Monthly Archives: July 2013

August 20th Eggs & Issues Breakfast

The Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce welcomes Secretary of State, Brian Kemp to speak at our 2013 Eggs & Issues Breakfast to be held on Tuesday, August 20th.   The event will take place at the Union County Community Center in Blairsville.  Breakfast will be served at 7:45am followed by the keynote speaker.  The event will conclude at 9:00am.  Secretary Kemp will give an overview of the current happenings in the Secretary of State’s Office including the elections calendar, Invest Georgia Exemption – a securities regulation to help small businesses in the state of Georgia, and corporations and professional licenses.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a lifelong resident of Athens, is a graduate of Clarke Central High School and of the University of Georgia, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture.  Secretary Kemp served in the Georgia State Senate from 2002-2006. He has served as Secretary of State since January, 2010. Among the office’s wide-ranging responsibilities, the Secretary of State is charged with conducting efficient and secure elections, the registration of corporations, and the regulation of securities and professional license holders. The office also oversees the Georgia Archives.

The Chamber would like to express our sincere thanks to this year’s Eggs & Issues Breakfast sponsor, The Wine Shoppe.  Located in the Union Station Plaza off of Hwy 129 North, The Wine Shoppe carries a large selection of fine wines for any occasion.  Stop by and speak with owner Bill McGlamery and pick up your perfect bottle.

Please make plans to join us as we welcome Secretary of State Brian Kemp to Union County.  Due to limited seating, all reservations must be made on or before Friday, August 16 by contacting the Chamber office at 706-745-5789.  The cost is $20 for Chamber members and $30 for the general public.  Chamber members may register online at www.VisitBlairsvilleGA.com and are also eligible for a $5 early bird discount if paid before August 9.  I can be reached any time at President@BlairsvilleChamber.com.

Welcome Chuck Smith

The moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived!  The applicants were abundant and the candidates were impressive.  After a month long search process, I am proud to announce that we have hired Mr. Chuck Smith as our new Membership Coordinator for the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Smith joins the Chamber after spending the last ten years doing audit work for Brasstown Valley Resort in Young Harris, Georgia.  Prior to his career with Brasstown, Chuck lived in Conyers, Georgia.  There he became the Founder/Owner/Operator of a successful paper and packaging business, which ultimately sold to a major competitor for a profit in 2002.  Chuck has a strong background in sales, customer relationship building, and accounting.  He is a graduate of the 3M Company Business Sales School and the 3M Company Business Negotiations School.

Chuck has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Business Management from the University of Nebraska.  He is a native of Georgia.  He and his wife of 27 years, Kimberly, currently reside in Union County.  They have two married sons and three grandchildren.

The Chamber is thrilled to welcome Mr. Smith to our team and anxious for our members and the community to meet him.  Chuck will begin his employment with the Chamber on Friday, July 26.  He may be reached after that time at membership@blairsvillechamber.  I can be reached anytime at president@blairsvillechamber.com.

Ferst Foundation

I’m sure you can relate.  Day after day you encounter many so called opportunities.  Give to this.  Volunteer for that.  You’ve seen it all.  You’ve heard it all.  You’re broke.  You’re busy.  Enough is enough.  And then, right then, when you thought you had nothing more to give, another opportunity comes along and – BAM!  This is the one.  You feel the excitement.   You visualize the possibilities.  You’re inspired.  You’re motivated.  YOU are ready to take action.  Welcome to my latest endeavor – the Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy.

The Ferst Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that mails an age appropriate book each month to every registered child in participating Georgia counties.  The program may start small, but the goal is to provide a free book to every child in the community who is 5 years or younger.  Think of the possibilities!  We want every child to read proficiently. We want every child to perform well in school and graduate from high school on time. We want every child to grow up prepared to compete in the global economy.  Numerous studies have shown the positive impact of reading to children during the critical development ages of birth to age five.

I am reaching out to you today to ask for your participation as Union County pursues the implementation of this program.  We are looking for volunteers to serve on our Community Action Team to raise money, register children, and/or raise awareness of the program.  We are also looking for financial contributors who believe in the power of education.

Sponsoring a child for one year is only $28.  While I realize that not everyone will feel as passionate about this program as I do, I also know that there are citizens out there who will feel a connection to this program and will want to join the effort.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can contribute either physically or financially, please contact the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce at 706-745-5789 or me directly at president@blairsvillechamber.com.  Here’s to a bright future for the next generation.

The Hair People Named Business of the Quarter

Here we go into the third quarter of the year.  Yes, that’s right.  Half of 2013 is already in the books.  With each change in quarter, the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce presents to you a new recipient of our Business of the Quarter recognition.  The Business of the Quarter program was established to recognize outstanding businesses and organizations that go above and beyond to serve the local community. It is my distinct pleasure to announce The Hair People as our latest recipient.

Joe Scerbo, owner of The Hair People, has been an active member of the Chamber for six years.  He was recently chosen to serve as one of ten Chamber Ambassadors whose primary role is to support and assist member businesses and strengthen the membership of the Chamber.  One will rarely attend a Chamber event or ribbon cutting that Mr. Scerbo is not present.

The team of stylists at The Hair People has been involved in many worthy community programs including Relay For Life and Locks of Love.  They also provide gift bags to charities, the local school system, and organizations like Friends of the Union County Library.

Mr. Scerbo is a proud founder of the Mountain Networking Referral Group which is a lead generating business group which has pumped thousands of dollars into the local economy since it began in 2012.

If you haven’t stopped by their shop recently, located at 23 E Murphy Highway next to Pat’s Hallmark, be sure to do so as it has been totally renovated in the last year.

Congratulations to our friends at The Hair People and to Mr. Joe Scerbo who encompasses all things admirable in a community partner.  Chamber members are invited to attend the July 11 Business After Hours celebrating The Hair People as Business of the Quarter at the Union County Community Center from 5:30 to 6:30pm.

Do you know a business that is worthy of consideration for future recognition?  If so, I encourage you to nominate them today.  Forms can be obtained at www.VisitBlairsvilleGA.com.  Click on Chamber Programs, fill out the application, and submit to the Chamber.  You may also contact the Chamber of Commerce at (706) 745-5789.  I can be reached any time at President@BlairsvilleChamber.com.

Discovering North Georgia From Beautiful Vacation Rental Cabins

With the lofty Blue Ridge Mountains, cascading waterfalls, and adventurous trails, North Georgia has never disappointed anybody. The luckier ones call it their home and the others love to spend some time in this postcard perfect locality. The existence of several nice and cozy rental cabins, especially in Union County, means only good news for all those who love a generous mix of nature and adventure.

Many who come to the place for hiking, fishing, or simply vacationing, often choose to put up in the rental cabins because it adds an extra dimension to the entire experience. Most importantly, there is hardly a better place than the beautiful locales where the Union County cabins are set, where the flowers and the trees, and the grasses and the clouds come together to create the most mesmerizing symphony of North Georgia.

Often the rental cabins come in one or two bedroom styles and are located at a comparatively isolated area. Bordered by forests or closer to the mountains and streams, staying in these cabins is a great idea for all those who would love to spend some time amidst wildflowers and natural wonders. The cabins are fully furnished, have fully equipped kitchens, and water and electric supply. Covered porches are also very common. The cabins boast of all the modern amenities that would make the stay a unique blend of comfort and convenience. It is like living the new-age life in a setting that is reminiscent of the ancient times.

There is no better way to enjoy the thrill than staying at a rental cabin in Union County, North Georgia. Many of these are just minutes away from the Appalachian Trail and the Vogel State Park. This makes them an ideal place to unwind after a long day of hiking, bicycling, or motorcycle ride. The Chattahoochee National Forest is a place where many cabins and vacation rentals are available. Since this area is also the designated Appalachian Botanical Sanctuary, nature is preserved at its best at this place.

Union County is famous for its hospitality. There is hardly anything that can match the warmth that Blairsville, Helen, and the other hill towns exude. In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to say that apart from the conveniences that have been added to these places with time, the same laidback attitude still atmospheres the place. One of the best places to experience this in North Georgia are the cabins that stand secluded amidst the forests and offer an awesome view especially of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The scenic vacation spots of North Georgia often bring families looking to spend some nice time together. If adventure is particularly not on their list, they can enjoy a drive on the beautiful winding road of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Apart from this, many rental cabins offer such fun activities such as horseback riding, which includes summer horse camps and lessons, fishing, playgrounds, hayrides, and more.

Also, being at a convenient distance from the towns of Union County, North Georgia, these cabins offer an easy access to downtowns of Blue Ridge, Ellijay and shopping malls. What better way to remember this place than buying a souvenir from the local shops?

Happy Fourth of July!

The Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce would like to extend a warm invitation to you and all of your family and friends to join us at our annual community fireworks display to be held on Thursday, July 4 from Meeks Park.  The show will begin after dark and is certain to be a memorable one.

As in past years, the Chamber will again offer chances to win $1000 by making a $10 donation toward the fireworks display.  The winner will be drawn on the evening of July 4th, and does not have to be present to win.  Tickets are available from Chamber Board Members and at the Chamber office within the Union County Community Center.  Additionally you may see volunteers of the Chamber at various local businesses this week as well as in town on the night of the fireworks. Please consider a donation that will ensure the continuation of such a great show in Blairsville.

The Chamber would like to say a special thanks to Woodmen of the World, a not for profit organization offering a variety of insurance and investment options, who is helping sponsor this year’s event.  We also thank the Union County Commissioner’s Office, Union County Sheriff’s Office, Union County Fire Department and Union County Recreation Department for providing event support in the form of fire and public safety, traffic control, and parking.

I wish you all a safe and relaxing holiday.  We look forward to your company on Thursday night.  For additional holiday events and celebrations, check out our website at www.VisitBlairsvilleGA.com or call us at 706-745-5789.  I can be reached directly at President@BlairsvilleChamber.com.

Checking Out North Georgia and the Appalachian Trail

Step away from the stress of everyday life and take a trip back to enjoy the beauties of nature’s creation by visiting North Georgia in Union County. This area is filled with many gorgeous picturesque areas with many opportunities to enjoy a family vacation or even a weekend getaway. Being one with nature and basking in all of its glory is a true experience especially when exploring the Appalachian Trail.

The Appalachian Trail that goes through the North Georgia area is only a mere portion of the trail itself. The trail actually crosses over fourteen different states and at least sixty different national and state parks. Over seventy-six miles of the trail goes through Georgia. People who want to hike the Appalachian Trail have many different areas in the Union County area to camp out and take in all of the nature that the trail has to offer.

Not only are there winding pathways, gorgeous trees towering overhead, and mountains in the panoramic view, but there is also opportunities to see several natural species of wildflowers and animals in their natural protected habitat. Winding trails branch off of the Appalachian and the views from different areas of the trail offer views of the Blue Ridge Mountains that are spectacular. Hundreds of smaller nature trails branch off into various directions so it is a good idea to take a map.

For hiking enthusiasts, the Appalachian Trail in North Georgia is a paradise and dream excursion. At some points it may even be tougher than the average hiker typically would experience. The hike in itself will be tough work on even the most athletic of all climbers but the up and down peaks on the trail is an absolute site to be seen. There are places on the trail that could bring tears to one’s eye because it can be hard to fathom nature in all of its glory.

There are cascading waterfalls in the depths of the forest. The Appalachian Trail itself even has a rich cultural history from when there was a gold rush so many years ago. There were also several battles of the Civil War fought on this trail, changing history books in the United States forever.

If an avid fisherman is in tow, there are also several areas where people can cast a line and wait to get a bite in one of the many lakes and streams on the Appalachian Trail. The Blue Ridge Mountains are near Lake Conasauga and it is the highest lake in Georgia, resting at least 3,000 feet above sea level.

Throughout the year, one great draw to the area of Blairsville, Georgia, are the numerous hikes on the Appalachian Trail that encourages hikers to come and go on various hikes in groups. These are typically put on by the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club. There are also accommodations and camping sites that are nearby so that everyone can get geared up for the experience of their life on the North Georgia Appalachian Trail.