This month, Gabriella Woodson with Chefella's Catering and Event Planning is providing an expert edge for anyone looking to plan an event, host a celebration or order catering soon. The advice she has to provide to other CCOC investors all follow along the lines of adding personal touches makes your event special, plus, with the innovative ideas that Chefella's provides, they can help save you money!
Chefella's Catering and Event Planning, founded in 2017, is a full service catering and event planning company that specializes in special touches and details! What sets us apart is our attention to detail and our all inclusive concept! We start with obtaining your vision for your event or catering and integrating all the needed components in a one stop process! We remove the stress by working with vendors all over NC. We don't just take care of the catering, we handle the linens, planning, rentals, china, floral, DJ and more!
Many times people think catering and hosting events is expensive and will break the bank. That is not true at all. We provide our clients with money saving ideas to cut cost, yet have the event they always wanted! For example a helpful money saving tip is to host more events in your home. By having a gathering, dinner or event in your home you are saving on venue fees, cleaning fees, security fees that may be required by some facilities, etc. This also allows us to work with items you may have in the home to cut down on cost as well. For example, instead of ordering a floral centerpiece for your food table which can get pricy, we can use décor pieces in the home that fit your theme and place them on the food table. It gives the table a personal touch and cuts the cost. By having a small catering or event at home it also saves you money on china rentals and allows you to break out your favorite china and show it off. By adding our service staff, we ensure your china is properly handled, cleaned once the event is over and put away. Service staff is a great way to add style and elegance to any home events yet very inexpensive and necessary.
Having events in the home or just in general can be challenging. We are finding people are itching to get out and be with family and friends again to celebrate milestones and occasions. Our COVID safety plan allows you to have these small gathering permitted under the COVID regulations in a safe and fun way! Hosting small events outdoors is what we are seeing to be most popular. By hosting outdoors you are able to spread out more yet have the components you want such as food and dancing. Service staff, especially now, is more important than ever for safety and sanitation purposes. All of our services we offer can still be provided during the pandemic in a safe and sanitary way!
A final piece of advice is to not forget yourself, your family or your business! Many of times when we think catering or event planning we think large functions, weddings or parties. Catering can be done on any scale...small to large! Catering is one of the best and safest ways to show appreciation to your team or even your family. By ordering catering for your team just once a month shows them just how much you care. This also goes for your family. In the world we live in today, most homes are cooking more than ever. Give your loved ones a break and order dinner for them once or twice a month just to show appreciation. If your team is working from home, we can still cater for them. Have us deliver a meal to the home to spread the love or perhaps a gift basket or pie box. The saying, "Bonding over Bread" is real! Food connects people and brings them together. We need unity and togetherness now more than ever.
This month's Expert Edge is from Joe Pessolano of Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation. Fairway was founded in 1996 and still today they provide clients with individualized services to meet their needs. Whether clients are looking to buy their first home, a move-up home, vacation home, investment home or their forever home, Fairway Mortgage has products to meet the needs of almost every client. They make it easy by giving clients the option to apply and communicate online, on the phone or in-person. This is something that online-only lenders just can't do and sometimes it is necessary to meet face-to-face to truly make sure that our clients have the best experience and understand the process.
Joe's best piece of advice spurs from the fact that self-employed borrowers are often the most challenged borrowers when it come to qualifying for a home purchase. Joes says "If you own a business and think that you might want to purchase or refinance a home within the next 24 months, it is a good idea to consult with one of our Loan Officers and/or a tax professional to make sure that you are not impeding your ability to qualify due to the way that you file your taxes. Tax returns can be one of the most important items in determining your buying power and when you are not a standard salary employee it pays to know how to maximize your buying power through accurate tax filings."
Joe added, "many believe that all mortgage lenders are the same. This couldn't be further from the truth." Knowing what fees you will be paying for and working with a Loan Officer that can walk you through the process in detail are very important. Some lenders may charge higher fees that other lenders consider optional when it comes to buying down interest rates. At Fairway, we offer our borrowers very low closing cost loans. That means we leave more money in their pockets to buy things for their new home!
Learn more about Fairway Mortgage here.
Due to the current trajectory of regulations in North Carolina, and in order to keep our community safe, the Clayton Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, staff and the Town of Clayton have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 Spring Fling Festival (previously the 2020 Harvest Festival) scheduled for April 21-25, 2021.
All parties are hopeful that the 2021 Clayton Harvest Festival will continue as normal this Fall starting October 27 through October 31, 2021. For this reason, all vendor booths, registrations, etc. for the 2021 Spring Fling Festival will automatically be transitioned to the 2021 Clayton Harvest Festival, with the same benefits. No action is needed for vendors (including Main Street Businesses), Food Trucks, Car Show registrations or Squealin on the Square cook team registrations that had previously singed up for the 2021 Spring Fling Festival. If you had not registered already for the 2021 Spring Fling Festival, you will be able to get registered as a vendor for the 2021 Clayton Harvest Festival soon!
More announcements coming soon. Follow CCOC on Facebook at @ClaytonChamberNC to stay in the loop, or subscribe to our weekly newsletter where all updates will be communicated.
This months Expert Edge is provided by Michael Pagliocca, owner of Elite Travel Planners, which was founded in 2004 here in Clayton. Michael started his expert edge by noting that travel has undoubtedly changed with COVID-19, but he adds "Vaccines have begun, and travel is booming for the second half of 2021 and 2022. We suggest planning your vacation now to take advantage of the many land/cruise offers available." In this article, Michael details many of his best tips and tricks for traveling:
Why use a travel planner? Simply put, we look out for your best interest. Did you know that the average person spends 70+ actual hours online researching, planning, deciding between too many options, without real knowledge of the resort or destination? We do that research for our clients. When planning travel, clarity around what you want or don’t want from a property/experience, is crucial.
Here’s a tip for what we look for when booking a hotel/resort or cruise ship:
Value - Is this a great experience at a reasonable price? Do they add complimentary amenities (breakfast/transfers)? What are the hidden costs (resort fees)? Where is the room? What’s the view like (water or roof overlooking a parking lot)?
Location - Is the area safe? Walking distance to the sights? How close is local transportation, the beach, sights/excursions, etc…
Quality - How great is the food? Overall cleanliness and condition of the property/cruise ship? When was it renovated last? What’s the condition of the furniture, pool areas, are the beaches maintained daily? What type of personal services are offered? What are the room amenities?
Service - Is there a concierge? Are your needs met promptly? Will the size of the resort/cruise ship take away from personalized service, and overall experience? For families, are there kids clubs? Is it coloring in a room supervised, or is it taking them onto the beach looking for turtle eggs? Are there experiences built into the programs?
Overall Experience - Is this an immersive experience, or a laid back resort/cruise vacation? Is there construction next door? When looking at a cruise ship deck plan, what aren’t you seeing? Are there obstructions to the view, does that super cheap rate mean bunk beds, and does it include port charges/taxes? Is the room on a busy deck with lots of traffic day/night.
Elite Travel Planners has decades of travel planning experience with cruises, all-inclusive resorts, custom itineraries, and groups. We stay at, inspect many properties and sail on a variety of ships. We get to know the staff and managers, which helps us to best serve our clients needs.
The travel industry has changed policies allowing cancellations with either refunds or future travel certificates, no change fees, and additional reservation options to protect your travel investment. Michael adds "We are your local personal travel planners, real people vs a .com site. We work to curate an experience for you, not just a vacation. We want you to live your list, not just leave it in a bucket. We save you money, and valuable time. This is what we do. We are experts in travel. Use that time to do what YOU do best, make more money, or spend time with your friends and family. Hopefully not on zoom for much longer!"
The Clayton Chamber of Commerce hosted its 2020 Annual Meeting and Community Awards Ceremony, presented by McCullers, Whitaker and Hamer, on December 17, 2020 on YouTube. Congratulations to all 2020 award winners listed below!
2020 Award Winners
Ambassador of the Year Award - Michael Pagliocca (Elite Travel Planners)
Super Star Teacher of the Year Award - Lachandle Nowling (West Clayton Elem)
Innovator of the Year Award - Carolina Youth Theatre (Wes and Nikki Dyke)
Committee of the year - Legislative & Governmental Affairs (Chair Brad Palmer)
Gratitude Awards Stacy Beard & Nader Aboulhosn (Town of Clayton)
Leaving a Legacy Award - Clayton Chamber Foundation Board
Key Contributor - Ruth Anderson (RNE Consultants)
Citizen of the Year - Stacy Beard
Business of the Year - Leak Locators (Sadie and Blake Brown)
Missed the 2020 Annual Meeting and Community Awards Ceremony when it first aired? Watch it at anytime on the CCOC YouTube Channel.
Thank you to our 2020 event sponsors:
Thank you to our Community Partners: The Clayton Downtown Development Association (CDDA), Clayton Rotary Club, and Clayton Women in Networking (WIN).
This month we will hear the Expert Edge from CCOC investor and Edward Jones Financial Advisor, Melanie Marlow. She founded the Edward Jones Clayton Office in 2000.
Edward Jones primarily focuses on serving the needs of one type of client: the serious, long-term individual investor. When describing what she provides her clients, Melanie Marlow said "We believe a well-diversified portfolio of quality investments, aligned with a client’s goals and risk tolerance, will be more successful over time. I have been a financial advisor with Edward Jones since 2000. I hold Series 7 and series 66 securities registrations, a NC Life/Health Insurance license, and a NC long-term care license. To better serve my clients, I earned both the AAMS® and the ADPA® professional designations."
Melanie suggest partnering closely with clients and collaborating with those in similar career fields to create a well-rounded team full of expertise to provide to those you serve. She said in her own practice she "starts by asking questions about my clients' families, financial situations and life goals to find out what is most important to them. I partner with my clients throughout their lives to help keep them on track. In order to provide comprehensive and coordinated advice, I regularly collaborate with a team of CPAs, estate and elder law attorneys, and other trusted professionals, always keeping client information confidential. I love helping my clients by providing them with resources and action plans as they transition through major life events such as retirement, divorce and settling the estate of a family member." Melanie added, "Within Edward Jones, I serve as the NC Chair of the Grassroots Task Force, which is dedicated to making the voice of the individual investor heard on Capitol Hill. The Grassroots Task Force serves as a constituent resource for elected officials and their staff to ensure they are well informed on how legislative issues impact clients and the firm."
The CCOC Expert Edge is a paid sponsorship.
This Month's Expert Edge is being provided by Angelina Corroo with HomeTowne Realty. She began her career in 2016 and has since garnered a wide range of expertise and success! Read this Expert Edge to learn more about Angelina and the advice she has for fellow business owners.
As a full-time Realtor with HomeTowne Realty, Angelina serves the Greater Triangle and has a wide range of expertise – from new construction to resales, first-time home buyers to investment properties. She is passionate about Real Estate, helping others, and her community. Angelina said "I am fortunate to spend every day doing what I love! As a dedicated CCOC Board member and volunteer it is an honor and a privilege to serve my community and fellow business owners."
When it comes to advice, tips or strategies she has for other investors, business owners or individuals in Clayton that can help address today's business challenges Angelina said "No one could have been prepared for the year that we have had, but it’s always important to remember, especially in difficult times, our relationships are what matter most! People do business with people that they know, like, and trust. What can you do to support someone else? How can you help someone else’s business move forward? Check in with your clients and let them know you are here for them. Reach out a helping hand to those who need it and it will come back to you." Angelina added that now is not the time to lay low and wait for the storm to pass. She gave the following advice: "Be sure to let your followers and community know that you are still out here providing high quality services and goods despite the setbacks of this year. We will get through this together and business can be even bigger and better on the other side."
This CCOC Expert Edge is a paid sponsorship.
CLAYTON, NC – In order to keep the Clayton community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Clayton Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Staff, and the Town of Clayton have decided to transform the 2020 Clayton Harvest Festival, originally scheduled for October 28 to November 1, 2020. In lieu of the 2020 Clayton Harvest Festival, the Clayton Chamber of Commerce will be organizing a 2021 Spring Fling Festival to be held April 21 to April 25, 2021.
The Clayton Chamber of Commerce CEO and President, Dana Wooten, said “Although we are extremely disappointed we cannot bring our signature Harvest Festival to Downtown Clayton this fall, we are excited about the opportunity to bring a brand new event to the area in April of 2021. The Clayton Harvest Festival typically brings over 30,000 people to Downtown Clayton over the course of five days. We know that for the safety of this community, and for the financial and planning considerations that take place months in advance, this is the best decision we can make at this time. We are looking forward to bringing this community together again at the 2021 Spring Fling Festival!”
All typical components of the Clayton Harvest Festival including the Midway Carnival rides, Main Street Vendor Fair, Squealin’ on the Square, Car Show, Military Crossroads, Kid’s Village, Hometown Talent Music Stage, and more will be present at the 2021 Spring Fling Festival. All sponsorships and vendor booths that are currently registered for the 2020 Harvest Festival will have the option to transition to the 2021 Spring Fling Festival, with the exact same benefits and opportunities as typically present at the Harvest Festival.
Vendor Registration for the 2021 Spring Fling Festival, brought to you by Leak Locators, is open now. For more information, or to register for the Spring Fling Festival, please visit https://www.claytonspringfestival.com/vendors.html.
In 2021, the Clayton Chamber of Commerce will also be hosting the originally scheduled 2021 Clayton Harvest Festival from October 27 to October 31, 2021. Sponsorship opportunities for the 2021 Clayton Harvest Festival will be available through the 2021 Total Resource campaign, launching September 2020. Vendor Booth Registration for the 2021 Harvest Festival will open in May 2021.
Alligator Steps Swim School, Founded in 2008 (2015 in Clayton) by Larissa Koerschner, offers swim lessons for young children. Larissa created Alligator Steps Swim School while stationed in Okinawa, Japan as a military spouse. She has since opened the business at every location that the Air Force sent her family. The program started as a Music & Movement Class for babies and has since morphed into a full swim school offering swim lessons. Larissa told CCOC about some exciting news: "We recently took on our very first full-time employee. Meghan is our Operations Manager and overseas the entire company while my family is stationed in England." In the next twelve months "we hope to have the blueprints for our own facility and a shovel in our hands ready to dig our first pool!" Said Larissa.
When it comes to advice Larissa would offer to someone starting their own small business, she says it is most important to stay passionate! Larissa said "do what you love and love what you do! If you're passionate about it, follow through and put your all into."
The CCOC Expert Edge article is a paid sponsorship.
Carolinas Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (CACCE) Presents Communication Excellence Awards for 2020
Communications were recognized in the following four categories:
1 – Advertising & Marketing
2 – Campaigns
3 – Electronic
4 – Publications
One award was presented to the highest scoring chamber in each of the four categories based on the following chamber sizes:
Advertising & Marketing Category
Under 700 Members
Wilson (NC) Chamber – Wilson Means Business Podcast
Over 700 Members
Lexington Chamber & Visitors Center (SC) – 2019 Dining on the Dam
Under 700 Members
Alamance (NC) Chamber – 2020 Alamance Chamber Women’s Symposium – ROAR
Over 700 Members
Greater Winston-Salem, Inc. (NC) – Winston-Salem: Our Time is Now
Under 700 Members
Clayton (NC) Chamber – Economic Development Marketing Video: Think Clayton (View the video below)
Over 700 Members
Greater Summerville/Dorchester County (SC) Chamber – Jena and Kevin Do Things Video Series
Under 700 Members
Richmond County (NC) Chamber – Richmond County Magazine
Over 700 Members
Greater Sumter (SC) Chamber – Membership Directory: Guide to Sumer, SC 2019-2020
About CACCE: CACCE is the professional development organization dedicated to improving the educational opportunities for chamber of commerce executives and staff members in North Carolina and South Carolina. CACCE equips chamber of commerce professionals with leadership skills and tools to build innovative chambers. The organization was formed in 1994 when the North Carolina and South Carolina state chamber associations merged. For more information on CACCE, or any of CACCE’s conferences or programs, contact Tiffany Fulmer Ott at 404.312.0524.
This month's Expert Edge is brought to you by Dr. Melissa Palmer, Audiologist and Owner of High Point Audiological in Clayton. Founded in 2016, High Point Audiological-Clayton offers a wide range of audiological services. They provide comprehensive diagnostic evaluations and individualized treatment plans including:
Dr. Melissa Palmer had this advice for others: "For anyone starting a business, get involved and follow your dreams! Anything is possible!" She adds, "As a health care provider opening a new practice, I was a bit intimidated, as my audiological education offered limited information on how to run a business. As a member of the Clayton Chamber of Commerce, I took advantage of networking, marketing, and educational opportunities for small businesses, which helped me get started and continue to succeed in business! I’ve also enjoyed networking and building friendships through local organizations in the community."
When it comes to protecting your hearing, Dr. Palmer wants to remind other CCOC investors how important this is to your career. She notes, "Difficulty communicating due to a hearing problems can play a big factor in one’s quality of life and can contribute to problems such as fatigue, frustration, depression, anxiety, and social isolation." You may benefit from a full hearing evaluation if the following signs/symptoms are noted:
The CCOC Expert Edge article is a paid sponsorship.
The April Stephens team - RE/MAX One Realty was founded in 2014. The April Stephens team takes pride in providing unparalleled knowledge, service & professional advice to their clients through all walks of the buying, selling or building process. When providing this expert edge, April Stephens talked about the importance of education in this day in age. She has this advice to provide to other CCOC investors and business owners: "It is vital that consumers know all their options. We are not a "one size fits all" generation and the market is constantly changing. I encourage everyone to have a liason they can trust to guide them through any major purchases or decisions to ensure they are making the best decision that works for their situation. Trends always change, ensure you are not making decisions that will be costly to remove in the future." To add, April provided this encouragement: "Trust your GUT & educate yourself on all resources available to you. I have always believed in my gut intuition and trust it completely. If something feels wrong, it typically is." Overall, the expertise April has remind us all to "make big decisions using a combination of gut, research & education."
The CCOC Expert Edge Article is a paid sponsorship.
Starting in April, The Clayton Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the Raleigh SCORE Chapter to bring free and confidential business counseling to Clayton!
To make this a success, we need YOUR help. There are two ways to get involved:
APPLY FOR FREE BUSINESS COUNSELING:
Raleigh SCORE is dedicated to providing the best results for you, the client. They provide free counseling to small business clients in all phases of business - from concept to improvements in operations.
Working with a mentor makes the process of starting or expanding a business much easier. Your mentor is a knowledgeable professional that performs the duties of "business advisor and coach" to help guide you through business ownership.
Set up a mentoring session with SCORE mentors if:
a) You are currently in business.
b) You are a beginning entrepreneur and wish to meet with a mentor to discuss and review your idea.
VOLUNTEER AS A SCORE MENTOR:
To make this program a success, it requires dedicated mentors to provide guidance. Over the years, the Raleigh SCORE chapter has grown from a handful of counselors to about sixty dedicated counselors, who have experience in a wide range of industries from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses.
Every year, SCORE volunteers help thousands of entrepreneurs start small businesses in various industries and achieve new levels of success. Volunteering is a way for you to give back, network with business experts, and share your knowledge.
Starting Thursday, April 2nd, SCORE Mentors will provide three 1-hour counseling sessions a week at the Clayton Chamber of Commerce. Signing up to volunteer or receive counseling occurs on a rolling basis, but spots will fill up fast. Be sure to apply soon!
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL THE RALEIGH SCORE OFFICE AT (919) 869-4151.
The Clayton Chamber of Commerce strives to be a resource for you and your business. For this reason, we have compiled some helpful resources for you to refer to during this time. We will continue to communicate updates regarding CCOC events as needed.
Founded in 2012. Edge Printed Products provides almost any type of printed product you can think of! We offer screen printing, embroidery, direct to garment printing, sublimation vinyl, athletic vinyl, signage, and e-commerce fulfillment. Nick Santopietro with Edge said "One of the things we pride ourselves on the most is understanding the importance of building relationships with our clients and seeing the value in the long term vision, rather than just thinking about every project or client in the short term. We love to value and understand every person we work with as an individual and their different wants and needs." Edge Printed Products provides other CCOC investors with this advice: "Clayton is an amazing and rapidly growing community. We would advise everyone to take advantage of all of the great opportunities, business and not, that Clayton has to offer!"
The CCOC Expert Edge Article is a paid sponsorship.
CLAYTON, NC – The Clayton Chamber of Commerce (CCOC)’s mission is to be a champion for education in Johnston County, so CCOC strives to be an advocate for all students, teachers, and principals in Johnston County. CCOC supports the Johnston County Public School System during its rebuilding process because of the demonstrable effects a school system has on business, economic development and workforce development in a county growing as quickly as Johnston County. The CCOC Education and Legislative/Governmental affairs Committees express support to Johnston County Public Schools, the Interim Superintendent, Dr. Ben Williams, and most importantly the school system’s teachers, principals, and students.
At this pivotal time in our county, the Clayton Chamber of Commerce supports unity and leadership between the JCPS Board of Education and the County Commissioners. This is an opportunity to set a path forward to provide sound educational institutions to our students, which will subsequently promote businesses, economic development, and workforce development in Johnston County and the Town of Clayton. For these reasons, the Clayton Chamber of Commerce asks that the Johnston County Commissioners and the Johnston County Board of Education work together for the greater good of this county, the students and the teachers. The County Commissioners and the Board of Education working together to address the current budget for the rest of the 2020 school year was a great first step. Moving forward, CCOC advocates for a collaborative plan to address long term challenges.
The Clayton Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman, Edwin Jackson, said “On behalf of the Clayton Chamber of Commerce, we feel as though the Interim Superintendent, Dr. Ben Williams, is both competent and committed to making the crucial improvements Johnston County Public Schools need. Especially during this decisive election year, it is important that the superintendent, Board of Education and Johnston County Commissioners continue to elevate the sense of unity they have started to curate, for the betterment of Johnston County.”
It is critical for businesses, industries and citizens of Johnston County that the County Commissioners and the Board of Education continue to work together to find solutions that are in the best interest of students and teachers.
For more information on CCOC’s mission and initiative-based committees, visit www.claytonchamber.com/committees. In an effort to help voters stay informed leading up to the Board of Education election, CCOC hosted a candidate forum which can be viewed in full on the CCOC YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/DIcEbWuW3gg.
About the Clayton Chamber of Commerce
The Clayton Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit civically engaged economic advancement organization led by the businesses that invest in our mission. The Clayton Chamber of Commerce (CCOC)'s mission is to champion business, economic development, and education in Clayton, North Carolina. CCOC achieves this mission by Collaborating with various organizations through forums, task forces, committees, and even one-on-one conversations; advocating within the community, various organizations, and governments; and providing innovative solutions, community pride, business marketing opportunities, networking, and professional development through various signature events and other initiatives. The Clayton Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization governed by a board of directors.
CLAYTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TO HOST PLATFORMS AT THE PODIUM: JOHNSTON COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION CANDIDATE FORUM
CLAYTON, NC – The Clayton Chamber of Commerce will host its “Platforms at the Podium: Johnston County Board of Education Candidate Forum” at The Church @ Clayton Crossings on Wednesday, February 12 from 6p.m to 8p.m. This free, public event is a chance for Johnston county residents and constituents to listen and learn more about the candidates for the Johnston County Board of Education primary election in March. The event will be moderated. Each candidate at the forum will have an equal chance to introduce themselves and present their platform to attendees.
Clayton Chamber of Commerce President/CEO, Dana Wooten, said “The Clayton Chamber of Commerce is hosting this event in order to continue its mission of championing education in Clayton, NC and Johnston County as a whole. 2020 has the potential to be a transformational year. It is important for all citizens to be informed because of the huge effect the Johnston County school system has on business, economic development, and workforce development in this county.”
By attending, the audience can learn more about each candidate, their platforms, and the impact they may have on the education of our Johnston County youth. This event is free and open to the public.
About the Clayton Chamber of Commerce
The Clayton Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit civically engaged economic advancement organization led by the businesses that invest in its mission. The Clayton Chamber of Commerce (CCOC)'s mission is to champion business, economic development, and education in Clayton, North Carolina. CCOC achieves this mission by collaborating with various organizations through forums, task forces, committees, and even oneon-one conversations; advocating within the community, various organizations, and governments; and providing innovative solutions, community pride, business marketing opportunities, networking, and professional development through various signature events and other initiatives. Learn more and view all events at https://www.claytonchamber.com/. Please refer to the Clayton Chamber of Commerce in full, or as “Clayton Chamber” or “CCOC.”
CLAYTON, NC -- The Clayton Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting & Community Awards Ceremony, presented by Yellow House: The Community Place, was held on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at The Clayton Center. The Clayton Chamber Commerce presented its annual awards along with Clayton Rotary Club, The Woman's Club of Clayton, Clayton Women in Networking and the Clayton Downtown Development Association. All award recipients are listed below. Congratulations!
Excerpt from CCOC President/CEO Dana Wooten's Speech:
“Since the Clayton Chamber of Commerce produced its first strategic plan three years ago, it has never strayed away from its mission: to champion business, economic development and education in the great town of Clayton, North Carolina. At the Clayton Chamber, we have set our mission in motion by investing in our community and actively building Clayton’s future every single day. CCOC remains inspired, dedicated and motivated to continue building upon the foundation we have so strongly put in place and I can confidently say that the future of CCOC is so bright.”
The Clayton Chamber of Commerce Awards:
Clayton Rotary Club Award
Clayton Women in Networking Award
The Woman’s Club of Clayton Awards
Clayton Downtown Development Association Awards
2020 Annual Meeting & Community Awards Ceremony Photos:
Thank you to all of the nights sponsors and attendees.
The Longleaf Wealth Advisory Group of Raymond James is a full service Financial Advisory practice with locations in Wake and Johnston Counties. They joined Raymond James in 2015 from Davenport and Wells Fargo Advisors. Now, the office consists of four advisors and two support staff.
James Forrester of the Longleaf Wealth Advisory Group provides this weeks expert edge on how to offset taxes with retirement account contributions. Click here to view the article filled with strategies and tips that could be useful when planning for taxes. Another piece of advice that James provides is to "seek advice from peers and professionals. There are many resources available and plenty of people willing to help if you ask."
--James Forrester, Longleaf Wealth Advisory Group of Raymond James
Longleaf Wealth Advisory Group of Raymond James
919.784.8300 // 800-688-4380// F 855.824.7380
3515 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 200 Raleigh, NC 27612
310 Bridge Street, Smithfield, NC 27577
Raymond James & Associates, Inc., member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC
This CCOC Expert Edge article is a paid sponsorship.
This expert edge is all about how to leverage your CCOC benefits to best market YOUR company. If you are currently an investor with us, this will be a great reminder about many of the beneficial things included in your investment. If you are not an investor with CCOC, read about some of the benefits that you could be utilizing as a member of the chamber. These tips and tricks are coming straight from Samantha and Sara, CCOC’s investor relations coordinators, so if you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to them!
As an investor with CCOC, what should I do first?
We recommend that all of our investors consistently check the online CCOC Calendar to plan out which events you want to attend. As a new investor, If you’re not sure which event to visit first, let us recommend our Friday morning events: Good Morning Clayton (GMC) and Chamber U. At GMC, you will have the chance to enjoy breakfast and coffee while networking with other CCOC investors. One of the perks of GMC, is that each person in attendance has the opportunity to give a 20-second commercial to the group. Immediately following GMC, is Chamber U, where Sam and Sara sit down with a small group to go over everything CCOC-related and answer any questions you may have. Coming to a Chamber U session is a great way to get more detailed information on how to utilize your online portal through the CCOC directory. The directory (located on the CCOC website) provides you the opportunity to include information about your company in order to increase brand exposure, harness search engine optimization and leverage the CCOC referral platform. In order to maximize your investment, it is crucial to make sure your portal stands out by adding links to your company’s website, social media, any available coupons you are offering and photos!
How do I access and edit my portal?
In order to access your portal, go to the CCOC website. Under the Directory/Login tab (in the top right-hand corner of the home page) click login. Enter the username and password that was in your welcome email from the chamber. If you do not remember or need a new password, call the chamber or email Samantha <firstname.lastname@example.org> so she can provide you with a new one. You can change your password manually at any time by going to the “Change Username/Password” section of your portal.
What are the first three things a new investor should add to their portal?
According to Samantha and Sara, after adding the basics (address, phone number, email) the first three things you should add to your portal are:
How many people will see the portal?
In 2018, there were 500,000 investor referrals from CCOC’s online business directory. On average, each investor receives 829 referrals a year. As you can tell, this CCOC benefit is always working for YOU! These referrals help your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and provide brand awareness. They can also convert into clicks, conversations and ultimately clients/customers.
If you have any questions, reach out to Sara <Sara@claytonchamber.com> or Samantha <email@example.com>.
CLAYTON, NC -- Glow Yoga, founded in 2017 by Tiffany Pridgen, provides group and private yoga, Pilates, meditation classes, workshops, teacher trainings, reiki energy healing, crystal healing, holistic health and wellness coaching, and sound healing. The Clayton Chamber of Commerce spoke with Tiffany about advice she has for fellow business owners. Here is her expert edge: “As entrepreneurs, we often discover that our passion for growing and expanding our impact in the community supersedes our own personal desires for growth. Many business owners face challenges of burnout and fatigue as they "burn the candle at both ends." One of the most effective tools for managing stress and preventing burnout is our own personal acceptance that we are our business, and our self-care is imperative for success. If we [as small business owners] take ownership of our own personal well-being, our businesses will thrive as well.”
Tiffany uses her yoga background to provide some tangible ways to take ownership of your well-being, including “setting aside quiet time every morning for meditation or intention setting, blocking off time from your calendar daily or weekly to recharge and reconnect to your sole purpose through yoga, meditation, journaling, self-reflection or spending time in nature. Staying connected to your core values will keep you grounded and focused. This will help you to achieve more as you grow personally and professionally.”
Tiffany adds to her advice by encouraging others “to celebrate your small victories and focus your energy there. Business owners face many challenges and often find themselves wearing many hats; accepting challenge after challenge becomes second nature. Our drive for continuous improvement often overshadows the small day to day wins. I use a daily planner that includes a "victories for today" section. I like to fill that in at the end of every day. It keeps me focused and reaffirms that I have all the tools I need to grow my business successfully, regardless of any challenges I may be currently working through.”
--Glow Yoga, Founded 2017, Tiffany Pridgen
This CCOC Expert Edge article is a paid sponsorship.
2018 was a monumental year for the Clayton Chamber of Commerce. CCOC’s mission driven words—advocate, collaborate, and innovate—were at the forefront of all our 2018 accomplishments. We are so proud to publish our first annual report. If you want to see what our mission (to champion business, economic development, and education in Clayton, NC) looks like in action, view the report (click the button) below.
Note: If you are viewing from your phone, turn it to horizontal view and view inside your browser.
More than 120 participants gathered at the Clayton Center today to hear experts discuss a federal program that could bring new jobs, companies and investment into designated properties in Johnston County. Known as Opportunity Zones, the national initiative offers deferments and exceptions on capital gains taxes derived from investments made in low-wealth communities. The Town of Clayton and the Clayton Chamber of Commerce (CCOC) joined the Johnston County Office of Economic Development in organizing and hosting the program, which was sponsored by KS Bank.
"The Clayton Chamber of Commerce champions economic development and we are very proud to produce collaborative and educational initiatives like this for our business community. Below you will the summit press release, program, and presentation from the event. We appreciate your dedication to the Johnston County community." ~Dana Wooten, CCOC President/CEO
The 68th Clayton Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting & Community Awards Ceremony was held Tuesday, January 23, 2019 at Brick & Mortar Events in Clayton, NC. The Clayton Chamber of Commerce (CCOC) presented their annual awards along with Clayton Downtown Development Association (CDDA), Clayton Rotary Club, and Clayton Women in Networking (WIN). Congratulations to all the award recipients.
Excerpts from CCOC President / CEO Dana Wooten's Speech:
"I stood right here last year and told you about the Clayton Chamber of Commerce’s rich history. A history that is deeply rooted in community involvement and in the cultivation of relationships with businesses, residents, and key stakeholders. And because of that, CCOC could confidently set its eyes on the future. I shared about our three-year campaign and strategic plan and reminded you that we were all Building Clayton’s Future…together.
Well. That is exactly what we did in 2018.
We continued to make great strides in areas of economic development, legislative and governmental affairs, and education. And we launched a workforce development committee with fresh goals and ideas. Through our impact committees, CCOC has collaborated with the Town of Clayton in order to reach important economic development goals such as the development of Clayton Districts and a demographic brochure.
We are on the steering committee, along with the other JOCO chambers of commerce, Johnston County Economic Development, Johnston County Public Schools, and Johnston Community College, that is launching an exciting workforce program like none you have ever seen called JOCO Works. The hands-on expo will target all 8th grade students in our county and will be held November 14-15, 2019.
CCOC has also expanded our political forum offerings in order to keep Clayton voters informed. We are in the process of launching a re-vamped mentoring program called INSPIRE with Clayton Middle School.
We received a grant to help us expand our award-winning The Clayton Connection app by providing a Clayton tour for our new and current residents in 2019. Something you will hear more about soon.
And we are working on our first annual report to present to all our investors and the public. I could go on…[But quite frankly, I’m exhausted!]
And I didn’t even mention our successful Clayton Harvest Festival with our first-ever Military Crossroads despite a hurricane…thanks to the flexibility of our staff [especially Maria Bunn], Dave Brown with The Shindig, Clayton Mid-Day Rotary, and last, but not least, the Town of Clayton. And if you didn’t see the flyover, it was something amazing.
The 2018 CCOC board of directors, staff, and members of our impact committees, were all laser-focused on our mission of business advocacy, economic development, and education in Clayton. We reached nearly all our strategic plan milestones for 2018…and then some. And thanks to the generosity of all our investors, this organization had a BIG and POSITIVE impact on this wonderful community. We are so proud of this organization’s work in 2018.
You will hear more about CCOC’s impact throughout the night. It is shown in the businesses we cheer. It is shown in the awards we present. It is shown in our collaboration with you all…Clayton Rotary, Clayton Downtown Development Association, and Clayton WIN. It is shown in this crowd. CCOC is heading into 2019 with great momentum and plans…more advocacy, more collaboration, and more innovation. And that only means even more great things are in Clayton’s future.
The 2019 Board of Directors and staff of the Clayton Chamber of Commerce thank you all for investing in Clayton by investing in the Clayton Chamber of Commerce.
Now. Let’s get the party started." ~Dana Wooten, CCOC President/CEO
2018 Award Recipients:
CCOC Outgoing Board of Directors and Executive Committee were also recognized for their time and dedication to the Clayton Chamber of Commerce and the CCOC's 2019 Board of Directors were introduced.
After attending ESGR’s Operation Boss Lift earlier this year (see post below), CCOC President/CEO Dana Bales Wooten had the pleasure of attending the ceremony at the State Capitol on December 5, 2018 to witness Governor Cooper signing a “Statement of Support for National Guard and Reserve Employees.”
Read more about the ceremony here >
Original Post Date: 08/23/2018
CCOC President/CEO Dana Wooten was privileged to be selected for a program facilitated by the North Carolina Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). This program, a unique once-in-a-lifetime experience traveling via an Air Force C-17 Globemaster, provides employers and chambers with the opportunity to observe the extraordinary responsibility, skills, and professionalism of today’s citizen-warriors serving the in the nation’s Guard and Reserve and as current or potential employees.
“This trip has really opened my eyes to an existing qualified employable workforce that needs to be courted.” ~Dana Wooten, CCOC President/CEO
View the news story here >