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100 Years of Growing a Greater Community
by Chamber News on July 25th, 2014

The Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber dedicated its 100th Centennial Tree to its first 100 Chairmen of the Chamber Board of Directors on Wednesday in a ceremony attended by some of the community’s most prominent professionals.

Carla Penny, Chairwoman of the Centennial Tree Project Committee, greeted many of the Chamber’s former chairmen of the Board of Directors, thanking them for their service and contribution to the community. Penny acknowledged the significance of the honorees of the Centennial Trees, noting also that the Live Oaks contribute to the beauty of Valdosta. The trees can be found on St. Augustine Road between Hwy. 84 and the Industrial Park as well as along the Gornto Road extension.

Tim Jones, Chairman of the Chamber Board in its centennial year was also present to laud those who have served to grow and strengthen the community. “A chamber of commerce is simply a business network that operates through membership to help make business better in a given region or community,” said Jones. “Our Chamber has accomplished a great deal since inception. How do we get even better and reach new heights as a business community?” he asks. “This is your Chamber of commerce. Get involved and be heard. The most productive times that a chamber can have is when the majority of the membership is participating, giving feedback or suggestions, and communicating clearly on initiatives.”

Jones says it’s not enough for the Chamber Board, president and staff to put effort into community collaboration. “We, the membership, have to be engaged to get the kind of economic success that we can all enjoy. The sky is the limit for our community in the future if we all put a little more skin in the game and participate whenever possible,” Jones said. “I have no doubt that we will be highly successful as a business/social community over the next 100 years!”

Valdosta, like the trees planted as a part of this project, has grown tremendously in the past [DSC_2340] century through the joint efforts of the Chamber and other leading local organizations. “The Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce has positively impacted the economic development and growth of our city and MSA for over 100 years through a strong collaboration with local governments, businesses and other area organizations,” said Valdosta Mayor John Gayle. “The addition of these attractive Centennial trees in our community are symbolic reminders of the strong role the Chamber has played in our community’s success—something we expect will continue into the future of this fine community.”

The stone marking the Centennial Magnolia was donated by Tyson McLane of Carson McLane Funeral Home to commemorate the service of the first hundred Chairmen of the Chamber Board of Directors.

The first 100 Chairmen of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors are:

1912-1914       J.T. Blalock

1915-1918       J.J. Newman

1919                J.F. McCrackin

1920-1922       J.T. Mathis

1923                F.W. Webb

1924-1925       J.M. Smith

1926-1928       J.R. Dasher

1929-1930       A.G. Cleveland

1931-1932       A.J. Little

1933-1935       J.D. Ashley

1936                P.C. Pendleton

1937                S.D. Register

1938-1939       H.G. Caldwell

1940-1941       E.P. Bass

1942                M.F. Ellinor

1943                P.G. Walker

1944                Harley Langdale, Jr.

1945                Wm. H. Harwick

1946                Arthur H. French

1947-1948       George B. Cook

1949                L.O. Smith

1950                Emil Girardin

1951                James L. Dowling

1952                Bert Glisson

1953-1954       J.W. Blanchard

1955                Don Nichols

1956                L.J. Mederer

1957                John Lastinger

1958                Comer Cherry

1959                B.H. Roberts

1960-1961       C.W. Warner

1962-1963       John Langdale

1964-1965       A.L. Dean

1966-1967       Roger Budd

1968                W.C. Banks, Jr.

1969                Courtney Foy

1970                Donald T. Schutt

1971                Tenney Griffin

1972                Joe Lee

1973                Loyce Turner

1974                Walt Carter

1975                Bill Amos

1976                Joe Cordova

1977                Paul Sanders

1978                Tyson McLane

1979                Wade Coleman

1980                Bill Holland

1981                George Powell

1982                Wendell Godbee

1983                Gerald L. Rainey

1984                Tommy Hatcher

1985                H. Arthur McLane

1986                Wally Colson

1987                Owen Harris

1988                Clarence Heidemann

1989                Ed Crane

1990                John R. Sessions

1991                Jewel Ivey

1992                Brad Burnette

1993                D.K. Hollis

1994                Stan Fillion

1995                Thompson Kurrie

1996                Glenn Copeland

1997                Lena Bosch

1998                Curtis Fowler

1999                Bill DeCoudres

2000                Bill Cowart

2001                Quillian Powell

2002                M.F. Campbell, Jr.      

2003                Andy Deal

2004                Jud Rackley

2005                Jennifer Powell

2006                Tim Carroll

2007                Nick Valenti

2008                Walter Hobgood

2009                Jeff Hanson

2010                Terri Lupo

2011                Tom Gooding

2012                Tim Jones

2013                Jay Prince

2014                Carl Holley    

To view pictures of the ceremony, click HERE. For more information about the Centennial Tree Project and the efforts of the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber, please call 229-247-8100.

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