Sumter County Chamber of Commerce
409 Elm Avenue
Americus, Georgia
Chamber Weekly  Newsletter
Feed My School Program Seeking Sponsors!
Feed my school, an agriculture and nutrition program presented by the Education and Agriculture divisions of the Chamber, is coming back to Furlow Charter School the week of May 8-12, 2017 and is seeking sponsors! Please contact the Chamber at 229-924-2646 if you, your business, or organization is interested in partnering with us for this awesome event. Visit their website for more information about the Georgia Department of Agriculture's Feed My School Week.
  Leadership Division Graduates First Class of Leadership Pipeline: Chamber Champions & Advancing Sumter to Celebrate in May!

The Legacy of Leadership Graduation and Reception will be held on Monday, May 8, 2017, at the Rees Park Economic Development Center at 6 pm. This year’s event marks the graduation of the inaugural class of Chamber Champions to utilize the new Youth Leadership in Action curriculum, as developed by the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development at the University of Georgia.  The youth counterpart to the Community Leadership Program (CLP) curriculum taught by the Advancing Sumter Leadership Institute, both programs are designed to enhance individual’s leadership skills and personal competencies around being an engaged and contributing member of your community—regardless of age. The 2017 Class of Chamber Champions represents 10th and 11th grade students from both Southland Academy and Americus-Sumter County High School.

Advancing Sumter is also proud to graduate its newest cohort of adult leadership graduates, who are now trained and certified through the Fanning’s Institute’s curriculum.  Focusing on key content areas such as:  Understanding Diversity, Making Group Decisions, Leading Community Change, Building Communities through Collaboration, among others; Advancing Sumter focuses it’s leadership program not only on the research-based skills building curriculum, but also on core content developed and taught specifically for Sumter County—Local Government and Economic Development.  Each year a unique highlight of the program is the annual poverty simulation exercise. 

We are excited to honor this year’s graduates in collaboration with the Archway Partnership! Congratulations, graduates! Please make your reservations to celebrate the future leaders of our community on May 8th!  To RSVP for the Legacy of Leadership Graduation, please email, or call 229.924.2646.

State of Community Leadership Forum Makes Strong Impact, Creates Reaction Among Business Leaders

Georgia Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Chris Clark made a lasting impression at last week’s State of the Community Leadership Forum.  Presenting data for future trends specific to Sumter County, Clark’s call for engaged leadership echoed loudly throughout the Wheatley Administration Building at Georgia Southwestern State University Thursday morning.  Siting negative trends in terms of population growth, job creation and poverty, Clark stated that despite a community distress score of 89.7 (placing Sumter County at 102 out of Georgia’s 159 counties), the business leadership and elected officials gathered for this first annual gathering had the power and influence to reverse those numbers through dedicated commitment and work.

Perhaps the most stark take-away was the number of eligible adult workers not currently participating in the Sumter County workforce—some 46 percent.  They key to turning it all around, according to Clark, is strategy.  While complimenting the community for the “good start,” they’ve made with the creation of the One Sumter Economic Development Foundation, Clark continued to champion the need to focus on quality of life and the overall welfare of the community, not simply traditional economic development.  Areas of strategic emphasis for rural communities, like Sumter, should focus as heavily on talent development, retention and attraction; housing and neighborhood redevelopment; poverty; race relations; and healthcare for all ages.

Gaining a strong reaction from attendees, Clark’s presentation hit its mark with community leadership.  With impromptu questions and remarks from guests, many business leaders stated the need to focus on workforce development, partnering with local K-12 institutions, as well as South Georgia Technical College and Georgia Southwestern. 

Hosted by the Governmental Affairs Division of the chamber, the State of the Community forum promises to be an annual event designed to connect business leaders to the ongoing state of leadership in Sumter County by providing direct access to key decision-makers in Sumter County.  This year’s event featured local guest panelists:  Sumter County Administrator Bill Twomey, Americus City Manager Steve Kennedy, and Sumter County Payroll Development Authority Executive Director Barbara Grogan.

Touting a position of strength, the panel began their remarks by celebrating the local entrepreneurs and innovators that make up the backbone of the Sumter County economy—many, for generations.  Through the ingenuity of the business community in partnership with the public sector, the panel confirmed the Sumter County’s ability to overcome obstacles through hard work and collaboration.  Sharing updates as to how the three key community institutions have worked together to spearhead growth and innovation over the last year, the panelists focused their discussion around transportation, recreation, economic development, downtown revitalization and tourism.

To get involved with the Governmental Affairs Division of the Chamber, please contact the Sumter County Chamber of Commerce at 229.924-2646, or by email at   

Have You Seen It?? 
Check Out the Newest Publication Delivering Your Hometown News!

The Sumter County Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce the launch and first run of the new Americus magazine, published locally by Americus News Media, LLC.  Focusing on all there is to celebrate in our hometown community, Americus will be published quarterly with in-depth profiles of community members, exciting news of what’s happening in Americus and in the marketplace we call home!  

Support your local community today, and see what’s happening in Americus!

Taking Care of Business
growing your business is our business

Take a look at these business resources!
Pinterest, Instagram and Video for Business

In Albany, GA
Thursday, April 27, 2017 – 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Key Takeaways Will Include:
  • Understand the importance of a business presence on visual social networking sites.
  • Build a brand identity using images and visual content marketing.
  • Learn how to use video as a marketing tool.
  • Understand how good visuals impact  marketing success.
  • Update marketing strategy with visual tactics best suited for business.
$49 for this session or sign up for any of our other marketing courses

 Register HERE

"Visual content, particularly on social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, is becoming increasingly more important for marketers.  Customers are more likely to be engaged with visual content, and the information presented visually is more likely to be recalled."  

-Heather Sharpe, SBDC Business Consultant 

Upcoming Classes:

Develop successful marketing strategies to build relationships with customers and grow your business now.  
  • April 27th – Pinterest/Instagram/Video for Business
  • May 11th – Digital Strategies for Your Marketing Plan
  • May 25th – Using LinkedIn to Build Influence
Location: 125 Pine Avenue, Albany, GA. 
To SIGN UP for all three classes contact Nathan Arnold at the Albany SBDC office to register by email or by phone at 229-420-1144

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) and local employer committees will co-sponsor 12 Regional Business Summits and Networking Events across the state.

The summits are designed to meet the needs of managers, human resources professionals, business owners, and supervisors seeking practical guidance and real world tips for handling the toughest management and compliance challenges and who want to operate effectively within the legal climate that is affecting the 2017 workplace.

At this year's crash course, “Employers In the Know”, attendees will:

  • Meet and hear from Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler, voted as one of the 100 most influential Georgians, as he shares valuable information on current GDOL initiatives and programs.
  • Get information from a Labor Law expert and U.S. Department of Labor presenters including practical tips on how to avoid DOL investigations, costly Wage and Hour litigation and other legal hot topics. Learn about new and amended regulations and legislation that affect your business in 2017.
  • Find out about the Unemployment Insurance System in Georgia and get an accelerated course on Tax, Benefits and Appeals information.

$40 early bird registration
$50 at the door (early bird registration ends May 3)
All summits start at 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. and lunch is included.
Registration and networking begins at 8:30 a.m.

Recertification credits through the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI) and Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) are pending approval.

Don't miss the chance to attend this informative and impactful event that is certain to leave you "In the Know."

Calling All Chamber 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

Business Development Division Meeting - April 26, Phoebe Sumter, 9AM
Leadership Development Division Meeting - May 1, Rees Park, 12PM
Trains and Trustees Event - May 3, Americus Train Depot, 6:30PM
Special Events Division Meeting - May 4, Rees Park, 5:30PM
Membership Division Meeting - May 8, Rees Park, 12:00PM
Payroll Development Authority Monthly Meeting - May 8, Rees Park, 4PM
Legacy of Leadership Graduation and Reception - May 8, Rees Park, 6:30PM
Governmental Affairs Division Meeting - May 11, Georgia Power, 9AM
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!