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2009 Chamber Business Plan

Jeff Hanson (Park Avenue Bank),
Chairman of the Board


  • Finance Committee will ensure fiscal responsibility
  • IMPACT 2012 Oversight Committee will ensure fiscal and program accountability
  • Chamber CEO and staff will oversee high standards in office administration and technology management
  • Community Public Education Foundation Organization Committee (Minister Leroy Butler, Woodlawn Forrest Church of Christ, Chairman) will oversee the creation of the Foundation, to be accomplished by April 2009

Business Expansion Division - Terri Lupo
(Georgia Power), Vice Chairman

TBEC: Targeted Business Expansion Committee (Chairman: Bill DeCoudres, Guardian Bank)

■Facilitate the creation of 200 new jobs for college and university graduates
■Help build a community that is attractive to knowledge-based businesses through the Metro In Motion Speaker Series
■Increase average weekly wages to 85th in the state by 2012
■Create Business Accelerator Task Force
■Continue to support and carry out the goals of targeted business clusters:

Information Technology
Increase community awareness of existing information technology service providers
Environmental Technology
Increase community awareness of existing environmental technology providers
Medical Services & Support
Partner with local education centers to enhance awareness of local career opportunities
VALET: Valdosta And Lowndes Expansion Team (Chairman: Jodi Doss, Jodi’s Accessories)

■Develop and enhance “No Wrong Door” philosophy
■Host Business Outlook 2009
■Host annual Commercial Lenders Breakfast
■Increase participation at Valdosta Networking Professionals (leads groups)

Member Services Division - David Newbern
(U.S. Press Direct), Vice Chairman


■Increase Chamber membership from 1,546 to 1,556
■Increase membership retention rate from 87.5% to 88%
■Increase second year renewals of members still in business from 62% to 75%
■Increase new members who seek information from S.E.E.D.S. Center from 60% to 75%
■Increase Chamber 101 attendance from 50% to 75%

Marketing Committee (Chairman: Phyllis Royal, Full Circle Marketing)
■Utilize the Chamber’s E-publications to keep members informed of upcoming events and activities
■Utilize in-kind media investments in IMPACT 2012 as effectively as possible
■Expand coverage of programs and activities through press releases, media advisories and ‘Friday Story Ideas’

Ambassadors Committee (Chairman: Jerry Kozuch, South Georgia Vein Center)
■Conduct 75 Ribbon Cuttings and Ground Breakings
■Host four Early Bird Breakfasts, with an average of 200 in attendance
◦Salute to Minority-Owned Businesses
◦Salute to Small Businesses
◦Salute to World Class Employees
◦Salute to Manufacturers
■Host 9 Business After Hours
■Host Mid-Year Membership Meeting with 150 in attendance
■Host Business<2>Business Showcase with 85 vendors and 700 visitors
■Host Moody Appreciation Fun Fair with 75 vendors and 3,000 visitors

Existing Industry Committee (Chairman: Marcie Dennard, Park Avenue Bank)
■Conduct 15th annual BREP survey
■Coordinate Salute to Manufacturers Month in November
■Assist manufacturers with labor availability and quality issues
■Host an annual meeting that brings together local plant managers (Chairman: Larry Culligan, Union Tank Car)

DRUGS DON'T WORK IN SOUTH GEORGIA (Chairman: Katinka Hicks, American Drill Bushings)
■Increase retention from 96% to 98%
■Increase DDW membership net gain of 5 new members
■Increase number of service providers from 4 to 8

Economic Development Division - Tom Gooding
(Elliot, Blackburn, Barnes & Gooding), Vice Chairman

Home Grown Entrepreneurs Program Advisory Board (Chairman: Terri Lupo, Georgia Power)

■Identify 10 ‘second-stage’ growth companies and determine needed resources
■Identify needed steps to create Business Capital Champions
■Coordinate annual BIG Thinker Award
■Coordinate Entrepreneurs In Action Resource Fair with 25 vendors and 200 visitors
■Develop an RFP for a business incubator feasibility study

S.E.E.D.S. Center of South Georgia
■Provide service to 600 clients in the 7-county service area
■Assist 25 entrepreneurs in successfully starting a new business
■Expand and improve database, tracking system and communication with entrepreneurs
■Enhance S.E.E.D.S. Center Web site visibility
■Submit 3 applications for grant funding

Professional Consultants Program (Chairman: Greg Reid, Edward Jones)
■Provide 85 hours of free consultation to entrepreneurs and small businesses
■Recruit 12 new Consultants
■Pair 15 consultants with Business Plan Competition participants

Business Plan Competition
■Recruit 30 contestants for the 2009 award
■Enhance prize package
■Add new competition partners

Small Business Owners Network (Chairman: Anne Barnas, SmithBarnas & Associates)
■Coordinate monthly meetings of owners of small businesses (i.e., 15 or fewer employees) to discuss common challenges and opportunities
■Administer quarterly surveys to identify resources for small business owners

Triple Crown Hometowns
■Attract and relocate 80 retiree households
■Expand community and national awareness of TCH

Partnership For Regional Development (Chairman: Jodi Doss, Jodi's Accessories.)
■Coordinate three lunch meetings with a speaker focusing on economic development for business and government leaders in a 6-county South Georgia Region

Public Affairs Division - Tim Jones
(Citizens Community Bank), Vice Chairman

Government Affairs Council (Chairman: Paula Goff, SMITH Northview Hospital)
Federal Legislative Committee (Chairman: Sally Bloom, Medicom)
State Legislative Committee (Chairman: Sherry Wood, Circuitboard Computers & Technology)
Local Legislative Committee (Chairman: Tom Putnam, Langdale Industries)

  • Identify Federal, State and Local legislative issues that impact the local business community, and aggressively promote those issues with elected officials
  • Coordinate activities such as the Washington, D.C. Trip, Legislative Eye-Opener Breakfast, and Legislative Overview Lunch to make members aware of business development issues
  • Coordinate “Get Out the Vote” message
  • Military Affairs Committee (Chairman: Brian Geary, ACE Electric)
  • ■Host 3 Red Carpet Parties to welcome Moody’s leadership to the community
  • ■Represent the business community at all Right Start Programs
  • ■Participate in Sports Day

Workforce Development Division - Greg Justice
(Regal Marine), Vice Chairman

B.E.S.T. (Business/Education Support Team) (Chairman: David Newbern, U.S. Press Direct)

■Recruit 10 businesses to use ‘Make Education Work’ as a hiring tool
■Co-sponsor the annual Sam’s Club Literacy Fair
■With community leaders and educators
■Coordinate Executive Partnership with school administrators and business executives
■Present CHOICES to 1,300 students

Workforce Development Committee (Chairman: Greg Justice, Regal Marine)
■Present “Helping Your Child Succeed” program to 24 businesses and/or 400 parents in the workplace
■Promote Work Ready program to businesses
■Conduct four Boot Camp Workshops for Supervisors■Create a campaign that promotes No Diploma/No Job, HYCS, MEW, Work

Ready, and Specialist CertificatesWorld Class Employee Recognition Program (Chairman: Sherry Zipperer, First State Bank & Trust)
■Recruit 35 nominations
■Present four $1,500 awards to employees with outstanding work ethics
■Coordinate Salute to World Class Employees Early Bird Breakfast
■Initiate 2009 awards for World Class Employers (Small, Medium and Large)

MetroOne Network
(Co-Chairman: Emily Browining (Fowler, Holley, Rambo & Stalvey, PC) & Erika Biddix (MAC Meetings and Event, LLC)
■Encourage diverse social interaction among young professionals
■Provide personal and professional development opportunities for young professionals
■Support the development and marketing of new and existing businesses targeted towards the young professional market