A Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce delegation recently embarked on a purpose-driven trip to Washington, D.C., known as the "Washington D.C. Fly-in," which allows community leaders to meet with our Georgia Senators and Congressman.
Our first stop was to the World War II memorial, where we had the opportunity to meet Gene Lee along with many World War II veterans who were visiting for the day. Our next step was to introduce ourselves to staff members of Senator Isakson, Senator Chambliss, and Congressman Gingrey, inviting them to a wonderful reception, hosted by Georgia Power and held at the Southern Company office on Pennsylvania Avenue. A special thanks to Ervan Hancock for coordinating the reception. Several staff members from the different legislators' offices attended as well as Congressman Gingrey, which gave us one on one time to share our local issues, as well as get to know the staff. It has been said, "You don't get what you want until you ask." That is exactly what took place on Wednesday. Joe Harris, our Chamber president and Fred Kittle, our Chamber chairman, did an incredible job positioning our community as a "Location of Choice." They truly set the stage for Janet Queen, Georgia Power, to share about the recent tornado damage and the great coordinated work by FEMA, as they continue the work that was already in place through community volunteers, churches, Georgia Power, and many others. Nick Slappy, Georgia Power-Plant Bowen, shared new and exciting water recapture and preservation technology, which is the only one of its kind in the world, right here in our community. Todd Hooper did an excellent job sharing about our educational needs and the future use of Old Cass High School.
The "perfect pitch" was made by one delegation, Jeff Watkins and Karl Lutjens, sharing about the economic growth of our community and especially focused on "The Perfect Game" coming to Emerson with the creation of "Dream Parks at LakePoint". This new local development will bring hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars to our community in the months and years ahead. Karl Lutjens also focused on presentations regarding our local Cartersville Airport. As we all know, a growing community must have an updated, functional and progressive airport that meets the demands of the community. Lutjens and the group advocated for fifteen million dollars to fund the improvements. The amount is needed to expand the airport over Old Alabama Rd., with Georgia DOT also working in conjunction with us on this plan. The day was highlighted by a visit with Congressman Jack Kingston who sacrificed his time to listen to our issues regarding FAA. In addition a special thanks to Jeff Lewis who orchestrated a meeting with Spenser Mahoney at the British Embassy.
As a first-timer, I sat back and observed a group of people from different professions and backgrounds come together for the common good of the Cartersville-Bartow community. I was truly blessed to be part of this group and more importantly, to say that I am from Bartow County, Georgia, a true "Location of Choice" community that we get to live in everyday.