February 2017
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Message from the Chairman 

Andy Knox, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Directors
I am honored and humbled to serve as the Chairman of the Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce for 2017.  I follow a strong legacy of leaders who have worked together with the staff, board, community, and businesses to make McDuffie County the best place to live, work and play. 
We have learned that we can use the best resource we have-the people of McDuffie County-- to improve economic and community development. Over the years we have faced many challenges, but I want us to be able to look back and say we are better because of the challenges we overcame together to make McDuffie County what it is today.  
In our mission, the Chamber strives to provide a better quality of life and improve economic development.  The Chamber will continue to provide activities and events that will drive visitors to McDuffie County and benefit the local merchants. The Chamber will focus more effort to help improve the workforce development in this community.  We are in the planning stages of developing new programs that will help connect the businesses and education system to establish the needs in the workforce today.
We have added a Chamber 101 class that is held every month at the Chamber Office.  I recommend you register for this class to learn what the Chamber has to offer your business.  You will learn how to use the Member Login on the Chamber website that will allow you to post Hot Deals, Job Openings, and much more.
I look forward to working with the Chamber Board and all Chamber members.  I will be reaching out to many of you this year to get your opinions, because I sincerely want to hear them.  

Andy Knox, Jr.
Chairman of the Board
Meet Your 2017 Board of Directors
Bennett Dudley - Vice Chair 
Dudley Nurseries
Renee Wright - Treasurer 
Farmers State Bank

Aaron Talbott
Thomson First United 
Methodist Church

Alison Ford
Georgia Pacific

Amy Kiel
Hogie Joes

Brittney Dyson
Suntrust Bank

David Harless
Shaw Industries

Epp Wilson
Foxboro Fencing

Hope Hodge
State Bank & Trust

Jennifer Harris
Thomson Family YMCA

Jordan Dozier
Dozier Heating & Air

Pam Capps
Edward Jones

Philip Myhand

Wayne Parham
McDuffie Progress
Welcome to the Chamber

Foxboro Fencing Inc. Grab 'n Go Snack Shop

Ribbon Cuttings
Welcome to Thomson Chick-fil-a!

Upcoming Ribbon Cutting

Wednesday, February 22 @ 11:00 a.m.
Grab 'n Go
The Annual Chamber Banquet was held on Tuesday, January 31st at Belle Meade Country Club.  This was a wonderful occasion for all Chamber members to celebrate the Chambers' accomplishments for 2016 and recognize businesses and individuals that contribute so much to the community.  We awarded our first ever Chamber Ambassador of the Year to Juanita Thomas of Legal Shield.  The Mike Carrington Volunteer Award went to Tina Swann.  The Darrell M. Johnson Service award went to Robin Dudley and the 2016 Business of the Year went to the Family Care Group of Thomson.  

We also recognized our outgoing Board of Directors: Steve Rhodes, Garrett Edmunds, Kelly Evans, and Cleve Poston.  Jessie Morlan was presented a plaque and gift for being the 2016 Chairman of the Board for Leadership McDuffie.  Angie Roberts spoke on the new Youth Leadership McDuffie program that started this year.

To cap off the evening, we have Barbara Dooley, speak on Getting Back to Basics in the New Year.  She gave words of wisdom for the Business Leaders while creating a lot of laughs.

This was definitely a night to remember, and a great way to kick off the upcoming year.
Passing of the gavel to the 2017 Board Chairman - Andy Knox, Jr.

Juanita Thomas2016 Ambassador of the Year

Jessie Morlan
2016 Chairman of the Board of Leadership McDuffie

Tina Swann
2016 Mike Carrington Volunteer Award Recipient

Barbara Dooley
Guest Speaker

Robin Dudley
2016 Darrell M. Johnson Service Award Recipient

We appreciate everyone coming out to celebrate this wonderful occasion and kicking off the 2017 year.
Family Care Group of Thomson
2016 Business of the Year

Leadership McDuffie

Leadership McDuffie class of 2017 has officially started.  We began the year with a retreat to Unicoi State Park for an overnight stay.  At the retreat the class participated in team building exercises and began brainstorming on this year's project.  

February 8, the class will be joining the McDuffie Youth Leadership for a trip to the State Capitol.

Hope Hodge, Co-Chair
David Crawley, Co-Chair

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Employer Committee (HR) Meeting

The Chamber partners with the Georgia Department of Labor to form the East Central Georgia Employer Committee, a partnership dedicated to bringing information to HR Generalists in the area regarding labor practices. 

The next meeting will be Wednesday, February 15th at One Stop.  The program will be:

Bridging the Gap between Education and Employers.  

This will be an open forum for HR professionals to connect with our local School Superintendent and High School Principal.  

Register Here
Employer Committee (HR) Meeting

Chamber Lunch & Learns are sessions that provide information on the latest business trends.  Topics range from Drugs Don't Work Program, Microsoft training, Social Media Savvy and so much more.  This is a great way to equip your business and be successful.  These sessions will be held at the Thomson Depot Boardroom downtown Thomson starting at 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Program will be:  

What is Office 365 & Why is it Right for Your Business?

Chamber Ambassadors

The Chamber Ambassadors held their meeting on Wednesday, February 1st at the McDuffie Progress.  We briefly went over the responsibilities of the Ambassadors and then we recognized the new faces that recently joined the team.  The Progress was kind enough to tell us about their operation and what all they do for the community, as well as help with the Ambassador member photographs.  

If you are looking to get more involved in the community and get your foot in the door with businesses, the Chamber Ambassadors is an excellent program. Not only are you representing your Chamber and the members in it, but you are building that relationship with the businesses and that's a win-win!

The Chamber Ambassadors meet on the 1st Wednesday of each month at noon at different local businesses. If you would like to host an Ambassador meeting at your business, please contact the Chamber.  This is a great way to tell your story, and meet with other chamber members.

To find out more about the Ambassador program and how you can be involved, please contact the Chamber at (706) 597-1000.
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