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| From homelessness to Mayor of Riverdale |

March/April 2013

Introducing the

Top Attorneys

The Willett Foundation

A Day at the Capitol








Anne Sapp

Anne Sapp has made it her life’s mission to dedicate time and resources to assisting at-risk youth of all ages. She and her husband, Dave, both believe it is vital to give back to the community and feel there is nothing better than seeing that community’s youth succeed. She has served on the board and as vice chairman for programming for Usher’s New Look Foundation and has also been active with 4-H, as well as assisted with fundraising for the Joseph Sams School. 3




The Willett Foundation

Scott and Kelly Willett (Willett Honda) have a long history of supporting area charities. They have now taken it to the next level, and Southern Journal Magazine is pleased to introduce the new Willett Foundation. This foundation’s focus is to strengthen families and promote the welfare of children and teens and it is designed to partner with organizations throughout Henry, Clayton, Fayette, and Fulton Counties to fulfill this timely mission.


Day at the Capitol

On February 13, Henry County delegates and area business leaders were recognized at the Capitol. The purpose was to represent this community’s interests on important social, economic, and political issues. It presented yet another opportunity to remind our Governor and other state leaders that we have a strong delegation with the backing of our community businesses and citizens as we work to make our place in the metro-Atlanta area stronger.










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PUBLISHER/ EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Lisa Hunter | MANAGING EDITOR Diane Smith | LIFESTYLE EDITOR Lisa Alexander | EDITOR Melanie Wilson GRAPHIC DESIGN Michael Birchall Amanda Fox Jerry Carter Troika Studio, Inc. | PHOTOGRAPHY Darrell Emory Picture This Studio | ADVERTISING/ADVERTISING EXECUTIVES Tim Kohl | Angie Dudley | P.O. Box 1390 McDonough, GA 30253 We welcome your company and community news. Please include digital photos with your press release and send to Forward product samples or press kits to the Publisher. We cannot be responsible for unsolicited product samples. Publisher does not assume liability for products or services advertised herein. Southern Journal Magazine is published bimonthly by Southern Journal Magazine, Inc. All content are copyrighted by Southern Journal Magazine and reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Southern Journal Magazine reserves liability in the event of an error to a printed correction.

SUBSCRIBE TO SOUTHERN JOURNAL A ONE-YEAR SUBSCRIPTION IS $12 (6 ISSUES). Mail a check or money order to: Southern Journal Magazine P.O. Box 1390 McDonough, GA 30253 or visit







hank you!

photo by Picture This Studio


pring is such an exciting time here in Georgia. It’s a time of growth and renewal and a time for looking forward – a time for birth, rebirth and miracles. As you read through this issue of Southern Journal Magazine, you’ll learn about people like Mayor Evelyn Wynn-Dixon of Riverdale who picked up the pieces of a broken life and moved forward to a life of personal and professional success. I had the privilege of meeting this remarkable woman at a United Way meeting, and she is the true symbol of the meaning behind United Way – as she puts it, to “get on, get off and give back.”



SJM is excited to report on the recent Henry County Day at the Capitol – a time for our own delegates to highlight our community and its needs where it counts most – to our legislators. We’ve made tremendous strides in building a positive relationship with those serving the state of Georgia – from Governor Nathan Deal, to key Representatives like Congressman Lynn Westmoreland, featured in this issue’s Government 101 segment. In addition, you’ll meet some of the area’s Top Attorneys – providing the best legal counsel and services in the community. We’ll introduce you to those who really live their lives by giving to others; and we hope

you will have fun browsing through our newly expanded Lifestyles section. We are so pleased to have Lisa Alexander joining our team as our new Lifestyles Editor! Southern Journal Magazine is here for you – this is your community, so find you a cozy spot and take a minute to find out what’s new in the Southern Crescent.

Lisa Hunter Publisher/Editorial Director


contributors march/april 2013

Louie Hunter a native of Marion, NC, is a contract lobbyist who has represented clients from multiple interests since 2007. Louie was elected to the Cobb Commission in 1999, and decided to return to politics as COO of InsiderAdvantage (political media) in 2005.

Beverly Van Gorder has lived in Henry County with her husband, Jim, since 1994. They have five children: James, Seth (both of whom are U.S. Marines), Margaret, Noah and Gabriel. She is the writer of our Chaplain’s Corner feature. She is a Director with Legal Shield, formerly known as Pre-Paid Legal Services.

Emilee Burroughs is currently a Senior at Dutchtown High School where she serves as editor-in-chief of her school’s yearbook. In the fall, she plans to attend Berry College where she will major in Mass Communications with a focus on Journalism. She loves creative writing and aspires to be a published author.

Shavonia Frank is also a recent graduate of Clayton State, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She has a special interest in journalism. Shavonia hones her writing skills as a frequent blogger on When she is not writing, Shavonia serves as a customer service representative at Publix.

Brian Williams is a Program Development Specialist with Fulton County Health Services. He is a former television news reporter and producer. He also is a member of the Atlanta Writers Club and the National Public Health Information Coalition.

Valerie Baldowski spent five years as a general assignment reporter writing for a chain of weekly metro Atlanta suburban newspapers, an additional year as a news editor for that same newspaper chain, and two years as the government reporter for a daily

Diane Smith is the managing editor of Southern Journal Magazine. A native of Ohio, she has enjoyed living in Georgia since 1999. She works on the UGA Griffin campus and is the proud mother of a teenage son, Travis.






R I S I N By Valerie Baldowski






Photo: Picture this Studio


Little becomes much when you place it in God’s hands...God is able.”








or some people, overcoming adversity is like crashing into a solid brick wall. But for Riverdale Mayor Evelyn Wynn-Dixon, it’s a way to transcend that wall and spread a divine message of hope that great things can happen to anyone. “Little becomes much when you place it in God’s hands,” says Evelyn. “God is able.”

She is serving her second term as mayor, and is nicknamed “The People’s Mayor” because of her hard work creating partnerships to make Riverdale a stronger community. Evelyn has been appointed to serve a five-year term on Gov. Nathan Deal’s Transit Governance Task Force and the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority board. Evelyn serves on the National Association of Black Mayors Board of Directors, the American Red Cross Minority Recruitment Board and the Securus House Executive Board. She was also named three times as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Georgia. A graduate of Atlanta Metropolitan College, she earned her post-graduate degree from University of Georgia. In 2011, the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce named Evelyn Business Woman of the Year. But at one time she was in a far different position. A mother of four and grandmother of seven, the Atlanta native was born during the segregation era, and grew up the eldest of seven siblings in the historically black community of Peoplestown. She grew up in a Pentecostal church, in a close-knit community, and learned the value of hard work and a good education. “That was the catalyst to help me get to where I am – the teaching of my parents, the community and church,” Evelyn explains. “I grew up in a community that taught us morals, scruples and standards. Nobody owes you anything, and if a man doesn’t work he doesn’t eat.” (continued on next spread)



Photo: Picture this Studio


Nobody owes you anything...If a man doesn’t work, he doesn’t eat.”








After graduating Price High School near the top of her class Evelyn went off to college, but dropped out due to an unplanned pregnancy. After giving birth to her first child, her mother died seven weeks later. A few years later she married, but the marriage was stormy and money was tight. She eventually had three more children, but the marriage fell apart. At one point Evelyn and her children were homeless, after being evicted from their apartment because the rent went unpaid. But she refused to give in. “When you get to your lowest [point] and you can’t do anything but look up, that’s when God really steps in,” Evelyn says. “I’ve had a lot of miraculous events occur. You don’t have to be a victim of your circumstances. ” While raising her children, moving from apartment to apartment, working full time and struggling to pay the bills, she completed her education. She eventually remarried, and bought her first house at age 50. She stayed active in the community, and her volunteer work led her to public service. Becoming mayor was an unexpected surprise. She began volunteering at city hall, and when a colleague told her she was destined for a government leadership role, she was initially skeptical. But she ran for office and a year later, that prophesy became reality. Having a courageous and selfless mother like Evelyn Wynn-Dixon was anything but ordinary, says William Wynn, one of Evelyn’s sons and a supervisor with the state Office of Provider Management. “Growing up with my mom was exciting,” William says. “We had some tough challenges, good times and bad times. However, when the sun set every day we knew that my mom had given all that was within her span.” Evelyn overcame setbacks and struggles to teach her children the right family values. “My biggest takeaway is that I witnessed firsthand, being the oldest, that no matter how challenging times were, my mother never lost faith in God,” adds William. “She always had faith, and [she] put action to it. I witnessed a lot of people who had more tangibles than my mom, but they could never outwork her.”

Photo: Picture this Studio


No matter how challenging times were, my mother never lost faith in God.” -William (Evelyn’s son)



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-  —  -  ♦ ♦ ♦



--     


     

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  

Down Memory Lane

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State License 075-176-H

138 Peach Drive, McDonough, Ga 30253 678.583.0717 17


Living life’s journey with comfort, care and compassion





“The richness of Atlanta’s writing community, the support and mentorship I received from the Atlanta Writers Club, and the great friends I’ve made along the way have helped immeasurably during my journey to publication.”




Discovering DEATH HAS ITS BENEFITS by Brian J. Williams | photo by Picture This Studio


or many Americans, making the big decision to finally retire after a long working career usually means a chance to pursue their favorite hobbies, and enjoy the grandchildren. Six years ago, Ronald Aiken reached that milestone after decades of running a successful telecommunications consulting and law practice in New York City. He was ready to leave the hustle and bustle of Manhattan to enjoy a slower pace of life. He and his wife, Herma, relocated to Henry County to be near his brother who had moved here in 1997. However, Aiken is not the type of person to sit around, go fishing, play golf, or spend much of his free time with leisurely pursuits. Instead, he decided to become a published author. Aiken had some experience with writing — contracts and business correspondences — but during a 2001 trip to Europe, he kept a travel journal and shared it with friends. It was a hit. Everyone remarked how they felt as if they had actually been with him. After receiving such enthusiastic feedback, Aiken enrolled in an eight-week fiction writing class at The Gotham Writers’ Workshop in New York. For a class assignment, he had to write a short story. Aiken chose to write about a friend who was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. “If you talked with him,

you would not realize that something was wrong,” says Aiken. But his friend believed his boss was going to kill him, and consumed by his paranoia, had to be institutionalized. In his story, Aiken imagined how a person would actually respond if they knew their boss really was going to kill them and presented it to his instructor and classmates in the workshop. The feedback was encouraging, and the instructor strongly suggested he develop the short story into a novel. At that very moment, an aspiring writer was born. Fast-forward to 2006. Ronald Aiken retired and moved to Henry County, and now had time to focus on writing his novel. Aiken joined the renowned Atlanta Writers Club, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year, and credits the organization for helping him hew his writing skills. “The richness of Atlanta’s writing community, the support and mentorship I received from the Atlanta Writers Club, and the great friends I’ve made along the way have helped immeasurably during my journey to publication,” he says. Last July, Aiken achieved his goal with the publication of Death Has Its Benefits. The reviews have been very positive (most notably

a recommendation from Kirkus Reviews) and Aiken has appeared at several signings across metro Atlanta. “When you start writing, you only think about getting published. You don’t think about the post-publication part of it,” he says. “Now, I’m in the process of trying to get exposure and it’s a real challenge, and in some sense, that’s more challenging than writing the book itself.” Aiken’s publisher, Nightbird Publishing in Norcross, printed an initial run of 450 copies. To date, Aiken has sold about 400 copies, and recently hired a publicist to help expand book sales. “Marketing expenses are all on me,” he says. “My publisher set up about a half dozen book signings at independent book stores, but the rest is all on me.” Drawing upon his business background, Aiken launched a website (www.ronald-aiken. com), created a Facebook page, and hired two talented local high school students to produce a promotional video for the book. Although he remains busy promoting Death Has Its Benefits, Aiken takes time out to tutor elementary school children in reading and math, and to teach chess. And, he is well into writing his next novel titled Dawgy’s Nite Out, set in Atlanta. He says it’s a revenge thriller in the style of the 1974 Charles Bronson movie Death Wish. Stay tuned.












Neurostimulation {


A LIFE CHANGING PAIN MANAGEMENT OPTION by Cathy Ratti | photo by Picture This Studio

Although it has been available for over 40 years, neurostimulation, also called spinal cord stimulation or SCS, may be very unfamiliar to many of us. But for those suffering with chronic pain in the neck, back, arms or legs, FDA approved SCS may be an extremely effective pain management option that changes their lives forever.



Never lose hope. There is help to reduce and eliminate pain, reduce or eliminate the use of pain medications, and increase activity levels resulting in a better quality of life.

“I can truly say I am a walking miracle. After suffering for years with pain that resulted from a chronic medical condition, I found myself not only facing disability retirement from the job I loved as a Special Education Teacher, but the pain was so debilitating I could not even enjoy one of my favorite activities, baking. The SCS procedure quite simply gave me back my life! Dr. Galan and the entire team at the Pain Center have been amazing since day one. Before the procedure in November of 2010, I was barely walking. Now, I’m in my 32nd year of teaching and baking my signature Red Velvet cakes, and I could not be happier that I decided to have the procedure.” Michelle Vandemark Rex, GA


o further explore this treatment option, Southern Journal Magazine recently had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Vincent Galan, MD, ABAPM, DABIPP, DABPM, Founder and Medical Director of Georgia Pain Care, for a very informative question and answer session. SJM: Dr. Galan, we understand you opened the doors to Georgia Pain Care in 2009. What motivated you to establish the practice? VG: I came to Georgia in 1977 and have been in the Southern Crescent area since 1988. Henry County has become a most vibrant county with phenomenal population growth and excellent opportunities. I established Pain Care with these goals in mind for all our patients: Regain Life, Restore Function and Renew Hope. SJM: Who are the physicians on the Pain Care Team? VG: In addition to myself we have Dr. Amit S. Patel, MD, ABAPM who is board certified in Pain and Anesthesiology. I am board certified in

Anesthesia and triple boarded in Pain Medicine by the American Board of Anesthesia Subspecialty Certification in Pain Management, Diplomate of the American Board of Interventional Pain Physicians and Diplomate of the American Board of Pain Medicine and have been practicing pain medicine for over 20 years. SJM: Do patients reach out to you who have chronic pain from an injury or from a pain-causing condition or both? VG: Both types of patients seek and receive treatment at our centers. Typically, most of our patients come from referrals from primary care physicians and surgeons. SJM: Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) is a procedure that has proven to be highly effective and life changing for many patients and you perform this procedure in your center. In layman’s terms, how does SCS work to relieve pain? VG: Pain is usually transmitted through pain impulses. I like to use a car analogy to explain what is known as Gate Theory. For example, if someone is experiencing leg pain, that message is like a slow car travelling on the road sending pain impulses toward the brain. When SCS is introduced, it can be compared to a fast car that travels that same road; when both cars get to the gate in the road only one car can go through the gate, and that is the fast car. The faster car sends impulses to the brain that interferes with and blocks the signals from the slower car, thus blocking the pain. In other words, SCS interferes with the pain signals and replaces them with a more pleasant tingling sensation or the absence of pain. SJM: Who are the best candidates for SCS? VG: A good candidate for neurostimulation is someone who has experienced neuropathic pain, has chronic pain in the back, neck, arms or legs that has lasted longer than expected, and has not responded to surgery or other typical treatments such as medication, physical therapy, or injections, or is not a candidate for surgery.

SJM: Please share with our readers the research studies in which you have participated as relates to SCS and the importance of such studies.

VG: We are honored that we have been invited to participate in important research studies based on our advanced techniques and positive outcomes for patients. Two studies in particular in which we are participating have been very important in this field including the landmark Medtronic study, Promise, a Prospective, Randomized Study of Multicolumn Implantable Lead Stimulation for low back pain, and with another company ANSSaint Jude The Sense Study - Subcutaneous Epidural Neurostimulation System Evaluation and are currently in the approval process with another company, ANS-Saint Jude, for The Sense Study - Subcutaneous Epidural Neurostimulation System Evaluation. SJM: What advice do you have for those suffering with chronic pain? VG: Never lose hope. There is help to reduce and eliminate pain, reduce or eliminate the use of pain medications, and increase activity levels resulting in a better quality of life. Dr. Galan and the highly-trained expert team of Pain Care offers a myriad of patient focused pain management services with offices in Stockbridge, Griffin, Fayetteville and Newnan. The Stockbridge and Newnan locations also house state-of-the-art surgery centers. Don’t let pain continue to steal your joy and rob you of the things you love to do. The medical team at Pain Care specializes in improving your quality of life by helping you get back to the things you enjoy! For further information or to schedule an appointment, please visit their website at or call them at 770-771-6580. The community is also invited to attend an Open House at Pain Care’s Stockbridge location (1365 Rock Quarry Road, Suite 202) on April 25th at 5:30 where questions can be answered about SCS and other pain treatments available.



Please Join us at our Annual PartnershipsInAction Golf Tournament at East Lake Golf Club on April 15, 2013

It’s a great organization, non-denominational, not for profit organization... it’s great to see the efforts they are going around the world, in particular, the third world countries. -Dominique Wilkins, Member of the NBA Hall of Fame and Former Atlanta Hawk

SponSorShip opportunitieS





Limited Space Available

Includes Foursome

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Valet Parking

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Two Caddies

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Hole and Banner Sponsorship

Hole and Banner Sponsorship

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Hat Sponsorship

Shirt Sponsorship

Helicopter Ball Drop Participation

Helicopter Ball Drop Participation


Trophy Sponsorship Title Sponsorship for the Tournament

Registration is open at:



We are Family Medical.

(L-R) Rob Sikes, PA-C, Dr. Rebecca Reynolds; Allan Imes, PA-C, Deb Prather, APRN-BC, NP-C


• Primary and Preventative Care • Identification and Management of ongoing conditions • Fracture Management • Minor Emergencies, such as stitches and broken bones

• Procedures, such as mole, cyst and skin cancer removal • School, Sports and Executive Physicals • Worker's Compensation • Onsite x-ray, labwork and pharmacy

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Georgia is our home too. That’s why we’ve partnered with local chambers, development authorities and elected officials across the state to stimulate growth and invest in the future of our communities. And why, for 85 years, we’ve helped bring jobs and investment to the state – more than 100,000 new jobs and $17 billion in capital investment over the past decade alone.


Cancer Care Close To Home …in the Southern Crescent photos by Picture This Studio


hree south side cancer centers plus three south side hospitals….the sum of which means cancer patients in the south Atlanta area do not have to travel far to receive top-notch cancer treatment. In fact, Radiation Oncology Services (ROS), a leader in radiation therapy in the metropolitan Atlanta area since 1975, provides state-of-the-art cancer care to almost 800 patients a year in one of their Southern Crescent centers. The ROS story dates back 30 years, with the first center opening in Riverdale in 1982. Today, the experienced ROS physician team of John H. Giesler, M.D. and Sasha H. Wahab, M.D. provides the medical direction at ROS-Riverdale. Expanding on the vision of cancer care “close to home,” ROS saw a need to provide cancer services in Spalding County. As a result, ROS-Griffin opened in 1990 and is under the direction of long time ROS physician, Robbie Medbery, M.D. Over the years, Henry County became one of the fastest growing counties in Georgia, and ROS was there to respond



to the needs of an expanding community. The collaboration with Piedmont Henry Hospital resulted in the opening of Henry Radiation Oncology Center in 2010. The center, conveniently located on the hospital campus, is under the leadership of ROS physician, Kim N. Vu, MD. The treatment of cancer is complex. The careful integration of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy is essential to successful cancer therapy. The Southern Crescent physicians have long supported this multi-modality model of cancer care. In fact, each hospital affiliated with ROS centers Southern Regional Medical Center, Spalding Regional Medical Center, and Piedmont Henry Hospital - are approved by the American College of Surgeons, which establishes quality standards that ensure a multidisciplinary and comprehensive approach to the treatment of malignant diseases. The radiation oncologists of ROS are experts in coordinating care with area doctors to determine an exact course of action for each

individual cancer patient. The plan is then discussed at ROS’ weekly Evidence Based Peer Review conference. The conference is a format for ROS’ 10 board-certified radiation oncologists to give their experienced opinions on how to best treat each patient. Patients and their families can take comfort that the south side ROS physicians - Drs. Giesler, Wahab, Medbery and Vu - have the full support of ROS in the well-coordinated delivery of the patient’s unique treatment plan. Under ROS physician leadership, the staff at all ROS centers is committed to the wellbeing of its cancer patients. The warm, friendly environment of the centers provides the backdrop to help meet the needs of patients and their families.

For more information about ROS, their locations, staff or services, please visit: www. or call 770-994-1650.








cometomorrow M O R R O W, G E O R G I A

cometomorrow toexperience... NEW PATHWAY SYSTEM: A three-mile hiking and biking path connecting our neighborhoods and Nature Preserve. CLAYTON STATE UNIVERSITY: Campus of over 7000 students and home of the Women’s Basketball NCAA Division II National Champions! NATIONAL AND STATE ARCHIVES: Research how history has shaped your and our daily lives. HOTELS, SHOPPING AND DINING: 7 hotels, Southlake Mall, and many national and local retailers and restaurants – just off I-75, Exit 233.




SPIVEY HALL: Internationally renowned and beautiful 400-seat performing arts venue. Approximately 160,000 vehicles pass the Morrow Exit (233) on I-75 daily










CONNECTION SOUTHERN CRESCRENT CHAMBERS AT WORK by Kay Pippin, President: Henry County Chamber of Commerce


am sometimes asked “What is a Chamber of Commerce?” The saying goes that “if you’ve seen one Chamber of Commerce, you have seen one Chamber of Commerce.” Each one is unique in both services offered and businesses represented. A Chamber of Commerce is a voluntary membership organization of the business community. It unites business and professional individuals and firms, thus creating a central agency which lends itself to improving business and building a better community. A Chamber of Commerce is people; and although these are predominantly the members of the business community, there is a place in the Chamber for all who share the desire to improve the community. The Chamber organizes and directs the energies of those who believe that a community worth living in is a community worthy improving. The Chamber enables these people to accomplish collectively what none of them could do individually. The strength of the organization lies in attracting the greatest number of individuals creating a pool of resources from which can be drawn ideas, energy and finances. The major responsibility of a Chamber is the community’s economic well-being. It works to increase wealth and prosperity by facilitating the growth of existing businesses and foster37


ing new ones. Each of the counties located in Metro Atlanta’s Southside, also known as the Southern Crescent, has a thriving Chamber of Commerce and each Chamber is as unique as the community it serves. Clayton County is small in land size with an area of 146 square miles but it’s home to the Southside’s largest population of over 250,000 residents and the busiest airport on earth. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is irrefutably the most important economic engine in not just Metro Atlanta, but in the State of Georgia. Clayton also houses the second largest convention and exhibition facility in the state. The Georgia International Convention Center located in College Park, has 400,000 square feet of space. “There is tremendous economic investment in Clayton County,” says Clayton Chamber President Yulonda Darden Beauford, “Clayton’s 25 industrial business parks are home to several Fortune 500 companies and some are designated as Foreign Trade Zones providing tax advantages for companies’ foreign goods in transit.” What’s next? Aerotropolis! Henry County is often called the “mother of counties” because land was taken from its original boundaries to form Clayton, Spalding, Butts & Rockdale Counties. Yet Henry still boasts 323 square miles and is second only to Coweta County (446 square miles) as the largest of all counties in the Southern

Crescent. Home to over 204,000 residents, Henry is the second largest in population in the Southern Crescent. Consistently ranking as one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation and with abundant higher education opportunities and high-quality, but affordable housing, Henry is expected to double its population by 2040. With eight exits along one of the busiest corridors (I-75) in America, the short distance to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and being less than four hours from the Savannah ports, it’s easy to see that while Henry County is comfortably South of Atlanta, it has the Power of Location to attract and retain businesses, residents, shoppers and tourists! Dozens of logistics and manufacturing companies are located in Henry County and more are on the way! The Atlanta Regional Commission projects Henry to have the strongest job growth in Metro Atlanta over the next 20 years. Fayette County Chamber President Virginia Gibbs likes to say Fayette County is “where quality is a lifestyle.” Drive around the lakes, bike paths, walking trails, friendly open-air shopping venues of Fayetteville and Peachtree City, and you will probably agree with Virginia. Fayette County also boasts one of Georgia’s top performing public school systems and a blend of industries including medical/healthcare, corporate headquarters and regional offices; TV and movie production and a strong inter-

L to R: Bonnie Pfrogner/Griffin-Spalding; Melinda McLarnon/Butts; Kay Pippin/Henry; Yulonda Darden Beauford/Clayton; Candace Boothby/Coweta; Virginia Gibbs/Fayette

national corporate presence. It also doesn’t hurt that Fayette boasts a world class tennis center, two amphitheaters bringing nationally known performers, and extensive soccer, lacrosse and baseball fields. Coweta County’s seat, Newnan, offers block after block of charming homes, some old mansions but mostly just wonderfully preserved medium and small houses that people leave from their front porch to visit their favorite restaurant or socialize with neighbors. A regional health center, Coweta saw a 362,000 sq. ft. Piedmont Newnan acute-care hospital open and a unique Cancer Treatment Center of America facility open in 2012. Coweta has a strong manufacturing base that creates jobs for residents and commuters alike, and the movie and film industry has transformed Senoia! Chamber President Candace Boothby says, “We have it all…multiple golf courses, horse farms, convenient upscale shopping in small towns only 30 miles from Atlanta!”

Spalding County’s Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 100th birthday this year, which is a testament to how far back progressive business leaders in Griffin were planning for the future. “Textiles built Griffin and Spalding County,” says Griffin-Spalding Chamber Executive Director Bonnie Pfrogner, “and for many years our community enjoyed tremendous prosperity. Today we are a regional education center with the main campus of Southern Crescent Technical College and a thriving UGA campus within our city limits.” Fiber optic rich industrial parks allow this community to attract manufacturers like Caterpillar and others. Kroger just opened a 94,000 sq. ft. store complete with a Starbucks in Griffin. Bonnie invites everyone to the 30th Great Griffin Mayfling Arts & Crafts Festival on April 27 & 28 to get a true feel of down home living at its finest. Butts County is especially dear to me, and I want to see this quaint sweet secret in the

heart of Georgia thrive. Home to only 25,000 residents, the nation’s oldest state park (Indian Springs), Jackson Lake with its 135 miles of shoreline, golf courses, beautiful churches, green spaces and affordable homes, Jackson is a great place to call home or visit. JacksonButts County Chamber Executive Director Melinda McLarnon says, “We are just as proud of being home to the oldest BBQ restaurant in the state (Fresh Air) as we are to hosting several manufacturing companies. We’re the kind of community where kids can ride a bike to school, aviators can hangar small planes, singers can raise the roof at camp meetings, or sports enthusiasts can enjoy fishing, boating and skiing on Jackson Lake!” There you have it….an overview of a strong, vibrant region abundant in infrastructure and natural resources and awash in talented people. And at the center of it all are your Chambers of Commerce working to make the Southern Crescent even stronger! MARCH/APRIL 2013 • SOUTHERNJOURNALMAG.COM


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attorneys by Diane Smith | photos by Picture This Studio







+ Terri S. Sutton


Terri S. Sutton of Meadows and Macie, P.C. in Stockbridge, Georgia provides a full range of family law services including adoption, divorce, separate maintenance, custody, child support and visitation modifications, prenuptial agreements, grandparent visitation, paternity, legitimation, family violence protective orders, and service as a Guardian Ad Litem. Terri also handles wills and general estate matters. She has the distinction of being Henry County’s only member of the Collaborative Law Institute of Georgia. As a trained collaborative attorney, Terri gives clients additional options and flexibility in handling their case. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Virginia Tech and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Loyola College and worked as a family therapist prior to joining the legal profession, giving her a unique skill set and perspective.



She believes that her years as a therapist make her especially sensitive to children affected by a divorce. “I am interested in what’s happening with my clients and work to minimize the path of destruction when children are involved. I am honest with my clients about how their actions may impact their children.” She donates numerous hours each year working with students at Strong Rock Christian School for the Mock Trial competition. Terri also serves on the local advisory board for United Way. For more information or to schedule a consultation: Meadows & Macie, P.C. 101 Eagle’s Pointe Parkway Stockbridge, Georgia 30281-6385 Phone: 770-957-1199 Fax: 770-954-1199

+ Elizabeth Pool

+ Brian Strickland


Now working out of both the McDonough and Jackson offices, Elizabeth Pool graduated from Mercer University School of Law in Macon after leaving a position with the American Cancer Society. Pool received her Bachelor’s degree from Georgia College in Milledgeville knowing that one day she would pursue a career in law. Pool passed by the Jackson office of Smith, Welch, Webb & White when traveling to Milledgeville, and hoped to work for such a well-respected law firm one day. “Little did I know that 10 years later, I would work in that very office.” Pool greatly appreciates the legacy of Smith, Welch, Webb and White and she is proud to work for such a reputable and deeply-rooted firm. Specializing in Family Law, along with general civil litigation, Pool began practicing in 2011. Her primary goal is to help people navigate through tough times with personal family matters. “Divorce is painful; custody


disputes are stressful – these matters are some of the toughest challenges people will face in their lives. Smith, Welch, Webb & White has given me the tools I need to best advocate for my clients during those times.” Pool feels fortunate that she can help make these situations more bearable by providing guidance throughout such a difficult process.

Brian Strickland received his B.B.A. in Economics from Valdosta State University, a Juris Doctor from Florida Coastal School of Law, and began practicing in November of 2009. An associate of Smith, Welch, Webb and White, Strickland mostly wants to make a difference in his community. “I want to be a strong advocate for individuals in my community that are in need of legal assistance,”

he states. Strickland specializes in civil litigation which includes divorce, contract disputes, real estate litigation and personal injury. He also does criminal defense work and estate planning. Based out of the McDonough office of Smith, Welch, Webb and White, Strickland greatly respects the legacy of the firm that he serves. As a part of SWWW, Henry County’s oldest and most respected law firm in the greater Atlanta region, he understands how being a part of what is also the largest firm in the area contributes to his abilities as an attorney. “The firm offers the resources that I need to serve the people of this region and affords me the opportunity to build on the legacy of a practice that dates back to the 19th century.” MARCH/APRIL 2013 • SOUTHERNJOURNALMAG.COM


+ Megan Pearson


An associate attorney at the firm Smith, Welch, Webb and White, Megan Pearson first began practicing law in just June of last year. This does not mean that her passion for the law does not match that of the other associates at her firm. In fact, it is because of her passion and that of her fellow associates that Megan enjoys her career as a litigator at Smith, Welch, Webb and White. She especially admires the work ethic of her colleagues, “The reason Smith, Welch, Webb and White is a great place to work: gumption. From top to bottom, the attorneys in this firm are not afraid to tackle the tough or unpopular issues, and to give a voice to those who don’t have one.” After receiving her Bachelor of Arts from Auburn University in Journalism, Pearson went on to law school at Samford University Cumberland School of Law. It was here that her decision to practice law was reinforced, “When I was in my first year of law school, 45


+ Chris Chapman


two key things happened that put me on the career path of a litigator; first I participated in a mock trial competition and fell in love with being in the courtroom. “ After this mock trial completion, Pearson had two professors who helped her solidify her decision to be in the courtroom: a fantastic criminal law professor and a great evidence professor. From there Pearson became fascinated by the way that criminal cases shape our judicial system and she has not left the courtroom since.

Chris Chapman specializes in criminal defense, which seems perfect for a former police officer. Starting out as a police officer, Chapman went back to law school at John Marshall Law. After completing law school in July of 2000, he continued his career first as a prosecutor and then as a defense attorney. “My entire professional career has been in

the criminal justice system in one role or another,” states Chapman. An associate attorney based out of the Eagle’s Landing office of Smith, Welch, Webb and White, Chapman actually had his own sole practice in Henry County prior to joining his current firm. However he enjoys working with and having the support of a team as strong as Smith, Welch, Webb and White. Besides that, he enjoys the people he works with from clients to attorneys, “I really enjoy the professionalism and personalities of the attorneys and support staff at the firm. In short, the best part about the firm is the people that I work with.”

+ Marc Avidano

+ Andrew Gebhardt


After receiving his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida, Marc Avidano graduated from Nova Southeastern University Law School in 1996 and began practicing law in Florida. He later moved to Georgia and began practicing law in Georgia in 2006. He enjoys his work greatly and states, “I have always been interested in the law and appreciate the wonderful opportunity my education and hard work has afforded me to help others who are faced with life-altering scenarios and difficult challenges.” Based out of the McDonough branch of Smith, Webb, Welch and White, Avidano specializes in personal injury and insurance related matters. His primary focus is motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall claims, tractor trailer claims, wrongful death claims and medical malpractice claims. Avidano enjoys working at a firm like Smith,


Welch, Webb and White so that he can better serve his clients. “Working at a large and reputable firm like SWWW allows me to specialize and gain more expertise in one particular area of law which ultimately produces better results for my clients.” Because of the resources and support available through SWWW, Avidano is able to give each of his clients expert service and individualized attention. Marc A. Avidano | Attorney at Law PO Box 10 | 2200 Keys Ferry Court McDonough, GA 30253 770-957-3937 Office | 770-957-0115 Fax

Based out of the Eagle’s Landing office of Smith, Welch, Webb and White, Andrew Gebhardt specializes in claims, including personal injury claims, claims involving car

accidents and tractor trailers, homeowner’s claims and insurance disputes. He really understands the importance of his specialty and his ability to help people in his position, “I enjoy helping people receive just compensation when they are injured by others, or when the compensation is denied or not properly given by insurance companies.” He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia before attending law school at Georgia State University and then began practicing in 2005. A partner at Smith, Welch, Webb and White, Gebhardt’s path in the law has always been set, “It’s something I always believed I would enjoy. I haven’t regretted the decision.” Gebhardt’s community is lucky to have someone dedicated to helping people within their reach. Helping those who are unable to help themselves is a wonderful trend of the attorneys of Smith, Welch, Webb and White and Andrew Gebhardt certainly fits the mold. MARCH/APRIL 2013 • SOUTHERNJOURNALMAG.COM


+ Pandora Palmer PANDORA E. PALMER, P.C.

Billy Joel once said, “If you are not doing what you love, you are wasting your time.” These are words that Pandora Palmer lives by, and when she realized in high school she wanted to be an attorney, she pursued that goal, eventually becoming admitted to the Georgia bar in 1994 and subsequently the Hawaii bar in 2001. She grew up in Fayetteville and graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.A. degree in Criminal Justice. She then attended Georgia State University College of Law where she received her J.D. degree in 1994. Pandora recently opened her own law practice, Pandora E. Palmer, P.C. in October of last year and was previously a partner with the law firm of Smith, Welch, Webb, & White, LLC. With her own practice, she has been able to focus on the areas of law that she enjoys the most, which are: family law (all aspects, including divorce, custody cases, child support issues and adop-



tions) as well as criminal law, juvenile law, and personal injury. She and her staff (Amanda Wallace, paralegal; Joye Moore, office manager, and Beth Striplin, administrative assistant) are dedicated to helping people who are going through a difficult time in their lives and who need not only a lawyer, but someone who has compassion and understanding for the issues they are dealing with. She and her staff love working in Henry County and being involved in the local community and helping it grow. Currently, Pandora serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Henry County Haven House, which provides assistance to victims of domestic violence. This is a cause very close to Pandora’s heart, as a friend of hers from law school was murdered by her husband as a result of domestic violence. Pandora is also involved with the Henry County Kiwanis, the Henry County Bar Association, the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers,

Southern Regional Hospital and the Atlanta Lawyers Club. She recently co-authored the book, Divorce Proceedings in Georgia, What You Need to Know, which was published in May last year and is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble’s websites. She is also currently working on a suspense novel which she hopes to have completed by the end of the year. Her office is conveniently located within walking distance of the courthouse in McDonough and should you ever find yourself in need of her services, she will work diligently and compassionately to obtain the results you need.

Pandora E. Palmer, P.C. 80 Macon Street McDonough, GA 30253 (678) 432-9958 Fax (770) 957-1056






Our First Lady of Georgia & other women of substance

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2012 Check Presentation at Shane’s of Flowery Branch, GA


he Georgia Transplant Foundation was founded in 1992 by Tommy Smith, a kidney transplant recipient himself. GTF (www.gatransplant. org) is a non-profit foundation focused on providing financial, educational, and emotional support to transplant candidates, recipients, living donors, and their families. It is the primary source for transplant patient assistance and support for all solid organ transplantation in the entire state of Georgia. After learning more about the GTF, Shane Thompson, Founder of Shane’s Rib Shack ( decided to do his part in giving back to the transplant community. He believes that giving back to the community is the most important thing a business can do. Shane created an annual promotion where ten cents from all beverages sold during a designated month is donated to the GTF. Over the past 3 years, Shane’s Rib Shack has donated more than $30,000 to the Foundation with this promotion alone. “The ten cents-perbeverage fundraiser is scheduled again this Spring,” assures Rachel Turk-Settle, Sr. Field Marketing Manager for Shane’s Rib Shack. “We hope to surpass our previous annual contributions with this Spring’s promotion.” Another supporter of the Foundation is former Atlanta Brave, Tom Glavine. “I am humbled by the number of lives enriched by the Georgia Transplant Foundation and am thrilled that I have been successful in both promoting the importance of organ donation and continuing to increase the dollars raised for the transplant community.” Many lives have been changed by GTF with the help of supporters like Shane and Tom – such as 11-year old Daniel of Augusta, Georgia. He considers GTF founder, Tommy Smith, one of

his personal heroes. “I don’t know a whole lot about insurance and stuff...but Mr. Tommy, HE made a difference in my life. Because of him, my mom and dad were able to get the care I needed way up in Boston…without the transplant fundraising program he started, my mom and dad said life would have been very different for us…” Ann and Nelson Sechrist, active GTF volunteers, know the other side of the transplant story. They lost their son a decade ago in a tragic accident shortly after he received his license. “Being a donor family is not something you plan for, but maybe you should. It means making a decision to help others while you are in pain. You make the decision to donate, sign the papers, and go home to plan the funeral…Waiting to hear about the donation and its success. Others on the waiting list would have died, in addition to our son, if he had not donated. His successful donation helped us, knowing that others were living because of him.” Kidney recipient Charlene Lafayette’s (pictured above, third from left) journey began in March, 1986 shortly after the birth of her son when she was diagnosed with lupus. She was put on a preventive treatment regimen and went several years without having any lupus flares. However, in 1996 she started feeling really tired and weak and went to her rheumatologist, where he ran some tests and told her that she was starting to lose kidney function as a result of the lupus attacking her kidney. She was eventually put on dialysis and listed

I AM HUMBLED BY THE NUMBER OF LIVES ENRICHED BY THE GEORGIA TRANSPLANT FOUNDATION AND AM THRILLED THAT I HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN BOTH PROMOTING THE IMPORTANCE OF ORGAN DONATION AND CONTINUING TO INCREASE THE DOLLARS RAISED FOR THE TRANSPLANT COMMUNITY.” TOM GLAVINE for a kidney transplant. Her brother stepped up to donate a kidney to her and on October 10, 2000 she received her new kidney. Today Charlene continues to give back to the transplant community by working with the JumpStart program as part of the GTF staff. Like others who make the GTF mission possible, Shane Thompson is known as one of the Foundation’s heroes. “All the important events in my life seem to have Shane’s Rib Shack involved! I can’t thank you enough for all the support you give us in so many ways,” says Pat Rotchford, Executive Director of GTF. Those important events include “Mallory’s Walk.” This walk was named in memory of Mike and Lisa Smith’s daughter, Mallory – a high school student diagnosed with Wilson’s disease. This courageous young woman underwent two liver transplants and was able to fulfill her dreams of graduating high school, starting college and even of becoming an aunt before she passed way. Lisa and Mike wanted to make sure that their daughter’s legacy lived on throughout the community. With the help of their church, friends, and family, the Smith’s planned Mallory’s Walk to raise money to fund the Mallory Smith Legacy Scholarship for other transplant recipients – it is awarded by the Georgia Transplant Foundation annually. Shane’s Rib Shack fed all the walkers, and helped the event to raise over $22,000 for the foundation. MARCH/APRIL 2013 • SOUTHERNJOURNALMAG.COM


Our goal is to make their systems work flawlessly.





by Diane Smith | photo by Picture This Studio


hile other little boys were outside playing ball, Morrelle McCrary was inside, taking apart a radio or remote control toy. Far from practicing destructive behavior, Morrelle was learning as he successfully put the technology back together again, with no extra pieces or screws left over. That love of digging into what makes technology work turned into a career path of providing personal computing solutions for individuals and area businesses. A graduate of Clayton State College, the young man earned the nickname of “RAMTech” – his solution to most computer problems then was “You just need to add more RAM (random access memory).” When he and a friend decided to start their own IT (information technology) business, the name stuck and RAM Tech the company was born. “We started out doing it for fun,” Morrelle recalls. Then the friend moved on to a career in North Carolina. Morrelle got married, children came along – and it was time to get a “real job.” He went to work for a security company, then served as a network engineer for a CPA firm in Atlanta. His journey then led him to First Bank in Henry County. He continued to be the “RAM Tech” on the side. “I thought of that money as our ‘play money,’ for vacations and such,” he shares. But finally his first love won out, and in 2007 he went full time with RAM-Tech PC Solutions. “I took the training wheels off,” Morrelle laughs. Now he and his staff provide full-service computing solutions. RAM-Tech PCS specializes in remote system monitoring, server/computer maintenance, computer upgrades, computer networking, computer sales, web/graphics design, off-site/on-site backup solutions, remote support and more. All engineers and technicians are highly experienced in all of the latest computer equipment and can assist with system design, purchase, upgrades, software use, virus protection, total

system management, data management and important identity protection. RAM-Tech PCS does complete computer installation for new businesses and monitors them regularly. While much of the work can be done remotely, Morrelle likes to visit on-site when possible. “I can listen to a hard drive and tell if something is wrong with it,” he explains. One area of pride for this entrepreneur is the level of customer service provided by RAMTech. “We offer complete setup, tailored to the client’s needs.” This might include creating websites, providing and installing hardware and software, virus protection, and helping business owners determine which operating systems work best to meet their needs. “Our goal is to make their systems work flawlessly.” Another important aspect of protecting customers’ business interests is to provide backup solutions. RAM-Tech offers on-site and off-site backups so that their client’s programs and files are protected in the event of a computer emergency. Jon Holland, owner of three UPS Stores in Henry County (Eagles Landing in Stockbridge, Highway 81 and Jonesboro Road in McDonough) states unequivocally that Morrelle McCrary is the best computer technician he’s ever used. “I talk to him three or four times a week. He has an understanding of how software and hardware work together,” Jon expounds. “Lots of people out there sell hardware – not too many of them understand how to make the whole system work together.” When Morrelle isn’t putting together or taking apart computer systems, he enjoys time with his wife, Jennifer and their two children. The latest thing he is excited about is recreational shooting. “We went to a skeet shoot with some friends recently – now I’m hooked!” For more information or to set an appointment with RAM-Tech PC Solutions to meet your computer/IT needs, call 678-999-2172 or visit



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Cultivating by Beverly Van Gorder | photo by Picture This Studio

Love Lifetime for a

rother Ralph Easterwood, Chaplain of the Henry County Police Department and wife Gwen will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary April 22, 2013. During the seven and a half years Bro. Ralph has been ministering to police officers, he has focused attention on helping to keep marriages intact. He understands the stresses of the job and the long hours officers must spend away from family. Being happily married for so many years, Brother Ralph shares a few key ingredients to a long happy life of love.


order, first and foremost, everything else will fall in line. But relationships are a work in progress and one must continue to build upon what they have.

Having met as youngsters, the Easterwoods married in their late teens and had five children in their first seven years of marriage. Life was obviously very busy and when Bro. Ralph entered the ministry it served to further divide his attention, “I will admit, in the early years I did not always put my wife and children before my service to the church. I had to learn over time the importance of giving Gwen’s needs first place.”

“Additionally, there are three ethics every home must maintain in order to be complete. The first is a work ethic. No woman wants to be married to a lazy bum. And men do not enjoy having to keep up the house because the woman won’t. I have said, ‘you may fall in love with a hunk who winds up being junk.’ Work to please each other.

But now, Gwen shares, “Whenever someone asks me how I know Ralph really loves me, I say, ‘At this time in our marriage, I know he prefers me first.’” She is quick to continue, “That didn’t happen overnight, we had to work at it. We still have to work at it. Without putting forth effort, a relationship falls apart.” “Everything is built on relationships,” adds Bro. Ralph. “And the number one aspect of that concept is the relationship a person has with the Lord. If that relationship is in



“I have an acrostic that I share with folks in regard to relationships. In counseling sessions, I tell couples they must ‘lend each other an ear.’ EAR stands for Encouragement, Appreciation, and Respect. In order to achieve respect one must give the first two. And love cannot exist without respect---when respect is gone the love dies.

“Secondly, there must be a worth ethic. A value system must exist for both marriage partners in which they cherish what is important to the other. This doesn’t mean you have to like all of the same things or pastimes, but it does mean you are willing to spend time doing things simply because it pleases your mate. It is very meaningful and speaks a depth of love which demonstrates you appreciate the things important to your mate. “And third, a worship ethic is essential. Worshiping God is a source of strength for the union. Without it you will miss out on an

area of vital continual growth. Find a church in which you can worship and learn and grow as individuals and as a couple.” Bro. Ralph believes “love” is a very misspent word. 2 Corinthians 8:8b says, “Prove the sincerity of your love.” He says, “It is far better to show love through action than to merely talk about it. Remember the old saying, ‘No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.’ Strive to keep your schedules working for you rather than against you, so you have time to show each other you care. It’s a job, but do not let anything come between you and your companion.” Last of all, Bro. Ralph expresses the importance of communication. He advises, “Never stop sharing through conversation with each other. It is a sad thing when couples live their lives caring for the children and get to the other side only to find they have nothing to say to each other. You must communicate or you will disintegrate!” The Easterwoods’ life verses for their marriage are Ephesians 5:21, 22, 25 and 33---“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord. Husbands, love your wives even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it. Nevertheless let everyone of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” The Easterwoods’ continual cultivation of relationship has yielded a love that is lasting---a trustworthy model to follow.









by Louie Hunter | photo by Picture This Studio

SJM - Congressman, thanks for being with us! The election didn’t go as well as conservative Republicans had hoped. We have a tough “row to hoe” so to speak. What do you see happening in the near future? CONGRESSMAN WESTMORELAND - I don’t see us doing a tax increase. It’s really dependent on how much Senator Harry Reid and the President are willing to compromise. The reason is that we don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. We know what our revenue is. It’s about $2.4 trillion a year, and the problem is we are spending about $3.5 trillion. Anytime that you are spending fifty percent more than what you’ve got coming in, you have a spending problem. Especially with all the different programs that are out there that we just need to do away with. We’ve got to get to a zero-based budgeting process so that we can go back in and cut some of those programs. I don’t think that we are against any type of revenue enhancement as long as we can get our spending under control. Even if you did the tax increase on the millionaires, which is actually any individual or couple who makes over $250,000, it only raises about $85 billion a year. We are over-spending about $1.1 trillion a year and only adding $85 billion a year to the revenue. I promise you if we add that revenue it will be spent! So like I said, I don’t think we are against any revenue enhancements but we have got to do something to the spending. SJM - It seems like we always get a tax increase and we never get the spending cuts that are promised with it. CONGRESSMAN WESTMORELAND - That’s right.

SJM - I know that Georgia is a center-right state, as is most of America. We want smaller government, but there is a lot of pressure from the left wing media to take this opportunity to force Republicans to walk back from some of their positions and to get softer on some of their positions like entitlements and immigration. Do you see anything in the party that would make you think there is a walking back from where we’ve stood since Reagan? CONGRESSMAN WESTMORELAND - Well, keep in mind that Reagan gave amnesty to about ten million illegals that were here. So we’ve been through the amnesty thing before. But as far as comprehensive immigration reform, this is something that I have been trying to get our leadership to do since I was first elected in 2004. We have a broken legal immigration system, and that has multiplied the problem that we have with illegals. Anybody that doesn’t believe that, take a look at the labor force that has come into this country especially where there is food processing or construction, or agriculture. We need some of that labor, but we need them to be here legally with some kind of work permit. I don’t think there will be any type of amnesty or road to citizenship, but I do think that there could be a long-time work permit that would be able to be renewed a few times. That would allow the illegals to go back and forth, because right now so many illegals have come to work and they can’t go back and forth so they bring their families here. And they’re here and this is a great place! I don’t see anybody trying to escape from here! If you look at the election and the areas that Governor Romney won and the areas that the President won, the President won all the votes around the metropolitan areas by overwhelming majorities. But if you look at the map it will look




almost completely red and there will be these blue dots. There is a big divide. We have got to work on getting our base constituency to vote conservative. Most of the time our base is pretty happy, they are involved in little league, they eat dinner together…so they’re basically happy people and most folks don’t get involved until it affects them personally. It’s one thing to affect your family member or an acquaintance, but when it affects you, that’s when you get involved. SJM - Let’s talk about ObamaCare. What can the House of Representatives do to stop that monstrosity? CONGRESSMAN WESTMORELAND - Well, I think if you’ve been listening to the news you see that the thirty Republican governors that we’ve got will be able to do more to stop the total implementation of ObamaCare than we will because anything that we do in the House has to pass the Senate - and then the President has to sign it. I think that when a lot of the people on Medicare start seeing the cuts - and when this independent payment advisory board comes into effect and they say “Well you’re this age, then this is what your treatment will be and this is what we will pay...” I think this will be unacceptable because we’ve got the greatest healthcare system in the world. Are there some things we need to change? Absolutely, so I look for us to try to do some of those things, and I look for us to try to cut some of the funding. This is a tremendously expensive program that will eventually break us. SJM - We interviewed Governor Deal, and he said then - and has since come out publically - that he will not implement the “exchange” portion of the program because it was an unfunded mandate and it would bankrupt the state. CONGRESSMAN WESTMORELAND - It would increase the state’s budget about $2 billion over 10 years, and we don’t have it.

that can’t work something out. But that could be the consequences of it. Everybody was expecting the Republicans to flip the Senate, and we actually ended up losing two seats because we had some bad candidates. I hope the Senate learned a lesson from the House on how to go about recruiting candidates and making sure that you get somebody that fits the state. SJM - Let’s talk about sequestration. Until about eight months ago I had never heard the word! Tell us what that means and tell us what you see happening going forward. CONGRESSMAN WESTMORELAND - Well, it came from the fact that they made a goofy deal and created a super-committee, and it made the system more complicated than it is now. It means that if they don’t come up with some agreed upon cuts, some $1.3 trillion would automatically be cut. It would cut 50 percent from defense and 50 percent out of entitlements. The difference with the entitlements was there could only be a certain amount cut out of Medicaid, up to two percent, from the provider side. That would kill our local hospital systems. If you live in a rural area your hospital will probably go away! The sequester means “automatic cuts” and hopefully we can avoid that because we certainly don’t need to cut our military spending right now with what’s going on in the world. SJM - The middle-east continues to implode I think because there is such a vacuum of leadership. CONGRESSMAN WESTMORELAND - That’s right, we have relinquished our spot as the leader of the world. People are always looking for a hero, for somebody to follow and we have always been that leader in the world. Now because of this philosophy of appeasement, we aren’t leading anymore. You know you can’t lead from behind. But we’re going to fight it.

SJM - In my opinion, the Senate has shirked one of their duties by not coming forth with a budget for many years. What exists to get the Senate to agree to a budget and get this thing back in line?

SJM - Finally we’d like to let you tell us a little about what’s going on in the district and what you are most proud of.

CONGRESSMAN WESTMORELAND - That comes from the President not putting pressure on the Senate to do a budget; but Senator Harry Reid did not want to do a budget because - keep in mind - the House voted on the President’s budget and it got zero votes. I think it got about the same in the Senate. I don’t know that we’ll do it this time unless the President steps in and tells them to participate. What we have been working off of is a Continuing Resolution (CR) and, frankly, Speaker Boehner has not been the best negotiator on some of those CR deals. We have at least frozen spending for the last two years. We passed a short term CR that’s up at the end of March, and hopefully by then the Senate will have done a budget and we won’t have to do another one. I voted for the CR because it kept us from being under the gun of a government shut-down. The government shut-down is probably going to be necessary before all of this is negotiated out. I do think it is something that is really bad for the country that they have elected people

CONGRESSMAN WESTMORELAND - I want to thank the constituents for allowing me to do what less than 13,000 people have had the chance to do, and that is to serve in Congress. I still get chill bumps when I walk into the capital, because to me it’s still the capital of the world, not just the capital of this country. We have been working hard. We met with a local Henry County business that sells product all over the world. We also met with a prospective NASCAR team that’s talking about coming to Henry County. Atlanta Motor Speedway, as you know, is a big draw here. When you ask what I’m most proud of, it’s when we get to help a constituent. When we help somebody save their house or help someone’s mother get their Medicare or disability, or help a veteran get the proper treatment; that’s the thing that I think I get the most enjoyment out of. We have a great staff, the best staff! They care about the people of the third district. I told them that they were the reason for our successful election because they have served the people so well. I tell them they drive the train but I get to blow the whistle!



...most folks don’t get involved until it affects them personally. It’s one thing to affect your family member or an acquaintance, but when it affects you, that’s when you get involved.” | CONGRESSMAN WESTMORELAND |

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Doing Unto Others


by Valerie Baldowski | photos by Picture This Studio


or Anne Sapp, helping young people is a way of life.

Anne, a special assistant attorney general, has supported various nonprofit children’s charities for so long it has become second nature. When not practicing law in her Atlanta office, she can be found devoting her time to befriending, encouraging and inspiring underserved, at-risk youth of all ages. “To me, there’s no better feeling than seeing these children succeed,” she says. “That’s an amazing feeling, to know you had some little part in making it better for them.” The fact that they have no children of their own hasn’t slowed them down in the least. A graduate of Woodward Academy in College Park and University of Georgia School of Law, the values Anne learned growing up led her to begin supporting charities to give back to the community. For her, it was natural to get involved in nonprofits in high school and college as extra-curricular activities. She began in earnest by volunteering to lead art therapy sessions at The Bridge, a residential care facility founded in 1970 to help at-risk teens get their lives back on track. Anne’s husband Dave, a Senior Credit Officer with Wells Fargo Capital Finance, was serving on the board of directors at the time, and the couple chaired The Ray of Hope Gala for the Bridge. “This was years ago. That was our first real



experience with helping kids. I just loved it,” Anne exclaims. The Bridge was the teens’ last chance at a normal life before being transferred to either a mental health facility or a juvenile detention center.

Anne is also a board member and secretary of the Georgia 4-H Foundation, chairing their statewide gala in 2011, and she assists with fundraising for the Joseph Sams School. This year’s school fundraisers included a winetasting and dinner in February and a dinner, dance and auction scheduled for May.

In 1995, Anne began serving on the board, and later as vice chairman for programming, for Usher’s New Look Foundation, a nonprofit which teaches underserved youth leadership skills, helps them academically and grooms them for a career and service to others.

Finding time in her schedule to fit in all these activities has never been an issue for Anne. “I think you just make time for the things you love,” she adds.

“I am most proud of my work with our youth, which includes, among many things, mentoring a young lady for over four years,” says Anne. “She is a senior in the Terry Business School at UGA, and will graduate next fall. I am extremely proud of her. She is like family to me.”

“In many respects it is a legacy we can leave, given we have no children,” he says. “I think there is nothing better than to see her smile. Whether it’s New Look, 4-H, High Arts Day or another of her many activities, she gets great satisfaction from these activities, and that puts a smile on her face.”

For several years she also did strategic planning for the Friends Volunteer Organization at Children’s Health Care of Atlanta, as a result of the experience she had with her god-daughter, a special needs child who attends the Joseph Sams School in Fayetteville. When the girl underwent several medical procedures at Scottish Rite and Egleston children’s hospitals, Anne saw firsthand the dedication the hospital employees had for their young patients.

The couple met 25 years ago at a wedding, and their partnership was made stronger because Dave shares the same values.

“When Emily recovered, I said I need to give time back, because they give so much for these kids,” she continues.

“Anne is most content when reaching out to others,” says her husband Dave.

“As a youngster, my mom was very active in nonprofit work, from teaching young Hispanic children English so they could go to school in Texas, working on voter issues, or the environment. As a young banker, we were encouraged to give back to our community,” he explains. “It was natural for me to get involved and stay involved. Anne is of similar background, with the 4H being a central component in the importance of community and giving back.”







I am… Family Medical.

Brandy Batchelor, Allan Imes, PA-C, and Christy Coates


1631 Highway 20W • McDonough, GA 30253 • 770.288.2822 Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. • Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. • Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.



By Danielle Eidson


t’s not the brick and mortar that make Family Medical a home for thousands of patients; it’s the people that dwell within it. If you’ve followed along with us in Southern Journal, then you’ve heard me talk about our story. You’ve read how Family Medical came about and how we are different. I’ve told you about how we have the best providers and how they truly take the time to listen. You’ve listened to our patients tell their stories on why they “Joined the Family” and heard how FMC has made a difference to them. What you haven’t heard me talk about…. is our clinical staff. The FMC Family members that make it possible for our providers to give the level of care they do. The nurses and techs here at FMC are an integral part of quality patient care. They are the heartbeat of FMC. Nothing around here would be possible without them. I’ve never seen a group of people that work as hard as they do and continue to have a smile on their face every day. These people truly love what they do, and they honestly love their patients. I’ve watched them stay three hours after closing to sit with a patient just to make sure they were comfortable. I’ve seen them spend d their days off personally visiting with a patient in the hospital. These people are one of a kind.

Christy was perfect FMC material with her extensive knowledge and her above and beyond approach she took with patients. The three were quite a team and are credited with how successful FMC is today.

with compassion and patients are never treated like just a number. FMC is truly different.” Brandy talks about her career here at FMC. Brandy lives in Meansville, Ga with her husband and 2 children. She enjoys reading, and spending time Brandy Batchelor always knew she with her family. She is … Family wanted a career in nursing. She had Medical. a passion for helping people at an early age and was determined to “I love FMC because of the people. become a nurse. Shortly after I have been here from the enrolling into nursing school, she beginning and I know how much started her training in venipuncture. work, dedication, and love goes into “I couldn’t do it, no way I’m giving our practice” explains Christy people shots!” Brandy explains. Coates when asked about her job at Knowing she still wanted to be in FMC. “I love being a nurse because the medical field and still had the it means I have a role, no matter how small, in taking care of people and helping them to feel better.” Christy’s role here has never been a small one. She is one of our clinical supervisors and is one of the most often complimented nurses. We have patients who sign in and instead of requesting a specific provider, they request Christy. Patients here describe her as patient, loyal, understanding, and thorough. She is what FMC is all about. Christy and her family enjoy baseball, soccer, and karate with their 5 children. She is … Family Medical.

“It’s not the brick and mortar that make Family Medical a home for thousands of patients; it’s the people that dwell within it.”

same passion for helping others, Brandy changed courses and enrolled in X-ray school instead. Have you ever heard the saying “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans?” Well, little did Brandy know that an X-ray tech When Allan Imes, founder of still has to complete training in FMC, first broke the news that venipuncture. She overcame her fear FMC would be opening in and passed with flying colors. McDonough, he already had in mind who he wanted to be a part of Years later, Brandy is still “Allan’s his team. Brandy Batchelor, already nurse,” and she still has the same known as “Allan’s nurse,” was one. calm and soothing effect on her Allan had already taken Brandy patients. “I love helping people, and under his wing and Allan’s patients FMC gives me a chance to do that loved her. Christy Coates was next. every single day. We treat people

“Christy and Brandy have been with me and Family Medical since day one. I can honestly say FMC would not be if it were not for these two. I am grateful to God for sending them to us. I love them both dearly. I can’t begin to describe all that they have done and continue to do for me, FMC, and our patients” says Allan Imes about Christy and Brandy. “Come join the Family,” and see what we’re talking about. We are open 7 days a week. Monday Friday 8 ‘til 8, Saturday 9 ‘til 7, and Sunday 10 ‘til 6. No appointment necessary. MARCH/APRIL 2013 • SOUTHERNJOURNALMAG.COM



WILLET foundation photo by Picture This Studio

cott and Kelly Willett are both very excited to announce the January 2013 launch of their newly formed Willett Foundation. The Willett Foundation is a community based non-profit, 501c(3), organization that supports the growth and development of our local communities. Created by Scott and Kelly Willett, the Foundation’s mission is to partner with organizations throughout Henry, Clayton, Fayette, and Fulton Counties and provide support for programs that strengthen families. “We are passionate about helping our communities thrive” said Kelly Willett “and the fundamental element of our mission begins with families.” In today’s world, the word family can mean many different things and is defined at the individual level. As such, the Willett Foundation is mission driven to revitalize the meaning and significance of family in today’s world. Enhancing the development of the social service sector throughout its operational footprint, the Willett Foundation will seek partnership opportunities with non-profits focusing on strengthening families and promoting the welfare of children and teens. “Our interest is to partner with organizations that share our vision of providing support and stability of families,” said Scott Willett. The Foundation’s intent is to host events in conjunction with other non-profits that build or extend relationships throughout our business community. Willett said, “We believe we have the ability to unite our business community in a unique manner that provides pervasive benefits for everyone.” The Willett Foundation will engage in and promote events possessing a unique flair that will bring people and communities



together for the benefit of all. Such events will include but may not be limited to fun runs, golf and tennis tournaments, wine tastings, black tie affairs, specialty dinners, and holiday house tours. Since relocating to Atlanta, Kelly and Scott Willett have a long history of supporting local charities. Organizations the Willett’s have supported or partnered with previously include; A Friend’s House of Henry County, Haven House of Henry County, Rainbow House of Clayton County, Senior Way Housing of Clayton County, Special People of Fayette County, Fayette Youth Protection Homes of Fayette County, Atlanta Children’s Shelter of Fulton County, and Nicholas House of Fulton County. The future growth and development

We are passionate about helping our communities thrive. of The Willett Foundation will include support to agencies with missions supporting growth and development of the family in whole or part throughout Henry, Clayton, Fayette, and Fulton Counties. The growth and development of the Willett Foundation will be spearheaded by Adam Stanfield who will manage the day-to-day activities. “We are extremely fortunate to have someone with the compassion, outstanding character, and the creative abilities of Adam Stanfield as our Executive Director,” said Scott Willett. Adam comes to the Wil-

lett Foundation from his former position as the Executive Director of the Henry Medical Center Foundation. Adam and his lovely wife Stephanie have been close friends of the Willett’s for several years. Scott went on to say, “both of our families share the same compassion, ideas, and commitment regarding the importance of giving back to the communities in which we live, work and play. The passion of helping others is evident in their collective commitment of time, talent, and treasures that have been extended throughout the charitable, non-profit sector. I am very confident Adam is the perfect individual to both launch, and drive the success of the Willett Foundation.” “I am extremely elated to partner with Scott and Kelly in taking the Willett Foundation to its next level of development,” said Stanfield. “For the past decade, we have worked diligently in developing Henry County’s Social Service Infrastructure and we have accomplished wonderful things as a community. However, our county has also experienced some instability during the recent years with challenges coming both organizationally and economically. The timing is right for the Willett Foundation to insert itself as a true community partner that is family-centered and focused on strengthening families during these challenging times. Our success will be based on replicating proven development strategies our community is accustomed to and by establishing key partnerships with organizations in need.” For information on the Willett Foundation or partnership opportunities contact Adam Stanfield at 404-643-0458.

pictured l-r: Adam Stanfield, Kelly Willett, Scott Willett




DAY at the




The concept of “representation by the people for the people” has long been one of our essential freedoms. We exercise this right each time we stand in a voting booth; clicking boxes beside the names of those we choose to represent us in our municipal, county, state and federal government. These are the individuals we trust to defend our rights, our freedoms and our ways of life. They truly do represent us – stand in for us – regarding issues of economic development, job creation, passage of laws and bills that affect our future and our children’s futures. Henry County is blessed to have delegates who are willing to carry our concerns and fight our battles, taking them directly to the steps of the Capitol. These delegates – Representatives Andy Welch, Brian Strickland, Demetrius Douglas, Dale Rutledge, and Senator Rick Jeffares – along with other area citizens, were invited to Henry County Day at the Capitol on February 13. This was one more opportunity for the face of our community to be recognized by those in the Georgia state government – another reminder that a large body of constituents is watching – and voting – just 30 or so miles south of the gold dome. Here’s a sneak peek of the day at the Capitol.




by Emilie Burroughs


Henry County Day at the Capitol with Governor Nathan Deal

enry County is a thriving community full of culture, history, and beauty. Its rich legacy of excellence has been recognized by the Georgia General Assembly at the Capitol, which holds an annual Henry County Day. On February 13, the Henry County State Legislative Delegation was honored at the Capitol. They represented Henry County’s interests on important social, economic, and political issues. In addition to the legislative delegates, Capitol Pages Cole Kinchen, Ava Strang, Grace Emory and Madison Butcher also participated in the Day at the Captiol. The Page program offers students twelve years of age and older an opportunity to visit the Capitol and help their State Representative or Senator for the day. Kay Pippin, Henry County Chamber of Commerce President, commented about the event: “This is a monumental time for local and state leaders to become better acquainted; a time for Henry County to be recognized as one



of Georgia’s largest and most active counties; to give local leaders a feel for how the system works; to build relationships…” Southern Journal Magazine asked the delegates what the issues are and why they are important to the overall wellbeing of our beloved county. Southern Journal Magazine: In your own words, what is the importance of Henry County Day at the Capitol? It serves two purposes. One, it is an opportunity for our citizens to come to the capitol and see first-hand what happens here during session. We hope that by taking a peek at the process in action, our citizens can understand how much the actions of our leaders at the state level affect the future of Henry County. Secondly, Henry County Day is an opportunity to show state leaders from our other 158 counties the

relevance of our county and what we as a county bring to the table for the State of Georgia. SJM: Why are you participating in Henry County Day? We participate because of how proud we are to be from Henry County. We want to show friends from communities around this state how great Henry County is. SJM: What are some important issues concerning Henry County that you are hoping to address while at the Capitol? As a county that was ground zero for the real estate crisis, we are in desperate need of new economic development. While working to address numerous other issues our state is experiencing as a whole as we attempt to come out of the recent recession, we are working to remind our state leaders that Henry

Speaker of the House of Representatives David Ralston

Jennifer Rosenbaum, Intern Georgia General Assembly Henry County BOC Chairman Tommy Smith

Henry County Chamber of Commerce President Kay Pippin

William Strang, Ava Strang and State Representative Andy Welch

Cole Kinchen, State Representative Brian Strickland, Ava Strang, Grace Emory and Madison Butcher MARCH/APRIL 2013 • SOUTHERNJOURNALMAG.COM



State Representative Andy Welch and Mayor Billy Copeland 81


Andy Pippin, Danny Brown, Chuck Spahos, Al Hosford, Dale Rutledge, Charles Mobley and Eddie Ausband

County has much to offer. Our delegation intends to strengthen and enhance Henry County’s attributes in a bipartisan way whenever possible. SJM: What improvements would you like to see made in Henry County? We would like to see Henry County focus on being a community that offers our citizens a place to not only raise a family, but a place where those children raised in this community have the opportunity to return after college to raise their own family. We need to focus on smart economic development that fosters the creation of a variety of jobs in our county that will lessen the need of our citizens to drive to Atlanta or move to another city in order to support their family. SJM: Henry County is not simply a place to live—it is a community of people who want to be involved in all aspects of their county. What

are some ways that Henry County residents can participate in their county’s politics? Stay informed. Follow the issues being addressed at the gold dome each session and engage with your legislator about how you see these issues. Go to local Board of Education and Board of Commissioner meetings. Many people in our county are happy to complain about all that is wrong with our community but few actually get involved in solving the problem. SJM: Why is it important for the State Government to see the “face” of Henry County through our delegation – does it truly impact relationships between the State and our County? It is important because it reminds our state leaders that Henry County is more than a parking lot they experience driving south on 75. Seeing the face of our community leaders reminds our State Govern-



ment of how important our county is to the future of this state. We have a strong delegation at the gold dome, but it is important to show our state the even stronger community leaders that are behind us. SJM: How does this relationship building impact such areas as economic development, employment, strengthening infrastructure, etc. in our local community? When the leaders of this state are making decisions as to how to move Georgia forward out of the economic turmoil we have experienced over the past several years, they need to know the part Henry County can play in making this possible. Leaders need to know the talent the people of Henry County possess and the many resources our county has to offer our state. By playing a larger role in moving Georgia forward, Henry County will rise up as the economic hub of the south side of metro Atlanta.








Livin’ the

Home décor, collegiate style, teen “must haves,” travel, family matters – it all adds up to LIFESTYLE. Welcome to our new regular feature highlighting some of the things that make us all who we are! This Southern Journal Magazine segment will be steered by our brand new Lifestyles Editor, Lisa Alexander. Here’s a little more about this savvy Southern gal, who brings 20 years of experience, combined with sales, marketing and publishing experience to our already fabulous team… Lisa grew up in Indianapolis, but always knew she was a southern girl at heart. She moved to Florida and then to Atlanta in the early 1990’s, with no plans to return to those cold, northern winters. With Lisa’s love of sales and marketing and passion for building relationships, she started a career in sales within the wedding and special events industry. She started working for a Florida entertainment company and then went on to the world of publishing. Lisa has worked for two wedding and event publications in Atlanta, from selling advertising to the role of the Georgia Publisher of Occasions Magazine. “I love being part of a publication with as much growth potential as SJM. I’ll be sharing my experience and knowledge to assist in growing our readership and lifestyle editorial. I feel truly blessed and excited for this opportunity” Lisa’s love for spending time with her family, pups and friends has never wavered throughout her career. Her husband, Mark, and two pups - Jac and Bailey - are residents of Henry County. If you see Lisa out and about (or on the tennis courts), make sure you say hello!




TORI’S TRENDS elcome to Tori’s Trends, a timely look at fashions and trends for the up-and-coming young professional and collegiate woman. We’ll show you some

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North Face Women’s Resolve Jacket $90.00



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LIFESTYLE into teams or work together as one unit to build a robot, building or transportation for the year 2050. Local Libraries - When I think about how I spent Spring Break as a child, one of my greatest memories was spending the day at the local library. Here in the Southern Crescent, we have outstanding libraries with great programming for the entire family. The libraries have scheduled story time, chess club, computer classes and the Fayette County Library even offers two levels of French class! A visit to a local library can open the doors to so many possibilities. Our libraries are guaranteed to have something for everyone.



by Careshia Moore | photo by Picture This Studio

s we prepare to leave the cold weather behind and enter the beauty of spring we may find that our children are suffering from a case of “cabin fever.” Now is as good a time as any to map out some spring fun for our families. Spring time in the Southern Crescent can be a time of enjoyment, outdoor activities, inside discovery and quality time with family.

indoor activities that bring just as much enjoyment as romping around outside. How about organizing a family talent show? This event could give everyone in the family an opportunity to showcase their talent. You can be as creative as you want with this activity. Encourage the children to name your showcase and make a sign. Allow them to raid your closets to create costumes. Finally, sit back and enjoy the show!

Southern Belle Farms - One of my family’s favorites is the Southern Belle Farms in McDonough, Georgia. This outdoor adventure provides hours of fun and experience. Children can enjoy activities such as picking fresh, seasonal produce; riding the cow train; getting lost in the corn maze; feeding goats; and jumping on a huge pillow-like apparatus. This does not even cover half of the fun that your family will enjoy. Oh and, be sure to bring a camera to take pictures of the family by the antique pick-up truck and the other wonderful sites of a working farm.

If you don’t feel inclined to belt out Billboard’s Top 10 hits into a plastic microphone, you can have just as much indoor fun. For starters, dust off the board games that have been hiding in the closet since the kiddos discovered video games and electronic tablets. A good, old-fashioned game of Monopoly or Sorry (remember that game?) is sure to bring about healthy competition and laughs.

Indoor Fun - We all know that spring brings rain showers that can prevent us from venturing outdoors. All is not lost because there are many

You can also collect recyclable items such as disposable cups, plates, utensils and cardboard tubes to initiate a building contest. All it takes is finding a few things around the house that no one is using. Gather art supplies such as tape, glue, scissors and crayons. Divide your family

Turn Spring Cleaning into a Family Affair - The origin of spring cleaning has been attributed to various ideals such as preparation for cultural holidays, religious acts, and even biology. Regardless of the historical significance of spring cleaning, many moms engage in disinfecting, dusting and decluttering during the spring. I propose that this task would be more fun and less laborious when we incorporate the entire family. Here are a few ideas: • Let your children play a matching game with the lost socks. • Set out a few color-coordinated containers labeled with pictures of books, toys and other items. Set a timer for the children to see how quickly they can sort the hodge-podge of items that are clutter- ing their toy box or closet. • Ask the hubby to put up shelves so that you can use your vertical space for storing items. • Pull out the old hand-held vacuum that you have not used and let everyone take a turn vacuuming the baseboards in a particular room. Have a contest for the cleanest baseboards. • Finally, spring cleaning is much more fun with your favorite songs blaring from the radio. You may even be able to have a dance-off during a cleaning break! These tips will prepare you to lay aside the winter blues and welcome spring with a smile as it offers an opportunity to enjoy the local sites and make new memories with your family. What Spring activity do you and your family enjoy most? Submit an answer to, and the family with the most unique and creative activity will be entered to win a special treat from Shane’s Rib Shack! MARCH/APRIL 2013 • SOUTHERNJOURNALMAG.COM



Sassy, Stylish, Sophisticated


by Jessica Dauler photos by Picture This Studio


ooking for a one stop beauty experience? I have the answer. Toss a glamorous mane of beautifully styled hair, make a color change, try new makeup, glow like you have returned from the Islands, or try the latest manicure. Either way, you can have it all in one place. The stylists at Siggers are artists when it comes to color, cut and texture and they have been in business for over 30 years. Since 1961, Siggers Hairdressers has been a #1 Salon in the Atlanta area with the original owners John and Carrol Sigger. Siggers has the treatment and service you want. You can get everything from a shampoo and style, to an expert cut, or a revitalizing treatment that replaces moisture, minerals and shine. Try the latest in color with Allison - an expert with the very popular Ombre procedure - or add thickness and length with celebrity style extensions pro Gavin.

matic look, these stylists will guide you in finding your perfect color. You can be sure both color and shine will last longer, because you’ll be getting only the finest European products. When you want to up the drama, you can add in fluoro-highlights, multi-tonal effects or global color, and when you’re in the hands of a clever stylist, there’s no end to the combinations available. Everyone’s talking about the subtle Ombre coloring, which is a hard look to achieve. These stylists have perfected their French Balayage and Ombre techniques and you can leave with a runway look using either procedure.

Special Occasions are their specialty. Everyone wants to look über-gorgeous for special occasions. Whether it’s a wedding, prom, date night or any other significant event, you can design a glamorous look to suit. Styles are more romantic than ever; formal trends have been replaced by long, soft and sexy. You might choose braids, waves and color, and as a bonus you’ll get shine and volume.

Make-up Don’t spoil a beautiful new hair look with less than perfect make-up. Suni is the in-house make-up artist at Siggers, with her own up-todate range of products that she uses to work her magic. She’ll help you achieve a flawless and radiant complexion for your special day. Of course, you’d like to look fantastic all the time, so while you’ll want to have a professional make-up application for a special occasion, you can take a class with Suni, and learn how to do your own great make-up every day. She also imports jewelry and accessories from Los Angeles. You will find a great selection of bracelets, necklaces and earrings that are available only at Siggers and priced below retail.

Color Whether you want to simply perk up your hair with subtle highlights, or embrace a more dra-

Nails A manicure or pedicure is a part of a regular beauty routine, and it’s also a fabulous way to



relax and unwind. Try the latest trends (Manx Nails are very popular for the summer), or choose your own color and design. Beautifully manicured nails and feet add the finishing touch to your look. Products Products are the must-have accessory to keep your new look going. Siggers has formulated a variety of their own products over the years, including hairspray, gels, shampoo and conditioner. They also sell brushes, treatments and offer the latest flat iron, The Curve, for only $80 (50% off retail). They offer in-house spray tans with the option to buy more and save more. Enhance your natural beauty with a luxury experience at Siggers in Atlanta. Just like your favorite celebrity, you, too, can radiate confidence, knowing your hair, make-up and nails are the best they can be. For more information on Siggers including online shopping visit

Jessica Dauler Saving is Always In Style




Want | Need | Love Patterned Leggings & Jean Jackets!

Ava’s Faves Pair patterned tights or leggings with a simple top, dress or tunic for a bold look.



Peyton’s Style Jean jackets are the perfect layer for cooler spring days.

3rd Annual

Be Healthy Georgia Day Kilometer Kids Fun Run and Mascot Trot

March 9th @ the Georgia State Capitol Kicking off with Atlanta Track Club's Kilometer Kids Fun Run at 9 am, the day is packed with Georgia's pro and college sport teams, Olympians, fanfavorite mascots, tons of give-a-ways and more! Thanks to our generous core partners, this event is completely FREE for all children and families so circle your calendars and register each Fun Run participant online. Scan the QR Code below to find out more information! *Fun Run participants must be ages 7-12 to participate.

Run-of-Show 8am ��������������������������������� On-site Fun Run Registration Opens 8:30am ���������Warm-ups with Olympic Gold Medalist, Aries Merritt 9am ��������������������������������������� Kilometer Kids Fun Run Begins 9:15am ������������������������������������������������� Dole Fit City Opens 9:30am ������������������������Remarks by the Lt� Governor and Guests 11am ���������������������������������������������� Mascot Trot & Dance-Off 12pm �������������������������������������������������������� Event Concludes Lt. Governor's "Healthy Kids Georgia" program is a collaboration of the Office of Lieutenant Governor, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program, and other corporate and community partners. Formed in 2010 to address the epidemic levels of childhood obesity in Georgia and the serious physical and emotional consequences of the problem, the program encourages schools to partner with their local communities and the Healthy Schools program to confront the childhood obesity crisis by implementing health and wellness programs in Georgia’s schools. As Lt. Governor, I want to challenge our superintendants, principals, and parents to help create healthier environments in their schools by becoming a part of the Healthy Schools Program. I will personally recognize every school that enrolls in this program for their commitment to healthy kids. I am confident with leadership and motivation across Georgia we can change the culture surrounding health and physical fitness in our schools. Lastly, through Public Private Partnerships, Healthy Kids Georgia is the conduit for corporate support strategies to be implemented throughout the state upholding the mission to increase awareness and participation for healthy living lifestyles.

Scan the QR Code to find out more or visit: For questions regarding Healthy Kids Georgia please contact Roy Neill:


SAYCHEESE! by Ginny McCormack er photos by Noah Mai

M w w w .G in n y




C o o k s .c o m


craved – and more universally rld wo e tir en e e th d it, though som s there a food in , I have not foun so If ? se ee ch tion – than genuinely loved . There is no ques very close second a is e at ol oc ch es, appeals to may argue that ngths and textur re st , rs vo fla of ty dinits endless varie from breakfast to that cheese, with ost of our meals, m in ed ud cl in e is ies includ the ’s tastes and t culinary memor es nearly everyone rli ea r ou , us y of ness snacks. For man sy American good ner to late night rm layer of chee wa k, ic th A . ch , perfection. (I eese sandwi ead is, in a word br classic grilled ch ed ill gr ry tte bu age.) As een two slices of diminished with sandwiched betw ildhood has not ch y m of le ap st plex varieties ness for this brace more com em confess my fond we as s nd pa ex ings palate for cheese . There are few th we grow up, our and goat cheese e er uy gr , la zo an array of fresh bert, gorgon eate yours with like brie, camem Cr d. ar bo se ee ch es), well put together erries are favorit as sublime as a fruit (figs and ch d ie dr , re e tu ra pe your hand at thes at room tem cheeses served ardonnay. Or try Ch ed ill ch a d e thing ch bread slices an And remember, on nuts, crusty Fren s included here. pe ci re n sy ee ch uld not have give delectably th cheese, He wo crowd-pleasing, wi us s es bl to ed d God not intend y cheese! is undeniable. Ha us to invent it. Sa ni ge of n tio ira sp in e man the divin

Baked Brie with Sweet Fruit Chutney

Fully Loaded Pimento Cheese

1 (1/2 lb.) wheel of brie 1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough, thawed 3/4 cup Sweet Fruit Chutney (recipe below) 1 Tbsp. butter, melted

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened 4 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded 1/3 cup mayonnaise 1 tsp. garlic powder 1 (4 oz.) jar diced pimentos, drained 4 Tbsp. pickled jalapenos, diced 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped 1/2 cup pecans, chopped 2-3 dashes hot sauce

Preheat over to 425 degrees. Slice off the top rind of the brie and discard. Lay out the puff pastry on a greased baking sheet and place the round of brie in the center. Spread 3/4 cup chutney over the brie and carefully fold the pastry over the top, pressing to seal the edges. Brush the pastry with the melted butter and bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings. Sweet Fruit Chutney 1/2 cup water 1/2 cup sugar 1 cup dried fruit mix, chopped 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Reduce the heat. Add the dried fruit mix, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.

Preheat over to 375 degrees. Place pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Add all remaining ingredients and combine thoroughly. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.


1/4 cup panko bread crumbs 1/3 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated

Makes 4 cups.

Warm and Cheesy Jalepeno Dip 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/2 cup chedder cheese, grated 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated 4 Tbsp. pickled jalapenos, chopped 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped, seeds and membranes removed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the cream cheese, mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, parmigiano reggiano and jalapenos in a bowl until blended. Pour into a baking dish. Mix the panko bread crumbs and remaining parmigiano reggiano and sprinkle over the dip. Bake until bubbling on the sides and golden brown on top, about 15-20 minutes. Makes 8 servings. MARCH/APRIL 2013 • SOUTHERNJOURNALMAG.COM




by Diane Smith Most day dreams about perfect vacations begin with sunny beaches, palm trees and sparkling blue water. Throw in a lively night life, great food and plenty of family activities and that day dream really begins to call for action – turn in the vacation request and start making reservations…for Miami, Florida. Not only is Miami the land of sunshine and white sand beaches, it has also been described as “an effervescent mix of cultures, languages and heritage. It is 95


synonymous with recreation and leisure… sizzle and shopping.” In Miami you can swim, canoe, dive, snorkel, and kayak to your heart’s delight. Once you get tired of sunning, swimming and shopping, it’s time to take an ecoadventure through the Everglades. Charter an airboat ride, or take in a wildlife show. Feeling brave? Petting an alligator is even an option…but do proceed with caution. If you are looking for even more “hands on” action with wildlife, charter fishing

boats will make sure you get to go out and try to land the BIG ONE – or at least earn bragging rights about the one that got away. If fishing is not your sport of choice, the golf greens are abundant and beautiful. Once you tire of the sand traps, enjoy a swim with the dolphins or a stroll through a botanical garden. The natural attractions in this sub-tropical paradise are endless. Accommodations run from the frugal to the opulent. If you are traveling on a peanut butter budget, hostels can be had

for as little as $20.00 a night. If you’ve been saving your pennies for a big splurge, you can choose to sleep in luxury starting at just $750 a night. (Of course, there are options for the in-between budget as well.) Nightlife and adventure are plentiful. However - one word of caution if you decide to head for South Miami – many consider this area for “adults only.” It’s known for its gay and “clothing optional” beaches, as well as adult-themed museums and shops. For the sports fan(atics) looking for

souvenirs to commemorate the dream vacation, Miami has you covered – pick up a little something to show your team spirit for the Miami Dolphins, Florida Marlins, Miami Heat, Florida Panthers or the new professional soccer team, Miami FC. Shopping for unique gifts and décor is always a great way to spend a little time between swimming and looking for alligators in the ‘Glades. If you shop in the Art Deco Historic District, not only can you find cool buys, but you can also enjoy one of the

world’s greatest concentrations of 1930s style architecture. Or head to Little Havana for a little Latin flavor…including hand rolled cigars and authentic Cuban food. So – it’s time to turn in that day dream for a fun family fling in the hot Miami sun. For more information about accommodations, attractions, dining and transportation, visit one of the many online sites such as Miami or Point, click and start packing! MARCH/APRIL 2013 • SOUTHERNJOURNALMAG.COM


Our Services

Our Locations

Preventive Cardiology

6507 Professional Place


Vascular Ultrasound Laboratory


1050 Eagles Landing Parkway Suite 101

Echocardiography Laboratory

Locust Grove

4899 Bill Gardner Parkway

Nuclear Cardiology Laboratory


Heart Rhythm Clinic

115 Sumner Road

Ronald Freireich, M.D., F.A.C.C. • Kenneth S.Gimbel, M.D. F.A.C.C. • Krishna B. Mohan, M.D., F.A.C.C. • Kandathil M. Mathew, M.D., F.A.C.C., • Kuchela Reddy, M.D., F.A.C.C., • Barry R. Dix, M.D., F.A.C.C. • Devendra R. Koganti, M.D., F.A.C.C.• Abiodun G. Olatidoye, M.D., F.A.C.C. • M.N.Inba-Vazhvu, M.D., F.A.C.C. • Vikram R. Mandadi, M.D., F.A.C.C. • Duminda Wickramasekera, M.D., F.A.C.C . • Siva Mohan, M.D. F.A.C.C • Minnette Williams, M.D. F.A.C.C. •

Southern Heart Specialists is accredited by both


(Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories) and (Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Nuclear Medicine Laboratories).

The laboratories are recognized for their commitment to high quality patient care and provision of quality diagnostic testing. Cardiovascular Diagnosis And Treatment for over 35 years

770 991-2100

Board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012 • SOUTHERNJOURNALMAG.COM


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Southern Journal - March/April 2013  
Southern Journal - March/April 2013  

Featuring Mayor Evelyn Wynn-Dixon, a day at the Georgia Capitol and some of our local top attorneys.