As tears came to his eyes, there was no doubt that Bob Montgomery, our 2017 Man of the Year, was surprised by the honor and, even more so, by his family rounding the corner of the Mulkey-Ndawula Event Center doorway at our Chamber Annual Banquet in February. Just as shocked was our 2017 Woman of the Year, Connie Fleetwood, when she realized she was the one being honored. And, of course, it was no surprise that Eddie Murray was our winning 2017 Agri-Business Person of the Year. What a great way to celebrate all that these individuals brought to our community last year!
We have had a great start to a busy 2018. With almost 30 new members joining in the first four months of the year alone, 2018 is shaping up to be a huge year of growth for Moultrie and Colquitt County. With the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine bringing their new facility here to Moultrie, we expect the employment and economic growth to change the landscape of the Moultrie we see today. It’s exciting to know that the new campus will be buzzing with students as early as fall 2019. What an impact that will have not only on the community but also within our local healthcare industry and beyond!
With all of our new members come ribbon cutting ceremonies. It’s been wonderful to celebrate new businesses coming to this area, established businesses relocating to new hot spots, and those who are growing by leaps and bounds opening up additional locations. In January, we joined Firehouse Subs at their grand opening, Beans & Strings opening a new location at the Moultrie YMCA, Bautista’s Champion Martial Arts at their facility, The Howard Center at their new location in Moultrie, and South Georgia Power Wash here at the Chamber opening their new business. After celebrating with Marketing Communications at the Chamber and Colquitt Regional Medical Center at their new Edwards Cancer Center in February, March brought even more ribbon cuttings with The Apothecary, The Rake & Broom, M & S Homecare, Alderman Classic Realty’s relocation back to the downtown square, Air Evac Lifeteam, and Rocking Chair Learning Center. We met April head on with several relocation ribbon cuttings: Orkin Pest Control now on GA Hwy 133, Elev8 now on 2nd Street NE, and the Moultrie YMCA opened the Downtown Y right on the square. We also invited Air Life Georgia into the Chamber membership in April as we got to tour a helicopter and airplane in their life-flight fleet. And of course, the energy in the air at the ground breaking for the medical college (PCOM) was almost tangible.
So many events have been a success, too, this year. Our very first Chamber Career Fair was very well received in the community with organizations and the public alike. Member businesses commented that it was one of the busiest job fairs in which they have ever participated, with some even running out of business cards within the first hour. We plan to host a second career fair for our members later in the year. Moultrie’s Main Street Spring Fling & Backyard BBQ was the talk of the town with the Swinging Medallions kick off, the variety of vendors, live music, and fun for the whole family! We’ve also enjoyed the Automotive Swapmeet Car Show, the Calico Arts & Crafts Show, the Moultrie Federated Guild Antique Show, Relay For Life, the Open House for the Colquitt County High School with the unveiling of the Packer Pride Wall and tour of the new multipurpose indoor facility, and GA Cities Week in which we, the City of Moultrie, and Colquitt County focused on our volunteer “Keep Colquitt County Beautiful” community clean-up campaign. We are already planning another one in the fall.
Our 21st Annual Golf Tournament was a blast! Twenty-three teams played 18 holes of golf with the chance to win a car through Edwards Motors with a hole-in-one. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see anyone win the car, but it was exciting to watch Quality Employment Service win 1st Place for the second year in a row, followed by Concrete Enterprises in 2nd Place and Commercial Banking Company/Mattco Realtors in 3rd Place. Thanks to all the volunteers and community partners, the day was a thrilling success!
With more ribbon cuttings already on the calendar and events like the Boys & Girls Clubs of Moultrie/Colquitt County Annual Founders Banquet featuring Evander Holyfield and Lowe’s Salute to Veterans Day at the end of May, as well as our Chamber Business After Hours at the Moultrie YMCA main campus in June, the next couple of months are shaping up to be just as eventful as the beginning of 2018. Here’s to a great year in business!