Former chair of the board Mindy McCannon recounted the chamber’s highlights during 2011, such as the chamber’s designation of being a “Georgia Certified Chamber” and appointment as a “Regional Visitor’s Center.”
She also thanked the staff, board, sponsors, members and her colleagues at Georgia Northwestern Technical College for their support of her endeavors during her service. McCannon has served on the executive board since 2007 and was appointed chair for the year 2011.
“Despite the hardships of the economy and the weather disasters that Catoosa County experienced (in 2011),” said McCannon, “I am proud to say that your chamber never faltered in its mission and continued to work hard for you, its members.”
She then recognized board and staff members as well as three retiring members — Jason Gibson, Rosewood Assisted Living; Catoosa County sheriff Phil Summers; and Tony Brown, Russ Blakely & Associates — before handing over the reins to the newly appointed chair for 2012, Steve Anglea from Georgia Power Co.
Anglea’s first address regarded his ambitions and goals for the Chamber in 2012. He said upon reviewing the past and contingent work plans in his meetings with McCannon and the staff, they agreed upon one area that needed to be revisited: communication.
“We realized that one area where we were may be failing in a little was communication,” said Anglea. “This year our intention is to improve communications between our state, local and federal elected officials and most importantly our general public.”
One action plan is to allow a number of elected officials to hold a position on the board to keep the two entities connected and aware of challenges and opportunities.
Anglea then listed several other goals for the new year before introducing the new board members for 2012. Other than the traditional events such as the Expo, Gala and Golf Classic, the chamber hopes to focus on several new items such as the following:
· After recently begin declared a “Regional Visitor Information Center” (RVIC) by the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDED), the chamber plans to develop an itinerary for tours in the area and work hand in hand with the Joint Development Authority on marketing strategies for tourism.
· Increase membership to 400 members from the present total of 360.
· Host debates for primary and general election candidates.
· Inviting business graduates from Dalton State College and GNTC to attend events and explore the benefits of the chamber.