Chamber honors ambassador, business of the year

Published 9:00 am Saturday, September 23, 2023

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The Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce honored several community businesses and with awards during its 60th annual membership dinner on Thursday.

Since 1963, the Chamber of Commerce has been working to promote and support the interests of local businesses. This year’s membership dinner marked the 60th anniversary of the night of recognition.

During the dinner, GVACC Director Carrie Wood handed out awards for several businesses as well as the Chamber of Commerce Junior Ambassadors.

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“On behalf of the board of directors and the chamber staff, I would like to thank you for your dedication and serving this year as an ambassador,” Wood said.

This year the Ambassador of the Year award was awarded to Ashley Beck at EAMC-Lanier. Sarah Crutchfield, owner of Langdale Comfort Co., was honored with the Community Mover and Shaker Award for 2023-2024.

“I think that this award is very important to us and what this person does for our community,” Wood said.

The Business of the Year award was a tie between Farmers and Merchants Bank and J.C. Colley Trucking. The Emerging Business of the Year was LaFayette’s Blue Button Quilts and Embroidery. The Small Business of the Year was Dori Harmon Insurance.

The Retail Business of the Year award was given to Gimme Some Sugar Coffee. LaFayette’s Krave Korner was the restaurant business of the year. Kia Georgia in West Point was the Industrial Business of the Year.

Wood also honored the outgoing board of directors, Andrew Shultz and Merilyn Vines, as the incoming board of directors were honored.

“We appreciate each and every one of you what you do for our community,” Wood said. “Thank you for your support these past 60 years.”

The chamber welcomed 15 new members to the organization this year.

Rockingfest on the Square has become a popular event in the community hosted by the chamber. This year, in addition to the world’s largest rocking horse, guests will also see the world’s largest slide.

“This event has proven to be the largest event in our area, and it’s growing each year,” said Chattahoochee Hospice Nurse Adrian Holloway.

Another addition to this year will be the Rockingfest Youth Entrepreneur Market. Children ages 16 and under can showcase their best business ideas and explore the world of entrepreneurship.

For the fourth year, the Chamber awarded one student, Treanna Bridges from Valley High School, with a junior ambassador scholarship.

Fishing Unversity also came to the county this year to film an episode their show on West Point Lake. During their visit, they visited Valley High School to talk to the students about career opportunities after high school.

The GVACC also filmed a commercial about the Greater Valley Area to play during the breaks of the episode.