Why vote YES??

The Connect River Valley Campaign kicked off in support of the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST) this morning.  The T-SPLOST will appear on the July 31st primary ballot.  You may ask yourself why this is so important–well, there are lots of reasons:

For starters, this T-SPLOST means more jobs, safer roads and local control of transportation. This one percent sales tax is expected to generate about $545 million in this area and will fund several projects over the next ten years in the sixteen county River Valley Region. This capital investment is expected to create over 16,000 jobs.  Projects slated for completion with T-SPLOST funds include the widening of SR 1/US 27 from Turnberry Lane in Columbus to State Road 315 in Harris County, as well as intersection improvements along Buena Vista Road, in an area known as the Columbus Spider Web (see the full list of River Valley projects).

The Connect River Valley Campaign is a committee of local residents who have been working to organize a successful effort to pass the referendum.  Lt. Gen. (R) Carmen Cavezza, Ph.D., former City Manger of Columbus and former Commanding General of Fort Benning, serves as co-chair of the campaign along side Betty Jackson, Vice President of Finance at Columbus Technical College.  Billy Blanchard, Regional Chief Executive Office of Synovus and President & C.E.O. of Columbus Bank and Trust is the campaign treasurer.

“T-SPLOST is the best option that we have in being able to meet our transportation needs for the region,” said Cavezza, committee co-chair.

Here are some more quick facts about why voting YES on July 31st is so important…

The Problems

  • Georgia is the third fastest growing state in the nation, but 49th in per capita spending on transportation.
  • Gas tax revenue, our primary source of transportation funding continues to decrease annually
  • Our roads and bridges continue to get older and are in need of repair
  • The Solution

    On July 31st, voters in our region will have the change to vote YES for a better future with more jobs, safe roads and local control.

    ECONOMIC IMPACT--Our River Valley Region’s projected revenue of $594,061,269 would create 16,040 jobs.

    LOCAL IMPACT75% of total revenue raised in the River Valley Region will go toward the regional project lists and 25% will go back to the cities and counties for local transportation projects. 100% of these funds stay in our area.

    LOCAL CONTROL–Every dollar raised in the local regions will be spent on local projects with local oversight. A local citizens’ accountability committee will be appointed in each region to ensure projects are completed on time and on budget.


  • Vote YES on July 31st
  • Encourage friends, family and co-workers to vote YES
  • Contribute to the Campaign
  • Like  Connect River Valley facebook page & share with your friends
  • Share the T-SPLOST videos on your facebook page
  • Speak to Local Groups
  • Write a letter to the editor
  • Make phone call prior to election day
  • Put signs in your yard
  • Wear a campaign t-shirt
  • Place a bumper sticker on your vehicle
  • For more information call–706-596-7013, visit our page on Facebook and visit the website

    A Few Thoughts About Economic Development

    I’ve come to enjoy working in Economic Development because I find it to be good and noble work. It supports human dignity by creating an opportunity for good jobs. It fosters the common good of the community.

    And when its benefits and opportunities flow to all, especially those most in need, then economic development is not only good work, but a true ministry.

    We must hold on to that vision and resist the cynicism, negatives and frustrations that can sometimes creep in.

    For more perspective, take a minute, read this piece by Georgia Trend editor Susan Percy:  http://www.georgiatrend.com/business-casual/07_11_bizcas.shtml

    Brian Sillitto-Vice President, Economic Development-Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce-The Valley Partnership

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    posted 28 July 2011 : Contact the Columbus, Georgia Chamber of Commerce for assistance.
    º Join Us Today » Request a free Business Analysis Assessment.
    º Or Call Us @ 706.327.1566

    Two Amazing Feats and a day FULL of fun!

    Food, drink, volunteers, sunshine….an abundance of each came together for the annual Chamber Golf Extravaganza on May 6, 2011 at Maple Ridge Golf Course sponsored by B&B Beverage.  The beautiful weather almost upstaged the golf itself.  Over 250 people attended the event co-chaired by Mike Mayhew of Automated Business Machine and Richie Grantham of Sunshine Banners and Signs.  Every tee was sponsored by a Chamber member and food, prizes and goody’s flooded the course.  

    Jay Buick GMC was the Hole in One sponsor for the  Golf Extravaganza. The tournament produced 2 hole in ones! The chances of getting a hole in one are a 1 in 3,000 chance according to Golf Digest. 

    Brent Wright-Hole in One Winner

    Brent Wright (center) was presented Callaway RAZR X irons by Ronnie Carroll (left) of Jay Buick GMC and Mike Gill golf pro at Maple Ridge Golf Course.

    Brent Wright make a hole in one at the 13th hole of the course and won a set of Callaway RAZR X irons presented to him by Jay Buick GMC.  Brent had a lot of support from the crew at Batson Cook, which sponsored hole 13th with a White Water Rafting themed tent that even included kayakers in the lake! 

     Jason Stansell made a hole in one at the 2nd hole and won a 2011 GMC Terrian from Jay GMC.  Jason received the keys to his new car this week.  When asked how his wife reacted when he told her the news, “She didn’t believe me at first, I had to tell her several times for it to sink in.”  

    Jason Stansell Hole in One Winner

    Jason Stansell receives the keys to his new GMC Terrain from Jay Buick GMC. Pictured left to right: Nolan Pendleton, John Roberts, Mike Gill, Ronnie Carroll, Jason Stansell and Amy Askew

    Jason played on the Colony Bank with team members Nolan Pendleton, John Roberts and Brian Williams. Needless to say, the Colony Bank team also walked away the over all winners of the tournament and 2nd place went to Mid-South Metals. 

    Carmike Cinemas was named the overall best decorated tee recognition and Hartin Electric won 2nd place. 

    Everyone in attendance walked away a winner with new business contacts, opportunities and exposure that you cannot get anywhere else.  Thanks to all the sponsors and to the committee members—events like this are not successful without the support of all that contribute! 

    Carmike Cinemas walked away 1st place winner of the tent decoration competition with their "Pirates" theme


    Thank You Eagle, Tee and Beverage Station Sponsors! 

     #1   B&B Beverage (GRAND SPONSOR) 

    #2   Jay Buick GMC (Hole in One) 

    #3   Manpower & MasterKleen 

    #4   Servpro 

    #5   Coleman American Allied Movers 

    #6   2WR (Eagle Sponsor) 

    #7   Sunshine Banners & Safetec Security 

    #8   Naartjie 

    #9  Southeast Restoration Group 

    #10   Loco’s 

    #11   Hartin Electric (Eagle Sponsor) 

    #12     Townplace Suites, Springhill Suites Residence Inn & Fairfield Inn 

    #13   Batson-Cook 

    #14   Carmike Cinemas (Eagle Sponsor) 

    #15  Suntrust 

    #16   Independence Place 

    #17   Verge Pipe Media (Eagle Sponsor) 

    #18   Callaway Gardens 

     Thank You Beverage Station Sponsors! 

    Columbus Community Bank        


    ATC Associates 

     Thank You Driving Range Sponsor! 


    Thank you Potty Break Sponsor! 

    Paws Humane 

    Thank You Event Donors!

    4th Avenue Car Wash

    5 Star Food Service

    Allstate-The Askew Agency


    B&B Beverage


    Burger King

    Burt’s Butcher Shop

    Callaway Gardens


    Columbus Regional Healthcare System, Inc.

    Cott Beverages

    Country’s Barbeque

    Dr. Scuba



    Northwest Exterminating

    Phenix Foods

    PMB Broadcasting


    Sun Ray Cleaners

    Sweetbriar SmokeShop

    Team Realtree

    Troy University

    A Very Special Thank You to Our Golf Committee and Our Volunteers! 


    Mike Mayhew, Automated Business Machines & Richie Grantham, Sunshine Banners and Signs 

    Committee Members 

    Rebecca Gaston, Batson Cook 

    Trammell Coleman, The Overby Company

    Patrick Deal, Columbus Communications 

    Diane Edwards, Hartin Electric 

    Bob Kramer, Skanska 

    Dewey McCabe, Southeast Restoration Group 

    Alan Scoggins, Skanska

    To View More Pictures from the event visit our Facebook Fan Page or search IamtheChamber

    “Where Did the Day Go!?”

    I used to consider myself a pretty organized person.  For those of you who are familiar with Emergenetics, I am primarily “green”–actually primarily is an understatement , I am over 51% green.  If you are not familiar with my color coding green stands for: Structural–I like precision, practicality and processes, a detailed organized plan is important for me–I like the idea of developing a concrete solution and meeting a clear objective.  I am a planner, an organizer–which means I am list maker and I like to stick to it. Hey, they don’t call me Anal Amy for nothing.


    I can definitely relate...in fact you could just paste my picture right on her face!

    Lately, I feel like I am missing my green and it is making me blue..boo hoo!  I frequently find myself asking “where did this day go” as 5:00p.m. rolls around.  I start my day off with great intentions but by 9:00am the emails are rolling in, the phone is ringing and my “to-do list” just keeps growing without scratching off any of the previous items. 

    Instead of making a call to “whine 1-1″ I have decided to be pro-active and resort to what I do best…making a list… here are my plans to better stay on track during the work day:


    Step 1: Put all your tasks in your calendar. Need to write a monthly report? Block off the time needed in your calendar. Need to research new business prospects? Schedule that time each week. By committing tasks to our calendar, we’re more likely to see them as true appointments that can’t be rescheduled or skipped.

    Step 2:One of the best ways is to eliminate – or at least minimize – your distractions. That means turning off the cell phone, shutting down e-mail and logging off Facebook. Even if you just take a quick look at the latest e-mail message, it’s still eating into your productive time.

    Step 3: Close your door. If you happen to have an office with a door, shut it for an hour or two each day to minimize interruptions. No door? Remember college professors and their “office hours?” Try a similar technique in which your staff or colleagues know you’re available between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. but for the rest of the day you don’t want to be disturbed unless it’s urgent.

    Step 4: Pick two or three items on your to-do list that can be done quickly and knock them out first thing in the morning. That way you have a sense of accomplishment and will feel energized about the rest of the day.

    Step 5: Recharge your batteries. It can be tempting to take your work home in an effort to catch up, but not taking a break can make it even harder to concentrate. Give yourself some time to unwind and chances are you’ll be able to tackle your tasks faster.

    Looking for more ideas to add time to your day? Check out this article from the Harvard Business Review, including tips like asking those around you ways we might be wasting time that we do not notice in ourselves.

    I’d like to hear from you–how do you stay productive and avoid distractions and interruptions at bay?

    (Video) Mike Gaymon CCLD Testimonial — Designing the Future

    “It is not by accident that we end up where we are. It is by design.”

    The Cunningham Center for Leadership Development (CCLD) at Columbus State University are all about designing the future and The Chamber is proud to be a part, in a small way helping to support this great organization.

    To learn more about the CCLD @ CSU and all that they do, visit: http://ccld.colstate.edu/

    ~ The Folks at Chamber

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    posted 18 January 2011 : Contact the Columbus, Georgia Chamber of Commerce for assistance.
    º Join Us Today » Request a free Business Analysis Assessment.
    º Or Call Us @ 706.327.1566

    Businesses! RSVP for Jan 2011 Now for ColumbusGA Chamber 2010 Annual Meeting

    Join us Jan. 7th for the Stake Holder meeting to hear Maj. Gen, Bob Brown Commanding General, Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning, talk about leadership and impact of BRAC growth on the region.

    RSVP Now! Registration Form

    • See who wins the Jim Woodruff, Jr. Memorial Award, “The hall of fame of Columbus leadership.”
    • Meet the winner of the JR Allen Award.
    • See who will be the first to receive the new Chairman’s Award for distinguished service to the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce.

    Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce 2010 Annual Stakeholder’s Meeting
    WHERE: RiverCenter for Performing Arts (Columbus, Georgia)
    WHEN: January 7th, 2011 10.30am-Noon

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    posted 15 December 2010 : Contact the Columbus, Georgia Chamber of Commerce for assistance.
    º Join Us Today » Request a free Business Analysis Assessment.
    º Or Call Us @ 706.327.1566

    Reasons You Should Be Concerned About the Chronic Homeless in ColumbusGA

    The reasons are:

     This group consumes a disproportionate amount of costly resources: 10% of the homeless population consumes over 50% of the resources. www.usich.gov

    Chronic homelessness has a visible impact on your community’s safety and attractiveness

    Effective new technologies exist to engage and house this population

    Addressing the needs of this group will free up resources for other homeless groups, including youth & famillies

    This group is in great need of assisitance & social services

    It is a finite problem that can be fixed

    The Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce has been the driving force in developing a task force to create a 10-year plan to address the homeless plight in ColumbusGa. City Manager, Isaiah Hugley, solicted the help of the Cunningham Center for Leadership to be the facilitator of the task force. After 18 months,    The 10 Year Plan to Eradicate Homelessness was unanimously adopted by the ColumbusGA City Council at the December 14, 2010 meeting.  To review the plan go to http://ccld.colstate.edu/pdf/3rd_Draft-10_Year_Homelessness_Plan.pdf

    Why is this important to our city?  The ColumbusGA Homeless Task Force says it like this:

     Homelessness is costly.

    It takes a huge toll on people’s lives.

    It is far less expensive to provide housing than it is to provide emergency response services.

    And it’s far more humane.

    What do you think? Can we really eradicate homelessness in ColumbusGA?

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    posted 6 December 2010 : Contact the Columbus, Georgia Chamber of Commerce for assistance.
    º Join Us Today » Request a free Business Analysis Assessment.
    º Or Call Us @ 706.327.1566

    ColumbusGA Chamber YP’s Gear Up for 2011


    YPThey are engaged, empowered and energized, they are…The Greater Columbus Georgia Young Professionals.  The 2011 Young Professionals Board & Committee Chairs met yesterday to determine their goals and objectives for 2011.  2010 was a phenomenal  year for the Young Professionals (YP)–here are a few highlights:

    • The YP Membership grew 51% in 2010–That’s 321 members representing 80 different companies
    • 3,216 people attended YP events in 2010
    • There were 23 different events hosted by YP’s in 2010

    Wow!! It’s amazing that a group of professionals aging from 21-40 can have such an impact in a year’s time.  2010 was GREAT and know the drive that this group has I can assure you that 2011 will be EVEN BETTER! 

    Chairing the group in 2011 is Kim Weaver of Georgia Power Company–under Kim’s leadership the YP’s are looking to take the program to the next level with more professional development & leadership opportunities, other large scale community events much like Screen on the Green and growing partnerships with local businesses. 

    Columbus can rest easy knowing that the future of our community is in the hands of such a driven group of individuals.  Whether you are an OP or a YP–we have opportunities for you to become involved.  Belong to something BOLD, EXCITING, BIG, CREATIVE, INSPIRING and CURRENT. 

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    posted 6 December 2010 : Contact the Columbus, Georgia Chamber of Commerce for assistance.
    º Join Us Today » Request a free Business Analysis Assessment.
    º Or Call Us @ 706.327.1566

    It’s Official: The “I Am The Chamber” Campaign is Unveiled at Luncheon

    Today, we unveiled to the public our new Greater Columbus Chamber of Commercebenefits-driven” website and membership drive campaign: I Am The Chamber!

    To celebrate the culmination of the first stage of this monumental undertaking, we invited the many supportive Chamber members who volunteered their time, likeness, words, and wisdom to come down to the Depot for us to personally give them our utmost thanks for their participation to our cause.

    Bill Becker of Basset & Becker Advertising takes the podium to unveil the "I Am The Chamber" membership campaign.

    We were blessed with beautiful weather, perfect for grilling out. After burgers and dogs, we moved inside and Bill Becker from Basset & Becker Advertising walked everyone through the process that he and his team employed in creating the iamthechamber.com campaign, which included a quick tour of the website (with an emphasis on the member videos), multiple billboards, print ads, take-aways, large hanging banners, radio spots, and a television commercial. It was informative, yes, but a lot of fun, as well.

    It was stressed often during the course of the presentation today, so it will be reiterated here: this is just this beginning. It felt like a celebration, and there is reason to celebrate. We now have the tools necessary to accomplish our goals: to enhance our membership and guide our business community to a more prosperous future. But it’s not yet time for champagne and confetti. It is time to hit the streets. Let’s all be walking billboards. Let’s be living testimonials. Let’s keep the Chamber on the top of people’s minds. And more than anything, let’s keep people visiting iamthechamber.com. It’s all there.

    So, let’s enjoy today. We’ve all earned a little pat on the back. But again, this is just the beginning.

    ~ The Chamber

    P.S. How can you help? Here are three simple ways:
    1. ‘Like’ the IAmTheChamber Facebook page.
    2. Subscribe to this Blog.
    3. And share this simple message: “I Am The Chamber.”

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    posted 7 October 2010 : Contact the Columbus, Georgia Chamber of Commerce for assistance.
    º Join Us Today » Request a free Business Analysis Assessment.
    º Or Call Us @ 706.327.1566

    Do you need a Political Liaison to assist your business in Columbus, Georgia? The Chamber can help.

    Sometimes our small and emerging businesses come up against local and state ordinanances and laws which inadvertently hinder our businesses from growing in new markets.

    Some measures are put into place for the safety of our communities, but  others stand in the way of business growth. Want to learn more about Political Liaison benefits available through the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce members?

    The chamber is on the side of your business, growth and our community.

    Join us today and let us show you how the Chamber can strengthen your company’s bottom-line with a free Business Analysis Assessment customized specifically for your company’s needs. There are many ways The Chamber can help you succeed.

    ~ The Chamber

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    posted 24 June 2010 : Contact the Columbus, Georgia Chamber of Commerce for assistance.
    º Join Us Today » Request a free Business Analysis Assessment.
    º Or Call Us @ 706.327.1566
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