Empower Albany summit scheduled at Civic Center

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, Strive2Thrive and the city of Albany have partnered to cast a light on local poverty at the 2011 Empower Albany summit today at the Albany Civic Center.

During the summit, which begins at 8:30 this morning, national thought leaders and CEOs from across the country will discuss the role that businesses must play in helping communities and the nation maintain their competitive edge, while sharing business models that engage those living below the poverty line.

"Albany/Dougherty County's poverty issues pose a profound challenge to our economic vitality and future," Chamber President and CEO Catherine Glover said. "This summit, which is organized in response to the needs of the community and of our (chamber) membership, will highlight how private-sector companies are successfully developing new, innovative business models that include a diverse and sustainable work force where employees are encouraged to participate in achieving success.

"Empowering and educating our community, all of us, is essential to future prosperity."

The keynote speaker for the summit is Fred Keller, CEO of Cascade Engineering and trustee to the international Kellogg Foundation.

Under his leadership, Cascade has launched one of the nation's most successful "Welfare-to-Work" initiatives and has been recognized by Fortune Magazine as one of the "25 Best Small to Medium Companies to Work for in America."

Other speakers are Scott Miller, co-founder and CEO of Move the Mountain, and Paula Getz, senior director of risk management for Oracle.

Miller will speak from 9:15 a.m. to 10 a.m., followed by Getz from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.. Keller is scheduled to speak at 12:30 p.m.