Retired NASA astronaut Scott Horowitz is scheduled to speak to the chamber’s 53rd annual celebration Jan. 23 at the Douglasville Conference Center, 6701 Church St. in Douglasville. A 6 p.m. reception will precede dinner at 7 p.m., with activities including presentations of the annual citizen of the year and business of the year awards.
Kevin Kirby, director of member services for the chamber, said Horowitz also is a retired Air Force colonel and motivational speaker who weaves stories from his life and military and space careers into his speeches.
“It was something completely different from the speakers we’ve had in the past,” he said.
Recent speakers at the organization’s annual meetings have included radio personalities Neal Boortz and Rhubarb Jones and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who spoke in 2011 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta during the chamber’s first meeting outside Paulding.
Horowitz was a pilot for space shuttle missions in 1996, 1997 and 2000 and crew commander for a 2001 mission, according to a biography on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration web site.
He is a graduate of Georgia Tech who worked as an associate scientist for Lockheed in Marietta before serving as both a test pilot for A-7 and T-38 military aircraft and as an F-15 Eagle fighter pilot.
Chamber officials selected the venue for this year’s meeting in part to show members the operations of a conference center similar to one envisioned for Paulding County in a recent chamber-commissioned study, Kirby said.
The study showed Paulding could support such a facility, which could serve as a meeting location for a variety of organizations, and recommended its location in the area of Ga. Hwy. 120 and U.S. Hwy. 278.
A committee is gathering data on potential funding sources and design.
WellStar Health Systems, GreyStone Power Corp., AT&T, Members First Credit Union, Georgia Power and LGE Community Credit Union are among the event sponsors.
For more information, call Kirby at (770) 445-6016 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.