Adel-Cook Chamber Annual Program of Work

Education Committee

Shamika Durden and Nyisha Key, Co-Chair

Back to School Breakfast – Early August each year (set by School System)

This annual event sponsored by the Chamber kicks off the new school year by taking a moment to thank all of the teachers, administrators and support staff who work in the Cook County Schools.  At this event, Teachers of the Year are recognized and new teachers are welcomed with special gift bags, compliments of Adel-Cook Chamber and Cook Medical Center, the event’s co-sponsor.

Leadership Cook – Every other year

Leadership Cook is a program conducted by the Adel-Cook County Chamber of Commerce using the Fanning Institute’s Community Leadership Program.  Leadership Cook brings together people from diverse backgrounds and varying perspectives to learn more about themselves and their communities.  Participants share their ideas and experiences with each other, gain new skills and knowledge about leadership, and develop plans and strategies for implementing community development projects.

Monthly programs are led by experts in economic development, government, public works, transportation, education, and other fields.  The program focuses on current decision-making and explores ways in which regional efforts may prove fruitful.  Field studies and community awareness visits augment the curriculum.  The class members are required to attend a retreat and seven one-day sessions beginning in January and ending usually in May.  Actual schedule may vary.

Class size is limited to 20.  Program fees of $350 (Chamber Member) $450 (Non-Chamber Member) covers all costs for the five-month period, including speakers, scheduled meals, materials, fieldtrip transportation, and graduation.  Program fees are subject to change.

Leadership Cook is offered every other year in tandem with Future Leaders of Cook County (FLOCC), which is held in July.

Candidates for Leadership Cook must be residents of, or work in, Adel-Cook County.  The candidate’s participation must be endorsed by his or her employer (employer shall be broadly construed to include all companies under a corporate umbrella, wholly-owned subsidiary, political entity, etc.) or sponsored by a civic or non-profit organization.

If employed, the candidate’s participation must be approved by his or her Manager or Supervisor. If not employed, the candidate must have a letter or nomination from the sponsoring organization.

Future Leaders of Cook County (FLOCC) – Every other year in July

The Adel-Cook County Chamber of Commerce organizes a youth leadership program, Future Leaders of Cook County, every other year in July. The program is held over the course of one week and the activities are modeled after the Fanning Institute’s Youth Leadership Program. Rising eighth and ninth grade graders are nominated by their teachers and a selection committee selects up to 25 students to participate in the program. The classes are held at the UGA Extension Center in Adel and facilitators are brought in from the community to help them develop leadership skills.  During the afternoon, the group tours different businesses and organizations in the community.  Transportation for the tours is provided by the school system.

 Renaissance Program – Ongoing

The Chamber assists with various events associated with Cook Elementary School’s Renaissance Program, including quarterly festivals used to reward the students for their hard work.  A financial contribution is made each year to CES.

Job Shadow Day – February / March each year

The Chamber works in conjunction with the Cook High School business program to offer selected members of the junior class the opportunity to spend the day working with a business person in the Cook County community whose job most closely matches what they would like to do upon graduation from school or college.

STAR Student/STAR Teacher Program – January / March

STAR Students are selected on the basis of academic excellence.  Both American College Test scores and scholastic averages are compared to determine the school's STAR Student.  Each STAR Student is asked to designate a STAR Teacher, usually the classroom teacher who has made the greatest contribution to the student's scholastic achievement.  The Adel-Cook County Chamber co-sponsors a dinner honoring the STAR Student and STAR Teacher in conjunction with BASF Corporation.  The regional dinner is held in Valdosta.

College Education Matters in Cook County – March

This program is sponsored by the Adel-Cook Chamber as a way to introduce high school juniors to the opportunities available for them to continue their educations after graduation.  Qualified students are bused to Valdosta to visit Wiregrass Georgia Technical College and participate in the annual GeekFest.  Funding is provided by sponsors or from College Access Grants available periodically.  Buses are contracted through the school system.  About 90 juniors are availed of this opportunity each year.

Bee Hive Bash at Cook Primary School – Quarterly

The Adel-Cook Chamber promotes good grades, citizenship, and attendance at Cook Primary School by funding and presenting Scooters to deserving students at Bee Hive Bash held every quarter at the school.  The winners are featured in the Adel News Tribune with a picture and a short story about the student.

Scholarship Program – May

The Chamber funds an annual $1000 4 year college scholarship and a $500 technical college scholarship.  The Chamber participates in the scholarship interviews held by the Cook County Educational Foundation each year during which recipients are selected.  The Chamber also provides a $250 Award of Excellence to Community Christian Academy.

Retired Teachers Luncheon – September or October

The Adel-Cook Chamber honors our Retired Teachers organization with lunch and an update on the Chamber’s educational initiatives from throughout the year.  Cook Medical Center co-sponsors the luncheon and provides a speaker to discuss important trends in healthcare.

Small Business Development Committee

Chris Posey, Chair

Business and Beyond “Sip & See” – Annually in the Fall

This event gives members and non-members the opportunity to discover the vast array of businesses and organizations that offer goods and services to the Cook County community.  The Expo provides an opportunity for many businesses, organizations, and the public to interact with one another in a single location.  It currently features a venue for up to 25 exhibitors to display and sell their products and to greet customers one-on-one, in a fun, relaxed environment.  Many door prizes, giveaways, and exciting offers are a hallmark of this event sponsored by some of the leading businesses in Cook County and the surrounding area.    

Business After Hours – Quarterly

Adel-Cook County Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours are exciting business networking events that provide an excellent opportunity for Chamber members and prospective members to establish and renew relationships.  Each Business After Hours is sponsored by a leading business in the community.  

Ribbon Cuttings / Ground Breakings – Ongoing

The Chamber offers the opportunity to get new businesses and industries off on the right foot by holding Ribbon Cuttings and Ground Breaking Celebrations.  Such events offer a wonderful opportunity for new businesses to meet current Chamber members and form business alliances and contacts.  Ribbon Cuttings and Ground Breakings are free to Chamber members.

Small Business Seminars

These quarterly seminars like the Lunch and Learn Series offer members the opportunity delve into topics of interest to small business people including inside theft, counterfeit currency, tax issues and customer service.  Another popular topic is Business Success Stories, an inside look into our most successful local business people who have overcome adversity and rose to the top in their fields.

COOK CA$H Chamber Bucks Program – Ongoing

In an effort to effectively realize our mission of encouraging citizens to Buy Cook, Live Cook, and Serve Cook, our Shop Local COOK CA$H Chamber Bucks Program keeps several thousand dollars per year in Cook County.  COOK CA$H can be purchased and redeemed at the Chamber and is accepted at over 50 merchants and restaurants in Adel and Cook County.

Community Development Committee

Stephen Chammoun, Chair

Adel Daylily Festival – Third weekend in May

Adel’s premier hometown festival since 2007, the Adel Daylily Festival offers events for every member of the family.  Early Saturday morning, runners participate in the Daylily City 5K Road Race. Then thousands of visitors from around the region descend on downtown Adel for a day-long festival featuring daylily vendors, arts and crafts, food, and live entertainment.  The Adel Daylily Festival is held the third weekend of May.   

Christmas in Cook – First Week in December

Adel-Cook Chamber’s Christmas Parade marks the official start of the Christmas season in Cook County and is one of the most popular events on the Chamber calendar.  Floats compete to see who can be the most creative with the parade’s theme, high school bands march and groups from all over the county either participate in the parade or enjoy it as it goes by.  The Christmas Parade is held the first Thursday in December.

Christmas Choral and Band Outreach to Seniors – December

Each year the Adel-Cook Chamber sponsors an outreach program to our seniors by arranging for the Cook High School Choral and Band members to visit retirement and nursing homes in the community.  Over 100 senior citizens are served each year.  Lunch is provided to the students by the Adel-Cook Chamber.

Annual Membership Dinner and Awards Presentation – 3rd Thursday in January

The Annual Membership Dinner is a decades-long tradition of gathering and celebrating the accomplishments of the Chamber of Commerce.  Each year, recognition is given to outstanding member businesses.  The Man and Woman of the Year are recognized at the Annual dinner, as well as many other successful and accomplished members in various categories.  The Annual Dinner is held at the Cook Middle School, the only venue large enough to accommodate the many members who attend each year.

Membership & Ambassador Committee

Shonna O'Quinn, Chairwoman

The Chamber’s Membership Committee oversees the recruitment of new members and the retention of existing members.  Twice a year, the Chamber sponsors New Member Breakfasts to acquaint new members with the benefits and services of the Chamber.  Chamber Ambassadors are a vital part of membership engagement.  The Ambassadors assist with all chamber events, especially Ribbon Cuttings, and are under the supervision of the Membership Chair.  Another important function of the Membership Committee is to coordinate the Annual Dinner in conjunction with the Community Development Committee.

Annual Program of Work

During the course of the year, the Chamber’s Annual Program of Work may be modified somewhat due to economic trends, political climate, and other conditions which may warrant a real-time adjustment by management and staff.  Ongoing all the time is the Chamber’s role of being the 411 of the community.  Providing Certificates of Origin to business members who export local products to foreign countries is another important part of the work of the Chamber.  Advocacy of positive change related to important community issues is a key responsibility of the Chamber of Commerce, as well as, partnering with economic developers in the community, serving as the public relations arm of the City and County, and tackling quality of life issues affecting the future economic prosperity of the community.

For the 2022 Adel-Cook Chamber Program of Work, please CLICK HERE.

Please contact the Chamber at 229-896-2281 should you want more information on volunteering with one of the committees above.