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Chamber’s 24th Annual Small Business Banquet and Trade Show

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June 15, 2010 MELISSA YAO -- For Immediate Release
June 15, 2010

Chamber’s 24th Annual Small Business Banquet and Trade Show
Savannah, Ga…The Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the 24th Annual Small Business Banquet and Trade Show tonight at the Savannah Marriott Riverfront from 5-9 p.m.
More than 80 exhibitors showcased their company’s products and services at the Trade Show which was sponsored by Wachovia, a Wells Fargo company. The Trade Show was free and open to the business public from 5-7 p.m. This was a wonderful opportunity for the business community to network and see firsthand the best of Savannah’s small businesses.
The Awards Banquet is the premier event where the business community gathers to recognize and award the area’s outstanding small business owners. It started at the conclusion of the Trade Show. Keynote speaker, Ryan T. Sauers, presented “Everyone Has a Brand.”
Ryan T. Sauers is President and Chief Marketing Officer of Sauers Communications. He has a Masters degree in Organizational Leadership, a Bachelors degree in Communications/Marketing and studied abroad at Oxford University. Sauers is a Certified Meyers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Practitioner which is the most widely used personality profile instrument in the world. He uses this strong academic knowledge and blends it with a great deal of diverse professional experience to help bridge the world of human relations theory and real world application together. He is both Director and Founding member of the Certified Marketing & Sales Professionals Association. He is one of less than a thousand people worldwide to have achieved the Sales Marketing Executives International (SMEI) Certified Marketing Executive certification. In addition, Sauers obtained the Certified Graphic Arts Sales Representative (CGASR) designation and is one of less than 100 to have done so. He writes many feature articles in a variety of media outlets on topics such as sales, marketing, communications, leadership and human relations. In addition, he writes a recurring monthly column, related to marketing strategies, for an Atlanta magazine.
Sauers is a regular conference speaker at a number of different industry conferences and events. He is widely recognized as a thought leader in the graphic communications industry and spends time helping bridge the diverse worlds of cutting edge technology such as Social Media with time tested traditional media such as Printing. He authors a blog,, titled Differential Leadership Solutions, which helps organizations position themselves in the most effective manner. He is a member of The Social CMO group,, which includes some of the top marketing, advertising, public relations and creative individuals in North America. Sauers serves on the Atlanta Community Food Bank board and has been recognized as Who’s Who in Marketing and Communications. He is an Ambassador speaker for the March of Dimes, serves as an advisor on the March of Dimes Communications/Leadership board and is a past lay leader and recreation ministry director at his church. Sauers is the Chairperson of the local elementary School Council Board, coaches his kids’ soccer and basketball teams, is announcer for their neighborhood swim team and is a frequent teacher and/or facilitator of seminars, webinars and classes. He plans to begin working in 2011 on a Doctorate of Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing.
The following are the awards and award winners for the Small Business Awards Banquet:
• Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by Savannah Morning News and – PureSpectrum Lighting, Lee Vanatta, President/CEO. PureSpectrum’s intention is to promote energy conservation and environmental preservation by encouraging the usage of energy efficient lighting products through enhanced performance. It is dedicated to researching and developing innovations in lighting. It is aggressively marketing its products online with rave reviews and upward trends in sales.
• Hospitality Small Business of the Year, sponsored by Wachovia, a Wells Fargo Company – Goose Feathers, an Express Café & Bakery, Beth and Michael Meeks, Owners. Goose Feathers, an Express Café & Bakery, specializes in a wide selection of fresh, delicious breakfast items, sandwiches, soups, salads, fresh-baked breads and pastries, coffee and espresso drinks at modest prices. They have been in business for 24 years and announced in May 2010 that franchise opportunities are available.
• Helen V. Head, Small Business Advocate of the Year, sponsored by the Chatham Commerce Club and the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce – Howard E. Spiva. Born and raised in Savannah, Howard is the head of the Spiva Law Group, a family-owned business in Savannah for more than 25 years. This company specializes in serious to catastrophic personal injuries and wrongful deaths and has a litigation practice with an emphasis on brain injuries and claims involving children. Spiva Law Group employees 18 people and has been recognized statewide as well as nationally as supporting a host of local charitable organizations over the years.
• Small Business of the Year, sponsored by the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce –Whitaker Laboratory, Inc., Joe M. Whitaker, President, Joseph F. Whitaker, Vice President. Whitaker Laboratory, Inc. was established in 1970 in Garden City, Georgia and after five years of extraordinary growth, built new and much larger facilities at 2500 Tremont Road in Savannah and later established an affiliate in Locust Grove near Atlanta. Whitaker Laboratory, Inc. is a regional firm located in Savannah and has been servicing the Eastern Seaboard from Charleston to Jacksonville for more than 39 years. Since its inception in 1970, the staff has increased by more than 30 employees and the company’s commercial services have expanded in job capability as well, both in every phase of construction methods and their respective quality control testing.
For more information on the Chamber’s 24th Annual Small Business Banquet and Trade Show, please contact Susan Smith at 912.644.6434 or For more media information, please contact Melissa Yao at 912.644.6431 or
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The Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce is a business organization managed by a volunteer board of directors. The Chamber encompasses the Savannah Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, Ambassadors Council, Business Education Partnerships, Continue Achieving Progress, the CEO Council, Communities in Schools, Drug-Free Workplace, Greater Savannah Sports Council, Governmental Affairs Council, Leadership Savannah, Legends of Golf, Manufacturers and Distributors Council, Military Affairs Council, Savannah Compact Education Council, Small Business Council, Step Up, Trustees Council, and Tybee Island Tourism Council.

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