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114th Annual Meeting

114th Annual Meeting

Trailblazers: Locally Grown Stories of Success

Thursday, February 23, 2023
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM (EST)

Augusta Marriott Convention Center

901 Reynolds Street
Augusta, GA 30901
United States
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Event Details


Locally Grown Stories of Success

We are excited to announce the Chamber's 114th Annual Meeting will be held Thursday, February 23 at the Augusta Marriott. This year’s event will feature a moderated panel of some of Augusta’s most iconic business owners so plan on a fun evening!

Thursday, February 23 in Olmstead Exhibit Hall at Augusta Marriott Convention Center

Doors open at 6pm with the program beginning at 6:30pm


Local Panelists

Vera StewartVeryVera

Vera Stewart is a nationally-recognized TV personality, cookbook author, and entrepreneur whose career in the food and hospitality industries spans nearly four decades. Launching her career in the 1980s with a cottage catering business, VeryVera, she has since become a household name with ventures that include a bakery and café, a national mail order business for her signature cakes, the cooking and lifestyle show The VeryVera Show, the VeryVera Cookbook, the VeryVera Cooking Camp, and VERA, a catering, concierge and hospitality service for patrons of the Masters tournament in Augusta, Georgia. Vera graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Home Economics in 1974. Early in her career in 1997 she was named Small Business Person of the Year. In 2019 she was recognized with the ‘Bulldog 100’ award, signifying the top 100 growing businesses in Georgia. 


Ray Carnes, recteq

Ray Carnes along with Ron Cundy, has helped build recteq into one of the fastest growing grill companies. Born in Michigan, Ray was raised an "Army brat." Ray had a brief stint at Augusta Technical College, but made the move to become a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman. He claims that he was "number one in the country," and that he has the posters to prove it somewhere in the attic. This is where he met who would become his future business partner, Ron. Providing customers with high quality grills at competitive prices, and bringing back old school customer service, this idea blossomed into what we know as recteq.  


Larry Jones, Universal Plumbing

Founded in 1985 by Larry Jones, Universal Plumbing is the largest plumbing service in Augusta. Larry was introduced to the trade when his best friend’s father in law, a plumber, recruited him to help with plumbing jobs on nights and weekends. He was working as a Patient Account Specialist at the Medical College of Georgia when they posted an open plumbing position. He traded his tie for a toolbelt and hasn’t looked back. Since then he has received numerous awards for his business and humanitarian service, including named 2007 Augusta's Entrepreneur by the Augusta Metro Chamber. Larry serves on the Leadership Council of Elders of his church and continues to look for opportunities to make a difference with his time and talents. His story was recently featured on the YouTube series, American Plumber Stories.


Brad Means, Moderator 

Brad Means co-anchors WJBF NewsChannel 6’s weekday newscasts at 5, 6, and 11 p.m. He is also the host of the weekly show, The Means Report. Brad loves covering the people and events that shape our lives in Georgia-Carolina, and considers it a privilege to share that information every day. Brad’s hometown is Jacksonville, Florida. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Telecommunication from the University of Alabama.


For More Information:

Angie Cox
Angie Cox
Executive Vice President Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce (706)821-1311
Purchase a Corporate Table of 8 at a discounted rate to receive logo recognition and premium seating. Contact Angie Martin to upgrade your tickets today!

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