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A natural approach to good health September 2009

The Member Newsletter of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce

Post Office Box 299 “Old Jail” west of the square Dawsonville, GA 30534 (706) 265-6278

Reversal of fortune Chamber event raises $13,000 By Michele Hester Staff Writer

Sitting at a table in the back of the room at the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce Reverse Raffle Aug. 27, Yvonne and Bill Bombardier were about to sneak out and call it an early night. Picking up her purse, Yvonne Bombardier told her husband, “Did we miss it? Did they already call our number and we missed it?”

The couple soon found out their number wasn’t quite up yet. In fact, their number was never called, and they left the Lakeview Center $10,000 wealthier. “We’re going to Disneyland,” Bob Bombardier joked. “Isn’t that what you do when you win something?” His wife said she didn’t know what people do with their prize winnings. “I’ve never won anything, ever. My name’s always the last to be called. That’s one rea-

son we bought a reverse raffle ticket, since the last one standing is the winner,” she said. On a serious note, the Bombardiers plan to put the money in the bank, maybe begin saving for a raining day, and buy two new rims for their daughter’s car. “She hit a pot hole earlier and ruined the rims. I told her I might buy her new tires,” Yvonne Bombardier said. The reverse raffle is one

See FORTUNE, Page 5

Photo/Michele Hester

With just five numbers left to be drawn, the remaining ticket holders questioned whether to split the $10,000 cash prize.

More important than ever to live united Last week I attended the kick off for the Atlanta Division United Way campaign for Kroger. There were two emotions felt in the room as we made our plans for the 2010 campaign.

First, you could feel the excitement. As a division, all of us have gotten in behind United Way as we have seen first hand in our communities what United Way does for our employees, our customers and our

citizens. As a division we will raise more than $1,650,000 this year. Second, you felt a sense of urgency. With the economic times we are experiencing, there has never

been a greater need for all United Ways and particularly that of Dawson County’s United Way. Normally, I talk to chamber members about business or government interests that impact local

business. Though it may be not the most important reason to get involved with United Way, the success of a cam-

See UNITED, Page 10

Jay Walker

Page 2 • Dawson Chamber Chronicle • September 2009

Thank you to the commissioners Last spring our Entrepreneur Friendly committee meeting discussions centered on the fact that local governments and school boards were, for the most part, bound to award bids on projects, good and services to the lowest bidder. It was noted that quite often bids are awarded to companies that are outside of their own county, and perhaps even outside of the state. We discussed the fact that local business owners stimulate the local economy by providing jobs, depositing into local banks and doing business with other local entrepreneurs. If local sales tax is applicable, those funds come back to our own county budget. Local businesses give back to

Linda Williams their own communities by supporting local charities and sponsoring local ball teams both at the schools and local park and recreation departments. Businesses outside of the county rarely reciprocate with the same participation and support

that local businesses do and it is not likely that sales tax makes its way back to Dawson County. Conversations with local officials and personnel at the county level have resulted in some positive changes in county procedures. The county policy now allows bids less than $100,000 to be awarded to a local business if they are within three percent of the lowest bid and if they use a local bank. On behalf of our chamber members and all local businesses, I publicly thank the county commission for taking this action. This action strengthens the local economy in so many ways. The multi-

plier affect is strongest when all the players are local. Since I am writing about supporting local business, please mark your calendar for Oct. 6, when about 70 of our finest business members will participate in the

annual Business Expo. The event will be held at Lakeview Center, 2057 Dawson Forest Road East, from 4-7 p.m. As always, the event is open to the public at no charge. We invite everyone to come in and see what Dawson County has to offer. I can safely guarantee

you will find a business that you were not aware is here. There will be door prizes, as well as samples from our restaurants and caterers. I hope to see you at a chamber event soon. Won’t you join us?

Football team to benefit from tourney By Michele Hester Staff writer

A golf tournament to benefit the Dawson County High School football team will be held Sept. 14 at Chestatee Golf Club. The Tigers Touchdown Club, which is holding the tournament, raises funds in support of the high school's football program. The inaugural tournament will have a 10 a.m. shotgun start and four

person teams. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Entry fees of $125 for an individual or $450 for a team include a barbecue buffet, cart and green fees and use of the club's practice facility. Prizes will be awarded to first and second place gross. There will also be prizes for closest to the pin and longest drive. Be sure to stop by the silent auction for many valuable items to take

home in support of the Tigers football teams. There is still time to sign up.

For more information, call Lori Lewis at (561) 254-4494 or (706) 2167148.

Appraisal Advisor, LLC Industrial, Retail, Office, Land Martinn E. Winters Certified General Real Estate Appraiser Office: 706.265.2537 • Fax: 706.265.2539

of your world. Do you know what happened in your community last week? The Dawson Community News keeps you informed, so you always know what’s happening in your community.

Dawson Community News 514 Academy Ave., Dawsonville 706-265-3384 FAX 706-265-3276 ❑ $15 Local 1 Year Subscription ❑ $25 Local 2 Year Subscription



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Dawson Chamber Chronicle • September 2009 • Page 3



Chamber events September Sept. 10: Lunch with the chamber at noon, Lakeview Center, 2057 Dawoson Forest Road East. Guest speaker will be Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine. Lunch is $12.50 with R.S.V.P. or $15 with an R.S.V.P. after Sept. 7. Non-members are welcome at $18 each and must also RSVP by calling (706) 265-6278. Sept. 11: The community is invited to the county’s annual Sept. 11 service to be held in the parking lot at Emergency Services Station 1, located at 393 Memory Lane, at 9 a.m. This will be a short service to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice that day. The service will also pay tribute to those brave men and women who are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan protecting our freedom. The service will be conducted by the Rev. Chad Rogers and the national anthem will be provided by the choral department from Dawson County High School. Sept. 18: Dawson County Viet Nam Veterans of America Chapter 970 asks you to join them for a somber service honoring the memory of those Killed in Action and/or Missing in Action. The service will be held at 6 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park on Hwy. 9 North. Sep. 19-20: North Georgia Events Center presents the Eastman’s Gun Show. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Contact Tammy Walker, managing director, at (706) 265-

9000 for more information. The center is located at 31 Successful Way, Dawsonville. Sept. 22: Chestatee State Bank, the Ga. 400 location, will host Business After Hours from 5-7 p.m. For more information, call (706) 2162265. The cash drawing (Chamber’s Economic Stimulus Package) is sponsored by AFLAC - Sharon Reagan, Anderson Family Medicine - Dr. Larry Anderson, The Norton Agency - Kristie Myers, R&D Caulking Inc. - Mike Downs, United Community Bank James Askew, Van Keith Insurance Agency of Dawsonville, LLC - Ann Grizzel and Denny Insurance Group - Denny Putlak. You must be present to win if your name is called. The cash drawing is currently $2,750.

coupons and door prizes. Local restaurants and caterers will offer samples of their specialties. Members need to reserve a space because they are going fast. Oct. 8: Lunch with the Chamber at noon, Lakeview Center. Guest speaker will be Bruce Lucia, president of the Atlanta Division of Kroger. Please R.S.V.P. no later than Oct. 5 by calling (706) 2656278. Lunch is $12.50 with R.S.V.P. or $15 with an R.S.V.P. after Oct. 5. Nonmembers are welcome for $18 each and must also R.S.V.P. Pre-payment is required.


Oct. 13: Are You Smarter Than a 10 Year Old? Based on a game show format, see local officials, business people and other residents as they test their knowledge of the fifth grade curriculum. The fundraiser for R.E.A.D Inc., Reading Education Association of Dawson County, begins at 6:30 p.m. and will be held in the Dawson County Middle School Auditorium. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for children or $15 for the entire family. For more information, call Sandy Lipkowitz at (706) 579-1771.

Oct. 6: 4 - 7 p.m. Business Expo - Dawson County Chamber of Commerce. About 70 businesses will showcase their products and services at the Lakeview Center on Dawson Forest Road. Meet with Dawson County Chamber member’s finest business owners, managers and representatives. There will be samples,

Oct. 15: Dawson County Chamber of Commerce Annual Golf Tournament at Chestatee Golf Club will begin with a Shotgun Start and a Fort Lauderdale format. Sponsorships are available for corporate, holes, box lunch and awards dinner. Compete in the Hole in One and other contests. For more information, call the chamber at (706)

Sept. 24-26: North Georgia Events Center presents the Antique Show from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, contact Tammy Walker, managing director, at (706) 265-9000. The event center is at 31 Successful Way.

265-6278. Oct. 27: Appalachian Community Bank, located at 4300 Dawson Forest Rd. (just off GA Hwy 400), will host Business after Hours from 5-7 p.m. You may call (706) 2655090 for more information. The cash drawing (Chamber’s Economic Stimulus Package) is sponsored by AFLAC Sharon Reagan, Anderson Family Medicine - Dr. Larry Anderson, The Norton Agency - Kristie Myers, R&D Caulking Inc. - Mike Downs, United Community Bank James Askew, Van Keith Insurance Agency of Dawsonville LLC - Ann Grizzel and Denny Insurance Group - Denny Putlak. You must be present to win if your name is called.

November Nov. 12: Lunch with the Chamber at noon, Lakeview Center. Guest speaker will be Karen Handel, Georgia’s Secretary of State. R.S.V.P. no later than Nov. 9 by calling (706) 265-6278. Lunch is $12.50 with R.S.V.P. or $15 with an R.S.V.P. after Nov. 9. Non-members are welcome for $18 each and must also R.S.V.P. Isn’t it time to upgrade your skills or learn something new? Check the many courses offered online through your own Dawson County Chamber of Commerce. Simply go to and look for “Dawson the Scotty” at his computer screen. Dawson County Chamber members and their

employees may take advantage of a 10 percent discount. Call the chamber before enrolling to ensure you receive the chamber price, (706) 265-6278. Sponsorship opportunities available for 2009 Contact Chamber for full benefits of sponsorship. Chamber luncheons$100 includes lunch for two, plus recognition during the luncheon, logo on calendar of events and sponsorship during announcements. Golf Tournament - Hole sponsorship - Oct. 15 at Chestatee Golf Club $150 your company name prominently displayed at a hole during the tournament. Business Expo - Oct. 6, $500. Leadership Dawson Class of 2010 sponsorships are currently being sought for a variety of amounts, with most from $200 to $1,000. Contact the chamber for a sponsorship brochure with benefits. Ambassador Program Monthly Meeting Sponsor $75. Contact Denny Putlak for full benefits of sponsorship, (706) 216-1750 or e-mail Special thanks to our Building Fund Sponsors Appalachian Community Bank, Chestatee State Bank, Regions Bank, United Community Bank & Property Investment Associates.

Page 4 • Dawson Chamber Chronicle • September 2009



Deal speaks to residents on healthcare bill By Elizabeth Hamilton Staff writer

Photo/Elizabeth Hamilton

Last month, U.S. Congressman Nathan Deal spoke at the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce’s monthly luncheon.

With emotions running high at town hall meetings across the country over the president’s healthcare reform, several local tempers flared last month as Congressman Nathan Deal made appearances in Dawson County and shared his views. Speaking to the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club and Home Builder’s Association last month, healthcare topped Deal’s agenda and gave residents an opportunity to express their concerns. “This is the most asinine idea I’ve ever heard,” said Dawson County resident Vernon Smith, holding up

excerpts from President Barack Obama’s more than 1,000 page healthcare reform bill. Smith, a local business man, can’t believe non-U.S. citizens would be covered under Obama’s plan. “This is going to bury us all,” he said. Deal, who also fielded questions, concerns and comments from more than 500 people at a town hall meeting on healthcare a day earlier in Gainesville, did not disagree. “This is a convoluted process under the best of circumstances. It is even more convoluted under the process that has been followed on this piece of legislation. It is a bill that is in excess of 1,000 pages in length,” he said.

Deal, the ranking Republican on the healthcare sub-committee, said the bill, which originally purported to provide insurance to the 45-50 million Americans without healthcare coverage, should pay closer attention to the much smaller percentage of those burdened by preexisting conditions and terminal illnesses, deemed uninsurable. “The original goal of the administration and of the speaker of the house was to have this bill passed on the floor of the house before the August recess,” Deal said. “Whether or not they can pass it is a question that remains to be answered. I’m sure you’ve seen the evidence of the public’s reaction

to this through media coverage of town hall meetings throughout the country, and for those who have stood as defenders of the bill, I believe, are being tested on what exactly it is they support.” Deal said that he believes the overall goal of the bill aligns with what President Barack Obama stated throughout his presidential campaign, and what Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has openly stated as her objective, which is to move the United States into a single-player government-run healthcare system. Deal, a Republican from Gainesville, announced earlier this year his intention to run for governor.

John Oxendine to speak at chamber luncheon By Michele Hester Staff writer

Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner John Oxendine is scheduled to be the guest speaker at the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce luncheon tomorrow. The luncheon starts at noon, with Oxendine expected to begin speaking at around 12:30 p.m. Oxendine has served as Insurance and Safety Commissioner since

Oxendine 1994 and is the longestserving Republican

statewide Constitutional Officer. A p ro p on e n t o f small business, Oxendine says he has pioneered the application of business principles to Georgia state government. Since becoming the first Republican to cont r o l a s t a te agency, Oxendine has consistently run the department under budget, returning money to the taxpayers every year he has been in office. Oxendine has brought

the power of the private sector to bear in addressing Georgia’s healthcare challenges, leading Georgia to became the first state in America to crack down on HMOs that refused to pay doctors and hospitals on time. To date, Oxendine has levied more fines on HMOs than any other Insurance Commissioner in the United States, ensuring that HMOs fulfill their obligations to their policyholders and our medical community. Earlier this year he

announced he would run for governor. Lunch with the Chamber is $12.50 with an R.S.V.P. or $15 with

Office: 706-216-4806 Fax: 706-216-4807

an R.S.V.P. after Sept. 7. Non-members are welcome at $18 each and must also R.S.V.P. by calling (706) 265-6278.

P.O Box 1096 137 Prominence Court Suite 240 Dawsonville, GA 30534

Dawson Chamber Chronicle • September 2009 • Page 5



Promote business at upcoming expo By Michele Hester

Expo participating businesses:

Staff writer

Space is still available to reserve a booth at the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce 9th Annual Business Expo. Chamber members are invited to showcase their business and products from 4-7 p.m. Oct. 6 at the Lakeview Center, located at 2057 Dawson Forest Road. The event, which also gives chamber members a networking opportunity, is free to the public. As in year’s passed, a variety of local restaurants and caterers will be on hand with samples of their delicious specialties. The chamber is currently seeking sponsors for the event, which offers 70 businesses the opportunity to showcase their products and services to hundreds of potential customers. “As a sponsor, you will receive prominent exposure before, during and after the event,” said Linda Williams, president of the chamber. “Being a sponsor is a very affordable way to bring exposure to your business.” Businesses sponsoring at the $500 level will receive the com-

File photo

Carla Boutin, a local State Farm Insurance agent, speaks with the owners of Scarlett’s Batch and Brew and Crimson ‘N Scarlett’s Vineyard during last year’s Business Expo. pany logo printed on all flyers and promotional advertising, as well as in all press releases advertising the event. $500 sponsors will also have their tables prominently placed at the expo with sponsorship signage, in addition to the business name announced repeatedly over the loud speaker. Williams added that the expo will have a business resource area for entrepreneurs and future entrepreneurs that can answer

any business start-up questions. There will also be a number of door prizes drawn throughout the evening, and several grand prizes announced as the expo comes to a close. “We are excited about and looking forward to the event this year,” Williams said. “We are confident this year will be just as successful as last year.” To register a booth or to learn more about the expo, call the chamber at (706) 265-6278.

“You’re not only supporting local entrepreneurs that write local paychecks, but when those local entrepreneurs make sells, the sales tax revenue go into tax coffers and benefits everybody through the county budgets,” said Linda Williams, president of the chamber. The chamber has several events planned for the next

two months to both Dawson County and the local business community. The annual business expo is scheduled for 4-7 p.m. Oct. 6, at the Lakeview Center, followed by the chamber golf tournament at Chestatee Golf Club Oct. 15. “The business expo is one of the things we do is give our members an opportunity

A Touch of Hope Accent Travel ACE AFLAC Appalachian Community Bank BB&T Big D’s BBQ Chestatee Regional Hospital Chestatee State Bank Comfort Keepers Dawson Community News Dawson County Library Dawson Insurance Agency Dawson Montessori Dawson News & Advertiser DCA Denny Insurance Group Duncan Exterminating Inc. Grace Therapy Inc.

H&R Block John Siebel Photography Jolie Day Spa / J. Thomas Salon Kroger Lakeview Center Lava Hair Studio Liberty Tax Services McEver Signs & Graphics Moe’s Southwest Grill Peach Brandy Cottage Ryan’s SBDC United Community Bank USDA Veterans Affairs of Dawson County Victory Custom Homes White Interiors Windstream Communications With A Touch of Pride

FORTUNE from 1 of the chamber’s most anticipated events each year. Proceeds from the raffle, which raised about $13,000, help fund chamber economic development initiatives, like the entrepreneur friendly and work ready programs, which promote local entreprenuers and help educate the public about the importance of doing business locally.

to showecase their businesses and services, and we still have space available in this mini trade show,” Williams said. Williams said it is business and individual members like those that participate in chamber activities that make the events such a success. With door prizes at the raffle ranging from a $400

patio set, to a digital camera, extravagant gift baskets and “cold-hard cash,” Williams said she appreciates all the support. “Whether you sold tickets, donated door prizes or bought a ticket and sat in the audience whooping and hollerin,’ you helped make it fun for us all,” Williams said. “Everyone had a great time.”

Page 6 • Dawson Chamber Chronicle • September 2009



BAH cash drawing continues to grow By Elizabeth Hamilton Staff writer

Recent Business After Hours events of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce have drawn large crowds, with many attending the monthly gathering in hopes of winning the highly sought-after cash prize drawing. Had Regina Stepp of Excellence Academy been present at the Aug. 25 event, held at the Abba House Thrift Store, she would have gone home $2,550 richer. Big D’s BBQ catered the event. Even though no one present walked away with a pocket full of cash, those in attendance heard from founders and participants of the Abba House and how it serves the community. According to founder Jim Sharp, the Abba House is a place of restoration for women and women with children to turn their lives around from living in hopelessness and desperation. “Women come to us who are in desperate situations, with big needs,

Chamber members network at the business after hours event.

Photos/Elizabeth Hamilton

Jay Walker carefully spins the prize drum in hopes of announcing a chamber member as the winner of the “chamber’s stimulus package.” who are looking for hope and a way out,” Sharp said. “We help by providing a safe place where addicted, abused or otherwise broken women can find God’s love, forgiveness, peace and a new life. God is in the restoration business, and through him and this facility, he restores these

women and their families.” Abba House is a 12month residential ministry program that provides training tools for women, teaching them job and typing skills, and provides other assistance to help get them back on their feet and in control of their lives again. Participants are re-

quired to meet the 12 month commitment, be free from drugs, medication or alcohol at the time of arrival, assist with daily tasks and work at the Abba House Thrift Store. Currently serving 20 women and children, Abba House is the only residential treatment facility in the area of

Dawson and Forsyth counties. Abba House expects to open an additional facility in Forsyth County that will allow room for 67 women and children. Next month’s Business After Hours event will be held at Chestatee State Bank’s Ga. 400 location on from 5-7 p.m. Sept. 22. The cash prize is up to $2,750. Sponsors of the cash drawing are AFLAC, Sharon Reagan; Anderson Family Medicine, Larry Anderson; The

Norton Agency, Kristie Myers; R&D Caulking Inc., Mike Downs; United Community Bank, James Askew; Van Keith Insurance Agency of Dawsonville, Ann Grizzel and Denny Insurance Group, Denny Putlak. You must be present to win if your name is called. For more information, call (706) 216-2265. For more information about Abba House or its programs, call (678) 2082000 or visit

Adult Education Center seminar aids those in workforce From staff reports

A seminar designed to help those in the job market, planning to go back to college or gain skills for a better

paying job will be held next month at the Dawson County Adult Education Center. The two hour presentation, led by community leaders in their fields, will pro-

vide information needed to go back to get a job or enroll in college. From resume preparation and the kind of employees employers look for, to acing

an interview and business o p p o r t u n i t i e s i n D aw s o n County, the helpful seminar is free and open to the public. T h e eve n t w i l l b e h e l d

from 4-6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19 at the Adult Education Center, located at 388 Hwy. 9 North, Dawsonville. Fo r m o r e i n f o r m a t i o n , call (706) 265-1690

Dawson Chamber Chronicle • September 2009 • Page 7



Montessori school back in business By Elizabeth Hamilton Staff writer

Just in time for school to start, Barbie Skalleberg was able to have the Dawson Montessori School up and running to welcome students on Aug. 10. “I have been wanting to offer an alternative schooling opportunity here in Dawson County,” she said. “I was able to take an existing school that had shut down, clean it up and get it back in business.” Last month, the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce officially welcomed Skalleberg and the school to the community with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Aug. 20. “We are glad to have you here and look forward to what you will be able to offer to Dawson County,” said Linda

Photo/Elizabeth Hamilton

The Dawson County Chamber of Commerce celebrated the re-opening of the Dawson Montessori School on Aug. 20 with new owner and director Barbie Skalleberg. Williams, chamber president. According to Skalleberg, owner and director of the school, there

are currently eight students at the school and they are accepting others between the ages of 3-6 years.

“We are also welcoming home school students because the Montessori philosophy goes hand in hand with

home schooling,” Skalleberg added. Marina Turtzo, a teacher at the school who has been a Montessori educator for more than 18 years, says the curriculum is a flexible, different way of learning that she describes as a community. “Older and younger children learn together,” Turtzo said. “It is an academic program that offers more by dealing with the whole child and allowing them to become the person they will become at the pace that best suits them.” Turtzo continued to say that the school was founded in the 12th century by Italy's first female doctor, Maria Montessori. She founded the school due to her beliefs that no human being is educated by

another person, but rather he or she must learn on their own or it will never be done. She believed that the goal of early childhood education should not be to fill the child with facts, but rather to cultivate the child's own natural desire to learn. “In a Montessori school, children learn to be self-directed and independent. Everything they learn is hands on, and the materials are colorful and engaging,” Turtzo said. The school is located at 1732 Perimeter Road in Dawsonville, and is currently accepting children ages 3-6 years with hopes to soon grow to accept older children. For more information, contact the school at (706) 265-0002 or visit

Golf tournament set for next month By Elizabeth Hamilton Staff writer

The Dawson County Chamber of Commerce is hosting its 11th Annual Golf Tournament Oct. 15 at Chestatee Golf Club. A fundraiser that supports the efforts of the chamber, registration begins at 11 a.m. and the shotgun start is at noon. As in years past, play

will be in the Ft. Lauderdale format that will include three hole-inone challenges to win prizes, as well as closest to the pin and a longest drive contest. "We encourage the community to come out and enjoy a round of golf while supporting the chamber," said chamber president Linda Williams. "The event is always fun, the food is great, and awards will

be given out." Golfers can play individually for $125 or in teams of four for $450. Entry fees include green fees and golf cart, practice range, lunch, goodie bag, dinner, raffle and awards. "Participating in the tournament is a great way to support the chamber, as well as promote your business within the community,"

Williams added. Prizes will be awarded for the first and second low gross and low net. $10,000, courtesy of Chestatee State Bank, is the prize for the holein-one competition. Sponsorships are available at many different levels, ranging from a $150 Hole Sponsor to $1,000 Awards Sponsor. For more information, contact the chamber at (706) 265-6278.

File photo

The 11th Annual Dawson County Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament will be held Oct. 15 at Chestatee Golf Club.

Page 8 • Dawson Chamber Chronicle • September 2009

Dawson Chamber Chronicle • September 2009 • Page 9



Chamber Chronicle is the monthly newsletter of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce. The editorial content includes Chamber News and goals of interest to the business and residential community. The Chamber will keep the community informed about ribbon cuttings, business expansions, chamber functions QUICK TAKES and events, community events and the benefits of Chamber membership through Chamber Advertising offered only to Chronicle. Chamber members. Delivery...Dawson Community News Subscribers, All Dawson County Chamber Members Size...10” X 9.5” Frequency...Monthly 2nd Wednesday of Every Month Deadline: Monday One Week Prior to Publication

The Chronicle is mailed to all subscribers of the Dawson Community News, plus all Chamber members. Additional copies are available at the Chamber office.

Dawson Community News A Community Newspaper Serving Community Needs

Call Jennifer Lyness at 770-887-3126 for rates

Page 10 • Dawson Chamber Chronicle • September 2009



Hamilton provides clients with legal expertise By Michele Hester Staff writer

With more than three decades in the legal field, those needing assistance with civil issues can be assured attorney James "Jim" Hamilton has the knowledge and expertise to provide multiple legal services to his clients. A general practice attorney, Hamilton, who moved to Dawsonville about three years ago with his wife Sheri, has litigated and tried cases involving real estate contracts, property boundary disputes, title disputes, con-

demnations, property inspections, residential and commercial leases, association regulations, foreclosures, real estate closings and real estate fraud. A proud member of the Dawson County Home Builders Association, Hamilton has brought with him a sound knowledge of the residential and commercial construction industry, although his practice is not limited to those industries. He is also experienced in many additional areas of the law, including will and trust preparation,

estate planning, contract preparation, corporation and LLC formations. Hamilton also has extensive experience in litigating estates, personal injuries, contracts, buysell agreements, franchises, commercial transactions, divorce and domestics relations, wills and corporate matters. The law firm is located at 300 Old Dawson Village Road, Suite 110, Dawsonville. For more information, call (706) 216-4550 or email

Attorney Jim Hamilton invited members of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce to his Old Dawson Village office last month for a open house and ribbon cutting celebration.

employee in the market once the child has graduated from school….You get my point. Each agency has a positive impact of our citizens, which in turn makes for better “local” employees and increases the quality of life in Dawson County. I am fortunate enough to have served on the United Way

Allocation Board for several years and I hope that I am invited back this year. This is probably the most humbling event I participate in. I witness the passion of your local agencies as they share what they have done in previous year. Equal to that is the passion of the allocation board as they debate “where” to send

“how much.” All of this said, here is my charge to you. First, start by participating in the United Way Day of Caring, as well as the campaign kick off on Sept. 18. The more of your associates you bring to this day of work and fellowship, the easier your campaign. Each of my employees who participated last

Photo/Michele Hester

UNITED from 1 paign or lack there of, impacts each of our businesses. Family Connection steers people in the right direction to get help with housing, food, etc, helping some of our citizens to keep their jobs. The Mentoring Program not only gives a child the missing love and care that they need, but it helps put a better


Walk in visitors: 356 Telephone referrals: 2,019

year were “instant” ambassadors this year. Second, if your company does not have a campaign…start one. Taylor Wallace, myself and others would be more than happy to get your group started with anything from United Way materials to explaining payroll deductions. Third, if you already

have a campaign … Thank you. Challenge your company to take it up a notch this year. Again, if you need ideas please ask. There are plenty of us who will help. This is my official challenge for each chamber member to get in behind our community and “Live United.” Jay Walker Chairman

Timothy A.Annis,D.C.

Jeremy Elzey

Elzey Exterminating Co., Inc. (Residential & Commercial)


Walk in visitors: 424 Telephone referrals: 2,951

Free Termite inspections

1992 Dr. Bramblett Rd. Cumming, GA 30040

Office # 678-455-9200 Cell # 678-887-0038

Dr.Timothy A.Annis 66 South 400 Center Lane,Suite 105 Dawsonville,GA 30534

(706) 216-4875

Dawson Chamber Chronicle • September 2009 • Page 11

New members The County Report Crystal Nunley (706) 273-1451 P.O. Box 1400 Ellijay, GA 30540

Metropolitan Appraisal Group Ariston Tyler (678) 859-0405 8080 Garden Oak Court Cumming, GA 30041

Teresa & Jeffrey Kelly (706) 216-6854 68 Chestnut Oak Lane Dawsonville, GA 30534

Thank You Chamber Building Fund Sponsors

Special thanks to the following members that renewed in August Barbara and Joe Fulmer Georgia Farm Girls Richard's Private Wellness and Fitness Studios

Sears Uncle John's Attic

Don’t forget to showcase your products or services from 4-7 p.m. Oct. 6 at the Business Expo. Shop chamber members first. Shopping local keeps sales tax dollars working for you. Don’t miss the College/Career Seminar from 4-6 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Adult Education Center. Community leaders will provide information on how to get a job or enroll in college. For more information, call (706) 265-6278. Have you taken the Work Ready Assessment? Visit to learn more. Please let the Chamber know when you have a special event so we may add them in our Chamber Chronicle.

Property Investment Associates

Page 12 • Dawson Chamber Chronicle • September 2009



Meehan is Ambassador of the Month From staff reports

Being involved in the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Program has opened several doors for Bernie Meehan, who joined the ambassadors about three months ago. “Dawsonville is a very small town, where everybody knows everybody else. This is such a good way to get to know your neighbors,” said Meehan, the manager at Best Bank, located inside the Dawsonville Kroger.

The Dahlonega resident began her banking career at a credit union in Gainesville and later worked her way from teller to manager at Gainesville Bank and Trust. She has served as branch manager at Best Bank for almost two years. The ambassadors are a group of volunteers that act as liaisons between the chamber and its membership. Ambassadors meet once a month to share success stories. They also spend a great deal of time promoting the chamber through various activities such as

Business After Hours events, new business ribbon cuttings and personally meeting new and existing members. “This has been a great opportunity to actually get to know all the other chamber members. The chamber's a great networking tool,” she said. In her free time, Meehan enjoys exercising and spending time with her husband Thomas Patrick Meehan and his family. She also plans to expand her community involvement by joining the Dawson County Rotary Club.


Ambassador Spotlight Chestatee State Bank By Michele Hester Staff writer

Each month a different business or organization sponsors the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce Ambassador’s Breakfast, held at Ryan’s in Dawsonville the fourth Wednesday of the month. Chestatee State Bank sponsored the group’s Aug. 26 meeting. A community bank with its headquarters in Dawsonville, Chestatee State Bank has served the community for more than a decade. Now with two locations in Dawsonville, one in Forsyth County and one in the Marble Hill Foothills area, Chestatee

State Bank thrives to serve the community’s banking needs. The personal touch is the cornerstone of the bank’s charter, and the experienced staff is committed to assisting customers with their business needs. Additionally, the bank and its employees are actively involved in the community and the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce. Business Development Officer Stephanie Womack currently sits on the chamber’s board of directors and formerly co-chaired the chamber’s Ambassador program. Bank president Philip Hester formerly chaired the chamber board.

For further information about the bank, call (706) 216-2265. Breakfast sponsorships, at a reasonable cost, are still available for ambassador breakfasts through the year. The sponsorship is a

great way for businesses to spread the word about themselves and/or their companies. The sponsorship provides the breakfast for the monthly meeting, gives sponsors 1015 minutes to briefly speak

on their business and includes a short profile in the Chamber Chronicle. To register to sponsor an ambassador breakfast or for more information about the program, call (706) 2161750.

Dawson Chamber Chronicle • September 2009 • Page 13



A natural approach to good health By Michele Hester Staff writer

Anyone looking to take control of their health, well being and quality of life through a natural approach to healing might consider giving Paula Pride a call. Pride, a certified fitness trainer, owns With a Sense of Pride, a private training facility in Dawsonville. Working at homes of her clients or in a clinic located on Hwy. 53 East in Dawsonville, Pride educates her clients on how to reduce stress naturally from their body by bringing it into balance through exercises, diet and acupuncture points. “Natural health and fitness has been an integral part of my life, both personally and professionally for over 20 years,” Pride said.

She began studying kinesiology (the study of human movement) at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada in 1987 and has worked in many gyms and chiropractic offices over the years. Pride has studied laser acupuncture, aromatherapy, Reiki, shiatsu and lymphatic massage, reflexology and homeopathy. As she works with her clients, Pride encourages them to take charge of their health by teaching them to use food and exercise as preventative medicine to help their body function as it was meant to, while increasing the quality of their lives. Pride also offers post rehabilitation exercises to rebalance the muscle tension in the body, which she said is especially important after an injury when the body

Pride assists Reed on and off a step to help her strengthen her knee.

Photos/Michele Hester

Physical Therapist Paula Pride places energy tabs on client Sara Reed's knee before a recent physical therapy session. has compensated for an injury in order to prevent re-injury. For physical therapy clients, workout plans are designed with Suzie Heintz, a physical therapist at Physiotherapy Associates in Dawsonville. With a Sense of Pride is located at 6002 Hwy. 53 East, Dawsonville, at Physiotherapy Associates. Additional information is available at, or call (706) 461-9029.

Bruce celebrates 40 years with bank United Community Bank presented long time employee Jimmy Bruce with a clock Friday, Aug. 7 to symbolize his 40 years with the bank and to say thank you for his service.

Photo/Michele Hester

Page 14 • Dawson Chamber Chronicle • September 2009



Being a doctor is in his genes By Elizabeth Hamilton Staff writer

Most would agreed that a person's profession is not determined by genetics, but rather by the choice of a career path. This however is not necessarily the case with Larry Anderson, owner of his own practice in Dawson County, Anderson Family Medicine. “With the exception of my father, I am a fifth generation physician in my family,” Anderson said. “My greatgrandfather was a surgeon in Dalton during the Civil War.” Describing the practice of medicine as always his “lot in life,” Anderson says that his

Anderson career has turned out well. With 30 years under his belt, including more than 10 years of schooling, he has served on many boards and committees concerning various health and wellness issues. With a previous practice in Gwinnett County,

Anderson re-located his business to Dawson County three and half years ago. “The warm reception we received from the community and the sense of family is what makes having my practice in this county great,” Anderson says. “I enjoy working with both the business and government communities.” Anderson is a primary care physician that provides family medicine services through his practice, where he says he enjoys helping people to enjoy a healthy and better life. “We do whatever it takes to ‘fix you’ to lead a normal life, one that is healthy and one that you can enjoy,” Anderson said.

Not only does Anderson's practice offer family medicine services, but his office also serves as a lab resource for drug screening. He added that the most unique aspects about his practice are the 30 minute time blocks in which he schedules his patients. He says this gives him “more time to interact with the patient and provide more oneon-one, personal attention.” Spiritual counseling and guidance is available for patients who may have drifted away from their faith due to personal medical conditions or that of a family member. Anderson's practice also

allows third and fourth year medical students to complete their intern and field study requirements. “Over the years we have worked with state programs to offer family medicine locations for students to gain their clinic experience,” Anderson said. Currently, Anderson is the chairman of the Dawson County Board of Health and has served in that capacity for the past two years. Anderson Family Medicine is located at 400 Dawson Commons Circle, Suite 410, at the corner of Hightower Pkwy. and Hwy. 53 in Dawsonville. For more information, call (706) 265-1335.

Victory Custom Homes builds specific to each client By Elizabeth Hamilton Staff writer

To Bill Goode, a home is more than just a place to hang your hat and sleep at night, but rather a place where friends and relatives gather, couples raise families and grandparents come to visit. “I’ve had the pleasure of doing what I love for more than 25 years — building and remodeling exceptional homes for great people,” says Goode on his company's Web site. Victory Custom Homes was started by Goode when he saw a need for a custom home builder who approached things differently, working by the ideas of bids being accurate, timelines being met, promises being kept and clients becoming friends.


Victory Custom Homes provides house building and remodeling ser vices to Dawson, Lumpkin, Hall, Forsyth, White, Gilmer and Pickens counties. Victory Custom Homes provides the services of custom home building and home remodeling and additions to the following counties:

Dawson, Lumpkin, Forsyth, Hall, Gilmer, Pickens and White. According to Goode, his company prides itself on

understanding the importance of selecting the right builder for your home. He says that home building and remodeling involves sig-

nificant investments, and that his company works to create the home of the client's dreams 'The Victory Way' to maximize efficiency and minimize disruption of the client's life. Building a custom home can be overwhelming. One aspect that sets Victory Custom Homes apart from similar organizations is that they go to great lengths to make the home-building experience as stress-free and enjoyable as possible. Goode says that his company takes care of all the details, keeping everything moving smoothly. For more information, contact Victory Custom Homes at (706) 216-1814 or visit

Dawson Chamber Chronicle • September 2009 • Page 15



Sept. 11 service planned

The Heroes of Dawson County

Ceremony begins at 9 a.m. Friday

We sleep peacefully at night knowing Dawson County's finest is on patrol. They guard, protect and keep us safe anytime they receive a 911 call. They encounter dangerous situations few of us ever know. Yes neighbors, Crime rate is low thanks to our Dawson County Law. When an accident occurs, the worst is feared and we fall apart. Dawson County E.M.S. arrives to reassure us as they take control. We are comforted by their kind words that come from the heart. Their dedication to care for us is instilled deep into their soul.

By Michele Hester Staff writer

The community is invited to a remembrance ceremony to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the Sept. 11 terroristic attacks on America. The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. Friday at Dawson County Emergency Services Station 1, located at 393 Memory Lane. Emergency Services Director Billy Thurmond, Chief Lanier Swafford and Sheriff Billy Carlisle invite the community to the ceremony. "This will be a short service to remember

If a child or adult is lost or gone missing nearby C.E.R.T. is just a call away for search and rescue. Carefully, as they walk deep into the woods, they listen for a cry. They give their all to bring them safely home, nothing less will do. File photo

Dawson County Public Safety Chaplain Chad Rogers reflects on Sept. 11 during last year's ceremony. those who gave the ultimate sacrifice that day, a day that changed our country forever," said Swafford. The ceremony will also pay tribute to the brave men and women who are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan protecting

our freedom, Swafford added. The Rev. Chad Rogers, who serves as chaplain for Dawson County Public Safety, will conduct the service. The Dawson County High School choral department will sing the national anthem.

Our Veterans & Active Military bravely answered the call to serve. They never boast of the lives they saved or the terrorists they fought. Occasionally, a tear you'll see when someone hits a raw nerve. Respect these men and woman, it is your freedom they bought. Illegal drugs are running rampant and destroying many lives. The Meth Task Force of Dawson County has promised they would fight. They are giving hope to schools, families, husbands and wives. At the end of the tunnel, we have begun to see the light. Yes, there are heroes among us we who give their very all. Many you will never know, many you'll never see. They are just doing their job when they answer the call. They are our heroes of Dawson County.

Pam Hamalainen

Dedicated to the memory of the victims of September 11th

Guidance for local employers this flu season Businesses urged to be flexible By Elizabeth Hamilton Staff writer

The CDC has released new guidance that recommends response and planning actions that non-healthcare employers can take now under current flu conditions. The Dawson County Chamber of Commerce received information about the guidelines, and is encouraging local businesses to be proactive and take extra precaution during this flu season.

“A few years ago, the county began work on a pandemic influenza plan, and now all of that work will serve the community well as we deal with the H1N1 flu and work to prevent it,” said Linda Williams, president of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce. The new guidance provides recommendations on ways to decrease the spread of seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 flu in the workplace, while making sure businesses can continue to operate as normally as possible.

“The best defense is simple,” Williams said. “Avoid hand-shaking, wash your hands frequently, stay home when you feel ill and be flexible with your employees if they become ill or feel ill.” Some steps businesses can take to address the current flu situation include advising workers to check themselves for any signs of sickness before reporting to work each day. The CDC also suggests separating and sending home employees who have flu-like symptoms at work, encouraging employees to wash their hands frequently with soap and water

and frequently cleaning all commonly touched surfaces. Businesses could also consider offering vaccinations or encourage employees to get flu shots. Because predictions can’t be made for how severe the 20092010 flu season will be, the CDCs guidelines are designed to help employers plan for and respond to a continuation of the current flu situation and a more severe outbreak. Williams noted that most crisis situations call for the community to come together and support each other, but with the H1N1 flu, that is not

the case. “I encourage people to stay aware and up to date with the most recent information by frequently checking the CDC Web site for updates and detailed guidelines,” Williams said. She also emphasized the importance for employers to be flexible with employees should any of them become ill or show symptoms of the flu. “Allowing people to work from home, if possible, is a good proactive approach to preventing any spread of the virus.” For more information, visit

Page 16 • Dawson Chamber Chronicle • September 2009

“A very special thanks goes to Chestatee State Bank. A talented group of truly service oriented people who creatively take dreams and make a fantastic reality possible. They have always helped us pursue our passion which is taking care of you. With a leader like Mr. Philip Hester, you know its going to be a win-win situation.” Dr. Matthew Dunford & Dr. Michelle Morrow Dawsonville Distinctive Dentistry “We have been banking with Chestatee State Bank since 1998. They have truly made banking more efficient for us, by providing the most up to date banking technologies, including remote deposit and a variety of user friendly online banking interfaces. Their customer service is just as extraordinary. They have always met all of our needs, and more. It has been a blessing to have been partnered with Chestatee State Bank for the last 11 years.”

“Chestatee State Bank provided personal service from their President, Philip Hester, my initial business loans and second mortgage, reliable banking service for business and personal accounts and friendly, prompt service on all occasions. Their Financial Advisory services and ancillary banking services have been handy and useful, their staff friendly and courteous at all times. I have used them exclusively for my business over the past 7 years since our start up.” Dr. Gary Berliner Chestatee Emergent Care

Drs. Craig and Wendy Harris Harris Family Dentistry

Main Office, Hwy. 53 & 400 • (706) 216-BANK With locations in downtown Dawsonville, Keith Bridge Commons-Cumming & Marble Hill

September 2009 Chamber Chronicle  

The Member Newsletter of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce September 2009: Chamber event raises $13,000