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The Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce Celebrates Small Business at a Gala recognizing four business

Posted May 23, 2013    

The Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce Celebrates Small Business at a Gala recognizing four business
Columbus, GA – May 23, 2013- Small Business Week Recognition Awards Gala is the last event of the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce Small Business Week. The celebration will be at the RiverMill Event Center from 6-9 p.m. During the program four awards will be presented to local small businesses.
The awards are:
·         Visionary Award - Presented to a local Chamber member business that is a productive, mature, closely-held industry leader that is supportive of both economic and community development.
(Editor’s Note: italics blue text is from the winners Bio)
OmegaFi was founded in January of 1992 by Todd Reaves, who served as treasurer of his fraternity at Auburn University. The company was created to address the unique challenges of managing member data and finances for fraternities and sororities, specifically, the billing and collection of member-based fees, such as dues and rent, and the management of detailed membership data. For over 20 years now, OmegaFi has been focused on developing tools that solve those problems.
Headquartered on 6th Avenue in 2 adjacent buildings with over 90 employees, OmegaFi now provides internet-based membership and financial management services to over 2,200 fraternity and sorority chapters from 89 National and International organizations and more than 500 college and university campuses across the United States. Over the years, OmegaFi’s services have expanded to include major fundraising and fulfillment initiatives and solutions that bring efficiencies to the operations and data management of the General National and International organizations. 
OmegaFi proudly supports our community through Columbus State University, the Boys and Girls Club of Columbus, Girls Inc. and Midtown, Inc. The employees of OmegaFi have adopted the Columbus Boys and Girls Club as their local philanthropy. Through fundraisers they hold internally throughout the year, money is raised to provide Christmas to a needy family.


·         Small Business Giant of the Year -Presented to a locally-owned Chamber member business with at least five or more years of demonstrated growth and community service. This award is chosen from the monthly Small Business Giants winners of the previous year. 
Jamie Keating is well-known in Columbus for his exquisite cuisine and amazing events. He is the owner and chef of the premier catering company, Jamie Keating Culinary, Inc. that manages The RiverMill Event Centre.
Jamie is a graduate of Paul Smith’s College, located in the Adirondacks of New York, and the Culinary Institute at Greystone in California. He is a member of the 2008 ACF United States Culinary Olympic Team and a recent triple GOLD MEDALIST. His culinary experience includes positions with Hyatt Hotels in Atlanta, Hilton Head and New Jersey. He has traveled to Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg and France to compete against other countries for top honors in cooking. Jamie gained international expertise through a position at a Michelin 3 Star restaurant in France and his studies at the Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. He has been featured several times on the Food Network and in many culinary and national publications.
Jamie recently opened EPIC, a fine dining restaurant located on Front Avenue in the Eagle & Phenix Condominiums.
·         Drugs Don't Work Workplace of the Year - Presented to a Chamber member organization that is also a certified drug-free workplace. The recognized organization is a stable, mature business with a strong advocacy for workplace and community substance abuse prevention.
Pastoral Institute-offers counseling, consulting and educational resources to care for the emotional, relational and spiritual needs of individuals, families and communities. Established in 1974 their values include: People - Faith - Servant Leadership - Diversity - Integrated Approach - Excellence - Stewardship - Holistic Growth and Collaboration. Not only is this organization a great example of a drug free workplace they also offer Drug Free workplace supervisor training through their Business Resource Center.
·         Young Entrepreneur of the Year - Presented to recognize and honor a young professional (between the ages of 21 and 40), who through their entrepreneurship has transformed economies, driven innovation and changed communities. The selected recipient is an active Chamber member who either owns or manages a local private or public company.
The winner was Carla Epp, New Life Tanning Centers. New Life Tanning is Columbus’ premiere sunless tanning provider. It was established in 1986 as a Fitness Center. A few years later, they decided tanning was the way to go and installed the first tanning beds in the city. New Life has grown significantly, and 27 years later, they now have a variety of luxury UV tanning equipment, sunless tanning booth, custom airbrush services, infrared body wraps, LED teeth whitening, and anti-aging treatments to serve you better than ever.
Her Awards and Recognitions include
          Columbus’ Favorite Tanning Salon by Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (June 2012)
         Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics from the Better Business Bureau (February 2012)
          Her Favorite Teeth Whitening from Her magazine (November 2010)
          Small Business Giant Award from Chamber of Commerce (October 2010)
          TOP 250 Tanning Salons in the Nation by Looking Fit Magazine (February 2009)
          Hometown Hero Award (April 2005)
New Life is actively involved in the Columbus community. They support the Children’s Miracle Network, local chapter of the American Red Cross, Anne Elizabeth Shepherd Home, Columbus State University, Columbus GA Young Professionals, United Way, and many other public and private organizations through donations and volunteer work each year.
Since the beginning, they have been affiliated with the Miss Georgia Pageant Commission, tanning the contestants before the pageant, and providing service to the winner year-round to prepare her for the Miss America Pageant.
Previous events held included:
·         Monday - Morning Mixer was held at the Columbus Airport and during the evening the 2nd Annual Taste of Columbus event was held at the Elizabeth Bradley Turner Center. Buddy’s Restaurant was the voted the winner of the Taste of Columbus
·         Tuesday - CEO Roundtable Experience (Four CEO’s included: Senator Emmanuel Jones of Legacy Car Dealerships, Russ Carreker of Starrett-Bytewise, Jay Alexander of Alexander Electric & Sheree Mitchell of the Growing Room.
·         Wednesday - Small Business Boot Camp hosted by the Small Business Development Center at the Cunningham Center featured Procurement and Social Media workshops and guest speaker Jon Anker of AnkerPak
·         Thursday - Eye-Opener Breakfast with guest speaker William Taylor of Taylor CPA & Associates and PMB Broadcasting wining the Small Business Giant of the Month Award.



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