Albany, Ga. – The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce has been awarded reaccreditation through the Georgia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (GACCE) “Georgia Certified Chamber” program.
Chambers must meet standards in organization, service intent and capacity, professional administration, financial management, communications and advocacy in order to achieve the designation. The certification program promotes continuing excellence in the Chamber of Commerce industry and helps to foster a pro-business environment across the state of Georgia.
“Reaccreditation from GACCE serves as a stamp of approval that we’re on the right track, in terms of organizational excellence and service delivery,” said Bárbara Rivera Holmes, president and CEO of the Albany Area Chamber, the region’s largest business advocacy organization. “The Albany Area Chamber has implemented a three-year strategic plan, ‘#ImpactABY2023,’ which provided many of the directives evaluated in the accreditation process. Through implementing this plan, we have been able to grow as an organization and better serve the Albany Area in our mission to foster an environment for business and community success.”
Out of more than 150 Chambers of Commerce in Georgia, 16 are distinguished as 2021 Georgia Certified Chambers.
The following Chambers of Commerce make up the 2021 class of Georgia Certified Chambers:
Albany Area Chamber of Commerce
Carroll County Chamber of Commerce
Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce
Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce
Columbia County Chamber of Commerce
Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce
Douglas County Chamber of Commerce
Douglas-Coffee County Chamber of Commerce
Effingham County Chamber of Commerce
Fayette Chamber of Commerce
Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce
Pickens County Chamber of Commerce
Robins Regional Chamber of Commerce
Rome Floyd Chamber of Commerce
Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce
Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce
The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce also holds the distinction of being a nationally accredited chamber through the United States Chamber of Commerce. Of more than 7,000 chambers in the U.S., 200 are nationally accredited, with the Albany Chamber’s 4-star rating landing them in the top tier of chambers of commerce in the country.
About the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce
The Albany Area Chamber, founded in 1910, is leading a multi-year strategic effort to advance business success and economic opportunities in Albany and the Albany Area. Learn more at www.albanyga.com.
About the Georgia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives
GACCE is the professional society of Chamber of Commerce executives and staff in the State of Georgia. The mission of GACCE is to engage, educate, and empower Chamber of Commerce professionals.
Albany Area Chamber President & CEO Bárbara Rivera Holmes, left, and Albany Area Chamber Chairman Matt Reed, right, announced Thursday the 2021 Albany Under 40 category winners, pictured here, during an evening awards reception honoring emerging leaders and young professionals representing the area’s diversified talent pool and economy.
December 3, 2021
Albany Area Chamber announces ‘Albany Under 40’ category winners
Albany – The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce on Thursday recognized the finalists and announced the category winners of the 2021 Albany Under 40 Awards, a program that celebrates the Albany Area’s emerging leaders and professionals in a variety of business sectors, each representing a component of the area’s diversified talent pool and economy.
“The Albany Area is home to young leaders who are making their mark through excellence in their professions, through their innovation and through their commitment to building a stronger region,” said Barbara Rivera Holmes, president and CEO of the Albany Area Chamber. “We’re honored to recognize these diverse, outstanding professionals and proud they’ve chosen to live, work and invest in the Albany Area.”
Category finalists were announced in November and honored at Thursday’s evening awards reception at Pretoria Fields Brewery in downtown Albany. Category winners, selected from among the finalists, were announced at the event:
Arts, Entertainment, Culinary Arts, Events, Tourism & Hospitality: Kirstin Collins, American Peanut Shellers Association
Civics, Defense, Government & Public Affairs: Ronnie Alvin Pettiford Jr., city of Albany
Sponsored by ALDON – Albany Dougherty National Prayer Committee
2406 Ashford Drive Albany, Ga. 31721-9245
December 1st, 2021
The ALDON Committee wishes to thank you for your previous interest in the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast and extends to you an invitation to our 45th annual event. The breakfast is sponsored by the Albany Dougherty National Prayer Committee (ALDON) and will be held 6:30 AM Thursday February 3rd, 2022 at Merry Acres Event Center 1500 Dawson Road, Albany, Georgia 31707.
The purpose of the breakfast is to join in prayer with others for our city, nation and world. We believe that prayer in God is the key to overcome the challenges in our Good Life City. This year our featured speakers will be: Reverend Dr. Bob Moon, retired pastor and VP Church Relations and Chaplain at The Methodist Children’s Home in Macon, Ga. Bob has served at Christ UMC Albany and Valdosta First UMC among his 43 years of appointments. He was born in India to missionary parents. He received his BA from Asbury University and Doctor of Ministry from Asbury Theological Seminary in Church Leadership. He and wife Betty have two children, Josh and Sarah, and six grandchildren. Mayor of Albany, Kermit S. Bo Dorough Jr., will also address the community on his plans for 2022. Our Theme: THE MEASURE OF OUR FAITH based on Romans 8:28. Our ability to thank God for challenging experiences. Other community leaders also will be participating in the program.
Tickets are available to purchase at ALDON 2406 Ashford Drive Albany, Ga. 31721. Mail your $20 for each ticket or you may wish to purchase a table of 8 for $160. Tickets are also available for purchase at the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce 225 West Broad Ave. Albany, Ga. You may contact Larry Price, Chair for further information. Only 240 tickets are available for purchase and reservations are required. Deadline will be January 27th, 2022 or when tickets are sold out so get your tickets early.
Because of the cost involved in this effort, no complimentary tickets will be available. Due to Covid 19 we had to cancel 2021. Thank you for your past attendance and we look forward to seeing you again Thursday February 3rd, 2022 at Merry Acres Event Center.
UGA’s Georgia Economic Outlook returns to in-person events, delivering business intelligence for the new year
2022 Georgia Economic Outlook provides essential insights for informed decisions
As Georgia emerges from two years of economic uncertainty, University of Georgia Terry College of Business experts will address Georgia’s recovery from the COVID-19 recession, the booming housing market and what to expect in the year to come at the 39th annual Georgia Economic Outlook series.
The state’s premier economic forecasting series — coming to eight Georgia cities — will return to its traditional format of luncheon programs this winter. Networking begins at 11:30 a.m., and the programs begin at 12:30 p.m.
The statewide tour will kick off Dec. 13 in Atlanta. Keynote speaker Mark Vitner, managing director and senior economist at Wells Fargo, will deliver the national forecast, and Terry College of Business Dean Benjamin C. Ayers will deliver the state forecast. The tour will continue onto seven more stops in January and February, where attendees will hear forecasts from local experts. Registration is open for all dates.
Atlanta — Dec. 13 at the Georgia Aquarium
Augusta — Jan. 7 at the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center
Jekyll Island — Jan. 12 at the Jekyll Island Convention Center
There is nothing more convenient than whipping out your phone, typing in a URL (or opening an app), perusing offerings, and hitting a few buttons to buy something…anything…everything. We even get our groceries that way these days. But as convenient as online shopping seems, there are many reasons to shop local.
For every $100 spent locally, $68 of it stays local.
Local yields easier returns.
Even though you have a clear understanding of what you’re buying when you buy in person, sometimes you need to return your purchase. When you do, it’s easier to do it locally than to send something back to an online store. Between paying for shipping to going to the post office and insuring it, bringing it back to a local business is generally easier than online returns.
If you’re not satisfied with what you purchased, but it’s not something you can bring back (like a service or a food item), you know how to get in touch with the local provider. Some online sellers make it impossible to speak to a human. Try arguing your point with AI that uses keywords and automated language responses. Talking to the local business owner is much easier and they may be able to suggest something that is more along the lines of what you’re looking for.
Local shopping becomes an experience.
Yes, online shopping is quick, but you also have no memory of doing it. This can lead to overbuying. How many times during the holiday do you come home to find a package on your door step and you can’t remember what you purchased? You’ll remember when you go out. Plus, when you shop in-person or local, you can invite friends, family, or just make a pleasurable outing for yourself. This creates appealing memories of a wonderful seasonal experience.
It brings on the holiday spirit.
When you are out among the sounds and smells of the holiday, it brightens your mood. Who doesn’t love sparkling lights, glitter, snow (real or fake), and all of the happy tunes of the season? It’s hard to get those same smiles shopping online.
You may miss the best things when you only go online.
When you shop online, you do a few searches for things you are looking for. You are less apt to stumble across the perfect gift or item because you are on a targeted mission and only see what the online store presents. When you’re shopping in person, there are a lot of serendipitous moments where something catches your eye and you walk out knowing you found a treasure.
You meet and interact with people.
When you shop in-person, you meet and interact with people. We have been sequestered long enough. There’s something to be said from those chance meetings that occur when walking around town. Who knows–you could meet your next business partner or a former friend. From the warm smile of the business owner to a suggestion, compliment, or affirmation you receive from a fellow shopper, there are many times when these sorts of introductions can be very helpful.
You’ll receive better reviews.
Sure, online reviews are helpful but so are reviews from people around you. Plus, people you meet in person who are commenting on what you’re buying have a personal connection. They are vouching for the item or dish face-to-face. If you have questions about what they’re saying, you can ask. Online reviews are one-sided with very little chance for follow-up from the original poster.
No worries about delivery this small business season when shopping local.
With ports backed up and short-staffing throughout the supply chain, there’s a lot of talk about potential delivery delays this holiday. If you shop in-person, you won’t need to worry about this.
In-person shopping is perfect for procrastinators.
Sure, there are some online mega retailers who can get an item to you same day depending on where you live, but most times–especially as we get closer to the actual holiday–your best bet for last-minute gifts is a local shop. If you’re a procrastinator, feel free to take this reason to shop local as permission. You’ll feel less stressed about waiting , plus you won’t be depending on someone else’s delivery schedule.
Displays help you visualize.
Store displays are better than “you might also like” options in online stores. After all, the online suggestions are based on the buying patterns of others or using products the online retailer links together. Store displays are created (and stores are arranged) to help you find what you need and want. Collections are curated with the shopper in mind. You may find a lot of treasurers browsing that way.
Window shopping can lead to ideas.
When you shop in-person around the holidays you’ll be treated to beautiful window and decoration displays. These could inspire your holiday home décor or help you figure out something for your hard-to-buy-for aunt. A display may also draw you into trying a new business that you hadn’t noticed before. There are so many serendipitous possibilities when shopping in-person this Small Business Season.
You could find your next job.
If you shop in-person, you’ll quickly realize how many businesses are hiring. Who knows. You might decide to work at your favorite shop over the holidays.
One’s couch has never been the setting for a Hallmark holiday movie but Main Street certainly has.
And we all love those movies, don’t we?
We aren’t telling you to never shop online again. Online shopping is simply too convenient and there are many times when you can get things delivered online faster than you are able to clear your schedule and shop in-person. There are also many local sellers that have an online presence so you can buy online and still “shop local.”
Still, there are several reasons to shop local, including the ability to spread some holiday cheer to your local businesses this Small Business Season.
Those business owners would just love to see your smiling face and the serious ones of Mr. Jackson, Hamilton, and Washington.
This Small Business Season, let’s give local and small businesses something to be thankful for.
Let’s give them the gift of our support. Need local ideas? Visit our online member directory at albanyga.com.
Albany Area Chamber announces 2021 ‘Albany Under 40’ category finalists
Albany, Ga.– The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce today announced the category finalists of the 2021 Albany Under 40 awards, a program that honors and celebrates the Albany Area’s emerging leaders and professionals in a variety of business sectors, each representing a component of the area’s diversified talent pool and economy.
“Talent is the most important factor for businesses, and the Albany Area is home to talented young professionals who are making their mark through excellence in their professions, through innovation and through their commitment to building a stronger Albany Area,” Bárbara Rivera Holmes, president and CEO of the Albany Area Chamber, the region’s leading business advocacy organization. “We’re honored to recognize these outstanding professionals who have chosen to live, work and invest in Albany and the Albany Area.”
Nominations for Albany Under 40 were sought from the public. Category finalists were considered from among the nominees who applied, and were selected, following selections criteria, by a panel of volunteer judges: Sheri Barlow, Englewood Health Care; Victoria Gatsby-Green Brackins, Turner Job Corps; Blake Cook, The Levee Studios and Do Process; Harry Day, Flint River Entertainment Complex; Pamela Green-Jackson, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany; Brad McEwen, AB&T; Shaunea Motley, United Way of Southwest Georgia; Daniel Stone, Synovus; Juwan Wilson, Mars Wrigley Confectionary.
Category finalists will be recognized at the Albany Under 40 awards reception on December 2. Category winners, selected from among the category finalists, will be announced at the event. The 2020 Albany Under 40 Young Professional of the Year, selected from among the category winners, will be announced at the Albany Area Chamber’s 112th annual meeting, in 2022.
Registrations for the Albany Under 40 awards reception can be made at albanyga.com.
Albany Area Chamber Announces Winners of its 2021 Business Awards
Albany, Ga. — The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce honored local organizations Thursday evening when it recognized the finalists and announced the winners of its 2021 Albany Area Chamber Business Awards, which celebrates memberorganizations that are making strides, demonstrating a unique vision and establishing best practices.
The business awards encompass the small business of the year award, the nonprofit of the year award and the new “Uniquely Albany” award.
“The Albany Area Chamber Business Awards celebrates excellence and shines the spotlight on our community and our member organizations — on their success, their innovation, their talent, their contributions, their impact,” said Bárbara Rivera Holmes, president & CEO of the Albany Area Chamber, the region’s largest business advocacy organization. “We’re honored to recognize these outstanding organizations and honored that they’ve chosen Albany.”
The 2021 Small Business of the Year award was presented to Q’s Cakes & More.
Q’s Cakes and More was founded out of a deep love for real food, food that is fresh, authentic and made the old fashion way. Quintetta Hall had more than 20 years of baking experience when she decided to start her own business. She was a baker by default. Her family always had big gatherings to which everyone would bring food, but there were never any sweets. Her grandmother taught her how to bake and after her grandmother passed, Hall became the baker of the family. Q’s Cakes was born in 2014 as a home-based business on Gillionville Road. Just one year in, the business suffered a devastating fire; she lost everything. After much deliberation Quinetta began again from “scratch.” Hall is now located in the heart of Albany’s retail district and employing 15 people — has blossomed into a thriving restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating; space for families and parties; cooking classes; and a personalized vending machine that’s satisfying her customers’ sweet tooths 24/7.
The 2021 Nonprofit of the Year award was presented to the Lily Pad SANE Center.
The Lily Pad SANE Center provides 24-hour services in Albany and Dougherty County and 19 counties throughout Southwest Georgia for victims of sexual assault, child abuse, neglect and deprivation, as well as children in foster care. The Lily Pad serves the immediate primary needs of the clients including crisis intervention, forensic interviews and safe, compassionate forensic medical evaluation and evidence collection. A case management approach is used for all clients to ensure that appropriate services are available, to include counseling/therapy for up to 24 months. The Lily Pad collaborates with local, state, and national resources; provides a safe haven for victims of sexual assault and their families in the immediate aftermath of an assault; and educates all stakeholders of the local community regarding sexual assault and child abuse and neglect. As a non-profit organization, the Lily Pad never charges victims for services.
In 2020, the Firefly House and Oak House Child Advocacy Centers at Lily Pad conducted more than 400 forensic interviews. Children interviews were alleged victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse or witness to the abuse of another child.
The 2021 Uniquely Albany Award was presented to Mars Wrigley Confectionary.
Mars Wrigley Confectionary has been making products in Albany for 57 years and today is the sole producer of COMBOS, baked, bite-size crackers, pretzels or tortillas jam packed with cheese-filled deliciousness. Anyone in the world who experiences the product experiences Albany, and that’s because this product is #MadeInAlbanyGA — and only Albany. COMBOS are Uniquely Albany.
Albany’s Mars site employs 215 local people; participates in the city of Albany’s annual Christmas parade; and is the presenting sponsor of the popular Snickers Marathon and Half Marathon. Mars regularly donates to local schools and Mars associates volunteer in local reading programs. During the pandemic, Mars spread cheer by donating thousands of cases of COMBOS to our health care heroes.
The 2021 Albany Area Chamber Business Awards were sponsored by Flint Equipment Co.; Phoebe Putney Health System; Colony Bank; Mitchell EMC; Renasant Bank; and CTSI.