The Chamber Ambassadors honored The Valdosta Daily Times as the Leading Business of the Week for November 4, 2019.
The Valdosta Daily Times has been serving the community for 150 years. They are proud to deliver local, community news along with sports, entertainment and lifestyles.
Through the years, The VDT has made it a priority to keep up with the times. Aside from their daily, printed paper, they produce a variety of magazines, have a fully digital paper and are active on social media. Their website is constantly updated with the most recent stories, podcasts, videos, photos and more.
With their presence in both printed and digital platforms, The VDT is able to appeal to all kinds.
“Our print and online platforms reach 83% of our core market,” reports Jeff Masters, Publisher of the Valdosta Daily Times.
The newspaper works diligently to be transparent with the community on how they do business. They live stream story planning and editorial board meetings and provide looks behind scenes of their stories they publish.
“This is part of our approach to invite the community to be a part of their community newspaper,” Masters added.
The VDT is a vital part of the community serving as a watchdog, encourager, informer and many more roles. While there are many challenges to maintain a local newspaper, these roles and ever changing needs outweigh them.
The Valdosta Daily Times has been a member of the Chamber since 1957 and maintains a close relationship that is mutually beneficial.
“The impact of what the Chamber does for us directly by being a business partner, offering referrals, providing information as well as a multitude of opportunities to participate in community events is unsurpassed. We know if we need something we can reach out and the Chamber is ready to assist,” Masters explains.
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.
For more information on the Valdosta Daily Times, call them at 229-244-3400.
The Chamber Ambassadors honored Valdosta Premier Counseling LLC with a ribbon cutting ceremony on November 1, 2019.
Valdosta Premier Counseling LLC is a therapy clinic committed to empowering their clients so that they cope with the stresses of everyday life. Aside from therapeutic services, VPC also offers EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing) treatment, a certified trauma assessor, perinatal mental health counseling and couples counseling.
The clinic has 4 main practitioners, Regina Wisenbaker, LCSW, Paris Shields, LCSW, Holly Wingate, LPC and Ashley Shapiro, LCSW. They are all certified in either social work or professional counseling. According to office manager Katie Bridges, they are all passionate about helping the citizen of Valdosta.
“We love knowing that we are helping someone during a difficult time in their life and knowing we have made a positive impact that will improve their quality of life.” Bridges said.
Bridges also shared that the unique experiences of the staff helps them to treat a variety of clients, and the company decided to hold the ribbon cutting to spread the word about all they offer.
“With our diverse therapist and staff, we have firsthand experience with a range of areas such as cultural, ethnic, adoption, fertility issues and different family dynamics. We are even owned by a disabled veteran and have a current military spouse in our office.” She said.
Valdosta Premier Counseling is a proud member of the Chamber.
“Since joining the Chamber, we have had the opportunity to meet some amazing people and make some great contacts to help us achieve our goal of being involved business for the community.” She said.
For more information about Valdosta Premier Counseling, visit 3316 Bemiss Rd or call (229) 262-7333.
The Chamber’s primary purpose is to advocate for local business, help them build strong foundations and provide networking opportunities. To accomplish this, the Chamber has reached into the heart of the community and hired three part-time employees who are students at Valdosta State University.
All current part-time employees are not just students at VSU, but are deeply invested in their campus. Their campus and community involvement drew them to the Chamber.
Tyler Tucker is a former community service coordinator at VSU who has been employed part-time by the Chamber as its Government Affairs Assistant for five months.
“Throughout my daily activities, I am tasked with managing and enhancing the VoterVoice database functionality used by Chamber members, monitoring critical pieces of business-related legislation, and assisting the Chamber President with activities associated with the Government Affairs Council.” Tucker said.
Additionally, Tucker also helps to coordinate trips and programs such as the annual Legislative Lunch, Meet the Candidates, Members to be Heard sessions, GAC meetings and Washington, D.C. trips.
“Working at the Chamber has given me the perspective of working as a legislative assistant, project manager, researcher, event coordinator, graphic designer, and much more,” Tucker added.
Tucker is not the only part-time help at the Chamber; Bryan Tillman has been a Communications and Administrative Assistant for the Chamber for over a year while balancing his classes and being the assistant cheerleading coach for VSU.
“I coordinate for the Leading Business of the Week spotlights and Ribbon Cuttings. I am also responsible for writing the press releases for events, and I assist with the administration and operations for the Chamber,” Tillman said.
Tillman hopes his presence is a helpful one at the Chamber.
“The best part of the job is interacting with the public and being able to make someone smile. I hope to inform others with knowledge of the Chamber and how they can benefit from our exceptional resources,” Tillman added.
Another VSU student who is contributing to the success of the Chamber is Chandler Davis, the Business Development Assistant. His focus is split between advising local business interested in the Valdosta area and coordinating the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!).
“I deal with all the demographic and infographic information for business owners that want to discover income ratio, the market and things of that nature. As for YEA!, I help kids ages 11-18, start their own business. By the end of the program, they’re business owners!” Davis said.
Davis hopes to acquire the skill set necessary to take his talents to the corporate sector.
The Chamber could not complete their daily tasks near as efficiently without these three. They are grateful for this connection with VSU.
The Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber kicked off its third year of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) on October 15th with a record breaking 17 students! These students, ages 11 to 18, have a keen drive to launch and run their own, real business and represent Valdosta City Schools, Lowndes County Schools, Open Bible Christian School, Valwood School and Cook County High School.
Throughout the year, students will work in close cooperation with local business leaders, community leaders and educators. These individuals use their personal experiences to demonstrate how to develop business ideas and objectives, write a business plan, pitch to investors, obtain funding, register with governmental agencies, establish e-commerce and a web presence. By the end of the academic year, students own and operate fully-formed and functioning businesses, which may be continued after their graduation from the program.
“The Chamber is so excited to offer this forward-thinking program,” expressed Betty Morgan, YEA! Program Director. “We believe in providing the means to encourage these young students to embrace their creativity and passions and hope that empowering them at such a young age will inspire them to do even greater things in the future.”
Classes are held every Tuesday from 5-8pm at Valdosta State University’s Langdale College of Business and instructed by Vicki Layne.
The YEA! students will continue their classes through the spring and finish the year with a “Shark Tank”-style pitch in front of an investors panel and compete for real start-up money.
None of this could be accomplished without the support of local businesses. Local businesses have embraced this program, providing all 17 students with scholarships.
For more information on the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, contact Betty Morgan at 229-247-8100 ext 234.
The Chamber Ambassadors honored Your CBD Store, Valdosta with a ribbon cutting on October 30, 2019 to celebrate their grand opening and provided education in the Valdosta-Lowndes community about CBD products.
Established by Dr. Shane and Kristen Sikes, Your CBD Store is devoted to helping their customers find the product to help their needs in a comfortable and welcoming environment.
“We are the only dedicated CBD retail store in Valdosta,” said Dr. Kristen Sikes. “We are committed to helping each customer find what fits their needs, and CBD products come in various forms and dosages to help meet those needs. We have created a warm, friendly environment where one can sit down and feel comfortable asking questions.”
Dr. Shane and Kristen Sikes are passionate about educating the community on the benefits of CBD while offering a natural option to help the needs of people.
Dr. Sikes stated, “We love this business because we are different. Our products are high quality, our products and our brand are transparent. We have created a space where people can come in and speak with us one on one and leave knowing they can contact us any time with any additional questions or concerns. We get to share and educate our community on the therapeutic benefits of CBD and offer a natural option to help meet their needs.”
Your CBD Store are proud and excited new members of the Chamber.
“We have made connections with businesses who have been able to be an excellent referral source for us and us for them,” said Dr. Sikes. “We have gotten out of our comfort zone and been able to network and build relationships. We have used the SEEDS Center to provide information to help us market as well. We are excited about the possibilities!”
According to Dr. Sikes, Your CBD Store recently won awards for the best CBD tincture and best CBD pain cream.
For more information about Your CBD Store visit 1810 Plum Street, Suite G or call 229-333-8262.