EAST COBBER Front Covers 1997 January 1997: Libby Pitner February 1997: Johnny Isakson March 1997: Linda Bonstein April 1997: Steven Byess May 1997: Cheryl Rogers June/July 1997: Hank Buffer August 1997: Imiri Hir September: 1997: Cathy Henson October: 1997: Yvonne Williams November 1997: David Everett December 1997: Connor and Caleb Garrett
Cover Photos taken by Michael Drewitz
January 1997: Libby Pitner To kick off 1997, our cover spotlights Libby Pitner, who was recently selected Citizen of the Year for the East Cobb division of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce. For nearly twenty years, Libby has been volunteering in and around Cobb County. The American Cancer Society, Marietta Kiwanis Club., YWCA, and Kennestone Foundation are a few of the organizations she has contributed to. However, it is her current involvement in the Cobb County Commission for Children and Youth that she is most proud of. As Libby explains, “we assess the needs of children in the county, make recommendations and find local resources to help them…” Professionally, Libby Pitner brings 25 years of banking experience to her most recent position as vice president of Riverside Bank. Libby has learned how to be “active on-the-job as well as getting involved in the community.” As she states, “when we give of our time to worthy causes, we all benefit.” With two grown daughters, Libby an “empty nester” is better able to “work at balancing her career and volunteer activities.” Being able to serve the community is something she “won’t give up!” A native Altantan and a Cobb resident for 19 years, Libby says, “it’s been incredible to watch East Cobb, as well as the whole County, grow and prosper. It is especially gratifying to work with the small business owners and see their businesses grow.”
February 1997: Johnny Isakson Each of our front covers is graced by a person who has contributed to the quality of the life in East Cobb County. This month, Johnny Isakson continues this tradition. Johnny is well-known and highly-respected professionally, politically and personally in East Cobb and throughout Georgia. As president of Northside Reality, he has developed his business successfully while also holding a variety of leadership positions in professional associations. Since the early seventies he has represented East Cobbers in the Georgia House of Representatives (1976-1990_ and in the Georgia Senate (1993-1996). Johnny was the Republican nominee for Governor in 1990 and a candidate for the United States Senate last year. Last month he was sworn in as the chairman of the state Board of Education. He also has a long history of getting involved in the community from his duties as a trustee of Kennesaw State University to establishing the Leadership Cobb program in Cobb County to teaching at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church. Johnny lives in the Hampton Farms subdivision with his wife Dianne. He has three children, John, 26, Kevin, 24, and Julie, 19.
March 1997: Linda Bonstein This year the National Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) is celebrating its 100 year anniversary. Under the auspices of the Eastern Cobb County Council of PTAs, 34 East Cobb schools continue a tradition of advocating for children. Our cover person honors Linda Bonstein, president of the Eastern Cobb County Council of PTAs. “Parent involvement is important. If I have an idea, I’ll help do it,” says Linda. She explains,”… getting involved is important not just for my kids but for the school and community.” When asked to name a favorite thing about living in East Cobb, Linda replied, “There are too many good things to pick from.” After some thought, she offered the following, “It would have to be the fact that so many families are working together to provide a good place for their children to be raise,” Moving from New Jersey 8 years ago, Linda and her family settled in the Sentinel Lake subdivision. She still lives there with her husband, Bob, and children, Kristen, 17, a senior at Wheeler High School, Rob, 14, a freshman at Wheeler, and Megan, 12, who attends East Cobb Middle School.
April 1997: Steven Byass The EAST COBBER honors those people who contribute to the quality of life in East Cobb County by featuring them on the front cover. This month’s honoree is Steven Byess, music director and conductor for the Cobb Symphony Orchestra. By “managing 75 to 85 creative souls ages 13 to 68,” Steven has made ‘quantum leaps in the quality” of the orchestra. He is also responsible for cultivating support for the orchestra not only by developing intersting programs but also raising much-needed funds. Steven is also an Associate Professor of Music at Kennesaw State University and a member of the Georgia Council for the Arts. He has been singled out for numerous honors and awards in music. However, his favorite achievement is being named “Collegiate Educator of the Year” by the Kennesaw Jaycess. “I have a great respect for the professors at Kennesaw Stae University. This is why the award is so special,” says Steven. Married in December, Steven lives in the lake Fjord subdivision with his wife, Amy Porter, a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He notes, “ Although there are parts of East Cobb that are bustling, my neighborhood is quiet, and the privacy of my home provides an environment conducive to music making. He has a five-year-old daughter from a previous marriage.
May 1997: Cheryl Rogers Cheryl Rogers, 43, “couldn’t believe it” when she heard she was EAST COBBER’s 1997 Mother of the Year. Cheryl is the proud parent of seventeen year old “Clinton “Ashley” Rogers. Cheryl is the registrar and secretary to the upper school principal and counselors at The Walker School in Marietta. As a single parent, Cheryl believes it has given her an “inner strength knowing someone is depending on you…” Her favorite part about being a mom “knows you have some impact on the future by instilling values in your child.” When she isn’t too busy keeping up with her teenage son and his baseball games, Cheryl enjoys flowerarranging, shopping, and cross-stitching. A native Mariettan, Cheryl has lived in the East Cobb subdivision, Heritage Farms for the past seventeen years. “When I was growing up in Marietta, you had to travel miles and miles to go shopping downtown. Now everything is so close.” Her motherly advice:”… Listen to your children, read to them, instill your values and keep a sense of humor.”
June/July 1997: Hank Buffer In celebration of Father’s Day, the EAST COBBER features on its front cover, the 1997 Father of the Year, Hank Buffer. When Hank’s daughter, Shari Wind, and son-in-law, Marc, chose to change careers, go back to school, and move out of state, they needed some additional support. Hank and his wife, Lee, decided to follow their daughter to Georgia and help care for their grandchildren while Shari and Marc worked toward new careers. Four years later, Hank reflects on his decision to move from Brooklyn to East Cobb. “My children are very important… being with my grandchildren has been a dream of a lifetime. Living in East Cobb has been extraordinary… the people here are so nice and polite.” He attributes his success as a father to “a good wife.” He’s been married to Lee for 46 years. His advice to other fathers is to “show your love… lots of hugs and kisses and thank God for what you have everyday.”
August 1997: Imiri Hir This month we feature Imiri Hir, the general manager of the Atlanta County Club- one of East Cobb’s few landmarks. For the past 25 years, Imiri has taken great care in managing this private golf club of 450 members. As one of the best courses in the United States the Atlanta Country Club hosts the U.S. Open’s ladies qualifier. From 1967 to 1996, the Atlanta Country Club was the sight of the Atlanta/BellSouth Gold Classic. Imiri enjoyed opening Atlanta Country Club for this national event so the country could get a glimpse of the beautiful course while also acting as a fundraiser for many local charities. Born in Hungary, Imiri has lived in the Roswell Downs subdivision since 1973. “East Cobb was a quiet little town when I moved here… now it’s a big city,” observes Imiri. In addition to playing golf, Imiri likes to hike and snow ski.
September 1997: Cathy Henson Our September edition features East Cobb resident Cathy Henson. Cathy is the president of the state Parent Teacher Association. As president of this grassroots organization, Cathy is leading 350,000 members to get involved in their children’s education “beyond the usual fundraising duties” and encourages local PTA representatives to get involved in the decisions that affect quality public education. “On of my main goals is to empower PTA leaders to influence their local officials on issues that affect the quality of our public schools, such as, curriculum evaluation, class size, school funding. After all public education is the cornerstone of democracy that relies on an educated citizen to vote” says Cathy. Cathy has taken time off from practicing law so she can focus on her family and her 2-year term as President of Georgia’s PTA. She lives in Atlanta Country Club subdivision with her husband, Pete, and 13-year-old son Patrick.
October 1997: Yvonne Williams October marks the one year anniversary for Yvonne Williams as the president and chief executive officer of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce. A native Atlantan, Yvonne taps into her 20 years experience in chamber and economic development to direct the Cobb Chamber’s $2.5 million budget, 2,900 members and a staff of 24. Yvonne believes the biggest strength of the Cobb Chamber is its “strong culture and volunteerism.” She explains, “everyone is striving for a better quality of life and looking for ways to achieve that goal.” She says her role as head of the Cobb Chamber is to provide opportunity for Cobb citizens while also maintaining quality development and protecting environmental needs.’ Yvonne Williams lives in the Stone Oak subdivision with her husband Charles Allan Williams. “Access to excellent amenities likes shopping, restaurants, and to the Marietta Square… it’s close to work” were the main reasons Yvonne chose to live in East Cobb.
November 1997: David Everett Honorary Kid Marshall for the 1997 EAST COBBER Parade
December 1997: Connor and Caleb Garrett The cover photo is a scene that will be played out throughout the month of December for many East Cobbers and children throughout the United States. Caleb’s and Connor’s parents, Kevin and Echo Garrett, took them to Cumberland Mall to visit Santa Claus. Caleb and Connor were debating whether the Santa they got to meet was the “real” Santa or not. Caleb told Santa he wanted “a Nintendo 64, my very own computer, and Sega Genesis.” His brother, Connor, 4, wants anything related to Batman and Robin. Caleb attends East Side Elementary School. The Garrett family lives in the Bridgegate subdivision in East Cobb. Kevin Garrett took the photo of his sons with Santa.