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.


social boot

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.
depot 2

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! 


Calhoun County’s service industry continues to grow. From new hotels to new parks like Choccolocco, is your business taking full advantage of this growing local audience?

  1. IMG_7334
    Your Chamber of Commerce also serves as a visitors center. Make sure to bring coupons, menus or promotional cards by the Chamber office for display to be included in welcome packets. As an example, for the Dixie Youth Little League World Series we’re creating 576 packets. That’s just for one event, so bring plenty of items.
  2. IMG_7336Every event is generally in need of volunteers. From those working gates and registration to those blocking intersections and more, events rely on the hard work of volunteers. It’s also a great way to draw event organizers to your business as a resource.
  3. IMG_7337Sponsorships are vital to the success of an event. Sponsorships help cover the cost of organizing the event, so proceeds can go to local non-profits and organizations. It’s also a way to get your business noticed. From signage to links and announcements, sponsorships range in cost based on the publicity received.
  4. IMG_7335
    Several community events also allow for vendors. Keep an eye on our Chamber Community Calendar and show your support of the community events through your participation. Many times, it’s a way to introduce a new audience to your products and services.

We’re all in this together, so more than anything, be in the know. A community’s success trails back to the people who make it up. If a community is proud and fully aware of what’s going on, it’s best for everyone, from the visitors to our neighbors and families. There’s always something to do when you Visit Calhoun County! 

Keep In Touch

June 30, 2017

We’re often asked “How can I make the most of my membership?”

  • informKeep us Posted: If you have questions about things mentioned in newsletters and emails, just ask. We’re here to help and connect you with the membership, the public and visitors.
  • Utilize the Member Information Center: Do you have a member login? If not, call or email us, and we’ll get you set up. It’s as easy as us creating a username and password over the phone or emailing you a link to create your own. There, you can advertise job opportunities, events, hot deals and more to your fellow members.
  • Sign up for text reminders: Get event reminders straight to your phone. Text @bce294 to the number 81010 and receive text message reminders for our monthly networking events.
  • member-savingsSign up to save: Our members get Office Depot perks. Text “CalhounSPC” to the number 555-888, and you’ll receive a Chamber Store Discount Card straight to your phone.
  • Download our app: Search “Calhoun2Go” in the app store. Create a login and browse a map of members near you, upcoming events and more!
  • Submit your events: You don’t even have to login. Just visit, click the News & Events’ Event Calendar, and on the top right of the calendar you’ll see “submit new event.” Click that, complete the form, and submit the event for approval. We’ll post it as soon as we receive the notification.

Membership can be rewarding. Stay in the loop and keep us in the loop!

new site

Have a Need?

June 23, 2017

new siteThere’s a Chamber member business for every need and situation. Chamber members are as diverse as the county itself. Start searching our member directory today at  

Don’t have access to a computer?

Regardless of whether you’re planning on visiting for a day, opening a business, or relocating permanently, the Chamber is your one-stop information shop on all things Calhoun County.

chamber buildingThe Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center is here to assist you with all of your needs. We are your #1 source of information! Monday through Friday, we’re open 8 A.M. to 5 P.M., with regional experts on staff to help point you in the right direction and answer your questions.

  • Welcome Packets
  • Visitor Information
  • Community Calendars
  • and much more!

Call us at 256-237-3536 or come see us at 1330 Quintard Avenue, Anniston. Visit for more information.

ad history

Try not to use Google….

  1. Calhoun County was once named _____ County.
  • a. Pelham
  • b. Benton
  • c. Jackson
  • d. Cheaha

2. Where’s the world’s largest office chair?

  • a. Anniston
  • b. Piedmont
  • c. Weaver
  • d. Oxford

3. In what year the county seat more from Jacksonville to Anniston?

  • a. 1865
  • b. 1920
  • c. 1900
  • d. 1917

4. Jacksonville was built on acreage purchased from who, under the Treaty of Cusseta of 1832?

  • a. Lincoya
  • b. Chinnabee
  • c. Ladiga
  • d. Menawa

5. In what year was Camp McClellan established?

  • a. 1940
  • b. 1941
  • c. 1917
  • d. 1900

6. Which community was home to John Pelham?

  • a. Jacksonville
  • b. Lickskillet
  • c. Piedmont
  • d. Alexandria

7. How long is the Ladiga Trail?

  • a. 100 miles
  • b. 50 miles
  • c. 33 miles
  • d. 64 miles

8. Cider Ridge was once the home to what?

  • a. A Llama Farm
  • b. An Apple Orchard
  • c. A Bison Ranch
  • d. A Winery

9. Cartoonist Tom Sims of Ohatchee created what comic strip?

  • a. Little Orphan Annie
  • b. Dennis the Menace
  • c. Gasoline Alley
  • d. Popeye

10. In what year were the JSU Gamecocks the NCAA Football Champions?

  • a. 1992
  • b. 1980
  • c. 1985
  • d. 2000

How did you do?

Answers:    B   A   C   C   C   D   C   B   D   A

Benton County was established in 1832, named for Thomas Hart Benton, with its county seat in Jacksonville. Benton was a political ally of John C. Calhoun, a slaveholder and a U.S. senator from South Carolina. Through the 1820s-1840s, Benton slowly came to the conclusion that slavery was wrong and that preservation of the union was paramount. In 1858, Alabama renamed Benton County as Calhoun County.

big chairIn 1981, Miller’s Office Supply in Anniston, Alabama, wanted to call attention to itself. Owner Leonard “Sonny” Miller had an inspired idea: he would build the world’s largest chair in the vacant lot next to his building. The result still stands today: a chair 33 feet tall with a 15-foot-square seat, built out of ten tons of steel.

The county seat was moved to Anniston after years of controversy and a State Supreme Court ruling in June 1900.

The Treaty of Cusseta was an agreement between the U.S. government and the Creek Nation in which the Creeks ceded the remainder of their land east of the Mississippi River, all of which was located in east Alabama.

mcclellan retrospect_ampitheatreIn 1917, at the start of World War I, the United States Army established a training camp at Fort McClellan.

John Pelham was the third of seven children, with five brothers and a sister Betty, born to Dr. Atkinson and Martha Pelham at his grandparents’ home along Cane Creek near Alexandria, Alabama. He grew up on the family’s 1,000-acre plantation.

The Chief Ladiga Trail is Alabama’s premiere rails-to-trails project. It wanders 33 miles through the countryside of Calhoun and Cleburne counties. In 2008 the “Chief” was connected to Georgia’s Silver Comet Trail completing what is now considered to be the longest paved pedestrian pathway in America. Together the trails are 95 miles long with plans for future extensions and spurs.

More than 100 years ago, Cider Ridge was originally home to the Melon Apple Orchard. This orchard grew up to 11,000 bushels of apples annually on the property, and at its peak, produced more than 20,000 gallons of apple cider a year.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPopeye the Sailor is a cartoon fictional character created by Elzie Crisler Segar. After Segar’s death in 1938, many different artists were hired to draw the strip. Tom Sims, the son of a Coosa River channel-boat captain, continued writing Thimble Theatre strips and established the Popeye the Sailorman spin-off.

Jacksonville State‘s first football team was fielded in 1904. Jacksonville State University’s first football team, the Eagle Owls, was formed in the late 19th century. Before the start of the 1947 season, not only did the team change their colors from blue and gold to red and white but the mascot changed to the Fighting Gamecocks. The Gamecocks were defeated in their first three championship game appearances, losing 33–0 to Lehigh in 1977, 3–0 to Mississippi College in 1989 (later vacated), and 23–6 to Pittsburg State in 1991. The next year, the Gamecocks defeated Pittsburg State 17–13 in 1992.


June 8, 2017

chamber buildingThe Calhoun County Chamber also serves as the Visitors Center, and we know that our front line staff, greeting visitors to our area, consists of restaurants, hotels, shops, attractions and residents.

So, this summer, think #IGoCalCo and Eat, Stay, Play Calhoun County! What do you love most about Calhoun County?


Like the best scenes of improv, don’t say no, and argue about someone else’s answer. Let’s build up community pride, try new things, new restaurants, new adventures.



Be proud of where you’re from and the natural beauty that surrounds us everyday. Often, when you grow up seeing the same thing everyday, you take it for granted.


Truely think about it, and I think you’ll find it hard to just name one thing you love. There are so many great restaurants, outdoor activities and more!

Let us “tag” along with you this summer, and use hashtag #IGoCalCo for the things you love most about our communities!