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2012-2013 ANNUAL REPORT MADISON-MORGAN COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE


M Madison-Morgan County CHAMBER OF COMMERCE While Morgan County’s historic treasures and rural beauty continue to attract thousands of visitors and significant tourism dollars, it is our overall outstanding quality of life that draws new residents and keeps our existing communities strong. Our outstanding workforce, strong educational system and close proximity to major distribution networks translate into a growing number of national and international corporations choosing Madison and Morgan County for their corporate headquarters and high-tech manufacturing. It is the people that make Morgan County special. Their resourcefulness and hard work is evident in the thriving local economy and exceptional lifestyle. Opportunities abound for citizens to play meaningful roles in the community through participation in our abundant business, civic, social, fraternal and religious organizations as well as our local Chamber.

mission statement: The Madison-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce is organized for

the purpose of promoting the total economic development of Madison-Morgan County trade area. Total economic development is defined as meaning commercial, industrial, agricultural, civic, tourist, and cultural development.

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“The Past Fiscal Year was a year of discovery and recovery.”- Bob Hughes

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PRESIDENT and ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT If we had planned it, we could not have picked a better time to celebrate Morgan County’s future. Over the years, we shared changes, successes and challenges. These were not new situations by any means, but the emphasis is more urgent and the opportunities much larger. Clearly, we continue to weather the effects of a severe recession, but we never stop working to strengthen Morgan County. The fiscal year just ending was a year of discovery and recovery. Two of the legs of Morgan County’s economy saw a significant uptick in activity. Our collective efforts that combined the talents of our Chamber, local government, business and civic leaders are beginning to reap the rewards of economic growth. Indeed, today a wave of opportunity is sweeping through our County. After nearly six years, the State of Georgia was successful in locating Baxter International at Stanton Springs at Morgan County’s western border. This project is the product of the hard work and cooperation between the local governments of Morgan, Jasper, Walton and Newton counties, the Chambers of those four counties, the Joint Development Authority, Technology Park/Atlanta and the State of Georgia. The ultimate impact on Madison and Morgan County will be significant and a positive one providing good paying jobs for our area. Just as significant as the actual plant will be the 50,000 square foot, state-of-the-art training facility that will be built and operated by the State of Georgia promising additional investment in the life sciences industry in Stanton Springs. In addition, many of our existing businesses are expanding in anticipation of growth within their industry segments and within our local economy. Tourism is rebounding and there has been an increase in visits and inquiries from travel writers and others in the industry. Ellen Ianelli, our Convention & Visitors Bureau director has done a fabulous job responding to and creating opportunities to sell Madison and Morgan County to tourists, film crews and organizations. Due in part to these efforts, PAGE AGE GE E3 2 ANN 2013 2012-2013 ANNUAL NNUA UAL ANNUAL L RE REPO REPORT O RT REPORT

Madison was named one of the 16 Most Picturesque Villages in the world. These visitors to our area generate revenues for both retailers and hospitality providers alike. Agriculture, the third leg of our economy, is also faring well. There has been increasing interest in locally grown food and Morgan County recently funded a feasibility study for a regional food hub. The concept of “Eat Local,” and knowing the source of your food has caught on around the country and we are in a prime position to capitalize on it. Our farms have also turned to new products in addition to our mainstays of cotton, cattle and poultry such as canola as the new cash crop. One of the largest and most modern dairies also is located in Morgan County with the Williams family installing a rotary milking operation allowing them to milk more than 1,300 cows three times a day producing over 30 million pounds of milk a year. Our region is also seeing the beginnings of a recovery in the real estate market. And, the City of Madison’s redevelopment programs to revitalize blighted areas will become a catalyst for growth in the long term. Added together, these opportunities and developments are building a tremendous momentum. Know that your Chamber will continue to work with your city, county and regional governments and with local business and civic leaders to place Madison and Morgan County in the best possible position to succeed. It’s wonderful and exciting to be a part of this great Georgia County at this unique time in our history. And now we look ahead with eager anticipation, confidence and BOB HUGHES PRESIDENT & ECONOMIC excitement. DEVELOPMENT - Bob Hughes, President DIRECTOR

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M The Bicycle Ride Across Georgia (BRAG) has its Spring Tune Up ride in Madison and Morgan County in April.

Tourist flood into Morgan County for our home tours.

Ele & Honey celebrates its new location at Business After Hours in Rutledge.

Georgia Ophthalmologists celebrates a ribbon cutting.

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The Chamber hosts a ribbon cutting at Verizon Wireless.

The Chamber celebrates T-Shirt Friday at the Humane Society. MAD M MADISON-MORGAN ADIS S ON ON-M -MOR ORGA GAN N CO COUN COUNTY UNTY TY C CHA CHAMBER HAMB MBER ER O OF F CO COMM COMMERCE MMER R CE


Preparing Our Students FOR LIFE, SOCIETY, AND WORK

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PARTNERS IN EDUCATION MISSION STATEMENT: To build an alliance and a mutually beneficial relationship between the Chamber of Commerce, Morgan County Schools, the business community and the community at large that will aid in providing quality education to all students in the Morgan County School System. Partners in Education provides • • • • •

Direct communication with schools to assist them in identifying and teaching appropriate job skills Input in the development of programs geared towards the local job market and economic development Encourage employees to volunteer in schools Provide recognition for outstanding teachers and students School staff morale boosted by business, organization and institution support

Breaking Ground FOR A SUCCESSFUL FUTURE Baxter expects capital investments at the site to exceed $1 billion by the time the facility is fully operational in 2018 and expects the project to result in the creation of more than 1,500 full-time positions in Georgia and more than 2,000 jobs in total across multiple U.S. locations. Plans call for an integrated campus that will include three main manufacturing components, as well as support components such as warehouse and utilities buildings, administrative facilities and laboratories. The initial phase of development will be approximately one million total gross square feet. The timeline on the project spans several years with commercial production scheduled to begin in 2018.

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M Budget Travel listed us as one of the

“most picturesque villages in the world...” - Joey Lancaster 2012-2013 CHAIR

A LETTER FROM THE CHAIR This past year has been a great year for the Chamber in the area of Economic Development and Tourism activities. In August of last year, Baxter International broke ground on a 1,000,000 square foot facility at the Stanton Springs Development in Western Morgan County. This bio medical manufacturing plant started construction in early 2013 and upon completion will produce immunoglobulin therapy for worldwide distribution. With final employment of 1500, it will be the largest employer in our area. In addition, we continue to work with businesses, both large and small, looking at Morgan County as their new home as well as assisting our existing businesses with their expansion plans. Madison and Morgan County were also highlighted in Victoria Magazine, Southern Living, Ladies Home Journal, The New York Times, and Budget Travel, listed us as one of the “most picturesque village in the world,” with the only other place in the US being Hawaii. Through the involvement of the CVB with other area and state organizations, we keep our county in the front of tourism related activities. Our Visitor Center has continued to operate smoothly and has remained open 360 days this year. We have welcomed over 15,000 visitors through the Welcome Center that stop here while they visit our community.

JOEY

The Chamber also continues to provide excellent networking opportunities and informative meetings through local industry tours, new member luncheons, Women In LANCASTER Business and Business

After and Before Hours. With over 24 new members this year, the Chamber continues to grow and prosper. Our involvement with our school system through Partners In Education (PIE) generated almost $3,000 in contributions to the schools after hosting the first “Are you smarter than a Morgan County fifth grader” event. This fun filled evening pitted some of Morgan County’s leaders against our fifth grade students and generated money for supplies and field trips that will enhance the learning experience for our students. Our fundraising efforts have also been successful in helping meet the challenges of a tight economy. Our Chamber sponsored trip to the south of France had 9 people who spent a week on the French Riviera and 3 days in Paris. The Chef Showcase replaced last year’s Taste of Madison with an upscale celebration of our locally owned restaurants. In addition, the Chamber has updated our web page with more information on member to member programs and better advertising space with a new link to mobile phones for easier access to shopping, dining and attractions for our visitors and citizens alike. We hope to be able to continue providing a voice for our business community in matters important to Morgan County. Our emphasis will continue to be on building a stronger economy while staying connected with our past. I hope you will continue to support your Chamber through the coming years and will seek more ways to be involved in helping Morgan County grow and prosper. Thank you for your continued support. Joey Lancaster, 2012-2013 Chair

2012-2013 CHAIR

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M TOURISM Nearly 50 travel writers from around the world visited Morgan County this fiscal year. As a result, we garnered media exposure worth millions and attracted thousands of tourists.

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M In High Cotton in Madison hosts Women In Business.

A tour group from Japan visits Morgan County.

The Chamber enjoys T-shirt Friday at Southern Cross Ranch.

Morgan County Flea Market celebrates a Chamber ribbon cutting.

Lilywind Kids in Madison hosts a Business After Hours

Williams Dairy participates in the Industry Tour.

LilyBeth’s in Rutledge hosts Women In Business

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“Just last year, tourism generated $39 million in direct tourist spending and supported 380 jobs in Morgan County alone.” - Ellen Ianelli

DIRECTOR OF THE CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU

A LETTER FROM YOUR CVB DIRECTOR Make no mistake: Tourism is economic development. Tourism generates additional tax revenue, diversifies the economy, creates jobs and worker incomes, generates many support businesses, brings in “new money” creating growth, promotes business development (today’s visitor may be tomorrow’s industry investor), and improves the appearance of the community. Indeed, tourism dollars support our local businesses from retailers and restaurants to our inns and hotels, and we are proud that tourism continues to play a vital role in our community. Just last year, tourism generated $39 million in direct tourist spending and supported 380 jobs in Morgan County alone. Since 2005, travel related expenditures have increased 37.99% from 28.32 million to 39.08 million which reflects healthy growth in such economic times. The tourism industry is a fluid one, one that is constantly evolving and we are learning the importance of staying ahead of that pace to remain competitive. Today, we are marketing Madison and Morgan County through an integrated mix of online and print advertising to the all-mighty, all-powerful social media outlets. And our investments are clearly paying dividends. Madison and Morgan County have received news coverage from around the world exposing millions of potential travelers to the beauty and many amenities offered in our county. Just this year, we received editorial in Garden & Gun, Country Living Magazine, Southern Living Magazine, Victoria Magazine, Group Travel Leader Magazine, Sessions Magazine, Atlanta Magazine, Atlanta Weddings, Georgia Gardening Magazine, AAA Going Places, Ladies Home Journal, Tea Time Magazine, Essentially America, Georgia Trend Magazine, Group Tour Magazine, The New York Times, Paint Horse Connection Magazine, Georgia Connector Magazine as well as, airings on CBS Atlanta, CBS Better Mornings Atlanta,

Fox News Atlanta, PBS’s Equitrekking and Georgia’s Hidden Treasures. We also received online editorial in 87 blogs and online sites such as Yahoo.com, Wines Down South, Gayot. com, FoxNews.com, and backroadtraveler.com. With the sale of the microcar museum in February bringing international attention, we were able to track 42 websites and blogs covering the event from Autoweek.com to The New York Times. We also saw a photography book, “Dancers Among Us,” hit the New York Times Best Seller List with imagery of the Atlanta Ballet amidst the backdrop of Madison and Morgan County. Our greatest accomplishment this year was winning the State’s bid for Travel Media Marketplace which allowed us the opportunity to host 31 travel writers from all over the US and Canada. This was incredible exposure as writers from magazines such as Southern Living, AAA, and Group Leisure Travel were in attendance. Inclusive of this event, we hosted a total of 49 travel writers throughout the year, 12 of whom traveled internationally. It has been a great year and we have our sights set on another successful year. We are committed to attract more visitors and to develop future products to make that happen. With the help of the Board, the CVB Committee, our community leaders and most importantly our members, the future of tourism in Morgan County is looking good. Thank you for an inspiring year and here’s to a prosperous 2013/2014!

ELLEN IANELLI DIRECTOR OF THE CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU PAGE AGE GE E3 2 ANN 2013 2012-2013 ANNUAL NNUA UAL ANNUAL L RE REPO REPORT O RT REPORT

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M “Morgan County is poised to spring

into the future with new manufacturing development� - Sherry Terrell 2013-2014 CHAIR

A LETTER FROM THE CHAIR YOUR CHAMBER WORKS FOR YOU Morgan County is poised to spring into the future with new manufacturing development, new commercial development and an increased emphasis on workforce development. Your Chamber of Commerce is helping to guide the preparation for this growth. The Board of Directors and I are committed to maintaining and improving the quality of life for all our citizens and to finding ways to help our members meet the opportunities of the future while fostering a strong local economy. This annual report will demonstrate the areas of involvement and continued improvement in our delivery of services to our members. Our support for the community includes working with the Morgan County school system through our Partners In Education (PIE) program, providing continuing education seminars for our retailers through the Small Business Development Center, working with new and existing industry in identifying work force development needs and using Georgia QuickStart and Georgia Piedmont Technical College to meet those needs, and actively recruiting new businesses to the area to supplement

native job growth. We are also continuing our focus on small business since most employment in Morgan County comes from this business sector. We are also continuing to work with our agriculture community seeking to keep this segment of our economy vibrant. We are committed to helping our family farms find a way to maintain their way of life while growing their economic presence in the state. I encourage you to become involved in this exciting endeavor and volunteer your time, thoughts and efforts in helping make Morgan County a better community for everyone. Contact any board member or staff member of the Chamber to find out how you can be part of this effort. Contributing your knowledge through the numerous committees of the Chamber is a great way to show your support. Thank you in advance for your participation. The Board and I look forward to working with you in the upcoming year. Sherry Terrell 2013-2014 Chair

SHERRY TERRELL 2013-2014 CHAIR

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Executive Board • Joey Lancaster, Chair United Bank • Sherry Terrell, Chair Elect ReMax Agents Realty • Erik Thompson, Past Chair LPL Financial • Pat Hodgetts, Treasurer Four Seasons Farm • Lee Abney, Governmental Affairs Lambert, Reitman & Abney Attorney • Miriam Baker, Partners in Education Chair Morgan County Library • Bobby Mackey, Membership Boys & Girls Club

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Madison-Morgan County CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 115 East Jefferson Street Madison, Georgia 30650

(706) 342-4454 or Toll Free: (800) 709-7506

Board of Directors • Chris Anderson Bard Manufacturing • Jim Boyd Jim Boyd Agency • Faye Craft, CVB Chair Madison Chophouse Grill • Wilson DuBose DuBose, Massey, Bair & Evans • Jeff Greeson Central Georgia EMC • Vickie Hunt Barkin Dogs Shoe Store • Adam Verner Verner Farms • Karen Wibell The Brady Inn • Philip Williams Krystal

Chamber Staff

• Bob Hughes, President & Economic Development Director • Shey Daniel, Office Manager • Ellen Ianelli, Director Convention & Visitors Bureau • Rhonda Spence, Welcome Center Manager • Rosalind Hines, Information Specialist • Bessie White, Information Specialist - Weekends • Bobbi Howard, Information Specialist - Weekends

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MADISON-MORGAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

We are open MON - FRI from 8:30am to 5:00pm.

THE WELCOME CENTER

We are open MON - FRI from 9am to 4:30pm. SAT 10am - 5pm • SUN 1pm - 4pm. Closed New Years Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. welcomecenter@madisonga.org www.madisonga.org

Please look for us on the below media outlets. We would love to be your Friend!

Madison-Morgan Chamber of Commerce Annual Report Published by Mainstreet Communications Design & Layout by Becky Snowden M MADI MA MADISON-MORGAN DISON D SONN MO MORG ORGAN RG AN C COU COUNTY OUNT OU NTY Y CH CHAM CHAMBER AMBE BER R OF PAGE COMMERCE COM C M ME MERC E PAGE POM 11 3RCE


Madison-Morgan Chamber of Commerce Staff: From left to right: Shey Daniel, Bob Hughes, Ellen Ianelli and Rhonda Spence

BENEFITS OF CHAMBER MEMBERSHIP • Take an active role in your community’s economic development and long-term prosperity! • Build exposure for your business or service through our Chamber directories, newsletters and programs. • Increase business by developing relationships with your customer base through various networking opportunities. • Stay informed about developments in your community and priorities of your local, state and federal government officials. • Take advantage of diverse member-to-member discounts from Chamber members. • Participate in various seminars and workshops designed to improve business practices.


Madison-Morgan County Annual Report  
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