This month, at the 209th Annual Meeting for the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, I passed the gavel as chairman to Whip Triplett of North Point Hospitality, marking the end of a great year for our business community. It has been my pleasure to serve this thriving community as the Chamber chairman, and I know Whip will continue the momentum into 2016.
The Chamber board and I have been proud to see this organization gain 310 new members in 2015, maintain a 90 percent retention rate and host more than 40 networking events with attendance exceeding 9,000 professionals.
I’m also proud of the Chamber’s accomplishments in public policy this year. Legislation regarding tax credits on preserving historic structures, funding for high-tech facilities for our local educational institutions, funding for transportation infrastructure improvements and final approval on the deepening of the port were all successful legislative agenda items this year.
Visit Savannah is anticipating another record-breaking year, with projected double-digit growth in hotel/motel tax for Savannah, Chatham County and Tybee Island and a record 175,000 definite room nights booked for future years in conventions. An impressive list of accolades have also been collected by Visit Savannah this year through its marketing efforts.
As you can see, this past year is one for the books. Thank you to the 2015 Chamber board leadership and all of our members for their dedication to building a strong business community this past year. Also, thank you to the Chamber staff, Visit Savannah staff and many community volunteers who helped make 2015 successful. As always, please continue to support the Chamber and our members by doing business with other Chamber members. Best wishes for continued success in 2016 and for a great holiday.