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DeKalb Chamber of Commerce Hosts 78th Annual Meeting

DECATUR, Ga., – Feb. 24, 2016 – Among 400 business and community leaders, the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce hosted its 78th Annual Meeting & Business Luncheon on Thursday, February 18 at Georgia Aquarium. Presenting sponsors included AT&T and Oglethorpe Power.

Keith Parker, CEO & General Manager of MARTA, served as the Keynote Speaker of the event, sharing MARTA’s role in shaping economic growth and quality of life in DeKalb County. Parker shared expansion plans to come to DeKalb County, including mixed-used redevelopments at the Brookhaven/Oglethorpe and Avondale Estates stations.

Outgoing board Chair Al Edwards, Managing Director of CERM, passed the gavel to incoming board Chair Diane McClearen, Director of Community & External Relations at Oglethorpe Power. The newly elected board members are Erik Bryant, Vice President, Atlanta Commercial Group, BB&T; Tom Burns, Owner, Toro Properties Rehab LLC; John Funny, President & CEO, Grice Consulting Group; Vaughn Irons, Founder & CEO, APD Solutions; Andrew Lewis, Executive Vice President, Georgia Charter Schools Association; and, Jason Ressman, Director of Operations, Hyatt Atlanta Perimeter at Villa Christina.

DeKalb Chamber also recognized businesses and individuals for their involvement and support of the organization and DeKalb County. John Kelley, Area Manager for Georgia Power, received the Sirius Award for his tireless work and vision for DeKalb County. Joshua Pacini, Realtor at PalmerHouse Properties, and Michele Rucker, Director of Sales at Holiday Inn Atlanta-Northlake, received the Ambassador of the Year Award for their committed volunteerism with the organization.

This year, DeKalb Chamber presented its inaugural Economic Development Project of the Year Award to Selig Enterprises Inc. for their redevelopment of Suburban Plaza in Decatur. The award recognizes an economic development project that has made a significant economic contribution in DeKalb County.

The redevelopment will bring an estimated 400 to 450 full-and part-time jobs, and generate $150 to $200 million in annual sales, resulting in $3 to 4 million in sales taxes. Suburban Plaza tenants include Walmart, HomeGoods, Ross, Jo-Ann Fabrics, L.A. Fitness and Starbucks.

“DeKalb Chamber’s role in promoting the economic viability of our community is pivotal. The Economic Development Project of the Year Award is a way for us to show appreciation to the organizations who provide the vision and foundation for economic growth in DeKalb County,” said Vaughn D. Irons, Chair of the Chamber’s Economic Development Committee and CEO of APD Solutions. “Selig Enterprises’ work with the Suburban Plaza will attract new businesses and residents, and help boost the quality of life in DeKalb.”

During the meeting, DeKalb Chamber announced its creation of Industry Council initiative, an initiative that educates and connects local industry participants with the resources to help grow their business and positively impact DeKalb County. The first Industry Council Business training course begins April 13 through 14.

In addition, DeKalb Chamber is planning a business trip to Cuba in October. The trip is open to Chamber members, state leaders, and community stakeholders. For more information, please contact the DeKalb Chamber office at 404-378-8000 or visit the website at www.dekalbchamber.org.

The DeKalb Chamber of Commerce is a membership-based organization with the mission to support, promote and sustain business development in DeKalb County. With 78 years of service in the community, DeKalb Chamber focuses on four critical areas including education, workforce and economic development, public policy, and business member services. We are the primary resource for businesses in DeKalb County. For more information on DeKalb Chamber, please visit their website at www.dekalbchamber.org or call 404-378-8000.