Recognize Industry

September 15, 2017

02232010 Lab 039Each September, the Chamber recognizes local industries and their contributions to Calhoun County. Events, this year, include the Salute to Industry Golf Outing on September 21 and Corporate Challenge  on September 7.

Calhoun County is fortunate to have a strong and diverse industrial base that helps buffer our community against economic downturn.


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Whether it is transportation, utilities, medical, education, governmental, or other areas of our local community, we are all impacted and supported by industry. Industry remains a cornerstone of opportunity and job creation in Calhoun County. For more information, visit and search our Membership Directory for lists of manufacturers and other industries.

Some of our area’s largest employers include:

Company Number of Employees
Honda 4000
 Anniston Army Depot  3,800
Calhoun County Schools 1400
Regional Medical Center 1020
Jacksonville State University 876 Full Time & 201 Part Time
Homeland Security/CDP 800 Fill Time & 100 Part Time
New Flyer 750
Oxford School System 530
General Dynamics 475
Tyler Union Foundry 462
Bridgewater Interiors 420
AL National Guard Training Center 400
Federal Mogul 362
Legacy Cabinets 350
Anniston School System 330
B.R. Williams 310 Full Time & 52 Part Time
 RMC Stringfellow Hospital 268 Full Time & 157 Part Time
Honeywell 277
BAE Systems 230
Commercial Vehicle Group 224
IAC 218
Lee Brass 200
Alabama Power 197
M & H Valve 190
YKK/Tape Craft Corp 170
Tyco Fire 165
Auto Custom Carpets 140
Aerospace Coatings 121 Full Time & 5 Part Time
Doncasters Southern Tool 119
Super Valu 115
Gnutti Carlo, USA 115
Parker Hannifin 115
Kronospan 112

Healthy Competition

September 11, 2017

DSC05126September 7, the Chamber held its first ever Corporate Challenge, with five participating teams at the Norwood Hodges Community Center in Golden Springs.

In the spirit of team building, camaraderie and health & wellness, the Chamber added this event to Salute to Industry month. This is yet another opportunity to celebrate business and network with neighbors.


There were some fierce tug-of-war battles. Cornhole had some rule reviews. The Co-Op-A-Walk proved easy for some and a struggle for others. The Sponge Relay, from Bucket to Bucket, broke the ice, and dodgeball took us back to grade school. Leadership Calhoun County dominated the competition, especially in trivia.


Thanks to our sponsors:

Alabama Power, EASTMAN, Tyler Union, Anniston Water Works & Sewer Board, Webb Concrete & Building Materials & the YMCA!

Special thanks to our 2017 teams:


LCC Alumni, RMC, BBVA Compass, Alabama Power and F&M Bank!

This is a fun way to develop contacts, so we hope you’ll budget and mark your calendars for 2018! DSC05160

jeanJean Ellison

Owner of The Music Box

Jean Ellison was born in Bronx, New York and is a native of Blue Ridge, GA. She attended Jacksonville State University for her undergraduate degree in Music Education and her Master’s degree in Music. She has participated in over 30 musical productions such as Ragtime, How the Buckner’s Saved Christmas, Merry Wives of Windsor, Pirates of Penzance, The Gondoliers, and many more. She also travels with her Jazz band “The Music Box Band.”  Jean is classically trained and has had the opportunity to study under Dr. Richard Armstrong and Dr. Nathan Wight.  She has also performed seven lead operatic roles during her time at JSU.  Jean is currently writing music and preparing for any role that may come her way!


For more information about the Music Box, or to contact Jean, visit our online member directory. 

Angela AlvarezAngela Alvarez

Ambassador, Past Chair

Agent, Dormon & Reynolds Insurance, Inc.

Angela Alvarez is an agent for Dormon and Reynolds Insurance Agency in Anniston, AL.  They offer services to meet your insurance needs for both personal and business.

She is also the proud mom of two girls and enjoys spending her free time with them. Prior to her insurance career, Angela spent fifteen years as an elementary school teacher.


For more information about Dormon & Reynolds Insurance, or to contact Angela, visit our online member directory. 


Christa Morphis

Ambassador Vice-Chair

Agency Owner, Model City Insurance

Christa owns Model City Insurance, a local independent agency in Anniston, providing coverage for auto, home, commercial, and life. ‘Making Customers Important.’

An insurance agent for 11 years, selling Property & Casualty and Life, Christa says “I thrive to educate my customers on what products and services I’m selling. I like to build a level of trust with the customers. My goal is to ensure you, your family, or your business is taken care of in the event of a disaster, accident, or tragedy.”


For more information about Model City Insurance, or to contact Christa, visit our online member directory. 


Ken Barrett

Ambassador Chair

Washin Coin Laundry Owner & support provider to other Coin Laundry and Small Business Owners

Ken Barrett is the owner of the Washin’ Coin Laundry chain of Laundromats. The locations in Anniston and Oxford provide enough capacity to wash over 400 loads per hour and are open 24 Hours a Day. Ken is often heard saying “We are cleaning up the City, one load at a time.”


For more information about Washin Coin Laundry, or to contact Ken Barrett, visit our online member directory. 


Here’s a teaser of ten tips for creating creative social media content. If you seek inspiration, look no further and join us August 11!

  1. Tell A Story (make it memorable, shareable, educational)
  2. Answer your FAQ (What questions are you frequently asked?)
  3. Offer tips (Consider what customers regard you as an expert in)
  4. Get to know you (Showcase the people that make things happen- staff and customers)insta
  5. Share Content (The products you use and why)
  6. Get Involved (What efforts are you contributing to and participating in the community?)
  7. Trending (Check calendars and stay in the loop to find out what’s the buzz.)
  8. Who inspires you to do what you do? (Monday Motivation, Wise Word Wednesday, etc.)
  9. Business Goals (Progress and Planning)
  10. Step by Step (How to guide and basicscustom_twitter-cover-photo

Social Media Focus

July 27, 2017

Social MediaBusinesses seek marketing means that offer a clear return on investment. Customers seek recommendations from friends and family for services and businesses they can trust. Where do these worlds collide? Social Media!

Social Media started as a way to get news immediately, follow the lives of friends and family, and begin conversations with people of similar interests. Businesses today find it difficult to fit in with sales content, so let’s try a different approach.  The goal for a business on social media should be to engage an audience. How can you spark conversations and sharable content? Answer that questions, and you have the key to build an audience that trusts you through their interaction and engagement online.

Rule 1: Create Shareworthy Content

Whether it’s a quote inspiring motivation for Monday or a celebration of whatever national day the calendar claims it to be, create something that you’re audience will appreciate, like and share with their friends and family.




Rule 3: Limit Calls to Action

Don’t always sell. You have to gain their trust, get to know your audience. Create interaction, and 10% of the time, you can try selling a product through social media. Try not to be regarded as Facebook spam. Provide resources and value that link to your business and site.

Rule 2: Share Content

You don’t have to recreate the wheel. If there is an article published about or related to your business, products or community, share it. What do you want your customers to think you all about or regard as an expert? Share what you find helpful, and they will too.

Rule 4: Be Present

Don’t feel like you need to be on every single social media platform. Choose the platform that is used most by your desired audience, and you’ll be able to focus on the existing and potential customer. Remember, it will take time. Rome wasn’t built overnight. Focusing on one platform at a time will help with time management, and it will be easier to develop a content calendar.


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Rule 5: Carpe Diem! Seize the day!

Join us for Social Media Bootcamp! We’re here to help you develop a plan, a content calendar and generate ideas!

Friday, August 11, beginning at 9 A.M. at the Chamber of Commerce

9-10 A.M. Facebook

10-11 A.M. Twitter & Instagram

11 A.M. –12 Noon Blogs & Pinterest

FREE of charge, but please RSVP to (256)237-3536.


Unknown Challenge

July 22, 2017


Too often, upon graduation from university or college, we have an ideal in our head that doesn’t match the real world. It’s often a scary new world or an exciting new world, depending on how you look at things. 

What if everyone were honest? Everything is not like the movies, and everyday requires hard work. There will be difficulties, but think of the best and worst outcomes. 9 times out of 10, life will fall in between.


Sometimes, we have to do what others are not willing to do to get ahead. Sometimes, new employees are timid, shy, unsure. We shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions and try. We learn more by doing than observing or simply being told. We can’t be afraid to fail. We learn from failure, and no one is perfect. Let it go. If we do the best we can, we’ll be as close as we can to ideal.
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As a Leader, set the pace by example. When leaders portray that they are willing to do what they ask their employees to do, this also inspires dedication, commitment, ideas, plans and new goals to grow and expand business.

Give respect to get respect. Create compassion, build a team and be the change you want to see in the world.


Business After Hours events are for Chamber members only and are held the third Tuesday of every month. Regarded as the area’s best networking opportunity, these events offer guests the chance to meet people representing products and services in a relaxed, social setting. How can you make the most of these opportunities?

  • DSC04434Wearing a badge or a name tag to an event like this helps familiarize people with your face, your name and your business. Even if they don’t need your business or service immediately, chances are they’ll remember you when they do, just from meeting at After Hours.
  • Other members can introduce you around and act as referrals. Stats show word of mouth marketing is today’s most effective method, so allow our staff and ambassadors to help you meet new potential customers. Then, one day, pay it forward and introduce other new members to your member friends. 
  • DSC04339Membership in the chamber builds trust and confidence in the community. We receive phone calls everyday, “is so and so a member?” If not, they’ll ask us for a business that is. Much of the time, members won’t know if you’re a member unless you’re actively participating and attending events. As some say “you get out what you put in.” 

Remember, people do business with people they know, so come meet and mingle with fellow members. If after hours isn’t your thing, we have breakfast and lunch meetings too! There’s something for everyone!