What a Celebration!
By Greater Hall Chamber Chairman Denise Deal
It is hard to imagine that my year as Chairman of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is almost over. Later this month, I will officially pass the gavel to R.K. Whitehead, Whitehead Die Casting, to serve as your new Chairman. I am confident, R.K. and Chair-Elect Emily Bagwell, Whelchel, Dunlap, Jarrard & Walker, will set a course of great achievement and success for the chamber and, more importantly, for the businesses in Gainesville-Hall County.
What a celebration! Many of you joined us atop the Hall County Parking Deck on May 2 to officially celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. The event was a huge success due to the tremendous leadership of the Centennial Committee Co-Chairs LeTrell Simpson, Con-Sen-Sus Consulting, and Frank Norton, Jr., The Norton Agency. Plans are underway for a special event in the fall to continue the 100th Anniversary.
Along with our celebrations, we have taken on new projects such as the inaugural HealthSmart Expo to heighten community awareness of health and wellness. Dominique Wilkins, Atlanta Hawks icon, presented a key note address to attendees highlighting his battle with diabetes and encouraging others to seek medical assistance and become more physically fit. Efforts towards greater community awareness with regard to health and wellness, the Chamber Healthcare Committee sponsored a 5k Corporate Challenge – Get Fit Stay Fit that drew community support from over 1,500 citizens. Due to the tremendous success of both events, they will be returning!
The South Hall Business Coalition was initiated this year for networking opportunities for South Hall businesses and will be hosted by the Atlanta Falcons this month.
Looking ahead, as we all enjoy our summer vacations and a slowed pace, please keep in mind the importance of our upcoming fall season. It is an election year on a grand scale. We have an opportunity to exercise a very special privilege – the right to vote! We will not only be electing individuals to represent our interests on local, state and national levels, we will also elect a new Chief Executive Officer – The President of the United States. However, for our community, there is another equally important reason to get out and vote in November. Our City and County leaders will be presenting a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) referendum on the ballot that will include much needed infrastructure improvements and enhancements to our community. The SPLOST is NOT a new tax or an increase in tax, but rather a continuation of a tax that goes directly towards improving our roads, building libraries and parks, constructing water and sewer projects and making our community a better and safer place.
Let me take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt thanks to members of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce and the citizens of this community. I continue to be amazed at the tremendous level of volunteerism and dedication given by the businesses and citizens of this community. You are all phenomenal and our community is such a wonderful place due to the dedication and commitment of both you and your business. Gainesville/Hall County is a great place to live, work, play and stay because of the incredible partnership between elected officials, the business community and the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. The Board of Directors and Executive Committee are a tremendous team and they work tirelessly to make the business environment the most positive possible. The Chamber staff is one of the most professional and effective of any Chamber in the State of Georgia and I thank Kit Dunlap and her talented team for the work they do each and every day to make commerce great in Gainesville/Hall County.
Finally, I want to publicly thank my family for their patience and support over the past 12 months. My children have coined the phrase ”Mommy, you have another meeting?” to which I answer, yes, and try to explain from time to time just what exactly that entails. I have taken time away from my family to represent this community because I have been taught by my parents the importance of public service. I know the time has been well spent because even though they are young – they get the point! My eight year old created a small book for me on Mother’s Day and in it were two significant pages. One was a picture of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Building because all of my children have frequented the building on many occasions. The second was a quote – “My mom’s favorite thing to do is help out and see family,” this is significant because she, her siblings and their friends will be the future leaders of this community. We must lead by example and impress upon our future leaders the importance of community and public service. Make the most of everyday and keep up the great work!!
I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker. -Helen Keller