It is with great personal satisfaction and sense of accomplishment that I reflect on our first year as the Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce. We’ve accomplished quite a lot.

I have had the great pleasure of working with Donna Gathers, Lindsay Kling and an equally dedicated board of directors to accomplish these initiatives. Sheri Wilburn, a certified economic developer and our first president, has more recently worked with us on some of these initiatives, which include:

• Breakfast speakers who are regionally and in some cases nationally recognized.

• Commitment from Mayor Eva Galambos to deliver an annual State of the City address.

• Annual board retreats for strategic planning.

• Monthly board meetings at The Ashford Club.

• Strategic partnership with the Westin Atlanta North for breakfast meetings.

• New membership structure, fees and benefits.

• Strategic partnerships with the Perimeter Community Improvement District, Central Perimeter Business Alliance PAC and Leadership Sandy Springs.

• Government Affairs Committee chaired by Trey Ragsdale, Kaiser Permanente’s local government and community relations officer.

• Quarterly advisory council made up of some of the most significant employers and business voices in our community.

• Education and Workforce Committee chaired by Steve Dolinger, the president of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education.

• New-business ribbon cuttings; breakfast leads group; Networking at Noon.

• Our first Business Expo, scheduled for March 6.

Other initiatives in the works:

• Main Street Council, chaired by Lonnie Mimms; Professional Women’s Council, chaired by Nicole Suk; Small Business Council, chaired by John Knight; Young Professionals Council; Restaurant & Hotel Council.

It has been rewarding and satisfying for me to see the Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce evolve, grow and thrive. The Chamber is about building lasting relationships to grow your business. I encourage you to get involved, make new friends and give back in the areas that interest you. I look forward to working with you in 2009 to make our Chamber all it can be.