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Clayton chamber announces
membership campaign winner

By Maria Jose Subiria

msubiria@news-daily.com

The Clayton County Chamber of Commerce's 2009 Business Woman of the Year, Veronica Elie, was named the winner of the chamber's Each One Bring One 2009 Membership Campaign.

Elie, branch manager and vice president for Fidelity Bank in Morrow, received the grand prize, a $1,000 Visa gift card, during last week's Business and Social Hour (BASH) event held at Advanced Career Training in Morrow.

Chamber officials said she generated the most new-member revenue, bringing in a total of four businesses, during the chamber's membership campaign April 27-June 30.

According to Crystal Black, director of member services for the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce, chamber members enrolled 45 new members during the campaign.

"I am thankful, and glad that I could support the chamber, and county," said Elie. "As strong as our chamber will be, our county will be as well."

Elie said businesses become members of the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce because membership provides exposure and networking opportunities within the community.

"The Clayton County Chamber of Commerce is a great resource, and ...they are addressing the needs of businesses, putting programs in place to assist us," Elie said.

Events, such as the BASH, open doors for chamber members to network and promote their businesses to one another, said Black. As sponsors of the BASH, Advanced Career Training and West Coast Burritos Gezzo's Surf and Grille, which are both located in Morrow, had an opportunity to showcase their products and services.

"It introduces people to our menu," said Heather Chaney, owner of West Coast Burritos Gezzo's Surf and Grille. "There's nothing to lose. The BASH is nice because it introduces people to us - they get to try us."

"It introduced us to new employers in the community, which gives our graduates an opportunity for employment," said Alicia Baker, director of career services for Advanced Career Training. "We want to be a resource for any job opportunity the community might have available."

New member Jason Smith, president of E-Three Consulting, Inc., a residential and commercial energy-efficiency audit and consulting corporation in Jonesboro, said he joined the chamber because of the advantages it provides.

"It has opened some doors for me," he said. "I've met business people that I probably would've never met."

Black said that while the membership campaign is over, chamber members are still eligible to enroll new members until Dec. 1 to be included in a drawing for a set of airline tickets, which will occur during the chamber's Early Bird Breakfast on Dec. 3.

"We will continue this effort until the end of the year," Black said. "We want people to continue to help us grow."