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Top chamber official resigns

Deborah V. Bowie

Deborah V. Bowie

ALBANY, Ga. — Deborah Bowie, a top figure with the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, submitted her resignation Thursday.

In an an email to chamber staff, board members and friends, Bowie talked about her time in Albany and her work at the chamber.

"I tendered my resignation today at the chamber. I wanted to personally reach out and tell you that I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each of you and working alongside you in trying to effect change in Albany, Ga. It was nearly two years ago that you accepted an Alabama transplant into your professional circle to help steer the ship on public policy, advocacy, public relations and marketing … and what a great two years it has been," she wrote.

Bowie was the chamber's senior director of Public Policy and Communications. She said she's leaving the chamber to accept another opportunity in a setting where her son, who is autistic and nonverbal, can get the kind of intensive therapy he needs.

"Albany's been great. I can't compliment ARC enough, but he's done with their preschool this year so I've been looking for a while now at places where I can get him the treatment and care he needs to carry him through grade school and junior high and maybe high school," Bowie said. "Professionally, Albany has taught me a lot about my role. I've learned a lot and met a lot of great people, but it's time to move on."

Chamber President Chris Hardy called Bowie a valuable member of the team and an asset in her role.

“The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce is grateful for Mrs. Bowie’s service to our chamber. Since joining our team nearly two years ago, she has been a valuable member of our team. During her time of service, she helped our chamber advocate on many issues of importance to the business community while serving as a key liaison to our annual Atlanta delegation visits and our annual Washington, D.C. fly-in that was just completed a few weeks ago," Hardy said in a statement to the Herald.

"Though we regret that she will no longer be a part of our team, we wish her and her family nothing but the best in her new venture. Deborah is an extremely talented individual, and I am confident she will continue to succeed in the future. I will be meeting with the chamber's Executive Committee over the next few days to determine the best course of action moving forward so that we continue to be the premier business advocate for Albany, Dougherty County and Southwest Georgia."

While Bowie's resignation comes just a day after it was announced that the chamber's accreditation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had dropped from five stars to three stars, Hardy emphasized Thursday that her resignation had nothing to do with the findings from the U.S. chamber.

“I want to be clear: Mrs. Bowie’s resignation and the chamber’s accreditation are not related in any way," Hardy said. "The recommendations that we received from the U.S. Chamber regarding government relations had nothing to do with Mrs. Bowie’s work as our director of Public Policy; actually it was to the contrary.

"The recommendations received were strictly opinions from the U.S. Chamber on programs that they feel would make our Government Relations division that much more effective, though we are not convinced that all those recommendations fit our organization and/or community. At no time did any of the recommendations suggest our chamber has not been providing a high level of value and public policy effort on behalf of our members and the community. The U.S. Chamber has set criteria for all aspects of chamber operations; regarding Government Relations they suggested we add certain programs and efforts to our already existing body of work relating to public policy.

"Some of these suggestions involved budgetary concerns, and Mrs. Bowie provided our chamber and members with the highest value of service based on the budget she was allotted. Furthermore, there were services that Mrs. Bowie provided that went above and beyond what was asked of her beyond our published strategic plan and body of work. Any implications that the recommendations suggest that Mrs. Bowie’s work was anything less than exceptional is 100 percent false."

Comments

MRKIA 1 year ago

A LENGHTY LOFTY TITLE TO ACCOMPLISH WHAT? I GUESS GOING FROM 5 TO 3 STARS IS NOT WHAT THE COC HAD IN MIND. HOPE YOU DIDN'T COME IN AND MESS UP THESE FOLKS PROGRAM.

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Nous_Defions 1 year ago

I don't think that is the case, maybe she got tired of the Oligarchs' BS, and decided to find a ship that doesn't have a "broken rudder"

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MissionFocused 1 year ago

She is NOT the problem. Check your facts!

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Don_Davis 1 year ago

Thank you for your service to the community Deborah. We wish you the best in your future endeavors. Fair winds and following seas!

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VietVet1 1 year ago

Stars come - and stars go

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Amazed2 1 year ago

Just wondering how much less money a 3 Star General makes than a 5 Star General?? I would think considerably less. So why not go in and do a Salary audit and ajust the Top Chamber leaders salary downward. After all the new head of the chamber got caught bragging about his salary on some internet site just last year. Cut some base salaries and put the fat cats on an incentive plan. In other words get out and hunt something or dont eat.

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beenhereawhile 1 year ago

The Chamber of Commerce is not a government organization. It is funded by members. What does it matter what they are paid. Unless you are a member, you have no say in how much the officers are paid.

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FryarTuk 1 year ago

You had better check your facts on that one. Money that was channeled from taxes through non-profits were used to augment the compensation packages of previous CofC Execs.

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Amazed2 1 year ago

Just wondering how much less money a 3 Star General makes than a 5 Star General?? I would think considerably less. So why not go in and do a Salary audit and ajust the Top Chamber leaders salary downward. After all the new head of the chamber got caught bragging about his salary on some internet site just last year. Cut some base salaries and put the fat cats on an incentive plan. In other words get out and hunt something or dont eat.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year ago

That letter of resignation was some kind of professional. At least get someone with good command of the English language to look over it.

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MRKIA 1 year ago

APPEARS WITH HARDY EVERYTHIG IS TO THE CONTRARY. IN OTHER WORDS ALL IS NOT WHAT IT SEEMS.

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VSU 1 year ago

Makes me wonder if a 3 star makes less than a 5 star and with her resignation, maybe they use that as a tool to hire someone at a lower pay scale.

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Amazed2 1 year ago

Beenhereawhile you obviously been here too long!! You must be crony of a crony of the Chamber Chronry. Are you so stupid that you think the Chamber operates without any tax dollar assistance. Well I guess you are!!

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beenhereawhile 1 year ago

I am not a crony of anyone in the Chamber. I don't even know any of them and I am not a member. I am smart enough to understand that they are a PRIVATE organization, and that the taxpayers have no say in their operation or their salary structure. They can pay whatever they want. The city may give them money to fund certain programs, but the city has no say in their hiring or fiiring practices.

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GeeGee 1 year ago

Wonder who will be next. If you sincerely want someone to stay here, we do not have anyone to pick out of Albany Metro? If not, ASU is not as good as you claim. The mindset of Albany folks can only be understood by Albany folk. An outsider will never ever understand. Too many preachers from the churches here have stayed short times and leave as soon as their contracts are up. Pick a good ole Albanian and you may go back to five stars again. I am sure that the chamber has lost businesses members, but they have not set the world on fire either by bringing new businesses here either.

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MRKIA 1 year ago

YES,THIS IS A WOMAN.

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Bubbavet_rureel 1 year ago

This City has a evil spirit in it, negative comments are feeding the spirit. Media are posting it, childeren and families are living it.

To the last person leaving, please turn the lights out>

Bubbavet

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Amazed2 1 year ago

Dear Beenhereawhile you seem to lack basic understanding of the Tax collection system and what it means for Organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce that depend on Tax based funds as part of their annual budget so they can exist. I understand you cannot understand that when Tax dollars are utilized then every single taxpayer has the right to question expenditures. Again I know you struggle with this concept. Think of this way you have $25 in you pocket. I reach in an take $5 out and say thank you. You have just lost part of your money. Im glad you dont care that I took it. I will be back later for another $5. Thanks for not understabding. Your money is nice.

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FryarTuk 1 year ago

" to help steer the ship on public policy " yet another ship "steerer". Capt. Eddie where are you? The Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Authority isn't worth a cold bucket of spit.

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