Author Archives: Mary Bickerstaff

Microbusiness Enterprise Center

Congratulations to the Microbusiness Enterprise Center, this week’s Albany Chamber Star Business. The Microbusiness Center was created in 1990 as a small business incubator to provide resources, such as technical assistance and workshops along with a competitive rental rate. The facility is designed to stimulate small business formation and growth offering tenants a common area, gym and meeting and conference rooms.

100% National Test Pass Rate for Surgical Technology Students at Albany Technical College

Albany, Georgia – Eight Students from the Surgical Technology Program at Albany Technical College passed the national certification exam on their first attempt, Certified Surgical Technologist (CST), and obtained CST certification. All students passed, representing a 100% pass rate for the graduating class in December 2019. Six of the eight students have been placed locally in healthcare facilities.

The FIRST Surgical Technology degree level students were accepted in Summer Semester 2019 to complete all pre-requisite courses to progress into the Surgical Technology occupational courses in Spring Semester 2020. Currently, the new cohort of eight students will enter the program that runs January through December. These students have demonstrated their aptitude by completing a rigorous core curriculum and being accepted into the Surgical Technology Program.

“Two years ago, our pass rate was 89%, and this year we are at 100%. With a brand-new state of the art lab, it allows for a lot more hands-on experience and allows the students to practice practical mock surgeries that prepare them for the operating room. By passing the certification exam, we were able to have good job placement,” stated Lori Day, Program Director of Surgical Technology at Albany Technical College. All students have been placed in field or have continued their education.

The Surgical Technology DIPLOMA program was phased out and replaced by the Associate of Applied Science, Surgical Technology Degree. The last DIPLOMA level class was accepted into core courses in Summer Semester 2018, which means that all pre-requisite classes had to be completed by December 2018.

Tests are sustained by a national board of 10 members represented by the major geographic areas of the country. The Examination Review Committee for the Certified Surgical Technologist examination (CST-ERC) has the responsibility within the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) for examination design and development of the national certifying exam for surgical technologists.

The Surgical Technology Program at Albany Technical College was accredited on May 13, 1993, and continues to support the needs of the local community with qualified graduates.

The eight students that passed the national certification exam and graduated with a diploma in Surgical Technology from Albany Technical College include: Shannon Banks, Rosalina Brown-Bullard, Veneisha Butler, Honesty Doomes, Tamara Garrett, Arrianne Quimby, Guadalupe Rodriguez, and Shykedon Smith.


About Albany Technical College
A public postsecondary institution of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), Albany Technical College provides technical education and training support for the evolving workforce needs of Southwest Georgia through traditional and online classroom settings. Albany Tech is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS/COC). For more information about Albany Tech, go to or become a fan on Facebook at or on Twitter at You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel by visiting .

Booz Allen Hamilton

Congratulations to Booz Allen Hamilton, this week’s Albany Chamber Star Business. Booz Allen is a global team of diverse individuals who bring bold thinking and a desire to be the best in consulting, analytics, digital solutions, engineering, and cyber solutions to industries ranging from defense to health to energy to international development. To learn more about this company visit


TTL, Inc. announces acquisition of DBS & Associates Engineering

TTL, Inc. (TTL) has announced that it has acquired engineering firm DBS & Associates Engineering, Inc., with offices in Nashville and Clarksville, Tennessee. DBS & Associates will merge its operation into TTL effective January 1, 2020. DBS & Associates has been serving clients since 1988, specializing in the Transportation, Municipal, and Industrial markets. The addition of DBS will expand TTL’s transportation design, site civil, construction engineering and inspection, and surveying capabilities. “Both firms share a rich history of building long term relationships with our clients. I am really excited that DBS will become part of the TTL team,” said Dean McClure, President and CEO of TTL. “After many meetings and visits with TTL’s leadership team and president Dean McClure, we appreciated the similarities in the companies’ management philosophies and employee appreciation attitudes” said David Smith, founder and CEO of DBS. “We quickly recognized our two very successful companies would complement each other with the end result being a much better and stronger firm.” The addition of DBS & Associates to TTL is the third addition to the firm in the last four years. This development follows TTL’s business plan of organic growth and strategic acquisitions to improve and expand the services provided to its clients in the transportation, industrial, energy, municipal, and private infrastructure markets. TTL now has 12 offices and almost 400 team members. AEC Advisors served as financial advisor to TTL. TTL, Inc. is an engineering consulting firm with offices in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas. The firm serves clients across the country in the Energy, Transportation, Industrial, Institutional/Municipal, and Commercial markets. For more than 50 years, TTL has been passionate about solving challenges and helping our clients be successful. Visit for more information. # # #

Small Business Forum with the Georgians First Commission


For Immediate Release

December 11, 2019

Media Contact:

Bárbara Rivera Holmes



Albany Area Chamber to host Gov. Kemp, Small Business Forum

 Albany, Ga. – The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce will host Gov. Brian Kemp and First Lady Marty Kemp as part of its 2ndannual Governor’s Dinner December 17 in Albany at the Hilton Garden Inn.

The event, which is sold out, is the governor’s first major event in Albany since taking office in January 2019.

“Supporting small businesses and supporting rural Georgia are two of Gov. Kemp’s primary initiatives, and both are critical for Georgia’s continue economic expansion and for maintaining Georgia’s standing as the best state in the country for business,” said Bárbara Rivera Holmes, president and CEO of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce. “Albany and the Albany Area are assets to the state – economically, culturally and environmentally. We are encouraged by Gov. Kemp’s recognition of this and by his efforts to lend attention and provide resources to the challenges and opportunities faced by small businsses and by rural communities.”

The Governor’s Dinner, which starts with a 6 p.m. reception, is presented by Colony Bank, Georgia’s 8th largest publicly traded bank and the largest community bank outside of Atlanta. The event is further sponsored by the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission, the Albany State University Foundation and Flint Equipment Co.

Also on December 17, the Albany Area Chamber and the Georgians First Commission will host a regional small business forum aimed at creating a direct line of communication between small businesses and the Governor’s Office. The Georgians First Commission is Kemp’s initiative to secure Georgia’s designation as the best sate in the nation for small business.

“The Georgians First Commission is excited to visit Albany and the community of Southwest Georgia for our upcoming business meeting” said Scott Hilton, executive director of the Governor’s Office.  “Governor Brian Kemp is focused on helping small businesses by reducing burdensome regulations that hinder innovation and growth in our state.  We look forward to hearing directly from business owners on how we can cut, streamline and improve government for all citizens.”

Small businesses are encouraged to attend the 9 a.m. forum, held at the Albany Welcome Center, 112 N. Front St. in downtown Albany. The event is free but pre-registration is required. Registration is available or by calling the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce at 229.434.8700.

ECO Concepts

Congratulations to the Albany Area Chamber’s Star Business of the Week, Eco Concepts. This local manufacturer is the maker of quality heavy duty incinerators. Their clients vary from veterinarians for pet cremations to law enforcement for illegal drugs to poultry and livestock growers. They are UL and EPA approved. To learn more about this company visit