ALBANY, Ga. -- The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce will announce its first Lifetime Service Award winner at the chamber's inaugural Black Tie Barbecue, planned for Nov. 18 at the State Theatre downtown.
The Lifetime Service winner will be selected from nominations submitted to the chamber's Small Business Resource Committee.
Nominees must have distinguished themselves for their dedication to the welfare and betterment of Albany for a minimum of 25 years and must have been an active chamber member for the same number of years.
"This is our first time selecting a Lifetime Service Award winner, which will make our Black Tie Barbecue even more prestigious," Chamber Events and Outreach Coordinator Meghan Duke said. "The winner will be someone who has significantly demonstrated a history of dedication to Albany within three of these areas: economic development, education, cultural enhancement, public policy/government relations, business/community relations and/or quality of life."
Also at the event, which is scheduled to kick off at 6 p.m., the chamber will announce the winners of its 12th annual Small Business of the Year award, its 5th annual Nonprofit Business of the Year award and will name its ambassador of the year.
The dinner will also, for the first time, include a silent and live art auction featuring original works by local artists.
"It's always been important to the chamber to recognize member businesses that go above and beyond in their service to the community," Chamber President/CEO Catherine Glover said. "It's an opportunity for some of our businesses to stand out among their peers.
And since 85 percent of our member businesses are classified as small businesses, the challenge is greater.
"We also wanted to recognize this year the area's large artisan community by holding a voters' choice art auction. Half the proceeds will go to the artists, while the other half will support chamber activities."
Tickets for the Black Tie Barbecue, which is being sponsored by Phoebe Community Visions, are $50 through Nov. 11. After that date, tickets will be $65.
"Years ago the chamber recognized a Woman of the Year," Chamber Director of Communications Rachelle Bitterman said. "Rather than recognize a single woman or man, we decided to bring the wheel full circle by naming a Lifetime Service Award winner. This will certainly be a tremendous honor."
For online information about the Black Tie Barbecue, go to the chamber's website at www.AlbanyGa.com or call (229) 434-8700.