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Volume 16 No. 12


DECEMBER 7, 2004 Meeting/Holiday Party Sponsored by the

AURORA THEATRE 3087-B Main Street Downtown Duluth 770.476.7926 Hometown Holidays Aurora's Canteen 2004 Conceived and Written by Anthony P. Rodriguez & Ann-Carol Pence Directed by Anthony P. Rodriguez Music Direction by Ann-Carol Pence Choreography by Natalie Gray with additional choreography by Russell Rhodes Hometown Holidays–Aurora's Canteen 2004. Now in it's 9th Smash Season, this show is the “must see” of the holidays!! The evening is filled with the very best songs of the season, hilarious comedy, and Aurora's stirring tribute to our fighting men and women in the armed forces. A seasonal masterpiece that captures the allure and custom of holidays past and brings you magically back to a simpler time…a cup of eggnog for the holiday soul. About the Production The Aurora Theatre continues its 9th season with Hometown HolidaysAurora's Canteen 2004. An original work conceived and created by

Producing Artistic director Anthony P. Rodriguez and Associate Producer Ann-Carol Pence, Hometown Holidays- Aurora's Canteen 2004 is a rousing musical review that will get even the biggest Scrooge ready for the holidays. It is a show that celebrates Americana and those things from our past and memories that make this season such a warm, special time. Reminiscent of the pageantry of Radio City Music Hall, or a Bob Hope Television Special, but in the intimate environs of the Aurora Theatre, this performance will take you back to a simpler time and fill your heart with the joy of the season. Some of the unforgettable melodies you'll hear include: Baby, It's Cold Outside, I'll Be Home for Christmas, Chattanooga Choo Choo and Yankee Doodle Dandy. This season's newest section celebrates the diversions of America and includes selections from The Wizard of Oz, Red Skelton's Freddy the Freeloader (America's favorite hobo) and the incomparable Roy Rogers and Dale Evens. “Roy Rogers is important to highlight because of his connection to Buford, Georgia. One of Gwinnett County's foremost historical figures, Bona Allen, owned and operated a tannery, which made many of the saddles that the movie and television cowboys used. Local folklore centers around various trips those

december 2004

famous cowboys made to Buford to hang out with the locals,” says associate producer Ann-Carol Pence. “Especially moving is the work of local artist Vic McCallum. His bronze sculpture commemorating Roy Rogers, Trigger & Bona Allen will be prominently displayed in Buford's town green area. I thought Aurora Theatre should do our part by using a portion of this year's holiday show to salute Roy & Dale.” Anthony Rodriguez, Aurora Theatre producing artistic director adds, “The element that makes 'the Canteen' so popular each year is its talent. What sets us apart from other holiday fare is that we find a theme and modify the show to reflect that theme. This year, we celebrate what it means to be American Made. Duluth was once a whistle stop as were many of the towns in Gwinnett and our show highlights the American institution of train and travel. By combining big band tunes like Take the “A” Train with Chattanooga Choo Choo, our audience will be reminded of how special Duluth will always be for us.” As always, the show will also include a stirring tribute to our fighting men and women in the armed forces. This year, Aurora Theatre is working directly with the United States Marine Corps Reserve as a drop site for Toys for Tots. The best way to describe Hometown HolidaysAurora's Canteen 2004 is … a cup of eggnog for the holiday soul.

2004 from the desk of the

PRESIDENT Dear DMA Members, Thanks to Mark Williams and the Printing Trade Company for having us out for the November meeting. They took this meeting on short notice as well as on a national election day. Despite all this, we had a very good turnout. Our next meeting will be at the Aurora Theater December 7th. You need to make sure that you don't miss this. The Aurora puts on a show sampling some of their productions that is not to be missed. We will have food from local vendors as well as beer and wine. The cost to attend is $15 per person. This is my final column for the Gab-rrr as the president. The two years I have spent on the board have provided me with a wonderful experience. I had a lot of apprehension when I took over as President for this year, but with the Board of Directors that was assembled it has been an experience that I feel lucky to have had. Most of us in the DMA are small business owners and entrepreneurs. The demand on your time is daunting and serving on a board adds a lot to those demands. The Board members that have served the DMA this year have done so with a dedication, commitment, and a true passion for the DMA. I want to sincerely thank them for making my job easy. I would like you to take a look at the list of board members to the DMA-Gab-RRR

right of this column, and when you get a chance thank them for what they have done for the DMA. Dereck Whitesmith will be the new President for the year 2005. If you know him, you know what a good job he will do. He has constantly tried to look at what can be done to improve the DMA and make it stronger. Please make him feel welcome and give him the same great support you have given me. We also have four new board members to welcome. Laura Heck has graciously agreed to stay on for another term. Joining her will be Charles Raynor, Terry Palmer, and Roderick Tate. Thanks to all of them for agreeing to serve this organization. I thank you for all the support I have received this year and for the opportunity to serve the DMA. This truly is a special organization and I encourage you all to stay involved. Thank You,


BOARD OF DIRECTORS Pam Adams 770.564.0876 Laura Heck 770.814.8984 Jennifer Ingalls 678.376.9700 Marion Maloof 770.923.1111 Albert Marquez 770.623.6069 John Martin 770.476.2775 Thom Mash 770.689.2600 John Monk 770.495.8900 Sunny Ramsay 404.906.4677 Allan Roth 770.497.8776 Dana White 770.476.1659 Dereck Whitesmith 678.957.8030 Alisa Williams 770.476.3434 Mark Williams 770.441.0945 Jim Wilson 770.813.8947

The Gab-RRR is a publication of the Duluth Merchants Association

Dana White

Toys for Tots REMINDER American Legion Post 251 is the central drop-off point in Duluth for Toys for Tots and will accept toys until Dec. 18th. Call 770-6234504 to arrange for your Toys for Tots Delivery.


Printed and Distributed by Accent Mail Service 678.473.4643 Photography by Laura Heck, Heck Design Group Phone/Fax 770.814.8984 Layout by Terry Palmer, QuickCREATIVE 404.502.5531 Edited by Sunny Ramsay, Dan Cook Assoc. 404.906.4677 Database by Jim Wilson, ASK Staffing, Inc. 770.813.8947

December 2004


WINTER WONDERLAND Ice Skating Rink November 25 – January 2 Mon-Thurs (School Days) 3:00pm-9:00pm Fri (School Days) 3:00pm-11:00pm Mon-Fri (School Holidays) 11:00am-11:00pm Saturdays 11:00am-11:00pm Sundays Noon-6:00pm

Manuel Covington Dec. 12-23 Live musical entertainment from 6:00pm8:00pm each evening

1st Annual Duluth Holiday Festival

Christmas Eve Closing at 6:00pm

Dec. 4; 9:00am-6:00pm Arts & Crafts Vendors, Food, Entertainment

Christmas Day Closed

Holiday Festival Performance Schedule:

New Year’s Eve Closing at 9:00pm

11:30-12:00 Duluth Middle School 12:15-1:30 Duluth High School Tri M Club 1:45-2:15 Priceless Performers Studio Academy of Arts 2:30-3:00 Debra Peterson playing the harp 3:15-3:45 Lindwood Music Performers 4:00-4:30 First Baptist Church of Duluth Children’s Choir 5:30-6:00 The Christmas Angels

Thanksgiving Day 11:00am-11:00pm

New Year’s Day 11:00am-11:00pm

Visit with Santa Nov. 27; Dec. 11; Dec. 18 1pm–4pm

26th Annual Tree Lighting

Hometown Holidays Aurora’s Canteen 2004 November 26 – December 19 In its 9th season, this review is filled with nostalgia and the holiday spirit Aurora fans have come to love. Additional shows have been added Wednesday at 8:00pm and Saturday at 2:30pm to accommodate your busy holiday schedule.

New Years Eve Cabaret & Casino Night An evening of music, merriment with a brush with Lady Luck. Includes food and beverage. Showtimes are Thurs - Fri 8:00 p.m. Sat 2:30 & 8:00 p.m. Sun 2:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

12 Days of Christmas with

Prices for Thursday, Friday, Sunday: $22 Adults; $20 Seniors $18 Students

The Following Organizations Have Notified DMA of Holiday Needs for the Less Fortunate.

and Saturday: $25 Adults; $23 Seniors $21 Students

Dec. 4; 6:30pm

You can make the holiday brighter for residents in Georgia's Mental Health & Mental Retardation Hospitals. The City of Duluth and the Georgia Municipal Association are teaming up for the 46th annual Mayor's Christmas Motorcade, a program that provides holiday gifts to people in Georgia's mental health and mental retardation facilities. For a list of items needed and where to deliver please visit the following web sites or or call 770-476-2454. Items will be accepted at city Hall through Monday December 6th or pickups can be arranged.

For reservations: or 770.476.7926

The 20 Gwinnett County offices of Edward Jones have taken on a project this holiday season to benefit The Foster Children's Foundation. Each office will be collecting new toys for children 0-18 as well as financial donations. Please bring your tax deducible donations and unwrapped toys to any Gwinnett Edward Jones office. The Duluth office is run by Dave Cook and is located on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard just in front of the Hooch golf course. (Cont. on pg 4)



December 2004

Southeastern Railway Museum Announces Breakfast with Santa The Southeastern Railway Museum is pleased to announce that it is accepting reservations for breakfast with Santa Clause. The museum will host a light breakfast with Santa on

Saturdays November 20, Nov 27, Dec 4, Dec 11 & Dec 18.

tion and the museum plans it's events to be fun for the entire family as well as a great opportunity to see history. The Museum has been in operation since 1970 and is “Georgia's Official Transportation History Museum”. It has over 80 other pieces of retired railway

Admission to the event will be $3 per person in addition to museum admission. Breakfast will be available at 9:30 and 10:30. Attendees, their parents & Santa will be given priority seating on the train rides at 10:15 and 11:15. Advance reservations are required to ensure breakfast seating and may be made by calling the museum Thursday Saturday at

(770) 476-2013 Bring Your Camera! ABOUT THE SOUTHEASTERN RAILWAY MUSEUM The holiday season has many historical ties to rail transportaDMA-Gab-RRR

rolling stock including vintage steam and diesel locomotives, passenger coaches, private business cars, a World War II army troop kitchen, wooden freight cars, railway post office car and maintenance of way equipment. Many other items from Georgia's transportation history are also presented on the museum's 30-acre site.

The Southeastern Railway Museum 3595 Peachtree Road, Duluth Located off Buford Highway ¼ mile North of Pleasant Hill (770) 476-2013 DIRECTIONS From I-85 northbound, exit at Pleasant Hill Road. Turn left (west), pass Gwinnett Place Mall, and continue approx. 3 miles to Buford Highway (US 23). Turn right (north) on Buford Highway. Travel approx. ¼ mile to Peachtree Road, turn left, cross railroad tracks, then turn right into museum entrance. HOURS Thursday - Saturday 10am -5pm. ADMISSION $7 for adults, $5 for seniors (65+), $4 for children (2-12). Children under 2 are admitted free. SANTA ... will also visit 10am-2pm Thurs – Sat mid-November through Christmas


(Cont. from pg 3 )

Hands of Christ/Duluth Cooperative Ministry is gearing up for their holiday assistance program. It is their goal that every family in Duluth in need have plenty of food and Christmas gifts for their children, and they want our help! The Ministry is asking for people to consider sponsoring one or more families. As a sponsor you would provide food for Christmas dinner and gifts for the school-age and younger children in the household. Elderly and disabled adults are also eligible for assistance and gifts. We hope to match sponsors to as many clients as possible as soon as possible. If you are able to sponsor a family, please contact Mary Roberts at 770-623-9563 to let her know of your commitment. Should you be unable to sponsor a whole family, you can still be of great help by donating food, gift certificates or new toys that will be distributed to families who are not privately sponsored! Calling all Elves………….. Foster Children's Foundation Inc. The Holidays are just around the corner - Make a difference this year. We have lots of events coming up with the Holidays approaching and need volunteers. If you'd like to get involved and help us make a difference in the lives of foster children, please sign up to help. If you or anyone you know would like to make Christmas wishes come true by sponsoring a child less fortunate, please contact us right away. The Holidays are a difficult time for many children. Please lend a hand and do what you can to help. Suzanne Geske Phone: (770) 623-6135

December 2004

Got Your GAB-RRR???

Accent Mail On the Move

For the last three months, there have been some timing issues with the mailing of the Gab-RRR. The last issue took over 7 business days to arrive at most addresses in zip code 30096. Accent Mail has conferenced with the staffs at our local post office as well as at the regional distribution center located on Boggs Road. All appear mystified about why there has been such a delay in delivery. With this issue of the Gab-RRR, we are sending out three copies to each business on the mailing list. (The cost of issues 2 and 3 are being handled by Accent Mail.) We are mailing one issue with a first class stamp, the second with a carrier route sort that should not be forwarded to the Boggs Road facility, and the third under the normal handling for bulk mail. The business liaison office at Boggs Road has promised to track the issue from the Duluth Post Office all the way through their facility to try to determine what the hang up has been.

Accent Mail is moving its bulk mailing and printing operation to a new location on December 11, 2004. After 3 years at its current location, Accent Mail has outgrown the facility. Accent Mail is moving to a 3000 square foot suite located at the corner of Chattahoochee Drive and Rogers Bridge Road. This new facility provides greater space for storage of client's mailing pieces and envelopes as well as a dedicated space for our digital printing operation.

We will be marking each separate issue with "first issue", "second issue", and "third issue". If you would please email us at

with the dates that you receive each issue. That will help us in our efforts to fix the problem.

Carol and Dennis Keller


We certainly appreciate the support of our landlord, DMA members Sharon and Bernard Robertson of Duluth Package over the past three years. We thank them for accepting mailing material for us when we were away.

six years. Without their patronage, we would not be able to expand. Just keep those cards and letters coming! Of course, our work would never get finished without our most excellent associates, Mani Patel and Martha Burrell. Thanks!! We are planning an open house in January after we've finished settling in. We hope to see you all then.

Carol and Dennis Keller Our new address as of Dec. 11, 2004: Accent Mail 2650 Chattahoochee Drive, Suite 300 Duluth Phone numbers, fax and email remain the same. (678) 473-4643 (678) 473-0676 fax accentmail@bell

We are in process of remodeling the facility at this time with the help and assistance of DMA members Rich and Donna Daluga and Marlene and Albert Marquez. Their help is certainly appreciated during this rush time. We are most grateful to all the DMA members who mailed with us Albert Marquez, Rich Daluga and Dennis Keller over the past


December 2004

Spring Benefit One of the goals and missions of the DMA is to support the charitable organizations in our community. We, as the business community, are very blessed and fortunate to be able to work and prosper in Duluth. Annually the DMA has selected a worthy organization to support with the proceeds of our Annual Benefit Dinner. We are proud to announce that the 2005 Recipient of the DMA Benefit Dinner will be RAINBOW VILLAGE. The mission of the Rainbow Village is to provide families in domestic or economic crisis a healing environment to rebuild their lives through a community based transitional housing program that promotes self-sufficiency. Rainbow Village provides transition housing and supportive services for fourteen homeless families with children. Their scope of services includes providing housing, case management, life skills training, after school programs, and a family and children's counseling program. Rainbow Village provides the necessary assistance to help families, mostly single mothers fleeing abusive relationships, become strong healthy family units and return to the mainstream. Rainbow Village, a member of DMA, has their office located in Duluth. So… mark your calendars for the 5th of March 2005. Plan to join all of your fellow DMA Members, friends and associates at the American Legion Post 251 in honor and for the benefit of Rainbow Village. (Rainbow Village has many opportunities for you to become involved


…please take a few moments to visit the web site at and get to know this worthy charity…they have opportunities to support the mission year round with an annual pledge…Holiday opportunities….after school opportunities…visit the site…get involved in this wonderful mission!) For more information about the 2005 Benefit Dinner, please contact the Chairperson Sunny Ramsay at 770-813-0468 or Co-Chair Jim Wilson at 770 813-8947. We are looking for volunteers; auction items, and your time to attend! Please put it on your schedule and plan to get involved!

Rainbow Village is seeking sponsors to touch the lives of the Families who are living at the village.

Holiday Shopping Tips from Roderick Tate Errun Solutions Free up your valuable time by contacting the friendly staff at Errun Solutions to help take away all the pressures of holiday shopping by doing it for you. Our personal shoppers are available to assist you with your shopping needs. Visit our web site at or give us a call at 770-495-9334. Four helpful shopping tips for the holidays from your friends at Errun Solutions: 1. Establish a budget. Keep in mind holiday shopping should be fun and not intended to get you in debt. Use cash if possible so that you will not create new bills going into the new year. 2. Make a list of all the persons whom you plan to shop for. By each name list the item you plan to purchase and size if necessary.

Sponsor a Family for Christmas…. $200.00 per family member Please wrap and label gifts.

3. Decide where you are going to shop for your gifts. Map out all the stores where you would like to shop to save time.

Please provide an itemized list and cost of gifts for tax deduction. Gifts need to be delivered to Rainbow Village by December 13th..

4. Establish a time line! to finish all your shopping. I suggest that you consider completing all your shopping two weeks prior to Christmas Day.

MONETARY DONATIONS AND GIFT CARDS (WAL-MART, PUBLIX, KROGER, TARGET AND QUICK TRIP) ARE GREAT WAYS TO HELP Rainbow Village FAMILIES FOR THE HOLIDAYS! Please consider sponsoring a family for gifts and food…For more information please call Margie Dixon, (770) 497-2361 or visit the web site at and help make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate this wonderful Holiday Season.


If you follow the above tips your holiday shopping will be fun and enjoyable. Get Stuff Done While You Work Out! No More Excuses! Many busy professionals claim they do not have time to exercise due to their demanding schedules. Gold's Gym in Duluth (3545 Peachtree Industrial Blvd) provides its members with an on site errand service each Saturday. Members can enjoy their work out while the friendly staff at Errun Solutions runs errands for them!

December 2004

2004-2005 Calendar of Events 10 Essential Elements Your Site MUST Have. The end of the year is the perfect time to review your website and go through it with a fine-toothed comb. The simpler and more user-friendly your site is, the more sales it will generate. In order to figure out what works and what doesn't, below you will find a list of some critical elements your site should include. #1 An Attention-Grabbing Headline: The headline is the key element of your site. It's what will persuade visitors to stick around and check out what you have to offer. Your headline should be enticing-you want to pique your visitors' interest and make them eager to learn more about what you are selling. #2 User-Friendly Navigation: Your customers should know where they are on your site at all times, and should easily be able to find pages they've already visited. Make sure your navigation bar or menu is clearly accessible and easy to understand. It should be exactly the same on every page of your site, and be located in exactly the same place. Your customers shouldn't have to hunt for it. #3 Effective Sales copy: The sales copy is the only contact you'll have with the vast majority of your visitors. Your sales copy should immediately draw the reader in with exciting benefits and enticing copy so you can lead them toward the sale. Your sales copy should establish your credibility and describe the benefits of your product or service and explain why your visitors need it. #4 A Clear “Call to Action”: If you want people to buy your products or services, you have to tell them how to do it. You have to explain exactly what you want them to do, and you have to make it easy for them to do it. For example: "CLICK HERE NOW to order your sixmonth supply of Product X."


#5 Well-Chosen Images: Images can really help people visualize your products or services and their benefits. Attractive product shots can really boost your sales. If you have a lot of products for sale, use "thumbnails" that link to larger images. This will make your pages load more quickly. #6 A Strong Opt-In Offer: In order to pursue a relationship with your site visitors, you should collect their e-mail addresses by encouraging them to subscribe to a free newsletter or a free download. This will give you the chance to send them updates and information, develop relationships with them, and enable them to trust you enough to buy from you. #7 Testimonials: The best way to establish credibility is to provide evidence that your product or service really works. And the best way to do that is to include testimonials from satisfied customers that explain how your product or service has helped improve their lives. #8 An “About Us” page: The best way to overcome the reluctance to buy things online because the personal interaction of doing business face to face is missing is to include an “About Us” page that provides information about you, your staff and your business. #9 An FAQ page: A “Frequently Asked Questions” page is where you'll list the questions most commonly asked by your customers and provide answers to them. It allows your visitors immediate access to the answers they need before they'll consider buying your product or service. #10 Your Contact Info: In order to close sales and establish your credibility, you have to provide full contact information on your site. Businesses that only post email addresses on their sites come across as unprofessional and possibly even disreputable. Final Thoughts. To keep your site in top form, it helps to review your site at least quarterly and create a list of “must do” actions you can do to get rid of nonessential clutter and simplify


All Meetings begin at 6:00pm on the first Tuesday of each month, except where otherwise indicated with a *. Locations will vary. ** Dates are subject to change. December 7

Aurora Theatre

January 4

Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce

February 1

The Sharing Center for Women

March 1

Gwinnett Community Bank

March 5

DMA Annual Benefit Dinner

April 5

Foster Children’s Foundation

May 3

Tavern on the Bridge

June 7

Accent Mail

July 5

The Printing Trade Company

August 2

Duluth Fall Festival

September 6

Century 21 Findley Real Estate

Anyone interested in hosting a DMA meeting or providing refreshments, please contact Albert Marquez at 770.623.6069.

the sales process. Also take the time to browse through other sites (including those of your competitors) to see how your site compares and get ideas for improvement. Don't forget, streamlined sites generate more sales. If you include all the above elements on your site, you'll be well on your way to creating a site that attracts the sales you need! Source: Netpreneur July 5, 2004. Corey Rudl, author of Insider Secrets to Marketing Your Business on the Internet.

Bits & Bytes is brought to you by our webmaster and Digital Diva, Pamela Adams,, 770564-0876.

Thank you Donny Phillips! Thank you very much to Donny Phillips of Atlanta Flooring for their many years of funding the hosting fees for the DMA website. Your support is greatly appreciated!

December 2004

IS YOUR COMPANY MAKING NEWS? If it is, we want to spotlight you in the DMA Gab-RRR. If you have any significant news about your business: awards, big wins, new expansions, relocating, please e-mail them to Sunny Ramsay at or fax it to 770-813-9923. It is your newsletter and we rely upon you.

ARE YOU NEXT? We want to showcase our DMA members in our meetings. If you would like to host a meeting or if you have an educational 30 minute

presentation that you believe would be of benefit to our members, please call Albert Marquez at 770. 623.6069 with your ideas.

ARE YOU USING YOUR ASSOCIATION’S WEBSITE TO THE FULLEST? Add your web address and a business description to your entry in the online membership directory. Send an e-mail to webmaster@duluthmerchants. com with your updates

CHANGE OF ADDRESS Please e-mail address changes to Jim

Wilson at jwilson@askstaffingcom or call him at 770-813-8947.

ALL NEWSLETTER ENTRIES must be submitted by the 12th of each month for the next issue.

THE NETWORK TABLE IS AVAILABLE! Yes, we want to invite all of you to bring your literature (in small quantities) about your products and services to our DMA meetings so fellow members can learn more about you. BUT, FAIR WARNING: at the end of the evening, you must take your literature with you, or it will be thrown away.

Duluth Merchants Association