by Donny Ray
The 30th Annual Chamber of Commerce Banquet will be held on Tuesday, March 19, at the World Outreach Center on Hwy 75 North in Oneonta. The celebration will begin at 6:30 with the doors opening at 6 p.m. Entertainment will be provided, so come early and enjoy the music until the banquet starts. Tickets, as always, are $25 each and tables of eight are $200. Tickets are available from Chamber Board members and the Chamber office at The Depot.
As always, the Chamber will recognize the outstanding people and businesses that make Blount County such a wonderful place to “live, work, worship, and play” at the annual banquet. And we need your nominations for these awards NOW! The award categories are: Citizen of The Year, Volunteer of The Year, Business of The Year, Industry of The Year, and Community Service Organization of The Year. If you know of someone or some place that you feel deserves to be recognized, please send us a letter of nomination to: The Blount-Oneonta Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 1487, Oneonta, AL 35121.
The January Chamber Luncheon was held as always on the fourth Wednesday of the month at Twin Oaks at Heritage Golf. Yes, LUNCHEON! For the first time, the monthly program was held at noon and was a resounding success with 145 people in attendance. Our thanks to Mr. Rick Davis of The Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA) for presenting the program. He is the vice-president of economic development for the BBA and did a fantastic job of showing the audience where Blount County fits in with the seven-county metro region. Because this was the first try at a lunch event, we had anticipated a ‘slow’ start with the crowd, guessing that around 80 would attend. Well, that was wrong. Our thanks to Joan Currier and staff for an amazing job in feeding the entire 145 within the hour. Our thanks also to the Hayden Ambassadors who attended and, as always, did a remarkable job in welcoming everyone to the event. The chamber is very happy to support these great young people and their schools through this program. Our thanks to Supt. Jim Carr and the faculty sponsors from Hayden for making their attendance possible.
Leadership 2013 is off and running with another great class. This years’ class features 11 members from all areas of life and business. We have a member from Antigua who attends Wallace State Community College, a member who works with a nonprofit organization, a mom who works at a bank, and a United Way executive. So we are looking forward to a great sevenmonth curriculum and getting the feedback from this class this year.
Everyone is invited to our Chamber Open House on Tuesday, Feb. 12 from 8 a.m. till 11 a.m. at our new office at the Depot. We are really enjoying our new office space and the ample parking it provides. Our sincere thanks to Mayor Ross Norris and the Oneonta City Council for allowing us this opportunity.
The Sustaining Partners Program continues to pick up steam heading into the new year. So far, we have HomeTown Bank, Alabama Power, and St. Vincent’s Blount signed up as Premier Partners; Massey, Stotser, and Nichols, PC and OTELCO as Signature Partners; and Tennessee Valley Metals as Business Builders. The annual contribution by these partners will provide critical financial support to allow the Chamber to be proactive in our support of the business community in Blount County. Our thanks also to the other 307 regular duespaying members. We would not exist without you.
If you are interested in joining our team, please call Aimee or me at 274-2153 and we will come to your business and go over our Partners program with you.