, each designed to address specific and diverse workforce needs and drive community development. 

Looking ahead, the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce is poised to build upon its strategic accomplishments, focusing on talent development, impactful advocacy, and fostering a thriving community and economy in the Albany Area. 

The “Golden Hour” event featured a taste of Albany with a diverse array of food vendors Sonny’s BBQ, Sugar Mama’s, Southern Elegance Catering, La Luna Cantina, The Catch, and Newk’s Eatery – who provided delicious culinary delights for attendees to enjoy throughout the evening.  


The 114th annual meeting was sponsored by WebstaurantStore, Invision Technologies, Albany Area Primary Healthcare, Molson Coors, Flint River Entertainment Complex, Albany Air Conditioning & Heating Co., Next Era Energy, Flint Ag & Turf, Concrete Enterprises, Mitchell EMC, Pellicano Construction Co., Still Pond Vineyard & Winery, the Artesian Alliance and Marks Greenhouses Nursey & Landscape. These sponsors demonstrate their unwavering support for the Chamber’s mission of fostering economic prosperity and community vitality in the Albany Area. 



About Albany Area Chamber of Commerce 

The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, founded in 1910, is leading a multi-year strategic effort to advance business success and economic opportunities in Albany and the surrounding region. Learn more at