January 2017
Follow Us
Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View our profile on LinkedIn  View on Instagram 
Quick Links
2017 Board of Directors
We Thank Our Annual Sponsors
Camelia Sponsor

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Message from the Chairman 
Skip Griffin, Chairman

I hope everybody enjoyed a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year! 2016 was a great year for the Chamber of Commerce. The Christmas events (Santa's arrival, the Camellia City Festival, the Tour of Homes and Christmas Parade) were great successes. I hope you were able to enjoy at least some of them.
Looking ahead to 2017, the first happening on the calendar will be the Annual Banquet. This is shaping up to be a spectacular event. Trust me; it will be worth your while to attend!
This is my final Message from the Chairman as my term ends and Andy Knox Jr. takes over.. It has been my honor and pleasure to work with Debbie Jones, Belinda Campbell, Matt Morris and Elizabeth Vance this past year. The Chamber is in good hands, and I'm sure 2017 will be an even better year than 2016.
Annual Chamber Banquet
Barbara Dooley
Guest Speake
One of the Chamber's biggest events of the year, our Annual Banquet, is where we recognize the outstanding contributions that business men and women have made to this community.  We also take pride in announcing our new Board of Directors and show our gratitude to the Directors that are leaving the Board.

We'll announce the Darrell Johnson award, Mike Carrington award and the Business of the Year!

Our Guest Speaker will be Barbara Dooley, wife of Vince Dooley. Recognized as one of the wittiest, most entertaining women, both on stage and off. Barbara Dooley can wow an audience. It is simply Southern humor at its captivating best.  A storyteller of unmatched proportions, she rivets a crowd with stories of her decades spent as a football coach's wife.  Her tales of mischief and mayhem will have you rolling with laughter and begging for more.

Welcome to the Chamber
Davinci Foot and Ankle Briarwood Academy
McDuffie County Farm Bureau Ray of Light Tanning Salon
Indigenous Data Solutions
Wright Angle Land Surveyor
Leadership McDuffie
The 2017 Leadership McDuffie class has been selected.  Congratulations to the 19 class members.  

We will kick off the year with orientation Thursday, January 5 th at the Thomson Depot, 6:30PM.  Thank you for your support of Leadership McDuffie; it would not be the success it is today without the continued support from our community.
Hope Hodge, Co-Chair
David Crawley, Co-Chair

Board of Directors Retreat
The 2017 Chamber Board of Directors met at the Thomson Depot on December 13th to discuss their vision for the Chamber in the upcoming year.  Tammy Shepherd, president of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, facilitated the meeting. 

The Board's focus for this year will be about bringing more value to the Chamber.  Key topics were Workforce Development (connect our Businesses to McDuffie County Schools); Redesign of the chamber website; Updating the dues structure; and Cutting programs that do not fall in line with our mission.

The group formed a Government Affairs committee that will  establish positions on issues that impact our members and the economic advancement of the county, educating elected officials about these issues and encouraging membership involvement in the Chamber's advocacy efforts.

We hope to bring forth Lunch and Learns that give our members the tools needed to advance their businesses.  Along with these Lunch and Learns, members will gain knowledge of other benefits that the Chamber offers through a quarterly Chamber 101 classes. 

Your Board of Directors are working hard on your behalf. If you have an interest in a certain program currently not offered through the Chamber, please contact.
Chamber 101

Attention Members, prepare to have your Chamber questions answered! Be sure to join us at this month's Chamber 101. We invite you to take part in this valuable information session which will focus on maximizing your membership investment. During the session, members will learn how to take advantage of the many benefits we offer, including networking opportunities, exclusive discounts, online promotions, and volunteer opportunities. This session is great for new Chamber Members,and even those who would just like a refresher on what the Chamber has to offer!

Wednesday, January 25th
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Chamber Office
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 ECGEC meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 7:45 am for a program provided by experts in the fields of labor laws and hiring practices.  

The next meeting will be Tuesday, January 17th at One Stop.   Register Here
Ribbon Cuttings
Pruitt Health Hospice

Thomson Dental Wellness

Ray of Light Tanning Salon

Dozier Big Green Egg LLC
Chamber Ambassadors
The Chamber Ambassadors meeting was held at the Thomson Family YMCA on Wednesday, December 7th.  They were given a private tour of the new facility.

James Thomas, District Executive Director of the YMCA, showed the Chamber Ambassadors the plans for the new YMCA building.

Pictured: Brian Hobbs, Brooke Thompson, Chelsey Davis, Juanita Thomas and Karen Neal 
The tour passes the front reception area of the new building. 

Jennifer Harris, of the Thomson Y, explains the different areas of the new building. 
Pictured: Brookes Thompson, Juanita Thomas, Paige Cochran, James Thomas, Garrett Edmunds, Karen Neal and Chelsey Davis part of the building.

The Chamber Ambassadors meet every 1st Wednesday of each month. Since January's meeting falls close to a holiday, that meeting will be on be January 11th at noon at State Bank and Trust.  

If you are looking to get involved with the Chamber and in the Community, please contact the Chamber.  The Ambassador program is a great way to connect with other businesses.
Camellia City Recap
Bringing back the Camellia City Festival proved to be a huge success.  We had over 70 vendors fill up Railroad Street from the Depot down to the Government Center Complex. There was entertainment throughout the day with church choirs, dancers, and twirlers.  It was so exciting to see Christmas festivities taking place in downtown again.

Along with the Festival, there was the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony that took place at the Depot on Thursday, December 1st and in Dearing on December 2nd.  Schools that participated were Dearing Elementary, Thomson Elementary, Maxwell Elementary and Norris Elementary.

The Reindeer 5K Run was on December 3rd, and had over 50 runners. The Thomson Family YMCA put on an outstanding race.  Music playing during registration as they handed out race bibs and swag bags to each runner including a Reindeer Run t-shirt.  Good Job Jennifer Harris for on an awesome event.

The Tour of Homes was December 3rd as well.  We had five homes listed and approximately 75 guests attended.  The reception took place at Springfield Baptist where we were treated with Christmas Carols from some of their members.  Diane Wood, Megan Poston, Kathy Hawkins and Billie Thomas put a lot of work into getting this event together.  They deserve a huge pat on the back.

December 4th was to be the Christmas parade, but due to rain we moved it to the following Sunday.  Some of the entries were not able to participate on the new date, but the parade was still a wonderful site. We had music being played down Main Street, entertaining commentary from our emcees on WTHO, and Santa arriving in a white carriage pulled by a white horse.

If you get a moment, please thank these individuals for their volunteerism with the Camellia City Festival and other Christmas events.  They took time out of their busy schedules to plan and bring the Christmas excitement to McDuffie County.  Johnette Bell, Kathy Hawkins, Mayor Kenneth Usry, Mayor Sean Kelly, Scott Huff, Chief John Thigpen, Pam Gordon, Lt. Marquis Murray, Chief John Seay, Jennifer Harris, Skip Griffin, Chuck Cason, Jonathon Hadden, Thomson City Crew.
Accommodations and Dining
Shopping & Outdoor Adventures