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Chamber, business organizations kick off 2014
by Bobby Tedder
January 08, 2014 12:09 PM | 2579 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
File Photo / Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce President Tom Mahaffey
File Photo / Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce President Tom Mahaffey
Vinings Business Association Chairman Glenn Christian
Vinings Business Association Chairman Glenn Christian
Buckhead Business Association President Brian McGuire
Buckhead Business Association President Brian McGuire
Commerce in 2014 could prove to be a banner year for local merchants and their supporters.

The Neighbor Newspapers caught up with the leaders of three local organizations — a pair of business associations and a chamber — to find out where they’re headed at present and in the months to come.

Brian McGuire, president of the Buckhead Business Association

o on goals for 2014:

“Buckhead is poised for growth in 2014 and, in turn, the association has a unique opportunity to expand its membership. My goal, as president, for 2014 is to turn the overwhelming potential of [the] BBA into reality by increasing membership value and strengthening relationships with our community partners. We have listened to the feedback of our members, and, in 2014 the BBA will strive to provide members with opportunities to volunteer in the Buckhead community and create additional outlets for members to network beyond the ongoing weekly breakfast meetings.”

o on new programs/changes in store:

“I do not anticipate drastic change in the coming year but minor changes that will enhance membership value and, in turn, strengthen the Buckhead community as a whole. Through the association's Community Alliance, the BBA will be taking steps to strengthen existing relationships with community partners to offer members more outlets to engage.  One such example is a tour of the new North Atlanta High School for BBA members on Feb. 24 with Principal [Gene] Taylor so that members can see and experience the state-of-the-art facility firsthand.

“Given the desire to celebrate the 10-year milestone of A Taste of Buckhead Business, as well as previous attendee feedback, the BBA is separating the event into two unique events. A Taste of Buckhead will be a true food and wine experience, featuring signature dishes and libations from many of Buckhead’s many thriving restaurants, and is scheduled for Sept. 18 at the Buckhead Theatre. The Buckhead Business Expo (planned for spring 2015) will be a more traditional business and networking expo for both members and non-members, who work, do business in and/or are interested in the Buckhead community.

“And last, but certainly not least, the association welcomes new Executive Director Smita Solanki in 2014.

Tom Mahaffey, president of Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce

on 2014 goals:

“Our goals will be to:

1.   “Deliver greater value to the members:” We want to consistently engage members, provide a positive experience and provide them value that meets their needs and expectations.

2.   “Maximize the chamber’s organizational effectiveness:” Fundamental and critical in delivering greater value to Chamber members is an operationally effective and financially stable organization.

3.   “Support economic development in the region:” The chamber will hone in on areas that plug into and enhance the activity of current economic development organizations. Key opportunities exist within the small and mid-sized business segment, key regional industries and promotion of the region to support attraction and retention.”

o on new programs/changes in store:

Our first change will be to combine our Bagels and Business monthly breakfast and Dunwoody Chamber’s Coffee and Connects into one monthly luncheon. This will be held on the second Tuesday of each month starting in March, to be held at the Retreat at the Summit [Villa Christina] from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“Another change will be to introduce a new format for Networking at Noon, to be held on the second Thursday of each month at a local restaurant in the Sandy Springs area.

“Our Women’s Business Network will meet monthly with the Dunwoody Women in Heels and have a fashion show to raise money for The Drake House. There will be a Greater Perimeter Business Expo on June 19, with the Dunwoody Chamber, at the Crown Plaza.

“The Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber and the Dunwoody Chambers will host a golf outing in October.

“The Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber will continue its initiatives with the Healthcare Collaborative, the Workforce/Education Alliance, the Sandy Springs Restaurant Association, [the] Powers Ferry Business Alliance and our International Gateway with all the consulates that are located in Sandy Springs.”

Glenn Christian, chairman of the Vinings Business Association

o on goals:

Our goal is to help small business members grow their business during 2014 with a lot of informative events and speakers at our luncheons.”

on new programs/changes in store:

“The VBA has a new morning networking event, Vinings Open Networking, on the second Tuesday of each month from 8 to 9 a.m. at the Panera Bread at Paces Ferry Road and [Interstate] 285. It is [free of charge] and open to any VBA member or any visitor or guest.

“We will also continue the VBA Executive Club on the third Tuesday of the month, our first Tuesday monthly luncheon and third Tuesday after-hours [events].

“Other major events are the VBA Business Expo [April 21], the Braves game motor coach trip [May 20], Cobb Public Safety Recognition [Oct. 7], and the 2014 Business of the Year award."

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