September 23, 2021
Albany-Dougherty Leaders Meet with Congressional Delegation
Albany Area Chamber-led program advocates in nation’s capital
Albany – Big issues were on the table this week as business and community leaders led by the Albany Area Chamber met with federal partners as part of the Chamber’s Washington, DC, Fly In, an annual legislative event that advocates for policies, regulations and initiatives that advance the community and economic opportunities and that support Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany.
During the two-day event leaders met with the Albany Area Congressional delegation — U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop; U.S. Rep. Austin Scott; U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff; and U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock — and the Pentagon-based leadership of Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany and Marine Corps Logistics Command, strengthening the community-corps relationship, showcasing the local partnerships, synergies and relationships that support mission readiness and future capabilities.
“Through vision and action Albany has positioned itself as a leader in collaborative partnerships, resiliency and innovation. This week’s meetings with our Congressional delegation and Marine Corps leadership reinforce the commitment of the Albany Area Chamber and of Albany and Dougherty County to working on tough issues and to working together at all levels,” said Bárbara Rivera Holmes, president and CEO of the Albany Area Chamber, the region’s leading business advocacy organization. “We’re communicating and advocating in real time on that which impacts Albany’s competitiveness — from business regulations, pandemic recovery and the nation’s health and labor crisis to broadband expansion, infrastructure improvements and modernization initiatives that support Marine Corps mission readiness.”
The local delegation, which included private and public sector leadership, also met with senior leadership of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, discussing immigration policy; work force; diversity, equity and inclusion; child care tax credits; and other federal policies and regulations that impact businesses.
“We’re stronger together, and we thank our local partners for engaging in this meaningful work and presenting a united force to our leaders in Washington,” said Matt Reed, 2021 chairman of the Albany Area Chamber.
A key priority of the Albany Area Chamber is supporting the mission and capabilities of Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany and its major tenant, Headquarters Marine Corps Logistics Command, both of which are vital to the Marine Corps’ readiness. The Fly In’s meeting with U.S. Marine Corps leadership at the Pentagon — which included Lt. Gen. Edward D. Banta, deputy commandant of Marine Corps Installations and Logistics; Steven Morani, acting assistant secretary for of defense for sustainment; and Maj. Gen. David Maxwell, the Marine Corp’s vice director for logistics — allowed for discussion of key areas including utilization of 5G technology aboard the installation to support the modernization of the industrial base and enhance mission-readiness capabilities such as centralized communications systems, smart warehousing, talent acquisition, health care, additive manufacturing, and advanced weapons systems maintenance, storage and sustainment. Maj. Gen. Joseph Shrader, commanding general of LOGCOM, and Col. Michael Fitzgerald, commanding officer of MCLB Albany, participated in the discussions.
“The base and command are leading innovators within the Corps and the broader U.S. Department of Defense. Ongoing investments are critical to modernize our facilities, our capabilities and our Marines and ensure mission readiness,” said Don Gray, vice chair of the Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee and 2022 chairman of the Albany Area Chamber.
“I’m very pleased with the value of the Chamber’s DC Fly In and the work that we were able to accomplish. We were able to interact with Marine leadership at the Pentagon, understand our base’s needs for the future,” said Christopher S. Cohilas, chairman of the Dougherty County Commission. “We were then able to directly advocate with our Congressmen and Senators not only regarding our base’s needs, but further in distinguishing why MCLB-Albany is the most efficient DOD installation and why its practices and partnerships within the community should be mirrored by other installations around the country.”
The Albany Area Chamber’s Government Affairs program, of which the DC Fly In is one component, is sponsored by AB&T; Albany Area Primary Health Care; the Albany Convention & Visitors Bureau; the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission; Albany Technical College; the city of Albany; Dougherty County; the Dougherty County School System; Georgia CEO; LRA Constructors; and Phoebe.
The Albany Area Chamber is represented in Washington, D.C., by Cornerstone Government Affairs.