Latest Chamber Blog News

Chamber Honors Outstanding Businesses and Leaders at Annual Meeting

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Over 320 business and community leaders gathered for the Fayette Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon Friday, January 16th at Dolce Atlanta-Peachtree.  Always one of the chamber’s most anticipated events, this year’s Annual Meeting introduced the organization’s newly named president and CEO, Carlotta Ungaro.  Ms. Ungaro was on-hand for the event and made some brief remarks to the attendees.

Also featured at this year’s meeting was internationally renowned artist and performer, Joe Castillo.  Mr. Castillo presented highlights of Fayette County and its history through his unique “Sandstory” art presentation.  Meeting attendees remarked about its creativity and how fortunate the community is to have such an artist as “one of our own citizens.”

“The chamber is pleased to host this gathering of Fayette County’s most influential business and civic leaders, whose hard work significantly benefits our community,” said Greg Detwiler, 2015 chamber Board Chairman.  “Today we honored a select few of those leaders, but everyone in the room is an integral part of the planning and preparation for our county’s future opportunities.”

Several chamber members were recognized for their service and participation in the chamber in 2014.  The following awards were given:  Young Professional of the Year— Jon Hughes, Bank of North Georgia; Volunteer of the Year—Jeff Edwards, Jeffrey S. Edwards, CPA; Chet Wells Award—Trey Rasgdale, Kaiser Permanente.

The Dreambuilder Award for service to the Fayette County community was given to Marie Sams, founder of The Joseph Sams School.

Two awards for business excellence in 2014 were also given.  Small Business of the Year was presented to NAECO, LLC.  Outstanding Business Person of the Year was given to Bob Reeves of Accounting Resources for his longtime leadership in Fayette County and Metro-Atlanta Region.

To conclude the meeting, 2014 Board Chairman J. Michael Burnett, Piedmont Fayette Hospital, passed the chairman’s gavel to 2015 Board Chairman, Greg Detwiler, Georgia Power.

This year’s Annual Meeting was made possible by presenting sponsor, NCR Corporation.  Other leading sponsors included Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America, Piedmont Fayette Hospital, Georgia Power, AT&T, and Cancer Treatment Centers of America.  Small Business of the Year award was sponsored by Minuteman Press-Peachtree City.  Outstanding Business Person of the Year award was sponsored by Coweta-Fayette EMC.

Fayette Chamber Board Member Named CFO at Chick-fil-A

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Tenured Executive Committee at Atlanta-based restaurant chain expands.

Chick-fil-A has five new members on its Executive Committee. They join Dan Cathy, Donald “Bubba” Cathy, Tim Tassopoulos, Steve Robinson, and Buck McCabe, who have comprised Chick-fil-A’s Executive Committee for more than 19 years. The new members of the company’s Executive Committee are: Jon Bridges, Brent Ragsdale, Lynn Chastain, Andrew Cathy and Cliff Robinson. All have been promoted to senior vice president.

Ragsdale, 48, assumes the role of chief financial officer, previously held by Buck McCabe, who will remain on the Executive Committee in an advisory role through 2015, at which time he will retire. Ragsdale began working at Chick-fil-A as a restaurant team member in high school. In 1990, he joined Chick-fil-A, Inc. as a franchisee consultant. He later moved to the financial services department and held multiple leadership roles, most recently vice president and chief accounting officer. He currently serves on the board of visitors for Berry College and the boards of directors for Southwest Christian Care, Fayette County Chamber of Commerce, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program, holds a Master of Business Administration from Mercer University and a bachelor’s degree in business from Berry College. He is married to GiGi, and they have three children.

“Longevity in leadership has always been one of our secret ingredients,” said Dan Cathy, president and CEO. “Chick-fil-A is in the rare and wonderful position of having senior leaders who helped grow this business with care and confidence. They have mentored a new generation of leaders, and I am especially grateful to Steve Robinson and Buck McCabe, for their loyalty, wisdom and humble service. They have played a significant part in growing one restaurant into a business of more than 1,850 restaurants that have had 47 consecutive years of sales growth. As we position Chick-fil-A for an even stronger future, we will be strengthened by the wisdom of the leaders who got us here. They are passing the torch to a new generation of leadership who are well-prepared to foster growth of a relevant brand in a changing world. They are individuals with character, fortitude and unparalleled business acumen — our best is yet to come.”

Chamber Names New CEO

Friday, January 9th, 2015

The Fayette Chamber of Commerce has named Carlotta Ungaro as its new president and CEO, tasked to lead the county’s largest business organization of almost 800 members.

Ungaro comes to the chamber from the Morrisville (NC) Chamber, a suburb of Raleigh, North Carolina.  She has served as its president since May 2011.  Prior to Morrisville, Ungaro served as president of the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce in Beaufort, S.C. for five years.

In addition to her leadership in the Carolinas, Ungaro has considerable economic development and chamber experience in the state of Georgia.  She started in economic development as the research director for the Metro Augusta Chamber of Commerce.  She later worked as a regional economic development representative of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and then as the vice president of government affairs for the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber conducted a nationwide search for a new president and CEO.  That search ultimately led to Ungaro’s selection.  “Carlotta’s accomplishments during her tenure at the Morrisville and Beaufort chambers exemplify her strong leadership ability,” noted Michael Burnett, 2014 chamber Board Chairman and leader of the chamber’s search committee.  “Her background and experience demonstrate her ability to be a strong advocate for Fayette businesses.  Her connections throughout the state of Georgia will help continue to position Fayette County as an important player in regional and state economic development.”

“I am excited about the skills, experience and leadership that Carlotta will be bringing to our chamber,” said Greg Detwiler, the chamber’s 2015 Board Chairman and search committee member.  “We are well positioned today and her chamber, economic and policy development experience, along with her business background, make her the perfect fit to take us forward.  We fully anticipate that she will continue the chamber’s growth and positive influence in the community that we have experienced in last few years.”

“I am thrilled to be back in Georgia and Fayette County is like coming home.  Fayette County has a great pro-business climate and I am honored that I have been chosen to represent the businesses here,” stated Ungaro.

Originally from Ellaville, Georgia, Ungaro graduated from Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus and received her MBA from Georgia State University.  She received Chamber Certified Executive (CCE) status in 2013, is a 2009 graduate of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute of Organizational Management and was a 2014 class advisor.  She has completed four leadership programs including Atlanta’s Regional Leadership Institute and Leadership South Carolina.

She and her husband, Maurice, will be relocating to Fayette County, and she will start her new job February 9, 2015.  Ungaro is replacing Virginia Gibbs who retired in December after ten years as the chamber’s president and CEO.Carlotta Ungaro

Get Preview of GA Legislative Agenda at GA Chamber Eggs & Issues Breakfast

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014
Dec ’14
9:00 am

The Georgia Chamber is hosting its 2015 Eggs & Issues Breakfast on January 13th.  Held concurrent to the convening of the General Assembly each year, the breakfast serves as a kickoff to the 153rd Georgia General Assembly session.  This annual event attracts over 2,000 Georgians, including many of the state’s top level officials, to the World Congress Center in Atlanta.  Governor Nathan Deal, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, and House Speaker David Ralston will provide a preview of the 2015 legislative agenda.

Click HERE for more information and to register.

Add Your Holiday Hot Deal on Chamber’s Website

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Does your business have a discount or special sale to offer other members this holiday season?  Post a HOT DEAL to the chamber’s website!  Hot Deals are a highly visibility link on the chamber’s home page as well as links in our weekly Chamber News email.  In addition, on the day the deal is posted, it will be pushed out over the chamber’s Twitter feed to all of our followers.

Check out the Hot Deals currently posted on our website!

Posting a Hot Deal for your business is easy!  Log into the Member Portal and click the link for HOT DEAL and start posting!

3 items to remember:

1.  TITLE – The title of your HOT DEAL must show a quantifiable savings.  For example:  “Save 25% on Glasses”, “$100 off Service Call”, “FREE Upgrade with Service Purchase”.  The savings is what make your deal a HOT deal!

2.  SUMMARY:  Give all the specifics about your deal and any restrictions or conditions.  Short, succinct, to the point!

3.  VALID DATES and VISIBILITY DATES:  Indicate how long your deal is valid and indicate how long you want the Hot Deal on the chamber website.  Mark dates in BOTH places!

Post your Hot Deal and we will approve it and post it by the end of the business day!

Call or email Paige with any questions.

Georgia Chamber Eggs & Issues Breakfast

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014
7:30 am

Location: Georgia World Congress Center – Thomas Murphy Ballroom – Building B: 285 Andrew Young International Blvd Atlanta, GA 30313
Time: Tuesday, January 13, 2015 – 7:30 AM to 9:15 AM
Registration: Eggs & Issues Registration

6:30 AM – Will Call Opens/Reception & Coffee Service Sponsored by Regions Bank
7:00 AM – Doors Open
7:30 AM – Breakfast & Program
9:15 AM – Program Concludes

Held concurrent to the convening of the General Assembly each year, the annual Eggs & Issues Breakfast serves as a kickoff to the 153rd Georgia General Assembly session.  This annual event attracts over 2,000 Georgians, including many of the state’s top level officials, to the World Congress Center in Atlanta. U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (invited), Governor Nathan Deal, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, and House Speaker David Ralston will provide a preview of the 2015 legislative agenda at this year’s event.

Register HERE to purchase your tickets & tables!

Member Breakfast Ticket: $125
Federation Member: $135
Non-Member Breakfast Ticket: $150
Member Breakfast Table (10 seats): $1,250
Federation Member Table: $1,350
Non-Member Breakfast Table (10 seats): $1,500

To receive preferred table location placement, please purchase your table by December 19, 2014.

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Kevin Carmichael at 404-223-2271 or email

For information regarding the event, please contact Lauren Moore at 404-223-2269 or email

Notices received by January 6, 2015 will be issued a refund, less $25 per ticket and $50 per table as an administrative fee. All cancellations must be made in writing and e-mailed to

There will not be a dinner the night before the Eggs & Issues Breakfast in 2015.

Small Business & Outstanding Business of the Year Nominations Now Being Accepted

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

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 Small Business of the Year Award.  Nomination DEADLINE:  Friday, November 21, 2014.

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 12, 2014.

 Judging Criteria:

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


Nominating Deadline –Friday, November 21, 2014
Submission Deadline – Friday, December 13, 2014

CLICK HERE:  sboy nomination form 2014

The selection committee will review all nominations that have been received by the nominating deadline (Friday, Nov. 21, 2014) 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 21, 2014

Nomination Form:  OBP_nominationform2014

The 2014 winners will be announced at the Fayette Chamber Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon, on Friday, January 16, 2015 at Dolce Atlanta-Peachtree Conference Center, Peachtree City.

Unemployment Insurance Seminar @ Chamber Friday Oct. 31

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Join us on October 31, from 9:00-10:00 am for  “Unemployment Insurance: What Every Employer Should Know” presented by Cherry Rizer, Employment & Training Consultant with the Georgia Department of Labor.

The benefits paid to jobless workers are financed through federal and state unemployment taxes paid by employers like you.  How your business prepares for and manages unemployment claims can have a major effect on your operating budget and bottom line.  This seminar will focus on some of the most frequently asked questions about the unemployment insurance program, including:

  • What happens when someone files an unemployment insurance claim
  • How much and for how long can someone receive unemployment?
  • How can I protect my tax rate?
  • What is the law regarding quits and discharges?
  • How many levels of adjudication are there?
  • What is the appeals process?
  • How can I win my case?

As a special bonus, attendees will receive FREE 30 day access to the Georgia Chamber’s Human Resources Library which includes the Georgia Human Resources Manual and Model Policies and Forms for Georgia Employers.   The Human Resources Library is a live online resource designed to help you manage your most important resource – your employees- while staying in compliance with labor laws.  It provides real-time information on all things human resources with 35 chapters on key employment issues, regulation compliance guidelines, best practices, model policies and editable forms and templates.  The library also contains guides to federal compliance topics.  

The seminar is a must for business owners, human resource managers, supervisors, and entrepreneurs. Register today!

Chamber Members Receive $100 Discount for Behind the Scenes Film Bootcamp

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Hair Salons and Make-Up Artists!

Learn what it takes to work on film and television productions and how to build a successful company with multiple streams of income around your craft.  If working behind the scenes has always been a dream of your, then you will want to join us for this power packed event. The 3-day boot camp features curricula for seasoned as well as aspiring HAIRSTYLISTS and MAKE UP ARTISTS.  Sessions include hands-on technical classes in the track of your choice, business seminars, panel discussions and a test lab to help you start building and packaging your portfolio immediately.  November 16 – 18, 2014, Georgia International Convention Center, Atlanta, Georgia FrSBDC Film_TV BOOTCAMPom the Small Business Development Center and Clayton State University.  Tuition is $595 for 3 days of classes.

Chamber members will receive a $100 tuition discount – Use Discount codes early100 for hair track and makeup100 for makeup track.

Register at

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

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