Chamber to hold its 2011 annual meeting

ALBANY, Ga. -- Going into its second century of service to the community, the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce is aiming to "Get Connected."

This will be the attitude promoted at the Chamber's annual meeting, which is set to take place Thursday at the conference center of the Hilton Garden Inn.

The first segment of the program is "Wine & Wii", scheduled to kick off at 5:30 p.m. An hour after that, the dinner and program will start.

In lieu of a speaker, a Nintendo Wii tournament will take place at the end of the event. Electronic items will be given out as prizes for the contest.

"I believe there will be some good ones," Rachelle Bitterman, director of communications at the chamber, said of the prizes.

During the program, the gavel of the Chamber's board chair will be formally passed on from Jimmy Wilson to Randle.

"(Randle) is officially in her duties but she will take over the gavel (at the event)," said Bitterman. "She started Jan. 1."

Randle recently made some remarks regarding her goals as the board's chair in the January/February 2011 edition of "Business," the chamber's regular publication.

"The dedication and commitment of time, money and brainpower demonstrated by our executive committee, committee chairs, volunteers and staff providing the many services (to the community) is awe-inspiring," the statement reads in part. "They truly care about the work they do supporting the Chamber and facilitating opportunities for businesses to grow, thrive and be successful.

"....To fully realize the direct and indirect benefits that are possible through the services the Chamber offers, one must be actively engaged. Become engaged by connecting with new customers and suppliers at Chamber events, participating in committee meetings, taking advantage of group discounts, promoting your business with a page provided on the Chamber website, staying current with weekly newsletters and attending educational seminars. It is time to 'Get Connected!'"

There will be five volunteer awards handed out at the dinner in addition one other award that Bitterman would not disclose Tuesday due to the planning process for the program being incomplete.

As of midday Tuesday, 300 reservations had been made for the event.

The Chamber will be taking reservations up to the start of the event and at the door depending on the availability of seats. Individual tickets are $75 each in advance, and $85 at the door.

For more information on the program or to reserve a space, contact Meghan Duke, events and outreach coordinator at the chamber, by calling (229) 434-8700 or sending an e-mail to mduke@albanyga.com.