WINTER 2014 SPECIAL THANKS TO
SPONSORS OF “GET HOOKED” MEMBERSHIP EVENT
Come Together “An Investment in the Chamber is an Investment in the Community” State Farm Agents
Home IV Services You Have a Choice! Personalized, professional service is the hallmark of any successful healthcare business. At 1st America, our nationally accredited home infusion company is qualified to provide your patients with sophisticated IV medications at home. These infusions are most often covered by private insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid. We care for patients in their own comfortable environment so they can maintain their independent lifestyle.
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Let our multidisciplinary team of professionals show you why we are the BEST in the business!
212 Northside Drive • Valdosta, GA 31602
WINTER 2014 / Vol. 59 No. 2
05 Letter from the Chairman 05 Board of Directors/Chamber Staff
06 Advocacy In Action 08 10
The Community That Cares: Operation Moody Transition
Behind Every Great Community Is A Strong Chamber
28 Building Businesses
30 Dare to Dream: Do What You Love
Chairmanâ€™s Circle Members
31 Building Prepared Professionals: Making the Connection 32 Progress On Small Business Incubator
19 Premium Members
19 Enterprise Members
20 Coming Together for Our Business Community: Get Hooked on the Chamber
36 Promoting Professionals 38 Ways to Put Video to Work for Your Business in 2015
22 Our New Chamber Members
40 Chamber Business Showcase A Success
24 Meet Our State Farm Super Stars
46 2014 Chamber Media Cares Partners
26 Thank You to Chamber Volunteers
41 Chamber 2015 Events 43 Business After Hours Events
Publisher: Myrna Ballard Creative Director: Wanda Stanley Chamber Creative Consultant for Progress: Steven Heddon (Fusion Creative Marketing)
Advertising: Miranda Moore 4
- Printing -
LETTER FROM THE CHAIRMAN
2014 Board of Directors CHAIRMAN Carl Holley Fowler, Holley, Rambo & Stalvey, PC
Dear Chamber members, Your Chamber is on fire….and I mean that in a good way. The Chamber is the voice of business in our community, and we have been talking a lot…..and our community has been listening. The accomplishments from this year are many. Here are just a few of the highlights from 2014: Carl Holley, 1. The Chamber initiated a 2 1/2 day memberFowler, Holley, Rambo ship drive from September 30 to October 2. We & Stalvey, PC added 155 new members with the help of over 100 Chamber volunteers during this first ever Chamber event. 2. We had one of the most productive Washington, DC trips ever. The trip focused primarily on obtaining a new mission for Moody. MAFB recently announced the new A-29 mission. Mission Accomplished! 3. We initiated “Operation Moody Transition.” The Chamber brought two dozen players to the table to provide meaningful assistance to Moody Airmen who were separated – mostly involuntarily – from the military due to budget restraints. 4. The business incubator project is back on track. The community support appears strong. We plan to roll out our model for this exciting concept early next year. 5. We have had the best year of dues collection ever for our Chamber. In addition, every single major event sponsorship for 2015 is already sold. These are both great measures of fantastic member support for the Chamber. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nothing great can be done without enthusiasm.” We embrace the challenge to be great. The past accomplishments of the Chamber are great. The future potential is even greater. Thank you so much for your continued confidence in our organization. Sincerely, Carlton W. Holley, Chairman 416 North Ashley St. • Valdosta, GA 31601 p. 229.247.8100 • f. 229.245.0071
ON THE COVER
Photo taken by:
Read about your local State Farm Agents on pages 24 and 25. Pictured on the cover are: (L-R standing) Bubba Highsmith; Travis Pate; Christi Marsh; Angie Crawford. (L-R sitting): Kelly Barr; Paul Cribbs; Brian Sumner.
CHAIRMAN-ELECT 2015/VICE CHAIR, PUBLIC AFFAIRS DIVISION Ron Borders, Real Living Realty Advisors CHAIRMAN-ELECT-ELECT 2016/ VICE CHAIR, ORGANIZATIONAL EXCELLENCE DIVISION James McGahee, Retired SGMC CEO TREASURER Marty LeFiles, LeFiles Valenti Financial Advisors, LLC VICE CHAIR, BUSINESS and ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIVISION Baha Zeidan, Azalea Health VICE CHAIR, WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT & EDUCATION DIVISION Tom Carroll, Sunset Farm Foods, Inc. VICE CHAIR, MEMBER SERVICES DIVISION Lee McArthur, Voya IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIRMAN and VICE CHAIR, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Jay Prince, Prince Automotive Group PRESIDENT Myrna Ballard, Chamber of Commerce CHAIRMAN’S CHOICE Brad Folsom, Moore, Clarke, Duvall & Rodgers, P.C. Michael Lee, Ameris Bank Sue Cox, Covington’s and 306 North Bruce Allred, Smith Drug Company Jan Brice, Langdale Place Russ Henry, Coleman Talley LLP
Myrna Ballard, President Karil Brockington, Senior Director of Administration Mike Stalvey, Senior Director of Operations Patty Martin, Administrative Coordinator Wanda Stanley, Director of Communications Varian Brown, Director of Economic Development Miranda Moore, Marketing & Membership Development Specialist 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 $40 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.
â€œMore than 1,300 members. ONE strong voice.â€?
The Chamber is always working for your business. Our advocacy program makes YOUR voice heard on local, state and federal levels.
You tell us about the needs of YOUR businesses at Members To Be Heard and we listen. Through various partnership initiatives, like SGMAC, we represent the needs of our business community. 6 66
Summer 2014 Winter 2014
Operation Moody Transition is one of the many ways we support our heroes at Moody AFB.
CHECK OUT THE NEXT PAGES: THE CHAMBER ADVOCATES FOR YOUR BUSINESS!
U.S. Representative Jack Kingston joined us for the 2014 Federal Legislative Lunch.
Thank you to the Rotary Club of Valdosta and Valdosta North Rotary Club for helping make it a special event! Winter 2014 Summer 2014
THE COMMUNITY THAT CARES: OPERATION MOODY TRANSITION It’s no secret that Moody AFB is a most valuable economic asset for our area. In addition to its direct impact on local and regional economies, its personnel and their families are major supporters of area businesses. This year, as the announcement came that the U.S. military would downsize across every branch, community leaders knew it was time to rally behind those who have so selflessly served us.
peration Moody Transition was developed from the business community’s acknowledgement that Moody AFB would be affected by the drawdown of troops, and that these men and women would be seeking viable employment and education opportunities upon separation or retirement. Community leaders wanted to develop a program which would underscore that this community wants to keep them here. Organizations like Georgia Department of Labor, Small Business Development Center, Valdosta Veterans 1st, Valdosta State University, Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, Georgia Military College, the Chamber and private employment agencies partnered with Moody leaders to develop an initiative that would provide 8
Community leaders meet to address the needs of employers and veterans in the area.
valuable resources and information to not only exiting personnel, but also to local employers. After months of planning, the program began in August with a workshop targeting employers across the region. Presenters from Moody AFB explained the skill sets found in the Airmen being considered for early release, and representatives from GDOL explained tax credits available to employers upon hiring veterans. The team then offered networking and resume building workshops for Airmen, which
helped to prepare them for the Veteran’s Fair and Operation Moody Transition Expo. These events connected employers with Airmen seeking work and helped local organizations to show those separating from service that they actively search out opportunities to hire veterans. Brian Geary of Ace Electric believes the initiative was a success. “We had a Moody veteran apply with our office. He said he’d just gotten out of the Air Force and wanted to become an electrician,” Geary explained. “We offer an apprentice program, and knowing the work ethics a military member
Active duty and veterans alike explored opportunities at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College’s Veterans Fair.
brings to the table, I immediately put him in front of our Pre-construction Manager who needed some help. After an interview, we hired him on the spot and put him to work the next day. While this might not happen every day, we had a need. We know a military veteran will work hard, come to work on time, and be committed to the task, so it was a win-win for the new employee and Ace. He is doing a great job, and we see him being a long standing employee.”
This is just one of the success stories resulting from Operation Moody Transition.The community truly rallied behind the men and women who call Moody AFB home in this initiative, sending the clear message and reiterating the motto – “Moody is us!”
What’s next? The drawdown of
troops is expected to resume in early 2015, and the Operation Moody Transition team is ready to respond. Tony McKenzie of the Georgia Dept. of Labor says, “Veterans understand
important life concepts such as integrity, sacrifice, and attention to detail. These attributes are complementary to any organization in a competitive business environment.” Those involved in this effort to support the needs of our heroes as well as our businesses are committed to helping these brave men and women find their place within the community.
BEHIND EVERY GREAT There is no doubt that we live in a great community. Why is it that some communities thrive, while others languish? In a word: LEADERSHIP.
thriving community is dependent upon the synergy of all of its working parts. An important role of a strong Chamber is to connect those vital working parts, creating a culture of collaboration that translates into progress and keeps a community growing. Jimmy Cusano (Your Chamber Connection) spoke to members about the functions of an effective chamber. “A chamber that does not energetically advocate for its business members and does not make education and transportation focal points in its advocacy efforts – that chamber should take its sign out of the window,” Cusano told the 120 volunteers who participated in the “Get Hooked” Membership Event. “That’s not a real chamber of commerce. Strong chambers know that you can’t build a great community without a great education system to develop a prepared work force, and an effective transportation system that makes a community accessible and functional.” There’s also no doubt that we have a strong Chamber. One of only 79 5-Star Accredited Chambers in the entire country, our Chamber’s advocacy efforts have been recognized on a state and national level for effectiveness in local, state and federal legislative issues that affect the business community. 10
Summer 2014 Winter 2014
The Chamber is the voice of the business community,” said 2014 Chairman of the Board Carl Holley (Fowler, Holley, Rambo and Stalvey). “Our businesses need a strong and prepared work force. We are fortunate as a community to have excellent education available to students through institutions like Valdosta State University, Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, Georgia Military College and our other community colleges. We will continue to support these assets in every way possible to insure the success of our local economy. But it takes a collaborative effort, as Bruce Allred (Smith Drug Company), Chairman of the Chamber’s Government Affairs Council, explained. “When surrounded, the Roman Army would create a
defensive square in which each solider supported those on either side, making the whole formation much stronger than the individuals within,” shared Allred. “All were focused on survival. Like those soldiers, we need to stand side by side, supporting each other and focusing on our goal, which is making a stronger, more sustainable community.” The difficult part is creating that “culture of collaboration” that ensures community success. “Committing to a strong chamber makes that possible,” said Allred. “If we move forward with one voice we can accomplish many things, but if we remain splintered and dysfunctional, many businesses will not survive. Our Chamber is the best way for us to lift our voices as one.”
It’s time to get involved. Together, we are strong. Nearly 1,400 members. ONE VOICE.
IS A STRONG CHAMBER
Proactive and purpose driven, local leaders gather around the right topics at the right times.
architecture...focused on client service
providing comprehensive architectural services to clients throughout georgia and the southeast
k12 schools . higher ed . judicial . corrections . multi-family housing . retail . commercial . churches 2215 Bemiss Road, Suite E • Valdosta, Georgia 31602 • p.229.244.1188 • www.s8darchitects.com
Winter 2014 www.ValdostaChamber.com www.ValdostaChamber.com Summer 2014
Building bridges builds business!
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!
We connect you to NEW friends...
NEW clients... The Right Start Committee welcomes new Airmen to Moody AFB.
WE BUILD CONNECTIONS EVERYWHERE WE GO! 12
Winter Summer2014 2014 www.ValdostaChamber.com www.ValdostaChamber.com
and NEW opportunities!
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Leading Businesses. Leading Communities. TM
Scan the QR code below for the next upcoming Chamber 101 dates.
Members have a chance to meet new members and get an overview of Chamber life at Chamber 101.
Participating in a Leads Group is a wonderful way to connect with other professionals.
Winter 2014 www.ValdostaChamber.com www.ValdostaChamber.com Summer 2014
Leading Businesses. Leading Communities. Our Chairman’s Circle members are the cream of the crop among business leaders. These members actively contribute to the community in addition to operating greatly successful organizations. Meet the 2014 Chairman’s Circle: Since 1927, Citizens Community Bank has been a committed partner to the communities that it serves. CCB has four locations, serving Hahira, Morven, and Valdosta. The bank considers itself High Tech-High Touch. While services like Internet Banking, Remote Deposit Capture and Mobile Banking are offered, the bank works hard to set itself apart from the competition by providing superior customer service. When you call Citizens Community Bank, you will not get a voice menu, you will get a staff member that will help you with whatever your need may be at that moment. Loan committee members live here and know the market personally; therefore, decision-making is local and response time is fast. While CCB banks five generations, management continues to prepare for how best to serve the younger generations. Service delivery systems are continuously evolving; therefore, much time is invested in maintaining the High Tech – High Touch focus that has been a big part of the bank’s success.
Tim Jones, President
For more information, visit www.citizenscommunitybank.net
Fresh Beginnings/eLEAD1ONE is Lowndes County’s largest privately owned employer and employs 800+ employees in Valdosta. Fresh Beginnings, incorporated in Valdosta in 1986, prepares and ships fresh-baked Gourmet Cookies and hand-made Chocolate Assortments in uniquely customized tins, perfect for Business Thank You Programs, Birthdays, Corporate Events, Weddings, Holidays and more. eLEAD1ONE Call Center serves automotive dealers across the United States and Canada. For more information, visit www.elead-crm.com and www.freshbeginnings.com
Judith Hathcock, President
Southeastern Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial institution, providing traditional loan and deposit products, to individuals and businesses. Its mission is “Deliver value above profit; Provide service above all”. Membership is easy and there is no fee to join. Member eligibility criteria can be found at JoinSouth.com. For more information, visit www.southeasternfcu.org
Summer 2014 Winter 2014
Michael Gudely, President
CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE Bush Wealth Management is a financial services and wealth management firm that specializes in allocating, protecting, and leveraging assets for individual families and small business owners. We provide first class wealth management to people we care about and know intimately. Our goal at Bush Wealth Management is to partner with you to help you accomplish your goals through our professional knowledge, integrity, and personal service. We believe in taking care of our relationships. We feel that through a series of personal one-on-one meetings we can develop a rapport and focus on your life goals. It is through this process that we uncover what is important in your life. We strive to give every client that “Red Carpet” treatment. For more information, visit www.bushwealthmanagement.com
Stacy Bush, President and Wealth Advisor
South Georgia Medical Center (SGMC) is a 285-bed regional referral hospital located in Valdosta, Georgia. SGMC also operates the 45-bed SMITH Northview Campus in Valdosta, the 63-bed SGMC Berrien Campus in Nashville, the 25-bed SGMC Lanier Campus and 62-bed SGMC Lakeland Villa Convalescent Center in Lakeland, and manages the 25-bed Clinch Memorial Hospital in Homerville. Governed by the Hospital Authority of Valdosta and Lowndes County, SGMC provides general and specialty medical services which include robotic-assisted surgeries, minimally invasive and general surgeries, comprehensive cancer care, open heart surgery and angioplasty, vascular and endovascular surgery, women and children’s services, imaging services, neurology and spine surgery, orthopedics and emergency services. For a comprehensive listing of services, calendar and wellness information, visit our website, www. Randy Sauls, CEO sgmc.org or like us on Facebook at SGMCValdosta or follow us on Twitter @SGMChealth. At SGMC, we are Growing Healthy Together! For more information, visit www.sgmc.org
Ameris Bank has been providing sound financial advice and exceptional service since 1971. An SBA and FSA preferred lender, Ameris Bank provides a full range of personal and commercial lending, mortgage and deposit solutions, alongside a full suite of treasury and cash management services. Ameris Bank is a strong and stable community bank, with $4 billion in assets and participation in over 450 civic and volunteer organizations throughout our 4-state footprint. Building trust and delivering value, our ValdostaLowndes Banking Team understands the power and importance of working together to build long-lasting relationships. Market President Michael Lee says, “We understand that choosing a banking relationship is not an easy decision nor one that is taken lightly, and because of this, we are honored by our customers’ decisions to bank with us. We appreciate your business, look forward to growing our relationships and providing valuable Michael Lee, President financial solutions for years to come.” For more information, visit www.amerisbank.com
Winter 2014 www.ValdostaChamber.com www.ValdostaChamber.com Summer 2014
Tanner Investment Group is a comprehensive financial planning & investment management team committed to improving our clients’ financial health and well-being. We design, construct and monitor creative portfolios and financial plans designed for the long term, and to accomplish their intended goal. We provide an array of services to grow, protect and preserve what you’ve worked hard to achieve. We also coordinate with your other advisors, such as CPA’s and attorneys. For more information, visit www.tannerinvestmentgroup.com John Tanner, President
Teamtemps Personnel Staffing, Inc. (a locally owned business) was founded in Valdosta in 1986, and is the only independently, locally owned and operated service in the area. This allows our experienced staff, who knows your company’s needs, to make decisions quickly and efficiently. We primarily serve South Georgia and North Florida, but we also have employees in Texas, Alabama, North Carolina, Iowa, and Nebraska. Teamtemps provides personnel in several skilled areas including production workers, forklift drivers, light industrial, warehouse workers, data entry operators, secretarial/clerical, administrative assistants, accounting, data processing, word processing, technical, banking and an array of others as needed by our clients. Teamtemps Personnel Staffing’s number Giovanni Panizzi, President one priority is to provide you with outstanding personnel and prompt, reliable service. Our staff is carefully selected and fully trained to interface effectively with our clients. Our goal is to understand your specific requirements and determine short and long-term solutions to your staffing needs. You will not find this kind of experience in any other office within our area. And as those of us in the human resource field know, experience counts. For more information, visit www.teamtempspersonnelstaffing.com
Georgia Power Company is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company and one of the nation’s largest generators of electricity, serving 2.4 million customers statewide. With a strong focus on safety, Georgia Power is also committed to delivering world class value to every customer every day. In 2013, Georgia Powers Community & Economic Development organization helped bring in more than 18,532 jobs and over $2.88 billion in capital investment for the state. We are also stewards of our community through many channels such as United Way, American Red Cross, Relay for Life, MLK Day, Make-A-Difference, Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts, The Haven, LAMP and a host of other opportunities. We continue to provide resources to our customers such as Alternate Payment Locations, credit Terri Lupo, South Region card payments, My Power Usage, I-Factor and other tools to enhance the customer Vice President experience. We continue to be “A Citizen Wherever We Serve”. For more information, visit www.georgiapower.com
Winter 2014 Summer 2014
First State Bank and Trust, Valdostaâ€™s oldest and largest bank, has been serving Valdosta and Lowndes County since 1906. First State Bank is a division of Synovus Bank. Synovus is one of the largest financial institutions in the Southeast, providing commercial and retail banking to customers in the southeast. We are committed to our customers and our community. First State Bank is proud of its heritage and excited about the future. We pledge to you our best in service and support knowing we have the finest team of bankers anywhere to serve you. Visit us at one of our 4 locations to experience the Synovus difference. For more information, visit https://fsbtc.synovus.com
William S. Cowart, President
1st America Health Group consists of dedicated nurses, pharmacists, respiratory and equipment experts, providing medical equipment and sophisticated IV therapies in the comfort of your own home! Our mission is to bring you world class service and local care. We coordinate with your insurer to decrease your out of pocket expenses while saving the company money. For more information, visit www.firstamericavaldosta.com
Jeff Sikes, President
As a comprehensive institution of the University System of Georgia, Valdosta State University (VSU) is a welcoming, aware, and vibrant community founded on and dedicated to serving our communitiesâ€™ rich and diverse heritages. Through excellence in teaching, basic and applied research, and service, VSU provides rigorous programs and opportunities that enrich our students, our university, and our region. Our student mission is to provide a diverse student population with an inspired education, a safe learning environment, a nurturing community, and a wealth of experience that assists students in molding their futures. Our university mission is to operate the university with a focus toward human, environmental, and financial sustainability while increasing value to our local, regional, national, and international stakeholders. Our regional mission is to provide our region and our home with the resources and support necessary to develop and sustain a higher quality of living, greater economic and community development, and inspired innovation.
William McKinney, President
For more information, visit www.valdosta.edu
Winter 2014 www.ValdostaChamber.com www.ValdostaChamber.com Summer 2014
PRESIDENT’S PARTNERS Membership
ur President’s Partners represent the epitome of good business. They are innovative, forward-thinking and passionate about business. Additionally, they contribute in a variety of ways to the community. These businesses are truly the movers and shakers of our area. The Chamber is proud to welcome its newest President’s Partner, Barnes Healthcare Services!
Barnes Healthcare Services
Founded in 1909 and passed down through three generations to Charles W. Barnes, III, RPh, whose vision, dedication to the patient, and desire to be the best provider in the area has grown the business to 11 locations in Georgia, Florida and Alabama. Barnes Healthcare Services maintains the feeling of being a “family business” while becoming one of the largest privately owned durable medical equipment companies in the country. Barnes Healthcare Services is your post-acute provider of choice. You will experience an patient-centered atmosphere created by an professional staff, which results in improved quality of life and optimum customer satisfaction.
- Special thanks to all our President’s Partners -
he Chamber is so proud of its Executive Members! These businesses are unparalleled in outstanding service and contribute greatly to the quality of life in the community. President’s Premium Partners Membership Astro Exterminating Services, Inc. Lowe’s Distribution Center 2014 2014 AT&T Georgia Mediacom Bank of the Ozarks Packaging Corporation of America, Inc. BB&T Corporation Pathway to Hope Counseling Services, Inc. City of Valdosta SAM’S CLUB ERCO Worldwide, Inc. U.S. Press Express Employment Professionals Valdosta-Lowndes Co. Conference Center Fowler, Holley, Rambo & Stalvey, PC & Tourism Authority Langdale Vallotton, LLP Virtual World Technologies, Inc.
If YOU are ready to take your membership to the NEXT level, call Miranda Moore at (229) 247-8100 ext. 231! 18
Summer 2014 www.ValdostaChamber.com www.ValdostaChamber.com Winter 2014
he Chamber thanks its Premium Members for setting the standard for business excellence and bringing world-class business practices to the community.
Allan Dear Real Estate American Classifieds Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) Belk Blanton & Griffin Insurance Agency Brandon, Rackley & Dukes PC Carson McLane Funeral Home Chartwells Catering at Valdosta State University CJB Industries, Inc. Colquitt EMC Coombs Heating & Air Conditioning Covington’s Dining & Catering Dover, Miller, Stone, Karras and Langdale Dupont Crop Protection
Farmers and Merchants Bank FMB Bancshares Inc. Fusion Creative Marketing Georgia Power Valdosta Federal Credit Union Guardian Bank Jacuzzi Luxury Bath Johnson Distributing Company Langdale Forest Products Co. Miller Hardware Company Moore, Clarke, Duvall & Rodgers, P. C. Regions Bank Reinhart Food Service SAFT America Inc. Sunset Farm Foods, Inc. SunTrust Bank
Talk 92.1 The Citizens Bank The Greeting Service The Scruggs Company Valdosta Anesthesia Associates, PC Valdosta CEO Valdosta Daily Times WAAC FM WALB TV WAL-MART Supercenter #2615 Wild Adventures Theme Park Williams Investment Company / Williams Hotel Group WTLH/WTLF WTXL TV
he Chamber’s Enterprise Members pack a powerful professional punch! These businesses are top-notch and offer world class service in their respective fields.
Ace Electric, Inc. ADT Security Services, Inc. AIG Financial Network Alpha Protech, Inc. Ambling Property Investments, LLC Amerimed Pharmacy & Equipment, LLC Bath Craft, Inc. Baymont Inn & Suites Valdosta at Valdosta Mall Belle Coton Brian C. Griner, MD, LLC C. Terry Hunt Industries, Inc. Care Medical - Spine & Pain Center Chick-fil-A @ St. Augustine Road Colonial Bag Company Colson Printing Co. Commercial Cleaning Industries Dishforce Ear, Nose, Throat & Allergy Assoc of SGA Elliott, Blackburn & Gooding, P.C.-Tom Gooding
Farmers Home Furniture Company Fellowship Home at Brookside, Inc. Flash Foods, Inc. Gary R. Zeigler, P.C. Glasspro by American Glass Greenleaf Center Henderson & Godbee, LLP Home Instead Senior Care Langdale Ford Company Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, Inc. MIDS Inc. Mr. Power Clean Pressure Washing Newbern Family Dental Practice Nexxtep Technology Services, Inc. Olive Garden Pathway Wellness Center Pepsi Cola Company Prince Automotive of Valdosta, Inc. Purchasing Alliance Solutions, Inc.
Radiology Associates of Valdosta Reames & Son Construction Co. Regal Marine Scruggs Concrete Company Sentinel Offender Slone Associates, Inc. Smith Drug Company Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q South Georgia Eye Partners South Georgia Pecan Co. Southeastern Freight Lines Southern Sensation/Southern Cove Southern Vein & Laser Center SportClips Spring Chase Apartments Star Insurance T M Poly-Film, Inc. The Foot & Ankle Institute of South Georgia, P.C. The Home Depot The Links Apartments Three Oaks Apartments Tillman & Tillman, LLP Trademark Metals Recycling
Winter2014 2014 Summer
Union Tank Car Company United Rentals Valdosta Family Medicine Associates, P.C. Valdosta Insurance Services, Inc. Valdosta Mall Valdosta Orthopedic Associates, P.C. Valdosta Toyota Valdosta Women’s Health Center, PC Valenti, Rackley & Associates, LLC Vandemark Plastic Surgery Wallace Truck & Equipment Sales Wilson Eye Center
*This membership level is not available for businesses with more than 100 employees.
COMING TOGETHER FOR OUR BUSINESS COMMUNITY
Proudly presented by:
hen the members of our Chamber unite with a common goal, the results are incredible. Thanks to the support of our State Farm Agencies and approximately 100 member volunteers, our Chamber added 155 new memberships in only 2 1/2 days. How did they do it? They shared their stories, testifying to the effect Chamber membership has had on their own businesses. “The work our Chamber does to grow and sustain our business community is so vital, and it could not be done without the commitment of our members,” said Lee McArthur (Voya), who chaired the success20
Winter 2014 Summer 2014
ful Membership Event. “Seeing our members rally to spread the word and recruit new businesses truly proved that when we are all doing our part, success is inevitable.” “The enthusiasm of the volunteer teams was amazing,” said Susan Steel (Steel’s Jewelry), whose teams recruited the most new members. “We all came together around a great cause in supporting our Chamber and the business community, and we had a lot of fun along the way! This event was definitely a testament to what can be accomplished when we are all working toward the same vision.”
The buzz didn’t stop at the end of the event, but has persisted as members have continued to spread the word about the important work of the Chamber. A sense of pride emerged as members witnessed the success that results from working together as a community. “We have the very best members anywhere,” said Tim Carroll (Farmers Home Furniture). “The energy among the volunteer teams was absolutely incredible, and 155 new members are the evidence of their effort. This initiative was a great success, and I look forward to doing it again in the future.”
MEMBERSHIP EVENT CHAIRS:
Godfather Tim Carroll
(Farmers Home Furniture)
Thanks to EVERY volunteer who made our “Get Hooked” Membership Event possible (see pages 26 and 27).
Godmother Susan Steel
Event Chairmen Jeff Hanson
(Southwest Georgia Bank)
Thanks to our State Farm Agencies for their sponsorship:
(Real Living Realty Advisors)
Scott James (Talk 92.1)
Angie Crawford Brian Sumner Bubba Highsmith Christi Marsh Kelly Barr Paul Cribbs Travis Pate
(Georgia Power Company)
To view the Chamber Membership Event photo gallery, please visit www.valdostachamber.com/2014photo-gallery.htm Winter 2014 Summer
Beverly Edwards (Southwest Georgia Bank)
Meet the New Chamber Members 180 Marketing Solutions 5097 Cypress Lake Dr. Lake Park, GA 31636 229-563-8700
Azalea Sleep Labs 2935 N Ashley St, Ste 124 Valdosta, GA 31602 229-333-7601
Colson Business Systems 3166 Inner Perimeter Rd. Valdosta, GA 31602 229-247-4461
5 Points Wine & Spirits 3015 N Ashley Street Valdosta, GA 31601 229-242-4694
Back Flow Prevention of South GA, LLC 3804 Sedgefield Dr. Valdosta, GA 31605 229-251-5119
Commercial Air Conditioning & Heating Services, Inc. P. O. Box 3835 Valdosta, GA 31604 229-244-2758
A & M Electric, Inc. 3544 Futch Road Hahira, GA 31632 229-896-2576 A-1 Towing 2005 W Savannah Ave. Valdosta, GA 31601 229-563-6558 Accelerated Builders 233 Northside Drive Valdosta, GA 31601 229-548-2929 Adel Dental Associates 101 W 5th Street Adel, GA 31620 229-896-7679 Adel Outfitters 1221 W 4th St, Suite 26 Adel, GA 31620 229-896-7105 Aeropostale 1700 Norman Drive Valdosta, GA 31601 229-249-9403 Affordable Plumbing and Refinishing Doctor 226 N St Augustine Rd Valdosta, GA 31601 229-245-0326 Allstate Broome Agency 1213 Baytree Road Valdosta, GA 31602 229-244-9856 America Best Value Inn 1828 W Hill Ave. Valdosta, GA 31601 229-221-7585 Anytime Fitness 3143 C. North Ashley St. Valdosta, GA 31602 229-630-4847 Archbold Health Services 915 Gordon Avenue Tho.masville, GA 31792 229-228-2230 AXA Advisors 1810 N Ashley St, Ste. 1 Valdosta, GA 31602 229-247-1010 Azalea City Animal Hospital 2609 Bemiss Road Valdosta, GA 31602 229-244-2244 22
Bailey Monuments & Vault Company 2125 Minnesota Ave. Waycross, GA 31503 912-283-8454 Belle Cotton 134 N Patterson St. Valdosta, GA 31601 478-952-3063 Ben Hogan, MD 117 W Northside Drive Valdosta, GA 31602 229-333-0616 Big Benn’s Tile, Carpet & Wood 221 N St Augustine Rd Valdosta, GA 31601 229-247-5997 Bigfoot 1808 W Hill Avenue Valdosta, GA 31601 229-469-7565 Black Crow Media (Southern Stone Communications) 1711 Ellis Drive Valdosta, GA 31601 229-244-8642 Boruff Electric, Inc. 1732 Dow Street Valdosta, GA 31601 229-247-4196 Brookfield Academy 409 Brookfield Road Valdosta, GA 31602 229-253-1329 Bubba Jax Crab Shack 1700 W Hill Avenue Valdosta, GA 31601 229-300-8169
Commercial Real Estate Advisors, LLC 1811 Green Circle Valdosta, GA 31602 229-834-7486 Cook Medical Center 706 N Parrish Avenue Adel, GA 31620 229-896-8077 Cornerstone Counseling, LLC 3350 Noble Way, Suite B Valdosta, GA 31605 229-333-0300 Country FinancialDavid Blevins 3350 Suite A Noble Way Valdosta, GA 31605 229-247-1888 Cowart & Perry, LLP 109 W. Adair Street Valdosta, GA 31601 229-249-8680 Culbreth, Stout & Associates, PC 612 N Patterson Street Valdosta, GA 31601 229-244-4641 Daylight Doughnuts 3175 Inner Perimeter Rd Valdosta, GA 31602 229-244-6610 Dee Bondurant/Woodmen of the World Insurance 3403 Bemiss Road Valdosta, GA 31605 229-245-8310
Chelsea Restoration 402 E Mary Street Valdosta, GA 31601 229-300-3000
Doug Henderson III Memorial Fund P. O. Box 3833 Valdosta, GA 31604 229-292-3210
Children’s Destiny Christian Academy 1903 N Forrest Street Valdosta, GA 31602 229-242-6127
E-Cakes 3116 Wingfield Way Valdosta, GA 31602 229-563-6553
Christ Episcopal 1521 N Patterson Street Valdosta, GA 31602 229-242-5115
Elite Landscapes 3102 Joseph Rd. Valdosta, GA 31601 229-412-1797
Circlestone Golf Club 13629 Hwy. 76 Adel, GA 31620 229-896-3893
Emily Browning - CPA 4140 Waterberry Circle Valdosta, GA 31602 229-834-1244
Enviroscapes Lawn Care & Landscaping 10450 Valdosta Hwy. Qutiman, GA 31643 229-300-3301
J. Michael Mullis, Attorney at Law 1102 Williams Street Valdosta, GA 31602 229-245-0064
Exit 18 Liquors, LLC 1197 N St Augustine Rd. Valdosta, GA 31601 229-245-0640
James Eunice Charity Fund 8 Lee’s Crossing Valdosta, GA 31605 229-245-1036
Farmers and Merchants Bank 3303 Inner Perimeter Rd. Valdosta, GA 31602 229-247-9608
James Ministries 221 N St Augustine Rd. Valdosta, GA 31601 229-560-9201
First Bank Mortgage 138 Canal St., Suite 204 Pooler, GA 31322 912-330-9115 General Maintenance Landscape Service 4138 McDonald Lane Valdosta, GA 31601 229-251-2257 George McCranie, Attorney at Law 1400 Baytree Road Valdosta, GA 31602 229-232-4114 Gerlock Dance Studio 4476 Val North Blg. A Valdosta, GA 31602 229-460-2542 Get A Mammy, Inc. P. O. Box 3813 Valdosta, GA 31604 229-251-2558 Glasspro by American Glass 215 W Savannah Avenue Valdosta, GA 31601 229-244-8484 GTFO Moving Company Valdosta, GA 229-412-7126 Habitat for Humanity Restore 2010 E Cypress Street Valdosta, GA 31601 229-247-8513 Helen Campbell-Five Star Realty Group 1309 Melody Lane Valdosta, GA 31601 229-242-0022 Honey Baked Ham 1601 Baytree Dr., Suite B Valdosta, GA 31602 229-244-6833 igadget Doctor 1703 Norman Dr., Ste. D Valdosta, GA 31601 229-244-3900
Josiah Christian School 1307 W Alden Avenue Valdosta, GA 31602 229-242-1500 JT Vinson/Alan Vinson 50 N Laura St. Ste 2500 Jacksonville, FL 32202 904-233-2856 Jump’n Jacks 4 Kidz 3671 N Coleman Road Valdosta, GA 31602 229-242-7778 Kellerman Construction 908 Baytree Road Valdosta, GA 31602 229-249-5330 Kelly’s Kloset 2001 W Gordon Street Valdosta, GA 31602 971-270-8608 Keystone Therapy Services 3801 Schroer Road Valdosta, GA 31605 229-244-3552 Klutch 1700 Norman Drive, Suite 1214 Valdosta, GA 31601 229-241-0990 Knight Appraisal Group 2610 Pebblewood Drive Valdosta, GA 31602 229-560-0062 Lanier Municipal Supply Company, Inc. 450 Georgia 64 Lakeland, GA 31635 229-460-5300 Law Office of Paul W. Hamilton, LLC 612 N Davis Street Nashville, GA 31639 229-237-0452 Lighthouse Christian Fellowship Center 5802 Danieli Dr. S Lake Park, GA 31636 229-245-5617
Line-X of South Georgia 4548C Valnorth Drive Valdosta, GA 31602 229-244-0020
Perfect Settings 3338-H Country Club Rd. Valdosta, GA 31605 229-219-7751
Roy Wilson Copeland 104 E Adair Street Valdosta, GA 31601 229-834-0829
Little Options 1421 Gornto Road Valdosta, GA 31602 229-244-1807
Perimeter Pantry, Inc. 4491 Inner Perimeter Rd. Valdosta, GA 31602 229-300-9451
Safe Waste Disposal 7744 Webb Road North Hahira, GA 31632 229-444-2201
Living Bridges Ministry 9302 Davidson Rd. PMB 175 Moody A.F.B., GA 31699 318-572-1121
Plants Plants Plants 4094 Hayes Road Valdosta, GA 31605 229-560-3646
Save-A-Lot 808 Madison Highway Valdosta, GA 31601 229-247-8888
Plastic Surgery Associates of Valdosta 230 Northside Drive Valdosta, GA 31602 229-242-3002
Sentinel Offender 213 N Ashley Street Valdosta, GA 31601 229-253-9988
Mary Kay-Executive Senior Sales Director 802 Blythwood Rd. Valdosta, GA 31602 229-630-6641 Moon Law Firm 119 W North Street Valdosta, GA 31601 229-247-0715
Powerhouse Outdoor Equipment 2713 Bemiss Road Valdosta, GA 31602 229-242-6006
More Than Words 1701 N Patterson Street Valdosta, GA 31601 229-244-4545
Premier Home Inspection 1709-A Gornto Road Valdosta, GA 31601 229-292-4694
Multi/Sat Communications 2937 Spivey Road Valdosta, GA 31601 678-908-9174
Pro Plumbing Repair, LLC 3998 Inner Perimeter Rd. Valdosta, GA 31602 229-292-1250
Nijemtech 1303 Baytree Road Valdosta, GA 31602 229-269-4151 North Avenue Investments 225 W Main Street Hahira, GA 31632 229-588-2944 North Valdosta Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery 3205 Wildwood Plantation Drive Valdosta, GA 31605 229-247-7585 Only Options 1421 Gornto Road Valdosta, GA 31602 229-247-1807 Palak Corporation 4255 Whisperwood Circle Valdosta, GA 31602 229-269-6498
Quality Insulation 7690 Union Road Hahira, GA 31632 229-444-1823 Raisin’ Cane 3350 Newsome Road Valdosta, GA 31606 229-559-4784 Real Living Realty AdvisorsMelinda Thomas 1817 Green Circle Valdosta, GA 31602 229-563-6556 Redirect Counseling Services, Inc. 430 Connell Road Valdosta, GA 31602 229-293-0444 Remax Realty of ValdostaTerri Tolbert Taylor 1216 Baytree Road Valdosta, GA 31602 229-300-1318
Parker Pools 2823 Madison Highway Valdosta, GA 31601 229-247-1259
Remax Realty of ValdostaDonna Barber 1216 Baytree Road Valdosta, GA 31602 618-357-1098
Party Time Productions Valdosta, GA 31601 229-854-0020
Paul J. Alvarado P.C. 104 West Moore Street Valdosta, GA 31602 229-244-5822
Rick Robey 229 Bruce Rollins Road Whitwell, TN 37397 240-776-2391
Shawn Moore Construction, LLC P. O. Box 4627 Valdosta, GA 31604 229-560-4520 Sheriff Chris Prine Valdosta, GA 31601 229-559-6147 Shorty’s Steak House 4038 North Valdosta Rd. Valdosta, GA 31604 229-247-2186 Sirmans Hardware and Outdoors, Inc. 136 S Valdosta Rd. Lakeland, GA 31635 229-563-4656 Smitty’s Package Store 923 Baytree Road Valdosta, GA 31602 229-630-3838 Smoothie King 3219 N Oak St., Ste. A Valdosta, GA 31605 229-469-4090 South Georgia Construction & Consulting 109 Worthington Place Valdosta, GA 31602 229-300-3133 South Georgia Graphics 600 S Hutchinson Avenue Adel, GA 31620 229-896-3535 South Georgia Pediatric Dentistry 3227 N Oak St Ext., Ste. A Valdosta, GA 31605 229-247-3200 Southern Sensation/ Southern Cove 1650-C Baytree Rd. Valdosta, GA 31602 912-288-2660 Southern Turf Management P. O. Box 467 Centerville, GA 31028 478-808-7711
Special Olympics Georgia 1601 N Ashley Street, Suite 88 Valdosta, GA 31602 229-292-5143 Squirrel’s Nest 1420 Gornto Road Valdosta, GA 31602 229-300-0044 State Farm InsuranceBrian Sumner 3101 N Ashley St., Ste A Valdosta, GA 31602 229-247-7007 Surgical Associates of Valdosta 2704 N Oak St, Building F Valdosta, GA 31602 229-242-4996 Sweet Surprises 2704 B-1 N Oak Street Valdosta, GA 31602 229-244-5353 Tennis Valdosta, Inc. 229-686-8128 The Boardwalk 1801 Jerry Jones Valdosta, GA 31601 229-244-3787 The Enterprise Office Cleaning Solutions 270 Sellars Road Hahira, GA 31632 229-251-9052 The Gourmet Guys 2105 Delvid Street Valdosta, GA 31601 229-560-5959 The Mix 1803B Jerry Jones Drive Valdosta, GA 31602 229-563-2813 The Slice 962 Highway 122 Hahira, GA 31632 229-794-1222 The Wooty Foundation 4860 Twin Shadows Road Valdosta, GA 31602 229-548-7566 Thomas Renewal Janitorial, LLC P. O. Box 741 Homerville, GA 31634 229-292-3886 Tiger Stripes 1075 McKinnon Road Quitman, GA 31643 229-506-9099 Time Out Systems 308 Indian Creek Circle Adel, GA 31620 229-896-6190 Winter 2014
Traditions Flooring 1404 Gornto Road Valdosta, GA 31602 229-241-6700 Valdosta Choral Guild 205 E Park Avenue Valdosta, GA 31602 404-307-0227 Valdosta City Schools Foundation 1204 Williams Street Valdosta, GA 31601 229-671-6025 Valdosta Commercial Doors & Hardware, Inc. 108 Hemlock Street Valdosta, GA 31601 229-241-7080 Valdosta Greenhouses 406 G Northside Drive Valdosta, GA 31602 229-242-5653 Valdosta North Rotary Club P. O. Box 1704 Valdosta, GA 31603 229-415-3813 Valdosta PropertiesProperty Management Co. 2502C Jerry Jones Dr, Ste 4 Valdosta, GA 31602 229-242-7575 Vallotton Construction 701 W Hill Avenue Valdosta, GA 31601 229-834-0413 Virtual Properties Realty 229-630-7290 Voice of Victory Worship Center 607 Griffin Avenue Valdosta, GA 31601 229-232-4236 Wansley & Associates 2003 N Patterson Street Valdosta, GA 31602 229-247-1880 William Long Whitesell, LLC 2209 N Toombs Street Valdosta, GA 31602 229-244-9808 Winnersville Awards/ Spirit Screenprinting 1412-B Baytree Road Valdosta, GA 31602 229-247-7182 Your Chamber Connection 8208 Bridge Street North Richland Hills, TX 76180 817-909-0112
Meet Our State Farm
tate Farm’s mission is to help people manage the risk of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. State Farm insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in Lowndes County, the State of Georgia and the United States. State Farm is ranked No. 44 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. It has more than 65,000 employees plus over 18,000 Agents. Locally, the company has 7 Agents in the Valdosta /Lowndes County area.
Insurance has always been a part of Angie Crawford’s life. She worked in her father’s State Farm Agency during school and saw the impact of helping people. Angie graduated from Georgia State University in 1993 and joined State Farm in 1995. She held many roles, ranging from Expense Supervisor to Marketing Coordinator before becoming an agent in Rome, GA. Angie was promoted into Agency Management in South Carolina and returned to Georgia 7 years ago to reopen her agency. She holds many professional designations including Chartered Life Underwriter, Chartered Financial Consultant, and Chartered Advisor for Senior Living. Angie and her husband, Derick have been married for more than 20 years and have a son, Wil (10). Community involvement is very important to Angie, and she serves on many boards including Rotary, Leadership Lowndes, the Children’s Advocacy Center, the Chamber’s Barber House Advisory Board, and the State Farm Agent’s Political Action Committee. Brian Sumner has been a State Farm agent for 10 years. He is a native of Tifton and a graduate of the University of Georgia. He is married to Susan Sumner, and they have two children, Savannah (13) and Kice (11). The Sumner family actively volunteers and supports Lowndes County and Valdosta City Schools. Brian is a Community Partner in Education Award recipient and LEAD Sponsor. He serves on the First United Methodist Church Board of Trustees and is a Stone Creek Property Owners Association board member. Brian has served as President of Kiwanis, Children’s Advocacy Center Board Member, Moody Honorary Squadron Commander, Gold Sponsor of American Cancer Society, Lowndes County Planning Commission Board Member, member of the Leadership Lowndes Class of 2004, Options Now Donor, and FCA Donor. Prior to his State Farm career, Brian was a Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor for five years in Valdosta. As a State Farm Agent, Brian qualified for Senior Vice Presidents Club and is a nine-time Ambassador Travel Qualifier. Bubba Highsmith is a native of St. Simons Island, GA. He attended Valdosta State University and graduated in 1994 with a degree in Public Relations. Following graduation he started with State Farm in January 1995 as an auto claim representative in Gainesville, Georgia. In 2002, he opened his State Farm agency in Valdosta. He is a former board member of Leadership Lowndes, the United Way and the Kappa Alpha Alumni Association. He serves proudly as a current board member for the Langdale Hospice House and the SGMC Foundation. Bubba is a member of the Valdosta Rotary Club and the Valdosta –Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce. Bubba and his wife, Kim, have two children, their daughter, Madison (14) and son, Parker (11). They enjoy being involved in the community and are members of Park Avenue United Methodist Church. Bubba and his dynamic team sell every product offered by State Farm, but his passion is selling Life Insurance.
2014 2014 www.ValdostaChamber.com 24 24Winter Summer www.ValdostaChamber.com
Christi Marsh has 20 years of insurance and financial services experience, having begun her career with State Farm in 1994. Before becoming an agent, she worked as a Life and Health Specialist and an Agency Field Specialist. All of her State Farm experience has been right here in South Georgia. Christi is a Camilla, GA native who earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Relations and Business from Georgia Southern University. Christi and her husband, Bill, have three children. “Being a part of this company since 1994 has allowed me to witness first-hand how much State Farm cares about people,” said Christi. “I became an agent to help people understand their unique risks and help them find the right resources to realize their dreams. I am privileged to help the people of Valdosta and the surrounding communities.”
Kelly Barr is one of the few State Farm Agents in Georgia who is Mortgage Licensed. Nothing gives her greater professional joy than to help someone with this monumental moment. Her primary focus is to offer her clients the best Financial Services the industry has to offer while delivering amazing service. Kelly grew up on a farm in Quitman, GA. She received her undergraduate degree from Belmont University in Nashville, TN. She met her husband, Michael Barr, while she was attending Valdosta State University for Grad School. They have two beautiful children. Kelly is a member of The Chamber, the Valdosta Service League and First Baptist Church of Quitman. She feels so fortunate to be able to give back to a community that has been so wonderful to her throughout her lifetime. Paul Cribbs graduated from VSU in 1970. After several years in the banking business, he opened his State Farm Agency in 1982. For the last 32 years, he and his team have afforded the community the very best Good Neighbor Service available. He is an active member of the Lowndes- Valdosta Chamber of Commerce, a charter member of the Azalea City Kiwanis Club where he served as President and Lt. Governor. He is also an active member in the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. Through the years Paul has been active in several community charitable organizations. Paul is an active member of First Baptist Church where he serves on the Deacon Board and several committees. Paul and his wife, Sharon, have been married for 45 years. They have two sons, Paul Jr. and Justin, and two grandchildren, Elizabeth and Ainsley. Travis Pate graduated from Lowndes High School and attended Valdosta State University where he majored in Finance and Economics and was a member of Kappa Alpha Order. Travis began his career with State Farm in 1996 in auto claims. In 2002, he became an Agent in Valdosta. Travis is married to the former Alyssa Edwards of Valdosta and they have 2 children, Anna (9) and Mason (6). Travis’s community involvement includes service as president of the Valdosta North Rotary Club and the Lowndes Education Improvement Foundation. He has also served on the boards of South GA Chrysalis, the American Cancer Society, the United Way, and has coached baseball at the Boys Club and VLPRA. Travis participates as a Community Partner in Education and was awarded CPIE of the Year for Small Business by the Valdosta Early College Academy. He currently serves as a deacon at First Baptist Church. Travis recently completed his Chartered Life Underwriter designation and has a designation as a Long Term Care Professional.
Check out the back cover for YOUR local State Farm locations! www.ValdostaChamber.com 25 25 Summer Winter 2014 2014 www.ValdostaChamber.com
We Couldn’t Do What We Do...Without YOU!
his year’s “Get Hooked” Membership Event was a huge success, thanks to the volunteers who recruited workers, called prospective members, picked up applications and payments and delivered new member packets! WE COULD NOT HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT YOU!!! When you see these members out in the community, be sure to thank them for their hard work and dedication!
Terri Lupo/Chairman (Georgia Power Company) Audrey King/Captain (Georgia Power Company) Bill Slaughter (Waller Heating and Air) Cathey King (Coldwell Banker Premier Real Estate) Cathy Parker (Valdosta-Lowndes Boys & Girls Club)
Traycee Martin (Valdosta State University)
Don Hutchinson (Georgia Power Company)
Stacy Bush/Captain (Bush Wealth Management)
Vicky Biles/Captain (Georgia Power Company)
Ellen Hill (Valdosta City-Main Street CVDA) Jill Maine (Home Builders of South GA) Lori Campbell (Community Volunteer)
Scott Purvis/Captain (Georgia Power Company)
ROYAL BLUE TEAM
Jeff Hanson/Chairman (Southwest Georgia Bank) Allison Hutchins (Henderson & Godbee LLP) Amber Tanner (Henderson & Godbee LLP) Angie Bruhl (Benefit Advisors of Georgia)
Summer 2014 Winter 2014
Spencer Dawkins (American Glass)
Melinda Thomas (Real Living Realty)
Clarence Spires (ReMax Realty)
Denise McKenzie (Bank of the Ozarks)
Tara Purvis (Heritage Bank) Terrie Jenkins (American Red Cross) Tim Tanner (Coleman Talley LLP) Todd McCawley/Captain (Georgia Power Company)
Beverly Edwards/Captain (Southwest Georgia Bank)
Iris Brown (Southwest Georgia Bank)
Marbry Smith (Valdosta Insurance)
Billy Nijem (Langdale Vallotton)
Jacob Paulk (Henderson & Godbee LLP)
Parrish Clark (Guardian Bank)
Carter Coleman (Blanton & Griffin)
Jeremy Chick (Ashley’s Business Solutions)
Paul McNeal (Williams Investment)
Cathy Hanson (South Georgia Eye Associates)
Jud Moritz (Southwest Georgia Bank)
Richard Welch (First State Bank & Trust)
Kaitlyn Hannay (Henderson & Godbee LLP)
Rick Williams/Captain (Williams Investment)
Kaylane Fowler (Henderson & Godbee LLP)
Russ Henry (Coleman Talley LLP)
Keeley Collins/Captain (Henderson & Godbee LLP)
Travis Hill (Southwest Georgia Bank)
Lake Jordan/Captain (Coleman Talley LLP)
Wade Henry (Blanton & Griffin)
Len Carter/Captain (Valdosta Insurance)
Walt Moody (Moody Law Firm, LLC)
Courtney Copeland (Williams Investment) David Blevins (Country Financial) Emily Williams (Williams Investment) Garrett Copeland (First State Bank & Trust) Greg Reid (Edward Jones)
Susan Steel/Chairman (Steel’s Jewelry) Cindy Hotchkiss (Cornerstone Design) Daniel Folsom/Captain (Clienttell) Dick Campbell (Stifel)
Justin Martin (Community Volunteer)
Leigh Ann Hogan/Captain (Ben Hogan, MD)
Justin Young (Paramont Benefits)
Molly Roan (Habitat For Humanity)
Kathi Blais (Sutherland Yoga)
Rachel Noles (Valdosta Daily Times)
Katie Kolisz (Amedisys)
Rhett Knox (Southeastern Federal Credit Union)
Dusty Edwards (Paramont Benefits)
Keith Childree (Valdosta-Lowndes Parks and Recreation Authority)
Heather Ferguson/Captain (Stifel)
Richard Sells (Valdosta Transmission)
Sara Sumner (Black Crow Media)
Kevin Hiers (Henderson and Godbee)
Robbin Miller (South Georgia Medical Center)
Stuart Mullis (Habitat For Humanity)
Jennifer Mitchell/Captain (Black Crow Media)
Larry Simpson (Azalea Sleep Center)
Roxanne Corbett (Lanier Municipal Supply Co.)
Wade Shiver (Aeropostale)
John Tanner/Captain (Tanner Investment Group)
Lee Smothers (Valdosta Country Club)
Ruby Reisinger (Black Crow Media)
Whit Chappell (Valdosta State University Foundation)
Tim Carroll/Chairman (Farmers Home Furniture Company)
Brooke White (White Weddings)
Debbie Jensen (Wild Adventures Theme Park)
Caitlin Harden (Bush Wealth Management)
Jennie Boyer (Wild Adventures Theme Park)
Charles White/ Captain (White Weddings)
Jermel Davis (Community Volunteer)
Danny Knight (Knight Appraisal Group) Darnella Graham (Community Volunteer)
Liz McMurray (Community Volunteer) Margie Vollenweider (Valdosta-Lowndes Co. Conference Center & Tourism Authority) Matt Duda (Wild Adventures Theme Park)
Julie Hiers (Scintilla Charter Academy) Laura Graham (Wild Adventures Theme Park) Laurie Windham (Wild Adventures Theme Park)
Micha Hogan (Wild Adventures Theme Park)
Windi Burke (Wild Adventures Theme Park)
Kelly Barr (State Farm Insurance)
Angie Crawford (State Farm Insurance)
Christi Marsh (State Farm Insurance)
Travis Pate (State Farm Insurance)
Carrie Ryan (Regent Mortgage Corp.) Courtney Gooding (Southeastern Federal Credit Union)
Deborah Byington (Fairway Outdoors)
Karen Reissiger (The Greeting Service)
Franchesca Griffin (Black Crow Media)
Lisa Register (Comfort Keepers)
Jerry Kozuch (South Gerogia Vein Centers)
Patti Minton (The Greeting Service)
Joy Sumner (Heartland Payment Systems)
Susan Harrelson (Community Volunteer) Tim Riddle/Captain (Valdosta-Lowndes Co. Conference Center & Tourism Authority)
Bubba Highsmith (State Farm Insurance)
Lyndi Soles/ Chairman (Fairway Outdoors)
Molly Deese/Captain (Wild Adventures Theme Park)
Meghan Duke (Valdosta Lowndes Development Authority)
Scott James/Chairman (Talk 92.1)
Michael Anderson/ Captain (Community Volunteer)
Theresa Bozeman (Southwest GA Bank Insurance Services)
Special “Thank You” to ALL!!! Vickie Godwin (Commercial Banking)
Winter 2014 www.ValdostaChamber.com www.ValdostaChamber.com Summer 2014
â€œWe believe in building businesses by building people.â€?
The Chamber is a business builder focused on growing new and existing businesses, and supporting the upcoming workforce and entrepreneurs.
Business University events offer a wealth of information to employers seeking to strengthen and grow their businessses.
At the Annual Economic Summit, Chartwells Catering showcased its support for local businesses by featuring dishes made with local products.
Members met to gain insight on developing effective online marketing strategies. 28 28
Winter 2014 Summer 2014 www.ValdostaChamber.com www.ValdostaChamber.com
The South Georgia
Business University provides many opportunities for member training and development.
Your Chamber Member Website builds your web presence to help you reach potential clients.
CHECK OUT THE NEXT PAGES: THE CHAMBER HELPS BUILD YOUR BUSINESS!
Members enjoy awesome opportunities to learn from experts like Tom Ziglar and Justin Young. Summer Winter 2014 2014 www.ValdostaChamber.com www.ValdostaChamber.com
DARE TO DREAM: DO WHAT YOU LOVE
Angela Roark, winner of the 2014
Southwest Georgia Bank Business Plan Competition proves that hard work and preparation pay off!
SOUTHWEST GEORGIA BANK BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION
takes guts to open a business. Developing a business plan takes serious consideration and hard work. There are so many risks involved and no guarantees of success. Nonetheless, the entrepreneurial spirit thrives in America, where anyone with a dream can pursue it as a career. Small businesses are the foundation of our local economy. These “mom and pop” companies offer diverse products and services to local consumers and contribute to the culture of our area. Business owners don’t fit into a stereotype. They are college students,
Winter 2014 Summer 2014
single moms, established professionals, and veterans. Anyone with a passion and viable business idea can turn it into a profession. The SEEDS Business Resource Center helps entrepreneurial minded people turn their dreams into reality. By offering demographic, traffic and market information, it offers assistance to potential startup owners and helps increase the odds that a new business will be successful. In addition to free market resources, the SEEDS Center offers opportunities for entrepreneurs to gain funding for their startups. The Southwest Georgia Bank Business Plan Competition begins each year in January. The competition is open to entrepreneurs with new businesses that have not yet filed a tax return for their first full year of operation and those interested in starting a new business. Candidates must
commit to employing college and technical college graduates upon successful startup. Contestants receive assistance with the development of business plans and marketing strategies before presenting their models to a panel of judges for consideration. “Southwest Georgia Bank recognizes that small business is the backbone of our economy,” says Executive Vice President & Chief Banking Officer Jeff Hanson. “An investment in small business is an investment in our community. Our long term commitment to the Business Plan Competition is a great way for SGB to re-invest capital into the community that has been so supportive of us, and it further demonstrates our long term commitment to Valdosta – Lowndes County.” Dreams are absolutely possible to achieve with determination and a great plan. We would love to help make your dreams come true. For more information about the Southwest Georgia Business Plan Competition, please call Varian Brown at (229) 247-8100 ext. 234 or visit www.SEEDSBusinessResourceCenter. comcom.
Building Prepared Professionals
MetroOne Making the Connection Talent Connection
Ashley Prescott and Levi White
Ashley - Public Relations Intern Levi - SEEDS Intern
Alyssa Morris and Nicole Poole
Alyssa - Rotary Intern Nicole - Government Affairs Intern
inding the right employees can be a challenge. Ever wish you could “test drive” prospective employees before making the commitment to hire? Consider an internship program. Many employers offer internships not only for the short-term benefit, but also in planning for the future. Internship programs can help businesses develop talent for the longterm and filter potential candidates, also allowing employers to “testdrive” prospective employees. “Hiring an intern who has already been vetted is much less risky than hiring someone strictly because they interviewed well,” says VSU’s Crystal Goode, a career counselor who works with the Chamber on our MetroOne Talent Connection Program. “Interns can impact overall productivity with small or medium-sized projects and standard daily tasks, allowing the more experienced professionals to work on more involved projects, perhaps even with some additional assistance from interns,” Goode explained. Doug Swords (Azalea Health) knows first-hand the value of internship experience, having begun his career in the healthcare IT industry with an internship. “The experience and skills I obtained through that internship helped kick-start my career while paving the way to the creation of Azalea Health,” Swords said. “As an employer, Azalea Health finds tremendous value in internships. Some
of our interns have moved up to positions of leadership in the company.” While many internships are unpaid, some internships pay a modest stipend, or offer incentives such as college credit. Successful programs focus on mutual benefit for employers and interns. Employers receive fresh perspective from students who assist with the organization’s workload and often become permanent employees upon graduation. This business model helps to retain local talent while growing business, a winning scenario for students, employers and the business community. In addition to helping employers train and develop a skilled workforce, internships provide an opportunity for organizations to contribute to the growth and development of the business community by preparing area students with the skills and opportunities for employment needed to keep them in the Metro Valdosta area. The MetroOne Talent Connection partners talented students with local businesses and opportunities. If your business is interested in establishing an internship program, contact Varian Brown at 229-247-8100 ext. 234.
There is NO charge for membership.
Winter 2014 www.ValdostaChamber.com www.ValdostaChamber.com Summer 2014
FINALLY! PROGRESS ON A SMALL
BUSINESS INCUBATOR M O R E hi-tech industry. M O R E high-wage positions. M O R E busineses. BUILDING BUSINESS ONE STARTUP AT A TIME
ur community has been calling for these things for what seems like ages. Finally, the gears are beginning to turn. Talks about a business incubator are turning into action. Marty LeFiles (LeFiles Valenti Financial Advisors), Chamber Treasurer, says this initiative has 10 years of thought and due diligence invested in it. “We wanted to see for ourselves Marty LeFiles how a successful business incubator works, and we were not disappointed by our tour of the Burson Center in Carrollton,” said LeFiles. “It is an impressive facility, and it serves as a great example of how a community can bring together a vast array of resources to support new and emerging businesses. An incubator can be a very important tool in our community’s economic development efforts.” The Chamber is currently preparing for a feasibility assessment of a business incubator in Valdosta. This study will evaluate the area’s need and readiness for an incubator site. The first step will include analysis of the local economy based on relevant literature 32
Summer 2014 Winter 2014
and assessment of community goals. Local business, civic and government leaders will be consulted to gain insight into entrepreneurial activity, economic highlights and challenges. In addition to seeking the input of existing businesses, potential tenants will be surveyed to discern how effective an incubator might be in addressing the needs of candidate businesses. Potential locations will be considered and a financial analysis will be created, including cost, funding and cash flow projections for the proposed incubator. Based on the results of the feasibility study, a plan of action will be drafted. Leaders throughout the community recognize the necessity of working together toward this initiative and have offered support. “Valdosta State University enthusiastically supports partnership opportunities with the Chamber,” said VSU President Bill McKinney. “Working together with the Chamber and other stakeholders in Valdosta continues to strengthen the foundation and serves as a catalyst for economic development throughout the region.” “Downtown Valdosta is excited about the possibility of a business incubator in the Downtown District,” says Valdosta Main Street Director Ellen
Hill. “There is an inherent culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in downtown that constantly attracts new opportunities for positive economic growth in our community. Adding a business incubator to our already diverse and successful mix of retailers and businesses can only enhance the downtown experience for everyone. Additionally, we need to support the creation of companies that can keep our talented college and university graduates here. If we have the resources they need to grow, they will stay and downtown can continue to be a hot spot to live, work and play.” Those supporting this project are hopeful that its success will lead to the creation and development of flourishing new businesses that will attract and retain talented and innovative professionals. This direction will lead to new industry presence and growth within existing businesses in the area. “Our business incubator will help nurture home grown businesses, particularly those that can employ our college and university graduates,” said Chamber Director of Economic Development Varian Brown. For more information, call Varian Brown at (229) 247-8100 ext. 234.
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Insurance products are offered through Wachovia Insurance Agency (WIA) and are underwritten Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Member SIPC,Fargo isua registered broker-dealer andBank a non-bank separate non-bank afﬁliate Wells Investment and Insurance Products: NOT FDIC Insured NO Guarantee u MAY Lose of Value byFargo unaffiliated insurance companies. WellsAdvisors, Advisors WIAreserved. areuseparate & Company. ©2013 Wells Fargo LLC. Alland rights 1113-02312 [74020-v4] A1286 affiliates of Wells Fargo LLC, & Company. Wells Fargo Advisors, Member SIPC, is a registered broker-dealer and a separate non-bank afﬁliate of Wells
David Mauldin Fargo & Company. ©2013 Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. All rights reserved. 1113-02312 [74020-v4] A1286 Financial Advisor 341 Northside Drive Valdosta, GA 31602 Tel: 229-245-7013 • 866-828-8189 David.Mauldin@wellsfargoadvisors.com
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Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Member SIPC, is a registered broker-dealer and a separate non-bank afﬁliate of Wells Fargo &Valdosta Company. ©2013 Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. All rights reserved. 1113-02312 [74020-v4] A1286 Hahira
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“We offer extensive opportunities to expand your brand recognition. It’s marketing made easy!”
Through your membership, the Chamber offers many advertisement and sponsorship opportunities to build your brand recognition and clientele.
The Metro One Talent Connection promotes young professionals who are at the cutting edge of business!
Chamber Ambassadors help us promote our members with ribbon cuttings, ground breakings and renovation celebrations.
Summer2014 2014 Winter
Our own Jamie Baltrus and Eric Johnson were named among Georgia Trendâ€™s 40 Under 40. MetroOne celebrated with a reception at Frogtown South (Wendy Wisenbaker) co-hosted with the Valdosta North Rotary Club.
Our MetroOne members talk about what theyâ€™re doing to help develop the business community.
MetroOne Talent Connection
CHECK OUT Our young professionals discussed the advantages of internships to students at Valdosta State University, explaining how experience provides a competitive edge for prospective job-seekers.
THE NEXT PAGES: PROMOTING OUR MEMBERS! Winter www.ValdostaChamber.com Summer 20142014www.ValdostaChamber.com
Ways To Put Video to Work for Your Business in 2015 4
Introduce Yourself. Whether it’s a guided tour of a factory, or a gift
We’ve all gotten used to searching the internet for
shop, or even a corporate identity piece, a video can
videos to learn how to fix cars, bake cakes or install
be an effective way to introduce yourself and your
that latest software upgrade. You can use video to
business to potential customers, employees and the
address the most common questions from customers about how to get the most out of your products.
community at large.
Showcase Your Products and Services. You may have a catalog or products, or an online shop; or yours might be a service business with multiple service offerings. Videos can show your customers your products and services and tell the story you want them to hear about features, advantages and terms.
Events and Testimonials. Video is a great way to record events like grand openings, prize drawings, charitable gifts and customer workshops. It’s also the ideal way to capture customer testimonials and share them with the public. Video shows you interacting with customers and it will give your audience an authentic, intimate view of your company and its people.
Recruitment and Training. A video can make the difference when trying to attract the talent you need for your business. And it is a powerful tool for HR to offer training and courses for new and existing employees.
Fusion Creative Marketing provided SAFT technicians mobile internet video manuals to assist in installations and servicing. The instruction videos were shot on location, domestically
videos can be accessed by technicians on mobile devices at the installation site via QR code. THIS IS A PAID ADVERTISEMENT 38 38
and internationally, and produced in multiple languages. The
STEVEN HEDDON Founder, A.L. Girardin Award Winner and Creative Consultant for the Valdosta Chamber of Commerce
ARTHUR MORIN Strategist, Senior Project Manager, and Account Manager
Why Video is the New Normal for Corporate Communication
FUSION SERVICES Branding Marketing Strategy Website Design Website Management / SEO Email Marketing Commercial Photography Video Production Logo and Graphic Development Print, TV and Online Ads
1. The widespread availability of digital cameras and film editing, highspeed internet and ever-cheaper memory has made high-quality video more economical for businesses large and small.
Direct Mail Social Media
2. Behavioral shifts in the public, away from printed material and towards video and audio, are driving businesses to use more video instead of print media.
Promotions Event Marketing
3. Today’s businesses are using videos for all sorts of communication, and the posting of videos on corporate sites, and public sites like YouTube, allow videos to reach ever-greater audiences.
4. Video can boost your website’s internet presence (SEO) and can even benefit from going “viral”, thereby reaching your viewers’ contacts and their contacts, and so on.
Fusion Creative Marketing is Your One-Stop-Shop for Video Production • Pre-Production and Budgeting
• Custom Soundtracks Available
• Scriptwriting and Storyboards
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• Scriptwriting and Narration Capability in Multiple Languages
• Editing and Special Effects
• YouTube Channel Design and Maintenance Winter 2014
BUSINESS SHOWASE a Success! YOU
connected with other area businesses at the 2014 Chamber Business Showcase at the Rainwater Conference Center. This year’s event was sponsored by Ashley’s Business Solutions. More than 350 members of the business community were present to peruse vendor products and services. Guests enjoyed great food, excellent opportunities to network, and lots of awesome door prizes! Look who was there! Be sure to follow us on Flickr to view the full picture gallery! The Showcase serves as an excellent opportunity for member businesses to demo products and services to prospective business clients in the Valdosta-Lowndes area. It’s not too early to reserve your space for the Oct. 1, 2015 event!
Call Miranda Moore at (229) 247-8100 ext. 231 to reserve your vendor table TODAY!
Summer 2014 Winter 2014
WE WOULDN’T MISS IT FOR THE WORLD! Wow! 2014 went by fast, and now we’re looking forward to a wonderful new year! Special “Thanks” to ALL our major sponsors for the upcoming 2015 Chamber events:
Southwest Georgia Bank Business Plan Competition
Winners In The Workplace
Chamber Business Showcase/ Progress
Building The Best Board Media Sponsor: The Valdosta Daily Times
Annual Membership Meeting/Progress
Chamber Choice Awards
Leading Business of the Week
Annual Economic Summit
DRUGS DON’T WORK
Prime Time In Valdosta
Business Outlook Breakfast
STAR Banquet and EAGLE Awards
It’s not too early to make your reservation for our 2015 events! For more information about events, sponsorship opportunities, or ticket information, please call Miranda Moore at (229) 247-8100 ext. 231 or visit www.ValdostaChamber.com.
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CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Leading Businesses. Leading Communities. TM
ur Chamber Business After Hours event 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 Miranda Moore at (229) 247-8100 ext. 231 or email@example.com.
VALDOSTA-LOWNDES DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY The ValdostaLowndes Development Authority hosted Business After Hours on Aug. 28, showcasing its new location to members. The event offered tailgateinspired food, drinks and games to nearly 300 members.
SOUTHEASTERN FEDERAL CREDIT UNION Southeastern Federal Credit Union opened its doors to Chamber members for a Business After Hours on Sept. 9. More than 300 members gathered to enjoy great food and networking opportunities. The event featured a food drive to benefit Second Harvest of South Georgia.
SOUTH GEORGIA MEDICAL CENTER South Georgia Medical Center welcomed more than 300 members to its Professional Building on Sept. 30. The Business After Hours event provided delicious food and countless networking opportunities.
VALDOSTA MEDICAL CLINIC Valdosta Medical Clinic celebrated its 25th anniversary with a Business After Hours on Oct. 9. This event offered great food, networking opportunities and live music to more than 300 members and guests.
RAINWATER CONFERENCE CENTER The Rainwater Conference Center, Office Environments & Services, Inc., PruittHealth Hospice, Adel Outfitters, and Stellar Photo Booth Rentals partnered to put on a unique Business After Hours event on Oct. 30. The Western Ghost Town theme had nearly 300 members dressed in Western wear. The event featured live music, contests, wonderful food and lots of opportunities for building member networks.
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DRUGS DON’T WORK is a statewide Drug-Free Workplace program combatting substance abuse in the workplace in Georgia. A regional partnership of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce and Adel-Cook • Ashburn-Turner Douglas-Coffee • Lakeland-Lanier Moultrie-Colquitt • Quitman-Brooks Worth County-Sylvester • Berrien County Chambers of Commerce
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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 more than 85 years, we’ve helped bring jobs and investment to the state – more than 113,000 jobs and $23.6 billion capital investment over the past decade alone. ECONDEVGA @ SOUTHERNCO . COM
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For complete information contact:
Mike Stalvey (229) 247-8100 ext. 227 416 N. Ashley Street • Valdosta, GA 31601 or email: mstalvey@ValdostaChamber.com
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