Monthly Archives: June 2014

How May We Assist

Photo courtesy of Jason Clemmons

Photo courtesy of Jason Clemmons

Summer is officially here and that means outdoor fun and family time. As you plan for your summer activities, the Chamber is here to help. Here are a few ways the Chamber can assist.

Hot Deals –Hot Deals are submitted by our member businesses. From restaurants and massages to lawn care and signage, check out the amazing discounts our members are offering you. Hot Deals can be found on our website at or even better, subscribe to our Hot Deals e-newsletter which sends you an announcement each time a new deal is posted! Subscribers can sign up on the Hot Deals page of the website or by calling or emailing the Chamber.

e-Newsletter Subscriptions – Did you know that the Chamber offers a variety of e-newsletter subscriptions to keep you informed of community happenings? From our website, you can enter your email address and customize your selections. Subscriptions include a weekly local events email, a seasonal festival and events email, a business and information email, and a buy local coupons and events newsletter. Choose one or choose them all! These can be used to plan your weekend, send to friends who are visiting, or include as part of your personal blog. The more you use and share, the better for everyone.

Business Directory –Through our welcome center, online at and in our printed community magazine, we offer you a listing of our fantastic member businesses so that you need not look any further to find your next summer shopping outlet, ice cream shop, service provider, or dining establishment. Support Chamber members who support the local community!

Events Calendar – One of the most inclusive and thorough online events calendars can be found on our website at You might be surprised to learn about all the unique events that happen here including live music, auctions, open houses, and races. Step out and experience the community in a new way by finding your next activity.

Itinerary Building –Did you know that we are great at helping you plan your next “staycation” in Blairsville? With new businesses opening all the time, no doubt there are things to see and do right here in Blairsville that you’ve never experienced. Ever been to Misty Mountain Model Railroad? Have you explored the new Byron Herbert Reece Farm and Heritage Center? Does an Alpaca Farm peak your interest? There are tons of activities for families, couples, and individuals, and we’d love the opportunity to help you plan. Premade itineraries can be found on our website or let us help you customize one for your group.

In addition to these great offerings, the Chamber is also an all around great source for area maps, newcomer information, and Blairsville-Union County souvenir t-shirts and goodies. If we can assist you in gaining access to any of the above information, please go to or call us at 706-745-5789.

Thank You Janet Hartman

Janet Hartman

Change is always hard, and I am on the verge of one such change. My dear friend and colleague, Janet Hartman, has announced that she and her family will soon be relocating full time to South Carolina. I worked closely with Janet while she served as the Downtown Development Authority Program Manager and on our Chamber Board of Directors, and I can tell you that Blairsville-Union County is a better place because of her.

I first met Janet Hartman when she joined the Chamber as a support member in 2006. I was immediately impressed by her ambitious nature and can-do attitude. She intrigued me with her likable personality and interest in the wellbeing of our community.  Little did I know at that first encounter that I had just met someone who would eventually become a mentor, confidant, collaborator, and overall true friend.

In 2007 she was employed by the Blairsville Downtown Development Authority. It didn’t take long for the lines of communication between the Chamber and DDA to open and the partnership to begin. Janet and I spent many days together in meetings for the good of the community, at lunch strategizing about ways to grown and improve Blairsville-Union County, and in conversation about all the reasons we love Blairsville-Union County. Her passion for her community was always evident and her accomplishments were proof of that. While many of her activities were considered part of her paying job, it is important to realize that Janet went well beyond her required duties. Many people never realized that Janet was a part-time employee because she volunteered countless additional hours to successfully pull off many projects and events. Among those were the Spring Arts & Crafts Festival, Green Bean Festival, Halloween on the Square, Bluegrass Festival, Christmas on the Square, Great American Clean Up Day, and of course the wonderful new downtown streetscape. Each of these saw tremendous participation and community impact under her direction.

I was given the wonderful opportunity of working even more closely with Janet when she became a member of the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors in 2009. In the almost 6 years she severed, she held the title of Secretary and chaired both our Tourism and Governmental Affairs Committee. Janet was always quick to offer to serve and followed through on every commitment she made, but even more than that, she always made time for me when I needed support, advice, or simple encouragement. For this, I will be forever grateful.

Outside of her regular job and the many additional hours she dedicated to it, Janet is widely known for her work with the Union County Relay For Life. As a community volunteer she worked diligently to recruit and retain teams for the event, served as the Team Captain for St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, and worked on Daffodil Days which raises additional money to support the American Cancer Society. One would have a hard time quantifying the number of hours Janet has spent in service to this organization that has a tremendous impact on so many residents of Union County.

Finally, it is important to note Janet’s willingness to serve as the Union County Appalachian Trail Community Chairperson. Janet led Union County to receive the designation as an AT Community in 2011, and only recently stepped down as Chair of the committee. Through her foresight, Union County was one of the first communities to receive this designation in support of hiking, one of our top tourism activities.

Time and time again, I have seen Janet step up to lead efforts that directly benefit Blairsville-Union County and its citizens. She is the epitome of a community servant and a champion for the positive economic development of Blairsville and Union County. As a community, we could never say thank you enough for her unbelievable efforts which have enriched the lives of many. When Janet’s vehicle finally pulls out of Blairsville-Union County en route to her next adventure, I will be the sad girl in the rearview mirror waving goodbye. However, deep in my heart, I will know that angels should not be selfishly kept from the rest of the world, and so I will smile for all the people who are about to welcome her to her new home in South Carolina.

Congratulations Tobie

Tobie Chandler, former Office Administrator for the Blairsville-Union TobieCounty Chamber of Commerce, was recently promoted to the newly created position of Tourism Director. Already having been with the Chamber for over three years and previously assisting with tourism activities, Tobie is a natural fit for her new role. She brings a longstanding love of the great outdoors and an even greater love of Blairsville-Union County. She has already worked closely with and earned the respect of our member tourism partners during her time with the Chamber. She is an outside-the-box thinker with a can-do attitude who works her magic to make things happen!

As Tourism Director, Tobie will be responsible for growing tourism-related revenues in Blairsville-Union County through the effective use of strategic thinking, leadership skills, community assets, and industry knowledge and relationships. She will work in close partnership with the City of Blairsville, Union County, the Downtown Development Authority, the Union County Development Authority, and local, state & regional tourism groups. She will oversee the daily operations of the Chamber’s tourism marketing plan. This will include managing advertising campaigns, hosting travel writers in their visits to Union County, attracting corporate meetings/conferences/family reunions and tour groups, and working with tourism partners to continuously build a stronger brand and a better experience for our visitors. Additionally, Tobie will provide support to local festivals and attractions to identify and synchronize efforts and oversee the county’s Camera Ready status, a program to attract movies and films to our area.

Now as a team of five, the Chamber is poised for future growth and members can expect many exciting new opportunities. With an increased focus on healthy growth in tourism, local businesses, and therefore the community as a whole, stand to gain from our new addition. We look forward to serving Blairsville-Union County as the driving force behind tourism and business development for many years to come.

To congratulate Tobie in her new role, you may email her at or call our office at 706-745-5789.