Latest Chamber Blog News

Chamber Member Discount for SBDC Digital Marketing Boot Camp

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Thanks to a grant from Digital Georgia, SBDC is able to bring this full-day Digital Marketing Boot Camp to Clayton State University for $49 per person, which includes lunch.

SBDC is offering Fayette Chamber members a 10% discount for our first Digital Marketing Boot Camp on Wednesday, October 22.  Discount code chamber10 (case sensitive).

This boot camp is taught by top marketing experts in the state and features interactive breakout sessions.

The boot camp will cover:
*   how to improve your website presence and connect with customers in a mobile world
*   how to integrate technology and marketing to increase your business’ profits
*   the ABC’s of SEO (search engine optimization) for your website and blog
*   how to make your Facebook page a strategic marketing tool
*   how to utilize Pinterest, Instagram, and videos into your marketing plan
*   how to use Google tools for growth
*   how great companies make digital marketing work: what’s their strategy?

More information and registration at

Letter to Members from Virginia Gibbs, President & CEO

Monday, October 13th, 2014


After over a decade at the helm of the Fayette Chamber,  I have let our board and staff know that  it is my plan to retire from the chamber December 31st of this year.   It has been such a privilege, honor and blessing to have had the opportunity to lead this incredible organization.   Not a day has gone by that I haven’t been inspired and humbled by the opportunities our team has to make a difference through our efforts at the chamber,  not only on behalf of the businesses and organizations that make up our membership,  but also for our Fayette community.

It’s interesting how often, when a senior leader announces they are retiring from an organization, the first question folks ask is “What’s wrong?”   While it may be a natural response,  I think a much better question is “What’s right?”,  and as such, that’s the focus of my letter to you.

As I reflect on my tenure here,   I am proud that, together, we have achieved a number of important goals.  First and foremost, we’ve made great strides in true organizational development, recruiting and building a talented team and closely aligning our mission with our day to day programs.  I can say without hesitation that your chamber has a truly solid foundation, and is ready to take it to the next level of service and impact in our community.   We’ve aspired, and, I believe, become a very good model of how solid small businesses and non-profits are run, with a talented and committed board and professional staff who operate with integrity and compassion.   We’ve honed our brand, and elevated our programs and communications to levels well beyond what you’d imagine a six person team could do.

Our chamber has played an integral role in being a catalyst for healthy,  inclusive community conversations on difficult and very personal conversations like diversity,   community health,  and how best to support our students for their futures.  We’ve helped our community to articulate its vision for the future.  We’ve been willing to ask ourselves the hard questions about our own programming and how we should best align our capabilities in areas such as leadership development and input on public policy.  And we have had the courage to not be satisfied with being good, but rather to act to improve the areas which need to be better.

Healthy organizations embrace leadership change, knowing that new leaders bring new gifts and perspectives which, done well, can truly build on the strong foundation, and take the organization to the next level.    I have done my personal best to prepare this chamber to be ready for that next level,  and have immense confidence that our Board of Directors will find the very best candidate to take the lead in 2015. Our Executive Board, acting in its capacity as the personnel committee, is in the process of determining how the search will be conducted.  Within the next two weeks,  we will communicate the job posting and qualifications on our web site and via chamber e-mail as soon as our board leadership has it available.  Of course, over the next two months, I will do everything possible to make this a seamless and extraordinarily healthy transition.

So, what’s right with the chamber?   So much is right, that I can confidently say “it’s time to hand off the baton.”  What’s next for me?  Time to relax, reflect and find where my life’s journey will lead me next…

Virginia Gibbs

DATE CORRECTION: Salon Serenity Ribbon Cutting

Friday, October 10th, 2014

Chamber News incorrectly listed the date of Salon Serenity’s upcoming Ribbon Cutting.

All members are invited to join us on Tuesday, October 21st at 5:30 p.m. at their salon – 308 Clover Reach, Peachtree City.

Arrive at 5:15 and the ribbon will be cut promptly at 5:30.

Learn more about Salon Serenity HERE


Enter 2015 BAH Host Lottery Today!

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

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 2015 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.  Interested members must register for the drawing by October 17th 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 Thursday, October 17th.

Non-Profit Board Training Workshop Offered October 28th

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

For anyone who serves on a board, works with boards, or works with a nonprofit organization, a great training opportunity is available this month.

A Nonprofit Board Training will be offered Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at The Newnan Centre, 1515 Lower Fayetteville Rd., Newnan. The event is hosted by The Newnan-Coweta Chamber, the Fayette Chamber of Commerce and the Coweta Community Foundation. Registration begins at 8am with the session running from 8:30am to Noon.

Topics covered will include the Importance of Nonprofits; Good Governance and Board Roles; Setting Strategic Direction; Committee Dynamics; and Risk Management.

Attendees will learn the importance of serving on a board, understanding duties and developing high performance leadership that can advance the mission and goals of the organization. This workshop is perfect for nonprofit staff members and volunteer leaders seeking to learn about developing strategic direction, roles and responsibilities of the Directors (fiduciary, mission, finances) and the increased scrutiny on Exempt Organizations.

The workshop will feature Robert C. Harris, CAE, a nationally acclaimed speaker and expert on boards of directors and association management.

Believing that nonprofits should be as efficient as any commercial business, Harris has studied thousands of them, authored books on association management and traveled the world to help organizations in countries like Japan and Ukraine.

Having received multiple awards throughout his career and dubbed the “Martha Stewart of association management,” Harris is actively promoting the impact of nonprofits in America and sharing his tips for success.

Registration fee for the Board Training is $15 per person or a flat fee of $225 per group for nonprofits. Deadline to register is Friday, October 24, 2014.

Register online at or for more information call 770-253-2270 or email

2014 Community Expo Makes Great Connections

Monday, September 29th, 2014

This year’s Fayette Chamber Community Expo featured  113 local business exhibitors and hosted approximately 1500 visitors at the 24th annual event.  Allan Vigil Ford promoted its longstanding community partnership with the presenting sponsorship of Fayette’s largest annual tradeshow.  Their signature could be found throughout the event as they gave visitors free oil changes, date night gift packages, and showcased their trucks, cars and even a local band outside.  Contemporary Catering provided visitors with dining experiences of all types—corporate to holiday—in the Expo Café.  No one left hungry!

Exhibitors commented that the Expo attendees brought high energy and interest in their businesses and organizations.  The chamber has already heard about great connections made between exhibitor businesses and their new customers.  Visitors and exhibitors alike commented that this year’s Expo was the best one to date.

For the first time, Expo displayed more than 80 visual art pieces from Fayette County School students, and showcased musical performances by student musicians and choral groups from Starr’s Mill High School, McIntosh High School, Sandy Creek High School, Fayette County High School, Whitewater High School, and Flat Rock Middle School.  The talent of these students blew everyone away.  It was a perfect intersection of business and community in Fayette County.

“This year’s Expo will be hard to top,” said Virginia Gibbs, President & CEO of the Fayette Chamber of Commerce, “but, we are already planning exciting things to celebrate Expo’s 25th anniversary in September 2015.  The community will not want to miss it!”

Thank you, Event Sponsors:
Allan Vigil Ford-Fayetteville
Piedmont Fayette Hospital
Canongate Golf Clubs
Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Huntington Learning Center
Comcast Cable Communications
Fayette County News
Contemporary Catering
Minuteman Press-PTC
Capital Investment Companies
Fayette County Development Authority
WEKS 92.5 FM The Bear

Thank you, Patron Sponsors
Counterpane Montessori School
Coweta-Fayette EMC
Dolce Atlanta-Peachtree
LegalShield-Albert Marshall
Loggins, Kern & McCombs, CPA
PNC Bank
Regions Bank
Sleep Number
SouthCrest Bank
Trinity Heating & Air
World Financial Group

EXPO Exhibitors’ Guide & Booth Layout Available Here

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Expo Exhibitors – download your copy of the Expo Exhibitor Guide to learn everything you need to know about logistics for Expo day:  Exhibitor Guide

Find out where your booth is located… Click here for your copy of the   Expo 2014 Booth Layout

Who Is Exhibiting at Expo – Fayette County’s Largest Tradeshow?

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

More than 100 of the best businesses and organizations you can find in Fayette will be at the 2014 Community Expo.

Tuesday, September 23

3-7 p.m.

New Hope Baptist Church-SOUTH Campus
1563 Joel Cowan Parkway (Corner or GA Hwys. SR74 and SR 85)

Want to see who will be there?  Click here for the 2014 Community Expo Exhibitors List

Come to Expo! Hear Mike Vigil & Adalene Invite You to Join Us Sept. 23rd!

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Hear Mike Vigil and Adalene invite you to come to Expo on September 23rd!  Here is the spot currently running on WEKS 92.5 The Bear!

Leadership Fayette Class of 2014 Graduates

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

The Fayette Chamber of Commerce honored the Leadership Fayette Class of 2014 at a luncheon and graduation ceremony on August 21.  The class was comprised of Fayette County business and community leaders who participated in the eight month leadership program designed to increase their knowledge and awareness of how our community works and build relationships between local leaders.  The program highlighted the inter-dependencies between sectors of the local economy and the interrelationships of local issues, challenges and opportunities.

LF Graduation Press Release

Leadership Fayette Class of 2014 Graduates:

David Barlow, Fayette County Commissioner
Wende Blumberg, Dolce Atlanta-Peachtree
Debbie Britt, Piedmont Fayette Hospital
Richard Buchanan, SouthCrest Bank
Charlie Cave, WEKS 92.5 The Bear
Cheryl Curtis, Merrill Lynch
Lance Hochhauser, Lindsey Law Firm, PC
Victoria Hughes, Comcast Spotlight
Alan Jones, City of Fayetteville Fire Chief
Whitt Jones, Paraclete Realty Inc.
Cindy Kelly, Heritage Bank
Steven Lawrence, Georgia Power
Cindy Manning, Manning, Levine & Marlow, LLP
Michael Mumper, Association for Village PRIDE
Judiffier Pearson, Clayton State University Small Business Development Center
Scott Pitts, City of Fayetteville Police Chief
Emily Poole, Fayette County Development Authority
Tim Price, CPA
Erin Roberson, Peeples Elementary School
Marlin Seay, Piedmont Fayette Hospital
Paul Schultz, Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America
Peggy Thomas, Club Z! In Home Tutoring Services
Sarah Trowbridge, Fayette County Public Library
Joyce Waits, City of Fayetteville-Main Street

Leadership Fayette Sponsors for 2014:

Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America
The Rotary Club of Peachtree City
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Camp Southern Ground
Truett’s Luau
Dickey’s Barbeque Pit-Fayetteville
A Healthy Appetite
SouthCrest Bank
This Is It Bar-B-Q & Seafood Event Center

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