For those of you who have read my articles this year, you probably realize by now that my approach to these Chamber pieces does not follow the typical prose and content pattern of most Chamber articles. Somewhere in the Gainesville public school system, either current or former English teachers of mine are hoping not to be recognized by name as having influence on my attempts to create the written word.
When I was asked by Business Link Editor Kemie West to write a year in review of the Chamber highlights, I could not bring myself to write the typical article. Instead, it is with great pleasure that I present my Top 20 Reasons why this has been a great year for the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce and our community. Here we go…
#20 Despite turning a shade or two more gray, this Chamber Chairman did not LOSE his hair this year!
#19 Despite a slower economy, existing businesses expanded and new businesses came to Hall County. In 2002-2003, both will invest over $103.5 million and create over 500 new jobs.
#18 Plans are moving ahead through the Chamber’s Technology Initiative and the Gainesville-Hall County Economic Development Council to focus on opportunities for our community in the technology sector.
#17 The Chamber sponsored a Community retreat where 100 community and government leaders had an in-depth test and study of their personalities – and all passed!
#16 The Northeast Georgia Medical Center and the medical community continue to grow and will soon provide open heart surgery for North Georgia. This further enhances our quality of life.
#15 Agribusiness continues to thrive in our community – to the tune of $750 million annually.
#14 The Chamber’s Annual Meeting and Gala was held on the campus of Brenau University and was a huge success where Chairman received the much coveted artwork of “Dogs Playing Poker!”
#13 Efforts are underway to provide much needed sewer to South Hall County and the 365 North Corridor.
#12 Through the Chamber’s efforts, the SPLOST for Education passed by an overwhelming margin and will provide the much needed dollars for school construction.
#11 The City of Gainesville’s downtown continues to thrive with new shops and restaurants and Flowery Branch’s Better Hometown efforts are attracting new businesses to its downtown.
#10 Three words – LAKE IS UP!
#9 After 35 years, the Chamber is finally expanding and renovating its building to meet its current and future needs.
#8 Hall County has opened its magnificent new courthouse which will serve this community for years to come.
#7 The Executive Committee of the Chamber survived its annual retreat to Smithgall Woods with no incidents involving wildlife attacks or cabin fever.
#6 Efforts are moving ahead for the new Career Academy which will be a great addition to our educational system and provide opportunities for non-traditional technology-oriented students.
#5 Three Words – GREAT CHAMBER STAFF!
#4 The world is coming back to Hall County for the 2003 Lanier Canoe World Championships which is the qualifying event for the 2004 Olympics.
#3 Hundreds of volunteers have given so much of their time and talents to make sure that your Chamber of Commerce remains the voice of business and sound growth for our community.
#2 The Membership Relations Committee sponsored the creation of a wonderful piece of artwork by Flowery Branch Artist Linda Baliko, and each Chamber member will receive a copy of the print as a “Thank You.”
#1 And, the number one reason why it has been a great year for the Chamber and our community in 2001-2002… Despite challenges, we still work and raise our families in the greatest community in the State of Georgia.