Best Self Atlanta 0220-0320

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For print, web, email and digital advertising information, contact us at: 80 W. Wieuca Rd. NE., Ste. 115 Atlanta, GA 30342 (404) 303-9333 x15 FAX (404) 303-0030

Inquiries and submissions regarding advertising and editorial should be directed to the address above. Atlanta Best Media does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial content, nor does Publisher assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial appear. Readers are encouraged to notify Publisher when they suspect false advertising. Atlanta Best Media reserves the right to edit editorial for clarity and space availability. No content i.e. articles, graphics, designs and information (any and all) in this publication may be reproduced in any manner without written permission from Publisher.

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1/29/20 11:05 AM


Photography by (top middle) Sara Hanna Photography; (bottom right) Krys Alex Photography LLC, makeup by Thomasina Moyer of TM Beauty, hair by Sakeena Clark of Cherished Hair.



New Year, New You!

Vision of Beauty Tour Influencers and Experts share what’s in and what’s out for 2020. Follow @bestselfatlanta and search #2020VisionOfBeauty.


29 Love That Lasts

Photography by Krys Alex Photography LLC.

Meet 5 couples who share their secrets for lasting relationships. Plus, discover tips for finding the one.

On the Cover:

(L to R): 2020 Vision of Beauty Tour Influencers Elle Ross, Meera Diwan, and Jessica Hughes inside Buckhead’s chic new coworking space No18. Photography: Krys Alex Photography LLC Makeup: Thomasina Moyer of TM Beauty Hair: Sakeena Clark of Cherished Hair 6


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1/29/20 11:35 AM

8 From the Founder

Committing to Real Change

10 Editor’s Letter


Lots of Love

12 Contributors


Meet the Influencers of

Our 2020 Vision of Beauty Tour

16 2020 Partners in Health

Learn from Atlanta’s

Photography by (bottom left) Elena Veselova Food Photography; (bottom right) Sawyer Photography, hair and makeup by The Green Room Agency. Photo courtesy of (top right) WW, George Burns.

Top Health Care Experts

18 Best Bulletin

New Ideas and Activities

60 Best Cause

21 Best Bites

Reaching Atlanta’s Homeless Youth, Art Therapy, and More

Healthy Eats and Treats

22 Best Fun


A Mindful Escape

23 Fun Calendar

Give-Back Guide

Community Volunteer Opportunities

62 My Best Self

Enjoy Our Great City

Russell Kohl, president/CEO of Freud/Diablo Inc., talks work-life balance and giving back.

24 Best Health and Beauty Look Great, Feel Better

26 Best Family

Live Your Best Life Together

27 Best Fitness

Stay Strong and Active

Photography by Krys Alex Photography LLC.

Photography by (top middle) Sara Hanna Photography; (bottom right) Krys Alex Photography LLC, makeup by Thomasina Moyer of TM Beauty, hair by Sakeena Clark of Cherished Hair.

In every issue






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from the founder

Meet our team of aesthetic dentists

Committing to Real Change

Were the last 10 years what you hoped they would be? Were they more than you could have wished for, or not so much? When you look at time in bigger chunks like this, it’s easier to appreciate the commitment it takes to bring real and lasting change to our lives. I am not talking about the temporary changes that so often come with New Year’s resolutions, but serious changes like ridding our lives of toxic relationships or creating enough time to reap the long-term benefits of self-care. Those are the kind of benefits that help us feel and look better overall. And most importantly, this is the kind of change that brings value to our lives in terms of overall happiness and peace of mind. The truth is that real and lasting change requires strength and courage. So be fearless, move forward and commit to the change knowing positive outcomes await you in 2020 and beyond! All the Best! Sherri Adair, Publisher

Celebrating 10 Years!

2020 2019


Photo courtesy of (top left) Richie Arpino Photography.

The start of this year seems different somehow. It’s not just the start of a new year, it’s the start of a new decade and that begs for reflection.

With over 30 years in dentistry, Dr. Debra Gray King is a pioneer in cosmetic dentistry. She is one of less than 76 dentists worldwide to be an Accredited Fellow, which is the highest level of competence recognized by the prestigious American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). She has been featured on The Doctors, Extreme Makeover, The Wall Street Journal, and various media outlets.

Dr. Charlie Cooper is an Accredited Member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). He has transformed thousands of smiles and his cosmetic cases are used in lectures nationwide. Dr. Cooper studied at the world famous Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies. He is a regular participant in the “Give Back A Smile” Program in which he and the ACCD donate their time and skills to help battered women achieve a new smile

MEET THE 2020 ADVISORY BOARD Ken Anderson, MD, FISHRS, ABHRS—Anderson Center for Hair & Aesthetics Hair Restoration Suzanne Cypert—Concourse Athletic Club Fitness Amanda Hair—Bob Steele Salon Hair Brian Maloney, MD, FACS—Maloney Center for Facial Plastic Surgery Facial Plastic Surgery Monte D. Slater, MD, FACOG, ABAARM— Aesthetic Body Sculpture Clinic & Center for Anti-Aging Nonsurgical Facial Aesthetics Renee Smith and Robbie Spence—Slim Studio Nonsurgical Body Aesthetics Seth A. Yellin, MD, FACS—Marietta Facial Plastic Surgery, Laser & Aesthetics Center Injectables

Dr. Brett Reeve studied Dentistry at the University of Southern California where he earned a membership to the Honor Dental Society “Omicron Kappa Upsilon.” He is a Member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the American Dental Association. In 2015, Dr. Reeve earned the Hero in Healthcare award for his constant service in the community and outstanding dental work.

Atlanta At l ant Center a Centerfor fo Cosmetic Dentistry

Co smeti| c D entistr 404.994.4509



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Dr. Brett Reeve

Sustaining Member American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

Dr. Debra Gray King

Accredited Fellow American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

Dr. Charlie Cooper

Accredited Member American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

As seen on: Call to schedule your consultation 404.994.4509 or visit us at

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1/28/20 10:10 AM

from the editor Lots of Love The season of love is upon us! And while celebrating it is wonderful— especially the chocolate and flowers part—maintaining it is no easy feat. Spending your life with someone in a truly committed and caring relationship is an outstanding accomplishment. That is why we set out to learn the secrets to making a relationship last. We talked to local couples who have been together for decades (p. 29). Achieving authentic self-love can be arguably more challenging than loving your mate but it doesn’t have to be. With a new year and a new decade under way, why not put insecurities behind you and become the best version of yourself? During our 2020 Vision of Beauty tour, 18 of Atlanta’s top influencers visited some of the leading studios and practices in the city to experience cutting-edge treatments and shared their experiences on social media. Turn to page 39 to learn more about the newest beauty trends for 2020. Our #2020VisionOfBeauty tour is just the start of what we have in store for this year. The 10th anniversary of our annual Over 40 & Fabulous! contest will be bigger and better than ever. From Feb. 1 to March 1, head to to nominate the men and women you know who make looking good, feeling good, and doing good a priority. If that describes you, nominate yourself! This contest is an amazing way to raise awareness for a cause you are passionate about while connecting with like-minded locals. You or someone you know could wind up on the cover of our June/July issue! As we venture further into the new year, I hope it is full of exciting challenges, new opportunities, and of course, lots of love for you.

Photo by: Sara Hanna


Alex McCray Senior Editor


Coming in April/May The Green Room Agency represents award winning image creators that are ready to help you become your best self! Let us handle all your hair, makeup and wardrobe needs! Follow us on FB/IG @TheGreenRoomAgency 678.772.5088 678.772.5088 As seen on NBC, CNN, Bravo, TVOne, and more!


Happy reading,


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Fantastic Foster Moms: Meet remarkable mothers

who cherish every child that walks through their door.

Amazing One-Hour Makeovers: Join us on Feb. 27 for the chance to receive a jaw-dropping transformation and to be featured in the magazine. Kicking Off Over 40 & Fabulous! Meet our 2020 Advisory Board. They offer advice for enhancing your appearance, your health, and your life.

Photography by (headshot) Sarah Diller’s Photographs.

represents top talent in the fields of

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Photography by (headshot) Sarah Diller’s Photographs.












For more information, text your First and Last Name and the word “FOCUS” to 404.471.3541, or call us at 770.698.2000.

8 Concourse Parkway | Sandy Springs, GA 30328 | 770.698.2000 EASY ACCESS Exit 4C off GA400 *Restrictions and terms may apply. Must be local resident, age 18 and over with a valid photo ID. First-time guests only. Cannot be combined with another offer. Offer expires February 19, 2020. ©2020 Wellbridge.

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The Influencers of Best Self Atlanta's 2020 Vision of Beauty Tour Read more about their experiences on page 39. Follow @bestselfatlanta and search #2020VisionOfBeauty.

Kwavi Agbeyegbe Kwavi Agbeyegbe is a midlife lifestyle coach who helps women in midlife manage their health, mindset, and waistlines. She inspires women to transform their lives through retreats and her online membership site called Midlife Matters. She is a wife and mother and has been featured on CBS, NBC and in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. @midlife_lifestyle

Kristin Andree Kristin Andree is the founder and chief strategist of The Andree Group, a coaching and consulting firm working exclusively with financial professionals, and executive and entrepreneurial women. A high-performance coach, author, speaker, podcaster, business strategist, and mom, Kristin is dedicated to helping individuals and their companies grow personally, professionally and financially. @andreegroup

Liz Carlile Liz Carlile is a writer, speaker and host of “The Motherhood Unstressed” podcast. At the core of Liz’s message is the need for individuals to engage in nonnegotiable self-care, so that they are able to be fully present with their families, their work, and their life’s purpose.

Photography by (Agbeyegbe) Timothi Photography; (Andree) Rupa Kapoor; (Carlile, Costa, and Diwan) Krys Alex Photography LLC; (Dauler) Richie Arpino Photography.


Becky Costa Becky Costa, known by many as “Granite Becky,” is a co-founder of Top Shop Stone. She’s currently applying her superpowers as an entrepreneur and mom, while steadily growing her following on social media. Becky divides her time between clients, her two beautiful daughters, her husband and business partner, and community events. @miltonmomliving

Jessica Dauler is a blog that shares ways to save on fashion, beauty, travel, and dining. Founder Jessica Dauler has hosted value-driven lifestyle segments on numerous media outlets including Q99.7, CNN, Travel Channel, WSB-TV, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Best Self Atlanta. Her free weekly email includes timely deals, exclusive discounts, and honest product reviews. @jessicadauler

Meera Diwan Meera Diwan is a blogger with a love for fashion. This style enthusiast sets out to find the best deals and make affordable fashion look like a million bucks. She helps other moms feel good in their own skin and encourages them to take care of themselves. @instylewithmeera 12


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Tonya Renee Guillory Tonya Renee Guillory is a busy 48-year-old mom to her miracle child, who just turned 6. Although her daughter, Lily, is by far her best accomplishment, Tonya is also the regional vice president of sales for Benchmark and Drayer Physical Therapy. She is a huge believer in hard work, dedication, and giving back, while also making time for self-care. @tonya.guillory.renee

Jessica Hughes Happily Hughes is an Atlanta-based lifestyle blog focused on fitness, travel, fashion, and family fun founded by Jessica Hughes. She strives to create content, ranging from fashion trends, workouts and healthy recipes to children’s gear and worldwide travel, for her highly engaged audience. @happilyhughes

Mimi Johnson

Photography by (Guillory) Andrea Máté Photography; (Hughes) Chelsea Patricia Photography; (Johnson and McCormick) Krys Alex Photography LLC; (McDonald) Pitter Productions Photography; (Milyo) Caroline Cooper Photography.

Photography by (Agbeyegbe) Timothi Photography; (Andree) Rupa Kapoor; (Carlile, Costa, and Diwan) Krys Alex Photography LLC; (Dauler) Richie Arpino Photography.

The Influencers of Best Self Atlanta's 2020 Vision of Beauty Tour

With over 12 years of experience, Mimi Johnson is a sought-after makeup artist, entrepreneur, and mother of a son with autism. She’s worked on networks such as Bravo and VH1, and served celebrity clients like Angela Simmons. Mimi is also the owner of The Glamatory and founder of Grind Pretty, an online community, subscription box, and magazine. @mimijonline

Arkeedah McCormick Arkeedah McCormick is an Atlanta-based style and beauty expert and editor-in-chief of provides daily doses of what’s chic, trendy, and haute—and what’s not—in the world of fashion. With a penchant for all things fabulous, Arkeedah set out to give her readers a fresh take on fashion news and stories. @itsarkeedah

Lynne McDonald Lynne McDonald is an international, award-winning, juried artist. She left a successful career launching start-up companies to pursue her passions of nutrition and contemporary art. Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 31 years ago, she’s used her condition as an inspiration to others and become an advocate for Camp Kudzu, JDRF, Hands Across Atlanta and other charitable organizations. @lynnemcdonaldsgallery

Carly Grace Milyo Carly Grace Milyo is a proud wife and preemie mama, passionate about nurturing her family, becoming the best version of herself, and growing in her faith. Former founder and director of Thunderbolt Power Yoga, Carly enjoys using her community influence to share her story. Carly is expecting her second baby this winter. @carlygracemilyo

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The Influencers of Best Self Atlanta's 2020 Vision of Beauty Tour Lisa Mohager Lisa Mohager is the founder of the Drab to Fab Life. Through her personal story of struggle to triumph, she mentors women to gain control of their lives physically, emotionally, and financially. As Mrs. Universe North America 2019, she also serves as an ambassador for The Pledge Campaign Against Domestic Violence. @lisa_mohager

Sissi Nuthman Sissi Nuthman is the writer behind the blog, which was founded in 2013 and has been named one of the top 25 beauty blogs for women over the age of 40. Sissi loves to share simple makeup tips for looking younger and gives antiaging skin care tips, as well as fashion ideas. @beauty4free2u

Amelia Pavlik Photography by (Mohager) David Rams Photography and Film; (Nuthman, Pavlik, Ross, Sahar, and Smith) Krys Alex Photography LLC.

Amelia Pavlik is a wellness writer, fitness teacher at Exhale Spa Atlanta, and creator of the Fit & Well Atlanta Belle website (, which features her thoughts on all things upscale wellness in Atlanta and beyond. Her work has been featured in outlets including Fitness magazine, American Spa magazine, and American Fitness magazine. @fitbelleatl

Elle Ross Elle Ross is a health and lifestyle coach, branding leader, and the bestselling author of “The Blueprint.” She has lost over 40 pounds, transformed her life, and started her own company: The Elle Ross – BFIT with Elle, and is co-founder of Captivate Branding & Marketing. @theelleross

Lim Sahar Lim Sahar (Lathem) is a body-positive blogger. She’s artistic and very passionate about making a positive impact on women’s lives and putting a stop to the negative affect society can have on them. Today, she is a well-known influencer who shares her motherhood journey, plus beauty and fashion tips. @limsahar

Tran Bui Smith Tran Bui Smith is an Emmy Award-winning host and producer. She has received multiple awards for her community service and started a family volunteer group called Little Helpers in 2010, today there are 20 chapters across the country. Tran was also named an Over 40 & Fabulous! Top 10 and Inspiration Award winner by Best Self Atlanta magazine in 2017. @tranbuiproductions



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REAL People. REAL Smiles.

Photography by (Mohager) David Rams Photography and Film; (Nuthman, Pavlik, Ross, Sahar, and Smith) Krys Alex Photography LLC.

Let Your Smile Change The World If you are looking for a change in your life, you have come to the right dental office in Atlanta! Dr. Kovitch and Dr. Giesler and our experienced team are here to help you capitalize on one of your greatest assets: your smile.

New Year! New Smile!

Make 2020 your best year ever starting with a new smile. Schedule your COMPLIMENTARY consultation today!



Follow us on Instagram @atlsmiles and see what Atlanta influencers have to say about us. Dr. Dina Giesler

Dr. Marianna Kovitch

(404) 262-7733 4405 Northside Pkwy NW Ste 110 Atlanta GA 30327 0220_012-015_CONTRIBUTORS.indd 15

1/29/20 12:10 PM


How to Inspire Kids to Brush Their Teeth!

10 Tips for Addressing Winter Skin Challenges By Corrie Alford, MD

MetroDerm, P.C. Dr. Corrie Alford is a board-certified dermatologist, specializing in general and cosmetic dermatology, at MetroDerm, P.C. in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a graduate of Spelman College, and earned her medical degree from the Emory University School of Medicine. She completed her dermatology residency training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in 2006. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology, and a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. Dr. Alford is passionate about providing individualized skin care to enhance the overall health and well-being of her patients. Read article on p. 55.

By Azi Nia, DMD

Nia Pediatric Dentistry Azi Nia, DMD, is a board-certified pediatric dentist. Dr. Azi (as her patients call her) attended Georgia State University and continued on to the Medical College of Georgia to earn her Doctorate of Dental Medicine. In order to become a specialist in pediatric dentistry, she completed a 3-year residency at Colorado Children’s Hospital, where she also served as chief resident. Dr. Azi is dedicated to providing excellent pediatric dental care and building confidence in her patients. Creating a positive dental experience customized to each young patient is central to her practice’s philosophy. Read article on p. 56.



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Physical Therapy for Pelvic Conditions BenchMark Rehab Partners

BenchMark Rehab Partners is a family of physical therapists, occupational therapists, and hand therapists committed to inspiring and empowering people to reach their full potential. Its providers know that connecting with patients on a personal level helps to build trust. This trust is crucial in allowing patients and therapists to work together to make the best use of advanced certifications and refined techniques. A focus on proven methods and a hands-on approach help the BenchMark team achieve the goals of the patient in a safe and effective manner. Read article on p. 58.

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Men’s Health Habits: Make Them, Don’t Break Them By Scott D. Miller, MD

Are you looking

WellStar North Fulton Hospital Men’s health advocate Dr. Scott D. Miller is an innovative surgeon with one of the largest and most diverse experiences in laparoscopic and robotic urology in the Southeast. As one of Georgia’s best surgeons, Dr. Miller is guided by one consistent philosophy: focus solely on patients’ special needs and perfect the techniques necessary to deliver the best possible care. He believes that when patients have a better understanding of the conditions they are facing and how to improve their overall health, they have a chance to improve their quality of life. Read article on p. 57.


experienced, compassionate health care

experts to help you feel better and live


5 Ways to Improve Your Back Health in 2020 Resurgens Spine Center

Resurgens Spine Center has the most trusted physicians in Georgia for the diagnosis and treatment of neck and back pain. Our board-certified physicians offer both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options in 24 convenient locations. If your new year is starting off with neck or back pain, schedule an online appointment today with one of our spine experts. Read article on p. 53.

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Over 40 & Fabulous!


For the past decade, we’ve been celebrating Atlanta men and women over the age of 40 who are the epitome of looking good, feeling good and doing good. And this year will be one for the books! In honor of the contest’s 10-year anniversary, we are amplifying our Cover Winner Reveal Party with a fashion show that’s unlike any you’ve seen before. But before our Alumni Honorees strut their stuff, we need you to Nominate (Feb. 1 through March 1) anyone you think embodies what the Over 40 & Fabulous! contest is all about. Details:

Lights, Camera, Action! More than 1,000 films were entered to be a part of the 20th anniversary of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. Highlights of this year include the Georgia-based films “No Pork on The Fork” by Atlanta directors Adam Hirsch and Jacob Ross, and “Shared Legacies: The African-American Jewish Civil Rights Alliance,” which includes notable Atlantans such as activist Sherry Frank and former ambassador and Atlanta mayor Andrew Jackson Young Jr. The festival will run from Feb. 10-27. Details:

People’s Choice Congratulations to Mountain High Outfitters! The active outdoor lifestyle brand was voted by Best Self Atlanta readers as the 2019 Best Hiking Store for Instruction and Equipment. Turn to this business for top-notch apparel, footwear, gear, and accessories. Visit the store’s Alpharetta, Buckhead, Decatur or Ponce City Market locations and let the staff outfit you for everyday life or your next adventure. Get out. Get active. Be inspired. Live your passion. Details:



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Healthy and Hearty Way to go MetroFresh! Its famous Mitchili was recently named an Atlanta “WW Favorite” for Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus tour. Each dish from a local restaurant that was designated as a favorite was carefully chosen for its ability to complement a healthy lifestyle. Oprah visited the city on Jan. 25 as a part of a multicity tour across the country to inspire event attendees to transform their minds, bodies, and spirits. Details:

Tea Time Enhance your home with metaphysical-inspired goods, like the Seeing Eyes Tea Towel, from Modern Mystic Shop. Created by Atlanta local Kelley Knight, the store offers small-batch candles, soaps, and more from family-owned businesses, women-owned companies, and underrepresented groups. Details: Ponce City Market, Ste. N214, Atlanta;

Photography by (top left) Sawyer Photography, hair and makeup by The Green Room Agency; (top right) Sara Hanna Photography; (middle left) Donald Felice. Photo courtesy of (middle right) Modern Mystic Shop.

It’s Time to Nominate for

1/28/20 11:06 AM


Super Soul Saturday 8 Insights from Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus Tour What does wellness mean to you? That was the question Oprah asked the 12,000 members of her audience in the State Farm Arena on Jan. 25. The mindful mogul brought her tour, Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus, to Atlanta and led attendees through a daylong workshop in self-discovery and goal setting. She also sat down with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for an intimate interview. Atlanta Best Media senior editor Alex McCray, and marketing and events manager Wyndi Kappes took part in the event while it was in town. Here are their top eight takeaways from Oprah for making 2020 the year of triumph and transformation. 1. Wellness means something different for everyone. For Oprah, wellness means life in balance but everything doesn’t necessarily receive equal attention. Only you can be in control of your wellness.

Photo courtesy of (top) WW, George Burns.

(middle left) Donald Felice. Photo courtesy of (middle right) Modern Mystic Shop.


2. Stress is simply wanting a moment to be something it’s not. The best way to handle stress is to just accept the moment and be present. 3. The most important gift you can give anyone is to be fully there with them in the moment. The No. 1 lesson Oprah learned from “The Oprah Winfrey Show” was that people simply want to be heard and to know that they matter. 4. You don’t get in life what you want, you get in life what you intend. The energy behind your words and actions is powerful.

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5. Nothing is happening to you that isn’t meant to show you something about yourself. 6. Everything you’ve been through has prepared you for the greater moment that is coming. 7. You have to forgive what you didn’t have. 8. Accept that the past could not have been any different. It is what it is and you have to move forward. These words of wisdom are some of many provided by Oprah during the 7-hour gathering. The thought leader guided tour goers through a series of workbook prompts to set their intentions not only for the new year but to chart a path toward becoming the “truest, highest and purest” versions of themselves and to live that out. Her advice on creating lasting change? Commitment. For more from the event, see Oprah’s full interview with Dwayne Johnson on Oprah’s Facebook Channel (@oprahwinfrey) and the WW Now Facebook Channel (@watchWWNow), with highlights on Instagram (




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Lidia Nistor-Reteneller founded Skin IQ in August of 2006 with a mission to exceed client expectations through customized skin care using the best products and the most effective advanced therapies. This approach—that every client’s set of needs and issues is unique and deserves a personalized treatment—is the hallmark of her brand. Skin IQ carries a broad range of hard-tofind products—from medical-grade lines (unavailable to most beauty retailers) to organic solutions and serums for the skin, nails and hair. The retail shop offers an unmatched selection of physician-formulated and trusted skincare products designed to address all skin types in a friendly, pressure-free environment. In keeping with her focus on continuous innovation in modern skin care, she introduced "Beauty from the Inside Out", a holistic program and approach to aging gracefully. She also offers integrative medicine based upon a partnership with the highly respected Dana Neacsu, MD, and has introduced reiki energy healing treatments.

Services: • Hydrafacial • Hydrabrasion • Microdermabrasion • Medical grade chemical peels • PPX acne laser • Skin Needling

• IPL for sun damage and Rosacea • Fractora tightening laser • Cellulite treatments • Lymphatic drainage • Meditation coaching

100% satisfaction is of the utmost importance. Our goal is that every visit to Skin IQ is exciting and gratifying and that expectations are always met, if not exceeded.

56 East Andrews Drive N.W., Atlanta, GA 30305


Contact us for your FREE Consultation

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Photography by (headshot) Kayla MaDonna Photography; (top right) Elena Veselova Food Photography. Photos courtesy of (bottom left) Fusionbrands; (bottom right) GettaBite.

Asparagus, Goat Cheese, Mushroom, and Basil Frittata When she was just 5 years old, Atlanta-based blogger Erica Key fell in love with food. Founder of Eating with Erica, a lifestyle blog dedicated to exploring the city’s cuisine, Key enjoys preparing meals at home for her fiancé, Desmond, and daughter, Sydney. The foodie recently entered this fabulous frittata into the 1st Annual Readers’ Recipe Contest by My Home Improvement Atlanta, a sister publication to Best Self Atlanta. Key’s dish was named the winner and she took home a complimentary KitchenAid Stand Mixer in honor of KitchenAid’s 100th anniversary. Here, she shares the recipe for her award-winning entrée.

INGREDIENTS • 8 eggs • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped and divided • ½ pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces • 1 cup milk • 1 cup goat cheese, crumbled • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, shaved • 2 cups wild mushroom mix • ½ cup red onion, sliced • 3 tablespoons olive oil • Salt and pepper to taste


DIRECTIONS Coat the inside of a 7-by-11-inch baking dish with olive oil.

Preheat oven to 375 F. In a pan, add olive oil and sauté mushrooms and asparagus for 10 minutes. Set aside.

Pour the mixture into the baking dish. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

In a bowl, beat eggs, then add sautéed mushrooms, asparagus, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, ½ cup goat cheese crumbles, and 1 cup milk. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sip Sustainably Practice sustainability everywhere you go with the help of Fusionbrands GoodCase Silicone Straws. This eco-friendly set comes with two reusable straws made of BPA-free food-grade silicone, a cleaning brush, and handy carrying case. From restaurants to movie theaters, going green has never been easier. Find them in a variety of colors at The Cook’s Warehouse. Details:

Top with basil, red onion, and remaining goat and Parmesan cheese. Details:

A Done Deal Save some dough the next time you decide to dine out. Recently launched in Atlanta, the free iPhone and Android app, GettaBite, serves up food deals (think lunch for less than $10 at Brick Store Pub in Decatur) from more than 100 local restaurants to users. In addition, advanced technology enables the app to recommend personalized suggestions and discounts you’ll love. Now, you have one more reason to give that eatery you’ve been eyeing a try. Details:

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An Off-the-grid Oasis

Photo courtesy of (bottom) Photography by (top and top left) Michelle Watt; (top right) Chris Shane.

In a world that is becoming more connected every day, the idea of a peaceful escape seems less and less attainable. With worries just the tap of a smartphone away, embracing total relaxation can require a concerted effort. Enter Getaway. The tiny cabin company recently launched an Atlanta outpost in the Chattahoochee National Forest. Its 117- to 145-square-foot micro home-away-from-homes (starting at $119 per night) are intended to get guests off the grid and in tune with themselves. Designed to encourage quality time with oneself, plus any guests along for the journey, Getaway Chattahoochee is secluded from nearby restaurants and businesses. Connect while cooking on the stovetop or making s’mores over the firepit—either option is readily available. And restaurants are roughly 30 minutes away if dinner goes awry. Highlights such as the Woody Gap trailhead along the Appalachian Trail, Consolidated Gold Mine, and Vogel State Park provide plenty of outdoor entertainment. For an indoor retreat, place your phone in the lockbox and snuggle up next to the oversized window with one of the books provided in the cabin (think “On Trails” or “Walden”) or your own. No matter how you choose to get away, you’ll be glad you did. Details:

Next-Level Knowledge If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to learn something new, don’t let it fizzle just because January is behind us. Connect with local experts who can help you master 310 subjects, including speaking Spanish, playing guitar, and conquering chess via TakeLessons. On the website, simply select a hobby or skill that intrigues you and you’ll be introduced to an instructor in your neighborhood for online or in-person lessons. By joining the more than 2 million people who use the platform each month, you’ll be one step closer to crossing your goals off the list. Details:


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For more fun events, visit

“Calendar Girls” Feb. 7-23 At Act3 Playhouse, experience the comedic tale of two besties, Annie and Chris, who shake up their town when they persuade four fellow members of their women’s club to pose nude for an “alternative” calendar. Night at the Children’s Museum Feb. 8 This family event features dinner and kid-friendly entertainment to benefit the Marcus Autism Center. Art Papers Art Auction Feb. 22 Expect to see works by 250 leading and emerging artists from around the world. The event offers art lovers an opportunity to build their collections while enjoying a great party at the Southern Exchange Ballrooms. Proceeds benefit Art Papers, an Atlanta-based nonprofit with an educational mission to provide accessible forums for contemporary art and culture. Best Self Atlanta’s 4th Annual Amazing One-Hour Makeovers Feb. 27 Your favorite makeover event is back for another year! In addition to fabulous before and afters and makeup artists, we are upping the fun in 2020 and adding the latest in fashion from Tracy Nicole Clothing. “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” March 6-15 Head to Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center’s Byers Theatre to witness the Tony Award-winning musical about a distant heir who wishes to speed up the line of succession using charm—and murder!

37th Annual Chattahoochee Road Race March 7 Lace up your sneakers for one of Georgia’s fastest 5K and 10K races. You can even gather a group of three or more friends and participate in this AJC Peachtree Road Race qualifier as a team!

Amazing One-Hour

Doggie Dash & 5K at Makeovers Piedmont Park March 15 Flapping ears and wagging Feb. 27 tails are encouraged at this dog-friendly event with a 5K and 1-mile dash hosted by the Piedmont Park Conservancy in support of the park’s dog parks.

ShamRockin’ for a Cure March 21 Don festive green attire for this St. Patrick’s Day party at Ameris Bank Amphitheatre that will benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and feature live music, food and drinks. “Jim Hill: Pieces of History” Now through March 22 Presented by the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art, this exhibition of artwork by Jim Hill showcases his signature “paintings in paper.” The artist finds small triangles of paper and glues them together to create complex and poignant images.


Photo courtesy of (bottom) Photography by (top and top left) Michelle Watt; (top right) Chris Shane.



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besthealth& beauty The new Serenity Podiatry and Med Spa combines comprehensive foot care with aesthetic treatments. Clients can turn to founder Sarepta Isaac, DPM, MBA, for corn treatment, arthritic relief, and more. For specialized cosmetic care, Isaac’s team of medical aestheticians provide services such as medical-grade DR. SAREPTA ISAAC pedicures and nail restoration. Plus, at-home care can be maintained through the doctor’s own line of products. Details: 770 Old Roswell Pl., Ste. A300, Roswell;

Helping Heroes Congratulations to five Northside Hospital nurses. During the March of Dimes Georgia Nurse of the Year Awards, Veritta Henderson, Sandy Gandee, Dana Hickman, Maria Hanik, and Ginny Wurttemberg were recognized. Over 390 nurses, nursing students and administrators from 11 facilities, colleges and organizations across the state were nominated. MARIA HANIK A committee of health care professionals selected the 14 winners. Details:; 24


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February is American Heart Month

According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of all American adults have cardiovascular disease. Known as the “silent killer,” hypertension (high blood pressure) can lead to heart attack, heart failure, and stroke. Thankfully, Georgians who experience chest pain that could be related to a cardiac event can turn to eight Piedmont hospitals for above-and-beyond care. The American College of Cardiology recently gave seven of the hospitals, including Piedmont Atlanta, Chest Pain Center reaccreditation, with Piedmont Walton receiving its first-ever accreditation. As part of the advanced cardiac care provided, these facilities better monitor patients when it is not initially clear whether a patient is having a coronary bout. This ensures patients are neither needlessly admitted nor sent home too early. Details: Photos courtesy of (top left) Dr. Sarepta Isaac, photography by Ty Myrick Photography; (bottom left) Northside Hospital. Photography by (bottom right) Sara Hanna Photography.

A Beautiful Blend

Take a Breather Relax and recharge during your hectic workday with the lunchtime refresh spa menu at The Elaine Sterling Institute. Visitors can decompress at the new 25,768-square-foot location with chair massages, a nap pod, facials, and more. The campus also features 19 classrooms and clinic floors for aesthetics, wellness, and nail care programs. Details: Lenox Square;



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besthealth& beauty The Perfect Palette Looking to up your makeup game for 2020? According to Uzo, global artistry director for NARS Cosmetics, heavy highlighting and harsh contouring are out. “Healthy-looking skin never goes out of style but the difference this season is that it looks polished and luminous with just a touch of glow,” says Uzo. Replace traditional muted pastel eye shadows with iridescent shimmery textures, metallics, and glitter effects in colors like tangerine. To balance the strong eye, opt for a sheer, shiny lip.

Photos courtesy of (bottom left) Musely; (top left) NARS Cosmetics; (top right) Authentic Beauty; (bottom right) Artisan Beauté, photography by Kate Blohm.

Details: 3004 Bolling Way NE., Atlanta;

Balanced Brows



Full, symmetrical eyebrows are the holy grail of eye beauty, yet difficult to achieve. The revolutionary 45-minute eyebrow lamination chemical process uses a cream to straighten brow hair so that it can be moved into a new shape. “Most of us have hair patterns in our brow that don’t go in one direction, which makes them appear gappy and thin,” Alyson Howard-Hoag, CEO/founder of Authentic Beauty says. “With eyebrow lamination, you can raise the arch and extend the tail—leaving the brow close to perfect,” she says. Details: 4674 Roswell Rd. NE., Atlanta;

Skin Care Bliss

Dermatology On Demand

No time to visit a dermatologist? Enter telemedicine beauty. “The user fills out a medical questionnaire online, uploads photos of their skin, and receives a dermatologist-prescribed treatment at their front door,” Jack Jia, founder of Musely explains. The on-demand dermatology service can provide products for wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, melasma and more. Details:

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Treat yourself to the ultimate in luxury pampering at the new Artisan Beauté. Founded by nationally acclaimed plastic surgeon Dr. Diane Alexander, the Buckhead spa’s range of treatments focus on tightening, smoothing and refining the skin with laser treatments, high-end skin care and customizable facials. Details: 3150 Roswell Rd., Ste. B-1, Atlanta; BEST SELF ATLANTA



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bestfamily Keeping An Eye on Screen Time

Set boundaries. Agree to the “sacred rules of phone use” with your child—such as daily limits like 30 to 60 minutes a day—as well as consequences for disobeying the rules. Take control. Both Apple and Android devices come with parental controls and screen time tools. T-Mobile’s FamilyMode also allows you to set content filters, pause internet access or give screen time as a reward for good grades or behavior. Be a model. Set good examples with your own etiquette, such as not using phones at the dinner table or engaging in negative self-talk. Details:;

Written by Smyrna local Katina J. Currin, DNP, APN, CRNA, “Nosey Nancy and the Never-Ending Nosebleed” helps quell anxiety and fear that arises in parents and children when it comes to pediatric hospital visits. The recently released book for youngsters ages 6 and above shares the story of Nancy and how her nurse anesthetist, Nee Nee, transforms her feelings about an upcoming procedure for her ongoing nosebleeds. Details:

Garden Growers

Conscious Kids



Free the Mind Co (previously With Love From Freddie) nurtures the emotional and social development of individuals of all ages by tackling topics such as anxiety. Created by Sandy Springs residents Kim Normand Dobrin, and Brent Henry Feinberg, author of “Freeing Freddie The Dream Weaver,” this organization provides books, curriculum, teacher training, and interactive workshops for teachers and parents to enhance the social-emotional skills of little ones.

What was a simple green space has flourished into an award-winning garden at Riverwood International Charter School. Recipient of a Fulton County Citizens Commission on the Environment 2019 Environmental Award, this innovative wonderland serves as an outdoor educational area. It features 16 raised beds (including one that is handicap accessible) with herbs, fruit trees, compost and pollinator gardens.



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Details: 5900 Raider Dr. NW., Sandy Springs;

Photos courtesy of (top left) Monica Awe-Etuk, photography by Reynolds Rogers; (bottom left) Free the Mind Co; (top right) Katina J. Currin, DNP, APN, CRNA; (bottom right) Riverwood International Charter School.

According to a consumer insights study conducted by T-Mobile, 83 percent of parents plan to or already have purchased their child a smartphone by 13 years of age. Atlanta mother of two, Monica Awe-Etuk (left), is the founder of lifestyle website Here, she shares her tips for managing kids’ screen time:

A Comforting Read

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bestfitness Back in the Game Inspired by her own journey to relearn golf techniques after an injury, Dr. Greta Anderson began her academy, Dr. Greta Golf, for women and girls to help them further their athletic goals. This Ladies Professional Golf Association Teaching Professional offers everything from individual lessons that fit your abilities and schedule to group lessons that maximize your skills. Details: 460 Morgan Falls Rd., Sandy Springs;

Photos courtesy of (top right) SoulCycle, photography by Studio 1208; (bottom right) Level3 Yoga; (left middle) Dr. Greta Golf, photography by Jon D Photography; (bottom left) Exhale.

A Soulful Spin Keep calm and ride out! SoulCycle has officially opened in Old Fourth Ward. At the 3,000-square-foot studio, attendees can hop on a spin bike for a high-energy 45-minute ride that incorporates hand weights and core-engaging choreography. Details: Ponce City Market, Ste. 102C, Atlanta;

Fitness for All


Rest and Recover Rejuvenate your body after a strenuous workout by joining The Recovery Class at Exhale inside Loews Atlanta Hotel. Designed to complement your fitness routine, the 50-minute session includes active stretching, myofascial release therapy—where the instructor applies gentle pressure to your body to release muscle tension—and meditation. Details: 1065 Peachtree St. NE., Atlanta;

Head outside for an unforgettable outdoor workout with the November Project. Every Wednesday and Friday, this group gathers at 6:27 a.m. for a free heart-pumping workout. Get ready to run up hills, tackle stadiums, partner up for circuits and so much more as you kick-start your day. The November Project is all about bringing the community together and welcomes all ages and levels of fitness ability. Details:

Hip-Hop Meets Yoga Take a different kind of yoga class at the recently opened Level3 Yoga in East Atlanta Village. Owner Deaundra Audrey Cash started the studio with the intention of creating a boot camp class that also emphasizes stretching. The studio offers a unique selection of classes including Trap Yoga, a Vinyasa-based session (often taught by Deaundra herself) with a dance hip-hop playlist in the background. On Fridays, guests can also catch the Yoga & Chill class with wine served afterward. Talk about getting Zen! Details: 535 Gresham Ave. SE., Ste. B, Atlanta;

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that Lasts 5 Local couples share their secrets for long-term relationships By Jennifer Colosimo

No matter what sparks it, whether an app or an old-fashioned introduction from a friend, love is something to celebrate. And contrary to popular belief, long-term romances are still revered today. So if you’re a sucker for a good love story, find reassurance that love is very much in the air. Turn the page to meet local couples that can prove it.

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Dan and Susan Wirtz When Dan and Susan met in 1993, they were living almost a thousand miles from each other, but were in fact raised less than two hours apart. It’s been nearly three decades since they met and this year they’ll celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary with their two teenage daughters. No small feat, but one they credit to good communication, unified familial values and a whole lot of respect for each other.

“We have made a point to keep our relationship the primary relationship in our lives,” Dan says. “Respect, consideration, and kindness toward each other, laughing and having fun together—those things are important to us. We feel fortunate that we still like to hang out with each other and enjoy so many of the same activities.” Having fun together also means giving each other space to do things with friends or pursue hobbies, and because they’ve allowed each other room to grow and change as individuals, they’re stronger as a couple. That strength has equipped them to navigate the deaths of parents, raising teenagers, and running their own business. It’s taught teamwork and compromise—and how to give and receive an apology. Plus, they make a point to share personal notes throughout the year to celebrate what they mean to each other so their love stays prominent. “Relationships have easy phases and phases when they take a lot of work,” says Susan. “Hang in there when it is challenging and appreciate the times when everything is smooth and easy. Remember why you love the other person and why you chose him/her to be your spouse. Figure out what works best for how you and your family operate and stick to it.”



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Photography by Krys Alex Photography LLC, hair by Sakeena Clark of Cherished Hair, makeup by Thomasina Moyer of TM Beauty.

“We have a foundation of common interests, shared values, life philosophy, and love for each other,” Susan says. “We had similar upbringings and thankfully, we are on the same page about finances and parenting! These two topics can cause great conflict if spouses disagree.” The Wirtzes agreed that communication, patience, compromise, and understanding each other’s perspectives are the keys to a good relationship— but they are all elements that have to continually be exercised.

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When Michael and Gail first met it wasn’t much more than hellos and goodbyes. But when Gail admitted she wanted to move away due to Charlotte, North Carolina’s lack of eligible bachelors Michael got serious.



“I made up this story about a committee whose mission was to ensure women in Charlotte had a good time,” Michael says. “I asked her if she would mind me taking her ‘case’ back to the committee in hopes of changing her mind about the men in Charlotte. She didn’t buy it for one minute but liked my creativity so she played along and agreed. As they say, ‘the rest is history!’” Quick history that is—they only waited three months before deciding to get married and this year they’ll celebrate 35 years together.

Photography by Krys Alex Photography LLC, hair by Sakeena Clark of Cherished Hair, makeup by Thomasina Moyer of TM Beauty.

Photography by Krys Alex Photography LLC, hair by Sakeena Clark of Cherished Hair, makeup by Thomasina Moyer of TM Beauty.

Michael and Gail Parker

“We love each other enough to put the other’s desires before our own when necessary. It works in the end, and we’re both happier for it,” says Michael, who recently relented his Sunday football game to attend a jewelry show with his wife. But no cliché here—the next week, Gail kept Michael company on a trip, even logging a few of the driving miles. Compromises playing a role, the Parkers also both swear by compatibility as the key to their relationship success. “We enjoy doing the same things and the desire to be together overrides [anything else],” Gail says. “We are each other’s best friend and enjoy the company of each other more than anyone else.” Their compatibility spans morals, faith, and philosophies about money, life, health, and fitness, making it easy to want to be around each other; but just like any other couple, they’ve dealt with challenges like building careers, raising a family, financial stress, relocations, deaths of loved ones, and more. Their desire to be together is what helps them overcome. “We are blessed to have had a ‘fight-free marriage,’” claims Michael. “Over 35 years, we have had either four or five arguments. It depends on who you ask to get the right count. But that is a real triumph. We’ve learned that being careful with our words and making sure we express them at the right time, in the right way, is fundamental to building a solid marriage.”

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Susan and David Nethero When you think about engaging in a long-distance relationship, longevity may not be what comes to mind. That’s what Susan and David thought when they started dating, until the morning they woke up and knew they wanted to get married. They were in many of the same professional circles, but almost never lived in the same city—even after getting married—and it wasn’t until they moved to Atlanta (for the second time) that they put both pairs of feet on the ground together.

“We have these handwritten values we wrote out with each other,” Susan says. “They’re our vision for our life, reminders of what makes us a great couple and our shared goals, our shared values. That’s really what has made us so successful. We enjoy traveling and working together toward our goals, we love our family and grandkids, we like to work and serve others before our own needs, and we have so many shared experiences working together for over half of our lives.” Serving others helped them find something else they shared—an interest in helping fund women entrepreneurs. “Post Intimacy, we tried to redefine how we could find the next challenge,” says Susan. “We joined an angel investment group in New York City called Golden Seeds. As managing directors in the NYC chapter and new founding members in Atlanta, we have funded women who are innovators, risk managers, and women striving to build the next generation of technology in health care, enterprise technology and consumer products.” They’re still on the go, traveling regularly to New York City and around the world for pleasure, but rooted in common passions, they’re doing all of it together … celebrating their 38th anniversary this year. “We’ve never really had struggles—that word doesn’t really resonate with me,” David says. “We may have disagreed on something, but it was over an issue, not over a value. We debate, and then it’s over. It’s something called ‘unconditional love.’ And that means no conditions. I just love her.”



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Photography by Krys Alex Photography LLC, hair by Sakeena Clark of Cherished Hair, makeup by Thomasina Moyer of TM Beauty.

In Atlanta, they owned and operated Intimacy, the game-changing women’s lingerie company in Phipps Plaza, growing the company to 18 U.S. locations before selling it to an international partner. It was never easy juggling business, family and life, but they made it work because of a shared vision for their future.

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Jim and Edie met at church in 1975, but the Kelleys’ story stops being cookie cutter right there. It was an African-American church, and Jim was the only white guy in attendance. “I had decided to make a difference as far as integration was concerned,” Jim says. “I got to know people and had a lot of friends. That’s how it started with Edie.”



That may have been what started it, but the more time the two spent together—bowling, movies, dinners, parties—it became obvious it was getting romantic. Especially when Jim finally kissed her. The unlikely couple dated for about a year and got married in 1977. It sounds easy, but the 42 years were anything but, facing struggles from the very beginning as an interracial couple. At the courthouse, they were reminded it was illegal for them to marry in the state of Georgia. At their first apartment complex, they were refused. Jim’s dad didn’t attend their wedding. “Our relationship was the eye of the storm,” says Jim. Photography by Krys Alex Photography LLC, hair by Sakeena Clark of Cherished Hair, makeup by Thomasina Moyer of TM Beauty.

Photography by Krys Alex Photography LLC, hair by Sakeena Clark of Cherished Hair, makeup by Thomasina Moyer of TM Beauty.

Jim and Edie Kelley

“We knew what we were getting into before we got married. We knew there’d be challenges and we made the decision that we would be willing to go through that because we felt we knew we were doing the right thing. We were right for one another.” “We’ve learned a lot from each other because of our differences,” Edie says. “Nothing anyone said changed my feelings for Jim and vice versa. If we were going to face something, we were going to do it together.” Prejudice subsided quite a bit over 42 years, and even Jim’s dad grew to love Edie. But what really grew was the love these two share for each other, which came in handy about eight years ago, when Jim was diagnosed with prostate cancer. “There’s a lot of struggles with hearing that—with being a man, worried about losing your manhood—but Edie helped me never to lose sight of the fact that life’s more than that. I knew she’d still love me, regardless. So, we decided we’d treat it, deal with it and go on with our lives,” says Jim. And over the course of about eight months, they did. “We love each other dearly,” says Edie. “We can feel it from each other. It’s the kind of deep love people talk about when they say you found your soul mate. We found ours.” “A lot of our friends talk about what a good marriage we have. It really comes down to our love and commitment for each other,” says Jim. “We want each other to be happy.”

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Patti and Mark Stephens


Patti and Mark met just before the 1996 Summer Olympics here in Atlanta, which meant most of their first dates centered around Olympic events. It took Patti about three months before she knew—and Mark will tell you he calls it, “the summer [she] didn’t like me,”—but fate won out, and they both realized they’d found someone special. They were married after only 15 months. “I knew he was not like anyone I’d dated before,” Patti says. “Funny thing is, you always hear about six degrees of separation—this truly was that. My dear friend and old roommate introduced me to a friend, who introduced me to a friend and so on.” Degrees of separation is just one credit to the success these two have found together. “We were both over 35 when we married, so it helps that we had a pretty good idea who we were by that time,” Mark says. “I think it also helps that neither of us was looking for a spouse, and really only thought about getting married until we were with someone that made us think about getting married.” The minister and longtime friend that performed their ceremony also provided some wise advice: learn the phrase, “I love you anyway.” It was also about respect. Spending years around other married couples helped them make mental notes and understand what it meant to build a life together. “You have to want the best for each other,” says Patti.

“We both like to stay active and healthy and enjoy many of the same things, but we also are good at doing our own things. Mark still plays soccer and goes cycling with his buddies while I go to Pilates and out with the girls. There will be times that you don’t want to

Just this past year, Mark and Patti each lost one of their parents. With a base of respect and support, they could lean on each other for the emotional support they needed to weather through it—and came out even stronger on the other side. Mark stressed the importance of a similar unified front for approaching issues to do with raising their son. “We have been married for over 22 years, and parents for 21, so parenting has always been a significant aspect of almost our entire marriage,” he says. “The best way for me to be a good father is to be a good husband—the rest will take care of itself.”



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Photo courtesy of Mary Kay Woodworth.

be apart from each other—those are amazing. But there will be times that you really want some time on your own. That’s okay, too, because it makes the together times even better.”

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Michael Brontë and Brenda Hall met on Bumble Bumble, the digital dating app designed to give women the decision-making power to choose who they want to connect with. “When Brenda and I met, it was my first time using [Bumble],” Brontë says. “It seemed superior to apps I’d tried in the past. It was upscale, but not stuffy, and easy to use.” The app works by asking clients to submit preferences, scroll through potential profiles and swipe left (to say no) and right (to say yes). If both parties swipe right, they’ll “connect” and women have 24 hours to reach out. “Brenda let me ‘time out’ the first time!” admits Brontë. “But, there was something about her, I felt like I knew her. Goofy as it sounds.” “I chose to use Bumble because I knew I most likely wouldn’t meet anyone socially with my schedule. Michael’s profile was the first to pop up every time I opened my account,” says Hall. “I was so nervous the first few times I went on, I deleted my account before I reached out to anyone, twice. That means I ignored Michael’s match, twice. He almost didn’t respond to me the third time.” Photography by Krys Alex Photography LLC, hair by Sakeena Clark of Cherished Hair, makeup by Thomasina Moyer of TM Beauty.

Photo courtesy of Mary Kay Woodworth.

Making the Love Connection Digitally

Hall was slow to master online communicating, or feel comfortable with the idea of reaching out to strangers, but the space it allowed to get her feet wet first gave her the confidence to agree to meet. And when they did, the date lasted six hours. Now, they’ve spent three years together. “I credit our success to our mutual love, respect and appreciation. We both came from very different paths and found each other,” Brontë says. “I didn’t think I would find that ‘one’ at this point, to be honest. I appreciate her every day. I think we both do our best in showing and telling each other that in many ways. We both feel we’re lucky.” “My advice is, don’t quit,” says Hall. “I’m so glad he was patient with me. I felt like I wasn’t the most eligible bachelorette, but I also knew I deserved to be happy with someone. When I saw Michael’s profile, something felt right. I knew he was the guy for me.”

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Finding Love That Lasts in Today’s World These days, you don’t have to practice pickup lines to seek promising relationships. Local businesses make it easy to cut out awkward first dates through personalized processes that help you filter through Atlanta’s eligible men and women. Traditional matchmaking services like Single

Atlanta and One-on-One Matchmaking handpick matches between individuals who share common interests, values and goals to provide high-end experiences for busy singles. Services are tailored to each individual and logistics are the easy part. Eight at Eight breaks the ice on standard blind dates by hosting intimate group dinner parties that introduce compatible singles in comfortable, sophisticated environments to spark conversation and chemistry. In addition, society has mastered digital dating in a way that makes it easy to meet the people you want to. Apps and websites like Bumble,, Coffee Meets Bagel and more use algorithms and first impressions to suggest matches in your area. Another great way to connect with others is through networking events for singles such as Best Self Atlanta’s Single in the City gatherings. Could we go so far as to say dating is easy now? Thank you to No18 for hosting the photo shoot for this article and to Krys Alex Photography LLC for capturing the special moments.



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2020 Vision of Beauty Tour 18 Influencers 10 Tour Partners 160+ Beauty Treatments 1,000+ Posts and Videos 60,000+ Likes, Comments, and Shares @bestselfatlanta #2020VisionOfBeauty To experience the hottest beauty trends for the new year in person, we enlisted 18 Atlanta influencers to take part in our 2020 Vision of Beauty Tour. From Oct. 15, 2019, through Jan. 15, 2020, they visited some of the city’s leading beauty businesses to learn about what’s in and what’s out for the new decade. Turn the page to find out.

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2020 Vision of Beauty FOCUS: INNER BEAUTY

Lidia Nistor-Reteneller | Skin IQ For over 17 years, Lidia Nistor-Reteneller has been a leader in innovative skin care and aesthetic practices. Not long ago, the progressive medical aesthetician began to see a need for services that also nurtured the inner beauty of her clients. This revelation led to the addition of Chakra Balancing sessions with reiki, meditation guidance, and more to her spa. Visitors of Skin IQ can expect care from a kind-hearted practitioner that consistently brings the best practices for inner and outer beauty to her clients. How have you seen the beauty industry change in the past 5 years? I noticed a shift from self-consciousness to self-awareness, and as a result of this new trend, people are willing and eager to go inward through practices like meditation, mindfulness, self-discovery or self-improvement.

Typically, when people achieve inner peace they are very beautiful. They are luminous and other people love to be around them.

What is something about energy healing that the public often gets confused about? Most people think reiki treatment is witchcraft, and they have no idea about what it really is because of the lack of substantial scientific data, or their own lack of interest to learn more about it. Reiki is actually associated with following your intuition and opening up beyond what we perceive as the physical world—beyond our five senses.

2020 Vision of Beauty Tour Influencer Experience “My fifth stop on the tour was a visit to Skin IQ owned by Lidia Nistor-Reteneller to experience a customized session about meditation. Lidia is very knowledgeable and trained at The Chopra Center. She gave me a questionnaire before my appointment that gave her insight into my mind-body type. … She shared with me three meditation styles that would work for my personality and schedule, and shared tips that would make meditation more effective.” @midlife_lifestyle Kwavi Agbeyegbe



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Photography by (bottom right) Andaman Photowork.

What sets your business apart from others in relation to reiki? Reiki treatments are typically used in wellness or integrative medicine centers, but not in the beauty industry. I have introduced reiki treatments because I want to approach beauty from a holistic perspective. It is a form of alternative medicine through which people can achieve inner peace and can reconnect their inner beauty with their outer beauty. This reconnection helps people to stop feeling self-conscious or worrying about the aging process (solar plexus chakra). Typically, when people achieve inner peace they are very beautiful. They are luminous and other people love to be around them.

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Slim Studio Slim Studio is Atlanta’s premier medical body sculpting center, specializing only in Emsculpt® and CoolSculpting®. Since its inception in 2015, Slim Studio has been at the forefront of the latest technologies in noninvasive medical body contouring. The staff’s vast experience, tenure, and advanced training in both CoolSculpting® and Emsculpt® will ensure that your body is in the very best hands. What trends do you see on the horizon for 2020? Today, men and women are seeking noninvasive, nonsurgical procedures to sculpt their bodies. The demand for Emsculpt® is skyrocketing as people looking to build and define their muscles become aware of this amazing new technology. To date, over 100,000 Emsculpt® procedures have been performed with great patient satisfaction. CoolSculpting® has practically become a household word with over 6 million treatments completed.


2020 Vision of Beauty Tour Influencer Experience

The demand for Emsculpt® is skyrocketing as people looking to build and define their muscles become aware of this amazing new technology. Photo courtesy of (bottom right) Tonya Renee Guillory. Photography by (top right) Reykphoto.

Photography by (bottom right) Andaman Photowork.

2020 Vision of Beauty

What is something about nonsurgical body sculpting that clients get confused about? Our body sculpting procedures serve different purposes. CoolSculpting® reduces unwanted fat in areas that are resistant to diet and exercise. Emsculpt® builds muscle fibers and muscle volume, resulting in increased strength and more defined and toned muscles. In addition, some clients are experiencing a reduction in back pain, improvement in diastasis recti, and have even achieved longer distances with their golf swing as Emsculpt® builds the core muscles!

“Working out is a huge part of my life and I am all about some muscle and a nice booty, so I was excited to try Emsculpt®. I will admit, I was skeptical when I first heard about this. It is four 30-minute sessions, which I did on my lunch break and read a book during. … I am very passionate when I believe in something, and these results are incredible. I am also so much stronger in the gym and can squat with heavier weight than I have ever been able to before. I absolutely loved Robbie, Alenka, and the entire @slimstudiobodysculpting staff.” @tonya.guillory.renee Tonya Renee Guillory

What sets your business apart from others? Experience matters. Slim Studio is the only facility in Georgia that exclusively performs Emsculpt® and CoolSculpting®. Our staff has an incredible breadth of experience in performing these treatments. They have all had advanced training and are truly Atlanta’s body-sculpting experts. What is one thing you want people to know about your business? We offer our clients a thorough education of both treatments at their private consultation and we pride ourselves on providing honest evaluations. We employ careful patient selection and only recommend our treatments if someone is truly a good candidate. In the case that someone is not a good candidate for our procedures, we present alternative options to help clients achieve the changes they desire.

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1/29/20 1:06 PM


Lyn Ross, LME

Institut’ DERMed Clinical Skin Care and Spa What started as a dream in Buckhead, licensed medical esthetician Lyn Ross has turned into a skin care empire. During its 30-plus-year history, her business has won numerous awards and grown to feature a staff with over 300 years of combined experience. Ross also launched the Institut’ DERMed College of Advanced Aesthetics, and most recently was inducted into the Aesthetics International Association Academy of Legends. What is “in” for nonsurgical facial rejuvenation? The blending of facial and body rejuvenation. It’s been really big in Europe for years and American men and women are just now getting into the benefits of it. That part of our business is really growing.

No pun intended, but hot treatments like the combination of microneedling with radio frequency are heating up the skin rejuvenation market.

2020 Vision of Beauty Tour Influencer Experience “I was thrilled that stop eight on the #2020VisionOfBeauty tour for @bestselfatlanta took me to the beautiful Atlanta skin institution @institutdermed! I opted for the Skin Brightening Facial, which consisted of countless steps of feel-good nourishment for my face, neck and décolletage. Promise was my esthetician, and while she worked, she educated me on why she used certain products, how best to use them at home, and why they would help my skin look its best for years to come.”

What is something about nonsurgical facial rejuvenation that clients often get confused about? The cloning of professional equipment into small hand-held devices sold over the internet that claim to have the same medical benefits. Another good example I saw recently on ‘The Doctors’ is the collagen drink fad. Physicians know the only way to induce more collagen is through injections or skin-cell stimulation using medical devices and procedures. Try convincing the public that it’s unrealistic to expect a drink to magically make you look younger. What trends do you see on the horizon for 2020? No pun intended, but hot treatments like the combination of microneedling with radio frequency are heating up the skin rejuvenation market.

@motherhoodunstressed Liz Carlile



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Photography by (bottom) Ben Wills.

When selecting a provider for nonsurgical facial rejuvenation, what should someone look for? You need to look at basic education, advanced certification, years in business and online reviews. Also, why not try different providers until you find one that you really connect with in terms of their style, technique and sanitation standards instead of shopping for a provider based on price alone?

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Amanda Hair | Bob Steele Salon Creating head-turning hair is what the 100-plus stylists at Bob Steele Salons do best. The knowledgeable team members undergo an extensive internship before servicing clients at any of the brand’s five locations. Skill may appear to reign supreme in this company, but the compatibility between the hairstylist and client is equally as important. How have you seen this industry change in the past 5 years? Lived-in hair and more freehand color techniques are definitely more prevalent. You might spend more for each color service but be able to extend the time between services with techniques such as balayage, ombré, and shadow roots. Expect to have a ‘double-process color’ if you want to stay on trend. That means you’ll be combining two or more color services and/or techniques within one appointment.

Photo courtesy of (right) Bob Steele Salon, Inc., photography by Kait Egbert. Photography by (bottom left) Pitter Productions Photography.

Photography by (bottom) Ben Wills.

2020 Vision of Beauty

What trends do you see on the horizon for 2020? Shags, curtain bangs, and showcasing the natural texture of your hair.

My favorite way to ‘date’ a stylist before committing is to book a blowout first. What is no longer “in” for hair? Stick-straight hair, chunky striped highlights, perms, the ‘v’ cut, stacked bobs and overly angled bobs. What should someone look for when selecting a hairstylist? Look for a stylist that asks you just as many questions as you ask him or her. My favorite way to ‘date’ a stylist before committing is to book a blowout first. During that visit, you can see if the connection is there and get a feel for if that stylist will be the right fit for the style you are trying to achieve. What sets your business apart from others? We’ve been in Atlanta since 1979, so we know how to train and educate our stylists. With strong relationships with Redken®, Kérastase, and Pureology®, we can use our in-house education team for the latest trends and techniques, and send our educators out to stay on top of what is happening in hair and fashion.

2020 Vision of Beauty Tour Influencer Experience “I visited @bobsteelesalon and what a treat! I got a highlight, lowlight and protective treatment. Then she styled my hair with curls that turned into beach waves the next day. I went to the Atlanta Post Riverside location and Ming took care of me. She was quick and we chatted up a storm. I like it when it’s a one-stop fix and I don’t have to see three different people to get my hair done.” @lynnemcdonaldsgallery Lynne McDonald

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1/29/20 2:15 PM

2020 Vision of Beauty FOCUS: LASHES AND BROWS

Paige Conner | Luxury Lash Beauty Paige Conner knows lashes and brows. The master aesthetician has not only been trained in America, London, Italy and Amsterdam, she even created her own line of lash extensions and launched five types of adhesive. Clients have turned to her to enhance their eyes and brows for over 18 years. Today, she offers complete aesthetic services at her studio and educates the next generation of professionals at Luxury Lash Academy. How have you seen your industry change in the last 5 years? Hybrid lash extensions—a cross between classic and volume lashes—are more popular now. For longevity, a bonder is added for immediate cure time to set the adhesive. For the brows, shading along with microstroking offers a more complete look for all skin types.

An experienced technician will consider lifestyle and medical conditions, which both make a difference in longevity and the type of adhesive to be used on each guest.

For those that have thinning or no brows, it is about creating that natural, fuller look. We accomplish this by microblading the brows using a combined stroke technique of mixing darker and lighter pigments with a seamless arch tapered to the end to accentuate the eye. The future of brow grooming is using a technique called lamination, which is a straightening perm, tint, wax, and trim of the brow to allow the hairs to go upward, become prominent, and create a fluffy, full brow.

2020 Vision of Beauty Tour Influencer Experience “I didn’t really understand the appeal of lash extensions until my eyes were opened to the meticulous technique used to create this wow factor. … Paige Conner was one of the first lash artists in Atlanta and is still sought after. You may be hooked after going to her and want to throw away those lash strips.” @tranbuiproductions Tran Bui Smith

What should someone look for when selecting a provider for lash extensions and eyebrow services? Ask questions. How long have they been performing the services? Where did they get their training? Are they licensed? How long have their customers been wearing lash extensions? Ask about the adhesive. Do they have more than one? Where is it manufactured? What is no longer “in” for lashes and brows? We have many curls and lengths in lash extensions; however, the more subtle, classic looking lash is out along with thin brows. The fuller the better! What sets your business apart from others? The reviews! The consultation alone will reveal our experience and knowledge. An experienced technician will consider lifestyle and medical conditions, which both make a difference in longevity and the type of adhesive to be used on each guest.



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Photography by (bottom) Tammy McGarity Photography. Photo courtesy of (top) Paige Conner.

What trends do you see on the horizon for 2020? Keratin lash lifting and tinting creates a more natural multidimensional look utilizing a combination of volume and classic technique with a splash of color. It is great for those that do not wear extensions, and for those that do—‘fluff appeal’ wins!

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Dr. Dina Giesler | Atlanta Smiles Since 1991, Dr. Dina Giesler has crafted showstopping smiles. The conservative and caring approach to cosmetic dentistry taken by her team at Atlanta Smiles is always centered around what is best for the patient. Your wants and needs are their No. 1 priority. How have you seen your industry change in the past 5 years? We’ve seen an increase in the number of patients who want to be more efficient with their services. Our office is also one of the very few offices in Georgia that is approved for dental sleep medicine, so many physicians now refer their patients to us. Plus, Dr. Marianna Kovitch has been named an American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine Diplomate.

Providing all-around wellness and health for our patients is a top priority in 2020.

Photography by (bottom right) Sara Hanna Photography; (top right) Kelle Mac Photography.

Photography by (bottom) Tammy McGarity Photography. Photo courtesy of (top) Paige Conner.

2020 Vision of Beauty


What trends do you see on the horizon for 2020? Providing all-around wellness and health for our patients is a top priority in 2020. You are going to be hearing a lot about dental sleep medicine and how, together, these fields are offering patients choices when they are diagnosed with sleep apnea. What is no longer “in” for cosmetic dentistry? Over-preparing the teeth is out. Bonding is also no longer popular. It’s a short-term option and most people are electing to have porcelain veneers placed for long-term success. Minimally prepless restorations are also the go-to now. When selecting a provider for cosmetic dentistry, what should someone look for? Cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized specialty of dentistry. So, anyone can say they are a cosmetic dentist—and they do. You should always find out what credentials and how many years of experience the provider has. You will also want to see cases that dentist has done. Also, the dentist should genuinely listen to what you want. Cosmetic dentistry is elective and personal. What sets your business apart? We are patient-driven, and we try to give our patients every choice available to make a difference in their smile. Not everyone can afford 10 upper veneers, and there are always other options until veneers can ultimately be performed.

2020 Vision of Beauty Tour Influencer Experience “I just had a professional teeth whitening at @atlsmiles and now I just can’t stop smiling! As we get older, it is natural that our teeth become slightly yellow but thankfully you can do something about it! I can recommend @atlsmiles to you: super friendly and professional staff!” @beauty4free2u Sissi Nuthman

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1/29/20 1:07 PM

2020 Vision of Beauty FOCUS: EXPERT HAIR REMOVAL

Andreia Guilmet | Brazilian Wax by Andreia warmers to ensure the wax is the proper temperature when applied to the skin. This year, we will upgrade even more. What should someone look for when selecting a provider for hair removal? First, look at the overall cleanliness of the salon, starting with the reception area. Make sure the esthetician is wearing gloves, properly sanitizing all instruments before and after use, and not dipping the applicator into the wax warmer multiple times. Also, make sure the salon and the esthetician are properly licensed by the Georgia State Board of Cosmetology and Barbers. How have you seen your industry change in the past 5 years? The use of hard wax has continued to increase in popularity over the past few years.

What is “in” for hair removal? Quality. More than ever, individuals are making sure they go to a salon that specializes in quality waxing services and has a strong track record. In 2019, we invested in new wax

What do you want people to know about your business? First, we are constantly reinvesting into the business. In addition, I have a huge heart for missions and spreading the Gospel. As Brazilian Wax by Andreia grows, so does our support for various organizations. In November 2019, I traveled to Southeast Asia. I spent time in the red-light district and feel very compelled to support ways to remove women from this horrible and spiritually dead area. I am currently looking at a way to bring NEW LIFE and restoration to the ladies.

Photos courtesy of (top) Brazilian Wax by Andreia; (bottom right) Arkeedah McCormick.

For over 15 years, Andreia Guilmet has been setting the standard in hair removal. Imported organic wax, a team of carefully trained estheticians, stellar customer service, convenience, and competitive pricing are her secrets to success. The commitment Brazilian Wax by Andreia has to exceptional and efficient treatments has gained the brand a loyal following of men and women.

2020 Vision of Beauty Tour Influencer Experience “Today, I had the best experience at @brazilianwaxbyandreia—in and out in less than 30 mins. I also wanted to share this pro tip, it’s recommended that you exfoliate with a salt scrub to remove dead cells and lock in moisture. The Soufflé Salt Scrub is infused with lemons, which helps with hyperpigmentation.” @itsarkeedah Arkeedah McCormick



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1/28/20 5:06 PM


Dr. Elizabeth Whitaker | Atlanta Face & Body A tailored approach to facial rejuvenation is always taken at Atlanta Face & Body. Known as the “Queen of Faces,” founder Dr. Elizabeth Whitaker personally administers every injectable. Her practice has established a rock-solid reputation for using advanced technology to safely deliver clients their desired outcomes. What trends do you see on the horizon for 2020? Younger generations are exhibiting a greater acceptance and more widespread adoption of regular preventative treatments, especially injectables. There’s even a name for this new aesthetic audience—The Reclaimers. They are women who may have spent the last few years building a career or raising a family, and are finally saying, ‘It’s time to get back to me.’ Men are also seeking the benefits of injectables in greater numbers.

Younger generations are exhibiting a greater acceptance and more widespread adoption of regular preventative treatments, especially injectables. What is “out” and what is “in” for injectables? Overfilled lips, or any use of fillers or toxins that lead to exaggerated outcomes, are definitely out. ‘Tweakment’ is in. With experienced hands and an artistic eye, injectables can be so precise that they offer a microrefinement that is not obvious, but certainly noticed. And they’re fun! At our practice, injectables are so popular, we regularly offer events like Filler Friyay.

Photos courtesy of (bottom right) Lim Sahar; (top right) Atlanta Face & Body.

Photos courtesy of (top) Brazilian Wax by Andreia; (bottom right) Arkeedah McCormick.

2020 Vision of Beauty

What sets your business apart from others? My medical degree, board certification, years of experience, and role as an injectable trainer gives me the breadth of knowledge and expertise needed to customize a treatment plan to meet our clients’ concerns and desires. For example, we offer the ‘Liquid Face-lift’ that can restore fullness to cheeks and ‘lift’ the cheek area without incisions or surgery. Restoring volume can be accomplished by employing advanced dermal fillers, sometimes in combination with neurotoxins. Volume restoration adds more light to the face, which in turn can make the skin look more radiant while exuding a more rested appearance and friendlier smile. What should someone look for when selecting a provider for injectables? Familiarize yourself with the procedure so that you have a base knowledge of what to expect. Research the aesthetic practices in your area thoroughly. Schedule a consultation. There may be a better option for your specific goal. Be sure to ask these questions: How often do you inject this type of filler? Will you be my injector at every appointment? How do you handle complications? How can I follow up with you if I have a question?

2020 Vision of Beauty Tour Influencer Experience “I just came back from another great experience at @atlantafaceandbody. … As we age, our bodies start producing less collagen and we start to get these ‘hollows’ under our eyes that make us look tired and older. Dr. Elizabeth did the Tear Trough filler procedure on mine and my eyes already look so much better!” @limsahar Lim Sahar

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1/28/20 5:06 PM

2020 Vision of Beauty FOCUS: FITNESS

Suzanne Cypert | Concourse Athletic Club Working out meets total wellness at Concourse Athletic Club. The staff here is dedicated to helping members live longer, better and more fulfilled lives by assisting them with achieving their fitness goals. The amenities, services, and facilities available under one roof are added bonuses to the outstanding care and professionalism exhibited by the staff.

It’s important to not only look for a variety of equipment and programming but also true concern on the part of management and the staff to help your experience be the best it can be.

2020 Vision of Beauty Tour Influencer Experience “A group of us got to take a class at the @concourseathleticclub in Sandy Springs (conveniently located by the King and Queen buildings). FUN FUN FUN!!! We decided on a cardio kickboxing class, which, being a black belt in TKD was right up my alley! This was my first workout in about five months after injuring my back, and I gotta tell you—it felt REALLY good to kick and punch again.” @andreegroup Kristin Andree

What trends do you see being popular in 2020? Group programming and classes will continue to help create a community of like-minded people, which aids in adherence and positive results. What should someone look for when selecting a fitness facility to join? It’s important to not only look for a variety of equipment and programming but also true concern on the part of management and the staff to help your experience be the best it can be. What is something about fitness facilities that the public often gets confused about? Pricing. Because the pricing of newer fitness offerings is often structured by class, the cost may seem cheaper than it actually is. For example, you can pay $160 a month for just one format at a studio, but pay much less for a variety of classes, services, and facilities such as pools, saunas, etcetera at a ‘big-box’ gym.


What is one thing you want people to know about Concourse Athletic Club? We genuinely care that you receive all that you need to achieve your wellness/fitness goals. We combine all of the amenities, programs, and facilities under one roof to keep you engaged and encourage results.



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Photo courtesy of (bottom) Kristin Andree. Photography by (left) Sawyer Photography, hair and makeup by A Glamour Affair.

What is “in” for fitness? Boxing and kickboxing remain very relevant because the mind and the entire body have to work together. In addition, home equipment such as Peloton® and the MIRROR have become very popular. We are also seeing high-intensity interval training become more popular simply because that style of workout does not require as much time. Mindful workouts such as yoga, Pilates, and meditation are also continuing to be prevalent.

1/28/20 5:06 PM


Donna Dombrowski | Anderson Aesthetics Anderson Aesthetics has one goal—to help guests become the happiest and most beautiful versions of themselves. By staying up to date with cutting-edge technology, treatments, and products, its team of experts can offer services with a track record of effectiveness. What is something about nonsurgical facial rejuvenation that the public often gets confused about? People are often confused about what the results of a treatment will be. Guests will often have an idea of a service they are interested in or maybe know the name of something a neighbor had done, but those treatments are for very targeted concerns. We need to understand what concerns you have so that we can make the best treatment recommendation for you, which might not always be what you thought you wanted.

If there is something that bothers you or makes you self-conscious, we would love to help make that thing disappear from your thoughts. Photos courtesy of (top) Anderson Aesthetics, photography by Chelsea Patricia Photography; (bottom) Meera Diwan.

Photo courtesy of (bottom) Kristin Andree. Photography by (left) Sawyer Photography, hair and makeup by A Glamour Affair.

2020 Vision of Beauty

What is one thing you want people to know about your business? We think you are beautiful just the way you are. If there is something that bothers you or makes you self-conscious, we would love to help make that thing disappear from your thoughts so you can be your happiest, most beautiful you. What trends do you see gaining popularity in 2020? We are continuing to see a growing interest in our three most popular treatments, which are TempSure® Envi [regenerates collagen and reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles], the fractional and intense pulsated light ThreeForMe™ combination [for wrinkles, sun damage, and facial veins]; and the HydraFacial® [to cleanse, extract and hydrate] and dermaplaning combination for maintenance and touch-ups between the other two treatments. When selecting a provider for nonsurgical facial rejuvenation, what should someone look for? We think qualifications and experience are two of the most important things to look for in a provider. Ask your provider how long they have performed these types of services. If it is a laser-based service, is the provider laser certified in Georgia? Does the provider have experience treating your skin type, skin issues, or any other unique factors that could impact your outcome?

2020 Vision of Beauty Tour Influencer Experience “I made my fourth stop on the @bestselfatlanta #2020VisionOfBeauty tour at @andersonaestheticsatl for dermaplaning. Love how soft and fuzz free my skin is after the procedure. Applying makeup has been so fun. Donna is so sweet and so good at what she does.” @instylewithmeera Meera Diwan

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1/28/20 5:06 PM

Influencers share more experiences from our 2020 Vision of Beauty Tour “The IPL treatment at Anderson Aesthetics is my favorite winter treatment! This gets rid of sun damage, as well as gives your skin a beautiful glow.” @happilyhughes | Jessica Hughes

“During my fourth stop on the @bestselfatlanta #2020VisionOfBeauty tour, I stopped by @slimstudioatlanta and got a little CoolSculpting® done! Already starting to see results! I’m gonna be springtime fine.” @mimijonline | Mimi Johnson

Photography by (Hughes) Chelsea Patricia Photography; (Johnson) Stewdiospace; (Mohager) Mary Jane Starke; (Costa) Kimberly Evans; (Dauler) Richie Arpino Photography; (Pavlik) Krys Alex Photography LLC.

“Kickboxing + Self-Defense is one class of many offered at @concourseathleticclub. The instructor, Ty (@MrWrightCross), made the experience not only a ton of fun but also extremely educational. I learned so much I could use and apply in the real world.” @theelleross | Elle Ross

“Big hugs and a thank-you to @jessicakayehair at @bobsteelesalon for treating my thirsty hair with a conditioning treatment, fabulous highlights and keratin, a fresh cut, and a blowout. My hair feels healthier than it has in weeks AND I had a blast chitchatting the afternoon away.” @carlygracemilyo | Carly Grace Milyo

“Next stop on the @bestselfatlanta #2020VisionOfBeauty tour was a visit to @skiniqmedspa for my first reiki healing! Lidia was amazing and brought me back to the core of where my blocks were deeply rooted—focusing on the little girl me. I cried and I cried. I released, forgave and let go!” @lisa_mohager | Lisa Mohager

“Institut’ DERMed Spa was so magical I almost didn’t want to leave, but it was also educational and healing at the same time.” @miltonmomliving | Becky Costa

“I started my @bestselfatlanta #2020VisionOfBeauty influencer tour with the opportunity to try Zoom teeth whitening at @atlsmiles. One hour later, I left with brighter, whiter teeth, which I did not think was possible for someone like me who enjoys an occasional glass of red wine and loves morning coffee.” @jessicadauler | Jessica Dauler

“I’m a filler and Botox/Xeomin virgin no more thanks to @thequeenoffaces @atlantafaceandbody! I visited Dr. Elizabeth to have some touch-ups done to my eye and forehead area.” @fitbelleatl | Amelia Pavlik



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1/29/20 1:11 PM


Partners In Health



heart burn sleep dental health sexual health

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1/28/20 1:08 PM

MORE DOCTORS, MORE ACCESS, MORE CARE The most trusted Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation physicians and Orthopaedic spine surgeons in Georgia


Winner Best Back and Spine Care Practice

Thank You Atlanta for Voting Us Best Spine Care Practice Four Years in a Row!


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2020 Partners in Health

5 Ways to Improve Your Back Health in 2020 The new year is off to a fast start and many of us made resolutions for 2020. Maybe you planned to get in shape or give up a bad habit. If you’re suffering from back pain, you can make a few simple changes in your lifestyle to help decrease or alleviate your pain. Here are some tips for a healthier back in 2020: Exercise Exercise improves your health in many ways including the health of your spine. One cause of back pain is weakness in the “core” muscles that support the spine. These muscles are small and not as strong as the larger muscles, which is why they are so prone to injuries. Strengthening these muscles can help prevent back injuries. Sit-ups, crunches and push-ups can help improve your core strength. Other options include stretching and yoga. Not only will these activities strengthen your core muscles, but they will also improve your flexibility, helping you be less susceptible to injuries. As with any exercise regimen, check with your physician or spine specialist before you begin to ensure these exercises are safe for you. Healthy Body Weight Staying fit is crucial to all aspects of your health, including the health of your spine. When you’re carrying extra weight, especially around the torso, those small muscles around your spine have to work harder just to keep you upright. While our weight is something many of us struggle with, if you can maintain your ideal weight you can decrease your risk for back pain.

Proper Lifting Technique Using proper lifting technique can help decrease back pain. Use the big, powerful muscles in your legs to lift, not the small muscles in your back. When you need to lift something, squat down until your hips are parallel to the object’s center of gravity. By doing so, you will force your leg muscles to do most of the work, allowing you to keep your back straight as you lift. Stay Hydrated Drinking plenty of water will help prevent back pain by maintaining the size of the fluid-filled discs between your vertebrae. These discs are responsible for absorbing much of the shock your spine experiences during the day. If you are not properly hydrated, the discs can become smaller and offer less support to your spine. Over time this can lead to back pain.

Quit Smoking Smoking affects your body in a number of negative ways, and stopping tobacco products may help prevent back pain. Smoking can lead to back pain by restricting the blood vessels, cutting off the blood supply to your cells. In order to stay healthy and heal quickly, your cells need a steady supply of oxygen and other materials, which they extract from the bloodstream. When you quit tobacco, your blood flow is restored and your cells become healthier. So if you do sustain an injury to your back, you may heal more quickly. Of course, quitting smoking may be easier said than done. If this is one of your resolutions, please consult a physician who can recommend some options that will make it safer and easier for you to quit tobacco. The physicians at Resurgens Spine Center hope you have a healthy 2020.

Resurgens Spine Center • Non-surgical & Surgical Spine Care • 24 Convenient Atlanta Locations •

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1/29/20 9:33 AM

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1/29/20 9:33 AM

2020 Partners in Health 10 Tips for Addressing Winter Skin Challenges 1. Avoid long, hot showers

Long, hot showers remove important oils that allow your skin to retain moisture

2. Avoid fragrances and dyes

Always try to use fragrance- and dye-free, mild soaps and cleansers

3. Creams over lotions

Creams are better options than lotions and are more effective

4. Apply creams immediately after bathing

Try to apply creams after getting out of a bath or shower while your skin is still warm and moist

5. Use ointments for painful areas

Over-the-counter skin ointment is a good solution for dry, itchy skin

6. Avoid abrasive fabrics

Avoid harsh, abrasive fabrics that can scratch and worsen itching

7. Change detergent types

A fragrance- and dye-free laundry detergent is always a good option to avoid excessive exposure to irritants

8. Keep home temperatures cool

Lowering the thermostat and running a cool mist humidifier at night allows for your skin to stay hydrated

9. Keep a shorter fingernail length

Cut fingernails short (particularly with children) to decrease the risk of skin trauma caused by excessive scratching

10. Seek a board-certified dermatologist

If any of the techniques above do not improve your condition, contact dermatologist for an assessment

Skin Education Fact:

Dry skin (xerosis) can often be problematic in winter. Other skin conditions such as eczema (red, dry itchy patches) and psoriasis (thick, scaly red areas often found on elbows, scalp, hands and feet) can also be worsened. Dr. Corrie Alford is a board-certified dermatologist, specializing in general and cosmetic dermatology, at MetroDerm P.C. in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a graduate of Spellman College, and earned her medical degree from the Emory University School of Medicine. She completed her dermatology residency training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in 2006. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology, and a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. Dr. Alford is passionate about providing individualized skin care to enhance the overall health and well-being of her patients.

MetroDerm, P.C. • • (404) 257-9933

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1/29/20 9:33 AM

2020 Partners in Health

How to Inspire Kids to Brush Their Teeth By Azi Nia, DMD

Start Early: Parents who start early by wiping the baby’s gums with a clean, damp cloth after each feeding will have an easier time teaching their kids to brush their teeth. Brush Your Teeth Together: Young Young children love to copy their parents. Model how to practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing in front of your child and ask him/her to show you how well he/she can do it. Let Your Child Pick the Toothbrush and Toothpaste: Kids are excited about using a toothbrush that has their favorite cartoon character, superhero or color on it. A large number of kid-friendly toothpastes are available, which make brushing more enjoyable for kids. Ultimately, a child who likes the flavor of his or her toothpaste is more inclined to become excited about brushing. Make Use of Educational Tools: When children read books, watch videos, or play mobile/tablet games based around oral hygiene, brushing their teeth could become more important to them and more ingrained as a significant skill to obtain. Use Music: Music can aid in passing the time it takes to complete oral hygiene tasks. Playing a child’s favorite song while he/she brushes his/her teeth can help him/her learn how long to brush and help make the possibly ‘boring’ routine more exciting. Use Motivational Rewards Charts: Keep track of your child’s daily brushing by setting up a motivational rewards chart for completing his/her oral hygiene tasks. Keeping track of their brushing and flossing in a fun way helps kids learn consistency in their habits, and this can be used as positive reinforcement to encourage brushing.

Azi Nia, DMD, is a board-certified pediatric dentist. Dr. Azi (as her patients call her) attended Georgia State University and continued on to the Medical College of Georgia to earn her Doctorate of Dental Medicine. In order to become a specialist in pediatric dentistry, she completed a 3-year residency at Colorado Children’s Hospital, where she also served as chief resident. Dr. Azi is dedicated to providing excellent pediatric dental care and building confidence in her patients. Creating a positive dental experience customized to each young patient is central to her practice’s philosophy.

Nia Pediatric Dentistry • (770) 479- 9999 • 56


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2020 Partners in Health

Men’s Health Habits: Make Them, Don’t Break Them By Scott D. Miller, MD

As we approach Spring, we sometimes find our New Year’s resolutions slipping away. All too often, we center our efforts on correcting our weaknesses rather than building upon our strengths. So, why should we focus on our strengths to achieve our goals? Here are the reasons: Foundation: Weaknesses tend to lack the foundation upon which we can build improvement. For instance, you decide to wake up one hour early so that you can go for a bicycle ride several days per week. Making this a longstanding routine will be challenging since you are trying to form a new habit from scratch. However, perhaps you have the gift of gab. Join a cycling club. With this approach, you combine an existing skill (being a social butterfly) with a new habit (regular cycling). Motivation: We all enjoy doing what we are good at doing. When we do more of the same, we develop even more expertise. Rinse and repeat. For example, maybe you hate to run intervals but enjoy lifting weights. Try incorporating a weekly weightlifting routine that increases your heartrate in 30-second intervals.

Efficiency: Creating a new skill is often necessary to correct an area of weakness. Improving an existing skill is much easier and quicker. Self-confidence: Building on strengths avoids repeated trial-and-error and leads to recurring success. The resulting selfconfidence will infiltrate other areas of personal and professional performance. Specialization: More and more, we live in a world of specialization. As life becomes more complex, above-average skills grow in demand. Correspondingly, the gaps in abilities can be filled with workarounds such as delegation and outsourcing. An example would be engaging a personal trainer to overcome a plateau. Should we always avoid fixing our weaknesses? Of course, not. First of all, we can often find that improving one strength will improve a weakness. For example, a modest increase in our exercise routine can improve our sleep patterns. Also, if a weakness creates a bottleneck by impeding our strengths, we have no choice but to correct that weakness (e.g., oversleeping and missing important business meetings). When it comes to habits, it is always easier to form a good habit rather than to break a bad habit. In fact, changing a bad habit into a good habit is a clever workaround—

in essence, “making” a good habit from a bad habit. In Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit, a habit consists of three components— the cue, the routine, and the reward. The cue is a trigger that makes the behavior (routine) unfold automatically (without thought). The routine is the component that we want to change. A repeated craving for the resulting reward is what keeps the habit going. The first step in this transformation is clearly identifying the trigger and the specific reward that feeds the craving. The new routine must then be triggered by the same cue and yield the same reward. One common example is the person who watches YouTube videos for a couple of hours every afternoon. The reward is not actually the video itself, but rather the opportunity to free the mind from life’s daily stressors. The trigger is the time of day. The routine is sitting on the couch, and it is this component of the habit can be changed to walking on a treadmill while watching the same videos. Perhaps this “new” habit can become a “keystone” habit upon which other good habits are built. Look for my article on “Men’s Health Is Boring” in the next issue. Scott D. Miller, MD, is the Medical Director of Robotic Surgery at WellStar North Fulton Hospital. He is a urologist with WellStar Urology in Roswell and has practiced in Atlanta for over 20 years. WellStar North Fulton Hospital offers the Know Your Heart Screening that can determine your risk of heart disease, stroke and other serious conditions. Call 770-956-STAR (7827) to learn more or schedule an appointment.

Scott D. Miller, MD WellStar North Fulton Hospital • (470) 956-4230 •

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2020 Partners in Health

Physical Therapy for Pelvic Conditions Nearly one in three reproductive-age women suffers from pelvic pain on a regular basis. After childbirth, up to one half of women can experience incontinence. As they age, about 25 percent of women can experience bladder and bowel incontinence. Fortunately, physical therapy offers a solution. Women no longer have to live with the fear and embarrassment of incontinence or the pain of pelvic conditions. Through physical therapy, they can prevent incontinence, reverse course, and take control. Physical therapy also offers a medication-free option for other pelvic-related ailments, including abdominal and lower-back pain, endometriosis, sexual disorders, and bowel looseness. Pelvic stressors The “pelvic floor” is not a single underlayment between the hip bones but a series of muscles that, together, support our internal organs. In the course of a lifetime, those muscles undergo strain and pressure. Childbirth is especially hard on the pelvic floor. “Most women don’t have physical therapy after childbirth, and most women should,” says Stephanie Ridgway, clinic director for BenchMark Physical Therapy. “During and after childbirth, it’s necessary to strengthen the pelvic muscles so they don’t get stretched out and weak. Physical therapy will keep those muscles strong, and it usually allows for an easier delivery.” Those damaged muscles no longer support the bladder and rectum, contributing to three possible forms of incontinence: Stress incontinence - bladder leakage when pressure is put on the bladder by laughing, sneezing, or running. Urge incontinence - sudden need to urinate immediately and the inability to control the flow. Bowel incontinence - prevents the muscles from contracting, causing release of bowels at unpredictable times. Many other women’s health problems originate in or around the pelvis. Endometriosis, scarring from caesarean section or other abdominal surgery, and sexual disorders can cause disruptive pain and keep women from enjoying life. The physical therapy solution Exercise is crucial to women’s overall health at all phases of life, but pelvic health and recovery demand a specialized approach. A physical therapist specializing in pelvic health conducts an assessment and devises a treatment plan. • For incontinence, patients learn proper techniques for Kegel exercises and pelvic floor contractions. • Pain issues can require internal and external manual therapy and massage to release trigger points and restore pelvic muscles to the proper positions.

• Deep breathing and relaxation techniques can be on the care plan, allowing pain patients to release the tenseness known to exacerbate the problem. BenchMark Physical Therapy is a family of physical therapists, occupational therapists, and handtherapists committed to inspiring and empowering people to reach their full potential. Its providers know that connecting with patients on a personal level helps to build trust. This trust is crucial in allowing patients and therapists to work together to make the best use of advanced certifications and refined techniques. A focus on proven methods and a hands-on approach help the BenchMark team achieve the goals of the patient in a safe and effective manner.

BenchMark Physical Therapy • • 1-844-264-5307 58


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Since opening in 2000, Covenant House Georgia has served more than 19,000 youth in Atlanta experiencing homelessness and running away from trafficking. Through its street outreach team, the organization is able to connect with vulnerable young adults and provide them access to its Community Service Center where they can shower, receive a hot meal, attend classes and more. Beyond immediate care, the nonprofit’s work is rooted in uplifting youth experiencing homelessness from poverty for good. Programs such as job and life readiness equip participants with tools for success.

Camping Out for a Cause


The organization has various volunteer opportunities but one of its most impactful ways to get involved is through its Sleep Out fundraisers. Participants visit the Covenant House campus to get a first-hand look at the life-changing work that takes place there, meet the residents and hear their experiences from homelessness to hope, then spend the night outside in a sleeping bag on a cardboard box in solidarity of youth experiencing homelessness. Chad Bruhn, vice president of sales, North America at NCR Corporation, took part in his first Sleep Out: Executive Edition fundraiser in 2019. “The biggest impact was listening to the early life struggles from some of the youth and how incredibly upbeat and positive they were. They could have easily complained about their life, their bad luck, and everyone around them letting them down. Instead, I witnessed kids who were positive, upbeat and filled with promise,” he says. This spring, the organization will host two Sleep Out fundraisers, one for women on March 6 during the week of International Women’s Day (March 8), and one for young professionals on March 20. Be sure to also mark your calendar for A Night of Broadway Stars. Covenant House’s popular benefit event returns on April 30 and will take place at the Coca-Cola Roxy.

Art Enrichment

Winning with Words Put your love of literature to good use with Everybody Wins! Atlanta. Become a reading mentor and dedicate 30 minutes a week to improving the literacy of a middle school child enrolled in one of 10 metro Atlanta schools. The nonprofit boasts a 91% success rate of improved literacy within one school year. Details:


Help end the cycle of poverty on a global scale through creative expression. Utilizing art therapy techniques, drawchange gives disadvantaged children the tools to cope with stressors and heighten their self-esteem. From office work to fundraising, volunteers can choose from a range of tasks—no art experience required! Details: Goat Farm Art Center;



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Photos courtesy of (top) Covenant House Georgia, photography by Traci Kruger, TraLynn Photography; (bottom left) drawchange.

Details: 1559 Johnson Rd. NW., Atlanta;

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give-back guide





Featured events For more events, visit


Feb. 15

Feb. 29

CHARM DAY Lend a hand to improve the local water system and the health of the city’s environment by supporting The Center for Hard to Recycle Materials. Volunteers can help sort recycling items, assist staff, and direct traffic.

March 5

BOOKS FOR AFRICA Ages 14 and over are invited to help sort and pack books for shipments to children in Africa. Since 1988, Books For Africa has sent over 20 million books to the continent.

COMMUNITY GARDENS WITH FWA Support metro area gardens, urban farms, and the work of Food Well Alliance (and the Atlanta Community Food Bank) to increase accessibility to fresh food. Volunteers may clear land, prepare soil, harvest and more.

Feb. 29

Feb. 26 MS FINE WINE AND DINE Eighteen chefs, 18 sommeliers and 12 wine collections come together in one extravagant affair to benefit the National MS Society’s research for a cure.

Feb. 27-March 1 AMERICA’S MARATHON WEEKEND Volunteer with the Atlanta Track Club to support the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials and the Publix Atlanta Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K.

March 14

BUBBLES & BLING With the theme “Denim & Diamonds,” Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta’s 7th annual party features dinner, dancing, and an auction. This year’s honoree is Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, president and dean of Morehouse School of Medicine.

SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED GALA The Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance’s 10th anniversary benefit features dinner by Les Dames d’Escoffier International Atlanta Chapter Chefs, dancing, casino games, tributes, and auctions.

March 3

March 15

PICK UP AND PITCH IN FOR PIEDMONT PARK Help the Piedmont Park Conservancy keep Atlanta’s urban green space clean. Volunteers should bring a refillable water bottle and wear comfortable walking shoes.

HUNGER WALK RUN Aid neighbors in need by participating in this 30-plus-year tradition featuring a 5K walk and 5K run. The fundraiser is an initiative of the Atlanta Community Food Bank, which distributes over 61 million meals annually.

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my best self Russell Kohl Life is good for Russell Kohl. As the president/CEO of Freud/Diablo Inc., a nearly $1 billion industry-leading manufacturer and marketer of cutting and portable power tools, a jet-set lifestyle comes with the job. Though his trips to Italy allowed him to learn deep-rooted Italian techniques for one of his favorite culinary hobbies, it’s being surrounded by friends, family, and the outdoors that make life meaningful for this Georgia and Florida resident. Here, the father of two talks work-life balance, fostering the next generation of entrepreneurs, giving back and more.

T t

By Alex McCray

Why is giving back important to you? It’s part of creating a legacy. It set in when the College of Business at my alma mater, Florida State University, asked me to come back and be a keynote speaker. I was shocked they knew who I was. That got me back involved with Florida State and the importance of making education better and sharing what I’ve learned. Currently, I’m on the College of Business Board of Governors, and the Board of Trustees for the Florida State University Foundation. I want to make sure I’m giving back, and not just with money, but by being involved.

What is the greatest personal challenge you’ve overcome? I have four manufacturing plants in Italy and two in Switzerland. So I’m in Italy and Switzerland every six weeks. When you land, you lose a lot of sleep and then there are social events every night. The struggle is to do all of that and still balance a social life, be engaged in the community here, and keep my fitness up. When I’m on the road, it feels like there are no gyms in Europe. You just have to get clever.

What brings you real joy? A lot, but I’d say love. What also really does it for me is grilling on the beach with a bunch of friends and enjoying great food with a little too much wine. I’m a Big Green Egg fan and I dry age my own meats. I do nearly every fish you can imagine. Photography by Sawyer Photography, hair and makeup by The Green Room Agency.

When you’re feeling out of whack, how do you center yourself? The whole fitness aspect is very relieving for me and now, I’m doing yoga. Other guys are skeptical but I find more of them are actually doing it and I’m getting a lot out of it. I have the coolest instructor named Georgia Deane at the Buckhead location of Highland Yoga. She makes me want to sell everything I have, buy a VW bus, go to California and soak in suntan lotion. Anything to do with water or skiing is very therapeutic and calming. I love to surf and ski, and generally be outdoors.

Where do you see yourself in five years? I love what I do, so I want to continue to run my business and maintain my involvement with educational boards. Having a place in Telluride, Colorado, and Italy are on my ‘victory board’ for 2025. I also want to invest in more small businesses that I enjoy.

Who/what helps you be your Best Self? Michelle Hodgson was an incredible influence on what I am doing personally with my company to create a legacy of making the world better, which led to the development of the Best in the World, Best for Our World theme for my life and approach to business. Once we connected, I helped her raise money for Children Helping Children, create structure, and organize. In return, she challenged me. The Young Presidents’ Organization, which I’m also involved in, has had a huge influence on me as well.



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TMJ Jaw Pain? Popping & Clicking? Therapeutic Injection combination therapy may be your answer! Do you have Jaw pain or clicking when you chew or have headaches that can’t seem to be diagnosed? This could be a temporal mandibular joint (TMJ) problem. Other symptoms include shoulder and neck stiffness, earaches, dizziness and unexplained headaches. TMJ problems are often accompanied by cervical and TMJ ligament laxity. Once the lateral TMJ ligament becomes lax the joint will click. It is important to note that clicking in any joint is an indication of ligament laxity of that joint. The body’s compensatory mechanism for such a situation is to tighten muscles and to grow more bone. The end result will be degeneration, arthritis, and stiffness in that joint. A combination of Bio-therapeutic injections to strengthen both the cervical vertebrae and the TMJ joint combined with manipulations of the affected areas to re-align the joints will often solve this problem. Call the offices of Total HealthCare to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced medical professionals today if you are experiencing these symptoms.

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