Chamber’s annual meeting honors businesses, leaders for contributions

Isaac Culver

The Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce recognized companies and community leaders for their contributions Thursday during the organization’s 156th annual meeting.

The meeting, held at Middle Georgia State University, recapped economic development activities for 2016, especially through the efforts of the Macon Economic Development Commission.

Among this year’s accomplishments cited were the grand opening of the Kumho Tire plant that created about 400 jobs. Also, 14 companies announced plans to invest nearly $53 million and create almost 640 new jobs.

Isaac Culver, chief executive officer of Progressive Consulting Technologies and the chamber’s incoming chairman, outlined some of the initiatives for the coming year. The group wants to focus on regionalism, economic development and investor engagement, he said.

The chamber will support regionalism by pushing for a multicounty transportation sales tax initiative as well as other ideas that will help bolster the business community, he said.

The chamber will also support the Ocmulgee National Monument’s bid to gain national historic park status, and he said the group’s relationship with Robins Air Force Base will not flag. Supporting existing businesses and industries will continue to be a top priority, he said.

Business and community leaders recognized during the meeting were:

▪ Business of the Year Award: OrthoGeorgia;

▪ Small Business of the Year Award: Macon Occupational Medicine;

▪ Industry of the Year Award: HAECO;

▪ Economic Development Champion Award: the Medical Center, Navicent Health;

▪ The Charles Jay Fellow Award: Thomas Reichert;

▪ Chairman’s Award: Maj. Gen. Robert McMahon;

▪ Ambassador of the Year: Patty Burns;

▪ Robert F. Hatcher Distinguished Alumni Award: Mayor Robert Reichert;

▪ Citizen of the Year Award: Benjy Griffith III.