Albany Area Chamber of Commerce 104th annual meeting set for Jan. 23

Bill Graham, a communications consultant and former official with Procter and Gamble, will be the speaker

Jim Deal is the incoming chairman of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee. (File Photo)

Jim Deal is the incoming chairman of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee. (File Photo)

ALBANY — The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its 104th annual meeting Jan. 23 at the Hilton Garden Inn, welcoming renowned communications expert Bill Graham as program speaker.

The annual meeting, which serves as the Chamber’s top event, will also feature the installation of new executive committee officers and the presentation of awards to the Non-Profit of the Year, Ambassador of the Year and the Lifetime Service winners.

After working as director of creative affairs for Procter & Gamble, Graham, founder of Graham Corporate Communications, has spent the past seven years specializing in helping leaders, legislators, executives and sales teams become more engaged in successful communicators through the use of specific techniques, such as likeability and storytelling.

In addition to Graham’s presentation, the Chamber will also welcome its 2014 Executive Committee Officers, including incoming Chairman Jim Deal, president of Albany Communications Inc., who hopes to precipitate a change in attitude within the Chamber and the Albany business community.

“We need to change our attitude about ourselves,” Deal said. “We need to be grateful for what we have and not worry as much about what we don’t have.”

Deal said at the board’s recent retreat, the focus centered on a new mission statement for the group: “Growing Through Change.” Deal said the group wanted to come up with a mission statement that recognized past achievements but also spoke to embracing the future.

“This past year has been a good one for Albany as we have seen significant retail growth through the area,” Deal said. “This positive news should make us feel better about ourselves and where we live. It’s time to start growing through change and that means a change in attitude. We can’t undo the past, but we can focus on the future with a positive attitude.”

Also joining Deal in spearheading the attitude change are the other incoming officers of the Executive Committee who will be installed at the annual meeting, including Chair-elect Ron Wallace, Treasurer Tommy Clark and Immediate Past Chair Cynthia George.

This year will mark the third time the Chamber has presented its Lifetime Service Award. Past recipients of that award were Sherman Willis and Emily Jean McAfee.

The annual meeting starts with a 5:30 p.m. reception on Jan. 23 at the Hilton Garden Inn on Front Street in downtown Albany. Tickets for the event, on sale through the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, are $60 per person or $575 for a table of 10. Individual tickets purchased after Jan. 20 are $75 each.

This year’s annual meeting is sponsored by SunTrust Bank, Albany Technical College, Ameris Bank, Georgia Power Co., Phoebe Community Visions, SB&T, Albany Communications Inc., Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission, Albany Convention & Visitors Bureau, ComNet Technical Solutions, Darton State College, Draffin and Tucker LLP, Mauldin and Jenkins, ModernMotion, Oxford Construction Company, Procter and Gamble and WALB-TV.