The Shakespeare ProjectThe Chamber & Visitors Center promotes and sustains the economic growth of Calhoun County’s region. The Chamber Foundation focuses on education, workforce development, marketing & community development, creating programs to enhance our schools & leverage businesses.

The Shakespeare Project

In 1972, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival was established in Anniston, with performances presented in the high school auditorium. In 1985, the Festival moved to Montgomery. In 2018, we are bringing the Bard, William Shakespeare back to Anniston with free professional productions of Julius Caesar August 15 through 17, for our schools, and August 18 & 19, for our community at the Anniston Performing Arts Center, the original home of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

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The Calhoun County Area Chamber & Visitors Center, the JSU English & Drama Departments, local schools, Anniston Parks & Rec and local arts organizations, including the Knox Concert Series and CAST, are joining forces to produce these performances FREE of charge. Funding for the Shakespeare Project is made possible by grants from the Harland Jones Fund of the Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama, the Alabama Humanities Foundation our state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, along with many local contributors.

IMG_9411The intent of these performances is to complement the required reading curriculum of high school students reading the play and is meant to enhance their study of not only the work of Shakespeare, but theater and literature in general. Along with the free professional performances, we are also hiring local high school students and college students for apprenticeships, shadowing and learning from our professional production team. We are also partnering with the American Shakespeare Center to offer their “Teaching Shakespeare” training to our teachers this summer.

For more information, follow “The Shakespeare Project AL” on Facebook, call (256) 237-3536 or email emilyd@calhounchamber.com.

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When the Chamber & Visitors Center began a marketing audit, to track and analyze our brand on a regular basis, we knew we wanted to try something new. So, we reached out to our future, engaging JSU students.

The School of Business & Industry

We started the brand review with marketing students in the School of Business & Industry as an outside class project. Dr. Brent Cunningham, Professor of Business Administration and Interim Head of the Management & Marketing Department, brought together Allison Chiaramonti, Jonnisha Norman, Leigh Dyal and Jonathon Clifton. They reviewed everything from brand effectiveness to opportunities for growth. These students helped us define elements of our brand identity and gave us examples for integration. This group of students developed the new tagline of “Your Business, Your Community, Your Playground.”

DSC06935School of Arts & Humanities

Once we had the messaging re-established, we took the ideas from marketing to junior and senior level graphic design students in class with Professor Chad Anderson, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design. This class of Meghan Lee, Savannah Smith, Christian Everhart, Harley Stickney, Gen Ulanday, Kaylee Woodall, Shelby Holman, Paula Oliver, Jesse Michael and Austin Whitt met with Chamber staff members to discuss aesthetics, from color to visuals. Then, each student, individually, developed a proposed logo to encompass the vibes described and the new brand and messaging presented by the marketing students. Even during literal storms, these students continued in their designs and prepared their presesntations. In the end, two logos were selected, and those students collaborated to create the Calhoun County Area Chamber & Visitors Center’s new logo.

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Summer Stock

May 31, 2018

alarm-clock-calendar-close-up-908298Summer, while many take vacations and holiday weeks are slower and quiet for some, it’s a good time to work on organization and maintenance in any business.

Clean the clutter

Are there still holiday decorations? Are there boxes in every corner? If so, Summer is a good time to organize, declutter, and straighten up the workspace.

Inspect

Summer is a great time to check everything from the fire extinguisher to the exit sign lights, from the emergency preparedness plan to the HVAC vents, and the door locks to any needed business renovations.
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Ask the Staff
To increase positivity and performance, ask your staff what they need to get the job done or to make their work even better. It may be as simple as rearranging an office, or it may be reviewing organizational structure.

Dare to Try
Summer is a great time to test the waters and new things. So, if you’ve never attended a Chamber Event or always wanted to join the Chamber, give it a try!

What YPs are saying?

May 23, 2018

The organization of the Chamber of Commerce in Calhoun County originated in 1910 with the Anniston Chamber, so why and how is the Chamber still relevant today?

Get Plugged Innet

Through its online presence, and social media alone, the Chamber reaches our community with celebrations of Ribbon Cuttings, Community Events and more! We’re also able to store and share information, including job postings, event calendars and news releases through our member only database of ChamberMaster.

Legitimize

engageHow do you set yourself apart from your Competitors? Join the Chamber! When consumers know that a small business is a member of the chamber of commerce, they are 49% more likely to think favorably of it and 80% more likely to purchase goods or services from the company in the future.

Be A Part of Community 

From Business & Biscuits to Lunch & Leads or Business After Hours, Salute to Industry,  the Business EXPO and more, we have something for everyone. The Chamber offers you the opportunity to network and promote your company to the over 200,000 Chamber Member employees.

networkIncreases Business & Reach

Our event calendar alone had more than 10,000 searches in 2017. Think of the potential audience you can reach through the Chamber!

Tools & Resources 

From workshops to our network of business organizations, we’re here to help you. We are a 4-Star Accredited Chamber, promoting and sustaining the economic growth of the Calhoun County Region, which means we want you to succeed which helps our communities succeed.

Join Now! 

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Leadership Calhoun County (LCC) is a program of the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce and is designed to prepare and build upon leadership resources within our entire county. Each class will be comprised of leaders and emerging leaders of this area.
This ten month program is broken down to days in the program of work.
From trust falls to climbing walls, Team Building & Orientation Day brings the classmates together quickly.
CDP Day takes participants to the Center for Domestic Preparedness for an in depth tour and scenario, allowing class members to experience the training first hand. The day also includes a “how to” for media interviews in times of crisis and success.
Anniston Army Depot Day allows class members to see the workforce and production of our area’s largest employer, the Anniston Army Depot.

IMG_5849Economic Development & Industry Day introduces class members to various industries of all sizes and types, showcasing the diversity our communities rely on for success.
Education Day breaks the class into groups, who then go and tour schools of different sizes and types to compare resources available at each individual school and school system.
Cultural Arts, Board Training, and Financial Sector Day prepares leaders for possible opportunities to serve in the community, make a lasting impression and learn how to do it best.
Healthcare Day provides class members behind the scenes tours of healthcare facilities in the county and allows them to hear directly from healthcare leaders about challenges

and successes.

DSC03409Local Government & Law & Justice Day merges with Youth Leadership Calhoun County to provide a tour of the county courthouse, the county jail and the county administration building.
State Government Day transports the class to Montgomery, touring the Capitol, the House, the Senate and hearing pending legislation and issues up for debate.
Small Business & Community Service Day features a panel of small business owners and tours of local small businesses. The day also includes an activity with the United Way, showing the importance of area non-profits.20180419_085415
Quality of Life Day puts community history and knowledge to the test as the class breaks into small groups on a mission to solve multiple scavenger hunt clues.
If this sounds like a wonderful opportunity that could benefit your business, complete an LCC Application this summer! Email krychelles@calhounchamber.com for more information.

2018 is the 15th year the Chamber has celebrated and recognized the role local small businesses, individuals and organizations have in our local economy. This year, we recognized 23 small businesses, non-profits and entrepreneurs, who were nominated by their customers and members of the public.

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An entrepreneur is defined as a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so. Our 2018 Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Karla Eden of Taste of Eden, has evolved from a  hobby of making specialty cakes into a full-time growing business with a new storefront coming to Noble Street in Historic Downtown Anniston in 2018.

DSC06999Calhoun County has been known as an extremely giving community. Through programs like Meals on Wheels and interfaith cooperation and understanding, our 2018 Non-Profit of the Year, Interfaith Ministries, provides assistance and serves as an advocate for individuals and families in crisis.

DSC07001An emerging business is defined as a business in existence for less than 5 years. These businesses are just beginning to make their mark. Beginning within a small room of another historic downtown Anniston business, within two years, our 2018 Emerging Small Business of the Year, Rosa Lee Jewelry, has experienced 900% growth, moved to a new 2000 square foot space, with even more space being considered for the future.

DSC07003Our Sustaining Small Business Award recognizes a business that has been in existence for more than 5 years. These businesses are the ones who have re-invented themselves, from time to time. Beginning with one employee in 1999, our 2018 Sustaining Small Business of the Year, New Leaf Marketing, has now expanded to three locations, evolving with the market trends daily, offering more than 3 million products and aiding clients in marketing initiatives from start to finish.

DSC07005The Chamber’s Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a business, which has set the precedence for our area small businesses. Family Owned and operated for over 80 years, J.W. Bennett first established Bennett Lumber Company in 1920, as strictly a sawmill operation, and in 1947 J.W. Bennett stepped down and handed over the company to his son J.O. Bennett, who took the company a step further by adding a dry kiln and a planer mill. After graduating college in 1973, J.O.’s oldest son James W. Bennett started eager to learn, and since 1983 he has been holding the reins of the company.

DSC07008The Larry K. Sylvester Small Business Advocate Award recognizes an individual or group that provides assistance and support to small businesses.  Headquartered at the Entrepreneurial Center, the Anniston SCORE Chapter is a partner of the Small Business Administration and a volunteer organization/nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and the formation, growth and success of small business.

CAST

castCommunity Actors’ Studio Theatre, Inc. is a community theatre organization providing entertainment, opportunities for participation and instruction in the theatrical arts. Over the last few years, programs like CAST Kidz has grown from around 18 participants to  more than 80 participants. With predecessors dating back to the 70s and earlier and since their incorporation in 1999, CAST  has also obtained the Standards for Excellence certification in 2016, organizing operating policies and and procedures. Thank you CAST for all you do in our communities!

2nd Chance

House and NameSince 1988, this organization has provided safe shelter and supportive services to victims of domestic and sexual violence. In 2008, their service area grew from Calhoun, Cleburne and Talladega counties to include Etowah, DeKalb, and Cherokee counties, as well. In 2009, 2nd Chance also began providing transition housing, funded through grants from 2011 to March 2021. Thank you 2nd Chance for your services to our communities.

The Dannon Project

TDP LogoThe Dannon Project was established in 1999 to help all persons in transition, especially those with addiction on the road to recovery, underemployed, at risk youth and adults and epically non-violent offenders, reenter into society and those who are diverted from going to prison by participating in programs. Participants are provided case management, supportive services, education and job readiness/placement, and more. At their four locations, they now serve more than 8,000 persons. Thank you Dannon Project for all you do in our communities!

The Learning Tree, Inc.

learning treeThe Learning Tree is a nonprofit serving children, ages 2 to 21, with developmental disabilities, including autism. This individualized instructional program provides a nurturing, supportive environment using applied behavior analysis principles. Currently, more than 600 children are served annually across Alabama, through residential, preschool, day school and clinic services. Thank you Learning Tree for all you do in our communities!

Interfaith Ministries

if.color.logoEstablished in 1975 by local churches and Temple Beth El, Interfaith Ministries provides assistance and serves as an advocate for individuals and families in crisis. Through the fostering of interfaith cooperation and understanding, they are able to pursue the mission of “Bringing God’s People Together to Serve God’s People in Need” and provide a caring environment for people of all ages and socio-economic levels. Thank you Interfaith Ministries for all you do in our communities!

St. Michael’s Medical Clinic

St. Michaels Medical Clinic Logo 2017 PrintSince its incorporation in 1987, St. Michael’s Clinic, also known as St. Michael’s Community Services, Inc., provides free primary care to low-income, uninsured residents of Calhoun County. Thousands of patients ave been served in West Anniston and surrounding communities by the organizations employed clinician, certified registered Nurse Practitioner/Physician’s Assistant. Thank you St. Michael’s Clinic for all you do in our communities!

Disabled American Veterans Chapter 98

davThe DAV Chapter 98 provides services to disabled veterans and their families, specifically in filing claims for compensation, pension, education and help with everyday needs. Since March of 2011, war time disabled and service connected disabled veterans have relied on the goodness and kindheartedness of the community to empower veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. Thank you Disabled American Veterans for all you do in our communities.

The Neely Henry Lake Association

neelySince 1987, the Neely Henry Lake Association has worked to preserve, protect and improve the quality of life in and around Neely Henry Lake by improving the environmental, aesthetic and water qualities, improving water safety, increasing recreation opportunities, and working alongside stakeholders like Alabama Power Company. This volunteer organization was form as a non-profit environmental and recreational organization. Thank you Neely Henry Lake Association for all you do in our communities!

HOPE Women’s Services (Sav-A-Life)

sav-a-lifeSince 1983, Sav-A-Life Hope Women’s Services has served as a crisis pregnancy and family resource center. Beginning as a group of seven ladies from Anniston and Jacksonville, now, both Anniston and Jacksonville have locations overseen by an Executive Director and the Sav-A-Life Board of eight members, fifty churches and forty five female volunteers, providing free pregnancy testing, limited OB ultrasounds, and more. Thank you Sav-A-Life for your services to our community.

AnnistoAnniston Water Worksn Water Works & Sewer Board
Since 1962, Anniston Water Works & Sewer Board has supplied and services the areas of Calhoun County, Cleburne County, Haralson County Georgia, and Honda Manufacturing of Alabama. Rates have grown or remained consistent thanks to the addition of wholesale customers, and AWWSB continues to offer state of the art services like the Beacon System, allowing customers real-time consumption data on water and sewer services. They also continue to make improvements to enhance their mission of providing high quality drinking water to customers. Thank you Anniston Water Works for all you do for the community and congratulations!

Liberty National –  Harris Agencies
IMG_1546For 10 years, The Harris Agencies have provided insurance policies for thousands of individuals and over 400 workplaces. They’ve grown from one location to three, from three to eight agency directors, and now offer 24 hour claims processing services. This team strives to go above and beyond to meets the needs of clients and assists, often during difficult times. Thank you to the Harris Agencies for all you do for the community and congratulations!

New Leaf Marketing
NLM-full-colorBeginning with one employee in 1999, New Leaf Marketing has now expanded to three locations and thousands of customers, earning awards from high rated suppliers and being rated in the top 3% of their industry. NLM evolves with the market trends daily, offering more than 3 million products and aiding clients in marketing initiatives from start to finish. Each year, they also host an open house, allowing clients to meet vendors and see the latest trends. Thank you New Leaf Marketing for all you do for the community and congratulations!

Pate’s Design, Build & Remodel
patesFor more than 18 years, Pate’s Painting, Design and Remodel provides great workmanship in painting, remodeling and new construction needs. Beginning with just a pick-up truck, now, they’ve grown to seventeen vehicles, three buildings and an administrative office and showroom. Pate’s seeks to be a “one-stop” shop for customers. This business has grown to a business for many generations to come. Thank you Pate’s Painting, Design and Remodel for all you do for the community and congratulations!

Pine Hill Country Club
Pine Hill CC LogoPine Hill Country Club was founded in 1962, and in 2017, this 18 hole golf course, complete with driving range, putting green, chipping green and fully stocked pro shop, can under the new ownership of Cory Etter. Since that time, they have grown by 20%. They continue to offer new tournaments and events to offer all ages new formats and opportunities to their growing clientele. Thank you Pine Hill Country Club for all you do for the community and congratulations!

Regional Dental Center – Dr. Bruce Young
Regional Dental CenterSince 1977, Regional Dental Center has provided dental services for children and adults, from emergency care to oral health restoration. They’ve grown from two treatment rooms to fourteen rooms and twenty three employees. All their doctors and staff continue to do continuing education to keep up to date with new techniques and things in the dental world. Their friendly and diverse staff strive to provide the best option for the patient’s well-being. Thank you Regional Dental Center for all you do for the community and congratulations!

Coleman Tree Service
coleman treeBeginning with basic equipment, like tree climbing spikes and chainsaws, Coleman Tree Service now has 6 employees, 3 full-time and 3 part-time, with a storefront in Ohatchee, a bucket truck, a bobcat and more! Their new equipment also allows them to off tree planting services. Obviously, weather can be a challenge for businesses who mostly function outdoors, but they strive to treat customers’ properties as they would their very own, including safety plans and measures unique to each job. Congratulations Coleman Tree Service and thank you for all you do for the community!
Growing Trends
growing trends buildingSince 2013, Growing Trends has offered a consignment store for mothers and families at their 10th Street location in historic downtown Anniston. Today, they continue to add events and special product lines for their shoppers and market big ticket items through platforms like eBay and Facebook to grow customer base. They also offer a children’s playroom to entertain families while they shop, making it the local favorite of many children who frequent the shop. Growing Trends also supports and participates in several community events. Congratulations Growing Trends and thank you for all you do for the community!
Rosa Lee Jewelry
FullSizeRenderFrom a Starbucks in NYC to beginning within a small room of another historic downtown Anniston business, within two years, Rosa Lee has experienced 900% growth and now moved to a 2000 square foot space, with even more space being considered for the future. Owner Dara Murphy, designs these handmade, one of a kind pieces for customers, ranging from teens to senior adults, using everything from heirlooms to vintage unique travel finds. This business also continues to raise awareness with a weekly Facebook Live show of products for fans and customers nationwide. Congratulations Rosa Lee Jewelry and thank you for all you do for the community!
The Rustic Farmhouse
Business 1Since their opening in July of 2017, the Rustic Farmhouse offers unique products and a pleasant shopping experience at reasonable pricing. Sales continue to grow like their customer base and online reach. Through their product selection, they strive to create an environment and offer items that make a home feel warm, cozy and inviting. Congratulations Rustic Farmhouse and thank you for all you do for the community!

Mizzell Marketing’s Laura Mizzell 

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Since 2017, Laura has worked an the founder and only employee of Mizzell Marketing & Designs, creating promotional items and marketing resources for businesses, schools and non-profits. Laura knows the importance of continuing her education in marketing, in order to offer her clients new and unique ideas for campaigns. She also does research in the fields of her clients to accommodate their needs and industry trends.

Model City Insurance’s Christa Morphis 

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For the last 13 years, Christa has worked in the insurance industry, and opening the doors to Model City Insurance, she provides home, auto, business and life insurance coverage through multiple carriers. Through her involvement in the community, Christa strives to get her face and business in front of people, introduce herself personally and share what she does. Christa also adapts to today’s technology, working with clients over phone, email, text or whatever means they need.

The Music Box’s Jean & Steven Ellison 

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These entrepreneurs are a husband and wife team, working side by side to provide private music instruction and entertainment for community events. Focused on preparedness, and sustainability, Jean & Steven are very involved in the community, serving on the Board of Main Street Anniston and the Art’s Council, and Steven works as an elementary music teacher in area schools. These young entrepreneurs have worked for three years and now have a storefront on Noble Street in downtown historic Anniston.

Taste of Eden’s Karla Eden 

FB_IMG_1488822336436Since 2015, Karla’s hobby has evolved into a full-time growing business with a new storefront on Noble Street in Historic Downtown Anniston coming in 2018. Karla offers everything from traditional sheet cakes to custom sculpted pieces specific to party themes and clients. Karla strives to show individuality in her work, interaction and appearance, surpassing customer expectations with each next best creation. Karla has also continued to receive certifications and education.