krychelle-webKrychelle has joined the Chamber team as Program Director, where she will work in the areas of Leadership Calhoun County, Youth Leadership, Workforce Development and Partners in Education. Originally from Oakman, Alabama, Krychelle Smith now lives in Jacksonville. Krychelle met her husband Ryan at Jacksonville State University, where he played football and she served as a tutor. Now, they have eleven year old twin boys, Nate and Nick, and a four year old girl, Audrey. Krychelle can often be found at football, baseball, basketball or soccer games with her children, who are also involved in Boy Scouts and Beginner Band at Kitty Stone. Krychelle attends Covenant Life Ministries in Alexandria and is very active in the POUND Fit “Posse” of the Anniston Aquatics and Fitness Center. Krychelle also enjoys going to concerts, reading and cheering on her JSU Gamecocks!

Krychelle says, “I’m excited to serve my community through the Chamber.” Welcome to the Chamber team Krychelle!

Together we Thrive!

October 13, 2016


expo-2016-logoIn 2015, we had more than 2,000 attendees join us for the Regional Business EXPO. Now celebrating its 32nd year, the Business to Business EXPO is bigger than ever, with 18 restaurants participating in the Taste of Calhoun County and more than 80 exhibitors showcasing their goods and services. Just imagine, eight hours of continuous networking, presentations, introductions and more – all in one place! The largest networking event in East Alabama is Tuesday, October 18, from 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. at the Anniston City Meeting Center. Our biggest event of the year is guaranteed to be a great event, with the Taste of Calhoun County serving 11:00 1:30 P.M. and 5:00 to 6:30 P.M. Members and their staff attend for free, while non-members and the general public have a $25 entry fee.

mentorsThe Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce knows it is what you know and who you know, so we want to give students and members the chance to get both. New for 2016, we allotted a time for Gadsden State and Jacksonville State students to meet area leaders, engage with our regional businesses and prosper in their future careers. These students can “Meet Mentors” at the Business to Business EXPO from 2:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M. Students are asked to RSVP to the Chamber at (256)237-3536 by Monday, October 17. The first hour of the event consists of roundtable discussions. Students attending the roundtable discussions are encouraged to bring their resumes to share with discussion leaders and EXPO exhibitors, as they explore the EXPO during the second hour of the event. expoWith various Chamber members in attendance, doors of opportunity could be opened for those who attend. Last year, 25% of those who attended received job or internship offers that week.

These events offer participants and attendees the competitive edge with opportunities to network, idea share, and attract business collaboration at every level.  Give your business high visibility in this high energy, high traffic business to business event.

RESTAURANT WEEK is BACK!  October 9-15, Restaurants across Calhoun County are offering Deals and specials spotlighting their signature dishes. Calhoun County’s culinary experience includes everything from family favorite franchises to local barbeque and farm to table.

Restaurant Week Specials Include:

Chick-fil-A Quintard Mall

chickfila700 Quintard Drive, Suite FC8, Oxford


Dinner Special:

Buy One Dessert, get one free (of same value or less)

Lunch Special:

Buy One Dessert, get one free (of same value or less)


Cooter Brown’s Rib Shack

cooter-browns8464 AL Hwy 204, Jacksonville


Dinner Special:

$20 for 2 BBQ Pork Platters & one order of Hillbilly Eggrolls  (Drinks not included)

Lunch Special:

$5 for a Regular BBQ Sandwich with side and drink (Soft Drink or Tea)


Garfrerick’s Cafe

garfrericks655 Creekside Drive, Oxford


Lunch Special:

$10 for Southern Vegetable Plate Lunch with dessert and beverage


Hubbard’s Off Main

hubbards20 Choccolocco Street E, Oxford


Dinner Special:

$30 Dinner for two: Shrimp and Grits, Two 8 oz. Sirloin Steaks, with choice of one side each and soft drink (Plus Tax)

Lunch Special:

$7 Philly Cheesesteak: Thinly sliced sirloin beef with peppers and melted cheese on a traditional amarisso roll, served with fries and drink.


Loco Mex

loco809 Pelham Road South, Jacksonville


Dinner Special:

99 cent Tacos on Tuesday


Momma Goldberg’s Deli

momma-goldbergs208 Mountain Street NW, Jacksonville


Dinner Special:

$17 for 2 Sandwiches and 2 Nacho Combos

Lunch Special:

$8 for any Sandwich with Nacho Combo


The Peerless Grille

peerlesslogo213 and 15 West 10th Street, Anniston


Dinner Special:

$19.99 for Derby Chopped Steak topped with Brown Gravy w/ Side and Salad for two

Lunch Special:

$6 for Beans & Greens

Kids Menu Special:

Kids 12 and under eat FREE with purchase of one Adult meal


Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

Logotype_Two Color1925 Quintard Avenue, Anniston


Dinner Special:

Chicken Sandwich Combo with Choice of Side and Medium Drink

Lunch Special:

Chicken Sandwich Combo with Choice of Side and Medium Drink


Wiseguys Pizzaria & Bar

wiseguys7113 U.S. Hwy 431, Alexandria


Dinner Special:

$24.99 for the Family Meal: 1 Large one topping pizza, 1 appetizer, & 4 drinks

Lunch Special:

$6.99 1 one topping slice with salad and drink


Zoe’s on the Lake

zoe187 Angel Lake Drive, Weaver


Dinner Special:

$12.95 for 12 oz Ribeye with baked potato and side salad

Lunch Special:

$9.95 for Chicken Fettucine with side salad


If you have any questions or would like to submit a Restaurant Week Special, please contact Emily Duncan at 256-237-3536 or e-mail

We Appreciate You!

September 30, 2016

member-appreciateAs we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” John F. Kennedy
Each year, the Chamber hosts Member Appreciation Day, a time to thank our members for making our Chamber strong and our community amazing.  To be a member is to be “a part of an organization that makes things work.” Without our members, we would not be able to do what we do. tri-cycle-appBoth long standing and new members of the Chamber are invited to join us on Friday, October 7 from 11am – 2pm. Come out and watch Adult Tricycle Races, a Human Hula Hoop Toss, and a Pie Eating Contest. Try your luck with the Giant Jenga Game, the Rock Climbing Wall, win prizes and play some Corn Hole. Enjoy a barbeque lunch with all the sides and dessert. We appreciate our members and we hope to see you there.

Our Appreciation Day is also an opportunity to learn how the Chamber can best serve your business’ needs, so join us to hear about our educational programs, networking opportunities, member discounts, and how to maximize you membership and exposure. appreciationIt’s always a fun way to make new connections! We are grateful for our members and their commitment to our Chamber and communities. We appreciate your continued support and involvement, so come and bring your staff and co-workers to join the networking party. Please encourage your associates to attend. Thank you for your membership and help throughout the year!

Not sure if you or your employer is a member? Call Kim Boyd, Membership Director, at (256)237-3536.

Thank you to our sponsors!

sunnyking   coca-cola-script-logo   washin

Commissioner Fred Wilson   dunnsft-mcclellan

The Chamber Network

September 22, 2016

network“The successful networkers I know, the ones receiving tons of referrals and feeling truly happy about themselves, continually put the other person’s needs ahead of their own.” -Bob Burg

Networking, for some, is extremely intimidating. Don’t make excuses or say “I’m too busy.” There are too many networking opportunities to miss. Get a face with a name. It is, sometimes, walking up to people you don’t know and introducing yourself. That’s the first step, but that’s the baby step. What if we spent as much time on follow up and creating business opportunities that are mutually beneficial as we spend sweating the small stuff, the initial introduction, how successful could we be? People do business with people they know, but to really get to know someone, you need to know their story. Stories make faces more memorable. What’s your story?

networkingAs you meet new people, make them feel important, and this too will make your initial introduction more memorable. Each networking opportunity pulls a different crowd. Did we do our research? Who will be there? The speakers and hosts are easy to approach and thank for the opportunity. Don’t get caught on your phone. Be present in the moment and listen to conversation opportunities. Overheard shared experiences are segue ways and serve as easier introductions than even the best ice breaker.

network-1Get out of your comfort zone and meet new people. You never know if these people can help you land a kick-starter opportunity or your dream job. The Chamber is made of more than 1,000 members and businesses. These individuals and industries are the movers and shakers in the community. The Chamber, its board, staff and volunteers, work to provide networking opportunities that encourage member participation. Together everyone achieves more! Together, we want to create economic and professional growth opportunities for our members and create a community that is a dynamic place to work, visit and live.

The Future is so bright!

September 16, 2016

ylcc-logo-snipitThis Sunday, Youth Leadership Calhoun County’s Class of 2017 kicks off with orientation. Youth Leadership Calhoun County, YLCC, is a program of the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce built to prepare students for constructive leadership and responsible participation in the affairs of the community. These area 11th grade students, from public and private schools throughout Calhoun County, are chosen by their counselors and principals to represent their school as future leaders because they demonstrate leadership abilities, high leadership potential, and exhibit concern for the community.

ylcc-hearing-from-farmers-marketThe program provides these highly motivated participants opportunities for leadership skills development through participation in training seminars and program activities. Each class is a diverse representation of the diversity of racial, ethnic, and socio-economic groups in Calhoun County. Each student, no matter their school or background, comes together to meet and develop mutual understanding, respect and trust.

ylccEach class meeting and program day focuses on community issues, needs, opportunities, problems and resources in our communities, while providing interaction with community leaders. YLCC participants are also shown and given opportunities for volunteer community involvement and service. Program Days include: Career and Mentors, Quality of Life, Local Government, Business and Industry, Jacksonville State University , Gadsden State Community College and more!

ylccThe overall mission of the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce is to promote and sustain the economic growth of the Calhoun County Region, resulting in a community that is a dynamic place to work, visit and live. Our 2016 Plan of Action included areas of workforce development and educating area students of career choices here. Through Youth Leadership Calhoun County, we encourage our youth to find satisfying job opportunities at home in Calhoun County, so they too will want to live, learn, work, worship, play and raise a family here.

May the course be with you!

September 9, 2016

golf-2“If I hit it right, it’s a slice. If I hit it left, it’s a hook. If I hit it straight, it’s a miracle.” – Author Unknown

As Bobby Jones once said, “Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots. You get good breaks from bad shots, but you have to play the ball where it lies.” The important thing is to keep calm, have fun and play golf.

golfingEach year, the Chamber celebrates September as Salute to Industry month, and one of the highlights is our Salute to Industry Golf Outing. Held at various courses around our county, the format is a four-person scramble. For any non-golfer, a four man scramble teams four players together to compete, with each team member hitting from the team box, but they choose the best shot from the tee to play all their second shots from that location. Play continues as they again choose the best shot after all four team members hit and the hole is completed. The team records the holes score, maintaining the same format for all 18 holes. This format is great for new golfers because if they have a few bad shots, their three other teammates have the opportunity to make better shots, with some “pros” carrying the team.

salute-golfDuring our golf outing, we encourage participants to not form their own team, but tee up and make great networking contacts at this golf outing. Teams will be divided into A, B, C and D handicaps by a golf pro, and then divided into flights. At the awards dinner that evening, 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will be recognized. Registration includes green fees, two mulligans or shot re-do, one power drive or jumping up to the next tee box, range balls, door prizes and swag bag for each golfer. For more information, call 256-237-3536, or if you’d like to register complete and remit the registration form at

Did You Know? Golf Trivia Edition

  1. What word comes from the French word for student, “cadet?”
  2. What are the chances of making two holes-in-one in a round of golf?
  3. How many times did Jack Nicklaus win the Masters?
  4. What’s the average driver swing speed for a PGA Tour Player?
  5. How many dimples are on a regulation golf ball?

Answer Key

1. Caddy               2. One in 67 million          3. 6 times             4. 108 mph          5. 336

Do you know local industries?

September 2, 2016

Industry is defined as “economic activity,industry” “the process of making products by using machinery and factories.” It’s also defined as “hard work,” and from transportation, utilities, medical, education, manufacturing and government, Calhoun County is fortunate to have a strong and diverse industrial base that helps shield our community from economic downturn. Each of our communities are impacted and supported by industry, and those industries remain a cornerstone of opportunity and job creation in our county and region.

The Chamberindustry 2 touts September as “Salute to Industry Month” with events, including a golf outing and industry scavenger hunt. Our goal is to raise awareness about all our great industries and their contributions to our communities. So, how well do you know our county’s industries? Ask yourself and others the following questions to see how well you score.

  1. Which foreign country has the most industries located within Calhoun County?
  2. Two companies from which foreign country are the newest additions to Calhoun County’s industrial base?
  3. Who is Calhoun County’s biggest employer?
  4. Which company has the most suppliers in Calhoun County?
  5. Which industrial sector is Calhoun County’s largest?

industry 3If you want to learn more about local industries or test your knowledge, join us on September 9, from 8:00-Noon as we host an Industry Scavenger Hunt, sponsored by Bradford Health Services and EASTMAN. Teams will be comprised of two individuals. Both individual members of the public and representatives from area businesses and industries can participate, as we send teams out with clues detailing area industries throughout Calhoun County.  Teams will report back to the Chamber for lunch.  To register a team for FREE, call 256-237-3536.


1. Japan                2. Canada            3. Anniston Army Depot               4. Honda              5. Automotive

Networking 101

August 26, 2016

DSC00281If you look at this weekly insert in the Anniston Star, you probably read our references to Business After Hours, our monthly evening networking opportunity held the third Tuesday of every month, or Business & Biscuits, our monthly morning networking opportunity held the first Thursday of every month. Many professionals find these “networking” events awkward, shaking hands and exchanging business cards. Networking doesn’t have to be just that. Who is someone you’ve seen in passing more than once? Have you ever introduced yourself to them? Do you make a conscience effort to get to know new people? Do you “meet” people face to face or rely on online connections and “friends.”

People do business with people they know.

networkThe Chamber provides networking opportunities, like Business After Hours, Business and Biscuits and the Business EXPO, because we want to build connections for our members, our businesses and communities. Don’t necessarily go into these meetings with the mentality of what can they do for me, but instead, try to make a new friend. Remember the first day of school? “What do you do for fun?” “Do you have any siblings?” “What’s your favorite food?” Genuine connections can be made, if you try.


Often, if we wholeheartedly listen, new doors could open that we never expected. They share, while we learn and appreciate their story. Listening also has the potential to lay a strong foundation for friendship.


“Sharing is caring.” After you listen, share and make your story memorable. Customers like honesty, trust and meaning. Don’t just share what you think they want to hear because you’ll probably be wrong. Stand out in the networking crowd.


Some are often “afraid” to attend events because they don’t know anyone. Everyone knows someone, so don’t hesitate to ask for introductions or ask a friend to accompany you. Introductions act as referrals, seeing their friend introduce you opens new doors of trust.

Be Brave

Be you; be real. Sometimes, that means sticking your hand out and simply saying your name. Try new events with organizations, like the Chamber, and you never know where the door may lead. Connect, Engage and Prosper!

jsu sbdcThe Chamber’s Small Business Committee works with the mission “to promote the growth, success and recognition of small businesses by promoting training, networking opportunities, and engaging public awareness.”

From Shop Local to Small Business Month, the Chamber also has the opportunity to partner with the Alabama Small Business Development Center for Programs and Events. The SBDC at Jacksonville State University is a member of the Alabama SBDC Network.

sba1This month, on Wednesday, August 31, from 2:00-3:30 P.M. the Chamber and JSU Small Business Development Center are partnering to present “Small Business Certifications and Financing Opportunities” at the Chamber of Commerce. This event, featuring Scott Stewart from ADECA’s Office of Minority Business Enterprise, will cover business government contracting, business certifications, opportunities for women owned and minority owned businesses, as well as small business lending and loans and SBA resources and information.

sba 2Attendees will also have the opportunity to ask questions of the Small Business Development Center, Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, and the East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission.

There is no cost to attend this workshop, but seating is limited. Call 256-237-3536 or 256-782-5271 to reserve your seat.