THRiVE | Issue 16

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Congratulations to the Newnan-Coweta Chamber on your 75th Anniversary! Renee Horton, Agent Renee Horton Agency, LLC 17 Barnes St Ste 1B Senoia, GA 30276 (678) 621-6420
STATE OF THE ART SERVICE FACILITY Free Wifi • Snack Bar Courtesy Shuttle (to area attractions) Extensive Selection of Certified Honda and Pre-Owned Vehicles 391 Newnan Crossing Bypass in Newnan, GA Sales 678-423-8100 Service 678-423-8182 Parts 678-423-8183 ALWAYS FOR YOUR TRADE TOP DOLLAR Congratulations to the Newnan-Coweta Chamber on your 75th Anniversary!
ON THE COVER Content 6 Letter to the Reader 8 Poised for Growth Events both far and near contributed to the inception of the Newnan-Coweta Chamber 10 The Chamber through the Decades Celebrate 75 years of the Chamber and learn about each decade of growth 28 Chamber Board Chairs Yearbook 35 Horizons Initiative Learn more about a concept developed by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives 38 2022 Annual Report The Chamber’s Annual Report looks back on 2022 and continues to tell the story of the thriving Coweta business community 82 Advertiser Index Thank you to the THRIVE advertisers
8 28 52 48 58
A photographic celebration of the Newnan-Coweta Chamber’s Diamond Anniversary


In February of this year, I completed my fifth year with the Chamber. During this time, I have participated in, witnessed, reveled, or weathered (sometimes all at once) what seems like a lifetime of challenges, successes, revelations, milestones, celebrations, and recalibrations. Preparing this issue of THRiVE, however, has been both humbling and fascinating as I have combed through the dynamic history of, not only the Newnan-Coweta Chamber, but our community at large. A fast-track to understanding facets of our Coweta that might take other “newcomers” decades to absorb and appreciate, I am without adequate expression of the tremendous regard I have for my adoptive home of Newnan-Coweta and the Chamber.

In childlike awe, I delight in the beginnings of our esteemed organization and the industries we pioneered and serve/d; in learning that Lamar Potts of Murder in Coweta County – a book and movie I purchased when first moving here in 2012 - was a founding board member. Learning that R.D. Cole was acknowledged with a maritime award for the production of wartime essentials, and that some of the products manufactured right here in Coweta County were recognized oceans away by soldiers from right here at home has been a fascinating adventure. I have read of past presidents and chairs, reaching new heights of respect and regard for those local leaders who have come and gone, some lost to time and some persisting as treasures in our community.

Through newspaper archives to artifacts, photos, and beyond, I understand so much more about what makes this community truly exemplary as the gold standard of collaboration and innovation. I’m not one to live in the past; that of this community so greatly informs my perception of the here and now, putting even the most seemingly insurmountable of challenges into perspective. We’re alright, Coweta. And I thank you for including me and allowing me to serve for the past five years. I look forward to the prospect of continuing to serve for decades to come.


Newnan-Coweta Chamber


Susan M. Kraut


Emily Weiss


Colleen D. Mitchell


Paul Lewis, Luz Design

Nikki Rich, Rich Graphics, Inc.


Nikki Rich, Rich Graphics, Inc.


Susan M. Kraut

W. Winston Skinner


THRIVE welcomes your ideas. Please send queries to Susan M. Kraut at for consideration.

THRIVE is published quarterly. Neither the Newnan-Coweta Chamber nor THRIVE is responsible for unsolicited material. Such material will become the property of THRIVE and is subject to editing and digital use. Reproductions of this publication in part or whole is prohibited without the express consent of the publisher.

THRIVE is available at various locations throughout Coweta County. You can also email to request a copy.

Let’s continue to make history, together!

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For 75 years, CFEMC does more than keep the lights on. We give you the power to plug into your family, friends and neighbors. That’s the CFEMC difference.

Poised for Growth:


The Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce was officially organized in 1947, but events both near and far contributed to its inception.

The global chamber movement was well established by the 1940s; the first was organized in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1750. The oldest in the United States was founded just one state away in Charleston, S.C., in 1773.

Statistics from the Association for Chamber of Commerce Executives state that there were approximately 4,000 chambers in the United States with at least one staff member in 2013 and some 13,000 worldwide.

The Chamber Nation website describes these necessary entities: “The Chamber of Commerce is an interconnected group of businesses and professionals working together to increase local commerce and to serve their communities more effectively than can be done individually.”

Newnan and Coweta County were ready to connect and collaborate by the mid-1940s.

Historian W. Jeff Bishop, author of “Coweta County: A Brief History,” notes that Newnan was much like other similar Georgia towns. However, “It also thrived a lot more than many others.”

Coweta County had several textile mills in Newnan and smaller towns throughout the county. Newnan was also home to the R.D. Cole Manufacturing Company. The Cole firm was founded in 1854 and, at the time of the Chamber’s inception, manufactured water tanks and – during wartime – various goods for the military.

The presence of R.D. Cole lent economic diversity and strength to the community, rooting the county as an industrial center and a home for small businesses.

Murray Printing Company was, for decades, the county’s oldest business. Founded in 1845, it was operated by the founding family for an entire century.

Johnson Hardware, a fixture in Newnan for over 100 years, was founded in 1876.

Senoia is still home to Hollberg’s, founded in 1894.

Newnan native Ellis Arnall, Georgia’s governor from 1943-1947, wrote about his hometown in his 1946 book, “The Shore Dimly Seen.”

“Newnan … was exceptional among Southern cities of its size only because there was a larger, more firmly established middle class than in most communities that were farm and textile centers.”

Bishop added, “Before World War II, there was much poverty throughout the south, and Newnan escaped much of that.”

“Newnan had department stores and grocery stores. It had economic development,” he boasted. “Newnan was just a different kind of place, and it was much more economically developed than many other places.”

The return of Coweta’s young men – who had seen life in other parts of the United States and worldwide in the military – was also part of the ferment in the 1940s.

“After World War II, there’s this huge economic growth that’s going on throughout the United States,” Bishop said.

Expanding the railroad and highway systems could impact any community, particularly those who were prepared. Coweta County “was poised to benefit from what was happening,” Bishop said.

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75 YEARS The 1940s

War is Over:




Locally, Ellis Gibbs Arnall begins his term as governor of Georgia. Arnall is one of two governors born in Coweta County. Some of Governor Arnall’s accomplishments include the abolishment of the poll tax, stopping the use of chain gangs, and restoring accreditation to the University System of Georgia.


Tuesday, May 6, 1947: the NewnanCoweta Chamber of Commerce is “completely organized” at a meeting at the Courthouse on the Square. Dr. R.C.S. Young, Pastor of the Central Baptist Church, is unanimously elected as the first president. Lamar Potts, the sheriff later known for his role in the Murder in Coweta County, is among the inaugural Board of Directors. Member dues were $24.00 annually.


“Murder in Coweta County” captures the attention of residents of Coweta County and surrounding areas. John Wallace is convicted of murdering a tenant farmer, and the following trial saw him sentenced to death-the first time in Georgia history that a white man was sentenced to death based on the testimony of a Black man. Sheriff Lamar Potts, a founding Chamber board member, was heavily involved in capturing and charging Wallace.

rom personal tragedy came innovation in the initial organization of the Newnan-Coweta Chamber.

Dr. R.C.S. Young arrived in Newnan in 1929 as pastor of Central Baptist Church, just off the square in downtown Newnan with a congregation mainly of professionals, prominent businessmen, captains of industry, and their families.

Called “Scotty” by one and all - a nod to his birth in Edinburgh, Scotland - Young and his wife from nearby Thomaston were beloved by the Central Baptist membership and appreciated by the entire community.

After an illness of several months, their son, Ronald, died in 1939 at age seven, after what the Central Baptist history describes as a “sustained illness.” In 1941, Dr. Young stepped away from pastoring, resigned from Central Baptist, and worked at Massey System in Atlanta.

Though Dr. Young would preach – and pastor – again, he focused much of his energy on local businesses and the community. He worked for the local newspaper for a time, was director of admissions for Georgia State College, and was a lecturer for General Motors.

From his arrival in Newnan, Scotty Young actively helped shape the community. He participated in the establishment of a new church in Arnco and preached for revivals and special services at other state churches. While Young doubtless would have seen the wisdom of a Chamber during his pastorate, his move into the secular world of work gave him time and perspective.

Sometime near the late 1940s, Young invited local business leaders to his home to discuss the idea of a Chamber of Commerce. The notion was met with widespread approval, and officers were swiftly elected. Young was the first president – equivalent to the board chair of today’s Chamber.

The Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce officially began its work on Sept. 15, 1947, in offices on the upper floor of the Carnegie Library building.

A photograph taken on the opening day in 1947 featured A. Edward Allees, the managing secretary, surrounded by board members Bryan Hammond, Joe Hollis Jr., Rhodes Johnson, A. Lamar Potts, Walter D. Sanders, J. Marvin Starr, and Dr. R.C.S. Young. Also serving on the inaugural board were Dr. James Arnold, E.B. Joiner, and J.H. McDonald.

While only a little is known about Allees, the first Chamber employee of record, some chronicles indicate he spent much of his life in New York state and may have been the son of immigrants from Romania. The chair of the personnel committee, it’s possible that Hammond somehow knew Allees, or someone with chamber of commerce experience recommended him.

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The 1950s

The 1950s saw unprecedented growth and change in Newan-Coweta, which would persist for the next two decades. New schools, including Western, East Coweta, Eastside, Moreland, Westside, Arnco-Sargent, East Newnan, and Grantville Brown, were built to support the growing population of upwards of 27,786 people in the 1950s.


The Chamber helps bring Georgia Power’s Plant Yates to Newnan. Construction of the plant with 550,000 kilowatts began on the eastern banks of the Chattahoochee River, employing 155 persons by 1965.

The Energy for Growth

during the 1950s, the Chamber began outreach – fostering initiatives that made the county an excellent place to do business and enticing major industries into the county.

It was a time of innovation, the beginning of unprecedented growth that would persist for at least two decades. Existing businesses expanded, and new businesses were established. Agriculture was no exception as Coweta farmers added new cash crops like tobacco, peanuts, and oats.


With Chamber Support, Mr. and Mrs. W.L. Bonnell and associates bought Trimedge, Inc. in Newnan. Three years later, VicePresident William L. Bonnell buys out the company, and the William L. Bonnell Company is born.


The “new” Newnan High School opens at 190 LaGrange Street.

New and Expanding Business and Industry:

George Sewell purchases and expands Newnan City Bus Lines

Sprayberry’s transitions from grocery to BBQ

Millard C. Farmer Oil Company organizes

Newnan Cotton Mills reorganizes as a pioneer in specialized field of textile blending

Playtex plant opens in Newnan with 15 employees

Douglas and Lomasson Company, the leading manufacturer of automobile parts, opens first plant outside Detroit in Newnan

Coweta-Fayette Electric Membership Corporation expands operations to over 1,200 miles of line and 6,000 members

Hillcrest Chapel Funeral Home is established in 1953 by D.B. “Brack” Blalock in Wilcoxon-Arnall plantation home on Newnan’s Jefferson St.

Newnan Retail Merchants Association, Newnan-Coweta County Planning Commission, Newnan Optimist Club established

Coming out of the 40s under the leadership of board chair W.B. Hammond, the Chamber already played a significant role in drawing an industrial powerhouse to Coweta. In 1948, ground broke at Georgia Power’s Plant Yates near the bank of the Chattahoochee. The first two units were operational in September and November of 1950, preceding an elaborate dedication ceremony – featuring speeches, a barbecue, and 5,000 attendees – held in 1952, according to Wade H. Wright’s “History of the Georgia Power Company.”

Playtex, the manufacturer of women’s undergarments, opened a local plant in 1954 with 15 employees. William L. Bonnell Company bought Trimedge in 1955 and launched an aluminum extrusion business that remains a major employer with a considerable economic footprint.

In 1956, American Can Company opened its Marathon plant on Sprayberry Road. In a few years, Coweta County had gained several industries with good jobs that expanded the community’s economic capacity.

Consistent throughout the years, the Chamber played a role in the growth, serving as an instigator and a convener.

Retail businesses were also a factor in the 50s. Board president in 1952, Raleigh Arnall, who owned Murray Printing Company, worked with Sam Earle, manager of Belk-Gallant, and Mike Milligan, manager of Henson Furniture Company, to organize the Newnan Retail Merchants Association.

In the early 1950s, D.C. Harrison was the Chamber’s executive director. In 1953, he shepherded the publication of a booklet highlighting the county’s industrial plants.

When he left the post in 1955, he was succeeded by Elizabeth North, who initially was titled “secretary-manager.” Under North’s leadership, the Chamber was poised for another decade of activity and growth.


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The 1960s

The 1960s signaled a time of change and upheaval nationwide. Similarly, the Chamber saw changes in staff, leadership, and scope of work. NewnanCoweta continues its growth trajectory, both in population and industry. Fueled by necessity, the Millard C. Farmer Industrial Park houses a growing number of entities.


On December 12, Hetty Jane Dunaway-Sewell, owner of Dunaway Gardens near Roscoe, died at 91. The stunning artist’s playground remains vacant until 2000. The NewnanCoweta Chamber encourages visits to “the hanging gardens of Georgia.”


The Chamber Rocks On

the 1960s was a time of transformation in America and the world. Life for members, officers, and Chamber staff reflected those changes.

The assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 was followed by the passage of Civil Rights legislation that upended traditional social interactions in Coweta County and throughout the southern United States. The Newnan and Coweta County school systems were combined in 1969 – a prelude to a court-ordered integration in 1970.

In 1961, Jim Hardin, president of the Chamber, spearheaded efforts to start a local Civil Defense system.

Coweta General Hospital was built in 1962 using federal dollars from the Hill-Burton Act, giving the county two hospitals for decades to come. The Arnall and Arnco mills were purchased by the Bibb Company, marking a change toward larger companies owning and operating local industries.

Belk-Gallant on East Court Square in Newnan represents early evidence of the area as a retail destination. Photo


The Chamber Board passes a motion favoring the creation of a County Water Authority.



Businesses continued to grow. The 1988 county history noted, “By 1965, Bonnell had become the world’s largest manufacturer of aluminum extrusions.”

The Chamber worked with potential and existing industries and took public stances on issues that would impact the county for the foreseeable future.

In 1964, the Chamber board passed a motion to create a county water authority. Two years later, board approval was given to legislation to create the Coweta County Development Authority and planned to start a technical college in neighboring Troup County.

Board meeting minutes from 1966 include an overview of revenue bond authority financing that could be used to incentivize industries to locate and build plants in Coweta.

By the end of that year, David Boyd had assumed executive director duties. Boyd was under 30, a graduate of The Citadel with a degree in political science, and a U.S. Army veteran.

He was energetic and served the Chamber well, but Boyd’s most vital interests were elsewhere. Boyd found himself “conflicted because his true passions were politics and art,” according to his obituary. “Melding those interests into a chamber of commerce job was futile.”

Boyd created political cartoons in The Newnan Times-Herald starting in 1968. He later won the coveted Green Eyeshade Award and worked with comedian Jeff Foxworthy and writer Lewis Grizzard.

In 1969, he resigned from his chamber post. He remained in Newnan, his wife Rosalyn’s hometown, for the rest of his life, passing away in 2022.

Coweta General Hospital is built. Credit: Lewis Beers. David Boyd, Sr. came to the Chamber as executive director; he remained until 1969 when he resigned to pursue his passion for politics and art. A David Boyd Sr. cartoon Family Reunion from the 1960s. Credit: The Chamber lobbies for creating a Coweta County Development Authority and a technical college in Troup County.
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The 1970s

In the 1970s, new developments like Shenandoah and the completion of I-85 in Coweta were essential additions to the area. Though a recession hit nationwide, Coweta County still saw growth and more change as farmland and woodland gave way to housing developments, industry, and commerce.


The first Black Homecoming Queen of Newnan High School, Toni Greer, in 1970, with the rest of the court; NewnanCoweta Historical Society


Principal Thomas Glanton of Grantville welcomes students on the first day of integrated schools in Coweta County; The Newnan Times-Herald


The second 5.6-mile stretch of Interstate 85 marks the completion in Coweta County, providing the area with a direct route to Atlanta and Hartsfield Airport. Graphic: Coweta County Development Authority


Inez Slaton, Executive Secretary, becomes the new Executive Director of the Chamber and is the first female Executive Director. She served for nearly 20 years.


The Chamber earns its first national accreditation. Today, we are U.S. Chamber 5-Star Accredited and part of the top 2% of all Chambers nationwide.


The US celebrates 200 years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The Chamber’s Annual Meeting Program reflected the yearlong patriotic celebration.

Big Plans and International Flavor

aChamber program some years later summarized the 1970s as a time when “… the face of Coweta County was changing. Farmland and woodland were fast giving way to housing developments, industry, and commerce.”

Interstate 85 was completed in the local area in 1971. Hartsfield Airport seemed closer than ever, and more and more Cowetans worked at the airport, for an airline, or on behalf of a related business. Opportunities for Coweta to become part of that mix also escalated quickly.

The same year I-85 got to Coweta, plans for Shenandoah were announced. Shenandoah was to be a planned community with residential, commercial, and industrial nodes built by Atlanta developers Scott Hudgens and Herman Russell. Shenandoah was one of several projects funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

An economic downturn meant that Shenandoah never reached its goal of being an independent city of 70,000 citizens. The county did, however, get the White Oak residential area and the Shenandoah Industrial Park.

The City of Newnan also opened an industrial park with Werzalit, which made composition wood products, as its first industry. Other 1970s industries mentioned in a 1988 county history were Automation and


Newnan’s sesquicentennial parade; University of West Georgia

Canadian firm J.B. Systems locates first U.S. Industry in Newnan. Gov George Busbee praised the efforts of the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce in promoting the state’s industrial advantages; NewnanCoweta Historical Society

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Photo showing construction at Shenandoah Boulevard; The Newnan Times-Herald

Robotics, Bearings and Drives, and Gammans Industries, manufacturer of sunrooms.

The Atlanta Foreign Trade Zone opened at Shenandoah in 1978. The FTZ offered a place where companies could import goods and assemble or retrofit them before selling them.

The 1970s was a time of growth and activity for the Chamber, and it also was a time of change. H. Thomas “Tommy” Drew assumed his duties as the Chamber executive in May 1971. Board minutes from the month before his arrival included, “Tommy Drew stated that he feels we have tremendous potential.”

Drew led the chamber to a printed newsletter rather than a mimeographed one. At about the same time Drew came to the Chamber, Inez Slaton was hired as the Chamber’s executive secretary.

Drew served only briefly before Furman L. Cliett Jr. was introduced to the board as the new executive director on April 13, 1972. Cliett was from Fort Valley and studied at Georgia Southern and Young Harris College. He remained in his post until mid-1973. Cliett lived in Coweta County for several years afterward running a business, and now in retirement, he lives in Tennessee.

Inez Slaton followed Cliett as executive director. Slaton had already proven herself a leader in the community – the first woman elected to the Newnan City Council in October 1971. She would remain as the Chamber’s executive for more than 20 years.

Board chairs in the 1970s reflected both the breadth of the membership and the solid support of families involved in the Chamber’s early years.

In 1971, Frank Hollberg III became the first Chamber board chair from Senoia – symbolizing the Chamber’s representation of the entire county.

In 1975, the board chair was Newnan attorney J. Littleton Glover Jr., serving in the post his father and namesake held 20 years earlier. Also in 1975, the Newnan-Coweta Chamber earned its first national accreditation through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber was working to serve the community and its members and stretching as an organization in a fast-growing and changing Coweta.

Newnan-Coweta Chamber 17
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The original Newnan-Coweta Chamber building.
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The 1980s

The ‘80s brought big hair and an even bigger industry footprint for Coweta with several new and expanded operations like Hitachi, Yokogawa, and Yamaha. With new industry came new residents and commuters, changing the area’s social fabric and economics.


The International Picture Show company begins shooting the film “Murder in Coweta County.”


The Chamber elects its first female President, Joyce Smith


The Powers’ Crossroads Festival.

Rush, Rush, Rush

what the 1970s hinted at, the 1980s brought.

The founders of the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce four decades earlier certainly would not have imagined a 1980s summer pastime – Cowetans ice skating at the Shenandoah Solar Center on a rink kept frozen by electricity from solar panels.

New industries came from places that would have seemed exotic –and unbelievable – in the 1940s. In a new era of international business expansion, companies from Japan – Yamaha, Yokogawa, Kawasaki, and Germany – Bleyle, Grenzebach – brought manufacturing facilities to Coweta County.

A tract along I-85 was selected for the Solar Total Energy Project, which involved the installation of 114 solar collector dishes. The power generated supplied electricity for the Bleyle knitwear factory.

The Chamber’s work courting Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Company to Coweta in 1986 continues to yield significant benefits; Yamaha is one of the county’s largest private employers and an exemplary corporate citizen.

The Chamber was heavily involved in the Powers’ Crossroads Country Fair and Arts Festival since its inaugural event on Labor Day weekend in 1971. The Chamber and the Newnan-Coweta Art Association supported founder Tom Powers and both groups, along with several others, were members of Coweta Festivals, Inc., an umbrella organization that operated the festival. In 1985, the Chamber participated in the purchase of the festival property at the Heard County line.


Through a cooperative effort by the University of West Georgia, Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce, Coweta County Board of Education, and other business, civic and educational leaders in Newnan and Coweta County, the UWG Newnan was established and approved by the Board of Regents in August 1988. Classes began at the Newnan High School with 15 students in two classes.


The Chamber relocates to its new building on Bullsboro Drive, its current home today.

In the second half of the 1980s, the Chamber helped attract the University of West Georgia’s Newnan Campus to the community. Chamber members and leaders also worked with Coweta County School System to initiate an Adopt-A-School program.

Joyce Smith, a Senoia native and Southern Mills executive, was elected as the first female chairperson of the Chamber board in 1986. Smith relished the role, and she and Inez Slaton were often the faces of the Chamber at various events in and out of the county.

When a friend asked Smith how she liked being the Chamber’s elected leader, she replied, in her soft drawl, “It’s just rush, rush, rush.”

In 1989, the new Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce building opened at the corner of Farmer Street and Bullsboro Drive next to the water tower. The new facility provided more room for offices and meeting space, replacing the Chamber’s previous headquarters on Salbide Avenue.


Established in 1986, Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation of America (YMMC) manufactured its first unit in 1988. Since then, every waverunner, golf car, and side-by-side ROV that Yamaha markets has been manufactured in Newnan.


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Newnan-Coweta Chamber 19

The 1990s

The 1990s brought new technology, industry, and a reason to celebrate as the Chamber entered its 50th anniversary. The Chamber played a prominent role in advocating for Coweta County throughout the decade and solidifying the community as a regional destination.


The Chamber hosts native son Alan Jackson and commends him for success in the country music industry. Chamber Board Chair Mike Barber welcomes Alan Jackson at a reception in his honor.


The Golf Classic has become a staple in the Chamber’s signature events.


Chamber Board Chair Lynn Smith created the Leadership Coweta program, a Chamber initiative designed to cultivate, educate, and elevate emerging local business and community leaders.



the hallmark of the 1990s for the Newnan-Coweta Chamber was transformation.

Some change was positive or necessary, but others had an existential feel. At the end of the decade, the future direction of the Chamber seemed less clear than at any other time.

At the beginning of the decade, it seemed business as usual. In 1994, the Chamber championed the local movement to make Coweta part of the metro Atlanta toll-free telephone exchange. Practically, the success of that venture made the county a part of Atlanta for business purposes.

That same year, the Chamber advocated for a local hotel-motel tax. The tax still exists and helps promote tourism in the county.

In 1995, Leadership Coweta was founded by State Rep. Lynn Smith during her tenure with the Chamber. The program has continued –with some retooling along the way. Leadership Coweta brings young business leaders together to learn the nuts and bolts of what makes Coweta County tick.

The Olympics came to Atlanta in 1996, and the Chamber was part of an effort to bring Coweta County to the forefront as the world’s media focused their attention on Olympic venues nearby.

Thomas W. “Chip” Barron served as Chamber board chair in 1994, fulfilling a family legacy. His father, Lindsey Barron, filled that role in 1960 and again in 1967, and Chip’s brother, Frank H. Barron, served in 1988.

Chair Lynn Smith announced the hiring of Greg Wright effective Jan. 2, 1996. Wright was unique among Newnan-Coweta Chamber executives, born and raised in Newnan.

During Wright’s seven years at the Chamber, his title changed from executive director to president. He was an active leader – serving as chairman of the Georgia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives and teaching for the Georgia Academy for Economic Development.

He followed his time at the Chamber with eight years as the Coweta County Development Authority president. Since 2017, he has been senior director for Community and Economic Development at CowetaFayette EMC.


In the mid-1990s, county leaders shifted some functions the chamber had long filled to other entities. Industrial recruitment became the domain of the Coweta County Development Authority, and the Coweta County Convention and Visitors Bureau was formed to boost tourism.

Industrial recruitment and tourism “were the two functions the Chamber got its identity from,” said Candace Boothby, the current Newnan-Coweta Chamber president and CEO.

With many of the daily tasks the Chamber staff and committees had now being handled by others, it was time to look inward. The Chamber would need to examine its mission and redefine itself.

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Former Board Chair Lynn Smith is elected to the Georgia House of Representatives. Cowetan John Thrasher carrying one of the torches in the relay - 1/6 mile down Bullsboro; Newnan-Coweta Historical Society.



4/14/23, 1-5PM: Tour of Coweta Early Checkin, Senoia Bicycle 4/14/23, 6-8PM: Rock&Road Criterium Reception, Lillian Gardens 4/15/23, 8AM: Rockin’ in a Squirrel World MTB Races, Brown’s Mill 4/15/23, 8AM: Tour of Coweta, Historic Newnan Train Depot 4/15/23, 10AM-2PM: Rock&Road Car Show, 1st United Methodist Church, Newnan 4/15/23, NOON: Soap Box Derby, Newnan Carnegie Library 4/15/23, NOON-8PM: Rock&Road Music Festival, Newnan Southcourt Square 4/15/23, 3-9PM: Rock&Road Criterium, Downtown Newnan 4/15/23, 7PM: Rock&Road Middle School Dash, Newnan Carnegie 4/16/23, 8AM-NOON: Rockin’ in a Squirrel World MTB Races, Brown’s Mill 4/16/23, 1PM: Rockstar Awards, Brown’s Mill

The 2000s

Events like the 9/11 terrorist attacks tempered optimism for the new millennium. Locally, the Chamber looked inward to determine what worked, what didn’t, where we had been, and where we wanted to go.


Through a partnership with West Georgia Technical College and the Coweta County School System, the Chamber helps create the Central Educational Center. CEC represents a fantastic example of intentionality and cooperation between business, industry, and education.


In September, following a nationwide search, Candace Boothby is hired as President and CEO.

Focus on the Product

the first decade of the 21st century was a time for the Chamber to evaluate what it was doing and why.

Several significant changes occurred as Chamber members and staff undertook an intense self-study. Greg Wright left his post as president of the Chamber in 2002.

When Candace LaForge-Boothby stepped into the role in September 2003, she talked with board members about the need to look inward –to examine what the organization was doing and how it was spending resources.

“When I arrived, we were at a tipping point,” she said. “We were at a crossroads.”

In 2004-2005, “we did a deep dive into who we were,” Boothby said. “We brought in a facilitator who did focus groups with members and non-members.”

Boothby said the result was a decision to focus “on restructuring and reframing” the Chamber’s mission. There was also an aim to determine what Chamber members wanted and how the Chamber could serve its members and the community at large.


The Chamber board and members elect the first African-American Chairman, Mr. Melvin Samuels.



The Chamber conducts its “Be Something Different” community survey, which assists the county in developing a 10-year comprehensive plan.

Mark Whitlock devised the concept of giving some time-consuming but valuable programs to other organizations. The Chamber was the local STAR Student/Teacher sponsor since 1947, and the Newnan Rotary Club took over that program.

The Lewis Grizzard Catfish Road Race was given to CLICK, the local literacy organization. Newnan Main Street took over the Festival Days Road Race, and the Citizen of the Year program became a Kiwanis project.

The annual Public Safety Appreciation went to a new organization, the Newnan-Coweta Public Safety Foundation.

“All those events are still thriving and contribute to the quality of life,” Boothby noted. Having them taken over by other organizations meant Chamber staff, committees, and volunteers could redirect their energy.

“We were able to shift our focus to activities associated with community economic development and community development,” she said.

Coweta is named “Entrepreneur Friendly,” led by the Chamber’s and its partners’ efforts. The Georgia Department of Economic Development provides this community-based program to help create an entrepreneurial environment, building entrepreneur and small business strategies into the community’s overall economic development strategies.

With the Development Authority now selling the county to prospects, the Chamber worked on developing the product. Boothby said she saw the Chamber’s role as intentionally “setting the table and starting dialogues around community issues.”

Meetings, committees, and projects tend to unite people to discuss various issues – ways to keep the community healthy and inviting, activities to integrate new executives into Coweta County life, and options for helping local non-profits find ways to flourish.


The Chamber has members with a range of interests. Some mainly want to network or use services offered by the Chamber. Others are what Boothby calls “transformational” – people who want to get something done through the Chamber.

Many members fall into both categories.

Two examples of the Chamber’s reinvigorated role were its involvement in relocating Piedmont Newnan Hospital to its new site on Poplar Road and its promotion of the ESPLOST referendum to provide capital funding for the local school system.

“We have consciously put ourselves at these tables,” Boothby said.

In 2000, the Chamber partnered with the local school system and West Georgia Technical College to create the Central Educational Center, a charter high school replicated in many locales and subject to international attention for its innovative programs that connect students with the world of work.

Melvin Samuels was elected as the Chamber’s first African American board chairman to serve in 2004. Dr. Tonya Whitlock served in the post in 2019 and was the Chamber’s first African American female board chair.

In 2004, the Chamber launched Vision 2020, a community-wide effort to look toward the future comprehensively. Four Vision 2020 Think Tanks were formed during the multi-year project.

The following year, the Chamber conducted the “Be Something Different” community survey and assisted the county in developing its 10-year comprehensive plan.

The Chamber gained the state’s “Entrepreneur Friendly Community” designation for Coweta County in 2007 and hosted an Economic Summit focused on Coweta’s economic competitiveness in 2008. The summit offered a 25-year historical comparative analysis.

The Chamber also supported the passage of the seven-day alcohol sales Special Referendum. It partnered with the Newnan Convention Authority to gather data to assess the financial feasibility of constructing a conference center complex in Newnan.

As the decade closed, the Chamber moved plans for a Poplar Road interchange on Interstate 85 forward with federal officials. Focusing on “the product” was working. Newnan Fayetteville 1755 Highway 34 East Suite 2200 Newnan, GA 30265 (770) 502-2175 125 Grand Oak Drive Fayetteville, GA 30214 (770) 626-5340 call today to schedule an appointment or book online! We’ve Got YourBack At Georgia Bone and Joint Spine Center, Dr. Chad Kessler and Dr. David Love are passionate about restoring their patients’ function through an individualized approach. From start to nish, The Spine Center o ers a continuum of care with fellowship trained orthopedic surgeons specializing in spine surgery, spine speci c physical therapists, x-ray, MRI, and sta dedicated to our patient’s care. Kessler, MD Love, MD

The 2010s

In the new millennium’s second decade, the Five-Star Accredited, National Chamber of the Year, upped the ante with new programs, alliances, and accolades.


The Economic Prosperity Council is formed through a partnership between the Chamber and the Coweta County Development Authority.


The Chamber launches the Industry Safety Council, Business Women’s Network, and Young Professionals of Coweta.


The Chamber wins the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executive’s National Chamber of the Year Award. NCC is the first Chamber in the state of Georgia to receive this honor.


The Chamber helps launch the German Apprenticeship program, the Georgia Consortium for Advanced Technical Training (GaCATT). The program is a partnership between the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern U.S. with the Technical College System of Georgia and eight Coweta County manufacturing companies.


The Chamber launches Coweta Works, the annual student career expo for Coweta County 8th graders.


The Chamber receives its first 5-Star Accreditation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; recertified in 2018 and again in 2023.

The Products Pay Dividends

the Chamber’s redirected focus on “the product” – the community itself – paid off for area residents and the Chamber during the second decade of the 21st century.

The Chamber fostered the creation of new organizations to address specific needs since its early days. In 2010, the Chamber and the Coweta County Development Authority formed the Economic Prosperity Council to connect government and business leaders so they can know each other, share meaningful conversations, and solve problems.

In 2014 alone, the Chamber launched three beneficial groups – the Industry Safety Council, the Business Women’s Network, and Young Professionals of Coweta.

In 2011, the Chamber led the successful ESPLOST campaign for the school system, followed by a successful county SPLOST vote for capital programs, including road construction and improvements, in 2012. Successful sales tax efforts were supported by the Chamber again in 2017.

Coweta’s growth as a medical mecca led to several additional Chamber projects. The Chamber developed a Healthcare Destination marketing plan and began funding Certified Nursing Assistants certification exams in partnership with West Georgia Technical College in 2013.

An annual healthcare report was issued for the first time in 2014.

The Chamber helped launch the German apprenticeship program, GaCATT, launched the Coweta Work student career expo, and closed out the decade hosting its first Intercommunity Leadership Visit.

The Newnan-Coweta Chamber grew stronger as an organization during the decade. Following a comprehensive community assessment by the Herron group, the Chamber launched its ongoing Prosperity’s Front Door marketing and branding campaign in 2011.

A highly successful recruitment event in 2016 increased the Chamber’s membership to over 1,000. The Chamber received Five-Star Accreditation for the first time in 2013 and obtained that coveted status again in 2018.

The clearest evidence that the Newnan-Coweta Chamber was moving forward came in 2015 when the Chamber was named National Chamber of the Year, the first chamber in Georgia to receive that distinction.

As the decade ended, the Chamber was busy ensuring the Coweta product was all it could be, barely pausing to realize that the Chamber’s 75th birthday was just years away.

MIKE PATTON AUTO FAMILY IS CELEBRATING 50 YEARS IN BUSINESS PROUDLY SERVING LAGRANGE AND SURROUNDING COMMUNITY SINCE 1973 PAYMENTS 0 FOR 90 DAYS3 APR 0%AVAILABLE1 DOWN PAYMENT2 $0 (1) 0% APR for very well-qualified buyers with Tier 1 credit approval for 36 months when financed through dealer-approved lender. Must qualify with approved credit, higher financing rates apply for buyers with lower credit ratings. Actual down payment may vary. Some restrictions apply, see dealer for full details and exclusions. Offer applies to select new, in-stock vehicles only, subject to dealer inventory at time of purchase. (2) $0 down payment on approved credit, not all will qualify. One offer per customer per visit. Excludes taxes. Offer availability subject to change per dealer. Some restrictions may apply. (3) Zero payments for 90 days with interest accruing from date of purchase. On select vehicles only. Not all will qualify. See dealer for complete details. Must finance through dealer-approved lender. May not be combined with other offers. Offers expire 02/28/23. Mike Patton Auto Group | 1406 Lafayette Pkwy, LaGrange, GA 30241 | 706-661-8828 50 TH ANNIVERSARY

The 2020s

The 2020s presented new and “unprecedented” challenges, with Chamber leadership and staff rise to the occasion in sync with the greater Coweta community. Business and industry define unique needs and priorities, likely to persist as the “new normal” throughout the 20s and into the new decade.


Georgia Governor Brian Kemp orders a shelterin-place order for the state as the COVID-19 pandemic begins to affect the U.S. Every citizen and every industry is impacted in various ways by the pandemic. The Chamber “pivots” in response to the new needs of local businesses in facilitating conversations with healthcare and civic leaders, producing informational webinars, and serving as consultants for those applying for state or federal assistance. The Chamber also convenes and launches the Economic Recovery Task Force and Initiative.


Executive Assistant and Office Manager Valerie Ward receives the Georgia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (GACCE) 20-year Service Award.


An EF-4 tornado devastates portions of Newnan, including Newnan High School. Together with WOW!, the Chamber helps provide public access to Wi-fi while the internet is down across the community, houses the Small Business Administration while providing relief to affected businesses, and serves on the longterm disaster recovery task force.


The Coweta Community Foundation hosts Where I Come From disaster relief benefit concert featuring hometown hero Alan Jackson.


Georgia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (GACCE) announced Chamber President and CEO Candace Boothby as the 2021 Legacy Award recipient.


The Chamber is awarded two grants totaling $861,000 through Coweta County under the American Rescue Plan Act to fund talent development and small business programs.

The Future Looks Bright, Despite

being prepared for the future includes things you could never imagine.

The Chamber was busy doing its ongoing work and looking forward to its 75th anniversary when the unthinkable happened. Covid-19, a previously unknown virus, swept the planet. Coweta companies adjusted. Restaurants went to take-out only. Workers at industries, businesses, and offices wore masks and stayed six feet apart.

For the Chamber, meetings were postponed or retooled for the phone or Zoom.

“It is harder these days, especially since Covid. Everyone’s behavior has changed since Covid,” said Candace Boothby, Chamber president and CEO celebrating her 20th anniversary as the executive this year.

Boothby said 70 percent of the Chamber’s efforts go toward community development and growth issues. The remaining 30 percent lies in delivering services to members.

“Everything we do, it has to be needs-driven, and it has to fit with our mission,” Boothby said.

The Chamber visits the Horizon Initiatives regularly to ensure the body of work is crafted in response to today’s business needs rather than those of the past (see related story).

Boothby said “the whole growth area” will remain a major focus. The SPLOST vote set for November 2024 will get lots of attention.

Boothby noted that sales tax dollars are the primary funding source for local road projects. She also noted that up to 76 percent of SPLOST dollars are garnered from shoppers who do not live in Coweta County. In the coming year, the Chamber will fund a position where a full-time staff member will talk with small groups to determine what county residents think and want. Boothby said the person would interact with clubs, churches, and homeowners – and likely even meet in homes in some instances.

The goal is to hear from the 80 percent who are “in the middle” on political issues and to help explain why investing in a high-growth community is so important.

“The number one thing is where we invest in our community over the next 10 years,” Boothby said. “When you stop investing in the community, you might as well say, ‘I’m okay being mediocre, and I’m okay going backward.’”

The Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce will be working on all those things in the months ahead – and celebrating its milestone anniversary.

THEN IT ALL STOPPED Coweta’s business, industry, and community respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

Newnan-Coweta Chamber BOARD CHAIRS

28 Issue 15
Dr. R.C.S. Young 1947-1948 W. B. Hammond 1949-1950 Carl Collins 1951 Raleigh Arnall 1952 Jack P. Keith 1953 Hamilton C. Arnall 1954 J. Littleton Glover, Sr. 1955 Dan W. Boone, Jr. 1956 James A. Beavers, Jr. 1957 Taft Monsour 1958 Byron H. Matthews, Jr. 1959 Lindsey H. Barron 1960, 1967
Newnan-Coweta Chamber 29
James O. Hardin, Jr. 1961, 1973 Walter D. Sanders 1962 K. O. Cole 1963 Harold S. Hammond 1963 Jack Griffith 1964 W. W. “Bill” Williams, Jr. 1965 J. Harold Barron 1966 Rev. Bob Baggott 1968 B. S. Doc Askew 1969 Nathan Knight 1970 Frank Hollberg, III 1971 Joe Crain 1972 E. W. Brown, Jr. 1974 J. Littleton Glover, Jr. 1975 Joel M. Cox 1976 Tom Wise 1977
30 Issue 15
H. Parnell Odom 1978 William V. Headley 1979 H. Thompson Smith 1980 W. Scott Wilson 1981 Sidney Pope Jones, Jr. 1982 Bobby Welch 1983 Andrew L. Cooper 1984 Keith Brady 1985 Joyce Smith 1986 Darrell K. Authier 1987 Frank H. Barron 1988 Richard Brooks 1989 Michael Whiteside 1990 Steve Mitchell 1991 Ian Dickson 1992 Mike Barber 1993

Congratula�ons to the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce on suppor�ng Coweta County for the last 75 years!

On behalf of the Coweta County Board of Commissioners, thank you, and we look forward to advancing our community together.

We’re hiring! Scan the QR code to learn more about openings. Thomas W. “Chip” Barron 1994 Lynn Smith 1995 Neal Shepard 1996 Bob Lore 1997 Mayo Royal, Jr. 1998 Don Philips 1999 Rob Register 1999 Tom Dunlap 2000

We care about our community and are involved with a number of charity organizations, such as Coweta and Fayette Student Athlete of the Week. We are also proud supporters of City of Newnan Sunrise Labor Day Road Race, as well as Angels House Road Race.

Locally owned and operated since 1996 we love serving your car and truck needs. Our Ford certified technicians, including Senior Master and Master Tech, will take good care of you in a timely manner.

Rod Drake 2001 Joe Crain, Jr. 2002 Sam Jones 2003 Melvin Samuels 2004 Don Moore 2005
238 Bullsboro Drive Newnan, GA 770-502-3673
Steve Stripling 2006 Mike Fitzpatrick Ford has been a member of the Newnan-Coweta Chamber for 19 years, serving on the board of directors from 2010 - 2015.
From 1945 to 2023 the Newnan-Coweta Chamber has been an integral part of the community and we congratulate them on 75 years of business!
Mark Whitlock 2007 Phil Aaron 2008
33 K-12 TUTORING • TEST PREP HOMEWORK HELP ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE COACH A BRIGHTER FUTURE BEGINS AT HUNTINGTON! 2+ GRADE LEVELS in math and reading** on SAT score*** on ACT score*** in scholarship offers*** AVERAGE INCREASES HUNTINGTON CAN HELP START THIS YEAR OFF RIGHT! ©2021 Huntington Mark, LLC. Independently Owned and Operated. SAT and Advanced Placement (AP) are registered trademarks of the College Board. PSAT/ NMSQT is a registered trademark of the College Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.ACT is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc. None of these entities were involved in the production of, and do not endorse, this program. *Not valid with any other offers. **Grade level results are based on cumulative average grade level increases in reading and math for 17,445 students from 2010-2014 using the full set of available student data. ***Results are based on surveys of 3,289 Huntington students graduating in 2019, using their initial Huntington Academic Evaluation and final SAT/ACT test score. HLC4157.2 CALL 1-800 CAN LEARN SAVE $100* ON AN ACADEMIC EVALUATION (VALUED AT $195) NEWNAN - GEORGIA 1111 Lower Fayetteville Road, Unit 1200, Newnan, Georgia (470)289-4090 229 POINT INCREASE 5.4 POINT INCREASE $71,149.00 PER STUDENT TUTORING & TEST PREP AVAILABLE IN-CENTER Jan Alligood 2009 Steve Mader 2010 Vicki Kaiser 2011 Dennis McEntire 2012 Dean Jackson 2013 Sharon Szymanski 2014 Danny Beck 2015 Tony Ferguson 2016
and team offers the best right here in Coweta County.
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John Hall 2017 Andy Miller 2018 Dr. Tonya Whitlock 2019 Phil Trickey 2020 Jeff Phillips 2021 Samanth Brazie 2022 Michael Robertson 2023 Bob Heaberlin, Ed.D 2024 Chair-elect



The Horizon Initiatives, developed by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, set forth principles to help Chambers remain relevant in a fast-changing world.

“We’ve tried to weave them into our culture,” said Candace Boothby, president and CEO of the Newnan-Coweta Chamber. The nine concepts were developed during a study by the ACCE that took more than a year.


Chambers must evaluate how the organization gathers people together and what membership means.


Chambers must integrate human support with technology to provide customization, connectivity, and feedback.


New opportunities often require quick thinking on the necessary resources. Chambers must be nimble problem solvers.


Exports will drive growth, and the world is coming to where we are. Small and medium companies must be part of the mix.


Chambers must engage with the public at large to be successful.


Chambers can be the “sane center” in a society that – nationally and locally – often seems fraught with division.


Chambers must tie money to their mission –showing regular progress.


Chambers will likely have to be catalysts for change rather than just responding to community changes.


Millennials will become the majority of workers and will bring new values. Diversity will continue to grow. Chambers must respond to those changes.

Newnan-Coweta Chamber 35

Yamaha Celebrates CONGRATULATING THE Yamaha Celebrates THEN... AND NOW

When Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation of America started operations in 1988, the Chamber had already been operating for 40 years. Starting with small crew that assembled golf cars in Newnan, Yamaha now has over 2000 team members that each help to bring a lifetime of exciting memories and experiences to their customers, their families, and this community. Today on our 280 acre campus with six plants, Yamaha has produced over four million recreational vehicles including WaveRunners, Golf Cars, ATVs, and Side-by-Sides.

Plant construction started in 1986. The first unit to roll off the manufacturing line was a golf car in June of 1988. By January of the following year, WaveRunners were added. Gradually, over the years, the plants grew to encompass the production of ATVs and Side-by-Side Off Highway Recreational Vehicles.

One of several original team members, Ken Ellerbee started at Yamaha at the time the plant was initially hiring in January, 1988. He began as an electronics technician with the robotics systems in welding and is now a SMART Construction Manager, Yamaha’s latest investment in infrastructure and the community.

Ken has enjoyed working for Yamaha. “I’ve been able to grow here. Yamaha has been gracious enough to let me do different things while I’ve been here. I’ve been very fortunate.”

He also points out that throughout the years, Yamaha has had systemic

continuous improvement. “As new products came in, we modify the assembly lines and the building structures to accommodate that. We adapt and improve as the products evolve. I’ve been the guy behind the scenes, so to speak, working on those over the last 35 years.”

Yamaha has won awards for their commitment to environmental health and safety. This includes ISO 9001 and 14001 certifications, the Georgia State Natural Leadership Award – Continual Environmental Improvement, and the Coweta Water Authority Plant of the Year.

Every WaveRunner, Golf Car and side-by-side ROV that Yamaha markets is manufactured in Newnan, Georgia. Most of the world’s Yamaha ATVs are also assembled in Newnan.

Besides incredible productivity, Yamaha creates opportunities for its team members to positively impact the local area through community service and corporate giving. Every dollar collected from Yamaha’s extensive recycling program is reinvested into corporate social responsibility initiatives, like scholarships, science education for local students, and even disaster response.

For example, Yamaha regularly sponsors entire classes from Title 1 schools to experience a science classroom on the lake. The Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s floating classroom program allows students to conduct scientific experiments related to water quality and conservation.

Yamaha’s commitment to the community includes extensive investment,


Celebrates 35 Years

YEARS Celebrates 35 Years

even in our latest initiative, the SMART Warehouse which will improve manufacturing efficiencies. This 200,000 square foot facility will bring the latest technology to the campus. If you’re trying to picture the SMART Warehouse, imagine a seven-story vending machine. Instead of cokes and chips dropping slowly, it has high-speed automation sending Yamaha team members the parts they need immediately to build recreational vehicles. A better system will make a more efficient team, and ultimately a happier customer.

And there’s a strong commitment to the environment at Yamaha. They have adopted a Carbon Neutral program to reduce the carbon footprint for the entire campus by 2035 and are on track through installation of solar panels all across the rooftop of Plant 2.

Bob Brown, Vice President of finance and operational support at Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation of America and a Chamber Board member says, “As a business in Newnan, we value the collaboration with other Chamber members to make this community vibrant and strong. That’s why we congratulate the Chamber and their 75th year and look forward to our continued partnership.”



The Chamber’s annual report serves as just one mean by which we tell our story and that of the thriving business community for whom we work. Looking back on our 2022 offerings – transactional and transformational – we’re eager to build on our work to make 2023 even better.

As in previous years, whether in response to the changing economic landscape with the Great Recession, post-911 challenges, the changing needs of businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, or recentering following the devastating tornado that befell our community in 2021, the Newnan-Coweta Chamber responds and innovates.

LOOKING AHEAD, a critical focus area remains talent development and working with business, industry, and the Coweta County School System to build a local education-to-career ecosystem and strengthen our support partnerships with the University of West Georgia, West Georgia Technical College, and others. From the launch of the Coweta Works virtual student career expo to business and industry roundtables, job fairs, and more, the NCC is committed to heeding the call of our member businesses.

While we work with community leaders and informed stakeholders to tackle workforce challenges, we’ll also continue to champion increased economic prosperity for our members via our strategic business plan. Diligently crafted in collaboration with the board’s executive committee, the plan spans three essential divisions, with the following goals:


Serve members through efficient and effective operations.

Executive Committee Lead: Jay Boren, Coweta County Water and Sewerage Authority


Advocate for business and community through strong thought leadership and proactivity.

Executive Committee Lead: Sister Ward, Georgia Power


Deliver member value through robust benefits and programs.

Executive Committee Lead: David Watts, Mike Patton Automotive

As we forge ahead in curating incomparable member experiences, we’ll continue to assess, evaluate, adapt, and adjust to ensure that we remain the premier community to work, build, dream, and thrive.
to the Chamber on their 75th Anniversary!
70 Sewell Road | Newnan, GA 30263 | 770-683-5516 | NewnanUtilitiesGA @NewnanUtilities NewnanUtilities NewnanUtilities NU thrive jan23.indd 1 1/30/23 12:56 PM
Newnan Utilities is committed to delivering the services that enhance the quality of life throughout our community. Part of our commitment includes working closely with the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce, helping bring new development to Coweta County.


Dear Chamber Members,

I am honored and privileged to serve as the 2023 NewnanCoweta Chamber board chair. As a long-time member and fervent supporter of this organization, I have seen firsthand NCC’s incredible work for local businesses and the greater Coweta communities.

The Chamber’s 75th anniversary marks a significant milestone, and I want to take this opportunity to thank our members, past and present, for their support and dedication to our organization. We could not be here today without the hard work and commitment of many business leaders, entrepreneurs, and community stakeholders.

Over the past nearly eight decades, the Chamber has played a vital role in shaping the economic landscape of Coweta. From securing the Bonnell Company in the 1940s to attracting Yamaha, Coweta’s largest private employer, in the 1980s, we have worked and continue to strive to create a business-friendly environment that encourages innovation, entrepreneurship, and growth. We have provided valuable resources and outstanding services to our members, including networking opportunities, business education, legislative partnerships, and advocacy at the local and state levels. What’s an even greater accomplishment is that this growth has been the direct result of leadership from true Coweta locals, such as Lindsay Barron, Joe Crain, Lynn Smith, David Boyd, and many more!

As we celebrate this momentous occasion, I am excited to look toward the future of the Chamber and this next year as I lead the organization through advanced talent development programming like WorkUP, the ARPA-funded career readiness training program, GoDigital Coweta, the small business digital aid program also funded through American Rescue Plan Act dollars, the launch of the new Talk of the Town luncheon series, Forward Coweta, the forthcoming community-wide growth summit, and, of course, Swingin’ Through the Decades, the Chamber’s 38th Annual Golf Classic, proudly sponsored by Piedmont Newnan.


The Chamber board is open for business, and we are working hard to have a seat at the decision tables in our community. I look forward to working with all of you and leading the Chamber to heightened accomplishment and success. If you’re a member and want to play a larger role, I encourage you to pull up a chair to the table and let us know how we can best support your participation!



Reflecting on the past reminds me of a great quote: “There are years that ask and years that answer.” Every generation, every decade, and every year….we see various tides come and go. In 1947, Scotty Young wrote about people moving away from Coweta and how the community could turn the tide should they choose to do so by study and concentrated effort. Oh, how the generations have turned that tide!

From attracting the county’s largest employer, Yamaha, to Coweta in 1986 and, shortly after – welcoming companies like Grenzebach to our community, we have grown in a lot of positive ways, like creating jobs with room for advancement, these companies endlessly giving back to Coweta. Yamaha’s recent efforts in 2021 to provide assistance and resources while in the most devastating after-effects of the EF4 tornado was proof of that ongoing commitment.

Our community’s healthcare offerings are second to none. I am and will always be grateful that Coweta has such talent and proximity available for our families. The fact that the City of Hope (formerly Cancer Treatment Centers of America) chose Newnan to be its home speaks volumes about our community.

Fast forward to 2022, when we continue to grow and ask questions to challenge areas where ‘we’ve always done it this way,’ we continue to be laser-focused on what the intentionality of a community means for our members and continue to be a place to live, work and play. The Chamber continues to look forward and evolve to meet the needs of the times and proactively adapt new ways of supporting Coweta….to continue to thrive despite many challenges.

Last year, for the first time in history, we secured a sizeable grant to fund talent development and small business digital aid programming - the ability to assist small businesses in improving their online presence will be a game-changer for many local business owners. Launching a virtual Coweta Works student career expo has allowed our young learners to access information about various career choices with just a few mouse clicks.

I am confident in where we are as a community because we lead on many levels during trying times.

As Coweta advances into the future and my tenure as Board Chair ends, I cannot express enough gratitude to my fellow Board members and our entire membership and staff for their trust in me. We are blessed to have such an incredible team, and I am grateful to have worked alongside each of you to accomplish our goals. I am fortunate to have been able to observe and participate with the Chamber from the




perspectives of a volunteer, a sponsor, what’s now known as a Chamber Champion, a Board member, an Enhanced Investor, and Board Chair – and I can report with pride and gratitude that the closer I have ventured, the more those feelings have grown. I would particularly like to thank Candace Boothby for her mentorship, support, and friendship during my tenure.

Finally, I want to warmly welcome incoming Board Chair Mike Robertson and recognize the talents and energy he brings to the role this year. His tenacity and commitment will serve the Chamber and our members very well, and I ask you to join me in wishing him the best for his tenure in 2023.

Again, thank you for the opportunity to serve as your 2022 Board Chair. Together we have weathered uncertainty and pursued opportunities to position the Chamber to continue on its path of championing economic prosperity for years to come. It has been a sincere pleasure to be a part of it all.

All the best,


The Newnan-Coweta Chamber Board of Directors is comprised of 29 business leaders who represent numerous industries and are fully committed to the success of Coweta County. These visionary leaders invest their time, resources, and expertise to open Prosperity’s Front Door for our community. Through a committee structure, the Board approves and implements a formal business plan that is updated annually.

At the Chamber’s 74th Annual Meeting in March, the Newnan-Coweta Chamber celebrated the service of Jeff Phillips (Newnan Utilities), Immediate Past Chair, and welcomed Samantha Brazie (Progressive Heating, Air and Plumbing) as our 2022 Chair.

42 Issue 16
MICHAEL ROBERTSON 2023 CHAIR ELECT Piedmont Newnan Hospital SAMANTHA BRAZIE 2022 CHAIR Progressive Heating, Air and Plumbing
Newnan-Coweta Chamber 43
We would love your vote again in 2023! Thank you for your continued support! 18 Savannah Street | Newnan, GA • 770-253-4040 • WE BRING BUSINESS TO BUSINESSES. Web Design and Branding · Custom Development Maintenance and Care Plans Content Writing and Marketing · Social Media Management SEO and Digital Media Advertising · Hosting Services Please scan the code to receive our quarterly magazine! CONTACT US TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION! 855-429-2959 jasonhunterdesign JHDwebDev
JAY BOREN VICE CHAIR, WORLD CLASS CHAMBER Coweta County Water & Sewerage Authority
44 Issue 16
RENATE BROWN GFL Environmental BOB BROWN Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation
ANNISSIA HANYARD Hello Fresh DR. EVAN HORTON Coweta County School System ( Ex-Officio) RENEE HORTON Renee Horton American Family Insurance DAVID KELLER E.G.O. North America Ret. Community Volunteer DAVID MACDONALD Ashley Park Bayer Properties GARNET REYNOLDS Truist CLEATUS PHILLIPS City of Newnan CHELLIE PHILLIPS Coweta-Fayette EMC SHARON ROGERS Red Earth Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine JONATHAN WATKINS City of Hope TRAE WESTMORELAND Coweta County Development Authority DR. TONYA WHITLOCK West Georgia Technical College MARK WHITLOCK Central Educational Center DR. BRENDAN KELLY University of West Georgia



Eager to help and always at the ready, Newnan-Coweta Chamber staff are in the privileged position of working with you to ensure a thriving environment for Coweta business. Meet the creative and forward-thinking team of professionals who rally day-in and day-out to bolster increased economic prosperity for our members. It’s never just “a day at the office!”

The 75th anniversary of the founding of the Newnan-Coweta Chamber means it is time to celebrate.

The Chamber has a rich history – decades of work making Coweta County the best place to live and do business. Through many changes in our community and the world around us, the Chamber has made sure Coweta County remains a place where prosperity’s door is always wide open.

The Chamber’s founders had a great vision. Yet, they could not have imagined the Coweta County of today – with almost 150,000 residents, five interchanges on an interstate highway, an array of medical services that have made the county a destination for people seeking care, industries in locations around the county –many of them part of companies with headquarters in nations on the other side of the globe.

This is not, however, a time to rest on our laurels. Many challenges await the Chamber and our community in the years ahead –including, no doubt, many we cannot yet imagine.

Yet, the basic motivations that brought business and community leaders to Dr. R.C.S. Young’s home to form the Chamber in the 1940s remain unchanged. Those leaders acknowledged that the rural Coweta that had been the norm for decades was metamorphosing into something far more complex. Soldiers had come home from World War II with a new understanding of the world – and, therefore, of their community. At the same time, local business and industry were thriving – with a bigger boom coming in the years ahead.

Those founders understood there was always room for improvement. They understood that people of goodwill, strong business acumen, and expertise could gather around a table and reach a consensus about what should and could be done to make an already great Coweta County even greater. That is still true.

We’re collectively excited to celebrate this milestone anniversary. We look forward to witnessing what the Newnan-Coweta Chamber will accomplish in the decades to come.

Newnan-Coweta Chamber 45
SUSAN KRAUT Vice-President COLLEEN MITCHELL Sales & Business Development Manager CLAIRE NIX Member Experience & Event Manager EMILY WEISS Communications Specialist VALERIE WARD Executive Assistant & Office Manager BEVERLY GARNER Administrative Support


Newnan-Coweta Chamber Vice President, Susan Kraut, completed her first year at Institute for Organization Management, a four-year nonprofit leadership training program at University of Georgia in Athens.

Though Kraut joined the Newnan-Coweta Chamber in 2018 as the Events and Communication Manager, she quickly ascended through the ranks and was named Vice President in late 2021. Susan brings over 25 years of combined experience in marketing and communications, strategic advancement, and operational innovation, arriving at the Chamber from a similar role with the three-time GRAMMY Award-winning Zac Brown Band.

Institute for Organization Management is the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It is the premier nonprofit professional development program for association and chamber professionals, fostering individual growth through interactive learning and networking opportunities.

Please join us in congratulating Susan for her dedication and hard work and supporting her with the continuation of the program!

I am THRIVING. I am WEST. Find your direction at Nursing | Information Technology | Education | Business | Film & Video Production | And More


2nd Quarter 2019 has welcomed 30 new or reengaging members and we're thrilled to introduce them to #chamberlife! Please join us in welcoming these businesses across the threshold of prosperity's front door

Newnan-Coweta Chamber members are some of the most ambitious, dedicated, & accomplished in the region and we’d be remiss if we didn’t take out time to recognize their efforts. We’re grateful to work alongside such forward-thinking business leaders. Please join us in congratulating the Members below for their hard work & commitment to advancing prosperity in and around Coweta!

Absolute Weight Loss and Wellness

Atlanta Oral & Facial Surgery

Beltline Bariatric and Surgical Group

MIDWEST FOOD BANK is proud to have earned its tenth consecutive 4-star rating through Charity Navigator. This top rating recognizes that Midwest Food Bank adheres to sector best practices and executes its mission in a financially efficient way.

Brightmoor Hospice

Caduceus USA


Center for Technology & Environmental LLC

Element Funding

COWETA SAMARITAN CLINIC was awarded a $100,000 grant by the Georgia Baptist Health Care Ministry Foundation. The clinic plans to use the grant for its Chronic Disease Management and Specialty Referral programs.

Elliot Electric Supply

Firehouse Pressure Washing LLC

INC. hosted No One Walks Alone Suicide Prevention Awareness Walk, a community walk to honor loved ones who lost their lives to suicide and raise funds to support individuals seeking mental health treatment. Kudos to local Non-Profit Members YMCA, More Music Foundation, Backstreet Arts, and Coweta Family Connections for hosting individual coping skill stations.

Friends of LINC, Inc

Frios Gourmet Pops

Great South Harley Davidson

ALFA INSURANCE-JEFF DELANEY AGENGY recently received several awards for sales production and excellence during the 48th Annual Awards Day with Alfa Insurance! Their office finished #3 in Georgia and Mississippi and #5 overall in Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama.

Jersey Mike's Subs

Los Abuelos Mexican Grill

PIEDMONT NEWNAN HOSPITAL broke ground on the first phase of its $65 million South Tower expansion project, which includes adding 80,000 square feet and 50 new patient beds.

New Renality Home Services Newnan

Novus Healthcare

PIEDMONT NEWNAN HOSPITAL was named to Forbes magazine’s list of “America’s Best Large Employers” for 2022, coming in at No. 166 among all employers of 5,000 employees or more across the United States.

Numerical Billing and Coding

PhySlim Physician Guided Weight Loss & Wellness

Salve LLC

TOMCO CONSTRUCTION celebrated their 25th Anniversary in 2022!

Shanki Physiques Beauty & Body Spa

Southside Family Chiropractic - Newnan

The Veggie Patch

Trademaster Installations, LLC

COWETA-FAYETTE EMC was awarded the Coweta STEM Corporate Partner of the Year! Maggie Reenstra, Community and Economic Development Coordinator, received the award from Dr. Donald White of the CCSD and the Coweta STEM Institute.

U. S. Business Products, Inc.

Walk of Faith House

Waterscape Nails & Spa

Welcome Wagon

Youth Unity in the Community, INC

THE BENTON HOUSE OF NEWNAN was awarded “Best Assisted Living” by U.S. News and World Report. The award was achieved based on recent resident and family surveys. Over 3,000 communities participated, with the top 25% nationwide recognized for excellence.

BLOOM OUR YOUTH Foster Care Director, Pam Talley, won the “Most Outstanding Child Welfare Service Professional” Award at the Georgia Conference on Children and Families (GCCF), hosted by Together Georgia.

Newnan-Coweta Chamber 47
P l a t i n u
N e w E n h a n c e d I n v e s t o r s
m S i l v e r
W e l c o m e N e w M e m b e r s


You’ll know you’ve arrived the moment you step on the grounds, as you proceed down our manicured, tree-lined boulevard. Once inside, our craftsman-chic architecture and world-class amenities provide a standard of apartment living unprecedented in Newnan.


In the fall of 2018, the Newnan-Coweta Chamber set out to create a publication that would shine a light on the magic that happens daily in our dynamic community. THRiVE, a quarterly business publication, was born, and the year 2019 was its first full year in print.

With each issue of THRiVE, we aspire to highlight how local businesses and industries - large and small - contribute to the extraordinary community that is Coweta. What started as a modest effort to tell the story of collaboration grew into a vibrant quarterly through which Coweta’s industrious spirit shines.

In addition to sharing Coweta’s collaborative undertakings, we recently moved forward with a renewed focus on critical conversations about education, workforce, and talent development. With each issue, we dig deeper into the ample educational opportunities and benefits available in our community thanks to the ongoing partnerships between local educational systems and industry leaders. Coweta County continues to set a regional example for impact and innovation, with our supportive community members at the forefront.

We encourage you to follow along as we dive into how business, industry, the Coweta County School System, our colleges and universities, and the Chamber work together to build a THRIVING local education-to-career ecosystem.

Thank you for your continued support of the Newnan-Coweta Chamber in our effort to champion increased prosperity for our members and for your attention as we chronicle many triumphs on behalf of and alongside our member businesses.

A Quarterly Business Publication of the Newnan-Coweta Chamber Issue 8 | Summer Fall 2020 Inequality Opportunityof The Tools to Lead The Future of Work 1450 Newnan Crossing Blvd East, Newnan, GA 30265
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Through the Georgia Chamber Federation, any Chamber member business with 10 or fewer full-time employees receives free membership into the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. This partnership with local chambers focuses on empowering small businesses. Benefits include representation at the state and federal levels as the Georgia Chamber advocates for pro-business measures, participation on statewide initiatives that create the Georgia Chamber’s legislative priorities, involvement in policy development through the Georgia Chamber’s grassroots network and member surveys.

Members can increase productivity and reduce annual workers’ compensation premiums by 7.5% by participating in the Drugs Don’t Work Program. This program educates employers about the prevention, intervention, and elimination of substance abuse in the workplace. As a drug-free workplace, you’ll increase productivity and reduce the cost of foing business.

The Chamber provides support for the program at a discounted rate, to meet all five certification requirements of Georgia law and includes:

• Twelve issues of the Drug-Free Workplace employee and supervisor training newsletter (meets annual training education requirement)

• List of treatment and counseling centers in your area (meets treatment center list requirement)

• Fill-in-the-blanks substance abuse policy (meets all requirements of Georgia law)

• And more!


The Georgia Chamber has teamed up with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield to administer the Georgia Chamber SMART Plan. This health care plan allows smaller employers to join together to share in the overall claims risk. By being part of a larger, self-funded pool, employers have financial protection backed by Anthem. The Georgia Chamber SMART Plan is available to small business employers with at least two employees enrolled on their medical plan and no more than 50 total employees, domiciled in Georgia. Eligible employers must also be Newnan-Coweta Chamber members in good standing. In addition to financial protection, this innovative alternative offers:

• Competitive rates

• Predictable, fixed monthly payments

• Flexibility in your choice of benefit plans

• Anthem’s broad Open Access POS network and Essential Rx Formulary


The Georgia Chamber Retirement Plan EXCHANGE in a new 401K program offered to businesses across Georgia in partnership with Transamerica. This plan offers employers a wide range of retirement management services, including administrative offload, simplified payroll contribution processing loan and distribution support, time savings, fiduciary risk management, and more.


Georgia Trend is a monthly publication that features business, politics, economic development, health care, education, CEOs, leadership, banking, energy, environment, travel, and more. It is delivered to more than 50,000 subscribers and in its 35+ years of existence has become indispensable to the leaders who shape our state. Georgia Trend has won numerous national and regional awards for journalistic excellence, including the prestigious Green Eyeshade Award, as well as awards from the Magazine Association of the Southeast and the Alliance of Area Business Publications.

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Start your journey at
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At Synovus, we provide the solutions, advice, and experience for you to bank from whenever, wherever. From rewarding credit cards to loan options tailored to your needs, we’ll help get your money working the way you want. Let’s see what we can do together.
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Have you ever needed your will prepared or updated? Signed a contract? Received a moving traffic violation? Worried about becoming a victim of identity theft? Been concerned about your child’s identity?

Chamber members and their employees receive a 25% to 32% discount on LegalShield and IDShield. LegalShield’s membership plan provides affordable legal protection to individuals and small businesses. IDShield is an identity theft protection and restoration plan.

As a LegalShield member, you can rest assured that whether you’re facing a legal issue that’s big, small or somewhere in between, you’ll have access to legal advice and services when you need them. Let LegalShield help you worry less and live more.


Chamber members qualify for exclusive discounts ranging from 5-55% on Office Depot products and services via ODP Business Solutions. All marketing materials and discussions focus around online shopping through or on the mobile app. There is an option for free store pickup on purchases that can be fulfilled at a local store. All orders need to be placed through ODP Business Solutions Website to ceive the discounted program pricing. We’ve partnered with Office Depot to bring you exclusive discounts on office supplies, products, and services. Using a Store Purchasing Card or the mobile business app at all retail locations you receive:

• Up to 45% off items companies purchase most frequently: ink and toner, paper and general supplies

• Up to 10% off almost everything Office Depot stocks in stores and the Business Solutions Division annual catalog

• Discounts on cleaning and breakroom products, copy and print, furniture, technology and more


Purchasing Alliance Solutions (PAS) offers customized insurance solutions to fit your unique needs. Developed to give small and medium-sized member businesses access to discounted insurance products, PAS works through independent member insurance agents to provide comprehensive health insurance, limited benefit health plans, long term care insurance and supplemental coverages like dental insurance, term life insurance, disability income coverage, and vision care insurance. Now you can give your employees quality benefit packages like large companies provide.


The Member Information Center is an online, password-protected Chamber member community hub for daily interactions, allowing members to access resources and benefits while building integrated relationships with ease. Take advantage of your “personal Chamber home page” by adding pictures and text, with the perks to add “Hot Deals,” job openings, and events for public query. Valuable, no-cost MIC training is offered monthly.


Congratulations NEWNAN OFFICE 2959 Sharpsburg McCollum Rd. Newnan, GA 30265 PEACHTREE CITY OFFICE 1975 Highway 54 West, Suite 110 Peachtree City, GA 30269

to the Newnan-Coweta Chamber on your 75th Anniversary Book


—Ginger Johnson


Newnan-Coweta Chamber 51
With one click on the Tools tab on the Chamber homepage, members can access free resources for businesses of all size and scope, with over 1,500 links to resources which encourage business growth. New information is added monthly. your appointment today at or call
more than 30 years of vein-care experience in Newnan and Coweta County, Dr. Garnet Craddock, Coweta’s only board-certified vascular surgeon, is a leader in his field. While he has developed a reputation as one of the premier vein specialists, not only in Coweta and Fayette counties, but throughout the Southeast, Dr. Craddock never stops striving to provide the best possible patient care and stays up to date with current, cutting-edge techniques. Dr. Craddock performs every vein procedure himself in the Southern Vein Care offices, and consistently receives 5-Star ratings from his patients.


As part of a consortium of regional stakeholders, including the Coweta County School System, Central Educational Center, West Georgia Technical College, the University of West Georgia, and the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP), the Newnan-Coweta Chamber endeavors to develop, implement, and execute a comprehensive body of work designed to provide a qualified pipeline of skilled workers to regional employers.

2022 realized an expansion of these efforts as the Chamber realized a substantial award from Coweta County as a CARES Act ARPA grant sub-recipient to implement a career readiness training program designed to support Coweta’s un- and underemployed workforce.

For more information or to express interest in participating as a talent development stakeholder, contact Susan Kraut at susan@newnancowetachamberorg.


The Coweta Industry Alliance provides guidance and training to industries in Coweta County through shared best practices. It comprises safety, human resources, and other key industry professionals and stakeholders who desire to share their collective knowledge to advance talent development and keep Coweta’s workforce healthy and safe.

The Coweta Safety Alliance is a subset of the Coweta Industry Alliance, comprised of safety professionals who desire to share their knowledge to help local industries comply with OSHA regulations and ultimately keep the Coweta County workforce healthy and safe. This Alliance promotes safe work practices and helps ensure that local businesses are leading the way in preparing for natural disasters and unexpected emergencies.

The Chamber’s Talent Development & Attraction program aims to increase the availability of qualified talent through strategic, data-driven recruitment and development initiatives.

The GA CATT Apprenticeship program launched in May 2016 through Central Educational Center leadership. The Georgia Consortium of Advanced Technical Training (GA CATT) Program, the first in the U.S., unites the German American Chamber of the Southern U.S., Inc. with the Technical College System of Georgia and eight Coweta County manufacturing companies. Beginning in the 10th grade, high school students can complete their education

with a high school diploma, a German apprenticeship certificate, and an associate degree in Industrial Mechanics through West Georgia Technical College.


The Chamber’s Job Board Portal Software creates one consolidated community job board to connect all available opportunities in Coweta for a one-stop shop.

Through Coweta Works, students in grades 8-12 virtually engage with employers from up to seven career “worlds,” Central Educational Center, West Georgia Technical College, and the University of West Georgia. In partnership with the Coweta County School System and Central Educational Center, the Chamber utilizes this platform to introduce students to high-demand occupations. It helps identify educational and vocational resources available to achieve student goals.

Coweta Works: Now Hiring is a print and digital job opportunity booklet designed to connect employers with students and active job seekers. The guidebook publishes twice annually and serves as a companion to the virtual career fair, connecting employers and candidates while showcasing potential career avenues for students.

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Coweta Works presentation at Lee Middle School Career Fair Chamber joins University of West Georgia for the second in a series of business leaders’ forums


In mid-2022, Coweta County received the second installment of more than $28 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and established a committee to review applications for 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(6) organizations to receive funding as sub-recipients.

Ultimately, the review committee recommended six projects – totaling $1.539 million. The Newnan-Coweta Chamber was approved for two projects totaling $861,000.


The Chamber will implement a small business digital aid program that will enable Coweta businesses to improve their digital capabilities. Coweta businesses that need a better website, a less clunky online store, or a more streamlined experience for internet customers can apply for digital aid through the Chamber’s program, beginning in early-mid 2023.

The technology project is a partnership between the Chamber and the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center. The program will offer between $2,400 to $18,000 to businesses with less than 25 full-time employees. All companies must hold an active business license in Coweta County.

Through this program, the Chamber expects to create a capacity for between twenty and forty Coweta-based businesses to establish, increase, and/or market their digital presence to benefit their bottom line and continued operations.


The second program, funded through ARPA dollars, aims at Coweta’s un-and underemployed workforce. The Career Readiness training program, a partnership between the Chamber, West Georgia Technical College, and the Georgia Tech Innovation Institute, will offer soft skills training, including approximately 40 hours of instruction representing roughly 24 hours of soft skills education and eight hours of customized interactive simulations via the Buzz Electronics program. There will also be instruction in workplace safety, business acumen, basic math and measurement refreshers, and forklift operator safety training.

The Chamber aims to have a pilot program in place in the spring of 2023, with full implementation in the fall; participants must be Coweta residents who are unemployed or underemployed due to the pandemic; enrollment is free. Ultimately, the Chamber aspires to make the program permanent and expand it for students and the incumbent workforce.

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Chamber’s Leadership Coweta class members and guests preview Career Readiness Buzz Electronics simulation, a hands-on exercise modeling a business operation with staff, shifts, and expenses, among other considerations.


In April, the Coweta legislative delegation members attended our annual Pancakes & Politics breakfast at the Newnan Country Club, lending insight into the progress and productivity of the 2022 legislative session. Chris Clark of the Georgia Chamber moderated a panel of Coweta delegates, including Senator Matt Brass, Representative Lynn Smith, Representative Josh Bonner, and Representative David Jenkins. Representative Phillip Singleton was not in attendance.

Clark shared a keynote presentation, providing members with an overview of the “New Georgia Economy.” As part of the 2022 statewide tour, Clark shared how Georgia can win the “war on talent” while growing GDP by $8 Billion and filling 400,000 job openings. The presentation also included insight into what comes next for our state and how we might prepare.

SAVE THE DATE! April 27 brings our 2023 Pancakes & Politics annual breakfast, presented by AT&T, the Chamber’s legislative sponsor.

Newnan-Coweta Chamber
JOSH BONNER (R) Georgia House of Representatives Fayetteville, District 72 MATT BRASS Georgia State Senate District 28 DAVID JENKINS (R) Georgia House of Representatives Grantville, District 132 PHILLIP SINGLETON (R) Georgia House of Representatives Sharpsburg, District 71 LYNN SMITH (R) Georgia House of Representatives Newnan, District 70 Natural Resource Committee Chair


To help educate local voters before Georgia’s May 24 and November 8 primary, general, and special elections, the Newnan-Coweta Chamber hosted a series of candidate debates at Newnan’s Central Educational Center. The discussions included candidates in contested primaries for party nomination, the non-partisan Board of Education and Board of Commissioner elections, and Grantville Mayor and City Council. The debates were streamed live on the Chamber’s Facebook page at and recorded for placement on the Chamber’s website and other media properties.

The format followed a standard moderated debate, including a twominute opening by each candidate and a series of questions vetted by debate moderator Clay Neely of the Newnan Times-Herald.

Presented by AT&T and supported by WOW!, the debates included the efforts of Central Educational Center’s Paul “Pat” Patten, director of film and television productions, and students enrolled in film and television production curricula. Over a dozen audio and video interns lead the project.


A close community of great friends. Happy days filled with going, doing and, yes, laughing. An environment as comfortable as it is beautiful. The security of living in a Life Plan Community – with independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing all under one roof. Can you think of anything better?

WELCOME HOME. 2280 North Highway 29 Newnan, GA 30265
770.683.6859 Wesley
is the only Life Plan
in the
– offering independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing.
Newnan area


Together, we are magic and that’s no trick! The perseverance of our community is something special and that’s exactly what we celebrated at the 74th Annual State of the Chamber in March 2022. Members gathered at the magnificent The Venue at Murphy Lane for an enchanted afternoon of highlighting community milestones with mindblowing tricks, courtesy of guest magician Drew Murray.

We reprised an important recognition, The Chairman’s Award, and acknowledged David Keller’s leadership within our business community and Chamber environment. Since it’s almost impossible to identify just one exemplary corporate citizen, we bestowed the honor of our Corporate Citizenship Award to three: Coweta-Fayette EMC, Georgia Power, and Newnan Utilities!

Big THANK YOUS to presenting sponsor Georgia Power, guest magician Drew Murray, outgoing Chair Jeff Phillips, and our 2022 Incoming Chair Samantha Brazie.

Presenting Sponsor

58 Issue 16
Photographs by Jimmy D Images


Presenting Sponsor

Almost as entertaining as the trials and tribulations of Mr. Depp himself, the 37th annual NCC Golf Classic was one for the record books! Attendees participated in the The Depths of Depp theme and had fun in the image of Johnny Depp and an incredible roster of wild, whimsical, and downright weird productions! Each year the Golf Classic is made possible by the unwavering support of our business partners and members, who work tirelessly to provide our community with FUNdraising events!

The premier tournament south of Atlanta, the Golf Classic attracts more than 200 players. Over 400 attendees include ample sponsor and exhibitor opportunities, allowing Chamber members to showcase their businesses and services as an integral part of one of our most significant fundraising events.

Newnan-Coweta Chamber 59
Photographs by Jimmy D Images Mitchell’s Contracting and Sales swing big by landing as the 1st place champs on the Old Course The Southern Credit Union show they know how to par-tee as the winner of Expo WOW CMIT Solutions prove it doesn’t get much putter than them by securing 1st place champs on the Seminole


Our annual Bowling Adventure is one of the Chamber’s most popular events, and this year’s It’s Tiki Time adventure was no exception! Presented in partnership with Junction Lanes Family Entertainment Center and Nissan of Newnan, participants enjoyed friendly competition in an outstanding opportunity to connect and team-build, while getting recognized as VIP customers and clients.

Nissan of Newnan was this year’s top scorer, while Piedmont Newnan came in last place (we still love you, Piedmont Newnan!).

Shout out to the Synovus team for winning Most Enthusiastic Bowlers!

We applaud all of our lava-ly sponsors who made this year’s Bowling Adventure a success: Junction Lanes, Nissan of Newnan, Bonnell Aluminum, Crossroad Fitness, Dogwood Veterinary Hospital & Laser Center, E.G.O. North America, Hammond Services, Newnan Utilities, and Truffles Vein Specialists.

60 Issue 16


October 19, 2022 brought together hundreds of business and service providers and greater Coweta community members for the relaunch of our BIG Expo, presented by Synovus and WOW! This highly anticipated event reliably carries with it an opportunity for business-to-business and businessto-consumer promotions and lead generation. In keeping with the changing needs of local business and industry, the LOVE Local Business Expo also featured a job and career fair arena, a trunk-ortreat hosted by local nonprofits, and three informative breakout sessions featuring three industry leader speakers, Don Lang, Kevin Williams, and Ellie White-Stevens!

Join us in giving a very special thank you to Synovus, WOW!, and the sponsors, exhibitors, and volunteers who rendered the LOVE Local Business Expo such a spectacular success! From the soldout exhibitor space to the joyful and informative breakout sessions, thank YOU for all that you do in demonstrating that Coweta is simply the best and that’s why we LOVE it!

Newnan-Coweta Chamber 61
Presenting Sponsors The perfect host for • BUSINESS MEETINGS • CORPORATE DINNERS FOR RESERVATIONS 770-683-6328 • REHEARSAL DINNERS • BRIDAL SHOWERS Follow us on Facebook for daily Information 20 JEFFERSON STREET NEWNAN, GA 30263 Enjoy our outdoor seating in a relaxed atmosphere. Come see our expansion! • BRIDESMAID’S LUNCHEONS • ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS OPENING SPRING 2023


Several times a year, existing and prospective Chamber members gather at a local member business during the cocktail hour and enjoy connecting with peers while establishing and renewing relationships. We are grateful for 2022’s Business-After-Hours hosts for opening their doors to Chamber members who were eager to learn more about their businesses and services.

May Business-After-Hours presented by Contemporary Catering in honor of their 30th Anniversary (Photos by Pork Pie Pictures)

September Business-After-Hours presented by Kemp’s Dalton West Flooring

December Business-After-Hours presented by Piedmont Newnan and Newnan Utilities

September BusinessAfter-Hours presented by Kemp’s Dalton West Flooring


The Breakfast Club, formerly known as Coffee Call, is a great way for members to jumpstart their mornings with the NewnanCoweta Chamber and a selection of co-sponsors! Attendees enjoy coffee, light breakfast fare, and egg-cellent conversation at this early morning event. Bring plenty of business cards and rehearse your elevator pitch for our popular “Beat the Buzzer” one-minute challenge.

May Business-AfterHours presented by Contemporary Catering

Video Surveillance Systems

Access Controls

Smart Locks

Door Hardware Doors

March Breakfast Club hosted by:

SweetWater Veterinary Hospital

• Locks

• Keys & Much More

Secure Monitor Control


June Breakfast Club hosted by Westhill of Newnan Crossing

Senior Living

August Breakfast Club hosted by Dogwood Hospital & Laser Center

62 Issue 16
The Breakfast Club was hosted by Dogwood Veterinary Hospital & Laser Center on Aug. 9.
We Secure Your Building for Business Growth Commercial
Serving South Atlanta


Presenting Sponsor

Connections in the Courtyard, presented by WOW!, is our newest Member Engagement opportunity and the brainchild of our Chamber Champions Alliance. As the weather allows, participants gather in the Chamber’s newly renovated courtyard to mix and mingle in a relaxed, open-air setting, with food provided by Chamber Member eateries. This event is open to current and future Chamber members, and attendees are encouraged to invite a guest!

Thanks to our 2022 hosts for providing such great events with delicious eats!

April 28th | Champions Cleaning Systems

Jim N’ Nick’s Community Bar-B-Q

Cakes by Debbie

June 23rd | Southern Vein Care

The Mad Mexican food truck

Frios Gourmet Pops

August 11th | Shepard Financial

Shane’s Ribshack

October 27th | Resource MFG

Coweta Crossroads Chick-fil-A

Nothing Bundt Cakes

Newnan-Coweta Chamber
Business Assessment
Transformation Leadership
Executive Coaching
Team Training
Executive Mentoring
Performance Management A CCELERATED P ERFORMANCE S OLUTIONS, LLC COMMITMENT TO BUSINESS EXCELLENCE AND CONTINUED IMPROVEMENT Supporting you and your business through leadership development and performance management consulting growth. We congratulate the Newnan-Coweta Chamber on their 75th Anniversary! Contact us today to see how we can meet your needs P.J. Finneran, Jr. President Dr. Pamela Johnson Partner 231 Hewlett South Road Newnan, GA 30263 314.750.6121


The Newnan-Coweta Chamber is committed to providing members with ample networking opportunities, all year long. However, in 2022 it struck us that there was not one specific event that showcased our unwavering appreciation toward NCC members. On Wednesday, June 15 we hosted the first annual Member Appreciation Cookout, a drop-in lunch celebration that allowed us to thank each and every one of YOU for being instrumental in our successes as Coweta’s premier business organization. Thank you! We can’t wait to shower our members with gratitude this coming year.


Designed with our new or reengaging members in mind, Member Connect presents an interactive opportunity to learn more about the events, programs, alliances, cost-saving benefits, and development opportunities that are exclusively available to Newnan-Coweta Chamber members! At our 2022 gatherings, attendees enjoyed a Chick-Fil-A breakfast graciously provided by Coweta Crossroads, after which they had the opportunity to visit various “adventure boards” where staff and Chamber Champions shared information about the resources, tools, and strategies employed to help make the most of Chamber membership.

This informative engagement opportunity benefits all as we explore and discover opportunities for involvement and return on investment, while connecting to Chamber benefits and advantages that can help grow businesses. Your passport to prosperity awaits!

tPiWest Georgia Technical College offers five convenient campuses, two instructional sites, and day, evening and online classes to fit your busy life. We have over 120 programs of study to choose from with degree, diploma, and technical certificate offerings available. With affordable tuition, small class sizes, a myriad of financial aid options, and a superior learning environment, we are ready to be your partner for success!

Presenting Sponsor As set forth n ts student catalog West Georgia Technical College does not d scrim nate on the basis of race color creed national or ethn c or gin sex religion d sab l ty age polit cal affiliat on or belief genet c informat on disabled veteran a veteran of the Vietnam Era or cit zensh p status (except in those special circumstances permitted or mandated by law) The follow ng persons have been des gnated to handle inquiries regarding the non-d scrim nation polic es: Equity (Title X) Coordinator Dean of Students 770 537 5722 176 Murphy Campus Blvd Waco GA 30182 ADA (Section 504) coordinator is Execut ve V P of Admin strative Services 678 664 0533 401 Adamson Square Carrollton GA 30117
lf t
Start your educational journey today! For more info, call 844.280.0100 or email
Thanks to our 2022 Member Connect Sponsors: American Family Insurance Renee Horton Agency, BMW of South Atlanta, Chick-fil-A Coweta Crossroads, Encompass Health, and Shepard Financial!


On July 20, 2022, all Coweta County principals attended security training hosted by local law enforcement personnel to strengthen security measures further and ensure the safety of all students and school personnel.

In September, the Chamber welcomed school Superintendent Dr. Evan Horton, Safety Director Ken Kesselring, and other key security officials from the Coweta County Sheriff’s office and Newnan Police Department to the annual State of the Community luncheon. More than 100 member attendees learned about the measures already in place and what the school system plans to incorporate in ensuring the safety of Coweta students, staff, administrators, and families in response to a complex, changing world.

Newnan-Coweta Chamber 65


Crossroad Fitness

January 13, 2022

Congratulations to these member businesses who recently crossed through Prosperity’s Front Door with a ribbon cutting or milestone celebration!

Buff City Soap

January 25, 2022

66 Issue 16
Book Love, The Bookshop of Senoia February 14, 2022 The UPS Store #7452 February 28, 2022 Live Oak Exteriors March 2, 2022
C o me C e l e b ra t e !

March 9, 2022

March 15, 2022

March 22, 2022

Massage Therapy

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Phone: 770.463.2460

on a month-to-month rental basis designed for handicap accessibility. Prices begin at $1490 a month with a $1500 entrance fee.

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Dining Room & Clubhouse Boutique Services Pace Lynch Go Juu Mobility Plus Westhill of Newnan Crossing Senior Living April 12, 2022 Thick Ash Cigar April 19, 2022 Newnan-Coweta Habitat for Humanity April 20, 2022
Coweta County’s school of choice, servicing the needs of children in grades K–8th • Tuition-free, public charter school for K-8th • Fully accredited by SACS/AdvancED • Smaller class sizes, teacher & parapro in K-5th • Gifted, Spanish, Fine Arts, Field Trips, Community Involvement Academically Accelerated Conveniently located near Ashley Park and I-85 14 St. John Circle Newnan, GA 30265 770-251-6111 Charter School – Newnan, GA
April 21, 2022
Jounals and Ledgers
27, 2022
The Original Hotdog Factory / Spice Wing
SELCAT Apprenticeship Training April
Pool Scouts of Newnan May 5, 2022 Kay Shell Montessori May 11, 2022 Foundation Christian Church May 12, 2022
Newnan-Coweta Chamber 69 The
May 19, 2022 HOTWORX May 20, 2022 Healthy
Nutrition June 7, 2022
Southern Credit Union
Coweta Community Foundation June 14, 2022 Meals on Wheels of Coweta June 14, 2022
OUR FAMILY TAKING CARE OF YOURS Family Owned & Operated Since 1976 Locations: Newnan, Peachtree City, LaGrange DALTONWEST.COM  (770) 863-7556
Hero Roofing June 16, 2022


Love is a powerful healer. We witness its benefits day after day as we partner with devoted caregivers to help restore independence to overcome the effects of a stroke or life-changing illness or injury.

If you or someone you love has lost independence, depend on us for rehabilitation. We start by providing information you need to feel comfortable with our approach to advanced therapy and care. Then we create custom routines of recovery to address unique needs. Depend on us.

70 ©2020:Encompass Health Corporation:1665948 The Joint Commission Disease-Specific Care Certification in Stroke Rehabilitation
When a loved one’s return to independence depends on you,
2101 E. Newnan Crossing Boulevard • Newnan, GA 30265 678.552.6202 •
GloSmart Spa August 23, 2022 Crust & Craft September 15, 2022 Dream Wings ‘N Things September 22, 2022 Coweta F.O.R.C.E. September 27, 2022 Crumbl Cookies September 29, 2022 Treasures Lost & Found October 6, 2022
71 Renee Horton Agency, LLC American Family Insurance October 21, 2022 Neighborhood Barre Newnan November 15, 2022 Heart And Vascular Care of Georgia December 2, 2022 Strickland Debrow, LLP December 7, 2022 S&S Helping Hands December 8, 2022 SIMDOG Motorsport Simulation December 15, 2022 Experience Southern Hospitality at its best! Contact us today to schedule a visit and let us help you plan your next perfect event! 770-262-8241 SPECIAL EVENTS ∙ CORPORATE FUNCTIONS WEDDINGS FUNDRAISERS ∙ ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS ∙ RETIREMENT PARTIES 5 2 5 M U R P H Y R D . • N E W N A N • T H E V E N U E A T M U R P H Y L A N E . C O M


As part of more than 100 opportunities for members to learn, connect, collaborate, and discover more about their peers, the Chamber, and our greater Coweta business community, we facilitated in-person, virtual, and hybrid opportunities for leadership training, business development, advocacy, and, of course, member-to-member engagement.

4 Breakfast Club

6 Chamber Champions Alliance

3 Business-After-Hours

11 Community Visioning & Stakeholder Roundtables

2 Multi-Industry Job Fair

3 Coweta Safety Alliance

3 Coweta Safety Alliance

1 Newnan CEO Leadership Filming

4 Connections in the Courtyard Coweta Civic Engagement Opportunities

4 Economic Prosperity Alliance

36 Ribbon Cuttings & Milestone Celebrations

2 State of the Community Luncheon

5 Talent Development Roundtables & Business Leader Forums

10 Non-Profit Alliance Roundtable

6 Enhanced Investor Alliance Listening Lunch

4 Member Connect Member Orientation


72 Issue 16


Chamber Champions are goodwill partners who serve as the volunteer public relations arm of the Chamber. Alliance members seize the opportunity to support Chamber growth and value while taking advantage of key benefits to expand their personal and professional networks and build new relationships.

Champions commit to attending monthly meetings and assisting at member events while receiving free and discounted registrations for Chamber events and more!

Participation in the Champions Alliance is applicationbased and open to members with at least one year membership.


Susan Kraut

Newnan-Coweta Chamber, Program Liaison

Colleen Mitchell

Newnan-Coweta Chamber, Program Support

Charlotte Hollins

East Coweta Middle School

Cory Cook

Cory Cook LLC

Doug Hand

Pace Lynch Corporation

Jeff Johnson Kason Industries

John Medina Modern Woodmen Of America

Kaitrell Hall

Allstate Insurance- Dianne Parker

Mel Kendrick Nissan of Newnan

Nick Kuglar

Geico Local Office

Nique Kight Southern Vein Care

Scott Sinkler

Standard Office Systems

Shandria Sanchez

Soaring N2 Destiny Academy of Performing Arts

Tina Killam

Pirate Staffing

Doug Hand

Pace Lynch

Christopher Johns

Shane’s Pest Solutions

Brooke Miller Hammond Services

A Senior community nestled on a beautiful setting, offering gracious hospitality in a comfortable and elegant atmosphere. Call to schedule your personal tour of our community. Jodi Falany Executive Director ■ 24-hour access to trained, friendly associates ■ Assistance with medication and personalized resident service plans ■ Specialized services for those with Alzheimer’s disease or related memory impairment Restaurant-style dining program ■ Linen and housekeeping services ■ Fun and meaningful activities ■ Scheduled transportation ■ Day Service and Respite available ■ Beautiful courtyards and spacious porches 27 Belt Rd | Newnan GA 30263 | 770.251.6639

Increasingly, a dedicated community of local leaders is coalescing around a vision of prosperity that serves the collective benefit of those who live, work, play, and THRIVE in Coweta.

The Newnan-Coweta Chamber enjoys the participation of over 50 key stakeholders who, together, render a positive impact on the prosperity of one of the fastest growing regions in the country.

Members of the Enhanced Investors Alliance enjoy unprecedented access to key community leaders, information which informs the collaborative vision for increased economic prosperity, access to benefits and services including use of Chamber’s meeting room, complimentary tickets to events and programming, sponsorship credits for increased brand visibility, and more.


Learn more about enhanced investment and discover how you can become a part of the Coweta fabric. For more information call Susan Kraut, Vice President at 470.865.3718 or email

Newnan-Coweta Chamber 75


The Leadership Coweta program was launched in 1995 by Georgia State Representative Lynn Smith. In collaboration with other community changemakers such as Dennis and Sally McEntire, Terry and Martha Ann Daviston, Bill and Marianne Thomasson, and others, she set out to create a program that nurtures and develops the future leaders of the greater Coweta community.

This 11-month program provides existing and emerging leaders unique opportunities to enhance their civic knowledge of Coweta County, sharpen their leadership skills, and connect with leaders from across the community.

The program launches every other year, save for an extended period between classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cochairs Scott Berta, then of the Coweta County Development Authority, and Kalea James of Ameris Bank, enjoyed an unordinary long planning period. Whereas the class was set to commence in the fall of 2021, the open application period was paused until February 2022, amassing an impressive roster of 25 rising stars to form the newest class, sponsored by Progressive Heating, Air, and Plumbing.

76 Issue 16
Newnan-Coweta Chamber 77
11 First Avenue • Newnan GA • 770-253-5622 We are a full service oil company providing motor fuels and packaged lubes.
Crain Oil Company would like to Congratulate the Newnan-Coweta Chamber on their 75th Anniversary!


September 13, 2022 | Economic Impact of Local Spending

Day Leaders: Beth Headley and Kristina Hajzak, United Bank

Sponsored by: Ameris Bank and United Bank

February 14, 2023 | Economic Development

Day Leaders: Amanda Fields, Georgia

Department of Economic Development and Scott Berta, Coweta County Development Authority

Sponsored by: Georgia Power

October 11, 2022 | Health, Wellness, and Recreation

Day Leader: Shane Gann, Summit Family YMCA

November 8, 2022 | Community Service, Non-Profits, and Corporate Citizenship

Day Leader: Jason Walton, Foundation Church

December 13, 2022 | Talent Development: Workforce Challenges

Day Leaders: Matt Markham, Georgia Dept. of Transportation and Volita Almon, West Georgia Technical College

January 10, 2023 | Talent Development: Education to Career Ecosystem

Day Leader: Tonya Whitlock, West Georgia Technical College

March 14, 2023 | Transportation, Infrastructure, and Civic Engagement

Day Leader: Andrew Copeland, Ritchie Bros.

April 11, 2023 | Tourism and Convention and Visitors Bureau

Day Leader: Heather Daniels, Explore Coweta

May 9, 2023 | Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Day Leaders: Anissa Patton, Office of the Child Attorney, and Volita Almon, West Georgia Technical College

Sponsored by: Nissan of Newnan

78 Issue 16


The buzz about Buzz is already humming.

It will be a few months before Cowetans seeking employment will participate in the Buzz simulation, but the concept has been shared with community leaders. The Georgia Tech Innovation Institute developed the hands-on simulation.

“We’ve been using this manufacturing simulation for a long time with organizations across the state,” said Paul Todd, a project manager for Georgia Tech’s regional office in Macon.

In January, the current Leadership Coweta class participated in the Buzz simulation for testing purposes as part of the Education to Career Ecosystem talent development class day. The experience gave the group “a sampling of what the actual program will be like,” said Susan Kraut, vice president of the Newnan-Coweta Chamber.

Georgia Tech staff members Larry Alford, Kelley Hundt, and Todd came to Central Educational Center to demonstrate how the Buzz simulation functions. Alford is the South Metro Atlanta region manager for Georgia Tech’s Georgia Manufacturing Extension Project, and Hundt is a manufacturing systems project manager at Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute.

“You’re all drafted as employees,” Todd told the participants as the meeting began. Each person was given a job in a circuit board manufacturing process. After simulating the process, participants were asked to share their observations. The process was then retooled, incorporating some of those observations.

Buzz can help employees see the overall picture of what their plant or organization is doing. Todd noted that sometimes people could work hard but only accomplish the ultimate goal.

For example, somewhere in the workflow process, there is a problem, and items that have been skillfully produced must be shipped to customers on time. Further, a lack of communication can keep an assembly line churning out a product that is in oversupply rather than one that is needed.

Participating in the process illustrates the problem created when someone is late or unexpectedly absent. “Whoever’s not there can be a real problem,” Alford observed. Todd said companies need workers who are “breathing, creative people,” not automatons mindlessly doing the same tasks over and over.

“If your work history is ‘sit down and do this,’ that’s what work is,” Todd observed.

Alford said Buzz should help participants answer the question: “How can you be the best employee you can be for whomever you’re working for?”

Kraut put together the workforce grant that includes Buzz. She said the grant “was designed to help Coweta’s unemployed and underemployed citizens.” She said Buzz is ideal as a significant facet of the grant project.

“It’s hands-on,” she said. Kraut said the soft skills training inherent in Buzz is essential. Soft skills – staying on task, being on time, being prepared – comprise “one of the facets of career development that employers say they need,” Kraut said.

The Chamber received an American Rescue Program Act grant to fund the project to help Cowetans who are unemployed or underemployed. The Chamber would eventually like to make the program permanent and expand it for students and young learners.

The Career Readiness training program is a partnership between the Chamber, West Georgia Technical College, and the Georgia Tech Innovation Institute. The soft and technical skills training will include 40 hours of instruction, 24 hours of soft skills education, and eight hours of customized interactive simulations. There will also be instruction in workplace safety, business acumen, basic math and measurement refreshers, and forklift operator safety training.

The Chamber aims to have a pilot program in place in the fall, with full implementation in early 2024.

Participants in the Chamber program must be Coweta residents who are unemployed or underemployed due to the Covid 19 pandemic. There will be 20 participants for each session.

The grant, funded with federal dollars funneled through Coweta County, will offer “a comprehensive program for those who will participate,” Kraut said.

Newnan-Coweta Chamber 79
Paul Todd of Georgia Tech passes out assignments to members of the Leadership Coweta class and guests taking part in the Buzz simulation.


The Non-Profit Alliance, led by program chair Kevin Barbee of Elevate Coweta Students, is a monthly roundtable designed to develop local non-profit leaders and liaisons, provide a cooperative environment for sharing best practices, and promote community benevolence through cross-sector collaboration and strategic partnerships with private sector business and industry stakeholders. The NonProfit Alliance is the backbone of our annual Friendsgiving event, an opportunity to join Chamber staff, leadership, and associates in recognizing the combined impact of nonprofit service organizations and the for-profit corporate citizens that support them.

Non-profits consume goods and services that create even more jobs, spending nearly one trillion dollars annually, ranging from capital expenses, like medical equipment for non-profit hospitals, to everyday purchases like office supplies, food, utilities, and rent. Because The Chamber is passionate about bringing awareness to nonprofits we created the Economic Impact Survey, a comprehensive survey meant to quantify the true impact of nonprofits in Coweta County. Be on the lookout for survey results as we

Photos from the 2022 Friendsgiving, an annual celebration hosted by the Non-Profit Alliance


Bonnell Aluminum is proud to support you in 75 years of hard work on behalf of the community we call home.

Although we have continued to broaden our nationwide market reach by expanding our facilities, resources, and talent to provide the most comprehensive capabilities in aluminum extrusions, fabrication, and finishing services in the industry, we remain committed to many more years of strategic community partnership as we break ground on our new corporate headquarters—right here in the heart of downtown Newnan.

To learn more about how Bonnell Aluminum can help you frame your future, please visit

Accelerated Performance Solutions 63 ActionCOACH 13 Bonnell Aluminum 81 Cargill Meat Solutions 19 City of Hope 49 City of Newnan 49 C.M.I.T. Solutions 82 Crain Oil Company 77 Coweta County Board of Commissioners 31 Coweta County Water and Sewerage Authority 80 Coweta-Fayette EMC 7 Dogwood Veterinary Hospital & Laser Center 11 Edward Jones 17 Encompass Health and Rehabilitation 70 Georgia Bone & Joint 23 Georgia Military College 55 Georgia Power Company 60 Heart and Vascular Care of Georgia 34 Honda of Newnan 3 Huntington Learning Center 33 Insignia Senior Living 73 Jason Hunter Design 43 Jersey Mike’s Subs 47 Jimmy D Images 53 Kemp’s Dalton West Flooring 69 Knox Home Furnishings 43 Lynn Smith, State Representative 8 Mike Fitzpatrick Ford 32 Mike Patton Automotive 25 Monster Tree Service 42 Newnan Utilities 39 Newnan Views 27 Nissan of Newnan 83 Odyssey Charter School 68 Palmetto Park 67 Piedmont Cancer Institute 56 Progressive Heating, Air, and Plumbing 5 Promenade at Newnan Crossing 48 Renee Horton Agency, American Family Insurance 2 ResourceMFG 84 Rock and Road Festival 21 Southtowne Motors of Newnan 9 Southern Vein Care 51 Synovus 50 The Cellar 61 The Flying Locksmiths South Atlanta 62 The Southern Credit Union 66 The Venue at Murphy Lane 71 University of West Georgia 48 Wesley Woods of Newnan 57 West Georgia Technical College 64 Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation 36
A STATE OF THE ART DEALERSHIP NISSAN OF NEWNAN 783 Bullsboro Drive, Newnan, GA 770-254-3800 Please visit our website at to view our large inventory, make an appointment with our award-winning service department or reserve your rental from our fleet of Nissan cars, trucks and vans! Conveniently located off I-85, exit 47 open 24/7 at We are a full-service dealership for all your auto needs. is a proud supporter of the Newnan/Coweta community and the Newnan-Coweta Chamber. Congratulations to the Newnan-Coweta Chamber on your 75th Anniversary! New models and new inventory arriving DAILY!

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