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A Message from the Chamber Chairman... Cherokee County, Georgia! Where else would you rather live, work, raise your family and enjoy life? My family and I do all of these things here, yet whether you are fortunate to do some or all; I hope you enjoy your time in Cherokee County. I was asked recently to share three of the best attributes of Cherokee County. It didn’t take me long to note the following: a strong sense of community & family; natural setting including the rivers, lakes, and foothills; the unique mixture of rural and suburban living. When asked what makes me proudest to be a resident and employee of Cherokee County, I quickly responded the people – we have great schools, low taxes, great public safety, parks, etc., but the real difference makers are the people. Can you see why when given the opportunity to chair the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce in 2017 that I didn’t hesitate to accept the role? The Chamber prides itself on being a member services driven organization whose mission is to promote business and the community while expanding the economy and enhancing the quality of life. Through an increasing membership base, combined with countless volunteers and a supportive community, the Cherokee County Chamber will continue to achieve its mission. I’ve developed valuable personal and professional relationships through my involvement with the Chamber. Let me encourage you to experience the Chamber as well. It has been said that organizations like Chambers of Commerce don’t lead themselves – they are directed by those who have the best interest of the community at heart. For as the county grows, so does the Chamber. The array of opportunities offered to members, residents and potential newcomers are promoted online via which showcases how to become more readily connected with the Chamber and Cherokee County as a whole. In 2018 the Chamber will be led by real estate professional Julianne Rivera. Selling Cherokee County is what Julianne does, or as she would attest, Cherokee County sells itself ! This community and this Chamber are ready for you to experience them. The Chamber Board of Directors and I look forward to meeting and working with you in 2017.

Bryan D. Reynolds, 2017 Chamber Chairman Director, Cherokee Recreation & Parks Agency

(l) Julianne Rivera, 2018 Board Chair, Sold by Julianne-Keller Williams Realty Atlanta North and (r) Bryan Reynolds, 2017 Board Chair, Cherokee Recreation & Parks Agency

“When asked what makes me proudest to be a resident and employee of Cherokee County, I quickly responded the people – we have great schools, low taxes, great public safety, parks, etc., but the real difference makers are the people. ” 1


cherokee 4


Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce


Ball Ground

2020 Vision



Cherokee County School District


Holly Springs






Garland Mountain Sporting Clays


Soleil Laurel Canyon


Open Roads Complete RV


Reformation Brewery


Calendar of Events


Index of Advertisers


Newcomer Information



Vital to the Success of the Community

10 Chattahoochee Technical College Offering Students the Essentials 12 Reinhardt University Where Each Student Thrives 14 Kennesaw State University A University on the Move 16 Northside Hospital-Cherokee State-of-the-Art Orthopedics Program 20 WellStar Health System Cherokee Health Park 24 Economic Development Growing Cherokee 28 Top 10 in 10 Young Professionals to Watch

Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce 3605 Marietta Highway, Canton, GA 30114 770.345.0400

Cultivating Cherokee, the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce Quality of Life Publication is published and produced by Enjoy Magazine, Inc. Enjoy Magazine, Inc. reserves the right to edit all materials for clarity and space availability, and to determine the suitability of all materials submitted for publication. Reproduction, in whole or part, of this publication without the expressed or written consent of the publisher is strictly prohibited. Š Copyright 2017 by Enjoy Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved.



(continued on page 6)



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che r oke e count y school distr ict

Vital to the Success of the Community’s Business and Industry Growth


he Cherokee County School District’s (CCSD) mission is not economic development, but its role is vital to the success of the community’s business and industry growth. “Our mission is ‘Educating the Emerging Generation,’” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “Our high schools’ graduates are our community’s future workforce, entrepreneurs, and leaders. We take this mission very seriously and are committed to preparing each child for future success, whether that path is to a research university, technical college, military service, or directly into the workforce.” This focus on preparing students for future success begins in preschool, with CCSD offering three different early education programs, with an emphasis on reaching at-risk children. It continues in elementary school, with CCSD’s nationally recognized Cherokee Academies initiative. These six STEM and integrated arts schools incubate innovation, with new instructional techniques and resources continuously piloted. The best ideas generated in these Academies make their way into all of CCSD’s elementary schools, through collaborations ranging from a lesson plan database to implementation expansion of technology like 3D printers. All elementary schools explore careers, with each school creating unique ways to provide more answers to “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Students learn about STEM careers by interviewing NASA scientists aboard the International Space Station via videoconferencing technology. Students master workplace efficiency technology like tablets and Microsoft’s One Note - as easily as paper and pencil. “I’ve visited many schools around the world, and I can say that Cherokee County has some of the most impressive classrooms I’ve seen and staff I’ve met,” said Mike Tholfsen, Microsoft’s Principal Program Manager for One Note. “It was exciting to see how broadly the technology was not only being used but deeply integrated 8

Cherokee County School District a glance

• 41,787 students into the teaching and learning.” Middle school students throughout CCSD now all share the same experience of Grades 6-8 on one campus, expanding opportunities for advanced academics and fine arts and career electives. Every middle school provides students a growing list of high school credit classes in core subjects and electives, accelerating their college preparation. Every middle school also gives students greater career insights through expanded electives, guidance and career events, including the Chamber of Commerce’s popular career fairs. When students walk through the doors of a CCSD high school, they’re already more prepared for college or career than most of their peers nationwide.The next four years truly put them over the top, with the massive course guide selections ranging from a nationally recognized catalog of Advanced Placement (AP) college-credit classes to industry-certified programs in careers as varied as healthcare, welding, and filmmaking. For some students, the college or career experience begins in fewer than four years thanks to early graduation from the work-atyour-own-pace ACE Academy or dual-enrollment in local colleges and universities through the Move On When Ready program. The School District won a national Magna award for its school choice programs to offer high school students more scheduling flexibility. Additionally, each CCSD high school develops unique programs on its campus based on students’ interests. A partnership with Georgia Tech provides accelerated math courses at some campuses, just as some offer industry certified transportation classes that lead to jobs with major manufacturers. School choice isn’t limited to a child’s neighborhood school in CCSD, as options allow transfers for unique programs, as well as reassignments to any school with capacity. “We employ a team of 4,500 full-time employees and another 1,000 part-time and substitute workers,” Dr. Hightower said. “We work here, we live here, we raise our children and grandchildren here. We’re dedicated to educating and caring for our community’s most precious resource: our future.” u

• Ninth-largest school district in Georgia • Cherokee County’s largest employer: 4,500 fulltime, 1,000 part-time and at-will employees • 41 schools and centers (24 elementary, 7 middle, 6 high, 4 centers) • Cherokee Academies: 4 STEM Academies, 2 Fine Arts Academies (school choice program open to all Cherokee County families) • Q uality School System Accreditation from SACS-CASI (AdvancED) • 1577 average SAT Score – 3rd highest in State • 23.1 average ACT Score – 5th highest in State • National AP Honor Roll – four consecutive years • AP (Advanced Placement) Test passage rate – 3rd highest in State • All CCSD high schools named AP Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) or AP STEM Achievement Schools • All CCSD high schools named to the Washington Post’s list of “America’s Most Challenging High Schools” • Two-time National MAGNA Award Program honoree for innovation in education • Top 10 District in the Nation for technology use – 11th year on elite list • U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School District Sustainability Award winner



c hat taho o chee technical col lege

Offering Students the Essentials


hattahoochee Technical College (CTC) recently embarked on a new branding campaign with a message focused on “the Essentials.” To ensure the success of its graduates, Chattahoochee Tech strives to provide the tools that are ESSENTIAL for: • quality employment, • a pathway to additional higher education, • and ultimately, a greater quality of life for graduates. Chattahoochee Technical College makes this possible by providing programs relevant to the needs of local businesses and industry, ongoing student support, networking opportunities, and highly qualified instructors to provide students with essential skills needed to take the next step toward a successful life. “The Essentials” tagline was conceived after a year of extensive research and collaborative communication among administrators, faculty, staff, current students, high school students, and partners in the community. More than 60 percent of all constituents agreed the Essentials best represented CTC’s vision and mission. For Cherokee County, providing “the Essentials” means that CTC’s Woodstock Campus has opened its doors to the local business community. Largely used by the College’s


Center for Corporate and Professional Education (CCPE), the location is also home to the Cherokee Office of Economic Development, which assists companies seeking to improve, build, expand, or grow their current business operations within the county. Both the Canton and Woodstock Campuses host programs provided by the CCPE. The CCPE serves numerous businesses and organizations annually, ranging from Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services and the Cherokee County School District to Inalfa and Pilgrim’s Pride. The classes offered by the CCPE cover topics such as Basic Life Support, Microsoft Excel, ACT Work Keys and leadership training. The Woodstock Campus underwent an extensive renovation and reopened in October 2015. With a budgeted cost of $5.3 million, the 46,011 gross square-foot building includes 13 classrooms, a library, Student Success Center, faculty offices, office space, and a plaza area. Also, the Woodstock Campus is the exclusive home to CTC’s Interiors Program and its new Kitchen and Bath Designer Certificate Program. Located at The Bluffs, CTC’s Canton Campus can provide ESSENTIAL training for those interested in pursuing programs such as Early Childhood Care and Education, Air Conditioning Technology, and Business Management, alongside a number of general education and prerequisite courses. Being the eighth and newest campus to CTC, the Canton Campus opened its doors in 2011 with an enrollment population equal to 1 percent of the entire college. Currently, Canton makes up for more than 6 percent of the College’s enrollment. Getting a head start on a solid education foundation is ESSENTIAL to success in life. As the need for workready employees grows throughout the state of Georgia, Chattahoochee Technical College is helping meet that demand through the Move On When Ready program. Move On When Ready allows current high school students to begin taking college courses, enabling them to simultaneously earn credit toward a high school diploma and post-secondary requirements. From Spring Semester 2015 to Spring 2016, CTC’s MOWR program experienced a 91 percent increase in enrollment. In addition to serving high school students through MOWR, Chattahoochee Tech offers online and evening courses for those needing a more flexible schedule in order to begin or continue their post-secondary education. u

• The largest technical college in Georgia • Eight campus locations serving the counties of Bartow, Cherokee, Cobb, Gilmer, Paulding, and Pickens • More than 14,000 students enrolled in the past academic year • 56.4% of CTC’s students are female; 43.6% are male • CTC’s job placement rate is 97.2% • The most popular programs at Canton are Health Care Science, followed by Technical Specialist and then Business Management; at Woodstock, the most popular programs are Health Care Science, followed by Technical Specialist and then Associate of Applied Science



re inhar dt universit y


Creating a Place Where Each Student Thrives

ymphyotrichum georgianum, the uncommon name for a common, but rare flower – the Georgia aster – has taken center stage as a metaphor of Reinhardt University and each Reinhardt student.

Dr. Mark S. Roberts, who previously served as Reinhardt’s vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty for almost two years until he was named the university’s first provost in history in January 2017, crafted the poem “Thrive in the Fullness of Light” at the request of Dr. Kina S. Mallard upon the occasion of her inauguration in April 2016 with the idea of the ‘uncommonness’ of Reinhardt at the heart of the work. “I simply asked him to write a poem that would express the essence of Reinhardt and our students and who we are,” Mallard said. “Mark went far beyond my expectation with a remarkable work that perfectly captures the core principles and reflects the soul of all that we are working hard to make happen here at Reinhardt. He made our vision – to create a Reinhardt Experience where each student can thrive – the centerpiece of the poem, and it is a perfect interpretation of what we are working to achieve,” she added. But just what does it mean to create a place where each student can thrive? According to Mallard, “It’s a place where God-given talent, passion, creativity, and a willingness to work hard intersect and find a common stream in this big world in which we live.” Today’s Reinhardt is focused on preparing its students to thrive in whatever profession they choose, in their communities, and as citizens of a much bigger world. “You can look at Reinhardt and say ‘it’s just like any other university’, yet when you come to Reinhardt you realize that there are some very unique things going on here,” said Roberts. Wedged between an agriculture-based economy in rural communities in North Georgia and an everevolving economy whose growth in jobs is in fields like cybersecurity, high-tech manufacturing, and film and medical technologies, Reinhardt is growing and emerging in its own right.


Though rock-solid in its commitment to the liberal arts, the University is adding programs of study in nursing, strengthening its teacher education program, and building a full complement of online offerings all the while remaining laser-focused on creating a place where each student can succeed. “Reinhardt is extremely steeped in community,” says Roberts. Beyond the uncommon community, Reinhardt is thriving in the classroom and is being recognized by peers whose evaluations affect rankings. Acknowledging what Reinhardt faculty, staff, and alumni already know, Reinhardt has recently been recognized as a College of Distinction with three awards and has risen in the rankings produced by U.S. News & World Report, moving from 54th in 2015 to 29th in 2016. Grade point averages across the University are increasing, led by student-athletes whose cumulative GPA for last academic year was 3.28. According to Julie Fleming, vice president for enrollment management, the incoming freshman class this fall was the best-prepared class ever at Reinhardt with an incoming GPA of 3.11. Already known for the Falany Performing Arts Center, now in its 15th year, the University broke ground earlier this fall on its first-ever theater that will house its growing programs of theatre and musical theatre. The renovation of Lake Mullenix as part of President Mallard’s “Arts Around the Lake” project is under way and includes a series of cascading ponds, a wide path completely around the lake and an outdoor patio. That project was made possible by a gift from a generous donor, and a second phase is planned that includes completion of access to the Falany Performing Arts Center from the lakeside and an amphitheater as funds become available. Early next year the University will break ground for two new residence halls, and plans are in the works to expand the Gordy Dining Facility as enrollment continues to grow. All of these things are what it means to be a thriving university that is educating thriving students for a lifetime of service. Like the uncommon flower, symphyotrichum georgianum – the Georgia aster, says Roberts, “Reinhardt University is uncommon [and] unique.” At the end of the day, says Roberts, “Beauty and truth is what we’re all after, and the truth is what makes you thrive.” u

• Fall 2016 Enrollment: 1,484 • Total Minorities: 31.7% • Female: 47.8% / Male: 52.2% • Graduate Students: 7.4% Undergraduate Students: 92.6% • Number of Degrees Awarded in 2015-2016: 279 • Top 3 Programs (with highest enrollment as of Fall 2016): - Business Administration - Sports Studies - Biology • Student / Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1 • Average Class Size: 13 • 43 Programs of Study with a total of 65 concentrations 13


ke nne saw state universit y

A University on the Move


of Kennesaw State on November 1, 2016. Olens, former attorney general for Georgia, said that becoming president of KSU is a role he is passionate about because of the role education has played in his own life.

A University Honors Program student, Daniel graduated with Kennesaw State’s highest academic honor – Honors Scholar – and in doing so was the university’s first Honors Scholar to earn three simultaneous degrees. Daniel aspires to be involved in investing in the pharmaceutical industry and the development of cancer-fighting drugs. He feels that his knowledge of finance and economics gives him an understanding of investing, while his biology background will enable him to target specific companies and drugs for investments.

During Olens’ first months as president, he said increasing the number of scholarships is among his top priorities.

ole Daniel celebrated his graduation from Kennesaw State University by receiving not one degree, but three. He received bachelor’s degrees in biology, economics, and finance at the university’s December commencement.

“I have personally experienced the life-changing nature of education,” Olens said. “It was education that enabled me to overcome some of the challenges in my own life, which has now afforded me so many opportunities.”

“I believe that education plays a central role in our society, especially for students who lack the privileges many others enjoy.”

A rare accomplishment, Daniel is just one of the more than 35,000 students at Kennesaw State who are pursuing their dreams of a college education at Georgia’s third-largest university and one of the 50 largest public universities in the country.

Now with campuses in Kennesaw and Marietta, the university is experiencing tremendous growth. In fall 2016, enrollment increased 5 percent compared to 2015, with much of the growth coming from first-time freshman and transfer students, along with a 12 percent increase in new graduate students.

Daniel’s passion for education is something he has in common with Sam Olens, who became the fourth president

This growth solidifies KSU’s position as a destination campus with a wide spectrum of quality academic programs –


nationally ranked programs in business, engineering and first-year programs, as well as premier teaching, nursing, architecture, science and math programs – a growing and vibrant campus life, and NCAA Division I athletics. A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State offers students more than 150 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees within its 13 colleges. The diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe with an alumni network of more than 100,000. In February 2016, The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Learning elevated the university to doctoral research institution (R3) status, which was a reflection of Kennesaw State’s growth in doctoral program offerings and research activity. As a result, U.S. News & World Report recognized the university in its 2017 Best Colleges issues among its list of top national universities. This ranking represents an elevation from KSU’s previous ranking as a regional university and places it among the best universities in the country. u


• Total enrollment: 35,018 • Size: 581 acres on the Kennesaw and Marietta campuses combined • Total degree programs: More than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees • On campus housing capacity: 5,200 beds on the Kennesaw and Marietta campuses combined with eight residence halls • Number of alumni: More than 100,000 • Economic impact: $1.3 billion (based on a report by

the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, 2015)

• Students participating in continuing education classes: 18,009 • Athletic teams: 18 NCAA Division I sports







e live in a day and age when there is a myriad of medical advancements that can help us to live healthier and stronger. At Northside Hospital-Cherokee, leading experts in orthopedics and sports medicine provide collaborative, comprehensive, and state-of-the-art bone and muscle care – from conservative and nonsurgical therapies and pain management to minimally invasive outpatient joint replacements, allowing patients to go home within a few hours after surgery. Rehabilitation Services Being the best you can be is sometimes challenging when faced with a loss of physical ability due to a sportsrelated injury, pain, joint replacement surgery, or other musculoskeletal, neurologic, or degenerative disorder. The rehabilitation specialists at Northside Hospital-Cherokee are committed to offering a wide variety of high-quality services tailored for all ages to allow for the best possible outcomes - no matter what stage of life or recovery you are in. Licensed physical therapists, with more than 15 years’ experience each, work in cooperation with Northside orthopedic surgeons to examine and develop a customized plan of care to help you improve your ability to move, perform activities of daily living, and regain your independence. They provide one-on-one care and offer a variety of treatment techniques including strengthening and conditioning, Kinesio taping, dry needling, arm/hand therapy, custom splints, and more – all in a brand new location.

Northside Hospital-Cherokee’s new Outpatient Rehabilitation Services facility is more easily accessible from I-575 in Canton and is much larger, with more private treatment rooms and an expansive gym for patient care that features all-new equipment to serve patients’ needs better. Interventional Pain Treatment Services Pain is your body’s natural response to injury or illness. Whether acute or chronic, pain is not easily measured, diagnosed, or treated. Chronic pain can be debilitating and have devastating consequences for its sufferers and those around them. (continued on page 18)


ACADEMICS UNDERGRADUATE More than 40 areas of study with a 12:1 student to faculty ratio 98% of first-semester students receive financial aid GRADUATE Convenient, Affordable, Career-focused, Game Changing ADULT/ONLINE Online options to fit your busy schedule Multiple start dates, Start when you are ready Maximize your career path

ATHLETICS 500+ scholarship athletes compete at Reinhardt RU fields 12 teams with GPA’s over 3.0

ENGAGING OUR COMMUNITY President’s College Bringing free seminars to our communities

Community Gathering Join us on campus for engaging discussions

Funk Heritage Center Nationally recognized Trail of Tears History Center

Falany Performing Arts Center Quality fine arts programming 7300 Reinhardt Circle, Waleska GA 30183 | (770) 720-5600

H E A LT H C A R E (Northside Hospital continued from page 16)

At the Pain Treatment Center at Northside HospitalCherokee, an experienced team of pain treatment physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, physical therapists, and additional medical professionals are committed to providing individualized care and treatment. They use state-of-the-art practices to diagnose and manage your acute or chronic pain. All physicians are board-certified and fellowship trained in interventional pain treatment. Same-day Total Joint Replacement Whenever possible (and in some patients it is), joint pain should be relieved conservatively and patients restored to active lifestyles without surgery. But when nonsurgical treatments are exhausted, and injections have failed, worn-out arthritic joints are then (and only then) considered replaceable. Northside Hospital-Cherokee offers experts in sameday (outpatient) total-joint replacements for hip and knee, direct anterior hip replacements and complex revision surgeries. The hospital recently received recertification from The Joint Commission for its superior hip and knee joint replacement services.

foot and ankle surgeons at Northside Hospital-Cherokee are helping to get people back on their feet. Ankle replacement surgery relieves debilitating pain and discomfort caused by arthritis while restoring and maintaining ankle motion in people with compromised ankle function. During the 2-3 hour surgical procedure, the ankle joint is exposed, diseased cartilage and bone are removed, and a metal and lightweight plastic bearing is inserted. In general, healthy, non-diabetic patients who have exhausted non-surgical treatment and continue to experience painful and disabling ankle arthritis are ideal candidates for ankle replacement. Hand Surgery Our hands serve many purposes. They help us eat, dress, write, earn a living, and create art, among many other activities. To accomplish these tasks and activities, our hands require our joints, tendons, and muscles to work correctly. When they don’t, care must be given to all the different types of tissues that make the function of the hand possible. Hand surgeons are specifically trained to give that care.

Total-joint specialists at Northside Hospital were the first in Georgia to perform same-day total-joint replacements regularly. Their experience, combined with more advanced operating room and anesthesia methods, allow the surgical team to operate more efficiently and accurately with smaller incisions, less muscle damage, less blood loss and less postoperative pain.

At Northside Hospital-Cherokee, hand surgeons use the latest advancements and techniques in orthopedics to return patients to a high-functional level and explore minimallyinvasive techniques and conservative care whenever possible. They treat a wide range of hand and upper-extremity conditions in both adults and children including fractures, arthritis, sports injuries, rotator cuff disease, tennis/golfers elbow, and nerve injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Five years ago the average joint patient in the U.S. was hospitalized 3-4 days after surgery. Today, 65 percent of patients who undergo joint replacement at Northside return home within four hours.

Northside Hospital-Cherokee provides state-of-the-art facilities for its patients and the community and looks forward to continuing this reputation for high-quality care at the replacement Northside Hospital-Cherokee, opening in 2017. u

All orthopedic surgeons at Northside Hospital-Cherokee are consistently doing joint replacements year after year with outstanding results due to their skills and desire to treat each patient individually and with personal care. They are committed to returning patients to their homes, activities, and quality of life as quickly and safely as possible.

For more information, visit

Ankle Replacement Most people have heard of knee or hip replacements, but the replacement of aging ankle joints is also gaining ground. By replacing the arthritic or injured ankles with artificial joints, 18

A Unit of the Technical College System of Georgia. Equal Opportunity Institution.

Cardiovascular Medicine ENT Family & Internal Medicine Imaging OB/GYN Pediatrics Sleep Center Urgent Care WellStar Kennestone Hospital

H E A LT H C A R E (WellStar continued from page 20)

About WellStar Health System WellStar Health System, the largest health system in Georgia, is known nationally for its innovative care models, focused on improving quality and access to healthcare. WellStar consists of WellStar Medical Group with 240 medical office locations, outpatient centers, health parks, a pediatric center, nursing centers, hospice, and homecare, as well as 11 hospitals: WellStar Atlanta Medical Center, WellStar Atlanta Medical Center South, WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center (anchored by WellStar Kennestone Hospital), WellStar West Georgia Medical Center, and WellStar Cobb, Douglas, North Fulton, Paulding, Spalding Regional, Sylvan Grove, and Windy Hill Hospitals. As a not-for-profit, WellStar continues to reinvest in the health of the communities it serves with new technologies and treatments. For more information, visit

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n late 2016, international engine manufacturer YANMAR America Corporation broke ground on their new training and customer experience facility along the Cherokee 75 Corridor. At the groundbreaking, they gifted a small shovel to attendees. You could say that shovel is an emblem of the future growth plan provided by the ‘Opportunity Cherokee’ strategic blueprint launched in late 2015. It certainly has corporations like YANMAR, adidas, thyssenkrupp, Piolax, Universal Alloy, Jaipur Living, Inalfa, MSK Covertech and LAT Apparel digging in and planting roots in Cherokee County. “The ‘Opportunity Cherokee’ strategy is an enterprising five-year plan that capitalizes on the community’s assets,” said Marshall Day, Chairman of the Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED). “We’re focused on creating

job opportunities for the 79% of out-commuting workers leaving the county every day.” One year later, the results speak for themselves. The collaboration with strategic partners in education, healthcare, commercial, and industrial development, infrastructure, film, and workforce provided the right landscape for new and existing industries to commit to 1,300 jobs and an overall investment of approximately $210 million dollars in Cherokee County. COED saw record highs in business prospects in 2016. Development partners like Rooker, Majestic Realty, and Core5 realized the demand for Cherokee and are investing in more than 800,000 square feet of speculative space set to hit the Cherokee market in 2017. This type of economic growth can only be attained through planning, innovation, and

(continued on page 26) 24

adidas found space and grace in cherokee county Recently, corporations like adidas, Jaipur Living, YANMAR America and others have migrated corporate facilities to the Cherokee 75 Corporate Corridor where we have the space and plenty of grace to help businesses grow.

the 185 year old startup community Cherokee County has long been a great place for enterprising fresh starts. In the 1800s, settlers came digging for gold. Later, mills began grinding. The mid-century hatching of the agriculture industry put Cherokee County on the world map.

from kids to CEOs In that spirit, we’ve launched the Fresh Start Cherokee initiative. From kids to CEOs, we provide entrepreneurial education for our next generation and growth support for our next wave of startups. Part of that support is the new co-work space, The Circuit.

a fresh air, high growth incubator of dreams We have the talent you need to start or grow your business, just ask innovative companies like Reformation Brewery and FactoryMation, Georgia Small Business Rock Star award winners.

forget the commute

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Breaking Ground continued from page 24)

leadership provided by the COED and its strategic partners. Cherokee’s educational partners are not just educators – they are economic developers. The tie between education and economic development is indisputable. Regions with strong local economies provide the foundation for students graduating from high school prepared to either enter the workforce or continue their education. Producing a quality workforce is a top priority for educational partners including the Cherokee County School District (CCSD), Reinhardt University, and Chattahoochee Technical College. CCSD has six Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Academies providing a solid foundation along the educational journey. Canton Elementary School was awarded the 2016 STEM Education Award by the leading technology industry association in the state; Technology Association of Georgia (TAG). In addition to the STEM Academies, the CCSD has the highest SAT scores in metropolitan Atlanta and ranked in the top three school districts within the state. Northside Hospital’s recent $286 million investment is also a testament to the growth of the economy in Cherokee. Northside’s plan to open a replacement hospital in mid-2017 will create hundreds of new jobs. The timing couldn’t be better as Reinhardt University launches its new School of Nursing and Health Sciences (SNHS) in the 2017-2018 academic year. “Reinhardt University and Northside Hospital have had a long and strong partnership that now includes working together on


the university’s new bachelor of science in nursing program,” said Dr. Kina Mallard, president of Reinhardt University. “Reinhardt is committed to providing nursing students with an exceptional education where they learn the skills and proficiencies to enter the workplace prepared to deliver competent and caring health care for Cherokee County.” Pending accreditation approval, classes for a baccalaureate degree in nursing will be offered at Reinhardt beginning in January 2018. Future aspirations include an RN to BSN program for current registered nurses looking to obtain a baccalaureate degree. One of the most exciting undertakings for COED in 2016 was taking on the formation of an entrepreneurship program in Cherokee County. Also in 2016, COED collocated its office with the Chattahoochee Technical College-Woodstock campus and the City of Woodstock Economic Development Office in the historic Woodstock elementary school. The Fresh Start Cherokee program was hatched from the collaboration between the three entities including the opening of The Circuit. The Circuit, a 3,000-square foot gymnasium retrofitted for modern co-working, is the site of the new CTC student success center and co-working space that will house a coffee shop, conference room space, dedicated offices, desks, and hot desks. Jonathan Chambers, Cherokee’s Community Manager of Entrepreneurship, was hired to foster entrepreneurship and business development community-wide. “I was one of those statistics commuting out of Cherokee County before this role (continued on page 60)


TOP 10 IN 10

Each year enjoy!Cherokee and the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce honor ten local professionals with the honor of being named one of Cherokee County’s Top 10 in 10 Young Professionals to Watch. These outstanding residents of Cherokee County exhibit exceptional qualities that will no doubt serve not only them in their chosen careers, but help create the future leadership of our community.


Rachel Ashe

William E. Carlan

Cherokee County Solicitor-General’s Office Assistant Solicitor-General

Hasty Pope, LLP/Cherokee County Magistrate Court Attorney/Judge

Joining the Cherokee County Solicitor-General’s Office as an Assistant Solicitor-General in January 2013, Rachel Ashe is responsible for the prosecution of misdemeanor traffic and criminal offenses in the State Court of Cherokee County. The primary focus of her job is DUI and domestic violence offenses, “I have taken a personal interest in the prosecution of domestic violence offenses because the victims of these crimes are often in no position to speak for themselves.” Additionally, she also argues motions, handles arraignments, and manages many other court appearances.

Will Carlan is a very busy man; he currently holds two professional positions as an attorney and part-time Magistrate Judge. A trial attorney with Hasty Pope, he works to protect the rights and interests of injured adults and children in Cherokee County and throughout the state. “Much of my practice involves assisting injured workers. As attorneys we are charged with helping our clients; as communityfocused attorneys, we believe in educating employers and business owners on their rights and best practices to ensure a healthy and protected workforce. I am very proud of my work advising all different members of our community.”

One of her professional goals is to increase awareness and the success rates in the prosecution of domestic violence cases. “While these are some of the most severe cases we prosecute, they are also the most difficult to win. I believe by strengthening the training of law enforcement officers, strengthening our relationship with the Family Violence Center, and also continuing outreach efforts with victims of domestic violence; we will see an increase in the success rates.” She is very active in the community. A member of the Blue Ridge Bar Association, she has served in several leadership positions; in 2014-2015 as the Law Day Committee Chair and as Secretary during the 2015-2016. Her concern for the youth of our county is evident. She has served as the organizer of charitable events for co-workers with the Solicitor-General’s office. She has organized toy drives, Easter egg hunts for the children in the Family Violence Center, back-toschool backpack drives and numerous food drives for the SolicitorGeneral’s office. Again, offering support to the Family Violence Center, by teaching English classes. Ashe is also a member of the Canton Optimist Club and has recently joined the Service League of Cherokee County. As a member of Canton First United Methodist Church, Ashe serves as a Sunday school teacher for first and second graders. Ashe received her Juris Doctorate from Georgia State University in 2012 where she graduated Cum Laude and was awarded the Nai Karimimanesh Award.

As a Magistrate Judge, Carlan handles hearings at the jail, setting bonds for those charged with crimes, and signing and receiving search warrants and arrest warrants. “I am passionate about our criminal justice system, and I believe our best system will strike a fair balance between justice and safety.” In the future, he would like to see a greater focus placed on educating the community of the role of the judicial system and how community services could be implemented to avoid the need for judicial oversight. A native of Cherokee County, he is dedicated to giving back to the community that supported him in his youth. As a volunteer at his alma mater, Cherokee County High School, he judges Senior Projects. As well as mentoring students offering guidance and encouragement to continue their education or professional goals. He also works with Boy Scout Troops in the area. “Whether working on a merit badge or helping with a food drive, those scouts are learning skills that will guide and empower them through all stages of life.” Carlan is also active with the Cherokee Arts Board. He has served in many capacities for the local bar association in Cherokee County including as President, Vice President, Secretary, and Law Day Chairman. He is a board member of the Cherokee County Juvenile Court’s Foundations Program, which is designed to assist, educate, and encourage teenagers in the foster care system. Of his many accomplishments, Carlan is most proud of his Eagle Scout Award from Troop 241 here in Canton. 29

Ashley T. Carlile

Brittany Duncan

Thompson, Meier & King, P.C. Attorney/Partner

City of Woodstock

Recently named Partner at Thompson, Meier & King, Ashley Carlile specializes in the areas of family, criminal and juvenile law. She handles all aspects of the legal process from the initial consultation through trial. As a Partner, she helps develop and implement strategies to ensure the continued success of the firm.

In 2007 as a recent college graduate, Brittany Duncan, began her career with the Woodstock Police Department as an Administrative Assistant to the Chief of Police and Command Staff. She quickly rose through the ranks and was promoted to Public Information Officer in 2009. In this position, her responsibilities include providing administrative support for the Police Chief and Command Staff, provide notifications through social media, such as precise information on incidents and conditions to keep the citizens of Woodstock informed. Duncan acts as the liaison between the City’s Police and Fire departments and media, fulfilling media inquiries and performs interviews with media when requested, as well as distributing authorized media releases.

Her goal is to “Continue to grow my litigation practice while maintaining a small town/caring feel about our firm.” Looking to the future, Carlile will pursue two possible directions for her long term career. The first being a majority equity partner of Thompson, Meier & King and become a judge in Cherokee County, either in Juvenile Court or Superior Court. She currently serves as the President of the Blue Ridge Bar Association and is very active with their community outreach program. In the past, she was Vice President, Secretary, and Law Day Chair. As a member of the Service League of Cherokee County where she most recently served as vice-chair for the Service League Ball. Carlile will act as the 2016-2017 Chair of the Entertainment Committee for Riverfest and Chair for the Service League Ball. At Cherokee High School she serves as Mock Trial coach. She is also a member of Leadership Cherokee Class of 2016. She received her Juris Doctor from Thomas M. Cooley Law School where she placed in the top 27% of the class. She received a Leadership Achievement Award recognizing her as a leader within the law school. When reflecting on her role in the Cherokee County, “I am very involved with the community and strive to make Cherokee County a better place to live for everyone.”

Administrative Coordinator/Public Information Officer

In the future, Duncan’s goal is to grow within the City of Woodstock in a role keeping community stakeholders up to date on all that goes on in the community. “As the City grows, so does the need to relay information on events, incidents, and City news through one source.” She is very dedicated to the community through volunteerism. Duncan also serves as a member of the WPD Reserve Unit as a Volunteer Police Officer after completion of the Police Academy in 2011. Also, she serves as Secretary for the Woodstock Public Safety Foundation. This foundation funds such things as Shop with a Hero, the emergency fund for Police Officers and Firefighters, the Police Explorers, and the purchase of non-budgeted training and equipment. Duncan has spread her devotion throughout the world as a CoreTeam member in the Be Free Revolution. The mission of this group is to help communities in Kenya and Uganda by empowering them with trades for sustainability and using those skills to help with local feeding, education, and counseling programs in schools and orphanages. She is an active member of the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce. A member of Leadership Cherokee Class of 2015, she currently serves on the Government Affairs Committee for the Chamber. Duncan is a twice honored Woodstock Police Department Civilian of the Year in 2009 and 2010. In 2016, she received the Tessa Basford Community Service Award, recognizing her contributions to the Woodstock Police Department and helping make the City of Woodstock a better place.


Melissa Forrester

Amy Graham

City of Canton Accounting Services Manager

Cherokee County Board of Education Principal, Johnston Elementary School

The City of Canton is fortunate to be served by dedicated Accounting Services Manager, Melissa Forrester. From reviewing procedures and internal controls, preparing reports and budgets, to responding to public inquiries and requests, she is responsible for the oversight of all fiscal aspects of the city’s business. To improve communication with citizens of the community, Forrester spearheaded the creation of a quarterly newsletter which is currently in its third year of production. She also has voluntarily participated in training courses and activities with the Canton Police and Fire Departments for emergency management. “I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to work in close collaboration with public safety personnel and am happy to serve the city in this capacity.”

With 17 years of experience in education, Amy Graham is currently the Principal at Johnston Elementary School. Her role is to foster the education of all students, communicate the vision of the school with stakeholders, manage personnel, execute a fiscal budget and provide a positive school climate. The goal working with her students is to build strong, positive relationships while providing a safe and secure learning environment with access to the State curriculum. Graham works with community stakeholders by facilitating partnership agreements with local businesses and providing opportunities for parent and community involvement. By ensuring a positive working environment through a climate of trust and shared decision-making and high expectations enables staff retention which is vital to the success of the school. Over the next five years, it is her goal to continue to further Cherokee County’s Major System Priorities and mission at Johnston Elementary, mainly focusing on writing scores, decreasing the gap in the performance of student subgroups and increase the average daily attendance. “A new motto for the school next year is #youmatter. Each child is unique and has so much to offer socially, emotionally and academically. We want to encourage healthy minds and bodies for all students by incorporating and encouraging exercise to increase student achievement.” Graham has a leadership style that revolves around service, which is exemplified in her membership in the Service League of Cherokee County. A member for over a decade, this has afforded her the opportunity to serve the children of Cherokee County in a different capacity. She is especially proud of the funds the group raises, “All of the money we collectively raise goes directly back to our children to purchase glasses, Christmas gifts, clothing and food, provide scholarships as well as pay for electrical water bills for families in need. The experience is humbling to know how many families we have been able to assist in the 80-plus years of the league.” She has been recognized for both her civic activities as well as her professional accomplishments. In 2011-2012 she was named the Service League Member of the Year. In 2013 while at Teasley Middle, she was a finalist for the Assistance Principal of the Year for Georgia Association of Secondary Principals. Johnston Elementary has been recognized under Graham’s leadership in 2015. Those include the Governor’s Shape Honor Roll Gold Recognition, the American Heart Association Platinum Fit-Friendly Recipient, and the High-Performance Healthy Schools Recognition. She is married to Frank Graham and has two children.

While working as Accounting Services Manager has been the most challenging and fulfilling in her career, she says, “I’ve learned a lot about government processes and operations in the last eight years, and I expect to learn something new every day moving forward. Local government offers a tremendous variety of services, functions, and people to work with, and it’s satisfying to know that my daily efforts contribute towards building and uniting our community.” In the community, Forrester has committed time and financial resources where a local need is recognized. A devoted wife and mother to three children, she has volunteered and contributed to programs benefiting PTAs and student organizations. She has served as an assistant coach for boys basketball teams with the Cherokee Recreation & Parks Agency. Her family enjoys supporting toy drives and fundraisers for churches, Masonic Lodges, and sports teams. Always looking to grow and affect positive change, she is a 2016 graduate of Reinhardt University’s Advantage MBA program. She looks forward to passing the CPA exam as her next professional milestone. She and her husband, Dexter, are owners of Vision Pest Management.


Todd Hayes

Rory Hekking

Office of the Cherokee County Solicitor-General Chief Solicitor-General

Etowah Veterinary Hospital Medical Director

As Cherokee County’s Chief Assistant Solicitor-General, Todd Hayes serves as the primary advisor to the Solicitor-General, regarding public statements, media interactions, case assignments, personnel matters, policy decisions, and other related office activities. He also manages the prosecution of misdemeanor offenses, from accusation through disposition, assigned to the courtroom of State Court Judge Michelle Homier. Hayes also directly handles or oversees the preparation and presentation of major cases, including complex litigation, high-profile crimes and defendants and all Second Degree Vehicular Homicide prosecutions.

Local Veterinarian with Etowah Veterinary Hospital was recently promoted to Medical Director for the practice. His veterinary duties include examinations on both sick and healthy pets, perform surgical and dental procedures, and guide clients on pet care through all life stages of their pets. In his new capacity as Medical Director, he is responsible for ensuring the medical protocols and standards allow for the doctors and staff to provide high-quality care to our patients. He also oversees all staff responsibilities such as training, goal setting and recognizing achievements. As a small business, he is also responsible for marketing, including community outreach and social media marketing.

In addition to his supervisory and prosecutorial responsibilities, he serves as the primary back-up to the Solicitor-General. He also plays a vital role in the development and maintenance of harmonious professional relations with agencies outside the Solicitor-General’s Office. His focus for the next five years includes two primary goals, first to be an effective sounding board and reliable advisor to Solicitor-General Jessica K. Moss, by identifying and taking responsibility for some tasks, which could prevent her from fulfilling the larger purposes of the office. Secondly, he strives to improve the quality of misdemeanor prosecution in Cherokee County. This includes staff retention and strengthening relationships with all Cherokee law enforcement agencies and the District Attorney’s office, “Also, my unique expertise in traffic prosecution will allow the office to help increase safety on Cherokee’s roads by bringing more and better training to officers and prosecutors, and by encouraging high visibility enforcement strategies such as roadblocks, nighttime seatbelt enforcement, and the use of search warrants in DUI cases. Hayes is currently a member of Canton Optimist Club and the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of First Baptist Church Atlanta where he serves as a Church Deacon, Worship Team member, and Sunday school teacher. He also offers his support as a volunteer to Pregnancy Resources of Doraville and the Homeschool group, Classical Conversations of Woodstock. His has received numerous recognitions for his professional accomplishments. In November 2015 he served as course administrator, Prosecuting Attorney’s Council of Georgia’s (PACGA) “Train the Trainer” course. He was Administrator for the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Traffic Safety Courses. In 2014, he was recognized by GOHS and MADD for providing outstanding DUI training to officers and prosecutors. In 2011 he was named Assistant Solicitor-General of the Year by

“I have established short and long term goals for our practice, including increasing our clientele and continually growing and adapting to clients’ needs. I will also connect with local rescue organizations to provide benefits to them, their pets, and the families that adopt them.” As he continues his career at Etowah Veterinary Hospital, he is working toward his goal of owning his small animal veterinary practice. He would also like to help in the creation of a Veterinary Technician program with one of the local colleges. Outside of work, Hekking serves as an assistant pastor of my congregation and oversee the welfare of a large group of families. “I am responsible for members and non-members, and our purpose is to ensure the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of all.” Perhaps one of his proudest accomplishments is also one of his earliest when he achieved the ranking of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. Other accomplishments include the Community Practice Recognition Award. This award recognizes the stop student in the general practice rotation in veterinary school. Since graduation, he has been honored to be selected to the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association Power of 10 program. This is the pilot group for this program which will act a steering committee to increase the scope and influence of the GVMA. They have developed a mentorship program, social media outreach system and continuing education workshops.

the Georgia Association of Solicitors. 32

Angela Weaver Reece

Cory Wilson

Mauldin Body Shop and Towing Manager and Corporate Secretary

Bank of North Georgia, a Division of Synovus Bank Vice President and Regional Retail Manager

Mauldin Body Shop, Inc. is a third generation family business that was started by Angela Weaver Reece’s grandfather. Comprised of two divisions, the full-service body shop for auto body repairs, painting and frame/unibody repair and the towing and recovery division. Reece is responsible for the not only for the accounting aspects of the company but also the scheduling of repair work in the body shop, ordering parts and assigning the duties to various technicians. All the while tracking the process to ensure the work is completed promptly. As for the towing division, she describes it as “Where I get to have fun. This is my domain where I go out and direct the major incidents we are called to. It may be an overturned tractor and trailer or a call to assist the fire department with an auto crash involving a person trapped in the vehicle.”

Cory Wilson has been a member of the Bank of North Georgia team for 16 years. He has served in a variety of leadership positions in retail banking, commercial banking, training, strategic planning and regional management. Currently, Vice President and Retail Sales Manager, Wilson is responsible for sales management, budgeting, strategic planning, human resource management, team member development, community management and customer experience. He leads 13 locations in the Metropolitan Atlanta area in addition to ten branches in the Birmingham market. His leadership encompasses twenty-three branches, approximately 120 team members and a combined assets of over $1.5 billion.

She is accomplished in her field, she is trained in extrication, traffic incident management, CPR, AED, First Responder certified, WreckMaster towing and certified operator, TRIP Level 2 Supervisor for the state of Georgia, GDOT State Certified Flagger, Incident Management through the National Safety Council, NIMS, National Incident Management System trained through Homeland Security, SHRP 2 certified through Federal Highway for first responder safety, and Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue. Reece is very active in the community. She is a committed member of the Service League of Cherokee County, Cherokee County Historical Society, Safe Kids of Cherokee County, Union Hill United Methodist Church, Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services, Ghost Out, Traffic Incident Management Enhancement Task Force of Georgia, and is a certified Georgia Firefighter and First Responder. She is a 2015 Leadership Cherokee Class alumni. She has served as Secretary for the Towing and Recovery Association of Georgia for ten years. And she has also served on several committees for the Georgia English Bulldog Rescue and the Bully Ball Committee.

Wilson is currently completing his graduate level studies through CBA Executive Banking School at Furman University, “This will further enhance my skill set, which will lead me to the role of Director of Retail Banking for Synovus Bank.” He is also dedicated to community leadership roles, “I am committed to the concept of servant leadership, which means leading by service to others.” He displays his belief of servant leadership with his community involvement. He is a board member and treasurer of the Cherokee County Historical Society, which is focused on the historic preservation of our county assets. As a member of the board of Canton Main Street, he helps guide the development and economic revitalization of core downtown assets. He is an active member and volunteer with the Cherokee Arts Council via the Canton Festival of the Arts, educational programs and overall programs focused on furthering the arts in Cherokee County. He is the leader and coordinator of the Bank of North Georgia Annual Peanut Butter and Jelly Drive. Also, he works with the Feed the Hungry Initiative for Action Ministries, which raises money for local food pantries. In 2015 he was named as a citizen appointee for the City of Canton Parks and Recreation task force.

Her husband Brian is a career firefighter for Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services. They are the devoted parents of their daughter who is a second grader at Canton Community Christian School.



ball ground



all Ground came into existence as a town in 1882 when a survey of the Marietta and North Georgia rail line positioned the line through the downtown. Railroad Officials built a depot and divided the land into town lots and held a sale of them in April 1882. Nearly all the lots were bought at once and the town immediately began to build. Prior to 1882 the town consisted mainly of two country stores and about six dwellings. After the sale, the town’s population grew to almost 250 residents. There were many new buildings, three church organizations, a high school, and a City Hall was established. In the fall term of the legislature of 1883, the municipal (city) government was formed. Incorporators of the town were W.A. Hayes, W.J. Boling, Captain Patterson H. Lyon, M. G. Bates, and J. A. Byers. The first election was held in 1884. Those elected were Captain Patterson H. Lyon, Mayor; Dr. A. M. F. Hawkins, W. A. Hayes, R. J. Boling and J. H. Kilby as council members. The first Marshal (police officer) was J. N. Percell. The city has come a long way since 1883. Today, Ball Ground boasts a population of 1,735 and is growing. If you want a quiet small town to raise a family and come home to after a hard day of work, then you’ve found it.

Ball Ground’s proximity to I-575 and GA SR 400 gives easy access to larger cities such as Atlanta, Marietta, and Chattanooga. If your way of traveling is flying, Ball Ground is minutes from the Cherokee County Airport, which recently expanded to over 5,000 linear feet and is able to accommodate larger aircraft and corporate jets. The airport is also nationally known for quality aircraft maintenance and service programs, specializing in 400 series Cessna aircraft. The city’s Historic Downtown is experiencing the most economic growth that it has seen in over 20 years. What were once vacant buildings are now becoming restaurants and unique places to shop. The Corner District, located downtown, is a historic site that once was the home of Ball Ground’s first general store and warehouse. Now it is known as an eclectic North Georgia wedding and event venue. The Wheeler House is another historic site transformed into a special events venue and has been featured on “Say Yes to the Dress” on TLC. City leaders are very optimistic about the future of Ball Ground, and they invite you to visit and see why they say “Ball Ground Rocks!” u

about Ball Ground

• 1985: Alfred W. Roberts House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the only house in Cherokee County that has this recognition • December, 2009: Ball Ground Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places • 2007 - 2015: Received Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association • Winner of Environmental Protection Agency Water Taste Test • 2015 - 2016: Georgia Main Street Center and National Main Street American Accredited Program






anton is a humble and charming city filled with diverse and bold citizens, entrepreneurs, and businesses. The community is surrounded by the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is only 40 quick miles north of the international city of Atlanta. Throughout Canton’s history, the city has always been a place of opportunity. From the days of the Canton Cotton Mills to modern-day Canton, people have sought out the city’s oneof-a-kind hometown feel. Canton’s population is booming and more than tripled between 2000-2010. In 2000, the city’s population was 7,709. That number reached 22,958 by the 2010 U.S. Census. New and old citizens alike enjoy quality housing options and accessibility to excellent healthcare, among many other hometown perks. There are a plethora of shopping and dining choices at Historic Downtown Canton, Canton Marketplace, and on Riverstone Parkway. Residents also take great pride in being the home of the Cherokee County School District, whose SAT and ACT scores consistently top State and National averages. Within Canton’s borders sits a 700-acre planned development ripe for investment known as The Bluffs, Northside HospitalCherokee whose expansion plans include a nearly $300 million investment in a brand-new 50-acre complex, Chattahoochee Technical College’s Canton Campus, the Hickory Log Creek Reservoir that includes one of the largest dams in Georgia and built with the community’s long-term regional water needs in

mind, and a number of industries with whom the city works diligently to retain and help expand. Canton is also one of the few cities in Georgia with two opportunity zones, including all 700+ acres of The Bluffs and much of the old Canton Cotton Textile Mills area. This means businesses that create two or more full-time jobs are eligible to receive a State income tax credit. As the county seat of Cherokee County, Historic Downton Canton is always buzzing. Residents and visitors join in the fun of over 30 unique annual events from Main Street Canton, community hosted parades, and Zombie Fest - Georgia’s Largest Zombie Street Festival. Downtown Canton also features new businesses alongside some that have operated continuously for over half a century, further showcasing residents’ love for the city’s historic roots while embracing the future. Canton’s history is tied to the Etowah River, and the city’s parks system is ever-increasing, largely due to its natural flow through Canton. The brand new 81-acre Etowah River Park features three full-size athletic playing fields, an amphitheater, a footbridge over the Etowah River, playground, trail connecting to Heritage Park, and a canoe launch to showcase the natural beauty of the community. There’s something for everyone in Canton; come see! u

about Canton • County Seat and Service Hub for Cherokee County • Median Household Income: $50,071 • Average Home Value: $168,609 • Voted one of the most charming towns in Georgia by • Recognized as a City of Excellence • Designated as a Tree City USA and Main Street City • Population: 25,469 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 estimate)



holly springs



he City of Holly Springs was incorporated in 1906 around the busy train depot established by the Louisville & Nashville (L&N) Railroad. Holly Springs was once known for its “green marble” quarry on the west side of the City as well as a destination for local farmers to ship their goods on the L&N Railroad. As Metropolitan Atlanta has grown over the past several decades, the City of Holly Springs has become more suburban in character with light industry, commercial establishments, and numerous residential developments. The City is located in the center of Cherokee County approximately 35 miles north of Atlanta on I-575 and currently consists of 6.91 square miles.

Project is on target for completion in the spring of 2017. The Industrial Connector Scoping Project is also underway. Traffic counts and data collection were completed in December 2016, and the City and AECOM, the project consultant, will be conducting a public information open house in 2017 to receive input from City residents and business owners regarding the proposed route of the Industrial Connector from Hickory Road to Holly Springs Parkway.

The City strives to improve the lives of its residents through the creation of new parks and recreation venues, upgrades to stormwater infrastructure, roads, and sidewalks, the redevelopment of the downtown core area, and the acquisition of vehicles and equipment for public safety. The Mayor and City Council are very proactive in planning for the future and initiating projects to meet future needs of the community.

In early 2017, the City sent out a request for proposals (RFP) for a master developer for the construction of the Town Center Project. The schematic plan that was approved by the City Council and the DDA includes the redevelopment of approximately twenty acres of property near the intersection of Hickory Road and Palm Street. As proposed, the mixeduse development will include retail units, multi-family residential units, senior living residential units, single-family detached residential units, and City Hall with a town green. Construction is expected to begin on this project in late 2017.

2017 will be a very busy and critical year for the City of Holly Springs. Motorists and pedestrians will be able to enjoy the recently completed Phase I of the Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) Streetscape Project along Holly Springs Parkway. Phase II of the LCI Project is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2017, and upon completion, will provide pedestrian connectivity to Pine Crest Road. The Palm Street Sidewalk and Drainage

Perhaps the biggest change the City will see in 2017 is that a new mayor took office in January. After 15 years serving the City as a councilman and mayor, Tim Downing decided not to seek reelection in 2016. We look forward to new leadership in Steve Miller, who was sworn in on January 5, 2017. Mayor Miller and his wife, Heather, and their two children have lived in Holly Springs for ten years. u

about Holly Springs

• 2015-2016: Main Street American Accredited Program, National Main Street Center and Georgia Main Street • January 2016: #15 Safest City in Georgia, • September 2015: #4 Best City to Raise a Family in Georgia, • May 2015: #2 Best Georgia Suburb to Purchase a House, • 2010-2015: Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, Government Finance Officers Association • 2012-2015: Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, Government Finance Officers Association






ocated in the northern portion of Cherokee County along State Routes 140 and 108 is the quaint community of Waleska. Home to 700 residents – the population increases to 1,250 when residential students from Reinhardt University are counted – the town has a rich history. Settled in the early 1800s primarily by the Reinhardt, Sharp, Rhyne, and Heard families, the community was thriving by 1856 when the crossroads was home to a store, cotton gin, and tobacco factory. A post office was soon to follow, and the town was incorporated in 1889. The name Waleska dates to the mid-1800s when area farmers Lewis Reinhardt and his wife named it in honor of Warluskee, the daughter of a nearby Cherokee chief, to show their sympathy for the Cherokees as they were forced to move west. Today, the city is home to Reinhardt University, a four-year, coeducational liberal arts institution. Since its founding by A.M. Reinhardt, the school has anchored the

town’s economy and added to its culture, most notably through the Funk Heritage Center, which is dedicated to the art and history of Southeastern Indians and European settlers. Perhaps Waleska’s best asset is the people. The residents of the small, close-knit community pride themselves on caring for and protecting one another. Waleska’s city leaders are working to enhance the inviting feel of the community and to capitalize on the wonderful sense of place a visitor experiences in town. Waleska is also home to the historic Cline’s Store, which was constructed in the 1920s as a general store. Once a place where local residents could purchase all types of supplies ranging from shoes and school supplies to potatoes and horse collars, the nearly 100-year-old building reopened in 2014 as an antique store. The historic feel of Cline’s makes it a must-see for all visitors to Waleska. u

about Waleska • Incorporated in 1889

• Accessible via State Routes 140 and 108 • Population: 700 residents; population increases to 1,250 counting residential students at Reinhardt University • Home to the 134-year-old Reinhardt University






nce a sleepy farming village, today’s Woodstock is a vibrant and diverse community boasting a worldclass trail system, great shopping and dining options, one of the best breweries in America, exciting dirt track racing, and a thriving arts community all just 30 miles north of Atlanta. Woodstock officially became a city in 1897, but the first settlers arrived in the early 1800s with hopes of finding gold. Mills were then constructed to serve the burgeoning cotton farms. The railroad depot was constructed in 1879 and storefronts followed. The Woodstock Visitors Center is housed in an original storefront, Dean’s Store, which opened in 1906. Woodstock boasts dozens of locally owned shops in its charming downtown and nearly 100 nationally known brands at the nearby outlet center connected by a short trip aboard the Woodstock Trolley. Options abound with stylish clothing boutiques, antiques, an independent bookstore, jewelry, art, and unique gift items at over 30 local shops in downtown and even more at the stores at the closest outlet mall to the city of Atlanta, The Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta, located just two miles north of the historic downtown district. Gather with family and friends at one of Downtown Woodstock’s 20+ restaurants offering a wide range of foods, from farm-to-table, fresh seafood, Italian & Mexican cuisine, cupcakes & pies, burgers & hotdogs, and even a food truck themed restaurant.

Refresh your spirit with a visit to one of Woodstock’s attractions. Award-winning Reformation Brewery hosts brewery tours and tastings as well as family-friendly events like game nights and Books & Brews. The Historic Dixie Speedway has delighted race fans with fast-paced dirt track races for nearly 50 years. Greenprints Trail System is growing every year with plans for 60-plus-miles of trail throughout Woodstock and surrounding areas. Residents can get out and get healthy on over 30 miles of single-track trails regarded among the best in the southeast at Blankets Creek Park and Olde Rope Mill Park. Elm Street Cultural Arts Village produces the best art and entertainment year-round for all ages offering live plays, galleries and art exhibits, camps, workshops, concerts, and improv. Plans are underway for community gardens and the restoration and renovation of a 100-year-old farmhouse into an art gallery, instructional forum, and studio space. Enjoy live music at North Georgia’s newest outdoor music venue, the Northside Hospital-Cherokee Amphitheater in the Park at City Center. This new state-of-the-art venue features multiple grass terraces and a large main lawn accommodating audiences over 7,500. You can also take in a show at Madlife Stage & Studios on Main Street welcoming nearly 300 music lovers for nightly shows Wednesday through Sunday and incorporating state-of-the-art production studios, designed to pristinely capture the magic that takes place when sincere artists perform for passionate fans. u

about Woodstock • Ranked 3rd best city in Metro Atlanta to buy a house by

• Ranked among top 100 small cities in the U.S. for working parents by • Ranked 8th best place to live in Georgia by • With over 1,935 businesses in the City of Woodstock, there are many options for careers. Whether you’re a white-collar professional, medically-trained, skilled in industry, have retail acumen, or an artisan at heart, there are employment opportunities for you in Woodstock.




CLAYS a sport anyone can enjoy

If you are looking for a unique outdoor activity, you will want to check into Garland Mountain Sporting Clays. Opening in 2016, owner Jack Chevalier brought the sport of clay target shooting to Cherokee County.


fter being introduced to sporting clays several years ago, Jack Chevalier fell in love with the sport. “Sporting clays involves several characteristics I enjoy. Being outdoors. Competitiveness. Excitement and socializing with friends and family. If you enjoy these things – sporting clays can’t be topped.” A form of clay target shooting, Sporting Clays, has been humorously described as golf with a shotgun. The shooting course typically consists of 10 to 15 shooting stations, laid out over natural terrain. Due to the expanse of the shooting course, participants often utilize a golf cart to travel from station to station. Each location provides a variety of trajectories, angles, speeds, elevations, distances, and target sizes. It can be enjoyed by individuals or group participants. Chevalier says, “Our goal is to introduce the relatively little-known sport and form of entertainment to the public. Including those that might not have fired a shotgun before.” The company takes pride in ensuring newcomers to the sport feel welcomed and relaxed. Guests are introduced to shooting through a lesson with one of their friendly and experienced instructors. This instruction reduces the intimidation factor. Afterward, they know how to handle the gun safely and how to successfully break clay targets in a picturesque setting, resulting in a very positive and fun experience. Located on Garland Mountain Trail in Waleska, this adventure is open to the public. They also offer membership opportunities. These programs provide deep discounts on target costs, golf cart and gun rentals, and ammunition. Several times throughout the year member only events are held. While sporting clays have historically been a maledominated activity, female shooters are taking up the sport at an unprecedented rate. Sporting clays is also an activity a family can participate in together. It is truly a sport anybody can enjoy. u

For more information, visit


Features and Events • Two professionally designed 14-station sporting clay courses • Developmental Course for beginners • Wobble Trap deck and a 5-Stand Deck • Youth shooting team • Charity fundraiser shoots and corporate events • Lessons and instruction for all levels • Restaurant coming in 2017



Soleil Laurel Canyon an active community enhancing the lives of residents



ocated in Canton, Soleil Laurel Canyon is a community for our 55+ citizens. In 2015 they were recognized as one of the Best 50 Master-Planned Communities in the country by Where to Retire Magazine.

One of the most significant benefits provided to Soleil residents is the opportunity to maintain an active lifestyle. Two of the most popular activities available are tennis and pickleball. Of the approximate 1,100 residents, 25 percent participate in one or both of these sports.

what is

pickleball? Combining elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis, Pickleball is a paddle sport that is fun for people of all ages and fitness levels. The game is played on a court with the same dimensions as a doubles badminton court. The net is like a tennis net which is mounted two inches lower. The hard paddle is similar in size to one used to play table tennis. The ball used is a plastic-like wiffle ball. The game can be played in the singles or doubles format. Pickleball appears to be similar to tennis however, there are differences that make it accessible to a wider range of players, especially children and seniors. The speed the ball travels is approximately one-third of the average tennis ball. The size of the court is slightly under one-third of the scale of a tennis court. This smaller size combined with the slower speed makes the game easier to play than tennis. Group pickleball play is offered two days each week at Soleil at Laurel Canyon. The tennis center at Soleil rivals a country club setting. Director of Tennis, Tom Cobb, says, “I have seen many beautiful facilities, and for a residential community, Soleil is simply the best.” The private facility has six har-tru (clay courts), two hard courts, and two pickleball courts. Cobb adds, “Many of our residents moved here to be able to continue to play tennis on clay courts.” The clay courts are a perfect fit for active adults; the playing surface is much easier on the knees, hips, and back compared to hard surfaces. Each year the tennis community continues to grow. Available activities include private lessons, group lessons, ALTA teams, ALTA team coaching, weekly intracommunity league play, weekly men’s and women’s drills, monthly tennis socials, and round robins. u

Tom Cobb has served has the Director of Tennis at Soleil for ten years. He is a USPTA certified tennis professional and a two-time USTA national doubles champion. He has held rankings as high as number two in the country and number one in the south.

getting to know

tom cobb

When reflecting on his personal move to Cherokee County he says, “What attracted me most to Cherokee County and Canton, was the opportunity to start a new tennis program from the ground up in a wonderful adult community. I also knew Canton was a great city to live in and I loved the location.” 49

Driving down the Interstate in a rush to get to wherever you need to be, you grip the steering wheel while tangled thoughts of undone tasks and duties run through your head. Peachtree darters zip in and out of narrow slots, gaining no more room or time than they had 10 minutes before. As you pace along, you can’t help but notice the recreational vehicle that seemingly floats beside you. It is a sleek beauty, gliding along the highway. This fabulous RV is a beauty, with its silver and black designs, make you feel you are witnessing driving at its pinnacle. You catch a smile and a friendly face. It is as though the driver knows something you don’t, and perhaps he does. The driver is obviously relishing the ride, and you wonder where in the world that RV is going. Something tells you it will be fun and exciting no matter where. Open Roads Complete RV is taking it wonderful places. RVs today are not the same as your grandparents once parked at a campsite. The Recreational Vehicle Industry of America says that delivery of travel trailers, fifth wheel trailers, truck campers, folding camping trailers and motorhomes increased to 356,735 units since 2014, a gain of over eleven percent from the previous year. The industry has seen annual increases and the fourth doubledigit percentage gain over the past five years. A record nine million RVs are on the roads in the U.S., a substantial increase in ownership over the past decade, reflecting a strong and enduring appeal of the lifestyle. More and more people are becoming attracted. RVing makes America accessible from corner to corner, coast to coast. Drew Tutton, owner of Open Roads Complete RV, experienced the feeling himself when he and wife, Dana, had an occasion to take a 40-foot motorized RV for a drive to Chattanooga’s famed Ruby Falls one weekend in June 2014. They returned home with an entirely new view and love for RVing, ready to go again. 50

Why has RVing become such a hit? Drew says there are good reasons. “People can take their bed, their things, the kids, the dogs, and go. Beautiful parks are everywhere and from here to the Grand Canyon, there are 1,600 to be visited, with all the facilities you need in a safe, clean, convenient area. Kids can ride their bikes, play, and enjoy a healthy environment. No more kennels or house sitters.” Seeking a good RV technician, meeting Ronnie Cannady, solved any service need. It was also Ronnie who first planted the idea for Open Roads Complete RV. Ronnie, now a partner and friend, said that lots of people were coming to him for service, but also wanted sales opportunities, too. It was the beginning of a great partnership. Within a year Open Roads Complete RV was up and running. RV service would be provided at the James Road Location, while all recreational vehicle sales would happen on Highway 92, near the entrance of the Dixie Speedway in Woodstock. Today, Open Roads Complete RV is not only the number one Winnebago dealer in the Southeast, but they also have other popular brand names. Whatever size and build, customers find variety at Open Roads Complete RV in quality and economy –whether it’s the big motorized Class A Diesel, Class A Gas, Class C, B, Fifth Wheel, Travel Trailer or the popular toy hauler. You will find that RV you’ve been dreaming of at Open Roads Complete RV.

Mighty Minnie—The Champion of Micro-Trailers

Topping the list in what’s hot in RVs for 2017 includes the Micro Minnie, by Winnebago. This is one neat, sweet vehicle—so easy to own, and hard to resist. With its Dual Torsion Axles for support, its footprint is 7’ wide, resting on dual axles. The lightweight construction delivers the message: Minnie is perfect for small SUV and Crossover owners, yet stands up to the competition with 2,500 lbs. of carrying capacity. This all-aluminum framed RV has also added the tankless water heater as standard equipment, and still has plenty of room, enough to take just about everything you need. Settle in for the night or a nap on your 74 x 60 memory foam queen sized bed, and you can add an additional bunk as a cab option, too. Terrific design and décor choices compliment the 3,000 lb. dry weight, while a host of amenities adds to the value. With abundant features at an exceptionally low price, your Micro Minnie will deliver to the max! Other RV models offer space-maximizing floor plans that minimize weight. Exemplified with a quality-built mid-profile fifth wheel, the Winnebago Voyage may be a favorite. You can expect quality construction and functional features. It will exceed your expectations while adding an element of luxury with galley and bathroom solid-surface countertops, full-size residential shower, premium furniture and solid wood slideout fascia. Frameless tinted windows and high-gloss gel coat fiberglass painted front-caps are striking with the champagne graphics and exterior LED lighting. You’re set to go anywhere, anytime.

Open Roads Complete RV Philosophy

“When Open Roads Complete RV became a reality in early 2014, our goal was to provide quality products and service for the RV Community. We do that. We also enjoy that RVing promotes a wholesome lifestyle,” says Drew. “Families are together. In our everyday lives, the world often pulls us in different directions, but RVing does the opposite; it brings us together to enjoy each others company.” Drew Tutton is also the General Manager of Ed Voyles Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep in Marietta and on weekends or vacations, he and family turn to RVing. “This summer we drove to the Grand Canyon and it was a spectacular trip. One of the best we have ever had. We all fly over the country, taking it for granted. Seeing the land that we live in, finding such a beautiful, wonderful place is something you never forget,” Drew says. RVing creates memories a family will share for a lifetime. I know we have.”

Get Out There

Manufacturers such as Winnebago, Heartland, Riverside, Thor, Keystone and Forest River are some of the excellent brands Open Roads Complete RV offers for sale, in addition to quality preowned RVs. With a vast inventory of parts available and a stateof-the-art service and collision center, their service policies are impeccable. Covering any job, large or small, it’s their job to get you back on the road as quickly as possible. With the experience and training of the Open Roads Complete RV team, your RV is always in the right hands. With forty years of combined experience and over 300 factory and aftermarket certifications, you can be assured that Open Roads Complete RV is the right RV source for you.

You Are Number One

At Open Roads Complete RV, discover the difference the staff makes while you fall in love with one of the best-built RVs in the country. Meet the incredible team--one that is friendly, knowledgeable and ready to help get you and your family into the wonderful world of RVing. Open Roads Complete RV has two convenient locations: 3665 James Road in Acworth and 7286 Highway 92 in Woodstock. The grand opening of the third Open Roads Complete RV location will happen this March in Cartersville. So tomorrow, when that beautiful RV pulls up beside you, go back. You know the secret.

See America First

Going RVing is seeing America at its best—up close and personal. Choosing an RV that suits your lifestyle and budget is much simpler than you think. It all begins with finding the right RV dealership with the highest of standards, trustworthy service policies and solid credentials. That’s why Open Roads Complete RV is the number one Winnebago dealer in the Southeast.

3665 James Road · Acworth, GA 7286 Highway 92 · Woodstock, GA

770.975.8400 · www.OpenRoads.US Coming in March 2017 to Cartersville, GA 51




o-founders Spencer Nix and Nick Downs founded Reformation Brewery on October 31, 2013. Choosing to grow organically, they didn’t raise a large amount of capital and purchase the largest equipment available, rather, they started with a few like-minded investors and opened a production brewery on the smallest equipment possible – a 1-barrel brew house. They’ve since scaled up to a 17.5-barrel brew house and recently installed the first High-Efficiency Brewing System in the state of Georgia. Revenue has increased by 600 percent since Reformation Brewery opened, with job creation increasing 1,000 percent (zero to 46) since August 2014. Beer tourism is growing, and 12,000 visitors were welcomed in year one; with 26,000 Tourists in 2016, having an impact on downtown Woodstock’s economy. Reformation Brewery has produced 60 (continued on page 54)



(Something is Brewing continued from page 52)

beers so far and made Yahoo’s list of 50 Best Breweries Worth Travelling For, and was named one of Eater Atlanta’s Hottest Atlanta Breweries in 2016. Offering a range of products, Reformation Brewery currently has six year-round beers in their portfolio. Yeast-forward, crisp, full of aroma and flavor, and crafted within the renowned Etowah watershed of Woodstock, their beers are inspired by old world recipes and the foundational art and science of brewing passed down thousands of generations. Reformation Brewery is a values-based company that seeks to reform beer culture and liberate beer from societal extremes. Celebrating the reformer in you, they value authenticity, acceptance, story, humility, humor, and moderation. Reformation Brewery holds dear the moments communities enjoy together. Understanding and being able to express the “why” is our 54

foundation for everything we do as a business. There is a lot of noise in our industry; we simply started with asking: “Why do we really enjoy drinking good beer?” Our answers kept coming back to the fact that well-made beer connects people to each other and to moments in time. We built our entire business model on this concept of enjoying well-made beer as a gift and sharing that gift with others. We believe beer is a connector of conversations and communities, which is why our branding often includes the dot pattern. Our dots represent the moments where people and place come together for the greater good. We believe it’s our job to create unique products that help connect the dots. u Reformation Brewery 500 Arnold Mill Way, Suite A Woodstock, GA 30188 678-341-0828

The REALTOR® Difference More than just a Licensee! Why choose a REALTOR®?

CEO Spencer Nix explains why they chose Cherokee County to build the business, “I was born, raised, and have lived my entire life (minus a few years in seminary) in the metro Atlanta area. Woodstock, Canton, Buffington, Waleska, Hickory Flat, and Roswell are all places I’ve called home. While I’m a North of the Wall Wildling, the city has shaped me from my youth and my wife and I still love exploring her enclaves. In a city of transients, I’ve experienced a lot of change in nearly 40 years, so when the opportunity arose to become Cherokee County’s (a county with a deep and messy history) first brewery in my hometown of Woodstock, it seemed all too obvious.”

REALTORS® have been subscribing to and doing business by a strict Code of Ethics for more than 100 years.

REALTORS® are committed to standing up for and protecting the rights of property owners. From Main Street to Capital Hill, REALTORS® place your interest as a homeowner above all else.

REALTORS® have access to the most accurate data and tools in the business.

REALTORS® have higher education and professional designation opportunities not available to real estate licensees.

When buying or selling a home be sure to ask, “Are you a REALTOR®?”

This message is brought to you by: Cherokee Association of REALTORS® 1600 River Park Blvd, Ste. 104 Woodstock, GA 30188 770-591-0004 ©2015 REALTORS® are members of the National Association of REALTORS®.

(continued from page 7)


OUR VISION: To be the premier comprehensive resource for the Cherokee County business community. OUR MISSION: Promote business and the community while expanding the economy and enhancing the quality of life.


Accountability ● Collabora�on ● Excellence ● Innova�on ● Outreach ● Promo�on ● A Sense of Family by connecting business & community, creating viability & value, and cultivating member engagement


connecting business & community

• Be the premier resource for businesses to connect with the community. • Develop community leaders. • Encourage spending in Cherokee County.


creating viability & value

• Promote Cherokee County as a des�na�on to individuals, families and businesses. • Serve as a conduit between community leaders, elected officials and businesses. • Impact the future of businesses through professional development and sustainable prac�ces.


cultivating member engagement

• Keep Chamber members posi�vely engaged. • Provide a variety of networking opportuni�es. • Offer valuable marke�ng op�ons.

ORGANIZATIONAL FOUNDATION • Recruit and retain members and advocates for the Chamber. • Maintain fiscal responsibility. • Ensure the future vitality of the organiza�on.

charting the course









SPRING Event includes complimentary pictures with the Easter Bunny, petting zoo and playground fun. Each child receives a prize egg. Free. Memorial Park. Check website for date & time. 770.345.5536 ·

Experience Native American entertainment, arts and crafts, music and food. Mother’s Day weekend at Boling Park in Canton. 770.735.6275 · Artists, music, food, a youth art exhibit, and a hands-on area for children in downtown Canton. Third weekend in May. Presented by the Cherokee County Arts Council. 770.704.6244 ·


The 5K starts at Holly Springs Elementary School and concludes at Barrett Memorial Park. Fourth Saturday in May, 8 a.m. 770.345.5536 ·


First Friday, April-October, Historic Downtown Canton Loop Block Party, Car Show, Live Music, Food and Good Times! Downtown Canton, 6 p.m. 770.704.1500 ·


One Friday a month (March – December) in Downtown Woodstock, come enjoy the many restaurants and stores that the area has to offer as the Downtown Merchants stay open late, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., and celebrate with a themed downtown wide festival. 770.517.6788 · •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

CANTON FARMERS MARKET Every Saturday, May–October, 9 a.m. - 1p.m. Canton Park, Downtown Canton. Rain or shine. 770.704.1548 · WALESKA FARMERS MARKET Every Thursday May-July, 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. behind the North Cherokee Curch of Christ in the Reinhardt University parking lot. Rain or shine. 770.720.5988 · WOODSTOCK FARMERS MARKET Every Saturday, May-October, 8:30 a.m.- Noon. Market Street, Downtown Woodstock. 770.924.0406 ·

SUMMER Outdoor movies in Ball Ground City Park! Featuring familyfriendly films beginning at dusk. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets and enjoy an evening under the stars. April-September. 770.735.2123 · A variety of musical entertainment is hosted by the City of Woodstock for free concerts May-September at the Northside Hospital-Cherokee Ampitheater. 770.517.6788 · Bring your lawn chair and enjoy beautiful fireworks in Ball Ground’s Calvin Farmer Park. Saturday before 4th of July. 9:45 p.m. 770.735.2123 ·


Patriotism and fireworks at its finest: Parade and entertainment in downtown Canton. Fireworks display at RiverStone Shopping Plaza. 770.704.1548 ·


City of Woodstock’s annual can’t miss 4th of July event. Early morning ‘Woodstock Freedom Run’ 5k road race. Parade through downtown Woodstock followed by booths, food, fun and games for children in Woodstock City Park. After-dark fireworks display at I-575 & Hwy. 92. 770.517.6788 ·


Fun-filled activities for the entire family. Cline Park, Waleska. 770.479.2912 ·


Bring your lawn chair, sit back and enjoy the music at these free concerts in Ball Ground’s Downtown City Park. Select Saturdays. 770.735.2123 ·


Family fun at the fair, featuring livestock, shows, carnival rides, games and more. Third full week in September. Fair Grounds in Canton. 770.479.4613 ·


Your lunch hour has never been more entertaining-free concerts at Woodstock City Park, Noon-1 p.m., every Thursday in September. 770.517.6788 ·

Note: There are a variety of events held throughout the county to commemorate Memorial Day, Patriots Day & Veterans Day. Contact the Chamber of Commerce or a local City Hall for event details. 58







Arts and crafts festival, antiques, music, entertainment, and concessions. Last weekend in September. Presented by the Service League of Cherokee County. Etowah River Park, Canton. 770.704.5991 ·


Celebration filled with fun and excitement for the entire family features children’s games, excellent food, community organization booths, arts and crafts, petting zoo, live music, and much more! First Saturday in October, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Barrett Memorial Park. Holly Springs. 770.345.5536 ·


An evening full of fun for young and old alike. Treats for the kids, children’s activities, food vendors, and lots more. Festivities end with a movie everyone is sure to enjoy. Ball Ground City Park. Friday before Halloween, 5 p.m.-9 p.m. 770.735.2123 ·


Just treats, no tricks for costumed kiddies. Moonwalks, apple bobbing, face painting, candy give-away, and more. Halloween Evening. Tuesday, October 31st, 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Woodstock City Park. 770.517.6788 ·


A one-stop holiday shopping extravaganza of beautiful and distinctive gifts. First Friday in November, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Northside Hospital-Cherokee Conference Center, Cherokee County Administration Building, Canton. 770.345.0400 ·


Homemade Chili and Great Tunes! Free to attend. Chili taster tickets available for purchase. Downtown Canton. Second Saturday in November, 11 a.m. 770.704.1548 ·


The Annual Christmas Tree Lighting sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Friday after Thanksgiving. Downtown Canton. 770.704.1500 ·


Official kick-off to the holiday season in Waleska. First Friday in December, 6 p.m. Downtown Waleska. 770.479.2912 ·


Santa’s Annual Visit to Ball Ground. First Friday in December, 6 p.m. Downtown Gazebo. 770.735.2123 ·


Bundle up and celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season with the annual tree lighting at the Historic Train Depot. Songs of the season will be heard from local talent. Join the City of Holly Springs for light refreshments following the lighting of the tree. First Friday in December, 6:30 p.m. 770.345.5536 ·


Santa and more march in a parade through downtown Canton. First Saturday in December, 6 p.m. Other festive activities begin at noon and lead up to the time of the parade. 770.704.1500 ·


Come celebrate the holiday season with your neighbors in Holly Springs. First Saturday in December, 1:30 p.m. 770.345.5536 · Parade


‘Tis the season to experience a parade, carolers, Santa, tree lighting and presentation of Citizen of the Year Award. First Saturday in December, 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Woodstock City Park. 770.517.6788 ·


A Hometown Holiday Tradition! The Holiday Lights of Hope is a community celebration benefiting Anna Crawford Children’s Center. Families can enjoy a large, walk-through LED holiday lights display and the opportunity to meet and have their picture taken with Santa! Hobgood Park in Woodstock. Opens at 6:00 pm nightly. Check the website for dates. 678.504.6388 · 59


Canton Tire & Wheel Canton Tourism Chattahoochee Technical College Cherokee Association of Realtors Cherokee County Water & Sewerage Authority Cherokee Office of Economic Development Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta City of Ball Ground City of Holly Springs City of Woodstock Cobb EMC Credit Union of Georgia Darby Funeral Home Dyer & Rusbridge, P.C. Northside Hospital-Cherokee Open Roads Complete RV R&D Mechanical Services, Inc. Reinhardt University Renasant Bank WellStar Health System Woodstock Economic Development Woodstock Furniture Outlet

(Breaking Ground continued from page 26)

at COED. People, especially millennials, want to work where they live and shop. It creates a truer sense of place and builds stronger community which in turns grows the local economy. I’m excited and honored to help launch a space like The Circuit to give entrepreneurs the support, collaboration and connections they need to build their businesses closer to home.” Film production has also contributed to local economic growth and productions are finding locations for projects in Cherokee’s five distinct cities. In 2016 alone, COED received 90 inquiries from scouts through Georgia’s “Camera Ready” film program. Various scouts have noted that the abundance of unique locations, along with ease in permitting, makes Cherokee County a great place to film. Recent film projects include the Netflix series ‘Ozark’. Motion pictures ‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,’ ‘The Founder,’ ‘Hidden Figures,’ ‘Champion,’ and ‘American Made’ are all set to release in late 2016 or 2017. The economic impact of film is seen region wide, contributing locally by hiring area actors for extra roles; hiring offduty law enforcement officers for set security; shopping in local stores and dining at establishments throughout the county. In addition, production companies pledge to leave a community better than they found it. Netflix made good on that promise when they filled a 30-yard dumpster of old tires and trash from Lake Allatoona. Now those tires are being recycled and the banks of Allatoona had a nice face-lift. Existing industries are thriving with over $140 million in capital investment committed in 2016 and 84% planning to expand through 2018. For example, Universal Alloy Corporation (UAC) furthered their Cherokee investment with over seven million dollars invested to accommodate their growing corporate headquarters in Canton. Neighboring Piolax also invested over $16.5 million in their new automation facility at their headquarters in the Canton-Cherokee Business and Industrial Park. Cherokee’s existing industries are job creation engines announcing over 900 jobs in the last year. More and more industries continue to expand and grow their businesses within the community, and on average, they have called Cherokee home for 20+ years. When a company commits to Cherokee County, they are here to stay. What about a workforce for the continued growth of the Cherokee job market? In 2017, one of the top initiatives will be the Cherokee Workforce Collaborative, an innovative partnership between COED, the Chamber of Commerce, K-12 education, Chattahoochee Technical College, Reinhardt University, various industry and non-profit partners. The vision is to create and support collaborative partnerships that will grow and retain local talent to meet current and emerging workforce needs. The goals of the program will include creating high quality internship opportunities, providing innovative career preparation programs, and strengthening partnerships while aligning resources for purposeful business and industry interactions. The growth Cherokee has been planning for is here and community leaders are prepared to tackle the challenges we will surely face ahead. The journey taken has planted the seeds to provide the opportunity to forget the commute and create a better work/life balance. If you are ready to dig in and launch that next step in your career or educational journey, COED and key players in Cherokee are ready to help you make that fresh start. Are you ready? u


newcomer information If you are a newcomer to Cherokee County, the following information will be helpful as you settle into your new home. For any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact your Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce at 770-345-0400.

UTILITIES ELECTRICITY Amicalola EMC............................706-253-5200 Cobb EMC...................................770-429-2100 Georgia Power...............................888-660-5890 Sawnee EMC................................770-887-2363 NATURAL GAS Atlanta Gas Light.........................800-427-5463 Gas South......................................877-322-5442 True Natural Gas...........................877-746-4362 PROPANE GAS

Please contact the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce at 770-345-0400, or, for a list of Chamber member propane companies.


Please contact your local city hall or the Cherokee County Water Authority at 770-479-1813.


Please contact the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce at 770.345.0400, or, for a list of Chamber members providing residential and/or commercial sanitation services.

CABLE Comcast........................................800-266-2278 ETC Communications.....................706-253-2271 Windstream...................................800-501-1754 TELEPHONE Windstream...................................800-501-1754 Windstream (Local)......................770-479-2000 AT&T...........................................888-288-2020 Comcast........................................800-266-2278 ETC Communications..................800-660-6826 TDS Telecom Nelson-Ball Ground....877-707-3811

HEALTH SERVICES Cherokee Co. Health Dept...........770-345-7371 South Cherokee Health Dept............770-928-0133 Environmental Health...................770-479-0444 Northside Hospital-Cherokee.......770-720-5100 WellStar/Kennestone Hospital......770-793-5000 62

POLICE AND FIRE For all emergencies.........................................911 GA State Patrol.............................404-624-7700 Sheriff ’s Department.....................678-493-4200 County Marshal............................678-493-6200 Fire Marshal..................................678-493-6290 Cherokee Office of Emergency Mgmt...678-493-4001

DRIVER INFORMATION Driver’s License ............................770-720-3693 Tag Office......................................678-493-6400 (Out-of-state drivers have 30 days to obtain a Georgia driver’s license.)

VOTER INFORMATION Voter Registration.........................770-479-0407

SCHOOL REGISTRATION Children must be five-years-old on or before September 1 to enter kindergarten and six or older on or before September 1 to enter the first grade in Cherokee County. To register your child for school, you will need a certified birth certificate, a vision, hearing and dental screen from a physician or health clinic, and immunization records on Georgia State Form 3032. For more information, or to register your child, please call the Cherokee County School District at 770.479.1871.

LIBRARIES Ball Ground ...................................................770-735-2025 Hickory Flat ...................................................770-345-7565 Rose Creek .....................................................770-591-1491 RT Jones ........................................................770-479-3090 Woodstock .....................................................770-926-5859


Ball Ground...................................770-735-2123 Canton..........................................770-704-1500 Holly Springs................................770-345-5536 Nelson...........................................770-735-2211 Waleska.........................................770-479-2912 Woodstock.....................................770-592-6000


General Information.....................678-493-6000 Animal Control.............................678-493-6200 Animal Shelter..............................770-345-7270 (continued on page 64)

newcomer information (continued from page 62)





County 235,900 Ball Ground 1,720 Canton 25,469 Holly Springs 10,719 Nelson 1,347 Waleska 802 Woodstock 29,898

Business License............................770-721-7810 Building Permits............................770-721-7810 Cherokee Family Learning Center...770-720-1685 Commissioners Office...................678-493-6000 County Attorney...........................678-493-6000 County Extension Service.............770-721-7803 District Attorney...........................770-479-1488 Engineering...................................678-493-6077 Family Violence Center.................770-479-1804 Fire & Emergency Services...........678-493-4000 GIS & Mapping............................678-439-6050 Humane Society............................770-928-5115 Marriage License...........................678-493-6160 Planning and Zoning....................678-493-6101 Probate Court (24 hrs)..................678-493-6160 Property Tax..................................678-493-6120 Public Transportation (CATS)......770-345-6238 Recycling Center...........................770-516-4195 Roads & Bridges...........................770-345-5842 Senior Services..............................770-345-2675 Septic Tank Inspections.................770-479-0444 South Cherokee Annex.................770-928-0239 Tax Assessor..................................678-493-6120 Tax Commissioner........................678-493-6400 Vital Records.................................770-928-0133

Total Dwellings Owner-Occupied Dwellings Renter-Occupied Dwellings Housing Units Occupied



Family & Children’s Services.........404-657-3459 Forestry Commission....................770-720-3525 GA Dept. of Labor........................770-528-6100 GA Public Service Comm.............404-656-4501 GA Dept. of Transportation..........770-387-3640 Immigration..................................800-375-5283 Secretary of State’s Office..............404-656-2881 Social Security...............................800-772-1213 State Govt. Directory Assistance.....404-656-2000 Veteran Services............................770-720-3538

MEDIA Atlanta Journal-Constitution........800-933-9771 Cherokee Ledger News.................770-928-0706 Cherokee Tribune..........................770-479-1441 WLJA-FM 101.1..........................678-454-9552


Source: U.S. Census Bureau


2020 309,150 2025 360,734 2030 415,826 INCOME

Median Household Income Per Capita Income Median Age

$67,371 $30,299 36


1 Person 2 Person 3 Person 4 Person 5 Person 6+ Person 2016 TAXES

Effective Property Tax Millage Rate Local Sales Tax State Sales Tax TOP EMPLOYERS Chart, Inc. Cherokee County Government Cherokee County School District Home Depot Inalfa Roof Systems, Inc. Northside Hospital-Cherokee Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation Publix Super Markets, Inc. The Kroger Company Universal Alloy Corporation

Total 87,411 66,914 17,433 84,347 Total 16,610 28,070 14,972 14,493 6,450 2,337

$11.65 per $1000 29.113 2% 4%

Opening mid-2017

Serving Cherokee, Cobb and beyond

Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce 2017 Quality of Life Magazine  

Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce 2017 Quality of Life Magazine

Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce 2017 Quality of Life Magazine  

Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce 2017 Quality of Life Magazine