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Building Business with Family An inside look at ASTRO Exterminating Services

INSIDE Third Generation Businesses Chamber Applauds Local Leaders ADVOCATE • BUILD • CONNECT • PROMOTE

# You have a friend here

When it comes to Valdosta business, We’re more than a lender. We’re your partner. Business is the foundation of any community, and we’re personally dedicated to keeping Valdosta strong. From working capital and equipment financing to real estate development, we offer the services to help your business grow. But first, we take the time to understand your business and how it works. That level of service and attention – along with a tradition of sound, smart banking – is what makes Bank of the Ozarks the top-performing bank in the nation for the fifth year in a row. Stop by any time to talk about what we can do for your business.


Member FDIC. © Copyright 2015 Bank of the Ozarks. #1 bank as named by SNL Financial 2015, Bank Director 2014, 2013; ABA Banking Journal 2012, 2011


Summer 2015



SUMMER 2015 / Vol. 60 No. 1


05 In honor of Johnny B. 05 Board of Directors/Chamber Staff

26 10



06 Advocacy In Action 08 Hire A Military Spouse Four reasons to consider 09 Certified Military Friendly 10 Moody welcomes Afghan pilots 81st Fighter Squadron reactivates 11 Valdosta Takes on the Capitol Local leaders head to Washington, D.C.


12 Building Businesses 14

Southwest Georgia Bank Invests Enay Coaching Wins Business Plan Competition

15 The Next Generation Steps In


30 Connecting Members 32 Chamber Choice Awards Celebrating Valdosta’s BEST! 34

Winners In The Workplace


Investing For The Next Century

16 Carson McLane Funeral & Cremation Services

18 Tillman & Tillman, LLP

38 Promoting Professionals

20 Waller Heating & Air Conditioning Co.

41 MetroOne’s 4 Under 40

22 Music Funeral Services, Inc.

42 Branding, Design & Media

24 Miller Hardware Company

44 Business After Hours Events

26 Stars align for ASTRO Exterminating



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47 PrimeTime in Valdosta 49 Chamber Recognizes Top 2015 Sponsors


Johnny B. Lastinger

2015 Board of Directors CHAIRMAN Ron Borders, Real Living Realty Advisors


ur community and the chamber profession lost one of our best in May 2015 – Johnny B. Lastinger.

Johnny B. was hired as Executive Vice President of the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber in 1970. During his 23 years of service to the Chamber, Johnny B. brought statewide recognition to our Chamber and to our community. Even though he retired from the chamber profession more than 20 years ago, he is still recognized in “Chamber Circles” as one of Georgia’s all-time top chamber executives. A “golden age” of industrial recruitment and expansion were hallmarks of Johnny B.’s 23-year tenure. Many of our community’s largest employers were recruited under Johnny B’s leadership.

Another big feather in Johnny B.’s cap was persuading the Barber Brad, Lamb, Johnny B. and John Lastinger Trust that the Chamber should be in 2012. located in Miss Ola Belle Barber’s old home – and then raising the big bucks needed to restore the building. The Chamber has been located in the Barber House since 1981. Johnny B. earned statewide recognition for himself – and his community – in 1990 when he was named “Chamber Executive of Year”. He was selected by his peers from among 150 chamber executives statewide. Johnny B.’s 23 years of remarkable, committed service to the ValdostaLowndes Chamber is responsible for many of the successes our community has experienced over the years. He is missed.

416 North Ashley St. • Valdosta, GA 31601 p. 229-247-8100 • f. 229-245-0071


& PAGE 27 Photos taken by:

Read about Laura Perlman and ASTRO Exterminating Services, Inc. on page 26 and 27. Pictured on the cover are:

Laura Culbreth Perlman of ASTRO Exterminating Services (seated) along with her husband, Kim Perlman, and daughter, Addy Perlman, outside of the Boys & Girls Club in Valdosta. The Culbreth and Perlman families have actively supported the organization for years as volunteers and donors. The swimming pool on the cover is dedicated to the memory of Lamar and Margaret Culbreth.

CHAIRMAN-ELECT 2016/ VICE CHAIR, ORGANIZATIONAL EXCELLENCE DIVISION James McGahee, Associate Member CHAIRMAN-ELECT 2017 Michael Lee, Ameris Bank TREASURER Marty LeFiles, LeFiles Valenti Financial Advisors, LLC IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIRMAN and VICE CHAIR, BUSINESS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIVISION Carl Holley, Fowler, Holley, Rambo & Stalvey, PC VICE CHAIR, BUSINESS and ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIVISION Baha Zeidan, Azalea Health VICE CHAIR, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DIVISION Bruce Allred, Smith Drug Company VICE CHAIR, MEMBER SERVICES DIVISION Lee McArthur, Voya PRESIDENT Myrna Ballard, Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber CHAIRMAN’S CHOICE Jason Dove, Real Living Realty Advisors Baha Zeidan, Azalea Health Brad Folsom, Moore, Clarke, Duvall & Rodgers, P.C. Jan Brice, Langdale Place Russ Henry, Coleman |Talley LLP Sue Cox, Covington’s & 306 North

CHAMBER STAFF Myrna Ballard, President Karil Brockington, Senior Director of Administration Mike Stalvey, Senior Director of Operations Patty Martin, Administrative Coordinator Wanda Stanley, Director of Communications Kelly Naranja, Director of Marketing & Membership Cachet Prescott, Director of Business Development Ashley Prescott, Marketing & Event Coordinator Copyright by Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce. © All rights reserved. Progress is produced and published two times per year by the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce. Subscription rate of $20 is included with Chamber membership. Reproduction in whole or in part of this publication without the expressed written consent of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce is prohibited. All claims, materials, photos appearing herein are believed by the editors to be accurate. However, no responsibility or liability is assumed, and is expressly disclaimed, by the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce for any inaccuracies, errors or omissions. Advertisements, articles, photos, editorial information, and other materials submitted for publication herein are subject to the unrestricted right to the edit of and by our editors and publisher. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Progress Magazine, 416 N. Ashley Street, Valdosta, GA 31601.

Summer 2015



“More than 1,300 members. ONE strong voice.”

The Chamber is always working for your business. Our advocacy program makes YOUR voice heard on local, state and federal levels.

South Georgia Military Affairs Council exists to protect and support Moody Air Force Base.

How do we know what is important to our Chamber members? We ask them at events like Members To Be Heard. 6 66

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Lt. Governor Casey Cagle speaks with Chamber members at a recent Business After Hours.

Chairman of the Chamber Board Ron Borders, Georgia’s Secretary of State Brian Kemp and Chamber Board Member Michael Lee pose for a photo.

CHECK OUT THE NEXT PAGES: THE CHAMBER ADVOCATES FOR YOUR BUSINESS! Georgia’s Secretary of State Brian Kemp meets with top business leaders in Valdosta.

Members of the Chamber’s Government Affairs Council meet regularly with our State Legislative Delegation to discuss important business development issues. Summer Summer 2014 2015


MARRIED TO THE MILITARY Don’t let a fear of transition deter your organization from hiring a military spouse.

The Chamber loves military spouses!


s a military spouse, transitioning from one city to the next can be a taxing process. Moving every two to four years means having to start over personally and professionally, oftentimes coming into a job market that is hesitant to consider hiring a transitioning military spouse. While there is validity to hiring managers’ concerns over short stints of employment, there are many upsides to looking to this applicant pool. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, wage and salary workers stay at their place of employment an average of 4.6 years. For Millennials (those born between 1977-1997), the expected tenure is about half of that.* This translates into the average Millennial holding between 15-20 jobs in their working lives. With a strong percentage of military spouses falling into the Millennial applicant pool, these statistics make their tenure no different than their civilian peers. They are well-traveled, valued members of their installations as well as the communities in which they live. Need more reasons to look at hiring a military spouse? 8

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The Chamber’s Kelly Naranja and her Air Force husband, Rogelio, who is a member of the 38th Rescue Squadron.

CONSIDER THESE: 1) Cost Savings: While military spouses can’t be paid less than civilian employees, they often come at a cost savings to employers. Things like medical and dental insurance are provided to military families at a very low cost, one that your company likely cannot match. Military spouses also have more flexible schedules, and may be available for part time positions since major life expenses – including insurance and housing – are likely already worked into the family’s budget. 2) Adaptable, Problem Solvers: A life in constant transition is not for everyone, but military spouses are able to function and thrive in this fast-paced, constantly changing environment. The workplace is also

constantly changing, and you need employees that are adaptable and willing to take on new challenges and problems. Whether it is dealing with angry customers to juggling multiple projects, military spouses are able to get the job done without getting too worked up. 3) Networking: There is a lot of support offered to military members and their families and spouses are part of an extensive network of supporters. In addition to having connections at the installation they are living at, they likely have connections from across the country and globe. Military families go out of their way for one another. Let their networks work for your company.

4) Strong, Educated Employees: You might just get lucky and be able to hire a well-qualified, highly educated spouse looking for a position that will continue their career on an upward trajectory. Studies done by the Military Family Life Project show that approximately 10 percent of all military spouses have a professional degree, which is right on track with the Census Bureau’s report of all Americans. You just may end up with an applicant that could take your business to the next level. Want to support military members and their families in the Valdosta area? Show your support by hiring a military spouse, or by becoming a member of the Chamber’s Certified Military Friendly Program. *According to the Future Workplace Multiple Generations @ Work survey

Certified Military Friendly Is Moody Air Force Base important to your business?


e can bet that it is. Show your support of military members in our community by joining the Chamber’s Certified Military Friendly program. Businesses affiliated with the program will be recognized in our marketing efforts that target military personnel, including special acknowledgement on the Chamber website and in MoodyLink magazine. Participating businesses also receive a Certified Military Friendly decal to display on the door of their business. Let military members and their families at Moody know that your business is a great place for them to do business by joining this wonderful program.

Learn more about this program and register your business to become a member by visiting: www.ValdostaChamber/

2015 Certified Military Friendly Chamber Members: Adel Dental Associates ADT Security Services, Inc. Ameris Bank Barnes Healthcare Services Bush Wealth Management Center for Personal & Family Growth, LLC Citizens Community Bank Coleman|Talley, LLP Colony Bank Valdosta Commercial Banking Company Coombs Heating and Air Conditioning ELead1One/Fresh Beginnings Farmers Home Furniture Company First Federal Savings of Valdosta First State Bank and Trust Co. Furniture Express/Beds for Less Georgia Power Heritage Bank of the South Highland Christian Academy Holiday Inn Express & Suites Kilby Family Dentistry Liberty National Life Insurance-Cannington Agency Literacy Volunteer Program of South Georgia Real Living Realty Advisors Roto Rooter Plumbing & Drain Service SAFT America, Inc. SCANA Energy South Georgia Medical Center South Georgia Travel Southeastern Credit Union Southwest Georgia Bank Tanner Investment Group Teamtemps Personnel Staffing, Inc. The Gardens Valdosta Turner’s Fine Furniture Valdosta Chiropractic & Rehab Valdosta Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons Valdosta Properties-Property Management Co., LLC Valdosta State University W. P. Walker’s VACK, Inc. Watson’s Pools & Patios, Inc. Worthington Family Dentistry

Summer 2015


Welcoming the

81st Fighter Squadron


outh Georgia Military Affairs Council (SGMAC) hosted an event to welcome the 81st Fighter Squadron to Moody AFB, including the Afghan Air Force members the 81st is training to fly and maintain the new A-29 aircraft. The event was a traditional South Georgia chicken supper at Ocean Pond Clubhouse in early June. Pictured with members of the 81st and some local business leaders are Nick Lacey (SGMAC co-chairman from the Berrien Chamber), Cindy Pullen (SGMAC co-chairman from the Lakeland-Lanier Chamber), Gloria Mitchell (SGMAC cochairman from the Adel-Cook Chamber) and Michael Lee (Ameris Bank; SGMAC co-chairman from the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber). SGMAC was created by the four chambers of commerce in 2013 with a mission to prepare for the next round of possible Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC).

Bank with People   you Know and Trust 

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ADVOCATING FOR YOU The Chamber visits the U.S. Capitol


n important part of the annual Chamber visit to Washington, D.C. is a visit with top Air Force officials at the Pentagon. This year’s April 29-May 1 visit included meetings with the Assistant Secretary and the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Energy, and the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs. Topics included BRAC and the new A-29 mission at Moody. Local participants in the meetings included (L-R) Stacy Bush (Bush Wealth Management), Michael Lee (Ameris Bank; SGMAC Lowndes Co-Chairman), Nick Lacey (SGMAC Berrien Co-Chairman), Bruce Allred (Smith Drug Company;

GAC Chairman), Ron Borders (Real Living Realty; Chamber Chairman), Tammy Borders (Real Living Realty and Valdosta Board of REALTORSÂŽ ), Dean Blevins (e. dean blevins Real Estate Group), Cindy Pullen (SGMAC

Lanier Co-Chairman) and Brad Folsom (Moore, Clarke, DuVall and Rodgers; GAC Vice Chairman). Not pictured: Myrna Ballard (Chamber President).

The Valdosta delegation also met with U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue, and U.S. Representatives Austin Scott and Buddy Carter during their 2015 trip to Washington, D.C. In addition to support for Moody AFB, the delegation lobbied our Federal delegation on four transportation issues and two needed amendments to the Affordable Care Act. The trip also included a briefing from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on small business and workforce development issues. Pictured here at the U.S. Chamber in addition to the group above is Audrey King (Georgia Power) (second from the right) and Chamber President Myrna Ballard (fourth from left).

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Building bridges builds business!

The Chamber is a business builder focused on growing new and existing businesses, and supporting entrepreneurs. An encouraging economic forecast was presented at this year’s Business Outlook Breakfast.

WE BUILD RELATIONSHIPS The Chamber’s Business University provides Chamber members with a wealth of information to grow and strengthen their businesses. This lunch and learn with Terry Rountree (T&T Enterprises, LLC) featured ways to make your website mobile friendly.


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Nearly 50 nonprofit leaders gathered at the Country Inn & Suites for the Building The Best Board event. Speaker Bob Harris presented practical information to make volunteer leaders more effective.

Mizell Williams with Goodwill Career Industries spoke to a crowd of MetroOne members about finding your motivation.

Young leaders gathered for MetroOne’s 4 Under 40 event at the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts.

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Southwest Georgia Bank Invests In Your Entrepreneurial Success Past winners had an “alumni reunion” at the Chamber in May. Pictured (L-R): 2010 Bill Kent (Innovate Engineering Solutions, LLC), 2008 Baha Zeidan (Azaela Health), 2014 Angela Roark (Monarch Hair Solutions, LLC), 2015 Elton Dixon (Enay Coaching) and 2011 Curt Fowler (Fowler & Company, LLC)


owndes County is teeming with entrepreneurs-in-themaking who aspire to bring their business concepts to life. So what’s holding them back? Simply put, lack of funding prevents many businesses from ever starting or stops budding ventures dead in their tracks before they’re able to reach their full potential. Southwest Georgia Bank understands the vital role that finance plays in the ultimate success of each business. With a desire to invest in the entrepreneurial potential that lies in the community, SGB puts its money where its mouth is by generously sponsoring the annual SGB Business Plan Competition. “Southwest Georgia Bank understands and appreciates the need for small business and entrepreneurial

development,” said Jud Moritz, Senior Vice President at Southwest Georgia Bank. “The vast majority of the jobs are created by small business owners so it is vital to our community’s long term success for small business to thrive.” The Business Plan Competition is housed in the SEEDS Business Resource Center, a one-stop-shop for business startups. SEEDS Center clients have free access to a wealth of information and resources including demographics, industry reports, marketing insights, business plan writing assistance and funding options. In addition to SGB’s monetary contribution, competition winners receive a plethora of in-kind donations from various companies in the community. The startup capital combined with the access to valuable resources creates

a recipe for success. “Having angel sponsors is a huge additional slingshot for any business,” 2015 SGB BPC winner Elton Dixon of Enay Coaching said. “Our angel sponsors not only launched us forward with their gifts, but became real partners who now understand our business and care about working together to grow far beyond the angel sponsorship alone.”

Aspiring and budding entrepreneurs (with for-profit ventures that have not yet filed a tax return for their first full year of operation) are strongly encouraged to enter the competition. Contestants are required to commit to employing university and technical college graduates once their business is up and running.

For more information about the Southwest Georgia Bank Business Plan Competition, please call Cachet Prescott at 229-247-8100 ext. 234 or visit


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The Next Generation Steps In

A tribute to Lowndes County businesses who are celebrating their third generation of family ownership


hrough recessions and hardships, expansions and prosperity, the one thing that remains consistent in a third generation business is family. Statistics show that while more than 30 percent of family-owned businesses survive into the second generation, just 12 percent survive into the third.* For those who have figured out a way to make it work, we salute you. In Metro Valdosta, third generation businesses span industries from accounting to funeral services. While transitioning a business from one generation to the next has the potential to break a family business, we are fortunate that the businesses featured here have survived and thrived. Entrepreneurial activity is essential to the growth and development of our communities. The businesses represented on the pages that follow are just a few of the entrepreneurs who have continued the visions of their predecessors, while forging their own paths into the future.

Miller Hardware’s Dutton Miller and sons, Richard Miller and Jonathan Miller.

In the following pages, you’ll learn about the journeys of Carson McLane Funeral & Cremation Services, Tillman & Tillman, LLP, Waller Heating & Air Conditioning Co., Music Funeral Services and Miller Hardware Company. Three generations deep, these companies have proven that there is a way to run a business, and there is a way to run a business well. These

companies represent more than numbers and figures, they represent a history of this community. Oscar Wilde once said, “After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.” While this has not been confirmed, we imagine that these families have enjoyed a good dinner or two along the way. *Source: Conway Center for Family Business

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Carson McLane Funeral & Cremation Services: Celebrating Three Generations


n 1936, Carson McLane established a new company (Carson McLane, Inc.) to provide funeral service and ambulance service to this community. He had come to Valdosta from Lake Park on April 1, 1928 to begin work with another funeral home here in Valdosta. In the fall of 1936, McLane secured a location in downtown Valdosta for his new funeral home and began bringing together the equipment, staff and supplies to provide a quality service to the entire area. In 1951, the funeral home was relocated to its present location at 2215 N. Patterson St. It was the first funeral home in the area to be built from the ground up as a funeral home. Several additions and improvements have been made to the facility over the years to keep it up to date, beautiful and functional in serving the needs of the community.

Tyson McLane began Carson McLane’s first location located at assisting his father at the 109 West Central Ave, downtown Valdosta. funeral home in 1955. His first assignment was to help the company’s ambulance service transfer patients from Little-Griffin Hospital to Pineview General Hospital (now South Georgia Medical Center). He joined his father on a full time basis in 1965 after graduating from the University of Georgia and San Francisco College of Mortuary Science. Tyson has now worked over 50 years in the business, and is proud to continue serving on a part time A previous location in an antebellum home basis these days. near where the Converse Dalton home is now. Britt McLane, son of Tyson McLane, also began work in the family business at an early age. After graduating from Valdosta State University and Gupton Jones College of Funeral Service in Atlanta, Britt joined the firm on a full time basis in 1993 and is currently serving as President. Carson McLane, Inc. is proud to be in the third generation of McLane family ownership and management. Current location on Patterson Street.


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Over the years, locations have been added in Hahira, Lake Park and a cemetery in Valdosta. As these locations have multiplied and the diversity of services has expanded, the firm is now known as McLane Funeral & Cremation Services. The website at www.McLaneCares. com offers more information about services, history, current obituaries and other information. The firm is also offering services for beloved pets, known as Pets at Peace by McLane. We value the relationships that we have formed with so many individuals and families over the years.

Carson McLane always looks forward to new relationships as our community grows.

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Tillman &Tillman, Tillman, LLP:of the Accountable H. Harrison Sr., a graduate University of Georgia, for set up his accounting pra in 1954 providing tax services to individuals and businesses and auditing services for busin Three es andGenerations governments. He built a successful practice while helping raise five children and pr ing a college education for each of them.

Joseph H. Tillman joined the practice in 1976 after graduating from the University of Geor undergraduate program and Master in Accountancy program. He began building his pra Harrison providing taxTillman, services and business consulting including providing computer services as Sr., a graduate of technology of computer services was just beginning. His practice over time evolved the University of Georgia, set up his business accounting practice inconsulting 1954 provid-and business and individual tax services.


ing tax services to individuals and H. Harrison Tillman, Jr. joined the practice in 1979 after graduating from the Universi businesses and auditing services Harrison Tillman, Sr., a graduate of the University systems of Georgia, set his accounting practice Georgia and H.worked in programming accounting forup businesses and comp for businesses and governments. sinceand 1954! in 1954 providing tax services toServing individuals clients and businesses auditing services for businessHe built aconsulting. successful practice while Heesalso in governmental auditing developed a providpractice th and worked governments. He built a successful practice and while eventually helping raise five children and helping raise five children and proa college education each of them. predominatelying governmental andfornonprofit auditing and consulting services. viding a college education for each Pam K. Tillman, wife,injoined like many professional Joseph H. Tillman joined the Joe’s practice 1976 after Accounting, graduating from the University of Georgia’s fields of work, is one that is rapidly of them. Pam K. Tillman, the practice in 1989. A graduate Joe’s wife, joinedand the practice in 1989.program. A graduate of Valdosta undergraduate program Master in Accountancy He began building hisState practiceUnive changing. Tillmancomputer & Tillman,services LLP is as the of Valdosta State University, she providing tax services and business consulting including providing she provides retirement plan services as well as individual business tax services and proudHis to and provide experJoseph H. Tillman joined the provides retirement plan services as technology of computer services was just beginning. practiceindividual over time evolved into tise in many areas of accounting to sulting. practice in 1976 after graduating well as individual and and business tax tax services. business consulting and business individual help our clients navigate through from theEric University of Georgia’s services consulting. H. Joe’s Harrison Tillman, Jr. joined the practice in 1979 after graduating frominthe University M. Tillman, son andand third generation CPA, joined the practice 2004 after ofgradu those changes. undergraduate program and Master and worked in programming accounting systems for businesses and computer Georgia from Valdosta State and Joe’s hasson developed a practice in business and individual t in Accountancy program. He began University Eric M. worked Tillman, and third consulting. He also in governmental auditing and eventually developed a practice that is consulting. building and his practice providing tax generation CPA, joined the practice predominately governmental and nonprofit auditing and consulting services. services and business consulting in 2004 after graduating from Pam K. Tillman, Joe’s wife, joined practice in 1989. A graduatechanging of Valdostaand University,& Till like professional fieldstheofand work, We look forward to StateTillman includingAccounting, computer services asmany the Valdosta State University has is constantly she provides retirement plan services as well as individual and business tax services and conLLP is proudservices to have partners theinindividual in so many our areas of accountin continuing to serve technology of computer developed with a practice business andexpertise sulting. was just beginning. His practice individual taxesmean and consulting. communicate what these changes to our clients.clients in the future! Eric M. Tillman, Joe’s son and third generation CPA, joined the practice in 2004 after graduating evolved over time into business from Valdosta State University and has developed a practice in business and individual taxes consulting, litigation support and and consulting. business, individual and estate tax Accounting, like many professional fields of work, is constantly changing and Tillman & Tillman, services. LLP is proud to have partners with the individual expertise in so many areas of accounting to communicate what these changes mean to our clients. H. Harrison Tillman, Jr. joined the

practice in 1979 after graduating from the University of Georgia. He worked in programming accounting systems for businesses and computer consulting. He also worked in governmental auditing and eventually developed a practice that is predominately governmental and nonprofit auditing and consulting services. Members: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants


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3269 N. Valdosta Road (229) 259-9490

P.O. Box 3488

Valdosta, GA 31604-3488

Fax (229) 259-9491

Members AICPA and GSCPA

In a world that is constantly changing, there are more questions than answers.

At Tillman & Tillman, LLP we are proud to provide those answers. Joseph H. Tillman, CPA H. Harrison Tillman, Jr., CPA Pamela K. Tillman, CPA Eric M. Tillman, CPA Angela M. Hawkins, CPA H. Harrison Tillman, Sr., CPA (1927-2010)

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Waller Heating & Air Conditioning Co.: Keeping The Community At The Right Climate


or over 50 years, Waller Heating & Air Conditioning Co. has been serving South Georgia and North Florida with great customer service and a reliable product. Though the company has changed throughout the years, those two qualities have remained the same. Founders David Waller Sr. and his wife, Sharon, have watched their company grow from generation to generation based on those premises, and are proud that their company has been selected as the best heating and air conditioning company in South Georgia for the 5th consecutive year. David and Sharon began Waller Heating & Air Conditioning Co. in Valdosta in 1963, and the company has been family owned and operated ever since. Waller Heating & Air Conditioning, Co. has grown from a small operation of three employees to a specialized staff of 45 employees with a combined total of more than 450 years of experience.

David and Sharon Waller at work in the office in the early 60’s.

In 1991, David Waller Sr. sold his business to second generation owners, David Waller Jr, Bill Slaughter and Cindy Waller Slaughter. The three grew the business, enabling Waller Heating & Air Conditioning Co. to open a second location in Thomasville, GA in 2009. Chad and Josh Slaughter, grandsons of David Waller, Sr., have now moved into management and ownership roles, helping to expand the company into its next phase. Waller Heating & Air Conditioning Co.’s focus on great customer service and a reliable product have attracted many new employees, while retaining many employees who were with the company in its infancy. Warehouse foreman John Hightower is still working today just as he did when the doors opened in 1963.

Waller Heating & Air current owners (L-R) Chad Slaughter, David Waller, Jr., Cindy Slaughter, Bill Slaughter and Josh Slaughter.


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Expanding Services As the company expanded to Thomasville, they also expanded their service offerings. In 1981,

they began carrying the popular Trane line of heating and air equipment and they have recently added the Lennox brand of equipment to their already dependable product line. A new duct cleaning service has also been added to the company in the last few years.

John Hightower still working since 1963.

Giving Back Due to the company’s success, the generations of Wallers’ have been able to give back to the community through the support of many nonprofit groups, church groups, local schools, The Boys & Girls Club of Valdosta and Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat for Humanity Jimmy Carter Work Project

Serving South & North FloridaGA Valdosta, GAGeorgiaThomasville,

Valdosta, GA

405 N. ST. AUGUSTINE ROAD 229-244-1200

Thomasville, GA

15048 US HWY 19 SOUTH 229-225-1200

Residential • Commercial New Construction • Service LICENSED / BONDED / INSURED GA Lic. # CN7050 • FL Lic. # CAC058168 Summer Summer 2014 2015 •



Music Funeral Services: Compassionate Service For Three Generations


ounded by the late W.G. “Glyndon” Sr. and Maxine Music in 1955, Music Funeral Services has been serving South Georgia families for 60 years. Today, Music Funeral Services remains a family business, now being run by the third generation of the Music family. Glyndon and Maxine Music The company’s first location in Lakeland was the birth home of Mrs. Nell Roquemore. When Glyndon and Maxine purchased the home, they wanted to use it as a place that served their community with trust, compassion and love. They turned the home into a business in 1955, but treated their customers as family. The values instilled by Glyndon and Maxine are still being practiced by the family today. W. G. “Dub” Music, Jr. Glyndon and Maxine ran the Lakeland location for nearly twenty years before turning it over to their son, Dub Music grew up in the family business, and began working for his father at age 13. Ever since he was a little boy, Dub planned to follow in his father’s footsteps by taking care of those in the community. He started working full time for the company in 1968, taking over the


business in 1974 after his father’s retirement. Dub and his wife, Wilma, have four children, Casey, Michael, Lee and Kyle. Casey, Michael and Lee Music Unlike his father, Casey didn’t immediately know that he had a future in the family business. That all changed when Casey was attending college and received a call from his father. There had been a tragedy in the community, and Dub needed Casey’s assistance. Casey put his trust in God and following that event, he put his heart into Music Funeral Services and never looked back. He helped open the Valdosta location in 2001 along with the Azalea Crematory. As owner and funeral director at both the Lakeland and Valdosta locations, Casey knows that this is where he was meant to be. Caring for people in their time of need is something that Dub passed on to all of his children, and that Casey hopes to pass on to his young children, Kaytibeth and Aubrey, as well. The young Music children

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have plenty of leaders to look up to in the family business, including their grandfather; father; mother, Brooke; and uncles, Michael and Lee, who work as Apprentices for Music Funeral Services. Music Family Across the generations, the Musics have taken the time to care for every family that they serve. Their customer base stretches as far as Fargo and Tifton because of their reputation for excellence in service. Trust and love are two characteristics that Glyndon and Maxine ran their business on back in 1955. While a lot has changed since then, trust and love remain at the forefront of Music Funeral Services.

We make plans for the “WHAT IFS” in life -

Why not talk to US about the inevitable? SERVICES OFFERED: • Advanced Funeral Planning • Complete Funeral Service • Complete Cremation Service • Personalized Service • Caskets, vaults and urns

Pre-payment options available - call Paula today to schedule your pre-planning meeting NOW OFFERING: “Retire a Flag...Honor a Veteran Program” When your flags are no longer worthy of display, please bring them to us and we will cremate the flag with an honorably discharged Veteran. Your flag will be draped across their cremation casket at the time of cremation. It is a fitting tribute to Veterans and a patriotic way to retire aged flags.

Call TODAY for complete details!

TWO LOCATIONS: 3831 North Valdosta Rd., Valdosta, GA


88 West Main Street, Lakeland, GA


Please visit us at Or email us at

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View the back cover to see the services ASTRO offers our community.

Stars still aligned for ASTRO Exterminating


The Valdosta location is now run by Culbreth’s daughter, Laura Perlman. “When my dad started this business in 1969, he said he wanted to have the kind of business he would like to work for,” Perlman said. While pest control is traditionally a high turnover business, Perlman takes great pride in ASTRO’s ability to attract and retain long standing employees by honoring her father’s commitment to taking care of his staff and his community.

Summer 2014 2015 • Summer

In my eyes, there are two big things that really set us apart here at ASTRO. One, it’s the individuals that we have working with us and two, it’s our service. The answer to our customers is always ‘YES.’


hile it may be South Georgia’s largest independent pest control company, ASTRO Exterminating was established as a family business. The company has been serving South Georgia with full service pest control for more than four decades, offering today’s modern technology in pest and termite control. Founded by Lamar Culbreth and his wife, Margaret, the company started small and has since expanded to eleven locations and over 300 employees.

Laura Perlman

Perlman attests that she receives compliments nearly every day from satisfied customers, attributing that success to both the employees and her management team. “We focus

Laura (L) and Addy (R) Perlman outside of Valwood School, where Addy attends. ASTRO is a proud supporter of many local organizations including the Boys & Girls Club. The family sits with children in front of the Culbreth Aquatic Center in Valdosta.

on the work at hand but also the little things,” she said. “Simple gestures like making sure to wipe your feet before entering someone’s home make a big difference. We’re not perfect and we are always looking for ways to improve, but keeping that service mentality in mind really goes a long way.” The company has come a long way since its early beginnings. When Culbreth left his position as vice president of a national pest control company to branch out on his own, he was the sole technician. Today, the company spans thirteen locations in South Georgia and South Carolina. “Even though we’ve evolved into a larger company, we still run on the basic principles that my dad built,” Perlman said. From monthly employee cookouts to support of local organizations like the Boys & Girls Club, Culbreth’s vision is still being practiced today.

ASTRO IS BUILT ON CUSTOMER SATISFACTION! “My dad used to say, ‘Laura, you can’t run a business with your heart, but when you lose heart, it’s time to get out,’” said Perlman. “Because of the wonderful staff that I have, I’ve been able to both work and raise my daughter. It’s truly a great balance and I am very lucky.”

In exchange for hard work and dedication, ASTRO encourages its employees to find a balance between their work lives and their personal lives

ASTRO was established in 1969, the same year that man first landed on the moon. Lamar and Margaret had nearly everything set to open their business apart from its name. They had thought long and hard when it dawned on Margaret, “Well honey, if man can land on the moon, we can shoot for the stars.” And so the name “ASTRO” and the shooting star logo were born.

Forty-six years later, the stars are still aligned.

Patio chair courtesy of Turner’s Fine Furniture.

Summer Summer 2014 2015 •


Baytree Rd - - Follow us on Facebook!

Serving Valdosta for over 75 Years!


2314 N. Patterson Street • Valdosta, GA (Across from South Georgia Medical Center)

Here is where one barber chair turned into four turned into a buzzcut empire. Being a master of clippers doesn’t make one a master of SBA loans and employee benefits. Which is why it’s good to have Synovus on your side. We’re right down the street with some pretty snazzy hairdos and everything a small business needs to grow into a big one.


229.242.5725 | Banking products are provided by Synovus Bank, Member FDIC. Divisions of Synovus Bank operate under multiple trade names across the Southeast.

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Summer 2015 •

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“We believe in connecting businesses by connecting people.”

It’s not always what you know, but WHO you know! The Chamber keeps you connected to the area’s leading professional network and potential clientele. Grow your network, grow your business!

MetroOne members participate in a Young Professionals Panel at Valdosta State University to inform students about the importance of internships.

30 30

2015 • Summer 2014

The Right Start Committee connects with new Airmen at Moody. Each month the committee attends the Newcomer Orientation at Moody Air Force Base.

The South Georgia

Membership 101 welcomes new Chamber members to learn about the many benefits of their membership and to network with other businesses within the community.

Our Chamber goes above and beyond for your business! CHECK OUT THE NEXT PAGES: THE CHAMBER HELPS CONNECT YOUR BUSINESS! The Chamber helps connect you with other business professionals in our area. Leads groups meet weekly to exchange sales leads that allow members to build business relationships.

SummerSummer 2014 2015 •

31 31

Chamber Choice Awards - Celebrating

Valdosta’s BEST!


aldosta’s business community gathered in May for the 6th Annual Chamber Choice Awards sponsored by the State Farm Agents of Valdosta. The event spotlights the city’s best and brightest, with awards given in five categories: Small Business of the Year, Members’ Choice, Young Professional of the Year, Ambassador of the Year and the BIG Thinker. Music for the evening was provided by the talented Backstreet Blazers, and event services were provided by EventPoint, The Flower Gallery and Fusion Creative Marketing. 32

Small Business of the Year: Bush Wealth Management This award recognizes a local business with 100 or fewer employees that exemplifies a high level of business integrity and ethics, and is selected by an independent panel of community leaders. Bush Wealth Management, established in August 2004, offers a wide range of insurance, estate, and wealth planning strategies. They pride themselves on going beyond the “sale” as they form personal relationships with each client. They are also involved in the community, donating time to projects like Habitat for Humanity, and money to deserving students through scholarship

2015 • Summer 2014

programs. This year, the company broke ground on a new location which will open in the fall of 2015. “With so many exceptional small businesses in the Valdosta community, we are humbled that Bush Wealth Management was recognized as the Small Business of the Year. Without our clients, this would not be possible. We are so appreciative of the trust that they have placed in us. We do not take it lightly.” Stacy Bush

Members’ Choice Award: South Georgia Medical Center This award recognizes a business that excels in customer service as voted upon by Chamber member businesses. This year, 75 local businesses were nominated for the award, nearly 800 votes were cast and South Georgia Medical Center rose to the top. The growing healthcare enterprise, SGMC, consists of four hospitals that serve a large, diverse population. The healthcare enterprise is recognized locally, state and national level for exceptional patient care. “On behalf of the Hospital Authority of Valdosta and Lowndes County, its medical staff, employees and volunteers, we are pleased to be named the recipient of this year’s Chamber Members’ Choice Award for 2015. This truly is an honor to be recognized in this manner by our fellow Chamber members which demonstrates support and trust they have in South Georgia Medical Center. For that we are all truly humble and thankful.” Randy Sauls Young Professional of the Year: Cindy Romero, Wild Adventures Theme Park This award recognizes a young leader who has shown a quantifiable improvement to the bottom line of his/her employer. Voted on by a panel of business

leaders, Cindy Romero, Operations Manager at Wild Adventures Theme Park, was recognized as the 2015 winner. Cindy oversees more than 175 employees across multiple operating divisions at Wild Adventures. She developed a benchmark that retains and rewards Wild Adventures’ high potential employees that was so successful, it was implemented at other park departments and divisions. She created Wild Adventures’ successful “Stay & Play” program and consistently evaluates operations, finding ways to do more with less. “I am very honored and humbled to be named Young Professional of the Year. It is most certainly an achievement that will remain very special to me. It is an honor I would like to see more young professionals in our community work toward and achieve.” Cindy Romero Ambassador of the Year: Jerry Kozuch, South Georgia Vein Center This award recognizes the Chamber Ambassador who has earned the highest number of points attributed to ribbon cuttings, ground breakings, Leading Business of the Week presentations and other Chamber volunteer functions. Jerry Kozuch sets standards high for what it means to be a Chamber Ambassador. Jerry has volunteered and assisted with more than 50 events in 2014. Twice named the Ambassador of the Quarter in 2014, Jerry is always a team player, making her a wonderful asset to the team of Ambassadors and the Chamber. “I am so appreciative of being recognized as the Ambassador of the Year, and thankful that Dr. Greg Martin

allows me to participate as a Chamber Ambassador. I enjoy any chance to celebrate in the company of my family and friends, and this recognition was a fun one for me. I accept it on behalf of all of my fellow Ambassadors who work hard in this community.” Jerry Kozuch BIG Thinker Award: Quillian Powell, Quillian Powell Construction Company Inc. This award recognizes an outstanding community member who has established his/her own business from the start of the venture and has made significant contributions to the community in the way of time, monetary donations, in-kind services, job creation, sales tax production or economic development initiatives. A leader in the community and a past chairman of the Chamber board, Quillian Powell is committed to making this community better. Powell started his career in construction when he was 20 and worked for 22 years before he branched out on his own. Quillian Powell Construction Company, Inc., was established in 1987. “I began my career in construction working as a laborer by day and student by night. I’ve just always had a desire to be good at what I do and keep honesty and integrity at the heart of my business and personal life. I don’t seek out recognition, but this award from the Chamber really holds a special place for me. I feel truly blessed to be recognized as the 2015 BIG Thinker.” Quillian Powell


SummerSummer 2014 2015 •





ogether with sponsors First State Bank & Trust Co, Fresh Beginnings and ELEAD1ONE, the Chamber hosted another successful Winners in the Workplace breakfast in May. The event focuses on excellence in the workplace, recognizing four outstanding employees with a $1500 recognition check for their efforts. Keynote speaker, Bob Ganzak, with the Dale Carnegie Institute of North Florida delivered a strong keynote address about making a difference. “There’s no denying that employee recognition is

worth the time and money spent on it,” said Bill Cowart, president of First State Bank and Trust Co. “Employee recognition is a tool that predictably makes employees not only feel good about the place that they work, but gives meaning to the job that they’re doing.”

time to recognize our community’s most valuable assets, our employees,” said Judy Hathcock, owner of Fresh Beginnings/ELEAD1ONE and cosponsor of the event. “We know that employee recognition is critical to the strength, reputation, and growth of any successful business.”

Statistics from show that organizations that offer at least one recognition program have a low turnover rate (0-5%), which leads to an increase in productivity, workplace knowledge, profits and employee attitudes. CareerBuilder. com also reported that the presence of a corporate incentive program motivated 66 percent of employees to stay at their job. “It’s so important – especially in today’s fast paced world – to take the

2015 WINNERS: Small Business Employee: Rene Carl, The Haven Small Business Supervisor: Marilyn Orr, LODAC Large Business Employee: Anthony Foster, South Georgia Medical Center Large Business Supervisor: Susan Bowden, Hospice of South Georgia and the Langdale Hospice House

2015 Sponsors:

Susan Bowden Rene Carl The Haven


Marilyn Orr LODAC

2015 • Summer 2014

Anthony Foster South Georgia Medical Center

Hospice of South Georgia and the Langdale Hospice House



he Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber has made the E.R. Barber House its home since 1981, welcoming more than 2,800 visitors, Chamber members and citizens through its doors each year. This year, the house celebrates its 100th birthday. The house was built in 1915 by E.R. Barber, a respected entrepreneur and inventor who was very involved in the local community. After he died in 1965, he left the house to his daughter, Ola Barber Pittman, who occupied the property until her death in 1977. In her will, Pittman bequeathed the Barber House to the “citizens of Valdosta” with detailed instructions for the house to be a safe haven and place of security, relaxation and reflection. The home was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 following a two-year building renovation sparked by the Southwest Georgia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The renovation effort was made possible through the

Don Pettigrew painting of the E.R. Barber House done in 1980.

generous efforts of local craftsmen and architects – including Richard Hill, Mac Tillman and Troy Snipes – who offered their services at little or no charge. Following the restoration, the Chamber moved into the Barber House with a 75-year lease for $1 per year, where it has remained for the past 34 years. “The Barber House is not only home to the Chamber,” said Ron Borders (Real Living Realty Advisors), chairman of the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber Board of Directors. “Over the years, the Barber House has been home to a number of essential organizations in our community – organizations which were developed by this Chamber and have grown even stronger on their own.” Such initiatives, including Leadership Lowndes, the ValdostaLowndes Development Authority, the Valdosta-Lowndes County Conference Center & Tourism Authority, the Red Carpet Committee and the Lowndes County Bird Supper, continue to flourish and remain

positive and integral parts of the community. “We continue to incubate new initiatives at the Chamber,” continued Borders. “We need to ensure that programs such as the SEEDS Center and our small business incubator have the resources needed to be successful. With strong community support, we can grow our local economy and invest for the next century.” Investing for the next century is exactly what the Chamber is looking to do with an ambitious capital campaign. The Barber House is much more than just a beautiful old building. It represents the past, present and future of this community, and serves as the front door and first impression many newcomers and visitors will have of Valdosta. And you only get one chance to make a legendary first impression. Learn more about the history of the Barber House and how you can help restore this Valdosta treasure by visiting

SummerSummer 2014 2015 •


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Summer 2014

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1700 Norman Drive | Suite 640 | Valdosta, GA | (229) 247-1750 Capable device required to achieve 4G LTE speeds. Limited time offer; subject to change. Taxes and fees additional. Not all features available on all devices. General Terms: At participating locations. 10 line minimum. Domestic only, unless otherwise specified.Credit approval, deposit and up to a $15 SIM starter kit may be required. If you switch plans you may be bound by existing term (including early termination provisions) and/or charged an up to $200 fee. Regulatory Programs Fee of $2.71 per line/month applies. Taxes approx. 6–28% of bill. Partial megabytes rounded up. Full speeds available up to monthly allotment; then, slowed to up to 2G speeds for rest of billing cycle. Certain uses, e.g., some speed test apps, may not count against high-speed data allotment or have speeds reduced after allotment reached. Roaming and on-network data allotments differ; see your selected service for details. Price Lock: Pricing available while you remain a customer. Unlimited high speed data option and promotional plan pricing guaranteed for 2 years of activation. High-speed data allotments price locked at speeds avail. at time of activation up to 42 mbps. Coverage not available in some areas. Network Management: Service may be slowed, suspended, terminated, or restricted for misuse, abnormal use, interference with our network or ability to provide quality service to other users, or significant roaming. See brochures and Terms a nd Conditi ons (including arbitration provision ) at for additional information. T-Mobile and the magenta color are registered trademarks of Deutsche Telekom AG. ©2015 T-Mobile USA, Inc.

Summer 2014



“We offer extensive opportunities to expand your brand recognition. It’s marketing made easy!”

The Chamber works hard to promote your business, and our community.

Our dedicated Chamber Ambassadors support local businesses by attending ribbon cuttings, ground breakings and renovation celebrations as pictured here. For more information about our Ambassadors program visit ambassadors.

Each year volunteers deliver more than 1200 packets to Chamber member busineses as part of Operation Thank You. This year’s sponsor was Colson Printing. Each week, Chamber Ambassadors along with sponsor, South Georgia Vein Center, recognize a Leading Business of the Week in our community. 38

Summer 2014 2015 • Summer

State Farm Agents of Valdosta go on air with Scott James to promote the 2015 Chamber Choice Awards.

Whether it’s print, online or in person, the Chamber works hard to promote your business in this community. Our young professionals discussed the advantages of internships Media sponsors like Fusion to students at Cares Valdosta State University, explaining how experience Creative Marketing help get our job-seekers. provides a competitive edge for prospective members in front of the camera.

For more information about our Media Cares program please contact Kelly Naranja at 229-2478100 ext. 231 or visit online at




Members’ Choice Award *

Growing Healthy Together


South Georgia Medical Center | SGMC Smith Northview Campus SGMC Lanier Campus | SGMC Berrien Campus | Clinch Memorial Hospital

As the SGMC enterprise continues to grow, so does its commitment to community health and wellness. Last year, SGMC contributed nearly $87 million to deliver valuable community benefits throughout South Georgia and North Florida. SGMC is the Region’s Premier Health System and destination for health care.

FY 2014 COMMUNITY BENEFITS Community Building/Health Improvement $548,215 Health Professions Education/Recruitment $1,352,092 Financial/In-Kind Contributions $210,000

Indigent/Charity Care/Bad Debt $35,169,809 Unpaid Cost of Medicaid/Medicare $44,549,405 Investments in Technology/Facilities $4,970,285

Recipient of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce 2013 & 2015 Members’ Choice Award for customer service excellence.*

40 40

Summer 2015 •

MetroOne’s 4 Under 40

Honoring Our Young Leaders


etroOne’s 4 Under 40 program originally began as Emerging Leaders back in 2009 as a way to recognize young leaders in the community who excelled both in and out of the workplace. Now known as MetroOne’s 4 Under 40 program, the recognition highlights young professionals (aged 21-40) who represent the best and brightest in business, government, nonprofits, education, politics, media, healthcare and the arts. The ideal candidate for the 4 Under 40 award is someone who is successful in his or her profession and involved in the community beyond his or her job duties. This year’s winners were selected by the GreenvillePitt Chamber of Commerce in Greenville, North Carolina and recognized at the 4 Under 40 event held at the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts in May. THE WINNERS ARE: Gerrell Aldridge: Gerrell has been described by his colleagues as the “team captain” of New Hire Solutions. He motivates and develops the talent and skill of each member of his team to drive their personal and professional growth. Gerrell has been with New Hire Solutions since 2007, and has become an integral member of the organization’s leadership team. He volunteers in the community and proudly represents his company through his work as a Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber Ambassador. He is a leader that exudes a passion for people and life that is difficult to replicate.

Pictured (L-R): Gerrell Aldridge (New Hire Solutions); Ashleigh Kenny (Hahira Middle School); Justin Purvis (Young, Thagard, Hoffman, Smith, Lawrence, Shenton, LLP); and Victoria Copeland (ValdostaSOLD Real Estate Services).

Victoria Copeland: As Valdosta/ Lowndes County’s 2014 Woman of the Year, Victoria continues to inspire women to step out on faith to reach their goals. She has helped inspire countless individuals both personally and professionally, and is the proud owner of her own business, ValdostaSOLD Real Estate Services. She has gone back to school several times to pursue her dreams. She serves as a volunteer at local schools and recently participated in the City’s Government 101 program, where she learned advocacy skills. Ashleigh Kenny: Ashleigh is known as a bridge builder, knowing how to network and build relationships with key people and organizations in our community that are mutually beneficial. Outside of her work as a teacher at Hahira Middle School, she actively volunteers with the Children’s Advocacy Center and LAMP and is a graduate of Leadership Lowndes. She co-founded an organization called Y-LEAD - one of her proudest achieve-

ments - geared at molding students into strong, positive leaders. She is passionate about students and her community, and has raised thousands of dollars in our community to benefit children and people in need. Justin Purvis: Justin’s dedication to excellence expands beyond his day job as an attorney at Young, Thagard, Hoffman, Smith, Lawrence, Shenton LLP. He currently serves as the Valdosta Bar Treasurer, volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and Relay for Life, and assists each year with the high school mock trial competition. He also is serving his second year as the State Attorney General’s City Representative for the Georgia Legal Food Frenzy, all while taking on a new role this year as a father. He attests that true leaders should be able to set examples both personally and professionally, and in both circles, he is recognized as a man of integrity. For more information visit Summer 2015 •




Defi ne your strategy (audience, Fusion can marketing help you communicate with

We create unique logos, graphics and visual

message, budget).videos, Turn your brand websites,and billboards, advertising

compositions that help you to stand out from

attributes (values, personality andmaterials. style) into a campaigns and other marketing

theFUSION crowd andSERVICES make a great impression.

unique, coherent brand.

Branding LEE CONTAINER logo

Marketing Colors have meaning. Strategy The colors in a brand should reect the message that is being conveyed. Website Design

Analysis – Customer Spending •

The Client Customer population spends more on plants, outdoor furnishings and gardening supplies than the “general population�, as represented by the two Chamber samples. Clearly, Client attracts people who are “fanatical� about their gardens and are willing to spend a lot of discretionary income on them. Our analysis of annual purchasing by 567 Client loyalty card customers confirms this finding.



Fonts: ITC Caslon No 224 B Bold, Avenir Next Demi Bold, Avenir Next Regular Logo #9a applies a new color scheme to the logo on the previous page.


Websites C

Video Production Logo and Graphic Design Commercial Photography



Analysis of Client Loyalty Customers




1 GEORGIA PHYSICIANS SOUTH visual identity guidelines

Print/TV/Online Ads design elements

Digital Advertising and SEO

The use of an organic, curved design element(s) for a soothing feel. The design element(s) will be repeated in all forms of branding — from print, to outdoor signage,

Social Media

to web.

The element may or may not be pulled from the logo itself. The design element will flow with


Public Relations

the design instead of distracting from it, making for a clean and uncluttered brand.

Repetition of fonts, graphics and colors help to solidify a brand.

Events and Promotions LEE CONTAINER


Quality‌Your Way. Since 1989, Lee Container has been one of the premier blow molded container manufacturers creating bottling for crop protection, lubricants, pet care, beverages, household and specialty products. We proudly offer custom design and color matching, label application, fluorination, as well as industry-standard stock designs using Post-Consumer Recyclable (PCR) materials to meet recycling programs. For more information, call us toll free, or visit our website. 275 Chambers Blvd., Homerville GA 31634

Moving forward, the original yellow should be retained. It is a strong and noticeable color. In the future, it is recommended to use more yellow, grey and white in the designs, and less black.

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photography and images




A combination of yellow and a color from the warm side of the spectrum will work well with the proposed lifestyle photos. The photos themselves will serve as part of a designs color palette.



STEVEN HEDDON Founder, A.L. Girardin Award Winner and Creative Consultant for the Valdosta Chamber of Commerce 2015














ARTHUR MORIN Strategist and Project Manager





10 |



Photography and images throughout a brand should have a consistent look and feel.



Summer 2014



Fusion can help you communicate with websites, billboards, videos, advertising

Fusion can help you communicate with

campaigns and other marketing materials.

websites, billboards, videos, advertising

campaigns and other marketing materials.



Website Design Marketing Strategy Websites Websites

Video Production Website Design LogoProduction and Graphic Design Video Logo and Graphic Design Commercial Photography Commercial Photography Print/TV/Online Ads Print/TV/Online Ads and SEO Digital Advertising Digital and SEO SocialAdvertising Media Social Media


Public Relations


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Events and Promotions

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STEVEN HEDDON Founder, A.L. Girardin Award Winner STEVEN HEDDON Founder, A.L. Award Winner and Creative Consultant for the Founder, A.L. Girardin Girardin Award Winner and Creative Consultant for Valdosta of Commerce and CreativeChamber Consultant for the the

Direct Mail Direct Mail

Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce Valdosta Chamber of Commerce


ARTHUR MORIN Strategist and Project Manager Strategist and Project Manager



229.460.0479 229.460.0479




usiness After Hours offers our members a chance to kick back after work, socialize and network away from the pressures of the workplace. Held throughout the year, usually on a Thursday afternoon from 5 to 7 p.m., Business After Hours offers sponsors a chance to promote their businesses and take their message to other Chamber members in a relaxed atmosphere.

Business After Hours spots are filling up fast for 2015! If you would like to host a Business After Hours event, contact Kelly Naranja at 229-247-8100 ext. 231 or

SOUTHWEST GEORGIA BANK Southwest Georgia Bank opened the doors of its new Commercial Banking Center for Chamber members on Dec. 4, 2014. More than 300 attendees got in the holiday spirit.


Summer 2015 •

VALLOTTON CONSTRUCTION On Jan. 8 Vallotton Construction opened The Cranford, Downtown Valdosta’s newest luxury apartment homes. Guests enjoyed s’mores and more on the first floor, and tours of the renovated apartment homes above.

WILD ADVENTURES THEME PARK The St. Patrick’s Day event featured great food, live animals and the debut of Wild Adventures’ newest thrill ride, Jungle Rumble.

Summer 2015 •


AMERICA’S HOME PLACE AND GONDOLIER TRATTORIA & CAFE Our May 21st Business After Hours was a joint event hosted by America’s Home Place and Gondolier Trattoria & Cafe. Guests enjoyed excellent Italian cuisine, learned how they could build their dream home and got to meet Georgia’s Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. Donations were accepted for Red Nose Day.

Commercial Department



James Lee Herndon

1100 N. Patterson ST. Valdosta, GA 31601


Summer 2015 •


Nicky Balanis

Brian Cooper

“Serving Valdosta With Over 50 Years Combined Experience”

1-800-647-3716 or 229-244-1992 •

PrimeTime In Valdosta


s a follow up to the Chamber’s successful membership drive last fall, we organized the first-ever PrimeTime in Valdosta event in June. Sponsored by Colony Bank of Valdosta, Chamber members who joined the Chamber in 2014 and 2015 were invited to participate in this baseball-themed expo featuring games, prizes and plenty of networking opportunities. Attendees enjoyed ballpark snacks, a homerun derby contest for the kids, and a fun photo booth with baseball props. It was a wonderful event that took the traditional tradeshow and turned it upside down!

Learn more about the event in the upcoming PrimeTime In Valdosta publication available in August!

SAVE 7.5%

on Workers’ Compensation Insurance Premiums DRUGS DON’T WORK is the statewide Drug-Free Workplace program established by the Georgia

Chamber of Commerce. DRUGS DON’T WORK exemplifies an effective public-private partnership in combating substance abuse in the workplace in Georgia.

Benefits of a Drug-Free Workplace: • • • • • • •

7.5% discount on workers’ compensation premiums Reduced absenteeism 300% decrease in medical costs Increased productivity & higher morale among employees Decrease in employee turnover Cut workers’ comp. claims in half Reduce theft and other forms of crime in the workplace

For complete information contact:

Mike Stalvey 229-247-8100 ext. 227 or email:


A regional partnership of the following Chambers of Commerce: Adel-Cook • Ashburn-Turner • Berrien County • Brunswick-Golden Isles Douglas-Coffee • Lakeland-Lanier • Moultrie-Colquitt • Quitman-Brooks • Sylvester-Worth County • Valdosta-Lowndes • Wayne County

Summer 2015 •



Commercial Cleaning Industries has been in business since 2006 and has operated a full-service Janitorial firm in Valdosta since 2005. S E L E C T G E O R G I ASM

Georgia is our home too. That’s why we’ve partnered with local chambers, development authorities and elected officials across the state to stimulate growth and invest in the future of our communities. And why, for almost 90 years, we’ve helped bring jobs and investment to the state – more than 121,000 jobs and $24 billion capital investment over the past decade alone.

ServICeS We offer: • Janitorial Services • VCT Maintenance • Carpet Cleaning • Natural Stone Care • Green Cleaniing

“We Help Your Business Succeed”




229-253-2637 • 601A North Patterson Street

Valdosta, GA 31601 • email:

©2015 Georgia Power Company. All rights reserved.

Redefining healthcare in South Georgia one patient at a time! At ENT and Allergy Associates of South Georgia, we offer a full array of specialty services for ear, nose, throat and allergy. • hearing loss • sinus/allergy • ear infections

With each client served we strive to both uncover and tangibly represent the unique

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• sore throat • oral cancers • and more...

Doctors Hearing Center • current hearing aid technology • hearing evaluations • hearing aid services/repair

Doctor of Audiology, Jenny Carrol, Au.D.


2910 N. Patterson St. Valdosta, GA 31602 ENT: 229.244.2562 • Hearing Center: 229.242.1111 48

Summer Summer 2014 2015 •

IPG, Incorporated architects & planners

807 Northwood Park Drive Valdosta, GA 31602 |



It’s not too early to make your reservation for our 2016 events! For more information about events, sponsorship opportunities, or ticket information, please call Kelly Naranja at 229-247-8100 ext. 231 or visit

Thank You!

Special “Thanks” to ALL our major sponsors for our 2015 Chamber events and publications! Annual Membership Meeting/Progress

Winners In The Workplace

Southwest Georgia Bank Business Plan Competition Leading Business of the Week DRUGS DON’T WORK

Prime Time In Valdosta

Chamber Business Showcase/ Progress Chamber Choice Awards MoodyLink Magazine

Business Outlook Breakfast

Connection Magazine

STAR Banquet and EAGLE Awards

Operation Thank You

Building The Best Board Media Sponsor: The Valdosta Daily Times

Annual Economic Summit

2015 • Summer Summer 2014


- Adver ti sers ASTRO Exterminating Services, Inc. | Front & Back Cover Page 26 & 27 Azalea City Entertainment DJs & Bands | Page 50 Bank of the Ozarks | Page 2 Blanton & Griffin Insurance Agency | Page 28 Carson McLane Funeral & Cremation Services | Page 17 Colquitt EMC | Page 47 Commercial Banking Company | Page 36 Commercial Cleaning Industries | Page 48 DDW/Peaceway CMS | Page 47 ENT Allergy & Associates of South Georgia | Page 48 First State Bank & Trust Co. | Page 28 Fowler, Holley, Rambo & Stalvey, P.C. | Page 28 Fusion Creative Marketing | Pages 42 & 43 Georgia Power | Page 48

174 Big Star Drive, Thomasville, GA 31757 2904-E North Paaerson Street, Valdosta, GA 31602

H & S Supply Co., Inc. | Page 36 IPG, Incorporated | Page 48 Marketing Communications | Page 36 Miller Hardware Co.,/Seasons Garden & Home | Page 25 Music Funeral Home Services, Inc. | Page 23 New Hire Solutions, LLC | Page 50 Options Now | Page 50 Rainwater Conference Center | Page 3 South Georgia Medical Center | Page 40 South Georgia Travel | Page 28 South Georgia Vein Center | Page 29 Southwest Georgia Bank | Page 10 Studio 8 Design, LLC | Page 15 T-Mobile | Page 37 The Herndon Company | Page 46 The Residences at Five Points | Page 50 Tillman & Tillman, LLP | Page 19 U.S. Press | Inside Back Cover Waller Heating & Air Conditioning Co. | Page 21 Watson’s Pools & Patios | Page 10 Wes Sewell Photography | Page 3

Publisher: Myrna Ballard Editor: Kelly Naranja Creative Director & Advertising: Wanda Stanley Chamber Creative Consultant for Progress: Steven Heddon (Fusion Creative Marketing)


Summer 2015 •

- Printing -

You dream. We print.

Postcards ● Brochures ● Direct Mail ● Catalogs ● Booklets ● Presentation Folders Full Color Envelopes ● Door Knob Hangers ● Sell Sheets ● Note Cards Greeting Cards ● Calendars ● Table Tents ● Banners ● Personalized Mail Business Cards ● Perfect Bound Books ● Yard Signs ● Point of Purchase Displays

229.244.5634 USPRESS.COM 1628 James P. Rodgers Dr. Valdosta, GA 31601

416 North Ashley St. Valdosta, GA 31601

YOUR exterminating experts! Since 1969, Astro Exterminating has been serving

1708 Gornto Road • Valdosta, GA 31601

(229) 244-6862

South Georgia. Built on customer satisfaction, Astro is a full service pest control company, offering today’s modern technology in pest and termite control. From interior to exterior, residential to commercial, Astro can handle all of your pest problems.

Call TODAY for a free estimate on all your pest control needs!

Progress 2015 Summer Issue  

A publication of the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce published semi-annually, reaching 4,000+ contacts locally and regionally per issue...

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