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.
Although a city staple with historic roots, your local Chamber not only embraces but welcomes change!
With a goal of staying up to date with Valdosta’s growth and today’s trends, the Chamber has begun implementing several changes to their business plan by updating their resources and methods of outreach.
For nearly 50 years, the Chamber produced an annual printed publication called Progress Magazine that outlined updates and trends in the community. To better suit their audience and their on-the-go lifestyles, this publication has stepped into the 21st century.
As of this year, Progress Magazine has officially rebranded to Progress Digital, a fully online quarterly report. In it’s new digital form, the magazine can be shared instantly between parties and platforms and viewed on the go.
“Making Progress a digital publication has allowed us to reach countless more viewers. It also gave them instant access to online resources,” explained Lauren Pope, Director of Communications & Marketing for the Chamber.
The first page of Progress Digital includes an “interactive key” showing readers how to fully utilize what the new digital publication has to offer. Different icons will take you to a photo album, a web page or email address when clicked on.
The same smart phone that can view Progress can also be used with the Chamber’s new mobile texting feature. Anyone can text “JOINVLCC” to 72727 to receive an instant membership quote. Chamber members can also be set up with this feature for their own business.
Furthering capitalizing on new media, the Chamber has been more active than ever on social media platforms including Facebook and Instagram.
“You can never underestimate the power of social media,” Pope expressed. “People are finally starting to recognize the Chamber by our social media presence.”
Nearly 3,000 people follow the Chamber on Facebook alone and the numbers continue to climb quickly.
These changes are only the beginning for the Chamber. Follow along with them on social media and by checking out this quarter’s issue of Progress Digital atwww.valdostachamber.com and look for Chamber Publications.
Good morning. I’m earlier than usual, but I hope you can tune in. It’s 8 a.m. instead of 8:30 and I’m filming from my car. Oddly enough this is one of my favorite places to be on a Tuesday morning. Every other week we are invited to Talk 92.1, the Scott James Show, to talk about the Chamber and what it’s doing. That kind of ties in to part 4 of the four prongs of the Chamber which is promoting. We are huge advocates for your business in every avenue of the media, but we wouldn’t be able to do that without our Media Cares Partner and Talk 92.1 is one of those. Our Media Cares Partner is a group of media that gives us in kind sponsorships for advertising. Some of our partners include: Fairway Outdoor, WALB, Talk 92.1, Motion Wave, Fusion Creative Marketing and tons of others. I will be posting a picture today listing our fabulous Media Cares Partners’. We could not do what we do to promote your business without them. I won’t keep you guys, but I want you to tune in to 92.1FM, the Scott James Show, we will have our 2017 board chairman James McGahee as well as our 2016 board chairman Michael Lee on the show. They will fill you in on what’s going on so tune in and enjoy. Have a great day!
Good Morning and Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you guys are having a good week so far. This morning I’m going to talk to you a little bit about part 3 of the 4 prongs of the Chamber. Over the past 2 weeks we’ve talked about the advocacy efforts of the Chamber, building your business through the Chamber and today we’re going to talk about connecting. Connecting is a quintessential part of the Chamber, any good chamber does that for you, but we try to take it to the next level. We offer so many networking events, meetings, and so much more. We offer events such as Business after Hours and Another Cup with the Chamber which can be seen as the morning version of Business after Hours. We also offer the Link and Valdosta Networking Professionals. Valdosta Networking Professionals actually meets noon today at Wooden Nickel Pub. So if you’re looking for a way to connect with professionals in the area, you’re new to the area, or you just haven’t quite figured out the direction you want to go with a business make sure you go hang out with them. Taylor Hutchinson is the chairmen for that organization; they are a great group of people. The Link meets at the Chamber on Thursdays. If you’re interested in either of those groups you can contact Betty Morgan, SEEDS Business Resource Center director. For other Chamber networking opportunities check out our calendar at www.valdostachamber.com. Here you will find tons of things that are offered to you to help you get involved in the community. We have the Chamber Annual Awards coming Feb. 23 and that’s also a great way to network. Tickets are still available for the Chamber Annual Awards and you can contact me if you are interested. So make sure you check out our events and come hang with us. For the most part events are free, but every so often we have an admission fee for things such as the Chamber Annual Awards. So contact me if you have any questions and we look forward to seeing you. Have a great day!
If you don’t know me already, I’m Kaitlyn Redish and I’m the Communications Coordinator here at the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce and I’m Betty Morgan and I’m the Director of the SEEDS Business Resource Center. So if you’re not a member of the SEEDS Business Resource Center Facebook Page, which you should be, you’re probably not aware that Betty and I are going to start doing some Facebook Live Videos. I’ll be live every Tuesday morning at 8:30 and Ms. Betty will be live every Thursday morning at 8:30 just to give you guys a little bit of insight on the benefits to being a chamber member as well as some tips and tricks on networking and what the SEEDS Business Resource Center can offer you whether you’re a chamber member or not. So join us on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:30 and bring your coffee because we love coffee. We also welcome questions and we’ll hopefully be able to get you some answers right away, if not afterwards. So this morning I want to start by telling you a little bit about the Chamber. There are 4 parts to the Chamber: The advocacy, the building, the connecting, and the promoting. We’re going to start today by telling you a little bit about the advocacy efforts. Whether you’re a chamber member or not the Chamber is working for you every single day at the local, state and federal levels as the voice of business for you because obviously you guys are busy as business owners and entrepreneurs. We want to work for you so if you’ll stay tuned and tune in on Tuesdays and Thursdays hopefully we can convince Ms. Myrna, President of the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce and also a registered lobbyist, to come chat with us. We’ll have her kind of give you guys a feel for what’s going on in the area and how the advocacy efforts can affect you daily so tune in on Thursday right? Absolutely, come join me every Thursday morning at 8:30. We have a great number of resources that we can offer you and if you don’t know about them you don’t know how to use them; so give us a try. Yes, absolutely, we’ll see you Thursday. Have a great day.
VALDOSTA, GA- The Chamber would like to announce its 2017 Chairman’s Circle Members and thank them for their investment in the Chamber.
“Chairman’s Circle members invest membership dues above-and-beyond regular dues that allow the Chamber to provide above-and-beyond service to all of our members,” explained Chamber president Myrna Ballard. “Our Government Affairs Council could not do the work that it does without this supplemental investment, for example. Neither would several new programs, such as the Valdosta Business & University Alliance, be possible without the additional investment of our Chairman’s Circle members.”
The Chairman’s Circle is the most exclusive membership that the Chamber offers. The Chairman’s Circle is comprised of 12 of the top businesses in Valdosta and provides a foundation that allows the Chamber to be actively involved in the Valdosta-Lowndes area.
The Chairman’s Circle was created in 2013 and businesses like Citizens Community Bank and First State Bank & Trust took part in the founding of the membership level. Joining the two businesses as inaugural businesses are Ameris Bank, Georgia Power, Southeastern Credit Union, Southwest Georgia Bank, Fresh Beginnings/eLead1, SGMC, and Valdosta State University.
VALDOSTA, GA – The Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce held an unveiling party last night to honor the individuals and companies who supported the Chamber’s “Investing For The Next Century” capital campaign in 2015. The campaign raised nearly $600,000 to make improvements to the Barber House and to help support the SEEDS Business Resource Center.
Guests were treated to a candlelight buffet provided by Covington’s Catering as more than 100 donors toured the house. Carla Penny, Chairman of the Barber Trust Advisory Board, welcomed the group and invited them to witness the improvements and celebratory plaques denoting their investment. Improvements included: newly remodeled bathrooms, a new roof, exterior paint, a new website for the SEEDS Business Resource Center and funds for the Business Incubator Study. Work on the Barber House is fifty percent complete, with more interior work and landscaping left to be done.
In addition to the 69 name plaques, were portraits of two local business leaders. Stifel commissioned a portrait honoring Johnny B. Lastinger, former Executive Vice President of the Chamber and founder of Valdosta Magazine and the W.P. “Billy” Langdale Foundation made a generous donation to the Chamber honoring its namesake. Members of the W.P. Langdale family were present to unveil the portrait, which “will hang in the Barber House as long as it stands,” said James McGahee, Chamber Board member.
The Barber House is on the National Register of Historic Places and is open to the public for complimentary tours Monday through Friday.
VALDOSTA, GA – The Valdosta- Lowndes Chamber of Commerce co-hosted the 2016 Meet the Candidates event last night along with the HomeBuilders Association of South Georgia and the Valdosta Board of REALTORS®.
Candidates running for office in the upcoming general election had the opportunity to share their platforms with over 150 in attendance at Mathis City Auditorium. The evening began with a “meet and greet” where voters could pick up t-shirts, yard signs, and other promotional materials for the candidate or candidates of their choice.
Members of the community were encouraged to vote in the upcoming election. Registration was made easy and available, for those not already registered, at the Board of Elections table before and after the program.
Meet The Candidates is sponsored by the Chamber’s President's Partners. Media sponsors include: The Valdosta Daily Times and Talk 92.1.
Please remember, Election Day is Tuesday, November 8, early voting is October 17- November 4, and the last day to register to vote in the November elections is October 11.
VALDOSTA, GA – A small group of entrepreneurs and small business owners from the Valdosta- Lowndes County area met Thursday morning with U.S. Representative Austin Scott at the Chamber of Commerce.
Congressman Scott used this opportunity to listen and discuss how the federal government can further assist the small business owners and entrepreneurs. A recurring theme during the discussion was finances: financing as it applies to employer provided insurance for employees, financing for not for profit businesses, and financing for extended education for small business owners.
Various business sectors were in attendance, bringing to the table for discussion a number of sources on the improvements and concerns of entrepreneurs such as solar energy source manufacturers, non-profit organizations, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, agriculture, architecture and business development and consulting firms. Congressman Scott strongly advocates for small business and understands what business owners put on the line for their businesses every day.
“It’s always great to be in Valdosta and to visit with our local innovators and small business people. Our community is full of entrepreneurs with ambition and ideas that will grow our economy. They just need the federal government to stay out of their way so they can succeed. I will continue to work to reduce burdensome regulations and help create a climate where businesses in the Eighth District, and across the United States, can thrive,” said Congressman Scott.
If you would like more information on Congressman Austin Scott please visit https://austinscott.house.gov/.
Maximilian James Wang, a high school senior at Lowndes High School, has been named the 2016 Region Winner PAGE STAR Student for PAGE STAR Region 10. The announcement was made today by PAGE Director of Human Resources Gayle Wooten. Wang selected Mrs. Jennifer Graybeal, AP microeconomics teacher at Lowndes High School, as his STAR teacher.
The PAGE Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program, now in its 58th year, is sponsored, administered and promoted by the PAGE Foundation, the charitable arm of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators. Other region-level sponsors include the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Price Gilbert, Jr. Charitable Fund. Since its inception, the STAR program has honored more than 25,500 students and the teachers they have selected as having had the most influence on their academic achievement. To obtain the 2016 STAR nomination, high school seniors must have the highest score on a single test date on the three-part SAT and be in the top 10 percent or top 10 students of their class based on grade point average.
STAR begins each year in participating high schools throughout Georgia when the STAR Student is named and chooses a STAR Teacher to share in this recognition. The students and their teachers are honored by their schools and receive special recognition in their communities from one of the more than 165 statewide civic organizations and businesses that serve as local sponsors of the STAR program. Students then compete for school system titles, and those winners compete for region honors. Region winners compete for the honor of being named State PAGE STAR Student. The Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber organizes the Region 10 event in Valdosta, with the help of presenting sponsor, Smith Drug Company.
“We are very proud of Max and Mrs. Graybeal and the academic excellence they exemplify at Lowndes High School,” said Bruce Allred, with director of operations at Smith Drug Company. “They not only represent their school, but they represent our entire community. We are thrilled that their outstanding work has been recognized as part of this prestigious program.”
As a 501(c)(3) organization, the PAGE Foundation supports PAGE, encouraging and receiving charitable gifts that advance the association’s core business and PAGE Foundation programs such as PAGE STAR, PAGE Foundation Scholarships, the PAGE Academic Bowl for Middle Grades, the PAGE Georgia Academic Decathlon and PAGE TV. To learn more about the PAGE Foundation and to donate, please visit http://www.pagefoundation.org.
The Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE), the parent organization of the PAGE Foundation, is a statewide professional association of more than 90,000 teachers, administrators and support personnel. PAGE provides professional learning to enhance competence and confidence, build leadership and increase student achievement, while providing the best membership, legislative and legal services and support.