Latest Chamber Blog News

Small Business and Outstanding Business Person of the Year Nominations Now Being Accepted

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

The Fayette Chamber of Commerce gives the Small Business of the Year award to a small business nominee who has displayed exemplary planning, operations, and community involvement.  All nominees go through an extensive selection process and are selected by a panel of judges.

Qualifying Criteria: Businesses may nominate themselves or another business for the  2015 Small Business of the Year Award.  Nomination DEADLINE:  Friday, November 20, 2015.

To qualify to be a Small Business of the Year nominee, the following criteria must be met:

• Must be a current Fayette Chamber member for a minimum of 1 year
• Business in operation for a minimum of three years
• Must be a for-profit business
• Business has not won this award in the past three years
• 1-50 employees

Each qualifying business will receive application submission instructions and that submission must be completed and returned to the chamber by Friday, December 11, 2015.

 Judging Criteria:

• Sound business performance
• Business growth
• Economic impact
• Chamber and civic involvement


Nominating Deadline –Friday, November 20, 2015
Submission Deadline – Friday, December 11, 2015

Nomination Form:  SBOY 2015 nom form

The selection committee will review all nominations that have been received by the nominating deadline (Friday, Nov. 20, 2015) to ensure that they meet the criteria.  Each qualifying nominated busines will receive application submission instructions to be completed for consideration for the Small Business of the Year Award.


The Chamber also recognizes an Outstanding Business Person of the Year who has shown leadership in business and community roles. This is the most prestigious individual award given by the Fayette County Chamber.

Qualifying Criteria:

o  Must be a member in good standing of Fayette Chamber of Commerce

o  Must own, operate or manage a business or profession in Fayette County.

o   Must have demonstrated unselfish support of the community.

o   Must exhibit a broad range of involvement in community affairs.

Nominations are solicited from the chamber membership and the recipient is selected by a vote by prior recipients of this prestigious award.

Nominating Deadline:  Friday, November 20, 2015

Nomination Form:  OBPOY2015_nom form

The 2015 winners will be announced at the Fayette Chamber Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon, on Friday, January 15, 2016 at Dolce Atlanta-Peachtree Conference Center, Peachtree City.

Leadership Fayette Announces Session Topics and Dates

Friday, October 30th, 2015

With the 2016 application deadline today, Leadership Fayette has announced the dates and topics of its 2016 program sessions.

Economic Development – Thursday, February 25
Education – Thursday, March 24
Cultural Competencies and the Creative Class  - Thursday, April 28
Health and Community Wellness – Thursday, May 19
Law Enforcement and Justice System  - Thursday, June 23
Governance and Civil Discourse Thursday, July 28
Project Presentations and Graduation – Thursday, August 25

Leadership Fayette kicks off their program with a two-day orientation retreat on January 21-22, 2016.

Applications are available here:

EDUCATION ISSUES FORUM: Registration Underway

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

The Chamber’s  4th quarter Issues Forum will take place Thursday, November 5 at Whitewater High School and will focus on Education and the Fayette County school system.  We will receive a state of the schools address from School Superintendent Dr. Joseph Barrow and an update on the Centers of Innovation.  We will also hear from Martha Ann Todd, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement who will discuss the goals and initiatives of that agency, specifically highlighting innovation funds grants and broadband updates.

Breakfast will be prepared and served by the Whitewater High School Culinary Cats.

Presenting Sponsor: Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America

Will you please make plans to join us for this informative session?

Education Issues Forum

Thursday, November 5

7:30 – 9:00 a.m.

Whitewater High School

100 Wildcat Way, Fayetteville

$10 for members, $20 for non-members


Chamber Holds 3rd Annual GREAT GIVE for Fayette County Schools’ C.A.R.E Program

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

Great-Give-CRFor the third year in a row, the Fayette Chamber is holding its Great Give, asking members to donate gift cards from local stores to be given to Fayette County School’s C.A.R.E. program.

C.A.R.E. – Children at Risk in Education – is a student assistance-based program, a dedicated and committed system of reaching out to students who are having difficulties with relationships, stress, grades, substance abuse and finances. Each school in Fayette County has a C.A.R.E. Teams are made up of administrators, teachers, counselors and other staff members such as school nurses, etc. These individuals not only receive special training, but they have committed their time, energy and experience, along with a strong desire to assist students in addressing their needs. The C.A.R.E. Team members work together with students and their families by offering appropriate in-school or out-of-school services and/or resources.

Donations to C.A.R.E. fill non-traditional item needs for students identified by the C.A.R.E. team as “at risk” or “in need.”  In 2013 and 2014 through Great Give, Fayette Chamber members donated more than $2500 to the C.A.R.E. program.

All gift card or monetary donations will be given directly to the C.A.R.E. program.  C.A.R.E. leaders & volunteers will use those donations to purchase specifically identified items needed by students in the program (all ages and grade levels).  Though some holiday gift items will be purchased, the majority of the donations will be used to purchase much-needed, non-traditional items.

Examples of items purchased for students by C.A.R.E are:
Wellness supplies
School supplies
Cap & gowns
Toiletry items
Extracurricular supplies
School fees

Members are asked to bring local store gift card donations of any denomination to the Chamber anytime between Wednesday, October 14 and Wednesday, December 9, 2015, at which time all gift cards will be presented to C.A.R.E. volunteers.  Items purchased by C.A.R.E. will be distributed to students prior to December 18, 2015.

Enter 2016 BAH Host Lottery Today!

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

The chamber’s monthly Business After Hours is networking at its best in a casual, relaxed environment at the host sponsor’s location.  Because of the high demand to be a BAH host sponsor, a lottery will be held to determine the 2016 host sponsors.


What are the benefits of hosting a Business After Hours?

The Business After Hours event will bring approximately 100 chamber members to your business for this prime networking opportunity.  The host sponsor is recognized in pre and post-event promotions and has the opportunity to present a 2-3 minute business promo at the event.  Other promotional opportunities include: opportunity to give away promotional items, display company banner, display promotional materials, and have access to the attendee list.

How do I become a host sponsor?

We invite any member who is interested to participate in the lottery drawing to be held at the October Business After Hours that will take place at State Bank of Georgia on October 22.  Interested members must register for the drawing by Monday, October 19 and a representative from your organization must attend the October Business After Hours in order to be selected.   Winners will have an opportunity to select the month of their Business After Hours based on the order in which they were drawn (i.e. the first winner will have the first selection).

What are the requirements of a Business After Hours host sponsor?

The cost for a Business After Hours Host Sponsorship is $500.  The host sponsor also must provide the location that can accommodate up to 120 people, as well as food and beverage for the event.

If you’d like to participate in the lottery drawing, send an email to by Monday, October 19th.

2016 Board Slate Available for Member Review

Monday, August 17th, 2015

According to the Fayette Chamber of Commerce by-laws, the process by which the board is selected requires the Chamber membership an opportunity to review the proposed board slate.  This e-mail serves as the notification that the board slate is now available for review.  The Fayette Chamber by-laws also provide the membership the right of petition.  That means any member can be nominated by petition by at least five members in good standing with the Fayette Chamber no later than 5 p.m. on August 28.

Below is the proposed slate.  Members with any questions, please contact the Chamber at 770-461-9983.

Nominating Committee 

Debbie Britt (Chamber Chair-elect), Piedmont Fayette Hospital; Peggy Thomas, Club Z! In-Home Tutoring; Linda Pirog, Senior Helpers; Joseph Rheaves, SouthCrest Bank; Sherri Davis, Georgia Academy of Dance & the Performing Arts; Kyle Hood, Town of Tyrone.

New Directors (term – January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2018)

David Bergmann NAECO
Will Garner Midwest Food Bank
Chris Stephens Coweta-Fayette EMC
Ken Takekawa TDK

2016 Officers

Board chair: Debbie Britt Piedmont Fayette Hospital
Chair-elect: Kim Schnoes Peachtree Planning Corporation
Vice-chair: Stephen Childs Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America
Vice-chair: Rob Parker Zac Brown’s Southern Ground
Secretary: Dawn Oparah AVPRIDE
Treasurer: Lee Whetstone FutureStaff Staffing Services
Immediate past chair: Greg Detwiler Georgia Power

Current Directors

Sherri Davis Georgia Academy of Dance & the Performing Arts
Sheila Dusseau NCR
Malcolm Hughes Fayette NAACP
Tim Hynes, Ph.D. Clayton State University
Sal Longo ClubCorp
Al Mead New Hope Baptist Church
Melissa Orme Orme Law Firm
Brent Ragsdale Chick-fil-A
Trey Ragsdale Kaiser Permanente
Joseph Rheaves SouthCrest Bank
Sheryl Watford YEP – Your Events and Promotions

Recommended Ex-Officio Board members (appointed for one-year term ending December 31, 2016)

Joseph Barrow, Ph.D. Fayette County Public Schools
Ray Gibson City of Fayetteville
Kyle Hood Town of Tyrone
Emily Poole Fayette County Development Authority

The by-laws do not require a response to this slate of candidates. If no additional nominations are made at the end of this period, the nominations will be closed and the slate of candidates listed above will be elected by the Board of Directors.

Issues Forum: Economic Development Presentations Available

Friday, July 31st, 2015

At the July 30 Issues Forum held at the Chamber, Dr. Alfie Meek of the Enterprise Innovation Institute at Georgia Tech gave a presentation about the impact of economic development on communities. Kevin Shea of Georgia Economic Developers Association gave a presentation about what companies and corporations look for when selecting a community in which to expand or locate operations.  Slides from these presentations are available by clicking the links below.  Further questions regarding this Issues Forum may be directed to

Meek – Impact of EcD

Shea – Why EcD

The next Issues Forum will be about the state of our schools – in Fayette and in Georgia and will be held September 18.  Time and location to be announced.

REGISTER TODAY! Impact of Ec Development Issues Forum

Monday, July 27th, 2015

The Chamber is pleased to provide an opportunity for members and all Fayette citizens and stakeholders to hear from two highly-regarded economic development leaders in our state.  On Thursday, July 30 from 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. at the Chamber, Dr. Alfie Meek of the Enterprise Innovation Institute at Georgia Tech and Kevin Shea of the Georgia Economic Developers Association will participate in a panel discussion about “The Impact of Economic Development on Communities.”

Continental breakfast will be served.

Chamber members and public are invited.
$10 for members; $20 for non-members
Thursday, July 30
7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
The Fayette Chamber of Commerce
600 West Lanier Avenue, Suite 205
Fayetteville, Ga  30214

CLICK HERE to register


Free Webinar: Secret Tech Weapons for Small Business

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015
Join Author Beth Ziesenis, on Tuesday, July 28 from 9:00-10:00 a.m. to discover how to use free and bargain technology tools you never knew existed to work more efficiently with your teams, create professional level graphics and wow your colleagues. This high-energy session will give you 30+ tools that will leave people asking, “How DO they do that?”

What if you could reach your customers with a multimedia video that you created on your phone in minutes? Or schedule a staff meeting without having to send three dozen emails to find a time everyone could meet? Or automate your little tasks that keep you from your real work? And what if you could pull all this off straight from your mobile device – without an IT degree?

Join us to discover how to use free and bargain technology tools you never knew existed to work more efficiently with your teams, create professional level graphics and wow your colleagues. This high-energy session will give you 30+ tools that will leave people asking, “How DO they do that?

Tuesday, July 28

9:00-10:00 a.m.
The Chamber Meeting Place


Business After Hours Thursday at Dynamic Spine Center

Monday, July 20th, 2015

The chamber’s monthly Business After Hours is networking at its best in a casual, relaxed environment.  Enjoy appetizers and a cool beverage while you mix & mingle with fellow chamber members.  Attending this event on a regular basis offers many opportunities to generate leads and build a powerful network.  So, don’t miss it and bring plenty of business cards!


Sponsored by: Dynamic Spine Center

It is our goal to improve the health of as many individuals in our community as possible, through a combination of spinal rehabilitation and posture correction. Healthcare is constantly changing, and so is chiropractic. We use the most up-to-date techniques possible to give you the results you desire. We do the research necessary to make sure we can take great care of you!

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