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BIZ ALBANY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE VOL. 19 / ISSUE 4

President & CEO, Editor Bårbara Rivera Holmes Chair Scott Tomlinson Chair Elect Perry Revell Printing South Georgia Printing Photography Todd Stone Ad Sales Mary Bickerstaff Marketing Agency MADlab Marketing Business (U.S.P.S. 886-680) is published by the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, 225 W. Broad Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701. Subscription rate of $50 is included in membership investment. Periodicals postage paid at Albany, Georgia. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Business Magazine, 225 W. Broad Avenue, Albany, Georgia, 31701. For more information about this publication or advertising rates, call (229) 434-8700. This publication is produced by the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce. Reproduction in whole or part of this publication without expressed written consent of the publisher is prohibited. All claims, materials, and photos furnished or used are, to the publisher’s knowledge, true and correct. Hence liability cannot be assumed by the publisher for errors or by the publisher for errors or omissions. Advertisements and editorial information published in this publication is subject to the unrestricted right to edit of, and by, our editor/publisher. U.S. Postal Service Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation. Date of Filing: 9/29/08


TABLE OF

CON T E N T S 06 Comments from the Chairman Exciting updates on our robust community. 07 A Message from the Chamber President Focused on solutions. 08 Taking the Vitals on The Nursing Program Creating a standard of excellence at ASU. 12 Cutting Their Teeth at ASU Dental hygiene program boasts 100 percent pass rate. The Flint has opened its doors as the newest and highly anticipated restaurant in downtown Albany. The Singfield family’s new Pine Avenue restaurant provides Southern hospitality and fine dining in a beautifully decorated environment. The Flint offers catering, private dining rooms and an event center.

ON THE COVER: Marion Fedrick is the 10th president of Albany State University. Her investiture, a formal ceremony conferring authority and typically held during a new president's first year in office, is scheduled for September 6 at the campus' Billy C. Black Auditorium.

14 Presidential Investiture Marion Fedrick, 10th president of Albany State University. 17

Casting Phoebe in a New Direction Meet the new CEO, Scott Steiner.

24 Helping Hands. Nurturing Minds. DCSS and local businesses address food insecurity. 28 Chamber Highlights Recent Chamber events and highlights. 30 2019 Small Business Week Celebrating small businesses that make a big impact. 33

Washington, D.C. Fly-In Local leaders visit the nation’s capitol to discuss issues affecting Albany and Southwest Georgia.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram at AlbanyGA.com


COM M E N T S

FROM T HE 2 01 9 C HAI RM AN I love our community and I love to brag on her. In June, I attended the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce’s State of the Community during which Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard and Dougherty County Commission Chairman Christopher S. Cohilas provided us with a rousing update of exciting developments − federal disaster relief funds moving our way, infrastructure improvement, the impending completion of the trails project, and continued downtown additions such as The Flint restaurant. We seem to be on our way to a more robust community. And, while I am bragging, this issue of “Biz” highlights three major topics in our area that are instrumental to the overall economic well-being of our community – education, hunger relief and healthcare. I’m excited for you to read about Albany State University’s Paramedic-to-RN nursing program ranking 9th in the entire nation, the Dougherty County School System summer meal program ensuring children in Dougherty County have healthy food options during summer break and to learn what Scott Steiner, new CEO of Phoebe, has in mind for the hospital’s future. In the words of Mayor Hubbard from the State of the Community address, “I love it when a plan comes together,” and that appears to be the very thing happening in Albany-Dougherty County. - SCOTT TOMLINSON

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M ES SAGE

F RO M T H E P R ES I DE NT & C EO Business and economic success for Albany and the Albany Area is incredibly linked to the education and skills training of our citizens. In this issue, we explore partnerships between the business sector and educational institutions that facilitate growth and opportunity. Reflected in our cover story, Albany State University President Marion Fedrick leads the institution into a new era, focusing on increasing student retention, progression and graduation rates in its degree programs, which will lend to employment in high-demand fields. The university is placing focus on teacher education, health professions and blockchain technology/machine learning programs – all areas that directly impact the Albany Area and Southwest Georgia. In June, the Albany Area Chamber led a delegation of 25 to Washington, D.C., to share updates and priority items with the Georgia Congressional delegation, and discuss with our DC-based U.S. Marine Corps leadership Albany’s role in supporting a new National Defense Strategy. From the Hill to the Pentagon, education and work force are top of conversation as a driver of growth and success. Educational partners participated in the legislative visit, demonstrating the strong partnership we’ve established between education and the business community. We’re at a good place, and – foot to the pedal – can be in a great place as together we focus on finding solutions to roadblocks, capitalizing on our strengths and opportunities and building the trust, relationships and partnerships that allow for progress. -BÁRBARA RIVERA HOLMES

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TAKING THE

ON THE NURSING PROGRAM Creating a Standard of Excellence at ASU For many who are part of the extended Albany State University family, ASU President Marion Fedrick’s line, “Excellence is a Standard,” can be more of a cathprase than anything. But for Sarah Brinson, the dean of the Darton College of Health Professionals at Albany State, those four words serve as a watermark − a personal challenge – for the 100-plus full-and part-time staff members and educators who train the future nurses and health care providers of the region. Brinson, in her sixth month as dean, is working with Fedrick, administrators, staff and students to make “ASU” and “excellence” synonymous. With students in three of Albany State’s 16 health profession programs – physical therapy assistant, dental hygiene and diagnostics of medical sonography – currently scoring 100 percent on national licensure exams, Brinson says the bar has been set for a program that she expects to

become a national standard-bearer. The recent announcement that ASU’s bridge Paramedic-to-RN program was ranked 9th in the nation by a health care watchdog that bases its rankings on licensure exam scores and other factors is further evidence that the right kind of standards have been established. “I am embedded in this community and in this university,” said Brinson, a native of nearby Cairo. “My four children attend the public school system in Dougherty County, and it’s important to me that I do my part to help make Albany State University the kind of institution my children, and everybody else’s children, would want to go to.” “There is a shortage of health care professionals in our region, in Georgia and in the nation,” she said. 8 JULY | AUGUST 2019

SARAH BRINSON, DEAN OF DARTON COLLEGE OF HEALTH PROFESSIONALS AT ASU


"I AM EXCITED TO JOIN PRESIDENT FEDRICK IN WORKING WITH THE HEALTH PROFESSIONALS ACROSS THE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM OF GEORGIA IN COMING UP WITH A STRATEGIC ACTION PLAN THAT WILL ALLOW US TO ADDRESS THE WORK FORCE DEMANDS OF THE STATE." Brinson thought she’d found her calling when, after graduating from then Darton College with an associate’s degree from the college’s physical therapy assistants program and marrying her sweetheart, Shane Brinson, a week later, she started work at Palmyra Medical Center in Albany. But, fate had other plans. Brinson got her bachelor and Master’s degrees in education from Valdosta State University, and eventually her doctorate in higher education at Columbus State University. She accepted a position teaching the program that she’d come through at Darton, and over the next few years she worked her way through the ranks: clinical coordinator, program director, chair of the health sciences division, interim vice president

for academic affairs and, after serving as its interim, dean of the Darton College of Health Professionals. During this time she helped her alma mater work its way through consolidation with ASU.

programs to associate’s to bachelor’s to Master’s to nurse practitioner degrees, there was this shared sense of becoming part of a team that could bridge the gaps that exist in the health care professions.”

“It was a little hairy at first,” Brinson admits. “There were growing pains. But, that’s understandable. People, some who had been members of the faculty of one school or the other for years, were suddenly worried about their jobs, their careers. There was a fear of the unknown. But, when everyone backed off and looked at what was taking place, saw that we now had an institution that would offer everything from certificate

Brinson said ASU’s “nothing on paper, but still a partnership” with Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany is vital to the Albany State nursing program. “There are opportunities for internships and externships, in essence, clinical partnerships, with Phoebe that are invaluable,” she said. “It’s just a wonderful partnership. We tell our students to treat these opportunities as job rehearsals.”

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Brinson said Albany State is on the verge of even greater growth with discussions about the addition of a simulation lab that would provide even more training opportunities. “[The sim lab] could be a huge step in greater training for the area’s nurses,“ Brinson said. “This would give students in multidisciplinary areas training that’s as close to being in the hospital as they could get. We’re excited about that possibility.” The ASU dean said she and her College of Health Professions staff are working closely to upgrade the university’s curriculum to keep up with the rapid changes in health care.

"WE ARE ALWAYS LOOKING TO KEEP OUR CURRICULUM UP-TO-DATE WITH EVIDENCEBASED BEST PRACTICES AND THE RAPIDLY CHANGING TECHNOLOGY IN THIS INDUSTRY," SAID BRINSON. This summer, ASU, in partnership with Augusta University, will host the University System of Georgia’s Nursing Summit to design the blueprint for the future of nursing and health care education in the state.

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LBANY

"THE NURSING SHORTAGE IS VERY REAL, AND WE HAVE TO PUT A PLAN IN PLACE TO MEET THE GROWING NEED," SHE SAID.

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“I’m excited about the role Albany State University will play in responding to the demand, especially in our region. We want to be at the forefront of meeting this challenge.” With an emphasis, no doubt, on excellence.

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CUTTING THEIR TEETH AT ASU Dental Hygiene Program Boasts 100% Pass Rate

Tammy Deese, the director of the dental hygiene department within Albany State University’s health sciences program, said her faculty’s primary goal is a simple one: “We want to get them in the mouth early on.” The staff with the ASU dental hygiene program have a unique way of doing just that. By the time students start their second year in the five-semester associate’s degree program, they get in the mouths of ASU students and some “volunteers” from the community.

"WE HAVE A 12-CHAIR CLINIC WHERE WE HAVE OUR STUDENTS ACTUALLY DO THE WORK OF A DENTAL HYGIENIST," SAID DEESE, A NATIVE OF NEARBY LEARY. “We offer an opportunity for students on campus to come in and have their teeth cleaned free of charge. And we have ‘volunteers’ from the community who call us and set up appointments. “Most of the citizens who take part in the program are senior citizens who have a little more time to go through the process,” she said. “It takes longer for our students to do a cleaning because they are carefully supervised and all of their work is checked.” The ASU dental hygiene program – whose students have a 100 12 JULY | AUGUST 2019

percent pass rate on post-college licensure exams – has a long history. It was started in 1970 at then Darton College, and its first class of dental hygienists graduated in 1972. The program now stands as the longest-offered health care program at Albany State. Deese became a dental assistant shortly after graduating high school, following in the footsteps of a friend who studied at Albany Technical College. Deese went into private practice for a few years, attended hygiene school at then Darton College in 1999 and was in private practice for 13 years before joining the faculty in 2012. “Our students’ clinical hours are a little different from the ones other (health care) students go through,” Deese said. “They’re the only ones who get all of their clinical hours (required for graduation) on campus. There are very specific and strict guidelines our students follow as they go through their clinical hours. And, while it takes them a little longer, education is always the first priority.” “We are fortunate to have a dentist who supervises our students, who are allowed to do comprehensive cleanings, X-rays and cancer screenings,” Deese said of retired Moultrie practitioner Randy Benner. “While we encourage all people who come in for cleanings to continue to see their regular dentists, our students provide a valuable service to the community while learning.”


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PRESIDENTIAL INVESTITURE “I AM HONORED TO BE THE 10TH PRESIDENT OF ALBANY STATE UNIVERSITY. This institution embodies a spirit of determination that engulfs you when you walk on its sacred campus. ASU prominently represents a robust measure of steadfastness to succeed.

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arion Fedrick was appointed president of Albany State University on August 14, 2018, after previously serving as interim president for six months. She initially joined the university’s administration as interim executive vice president on October 16, 2017. Since Fedrick assumed a leadership role at Albany State University, the institution has undertaken several initiatives, including an assessment designed to improve the student experience and a comprehensive effort with faculty to reimagine the university’s academics. Prior to her appointment at Albany State, Fedrick served in several executive leadership roles throughout her career. The most recent role was that of vice chancellor for human resources at the University System of Georgia, overseeing 14 JULY | AUGUST 2019

strategic initiatives and administration of all system-wide human resources planning and initiatives (resulted in a $500 million statewide health care plan), employee benefits programs, and organizational and leadership development initiatives. Fedrick has served in various professional, community and civic organizations including trustee for the Teacher’s Retirement System of Georgia and Client Advisor for Fidelity, AON, and TIAA Cref. She also served on the board of Communities in Schools of Atlanta and is an active member of World at Work, the National Society for Human Resources Management and the International Foundation of Benefit Professionals. Fedrick received a bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the University of Georgia and is a certified senior human resources professional.

When great leaders have lived in your house, like the nine presidents before my arrival, I feel obligated to lead successfully. Success is the only option. We have those from legacies in and around Albany who pray, support, and track our progress every day. We have committed supporters who expect the best and deserve the best from and for their alma mater. We also have community members and leaders who pray and support our institution, and I'm thankful for all of them. We couldn't do what we do without them.”

- PRESIDENT MARION FEDRICK


MEET THE NEW CEO SCOTT STEINER

CASTING PHOEBE IN A NEW DIRECTION

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hen he turned 50 last year, Scott Steiner, then CEO of a trio of Detroit hospitals, began re-examining his life. He was 150 pounds overweight, diabetic and becoming progressively unhappier professionally. He made two life-changing decisions — bariatric surgery and a career move. “I knew I wanted to get warm,” Steiner said. “I was in Detroit and Chicago too long and I needed to get warm. And my wife (Tracy) was the same way.” Steiner, now 100 pounds lighter, no longer diabetic and feeling healthier, got his wish. On a recent Friday, the St. Louis native was wrapping up his first few months as CEO of Phoebe Putney Health System in Albany, a town he had to find on a map when ALBANY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

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approached by a recruiter. Outside, the sweltering heat was building triple digits again, hot for the month — even by Albany standards.

“I could deal with the snow, even the cold,” Steiner said. “But, it was the gray skies. It’s just gray all the time. Everybody’s on vitamin D in Michigan and Illinois.”

“I think I’m ready for the heat,” he said. “I’m going to struggle with the gnats a little bit. I get a learning curve, right? Don’t wave them off; you’re supposed to blow them off. But, how do I get that back to my ears?”

That’s not the case in Albany. The Steiners, whose two daugthers are in their early 20s, felt at home in Albany since they left a snowy Detroit last November for their first visit. Now, they have a home at River Pointe, giving them opportunities to bike, fish and engage in other outdoor activities. Steiner’s weekend passion? Greeting weekend sunrises on his bass boat on Lake Chehaw.

That’s a problem that has plagued South Georgians since time immemorial, but at least he escaped the drab, depressing winters he experienced for a decade in Chicago and nearly three years in Detroit while working with Vanguard Health Systems and Tenet Healthcare Corp., which acquired Vanguard.

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“This past weekend, every morning I was on the water by 6:30 and I usually stayed until 10, 10:30,” he said.


That love of sunshine extends to his work environment. While initially reluctant to make changes when he moved into the office that had been occupied by his predecessor, Joel Wernick, who led Phoebe for three decades, it wasn’t long before Steiner jettisoned the room’s heavy drapes. “I said ‘let’s open the windows up,’ ” he said. Then, he installed large maps of Georgia and its counties; they’re designed so that Steiner can write on them with a marker. “I use the maps a lot, especially being new,” he said. “I’m a visual learner. While I do read a few books a year, I see these stories about successful people reading a book a week. I sure wish I was more successful.” A book about purpose, however, and prayer led Steiner to make the life-altering decisions that brought him to Phoebe, where he plans to lead in a style that is “very open, transparent and authentic. If we do something wrong, I’ll be the first to say this was a miss and this is what we’re going to do to correct it. Accountability is important to me. Integrity is important to me. That’s all I have — my integrity. “Finances take care of themselves,” he said, “if we do the right thing by our patients, by our community, and by our physicians.” The Steiner family’s roots run deep in the fields of medicine and education. Steiner’s mother is a nurse and Tracy Steiner is a semiretired teacher. Their oldest daughter, Paige, has a degree from the University of Arkansas and is finishing her

first year of medical school at Kansas City University. Daughter Sidney is a junior at Missouri State University and plans to be a teacher. Though his mother, an ICU nurse, told captivating stories at the dinner table about her work with patients, Steiner didn’t plan to enter the medical industry. He followed his father

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— and best man at his wedding — into management, which he studied at Missouri State University. A slow job market prompted him to pursue an MBA at Webster University, where instructor Neal Schmidt was a full-time pharmacist at St. Mary’s Hospital in East St. Louis, one of a dozen hospitals in mostly impoverished areas owned by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. Schmidt secured Steiner an unpaid internship at St. Mary’s. “Lots of inspiration from those ladies, who were ruthless businesspeople, but had this huge heart and, of course, their mission,” he said. “We were a small, very poor hospital. They offered me a job after my internship. It really felt right.” When he left 12 years later, Steiner had risen to vice president of operations at St. Mary’s. He took a job with Ameren and then went to Vanguard as COO of MacNeal Hospital. He said he appreciates his time with Vanguard/Tenent, but said making decisions for shareholders rather than patients and the community was troubling. “Part of my unhealthiness was the stressors of the job and that internal fight I had about my purpose,” he said. “You’ve got to have profit to take care of your people and, ultimately, take care of your community, but making budget doesn’t drive me. “I believe our patients want three things: keep me safe, heal me and be nice to me. Nowhere in there is, ‘I hope you make a profit.’ ” While they might not share a taste in décor, Steiner said 20 JULY | AUGUST 2019

his predecessor has helped tremendously with the leadership change. He has great respect for the job Wernick has done. “He always did what he thought was the best thing for the people of Southwest Georgia,” Steiner said of Wernick. “He has been nothing but professional and has been really a help in the transition. That’s helped me to be able to stand back and listen.”

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Steiner is listening a lot — to board members, employees, patients and community leaders. There are some things that he already sees need to be done, such as improving the functionality of the emergency center. He supports pursuing Level 2 trauma center status. But he wants Phoebe officials and boards to reach a consensus on top. “I think it’s the next chapter,” he said. “One of the things that attracted me to Phoebe is the diversity of what we do. It’s not just four hospitals. They’ve really thought through the future.” Meanwhile, he’s meeting with patients and their families, and emphasizing that each of Phoebe’s 4,300 employees — from physicians to service personnel — plays a critical role in the healing process of patients. “When I feel like I’m in this office too much, I walk out the door,” he said. “I go visit some patients. I go visit families. Sometimes I hear things where we have opportunities to improve, and that’s OK, too. We’re not perfect, but we’re working toward perfection.” This particular day was no casual Friday. Steiner was wearing a tie — a bright one, but still an indication there was work ahead. At noon, members of Phoebe boards and key medical staff were to arrive for a four-hour meeting on becoming a highly reliable medical organization. “You’re not going to find another community of 80,000 in a rural area in the United States that has a system like Phoebe in it,” Steiner said. “I’ve got 45 people — all the Phoebe boards — coming to hear about this concept on a Friday afternoon. That’s how committed they are.” No doubt that’s a comforting thought for a chief executive watching a weekend sunrise from a boat on Lake Chehaw.

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DCSS AND LOCAL BUSINESSES ADDRESS FOOD INSECURITY

HELPING HANDS. NURTURING MINDS.

HELPING HANDS. NURTURING MINDS.

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or many children, going to bed hungry is a very real problem. It is estimated that 28 percent of children under age 18 in Dougherty County are food insecure, meaning they lack reliable access to affordable, nutritious food. The county has the highest rate of food insecurity of all 159 counties in Georgia and one of the highest rates of food insecurity in the nation, according to the non-profit organization Feeding America. To meet that problem head-on, business and community partnerships and programs in the Dougherty County School System (DCSS) are addressing the problem in innovative ways. “It is so critical for our students to have access to good, healthy food,” said Blaine Allen, the district’s school nutrition director. "IF THEY’RE HUNGRY, THEY CAN’T LEARN. AND, IF THEY CAN’T LEARN, THEY WON’T GROW INTO PRODUCTIVE CITIZENS." The school system is trying to fill in the gaps for as many students as possible. The “Third Meal Program” serves more than 1,000 late afternoon meals each week during the school year to students at extended day activities at five elementary schools. The “Summer Meals Program” fills a void for students who rely on the breakfast and lunches provided during the school year. This summer, breakfast and lunch is being served at various locations in Dougherty County, including all summer school sites and at various community partner locations including the Boys and Girls Clubs of Albany, the Albany Recreation & Parks Department and numerous area churches. Meals are free throughout the summer to any child under the age of 18. Allen estimates that at least 100,000 meals will be prepared and served.


signed up and were accepted on a first-come, first-served basis at each participating school. The food that fills these bags is food that otherwise would have been discarded at the end of each lunch period. Instead, student volunteers collect unopened cartons of milk and other pre-packaged items during the week and then pack take-home bags for Friday distribution. The local Helping Hands Ending Hunger chapter was started by Cathy Revell, a retired Dougherty County School System teacher who learned about the program in North Georgia and immediately knew the value it could have in Dougherty County.

“It touches my heart to see how excited kids get about these programs,” he said. "THOSE OF US NOT IMPACTED BY FOOD INSECURITY DON’T SEE IT, BUT ONE CHILD OFTEN BECOMES THE PROVIDER FOR SIBLINGS AND OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS. IT’S HEART WRENCHING." “Helping Hands Ending Hunger,” an outreach program implemented in the 2018-19 school year, helps reach those families by sending bags of food home weekly to children who

“I just couldn’t stand the waste,” she said. “I knew that there were students here who wanted and needed the food. I just felt like this was something I needed to do.” At the end of the academic year, 10 schools were participating in the program, and Revell hopes to add more next year. A nominal start-up cost to provide coolers and insulated bags for the students can usually be covered with donations from community supporters, she said. One of the first businesses to step up to the plate was AB&T, which provided funds and volunteers. “As a long-time Partner in Excellence with Alice Coachman Elementary School, we’ve seen firsthand how food insecurity can impact young lives and, by extension, our entire community,” said Brad McEwen, vice president of branch banking and brand execution at AB&T. “That we could somehow stem that tide and provide a truly needed resource to families in our community is something we simply had to get involved with.”

In addition to providing food for students to share with their families, Revell estimates that the program kept 25 tons of food out of the landfill during the school year. The group also collected enough milk to share with 17 nonprofit organizations in the community. While “Helping Hands Ending Hunger” is supplying a service of redistributing pre-packaged food to those who need it most, Flint River Fresh, headed by executive director Fredando Jackson, is battling the food insecurity issue from another angle. “Our goal is to empower kids to know where their food comes from and to realize that ALBANY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

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they can grow their own groceries,” said Jackson, more commonly and affectionally known as “Farmer Fredo.” Teaching gardens in 14 DCSS schools give kids hands-on experience in growing vegetables that are then served for special meals in the school cafeterias. Flint River Fresh is expanding its presence into the areas of the community that are most impacted by the issue of food insecurity. “We see lots of kids living with grandparents who simply can’t provide because they are low income and often disabled and lack adequate transportation to obtain fresh, affordable produce,” Jackson said. To combat these problems, Flint River Fresh has frequent pop-up farm stands in food deserts in south and east Albany. Through a partnership with the Albany Housing Authority, buyers can

purchase produce boxes at a discount with cash or an EBT card. And a Seed to Sanctuaries initiative involves local churches that help to distribute the fresh produce. “We do what we do because it is for the common good,” Jackson said. "It is important that if we want to thrive as a city, that everyone is in the best position to be successful. Healthy people are active people who contribute to the work force and to the community.” The school system’s Allen agrees. “Every day we ask ourselves, ‘How can we do all that we can to help each child thrive?’ We want each child to succeed in and out of the classroom. We are educating the whole child,” he said, “and helping to provide adequate nutrition when needed is an essential part of that.”

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CH A M BE R HIGHLIGHTS

CHAMBER MEMBERS TAMMY MCCRARY, KENDERSON HILL, IZZIE SADLER AND JUDY RANDLE CELEBRATING IN STYLE AT BUSINESS AFTER HOURS.

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BUSINESS AFTER HOURS

he Albany Area Chamber of Commerce members were treated to a fun-filled Business After Hours on June 25 at SOWEGA Council on Aging with co-hosts Central Monitoring, Comnet Technical Solutions and Turner Job Corps.

ALBANY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CHAIRMAN SCOTT TOMLINSON WELCOMING THE NEW PHOEBE RESIDENTS TO THE COMMUNITY.

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THE WELCOME WAGONS

very year, the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce helps welcome to Albany the new doctors of the Phoebe Family Medicine Residency by giving them a wagon full of goodies from local businesses. The residency is part of a comprehensive physician recruitment and retention strategy. In a tradition that showcases Albany's hospitality, this year's residents were presented with “welcome wagons” filled with items from Chamber members. 28 JULY | AUGUST 2019


W E L COM E NEW MEMBERS Ascension Studio 230 S. Jackson St., Suite 216 | Albany 229-573-7377 AirMed Care Network Albany | 478-285-0898 V’LAT Marketing Consulting 704 Burke Ave. | Albany | 229-854-9109 Q’s Cakes & More 1406 Dawson Road | Albany 229-496-9079 Winchester Paint & Body 512 A. S. Slappey Blvd. | Albany 229-496-1033

STATE OF THE

COM M U N IT Y Business and community leaders gathered on June 12 for the 6th annual State of the Community, which brings together community leaders for an insightful update and dialogue about trending topics and the issues that matter most. Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard and and Dougherty County Commission Chairman Christopher Cohilas presented updates on key initiatives and shared their visions for Albany and Dougherty County, including infrastructure investments, downtown development and community partnerships. The 2019 State of the Community was presented by Albany Technical College and sponsored by the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission, Phoebe Putney Health System and Albany State University. Stage design courtesy of Turner's Fine Furniture.

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SM A L L B U SI N ES S WEEK

The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated local small businesses and nonprofits May 6 - 10 during its annual Small Business Week. Celebrated nationally since 1963, Small Business Week is a time to highlight small businesses that make a big impact.

For every $100 spent at a small, locally-owned business, $68 stay within the local economy. Those dollars help create jobs, support families, support governmental services, provide investment for neighborhood improvements, and promote development in our community. “Successful small businesses are cornerstones of our community. Nationally, they create two out of every three net new jobs. They invest, they participate, they shape the commercial landscape and vibrancy of our community,” said Bárbara Rivera Holmes, president and CEO of the Albany Area Chamber. “Our community is likewise supported by outstanding nonprofits that provide employment for many while focusing resources and providing services to community needs without regard to profit.” The week kicked off on Monday, May 6, with the 3rd annual Women in Business luncheon, sponsored by Southern Point Staffing and Renasant Bank, featuring guest speaker Gretchen Corbin, president and CEO of the Georgia Lottery. In keeping with the theme, “Girl Boss,” Corbin encouraged women to work hard, lead well and strive for work-life balance.

WOMEN IN BUSINESS LUNCHEON

ON MAY 7, CHAMBER MEMBERS GATHERED AT DOUBLEGATE COUNTRY CLUB FOR THE 2019 AWARDS RECEPTION DURING WHICH THE CHAMBER NAMED HUGHEY & NEUMAN THE 2019 SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AND THE LIBERTY THE 2019 NONPROFIT OF THE YEAR.

On May 8, Albany’s UGA Small Business Development Center co-hosted the Google Livestream Lunch-n-Learn, during which participants learned the importance of their online presence and tips for best practices.

FROM LEFT, DIANE ROGERS OF LIBERTY HOUSE, 2019 NONPROFIT OF THE YEAR, AND KATIE GATEWOOD AND CALLIE WALKER OF HUGHEY & NEUMAN, 2019 SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR, ACCEPT THE HONORS ON BEHALF OF THEIR ORGANIZATIONS.

The Albany Area Chamber capped off Small Business Week May 10 with Leadercast Live: Building Healthy Teams, the world's largest one-day leadership event, hosted locally in partnership with Leadership Albany, Inc. and The Church at the Groves. More than 250 local leaders heard nine organizational health and leadership experts explain the art and science of leading healthy teams. During Small Business Week, Albany Area Chamber members also had access to Webinars and a two-day Small Business Administration virtual conference.

LEADERCAST LIVE: BUILDING HEALTHY TEAMS

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The 2019 Small Business Week was presented by Southern Point Staffing and sponsored by Renasant Bank, Draffin & Tucker, Albany Technical College, P&G, NEOS, Colony Bank, Mauldin & Jenkins, Synovus, Georgia Power, Flint Community Bank, CTSI and Bishop Clean Care.


Welcome here. Welcome home. At Synovus, we’d like to offer you a warm local welcome. You’ll soon discover we’re more than just a bank – we’re your neighbors and friends. We hope you’ll look for us for all the financial services you need. We’re here. For you. 1-888-SYNOVUS | synovus.com

Synovus Bank, Member FDIC.

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WASHINGTON WA SHI NGTON DDC .C. FLY-IN 2019 FLY-IN 2019

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based learning for enhanced workforce development; health care reform and care availability for America’s workers; and transportation and infrastructure as a vital priority for communities.

The annual visit, known as the Washington, D.C. Fly In, is organized by the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, and gives local leadership an opportunity to meet with federal policy makers to talk about issues that have an impact both nationally and locally.

The DC Fly-In concluded its program on Capitol Hill, meeting with Sen. David Perdue, Rep. Sanford Bishop, Rep. Austin Scott and Sen. Johnny Isakson's senior staff discuss priority items for Albany and Southwest Georgia including disaster recovery funding and disbursement; Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany and Marine Corps Logistics Command.

This year’s delegation met with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for a policy briefing on topics including businesses as community stakeholders through corporate citizenship; addressing the skills gap through targeted skills-

This year’s 25-strong delegation – the largest in the program's 15-year history − included business-sector leadership; governmental partners; strategic partners; educational institutions; and local military leadership.

delegation of Albany Area civic and business leaders traveled to Washington, D.C. in June to spend some quality time with federal officials and share some of the community’s recent successes and challenges.

ALBANY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

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Profile for Albany Area Chamber of Commerce

Biz Magazine | July - August 2019  

Biz Magazine | July - August 2019  

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