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Chamber of commerce plans to boost tourism, education, leadership
by Christine Fonville
March 18, 2014 03:32 PM | 1269 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In a meeting last week, members of the Henry County Chamber of Commerce spoke about future events and projects that the organization hopes will encourage more business and growth in the county.

Jeff Mills, chairman of the Convention Visitor’s Bureau Board of Directors, said part of the chamber’s goal is to “encourage people from outside of the county to come to [the county’s] businesses and spend money.”

He used sports tournaments and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race as examples of high-traffic events where promotion could help local businesses.

“About 40,000 people come outside of the county to participate in these sports events every year,” Mills said. “Those are opportunities for our county’s businesses to flourish and to encourage people to visit some of our more unique and one-of-a-kind attractions, like Noah’s Ark in Locust Grove.”

The animal sanctuary is the only place in the world that has a lion, tiger and bear living together, Mills said.

Next, June Wood, chair elect of the chamber’s Education Foundation spoke about the nonprofit’s plans to help expand educational institutions in the county.

“Our purpose is to partner with the Board of Education and support initiatives,” she said.

The nonprofit is associated with the formation of The Academy for Advanced Studies in McDonough, the first charter school to focus on career development in the county.

Now, said Wood, the foundation’s goal is to help with the building and add-ons to the Southern Crescent Technical College which will break ground in June at Highway 81 close to Henry County High School.

“We’re excited to have this eight-building campus coming to the county,” she said.

The nonprofit is trying to encourage the community to support a brick campaign to help fund future equipment and facility needs.

For $60 per brick, residents can memorialize or honor the name of a loved one to be placed in the courtyard on campus.

Mary Evans-Battle, a member of Leadership Henry, spoke about her experiences and upcoming projects with the organization.

“Through my experiences in the Leadership Henry program, I’ve learned not only about county operations but community engagements as well,” she said. “As a group, we hope to identify certain issues in the community and learn to develop relationships, which this organization does very well.”

Leadership Henry, a leadership development program that works closely with the chamber and was designed to provide a series of educational classes and community involvement, will host its upcoming special project, Hands on Henry, April 19.

The project, now in its 16th year, is an annual event with the goal of promoting volunteerism within the county and providing community service to those in need.

The application process for the next 10 month session of Leadership Henry will begin next month.

Each session includes about one class per month.

Information: www.henrycounty.com

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