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Front Page twice in one week! Go Warner Robins!

by The Applegate Team

Wow what a week for Warner Robins. Twice in the same week we made front page headlines! First it was for being voted on as the best town in Georgia to raise your child then following that an article about our Warner Robins Little League and how wonderful our boys were to the Japanese team.

Over the next few weeks, the powers that be will choose between us and Morganton, N.C., to replace the St. Pete, Fla., suburb that has been the home of the regional offices and qualifying tournament for the Little League World Series.

This would be a great money maker for our city and community. So keep your fingers crossed for Warner Robins and maybe the next thing we will get will be a Soccer Tournament, since we all know I am partial to soccer having invested a ton of money in the sport over the years. (And no none of my kids are still playing)

Have a great weekend!


Local stores closing?

by The Applegate Team

I received an email today from an attorney here in town that sent me a list of stores that were closing and stating that if I had any gift cards from any of these stores I should redeem them immediately. This is not the first time I have seen an email like this.

And since the economy stinks right now it is no wonder that stores are closing their doors. It piqued my curiosity enough to make me do a couple of searches on the INTERNET to see what I could validate and exacly what the truth was.

I checked the website and  and both had a lengthy list of stores that were scheduled to close.

Since we are entering the Christmas season and the buying frenzy is due to start I figured I would go ahead and share with you the links so you can check your gift cards. Just a note that Snopes actually had a more recent update.

Hope you find this useful! Have a wonderful weekend.





Warner Robins named best place in Georgia to raise your children!

by The Applegate Team

Showed up to the office this morning to a buzz in the hallway. Apparently on the front page of the Macon Telegraph was an article stating that  Warner Robins was selected as Georgia’s “Best Place to Raise Your Kids” by Busines Week magazine.

BusinessWeek logo

The article that was published on Monday put Warner Robins first and Marietta and Athens as Runner-ups.

They selected cities on such factors as school performance, number of schools, crime rate, job growth and family income.

Below is a portion of the article from the Telegraph.

Acting Mayor Clifford Holmes said the survey looked at many factors that he considers important.

As a retired educator, he said the school system is second to none and has worked hard at attracting the best teachers. Holmes credits the schools, along with Robins Air Force Base, for creating a city where many can make a decent living.


Ed Rodriguez, executive director of the Warner Robins Area Chamber of Commerce, echoed that sentiment. Business Week is a widely respected publication around the world, he said.

“A lot of people are going to hear about it and pay attention to it,” he said. “Hopefully, it will attract people to the area.”

Rodriguez said such movement could provide a much-needed boon to the real estate industry.

Holmes suggested that while the city is a great place to live and raise a family, more needs to be done. While serving as the city’s chief executive, he has seen room for improvement in the areas of parks and theaters, he said, but overall, he is pleased with the city’s ranking.

“It really is a credit to the citizens of Warner Robins,” Holmes said.

I would just like to state that when John and I moved here 13 years ago, I really had to wonder where he was moving me. But as the years have passed and our children have grown, I have come to believe that there is no better place to raise a child.

So many things make Georgia a wonderful state to live in, things like the HOPE scholarship, Schools of Excellence (yes I know on the national ranking, but please check out Houston County against the total state) Large Military presence with bases like Moody, and Robins, Fort Stewart and Fort Gordon.

We love Warner Robins and we are so happy that the rest of America can know how wonderful we are.

On any given Friday night in the fall you will find one of the 4 local High Schools playing Football at McConnell Talbert Field and the stadium will be packed, the locals show up for baseball too. Last year our American Little League won the World Championship against Japan and the compassion they showed was awe inspiring.  We have generational support for our school sports and I think that makes so much difference.

Neighbors know neighbors and that always keeps kids on edge. You never know who your parents will run into at the bank, or the grocery store and those neighbors may just mention that they saw your child driving down Russell parkway at 1:00 on a Friday afternoon. (Ask my son Jonathan about that one. He was busted skipping school by a friend who was a nurse on her lunch break when he turned in front of her.) In Warner Robins they take the saying "It takes a village to raise a child" seriously.

So to end this post yes now America can know that Warner Robins really is a pretty great place to raise a family. For once I agree with the media!

Have a wonderful day.


News Flash from the Warner Robins Chamer of Commerace

by The Applegate Team

Got an email from the Chairman of the Warner Robins Chamber and the lead article was about the City of Centerville proposing a 27% tax increase. Well of course that caught my attention so in reading on it said the meeting was scheduled for tomorrow. Nothing like a lot of notice on an issue that effects so many people.

I have not read anything about this in the Houston Home journal or the Telegraph. So I am posting the  Chamber newsletter. Some good info. Sorry the click feature is disabled I could not find an embedded link to use.

November 2008
Welcome to a new report on regional business issues affecting members of the Warner Robins Area Chamber.
This newsletter will also frequently contain survey links and additional background information on Chamber initiatives.
Your regular weekly Chamber newsletter, now named Click & Connect, will continue to be published each Friday.
Centerville Proposes 27% Tax Increase!
 Recently, the City of Centerville unveiled a proposal that would increase property taxes. Although it has happened quickly, the proposal has been the issue of much discussion within the business community.  In case you missed it, here is some recent news coverage on this issue:
Centerville Tax Proposal Draws Heat From Business Community (From Houston Home Journal)
Centerville Council to Raise Property Taxes from The Telegraph
While the Chamber has not as of this time taken any position in favor or in opposition to the proposed tax increase in Centerville, it is important, as the region's largest business association, that we seek the input of our members.
Register Your Opinion Now!
Click here to respond to our Centerville Tax Increase Survey.  Even if you feel that you are undecided on this issue because perhaps you have not had an opportunity to learn more about it, we would appreciate you letting us know this when you take the survey.
Attend The Public Hearings
Public hearings on the proposed tax increase will take place on Monday, November 3 at 10:00 a.m. and Monday, November 3 again at 4:00 p.m. at the City of Centerville at 300 East Church Street.  A third hearing is scheduled for November 10 at 6:0 p.m.

 Throughout 2008, while many of the Chamber's hard-working committees have been busy planning and staging high-profile events, another committee, chaired by Past Chairman Paul Hibbitts, has been working equally hard developing our Strategic Plan for the next five years. While it may have appeared more low-key than some of our other projects, it involved 10 months of work and countless hours of analysis and input from various stakeholders in the community, including chamber leaders, staff, ex-officio leaders in the fields of government, education, health care, regional development, and more. After several rounds of fine-tuning, the plan was approved at the September Board meeting.
Why is the Strategic Plan Important
It will guide our goal-setting and planning efforts each year for the next five years. Each year the Chamber prepares its annual Program of Work highlighting goals and objectives. Think of the Program of Work as our “road map”. Then think of the Strategic Plan as our “beacon” casting light and "compass” providing direction for our “road map”.
Read the Strategic Plan
It's now on our website at

 At last year's Goals Conference, a consensus arose that the Chambers' Number One Goal for 2008 should be he the development of a comprehensive Communications Plan to improve the Chamber's communication with its members, elected and appointed officials, non-members, the local media, and others. Chamber Board Member Dick McCoy convened a committee of our chamber's finest communications minds and over a 10 month period they developed a strategy for meeting this goal. Many of the changes you have seen in the past few months were inspired by the work of this committee, including our popular Speed Networking events, webcasts, surveys, and expanded newsletters. There is more to come in 2009.

 Your Chamber is a large organization encompassing businesses in several counties of the Robins Region. We are no longer a “North Houston” organization nor are we an exclusively “Houston County” one. With over 200 of our members located in Peach and Bibb Counties, and more joining each month, our role as a regional leader has been on the rise for many years. There are many organizations that we partner with to help promote this great region. Our Branding Committee, Chaired by Brad Fink, spent 2008 preparing for a major push that will begin in January of 2009. In cooperation with the MBA program at the J. Whitney Bunting School of Business at Georgia College & State University, the Warner Robins Area Chamber is about to embark on a major branding initiative that will help us identify, target, and promote our chamber and our community. The goal is for our brand to be a useful tool not only for the Warner Robins Area Chamber, but for the many other organizations that promote the Robins Region as a destination for business, industry, tourism, education, and health care. To become involved in this exciting effort, please call Chamber President Ed Rodriguez at 478.922.8585.

 The Houston County School System has completed a district accreditation visit by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). A 10-member SACS Review Committee performed a Quality Assurance Review (QAR) Oct. 27 through Oct. 29. This review sought substantiation that the school system meets standards, engages in continuous improvement and implements methods that provide for quality assurance. The visit culminated with an exit report and a recommendation for district accreditation.
Of course, none of this comes as a surprise to the Warner Robins Area Chamber. Our Education Committee has been touting the virtues of our local schools for years. We certainly didn't need an accreditation to tell us we have one of the finest school systems in the nation. However, school accreditation IS important because it provides additional opportunities and opens up more doors to success for students. We're proud of the many Chamber leaders who participated in one or more aspects of this accomplishment, including Past Chairman Steve Williams, Vice Chair Shaw Blackmon, Past Board Member Linda Dykes, Ex-Officio Board Member Megan Smith, and others.

 Imagine 700 to 900 aerospace, governmental, and military leaders coming together for several days to learn more about doing business with the Air Force, its requirements, new developments, and more. Now imagine those 700 to 900 people coming right here to the Robins Region for such an event. You don't have to imagine because this reality is now in its sixth year! In November, the Aerospace Industry Committee of the Warner Robins Area Chamber, in conjunction with the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, will play host to leaders from throughout the United States and Canada for this annual event, to take place at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry. AIC Symposium Chair Gary Cox and his hard-working team have been working hard to put the finishing touches on this event. Not only does this Symposium play an enormous role in the development of the Robins Region's largest industry, it generates a huge economic impact on the lodging, services, restaurant, and other businesses in Perry, Warner Robins, and the rest of our region.   For more information on the Aerospace Requirements Symposium, click here.

 Earlier this year, the Warner Robins Area Chamber encouraged its members to participate in the planning process for the redevelopment of downtown Warner Robins. Some great planning sessions took place and our members joined hundreds of others in the community providing ideas and input. That process continues this month and we hope you will turn out for the next stage of planning on Thursday, November 13 at 7:00 p.m. The City of Warner Robins and its design consulting team will seek and record your input on their design recommendations. Please make plans to attend. Click here to view a flyer with more information.

 “Champions of Education” is one of the platform planks in the Chamber's newly-adopted Strategic Plan. Whether it is the STAR Student Program, Teacher of the Year, or any of the other great programs of our Education Committee, the students of our community benefit greatly. Chamber Vice Chairman Shaw Blackmon heads up this year's Educational Affairs Division. The programs of this division cost money and the committee must raise every penny in order to continue its work.
How You Can Help:
During the next few weeks, a member of our Education committee may be contacting you to participate in sponsoring the work of this group. We hope you will say yes. The benefits to local business are enormous. To view a recent report on some of the work of this committee, click here.

 We can't have a business report at this time of year without mentioning the 51st Annual Warner Robins Area Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade, coordinated by our Community Affairs Committee (Vice Chair, Randy Randall) in conjunction with our friends at the City of Warner Robins and hundreds of other local community organizations and citizens.
Why It's Important:
The regional impact of this event is sizeable.   The parade attracts thousands from throughout Middle Georgia on a busy holiday weekend, where they spend their holiday dollars in the Robins Region.
This year's Grand Marshall:  Major General Polly Peyer!
A gentle reminder: time is running out for reserving your space in this event. Contact April Mouton today at 478.922.8585.
We are also seeking some sponsors, who will enjoy recognition not only during the vent, but also during the broadcast and webcasts on WMAZ.    A parade sponsorship is a great way to increase your company's exposure during the competitive 2008 shopping season.  Contact Katie Dobbins at 478.922.8585 for sponsorship information.


 Warner Robins Area
Chamber of Commerce
1228 Watson Boulevard
Warner Robins, GA 31093

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