May Chamber Board Highlights: All About Moody

Staff Report From Valdosta CEO

Friday, May 30th, 2014

The Chamber Board of Directors met Tuesday at Drury Inn & Suites where they discussed "Operation Moody Transition", a community-wide initiative to connect Moody Airmen who will be leaving the service in the next few months.

The May Board of Directors meeting was focused on the future of Moody Air Force Base, and the military personnel who will be separating from the Air Force within the next year. Left: Chamber Board members Marty LeFiles (LeFiles Valenti Financial Advisors), Lee McArthur (ING), Jan Brice (Langdale Place) and Baha Zeidan (Azalea Health). 

Board members learned that members of the community are pulling together to assist the 300 to 400 military members at Moody who will be voluntarily and involuntarily separated from the Air Force in the next few months. Coordinated by area chambers of commerce, the Georgia Department of Labor, local employment services, VSU, Wiregrass Georgia Tech, Georgia Military College, Industrial Authority, Valdosta Daily Times, Talk 92.1, Small Business Development Center, SEEDS Business Resource Center and others are joining forces to inform these Airmen of job opportunities, education and training opportunities, and entrepreneur development opportunities that might convince some of these highly skilled workers to stay in South Georgia after their military service. Several activities are included in this initiative, including an employer workshop in June and a job fair on the Base in late summer.

Board members heard a report from Government Affairs Council Chairman Kevin McCraney (Georgia Power) and others who participated in the annual business trip to Washington, DC. This year's trip included representatives from the Nashville-Berrien County Chamber (Nick Lacey) and the Lakeland-Lanier County Chamber (Cindy Pullen). These chambers and the Adel-Cook Chamber join ours to comprise the South Georgia Military Affairs Council (SGMAC), whose mission is to prepare our region to support Moody AFB in the next round of BRAC, whenever that might take place. McCraney noted the very productive visits with Assistant Secretary of the Air Force Kathleen Ferguson at the Pentagon, and U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson and U.S. Representatives Jack Kingston and Austin Scott on Capitol Hill. The Chamber delivered several letters of support from the region regarding the proposed A-29 mission at Moody, a multi-year mission to train Afghani Air Force pilots. Pictured in Washington are McCraney, Lacey, and Chamber Board member and co-chairman of SGMAC Michael Lee (Ameris Bank).

For more information about the Chamber’s efforts to advocate for Moody AFB, please contact Karil Brockington at (229)247-8100 ext. 228.