VALDOSTA — After 100 years of leadership in the Lowndes County business community, the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce took a brief respite Monday afternoon to celebrate its rich history before they approach the next century of influence.
Hosted at the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts, the Chamber Centennial Luncheon provided leaders a chance to socialize and take a trip down memory lane to look at some of the pivotal moments of the Chamber’s past involvement in the community.
The event kicked off with a delicious meal from Covington’s and a quick update on the many planned activities sponsored by the Chamber for their 100 year anniversary.
Along with various planned social events, the Centennial Tree Project promises to leave a lasting and effective statement on the community with the planting of 100 live oak trees around the community.
After lunch, a Powerpoint presentation guided the audience through 100 years, from their formation and support of local farmers to the establishment of the Industrial Authority and their various initiatives with industry in the area.
“It’s truly an honor for me to be in the leadership position this year, the 100th year of the Chamber serving the business community of Valdosta,” said Chairman Tim Jones. “Valdosta and Lowndes County have been very fortunate to have many strong business people give back to their communities through volunteer work with the Chamber and its many committees.”
The slideshow was made possible with the assistance of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Historical Society, who provided snapshots of another age; a time when leadership mostly consisted of men; where cigarettes were still smoked inside public places and fashion sensibilities were much different.
Photos provided a whirlwind of Valdosta memories, from the inception of Valdosta State University, which was originally called South Georgia State Normal College from 1913 to 1922, to the donation of 9,000 acres in Lowndes and Lanier County from local business leaders that would eventually become home for thousands of airmen stationed at Moody Air Force Base over the years.
The audience was fascinated at the changes over the years, along with pictures of their comrades with full heads of hair or the prevalence of glorious mustaches.
After 1975, the presentation provided a much more intimate look at the many Chamber leaders, with pictures and newspaper articles all centered on new business developments in the area.
“It’s important for the community to stop periodically and remember the people that have led our community to what it is today and we’re looking forward to another 100 years of success and leadership with the Chamber’s future leaders,” said Chamber President Myrna Ballard.
The Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce continues to celebrate 100 years throughout 2012. For more information, visit their website at www.valdostachamber.com.
Article by David Rodock and courtesy of The Valdosta Daily Times. Visit them at www.valdostadailytimes.com for print coverage of South Georgia’s news and sports.