Columbus, GA (WTVM) - Executives representing Goodwill Industries all over the country continue their nearly week-long visit in the Fountain City for the annual executive conference.
This year's host Julie Bennett, vice president of marketing for Goodwill Southern Rivers, said this is the first big conference they've hosted for some time.
It's so big, she said, that the nearly 300 executives and representatives attending the conference have filled up the Columbus Marriott Hotel right next to city's trade center.
Bennett said the conference started Sunday and will go on until Thursday, which means the city has a sizable group of tourists spending money on dining, hotel and other parts of Columbus' economy.
Bennett said the Southern Rivers chapter also wants to highlight the business community and local leadership in Columbus to its guests; that means bringing in business leaders to give guest lectures.
"This morning, for instance, we were able to hear from Troy Woods from TSYS," Bennett said. "Then, tomorrow morning, we will have Dan Amos from AFLAC. We are just really thankful to people here in the community and across the country, quite frankly, who have helped support this event."
Bennett also expressed gratitude to other conference sponsors who helped attract Goodwill leaders to Columbus since each Goodwill Center in the U.S. works completely independently from each other.
She said this is the meeting where all the best minds come together to share their best strategies and ideas, with 163 separate Goodwill teams represented during the conference.
Part of the conference-goers' visit also includes getting a taste of what Columbus has to offer, such as visiting the National Infantry Museum right next to Fort Benning.