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The Chamber Dahlonega - Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce 2008 | APRIL

Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce 13 South Park Street Dahlonega, GA 30533 (706) 864-3711 (800) 231-5543


SAVE THE DATES: April 18-20 Bear on the Square The 12th annual Bear on the Square Mountain Festival is an incredible weekend of music and art held in the foothills of the North Georgia mountains. Come enjoy bluegrass and old-time mountain music, crafts, and folkways on the Dahlonega Square and Hancock Park.

Perspective From Your Local Government 4

April 25

Chestatee Regional

Tour de Georgia

Hospital expands services with a new MRI machine

THE ROAD TO THE GREAT RACES OF EUROPE BEGINS HERE! The opening stage of the mountain phase of America's premier bicycling event returns to Dahlonega. Enjoy special activities and events at the Stage 5 Finish. Please see insert for details on road closings.

May 6 Business After Hours

Commissioner Steve Gooch provides updates about progress and growth in the County

This will be Dahlonega’s fourth year as a stage finish for Tour de Georgia, North America’s premier cycling event with a varying route of over 650 miles. Dahlonega is the stage finish of the fifth stage of the race and the first taste of the mountain terrain for the cyclists. Update | Page 13



Come join us at the beautiful Forrest Hills Mountain Resort. Enjoy networking, food, and drinks. Don't forget to bring $1 for the cash prize drawing! And remember door prizes are always a great way to showcase your business!

At this year’s Annual Banquet at Montaluce Winery & Estates three Golden Pick Awards were given to outstanding citizens:

May 17-18 Mountain Flower Art Festival A Dahlonega highlight for over twenty years, the festival features juried original fine art and fine craft of regional artists. The festival is located on the historic square of Dahlonega, and also celebrates the local and area mountain wildflowers.

Jack & June Anthony at the Chamber Annual Banquet just before he was surprised with the Golden Pick Award for Tourism

Tourism Volunteer of the Year Award for unselfishly giving so much to the Convention & Visitors Bureau and Chamber of Commerce; Chamber Volunteer of the Year and Outstanding Service to the Community of Dahlonega and Lumpkin County.

Read More | Page 10


Dahlonega to Host Writers 9 Dahlonega and Dawson County will host five national travel writers Golden Pick Awards


Find out who received Golden Pick Awards for service to community and Chamber. Entrepreneur Friendly?


Lumpkin County Receives Entrepreneur Friendly Designation... The New World of Building Houses Has Changed 12 Larry Stouffer of LVS Homes talks about the building & housing industry and and the effects of the economy.

Mission Statement Making our community a great place to live, work, visit, and do business.

Board of Directors OFFICERS Jennifer Herring, Chairman BB&T Eddie Wayne, Chair Elect Appalachian Community Bank Eddie Wayne, Treasurer Appalachian Community Bank Cyndi Fraser, Secretary Belle Avance Salon Karl Boegner, Wolf Mountain Vineyards Gary L. Powers, President & CEO Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce DIRECTORS Don Bacek, Lily Creek Lodge Larry Banister, Banister Funeral Home Max Burns, North Georgia College & State University Kristy Fairbanks, RefrigiWear Tommy Folger, Folger’s Alan George, Chestatee Regional Hospital Alan Grizzle, EXIT Four Seasons Realty Kelso C. (Casey) Horne, Horne and Horne, P.C. Donna Minnich, State Farm Insurance J. Kevin McCraney, Georgia Power Company Tony Owens, The Fudge Factory Ed Willis, The Louver Shop Angelia Wilson, Dahlonega Tasting Room EX OFFICIO DIRECTORS Mayor Gary McCullough, City of Dahlonega Commissioner Steve Gooch, Lumpkin County Bruce Abraham, Development Authority Joel Cordle, Downtown Development Authority Stan Kelley, Lumpkin County Bill Lewis, City of Dahlonega Sheriff Mark McClure, Lumpkin County Dewey Moye, Lumpkin County Schools STAFF Amy Booker, Projects & Events Coordinator Kim Bruce Graphic Design Mary Ann Knight, Visitors Center Manager Sheila Litherland, VP Membership Services Stefani Logsdon, VP Operations Hal Williams, CVB Director

As I See It By Gary L. Powers

As I See It, we are turning the corner and developing more benefits for you the member and for the community as a whole. By the time you receive this publication I will have been in Dahlonega for six months. It has been an exciting venture and great learning experience getting to know so many of you and hearing what we should be doing to support business in Lumpkin County. Since arriving we have developed a consistent pattern of e-mail communication. The Entertainment Guide produced by Hal Williams, Tourism Director, goes out each Wednesday to promote weekend events and promote our tourism industry. On Sunday night I send out Membership Matters to keep you informed of upcoming events. We make member announcements, non-profit announcements, have Ribbon Cuttings, and announce new members. In our Visitors Center we have been recruiting volunteer docents for morning and afternoon shifts. Next time you visit the Visitor Center stop in and tell them how much we appreciate their service. They love the Northeast Georgia Mountains and are doing a great job promoting business in our County. Mary Ann Knight, Visitors Center Manager, does a great job of scheduling these docents and keeping them informed on new businesses coming to our community. Our volunteer docents include Brenda Hicks, Vernon Camp, Bill Hacker, Marilou Kinney, Larry Sorohan, Joseph Smith, Martha Long and Bob Cenna. We will feature one of them every month in our newsletter. The WILL, Women in Lumpkin County group is growing and meets monthly. Our Ambassadors are expanding and doing more Ribbon Cuttings and delivering membership renewal plaques and window stickers. You will find them greeting you and introducing you around at the Business After Five Mixers. Almost weekly you will find an article in the Dahlonega Nugget called Chamber Outlook. With their cooperation I am now able to keep the community informed on business news. The Dahlonega Nugget is doing an outstanding job covering our Chamber events and we thank them for this coverage. We held our first Chamber run special event outside of Six Gap in years. Under the direction of new staff member Amy Booker she pulled

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Gary Powers, President and CEO

off the 1st Annual Celtic Music Festival in sixty days. Working with a strong committee of volunteers we were able to deliver an event which brought many visitors to Dahlonega. We have brought back Tour de Georgia and thanks to Lynn Cottrell, Chairwoman, she has raised the money to support this event and bring them back to Dahlonega. If you would like to be a volunteer on April 25th please contact General Guy Laboa Vice President of Operations, Stefani Logsdon guided us through the process of becoming an Entrepreneur Friendly County. This has helped us build a strong Economic Development Committee that was instrumental in bringing Senator Johnny Isakson to Dahlonega.

Welcome Center Seeking Volunteers As spring approaches, so does our need for smiling faces at the Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. If you enjoy meeting people, helping out the community and being a part of what folks love about Dahlonega, we need you!

Call (706)864-3711 for information about becoming a volunteer.

Chairman’s Circle The Chairman's Circle has been created to prominently recognize companies whose continual support has been instrumental in the growth of the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce.

Mint Club Members

Major Donor Cottrell Circle C Ranch

Platinum Platinum BB&T Bank Chestatee Regional Hospital Jackson EMC

Gold Appalachian Community Bank

Silver Achasta, A Residential Golf Community All About Storage Mountain State Bank Nicklaus Golf Club at Achasta Northeast Georgia Health System, Inc. The Smith House Timken US Corporation United Community Bank of Lumpkin County Wal-Mart SuperCenter Windstream Communications

Bronze Daniel’s Charters Georgia Power Company Habersham EMC North Georgia College & State University Regions Bank

From the Desk of Jennifer Herring Voluntary Benefit Plans and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) We all know that without good employees, our businesses cannot be successful. In order to attract and maintain good employees, we must take care of them. Employees like to feel appreciated and go home with a sense that they have made a difference. We also take care of them in the form of adequate compensation. Adequate compensation can come in many forms today. Not just monetary. During last year or so with a lot of media coverage, we have become more aware of how important it is for employers to manage retirement plans and other employee benefits plans correctly. Not only for the future of the employees, but for the future security of the company and its owners.

Jennifer Herring Chairman of the Board

Best place to start is with the Department of Labor and their rules regarding safe harbor exemptions from ERISA regulations. Some quick questions to help you along are:

Do I, as an employer, make any contributions?

Voluntary Employee Benefit packages are becoming more and more attractive to employees and small business owners alike. They provide the employee with a larger selection of services without the added cost to the employer because they are based on voluntary participation by the employee.

Is my employees’ participation 100% voluntary? What is my role as an employer in regards to the initiation or maintenance of the plan? Do I as the employer receive any consideration in regards to the program?

However, just because the plans are voluntary, does not mean the employer does not have potential liability if the plans are mismanaged. Mismanagement does not have to be intentional. It could simply be the fact the employer did not know. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) was established by the federal government to protect employee welfare plans that are initiated or maintained by the employer. This may include some of the voluntary plans regardless of whether the employer contributes. The employer’s intent does not decide whether a plan is governed by the ERISA. So, as an employer you could create an ERISA governed plan without knowing it. Rest assured, you would know after your received notice that a lawsuit had been filed. ®

Depending on your answers, you may be free from ERISA Regulation. However, you still may not be. My suggestion is that if you have voluntary employee benefits programs in place or are thinking about starting, sit down and speak with an employee benefits specialist. Voluntary Employee Benefits plans are a great way for small businesses to attract and retain high quality employees with little or no costs. Just take a little time to make sure your voluntary plan are set up appropriately and meet current federal guidelines. It will save you time and money in the future.


Do you have a voluntary employee benefit plan? Is it an ERISA plan? How do you find out?

Tony Owens Corporate Gifts Wedding Favors & Platters Gifts for Any Occasion



Celebrating 25 Years!! 8 Park Street N., Dahlonega, GA 30533

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(706) 864-2256

Reflecting On Dahlonega’s First Celtic Music Festival The First Annual Dahlonega Celtic Music Festival Offers A Special Weekend of Music, Entertainment and Shopping! of Commerce in celebrating Celtic music and culture during a fun filled weekend! Crowds of people filled downtown businesses to enjoy workshops and demonstrations on Scottish spinning and weaving, Irish fiddle, Celtic mandolin, the bodhran drum, uillean pipes, tin whistle, Celtic Kids Crafts, fly-fishing, storytelling and more. Thank you to all of Dahlonega’s downtown businesses who sponsored and hosted these workshops and demonstrations in their businesses!

Well, to those who are familiar with the weather in the Highland’s, Saturday morning of the Celtic Music Festival was perfect! To those of us born and raised in the South, it was quite simply brutally cold! However, it did not stop those individuals who were most excited about Dahlonega’s first ever Celtic Music Festival from joining the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber

Festival goers got to enjoy amazing concerts by Altan, Highland Way, Emerald Rose, Shamrock and John Maschinot and Katie Baughman of the Buddy O’Reilly Band. Musical highlights also included the wonderful “tunes” played by dedicated pipers throughout Saturday and Sunday in downtown Dahlonega. Appalachian St. Andrews Pipes and Drums gave a wonderful performance in front of the Visitors Center on Saturday. The Highland Way band energized children and families of all ages at the Holly Theater downstairs, as well as the Atlanta Junior Ceili Band directed by Katherine Irwin Thomas.

was a good time to be had by all, and maybe we even learned something new in the process! The festival could not have happened without the support of our local sponsors, who will always know that they helped the Chamber to start such a special festival. Thank you so much to our generous gift sponsors: Cottrel Circle C Ranch, Achasta, Chestatee Ford, Steve Leibel, P.C., Chestatee Regional Hospital, Banister Funeral Home, Adams Insurance Agency- Cotton States, Lily Creek Lodge, Millie’s Mini Storage, Long Mountain Lodge B & B and Cabins, Park Place Hotel, Geo Image, Bill Hardman, Graytrout Group and Corkscrew Café! Thank you to all of the wonderful volunteers who helped make this year’s festival a success!

if you are interested in being a part of planning next year’s Celtic Music Festival or have questions or comments regarding the festival, please contact Amy Booker at:

Also, visit:

You missed a treat if you did not catch the line dancers from “Let’s Dance Dahlonega” as well as Katie Baughman’s instruction on Irish step dance. All in all, Dahlonega’s first annual Celtic Music Festival

Member Testimonial Ms. Litherland, I enjoyed meeting you at Gold Mountain Mortgage Thursday. I appreciate what you are working towards and the changes you have already implemented at the Chamber. Please keep me in mind for any job opportunities or volunteer work. I would love to extend my skills for the betterment of Dahlonega in any way I can. Thanks, Meagan Pruitt Gold Mountain Mortgage, Inc. 81 Crown Mountain Place, D-100 Dahlonega, GA 30533 The Chamber | Page 3

Perspective From Your Local Government From the Chairman For the Board of Commissioners By now, most of you know I have announced that I will not seek re-election as Chairman of the Board of Commissioners. Much progress has been made in many areas of the county during my tenure and I am proud of the accomplishments. I want to thank all of you for the support and confidence you have entrusted in me. It has truly been an honor to serve this community. As we enter into the election cycle this year for the local, state, and federal elections, I encourage everyone to get involved and understand the issues facing our community, state, and nation. I am satisfied there will be many good choices to choose from to continue moving Lumpkin County forward. As our community grows, so does the additional demands on government services for both the City and County. Our parks and recreational facilities are nearing completion at the Yahoola Creek Complex. I urge you to drive down to the park and take a look if you haven’t done so. The new walking trails fantastic. Additional trails are in the works around the reservoir and down the Yahoola Creek to connect the Park. Once completed, there will be 5-7 miles of walking trails to enjoy in some of the most historical parts of the gold belt history of the county. We are getting rave reviews from citizens and visitors about the new park complex. The new Courthouse project has been delayed for 6-9 months but is now underway. The ball fields that were on Riley Road have been relocated to the Yahoola Creek Park. The initial core drilling on the new courthouse site have been completed and the design work is in process. The construction

manager, Winter’s Construction will begin the excavation work in the spring. Construction of the project is expected to take 18 months. The new library and health department are planned for the same site with cost savings expected for shared parking and site work/development costs. The new fire station #4 is now completed and in service on the Ga. 400 Corridor. It houses fire engines, ambulances, and a fulltime staff 7 days a week. Response time to emergencies on the south side of the county has improved significantly. This brings our total count of fire stations to 6. In seven years, the county has constructed and opened 4 of the 6 fire stations in the county. Life and property are better protected today than ever before in our county. Insurance premiums are also decreased to property owners as a result of the expanded fire services. This month will end the collection of the SPLOST funds that were approved in 2002 to retire the debt of $15.75 MILLION that was incurred in 2000. The citizens voted overwhelmingly to use the ’02 SPLOST proceeds toward that debt in order to save almost $3 million in interest. Beginning April 1 of this year, the new SPLOST funds will be used to finance and construct over $35 million for capital projects including the library, courthouse, fire station, additional public safety equipment, tornado warning systems, road improvements, portions of the city’s water treatment plant, etc. Thank you for your continued support of the SPLOST Programs in our community. As

Steve Gooch County Commissioner & Chairman

you know, a large portion of these funds are derived from the many visitors to Dahlonega/Lumpkin County each year. The sales tax option is a much better vehicle to fund capital projects. In closing, the Board of Commissioners has worked hard with the county staff to safeguard your tax dollars while planning for the future of this great community. We were recently honored to receive an award from the Georgia Trend Magazine for our financial stewardship and great strides that have been made in recent years. We have passed through difficult times, but we have continued moving the county forward in the process. The future of our community is golden.

Membership Matters One of the great benefits to chamber membership is the contacts you establish. I receive daily phone calls and e-mail asking who, what and where. Connecting businesses with one another in the best circumstance is what makes a great Chamber of Commerce. One of the best examples of when being well connected pays off is when

a member loses their place of business or has no leasing options. Connecting the right business with the right location and property owner is one of the true benefits of your chamber membership at work. Another benefit that we a working on for our members is a member to member discount. Our goal is to establish a program that will help generate a new and viable relationship among our members. The program will enable Chamber members to offer discounts and specials. These discounts will be offered to Chamber members only; therefore discounts offered to general clientele will not be included. A member discount card will indicate who is par-

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ticipating in the program. A flyer will also be inserted in the monthly newsletter showcasing all of the participating businesses. Please look for this new and exciting program on the site under the membership tab. Thanks again for your valued investment, support and for “Making our community a great place to live, work, visit and do business”. Sheila Lawson Litherland E-mail:

Chestatee Regional Hospital Expands Radiology Services With a New MRI Machine Chestatee Regional Hospital has added another innovative technology to their radiology capabilities, a new General Electric 1.5 Tesla MRI machine. “This new MRI machine is exponentially more powerful than our previous 1.0 MRI.’ said Laurie Davis, Director of Radiology at the hospital. “The 1.5 MRI can scan faster and produce amazing precise rendering of internal detail. MRI can eliminate so many invasive procedures that would have been previously conducted just to make a diagnosis,” she said. “Take knees for instance. Typically, without MRI technology we would need to perform arthrcospy to determine the extent of internal trauma. With MRI, arthroscopy is not required for most cases.” MRI machines use magnetic energy and radio frequencies to render their images. The physics of MRI allows visualization of

soft tissue, such as tendons and ligaments, without exposure to radiation making it distinctly different from CT scanning since it is a radiation free process. Anybody that has ever experienced an MRI can confirm that MRI is also very loud technology. As the machine is getting its image slices, it makes a loud clanging noise. Most of the time patients are required to wear earplugs but this particular machine features headphones for music to help muffle the cacophony. The MRI team at Chestatee Regional Hospital has a wide selection of music to soothe the patient during this otherwise noisy procedure. Patients can choose from country, classic rock, classical, pop, and orchestral selections. There is even a hip-hop program although it is not one of the most popular

selections, or you can bring your own music with you. For more information about Chestatee Regional Hospital and its health care capabilities, log onto

12th Annual

Bear on the Square Mountain Festival

For more information visit:

April 18th - 20th Featuring

The Carolina Chocolate Drops Norman & Nancy Blake Hair of the Dog and more!

Jones & Company moves to new location

April 2008

Will still be located on Dahlonega’s Historic Square Our NEW location is

98 North Public Square Dahlonega

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Ribbon Cuttings Gold Mountain Mortgage Gold Mountain Mortgage is proud to be recognized as a leading full-service Mortgage Broker Corporation in the North Georgia area for the last 8 years. G.M.M. is an active member of the Better Business Bureau, National Association of Mortgage Brokers, Georgia Association of Mortgage Brokers, and an affiliate member of the 400 North Board of Realtors, Inc.

Offering over 60 years of combined expertise in the residential real estate industry, state of the art technology, hard work, and customer service, we provide clients with the best in mortgage consultation. Gold Mountain Mortgage, Inc. 706-867-124 81 Crown Mountain Place D-100 Dahlonega, GA 30533

Watt’s Chiropractic Watt’s Chiropractic specializes in providing the highest quality of chiropractic care to improve your quality of life. Doctors and staff at Watts Chiropractic Clinic are dedicated to helping sick people get well one patient at a time by providing state of the art care. Our goal is to perform outrageous service with 100% satisfaction. Watt’s Chiropractic takes pride in on listening to

you, as well as finding and fixing the problem. Whether you are in the Cumming area or Dahlonega area, there are two (2) locations to serve you. Both doctors specialize in upper cervical chiropratic care with gentle specific full spine supportive care. 89 Long Branch Road, Dahlongega, GA 30533 (706)867-0974

Baseball, Hotdogs, Apple Pie, and Chevrolet By Paul Dimbath, Director for the Vintage Chevrolet Club of America In a few short weeks, Dahlonega will be enhanced with the nostalgia of beautifully restored antique classic Chevrolets. It is always wonderful to see these man-made time capsules which afford everyone to reflect back to a favorite period of time in their life. The Vintage Chevrolet Club of America (VCCA) has selected Dahlonega as the setting for this year’s edition of the Annual Southeast National Meet. These very special pieces of 20th century mechanical art will grace the streets and countryside for the enjoyment of both the owners and the local people. The only thing better than watching one of these rare gems travel down the road, is to drive one these beautiful classics. All the cars must go through a 40-point inspection prior to being allowed in the display area. After they have been reviewed for all components in a functioning condition like horn, lights, windshield wipers, radio, (even the clock), and other components, they are then allowed to be on static display. While on display, many are further scrutinized by a team of judges to certify authenticity of restoration, as well as, quality of workmanship. While the cars are on a static display and judging is in progress, people can see these wonderful specimens of early 20th Century American engineering and design up close. That will take place on Friday, April, 11th. The following day, many of the owners have elected to then get the utmost enjoyment:

driving their pride and joy to a local venue for fun and lunch. These cars are rewarded for being driven, as well as restored. There is a special program the VCCA has initiated and is referred to as the “Passport” which is an official document to record official mileage to certified points. Awards are given as the mileage progresses, such as 1,000 all the way to 25,000 designations. Many of these examples of mechanical art have endured this inspection and securitization process for several years and are still going strong. The owner of a 1932 Chevrolet Sport Roadster entered in this meet has attended every Southeastern National Meet put on by the VCCA. Even though his car has attained the highest awards and certification possible by VCCA, his car still has to go through the inspection and judging process at each event. The car has to be kept up to tip-top shape in order to get the certification; only correct and well maintained cars can be awarded. One of the advantages of this event is the wide range of years and types of vehicles on display. You can find a 1925 Roadster, 1966 Corvette (with original owner), a 1970 Chevelle, 1957 Pick up truck, and the list goes on and on. You will see four-cylinder vehicles all the

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way to the biggest muscle cars produced by Chevrolet. On Saturday evening, the participants will enjoy fellowship at a banquet where awards and souvenirs will be issued. Physical awards and certificates are tangible evidence of the time and sweat (and tears, of course), but the real reward is to be able to drive the cars and share the beauty of a by-gone era with friends, as well as strangers. If you are in Dahlonega, give a personal award to these owners: go look at the cars and thank the owners for their hard work and selection to share these marvelous bits of history with the people in Dahlonega. Who knows, you may want to be a part of the excitement next year! I can almost hear Dianah Shore singing “See the USA in your Chevrolet”!

Attention: Small Business Owners Do You Want to Raise the Visibility of Your Business?

Take a positive step for your business. Come join us! CALL THE CHAMBER AT

(706) 864-3711 Fore more information on the Ambassador Program Or contact:

Donna Logan 2008 Ambassador Chair (706) 864-3721.

Welcome New Members JANUARY 2008 Etowah River Pottery Brooks Point Apartments Haventouch Enterprises Inc Tugaloo Home Health Lee’s Home Interiors Rich Printing, Inc KDA Communications Dahlonega Lutheran Mission Church The Common Thread Appalachian Skate Klub FEBRUARY 2008 Appalachian Watergardens Dahlonega Lutheran Mission Church Homeschool Tutorial Academy Liberty Tax Service Petit Crest Villas @ Big Canoe Rhapsody Grill Rooster’s Cafe Sears of Dahlonega Yahoola Creek Cabin Everything we do in life has a positive or a negative effect. The more things we do for the right reasons, the more positive results we see. The community is the life-blood of our business. It is the community that supports our businesses by opening doors to new customers.

I challenge you to get involved with the Chamber Ambassador Program. Learn what your community has to offer. You might learn something that will help your business become more visible or you might find a new source for something needed to get your business growing. Small-business owners don’t get involved in the community with the expectation of getting something back. However, the return on their efforts can be documented in tangible ways – new customers – publicity – expansion of the network of people who can help you build your business. The following people have made the decision to highlight their businesses by serving on the Chamber Ambassador Program.

Dobbin Buck - 400 Edition Marshall Crow - Royal Flush Drains & Plumbing Kelly Finocchio – BB& T Bank Evan Fleetwood – Fleetwood Security Marilou Kinney – Travel Planning, Inc. Bill Lawson – Bleu Art Gallery Donna Logan – Adams Insurance Trina Pellegrino - Mountain Top Massage Lynn Pfeiffer - Oasis of Life Sharon Ravert – Animals@Home, Inc. Julie Sanders – Georgia 105.1 Penny Sharp – Sage Credit/Checking Services Bonnie Small – The Lily Garden Ivy Spraker – Ivy’s Gifts From the Vine Dr. Keith Tyre – Watts Chiropractic Services Dana Whitfield – Oasis of Life Michael Woody – United Community Bank Sheila Litherland, DLCCC, Membership VP Gary Powers, DLCCC, President & CEO

Welcome Back Previous Members FEBRUARY 2008 Black Magic Carriage Charlie’s Grocery & Gas, Inc. Gold City Cycles, Inc.

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Member Renewals FEBRUARY 2008 Amicalola View BB&T Bank Blue Ridge Cedar Homes, Inc. Camp Glisson Chastain Janitorial Supply Co. Chestatee Custom Contractors, Inc. Chestatee Regional Hospital Clark, Angela Grant, Law Office Johnny L. Collins CPL Renovations, Inc. Dahlonega Arts Council, Inc. Dahlonega Country Day School, Inc. Dahlonega Massage Therapy Dahlonega Veterinary Hospital Dahlonega Woman’s Club First Citizens Bank of Georgia H&R Block Hatfield’s Hideaway Cabins Hometown Appraisals, Inc Ivy’s Gifts from the Vine Kennison Photography Guy Laboa Lakeview Publishing Law Office of Alfred Chang, PC Steven Leibel P.C. LifeSouth Community Blood Centers, Inc. Gary McCullough Old School House Mall Pizza Hut Porcupine Business Services Pura Vida, USA Sue Jones, REALTOR, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Sunshine Center Car Wash & Laundry

The following downtown businesses and property owners were honored for their achievements in 2007: Commendations for Special Projects

Mary Miller of Mary’s Mini Mall and Achasta’s Discovery Center for uniform signage plan Historic Gold Museum for landscape improvements Lee and Trish Creef of Back Porch Oyster Bar for landscape improvement Welch family of the Smith House for the Dahlonega Gold History film Commendations for Adaptive Re-use Construction Projects

Ruby, Bert, and Ricky Gooch of Ruby’s Precision Hair Kutters The Warner family and Wilkins family for Park Place Hotel Dale Solomich, Deb Naples, and Toni DiCostanzo for Woodland’s Edge Carol Williams, Greg and Rae Lynn Harman for Shennanigan’s created from Strickland Hous basement. Project Leadership Volunteer Awards

Master Gardener’s Group and Greg Sheppard for downtown tree inventory Larry Sorohan for First Friday Night Concert Series in Hancock Park Joe Matteson and Jim White for Appalachian Jams Dennis Hoover for Design of downtowns Lamp Post Shopping Banners Golden Nail Awards for Restoration of Historic Commercial BuildingsJay Stone of Dahlonega General Store Mr. Woodrow Parks of Parks Clothing Shop Building

Cornerstone Business Award Winners This award celebrates those who have operated for 25 or more continuous years in the historic central business district.

Thomas Scanlin of Studio Jewelersebbie, John and Tony Owens of the Fudge Factory Rachel Wilkerson of The Gold Shop Mary Miller of “Golden Memories” and Mary’s Mini Mall Brad Walker of Brad Walker Pottery Altan Jarrard of Woody’s Barber Shop Jon and Jay Stone of the General Store Freddie and Shirley Welch and family of the Smith House Norman Adams of Adams Insurance Agency Vincent Dover and family of Dover Realty Ruby Gooch of Ruby’s Precision Hair Kutters Roberta Butler Green Sims of Green’s Department Store, Butler Furniture, Butler Mini Mall, Antiques and Collectibles Mall Paul and Frankie Stringer of Stringer Insurance Agency West family of West Cleaners and West Carpet Store Mrs. Billie Wimpy of A.G. Wimpy Company Woodrow Parks of Parks Clothing Shop (80 years of downtown business!) The awards were presented by the DDA / Better Hometown board members Hal Williams, Gayle Jones, Angela Antonia and Glenn Melvin.

Mountain Flower Art Festival May 17 & 18th Come and enjoy an upbeat stroll around this recently designated “offbeat’ town square surrounded by the sights, sounds and fragrance of Springtime. The Mountain Flower Art Festival in Dahlonega, Georgia is scheduled for May 17 & 18, 2008 10am-5pm each day. This year’s festival continues a 20 year tradition of a Spring Arts Festival on the Historic Square in downtown Dahlonega. The Festival will feature juried original fine art and fine crafts of regional artists and performing artists. The Dahlonega Master Gardeners will also hold their annual indigenous plant sale,

wildflower display, wildflower walk and Garden Expo with workshops. If you would like to have a booth in the Mountain Flower Art Festival you can e-mail Angelia Wilson at: or get more information at: The festival is presented by the Dahlonega Merchants Association and is sponsored by the Dahlonega Arts Council and the B&B Inns of Dahlonega.

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SAVE THE DATES: April 1 Business After Hours at Dumond’s Patio Grill, 5:30-7:30 pm April 8 WILL Breakfast featuring “Liz Goodgold - DUH! Personal Branding” at Stewart Center for Continuing Education, 7:30 am April 8 SAINTS For Small Business & Non-Profits Workshop at Health and Science Building at NGCSU, 5:00 pm April 10 Executive Committee, 12:00 pm April 10-12 Vintage Chevrolet Club National Meet, 6th Annual April 15 Economic Development, 8:00 am April 16 Women in Lumpkin Leadership Breakfast at Stewart Center for Continuing Education, 8:00 am April 17 Board Meeting, 12:00 pm April 18-20 Bear on the Square Festival, 12th Annual April 25 Tour de Georgia Stage 5 Finish April 29 Ambassadors Meeting, 12:00 pm May 6 Business After Hours at Forrest Hills Mountain Resort, 5:30-7:30 pm May 8 Executive Committee, 12:00 pm May 10 U.S. Army Mountain Ranger Open House at Camp Frank D. Merrill May 15 Board Meeting, 12:00 pm May 17-18 Mountain Flower Art Festival May 20 Economic Development, 8:00 am May 21 Women in Lumpkin Leadership Breakfast at Stewart Center for Continuing Education, 8:00 am May 28 Ambassadors Meeting, 12:00pm

Dahlonega and Dawson County Will Host Five National Travel Writers in March & April The theme, "Waterfalls, Weddings and Wine," presents a number of Dahlonega’s tourism experiences and a multitude of editorial angles. Visiting writers have demonstrated track records in editorial placements in a variety of publications, with work appearing in Atlanta JournalConstitution; McClatchy News Service; Meetings South; Newsweek; The Oklahoman; (a national publication and website for over 13 years); Savannah Magazine; Tifton GA Gazette (a member newspaper of Community Holdings News Service comprising more than 93 community newspapers); Time Magazine; and Where to Retire, among others. 2007: The Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber and CVB invested in a tourism-based public relations program with the Georgia Turner Group and garnered over $400,000 of publicity in national and regional publications based on the editorial placements’ ad equivalencies. Many placements have resulted in spin-off articles by the same writers. For instance, Kathy Witt’s February 2007 visit resulted in these placements: The Tennessean (2/25); Northern Virginia Magazine, May; Points North, July; Georgia Magazine, October; roundups including Dahlonega appeared in Group Travel Planet (festivals); The Tennessean (historic theatres/holiday shows), Georgia (haunted theatres), Points North (holiday menus and Hospitality

Highway) and (historic theatres). Another article will appear in The Tennessean in May, 2008. The Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Welcome Center was named second busiest Regional Visitors Center in the state. With 321,358 visitors, it was second only to Savannah, an international destination. Open 359 days a year, with a full time staff of 2.2, it brought in seven new volunteer information specialists and entered the Georgia Geo Caching marketing program. Dahlonega’s web site had 11,000,000 hits since January, 2007. Selected by US News and World Report as One of America’s 10 Best Retirement Communities and as one of the best Communities in the Southern Mountains by Leisure Publishing 2008 Guide, it was featured in over 150 articles by national, regional and state magazines, major travel web sites and newspapers.

Advertise your business in The Chamber! For Rates & Information, please contact: Amy Booker at the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce (706) 864-3711

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Golden Pick Awards Presented Dupont. With his lifelong interest in photography and example set by his mother, Madeline, who served as the first Chamber Director in 1954, Jack has taken this passion and published two books and donated his photos to the Chamber and CVB for our brochures and website. We are honored to have Jack Anthony receive the Golden Pick Award for Tourism.

Stefani Logden presents Golden Pick Award to Judy Galvin, Chamber Colunteer of the Year at Annual Chamber Banquet

At this year’s Annual Banquet at Montaluce Winery & Estates three Golden Pick Awards were given to outstanding citizens. Mr. Jack Anthony received the Tourism Volunteer of the Year Award for unselfishly giving so much to the Convention & Visitors Bureau and Chamber of Commerce. A native of Dahlonega and a graduate of North Georgia College he retired back in Dahlonega after a 33 year career with

Judy Galvin, a tireless volunteer for the Chamber’s number one fundraising event, the Six Gap Century Bike Ride, has donated hundreds of hours in helping us bring this event to a new level. She has actively been involved for 28 years in cycling and helped establish the North Atlanta Riding Club, which she has grown from 100 members to over 500 in four years. She is serving on the Tour de Georgia Committee and helping us with the design and content for the North Georgia Cycling Website and our 20th Anniversary Six Gap Ride.

Gallery. Since purchasing Hummingbird Lane Art Gallery from Camerone Malloy they have immersed themselves in volunteering to help Merchants on the Square and other businesses in Lumpkin County. Amy built the first website for the Downtown Merchants Association giving our local businesses a visual face to the entire world. They were donors to the Old Fashioned Christmas and sponsored Shop for a Cop that raised $750 to help special families in need. Amy has designed the awards for this year’s Tour de Georgia Stage 5 winners and is involved with the 4th of July Committee. We are proud of all these Golden Pick Awards for 2007.

We were proud to present Judy Galvin the Golden Pick Award for Chamber Volunteer of the Year. The Golden Pick Award for Outstanding Service to the Community of Dahlonega and Lumpkin County was presented to Todd and Amy Strickland of Hummingbird Lane Art

Sheila Litherland presents Golden Pick Award to Todd & Amy Strickland for Oustanding Service to the Community at Annual Banquet

DDA Presents Awards to Dahlonega’s Historic Central Business District Dahlonega’s Downtown Development Authority hosted an awards banquet March 11 for Dahlonega’s historic central business district. The banquet hall was full at the historic Smith House, where they served delicious cuisine sponsored by BB & T. Joel Cordle, Better

Hal Williams presents Woodrow Parks of Parks Clothing his award for 80 Years as a downtown business.

Hometown/DDA Director thanked partner agencies, the Dahlonega Merchants Association and the Dahlonega-Lumpkin

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County Chamber of Commerce & Convention and Visitors Bureau. The DDA honored downtown’s most veteran small business owners, thanked key volunteers from 2007, DDA / Better Hometown projects, and recognized the many private investments made by downtown property owners in construction projects in 2007. Dahlonega Merchant’s Association presented Jeff and Barbara Welzein the DMA award for volunteers of the year. The award plaques and certificates were made possible by Mountain State Bank and United Community Bank.

Romantic Getaways in Lumpkin County The Bed and Breakfast Inns of Dahlonega primary focus is to pamper their guests. The serenity of the bed and breakfasts that are scattered across the county is one feature that our guests tell us they come here for. There are seven members of the Bed and Breakfast Inns of Dahlonega. Cedar House Inn is located on 19 North, Lily Creek Lodge is located on Auraria Road, Long Mountain Lodge is located off of Camp Wahsega Road, Mountain Laurel Creek is located off of McDonald Road, Mountain Top Lodge is located off of Shiloam Church Road, Pura Vida USA located on Town Creek Church Road, Top of the Square is perched upstairs in the Moore building on the square, and Worley Homestead is located just off of the square on West Main Street.

Professional Speaker Liz Goodgold Coming to Dahlonega on April 8th It is with a great deal of pleasure I introduce you to an internationally known speaker and author on branding and marketing. Liz is a feisty red head who has helped women all over the world with her fresh ideas on personal branding, “How women can create the brilliant brand called “You”! She will be coming to Dahlonega before her appearance at the Public Relations Society of America meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina and at the Carolinas Chapter of the National Speakers Association in Charlotte, North Carolina. For her to include us on her stop on the East Coast is an honor. Women executives, business owners and students at NGCSU you should plan to come meet personally Liz Goodgold. She will be appearing her on April 8th at the Stewart Center for Continuing Education next to the Dairy Queen. Breakfast will be at 7:30 am followed by the program with Liz from 8:00 am to 9:30 am and a question and answer session from 9:30 am to 10:00 am. Cost is only $15.00 per person and you can register by calling Stefani Logsdon at 706-864-3711 or via e-mail to:

The Inns meet monthly to discuss how to promote the community and the lovely bed and breakfast inns in the area. One of the Association’s fundraisers include the Sleigh Bell Tour presented in December along with Old Fashion Christmas. Packages and perks at the inns include such amenities as massages, facials, gourmet breakfast, fluffy bathrobes, mountain views, whirlpool tubs, winery and romance packages, outdoor packages and much more. To view the inns, log onto to the Chamber webiste: and click on tourism activites and then click on bed and breakfast. Or you can visit the Bed and Breakfast website:

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Liz Goodgold Professional Speaker To learn more about Liz Goodgold visit her web site at:

Educational Spotlight Nadia Brashier of Lumpkin County High School is named “Page Star Student” Nadia Brashier, a high school senior, has been announced 2008 PAGE STAR Student for Lumpkin County High School. The announcement was made today by the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce, local sponsor of the Lumpkin STAR Program. Nadia Brashier, the daughter of Alvin and Sabine Brashier of Dahlonega, selected Ward New, her retired 6th grade science teacher from Lumpkin County Middle School, as her STAR teacher. The PAGE Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program, in its 50th year, is sponsored by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) Foundation, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and the Georgia Department of Education. Since its inception, the STAR program has

honored more that 21,000 students and the teachers they have selected as having the most influence on their academic achievement. Students are selected on the basis of their SAT scores and class standing/scholastic averages. STAR begins each year in participating high schools throughout Georgia when the STAR student is named and chooses a STAR teacher to share in this recognition. The students and their teachers are honored by their schools and receive special recognition in their communities from more than 200 statewide civic organizations and businesses that sponsor local programs. Students then compete for school system titles, and those winners compete for regional honors.

Announcing the opening of

Fred’s General Store Located in the Visitor’s Center Dahlonega & Fred Souvenirs, T-Shirts, Coffee Mugs, Books, and much more!

Store Hours 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM Open 7 Days We invite you to stop by and check it out!

The New World of Building Houses Has Changed How’s that for a confusing introduction. That seems to be where we are right now, involved in a sag in the economy that has been blamed on anything and everything associated with the building industry. All of our national and international ailments are some how seeded by the sub prime lending market whether it be foreign nationals, energy related products, bank failures, etc., or at least that’s what the media seems to tangently portray. Our industry has represented about 15% of the national economy, employed more than any other single segment of the none American workers, used indirectly 8-10% of our expanded energy growth and yes, the banks loaned to buyers of homes which our industry built. I don’t blame ”us” as an industry. What I am critical of is that we “caved in” to building only what the buyer wanted rather than being very well educated about what might have been a more sustainable product for our customers and our planet. Everyone in the “food chain” has a little culpability, all the way from the land seller right on to the loan reprocesser/reseller/repackager.

I’m not so sure any of this really matters however. Although we are all part of a larger international picture, the part in which we can be most active in, is this local community. As a local chapter of the National Association of Home Builders, the Lumpkin County Home Builders Association has sponsored construction trade scholarships at our high school, donated money to local charities, and aligned itself with this Chamber of Commerce. The reason is that we are committed to participating in the efforts of this community for the betterment of the community. Recently the State of Georgia passed legislation requiring licensing of all homebuilders and general contractors. Many states have had those requirements for some time. Every state, which has mandated minimum standards, has improved the services and products in the homebuilding arena. That means better and more sustainable homes for our community. The Lumpkin County Homebuilder Association is behind this change, and is taking a leadership role in education, implementation of licensing, advancing conjunctive ideas, and pushing for the responsibility that accompanies this new requirement. Some might say that this speaks of exclusivity, but with better education, training, comes better homes being built. That means fewer problems for our homebuyers, more stable real estate values and more consistency in techniques used throughout the building process. Operating within that

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framework changes and improvements will advance evenly, again to the benefit of our customers. As an organization we don’t have a singular voice regarding county and city issues because we have a similar constituency as exists locally. Some builders want more growth, some less growth, but we all want responsible discussion relating to the execution of any plan. Granted our livelihoods are tied to a certain amount of growth, but there is a kind of synergy that is required for the coexistence of gated communities and affordable housing. “Circle the wagons” mentality is not solution driven but rather fear driven. It is the synergy of all our components operating apart yet together which makes a vibrant community more vital and alive. That’s one part of why we are proud to be an active participant in this community. Larry Stouffer, President Lumpkin County Home Builders Association President, LVS Homes Inc.

Tour De Georgia Update hosted the Tour (20042006). The race begins in Suwanee at 10:00 a.m. and is expected to finish between 2:50-4:10 p.m. in Dahlonega.

The longest stage of the Tour will take place on Friday, April 25, passing through 10 Georgia counties. Stage Five is 133.4 miles in length (214.7 km) and challenges riders with three UCB KOMs (Burnt Mtn, Woody Gap, Crown Mtn). The epic day of climbing begins in Suwanee, Ga., the first time the Tour has started in Gwinnett County. A new route will wind north, with a Georgia Power Sprint in Cumming, to the finish line in Dahlonega, GA. It is the third time that Dahlonega, home to America’s first gold strike, has

The ride once it enters Lumpkin County at Woody Gap will proceed along highway 60 to the intersection at R Ranch road and turn right to Yahoola Road. Turning right on Yahoola road the course follows Yahoola Road to Black Mountain Road into Wahsega Road. Turning left on Wahsega to a left turn on Wash Rider road into Oak Grove road. From there it turns right to Hamp mill road following Hamp Mill to Hwy 9/52 turning left to the Morrison Moore connector then right on Calhoun road up Crown Mountain to Alecia Drive left on Alecia back to a left turn on Morrison Moore into South Chestatee Street. The route turns left on South Chestatee into the historic district then left on West Main to finish at the intersection of Church street.

DVD Format Battle is Over… Blu-Ray HD Wins If you’ve looked in the movie selection at Walmart lately you may have noticed a higher priced DVD movie packaged in a slim, blue case that looks a little different from the familiar DVD you’ve been purchasing for the last ten years. That’s because a 3-year battle that has been raging over the new format for providing High Definition (HD) content on DVD discs is over. The declared winner… ‘Blu-ray HD”! Blu-ray is an optical disc technology utilized by Sony in their popular Playstation game systems. What does this mean for your business? It means that production companies will finally be willing to invest in Blu-ray DVD technology in order to provide affordable HD content to the corporate world. And, if you haven’t seen true HD video then you are in for a real treat. Audiences will be blown away with the picture quality as they watch your advertisements and promotional media as they have never before seen. As most first time HD viewers say, “it makes me want to reach into the screen to touch something”. Now, flat screen displays really will be worth the investment for use in lobbies, boardrooms and at trade shows. An already media savvy audience will become even more

discriminate after 2009 as the FCC mandates the switch to HD in our homes. This means that the expectation level of your viewing audience will be even higher, with your company reputation on the line. It’s time to start thinking HD when it comes to multimedia advertising, especially now that the smoke has cleared and we can see which DVD format technology was left standing.

Scott Gray Video Craft Productions, Inc.

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On Street and Square parking in the downtown area will not be allowed after 6 PM on April 24th. This will include East Main to the intersection of Grove Street, West Main to Sunset, North and South Square Parking. North Chestatee and North Park Streets to Warwick. Employees and Business owners in the Historic District are advised to use Hawkins, Warwick and Choice Streets on April 25th. The downtown square area will be blocked to through vehicular traffic beginning at 6 am. South Chestatee will be blocked at the intersection of Choice street, West Main will be Blocked at Sunset (to all but University administrative staff ) College Lane, Church street, and Waters Street. East Main will blocked at North Grove at the traffic light. There will be no through access on either Hawkins Street or Choice Street. Only Tour related vehicles will be permitted on the square for loading and unloading. Parking areas off the square will be restricted to square business and Tour vehicle use only for the 25th of April.

Lumpkin County Receives Entrepreneur Friendly Designation On Tuesday, February 26th, representatives from the Georgia Department of Economic Development's Small Business & Innovation Division came to Dahlonega to designate Lumpkin County as an "Entrepreneur Friendly" county. This designation is the result of a seven-step process that helps Dahlonega and Lumpkin County create an environment that recognizes entrepreneurs and small business strategies that can be worked into the community’s economic development strategies.

(above) Lumpkin County receives Entrepreneur Friendly Designation on February 26th. From left to right: Dr. Max Burns, Stefani Logsdon, Don Bacek, Kelly Finnochio, Joel Cordle, Jane O’Gorman, Hal Williams, Jere Allan, Donna Gessell, Tommy Folger, Claudia Gibson, Jennifer Herring, Mitch Jackson, Philip Reed

Mike Cottrell School of Business presenting free workshop for small business and nonprofit managers energy and ideas that students bring. Equally important, as our students learn from the community, they become more confident leaders, sensitive to the needs of the larger community and the realities of the business world. (Left to Right) Dr. Max Burns, Mitch Jackson, Dr. Michael Crino On Tuesday, April 8 at 5 PM, students from the Mike Cottrell School of Business will be presenting a free workshop for small business and nonprofit managers on the North Georgia campus. The workshop will focus on the wealth of information on the World Wide Web that can help managers with the day-to-day operations of their organizations, including business plans, strategic planning, human resource management, marketing, loss prevention, and other topics of interest. Those interested in attending the workshop can register by calling the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce at 706-864-3711. This workshop is an example of service learning, which is where students learn by doing. This method of instruction allows students to take the theories and principles from the classroom out into the community. The business and nonprofit community benefits from the

As a case in point, in designing this workshop the students surveyed managers to determine their information needs, researched the World Wide Web to find sites that could meet those needs, developed a workshop presentation, and marketed the effort to the community. If you have not yet seen this marketing campaign, I am sure you will. When surveyed at the start of the semester only a small percentage of the students believed they could deliver a professional workshop, as of a few weeks ago, there was no doubt in their minds that they will. I would like to thank the many persons and organizations that have worked with our students and have been so welcoming to the idea of service learning. The Dahlonega-Lumpkin Chamber has been amazing in its support, as has the Dahlonega Merchants Association and the Hall County United Way. The Mike Cottrell School of Business is committed to community and economic development in North Georgia. Service learning is one

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of the many forms of engagement the School is pursuing.

April 15th is right around the corner. So are your people. If you’re still under the wire, remember no one has more experienced tax professionals at more convenient locations than H&R Block. 51 N Grove Street, Suite A Dahlonega, Ga 30533 706-864-4499 M-F 9-8 SAT 9-5


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Dahlonega - Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce

©2008 H&R Block Services, Inc.


Site of the First US Gold Rush. 13 South Park Street, Dahlonega, GA 30533 Tel: 706-864-3711 Toll Free: (800) 231-5543

The Chamber Newsletter April 2008  
The Chamber Newsletter April 2008  

Tourism Volunteer of the Year Award for unselfishly giving so much to the Convention & Visitors Bureau and Chamber of Commerce; Chamber...