Best of Effingham - October/November 2022

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October/November 2022 LET’S CELEBRATE! 130+ Awards 6 Categories Reader’s Choice
CLAY COPELAND | 912.584.1022 TAYLOR COPELAND | 912.800.1022 | Putting the power where it belongs. In your hands. EFFINGHAM MAGAZINE BEST SOLAR COMPANY in Effingham 2022


Let them eat cake! We are celebrating the Best of Effingham 2022 with this beautiful cake made exclusively for Effingham Magazine by Ally from Ally’s Bakery and photographed by Erich Perez and Daniel Rock at K&R Studios in Rincon. What a fitting cover for this celebration of the organizations in our community!

Effingham’s Healthcare

President and CEO Dr. Fran Witt is focused on the future of Effingham Health System.

Shop Smart to Save Big

shopping online or in-store,

can get the most for your money with a little extra

Riley Brown

a Mark That Matters

Reunite Trailer

and Sharing


Sanders and Brett Griffin

interview with


Talk Food Sensitives

Master Nutrition Therapist Kerri Dodson discusses food sensitives and

Pete Hossalla

Law Enforcement Officer

Jennifer Ashdown


Alex Castillo

leader leads you on the

of Effingham

the full list of



OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2022IN THIS ISSUE Don’t forget to check out for more content, more photos and more information about events and happenings around Effingham County.
12 74 Features 12 Future-Proofing
planning. 28
39 The
The AKC Pet Disaster Relief Unit 42 Caring
Ministries offers food pantry and thrift store 48 Judiann Echezabal Fashion designer provides industry expertise 54 8 Award-Winning Kitchen and Bath Ideas Find inspiration in award-winning designs 58 Amanda
the Best
and Beste Principal winners 66 Let’s
their effects 67 Capt.
69 Lt.
God 80 Best
2022 See
the places, people, and things voted
by our readers Departments 11 Publisher’s Thoughts 40 Effingham Happenings 4 October/November 2022 |
THANK YOU TO OUR COMMUNITY SPONSORS: RINCON Your Community Website EFFINGHAMMAGAZINE.COM » MORE community information » MORE events & happenings » MORE great stories about people, places and events from Your Community Magazine. 5840 GA HWY 21 SOUTH, RINCON 877-242-1289 continued support of Rincon Chevrolet! RINCON TO 95000 FOR SPECIAL OFFERS You’re Thinkin’ SAVINGS? THINKIN’ Includes up to 5 quarts of oil. More than 6 quarts of oil is extra. Excludes diesel engines. See dealer for details. $99.95 CHANGE ROTATION SANITIZATION SERVICE! CLAY COPELAND | October/November 2022 5

Melissa McBride Stille:

“Thank you, Effingham! I am honored and surprised!” says Melissa McBride Stille, health insurance broker and Medicare specialist.

Melissa has been in the health insurance industry for 15 years and is the sole proprietor of Stille-DeWitt Health Brokerage. She is dedicated to presenting her clients with the best health care options available and says, “I work for my clients, not the insurance company!”

Medicare Annual Open Enrollment

Oct 15 – Dec 7

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period will be here soon and during this time, it’s advisable to work with a health insurance specialist to review or possibly make changes to your Medicare Advantage plans or Prescription Drug plans.

If you need help navigating through the “tangled web” of Medicare options, Melissa can help. “My focus with each client is education. When someone has the knowledge about what is available, it’s much easier to decide on a plan. Helping my clients save money on prescriptions and medical costs is very important to me. I can walk through the plans to see what fits YOUR needs.”

As your Agent, Melissa will make sure you:

• get the most benefits from your plan

• get the lowest drug cost

• see if you qualify to eliminate the monthly $170.10 Medicare Part B Premium (2022 premium)

• see what’s new for next year’s plans

• get personal service when you need help or have questions

“I can explain the four parts of Medicare (A, B, C, and D) as well as Medicare Supplements and explain the benefits for the plan that you are enrolled in along with some of the extras with the plan.” She can also assist with seeing if you qualify for Extra Help (federal prescription help) or Medicaid.

Are you turning 65 and thinking about retirement and don’t know what to do? “If someone is 65 years old and wants to stop working, knowing their health care options ahead of that decision is crucial because there are far reaching consequences.” Melissa also works with Medicare recipients under 65, including those who have Medicare through Social Security Disability.

Local & Trusted Agent

With so many ads on TV, telemarketers calling and advertisements in the mail, how do you know if you are making an educated decision about your health insurance? Unfortunately, the calls and TV ads will continue to try to change your plan. “That’s how they make money. They do not have any special plans, nor have any new changes been made to this year’s plan, so don’t be fooled,” says Melissa. “They can change your plan without a signature or without you knowing! All they need is your Medicare number, so do not give it out.”

Instead of a random robocall, contact a local, trusted agent. Melissa takes pride in going above and beyond to help you find the plan that fits YOUR needs

“I work for my clients, not the insurance company!”
6 October/November 2022 |

Stille-DeWitt Health Brokerage, LLC

and being there for you throughout the year whenever you need to call with questions or problems. She says customer service, especially follow up, matters to her and her clients. “When a client’s circumstances change, that can impact their health insurance, so keeping in touch is crucial,” she says, “I send reminder postcards, informative letters, thank you notes. I promise, as my client, you will hear from me!”

“I care about each and every client and do a review of everyone’s health policies every year because there are so many changes annually” she says. “I like to simplify things and present you with your best options.” Bottom line—working with a Medicare specialist is critical to obtaining the best outcome for you.

Individual Marketplace Plans

• Do you have a job that doesn’t offer health insurance?

• Are you losing group coverage (through retirement or loss of employment)?

• Have you had a recent move from another state or county?



Best of

There may be a plan on the marketplace for you. More people have qualified for a subsidy this year which means less out of pocket per month for premiums, but changes in your income may affect your subsidy and have financial repercussions. Melissa can assist with marketplace enrollments and with people utilizing Affordable Care Act Marketplace insurance. Individual Open Enrollment runs November 1, 2022–January 15, 2023.

Customer Service

“This is a top priority for me. No two clients have the same situation. Each client has different needs and wants and not all plans are available to everyone.” Melissa’s service doesn’t end at enrollment, “I not only help my clients enroll into a plan that fits their needs, but I am there for them throughout the year. I can guide you on how to address claims questions should that need arise. “

She says, “If you would like my help during this Medicare Enrollment Period, I welcome the opportunity to be your agent. Up-to-date information is so important to have before next year’s plans. I need to make sure you are in the right plan for next year, so it’s time to get started! “

If you have a question regarding Medicare or other health insurance options, give Melissa a call or send her an email. “I am honored that people trusted me enough to vote for me, and equally honored by the trust they show by referring their friends and family to me,” she says, “because a referral is my biggest compliment. Please share my information with others so I can help them, too!”

And most importantly, remember “I work for my clients, not the insurance company!”

Readers’ Choice Awards 2022
MAGAZ I N E Cell (912) 239-7119 | | Stille -DeWitt Health Brokerage, LLC
“I not only help my clients enroll into a plan that fits their needs, but I am there for them throughout the year.” | October/November 2022 7

More Than Pest Control

Darrell Dasher

Branch Manager, Rincon Office

Darrell Dasher grew up in the Sand Hill area, so managing the Rincon office of Yates-Astro really is “home” for him. He gives back to his hometown by officiating sports events for all age groups in and around Effingham County.

His influence goes beyond our area through his involvement as a Shriner and a Mason. Shriner Hospitals for children never charge for their services, a blessing that is the result of the work of Darrell and many others. The Children’s Home in Macon is an outgrowth of his volunteer work as well.

Darrell considers it a form of “giving back” to his hometown by protecting area homes and businesses as a pest control professional with Yates-Astro. It is hometown people like Darrell Dasher who have made Yates-Astro, a family owned local business, the largest pest control provider in the region.

Thank you for voting us Best of Effingham 2022 Storage Facility! EFFINGHAM MAGAZINE BEST STORAGE FACILITY in Effingham 2022 21 South Mini Storage is a family-owned and operated facility providing quality storage facility in the Rincon, GA area. We welcome walk-ins! • Climate Controlled and Non-Climate Controlled storage units available • 24/7 gated access • Security cameras • Moving supplies • Online rental payment option HOURS: Mon- Fri: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Sat: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm 5540 McCall Rd., Rincon, GA AMECHI (JAY) LYNN (Retired Special Operations) ADT Small Businesses and Residential Home Security Consultant 910-987-3463 | Thanks for voting for us! Brittney McCord & Whitney Lipe (912) 826-0909 290 South Columbia Ave. Rincon GA BEST HAIR SALON in Effingham 2022 8 October/November 2022 |
You're Invited! to the BEST OF EFFINGHAM NETWORKING EVENT Best of Readers’ Choice Awards 2022 EFFINGHAM Best of EFFINGHAM PRESENTED BY EFFINGHAMMAGAZ I N E Tickets are limited—get yours today! Call 912-295-5406 with questions about the event Thursday, November 3, 2022 | 6:00-8:00pm Moncrief Square Event Venue 205 N. Laurel St., Springfield, GA | October/November 2022 9

1. Jenny Lynn Anderson, a graduate of Georgia Southern University, is a public relations and marketing strategist with 30 years of experience. She authored her first book, Room 939, in 2011 and can be found on national stages as an inspirational speaker. Jenny enjoys exercising and spending time in the kitchen. A Southern cook, she loves to teach others how to bake pound cakes.

2. Leidi Lester is a freelance photographer from Bogota Colombia with 8 years experience. She has traveled and worked all over the United States with studios such as Railyard Media. One of her proudest achievements is the work she did with models and highly experienced photographers in Las Vegas.

3. Erich Perez and his wife, Dr. Misty Seale are owners of iHeart Dental in Rincon. Erich’s other role is Founder and president of Kronos Media Productions and K&R Studios in Rincon. They specialize in videography and photography as well as sound and recording. Erich and his wife are avid Jeep enthusiasts and have 5 American Bulldogs. You can check them out at @gods.of.dogs on Instagram.

4. Cindy Reid has been a freelance writer for over 15 years. She has been published extensively in Effingham Magazine Pooler Magazine, and other lifestyle magazines. A native of New York’s Hudson Valley, she embodies the saying “I wasn’t born in the South but I got here as soon as I could.” She can usually be found on a beach, on a boat or at a pier at sunset.

5. Lexi Rockwell has lived in Savannah her whole life and graduated from Point University in 2019 with a degree in Business and Social Media Marketing. She has been an award-winning professional photographer for ten years—but her favorite thing to do is shoot video projects throughout the Savannah area.

6. Claire Sandow is a freelance graphic design and marketing professional who lives in Savannah with her husband, daughter and two cats. She is a graduate of Georgia College & State University, where she received a degree in Mass Communication. In her spare time, she enjoys pursuing her many hobbies, including knitting, crocheting, quilting and running.

7. Katrice Williams is a married mother of two. She graduated from Georgia Southern University with a Business Administration Degree. She later decided to pursue her writing interests. Katrice appreciates the Lord Jesus Christ and the many blessings He has bestowed upon her. She loves spending time with her family.

8. Laura Zielinski is a freelance graphic designer specializing in print design. With more than 16 years experience, Laura enjoys shaping stories through meaningful design. When she’s not working, she loves spending time with her husband Keith and their three beautiful children, Alli, Matthew and Claire.

9. Mabel , morale officer, enjoys roaming the backyard at home, sitting for hours on the back porch and coming to the office to greet visitors and encourage the staff. Mabel loves getting treats and taking long naps in her mommy’s office in the afternoons.

87 9
Advertising 5 64 1 2 3
10 October/November 2022 |


Jan Southern 912-318-8645


Effingham Magazine is proudly produced by:

135 Goshen Rd. Ext., Suite 251 Rincon, GA 31326 (912) 295-5406


Write to us and tell us what you think. Effingham Magazine welcomes all letters to the editor. Please send all letters via email to Jan Southern at Jan@ Letters to the editor must have a phone number and name of contact. Phone numbers will not be published.


Effingham Magazine welcomes story ideas from our readers. If you have a story idea or photo essay you would like to share, please submit ideas and material by emailing Jan Southern at Jan@ Stories or ideas for stories must be submitted by email. Only feature stories and photo essays about people, places or things in Effingham County will be considered.

CIRCULATION: Effingham Magazine is published bi-monthly and distributed to more than 250 locations throughout the area, as well as mailed to thousands of homes. The full magazine is available online at

Views expressed in editorial or advertising do not imply endorsement by J. DelSUR Marketing Group.

Reproduction in whole or in part in any manner without the written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited.


Effingham Magazine’s Best of Effingham Readers’ Choice Awards!

In putting together this special issue of

Magazine, we have a lot of people we would like to thank. First, we want to thank everyone who participated in the Best of Effingham Readers’ Choice Awards for 2022. It has been exciting to watch our readers come together and vote for the best individuals, businesses, and organizations in Effingham County.

From Rincon to Springfield to Guyton, so many of you responded with scores of shares on social media and a plethora of votes for your local favorites from Best Real Estate Agent to Best Chicken Wings.

In highlighting the best, we revisited key community pillars like Effingham Health System, which provides high-quality healthcare in our back yard and nonprofits like Manna House Ministries that are doing great work in the community for those who need it most.

We were honored to recognize community heroes like Best Law Enforcement Officer Capt. Pete Hossalla of the Effingham County Sheriff’s Department and Best Firefighter Lt. Jennifer Ashdown of Effingham Fire & Rescue. We thank them for keeping us safe every day.

In this issue, we also got to chat with Effingham’s Best Teacher Amanda Sanders and Best Principal Brett Griffin, who have been instrumental in instilling a love of learning in our youth and preparing them for a bright future.

Let’s also extend a congratulations to Bridget Caldwell of Guyton for being the lucky winner of the $200 Visa gift card! Thank you for casting your ballot.

Finally, we would also like to thank the businesses who have stepped up to sponsor the Best of Effingham event, including Melissa Stille with StilleDewitt Health Brokerage, Moncrief Square and Ohana Spine & Ortho Care of Pooler. The Best of Effingham party will be held Thursday, November 3 at Moncrief Square, and tickets will go on sale October 20.

We hope you enjoy reading about Effingham’s best!


Effingham Magazine


CLIENT SERVICES Christie Wilson, Director of Advertising Devin Hollingsworth, Account Executive
Laura Zielinski DISTRIBUTION Penny Redmond
Effingham | October/November 2022 11


While Effingham Health System has seen tremendous growth since President and CEO Dr. Fran Witt joined the organization in 2016, listening to her speak makes it evident that her focus is on the future of this community and the healthcare system.

In 2021 Witt was named one of the 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives in the country by Modern Healthcare magazine, for her leadership in embracing the future of healthcare for rural communities. With the announcement of the new Hyundai automobile plant being built just a few miles beyond the county line, Effingham Health System is already planning expansion to handle the influx of new residents and support businesses.

“Healthcare is not just a service to a community; it is a critical part of the infrastructure,” she explains.

To illustrate the exponential growth Effingham Health System has already achieved, she shares a few facts.

• Patients treated in the ER grew from 11,000 in 2011 to over 19,000 in 2021.

• The surgery center performs 2,000 surgeries annually and the da Vinci robotic surgery technology, introduced in 2018, has already been used for more than 1,000 surgeries.

• The Effingham Family Medicine team cares for 22,000 patients and maintains a 97% patient satisfaction rate.

• Effingham Health System has also established locally based partnerships with respected specialists in cancer care, orthopaedics, and cardiology.

Best of Readers’ Choice Awards 2022 EFFINGHAM Best of EFFINGHAM PRESENTED BY EFFINGHAMMAGAZ I N E 12 October/November 2022 |


Witt, whose credentials include a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice), MBA, RN, and LNHA (Licensed Nursing Home Administrator), explains the secret to their success: “Today our health system is steeped in evidence-based medicine. It’s our culture, our philosophy, and what we strive for every day. We no longer benchmark ourselves against other smaller hospitals. We benchmark ourselves against larger hospitals, and that’s why we will continue to be recognized nationally for patient care and innovation.”

A Critical Resource During the Pandemic

As the country emerges from the COVID-19 Pandemic, Dr. Witt says she is confident of how critical Effingham Health System was to this community during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Effingham Health System’s Emergency Room treated 1,600 diagnosed COVID patients. More than 375 were hospitalized locally, 65 were transferred to other facilities, and more than 30,000 COVID-19 tests were administered, most of them not reimbursed.

Responding to the pandemic cost Effingham Health System $780,000 a month for two years.

Witt shares her most significant insight from the pandemic response, saying, “Going forward, it is crystal clear that we are an essential provider for this community.”

Witt says one positive that comes from the pandemic response is that, like other hospitals across the country, it led them to reengineer the systems, technology, and protocols on which they | October/November 2022 13
Dr. Wynn performing surgery with the da Vinci Robotic Surgery Technology
14 October/November 2022 |

rely. “We’re emerging a much stronger healthcare system,” she says as she turns the conversation to the future.

Looking to the Future

Today, Witt and her team are focusing on strategically aligning Effingham Health System’s growth with the needs of this community. She explains that when Effingham Health System adds or grows a service, it is because they have identified a real need. They rely heavily on the Community Needs Assessment Survey conducted with Georgia Southern University.

A Focus on Pediatrics

Effingham Health System is making pediatrics a significant priority to better serve the growing population of young families in the area. Witt anticipates the need for these services in Effingham will continue to outpace other local regions, given that Effingham County’s public school system is one of the best in the area and will continue to attract families.

Effingham Pediatrics, led by Dr. Bailey Alford, a board-certified pediatrician and Effingham native, has grown to three providers since opening in 2017. The pediatrics providers also staff the TELEMED program, launched in 2017, that currently offers telemedicine onsite, through the school nurse’s office, for all local public elementary and middle school students.

Preparations are underway to move the pediatrics practice into the former Effingham County Chamber building, where there will be room for further growth. Realizing that many local children require specialty care, Witt says the new facility will also help attract visiting pediatric specialists. A dedicated environment for children will improve the experience for young patients and their families.

Partnerships for Growth

One of the successful models Witt has developed for growing healthcare services in rural areas is partnering with thriving practices in larger communities. Effingham Health System has used this model to establish partnerships with Summit Cancer Care, Chatham Orthopaedics, and My Heart Doctor.

“With the support of our County Commissioners, we are focusing on strengthening these community provider relationships over the next two to three years. This will address current needs for specialty care but will also prepare Effingham Health System to handle the growth anticipated as the Hyundai plant goes online.”

At the same time, Witt focuses on the “front door”— the Emergency Room. The ER, staffed by boardcertified emergency medicine specialists, is solid, having earned new levels of recognition and patient safety awards from the state of Georgia and the American Heart Association this past year.

The growth of industry also impacts another area of the health system. Effingham Occupational Medicine provides workforce healthcare and specific industry testing that will grow along with that workforce. Effingham Health System works with local industries, including Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems America, and will look to expand that specialty practice over the next few years.

The Future of Communication

Today our health system is steeped in evidencebased medicine. It’s our culture, our philosophy, and what we strive for every day....We benchmark ourselves against larger hospitals, and that’s why we will continue to be recognized nationally for patient care and innovation.

As Effingham Health System grows, so does the need for communications. A three-year digital transformation will bring the entire healthcare system under a single digital communication and electronic medical record program called Cerner. This state-of-the-art platform will not only allow providers within their system to communicate. It will also facilitate communications between Effingham Health System providers and a patient’s outside specialists or general practitioner.

So, how does a rural healthcare system achieve so much so quickly? Witt says it takes a lot of hard work by the entire staff, staying on top of industry best practices and finding (and keeping) skilled people who are open to change.

Now, leadership is focused on being recognized as the best Level IV Trauma Center in the region. To accommodate growth in the ER and county-wide needs, the hospital has implemented a new hospitalist program, ensuring round-the-clock hospitalist care for all inpatients.

Witt’s motto internally is "Be the change. Lead the change. See the change." Dr. Fran Witt has the skill set to translate her vision to a level of understanding among her staff, inspiring them to embrace excellence across the board. ◆

“ “ | October/November 2022 15
Helping You Find Your Dream Home (912) 826-2151 | Goshen park commercial center Rincon’s Premier Business Address | Your Neighborhood Pet Store #SupportSmallBusinesses • • @Woofgangbakery Voted Best Pet Supply Store and Best Groomer 16 October/November 2022 |


Brad Cherney has been leading his State Farm team for over a year now after relocating from Illinois. The apple does not fall far from the tree when it comes to this industry professional, as he is a thirdgeneration insurance agent.

“My family has owned and operated insurance agencies in Illinois since 1960. My grandfather was an agent. My father was an agent, and I am an agent. It just runs in my blood. I love the business. I love dealing with people and being able to help with their needs—getting them the best policies available,” he says.

Customers Count

With 25 years of industry experience under his belt, Brad has become well acquainted with what it takes to maintain a successful agency—one that wholeheartedly cares about its customers and offers them the services that best meet their needs. Brad is confident that his State Farm team sets the standard in optimal customer service and quality care. Customers are more than just a number; they are like family. And that is the Brad I. Cherney State Farm difference.

“We really care about our customers. When you walk into our office, you’re part of our family. Caring is important; when you care, it shows. With some, people are just numbers, but not with us,” he says.

An array of insurance policy options are available for customers, including: automobile, home, commercial, life, health and more. Whether helping with claim issues, finding the best way to use a customer’s policy to meet their needs or helping to protect customers with various liability concerns, the team strives to keep their customers’ best interests at heart.

A Different Caliber of Agents

Brad knows that the majority of the company’s success is a direct result of his team of caring, knowledgeable professionals—his office family.

“My team is amazing. My success and achievement over this last year are due to the team,” he says.

Brad is grateful that his staff possesses a phenomenal amount of “collective

insurance knowledge”—true industry aficionados. The team persists to show their customers the State Farm difference.

“State Farm agents are a different caliber of agents. We have to be good neighbors in our community. We deal in honesty and integrity—doing the right thing. We may not be the lowest in price all the time, but we can show you how we’re the best value; our policies have value,” he says.

This reveals why the State Farm organization is a Fortune 100 company, while maintaining an overall A rating. Even more, State Farm customers benefit from having an agent available to them right in their own community—right in their own neighborhood.

“Customers have full access to everything that we offer. I’m available to customers because I’m in the office almost everyday,” Brad adds.

The team of experts recognizes the value in educating each of their customers about plans and services, so they may know exactly how they are being protected with their policies.

“I think part of getting insurance is an

education. You should know what kind of policies you’re getting and what the benefits and detriments are. By understanding this, you’re able to really grasp how you’re protected,” Brad points out. He welcomes doing policy lookovers to help individuals learn more about their policy and maximize their policy benefits.

Beyond Insurance

Brad I. Cherney State Farm is much more than just insurance. The team believes in giving back in the best ways possible. In fact, alongside the Downtown Development Authority, Brad I. Cherney State Farm is the title sponsor of the Miss Springfield Pageant in October, while also sponsoring the Red Shirt and Khakis 5K Marathon in November.

Further, the agency enjoys partnering with the Booster organizations for both Effingham High School and South Effingham High School. Brad is also on the Effingham Board of Habitat for Humanity.

“We’re not just about being a business. We’re about giving back to the community that supports [us]. It is very important, and I’m a big believer in that,” he says.

Brad feels incredibly blessed. He is grateful for his wife Janie and their five children; Janie has been a continuous source of love and support throughout the years. He, too, appreciates all the kindness that the Effingham community has shown him—a community he feels privileged to call home.

“I’m very fortunate. I’m very blessed, and I don’t take it lightly.”

I love the business. I love dealing with people and being able to help with their needs...
“ “ EFFINGHAM MAGAZINE BEST INSURANCE AGENCY in Effingham 2022 Brad I. Cherney State Farm (912) 754-6051 1451 Highway 21 N, Unit L Springfield, GA 31329 BRAD I. CHERNEY
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Jamie and Mary Cain, owners of Empire Gym, are excited to share an update on the gym opening with the Effingham community. Empire Gym is set to open in November 2022 with presale memberships starting in October.

Jamie and Mary moved back to the area last year to be closer to family and allow their nine-year-old son more time with his grandmother.

“We’re building a home in Guyton and we found another home in my mother-in-law’s church,” Mary says. “We are leaning on our spirituality as newly baptized Christians. We felt God had brought us here to open this gym so we found it fitting to name it Empir Gym. His Kingdom. Your Empire.”

The champion name is not the only thing that makes it unique. Empire Gym is the only gym of its size and caliber in Rincon and it is comparable to those found in Savannah.

Prior to moving to Effingham County, the couple owned a gym in Columbus, Ga., and Mary was a sole proprietor of a gym in Macon before the couple met. Combined they have more than 25 years training experience and practical application along with multiple certifications.

The gold standard for an optimized body is increased lean muscle mass, decreased body fat and increased bone density, so Empire Gym will serve up exercise options to help you succeed in these areas including:

• Customized, personal training unique to the client’s specific needs—1:1, 2:1 or small group

to 4)

• Group fitness classes in The ARMORY - a 1,500 sq. ft. functional fitness room, including the following classes: booty, lengthen and strengthen, bootcamp HIIT style, strongman, and transformation challenges

Monthly challenges and community programs to keep clients motivated

In-Body Analysis scan, which provides a complete picture of your body composition including bone density, lean muscle mass, fat mass and body symmetry.

Project Lean Nation—Healthy prepared meals to go that fit your macros and set you up for goal achievement success

Renew and Rejuvenate MedSpa—IV hydration, hormone therapy, botox and fillers.

The Empire Gym will be open 24/7 and located at 614 Towne Park Loop in Rincon. Membership discounts are available to military, selfless service providers and educators.

Learn more about how you can become more healthy and fit at


a New “Power Couple” in Town 912-433-2337 | 614 Towne Park Loop
$29.99 PRE-SALE: $20 off monthly fees PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP: $99.99 PRE-SALE: $25 off monthly fees
EFFINGHAM MAGAZINE BEST BBQ in Effingham 2022 EFFINGHAM MAGAZINE BEST CHICKEN WINGS in Effingham 2022 EXPERT LOCAL CAR CARE “When you need a mechanic you can trust.” | 912-826-5303 | Rincon, Ga. NOWHIRING ExpertTechnicians 20 October/November 2022 |


Whether you’re shopping online or in-store, you can ensure you’re getting the most for your money with a little extra planning. These savvy shopping tips can help you score the most savings and added benefits while you’re at it.

Time Your Purchase

Before any big purchase, spend time researching the product and retailers to find potential upcoming sales or promotions. Also be conscious of the calendar and holidays or gift-giving events that might prompt special offers on an item you’re looking to buy. Another smart strategy: shopping end-of-season sales when items are marked down to make way for new inventory.

Use Digital Shopping Tools

You may be leery of signing up for promotional emails but remember—it’s only junk mail if it isn’t useful. Putting your name on mailing lists of your favorite retailers and brands is a good way to get early or exclusive access to special offers and coupons. Downloadable browser extensions and plug-ins are other cost-saving tools that are increasingly popular. When you’re shopping with one or more of these tools installed, your browser automatically checks for coupons or price comparisons that allow you to get the best available deal.

Shop Refurbished

Whether it be for savings or sustainability (or both) refurbished products are a top choice among savvy shoppers. An option like eBay Refurbished delivers quality, like-new products at deep discounts from premium brands that are thoroughly vetted to meet high

performance standards. You can shop across multiple condition grades and a wide range of price points within categories like tablets, smartwatches, laptops, desktops and smartphones – giving you more choice and the reassurance of buying a product that fits your specific needs and budget. Score big savings on trusted refurbished products at

Save on Shipping

When you’re researching an online purchase and comparing prices, be sure to factor shipping into your total cost. Many retailers offer free shipping once you spend a certain amount, extend free shipping to preferred shoppers or offer periodic shipping promotions, so it’s worth exploring the options. Also beware that buying items on sale can drop you below free shipping minimums, so ultimately you pay more than you would have by paying full price. In some cases, you can also save money by having an item shipped to the local brick-and-mortar store and picking it up there.

Take Advantage of Benefits

Understanding the terms of your purchase can help protect you if there’s a problem and may even allow you to take advantage of special rewards. Before finalizing a transaction, check into the warranty options. Even refurbished products can come with warranties for

a specified time. For example, all eBay Refurbished products are backed by one- or two-year warranties. For new items, some retailers offer the option to extend your warranty beyond what the manufacturer provides. In addition, some retailers offer money back incentives on certain purchases or allow you to accumulate rewards for discounts on future purchases.

Shopping Refurbished is Easy on the Pocketbook and the Planet

With inflation and scarcity issues remaining top of mind for consumers, shopping refurbished provides another option to buy in-demand products. In addition to value and availability, sustainability is another motivator for purchasing like-new.

Shopping for refurbished goods, including those from eBay Refurbished, extends the life of the product and reduces harmful waste. For example, the United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates:

• Purchasing a refurbished desktop computer displaces the energy used to charge more than 30,000 smartphones.

• Purchasing a refurbished TV displaces around 360 miles driven in a car.

• Purchasing a refurbished gaming console displaces around 180 miles driven in a car. | October/November 2022 21


Adrian Webber, Savannah Market Director of Realty Georgia, has found herself carrying on a long line of family history in the real estate industry. Realty Companies is the holding entity to six satellite locations across the Southeast, owned and operated by her father, Shawn and her brother Alex. Adrian is a 4th generation family member to fall in love with the business of growing a community, and the art of the sale.

“I wanted to continue the family legacy and pass it on to my children,” Adrian said. “I’m excited about teaching my kids about the business just like my dad taught me.”

As the roads often twist and turn before we reach our destination, real estate was not where Adrian began her career. After graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2002 with a degree in Graphic Design, her roots were planted in a fast-paced, creative environment. Working in this industry became a gateway into something bigger; the skills she acquired aided her ability to market with an uncommon but highly impactful point of view. After working as a creative director, she pivoted into insurance sales and then into real estate.

“Sales prepared me for being a land broker because of all the cold calling I did,” Adrian said. “I always knew that if I could sell something I believed in that I’d do well.”

Adrian worked in commercial real estate for several years before opening Realty Georgia in 2020. Today, she oversees listings and secures land for commercial development in Savannah, Effingham County, and surrounding areas. Working closely with Adrian is Realty Georgia’s Vice President, Tony Zimlich, who is also a significant player in the success of this branch.

In recent years, the port of Savannah has seen booming growth. This expansion has created a ripple effect in demand for land for residential development and warehouse space within the region. This necessity has positioned Adrian as the go-to expert for commercial real estate in the area. Realty Georgia has closed parcels of land up and down the I-95 corridor from Hardeeville, S.C. to Brunswick with projects that include land for residential development, warehousing and recreational use.

“I find it rewarding to pick up the phone and make a connection that could potentially have a wonderful impact on our community,” Adrian said. “Developing trustworthy and productive relationships is our purpose at Realty Georgia.”

Adrian leads by example with her close-knit team. She is excited to train future agents in her brokerage and to continue her work on exciting new projects along the I-16 and I-95 corridor.

She encourages anyone thinking of starting their own business to find a mentor in their chosen field. For Adrian, that mentor is her brother.

“I watched my brother Alex grow into a successful broker, and how passionate he is about his work; I wanted to join him,” Adrian said.

Adrian also emphasizes that it is okay to not have all the answers. Networking and building relationships is essential to finding your place in this business, which takes time, practice, and patience.

“It’s important to believe in yourself and to set goals,” Adrian said. “Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do it.”

Outside of work, Adrian loves spending time outdoors. You can find her biking or kayaking on Ebenezer Creek. She lives in Rincon with her husband and children after previously living in Bluffton.

“Effingham County chose me. We moved out of Bluffton because we needed more room, and we ended up buying the first house we saw,” Adrian said. “When I landed in Rincon, I could see the growth that was coming. I could envision how it was going to change for the better, and I wanted to be a part of it.”

With driven and motivated people like Adrian guiding the growth of development projects in the community, the future looks bright for Effingham County.

(O) 912-475-4040 | (C) 843-301-2900 1115 N Columbia Ave, Unit 4, Rincon, GA 31326
Check Out Our Listings » | 912-295-5406 135 Goshen Road Ext., Suite 251, Rincon, GA It’s OUR business to grow YOUR business. Marketing | Strategy | Results


Ready to Raise the Walls on Its 23rd Home

Since its inception in 1995, Habitat for Humanity of Effingham County has built 22 homes for local families through the joint efforts of trained professionals, the future homeowner and volunteers from the community.

Incoming Habitat for Humanity board chair Jim Presnell has been involved with Habitat for more than 20 years. He has put in hundreds of hours on the build sites for eight Habitat homes and has been recognized for his volunteer work by the Rotary Club of Effingham County. Since 2013, he has served three terms on Habitat’s board of directors. Though he’s given many volunteer hours to Habitat, he says he’s gotten back much more than he’s given.

Volunteers come from all walks of life to help build modest and attainable homes. From church groups to business groups and individuals, everyone works together toward a common goal. Although Jim’s experience as a real estate agent and contractor gives him a strong background

don’t even know how to hold a hammer or use a saw or anything else, and they learn a lot of different things,” Jim said.

While learning new skills and connecting with people are strong motivators, seeing the progress on a build site is even more rewarding, especially on a wall-raising day, which is coming up on October 22. It’s the first day of construction for Habitat’s 23rd home, where the framework for the home will begin to take shape.

We couldn’t achieve our mission without the support of the community, whether it’s through volunteering at the build site or through monetary or in-kind contributions.

“I like to give back, and it comes down to helping others,” Jim said.

Jim has seen many meaningful moments since volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, but one in particular especially stands out.

“I remember a kid crying the day that we were giving his parents the keys so that they can move to the house. That’s how happy they were,” Jim said.

for working on the build site, there’s no specific experience necessary to be a volunteer.

“It’s everyone from people that are total novices to framing crews that know exactly what they’re doing and everybody in between,” Jim said.

Volunteering on a build site lets people use their construction expertise for a good cause, but it’s also a way to learn new skills that might come in handy in home repairs.

“We have a lot of people come out that

“We are excited to begin construction on our next home,” said Jimmy Rutland, President/ CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Effingham County. “We couldn’t achieve our mission without the support of the community, whether it’s through volunteering at the build site or through monetary or in-kind contributions.”

Construction will begin October 22 and continue each Saturday from 8am3pm until the home is completed. Lunch will be provided. Volunteers can sign up individually or as a group at

“ “ PO BOX 578, Springfield, GA 31329 0578 tel (912) 826 6433 House 23 Volunteer Sign up Link 24 October/November 2022 |
Shopping for a child or grandchild? Before buying another toy that could end up tossed to the side, why not get them something that will last? Consider giving the gift of life insurance this year. While it’s not as flashy as this year’s hottest toy, it could be considered much more valuable. Why? Typically, children are more easily insured and premiums are generally lower since they’re in such an early stage of life. Plus, the premiums will never increase, regardless of age or state of health. • Whole life insurance can provide a child with guaranteed insurance protection when they start their own families someday. The policy can build tax-deferred cash value, which could help pay for future expenses, such as college. Give me a call today for a no-cost, no-obligation quote or to learn more. A GIFT THAT DOESN’T GO OUT OF STYLE Ellen Jacobs Insurance Agent (912) 508 - 0360 613 Towne Park W Dr., Ste 102, Rincon, GA | (912) 800-9288 | 804 Towne Park Drive Suite 200, Rincon, GA EFFINGHAM MAGAZINE BEST HOSPICE ORGANIZATION in Effingham 2022 (912) 754-6897 | 116 North Laurel St, Springfield, GA | October/November 2022 25
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a local, family-run business, we are honored to be chosen as Effingham’s Best Construction Company, Remodeling Company, Electrician Service, Fencing Company, Plumbing Company and Local Instagram Account. Our mission is to always improve the communities, homes and businesses where our customers live and work. We never waver from our responsibility to deliver the highest quality remodeling, repairs, and above all, customer satisfaction.

a local, family-run business, we are honored to be chosen as Pooler’s Best Construction Company, Remodeling Company, Plumber, and Electrician. Our mission is to always improve the communities, homes and businesses where our customers live and work. We never waver from our responsibility to deliver the highest quality remodeling, repairs, and above all, customer satisfaction.

a local, family-run business, we are honored

be chosen as Pooler’s Best Construction Company, Remodeling Company, Plumber, and Electrician. Our mission is to always improve the communities, homes and businesses where our customers live and work. We never waver from our responsibility to deliver the highest quality remodeling, repairs, and above all, customer satisfaction.

a local, family-run business, we are honored to be chosen as Pooler’s Best Construction Company, Remodeling Company, Plumber, and Electrician. Our mission is to always improve the communities, homes and businesses where our customers live and work. We never waver from our responsibility to deliver the highest quality remodeling, repairs, and above all, customer satisfaction.


RILEY BROWNE: Making a Mark That Matters


iley Browne is proud to give back.

“I want to give back to those who gave up everything for me and you. These men and women have given the ultimate sacrifice by giving up everything for our country. They gave their lives for us. Being able to give back was amazing. It’s something I’m really proud of,” Riley says.

Riley, a senior at South Effingham High School, moved to the local area in 2009, along with her mom Kelly, dad Wilfred and sister Brittany. Like many young children, Riley had big dreams and aspirations for the future. She liked science a lot, especially learning about the human body. Riley was also quite athletic and enjoyed participating in various sports throughout her childhood. As she grew up, she became drawn to the field of sports medicine.

“I always wanted to know more about the body. I also have always been interested in sports; I grew up playing sports since I was about four. I was drawn to sports medicine,” she says.

Upon graduating, Riley plans to obtain a degree in the field to fulfill her dream of becoming an athletic trainer.

The bright and talented honor student is a track and field athlete, plays flag football and has been a cheerleader for over 12 years, which includes time on the Cheer Savannah Allstar Team.

Riley is also a member of National Honor Society, National Beta Club and Spirit Club; she is a part of the Mustang Mentors—an organization made up of model students chosen to spend time with elementary and middle school students in order to help and mentor them in various areas of learning and achievement.

One of Riley’s biggest accomplishments is something she would never have imagined. This past August, she was crowned Miss Southeast Georgia’s Outstanding Teen 2022.

“I never really planned to do pageants; the opportunity just sort of fell in my lap,” she says.

Road to the Title

Riley began her pageant run in middle school, where she won her very first title, Miss South Effingham Middle School.

“I did my first pageant in seventh grade, and I won, but winning wasn’t the best part. Preparing and practicing for the pageant was so much fun, and I was able to meet so many different people. My love for pageants just grew from there,” she says.

Riley was elated and has continued competing each year throughout her high

28 October/November 2022 |

school career, winning titles including: Miss Freshman (South Effingham High School), Miss Effingham College & Career Academy (ECCA) 2022, Miss South Effingham High School (2nd Runner-Up), along with Miss Crossroads of the South. Further, Megan Johnson, a close friend, encouraged Riley to compete for the title of Miss Georgia’s Outstanding Teen.

“She told me to give it a shot, and I loved it. I had the best time. I met so many smart, talented and truly amazing young women,” Riley says.

That paved the way for Riley’s current reign as Miss Southeast Georgia’s Outstanding Teen.

Riley is honored to have the privilege to represent young ladies throughout Southeast Georgia. She was thrilled to meet the many remarkable individuals she competed alongside, making the achievement all the more special to her.

Riley’s Gold Star Platform

Riley had been a military child most of her life, as her dad had served in the U.S. Army for 26 years before retiring last October.

Prior to receiving her title, Riley knew exactly what service platform she wanted to support. She was familiar with Gold Star Families, a U.S. based organization serving the “families of fallen service members who died while serving in a time of conflict.” She wholeheartedly admired the cause and wanted to help.

Riley’s mom was one of her biggest inspirations in choosing her platform, as she had been involved with Family Readiness Groups (FRG) while her husband served. FRG is “a unit’s command program,” providing activities and overall support to unit soldiers and their families. Riley knew, first-hand, the undeniable benefit of such programs.

Begun by the immediate family members of fallen comrades, Gold Star’s mission is to “provide honor, hope and healing to those who are grieving.”

“Unfortunately, as a military child, I’ve seen a lot of heartache and loss. My family lost friends, and my friends lost family. That is how I chose my service platform. Those families sacrificed everything for us. I want them to know that their sacrifice is appreciated and will never be forgotten. I want them to know that they are not alone,” Riley says.

Nine Line Partners for the Cause

Riley was afforded the opportunity to take action and help the notable cause. In order

to raise money for Gold Star Families, she partnered with Nine Line Apparel, under the leadership of owner and CEO Tyler Merritt. Tyler actually had served in the same Army unit as Riley’s dad. Both Riley and Tyler wanted to create something to “show people what Gold Star Families is all about.” Riley told Tyler about her vision, and he was on board. A t-shirt was created featuring a silhouette image of her dad on the back.

“I decided to design a t-shirt to sell which incorporated a silhouette of my dad on the flight line in another country with helicopters in a missing man formation. Our hope was for everyone to be able to envision their loved one in the silhouette,” she says.

Riley enjoyed working with the Nine Line Team to create the t-shirts. Even more, she was thrilled to support such a beneficial and meaningful cause.

“The t-shirts came out beautifully, and we raised over $8,000 in just two weeks. All of that money goes straight to Gold Star Families. The money can be used for schooling, family emergencies or whatever they may need that their loved one provided when they were with us,” she adds.

Riley appreciates all the efforts of the Nine Line Apparel Team, who helped create a stunning end product.

“Working with Tyler and his team was

an incredible experience. They were so helpful,” she says.

A World of Gratitude

Riley is grateful for all the individuals who have supported her endeavors over the years, helping her to become the young lady she is today. However, one person, in particular, stands out.

“My mom is a very big supporter and the one person who stuck by my side throughout the entire [pageant] process. She is probably my biggest cheerleader in anything I do,” Riley says.

Riley is thankful for all the kindness and support her community has shown her, and she has been truly proud to call Effingham home throughout the years.

“I’ve loved having a small town to represent. The community has always treated us like family; it’s great. I love Effingham County,” she says.

In her spare time, Riley likes to spend quality time with her family and friends. She also enjoys reading and running 5K races.

Even at a young age, Riley Browne has already begun making a beautiful difference in the world. She is a young lady who is certainly making her own phenomenal mark—a mark that matters.

◆ | October/November 2022 29

Best Bar, Burger, Steak, & Wait Staff in Effingham

Lizzie Kieth and Kelly Douglas opened 108 Ale House seven years ago, realizing a lifelong dream that exceeded anything she ever expected.

“Our parents owned restaurants the whole time we were growing up, and all we’ve ever really done is work in restaurants,” Lizzie said. “And we figured, why not take a stab at it?”

With some help from her parents, she secured their location in Rincon and opened their doors in 2015.

They quickly saw success serving up great burgers, sandwiches, steaks and a selection of craft beers served by a friendly and welcoming staff.

“The food really took off more than anything,” Lizzie said.

108 Ale House is known for their burger of the month, a rotating special where the kitchen lets their creativity shine. Previous creations include “The Goonie,” a crab rangoon-inspired burger topped with fried wontons and sweet chili sauce, “The Georgia Scorcher” topped with pimento cheese, jalapeño slaw, crispy bacon and Carolina Reaper mayo, and “Jamaican Me Crazy” topped with melted pepper Jack, grilled onions and peppers, bacon, grilled pineapple, and a Jamaican style relish and jerk style mayo. These creative spins on the classic burger are why 108 Ale House was voted Best Burger in Effingham.

“I just sat down one day at my kitchen table and was like, ‘This sounds cool, this sounds cool,’” Lizzie said. “Me and my sister made our menu top to bottom.”

Treating Staff Like Family

108 Ale House is truly a family affair. Lizzie and her sister Kelly Douglas are co-owners, their sister Kathleen bartends, and their mother Patricia helps out as well. Kelly’s husband Jason and Lizzie’s boyfriend JP also work in the restaurant. While their strong family ties build the foundation, their success would not be possible without their dedicated staff.

“We work alongside everyone. As owners, we’re there every day. We cook in the kitchen alongside them. We’re very hands on,” Lizzie said. “We’re never going to ask anyone to do anything we’re not willing to do.”

Kelly’s role is centered on the back of the house. You can find her cooking in the kitchen but also handling inventory, paying bills and other operational tasks that keep the restaurant running.

“When everybody at one time is successful, the whole entire operation is successful,” Kelly said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re the head grill guy or the dishwasher. Everybody just works together and plays a part.”

Lizzie and Kelly’s can-do attitude has contributed to the longevity of their business. They have faced staffing challenges through COVID but have several staff members who have been with them for years.

“We’re in the trenches with them,” Lizzie said. “I think that has earned us a lot of respect from our employees.”

While previous experience plays a key role in the success of 108 Ale House’s operations in the front and back of house, a willingness to learn and work hard have gotten staff far.

“Some of my best employees never worked a day in a restaurant,” Lizzie said. “[I look for] open-mindedness, being ready to work and a good attitude.”

Creating a Great Customer Experience

Taylor Pevey started working at 108 Ale House when she was 16. She began as a hostess and now at 22, she is the restaurant’s general manager. She is responsible for training all new front of house employees, setting a high standard for the restaurant’s hosts, servers and bartenders. In her role, she places a premium on good customer service.

“I’ve always been really good in the customer service area,” Taylor said. “If something is wrong, I make sure to fix it right away for them and give them the best service that I would want if I was in their place.”

At 108 Ale House, training is a handson activity, where new hires shadow existing employees to learn the ropes. Taylor leads staff training with a direct management style that is rooted in empathy.

“If there’s ever something I need to address with someone, I pull them aside and show them what I would expect to see in that situation,” Taylor said. “I always tell them that if it was you, you would want to receive good customer service if you were out to eat with your family. So that’s what you should give them.”

This approach has been a recipe for success, because the waitstaff at 108 Ale House was also named Best of Effingham.

“Our wait staff has not only put in a lot of time and commitment to what they do, but I think they also actually enjoy their job,” Taylor said.

Savoring Success

The honor of winning four Best of Effingham awards has not gone unnoticed by Lizzie and the 108 Ale House staff.

“Not only have the owners worked really hard for it, but so have I and the rest of the employees that work here. So it makes me proud of all of us,” Taylor said.

Creating a community hangout has made Lizzie’s hard work worth the long days she’s put in.

“I’m so grateful that the community as a whole thought we were the best,” Lizzie said. “I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

(912) 826-0117 108 Weisenbaker Rd , Rincon, GA, 108 ALEHOUSE:
Best of Readers’ Choice Awards 2022 EFFINGHAM Best of EFFINGHAM PRESENTED BY EFFINGHAMMAGAZ I N E 30 October/November 2022 |



Company Offers Excellence in Lawn Maintenance

Grow It We Mow It, LLC has been raising the bar in exceptional lawn maintenance since the familyowned company officially opened its doors in 2019. Steven Highsmith, owner and founder, is a Savannah native and has been living in Effingham for nearly 12 years.

Steven developed an undeniable interest in the craft as a young boy, and it has been full-steam ahead ever since. “The passion for lawn care has always been there. I’ve been doing it all my life,” he says.

Steven, however, never would have imagined that his passion would develop into a professional career. In fact, by trade, he is an ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certified master technician.

Character Counts

Even at a young age, Steven knew the intrinsic value of strong character and an uncompromising work ethic. Raised by a single mom, he found reward in hard work and diligence, understanding the value and necessity of being financially prudent.

“As a kid, I had a bicycle, a push mower and a two-gallon gas can. That’s how I bought my school clothes,” he says.

Over the years, Steven has maintained

that same work ethic, as he feels it is always a professional standard. In addition, the knowledge and plethora of experience he has obtained throughout the many years contributes to him being the industry expert he is to this very day.

A Passion Pursued

The story surrounding the inception of Grow It We Mow It is an interesting one. Many years ago, Steven noticed a real need for lawn maintenance in his own neighborhood. He began gaining business that kept growing as time went by. The proof was in the pudding, as individuals were able to see first-hand the quality services Steven offered, revealing his noteworthy skill set. The word-of-mouth marketing spread like wildfire.

“It just started growing. I knew it was getting serious when I started receiving calls outside of the neighborhood before I even started advertising,” he states. Over time, Steven did begin posting advertisements, not only in his neighborhood, but throughout the surrounding areas.

During this time, Steven was still maintaining his full-time career as a fleet

32 October/November 2022 |

manager. He had come to a crossroads, as his lawn care business was massively growing, and he knew it would be difficult to accommodate both professions. Hence, he followed his heart –- his passion. He dedicated all his efforts to being a full-time lawn care professional. He began to expand his business, providing services throughout the local region and becoming Grow It We Mow It, LLC in 2019.

Steven noticed that the demand for reliable professionals in the industry was at an all-time high. Many customers expressed their disdain with lawn maintenance services they had previously encountered. Steven always listened to their concerns and was committed to implementing the needed services, keeping those issues in mind.

“I found out what needed to be improved. I always want to make sure my customers are happy with the services they’re paying for. I put myself in my customers’ shoes,” he comments.

Quality is Key

In the current era where the so-called “new normal” of workforce issues and

supply chain shortages has become an excuse for poor service, Steven does not comply with that philosophy; instead, he takes immense pride in offering quality service.

The passion for lawn care has always

Counties. The company provides residential and commercial lawn maintenance and landscaping services, including: hedge and shrubbery maintenance, mulch and pine straw installation, sod installation, irrigation installation and repair, along with flower bed restoration (to name a few).

there. I’ve been doing it all my life

Steven appreciates his staff for all their efforts. Even more, he is grateful for the love and support of his wife Ashley over the years.

He firmly believes that effective communication and consistency are essential, as he continuously persists to be in line with customer expectations.

“Just by communicating and building that work relationship, it builds trust. Grow It We Mow It is a family-owned business. You can trust us to do what we say and be reliable,” he says. Steven enjoys providing services that best meet his customers’ needs.

Exceptional Services

Grow It We Mow It services Chatham, Effingham and Bryan

“If you want reliable, dependable service from a family-owned business, we would be the best fit for you. And remember, all you have to do is grow it, we’ll mow it.”

“ “ (912) 695-9551 407 E. U.S. Highway 80 #291, Bloomingdale GA | October/November 2022 33

Jamie’s Pet Sitting

Jamie Collins started her petsitting business in 2016 as a way to occupy her time and generate income as a stay-at-home mom. As a former vet tech, her skills translated well into caring for people’s animals while they’re away.

“With the animals, you stay busy,” Jamie said, “I enjoy being around the animals and the clients that have been with me since day one.”

She visits clients’ homes to care for animals and boards animals in her own home, with the help of her three children.

She started out with just a few clients and grew to having more than 50 today who call her first for their petsitting needs. She is well known for her reliability and availability on short notice.

“I’m a small facility, so the animals get a lot more one-on-one

Wizard of Paws

After 15 years of grooming pets, Kourtney Moore opened Wizard of Paws in 2018 to create the grooming experience she wanted to see.

“I wanted to focus on quality and patience and compassion. [I didn’t want to] feel like we have to rush dogs in and out of the door,” Kourtney said.

Her patient approach has paid off, because she has built a following of return clients who consistently book every four to six weeks.

“I see dogs that I know and love every day. I get excited when I see my friends on the schedule,” Kourtney said. Kourtney specializes in making a dog’s first grooming experience a positive one.

“I like to meet new dogs, especially puppies for their first grooms. It’s a very important day and [puppies] need a lot of attention and a lot of patience,” Kourtney said. “I feel really good when I send them home knowing that they had a great experience for their first haircut.”

She has three groomers on staff to work their magic on the dogs (and sometimes cats!) that come through their doors. Her groomer Sydney May was voted the Best Pet Groomer in this

time and time outside,” Jamie said.

“I don’t keep more than ten pets at a time because if you keep too many, it gets overwhelming and they can’t get the time that they need.”

While Jamie mostly works with dogs and cats, she’s had some interesting petsitting charges in the past, including a gecko and a guinea pig!

She was delighted to be named Best of Effingham for her efforts.

“I never would have imagined that in a hundred million years,” Jamie said.

Jamie extends the same care to her own pets that she gives to her clients. She has a golden retriever named River and a French bulldog named Sweet Pea. 912-536-1002 | 468 Honey Ridge Rd. Guyton, Ga.

year’s Best of Effingham Awards.

“She was my first employee,” Kourtney said. “She started as a bather and then decided she wanted to be a groomer. She’s picked it up very well. I’m very proud of her.”

Sydney started working at Wizard of Paws in 2019 and has fallen in love with working with animals in the past three years.

“I couldn’t see myself doing anything differently,” Sydney said.

She loves the variety that pet grooming brings to each day.

“Every day is a different hand of cards, and you see it and figure out what you’re going to do with that day’s cards,” Sydney said. “The fact that I enjoy it is an added bonus.”

Sydney is always up for a challenge, which shows in her choice of favorite breed to groom.

“A lot of groomers are going to call me crazy, but I really like grooming goldendoodles,” Sydney said. “Everyone says they’re so time-consuming and so much work, but I love them.”

Kourtney and Sydney may work with dogs all day, but they carry that same care and compassion that they give to their clients home to their own pets. Kourtney is the proud pet parent of a pit bull named Rona and a Carolina dog named Sushi, and Sydney has a golden retriever named Riley.

912-308-3634 | 101 Springfield Ave. Guyton, GA 31312 EFFINGHAM MAGAZINE BEST PET GROOMING BUSINESS in Effingham 2022 BEST OF PET CARE IN EFFINGHAM 34 October/November 2022 |

Dr. Michael Bailey: Effingham Animal Hospital

Dr. Michael Bailey grew up on a farm in rural Alabama caring for livestock, chicken and rabbits among other animals, and channeled that experience into his first job at a vet’s office at 15 and then a veterinary degree from Auburn University.

“My whole life’s been about taking care of animals,” Dr. Bailey said.

After practicing in Dalton, Ga. for several years, he decided to purchase Effingham Animal Hospital in 1998. He and his family drove through the area on their way to the beach and saw the practice up for sale. From there, they made their next move to southeast Georgia, drawn in by the small-town atmosphere of Effingham County.

His decades of experience with a wide variety of animals have made him the top pick for Best Veterinarian. Pet parents in Effingham County have trusted him with their animals as regular patients or when they’re unable to see their regular vet.

“[I’m motivated by] trying to help animals have a better quality of life and trying to help them not be in pain,” Dr. Bailey said. “[I enjoy] seeing a really sick animal recover and seeing it be able to go home, that’s the best part.”

Guyton Pet Lodge

In addition to being the mayor of Guyton, Russ Deen is endearingly known as “Grandma Russ” to hundreds of dogs in the Effingham area.

As owner of Guyton Pet Lodge , he’s created a welcoming environment for families to board their pets while they’re away. Several large yards for dogs to run around, indoor/outdoor runs and plenty of socialization opportunities make Guyton Pet Lodge a happy place for dogs, much like going to Grandma’s house.

“People aren’t just trusting us with the family dog, they’re trusting us with a family member,” Russ said. “When that customer goes from being anxious to completely trustworthy of me and just dropping the dog off and heading off on their adventures, it makes me feel amazing.”

Russ strives to provide a more homelike experience rather than the clinical setting of a vet’s office. “Whenever you’re going away on a trip, where would you stay? Would you stay at a hospital or would you stay at a hotel?” Russ said.

He has been part of Guyton Pet Lodge since 2003 when he purchased it from his parents. His years of experience working

His level of care has not gone unnoticed by his peers in the animal care field. “Mike Bailey is the best vet and diagnostician in Effingham County,” said Russ Deen, owner of Guyton Pet Lodge. “I’ve been blessed by Dr. Bailey; he’s been a wealth of knowledge.”

Despite a busy schedule, Dr. Bailey works hard to make time for an individualized approach to patient care.

“Being a small business versus a large company. I am able to help a pet owner focus on their individual needs, and I think that’s a plus.” Dr. Bailey said. “If I’m taking care of the animals, my living will be there.”

Dr. Bailey’s team helps him maintain his high standards even as their patient roster has grown.

“I wouldn’t be who I am without my staff, and I’ve got the best staff in the world to work with,” Dr. Bailey said.

Outside of work, Dr. Bailey enjoys spending time with his wife Lisa, daughter Tenley and son Michael and their menagerie of pets: five cats (Azul, Layla, Ollie, Fluff and Baby Kitty) and two dogs (Kuma and Dobbie).

912-826-5251 | 119 S. Columbia Ave Rincon, Ga.

with pets have given him the knowledge to know when something is amiss with a pet in his care.

“I like being the person who knows how to take care of them, knows what to do when they get sick, and knows how to keep a facility in the shape it needs to be in to make sure their dog is healthy, happy, and cared for when they get back,” Russ said.

Guyton Pet Lodge often books months in advance, especially during school holidays. Repeat clients are reassured by the familiar faces that staff the lodge and take great care of the animals.

“We’re blessed to have a great staff,” Russ said. “One of our managers has been with us for over ten years, and all but two of our staff have been with us for three years plus.”

Russ is delighted that his family business was voted Best of Effingham, as the whole Deen family is involved in the day-today operations of Guyton Pet Lodge. His two children Grace and Miles often help keep the dogs entertained and his wife Amanda is also involved.

“It’s a great honor. We love our customers and we love our community, and it is a blessing to be a part of so many people’ s families through their pets,” Russ said.

Outside of the business, the Deens are proud pet parents to a cat named Monkey.

912-772-4025 | | 51 Central Blvd. Guyton, Ga. EFFINGHAM MAGAZINE BEST PET DAYCARE in Effingham 2022 | October/November 2022 35

They’re All Winners to Us!

Effingham is chock-full of adorable pets! Here are just a few of our favorites!

36 October/November 2022 | | October/November 2022 37
(912) 826-4500 | | 321 S Columbia Ave, Rincon “Great Service and Great People!” We have a wide selection of IN-STOCK items ready for delivery or pickup today! ► Appliances ► Electronics ► Lawn Equipment ► Bedding ► Home Decor & Accessories In store, interest free financing available upon approval at 6, 12 or 24 months to pay! Badcock also has a revolving plan and third-party financing from AFF. Rincon and Pooler locations are locally owned and operated!


AKC Pet Disaster Relief Unit

Living on the coast, in an active hurricane and tornado zone, means residents need to prepare for an emergency that could happen at any moment. Families include their pets in their disaster plans but even the best plans can go awry, or a disaster happens so quickly that beloved pets become separated from their people. Unfortunately, this is a common scenario after a disaster.

The Savannah Kennel Club (SKC) to the rescue! They are working hard toward purchasing an American Kennel Club (AKC) Pet Disaster Relief Unit trailer for Effingham County Animal Shelter that will provide pets with much needed assistance immediately following a disaster, before FEMA support and services are deployed.

The AKC/SKC Reunite trailer provides co-location for the pets and service animals of people evaluating emergency situations. Each trailer contains many of the materials necessary to set up an emergency shelter for fifty or more pets and service animals. It can be used as a pop-up emergency sheltering facility for pets that are displaced from their families in a disaster’s aftermath. Instead of pet parents putting themselves in harm’s way in an attempt to find their pet in a disaster area, authorities can use the AKC Pet Disaster Relief supplies to quickly and efficiently create a temporary, safe haven to care for lost pets. Approved volunteers and shelter staff will provide animal care. The pop-up shelter also serves as a reunion center as people and animals are reunited in the days after a disaster.

Fully Stocked

The AKC/SKC Reunite trailer will be fully stocked with nonperishable necessities while it is used as a safe, temporary homebase for displaced animals.

Typical trailer contents include:

• Administrative Supplies: Log books, volunteer registration forms, wrist/collar bands, check-in materials

• Maintenance Equipment: Batteries, gas can, duct tape

• Animal Care Items: Crates packed on rolling dollies for easy set-up, cat carriers, litter, microchips and scanner, bowls, collars, and leashes

• Equipment: Fans, generator, lighting, hose

• Cleaning Supplies: Mop, trash can, tarps, litter boxes, disinfectants

• Access to Training Materials: Turnkey implementation of co-located shelters and pop-up reunion centers, volunteer mobilization, decontamination, and replenishment

Ready to Roll

The AKC/SKC Pet Disaster Relief trailer is a 16 foot x 7 foot, two-axle trailer and is able to house at least 65 pets during the first few critical days after a disaster is declared. The trailer has interior lighting and is wired for electricity to run off either its own generator or a 110v power supply. The Reunite Trailers cost about $30,000. It allows emergency personnel to put together lost-and-found pet shelters in the immediate aftermath of an emergency.


WagFest is annual two-day, all-about-dogs festival featuring dock diving, Fast Cat, and other canine sports. There is something for everyone--activities, contents and games, food, raffles and contest, presentations by pet experts and more. Sponsored by the SKC it is a very popular annual event.

All the proceeds raised at this year’s WagFest, held Sept. 1718, will be going to the purchase of the AKC Reunite trailer for Effingham County Animal Shelter. The proceeds from last year’s WagFest went towards the purchase of one for Chatham County Animal Services, which was dedicated at this year’s event.

With generous community support and the leadership of the Savannah Kennel Club, next year the Effingham County Animal Shelter will be receiving their rescue trailer at WagFest. | THE | October/November 2022 39
Steve enjoys bringing his Labrador mix to the new McCall Dog Park and a pup finds a way to stay cool. Ever since McCall Park opened this summer in Rincon, dogs and their humans alike have had a great time playing there!
40 October/November 2022 |


Goshen park commercial center Rincon’s Premier Business Address | Community Events
Goshen Park SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2022 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM Come celebrate fall with us at our Oktoberfest Event! Featuring: • music • vendors • food trucks HOLIDAY VENDOR EVENT SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2022 3:00 - 8:00 PM Festive music, food, and drinks abound while you shop local and handmade artisans for those coveted gifts and seasonal decor! Activities for the kids, a visit with Santa Claus and much more await you and your family!


Manna House Ministries Food Pantry and Thrift Store

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The Manna House Ministries mission is to help end hunger and provide assistance, in a Christian manner, to those in need; work together with churches, businesses, organizations, and our community to gather, store, and distribute food; and strengthen our communities by promoting volunteer opportunities and partnerships of giving back.

We spoke with Lisa Bush, Executive Director of Manna House Ministries recently to catch up and see what we can do as a community to participate in their mission.

Are you seeing an increased need for services?

Yes, we are. We see new families every week. More people are finding themselves experiencing hard times right now. Two basic needs, gas and groceries, have increased in price, making it harder for families to get by.

volunteers working today. We often have 30 to 50 volunteers on the food line which is a great opportunity to volunteer because you can see the reward of the effort, but it’s the behind the scenes work where we struggle.

We welcome both groups and individuals- we are a warm and friendly bunch and will make you feel welcome!

How do people find out about Manna House?

Facebook! We have been here over 30 years and it amazes me that some people just found us and it’s through Facebook.

We welcome both groups and individuals—we are a warm and friendly bunch and will make you feel welcome!

How does the food assistance work?

Food assistance is offered to anyone in need. Our drive-through distributions are held on Wednesdays from 9-11am (except on holidays or inclement weather) at the Macomber Ball Park 1103 Lexington Ave.

To get help register on our website or in person on distribution day.

Does that mean you have an increased need for volunteers?

We always need more volunteers, especially in our thrift store, which generates funds to help with our ministry, which is what we are all about. We need help to pack the food bags prior to the weekly distribution on Wednesdays.

For instance, we need 800 bags packed for distribution and we have only 2

What’s happening with upcoming holiday assistance programs?

Christmas plays a large part at Manna House as we give away toys to struggling families with children. Right now, we are taking applications for family Christmas assistance.

Thanksgiving is a big community project for Manna house each year as we give away

“ “ EFFINGHAM MAGAZINE BEST NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION in Effingham 2022 | October/November 2022 43

“Boxes of Hope” to over 1,000 families. In October we will preregister families for the Boxes of Hope holiday meals.

For all our holiday assistance programs people can come in to register, they can register at the drive through, or fill out an application online.

How did the COVID pandemic impact Manna House services?

COVID would completely change our world. Living through that time opened the eyes of the community to the need around us. It has also benefited how we operate; in that we now have less bureaucracy and have been able to remove barriers for those needing help. We see the bigger picture better now.

used our services and are better now, and they pay it forward with volunteering or donations. We have gained 20 volunteers from this experience. It really comes full circle when you see this.

Recently a regular recipient on the food line came in the office to let know they would no longer needed assistance and donated a sizable amount, to show their

Boxes of Hope

I am making an appeal to our community to please consider sponsoring a Box of Hope. For only $12 you can provide an entire holiday meal for a family, brightening what is a hard time for so many. Donations can be made in person, by mail or via a link online on our website.

We have so many great community partnerships and individual donors and volunteers....I am overwhelmed with how God blesses us each week so we can do what we do. God pours in the blessings.

gratitude and to help others in need. I am humbled by their generous heart and by the blessings we receive every day.

How You Can Help

How does the Effingham community show its support?

We have so many great community partnerships and individual donors and volunteers. Whenever we need help and don’t know where it’s going to come from, a business suddenly makes a wonderful donation, or we have an unexpected new donor, and the help arrives. I am overwhelmed with how God blesses us each week so we can do what we do. God pours in the blessings.

Paying it Forward

We have had people throughout the years, at least three or four families, who

Our thrift store accepts donations Monday through Saturday. We can take anything usable except mattresses. Come shop with us- there is always treasure in there!

Host a food drive with your neighborhood, church, school, or community group. We recently received 60,000 food items from a school drive, which will really help over the next few months when we have increased need due to the holidays.

Volunteer! I will plug into your schedule; we have many time slots and days open and available.

What makes it worthwhile to you, the staff, and the volunteers?

We love helping families and seeing the smiles on their faces, because they are so excited and appreciative. Our clients are humble and thankful. I tell everyone, don’t judgeencourage! We are just one paycheck short before we find ourselves in line and we are blessed to be able to help. We are just the vessel for blessings to pass through every day. ◆

Manna House Ministries, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

633 Rincon, GA 31326


Patriot Drive. Rincon, GA 31326

“ “ (912) 826-2037 PO Box
44 October/November 2022 |


Manna House began over 30 years ago.

• Manna House distributed over 1 million pounds of food to those in need last year.

• They assist 800-900 Effingham County, GA households with food, clothing, and household items each month.

• Manna House Ministries hosts several events annually to give even more to those families in need with school needs, Thanksgiving, and other events.

• They have about 60 volunteers that give over 2,500 hours of time each month.

• They are supported by over 30 churches and businesses in Effingham County, GA.

MANNA HOUSE | October/November 2022 45
Thank you Effingham for awarding Platinum Properties in three different categories! We are thrilled to be chosen as your Best Property Management Company, Best Real Estate Company, and the Best Real Estate Agent! I am honored and we look forward to doing business with YOU! 912.826.2151 | Best of Readers’ Choice Awards 2022 EFFINGHAM Best of EFFINGHAM PRESENTED BY EFFINGHAM MAGAZ I N E 912-561-7001 | | 1000 Towne Center Blvd, #604 Pooler, GA SHITAL PATEL, MD Internal Medicine NEHA KHAROD, MD Allergy & Asthma NOW ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS! Experienced Internist & Allergist in the heart of Pooler. 912-826-0918 | 108 International Drive, Rincon | We are grateful for the continued opportunity to serve our community, which we have proudly served since 2006! Thank you for this recognition! – Anisa Grantham, LPC, MAC Best of Readers’ Choice Awards 2022 EFFINGHAM Best of EFFINGHAM PRESENTED BY EFFINGHAM MAGAZ I N E 46 October/November 2022 |
Savannah’s premier group of ear, nose, and throat professionals, specializing in total care of head and neck disorders. 912.351.3030 • Main Office: 5201 Frederick St., Savannah Satellites: Pooler, Statesboro, Southside Savannah Thank you for voting me Best in Effingham! Aleida Haymes Fashion Designer BEST CLOTHING ALTERATIONS in Effingham 2022 Aleida’s Sewing, Embroidery & Alterations 912.667.1341 | 390 Long Acre Rd., Rincon Thank you for voting for us! BEST PET DAYCARE in Effingham 2022 912.772.4025 | Good things happen when you combine your home and auto insurance with State Farm® Like saving an average of $761.* Plus, you’ll have a good neighbor like me to help life go right. CALL ME TODAY. Combine Home & Auto. Save big. *Average annual household savings based on 2015 national survey of new policyholders who reported savings by switching to State Farm. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company • State Farm Indemnity Company, Bloomington, IL State Farm County Mutual Insurance Company of Texas, Dallas, TX • State Farm Lloyds, Richardson, TX State Farm Fire and Casualty Company • State Farm General Insurance Company, Bloomington, IL State Farm Florida Insurance Company, Winter Haven, FL1606203 Clay Clark, Agent 8102 Old Augusta Rd, Suite 101 Port Wentworth, GA 31407 Bus: 912-966-2688 Fax: 912-966-2610 $889* 2019 912-655-7778 | 202 E 4th Street, Rincon | HOURS: Tues–Fri: 7:30am - 5pm, Sat: 9am - 1pm, Sun-Mon: closed Baked from Scratch | Inspired by Tradition Tastes of Comfort BEST DESSERT and BEST CAKE in Effingham | October/November 2022 47

Fashion Designer Provides Industry Expertise for Educational Immersion Experience

When we think of learning the fashion industry, our minds often travel to Paris, New York, Milan, London and other cities that have birthed some of the world’s top fashion designers. But what if there was no need to globe-trot to learn from an international teacher? What if you could travel to Springfield, Ga., and immerse yourself in fashion design classes and build your fashion industry skills in a chic industrial space?

Judiann Echezabal, owner of Judiann’s Fashion Design Studios, has made this

dream a reality for burgeoning designers with a new business that opened its doors in September 2022.

Judiann has been a Fashion Designer for over three decades. She is a distinguished educator whose career has allowed her to be a Fashion Design Professor at the Parsons School of Design, the number one design school in the United States and Pratt Institute, which is ranked one of the World's Top 10 Art & Design Colleges. She continues to teach master classes

online for them as well as an institution in China. She holds a BFA in Fashion design with a minor in manufacturing and an MBA in business management.

Judiann offers beginning and advanced classes, and her courses range from Tailoring workshops, Pattern Making courses, Draping Making courses to Couture fashion courses.

Her intensive, 5-15 day training courses are designed for a small class size and devoted to creating garments. These particular courses are created

48 October/November 2022 |

for a designer who needs professional development classes. For instance, a “Tailoring Masterclass” allows students to learn what it takes to make a bespoke custom tailored jacket, coat, trousers or any other garment of their choice. Students will complete a finished garment while learning how the structure of the inside of the garment is engineered to control shape, how to choose exterior and interior fabrics to create the end product, machine sewing, bespoke methods and fitting methods.

The class dates can be flexible to allow students to take breaks to do the homework and can be customized so they do not need to run continuously.

Additionally, the 59-year-old designer is creating her business to meet a need.

“There are many high school students aspiring to go to art and design school who need assistance to learn more before they apply to these competitive institutes,” Judiann explains. “These students are looking for something that’s going to give them an edge over the competition and will help elevate their skills.”

Judiann teaches the students to build their portfolios in such a way where they stand out. “It’s not just sewing. It’s the design, pattern making, draping and construction to create the whole package,” she says.

Developing a Love of Fashion Design

The genesis for Judiann’s ability to see all the design elements constituting a whole began early in her life when she began sewing at the age of seven. She comes from a family of “makers”—her father being a wood craftsman, her brother an artist and creator of many things and her grandmother a quilter. Judiann’s mother started teaching her

sewing on her 1950s model Singer; and they made clothes for her Barbie dolls.

“Sadly, my mother passed away at the age of 29,” she says. “But I recall making coats and dresses for my Barbies and my mother giving me leftover fabrics to work with.”

Her father continued her education by taking her to the mall in Milford, Connecticut, and she went to the Singer sewing classes.

“And from there I never stopped,” she says. She made her own clothes during her teenage years, made clothes for her

wear. She began with three employees and ended up employing 20 people and occupying a warehouse to make the garments.

“We made everything to order and it was all sewn in-house and nothing was sent overseas,” she says.

Her business took off and she sold to Saks and Bellini Baby for years. In 1992, her warehouse and business were destroyed when Category 5 Hurricane Andrew slammed into Miami’s coastline.

“I lost my car, my house, my machinery, my workforce. It was devastating, so I moved back to Connecticut and started over,” she says.

Her move home allowed her the opportunity to expand her career and share her skills with others. She began teaching at some of the finest institutes in the country and became a published author of the book Modern Sewing Techniques. Instead of children’s wear, she started designing small collections of luxury fashions and wedding gowns.

younger brother and made her own prom dress. “One thing I remember is that a lot of the girls’ dresses looked the same because they came from one store. My prom dress was very different and had white lace with lime green ribbons, and I remember feeling really good about it.”

An entrepreneur, Judiann helped put herself through college. As she studied fashion design in Miami, she created wedding gowns. “It would take me five or six months to make one gown and I charged $5,000 to make it. I was so proud because my father did not have to pay for all my college expenses,” she says.

By her junior year in college, she had begun her first business called American Baby, where she created children’s

And now she’s venturing into this new business where she’s creating a oneof-a-kind patterned enterprise where education meets design.

“The space is an old rail yard building that’s been refurbished. When you walk in, it feels like an art studio with beautiful floors and high ceilings. It’s located on this charming street and has a New York feel to it,” she adds. “I can’t wait for my students to experience this big open canvas of space so they can create and design….right here in Springfield.” ◆

Learn more about instructional courses offered by Judiann’s Fashion Design Studios by calling 912.483.3600 or visit | October/November 2022 49
912.988.1526 | 110 Pipemakers Circle, Suite 115, Pooler, 912.988.1526 2453G US Highway 17, Richmond Hill, 912.445.5612 Speech, occupational and physical therapy services for children. Playing with Purpose Check out our FREE developmental screening tool! We’re hiring! Learn more @ Caring for you and about you. (912) 826-0250 | 6014 Hwy. 21 South, Rincon HOURS: Mon - Fri: 9am to 7pm; Sat: 9am to 5pm Towne Phar macy Towne Phar macy Find us on Facebook We carry Simply Southern merchandise in store. (912) 295-5174 | | /thestampersboutique | 586 S Columbia Ave Ste 11, Rincon Your Creative Oasis in the of Rincon • stamping • paper crafts • bible journaling • scrapbooking • classes & supplies • open studio • private groups & parties 50 October/November 2022 |
Accepting New Clients | 912-349-4495 | Goshen park commercial center Rincon’s Premier Business Address | Charmaine Jones, Healthcare Advisor 207-607-0270 Turning 65? Thinking About Medicare? Let me find the BEST plan for you. “I work for you!” 912.665.4695 | Thank you for voting us Best Day Spa in Effingham! Massage | Facials | Peels | microdermabrasion | Dermaplaning | Sugaring Scrubs (912) 826-6518 @snevaehacademy 1214 N Columbia Ave, Rincon Celebrating 2 Years in Business! | October/November 2022 51


Since 1998, Lowcountry Foundation Repair has provided South Georgia and Coastal Carolina homeowners exceptional crawl space repair, foundation repair, floor stabilization and basement waterproofing services. Having repaired more than 7500 homes since its inception, Lowcountry is one of the most reputable home service contractors in the region.

Founded nearly 25 years ago by husband-and-wife team, Rob & Nancy Videon, the company has grown from 2 to 45 employees, and its service area has expanded from Effingham County to the entire Savannah, Macon/ South Atlanta, and Hilton HeadBluffton-Beaufort Metro Markets, as well as southern Charleston.

Through its growth, Lowcountry’s purpose has remained the same: to provide exceptional workmanship, remarkable customer service, and industry-leading warranties. It strives to create a “Wow!” experience for each and every customer it serves – making homeowners happy they chose Lowcountry. Now, its brand and values firmly established across South Georgia and Coastal South Carolina, Lowcountry is on a mission to redefine the contractor industry, hoping to make its high standards the expectation, not the exception.

“Our goal is to provide custom-designed solutions to repair your home right, the FIRST time,” expressed owner Rob Videon. “We pride ourselves on offering solutions that will permanently-resolve your home’s crawl space, foundation or basement waterproofing issue, so that your home and family are protected, and your peace of mind is restored.”

“We strive to do the right thing, for the right reason”, added Nancy. “That’s always been our company mindset, and it impacts each and every decision we make.”

Company Origin, Culture and Growth

Rob’s vast experience in the home construction industry led him to found Lowcountry in his Rincon, GA home, and his constant willingness to adapt has proven valuable in helping him navigate

each stage of the company’s growth thereafter. Prior to starting Lowcountry Foundation Repair, Rob was thoroughly trained, earning the highly-esteemed titles of Crawl Space Specialist and Foundation Support Specialist. All company System Design Specialists, Installers, and Service Techs now undergo the same extensive training upon joining Lowcountry’s team.

Nancy’s business savviness enabled her to thrive wearing many hats for the company as its services, territory and team expanded. She served in and helped build each gear of the company’s business machine, including accounting, human resources, sales, customer care, production, and marketing.

Rob and Nancy’s hard work paid off, as Lowcountry has been recognized by the Better Business Bureau as an Accredited Business and has maintained an A+ Rating for 12 years. Now, the owners have a strong leadership team in place who field the bulk of Lowcountry’s daily operations and are committed to reinvesting into their respective departments through continued planning, training and accountability initiatives.

Those efforts have been rewarded, as Lowcountry Foundation Repair has quickly become one of the most recognized and reputable home service contractors throughout the region. Its humble roots and perpetual emphasis on improving the lives of its customers, employees and the communities it serves has made the company a stable and trusted component

of the region’s small business pulse. Homeowners know they can trust the solutions Lowcountry provides, and employees know they’re not just a number, but part of the Lowcountry family.

“At Lowcountry, we work every day to ensure our customers and our team members are happy they chose us,” said Nancy. “We do that by walking alongside the best in the industry, by learning from our mistakes, and by reinvesting in our team.”

“No matter what your concern — be it crawl space, sinking floors, waterproofing or foundation repair — you can be confident that your Lowcountry Foundation Repair representative will have the expertise to properly diagnose your home’s specific problem and offer you the best solution available,” said Rob.

About the Company

Lowcountry Foundation Repair serves as the exclusive, authorized Partner for Contractor Nation across the Greater Savannah, Macon, GA, Hilton Head metro and southern Charleston markets. One of only 30 Partners spanning a network of more than 350 of the world’s best contractors within the Contractor Nation framework, Lowcountry maintains exclusive access to 30+ patented products and systems, all backed nationally by industry-leading warranties. Lowcountry provides continuous, extensive training and development to each of its employees through local, regional, and national training initiatives, ensuring that each homeowner it serves receives knowledgeable expertise and remarkable customer service.

If your home is damp, musty, has cracked walls or sinking floors, call Lowcountry Foundation Repair for a free, in-home evaluation, experience “The Lowcountry Difference”, and restore your peace of mind. Choose Happy. Go LowCo.

912-826-0770 52 October/November 2022 |
912-826-3524 105 Weisenbaker Rd., Rincon HOURS: Tues & Wed: 11am-9:30pm Thurs-Sat: 11am-10 pm Sun: 11am-9:30pm 2 Military discount $off (Dine-in only) 1Georgia Pacific employees & Edwards Interior employees (Dine-in only) $off GREAT FOOD GREAT SERVICE EFFINGHAM MAGAZINE BEST BURRITO in Effingham 2022 EFFINGHAM MAGAZINE BEST LUNCH in Effingham 2022 THOMAS C. STRICKLAND AND SONS FUNERAL HOMES West Chapel 901 Hwy 80 West, Pooler 912-748-2444 Family Owned And Operated Effingham Chapel 2460 Hwy 21 South, Rincon 912-754-6421 WWW.ELONWICKCANDLECO.COM | October/November 2022 53


Kitchen and bath upgrades are among the most popular home improvement projects. While current design trends offer some inspiration, it can be easier to visualize those concepts in your own home when you see them applied in show-stopping, award-worthy designs like these.

For example, these National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) National Contractor of the Year (CotY) Award Winners were selected by a panel of industry experts based on functionality, aesthetics, craftsmanship, innovation and degree of difficulty.

Find the complete list of winners at


Limited countertop space, minimal storage and a disruptive traffic flow called for a radical change. Moving the sink to the island, removing peninsula cabinetry and wing wall and rearranging appliances improved the floor plan. Gray shaker cabinetry added storage and increased countertop space. Meanwhile, whimsical lighting brought trendy style to the space; about 75% of homeowners have two or more pendant lights over their kitchen islands, according to NARI research.


A connecting secondary bath doesn’t work for every family but taking over a couple closets helped reconfigure and expand this space. A midcentury modern theme was maintained with the cabinetry, rounded wood mirrors and hex tile floors. Bright colors were incorporated through the wallpaper and matching custom tile in the shower niche, creating an on-trend expression of personality through bold color choices.

54 October/November 2022 |


Walls came down and doorways enlarged to transform a traditional floor plan into an airy dream kitchen. Features include white cabinetry, custom reclaimed wood shelving and two midcentury modern pendants. Flush LED downlights and accent lights below the shelves brighten the area, and a professional grade gas range and stainless-steel, counter-depth refrigerator complete the space.


This 1902 home had a small, inefficient and disconnected kitchen. Removing a wall and eliminating basement access helped create a space more suitable for entertaining while reflecting an ontrend, open design. The new beam was concealed to mimic an existing arch and the original light fixture was repurposed for familiar character.



Thoughtful architecture, including an addition, made this living and kitchen space feel more inviting for entertaining. The substantial use of cherry cabinetry is a nod to an up-and-coming trend toward more wood textures in the kitchen while details like the crafted barrel ceiling and natural stone communicate old world elegance inspired by Tuscan design.


The original bath in a converted attic space contained undesirable elements, including sharply sloped ceilings, low walls and access to the HVAC unit. A full gut produced a more practical space. The feature wall extending from within the shower and across the room is savvy interpretation of a trend that celebrates interesting textures, finishes and patterns. A concealed attic hatch within the wainscoting was incorporated for practical HVAC servicing.


Remodeling a master bath in an otherwise beloved home led to an updated, aesthetically pleasing design with an industrial spa motif. The new bath has significantly increased storage space with full height custom shelving, modern plumbing and electrical fixtures, an expanded shower door, radiant floor heat, soothing color tones and enhanced lighting.



This glow-up honored the 1890 home with a bath that’s fresh, contemporary and suitable for aging in place. Vintage and industrial styles merge with features including a walk-in shower, extra storage and more. The crisp black and white blend seamlessly with the home’s period style, and visual highlights include the tiled floor border design and the vanity and mirror configuration.

Sponsored by National Association of the Remodeling Industry

OVER | October/November 2022 55

More than an agent— A NEIGHBOR

What makes an insurance agent special? A passion for helping others and a commitment to the community he or she serves. That is how Ashley Boyette State Farm agent views her role. She is a small business owner and State Farm agent serving all of Effingham County.

Ashley Boyette and her team understand that their clients need to find the best and most affordable insurance and financial services possible. Specializing in all types of insurance and financial planning, they treat every customer like they would treat their own families. They let the needs of the customer guide the recommendations and advice they provide. They strive to protect families and help them plan for the future.

Ashley says, “I love this community because it is very welcoming. We are also made up of organizations that want to help others. Whether it is children’s sports programs or the Manna House, we all come together to help each other. I am very proud to be part of this great community.”

Ashley also loves spending time with her own family. She has two little boys and loves watching them learn karate. She also loves the outdoors and even doing yard work!

If you need insurance, financial planning advice or just a friendly face, stop by Ashley Boyette’s office. You will be glad you did.

n AHAS has over 50 years combined experience with only Doctors of Audiology n We have all price points and can meet any budget n We have all the top-quality hearing devices on the market today n No interest 18-month payment plans available n Let us check if your insurance company has a benefit for hearing aids n Ear Nose and Throat physicians on site n The office is open for walk-in cleanings or minor problems 5 days a week Call to make your appointment! 912.351.3038 SAVANNAH SKIDAWAY ISLAND CONVENIENTLY LOCATED RIGHT OFF THE POOLER PARKWAY 1000 TOWNE CENTER BOULEVARD, SUITE #200 Voted 2022 Best Audiology Group & Best Audiologists (L-R) Dr. Casey Allen, Dr. Katy Laws, and Dr. Sara King We are HEAR for you!
912-826-1029 BEST INSURANCE AGENT in Effingham 2022 56 October/November 2022 |
AFTER SCHOOL ROTATION STATIONS ▶ STEM ▶ Creative Arts ▶ Academic Enrichment ▶ Organized Recreation ▶ Dedicated Homework Time AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS: ▶ Guyton Elementary ▶ Rincon Elementary ▶ Marlow Elementary ▶ Sand Hill Elementary LEAP AT WATERFORD OPENING SPRING 2023, LEAP at Waterford will offer afterschool care, Pre-K & summer camp. WWW.LEAPYDP.COM | (912) 777-8128 | LEAPYOUTHDEVELOPMENT@GMAIL.COM EFFINGHAM MAGAZINE BEST CHILDCARE in Effingham 2022 EFFINGHAM MAGAZINE BEST LEARNING CENTER in Effingham 2022


What grade do you teach?

I currently teach Kindergarten at Sand Hill Elementary. I’ve learned so much from teaching our youngest students not only about academic areas but social areas as well.

How long have you been teaching?

I have been teaching for 18 1/2 years, all in Effingham County. I began my career as a Pre-K teacher at Effingham County’s Pre-K Learning Centers, but I’ve taught Kindergarten and First grade for several years.

What made you want to become a teacher?

I have always enjoyed working with children. I worked in our church nursery and with the youth group for many years. I could not imagine seeing myself doing something other than helping children.

How would you describe your teaching style?

I would describe my teaching style as coaching. Instead of giving answers to my students, I try to ask the right questions and guide their thinking toward the right answer.

I believe in self-exploration and discovery in my kindergarten classroom. We use a lot of literacy and math centers and activities to give students practice applying what they’ve learned in new situations.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

I absolutely cherish witnessing a child’s “aha” moment when they realize they’ve learned something and can apply it, and the pride and joy they feel.

What is the hardest part about teaching?

Every student comes to us at a different level of knowledge. So, detailed and differentiated planning is the hardest and



most important part of teaching but without it, students may get behind, lost, or bored with what you are teaching. The goal is to have an active and engaged classroom.

What do you enjoy most about working at Sand Hill Elementary?

Sand Hill has been known for many years as a small school with a big heart. The teachers, staff, and parents make this an amazing place to work. Everyone works together well, looks out for each other, and invests their time in you and your students.

What’s your favorite subject to teach and why?

I love the foundational skills of reading. Teaching students how letters make sounds, how we can put those

Best of

together to make words, and how we can use what we know to read and write is my favorite part of the day. Kids get so excited when they hear a sound they know and can show it in their writing which makes them authors just like the books we read.

I was fortunate to be chosen to participate in Reading Recovery training and become a reading interventionist at Sand Hill Elementary. Learning how to strategically plan lessons to teach struggling readers has been some of the most valuable training I’ve received.

What has been your proudest moment as a teacher?

Being nominated by my peers as a Teacher of the Year candidate made me proud of my accomplishments. I work hard for my students, my staff, and my community. My school day does not end when students load the buses. I’ve led our Sunshine committee, CURE Childhood Cancer fundraising team, Literacy team, and other community efforts. I enjoy making other people happy and lifting others up.

How do you feel about being named Best Teacher?

Honestly, I’m in shock. There are so many amazing teachers working in our school district so being singled out and named as Best Teacher hasn’t sunk in yet.

Teachers care and love with more of their heart and soul than any other profession. Your children become our children. Their struggles become our struggles. And their success is our joy. Not because we succeeded but because they succeeded by reaching their goals.

The best part of teaching is that it matters. The hardest part of teaching is that every moment matters, every day.
“ “
Choice Awards
58 October/November 2022 |


How long have you been teaching?

What grades and subjects have you taught?

I have been in education for 22 years. I taught elementary PE for three years and then taught health at the high school (ECHS) for 15 years. I then moved to South Effingham High School to be assistant principal. After 2 years, I moved to Crossroads to be the coordinator. This is my first year as the principal at Ebenezer Middle School.

What made you want to become a teacher?

I have always loved working with young people and watching them learn and grow. I had several teachers and coaches in my life that helped inspire me to want to follow in their footsteps.

What motivated you to move into administration?

I wanted to move into administration because I enjoy the challenge. We have a lot of great schools in our county and I wanted the opportunity to work with and learn from other great administrators.

What do you enjoy most about being a principal?

Working with all the faculty, staff, and students. Each day when I come to work there is a new challenge and I enjoy working with all of the great people at Ebenezer Middle to make the days run smoothly.

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What is the hardest part about being a principal? The hardest part of being the principal is making the tough decisions that some do not like. You always want teachers, students, and parents to want to come to school and enjoy being here but it is not always that easy.

What do you enjoy most about working at Ebenezer Middle?

The people. Everyone has been so welcoming and supportive as I have transitioned into this position.

What has been your proudest moment in your educational career?

I think my proudest moments are the friendships you create with all of the people you get to work with. I truly feel like I have the best job and get to work with some amazing people in Effingham County Schools.

How do you feel about being named Best Principal?

I am very humbled. I know there are a lot of great leaders in Effingham County Schools and I appreciate the acknowledgement.

Choice Awards
N E | October/November 2022 59


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Clif Yawn has been the face of karate in Effingham County since the 1970s. In 1976, he opened Yawn’s Professional Karate, and he founded the South Georgia Karate Circuit in 1979, serving as its president for 15 years.

He holds an 8th degree black belt in his specialty, Chito-ryu karate, given to him by his sensei, Sam Chapman, in Greenville, South Carolina.

A black belt is no small feat. The highest level, a 10th degree black belt, requires a lifetime of dedication to the sport—not just through personal practice but by teaching others as well. Clif is not one to boast about his achievements, but he says his proudest moment was receiving the Bridge Builder Award from Legends of Carolina Martial Arts in 2021, an award that acknowledged his contributions to the sport in the Southeast.


lives over the years.

While out and about, Clif often sees current and former students, a testament to the close-knit community in Effingham County. Because he has been teaching karate for more than 50 years, he has taught children and even grandchildren of former students.

The school has been a multigenerational affair for his family and others in the community. His wife, son, stepson and grandchildren have been active in karate with belts of varying levels.

We are honored to receive this award!

This would not have been possible without all of our loyal students and instructors over the last 45+ years.

“He’s very passionate about what he teaches. He believes everyone should do martial arts for self defense and self esteem. He believes each and every person can learn from it and be a better person,” said Jeanne Yawn, Clif’s wife.

Practicing karate has many benefits beyond physical fitness, including building self-discipline, increased mental focus and increased self-confidence. Clif’s teaching methods have impacted many

The Yawns are grateful for the community support that has been shown by naming them Best of Effingham.

At Yawn’s Professional Karate, no one is too old to learn self-defense, and karate is something the whole family can participate in together. Classes at Yawn’s take place every Monday and Thursday from 6:30-7:30pm for ages 4 to adult. All the students warm up together and then separate based on level.

For those who want to build their strength and stamina between classes, Yawn’s also has a 24-hour gym that is open 365 days a year with free weights, cardio equipment and other exercise machines.

250 Chimney Road, Rincon, GA 31326 (912) 826-5008 | Facebook: YawnsGym


Yawn’s Fitness Center is open 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

Karate classes are Mondays & Thursdays from 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm for ages 4 and up.

No contracts or sign up fees. Call today! Yawn’s Gym Yawn’s Gym
105 South Laurel Street Springfield, GA 31329 (912) 754-6822 Dr. Donald Nelson, Dr. Robert Nelson and our team at Effingham Dental Associates Thank You for voting us the Best Dental Group in Effingham! EFFINGHAM MAGAZINE BEST DENTAL GROUP in Effingham 2022 64 October/November 2022 |
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Many think that food allergies and food sensitivities are the same when in actuality, they are very different. With a food allergy, a person has an immediate response. Think about someone who eats peanuts and has an anaphylaxis response.

Food sensitivities can produce a much less reactive response which can also be delayed up to three days.

Food Sensitivities.

Unfortunately, food sensitivities play a role in many common health conditions. Adverse food reactions are one of the most commonly misidentified health issues. Chronic health issues such as digestive problems, headache, joint and muscle pain, fatigue, constant runny nose or constant congestion, are all symptoms of our immune system’s reaction to foods and additives in our everyday diet. Food sensitivities can also play a role in asthma, IBS, ADD/ADHD, arthritis, obesity and autoimmune diseases.

Some people can easily identify foods they are sensitive to, such as dairy. While other times it’s a food chemical that is not easy to determine. What makes it difficult, is that any food or chemical, even healthy foods can be reactive. Another issue muddying the water is that it can be several food/chemical sensitivities at once.

Food sensitivities can take up to 72 hours to present any symptoms. This means if you eat eggs on Monday, you may not feel the effects, such as a migraine, until Wednesday. Another issue, it can be several low-grade sensitivities that compound causing issues. To make it even more difficult, it can be dose dependent. Meaning if you eat a little of that food you may not feel the negative effects even though it is still causing damage to your gastrointestinal tract and/or inflammation. It is not until you have eaten a decent amount that you feel the negative effects.

Is Food Sensitivity Testing Really Accurate?

Short answer is yes, as long as it is the appropriate test. Not all tests are created equal. As a Nutrition Therapist, I am trained and have access to some of the most accurate food sensitivity testing.

The one I prefer is the Mediator Release Test. It is the most accurate test available to identify foods, additives and chemicals that are causing reactions. This is a blood draw test that quantifies how strongly your immune cells react to 170 different foods, chemicals and additives. This test measures changes in the ratio of liquids to solids after whole blood exposure to various antigens. Since the changes in the cell volume can be quantified, it can determine just how sensitive you are to that particular food/chemical.

These food sensitivities are damaging to the intestinal lining, can contribute to leaky gut and chronically stimulate your immune system causing chronic inflammation.

How I Use This Testing.

As a Nutrition Therapist, I rarely use this as a stand-alone test. We just cannot remove the sensitive food without healing and repairing the gastrointestinal lining. Almost all of my clients have chronic issues or severe digestive symptoms that also need to be addressed with gastrointestinal testing. Pairing these two tests together allows my clients to heal and have symptom resolution. When that is accomplished, we can then begin the reintroduction process of the sensitive foods to see if they are tolerated.

When you heal the gastrointestinal tract and fix leaky gut, while calming inflammation and immune response, food/chemical sensitivities are reversed. In doing so, my clients heal from their autoimmune issues, we can correct digestive disorders, rebalance the gut microbiome, significantly reduce inflammation and allow them to restore their energy, clear brain fog and get back to feeling incredible. | 770-722-9580 |
Dodson, Master Nutrition Therapist, Master Health and Wellness Coach LET’S TALK FOOD
66 October/November 2022 |

Best Law Enforcement Officer Capt. Pete Hossalla

Captain Pete Hossalla is proud to be serving and protecting the citizens of Effingham County as the Commander of Patrol Division, Effingham County Sheriff Department. Being voted Best Law Enforcement Officer was a “very nice surprise” he says.

Capt. Hossalla will be celebrating 24 years in law enforcement in December and has been Commander of Patrol Division for the last eight years.

The Patrol Division is a very active department. They answer calls for service, enforce traffic laws (including DUI) and enhance Community Services through Neighborhood Watch, Community Watch and McGruff the Crime Dog.

“Basically, I am in charge of all marked cars and all officers in uniform, including School Resource Officers, the Civil Division, traffic units, and all the patrols. Everything except the jail or detectives,” says Hossalla.

Proud to be in Uniform

His law enforcement career started in Milwaukee County, Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1992.

“My dad was a firefighter, and I was inspired by that, so I was looking at either fire or law enforcement as a career. I put in an application at the police department and that was the start of my career.”

After five years, the Hossalla family moved to Georgia where Capt. Hossalla worked for the Springfield Police Department for two years before joining the Effingham County Sheriff Department.

Capt. Hossalla has gone above and beyond by implementing the Sheriff’s Department Annual Awards Banquet, where they honor outstanding officers, and the department’s holiday Turkey Giveaway to needy families in the area. He is also a trained and certified member of the Georgia Peer Support Team, which provides emotional and/or psychological support to fellow first responders who have experienced traumatic events or critical incidents.

“I chose a career I can be proud of. Effingham County is a wonderful county to live and work in,” he says, “I really enjoy the job and having the opportunity to give back in this line of work. “

The Public

“It is our responsibility to react positively with the community, with the hope we get back the same response,” says Capt. Hossalla.

Recently Miss Georgia, Kelsey Hollis, and her mother visited the station and brought everyone hand written thank you cards.

“It was a wonderful thing. A simple thank you is very meaningful,” he says, “It means so much for our officers to hear something uplifting. A simple prayer and a thank you is very much appreciated.”

Loved Ones

The Hossalla family, wife Jaimie, son Landen, 16, and son Jace, 10, includes their son Griffen who passed away at three years old. Capt. Hossalla says losing their son has given him a lot more compassion for people and serving his community, as well as deepening his faith.

“We have had a lot of struggles, and the tragedy of losing our son Griffen. Going through this, and having seen a lot at work, we are finding our way by growing with the Bible and God. God has a plan for me, and I am in the right place in the right job because I really care about people and being there for my guys.”

Plus, he says, “right now Jaimie and I are in the process of DIY home improvements—proving I am better at police work than drywall!”

◆ Best of Readers’ Choice Awards 2022 EFFINGHAM Best of EFFINGHAM PRESENTED BY EFFINGHAMMAGAZ I N E | October/November 2022 67


With two branches located in Springfield and Rincon, Live Oak Public Libraries serves residents of all ages with free access to entertaining educational programming, print publications and digital resources.

Children can enjoy programs like storytime and LEGO Club at both locations, get help with their homework and gain fine-free access to library materials. The Springfield branch hosts a weekly Teen Writers Club for youth ages 12-17 to share their creative writing pursuits.

“Without the library my girls would have missed out on meeting new people, learning how to interact with different personalities, educational activities, and most importantly a love of books.

There is no way I could replicate the learning experiences offered through the library,” said Chair of the Effingham County Library Board Erica Biezenbos.

Adults can use the library to achieve their goals, whether it’s finding a new job, learning a new skill or discovering a new book series to read.

The library is a key tool in bridging technology gaps. Patrons can use computers and internet at the library or check out a laptop and WiFi hotspot to use at home.

For those who want to venture out, the library also has free passes to Georgia State Parks and the Telfair Museums available to check out for a day or weekend trip.

(912) 604-2064 I want to thank my awesome clients for voting me the Best of Effingham! Bonnie J Smith, LMT/Owner Rincon Location Guyton Location 107 Lynn Bonds Ave, Guyton 5805 Hwy 21 South, Suite 200, Rincon At B Renewed, therapeutic massage isn’t a life luxury, it’s a life necessity in a luxurious atmosphere. EFFINGHAM MAGAZINE BEST MASSAGE THERAPY GROUP in Effingham 2022 LIVE OAK PUBLIC LIBRARIES OFFERS
SEE ALL OF THE LIBRARY’S UPCOMING EVENTS at 68 October/November 2022 |

Effingham Fire and Rescue

Lt. Jennifer Ashdown says being voted Effingham’s Best Firefighter “was absolutely a surprise!” After 15 years, she says she loves her job, and as a Lieutenant for two stations she says, “I wear a lot of hats. In addition to being a firefighter I am an instructor and help train recruits. I also teach at the state level and at other fire departments in Georgia.”

Lt. Ashdown joined Effingham Fire & Rescue in 2006, which was all volunteer at that time, not as a firefighter but to run medical calls. She made the change from volunteer to professional in 2013.

“After a Fourth of July drowning call, I decided to move out of strictly medical. I called the Fire Department, they put me in Fire 1 Class, and I became Fire Certified.”

She says going professional was a great decision and being part of Effingham Fire and Rescue has been “the honor of a lifetime.”

Public Should Know

“Firefighters do not wait around the firehouse waiting for the alarm to go off all day!”

Firefighters in Effingham Fire and Rescue maintain their stations, from mowing the grass to construction projects—in fact they recently remodeled a fire station, doing the work themselves.

They also do all the fire hydrant checks in house, a labor intensive task that other departments often contract out. She says, “We save the community money and put our time to best use.”

The public should also know— Firefighters do NOT want you to wait! “We are on duty 24/7. We run every call, from locked keys in the car to fires. And don’t try and put a fire out yourself, we would rather have you call sooner versus later.”

Lt. Ashdown reminds the public that the Fire Department never charges for their services, and “we truly do have the citizens’ best interest at heart.”

Down Time

Lt. Ashdown lives in Rincon with her daughter Ansley and husband JR, Training Captain at Liberty County Fire Services. She says, “I met my JR at the fire academy. He has been my biggest supporter and

mentor, always pushing me to do more and be better.”

For down time she plays in a women’s volleyball league at the county rec park, because “I played college volleyball and still love it. JR is a drag racer, so we do that too. These activities take my mind off work, especially if there has been a bad call. We can unwind and do our thing.”

What She loves About Her Job

“I really like the excitement, and I really enjoy teaching.”

She says mentoring female recruits is especially rewarding, as it gives her the opportunity to pass on her hard

earned knowledge. “It often takes female firefighters longer to earn the respect of male firefighters but once you do there is acceptance and trust.” She says everybody at the Effingham Fire and Rescue is a mentor, always ready to lend a hand.

“As far as the brotherhood goes, my son Drew passed unexpectedly in January,” says Ashdown. “My department really stepped up and took care of my family. Firefighters from all over reached out to make sure we were okay, even if we’d never met. That’s brotherhood. This is the best job in the world!”

BEST FIREFIGHTER: Lt. Jennifer Ashdown
◆ Best of Readers’ Choice Awards 2022 EFFINGHAM Best of EFFINGHAM PRESENTED BY EFFINGHAMMAGAZ I N E | October/November 2022 69
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B E S T O F P O O L E R !

When local home and business owners need new window treatments, they call on Savannah Blinds Shutters and Shades to get the job done That is because since 2008, we have been a local Savannah window treatment company providing residential and commercial clients with the finest results possible. We go above and beyond to deliver the custom window coverings that you want.

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Integrity is Our Quality

When Matthew and Jamie Pratt founded Patriot Pros Roofing there were two values they knew they would never compromise—Quality and Integrity. They love helping people make the right decision on a very important asset, their homes. They do so with a relentless attention to detail and focus on providing the very best customer service.

“We approach every customer with a servant’s heart; eager to assist with honesty and integrity throughout the entire process,” Jamie Pratt says.

In addition to expert roofing services, Patriot Pros offers siding, windows, doors, gutters and fencing services as well. This allows the team to continue their attention to detail and quality to their customers’ other home renovation needs and gives homeowners one source to call whenever they have a project that needs attention.

Matt and Jamie Pratt are Rincon residents and love serving the Effingham County community as well as the surrounding areas from Tybee Island to Hilton Head. If you are looking for expert work and excellent service for roofing, siding windows, doors and more, give them a call.


iHeart Dental Named Best Cosmetic Dentist in Effingham

Often going to the dentist is associated with a routine cleaning or the less pleasant business of getting a filling or a crown.

But at iHeart Dental, Dr. Misty Seale and her team offer a selection of cosmetic dentistry services to complement routine dental care, including veneers, traditional dentures, digital dentures, denture implants and clear aligners. Their spectacular results have led them to be named Best Cosmetic Dentist in this year’s Best of Effingham Reader’s Choice Awards.

They also offer esthetic services like Botox and dermal fillers to enhance the results after rebuilding a patient’s smile.

“Cosmetic dentistry changes people’s lives. When you first see somebody, one of the first things that you see is their smile,” Dr. Seale said.

Dr. Seale has plenty of advice to offer anyone who is ready to consider cosmetic dental procedures to improve or rebuild their smile.

Consider Both Form and Function.

Cosmetic dentistry comes with its own set of considerations, both for the dentist and the patient.

“Everybody’s face is different. You also have to consider the functionality of the jaws and the mouth and the teeth itself. So not only is it cosmetic, it has to function well,” Dr. Seale said.

Dental implants are put to the test every day withstanding high temperatures, high acidity and the pressure of day-to-day activities like eating and drinking. Any cosmetic service has to be able to hold up to those conditions in addition to improving a patient’s smile. A good cosmetic dentist will take all these lifestyle factors into account.

Make Sure You Have a Treatment Plan.

Creating a treatment plan together with your dentist will alleviate a lot of stress, set up realistic expectations and help give you the best possible outcome.

“I try to eliminate as many variables as I can to make things as predictable as possible,” Dr. Seale said.

At iHeart Dental, they have a variety of tools in-house that can show you your results before committing to any major procedures. They take initial impressions that are used to create a full digital mockup. That mock-up is then 3D printed to create a model of a patient’s new smile that can be temporarily fitted inside the mouth.

Ask for Before and After Photos.

While many dentists can do cosmetic procedures, it’s not always their specialty. Seeing samples of their work can give you an idea of what to expect. You can also

ask for recommendations from a friend or family member who may have used the dentist’s services to see their results firsthand.

Look for someone who is passionate about what they do.

Dr. Seale feels strongly that all dentistry is cosmetic dentistry, so she takes great care of her patients whether they’re seeing her for routine cleaning appointments or extensive reconstructive procedures.

“When I go in, I get to really know the patient in and out. It’s not just their mouth, it’s their whole body,” Dr. Seale said. “We want people to be as passionate about their dental health as we are.”

iHeart Dental also caters to patients who may experience anxiety at the dentist. Dr. Seale feared the dentist as a child, and wanted to build a more approachable experience when opening her own practice. They have two service dogs (one active and one in training) who are available to offer comfort to nervous patients.

Their compassionate approach and passion for building healthy smiles set them apart, and Dr. Seale relishes the challenge of taking a patient’s smile to the next level.

“I like puzzles and I like being able to make solutions by thinking outside the box,” Dr. Seale said. “I love being able to transform people into a better state.”

(912) 499-1133 135 Goshen Rd Ext #205 Rincon, GA EFFINGHAM MAGAZINE BEST COSMETIC DENTIST in Effingham — 2022 —
Cosmetic dentistry changes people’s lives. When you first see somebody, one of the first things that you see is their smile
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in Effingham 2022

The journey for Alex Castillo to become a worship leader is circuitous to say the least. Readers may assume that worship leaders are born with an innate gift of voice and instrument talent as a child and naturally follow this path to adulthood. Not so for Castillo, who leads worship for Liberty Christian Fellowship in Guyton, Georgia and was named Best Worship Leader in Effingham County.

Born in Puerto Rico with two minister parents, Castillo moved to the United States at age nine having grown up in church and experiencing what it was like to “plant” churches.

As he grew older, he became rebellious in his teenage years, which led him into addiction. He started with smoking his first joint at age 13 in middle school and that became the gateway to alcohol, pills, hallucinogens and opiates.

Eventually it caught up with Castillo and he got in trouble with the law. At age 17, he was sent to a correctional facility that was operated as a boot camp for juvenile offenders.

“The facility was run by retired Marines and Navy Seals who wore combat military uniforms,” recalls Castillo. “We got up in the morning at 5:00 a.m., marched on the black top and did work detail every day.”

In addition to working, the juvenile offenders attended Bible studies. “Other than that, we had no contact with the outside world other than letters from home and a Saturday visitation for a couple of hours from your parents,” he adds.

A Life-Changing Moment

A particular visit from a worship group one evening became the life-changing moment for the teenager.

“That night a worship leader shared his testimony about how he had been set free from drug addiction because of Jesus. His story resonated with me and through his story and worship band that night, I surrendered my life to the Lord,” he explains. “I had never encountered anything like this before. At that minute in time, Jesus made himself real to me and I gave my life to Him.”

His decision resulted in Castillo desiring to read the Bible every day. “I became a disciple of Jesus and continued to grow in my faith,” he says.

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He moved to Statesboro at age 19 and started going to church. It was there that he met his future wife Brandi. It’s also where he discovered his musical gift.

“I was playing the guitar in my room one day and I said, ‘I wonder if I could sing for the Lord?’ Right there and then I felt the Lord was calling me into music ministry. I had no idea what a music ministry even was! All I knew was that I wanted to just sing for the Lord,” he adds.

Soon after, he was doing roadie work for a Christian band and he was in Atlanta with the group when he asked if he could sing a song. “It was the first time that I ever sang in front of a congregation and I knew immediately that this is what I’m supposed to do.”

A Musical Connection

In 1999, at age 21, he married Brandi and the couple found the perfect connection since Brandi was also a singer and songwriter. The couple began writing songs together and led worship services in churches in the Savannah area.

were teenagers, the Castillos found their way back to south Georgia, settled down in Guyton when they started serving at Liberty Christian Fellowship.

Building a Culture of Worshippers

By 2016, the stirring within his soul began again and Castillo felt the Lord was calling him again to travel, but this time to Native America.

“And so through prayer, research and intuition, it led me to the realization that although I was Puerto Rican, I was probably also indigenous. So I just told my parents one day that I needed to know something. I asked my parents, plain out, ‘Are we Indian?’ And they got so quiet,” he said. “They answered yes we are.”

I was playing the guitar in my room one day and I said, ‘I wonder if I could sing for the Lord?’ Right there and then I felt the Lord was calling me into music ministry.

Because of this revelation, doors began to open for Castillo to share the word of Jesus and minister to indigenous communities across the United States and Canada.

As the word spread about the duo, so did invitations to church events and conferences around the country. Eventually, the couple felt like the Lord was calling them to do a traveling music ministry.

As the traveling increased, they felt again a need to recalibrate their lives because by then they had two young children.

“A lot of times Brandi would have to stay back and we just felt like, you know, God's calling us to do this together as a family,” says Castillo. They sold their house, began homeschooling their boys and stayed on the road for years. By the time their children

“The message I have for them is there is nothing wrong with our culture. The perception has been we were evil, savage people when in reality that was a lie,” he says. “It is okay to worship the Lord with our drum, with our flute, with all types of instruments including our voice to create this art,” he adds.

No matter if he’s spreading the word of Jesus to his congregation in Effingham or to indigenous people throughout the world, he believes it’s his job to build a culture of worshippers.

“And most importantly, it is to honor God in such a way—not just on Sunday mornings, but in our lives—to honor God in a way that it brings glory to Him and Him only,” Castillo says.

“ “ | October/November 2022 77
The Horne Law Firm 912-800-HURT (4878) | Info@Horne.Law | The Horne Law FIrm | @thehornelaw Car Accidents, Traffic Citations, Serious Injury, and Wrongful Death Personal Injury Deserves Personal Attention Derek E. Horne, Attorney Local companions providing: • Transportation • Recreation • Medical Concierge “We provide solutions that support independence!” - Melissa Waller, owner and administrator Call us today: (912) 677-2553 Specializing in Activities & Life Enrichment for Seniors! (912) 677-2553 | 78 October/November 2022 |
A Special Thank You to our Best of Effingham Sponsors | October/November 2022 79


Best of


S & P Automotive


108 Ale House


Amy’s Vintage Barbershop


Ellen Claire Soapery


The Rusty Pig


Paddles Coffee Cafe


108 Ale House


El Real Mexican Restaurant


Ally’s Bakery


Rincon Chevrolet

You VOTED for the Best!


You told us the PLACES, PEOPLE and THINGS you love in and around Effingham, and we’re so proud to share the winners of the 2022 BEST OF Effingham with you!

BEST CHARITY EVENT United Way of the Coastal Empire— Effingham County


The Rusty Pig

BEST CHILDCARE Leap Youth Development


Rincon Chiropractic



Aleidas Sewing, Embroidery & Alterations


Paddles Coffee Cafe


Effingham Rec Department


Coastal Contracting LLC


iHeart Dental

Readers’ Choice Awards 2022 EFFINGHAM
80 October/November 2022 | www.EFFINGHAMMAGAZINE.com80



BEST DAY SPA Rincon Day Spa


Effingham Dental Associates


Dr. Robert Nelson, DMD—Effingham Dental Associates


Dr. Josepha DeVaro, MD- Coastal Dermatology


Ally’s Bakery


Dr. Slavko Kukucka, MD- Rincon Medical Center



Yates-Astro Termite and Pest Control


Lady Lester Photography


BEST FINANCIAL ADVISOR Trisha Boyett- Edward Jones

BEST FINANCIAL INSTITUTION Bank of Newington- Springfield office



BEST FITNESS CENTER Crossfit Groundspeed

BEST FLORIST Carlson & Co.



BEST FUNERAL HOME Thomas C Strickland and Sons Funeral Home




BEST GOLF COURSE Lost Plantation


BEST HAIR SALON Mirror Image Hair Salon



BEST HEALTH INSURANCE ADVISOR Melissa Stille-Dewitt Health Brokerage


BEST HOME BUILDERS Long Builders Incorporated



DJ’s Home Care Specialists LLC

BEST HOME REMODELING COMPANY Sawyer Home Renovation LLC | October/November 2022 81 81


SunCare Hospice LLC


Hester Business Solutions


Brad Cherney - State Farm


Ashley Boyette - State Farm


Effingham YMCA - Fun Club


Pete Hossalla


Kicklighter Law


Harlawn Yard Services


Leap Youth Development


Clyo Trading Post


Trish Nutting- Shop Local Effingham


Coastal Contracting LLC


Towne Pharmacy


Effingham Magazine


Effingham Chamber


El Real Mexican Restaurant


Megan Green-MC Makeup Artist. LLC


Yawn’s Professional Karate


B Renewed- Bonnie Smith


Effingham Health System


Bank of Newington- Springfield office



Cousin John’s


Effingham Living History Museum


Manna House Ministries


Lindsey Lewis


Dr. Todd Robinson, MD - Memorial Women’s Health


Innovative Orthodontics


Dr. Donihue Waters, DDS, MDS - Innovative Orthodontics


The Tin Fin


Omelette Cafe


Dr. Bailey Alford - Effingham Health System


Mary Cain- Empire Gym


Guyton Pet Lodge

82 October/November 2022 | www.EFFINGHAMMAGAZINE.com82


Wizard of Paws- Sydney May


Wizard of Paws


Lady Lester Photography


Dawn Snipes - Optim Orthopedics


Effingham Orthopedics


Zoners Pizza


Coastal Contracting LLC


Dr. Joseph Ratchford, MD - Internal medicine


Dr. Brett Griffin


Grow it We Mow it


Platinum Properties


Anisa Grantham- Rincon Recovery Resources


Toni Hardigree- Platinum Properties


Platinum Properties


Coastal Contracting LLC


108 Ale House


Patriot Pros Roofing


Effingham County High School


Lakeview Manor


Jamie Collins




Runnin out of Womb


Ole Country Outfitters


108 Ale House


21 South Mini Storage


Afterglow Studio/Morgan Stephens


Amanda Sanders


BEST URGENT CARE Rincon Medical Center- Urgent Care


Dr. Michael Bailey - Effingham Animal Hospital


Effingham Eye Care


Edward Jones- Trisha Boyett


Savannah Blinds


Alex Castillo | October/November 2022 83 83


Let us introduce Danielle Gilkey, an energetic and savvy Effingham entrepreneur residing in Rincon. Danielle is intelligent, has a great sense of humor, both driven and focused— she is one of those rare individuals who succeeds in achieving the life goals she sets for herself. And lucky for us, she has accomplished her goal of opening her own orthopedic and spine medical practice. Ohana Spine and Ortho Care is more than a medical facility—it’s where Danielle’s dream of “treating every patient to where they become family” has come true.


Ohana is a Hawaiian word for “family,” meaning family isn’t just defined by blood, because it also includes friends and patients that are as close and treasured as family.

To know Danielle is to know that Ohana is of utmost importance to her. She is also a caring and devoted wife to her husband Tim, and mother to her three incredible children, Natalie, Samantha, and Aiden who are her heart, soul, and her “why.” Always putting the needs of her family and friends above her own. She is an unstoppable force when she sets her mind to something.

Danielle is Owner and Practice Manager of Ohana Spine and Ortho Care, where she brings the same love and devotion to her staff and patients. “We have a family room— not a waiting room. It’s a warm, relaxing and inviting room”

The clinic atmosphere is an echo of Danielle’s personality and positive energy, it’s inclusive and welcoming, traits she models for the staff and patients alike. “Our Ohana family is defined by community and commitment. We pride ourselves

in assuring that Ohana Spine and Ortho Care is more than a place; but it’s a feeling of family taking care of family. It’s more than friendship—it’s meaningful.”

Danielle’s embrace stretches across the entire practice, even to her patient’s families. “Ohana means nobody gets left behind or forgotten. I want our patients to know they can count on us.” She says “I choose the orthopedic field, because growing up in a very athletic family, playing several sports myself, I have always been passionate about sports medicine. Orthopedics and spine are such diverse specialties. We treat everyone and every type of condition, every age from infant to seniors.” Future goals include expanding throughout the low country and “making Ohana Spine and Ortho Care a household name!”

Effingham is Home

Originally from California, Danielle met her husband Tim while they were working in Alaska, “Love at First Fish” and they will be married 18 years in February.

She says “Effingham is home. We have three kids in schools and sports here with strong ties to our amazing community. We are absolutely a sports family—we sponsor as many sports teams as possible.”

For relaxation and fun, Danielle enjoys traveling and spending time with her family. She also loves photography, where it allows her to document and capture every moment.

“We enjoy going to the mountains, camping, being in the pool, I like anything outside with my family. Between work and home, it’s important to have a happy balance.”

84 October/November 2022 |

Best Orthopedic and Jason Auch-ller—Best Nurse Practitioner


their success in treating patients, and active involvement with the Pooler community, it’s no wonder Ohana Spine and Ortho Care was voted “Best Orthopedic” and their Nurse Practitioner Jason Auch-ller was voted “Best Nurse Practitioner” by Pooler Magazine readers. Fresh off of celebrating their first anniversary In June, the dedicated medical professionals at Ohana are grateful to be honored by the Pooler community.

Ohana Spine and Ortho Care takes pride in what they do. Their goal is to provide everyone with the best care and their top priority is to help their patients return to the high quality of life that they deserve. “Ohana is not just our name, but it is our mission and goal. Ohana means family and that is how we strive to treat every patient. It’s who we are, and we are proud of it.”

They are a medical clinic for the treatment of interventional spine pain relief, orthopedic injuries, and sports medicine, as well as the everyday aches and pains. Many personal injury attorneys refer their clients to Ohana for expert medical treatment after an accident. Don’t suffer needlessly with headaches,back pain, neck pain, ankle, knee, and hip pain when relief is available at Ohana!

Sports injury? Sports physicals? Fracture? These are all treatable issues at Ohana Spine and Ortho Care. Scheduled appointments as well as walk-ins are welcome. And here you won’t find a cold waiting room. Instead, they have a comforting and inviting family room. They will listen to you, take your medical history, and perform diagnostic tests specific to your needs. The team at Ohana knows every patient is unique. That’s why all their patients have customized treatment plans. As a full-service medical facility, they provide in house x-rays, casting, splinting/bracing, interventional spine procedures and more.

Meet Their Caring Team

Danielle Gilkey is an intelligent, hardworking entrepreneur and extremely driven, always accomplishing the goals she sets for herself. Danielle is also a caring and devoted mother and wife, always putting the needs of her family and friends above her own. She is an unstoppable force when she sets her mind to something. Her dream goal of opening her own orthopedic and spine medical practice, where she envisioned treating every patient to


where they become family has come true. OHANA means FAMILY!

Dominique Jean Servelli, RT(R), is a young, vibrant, and highly skilled entrepreneur. Dominique Jean has worked in orthopedics for five years, where she and Danielle met and were fortunate to join forces in building Ohana Spine & Ortho Care.

“Best Nurse Practitioner” Jason Auchller, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, is a Nurse Practitioner with an extensive background in orthopedics, in both post-acute and acute care settings. He is board certified in Family practice and is licensed to practice in both Georgia and South Carolina.

Dr. Richard J. Genato, M.D, Physician, is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. His interests focus on nonsurgical treatment of musculoskeletal and spinal disorders.

And the newest addition to the Ohana Family, Dr. William Matthew Roberson, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon, AOA, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) Board Certified.

Focus On Community

At Ohana they believe in having fun and supporting the community. From business groups to youth activities, you’ll find the team at Ohana pitching in and helping because that’s what they do- they care about you, and they care about their

community. Some of their activities this year included:

• Sponsor of Pooler Patriot’s Day September 2022

• Effingham High School’s work-based learning program host

• Greater Pooler Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau member

• Rincon Freedom Rings Parade

• Sponsor of the Effingham Lady Rebel Soccer Team

• Adopt-A-Family holiday help

• Local Food Drives

From sports physicals to severe spinal issues, let the incredible Ohana team help you. Don’t live with pain any longer. Call today—same day appointments are available.

They have two convenient locations, Bluffton, SC and Pooler, GA. They accept Personal Injury, Auto-insurance, Commercial Insurance, and self-pay.

(912) 480-4555

POOLER: 412 SW US Highway 80, Pooler BLUFFTON: 1 Mallett Way, Suite 102, Bluffton Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm

OFFICE Bracing (DME) Casting Joint Injections • Hip • Knee • Shoulder • Trigger Finger Interventional Spine Procedures • Epidurals • Facet Injections • Medial Nerve Blocks • RFA (Radiofrequency Ablation) Sports Physicals X-Rays | October/November 2022 85 | 912.344.8976 FREE Estimates | Licensed & Insured BEST LAWN COMPANY in Effingham 2022 2 Businesses 1 Owner S Y 8 8 w w w . J e s s i c a M a c D o n a l d G r o u p . c o m 17 Richard Davis Drive Richmond Hill, GA 31324 vanti P O R T H O R S E S H O R S E R I D I N G L E S S O N S B O A R D I N G T R A I N I N G 1 7 6 8 P L E A S A N T A C R E S R D G U Y T O N , G A 7 3 4 6 4 9 8 0 6 9 Serving The Local Community 2 Businesses 1 Owner S E R V I N G T H E L O C A L C O M M U N I T Y 8 8 c a M a c D o n a l d G r o u p c o m LiveRichmondHill@gmail com 17 Richard Davis Drive Richmond Hill, GA 31324 vanti S P O R T H O R S E S H O R S E R I D I N G L E S S O N S B O A R D I N G T R A I N I N G 1 7 6 8 P L E A S A N T A C R E S R D G U Y T O N , G A 7 3 4 6 4 9 8 0 6 9 JMG 2 Businesses 1 Owner S E R V I N G T H E L O C A L C O M M U N I T Y 6 9 9 1 2 7 5 6 5 8 8 8 w w w . J e s s i c a M a c D o n a l d G r o u p . c o m REALTORS ACHIEVING YOUR HOME GOALS Jessica MacDonald Real Estate Group LiveRichmondHill@gmail com AVANTI SPORTHORSES 17 Richard Davis Drive Richmond Hill, GA 31324 vanti S P O R T H O R S E S H O R S E R I D I N G L E S S O N S B O A R D I N G T R A I N I N G 1 7 6 8 P L E A S A N T A C R E S R D G U Y T O N , G A 7 3 4 6 4 9 8 0 6 9 Jessica MacDonald: 717-649-2169 Sharon Owens: 912-580-7730JMG R E A L E S T A T E 2 Businesses 1 Owner S E R V I N G T H E L O C A L C O M M U N I T Y 7 1 7 6 4 9 2 1 6 9 9 1 2 7 5 6 5 8 8 8 w w w . J e s s i c a M a c D o n a l d G r o u p . c o m REALTORS ACHIEVING YOUR HOME GOALS Jessica MacDonald Real Estate Group LiveRichmondHill@gmail com AVANTI SPORTHORSES 17 Richard Davis Drive Richmond Hill, GA 31324 vanti S P O R T H O R S E S H O R S E R I D I N G L E S S O N S B O A R D I N G T R A I N I N G 1 7 6 8 P L E A S A N T A C R E S R D G U Y T O N , G A 7 3 4 6 4 9 8 0 6 9JMG R E A L E S T A T E 2 Businesses 1 Owner S E R V I N G T H E L O C A L C O M M U N I T Y 7 1 7 6 4 9 2 1 6 9 9 1 2 7 5 6 5 8 8 8 w w w J e s s i c a M a c D o n a l d G r o u p c o m REALTORS ACHIEVING YOUR HOME GOALS Jessica MacDonald Real Estate Group AVANTI SPORTHORSES 17 Richard Davis Drive Richmond Hill, GA 31324 vanti S P O R T H O R S E S H O R S E R I D I N G L E S S O N S B O A R D I N G T R A I N I N G 1 7 6 8 P L E A S A N T A C R E S R D G U Y T O N , G A 7 3 4 6 4 9 8 0 6 9 DON’T MISS A SINGLE ISSUE! Get Effingham Magazine delivered to your home or office June/July2021 Businesswomen Who Inspire Us WOMEN IN BUSINESS ISSUE 86 October/November 2022 |
THREE CONVENIENT LOCATIONS POOLER: 145 Traders Way, Suite C | RINCON: 613 Towne Park W. Dr., Suite 201 SAVANNAH: 9100 White Bluff Road, Suite 104 Providing Personalized Care for Your Smile with Braces & Invisalign Thank you, Effingham! EFFINGHAM MAGAZINE BEST ORTHODONTICS GROUP in Effingham 2022 EFFINGHAM MAGAZINE BEST ORTHODONTIST in Effingham 2022 COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATIONS 912-354-3474 | Dr. Donihue Waters and Dr. Christopher "Ashley” Clayton
Fundraising, schools, parties, camps, sports, corporate events, & so much more! Kona Ice of Effingham County 912-508-8883 912.508.8883 | | Kona Ice of Effingham County is locally owned and operated by the Umbelina family. Through your patronage last year, we donated nearly $20,000 back to local community schools, clubs, and sports teams. We put the FUN in fundraising! We donate a percentage of our sales back to your non-profit organization, school, or sports team. Just tell us where to park and who to write the check to—it's that easy! We appreciate your business and are HONORED to be voted best food truck in Effingham County! 912-225-3973 | 1214 N Columbia Ave | Rincon, GA 31326 ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS We accept all insurances and can help those without insurance. 88 October/November 2022 |
BankSouth Mortgage Company, LLC, NMLS #690971 is not a bank or other depository institution and is not FDIC-insured. BankSouth Mortgage Company, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BankSouth, NMLS #688851, a federal savings bank and Member FDIC. CAROL SCHRETTER (912) 398-5767 NMLS #411395 CARLA ESTEP (912) 572-4601 NMLS #200443 CHRIS VOGLER (912) 604-2548 NMLS #544334 KATY KIRBY (912) 667-0442 NMLS #1429635 613 Stephenson Avenue, Suite 208 Savannah, GA 31405 912-712-2797 Cannot be combined with other offers and expires on date of appointment 5% OFF ANY PURCHASE Rob & Nancy Videon Owners We Can Fix It! • SETTLED FOUNDATION? • SAGGING FLOORS? • WOOD ROT & MOLD? • WET BASEMENT? Before After | October/November 2022 89
Gameday!JoinUsfor (912) 295-2851 336 S. Columbia Ave, Rincon Delivery Available CASUAL FAMILY DINING LiveMusic! KidsEatFREEWednesday! EFFINGHAM MAGAZINE BEST TRIVIA NIGHT in Effingham 2022 Oct. 3 - Nov. 1, 2022 Basketball Registration Trunk or Treat @ the CEM Complex Oct. 27, 2022 | (912) 754-6339 Effingham County GA Recreation & Sports Management EFFINGHAM RECREATION EFFINGHAM MAGAZINE BEST COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION in Effingham 2022 90 October/November 2022 |
THANK YOU, EFFINGHAM! DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS OR HAS: • Retiring or recently retired • Changed jobs • Inherited money • Selling property or a business • Recently divorced or getting divorced • A successful business owner • Estate and legacy strategy needs Member SIPC Trisha Boyett, Financial Advisor 912-964-9991 6 Magnolia Blvd Ste B, Port Wentworth, GA EFFINGHAM MAGAZINE BEST FINANCIAL ADVISOR in Effingham 2022 KENON VEALS 901.488.7401 • Savannah, GA “We don’t leave until the car is spotless!” Specializing in Trucks, Luxury Cars & More! 912.527.4984 | | /TRHCEffingham Enriching the lives of uninsured adults of Effingham County by promoting healthy lifestyles and providing free medical care for chronic illness. We are looking for volunteers! TWO R IVERS H EA LTH CL INIC The greatest wealth is health. Thank you for readingYour Community Magazine Be sure to check our calendar of events at | October/November 2022 91
Registration is Open! 912-667-8338 | 912-313-4253 Pooler: 1018 W Hwy 80 Units 405/406 | Springfield: 1211 S Laurel St. Dance friends make the best friends! Tap, Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Contemporary, Acro & Adult Classes Naturally Fabulous Skincare HOME FRAGRANCE, CANDLES & MORE 3130 Highway 80, Suite B Bloomingdale, GA 31302 (912) 373-SOAP (7627) EFFINGHAM MAGAZINE BEST BATH & BODY SHOP in Effingham 2022 92 October/November 2022 |


Feb./March: Families in Business

April/May: Home and Garden June/July: Women in Business

August/ Sept: Veterans/First Responders

Oct./Nov.: Anniversary Issue/Best of Effingham Dec./Jan: Shop Local/Holiday Issue

Jan./Feb.: Health and Wellness

March/April: Women in Business/Music and Arts

May/June: Home and Garden

July/August: Veterans/First Responders

Sept./Oct.: Anniversary Issue/Best of Pooler Nov./Dec.: Shop Local/Holiday Issue



START 2023 STRONG! We offer THE BEST ADVERTISING options around to help you start the year strong for your business! Advertisers can appear in Pooler Magazine and Effingham Magazine—published in print and online—and are highlighted on social media!
To book your advertising, contact Christie Wilson, Director of Advertising, today! Call or text: (912) 675-5163 J. DelSUR Marketing Group publishes Pooler Magazine and Effingham Magazine | (912) 295-5406


Please thank these advertisers for contributing to our community and making this publication possible. If you want to be part of this list, email or call 912.295.5406.


Brooke Autry, Platinum Properties

Chick-Fil-A Rincon


iHeart Dental

LEAP Youth Development Program

21 South Mini Storage 8


Afterglow Studio ………………………… 62

Aleida’s Sewing Embroidery ………………………… 47

Ally’s Bakery ………………………… 47

Anisa Grantham ………………………… 46

Audiology & Hearing Aid Services ………………………… 56

Badcock Home Furniture & more ………………………… 38

Bank of Newington ………………………… 96 Bank South Mortgage …..……………………. 89

Beau Dossey Roofing ………………………… 62

BRenewed ………………………… 68

Brad Cherney State Farm ………………………… 17

Central Station Bakery & Eatery ………………………… 25 Charmaine Jones 51

Chatterbox Pediatric Therapy ………………………….50

Coastal Contracting, LLC 27

Coastal Performing Arts Academy 92 Country Financial ………………………… 25

Dr.Patel-Prime Care of Georgia ………………………… 46

Edward Jones - Trisha Boyett ………………………… 91

Effingham Chamber ………………………… 53

Effingham Dental Associates ………………………… 64

Effingham Health System 2,12-15

Effingham Recreation ………………………… 90

Ellen Claire Soapery 92

EL Real Mexican Restaurant ………………………… 53

Elonwick ………………………… 52

Empire Gym ………………………… 19

EMPWR Solar 3

ENT Associates of Savannah, P.C ………………………… 47

Extended Family Support ………………………… 70

Face Grace Esthetics ………………………… 26

Georgia Herirtage ………………………… 62

GeoVista Credit Union ………………………… 88

Gnann’s Fix-It Shop ………………………… 86

Golden Hours Senior Services, LLC ………………………… 78

Goshen Park Commercial Center 16,41,51

Grow It We Mow It ………………………… 32

Guyton Pet Lodge ………………………… 47

Habitat for Humanity ………………………… 24

Harlawn Yard Services ………………………… 86

Hester Business Solutions ………………………… 31

Horne Law ………………………… 78

iHeart Dental ………………………… 73

Innovative Orthodontics ………………………… 87

Rincon Chevrolet State Farm, Clay Clark Stille-Dewitt Health Brokerage, LLC Sweet Treats Cannery

Total Services Heating and Air

J.Delsur Marketing Group ………………………… 23

Jessica MacDonald Real Estate ………………………… 86

Judiann’s Fashion Design Studios 48,49

Kicklighter Law ………………………… 95

Kona Ice ………………………… 88

LEAP ………………………… 57

Live Oak Public Libraries ………………………… 68

Low Country Foundation Repair ………………………… 52,89

Magic Insurance ……………………..…. 60,61

Melissa McBride Stille ………………………… 6,7

Michelle Edwards, Realtor ………………………… 72

Mirror Image Hair Salon ………………………… 08

Nutrition Coach Kerri ………………………… 66

OHANA Spine and Ortho Care ………………………… 84,85

Patriot Pros Roofing ………………………… 72

Platinum Properties ………………………… 46

Pooler Plant Pickup Station ………………………… 18

Realty Georgia ………………………… 22

Renew & Rejuvenate Aesthetic MD Clinic 18

Riley’s ………………………… 90

Rincon Chevy ………………………… 64

Rincon Chiropractic ………………………… 70

Rincon Day Spa ………………………… 51

Rusty Pig BBQ ………………………… 20

S&P Automotive ………………………… 20

Salon Nevaeh ………………………… 51

Savannah Blinds ………………………… 71

State Farm, Ashley Boyette ………………………… 56

State Farm, Clay Clark ………………………… 47

Stir Coffee ………………………… 62

Suncare Hospice ………………………… 25

Sweet Treats

The Stamper’s Boutique ………………………… 50

Thrive Health Center ………………………… 88

Thomas C. Strickland & Son’s Funeral Home ………………. 53

Towne Pharmacy ………………………… 50

Two Rivers Health Clinic ………………………… 91

Veals Mobile Detailing …………………………91

West Chatam YMCA ………………………… 26

Wiley’s Home Center ……………………….. .65

Woof Gang Bakery …………………………16

Wright Wicks Candle Co …………………………26

Veals Mobile Carwash & Detail 91

Yates-Astro Termite & Pest Control ………………………… 8

Yawn’s Professional Karate ………………………… 63

Kicklighter Law Awarded Best Law Firm in Effingham Magazine

Kicklighter Law is pleased to announce that it has been recognized as the Best Law Firm in Effingham Magazine’s issue “The Best of Effingham.” The team at Kicklighter law appreciates the nomination from the county it considers home, and is proud to serve its local community.

Providing dedicated service to residents of Georgia for nearly four decades, Mickey Kicklighter advocates for plaintiffs and defendants in both the private and public sectors of legal practice. He has a reputation for handling his clients’ cases with compassion, personal attention, and success.

Kicklighter Law offers skilled representation in a wide range of legal matters, including:

Car accidents

Catastrophic injuries

Construction litigation

Criminal law

Family law

Impaired driving accidents

Medical malpractice

Premises liability

Product liability

Wrongful death

Mickey’s extensive experience allows him to better protect his clients’ interests, while his insight of the local judiciary is unparalleled. The support staff at Kicklighter Law combines their knowledge, compassion, and years of experience to assist in our goal to obtain the best possible outcome for our clients. We value the relationships we build with our clients, and make it our priority to help those who need guidance in the Effingham community.

For more information, visit or call our office to speak with a member of the Kicklighter Law team. •
THANK YOU EFFINGHAM! Newington, GA (912) 857-4466 • Springfield, GA (912) 392-4466 • Sylvania, GA (912) 564-7390 We are honored that you voted us Best Mortgage Company and Best Financial Institution in Effingham, and we are proud to be your community bank! EFFINGHAM MAGAZINE BEST MORTGAGE COMPANY in Effingham 2022 EFFINGHAM MAGAZINE BEST FINANCIAL INSTITUTION in Effingham 2022
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