On Saturday, Feb. 23, the Haralson County Chamber of Commerce celebrated a successful year at their 24th Annual Meeting at West Georgia Technical College in Waco, where the theme for the night was “There’s No County Like Our County!: The Power of Relationships.”
Overall, the message was one of positivity.
Outgoing Chamber Chairman Janie Holder highlighted some of the accomplishments of the chamber in the past year, which included offering nine business education seminars; conducting their eighth Leadership Haralson class; partnering with Grow Haralson; offering their first radio series, “Seven Minutes of Success;” holding 14 ribbon cuttings; conducting the 7th Annual online auction “Bid Your Troubles Goodbye;” hosting a candidate forum; hosted the first Live Local Expo; and developed a “Quick Guide to Marketing” to distribute to businesses; among other activities and services.
Harlson County Chamber of Commerce President Jennie English said the Chamber, its members and the community had a lot to look forward to in the next year as well.
“We have some new programs on the horizon,” English announced. “And within the month, we’ll have a new logo and a new website. We’re especially excited that the Chamber’s website will be joining with the Development Authority and Tourism websites.”
English said that the next year would still pose some challenges, as the economy has been slow to recover; however, she said the people of Haralson County are the ones making a difference on the local level when it comes to business successes.
“There will be challenges in the months ahead,” English said, “but the one thing we can control is the power of our own personal and business relationships. [...] What we really can’t afford is broken relationships.”
Incoming Chamber Chairman Lawyana McElroy agreed as she addressed the Chamber members for the first time in her new position.
“It’s going to be a hard year to be chamber chairman because we’re in a tough economy,” McElroy mused. “Some businesses are thriving, some are just barely hanging on, some aren’t even getting started. But I have a vision. For me, this is about more than business; it’s about community; it’s about relationships. I’m very passionate about this community, and God still has a lot more in store for us.”
During other business at the meeting, several awards were handed out.
Kathy Yates was named Volunteer of the Year. C&G Jewelry and Engraving, owned by Clarence and Gretchen Newbern. was named Small Business of the Year. Lee Fabricators LLC, owned by Walter and Rachel Price, was named Industry of the Year. G.W. Rogers of West Georgia Technical College was given the Chairman’s Award; and outgoing Chamber Chairman Janie Holder was also presented with a plaque.
To close out the meeting, local singer Dana Rampy, who was battling a bout of bronchitis, performed a special song for the audience: “Do it Anyway.”
“This song has a very special and inspirational message,” Rampy said.
Rampy said when she and her husband, Greg, decided to open their own business in Villa Rica, people were skeptical.
“But we took that step anyway,” she recalled. “Despite the country’s downturn, Haralson County is going to do it because we have the right people and the right relationships.”
Carroll EMC was the presenting sponsor for this year’s annual Chamber meeting. The event was catered by Joshua McCorsley of Events by Joshua D.