Category Archives: News & Publications

Albany Area Chamber recognizes 2021 STAR students, teachers

May 7, 2021


Albany Area Chamber

Recognizes 2021 STAR students and teachers


Albany – The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce this week recognized Dougherty County students and educators as part of the PAGE STAR program that recognizes academic achievement and performance on the SAT.

“Education transforms lives and communities, providing opportunities for personal success, economic empowerment and economic development. We have incredible talent in Albany and Dougherty County, and we’re honored to shine a light on our STAR students and teachers,” said Bárbara Rivera Holmes, president & CEO of Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, the local STAR program sponsor and a key player in strengthening the talent pipeline that creates opportunities for students, job seekers and employers. “I’m so proud of our STAR students and their STAR teachers.”

The PAGE Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program is sponsored, administered and promoted by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) and the PAGE Foundation. Since its inception in 1958, the STAR program has honored nearly 27,000 students and the teachers selected as the most influential to their academic achievement. High school seniors must have the highest score on a single test date on the SAT and be in the top 10 percent or top 10 students of their class based on grade point average to qualify for STAR nomination.

The recognitions include the school specific STAR students from throughout Dougherty County and the countywide STAR student, selected from among the school specific honorees.

The 2021 school specific STAR students and teachers are: Frank Faison Middleton of Deerfield-Windsor School, and teacher Alee Miller of Deerfield; Drew Anthony Reich of Deerfield-Windsor School, and teacher Janet Guiellebeau of Deerfield; Davon Davis of Dougherty Comprehensive High School, and teacher Jasamine Dixon of Dougherty; Li’Trell Dante’ Stamper of Monroe Comprehensive High School, and teacher Tracy Stolze of Monroe; Ashlynn Dapper of Sherwood Christian Academy, and teacher James Byrd of Sherwood;  Brystan Thomas Carthon of Westover Comprehensive High School, and teacher Cory Moore of Westover.

Middleton and Reich, who tied as Deerfield-Windsor School’s STAR students, are the overall countywide STAR students who will represent Dougherty County in the regional competition.

STAR begins each year in participating Georgia high schools when the STAR Student is named and chooses a STAR Teacher to share in this recognition. The students and their teachers are honored by their schools and receive special recognition in their communities from one of the more than 165 statewide civic organizations and businesses that serve as local sponsors of the STAR program. Students then compete for school system recognition as the top STAR Student, and those winners compete for region honors. Region winners contend for the honor of being named State PAGE STAR Student. STAR Teachers continue on with their STAR Students at every level of the program.

PAGE and the PAGE Foundation honor outstanding students and educators and encourage academic excellence through competitive academic programs such as PAGE STAR, the PAGE Academic Bowl for Middle Grades and the PAGE Georgia Academic Decathlon.

View STAR student and teacher photos here.


Founded in 1910, the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce is leading a multi-year strategic effort to advance business success and economic opportunities in Albany and the Albany Area.

The Professional Association of Georgia Educators is a statewide professional association of more than 95,000 educators, administrators and support personnel. PAGE provides professional learning to enhance competence and confidence, build leadership and increase student achievement while providing the best in membership, legal services and legislative support.

Healthy Community Charity Golf Tournament


Charity Golf Tournament

JUNE 14, 2021


-Presented By-

AMEC Sixth Episcopal District Sons of Allen, AMEC Women’s Missionary Society, SWGA Sickle Cell Awareness

-Fundraiser to Benefit-

Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia / 50thAnniversary

We appreciate your consideration and hope you will join us for the Healthy Community Charity Golf Tournament to benefit the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia’ 50thAnniversary.



Stan Smith /SED Sons of Allen / 478-365-5074

Monica Rockwell / SWGA Sickle Cell Awareness / 229-869-6671

Linda Frazier / Women’s Missionary Society / 706-718-1849


Richard H. Jordan

JCOMM Sports


Boy Scouts of America “Building Leaders” Campaign Dinner

“Building Leaders” Campaign Dinner

Thursday, May 6, 2021 

Honoring the memory of Lem Griffin &

Honoring Phoebe for their work during Covid-19

Social at 6:00 p.m. Dinner at 7:00 p.m. Live Stream at 7:15pm

 Can’t attend this event in person? This years event will be Live Streamed. For more information contact your table host, visit the event link or scan QR code

Hasan Temple – Albany, GA Business Casual Attire

Mr. Griffin was born in Leary, GA on December 1, 1942 to the late William Marcellus Griffin and Mildred Maxine Long Griffin. His early years were spent in the Calhoun County community of Bullneck and his teenage years in Mitchell County, GA. He enjoyed fifty-two years in the refrigerated warehouse industry, the last twenty years of his career he was CEO and co-owner of Flint River Services.

A man with a BIG heart for his family and community, he served as Chairman of the Board of Phoebe Putney Health Systems, served on the Board of Directors of Security Bank (now Synovus) and he was a lifetime member of the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army. He served on the Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America for 30 years and was a past President and was also on the Foundation Board of Albany Technical College. Mr. Griffin was also a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason, a member of Albany Lodge # 24 F & AM and a member of the Hasan Shriners.

Lem was married to Linda Merritt Griffin for 58 years and they have two children, Kay and Van, four grandchildren and six great grandchildren.


In just the first 100 days of their coronavirus pandemic response, Phoebe treated more than 2,700 COVID-19 patients and admitted more than 900 of them to their hospitals. As they continue to fight a year later, the Phoebe team has shown unparalleled dedication, perseverance, and support for the community. Their healthcare team has gone above and beyond to protect patients and residents with quality care, compassion, and innovative initiatives like making more than 70,000 hand-sewn masks. Every Phoebe team member has made an enormous impact in keeping the communities they serve safe and making every life they touch better.

Albany Area Chamber Foundation donates to Albany Crime Stoppers as part of public safety efforts



March 24, 2021


Albany, Ga. — The Albany Area Chamber Foundation, a 501©3 affiliate of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, today presented Albany Crime Stoppers with a nearly $13,000 contribution as part of the business advocacy organization’s ongoing public safety efforts.

“The Albany Area Chamber and its Foundation have engaged in discussions with businesses, local officials, law enforcement and judicial partners to explore how the business community can partner and make an impact in crime and public safety,” said Perry Revell, chairman if the Albany Area Chamber Foundation Board of Directors and immediate past president of the Albany Area Chamber. “Beyond our foundational work to support business growth and a healthy and prosperous community, we identified Albany Crime Stoppers as an opportunity.”

Albany Crime Stoppers is a local community action program that encourages citizens who see something to say something and provides cash rewards to anonymous callers for information leading to arrest and conviction.

In 2020, the Chamber engaged public officials in ongoing conversations about crime.

“The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, the region’s leading business advocate, represents the unified interests and concerns of Albany and Albany Area businesses of all sizes and sectors. Collectively, the business community is increasingly and urgently concerned about crime in our community, its impact to safety and its impact on the economy,” the organization stated in an October 14, 2020, letter to officials. “The business community believes in actionable solutions. We believe in partnership and in collaboration. As such, we seek to engage with you in a transparent discussion around crime in Albany, and together work to address this issue. We recognize that, as with many other complex issues, progress can be advanced through the commitment of stakeholders who share a common goal.”

The impact of crime, both real and perceived, is broad — from citizen pride, population growth and access to talent; to business investment and business success; to tourism and travel; and internal and external perception.

“We must create and sustain a community in which businesses want to invest and people want to live. A safe environment for families, for visitors and for businesses is crucial to that goal and central for Albany’s growth and prosperity,” said Bárbara Rivera Holmes, president & CEO of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce and the Albany Area Chamber Foundation. “Business involvement and collaborative partnerships are powerful tools. We’re grateful to our Albany Area Chamber businesses whose investment supports Albany Crime Stoppers and whose leadership enables so much of the work in which we’re collectively engaged.”

The $12,850 contribution from the Albany Area Chamber Foundation was complemented by a $5,000 contribution from Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards, with whom the Chamber is working.

“Albany Crime Stoppers is a powerful community-based crime solving program that is committed to increasing the safety of our citizens and partners on this effort with media organizations, police departments and other law enforcement agencies,” said Judy Randle, chair of the Albany Crime Stoppers Board of Directors. “The contributions from the business community through the Albany Area Chamber Foundation and from District Attorney Greg Edwards are a much-needed boost and will extend our efforts to provide anonymous rewards for tips that lead to criminal arrests.”

The Albany Area Chamber Foundation’s donation was made possible through the support of Albany Area Chamber member businesses: Albany Sunbelt Ford-Lincoln of Albany; Brad Lanier Oil Co.; Colony Bank; Dougherty, Duggan, Hart & Tiernan Insurors; Fleming & Riles Insurance; Flint Community Bank; Gardner Willis Sweat Plaire & Wilson; Jim Boyd Construction; Maple Hill Landfill; Oxford Construction; Paragon Foods; Phoebe Putney Health System; Southern AG Carriers; Watson Spence; and Worldwide Equipment.


Tim Lyons of Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC, Appointed to AICPA State and Local Government Expert Panel

Atlanta, GA- March 22- Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC, a leading provider of assurance, tax, consulting and advisory services, is proud to announce Tim Lyons, Partner-in-Charge of the firm’s Columbia office, has been appointed as a member of the AICPA’s State and Local Government Expert Panel, beginning May 2021.

The Expert Panel exists to serve the needs of AICPA members on financial reporting matters as well as audit and attest matters relevant to audits of state and local government financial statements. It also works closely with the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) by analyzing exposure documents and various proposals that impact state and local governments.

As a member, Tim will help bring together knowledgeable parties in the state and local government industry to deliberate and come to agreement on key state and local government issues.

Tim is a Partner in the Governmental Practice of Mauldin & Jenkins, working with state and local government agencies and institutions of higher education throughout the Southeast. Services provided to clients include traditional audit and attest engagements, transaction and advisory services, and internal control and process consulting.  Tim is also a member of the Firm’s Assurance Committee.

Tim is involved in a variety of state and national organizations – both to support client industries and the community at large. He is a graduate of the AICPA’s Leadership Academy (Class of 2012) and is a regular speaker on state/local government topics around the Southeast. He has served as a director for various organizations and currently is a member of the board for Children’s Trust of South Carolina.

Please join us in congratulating Tim on this achievement.

To learn more about Mauldin & Jenkins and its services, please visit our website,


Mauldin & Jenkins is recognized as one of Atlanta’s Top 25 Largest Firms by the Atlanta Business Journal and a Top 100 Certified Public Accounting firm by Inside Public Accounting.  With nine offices located across the Southeast (including Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee), the Firm provides assurance, tax and advisory services to clients in a range of industries, including government, health care, construction, not-for-profit, financial services, film & entertainment, entrepreneurial, and higher education. For more information, please visit

Albany Area Chamber Opposes MSA Change


The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce opposes the recommendation from the Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Standards Review Committee to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to raise the minimum population by which cities qualify as Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA).  Raising the MSA minimum population from 50,000 to 100,000 people would divert much needed federal funding away from Albany, Georgia, one of the communities hit hardest by the pandemic; Albany was a COVID-19 global hot spot. At a time when we need federal aid and support most, the loss of MSA status and associated funding would threaten our sustainable economic recovery; remove our ability to provide input into regional and state level infrastructure planning; widen the chronic transportation funding gaps that exist; and hamper community and economic development.    

“The Albany Area Chamber opposes raising the minimum population by which cities qualify as Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The proposed change would be of significant negative impact to Albany and the Albany Area, threatening economic development efforts, regional infrastructure improvements and needed federal aid,” said Barbara Rivera Holmes, president and CEO of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, the region’s largest business advocacy organization. “Albany has made incredible strides as a community, and through vision and action has positioned itself as a statewide leader in collaborative partnerships, resiliency and innovation.  As we collectively work on economic recovery, it is particularly important to nurture pro-growth policies for businesses, families and communities like Albany. “

Although raising the minimum MSA population cutoff from 50,000 to 100,000may be billed by OMBas a purely statistical exercise, there are many federal programs that utilize the MSA statistical designations to determine which cities are eligible for federal funding. OMB identified more than 140 cities in almost every state that would lose federal funding if the MSA population cutoff is raised to 100,000. This is especially impactful for Albany— arural Georgia hub community disqualified from “rural” status benefits and incentives; the loss of MSA status would be a double hit. Making this change would stop the flow of critically-needed federal aid that supports Albany as the economic driver of Southwest Georgia, a rural region that already faces challenges related to demographic changes, workforce development, capital access, infrastructure, health, land use and food safety.It should be noted that since 2017, Albany has withstood not just a pandemic, but also four federally-declared natural disasters.

Chamber and community leadership have jointly expressed their opposition to the change to the area’s Congressional delegation and OMB.

Ask your legislators to OPPOSE  the OMB recommendation. Click here to find your Congressman.