Category Archives: Uncategorized

City of Albany Veterans Day Breakfast 2022

City of Albany Employee Veterans and Retiree Veterans are welcome at the Veterans Day Breakfast

Friday, November 11, 2022

8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

The Albany Civic Center

100 W. Oglethorpe Blvd.

R.S.V.P. by email at by Friday, November 4, 2022

For more information contact Lorine Bridges at (229) 302-1306

Mary Petty at 229.302.1308



Albany Area Chamber Business Awards 2022

Join us as we honor the excellence in business achievement and the community contributions that make Albany and the Albany Area a better place to live and work.

At the November 30 Albany Area Chamber Business Awards reception, we will celebrate this year’s awards finalists and recognize the 2022 Small Business of the Year, Nonprofit of the Year, Women-owned Business of the Year and the Uniquely Albany award recipients.

For ticket and sponsorship information, contact Mary Bickerstaff or call (229) 434-8700.

Albany Area Chamber launches Political Leadership Institute

Albany, GA – The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce today announced the launch of the Albany Area Political Leadership Institute, a nonpartisan political leadership program aimed at equipping participants for leadership on local boards and in elected office.

Applications are now open for the 2023 class, which will kick off in November. Interested candidates should apply at

“Through the political leadership institute, 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,” said Barbara Rivera Holmes, president & CEO of the Albany Area Chamber.

The Political Leadership Institute is an initiative of the Albany Area Chamber’s #ImpactABY2023 strategy and implemented through its Government Affairs Division. The Chamber announced the development of the institute at its 112th annual meeting in April.

“This program will serve to educate and equip future community leaders on the unique demands of governmental leadership, helping potential candidates and board members become more attuned to community needs and prepared to meet those needs through strategic action,” said Bridges Sinyard, vice president of Adams Exterminators and chairman of the Albany Area Chamber’s Government Affairs Division.

The three-session program is suited for anyone interested in serving on appointed boards or in elected office. Participants will get a primer on government, opportunities for service, campaigning for office and what Albany needs from its appointed and elected officials. The program features unique networking opportunities for class members to build relationships with each other and with business and community leaders.

Class sessions will run from November 2022 to January 2023 and will cover topics including “Government 101,” “Issues of Importance” and “Appointed Boards and Elected Office.”

The program cost is $100 to participants, which includes all three sessions and related materials and meals. The deadline to apply is Friday, October 28.

Albany Area Chamber President & CEO Barbara Rivera Holmes named one of ’50 Most Influential Latinos in Georgia”

Atlanta, GA – The Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GHCC) has named Albany Area Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Bárbara Rivera Holmes as one of the “50 Most Influential Latinos in Georgia.”

“My Spanish language and Hispanic culture are embedded into my identity. My personal and professional drive, perspective and courage have been shaped by my heritage, by my family’s journey from Cuba to America, and by my own integration from Puerto Rico to the continental United States,” said Rivera Holmes. “The Georgia Hispanic Chamber’s ’50 Most Influential Latinos’ awards recognize character, competency and impact, and shines a light on the Hispanic influence on our communities and our state. I am humbled and agradecida to be included among the honorees.”

The recognition was made at the Georgia Hispanic Chamber’s 50 Most Influential Latinos ceremony at Truist Park in Atlanta.

“Our awards recognition is a celebration of our community’s impact and contribution to our great state,” said Veronica Maldonado-Torres, GHCC President and CEO. “It serves as a reminder on how each of us has the potential to change the narrative and leave a legacy for those that follow. “

The event was emceed by 11 Alive News journalist Paola Turo and attended by most of Georgia’s English- and Spanish-speaking major media outlets, as well as a visit from The New York Times.

U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff and U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock offered remarks at the ceremony and reminded Georgians of their initiatives regarding diversity and inclusion, especially within the Hispanic community.

The honoree list includes professionals from business, sports, entertainment, technology, healthcare, politics and more. It includes notables such Georgia Power Regional Director Misty Fernandez and Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John King. The GHCC also announced the latest inductees to its Hall of Fame, including Cox Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs Bob Jimenez and Brenda Lopez Romero, senior district attorney for the Gwinnett Judicial Circuit.

“Honoring and highlighting the powerful contributions of our 50 Most Influential Latinos in Georgia is our duty and we proudly elevate them in character, impact, connectivity and honor their role in our communities,” Maldonado- Torres added.

Hundreds of nominations were received at the GHCC this year and went through a rigorous process to evaluate contributions each nominee has made. The final selection was based on the degree of influence each person exhibited in their role as a representative of the Latino community.

The 50 Most Influential Latinos in Georgia 2022

Alex Gonzalez, CIO, Metro Atlanta Chamber; Alex Villanueva, Cyber Security Senior Technology Consultant, EY; Ana Maria Martinez, President and C0-Founder, Georgia Latino Law Foundation; Andres Villegas, President & CEO, Georgia Forestry Association & Georgia Forestry Foundation; Angel Cabrera, President, Georgia institute of Technology; Barbara Rivera Holmes, President & CEO, Albany Area Chamber of Commerce; Christopher Pereira, Principal & Founder, Critical Point Consulting; Daniela Rodriguez, ED, Migrant Equity Southeast; Deborah Gonzalez, District Attorney; Diana Trujillo, Director of Events, Atlanta Sports Council; Dr. Felipe Lobelo, Physician Program Director for Epidemiology, Public Health Preparedness Southeast Permanente Medical Group; Eloisa Klementich, President & CEO, Invest Atlanta; Frank Fernandez, President & CEO, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta; Gina Espinosa-Meltzer, Partner, Hope-Beckham; Hilda Abbott, Founder & CEO, RudHil Companies; Jaime Rangel, Georgia State Director,; Jason R. Anavitarte, Director of Life Services & Community Relations CareSource; Jason Esteves, Vice President of Legal, Equifax; Javier Diaz de Leon, Consul General of Mexico in Atlanta; Joel Alvarado, VP of Strategy & Engagement Partnership, Southern Equity; John Duran, Director of Bilingual Relationships, Beaver Toyota; John F. King, Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner; Jorge Estevez, Anchor/Reporter, Cox Media Groups; Jorge Gomez, Marketing Director, Plaza Fiesta; Jose Paniagua, VP & Treasurer, Inspire Brands; Jose Perez, Board of Regents, University Systems of Georgia; Juan Bonilla, Founder & CEO, TCI CRM, LLC; Juan Perez, CIO, Salesforce; Julio Rivera-Montero, Sales Account Manager, Delta Airlines; Lillian Rodriguez Lopez, Public Affairs Specialist, CCI Companies; Lisa Guadalupe Clarke, Founder & CEO, ATL Search Group; Louis Enrique Negron Sr., CEO, The 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc.; Maria Guerra-Stoll, President and CEO, PAM Studios; Maria Alejandra Bastidas, VP and General Manager, Telemundo Atlanta; Martha Revelo, NE Outreach Director, US Senator Raphael Warnock; Michael Gorman Hernandez, President & CEO, SSSD Contracting, LLC; Misty S. Fernandez, Regional Director, GA Power; Moises Velez, Founder and Editor, Que Pasa Ga; Monica Altagracia Marin Cruz, Consul General of El Salvador in Georgia; Oscar Zelaya, President & CEO, Blue Point Entertainment; Pamela Peynado, Director of Jurisprudence, Esq, Lee and Peynado Immigration Law Group; Rene Alegria, President and CEO, MundoNow; Shirley Anne Smith, ED, Atlanta Fire Rescue Foundation; Sofia M Bork, Community Affairs Manager, Truist; J. Antonio DelCampo, Attorney, DGL Attorneys at Law; Tony Guerrero, Actor/Producer/Voice over Actor; Vanessa Ibarra, ED, City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of International and Immigrant Affairs; Veronica Toscano de Leger, Government Liaison, Government of Guanajuato; Vicenzo Piscopo, President and CEO, United Spinal Association; Zulma Lopez, Immigration Attorney, Lopez Immigration.

Hall of Fame 2022

Adelina Nicholls, ED, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights; Anthony Rodriguez, ED, HUB404; Bob Jiminez, VP of Corporate Affairs Cox Enterprises; Brenda Lopez Romero, Senior Assistant District Attorney; Guiomar Obregon, CEO, Precision 2000; Jerry Gonzalez, CEO, GALEO & GALEO Impact Fund; Mimi Woodson, Council Member; Ozzie Areu, CEO, Areu Bros Studios; Sam Zamarripa, Chairman & Director, Mundo Hispanico; Rafael Navarro, Director & Editor in Chief.


Nominations Open for Albany Area Chamber’s ‘Albany Under 40’ Awards

Albany, GA  –  The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce today announced the opening of nominations for “Albany Under 40,” an awards program that honors and celebrates the Albany Area’s emerging leaders and professionals. The program recognizes professionals in a variety of industries, each representing a component of the Albany 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. “Albany Under 40 celebrates these professionals and promotes the breadth and scope of the talent that helps make the Albany Area a regional leader.”

Individuals may be recognized in 12 categories: Arts and Entertainment, Culinary Arts, Events, Tourism and Hospitality; Civics, Defense, Government and Public Affairs; Financial and Insurance Services; Innovation and Start-up; Journalism, Marketing and Public Relations; Legal; Manufacturing, Service Industries, Energy and Architecture; Medicine and Health Care; Nonprofit Service; Sports, Wellness and Fitness; Technology; and Youth and Education.

Finalists will be considered from among those professionals who are nominated. The Chamber encourages the community to submit nominations at Nominations must be received by Friday, October 21, 2022. Nominees will be subsequently notified of their nomination and will receive the application materials.

Award category winners, selected from among the award category finalists, will be announced at the Albany Under 40 awards reception on December 15, 2022. One Albany Under 40 Young Professional of the Year, selected from among the category winners, will be announced at the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce’s 113thth Annual Dinner in April 2023.

Candidates must be under the age of 40 at the time of the December 15 award ceremony.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for this program and can be downloaded at Please Contact Albany Area Chamber Membership Director Mary Bickerstaff at to secure your spot.

Albany Area Chamber, Albany-Dougherty EDC and 4C Academy partner to bring FLEX ABY youth entrepreneurship program to Albany

Albany, GA – The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission and Commodore Conyers College and Career Academy (4C Academy) have partnered to bring FLEX (Foundational Leadership and Entrepreneur X-perience) to Albany in local program “FLEX ABY.”

FLEX is a statewide youth entrepreneurship competition designed to encourage innovation, create prosperity and revitalize rural entrepreneurial ecosystems by exposing students to the rewards, challenges and processes associated with starting a business.

“Studies show that Gen Z is more entrepreneurial than generations preceding them, with 60 percent of teens reporting serious interest in starting their own business,” said Barbara Rivera Holmes, president & CEO of the Albany area Chamber. “To capitalize on this, it is important for the Albany community to demonstrate support for aspiring entrepreneurs, to help foster innovation, retain talent and spur local investment and business partnerships in the long run.”

FLEX was founded in nearby Fitzgerald through a partnership between the Fitzgerald-Ben Hill County Chamber of Commerce, Fitzgerald High School College and Career Academy and Fitzgerald-Ben Hill County Development Authority. The program has recently expanded statewide.

FLEX ABY will kick off with students from 4C Academy, which encompasses students from throughout the Dougherty County School System as well as districts from surrounding counties.

“FLEX is an exciting opportunity for our students. So many of our young team members are interested in entrepreneurship and many have already started their own businesses,” said Chris Hatcher, CEO of 4C Academy. “This competition will help them by providing seminars, mentors and even a cash prize for the three finalists.  Most importantly, it will expose them to a formalized business planning process as well as to members of our business community who are looking to help.”

The local competition is comprised of three phases, with one winner advancing on to the state finals, to be held in Fitzgerald in April 2023.

Finalists are awarded seed money to help fund and expand their business. Locally, a total of $9,500 will be given in cash awards, with $5,000 going to the local winner.

“Our goal through FLEX ABY is to encourage interest in entrepreneurship and to chart a path towards business ownership for our young people,” said Jana Dyke, president & CEO of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission. “Investing in our students now will better enable them to invest back into our community later on.”

Student interest is currently being vetted for the competition, which will kick off with round one of local competition in November 2022.

FLEX ABY is seeking community support though tax-deductible financial investment and volunteers to serve as competition judges, one-on-one student mentors and subject matter workshop hosts.

To get involved with FLEX ABY, fill out the commitment pledge form here.

Albany Area Chamber leads local delegation to Washington, D.C. in federal advocacy event

Albany Area Chamber President & CEO Barbara Rivera Holmes engages in discussion with U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop on critical needs of Albany and Southwest Georgia.

Albany, Ga. – The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce last week led a delegation of local leaders to Washington, D.C., for the annual “DC Fly In,” the organization’s long-standing annual federal advocacy event. The delegation, representing the public and private sectors, met with national leaders and lawmakers on issues most vital to Albany and Southwest Georgia.

The two-day event included meetings with the Albany Area Congressional delegation — U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop; the office of 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 (MCLB Albany) and Marine Corps Logistics Command (Logcom), including Meredith Berger, assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment, and Lt. Gen. Edward Banta, deputy commandant of Marine Corps Installations & Logistics. Col. Michael Fitzgerald, commanding officer of MCLB Albany, and Maj. Gen. Keith Reventlow, commanding general of Logcom, participated in the Pentagon discussions.

Meetings allowed the Albany group to provide updates on a variety of fronts including economic development and Albany as a premier industry location; health care delivery and expansion of services to meet regional needs; work force development initiatives aimed at expanding the classroom-to-career pipeline in high-demand fields; infrastructure investment as a component of community and economic development, with a priority focus on broadband expansion; and MCLB Albany as a global leader in innovation and mission readiness.

“Albany-Dougherty County has, through vision and action, positioned itself as a statewide leader in collaborative partnerships, and the distinction is well recognized among state and federal leadership,” said Barbara Rivera Holmes, president and CEO of the Albany Area Chamber. “The DC Fly In is our community’s opportunity to secure face time in our nation’s capital and two-way communication with national leaders who can bolster and advance our local initiatives through federal policy and funding.”

The advocacy event is aimed at informing leaders on local priorities, as well as requesting support for critical components of the community’s overall framework for development. Calls for Congressional support include:

  • Continued Investment in broadband expansion, which impacts education, health care, commerce and national defense
  • Smart immigration policy reforms to support work force demands, boost economic growth, create jobs, and encourage innovation and entrepreneurship
  • $39 million for advancing completion of a mission-critical consolidated communications center at MCLBA
  • $56 million for an operational readiness facility at Albany-based U.S. Marine Corps Logistics Command as a required component of the Marine Corps’ Force Design 2030 strategy

The local delegation also met with senior leadership of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, discussing immigration policy; work force and talent; tort reform; and other federal policies and regulations that impact businesses.

“The Albany Area Chamber spearheads our community’s advocacy initiatives and is the conduit through which businesses and people connect and collaborate, and make their voices heard,” said Don Gray, 2022 chairman of the Albany Area Chamber. “The Chamber’s Government Affairs Division – along with the full spectrum of its five member-led committees that help inform the organization’s overall policy positions – embodies the mission of the Chamber as a center point through which the community is empowered to take action and create change.”

The DC Fly In is a component of the Albany Area Chamber’s Government Affairs Division, which advocates for policies conducive to business and community growth. The program is sponsored by Adams Exterminators; Albany Area Primary Health Care; the Albany Convention & Visitors Bureau; the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission; Albany State University; Albany Technical College; AT&T; the City of Albany; Dougherty County; the Dougherty County School System; Georgia CEO; Georgia Power; Horizons Community Solutions; McLendon Acres; and Phoebe Putney Health System.

Visit to view the Albany Area Chamber’s 2022 legislative agenda, and take the policy survey at to provide input as the organization develops its 2023 priorities.

Grand Opening

Please join us for Evelyn’s Creations & Art Expo Grand Opening. A chance to see beautiful culture Art and Clothing.

Friday Oct 7, 2022
Location:2530 Stuart Ave, Albany Ga 31707
Big Lots and Home Outlet Shopping Center Around Corner

Refreshments will be served

Contact information
Katherine Gilbert
(229) 395-1501

Mauldin & Jenkins Appoints 10 New Partners

ALBANY, GA, September 1, 2022- Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC, a leading accounting and advisory firm in the Southeast and nationwide, is pleased to announce the appointment of 10 new firm partners, effective September 1.

“We are thrilled to welcome these 10 outstanding individuals as partners in the firm,” states Managing Partner Hanson Borders. “Each one has played an important role in our continued firm growth and brings a high caliber of expertise. These new partners have demonstrated exceptional leadership within the firm and their communities, and we look forward to their continued success in the future.”

Daniel Anderson, CPA, Partner (Bradenton)
Daniel focuses on serving governmental and non-profit entities throughout Florida. He is a regular speaker at FGFOA and FICPA events on state and local government topics. Daniel is a graduate of Leadership Manatee and the FICPA Emerging Leaders Program. He currently serves on the Board of the Center of Anna Maria Island. He resides in Bradenton with his wife, Gina, and two children, son, Nolan and daughter, Sutton.

William Birmingham, CPA, Partner (Atlanta)
William practices in the Private Client Services practice. Since joining Mauldin & Jenkins in 2013, William has specialized in providing proactive tax planning and compliance services to entities and individuals involved in a wide variety of industries, including construction, manufacturing, professional services, hospitality, and real estate, with a focus on closely-held, family-owned businesses.

Grant H. Davis, CPA, Partner (Columbia)
Grant received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Georgia Southern University in 2011 and in 2012 received his Master of Accounting also from Georgia Southern University. Since starting his career in 2012 in the firm’s Macon office, Grant has focused on serving a wide variety of state and local governmental entities primarily in Georgia and South Carolina.

Kelsie Deiter, Partner (Atlanta)
Kelsie serves as the HR & Marketing leader of Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC. With more than 15 years of experience at M&J, she supports not only the growth of the Firm but also the professionals that make M&J a great place to work. She plays a critical role in aligning the strategic direction of the Firm’s leadership to the HR and Marketing team functions. Kelsie holds a PHR Certification and is an active member of the Accounting Marketing Association and SHRM.

Emily K. Dent, CPA, CRCM, CAMS, Partner (Albany)
Emily specializes in regulatory compliance and Bank Secrecy Act consulting services for financial institutions. She has over 20 years of experience working in and with financial institutions and 15 years in public accounting. She has extensive experience with internal controls related to both financial reporting and compliance operations. Emily is a member of the AICPA, GSCPA, ABA and ACAMS.

Rob Douglas, CPA, Partner (Albany)
Rob is involved in the Firm’s Private Client Services and Financial Institutions practices. Rob began his career with Mauldin & Jenkins in 2011. He specializes in assurance, tax and advisory services for a variety of businesses including banks, agri-business, large growers, medical practices and family-owned businesses and their owners. Rob and his wife, Parker, have two children, Rett and Louis.

Justin M. Elliott, CPA, Partner (Macon)
Justin received his BBA in Accounting in 2010 and MAcc in 2011 from Georgia Southern University. Justin’s primary focus has been serving governmental entities across the Southeast. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Georgia Government Finance Officers Association. Justin resides in Macon, Georgia with wife, Jessica, and children, Sutton and Wells.

Tiffany Galligan, CPA, Partner (Albany)
Since joining Mauldin & Jenkins in 2001, Tiffany has spent the majority of her time working in the Private Client Services area. She focuses her career on income taxes and closely held businesses with a concentration in the agricultural and real estate industries. Tiffany is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Christopher McKellar, CPA, Partner (Atlanta)
Christopher received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Information Systems from Georgia Southern University. He also graduated with his Master of Accountancy from Georgia Southern University. Since starting his career in 2005, Christopher has focused on serving state and local governments throughout the Southeast. Christopher currently works and resides in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife, Alisha, and their son.

Ashton Pellicano, CPA, Partner (Atlanta)
Ashton has been with the firm since 2013. He received his BBA in Accounting in 2012 and MAcc in 2013 from The University of Georgia. Ashton has focused his career on tax planning and preparation of individual and business tax returns, and audits of financial institutions and employee benefit plans. Ashton is a member of the AICPA and GSCPA.

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

For more information, contact:
Katie Funderburk, 229-446-3631