A partnership agreement has been reached between Troy University and the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce that provides a 10% tuition scholarship and waives application fees for employees of the Chamber and their member-businesses of 150 and fewer employees. This non-exclusive agreement gives smaller member-businesses the ability to provide a valuable employee education benefit at no cost to their business.
Troy University’s Albany Area Coordinator, Keith Gaines, says “We are thrilled to partner with the Chamber in a way that enhances their member benefits.”
“This is a wonderful benefit for our Chamber members and their employees,” said Myrna Ballard, President of the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber. “The partnership with Troy University provides education and training opportunities to our current workforce, with the benefit of no application fee and a 10% tuition scholarship. Employers who want to encourage their workers to up-skill now have an added incentive to offer.”
Employees of Chamber member-businesses should contact their employer or the Chamber for partnership access information or contact Keith Gaines directly at firstname.lastname@example.org (tel. 229-352-6344).
Troy University is a 126-year-old traditional, fully accredited, public university located in Troy, Alabama with additional campuses in Dothan, Phenix City, and Montgomery. A pioneer in distance-learning with the military since the 1950s, TROY currently offers 70 undergraduate and graduate academic degree programs with numerous concentration options fully online.
The Chamber and Renasant Bank presented Plants, Plants, Plants with the November Small Business of The Month Award.
Plants, Plants, Plants was started by owner Laurelee Wilkerson in 1992 with the aim of providing interior decorating to the Valdosta community. Instead of arranging furniture and picking color schemes, Wilkerson decided to specialize in using plants.
“Designing and supplying plantscapes enhances any environment, thereby improving its air quality and beauty. It is proven to increase health, productivity and morale, and it enriches a comfortable environment for employees, clients, and customers.” Wilkerson said.
The company provides plants to many of the residential and commercial areas of Valdosta, as well as making the floral arrangements for events such as weddings. The selection of plants can be bought or leased, and Wilkerson works to maintain her patrons’ plants on a weekly basis.
“You must have an extensive knowledge of plants’ varieties. Its survivability includes feeding, nutrients and maintenance, and I have do this for a diverse assortment of clients.” She said.
Wilkerson said the best part of her job is being involved with the community and making a difference.
“I help maintain the local schools’ gardens through the Master Gardening Program. I have taught the art of growing plants to many clubs, organization and school children of all ages. In my spare time, I’m active with the Cancer Society and help organize survivor events. I am also active with the Southeastern Citrus Growers.” She said.
Plant, Plants, Plants is a proud member of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce, citing their efforts to spread awareness of her services as key to keeping the company running.
“I am honored to be a member of this Chamber. I have been running for 27 years now, and they have been nothing but helpful.” Wilkerson said.
For more information on Plant, Plants, Plants, visit 4094 Hayes Road or call 229-560-3646.
Chicken Salad Chick hosted the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) students on Tuesday, November 19th at 5pm at their restaurant located at 3219B North Oak Street for a behind the scenes look at what it takes to run a thriving restaurant.
Julie North, co-owner of Chicken Salad Chick Valdosta shared with the students how the franchise was started. Her college friend, co-founder Stacy Brown started the business. She spoke about the roller coaster ride of the highs and lows that affected CSC and can be expected in any new business startup.
Julie stated, “Perseverance is key and you must have a passion for the business! She went on to say, “You cannot just be in the business for the money, you have to love it, if you want your business to grow.”
Julie shared that her employees played a huge part in the overall performance of her store. Her goal is to make sure they are happy and their work environment is that of family.
“Our company is so excited to have these talented young entrepreneurs visit with us. YEA! provides a terrific opportunity for the young people in our community,” said Julie.
In addition to learning about the company’ day to day operation, Julie and her team guided each student on how to form the perfect scoop!
YEA! provides classroom instructions and also introduces students to all types of businesses through field trips as well as variety of executive leaders through guest lectures and business mentorship.
By engaging in this hands-on approach to learning through field trips such as this, students gain a real-world understanding of the dedication it takes to be a business owner.
For more information on YEA! contact Betty Morgan, Program Director at the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber 229-247-8100 ext 234.
The Chamber Ambassadors honored Educate 1 Child with a ribbon-cutting on Tuesday, November 19th to celebrate their establishment in the community and to spread awareness.
E1C is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing resources through community partnerships for early learners, adolescents and their parents.
Dr. Pamela Carter, the psychologist for E1C, stated that their main focus is preparing students for success. This is achieved through workshops, donations, and collaborating with cooperative learning groups.
“Educate 1 Child differs from other nonprofits in our community because our primary focus is early learners (infants to 12 years of age). Our school readiness mission includes the children and the parents alike.” She said.
Carter, an accomplished educator, has received several awards during her time in education. Her business, Tickle ME Pink Daycare & Learning Center recently received the 2019 Small Business of the Year Award presented by the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce, 2018 Georgia Shape School of the Month for the State of Georgia and 2017 Shape Award from the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.
E1C is a proud member of the Chamber.
“The Chamber has brought awareness to the type of childcare we provide to the community. They have provided outstanding networking and community partnership opportunities.” She said.
For more information, you can reach Educate 1 Child at 229-262-1154.
The Chamber Ambassadors honored Mercer Hughes Real Estate Group with a ribbon-cutting on November 7th to celebrate their grand opening and to further connect with the community and potential clients.
MHREG is a full-service real estate firm that works with buyers and sellers on reaching their goals. They also have a property management side to the business that works to maintain positive relations between landlords and tenants.
The business became established when owners Larry Mercer, Jerry Hughes and Dedra Hughes all worked as realtors at the same firm. Owing to their similar ambitions for the industry, the three of them decided to team up and start their own firm that placed an emphasis on exemplary service.
“We want to create an atmosphere where agents and their clients will feel at home in Mercer Hughes.” Hughes said.
“We offer unique social media services as well as a team approach to real estate. Many of our clients will have not one, but two agents helping them to ensure the best quality service.”
MHREG is passionate about serving Valdosta due to their long-standing ties with the community.
“Having served Lowndes County and the surrounding areas helping buyers and sellers for over 20 years as realtors, we never questioned our location. We love it here.” She said.
MHREG is proud to be a member of the Chamber due to them helping the firm reach their two-year goals within six months.
“Our goal is to become a part of the community in many ways possible. The Chamber has been giving us great exposure, and working with them has given us yet another avenue in the way of achieving our goals.” She said.
For more information about Mercer Hughes Real Estate Group, Inc. , 3117 N Oak Street Extension Suite B, Valdosta, Ga 31602 call (229) 262-1388.
The Chamber Ambassadors honored Cass Burch Chrysler as the Leading Business of the Week for October 28, 2019.
Cass Burch Chrysler is an automotive dealer that has been providing vehicles to the citizen of Valdosta and surrounding cities for over 20 years.
Cass Burch Chrysler strives to live up to their motto “stack ‘em deep and sell ‘em cheap” by having one of the largest Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram inventories in South Georgia.
They are also proud to be one of the leading Chrysler dealerships in the nation, winning numerous awards including: JD Power Customer First Award for 2018 & 2019, Best of South Georgia’s Best Place to Buy a New Truck nine times, and the prestigious Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram National Dealer of the Year Award for 2007.
General manager Bobby Joseph said that Cass Burch makes it a priority to give back to Valdosta.
“We partner with Moody AFB Housing to sponsor activities for active military families living in base housing. We partner with Valdosta and Lowndes High Schools to develop “Community Prayer” and “Teacher Appreciation” videos for each school system. We also sponsor Malcom Mitchell’s “Read with Malcolm Program” in area Title 1 schools,” Joseph said.
Joseph made it clear that the business places high emphasis on employee satisfaction to ensure that Chrysler standards are met and that customers will have an easier time with purchasing a vehicle.
“It’s a pleasure and extremely rewarding to be involved in an organization that believes in always doing the right thing regardless of the cost involved.” He said.
Cass Burch Chrysler is a proud member of the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce, citing their positive and “pro-business” influence on the community.
“They have created an awareness in our community that encourages area residents to support and buy from local companies such as ourselves.” He said.
For more information, visit Cass Burch Chrysler at 4164 N Valdosta Rd or call (229) 242-1540.
The Leading Business of the Week program is designed to recognize members who have partnered with the Chamber for at least five years. Marcotek Digital Office Solutions proudly sponsors the 2019 Leading Business of the Week program. For more information visit www.ValdostaChamber.com/Leading-Business-of-the-Week
Hannah Hadley has been chosen to represent Wiregrass Georgia Technical College as the 2020 Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education (EAGLE) Student of the Year. EAGLE is a statewide program that recognizes and rewards excellence among students enrolled in adult education programs. The award was announced on Monday, November 18th at the 23rd annual EAGLE reception sponsored by the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce and ERCO Worldwide.
The EAGLE Award program is a vital component of the Certified Literate Community Program of Georgia, an umbrella organization that brings all sectors of a community together with literacy providers to map out the best use of resources already available. It also seeks to acquire the additional resources necessary to meet local literacy needs.
Hadley will attend the Georgia EAGLE Leadership Institute March 9-11, 2020 in Atlanta. The Leadership Institute recognizes and honors students who have demonstrated superior achievement in adult education classes and programs. The Office of Adult Education (OAE) for the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) sponsors the annual EAGLE Leadership Institute. The finalists including the winner are Hannah Hadley (Brooks County) nominated by Toni Lewis, Charleston Lemon (Coffee County) nominated by Brianna Gillis and Johnathan McMillian (Lowndes County) nominated by Adann-Kennn Alexxandar.
The Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors honored Chancy Drugs as the Leading Business of the Week for November 18, 2019.
Chancy Drugs was established in 1966 by Hubert and Sue Chancy as a single location community pharmacy in their hometown, Hahira, Georgia. Now operating under the leadership of the Chancys' two sons, Hugh and Bert, Chancy Drugs remains a family-owned, locally operated, independent pharmacy business.
Hugh Chancy, in particular, is excited about the direction of the pharmacy.
"We take great pride in being an independent pharmacy. Over 50 years ago, our father founded this business on two principles," Chancy said.
"One, maintaining the highest integrity in every area of business and two, treating every patient like they are a member of our family, and we remain focused on maintaining those two standards today."
Chancy is always looking for new ways to make his customers' lives easier, so Chancy Drugs has recently developed a new program called "Chancy Drug ReadyMed".
"For patients living with complicated chronic conditions, it can be difficult to understand or remember medication instructions." Chancy said. “To help ensure every patient is properly taking the correct medication at the right time every day, Chancy Drugs offers medication synchronization and adherence packaging through the company's VIP program called Chancy Drugs ReadyMed."
Chancy Drugs ReadyMed uses a medication synchronization program designed to help patients save time and eliminate multiple trips to the pharmacy by having all prescriptions filled at the same time every month.
These innovations have led Chancy Drugs to receive numerous accolades, such as winning Best Pharmacy for five years in a row since 2015 at the Best of South Georgia Awards.
Pharmacist Beth Rountree, who works at the location in Hahira, has nothing but glowing reviews for the company.
"Being a member of the Chancy Drugs family for the past 23 years has been a true blessing. The company's core values--caring, committed, and community--embody every reason I wanted to become a pharmacist."
Chancy Drugs is a proud member of the Chamber giving them credit for their lasting success.
"Chancy Drugs has been a member of the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce for many years," said Chancy.
"The Chamber has been instrumental in helping locally owned businesses, like ours, to prosper. They offer many key networking opportunities and resources that promote small businesses in our community, and we are grateful for the support they provide."
For more information about Chancy Drugs visit their main location at 205 E Main Street in Hahira or call (229) 245-9922.
The Chamber Ambassadors honored Gatlin Mortuary with a ribbon-cutting on November 15, 2019 to celebrate becoming members of the Valdosta Chamber and their grand opening in Valdosta.
James Gatlin, the owner, is passionate about helping families get through one of their most difficult times.
“Our business serves families before and after their loss. I love doing what I do because it allows families to trust me with their most precious loved one.” Gatlin said.
Gatlin stated that Valdosta has a special place in his heart.
“I located my business here because I was born and raised in Valdosta. I feel I must give back to my community through funeral service.”
He went on to say that what sets Gatlin Mortuary from other funeral homes is that the staff is built on teamwork and love.
“We are down to earth people that want to help families at their worst times. We display love here at all times.”
Gatlin Mortuary is a proud member of the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce. Gatlin appreciates the Chamber assisting him with the business’s grand opening.
For more information, please call (229) 247-4141 or visit them at 500 E Alden Ave.
The Chamber Ambassadors honored Southern Eggs with a ribbon cutting on November 8, 2019 to celebrate their rebranding and the beginning of a new era.
Once known as The Egg and I, Southern Eggs is a place where lovely dining and southern hospitality meet.
“It’s a place that brings families together around an amazing experience to keep them coming back again and again,” said Owner and General Manager Sara Leff. “I personally love what I do because I get to know the community that makes all of this possible. I love creating experiences for individuals or families that make them leave with a smile.”
Southern Eggs is passionate about providing their guest with a great experience and one that will keep the guest happy.
Leff stated, “Our business offers an upscale breakfast and lunch experience that isn’t necessarily available elsewhere. We focus on guests first and our priority is always making our guests happy.”
Southern Eggs is a proud the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber.
“The Chamber has done wonders for helping us maintain who we are as a business – supporting us in different endeavors, helping us become a “new” restaurant, and let people know what we’re all about,” said Leff.
According to Leff, Southern Eggs is planning to involve their guests by asking their opinions on menu items or seasonal favorites.
For more information about Southern Eggs, visit 2953 A N. Ashley Street or call (229) 253-1210.