Special to The Telegraph

Since becoming the new president and CEO of the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce in August, I see a wonderful platform for development and growth for the Macon-Bibb County and the Middle Georgia region.

Macon sits at the cusp of major opportunity. The Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce plays an integral part in the successful cultivation of a dynamic business community.With its record of extraordinary economic and community development over the years, the chamber seeks to continually improve the area by uniting public and private interests to support and promote the entire region in business success.The chamber continues to advocate for the Ocmulgee National Park and Reserve,advance transportation projects in our region, including the runway extension of Middle Georgia Regional Airport, and work with the 21st Century Partnership and the legislative delegation to protect and grow mission at Robins Air Force Base and the Air Logistics Complex. Since its creation in 1861, the chamber has grown from a small group of businessmen that met a few times a year to discuss area problems, to a sustainable business force, within the area, with a talented professional team and robust volunteer leadership.

Leaders of the chamber and the Macon Economic Development Commission are focused on the future. We continue to have opportunities to build more collaborative partnerships to meet the ever-changing environment of community competitiveness, economic growth, and talent development. This includes the Chamber’s support for the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax and local health care initiatives, and its ongoing work with the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority to identify additional sites needed to successfully market our targeted industries. As we look at the entire package of what talent development and economic growth can do for our community, it will take all of us to move the needle. It will take all our collective efforts to accomplish this task.

I look forward to continuing to cultivate strategic relationships at the local, state and regional level, as well as implementing plans to enhance this area by increasing educational prosperity, proliferating jobs, creating a transportation network to link all aspects of the region, and showcasing the entrepreneurial spirit of the young community.