A Year of Accomplishment
By Greater Hall Chamber Chairman, Jimmy Adams, Adams Transfer & Storage
As my last column and forum as Chairman of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, I would like to take this opportunity to provide a brief overview of some of our accomplishments this year. A dedicated group of hundreds of volunteers and a quality staff of professionals equipped your Chamber for a year of success.
I am most proud of the way your Chamber has been the catalyst for creating harmonious relationships. Government officials, Chamber leaders, business professionals, educational representatives, non-profit leaders all work together today as a team. I can’t say this has been the case in the past.
Our Chamber Board of Directors reflects a diverse group of individuals, yet a team united to provide, enhance and create our unparalleled pro-business climate in Gainesville-Hall County. Through the work of many, our community is attractive not only to new and expanding industry and retail establishments, but also to families, to individuals that move here for our quality of life and for a great place to raise a family.
We have compiled an astounding list of accomplishments for just one year. I have come to realize that by continuing to work together, we can accomplish even more. Together, we can meet and surpass our goals. If you are not a Chamber member, join now. If you are already a member, become an active member. If you are not participating, it is you’re fault! Your Chamber offers unlimited opportunities to participate in committee activity, networking functions, informative seminars and forums. Join the team.
A few of this year’s highlights…
Chamber membership grew to 2,650 members with the most successful membership campaign in Chamber history bringing in 132 new members in fall 2006.
Capital investment by new and expanding industries reached $278 million in 2006-2007.
Retail investment and announcements in Gainesville-Hall County exceeded $50 million this year.
Gainesville-Hall County was recognized by the U.S. Census Bureau as the 9th fastest growing MSA in the U.S.
Health care investments announced in the community reach $500 million with the expansion of the Northeast Georgia Medical Center and state approval of a new hospital and physician facilities in South Hall County.
The Ronnie Green Heart Center at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center was ranked #1 in Georgia by health care ratings organizations.
VISION 2030, in its second year, formed a Board of Directors and plans to work on “15 Big Ideas” to plan for the future of the community.
Partners in Education program now has 350 business partners connecting with 41 pubic and private schools in Gainesville-Hall County.
Youth Leadership Hall completed its second year with 90 graduates from area high schools.
Leadership Hall County now has 550 alumni and completed its 24th year of programs for future leaders.
Over 55,000 visitors were given information by staff and volunteers at the Chamber Welcome Center and the Regional Welcome Center on I-985 in South Hall County.
The Drugs Don’t Work program expanded and now 75 businesses are enrolled in the program to become drug-free workplaces and receive 7.5% savings on worker’s compensation insurance.
Annual membership events included the most successful Business & Healthcare Expo with over 120 exhibitors and hundreds of attendees; the 28th Annual Hackers Holiday Golf Tournament with 136 golfers; the Eggs & Issues Breakfast featuring Lt. Governor Case Cagle, Senator Lee Hawkins and our representatives; 12 Business After Hour events; nine Small Business Seminars; two New Member Breakfasts; two Business Before Hours, a new program initiated in 2006; two job fairs; a GDOT transportation forum and two major health care seminars.
I must say, as I conclude my year of service, there is one task that I’ve yet to accomplish. As Chamber Chairman, I had a personal quest, a challenge, to recruit a shoe shine stand to Gainesville-Hall County. Yes, a shoe shine stand. When living in Athens, I had a superb shoe shine professional that provided the highest quality of shoe shine service. After moving to Gainesville and being unsuccessful in securing such service, I MAILED my shoes to Athens for shining. I have not recruited a shoe shine stand to our community. I leave this task, the challenge, to my good friend and able leader, Denise Deal. As your incoming 2007-2008 Chairman, Denise Deal will carry on the tradition and success that we have enjoyed. I feel confident that if set as a priority, Denise can be successful in this shoe-shine-stand-seeking-endeavor and oversee the recruitment of a much needed business and service to our citizens.
As we approach 100 years of service to area businesses and the community, I am proud to have served as your Chairman. I truly appreciate the opportunity and consider it an honor to has served as your Chairman this year.