Sumter County Chamber of Commerce
409 Elm Avenue
Americus, Georgia
Chamber Weekly  Newsletter

Legacy of Leadership Hosts Rennie Curran, Celebrates Expansion of “Pipeline” 

The Sumter County Chamber of Commerce held its third annual Legacy of Leadership Graduation & Reception on Monday, May 8, 2017, at Rees Park Economic Development Center. Celebrating the achievements of 40 graduates, this year’s Legacy event offered inspiration and motivation from NFL-Free Agent and UGA All-American alum, Rennie Curran.

Curran reinforced the leadership principals taught within both the youth and adult programs, emphasizing the importance of investing in one’s own community.  Sharing the value of role models from his own experience, Curran issued a call to action to graduates of Chamber Champions and Advancing Sumter alike—“Leaders persevere, leaders never give up.  As a leader, you have a responsibility not only to yourself, but also to others around you.”

Chamber Chairman Jay Roberts (Georgia Power Company) welcomed everyone to the Legacy Graduation honoring graduates from the 2016-2017 Chamber Champions program, as well as the 2017 class of the Advancing Sumter Leadership Institute. Highlighting leadership as a foundation of the Chamber’s value to the business community, Roberts expressed, “It is our goal as a Chamber of Commerce to always provide opportunities to sustain a pipeline of leaders for Sumter County.”

Leadership Development Division Chairman Paul Farr (South Georgia Technical College) invited Americus-Sumter County High School Principal Kimothy Hadley and Southland Academy Headmaster Ty Kinslow to join Curran and himself in honoring the 2016-2017 graduates of Chamber Champions.  Graduates from the Chamber Champions are: Anjum Alam, Savanna Banks, Jenna Brown, Chelby Davis, Lilli Dickens, Mike Douglas, Tamiya Durham, Sage Finch, Jacqueline Granado, Sydney Hayes, Kayla Hunter, De’Shun Iverson, Bailey James, Kathleen Kinslow, Prerana Kumar, Kaniya Little, Ryan Mournighan, Hannah Philpot, Charlotte Schopen-Davis, Otis Tookes, III, Ny’Keria Walker, Jantz Womack and Morgan Youngdale.

Founder and Program Coordinator for the Advancing Sumter Leadership Institute, Dr. Andrea Oates (South Georgia Technical College) celebrated the graduates of Advancing Sumter by joining Curran and Farr in the graduation ceremony for the adult, curriculum-based leadership program. Graduates of the 2017 Advancing Sumter class are: Nakethia Banks, Elene Carne’, Dexter Cladd, Kalishah Dowdell, Alicia English, Paul Fitzgerald, Brittney Giles, Linda Kent, Vincent Mays, Jennifer Millwood, Kathryn Moore, Ted Norris, Pauline Stewart, Victoria Teele, Suzanne Usry, Tasha White and Jason Williams.

Sponsored by several local businesses, the Chamber would like to thank the Legacy of Leadership sponsors for their support:  Jimmy Whaley and Century 21 Realty, Georgia Power Company, and Dr. Lou Riccardi DDS, PC and Dr. Alex Riccardi DMD.

Both of the adult and youth leadership programs utilize research-based leadership curriculum developed by the faculty at the University of Georgia’s J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development.  Based on the principles of Dr. J.W. Fanning, both the Community Leadership Program and Youth Leadership in Action curricula, respectively, integrate skills training around specific leadership competencies needed for an effective and engaged community leader at any age.  Both programs emphasize core competencies of communication, diversity, group dynamics and decision-making, collaboration, partnership, managing conflict, as well as asset-based community leadership and economic development.

Due the overwhelming demand of additional leadership programs for targeted sectors of the community, the Chamber is again collaborating with the Fanning Institute to develop new initiatives focused on college students and an advanced program for “next generation” leaders.  Building on the work of the Chamber’s partnership with GeorgiaLEADS, these new programs are anticipated to be rolled out in August and January 2018, respectively. 

To get involved with one of the Chamber’s many leadership initiatives, please contact Ivy Oliver, Director of Member Services, at 229.924.2646, or at

We've Got Your Summer Plans Covered!
Save the Date!

The One Sumter Economic Development Foundation announces:

Americus-Sumter County Branding Unveil - June 12, 2017

Where: Plains Community Center
When: 6 PM

Stay tuned, more details about these events to follow!
Join us for a homegrown Independence Day!
Plains, Trains, and Fireworks

July 1, 2017
7:00 PM 
Fireworks to blow at 9:30 PM

Ride over on the Sam Shortline and join us in the City of Plains for the second annual street dance and fireworks show! This is one event that you and your family won't want to miss! 
DeSoto Fireworks Show

July 4, 2017
9:00 PM

The City of DeSoto will be sponsoring a fireworks show and refreshments on July 4th at the ballpark in DeSoto (old Southeast School.) Bring your lawn-chairs to kick back and enjoy the show!

2017 Crisp Motorsports Racing Schedule

June 3 – Southern Pro Am Trucks Series presented by McCorkle Drilling Inc. plus All Local Classes including Legends & Bandoleros from Atlanta Motor Speedway

June 24 – All Local Classes including Legends & Bandoleros from Atlanta Motor Speedway (Regional Qualifier)

July 8 – Pro Late Models presented by Lyle Farms plus All Local Classes including Legends & Bandoleros from Atlanta Motor Speedway

July 22 – All Local Classes including Legends & Bandoleros from Atlanta Motor Speedway

August 5 – Southern Pro Am Truck Series presented by K & M Auto Parts plus All Local Classes

August 19 – Pro Late Models presented by Sunbelt Ford of Cordele plus All Local Classes

September 2 – Southern Super Series 125 presented by Lyle Farms plus All Local Classes

For more information or how you and your company can get involved, please contact:  

Wayne Lyle:  229-938-1262 or 229-853-3113 
Robert Cripe: 229-938-8814
Taking Care of Business
growing your business is our business

Take a look at these business resources!
In the world we live in today, it's hard to know who or what to trust anymore. Even the largest of businesses are making headlines of falling victim to online hackers. We want to ensure your business stays clear of even the smallest of scams, and that's why we're hosting a cybersecurity webinar on Wednesday, May 24, from 9 to 10:00 AM.

Listen and learn from cybersecurity expert, Craig Battleman with IBM Security, as he breaks down what the current cybersecurity landscape means for your small business, and what steps you should be taking now to protect your business and your customers. 

We'll also cover the following:
  • The current cyber threat landscape
  • Steps your business can take to establish your security posture
  • IBM's integrated security immune system- analytics and real-time defenses
  • Security solutions that can start small and evolve with your business
  • Best practices for addressing and mitigating cybersecurity issues that may occur

One of the biggest mistakes we make is thinking this will never happen to us. Take steps towards securing your small business by registering today.

As a Federation Member, the cost of your registration is at the discounted rate of  $35 . You can also view the webinar series at participating local chambers. Event details vary by location, so please click on the Chamber name for more information, or contact your chamber directly if you have any questions.
2017 Digital Education Series Presenting Sponsor
How to Get The Most Out of The New LinkedIn

  In Albany, GA

Thursday, May 25, 2017 – 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Are you maximizing your potential on the professional social networking site, LinkedIn?While LinkedIn is one of the fastest growing social networking sites, many people are not taking full advantage of what the site has to offer. Learn from Linkedin expert and SBDC Business Consultant, Peter Williams, as he presents his national program teaching easy to follow steps to build influence, promote business expertise , and maximize effective networking. This class is designed to teach business owners and key managers how they can leverage their personal networks and maximize influence in their market to grow business. 

Key Takeaways Will Include:
  • Understand how to use LinkedIn as a networking tool
  • Learn to build a profile that really showcases your abilities
  • Use your expertise to establishing credibility in your field
  • Learn to maximize your reach using people you already know
  • Understand how to use the influence you create
For more information on  the content of this class contact Nathan Arnold at or call 229-420-1144.

In Albany, GA
Thursday, May 25, 2017 – 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM 
$49 for this session 

  Register  HERE
Georgia Employers' Association Hosting Upcoming Workshop

Today’s workplace can be complicated, and if you’re looking for answers, we know just the place to find them! Join the Georgia Employers’ Association on June 22, 2017, from 9 am to 3 pm at the Galleria Marriott, as they host ‘Understanding Best Practices for Today’s Workplace.’ 

This full-day, informative workshop will address and provide clear answers for today’s important workplace issues such as: 
  • Trends in workplace and employee safety
  • What to do in the event of an active shooter
  • Possible effects of political unrest and protests in the workplace
  • Managing the use of social media by employees at work
Space is limited so reserve your spot as soon as possible! For more information, click  here .
ChamberMaster Allows Direct Benefits to Our Members!

We have some great new website features coming up - and they're all for YOU and your business!  

If you are a Chamber member business who has
  • Employment availability
  • Upcoming events
  • Press releases
  • Great sales
  • And other promotional opportunities
Then, look no further than the Chamber's website ! As a benefit to our members, each Chamber member now has their own "members-only" portal with full access to their business' page on our website. 

Already included in your membership benefits, you can now post about upcoming events, contact other Chamber members, advertise job opportunities, promote sales and promotions, and more through our website. Let us help you get the most out of your Chamber membership!

Email today to request your members-only access portal and start putting YOUR member benefits to work!
Upcoming Events

Lenny's Market Grand Opening - May 23, Downtown Americus, 5 PM
RVRC Legislative Luncheon, May 24, 10:30 AM
Memorial Day Farm Fest - May 27, Strange Farms
Business Development Division Meeting - May 31, Phoebe Sumter, 9 AM
Special Events Division Meeting - June 1, Rees Park, 5:30 PM
Leadership Development Division Meeting - June 5, Rees Park, 12 PM
Governmental Affairs Division Meeting - June 8, Georgia Power, 9 AM
One Sumter Branding Reveal - June 12, Plains, 6 PM
Click on the swoosh for a full listing of our calendar events.
To add an event to our community calendar, Chamber members may submit their requests to for full access to your members-only page. If you are not a chamber member, you may submit your community events here.
Click the 2017 Discount Card to view all discounts!
To purchase a Discount Card, stop by the Chamber or contact a Board Member.
"Engaged Business, Thriving Community"

The mission of the Sumter County Chamber of Commerce is to provide opportunities and support for the growth and prosperity of local business and industry.
Stay Connected!