About 200 chamber of commerce executives from across Georgia converged on Augusta to learn about leadership, communication and membership growth.
The Burke County, Columbia County and Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce played host to the Georgia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives annual staff clinic after winning a bid last year to hold the event at the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center.
The executives at the three-day conference are expected to contribute more than $60,000 in direct visitor spending to the Augusta area, according to data from the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Jeff Foley, a retired U.S. Army brigadier general, was the keynote speaker Wednesday morning.
He told audience members that leadership is a skill they must work at to succeed.
“You don’t go to college to be a chamber president,” he said. “Leadership is not an easy task, and if you want to be as good as you can be, you have to practice.”
While there are important skills to possess to do the job sufficiently, Foley said the most deciding factor in the success of any chamber is the character of the staff and leadership. By defining the vision, mission and values of each chamber, executives can stay focused on what is important to their organization and community.
“Figure out who you are, and what you want your chamber to be,” he said.
Sue Parr, the president and CEO of the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, said she was excited for the chance to showcase the city and spend time learning with her staff.
“This is a nuts-and-bolts conference, really designed to help us do our jobs better,” she said.