Page 1

Readers Choice Awards April 23, 2011


Repeat winners shine in 3rd annual survey

East Metro’s best to be honored at April 30 Expo at the Mall at Stonecrest Tony and Leslie Royal (above, with CrossRoadsNews publisher Jennifer Parker), owners of the Chick-fil-A restaurant at Turner Hill Road in Lithonia, were among top vote-getters in the 2011 CrossRoadsNews Best of East Metro Readers Choice Awards. Royal joins DeKalb attorney Boykin Edwards, former District Attorney Gwen Keyes Fleming, and Exotic Thai restaurant among many repeat winners from 2010. They will be honored along with the other winners at

the 2011 Best of East Metro/Small Business Expo, noon-5 p.m. on the Lower Level at the Mall at Stonecrest. The expo will also feature business owners promoting their goods and services (right), panelists with vital information for small business owners, and entertainment from The Beulah Boys (below) and the Conservatory of Dance and Fine Arts (bottom right).


Small Business & Best of East Metro Expo

“East Metro Atlanta’s Weekly Newspaper” 2346 Candler Road Decatur, GA 30032 404-284-1888 Fax: 404-284-5007

The 2011 Best of East Metro Expo Special Section is a publication of CrossRoadsNews Inc., East Metro Atlanta’s awardwinning weekly newspaper.

April 23, 2011

Readers Choice Awards

Readers pick community’s best More than 4,000 ballots were cast in print and online in the 2011 CrossRoadsNews Best of East MEtro Readers Choice Award. The event, which is in its third year, celebrates the best that DeKalb and Rockdae County have to offer. Nominations are made in January each year and voting takes place in March.

The winners are celebrated at the Best of East Metro/Small Business Expo at the Mall at Stonecrest in April. The 2010 Expo takes place on April 30, from noon to 5 p.m. Please join us to celebrate the winners. This year, Expo goers can compete to win the grand prize of $3,500 advertising package from CrossRoadsNews.

2011 Winners Public Affairs Citizen of the Year

MCs have hosted many CrossRoadsNews Expos Pamela Holmes (left) and Rae Rae Clark are regular fixtures at CrossRoadsNews’ Expos at the Mall at Stonecrest.

Editor / Publisher Jennifer Parker

Robert James DeKalb County District Attorney Best School Board Member

Dr. Eugene P. “Gene” Walker Best County Commissioner

Lee May

Best Local Entrepreneur

Graphics Editor Curtis Parker

Tony Royal, Chick-fil-A

Reporters Jennifer Ffrench Parker Carla Parker © 2011 CrossRoadsNews, Inc. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reprinted without written permission of the publisher.

Favorite Local Activist

John Evans

Pamela Holmes, owner the Nappy Hair Shop, and fitness motivator Rae Rae Clark will share mistress of Ceremonies duty at the 2011 Best of East Metro Small Business Expo. Both are veterans of the CrossRoadsNews Community Expo and have been regular partici­

pants since they started in 2006. Clark annually kicks off the HEath & Well­ ness Expo in January and the Summer Camp Expos in March with fun exercise demonstra­ tions while Holmes introduces performers and participants.

The Best of East Metro Readers Choice Awards Circulation Audit by

Audit Report available by request. For information, call 404-284-1888.

Throughout January each year, Cross­Roads­ News’ 108,000 weekly readers have the opportu­ nity to nominate businesses and individuals for the Best of East Metro Readers Choice Award. The ballot with eligible nominees – businesses must be located within the ZIP codes covered by CrossRoadsNews – is published in the news­ paper and posted at in March, and the community is invited to vote throughout the month for their favorites.

Nominations and voting are done online and on ballots published in our weekly newspaper. This year, readers nominated more than 200 candidates for consideration. Of that number, we ended up 214 eligible nominees in 58 categories. Thousand of ballots were cast online and mailed to our offices from ballots published in our newspaper. The winners of the 58 categories are published through this issue.

Most Beloved Elected Official

John Lewis

East Metro Landmark

The Mall at Stonecrest Most Beloved Public Official

Gwen Keyes Fleming Most Active State Legislator

Ernest “Coach” Williams Best Civic_Organization

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority-Stone Mountain/Lithonia Chapter

2011 Best of East Metro Small Business Expo Grand Prize Entry Form Visit at least 15 of these exhibitors* at the Mall at Stonecrest on April 30 and enter to win a $3,560 CrossRoadsNew Advertising Package [Four (4) 1/4-Page, Full Color Ads]**

______ Alexander Alpha Climate Control Co. ______ Armstrong Merchandising/EZ Brand USA LLC ______ Cake Café Atlanta ______ Citizens Trust Bank ______ Create A Canvas ______ CrossRoadsNews ______ DeKalb Chamber of Commerce ______ DeKalb County Contract Compliance/DEBCO ______ DeKalb Workforce Housing Initiative Program ______ Excell Preparatory Center ______ Five O Protective Agency, LLC ______ Life Solutions for Health, LLC ______ Nappy Hair Kitchen

______ Omni Tech Institute ______ Pesos Mexican Cantina ______ Premier Education Consultant LLC ______ Rainbow Park Baptist Church ______ Ramsey Realty Services ______ Roz Delectable Cakes ______ Stone Mountain Chapel ______ Tadda’s Fitness Camp ______ Tobias Jackson/Century 21 Intown ______ The Chocolate Forest ______ The Soul Project ______ Wells Fargo

Name ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Address __________________________________________________City _______________________________________ St: ______ Zip: ___________ Email ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Hm phone: _________________________________________________ Cell phone: ____________________________________________________ *Exhibitors must write their codes on your entry form. Your name, address and telephone nos. are required to win. Employees and immediate family members of CrossRoadsNews and the Mall at Stonecrest not eligible for awards. Must be 18 years or older to win. Must be present to win. ** Advertising package has no cash value. The award is non-transferable and all ads must be published in CrossRoadsNews by July 30, 2011 Ad design is not included.


Small Business & Best of East Metro Expo

April 23, 2011

2011 Best of East Metro /Small Business Expo April 30, 2011 - Noon to 5 p.m. • The Main Stage in front of Macy’s Lower Level, The Mall at Stonecrest Noon Expo Kick-off 1 p.m. Small Business Panel: Resources to Give Small Businesses the Edge Featuring Sharon Walker, Deputy Dir. Sharon Walker Charles Blackmon Jackie Ginn DeKalb County Contract Compliance Division; Charles Blackmon, Director, DEBCO; Jackie Ginn, VP Membership, DeKalb Chamber of Commerce

1:30 Presentation of Best of East Metro Winners Categories: Best Local Entrepreneur Buy & Sell Professional Services 2 p.m. Performance Berean Dance Ministry 2:15 p.m. Presentation of Best of East Metro Winners Category: Community of Faith 2:30 p.m. Presentation of Best of East Metro Winners Category: Fun for All

3 p.m.

Conservatory of Dance

Conservatory of Dance

3:15 p.m. Presentation of Best of East Metro Winners Categories: Dining – Specialty 3:30 p.m. Presentation of Best of East Metro Winners Categories: Dining – Romantic 4 p.m.

Beulah Boys

4:20 p.m. Presentation of Best of East Metro Winners Category: Public Affairs 4:45 p.m. Door Prize Drawing 5 p.m. Expo Ends

Beulah Boys

������_����� �x� �c

Like us on.... for news updates & maybe a surprise! Free Business Financial Review You have a lot on your mind

every day — meetings, inventory, delivery dates and, of course, finances. At Wells Fargo, we’re here to help. With our Free Business Financial Review, we’ll work with you to evaluate your business and create a strategy that helps you keep it financially healthy into the future. And with business credit, cash management products, and payroll and merchant services, we’ll help make it easier for you to manage your dayto-day business. Let’s spend some time focusing on your finances. Visit your local Wells Fargo location or call �-������-WELLS today.

“Like” CrossRoadsNews, Inc. on Facebook and you’ll be eligible to win prizes such as such gasoline as gasoline cards,cards, free dinners restaurant at local vouchers restaurants or other or neat othergifts. neat gifts. Prizes to be awarded periodically at discretion of CrossRoadsNews. Drawings open to people who “like” CrossRoads at the time of drawing. No purchase required to enter. Employees of CrossRoadsNews and their immediate families not eligible to win.



©  Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. (_)

493501_01668 5x8 4c.indd 1

4/11/11 4:29 PM


Small Business & Best of East Metro Expo

April 23, 2011

Readers Choice Awards

‘Best Entrepreneur’ winner credits employees for repeat success In addition to retaining the “Best Entrepreneur” award, Tony and Leslie Royal’s Turner Hill Road Chick-fil-A also won “Best American Restaurant,” “Best Restaurant Service” and “Best Takeout.”

If three times is the charm, Chick-fil-A operator Tony Royal has found it. For the third consecutive year, he is the Best of East Metro’s “Best Local Entrepre­ neur.” Royal won the category in 2009, the competition’s first year. Last year, he tied with Tadda’s Fitness Camp owner LaTasha Lewis. This year, he dominated the category and emerged as the overwhelming favorite among CrossRoadsNews readers. He called winning again awesome. “I am very honored that my guests think that much of us,” Royal said this week. But he said a lot of the credit goes to his team at his Turner Hill restaurant. “I am not there all the time,” he said. “It’s how my team treats the customers.” Royal operates the 1,000th Chick-fil-A restaurant, which opened in 2001. He said that at Chick-fil-A they try to make some­ body’s day with a pleasant smile and great service. “For the short time they are in our pres­ ence, we make sure they have a feel good moment,” he said. Royal has also been standing out from the crowd with his passion for giving back to the community. Over the years, he has donated more than $120,000 in partner scholarships to DeKalb students. He did not stop the practice in the face of the debilitating effects of the eco­ nomic recession.

Serving East Metro & All of Atlanta

Continued, next page

Thank you for voting us

“Best Used Auto Dealer”

in the 2011 Best of East Metro Reader’s Choice Awards

Come see our large selection of domestic and imported used cars Complete System Installations Preventive Maintenance Agreements Pre-Closing Inspections, Pre-Season Tune-Ups Equipment Repair and Replacements State Licensed and Insured GA. Reg # 300327

I-20, Exit Wesley Chapel to Snapfinger Woods Drive


Bring in this ad for a Special Best of East Metro discount

Your Source for Neighborhood News

Call 404-284-1888 for Advertising Rates & Information


Small Business & Best of East Metro Expo

April 23, 2011

DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis presents...

DeKalb Works DeKalb County Department of Purchasing and Contracting, Contract Compliance Division is…..

Putting DeKalb County Residents and Businesses First • HUD Section 3 - Contracts & employment for low income DeKalb residents

• First Source Jobs Ordinance – Putting DeKalb Residents to work on County Contracts

• LSBE Ordinance – Preferences for Local Small Businesses

• Brown Bag Luncheon Seminars – Every 3rd Thursday

• Contract Compliance Clinics – 2nd and 4th Tuesdays (Learn How to Do Business With DeKalb County )

• Business Procurement and Lender Expo Meet your local financial institutions

• Annual Small Business Development

Conference - Attend workshops and hear keynote speakers from the small business community.

DeKalb County Government Department of Purchasing and Contracting Contract Compliance Division Manuel Maloof Building 1300 Commerce Drive, 2nd Floor Decatur, GA 30030 (404) 371-6395 Phone

A joint effort by the Division of Contract Compliance, Department of Community Development & DEBCO

The DeKalb Enterprise Business Corporation (DEBCO) administers ■ A Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) offering low-interest loans $10,000 to $50,000 for fixed asset and/or permanent working capital financing funded by the DeKalb County Community Development Block Grant Program. ■ A Micro Loan Fund Program (MLF) funded by the Small Business Administration (SBA) offering loans of $500 to $10,000. ■ One-on-one consultation and technical assistance to borrowers of both programs

DEBCO also provides comprehensive entrepreneurial training and development to aspiring, new and existing businesses through the following training modules • So You Want to Start A Business – a 6-week course for persons interested in becoming entrepreneurs. • First Step Fast Trac – a 12-week program designed to help entrepreneurs to manage and grow successful businesses. • Growth Venture – a 6-week advanced program in collaboration with the SBDC for established business owners seeking to expand their business. • Eco-E – to introduce entrepreneurs to the process of creating businesses that are economically and environmentally sustainable. For loan information, contact Charles Blackmon/Carolyn Keener, 404-378-1899 • For Training Information, contact Rod Wallace, 678-904-3465 • For loan requirement, loan applications and training schedules, visit

DEBCO • 250 East Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 415 • Decatur, GA 30030 For more information, e-mail or call 404-378-1899


Small Business & Best of East Metro Expo

April 23, 2011

Readers Choice Awards Panel to offer tips for business 2011 Winners

Dining Specialty Best American Restaurant

Chick-fil-A Turner Hill Road Best Asian Restaurant

Exotic Thai, Stonecrest Best BBQ Restaurant

Best Mexican Restaurant

Pesos Mexican Cantina Best Pizza

Davido’s $3.75 Pizza on Covington Best Takeout

Smokey Bones

Chick-fil-A Turner Hill Road

Best Caribbean Restaurant

Best Chicken Wings

Kool Runnings

American Deli, Gallery at South DeKalb

Best Chicken Wings

American Deli - The Gallery @ South DeKalb

Sweet ‘n’ Sinful

Best Family Dining Restaurant

Best Breakfast

Gladys & Ron’s Chicken & Waffles Best Italian Restaurant

Olive Garden

Best Bakery


Small business owners can get information about county resources that can help them develop and grow their business at the April 30 Best of East Metro Small Business Expo at the Mall at Stonecrest. At 1 p.m., a panel of county and business experts will speak Sharon Walker Charles Blackmon Jackie Ginn about certification, financing and the benefits of membership in the Chamber nesses telling us how these programs are of Commerce from the Main Stage in front helping them succeed,” she said. of Macy’s. In addition to its certification programs, Panelists include Sharon Walker, deputy the division host monthly brown-bag ses­ director of the DeKalb County Contract and sions in which business owners get presen­ Compliance Division; Charles Blackmon, tations on everything from insurance and director of the DeKalb Enterprise Business bonding, to marketing, financing, and legal Corp. (DEBCO), who will discuss certifica­ matters. It also holds “How to Do Busi­ tion and financing; and Jackie Ginn, DeKalb ness With DeKalb County” sessions twice a Chamber of Commerce vice president of month for business owners seeking to under membership. the understand the process. DeKalb’s Contract Compliance, a divi­ sion of the county’s Purchasing and Con­ Financing tracting department, offers a number of Businesses, starved of cash for expansion programs for the development and growth and to purchase fixed assets, can find out how of businesses. It certifies businesses as LSBE, to tap into the Revolving Loan and its Micro MBE and WBE to enable them to compete Loan funds operated by The DeKalb Enter­ for county contracts. LSBE certification is prise Business Corporation (DEBCO). for local small business enterprises. MBE is The Revolving Loan Fund offers low for minority business enterprises and WBE interest loan from $10,000 to $50,000, re­ is for women a business enterprises. payable over 10 years. Loan recipients must The division also manages the HUD Sec­ create jobs for low-to-moderate income tion 3 Self Certification program for compa­ persons. nies working on HUD-funded projects. Since 2000, DEBCO has loaned $ 2.9 Contract Compliance also maintains the million and leveraged almost $22 million in First-Serve Program, a registry of DeKalb private funds while creating 200 plus jobs. County residents seeking employment with Its Micro Loan Fund lends $500 to companies that win county contracts. $10,000. Ithas made near;y $1 million in Walker said the division’s programs are micro loans since 2003. opening doors for businesses and helping DEBCO also provides one-on-one con­ them use the experience they gain working sultation and technical assistance to borrow­ on county contracts to secure businesses in ers and it offers entrepreneurial training and other counties and cities. development through its DeKalb Microen­ “We get letters all the time from busi­ terprise Institute.

Lucretia Ramsey

Broker 404-298-9614 • 770-572-8841 Visit my Blogs for latest insights Local HUD Broker with Hometelos Rodney Mills Purchase HUD Owned properties for: Home Mortgage Consultant Wells Fargo Home Mortgage $100.00 Down 1503 Highway 20 West McDonough, GA 30253-0000 Follow us on... (678) 583-1059 Tel View updates on new listings: (404) 452-0814 Cell

I am honored to be voted

“Best School Board Member” in the 2011 CrossRoadsNews Best of East Metro Readers Choice Awards

Thank You Dr. Eugene P. “Gene” Walker Ninth District

Support Our Advertisers! Tell them you saw their ad in CrossRoadsNews



April 23, 2011

Readers Choice Awards

Lifelong champion of oppressed people From Civil Rights foot-soldier to con­ gressman, John Lewis has spent most of his life fighting for the rights of people. No wonder he is CrossRoadsNews Read­ ers’ “Most Beloved Elected Official” for 20011. Lewis, who turned 70 years old on Feb. 21, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama on Feb. 15. He has been a congressman since Novem­ ber 1986 representing Georgia’s 5th Congres­ sional District, which includes portions of DeKalb County. He was one of six people nominated for Most Beloved Elected Official. He got twice as many votes as his nearest rival. His popularity is best explained by his enduring presence on the public stage. As a young man, he worked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and he took his lumps, including a policeman’s club to the head dur­ ing the 1965, “Bloody Sunday” march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. Born into a sharecropping family outside of Troy, Ala., on Feb. 21, 1940, Lewis expe­ rienced the humiliation of segregation in education and public facilities and the denial of the right to vote. He committed at an early age to the goal of education for himself and justice for his people. Inspired by the example of King and

2011 Winners Dining – Romancing Most Romantic Restaurant


Best Restaurant for First Date


Best Restaurant When Someone Else Buys

Red Lobster

John Lewis was greeted by fans young and old upon his return from Washington, D.C., to receive the Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.

Rosa Parks in the Montgomery bus boycott, he joined the struggle for civil rights. In the 1960s, he led the Student Nonviolent Coor­ dinating Committee and was the youngest speaker at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. When he got the Medal of Freedom,

Lewis accepted it on behalf of “countless individuals” in the fight for civil rights. “Those who took seats on the lunch counters, those that were on the Freedom Ride more than 50 years ago,” he said. “Those that marched on Washington in 1963, and for those that marched from Selma to Montgomery.”

Best Late Night Eats

Waffle House

Best Place to Meet New People

Java Delight Cafe

Best Sunday Brunch

Sweet Melissa’s

Gwen Keyes Fleming was also voted “Most Beloved Public Official” in 2010, and she was named “Most Beloved Elected Official” in 2009.

Encore as ‘Most Beloved Public Official’ Gwen Keyes Fleming is just a favorite of CrossRoadsNews readers. This year, they again voted her “Most Beloved Public Official.” She also won that category last year. In 2009, she was voted “Most Beloved Elected Official.” Before serving as District Attorney, Keyes Fleming was DeKalb’s Solicitor-General.

She resigned last September to accept an appointment by President Obama to be the EPA Region 4 Administrator for the southern region. A fearless prosecutor, she tacked the hig-profile investigation of courruption in DeKaln County School System that led to the indictment of former School Superintendent Dr. Crawford Lewis and former chief operat­

Put CrossRoadsNews to Work for You! Call 404-284-1888 for Advertising Rates & Information



April 23, 2011

Readers Choice Awards

Busy 5th District rep voted Best County Commissioner Commissioner Lee May was joined by his daughters at a recent community meeting on a proposed biomass gasification plant.

2011 Winners Professional Services Best Barber Shop

Ultimate Barber Shop Best Dentist

Spa Dental

Best Event Planner

Brenda Jackson

Best Health Clinic

South DeKalb Center for Healthy Living Best Health Club

DeKalb District Attorney Robert James displays one of 200 guns confiscated from criminals and sent to be recycled earlier this year.

New District Attorney voted Citizen of the Year DeKalb County Commissioner Lee May has been busy this year. As chairman of the Board of Commissioners’ Finance, Audit, & Budget committee, he shepherded the board to cut $33 million from CEO Burrell Ellis budget and passed the 2011 budget without a tax increase. In Lithonia, he has tried to appease residents who are stridently opposed to a proposed biomass gasification plant. Sometimes, he even shows up at community meetings with his young daughters in tow. CrossRoadsNews readers voted him Best County Commissioner from a field of four nominees.

DeKalb District Attorney Robert James is CrossRoadsNews readers’ Citizen of the Year. James was among four people, and the only elected official, nominated in that category this year. His meteoric rise in DeKalb’s legal community helped him stand out. He because district attorney on Nov. 15 after winning the special election to finish the term of Gwen Keyes Fleming, who was tapped by President Barack Obama to be the EPA’s Southern regional administrator. Before becoming D.A., James was solicitor-general three years. In that office he fought animal cruelty, elder abuse and truancy and was passionate about educating residents about the law and his office.

Tadda’s Fitness Center Best HVAC Service

Bowman’s HVAC

Best Insurance Agent

DeVon Hudson, State Farm Best Law Firm

Boykin Edwards, Jr., PC Best Orthodontist

Dr. Craig Williams, DDS Best Real Estate Agency

Tobias Jackson, Century 21 Intown

Best Restaurant Service

Chick-fil-A Turner Hill Road

Put CrossRoadsNews to Work for You! Call 404-284-1888 for Advertising Rates & Information



April 23, 2011

Readers Choice Awards

Marketing strategy important key to business success When business is down, smart business people know that they have to step up their marketing to lure some business their way. Here are some tips from the SBA on helping to keep the lights on. n Never let a day pass without engaging in at least one marketing activity. n Determine a percentage of gross income to spend annually on marketing. n Set specific marketing goals every year; review and adjust quarterly. n Maintain a file of ideas for later use. n Carry business cards with you (all day, every day). n Create a personal nametag or pin with your company name and logo on it and wear it at high visibility meetings.

Target market n Stay alert to trends that might impact your target market, product, or promotion strategy. n Read market research studies about your profession, industry, product, target market groups, etc. n Collect competitors’ ads and literature; study them for information about strategy, product features, benefits, etc. n Ask clients why they hired you and solicit suggestions for improvement. n Ask former clients why they left you. n Identify a new market. n Join a list-serve (e-mail list) related to your profession. Education, resources, info n Establish a marketing and public relations advisory and referral team of colleagues and/or neighboring business owners; share ideas and referrals and discuss community issues. n Meet quarterly for breakfast. n Create a suggestion box for employees. n Attend a marketing seminar. n Read a marketing book. n Subscribe to a marketing newsletter or other publication. n Subscribe to a marketing list-serve on the Internet. n Train your staff, clients, and colleagues to promote referrals. n Hold monthly marketing meetings with employees or associates to discuss strategy and status and solicit marketing ideas. n Join an association or organization related to your profession. n Maintain a consultant card file for finding designers, writers, and other marketing professionals.

Pricing and payment n Analyze your fee structure; look for areas requiring modifications or adjustments. n Give regular clients a discount. n Learn to barter; offer discounts to members of certain clubs/professional groups/ organizations in exchange for promotions in their publications. n Offer financing or installment plans. Marketing communications n Publish a newsletter for customers and prospects (it doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive). n Include a postage-paid survey card with your brochures and other company literature. n Include check-off boxes or other items that will involve the reader and provide valuable feedback to you. n Remember, business cards aren’t working for you if they’re in the box. Pass them out! n Give prospects two business cards and brochures - one to keep and one to pass along. n Create a poster or calendar to give away to customers and prospects. n Print a slogan and/or one-sentence description of your business on letterhead, fax cover sheets, and invoices. n Create a signature file to be used for all your e-mail messages. It should contain contact details, including your Web site address and key information about your company that will make the reader want to contact you. n Include testimonials from customers in your literature. n Test a new mailing list. If it produces results, add it to your current direct mail lists or consider replacing a list that’s not performing up to expectations. n Rather than sending direct mail in plain white envelopes, use colored or oversized envelopes to pique recipients’ curiosity. Media relations n Update your media list often so that press releases are sent to the right media outlet and person. n Write a column for the local newspaper, local business journal, or trade publication. n Publish an article and circulate reprints. n Send timely and newsworthy press releases as often as needed n Create an annual award and publicize it. n Get public relations and media training or read up on it.

I’m humbled and honored to be voted: • • • •

Best Best Best Best

n Create your own TV program on your

industry or your specialty. Market the show to your local cable station or public broadcasting station as a regular program, or see if you can air your show on an open access cable channel. n Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. n Get a publicity photo taken and enclose with press releases. n Consistently review newspapers and magazines for possible PR opportunities. n Submit tip articles to newsletters and newspapers. n Create a press kit and keep its contents current.

Customer service, relations n Ask your clients to come back again. n Return phone calls promptly. n Set up a fax-on-demand or e-mail system to easily respond to customer inquiries. n Use an answering machine or voice mail system to catch after-hours phone calls. Include basic information in your outgoing messages such a business hours, location, etc. n Record a memorable message or tip of the day on your outgoing answering machine or voice mail message. n Ask clients what you can do the help them. n Take clients out to a ball game, show, or another special event – just send them two tickets with a note. n Send handwritten thank you notes. n Send birthday cards and appropriate seasonal greetings. n Photocopy interesting articles and send them to clients and prospects with a handwritten FYI note and your business card. n Send a book of interest or other appropriate business gift to a client with a handwritten note.

2011 Winners Buy & Sell Best Supermarket

Publix, Flat Shoals Parkway Best Mall

The Mall at Stonecrest Best Auto Dealer - Used

Malcolm Cunningham Auto Gallery Best Car Wash


Best Financial Institution

Citizen Trust Bank

Best Private School

Excell Preparatory Center

Fun for All Best Running or Jogging Track

Stone Mountain Park Best Movie Theater

AMC Theater

Best Free Wi-Fi

Chick-fil-A Turner Hill Road

Come See Why We Were Voted “Best Small Church” in the CrossRoadsNews Best of East Metro Readers Choice Awards

Thank you for voting...

Local Entrepreneur American Restaurant Restaurant Service Takeout

in the 2011 CrossRoadsNews Best of East Metro Readers’ Choice Awards.

Tony Royal, Owner/Operator Chick-fil-A at Turner Hill Road 2985 Turner Hill Road • Lithonia, GA 30038 • (678) 526-0088

“Best Pizza in East Metro Atlanta” three consecutive years

As we serve our community the best pizza and wings, daVIDO’s continues to be “Perfect for lunch, dinner or an after school snack.” Please visit for location information.



April 23, 2011

Readers Choice Awards

John Evans with fans and supporters last year when he got his firs Best Local Activist award.

2011 Winners Community of Faith Best Large Church

Berean Christian Church Best Small Church

Rainbow Park Baptist Church Best Church Choir

St. Philip Choir

Best Dance Ministry

Berean Christian Church

South DeKalb’s favorite activist wins Best title again John Evans doesn’t rest. Evans, who celebrated his 78th birthday in January, is back as president of the DeKalb NAACP, after a four-year break and busy as ever speaking truth to power. He is a regular

For that reason, Evans, who lives in Stone participant at DeKalb School Board, Board of County Commissioners and community Mountain, got the nod again for Best Local meetings where he asks the tough questions Activist from CrossRoadsNews readers. This is the second year he has won this and keeps politicians and elected officials category. honest and focused on the issues.

Best Outreach Ministry

Berean Christian Church Best Christian School

Greenforest-McCalep Christian Academic Center

Earnest “Coach” Williams State Representative, House District 89

Thanks for voting me “Most Active State Legislator” In the 2011 CrossRoadsNews Best of East Metro Readers Choice Awards

Always at Your Service • 770-593-8467

Your Votes Inspire Us!

Thank you for voting us “Best Gospel Choir” in the 2011 Best of East Metro Readers Choice Awards St. Philip AME Church Choir 240 Candler Road SE. (at Memorial Drive) • Atlanta, GA 30317 • 404-371-0749 •

If This Was Your Ad, Someone Would Be Seeing It Now! Call 404-284-1888 today for rates & information.

April 23, 2011





April 23, 2011

CrossRoadsNews, April 23, 2011 - Section B  

CrossRoadsNews, April 23, 2011 - "Best of East Metro/Small Business Expo" Special Section