Metro Chamber CEO Sam Williams retiring

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ATLANTA - The head of the Metro Atlanta Chamber announced he is retiring at the end of the year.

Sam Williams has been head of the organization since 1997. Officials told Channel 2's John Bachman on Tuesday that Williams helped create 75,000 jobs in the region.

Williams, 68, said it's just time to retire.

"I'll stick around another year, but hey, I want to get that fly rod off the shelf and get out there in my workshop and start having some more fun and do some teaching," he said.

Williams played a key role in luring business to Georgia and leading the business community in an effort to save Grady Memorial Hospital.

"Fixing big tough problems, like Grady Hospital, that's one that we're really, really proud of because that was an incredible institution that was almost falling off the cliff," Williams said.

Recently, Williams and the Chamber came under fire for their support of Atlanta Public School Superintendent Beverly Hall during the start of the investigation into widespread cheating on standardized tests. Hall and 34 other administrators are now under indictment.

"In hindsight, we didn't know what we didn't know but we know now that there's a lot of wrong doing going on and we look forward to getting by that and saying, 'OK now let's talk about how we rebuild,'" Williams said.

The Chamber represents more than 4,000 companies in metro Atlanta.


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