Category Archives: News & Publications

Albany Area Chamber Concludes Successful 2024 DC Fly In

Jay Houston

(229) 434-8700

April 19, 2024 




A delegation of nearly 40 business and community leaders represented Albany and Dougherty County in the nation’s capital as part of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce’s signature federal legislative program, the Washington, D.C., Fly In.


Albany Area Chamber of Commerce Concludes Successful 2024 DC Fly In


Albany – A delegation of nearly 40 business and community leaders represented Albany and Dougherty County in the nation’s capital as part of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce’s signature federal legislative program, the Washington, D.C., Fly In, April 16-17. The two-day, policy-intensive event advances the interests of Albany and Southwest Georgia on the national stage and includes meetings with the Albany Area Congressional Delegation and U.S. Marine Corps leadership.

The 2024 program marked the event’s 20th anniversary and its largest delegation, supported by local leaders including Albany Area Chamber Chair Jeretha Peters, Albany Mayor Bo Dorough and Dougherty County Commission Chairman Lorenzo Heard. Col. Matthew McKinney, commanding offer of Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany (MCLBA), and Maj. Gen. Keith Reventlow, commanding general of Albany-based Headquarters Marine Corps Logistics Command, participated in the strategic discussions with key decision-makers.

“Engagement with federal policymakers via the Albany Area Chamber’s DC Fly In underscores our commitment to advocating for the needs of Albany and the Albany Area and driving sustainable development for the region,” said Bárbara Rivera Holmes, president and CEO of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, the region’s leading business advocacy organization. “We are committed to ensuring that Albany’s priorities are heard loud and clear in the corridors of power and that our federal relationships yield investments and advancements for Albany and Southwest Georgia.”

The itinerary was packed with policy briefings, receptions and meetings, highlighting the significance of Albany’s presence in the nation’s capital. Notable events included briefings with senior level policy advisors from U.S. Chamber of Commerce; the Albany Federal Reception with representatives from the local and Congressional delegations and Pentagon-based Marine Corps leadership;  and meetings on Capitol Hill with Congressmen Sanford Bishop and Austin Scott, and U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff.

“The DC Fly In is a cornerstone of our community’s federal advocacy efforts,” said Dougherty County Chairman Lorenzo Heard, emphasizing the importance of the delegation’s united efforts in advancing Southwest Georgia’s interests. “By working together and articulating our priorities directly to federal leaders, we are paving the way for a brighter future for Albany and the surrounding communities.”

As a Military Community of Excellence, the Albany leaders’ discussions at the Pentagon with Marine Corps’ brass reinforces the community’s commitment to supporting installation readiness and resiliency and quality of life for the Albany Area’s military families and veterans. The Pentagon meeting fosters national-level relationships and strategic action between Marines, the Albany Area Chamber and the community in supporting the warfighter and the objectives of the Corps’ Force Design and Climate Action strategies. Those plans, along with Installation & Logistics 2030, define the forward action of the Marine Corps to advance its readiness and resiliency amid contested global logistics.

“We are partners, allies and comrades,” said Holmes of the Chamber, Albany and the United States Marine Corps. “We are proud of the local partnerships that play a role in the increasing innovation and relevance of Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany and Marine Corps Logistics Command. What we do in Albany directly supports national defense.”

As part of its defense advocacy strategy, the Chamber supports more than $150 million in mission-critical, Congressionally-directed investments at the installation to advance 5G-enabled smart logistics and data-centric processes and manufacturing efficiencies. As the nerve center of Marine Corps logistics and the DOD’s energy security initiative, Marine Corps Logistics Command ad MCLBA, respectively, play a critical role in ensuring that the nation’s expeditionary force is ready.

“The opportunity to directly engage with federal leaders and advocate for the needs of our community is invaluable,” said Albany Mayor Bo Dorough.

The local delegation will conduct post-event meetings to discuss actionable next steps for addressing community items. The Chamber-led meeting aims to further engage stakeholders in the ongoing advocacy efforts and ensure that the momentum generated during the Fly In translates into tangible benefits for Albany and Southwest Georgia.

The Chamber’s 2024 government affairs program is supported by the city of Albany, Dougherty County, Phoebe Putney Health System, AB&T, the Dougherty County School System, the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission, McLendon Acres, Albany Area Primary Health Care, the Commodore Conyers College and Career Academy, Albany State University, Albany Technical College, Molson Coors, OmniTrax, the Albany Museum of Art, Turner Job Corps, Horizons Community Solution, LRA Constructors, AT&T, Georgia CEO and Adams Exterminators.

The Albany Area Chamber is represented in Washington, D.C., by Cornerstone Government Affairs.


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

Home Outlet April Sale

Join us for Home Outlet’s April Sale – Save 20% Storewide for 3 Days Only – April 11th-13th. It’s your opportunity to break up with your big box store and stay under budget for your entire project – enjoy 20% off savings on Kitchens, Baths, Floors, Windows, Doors and more!

Visit Home Outlet in Albany, GA at 2527 Dawson Road.

March 19, 2024 Business After Hours

MIX IT UP at our next month’s Business After Hours event!

Join us for an exciting evening at Pro Outdoors on March 19 from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM! Pro Outdoors is located at 2719 Phillips Drive, Albany.

Whether you’re a Chamber member or not, Business After Hours welcomes everyone to enjoy the festivities for FREE. Feel free to bring a friend or a colleague along to share in the fun.

Registration is not required, but is requested. Register at

Mauldin & Jenkins to Enhance Client Accounting and Advisory Services with CFO Navigator Merger

Mauldin & Jenkins, a leading provider of assurance, tax and advisory services, is pleased to announce the merger of CFO Navigator, a specialized firm providing tailored financial guidance to growing businesses and nonprofit organizations in the metro-Atlanta area.

With a shared commitment to helping clients leverage their financial data, the merger of CFO Navigator represents a significant milestone in expanding Mauldin & Jenkins’ capabilities in its Client Accounting and Advisory Services (CAAS) practice.

CFO Navigator has built a reputation for guiding organizations beyond traditional bookkeeping, empowering them to use their financial data to actively navigate their businesses. By offering a powerful combination of financial insight and business foresight, CFO Navigator focuses on helping companies that have outgrown their current financial capabilities by designing and offering solutions to help them understand their financial data to make the best decisions for their business.

“CFO Navigator’s expertise in providing financial guidance complements our mission to deliver comprehensive solutions to our clients,” shared Mauldin & Jenkins’ Managing Partner Hanson Borders. “We look forward to integrating CFO Navigator into our CAAS service offerings to equip clients with a better understanding of their financial data.”

In addition to the merger, Robert Stephens, CPA, and founder of CFO Navigator, will join Mauldin & Jenkins to lead the service offering in the Firm’s CAAS Practice. In his position, Robert will play a pivotal role in leading the Firm’s efforts to design and build scalable financial capabilities for its clients, ensuring they have the tools and financial insights needed to achieve their goals.

Robert expressed his enthusiasm for joining the Firm, stating, “I am beyond excited to have the fractional CFO services developed over the past 15 years be integrated into Mauldin & Jenkins. I think combining our two firms makes for a perfect match, both in service offering and culture, and I couldn’t be happier. I’m looking forward to creating even greater value for the companies and nonprofits seeking to navigate the numbers that drive their business.”

“Robert brings a wealth of experience in providing financial guidance for growing businesses and nonprofit organizations,” said Borders. “His leadership will be instrumental in driving the growth of our CAAS practice and strengthening our position as a trusted advisor to growing organizations. With Robert’s expertise, we are confident in our ability to elevate our client services to new heights and drive continued success in our advisory service offerings.”

For more information, please visit our website.

About Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC
Mauldin & Jenkins is annually recognized as a Top 100 Certified Public Accounting firm by Inside Public Accounting and Accounting Today and provides assurance, tax, advisory and consulting services to clients. Founded in 1918, the Firm serves clients in a range of industries including government, banking, technology, healthcare, construction, manufacturing, not-for-profit, financial services, film & entertainment, private client services, and higher education. For additional information, please visit

Albany hosts 35th annual Georgia Quail Hunt



February 8, 2024


Jay Houston

Albany Area Chamber of Commerce




Georgia Chamber hosts business prospects for 35th annual

‘Georgia Quail Hunt’ in Albany


Albany, Ga. – This week, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual Georgia Quail Hunt in Albany, as business leaders representing state recruitment and expansion prospects joined local and state economic developers and officials, including Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, to learn about the competitive advantages of doing business in Georgia.

Celebrating its 35th year, the Georgia Quail Hunt stands as the foremost economic development recruitment event in the state. Since 1994, business participants in the Georgia Quail Hunt have contributed billions of dollars to the state’s economy and generated more than 10,000 jobs through corporate establishments or expansions.

“Georgia has solidified its position as the leading state for business, and this occasion provides us with a platform to highlight Georgia’s people and its business-friendly atmosphere,” said Daryl Ingram, the 2024 Georgia Quail Hunt Chairman and Chief External Officer/Senior Vice President of Electric Cities of Georgia. “The economic prosperity we’ve achieved is largely the result of a synergistic partnership between public and private entities, joining forces to create opportunities for thriving businesses and, in turn, fostering prosperous communities. This event exemplifies the collaborative spirit that businesses can anticipate when choosing to establish or expand their operations in Georgia.”

The Albany Area is recognized as one of the world’s premiere destinations for quail hunting, with the industry producing an estimated annual economic impact of more than $145 million. The ongoing recruitment event this week utilizes diverse hunting preserves across Southwest Georgia, centered in Albany. Industry locations in Albany-Dougherty County facilitated through the hunt include Outdoor Network, PowerSports Plus and WebstaurantStore.

“Through the Georgia Quail Hunt we have the opportunity to host business prospects and key decision-makers for a three-day period. This allows them to personally witness the exceptional quality of life and the abundant business prospects available in Albany and Southwest Georgia,” said Jana Dyke, the president and CEO of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission. “The event offers distinctive chances for fostering relationships, a crucial element in the successful project recruitment observed throughout the hunt’s 35-year history.”

Georgia’s strengths in site location encompass a favorable tax environment, a skilled talent pool with accessible training and a robust transportation infrastructure. These attributes, among others, have earned Georgia the prestigious title of the “No. 1 state for business” for an unprecedented 10 consecutive years, as acknowledged by Area Development magazine.

Event organizers say the hunt has been successful in promoting these assets and recruiting businesses to the state.

“For more than 30 years, the Georgia Quail Hunt has helped facilitate the creation of thousands of jobs and billions in investment in Georgia’s economy,” said Chris Clark, president & CEO of the Georgia Chamber. “Hosting the event in Albany provides an incredible opportunity to showcase Southwest Georgia as a premier destination for business, giving guests a first-hand look at the region’s high quality of life and exposing them to local and state leaders who are eager to help them take their business tto the next level. I would like to personally thank the Locate South Georgia, the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission, the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce and all the local volunteers for the incredible partnership and hospitality.”

The Georgia Quail Hunt is sponsored by the Georgia Allies, the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission and Locate South Georgia, along with corporate sponsors Bergara, BPI Outdoors, Glock, Kia Georgia, Molson Coors, PowerSports Plus, Remington Firearms, Taurus Holdings and Trulock Choke Tubes.


About the Georgia Chamber of Commerce

The Georgia Chamber of Commerce is the state’s largest business advocacy organization that focuses on state and federal issues. The Chamber has worked to keep, grow and create jobs to make Georgia a better state for business. The advocacy, policy and thought leadership help ensure Georgia’s economic competitiveness, attract new investments as well as promote growth and prosperity for all businesses.

Chamber’s Albany-Dougherty Day 2024 celebrates community, leadership, partnerships


A delegation of community leaders along with Gov. Brian Kemp and First Lady Marty Kemp celebrated Albany-Dougherty Day at the Capitol on January 29-30. Albany-Dougherty Day is the Albany Area Chamber’s signature state legislative event.


January 29-30, 2024

Albany-Dougherty Day 2024: Celebrating Community Leadership, Unity, and Legislative Engagement

Atlanta — Albany-Dougherty Day 2024, hosted in Atlanta Monday and Tuesday by the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, culminated as a resounding success, showcasing the collective strength and unity of the Albany community. This signature state legislative event drew a local delegation of nearly 50 private, public and elected partners for a  two-day event program that includes a legislative reception and meetings with legislators at the Georgia State Capitol.

“The success of Albany-Dougherty Day 2024 is a testament to the collaborative spirit and dedication of our community, and to our persistence in ensuring we are seen and heard at the Georgia State Capitol,” said Bárbara Rivera Holmes, president and CEO of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce. “This annual event highlights the importance of engaging with our elected officials, reinforces the strength of our local and state partnerships and reflects Albany’s position as a key economic hub supporting Georgia’s unmatched competitiveness.”

The public-private collaboration was underscored by participation from Albany Mayor Bo Dorough, Dougherty County Commission Chairman Lorenzo Heard, Albany Area Chamber Chair Jeretha Peters and members of their respective bodies. Sen. Freddie Powell Sims and Reps. Gerald Geene, Bill Yearta, Mike Cheokas – members of the Albany Area state legislative delegation – participated in the programs, as did leadership from Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany.

The program commenced Monday with the Albany-Dougherty Day Legislative Reception at the Nathan Deal Judicial Center, home of the Georgia Supreme Court and Georgia Court of Appeals. The center’s second-floor terrace, which overlooks Georgia’s Gold Dome, played host to a sunset reception during which local participants mingled with esteemed guests including Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and First Lady Marty Kemp; Lt. Gov. Burt Jones; Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr; Commissioner John King of the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance and Fire Safety; Commissioner Tyler Harper of the Georgia Department of Agriculture; Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger; and Judge Ken Hodges of the Georgia Court of Appeals.

The attendance of the state’s highest-ranking elected officials and additional leadership from the House of Representatives, Georgia Senate, state agencies and the judiciary emphasized Albany’s role as a key fixture in the state’s political and economic landscape.

“Ensuring our state officials are aware of the policy positions of the Albany Area Chamber and how they impact our member organizations and the region’s economic competitiveness is a core function of the Chamber’s advocacy program,” said Bridges Sinyard, vice president of Adams Exterminators and chair of the Chamber’s Government Affairs Division. “Equally important is building and strengthening our relationships with state leadership. Albany-Dougherty Day is a conduit for that.”

Tuesday’s legislative program in the Capitol was marked by a series of engaging discussions with agency leadership and elected officials, providing valuable insights into what’s ahead during the 2024 legislative session. The sessions laid the groundwork for participants to engage in a unique experience with Georgia decision makers playing roles in the issues that matter most to the Chamber and the delegation, including smart fiscal policy, education and talent, defense and military, economic development and health care.

Participants had the opportunity to hear from House Majority Leader Chuck Efstration; Sen. Chuck Payne, chairman of the Senate’s committee on veterans, military and homeland security; Chairman Matt Bonner from the House’s committee on defense and veterans; Commissioner Greg Dozier of the Technical College System of Georgia; and Kristi Birgman, deputy commissioner for global commerce with the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

The mid-morning session included a commendation presentation with Kemp and a floor visit to the Georgia Senate, from whose well Holmes brought remarks on behalf of the community and addressed the senatorial body.

The scheduled events of the day came to a close with a “State of Health Policy” panel composed of Georgia Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Russel Carlson, Deputy Commissioner Grant Thomas and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Dean Burke; Chairman Butch Parrish of the House Special Committee on Healthcare; Chairman Ben Watson of the Senate Health Committee; Caylee Noggle, CEO of the Georgia Hospital Association (GH.A); Phoebe Putney Health System CEO Scott Steiner, chair-elect of GHA.

Amidst the various sessions, Albany-Dougherty leaders actively advocated for legislative priorities crucial to the region’s growth. Notably, discussions emphasized the need for increased state funding to support local initiatives including the establishment of a VECTR (Veterans Education Career Transition Resource) center at Albany Technical College. The proposed $17.4 million center aims to enhance veteran employment opportunities in the area, aligning with broader local and state efforts to support and empower active military, veterans and military families. VECTR Albany is a key priority of Albany Technical College and the Albany Area Chamber.

The Chamber’s government affairs program is sponsored by AB&T, Phoebe Putney Health System, the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission, the City of Albany, Dougherty County, Dougherty County School System, Albany Area Primary Healthcare, Albany State University, Albany Technical College, Mclendon Acres, OmniTRAX Industrial Development, AT&T, Horizon Community Solutions, LRA Constructors, Molson Coors, Adams Exterminators and Georgia CEO.  Representatives from sponsoring organizations participated in the program.


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

2023-2024 Political Leadership Institute

 ALBANY, GA – January 23, 2024 – The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the successful conclusion of the 2023-2024 Albany Area Political Leadership Institute (PLI), a nonpartisan program dedicated to preparing participants for leadership roles on local boards and in elected office. 

The program, now in its second year, welcomed a diverse group of participants who completed a rigorous application process and were hand-selected for their commitment to public service and community engagement. The program’s January 17 graduation ceremony celebrated the accomplishments of the 2023-2024 PLI cohort, consisting of individuals from throughout Albany and the surrounding area. Participants included Renea Miller, Christopher Harvey, Tameeka Daniels, Martez Favis, Dr. Jennifer Williams, Angela Michele Patterson, Kenyetta Simons, Caleb Clugston, and George Houston. 

PLI’s goal is simple and local: To build well-equipped candidates for elected office and appointed boards. Throughout the three-session program, held from November 2023 to January 2024, participants delved into essential topics such as “Government 101,” “Issues of Importance,” and “Appointed Boards and Elected Office.” The curriculum, developed by business leaders in Albany, aims to equip participants with foundational knowledge and skills needed for effective public service leadership. Each program session was followed by networking opportunities with community and business leaders, connecting class participants to those serving the community in a variety of ways. 

Graduates of the 2022-2023 program successfully obtained local appointments, and 2023-2024 graduates are well on their way to expand their public service. 

“Participating in the 2023-2024 Political Leadership Institute has been an enlightening journey for me,” said class participant George Houston, organizational development coach at Phoebe 

Putney Memorial Hospital, president of the Lee County Exchange Club and member of the Board of Elections and Registrations for Lee County. “I entered the program with a commitment to community service. Through this experience, I gained wonderful insights into the intricacies of local governance. The program’s comprehensive curriculum and networking opportunities have left me feeling even more encouraged that normal individuals can indeed make a significant difference in shaping the future of the Albany Area. I am grateful for this empowering experience and look forward to applying what I’ve learned in my continued service to the community.” 

Barbara Rivera Holmes, president & CEO of the Albany Area Chamber, expressed the chamber’s commitment to developing local talent for public service leadership. 

“The Political Leadership Institute serves as an innovative platform to nurture public servants and political newcomers, providing them with essential insights into issues and expectations as they consider elected office candidacy or public board positions,” she said. “The Albany Area Chamber aims to engage more people in public service, to prepare business-minded leaders who have an interest in exploring leadership opportunities on appointed boards or elected office, and to help them discover how their experience, skills and talent could address critical policy issues.” 

Bridges Sinyard, vice president of Adams Exterminators and chairman of the Albany Area Chamber’s Government Affairs Division, emphasized the program’s impact on bridging the gap for political newcomers and those interested in public service. 

This program educates and equips future community leaders on the unique demands of governmental leadership,” he said, “helping potential candidates and board members become more attuned to community needs and prepared to meet those needs through strategic action. 

Applications for the 2024-2025 class will open late summer/early fall. Interested individuals should follow the Chamber at and on social media. 

Albany Flint Rivergators Professional Indoor Football Coming Spring 2024

The Albany Flint Rivergators will play at the Flint River Entertainment Complex starting in Spring 2025. The team has joined the American Indoor Football (AIF) league in 2023 and will play on the road in Spring 2024. The team will play games in Cedar Rapids, IA, Corpus Christi, TX, Batesville, MS and Columbus, GA. To learn more about the team and G-Sport Edutainment Group, LLC go to the website at:

Exciting News: Jeretha Peters Named Chair of Albany Area Chamber of Commerce

 Albany – The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to welcome Jeretha Peters as the 2024 chair of its Board of Directors. With a distinguished background as the Branch Manager and First Vice President of Investments at Wells Fargo Advisors, Peters brings a wealth of experience and commitment to the business community. 

As we stand at the beginning of a new year, many of us are inspired by the idea of change and the prospect of doing things differently to bring about better results, ” she said. “It is with immense gratitude and honor that I assume the role of chair of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce. 

“Margaret Mead once said, ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.’ These words resonate deeply, not only with me, but within the spirit of the Albany Area Chamber as a collective of dedicated individuals and businesses on a journey to impact Albany positively,” Peters said. “We are not just an organization; we are catalysts for change, working to create a community that benefits us all – changing our world for the better. I am both excited and honored to serve our community through the Albany Area Chamber and invite you to join us as we navigate this journey to create a more thriving and prosperous community.” 

Peters is a longstanding member of the Albany Area Chamber and has served in various capacities. She served as chair-elect in 2023 and held a three-year role as chair of the Chamber’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, where she spearheaded the area’s first business-led initiative focused on fostering a welcoming environment for all. 

“We look forward to this year under Jeretha’s leadership and her focus of fostering innovation, transforming challenges into opportunities and collaborating with those who share a vision for Albany’s future,” said Barbara Rivera Holmes, president & CEO of the Albany Area Chamber and its 51c3 affiliate, the Albany Area Chamber Foundation. “We believe that together with our members and partners we can turn collective resolve into tangible actions that positively impact our community.” 

Ben Maillette, plant manager of Albany’s Molson Coors brewery, is the 2024 chair-elect and will assume the role of chairman in 2025. Peters was preceded in leadership by Perry Revell, CEO of AB&T; the late Chandu Kuntawala; and Don Gray, facilities manager for the city of Albany. Jeff Wright, managing partner at Draffin & Tucker, serves as the Chamber’s treasurer. 

Peters will address the membership at the Chamber’s 114th annual meeting on April 25. 


The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, founded in 1910, is leading a multi-year strategic effort to advance economic opportunities. With a diverse business community in our corner, the Albany Area Chamber works diligently to serve area businesses, develop strategies that help our community prosper and design the path of Albany’s future. Learn more at