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may/june 06

volume 2

number 3

contents departments 3 7 13 26 68

my perspective bulletpoints components of success philanthropic profile press

features 29

29 On The Cover: from left to right Doctors Eric and Paul Roddenberry, Melvin Kruger and Dr. D. T. Walton

Economic Impact: Preserving History in Macon

Historic preservation is not a new concept, but in recent years, it has become a nationwide movement. Tara Poole



Lots of Hugs for Clinic Volunteers

Macon Volunteer Clinic in its fourth year of providing healthcare for uninsured workers in Bibb County. Rick Maier


Keeping It in the Family

A family-owned and operated business, LE Schwartz & Son ushered in its fifth generation. Kristen Soles


The Beall’s Hill Buzz

Beall’s Hill Development Corporation brings back residents to the once dilapidated community. Jamie Caraway


Reclaimed Retirees

Corporations and Non-Profits are taking advantage of the talent and brain trust of would-be retirees. Katherine Walden


59 2

Legal Eagles and Their Vineville Nests

Nearly 100 years later, three of Vineville’s historic residences are offices for notable Macon law firms. Allyson Moody and James Fennell


my perspective

Who is Edgar? It was the bottom of the last inning of the machine pitch baseball semi-finals and we were down by 5 runs with two outs. Luke Slappy, son of Dr. Joey and Susie Slappy, was at bat. He had been on the disabled list for most of the season with a broken arm. Tensions were at their greatest. Luke got a hit and made it on base. This momentum changed the course of the game. Hunter, Tommy, Nick, Jacob, Jayce, and Carter all hit the ball and brought in runs. With this, the Brewers won the semifinals and went on to win the tournament finals. No matter win or lose you hope in these competitive situations that these young players use this as a learning experience. The coach’s moral to this conclusion was “never give up.” Even when things look their darkest – do not give up.

From my perspective this is one of the differentiating factors for an entrepreneur. When everyone else has thrown in the towel, a true entrepreneur will dig in his or her heels and pull against the greater forces and eventually overcome. Not to say they will win every battle but they usually win the war. Entrepreneurship is a state of mind and a work ethic. It goes beyond the boundaries of many of our understandings. Edgar is an entrepreneur - with ideas ahead of his time. Entrepreneurs put people to work – so does Edgar. Entrepreneurs are creative and innovative – so is Edgar. Entrepreneurs help give others opportunities they might never have been afforded – Edgar does this everyday. Who is Edgar? Edgar is a figurehead. You will learn more about him in the pages of address. Most importantly David Canady with Chef Jim Palmeri, Edgar represents what is best about business in an entrepreneur in the culinary and hospitality industry. Macon. He is only alive in the heart and minds of the individuals who run his inspiration created years ago. As an entrepreneur he instilled an excitement into others that has manifested into the perpetuation and expansion of his vision. Edgar didn’t give up. He instilled this philosophy into those he helped start new lives. His impact today is part of a 4.8 million dollar project in Central Georgia that will help bring new business to Macon and train individuals for a career. Edgar’s story is cutting edge, but not unique to those who operate in this entrepreneurial style in our community everyday. Whether an entrepreneur or not, the lessons are still the same. Never lose sight of your goal and never give up. This philosophy applies to business, non-profits, government, religious and educational institutions and so on – even your personal life. Help us identify those in our community that never give up and make our community a better place. These are the kinds of individuals who fill the pages of address.

To our mutual success,

David S. Canady Publisher, address Macon


Neighbors helping SunTrust salutes the 2006 Women of Distinction Recipients We all play a part in making our community a better place to live and raise our families. SunTrust employees are proud to join forces with our neighbors who unselfishly give of their time and talents to make a real difference. SunTrust honors these exceptional women for the tremendous work they do for all of us.

Susan Dykes Holmes

Bettye O. Hutchings

A seventh-generation native of Jasper County, Susan Holmes, has been a resident of the community that she now leads for 63 years. Elected as Mayor of Monticello in 1996, Susan has represented her community in both local and state arenas for years prior to holding office. Her list of community involvement is long including serving as Vice Chair of the Georgia Development Council and Past President of the Georgia Municipal Association. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Georgia Academy of Economic Development, Griffin Technical College Foundation and the Northeast Georgia Regional Development Center. Susan was named by Georgia Trend Magazine to their 100 Most Influential Georgians list and was named Monticello-Jasper County Citizen of the Year. Susan has been instrumental in the renovation of historic downtown Monticello. Married for 44 years, Susan has three children and eight grandchildren. Her personal philosophy on life – “There’s no limit to what can be accomplished if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

Bettye Hutchings moved to Macon in 1949 to be a teacher. She has since had a successful career as a Funeral Director and community activist. She has been an active member of the League of Women Voters of Macon since 1967 and was associated with the League of Women Voters of Georgia, Inc. until 1975. First appointed by Governor George Busbee to the State Crime Commission of Georgia in 1975, Bettye found herself serving on numerous advisory councils through the mid1990s including the Advisory Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the Governor’s Task Force on Jail/Prison Overcrowding. From 1985 to 1987 she served as Chairman of the Georgia Board of Corrections and received a Pioneer in Law Enforcement Award. In 1987 she was appointed to the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles by Governor Joe Frank Harris, serving two terms until 1994. Bettye has 6 children and 11 grandchildren and is an active member of the Washington Avenue Presbyterian Church.

SunTrust Bank Member FDIC. ©2006, SunTrust Banks, Inc. SunTrust and “Seeing beyond money” are registered service marks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. mga31923-06

neighbors... As honored by the Girl Scouts of Middle Georgia, Inc.

Jaime Kaplan

Charlotte McMullan

Betty Sweet Simmons

Known for her success on the tennis court, Jaime Kaplan’s long-time dedication to her community should not be overshadowed. As event organizer for a variety of charity auctions and tournaments, Jaime has helped to raise more than $1.8 million dollars for organizations like the Association for Retarded Citizens, Macon Rescue Mission, The Children’s Hospital and Hospice. From 1983 to 1989, Jaime played on the WTA tour playing in five Wimbledons, four US and French Opens and one Australian Open. She won five Doubles’ titles and defeated top ten players Katerina Maleeva and Manuela Maleeva. In 1996, The Macon Telegraph named her one of the area’s “Top Ten Influential Sports Figures of the Decade.” In May of 2005, she was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. She currently serves as President of the Middle Georgia Tennis Foundation and Trustee and Special Events Chair for the Southern Tennis Patrons Foundation. Jaime is the Tennis Director at Healy Pointe Country Club and has built one of the finest tennis programs in the area.

Charlotte McMullan has had an impact on the Central Georgia community both professionally and personally. In her 35 years in Macon, Charlotte has been a lot of “firsts.” She became the first woman CPA in Macon as well as the first female member of the Macon/Bibb County Industrial Authority, the first female chairman of the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce, and the first woman officer of the Shield Club. Charlotte has also dedicated her energies and talents to political and social issues in her community. She was a founding and past board member of the Crisis Line of Macon/Bibb County and Adopt-A-Role Model. She is a member of Career Women’s Network and was a 1993 recipient of the organization’s Women of Achievement award. Currently, she serves as the Chairman of the Executive Forum of Mercer University, a member of the Board of Governors of the Grand Opera House, member of the Executive Committee of NewTown Macon and treasurer of the Middle Georgia Coliseum Authority. Charlotte is very active with the Vineville Neighborhood Association and a “clandestine women’s power organization.” Charlotte has 3 children and a three-year-old grandchild.

A Jacksonville, Fla. native, Betty Sweet and her husband Bill moved to Macon in 1938 and almost instantly became a staple in the Macon arts community. She and her husband were charter members of the Middle Georgia Historical Society, now Historic Macon. She has been actively involved with the Macon Arts Alliance, the Junior League of Macon, the Museum of Arts and Sciences, Theatre Macon, Macon Little Theater, the Hay House, Friends of the Cannonball House, the Community Concert Association, the Macon Symphony, and Mulberry Street Methodist Church. Her love for the Macon community has no boundaries. She has brought people from all walks of life together to improve and unite our community. Betty Sweet even served as cookie chairman for the Girl Scouts and completely filled her dining room with cookies from ceiling to floor and wall to wall. Today she serves on the board of the Georgia Children’s Museum and the Tubman Museum and has also been honored with two awards from Macon Arts Alliance. Betty Sweet has 3 children.


address Delivering Components of Success

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Photography Ken Krakow Photography Contributing Writers David S. Canady Jamie Caraway Rick Maier Kathleen Medlin Allyson Moody Tara Poole Sarah Smith Kristen Soles Katherine Walden Dot Williams Ron Williams

address Macon is published bi-monthly by Imedia, Inc. Copyright address Macon 2006. Reproduction in whole or part without permission is prohibited. Advertising rates available on request. The publishers are not responsible for the comments of authors or for unsolicited manuscripts. Distribution is to business executives and developing young professionals in Bibb and surrounding counties. All manuscripts, photos, drawings, or letters will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes, and as such are subject to address Macon’s unrestricted right to edit or comment editorially.

Macon’s Business Magazine

Imedia, Inc. is pleased to offer bulletpoints as a free service to our readers for corporate and community promotions.

Middle Georgia Food Bank Celebrates 25th Anniversary and Move to New Facility The Middle Georgia Community Food Bank (MGCFB) held a ribbon cutting and reception to celebrate the opening of their new 31,740 square feet facility on Ocmulgee East Boulevard. Executive Director Ron Raleigh is excited about the move. “This moves enables us to increase our ability to get the food and supplies to all of Middle Georgia more efficiently and take on more product for distribution. We are grateful for everyone involved in this monumentous task including our Board, donors and patrons.” The explicit purpose of the Food Bank is the salvaging of surplus food. MGCFB solicits, transports, sorts, stores, and distributes millions of pounds of food every year to those in need in Middle Georgia through its participating charitable, nonprofit agencies in 24 counties of Middle Georgia. Through this service and its in-house programs, the MGCFB is a vital link in the distribution of food. And saves agencies millions of dollars in food costs.

bulletpoints• business ventures • events • awards • sales reports • moving • new products Coldwell Banker Commercial Eberhardt & Barry, Inc. Earns Number One Office Award in State of Georgia Coldwell Banker Commercial Eberhardt & Barry, Inc. was named the 2005 Number One Office in Closed Adjusted Gross Commission Income in the State of Georgia, and 19th world wide for Coldwell Banker Commercial®. Alex Perriello, President and CEO of the Real Estate Franchise Group of Cendant Corporation, presented the award to the partners, Arthur Barry, III (Circle of Distinction, Platinum), Hal Harper (Circle of Distinction, Bronze), Miki Folsom (Circle of Distinction, Silver), and Stephanie Mauldin (Circle of Distinction, Bronze), of Coldwell Banker Commercial Eberhardt & Barry, Inc. at the company’s annual Global Commercial Conference, held recently at the Downtown Marriott in San Francisco, California. More than 900 Coldwell Banker Commercial owners, brokers, sales associates, managers, and employees attended the event, which also commemorated the 100th anniversary of the brand’s founding. “Coldwell Banker Commercial Eberhardt &

Macon Meets Governor Perdue

Barry, Inc. exemplifies the standards of excel-

The Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce served as host for the Bibb Delegation at the Historic Freight Depot in Atlanta for this year’s Macon Day and Taste of Macon. Participants visited state agencies around the Capitol to thank them for their economic development efforts in Macon and Bibb County. Pictured below, one of the highlights of the event, the annual picture with the Governor.

offices are known,” said Perriello. “I am hon-

lence for which Coldwell Banker Commercial ored to present Coldwell Banker Commercial Eberhardt & Barry, Inc. with the distinction of the number one office in the State of Georgia .”


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Fickling & Co. Participates in the $ 6.8 mil Sale of The Hamptons of Perry Fickling & Company was involved in the $ 6.8 million sale of The Hamptons of Perry, located at 395 Perry Parkway in Perry, GA. Larry Crumbley and Larry Drinkard, Commercial Real Estate Sales Experts for Fickling & Company, represented the Seller in this transaction. Macon, GA-based North Hampton Development Inc. sold the 152-unit property to Columbus, GA-based Mulberry-Hampton Place Apartments LLC, who will assume the leasing and property management functions. The property contains 19 buildings, totaling 142,856 sq ft, and features one- and two-bedroom residences ranging from 750 to 1,070 sq ft. The Hamptons of Perry apartment community was developed in 1997 by Fickling & Company’s Land & Development Division.

Stroud and Company’s Wins Big Stroud and Company has been presented several awards in the prestigious “Build Georgia” competition. The Georgia Branch of the Associated General Contractors sponsors this annual competition to recognize leaders in the construction industry. Stroud and Company’s construction of a new facility for Star Software placed first in the “New Construction Design/Build” category for firms whose annual volume range from $5 – 20 million. Additionally, the new facility constructed for Spillers Orthodontics received honorable mention. Both of these projects are located in Warner Robins and were completed in 2005.

Warren Associates, Inc. receives two Prestigious Safety Awards Warren Associates, Inc. Commercial Building Contractors, recently received two prestigious safety excellence awards from the Associated General Contractors of America. The AGCA presented the Macon-based building contractor a certificate of commendation for a "zero incident" rate in 2005. The award was in the category of 50,000 work hours and over. The Georgia Branch AGC also awarded the company a certificate of commendation for "Safety Excellence 2005," recognizing its record of no lost time accidents during the year. C. Warren Selby, Jr., president of Warren Associates, accepted the certificates at the annual Georgia Branch AGC meeting on May 13 in Amelia Island, Florida.

Fickling & Company Wins Best Theme The Fickling and Company team of realtors' tent won "Best Theme" at the Amercian Cancer Society's 2006 Wonderful World of Relay: Wishing for a Cure event held May 19th and 20th at Lake Tobosofkee. The Fickling theme was "Fickling House of Magic SOLD on A Cure!"


Frank B. Kelly, M.D., Addresses 2006 Fellowship Class of Orthopedic Surgeons Dr. Frank B Kelly, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon with Forsyth Street Orthopedic Surgery & Rehabilitation Centers in Macon and Warner Robins, recently gave the welcoming address to over 2000 new members of the 2006 Fellowship class of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons in Chicago. Dr. Kelly has served on the Board of Directors of the 20,000-member organization since 2003. He is also the newly selected Chair of the AAOS Communications Cabinet. In this position Dr. Kelly will provide oversight of the Academy’s communication programs to members, patients, and public. Dr. Kelly is completing his 28th year in the private practice of orthopedic surgery in Macon. He currently serves as President of the Bibb County Medical Society. He is a Past President of the Georgia Orthopedic Society and is presently a member of its Board of Directors.

Claxton Crossing will undergo big changes with Fickling & Co. and Wangard Partners Claxton Crossing Shopping Center was recently purchased by Wangard Partners, Inc. of Waukesha, WI. The new owners engaged Fickling & Co. to provide Property Management & Leasing services for the center. Fickling & Co. will oversee a renovation project in an effort to reintroduce the shopping center to the market. Fickling & Co. plans to open their Dublin area Commercial Real Estate office at Claxton Crossing, Spring 2006. This property is located on the corner of Claxton Dairy Rd & Hillcrest Dr., in a high profile, high traffic area, close to Hwy 80 & Hwy 441. Nearby neighbors include Carl A. Vinson V.A. Medical Center, Fairview Park Hospital & the Industrial Park for Dublin/Laurens County. “The tenants will truly benefit from the prime location & high visibility,” says Patty Burns, Sales & Leasing Expert for Fickling & Co. New tenants can customize their space, ranging from 1,200 to 38,000 sq ft. For more information, please contact Patty Burns (478) 746-9421


Georgia Power and CGTC Sign Co-op Agreement

Warren Associates, Inc. Wins State Award for Safety Excellence

A co-op agreement between Georgia Power and Central Georgia Technical College was recently signed. The co-op program will prepare students for a career as an Instrumentation and Controls (I&C) Technician. Four students will be selected from CGTC's Industrial Systems Technology and/or Electronics programs, and each will alternate one quarter at CGTC with one quarter of paid work experience at Georgia Power's Plant Branch and Plant Scherer. To be eligible to apply, students must have at least a 3.00 GPA and attended CGTC for at least one full quarter.

Warren Associates, Inc., commercial building contractor, has been presented the Award of Excellence from the Georgia Department of Labor, Safety Engineering Division, in recognition of exceptional workplace safety in 2005. Throughout the year, the company's employees experienced no lost work days due to a workplace injury, illness or fatality. This is the second year Warren Associates has won this award. The award was presented through Project Safe Georgia, a volunteer coalition of Georgia business, government and academic professionals who work together to provide information to address the safety, health and environmental concerns of all businesses within the state.

SSK Agent, Team Are President's Premier A sales associate from Coldwell Banker SSK, Realtors’ Warner Robins office and a sales team from the company’s Macon office earned membership in the Coldwell Banker International President's Premier for their performances in 2005. Only the top one percent of the more than 126,000 sales associates worldwide in the Coldwell Banker System qualified for this distinguished award. Attaining President’s Premier recognition were Trinette Rosales, a sales associate with the Warner Robins office, and Sharon Falls and James Kersey, members of TeamWork from the Macon office.


BellSouth Earns Top Honors from J. D. Power and Associates BellSouth ranks highest in satisfying business customers with local and long distance telephone service, according to J. D. Power and Associates 2006 Major Provider Business Telecommunications Voice Services Study. This study measured satisfaction among small, midsize and large business customers in several key areas. BellSouth ranks highest in overall satisfaction among both local service and long distance service providers. "J. D. Power and Associates surveys are well-recognized indicators of service excellence," said Terry Smith, Regional Manager-External Affairs, BellSouth. "BellSouth has a passionate focus on customer service and is dedicated to delivering unmatched product performance and network reliability to businesses. This survey is consistent with Company strategy and recognizes the hard work of our employees, including the over 500 hundred here in the Macon and Warner Robins area.

Lavery & Company is now Choice Group Lavery & Company, a marketing, advertising and public relations firm that began business in Macon 19 years ago, has changed its name to Choice Group. “After a recent internal strategic market planning session we came to the conclusion that we needed to consolidate and simplify our message. So now Lavery & Company is Choice Group. The new name better reflects the comprehensive services we offer,” Lynn Lavery stated. Choice Group creates and implements internal and external communications for businesses. Services offered by Choice Group include (but are not limited to) strategic market planning, print and web design, and through their Choice Premiums division promotional products. While Choice Group focuses on clients throughout the southeast, their Choice Premiums division, with offices in Macon and Atlanta, serves clients nationwide.

Security Bank grows to 15 locations in Middle Georgia Security Bank has grown to 15 banking locations in Bibb, Houston and Jones Counties with the recent conversion of Rivoli BanCorp, Inc., according to Rett Walker, President and Chief Executive Officer of Security Bank Corporation. “The Rivoli conversion was completed over the weekend of March 18-19 and we opened our doors on Monday, March 20th as the newly expanded bank,” he said. “We welcome our newest customers from Rivoli Bank and are proud of the wonderful employees who are joining Security Bank,” Walker added. The newest locations are at 5980 Zebulon Road and 1535 Bass Road in Macon. The bank also added former Rivoli offices in Spalding County and Oconee County, Georgia. Nine of the Middle Georgia locations have Saturday banking hours, including Forsyth Road, Pio Nono, Riverside and Shurling Drive in Macon; Houston Lake, Highway 96 and Perry in Houston County; and Gray in Jones County.

Fickling & Company teams up with Forest Ridge Apartments Fickling & Company is pleased to announce that they were appointed Third Party Managing Agent for Forest Ridge Apartments on Forest Hill Road. “We are honored to take on this new account. The property has an excellent on-site staff, and we are confident that the owners will be very happy they chose Fickling & Company” says Susan Cooper, Director of Multi-Family Services. Fickling & Company, Inc. has been setting the standards for Property Management Services since it’s founding in 1939. This organization excels in all phases of Real Estate including Property Management, Commercial Sales, Leasing, Consulting and Development, and operates in a wide variety of highly diversified markets throughout the Southeast.

Geotechnical & Environmental Consultants, Inc. Opens Atlanta Branch Office Geotechnical & Environmental Consultants (GEC) is pleased to announce that John A. Dietrichs, formerly President of SafTech Consulting, Inc., has joined our team as Branch Manager of the new GEC Atlanta environmental office. With over 25 years of experience in the fields of environmental remediation, consulting and training, John will continue to provide asbestos surveys, project design, construction management, operations & maintenance program management, and on-site training. John also has experience in mold assessment and remediation, planning and coordinating Infection Control Risk Assessments for medical facilities, and development of Emergency Response Plans and Integrated Contingency Plans for large manufacturing facilities. In addition to the Atlanta environmental office, GEC has offices in Macon and Columbus, offering Geotechnical and Environmental Engineering and Construction Quality Control Services.


components of success address Macon is a champion for business and delivers components of success for business, economic development, quality of life and lifestyles. Discover the products, services and resources available in our community and benefit from our collective success. Photography by Ken Krakow Visit online at






next generation









After Five Making Time When Win Roshell moved to Macon in 2000, there were services he needed and had no idea how to access them. He asked other professionals if there were any vehicles in place where he could personally meet a physician, dentist, or barber. When the answer was ‘no,’ he thought about how many others moving into area might have the same transitional issues. Roshell then conceived the idea of the AFTER FIVE Professional Networking Association. Since he is a civic minded individual, he wanted the organization to not only be a way for professionals to meet and network, but also to provide needed community services. AFTER FIVE meets monthly and is open to any professional or business owner. The organization uses e-mail, radio and print media to spread the word about meetings and events. The AFTER FIVE’s purpose is to empower individuals, families, youth and small businesses using four elements: business development, youth enrichment, economic positioning and political outreach. Roshell strongly believes his organization can assist underserved groups build strong, locally based businesses and become significant components of the marketplace. In addition to providing networking opportunities, AFTER FIVE partners with businesses and organizations to give training and education for underserved populations. Some of the programs they currently support are Business Expo and Greek Fest with Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and Macon State College, Lens Crafters Eyeglass Drive for Needy, Share-a-Smile Dental Health Scholarship, Voter Registration Block Party and Candidate Meet and Greet, Quarterly Breakfast and Weekend Brunch Series, Professional Etiquette Development Program, and the Financial Literacy Program. The Dr. D.T. Walton, Jr. Share-A-Smile Dental Health Scholarship Program addresses low self-esteem and lack of access to dental health care for individuals in our community. 14

AFTER FIVE created partnerships with Northside Family Dentistry and Orthodontic Care of Georgia to provide dental and orthodontic care for sixteen students who show academic success and financial need. “We created these partnerships with these dental and orthodontic practices to address this disparity among high school students,” explains Roshell. “This is a tangible way to give back to our community.” In February, AFTER FIVE celebrated its sixth anniversary by hosting its annual black tie gala. They recognize individuals and businesses who share their goal of helping others succeed. This year John Shoemaker of Riverside Ford received the Business of the Year Award and Ann Callaway of Macon Remax Realtors received the Art of Networking Award. “John Shoemaker has supported the concept of AFTER FIVE from the very beginning and he is a wonderful example of a successful businessman who lives to make a difference in our community,” says Roshell. “Ann Callaway comes to monthly events regularly and makes evident the success of her business in real estate with increases in her sales.” Roshell says AFTER FIVE will be a vital part of the community as long as there are wonderful business partners, business owners and a need to help people. Kathleen Medlin



At Bat, at Work If you are familiar with any of Macon’s local baseball celebrities, then Jay Cranford is a well-known name to you. In 1989, he graduated from Stratford Academy with a scholarship to play third base at Middle Georgia College in Cochran. After two years he moved to the University of Georgia where he played until his junior year. Then Cranford received the call all serious ballplayers dream of – to play professional baseball. From 1992 to1996, Cranford played professional baseball with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Committed to graduating from college with a degree in exercise physiology, he returned to the University of Georgia for a quarter each year until he finished. Through his involvement in sports, Cranford thought about using his degree to become a physical therapist, but he had a family connection to chiropractic care. His grandfather, Dr. Dan Kelleher, and uncle, Dr. Todd Kelleher, were both established chiropractors in Central Georgia.

From 1997 to 2001, Cranford attended Life University for Chiropractic Care in Marietta, and when he graduated he joined his uncle in practice in Gray. His wife, Laurie Lee Horne Cranford, worked as a third-grade teacher at Sonny Carter Elementary School. The commute from Gray was difficult for them and they had a child on the way. “If you have a practice in a community, you need to live in that community,” says Cranford. The family decided to settle in Macon. Baseball again offered Cranford a unique opportunity, when in 2004 he struck a friendship with Dr. Carlos Giron. Giron’s son was on the little league team Cranford coached at Vine-Ingle Baseball Park. Giron is an anesthesiologist by training at the Georgia Pain Institute. The Georgia Pain Institute is a pain management clinic committed to providing patients with a full spectrum of services. Giron and physicians, Dr. Julian Earls and Dr. Grace Duque-Dizon, provide interventional pain management services. Physical therapists work with patients on maintaining mobility, strength and endurance. Neuropsychologists are available to assist patients with the emotional aspects of coping with chronic or acute pain. “A doctor of chiropractic care specializes in spinal and extremity manipulation of joints and performs therapies with patients to help them regain or maintain mobility,” says Cranford. He operates as a private practitioner in cooperation with the Georgia Pain Institute for patients interested in chiropractic therapy. Patients who experience chronic or acute pain due to a sudden injury or a deteriorative disease are frustrated with their condition and many have exhausted other options before they present themselves to Cranford. He says most of the patients he treats suffer from low back pain, neck pain or headaches. After listening to Cranford speak to patients on the phone and in the waiting area, his kind manner and compassionate nature are evident and it is obvious they trust him. Even Cranford doesn’t know what future opportunities baseball may provide him. But, right now he is proud to be working in the Central Georgia community, treating people with his special kind of chiropractic care, raising a family and coaching children in baseball – a game he loves and a game that gave him many advantages. Kathleen Medlin



next generation

Three Cheers for the Home Team Windy Blanks never met his great grandfather, Luther Williams, before Williams died in the late 1930’s. Blanks never met his maternal great, great grandfather, Augustus Octavious Bacon, either. But Blanks will be the first to say that his family’s legacy is still with him and the city of Macon today. Luther Williams, most noted for the baseball stadium that marquees his name, was the president of L.W. Banking Company and served as Macon’s mayor (off and on) between 1921 and 1929. “He actually owned a baseball team when he came to Macon,” Blanks says. “…He was always a big baseball fan. He brought the team to Macon. I think that’s why they named the baseball field after him later in life.” During Williams’ term, the Macon City Auditorium was constructed and the baseball field was named after him. Augustus Bacon was a United States senator and Baconsfield Park is his namesake. The park once held a zoo, park, swimming pool and garden club. Despite his longing, Williams’ family didn’t carry on the banking tradition. Not until Blanks came along, that is. Blanks oversees construction loans and construction financing as well as real estate at downtown’s Colonial Bank; he has lived in Macon his entire life. Blanks was a charter member of Macon


Junor College – now Macon State College– and obtained his B.B.A in marketing and management at West Georgia College – now The University of West Georgia. “I just like Macon. I always have and I’ve been here all my life,” Blanks explains. “I thought it would be a great place to raise my kids, and they’re raising their kids here.” The banker has two sons, one daughter, one step-daughter and two grandchildren. Like his grandfather, Blanks has an affinity for baseball, especially Macon baseball. He says because of Williams’ influence on the sport in the area, Blanks was always a season ticket holder. “For about eight years in a row, I was about the first person in the gate every year on opening day,” he says. “I’d get there real early and wait, and it was a lot of fun.” Blanks was also able to throw the first pitch during several games because of Williams. Blanks is looking forward to helping reintroduce his grandfather’s passion to Macon. “We’re getting baseball back, thank goodness,” he says with excitement in his voice. “I love baseball so much, and Luther Williams did, too. And my granddaddy would go to the baseball park every Sunday.” Baseball and banking might not have much in common, but the two certainly help tie Blanks and Williams together. “I mean, it’s just kind of cool – because of the banking part and because of the baseball part,” Blanks says. “I’m the only one in the family who stayed in banking.” Blanks keeps a family scrapbook full of photos and newspaper clippings about Williams and other members of his family and fondly notes: “He always had a flower in his lapel.” Jamie Caraway

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School Days Downtown The roots of Ed Walsh’s family tree might lead you downtown and down Orange Terrace to Mount de Sales Academy, where his mother, himself and daughter attended middle and high school. Walsh, president of The Summit Group in Macon, chairs the Building and Grounds Committee at the 130 year old academy. Walsh and his mother graduated from the Mount de Sales, and his daughter, Katherine, is entering the 10th grade at the downtown private school. Walsh co-founded the Summit Group, a company specializing in commercial real estate, over ten years ago, making him a prime candidate for the Mount De Sales committee he chairs. In his two year tenure as chair, the committee has performed an inventory of all buildings, done a consolidation site plan that illustrated all buildings, parking space and land parcels that the school owns but isn’t using, and performed an audit of all building roofs and heating and air systems. A well-known problem the school faces is parking, and by forming the master plan Walsh says the school will be better equipped to make the right decision as far as planning is concerned. Kathleen Prebble, Mount de Sales Academy president since 2002, says Walsh’s involvement plays a crucial role in the Mount de Sales board. “Ed has been very instrumental in helping us to look at our footprint,” Prebble says. She notes Walsh’s expertise in real estate as well as familial ties to the school is beneficial to the position. “All of those things mixed together make him a strong person to help direct and guide us,” she says. “Any decisions that are made are made by the board in its entirety. He has helped make the committee a very active part of the board.” The school’s proximity to downtown, along with its Catholic roots, is probably its most unique feature. “Mount de Sales has historically been a downtown school. We felt that to be true to our mission we should remain downtown,” Prebble explains. “We didn’t feel we should leave behind the city that helped foster our growth.” Though thoughts of moving the school have been addressed throughout the years, Walsh says the recent construction of Sheridan Hall and the Zuver Performing Arts Center has secured the school’s position downtown. “Mount de Sales is a unique school to start with, and being downtown makes it even more unique,” Walsh says. “We like creating the historic campus. We would like to be a small version of Mercer’s campus in the future.”

In order to keep close ties with the downtown area, Prebble notes partnerships made between the school, students and downtown entities, such as retail shops, restaurants and philanthropic organizations. “The plan is to definitely be in sync with the historic nature and to be compatible with the neighborhood and work together in town. We want to have a partnership with all of the organizations that try to make things happen here in the best way for everybody,” she says. To Walsh, the school is like a member of his family. “It’s so funny, because my mother has gone up (to Mount De Sales) and said, ‘I was in this building.’ It really is neat to be able to look back at all the photographs and see all of the old buildings. This school has so much history.” Walsh says. Jamie Caraway




Sweet Deals It takes more than sugar and spice to run a successful confectionary, and after years of work, testing and tasting, it seems as though the husband and wife owners of Petit Sweets on Forsyth Road have it down to a T. The couple is living proof that opposites attract. Emily graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Speech Pathology while John headed to Atlanta’s Georgia Tech to study and earn a degree in Industrial Engineering. The couple married after graduating from their respective schools and stayed in Atlanta to live and work. After having children, though, the two felt home sweet home calling and moved back to Macon. “It’s always been her dream to have a creative outlet, and she likes to bake,” says John of the inspiration to start Petit Sweets. “She started off with the truffles, and she had done that for Christmas ever since I knew her.” After realizing the truffles were a marketable, and tasty, product, Emily experimented with other recipes until perfecting brownies, sugar cookies and petti fours. Before they knew it, the two had made recipes for success, but that doesn’t mean they were rolling in the dough. Baking was the easy part. After all, what Emily baked, John tasted, making for fun Sunday evenings. The hardest part, however, was understanding the business behind the baking, and Emily says her creative genius didn’t help with “all the different things you have to deal with that have nothing to do with the baking, and nothing to do with the logo and the creativity and the product.” Another significant, and at times frustrating, dilemma was lack of information. “One of the other problems we had is that we couldn’t find any research on what we do here,” Emily says. “There’s bakeries, and there’s bread bakeries, but there’s not a lot of places that do everything from scratch. We had to feel our way around to find suppliers. Sometimes we still have problems finding suppliers of ingredients over the years. We always use high quality ingredients.” After realizing it takes more than creativity to start and operate a successful business, the team solicited the help Macon’s Small Business Development Center, run by the University of Georgia. There, they found information that all small business owners should know. “We probably didn’t use them as much as we should have until we really started trying to start the business,” John says. “They would do anything they could to try and figure out the answer for us. They were very helpful.” 22

The busy season runs from Halloween to Easter, and during the summer the store offers new products and ideas. Customers use Petit Sweets for birthdays, bridal and baby showers, and other special occasions that might need a sweet tooth fix. John, who plans to return to industrial engineering the near future, says the Petit Sweet staff has ensured the businesses’ success. Though mostly high school and college students, the staff has learned the baking and decorating ropes from Emily. “Very few of them had any experience whatsoever,” Emily says. Now, they can operate the store without Emily and John’s constant supervision. John says despite the initial frustrations, Petit Sweets has been a profitable, and delicious, adventure. “Usually, when we’re in recipe development mode, we’ll put on about ten pounds,” he says, laughing. Jamie Caraway

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King Sting The Macon Knights arena football team enters its sixth season in Central Georgia with Derek Stingley as head coach for the first full season. Ready to build on the momentum of last year’s successful turnaround, his enthusiasm for the season is obvious. “A Knights game is three parties in one. You’re bound to have a good time,” boasts Stingley. “You have the pre-game tailgating followed by the game and the party within the game with the music and cheerleaders.” Known as Sting, the coach’s attitude about coaching is far from a party atmosphere. On the contrary, his coaching style is built upon discipline and respect. “I am a players’ coach; if you do something right, I’m going to be the first one to say,” he

explains. “If you mess up, I’m also going to be the first one to say ‘did we practice that?’ or ‘what was that?’” Football has always been a part of Stingley’s life. His father is Darryl Stingley, a former NFL player, who was paralyzed during an accident in a 1978 pre-season game. “When I look back, I have two fathers - one before the accident and one after,” says Stingley. “The father who taught me how to play sports and then another who needed me to do everything for him.” Baseball was Stingley’s sport of choice during high school and college, and he played for the Philadelphia Phillies from 1993 to 1995. In 1996, he joined the arena football league and played for six different teams until 2004. In 2005, he changed paths again by accepting a coaching position for the Knights. For the first half of the season he coordinated the defensive line. Then, after some organizational changes, he was offered the head coach position. “At first I was overwhelmed with all the responsibilities,” admits Stingley. “Not only did I have to think about the defense, but now I had to think about the offense, game attendance, player living arrangements and everything.” The arena football season runs April through July with playoffs in August. The drive to coach a successful team is one of the characteristics Stingley returns with for 2006 and he values what the Knights do for the community. “I want the community to know who the players are under these helmets,” he explains. “I want them to go out and set an example for kids. These guys are professionals and have college educations.” The Macon Knights have proven themselves to have more than just entertainment value for Central Georgians. They are involved in the Ronald McDonald House and the Macon Rescue Mission and are also interested in community groups and support their promotions. Their new fundraiser project allows churches, schools and clubs to sell football game tickets for a percentage of the profit. Stingley handpicked his coaches and players for this season and expects nothing less than a winning attitude from them. He says that Charles Swindoll’s commentary “Attitude” sums up his personal and professional principles. This positive attitude is bound to be an exciting element to the 2006 Macon Knights season. Kathleen Medlin


Jim Palmeri, Executive Chef, in the Polly Long Denton Kitchen at Goodwill Industries.

Edgar in Chef’s Clothing When Jim Palmeri stumbled across the job posting for the VP of Goodwill hospitality and executive chef, he thought for sure it was a mistake. The world traveler chef has won accolades for his culinary contributions at the Hyatt to the Four Seasons from Coral Gables to Grand Cayman to Chicago. He’s been featured in Esquire Magazine and his resume boasts far more glamorous spots on the map than Macon, Ga. But when he inquired about the position, he was so overwhelmed by what Macon’s Goodwill Industries wanted to accomplish, he decided this was just the challenge he had been searching for. Palmeri’s part in this 4.8 million dollar project is to oversee hospitality for the new Goodwill Career and Conference Center. The new facilities will include the Polly Long Denton Hospitality and Culinary Arts School and Edgar’s, a fullservice restaurant and catering services named in honor of Goodwill’s founder, Dr. Edgar J. Helms. “Not knowing at the time, Edgar Helms set up a system where he provided employment for individuals at the time, cobblers and shoe repairers. Those industries are a dying art, but hospitality is the fastest growing industry in the United States,” says Palmeri. Using their founder’s early work as a stepping stone, the project is Goodwill of Middle Georgia’s answer to Macon’s overwhelmingly discouraging unemployment statistics. “This is a new chapter to open up for training venues. It offers people locally an opportunity to develop the talents they have here in Macon and then move on to other opportunities.” “Chef Palmeri was chosen because he has a balanced, mature business sense, developed from his experience as a chef at some of the best hotels in America,” says President/CEO of Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA Jim Stiff. “His astute operational acumen is complimented by a deep desire to see others discover their poten-

tial and be their best. Chef has a unique understanding of Goodwill’s human and economic development mission, and I believe he will play a key leadership role in introducing to Goodwill organizations worldwide how hospitality/culinary arts can be a new core “double bottom line” (a business with a social mission) enterprise that creates new economic energy one job at a time. Chef Palmeri is a humble man who is prepared to do great things.” Not only will Palmeri bring his 20 years of experience in the hospitality business to the table, but his enthusiasm for the project. “The culinary school is very exciting for me because it gives us the ability to train on different levels. We’re going to start certificate programs for people with GEDS or high school diplomas, then a two-year degree program, working with a well known culinary arts college to partner with them as a sister facility where credits transfer. That’s the newest part for me; I can train people and feel like I’m getting something back. The catering part is something I’m already pretty familiar with in hotels.” Palmeri’s new workspace, so to speak, will be broken into three areas. The catering and convention services include an atrium that holds 1600, then smaller rooms that hold 10 to 100. In addition, Goodwill will be developing off site catering. A key part of the project that will capture public attention is Edgar’s, a bistro of fine dining and style, “but not stuffiness,” according to Palmeri. By November, Edgar’s, which will seat 125, will be open for lunch and dinner on the Goodwill campus. The final part is the classroom, equipped with a one-wall window, where people can observe a real business environment. “This will give students insight into what it’s like to watch a real kitchen while banquets are going on. I think that’s pretty exciting too.” Sarah Smith Photography by Ken Krakow

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Economic Impact Historic Preservation

Preserving History in Macon

“Preservation makes good dollars and cents because it puts rehabilitated houses back on the tax roles. Preserved homes also not only hold their prices, but actually appraise at higher selling prices.” Bette Lou Brown

After Ask Bette Lou Brown, executive director of the Historic Macon Foundation, what her passion in life is and, without hesitation, she will tell you it is revitalizing Macon’s historic neighborhoods. “Macon has unbelievable housing stock in these neighborhoods,” she explains. “Making our neighborhoods walkable again so the people living in them can know their neighbors is extremely important to me.” Historic preservation is not a new concept, but in recent years, it has become a nationwide movement—a movement to save our heritage and our uniqueness, to save the qualities that make our communities the special places we call home. Alive and thriving here in Macon, this movement is making significant financial impacts on the local economy thanks to the efforts of the Historic Macon Foundation, Macon’s agent for historic preservation. One such financial impact is the Foundation’s neighborhood revitalization projects. According to Brown, neigh30

Before borhood revitalization restores the historic fabric of our cities, brings new stakeholders and homeowners into historic neighborhoods, increases public safety, and builds the tax base of the community. “Preservation makes good dollars and cents because it puts rehabilitated houses back on the tax roles,” she explains. “Preserved homes also not only hold their prices, but actually appraise at higher selling prices.” Brown explains that the Macon Heritage Foundation would buy dilapidated homes fifteen years ago for roughly $20,000, rehabilitate them and resell them for $70,000 to $150,000. “Those same houses today appraise for $200,000 or more,” she says. Beginning with Pleasant Hill in 1985 and Tindall Heights in 1992, Macon’s historic neighborhoods are being saved and transformed once again into vital communities through the combined efforts of the Macon Heritage Foundation and the Middle Georgia Historical Society, which joined forces in 2003 to become the Historic Macon

Foundation. “In the early 1990s, it became clear to us that something had to be done to save and restore all of Macon’s historic neighborhoods,” reflects Brown. The first official neighborhood revitalization project was Huguenin Heights, which was an area of high crime, prostitution, drugs and rundown houses. Begun in 1994, the rescue of Huguenin Heights near Mercer University resulted in the rehabilitation and reselling of 16 houses for single-family owners. “When we rehabilitate these old houses, we completely gut them leaving only the original wood flooring and other woodwork,” Brown explains. To make the old houses modern, architects look at the current layout and determine how to reconfigure it with a livable floor plan and all of the modern upgrades and conveniences such as large walk-in closets. “Basically, a homeowner gets a new house in an old house shell,” comments Brown. As a result of the Historic Macon Foundation’s revitaliza-

Bette Lou Brown

tion efforts, crime in the Huguenin Heights neighborhood fell 85% and home ownership rose to 66%. Because of its tremendous success, the project later became a national model for neighborhood revitalization. “Many of the new homeowners in Huguenin Heights were and are professors and faculty at Mercer,” says Brown. To encourage new homeownership in the neighborhood, Mercer provided its faculty and staff with 7.5% of the purchase price of a home, 5% at closing and one half percent on the closing anniversary for the next five years, if they bought a house in Huguenin Heights. Inspired by the improvements made in Huguenin Heights, the Foundation decided to tackle the job of rescuing Tatnall Square Heights next. “We always look for a neighborhood’s points of strength when we undertake a revitalization project and focus our efforts around those strengths,” notes Brown. “The strength in the Tatnall Square Heights neighborhood is Tatnall Square Park.”

Since beginning Phase I of the Tatnall Square Heights project in 1999, 17 homes have been rehabilitated and sold, five new homes built and sold, and Macon’s first Dog Park created. “Urban blight and crime in the neighborhood has been dramatically reduced with home ownership rising to 90%,” comments Brown. As a result of the revitalization efforts, a healthy family neighborhood has been developed. Phase II is currently underway and will include construction of 11 new homes, including one for Habitat for Humanity, and one that is slotted for rehabilitation. New homes in Tatnall Square Heights are being built using The Beall’s Hill Urban Design and Architectural Guidelines, which won a Charter Award in June 2005 from the Congress for the New Urbanism. In 2003, The Tatnall Square Heights revitalization project received the Marguerite Williams Award for having the greatest impact on historic preservation in the State of Georgia.

Revitalization has already begun in the Beall’s Hill neighborhood—a 60 block area also adjacent to Mercer University. According to Brown, revitalization efforts thus far have included the construction and paving of new roads, laying of new sidewalks, and replatting of the land. The first house has also been rehabilitated and is currently for sale. “These neighborhoods are great for workforce housing,” she explains. “Historic preservation makes financial sense because rehabilitation generally costs less than new construction and puts older homes back onto the tax rolls while at the same time producing lower income housing for those who need it.” Rusty Poss, current President of the Historic Macon Foundation, agrees. “Historic preservation is sort of the future for Macon,” he explains. “As land costs in the county and surrounding counties continues to increase, it is becoming more feasible to build or renovate in and around downtown Macon.” Poss also believes that preserving Macon’s residential areas 31

Rusty Poss developed College Hill Commons, which now houses several offices and Joshua Cup, a local coffee house.

brings a sense of community back to Macon that is not typically seen today in newer communities. Another way that historic preservation impacts Macon financially is through cultural heritage tourism. According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, studies consistently show that cultural heritage travelers stay longer in a community and spend more money there than other kinds of travelers. Good cultural heritage tourism not only improves the quality of life for residents of the community but also those of its visitors by providing safe, clean and exciting places for them to enjoy. “Tourism is one of the main reasons people come to Macon,” states Jaime Webb, a local real estate agent knowledgeable in architecture and design. “Tourists come to see the historic houses and neighborhoods as well as the museums and theaters in downtown Macon. One of the interesting things Macon has to offer is the fact that it has housing dating back to the 1820s that showcases a variety of architectural designs.” 32

Supported by its rich heritage, multicultural diversity and four institutions of higher education, Macon is a culturally vibrant community with a thriving community theater, live theatrical performances including a Broadway series as well as college and university performances, several arts education programs and festivals, and an overall community love of the arts. Numerous museums dedicated to the arts and sciences, Georgia music, African American art, history and culture, Georgia sports, the Civil War and Macon’s own history all offer tourists unique and culturally stimulating experiences. Macon also has eleven housing districts that are recognized and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including Pleasant Hill which was one of the nation’s first recognized historic African American neighborhoods. In 2004, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Macon one of its Dozen Distinctive Destinations with Richard Moe, National Trust President, commenting that “all travelers who want a unique vacation experience

Eddie Thomas and his son, enjoy the front porch swing of their restored home in Hungegan Heights.

Jamie Webb, local real estate agent, specializes in historic home reality and stands with an historic home for sale on Vineville Avenue.

“Preservation is bringing life back to downtown Macon. Now there are new living units and new restaurants springing up downtown. People are starting to live downtown again and that is huge.” Rusty Poss

Tony Long played an integral role in the renovation and revitalization of downtown’s Capital Theater.

full of history, scenery, music, food and great Southern hospitality should put Macon at the top of their must-see list.” According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, cultural heritage tourism provides numerous economic benefits to a community by creating jobs and businesses, increasing tax and historic attraction revenues, creating opportunities for partnerships, diversifying the local economy and generating local investment in historic resources. Tony Long, a contract painter with A. T. Long and Son, considers preservation to be a pretty good idea financially. “Preservation has an economic as well as a personal impact,” he states. “Aesthetics is important because it increases tourism, and well preserved historic buildings have

more tourists coming to look at them.” Brown agrees that tourism generates a lot of money for the Macon community. “Macon is considered to be the intellectual, literary and musical historical community in the state,” she says. “Tourism money is important to the local economy because Macon has a lot of things to see and do.” But preservation is not all about dollar signs. Webb believes there is also an emotional factor about living in an area with older buildings. “Older homes have more sense of style and stability than do newer homes,” he says. “It is very rare to find someone living in a new house that is passionate about that house whereas in an old house, you can actually feel the history and feel like you are more in

touch with the past. You feel like you are the caretaker of that house.” For downtown Macon, Poss believes historic preservation has a huge impact. “People typically work downtown and go home to the suburbs at the end of the day,” he explains. “Preservation is bringing life back to downtown Macon. Now there are new living units and new restaurants springing up downtown. People are starting to live downtown again and that is huge.” For Long, preservation is like art. “A community that preserves its heritage is where I want to live,” he states. “Organizations such as the Historic Macon Foundation have made a tremendous impact in our community. Without them we would have lost so much. I believe historic preservation makes for a stronger Macon in the long term.” Tara Poole Photography by Ken Krakow 33

Lots of


for Clinic Volunteers Macon Volunteer Clinic in its fourth year of providing healthcare for uninsured workers in Bibb County


Bill Ennis, Dr. Lynn Denny, and Valerie Biskey

Shirley is a self-employed beautician with no health benefits who couldn’t afford to see a doctor about her chronic back pain. Then a friend told her about the Clinic. The volunteer physicians not only treated her back, but also found she had glaucoma and a tumor in her breast. Shirley says, “Every time I talk about the angels at the Clinic, I almost cry – happy tears.” Dr. Chapin Henley was thumbing through Newsweek back in 2001 when an article about volunteer clinics caught his attention. After visiting a clinic in Hilton Head, SC featured in the article, Henley and his friend Dr. Patrick Roche decided to invite a few friends to a meeting to discuss establishing a similar organization in 36

Macon. By the time the meeting began, the small classroom at Martha Bowman Church was packed with people sitting on the floor and standing along the sides. Bibb County Commission Chairman Tommy Olmstead came to observe, and Marge Hamrell from the Volunteers in Medicine Institute shared the experiences of other communities around the country that were organizing clinics. “One prominent local doctor asked a lot of tough questions,” recalls Henley. “He must have liked the answers because he became a founding board member and volunteer at the clinic.” While everyone in attendance was enthused with the idea, local businessmen Pat and Mike Creamer sparked an

outpouring of volunteer action when they offered to supply the clinic’s technology needs. Others followed with contributions of services from medicine to landscaping. It was clear to all present that something grand was about to happen. The experts said it would take 3 to 4 years to begin operations. Eighteen months later, on February 18, 2003, the clinic opened at 376 Rogers Avenue in a remodeled facility that is modern, professional and convenient to the bus routes. The Clinic provides free medical care for the estimated 26,000 citizens of Bibb County who work, but aren’t covered by health benefits. According to, “There are now 2,000 (clinics) around the country, generating

“ ”

Everyone at the clinic is not only professional, but passionate about service to others and committed to making the Clinic successful.

Bill Ennis

A few of the dedicated volunteers and staff are pictured on the previous pages. Gina Guthmiller, Jean Chafin, Fabianne Perofsky, RN, Olga Norman, Stephanie Martinek, Lisa Moore, Omar Liendo, Tom Harrington, Kristy Bolan, RN, Rhonda McBride, Mary Freeman, RN, Katie Stanley, Rich Liipfert, Dr. Chapin Henley, and Dr Jack Menedez.

about $3 billion in health care services each year.” Services at the Macon Volunteer Clinic include doctor’s visits, prescription medications, lab tests and dentistry. The Clinic refers patients with orthopedic, neurological, and other special needs to volunteers in their network. From the beginning, the organizers realized that they would need administrative leadership as well as volunteer medical professionals to sustain the Clinic. They asked local CPA and financial planner Bill Ennis, of John R. Day & Co., LLC to serve as treasurer. Bill’s increasing involvement led him to replace Dr. Henley as Chairman of the Board in November 2005. “Everyone at

the clinic is not only professional, but passionate about service to others and committed to making the Clinic successful,” says Ennis. Valerie Biskey was hired as Executive Director in 2003. “With 27 years of experience in Army hospitals, a Doctorate in Nursing, and seven years in home health care management, she’s the ideal administrator for the Clinic,” says Ennis. Biskey does a little bit of everything on a full-time, paid basis. “I might go from writing a grant, to drawing a patient’s blood, to paying bills in a single afternoon,” she says. In 2005, the Clinic treated over 900 patients in 3,200 visits, and that list is growing every week. Since no one is charged for visiting the Clinic, much of Biskey’s focus is on finding gifts and grants, as well as minimizing the costs of operations. “We appreciate everyone who volunteers or funds particular needs, but just as important are those gifts from foundations, corporations and churches that can be used for payroll and other general operating costs.” The Clinic’s annual budget is about $350,000, half of which goes to pay three full-time and three part-time employees. “Everyone on the Clinic payroll makes a lot less than they could elsewhere,” observes Ennis. Coliseum Medical Centers provides the facility at no charge and the Clinic pays for utilities, taxes and repairs. Maintenance and supplies for the X-ray machine run thousands of dollars annually. Medications cost $20,000 per year.

Medical insurance is another challenging issue. While retired doctors can buy inexpensive coverage and practicing doctors cover themselves, insurance for the Medical Director is over $9,000 per year. Dr. Lynn Denny was hired in 2003 as the Medical Director to make sure patients get the best health care possible. She works half-time as the Director and sees patients as a family physician. “I look at the operation of the Clinic as a triangle – patients, volunteers and funding,” Denny states. “A nice big endowment would take care of our funding needs, and that’s something we’re all working toward. We have adequate space and equipment, but we need to expand our hours. There are plenty of patients out there, but we must make them aware of the Clinic and help them take advantage of what we offer.” Biskey and Denny both spend a lot of time trying to expand the health literacy of patients. “In addition to treating their medical needs, we try to educate people about their health, such as not being scared to get a colonoscopy, or to be sure to show up for appointments,” says Biskey. “We have nutritionists and plenty of other resources to help our patients improve their wellness,” adds Denny. “Cutting down on the over-use of emergency rooms helps the entire community.” Both Denny and Biskey are elated with the outpouring of support from the local health care community. “Our team of physicians is fantastic, although we are always in need of specialists and nurses,” 37

Doctors and brothers Eric and Paul Roddenberry with their physician father, Dr. Harvey Roddenberry.

says Denny. The list of doctors and groups changes constantly and their level of involvement varies, but here are three examples of the spirit of these volunteers.

The Doctors Roddenberry Dr. Eric Roddenberry did volunteer work while attending Duke University School of Medicine and was looking for a way to give back to the community when he returned to Macon to practice with his father, Dr. Harvey Roddenberry, and identical twin brother, Dr. Paul Roddenberry. “Some doctors volunteer in rural areas, some go to third world countries, but the Clinic fills a very important need right here in Bibb County,” says Eric, who takes turns with other doctors at OBGYN Specialists to visit patients at the Clinic on Tuesday afternoons. Since Medicaid insurance covers the needs of all expecting mothers, the Clinic offers gynecology but not obstetric services. “The reaction from patients at the clinic is universally positive,” says Roddenberry. “We get lots of hugs from patients. Valerie and Lynn always greet us 38

warmly and tell us how much they appreciate what we do at the Clinic. Thanks to generous donors, we have the ultrasound equipment and everything we need. It’s a wonderful way to reach those who might not otherwise get treated.”

Dr. Ericha Benshoff Most of the patients at the Clinic are women, and Dr. Benshoff knows how very important it is for them to get annual mammograms. “It’s so important to catch breast cancer in its earliest stages,” says Benshoff, who takes turns with her associates at Radiology Associates reading x-rays for the Clinic. Dr. Benshoff answered the call in 2002 when the Clinic was first getting organized. Her early interest has now grown into a full program where the load is shared by the largest team of radiologists in Middle Georgia. “As a radiologist, I couldn’t go to New Orleans after hurricane Katrina and treat injuries, but reading films for those who might not otherwise get help right here in Macon is our way of giving back to the community.”

Dr. Homer Nelson A grant from the Congressional Glaucoma Caucus in 2003 provided the equipment needed to screen Middle Georgians for eye disease. The Clinic was selected as the site and, for the past three years, retired ophthalmologist Dr. Homer Nelson has volunteered to assist students from Mercer University School of Medicine in performing these screenings. Often, however, follow-up eye treatment is needed that can’t be performed at the Clinic. Dr. Nelson knew his former associates at Eye Physicians Professional Association in Macon met together on the second Tuesday of each month. The doctors agreed to let him use the equipment, facilities and staff of their offices to treat Clinic patients while the doctors attend their meeting. Dr. Nelson has also used his experience and influence to arrange for an ocular specialist to perform surgery for Clinic patients – at no charge. “It’s a real pleasure to work with the patients and Mercer students,” says Dr. Nelson. “I hope we will have a fully equipped eye room one day at the Clinic.”

Dr. Homer Nelson


Dr. Ericha Benshoff

I couldn’t go to New Orleans after hurricane Katrina and treat injuries, but reading films for those who might not otherwise get help right here in Macon is our way of giving back to the community.

Dr. Ericha Benshoff

Bibb County residents are fortunate to have world-class health care right here in our community. Thanks to the Macon Volunteer Clinic, those who once fell in the gap between private and public insurance can now receive the same excellent services. To ensure excellence, volunteer physicians review a sample of patient files each month. To monitor service, a Mercer University student is conducting a customer satisfaction survey. One man, who had been treated for dangerously high blood pressure, recently stopped by the Clinic to announce that he had accepted a new job (with health benefits) and was leaving on a job-related trip overseas. He presented the staff with a rose and said, “I couldn’t have done this without you. You saved my life.” Rick Maier Photography by Ken Krakow




it in the Family In 1910, an immigrant Hungarian metalworker came to Macon from Houston, Texas with only a few things in this world: his wife and two-year-old daughter, a motorcycle, and a steadfast business philosophy. His name was Louis Ervin Schwartz, and the very small business he began almost a century ago now is one of the largest and most respected commercial and industrial roofing and sheet metal contractors in the country. Indeed, for several years running, RSI and ENR Magazine industry surveys have consistently ranked LE Schwartz & Son among the largest companies in their field. This hometown company with a big-time reputation specializes in custom sheet metal manufacturing and installation, commercial and industrial roofing maintenance, historical roof restoration and precision manufacturing. In 1994, the Krugers launched the subsidiary, Schwartz Precision, which focuses on the production of precision parts for the commercial, industrial, aerospace and transportation industries. Melvin Kruger, grandson of the company’s founder, has been with LE Schwartz since 1952 and currently serves as Chief Executive Officer. As President, son Steve oversees much of the operations of the 200 employees.


A family-owned and operated business, LE Schwartz & Son ushered in its fifth generation in 2004 when Michael Kruger joined his father Steve and grandfather Melvin in the offices he has wandered through since he was a boy. He is the inimitable bridge between the past and the future, what was and what is to be. Seated with these three men, you can see that Michael has great respect for each of his elders and their business strategies, yet it is clear he is developing his own style. Michael comments about his future with an easy smile. “There’s so much to learn and I’m trying to take it all in, but I’m not worried that things won’t be okay because I care too much about

this company and this family not to keep things where they need to be. I see the growth happening and we’ll go where the times take us. I’ll keep the trend running,” he says. The “trend” thus far has been for direct descendants of LE Schwartz to employ within the organization once their education is complete. Melvin, Steve, and Michael all followed the same pattern before and after graduation from The University of Georgia. Melvin explains the conventional wisdom for earning the other employees’ respect. “Each family member has to prove himself to other employees of the company,” Melvin says. In other words, as each

family member enters the company, he usually begins in roofing, learning each area and works his way through the ranks. Training normally starts as a summer job in high school and continues through college. Exactly, what is the secret to LE Schwartz & Son’s longevity? Steve, a longtime business leader in Macon, shares some of what has worked during his tenure: “Caring about all aspects [of the company], whether it be the customers that are your life’s blood, your employees that allow you to serve the customers, or your heritage that allowed you to get here. We care about our community, which has provided us with a lot of things over the

Melvin, Michael and Steve Kruger represent three generations of LE Schwartz & Son.

years, so I guess I would say that is the most important thing,” Steve explains. It is evident how much loyalty the Kruger family has for Macon by their civic involvement. Steve and Melvin have both served as president of their synagogue, Sha’Arey Israel, at which the entire Kruger bunch are active members. Steve now serves as Chairman of MEDC. It is humorously reported that Melvin has been a member of and/or chaired just about every organization in Macon, but you will never hear that from him, as he is extremely humble regarding his community responsibilities. Steve, who joined his father at LE Schwartz in 1978, offers valuable

advice to up and coming family companies. “Every family person needs to go where they fit. They need to complement one another,” he says. Melvin adds: “Communication is critical. If family members don’t like the business, they should talk through that and realize that it might not always work out.” Moreover, a company and its leaders have to know how to roll with the times, so to speak. “One of the major challenges you go through generationally, whether it’s a family business or not, is the business environment changes. Michael brings computer skills, which were limited in my time, and weren’t there at all when Dad was

coming through the business so that has kind of evolved in a general business sense. We all have to adapt in order to move forward in a positive manner,” Steve remarks. Positive evolution is a perfect coin phrase for LE Schwartz & Son’s almost continuous expansion since 1910. What began as a humble enterprise at the dawn of the 20th century saw a growth spurt during World War II. Then, the company stumbled into prosperity again in 1953 after a devastating tornado ripped through Warner Robins, creating a tremendous amount of roofing and sheet metal work during subsequent rebuilding. Business has been expanding ever since.

Melvin visits with Schwartz Precision technicians, Robert and Stacey.

Recently, the LE Schwartz & Son subsidiary, Schwartz Precision Manufacturing, received their aerospace Quality Assurance certification.


As LE Schwartz & Son navigates through the first decade of the 21st century, its employees are proud to boast a company responsible for some of the most visible roofing and sheet metal projects in the Southeast. Among their many accolades, RSI Magazine named LE Schwartz & Son “National Roofing Contractor of the Year” in 1987; in 1994, the company was named “Georgia Family Business of the Year” by Kennesaw State College and the Atlanta Business Chronicle. The National Roofing Contractor’s Association also has presented the company with the Gold Circle Award for workmanship. Most recently, the LE Schwartz & Son subsidiary, Schwartz Precision Manufacturing, received their aerospace Quality Assurance certification. Regarding their quest for excellence, Melvin comments, “We’re not a company that has a philosophy of being the biggest. We want to be the best. I think we’ve got the people to make us grow and prosper.” As Michael prepares to move to the helm of his family’s dynasty someday, what counsel does each of his relatives wish to pass on to him? “It takes all aspects…you need to work within all parameters that allow other people to come with you as opposed to you pulling them,” his father says. Grandfather Melvin wisely notes, “If there’s anything we really understand, it’s that we rise or fall based on each other. We deal with people with integrity. I’m not worried about Michael’s values system. As long as he stays on the same path, I have every confidence that he’ll be successful. I can’t ask for anymore than that.” When asked what LE Schwartz might think of the business that bears his name, Melvin reflects for a moment. “I don’t imagine in his wildest thoughts that my grandfather would’ve envisioned what he started would be what it is today. Life was a big struggle when he was coming along and he never got to participate in and see the growth that has occurred over the years. But we’ve never deviated from the philosophy that he had as a person, both as an individual and in a business sense.” Steve adds, “I like to think my greatgrandfather is looking down and smiling.” Kristen Soles Photography by Ken Krakow 44

I don’t imagine in his wildest thoughts that my grandfather would’ve envisioned what he started would be what it is today. Life was a big struggle when he was coming along and he never got to participate in and see the growth that has occurred over the years. But we’ve never deviated from the philosophy that he had as a person, both as an individual and in a business sense.

Melvin Kruger

Above: Bob Schorr and Tom Brewer consult with Micheal as he continues to learn the business from his family and co-workers. Below: Steve (and all the family) acknowledge that their corporate success is due in great part to committed staff memebers like Karen Cross.

A good company delivers excellent goods and services, and a grea great company y doess alll thatt and d strivess too makee thee world d a betterr place. William Ford, Jr., Ford Motor Company Chairman

Ethical Viewpoints Matter. In today’s world, business integrity, ethical practices and social accountability should be just as important to customers as outstanding personal service. Because when companies act responsibly and give back to their communities, everyone wins.

we stand for community


Ed Baker and Greg Popham stand at the site of the Hazel Street Bridge, a pedestrian walkway designed to tie the Beall's Hill Neighborhood to the rest of the community.



s H ’ l l a i l e l B B uzz e h It almost seems like something of fantasy: a charming neighborhood with historically designed homes, front porches trickling with laughter from neighbors while children play up and down over-sized sidewalks. And, to top it all off, this neighborhood is within walking distance of shops, banks and markets and within the downtown city limits, as well. This might seem like a fantasy, but it’s the future reality for the Beall’s Hill Development Corporation and residents of the once dilapidated community. The neighborhood, located between Mercer University, The Medical Center of Central Georgia and Alexander II Magnet School, is booming with potential and promise. Crossing over the railroad tracks next to Mercer’s Lee Alumni House Maconites can see a transformation. What once was the source of vacant lots and empty houses is now abuzz with construction, landscaping and rehabilitation. What began as a simple idea has turned into a thriving enterprise led by Greg Popham and Ed Baker, along with the Beall’s Hill Development Board – Mercer University President Dr. Kirby Godsey, Macon Mayor C. Jack Ellis and Pearlie Tolliver. With the leadership of these dedicated participants and the support of the surrounding community, Beall’s Hill is back and better than ever.

Starting Over Beall’s Hill was conceived by Godsey, who wondered what it would take to revitalize the run-down neighborhood adjacent to the university. “Historically, it was a very vital and active neighborhood that hit decline,” he says. “So, we’d like to see it busy with people living there. A place for families, children (and) adults who are recreating a sense of community, or reclaiming what was once a very vigorous neighborhood and reclaiming the status as a really wonderful place to live.” The question was posed in 1999, and soon after soft studies were initiated to determine what measures would need to take place to complete the project. In 2000, a master plan was developed by Trinity/Brookwood in conjunction with EDAW, and in 2001, the Knight Foundation selected the City and Mercer University to host a weeklong public charette, or design plan, to initiate the redesign of the community. Funding was obtained from the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Other communities involved with the project include the newly renovated Tatnall Place and Hugenin Heights. “So four years were spent really putting all the pieces of the puzzle together to say ‘ok, now we’re ready to go in here and revitalize,” says Greg Popham, Beall’s Hill executive director.


Popham was hired in 2003 by the Beall’s Hill Board after stepping down as the county manager for Butt’s County. He has extensive experience with planning, city management and real estate development, which made him an ideal candidate for the job. He met Ed Baker, Beall’s Hill project manager, while working in Butts County. Baker served as the City/County Planning Director and as the Interim County Manager for nearly two years. Baker received an Urban Planning degree from Michigan State University. Godsey and his board had an idea of what types of personnel would best fit the required job description. “I think it’s going to take a combination of both sheer development expertise, the understanding of urban design issues and who will be affective marketers of the community,” Godsey says. “…I really do think they’ve done a very good job. I think Greg has done a very good job of helping us achieve the goals of that neighborhood.” The Beall’s Hill Development Team has since been hard at work. In attempts to keep the charrette in mind when envisioning the future Beall’s Hill, design guidelines were implemented to maintain the historic value of the neighborhood. The design plan includes guidelines for streets and sidewalks, details pre-approved house designs, outlines proposed vehicular and pedestrian traffic and even specifies street lighting. Builders are required to use these guidelines when constructing homes, and it’s up to the City’s planning and zoning committee to ensure the guidelines are maintained. “The guidelines are probably easier for the builders to work with and to grasp than it is for the governing entity that controls it,” Popham says. “And that’s because you’re dealing with a project here that’s never been done in (downtown) Macon before.”

“I think it’s going to take a combination of both sheer development expertise, the understanding of urban design issues and who will be affective marketers of the community.” Dr. Kirby Godsey, Mercer University

Getting Involved Probably the biggest challenge the Beall’s Hill team has faced thus far is getting builders excited about the neighborhood. After all, this is the first time anything of this nature has been done in downtown Macon, and builders have taken a “wait and see” approach when it comes to signing contracts. 48

Alphie Spears president of American Neighborhoods has four houses under construction in Beall’s Hill and has pre-sold two of them.

In 1998, Kirby Godsey, established the Mercer Center for Community Engagement, under the direction of Dr. Peter Brown, to build University partnerships with community organizations to enhance educational, health, and housing opportunities in the core neighborhoods around Mercer's main campus. Beall's Hill is visible proof that such collaborative partnerships can spark community transformation.

Alphie Spears, however, took the leap. A Mercer business graduate and president of American Neighborhoods, Spears has four houses under construction in Beall’s Hill and has pre-sold two of them. His company also sells, leases and manages properties within a 75-mile radius of Macon. Soon, he hopes to hire a neighborhood manager who will be responsible for the sales and leasing of the residences within the neighborhood – the goal is to completely build, and fill, 26 units by the end of 2006. Spears says he thinks it will take three things to make the community successful. “One,” Spears says, “it’s those organizations the executive committee represents that makes sure the organizations support and encourage these neighborhoods to be a community.” Next, Spears boasts of American Neighborhoods’ high quality construction at a low cost. “We’re able to put large, very economical homes in Beall’s Hill,” he says. The homes will contain high-end finishes, including nine foot ceilings, hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances and ceramic tile. Lastly, Spears says the neighborhood’s success depends on the “momentum and approach of our neighborhood manager…These houses will have nice finishes and will be close to campus, so we think there will be an influx of students, staff and faculty,” he says. The starting price for Spear’s houses are under $140 thousand. Godsey hopes Mercer faculty and

staff will get involved by moving into the new neighborhood. The university will offer employees who qualify a forgivable second mortgage on homes purchased in Tatnall Place and Beall’s Hill. He thinks the neighborhood is ideal for those wishing to live near many of Macon’s attractions. “It’s in town, it’s very convenient. It’s adjacent to the university. It’s close to The Medical Center, so it’s a very accessible place to live. It really is a convenient and a very active, safe place to life,” Godsey says. The working relationship between American Neighborhoods and the Beall’s Hill Development staff has been beneficial. “Greg Popham and Ed Baker…have provided us with assistance in dealing with the Design Review committee to make sure that our structures ascetically, and from an environmental point of view, meet the requirements for this historical guidelines for the community,” Spears notes. “They were also our partners in helping us to identify financers and banks to help this project from financial point of view.” Popham and Baker agree. “I think Alphie would tell you that one of the first times we had a chance to meet him we promised him a good hour and half, two hours, looking at the market studies, looking at the land use plans, showing him everything we were really trying to accomplish,” Popham says. “When he walked out, on more than one occasion, he’s said, ‘ I caught your vision, I understand what you’re doing.’” Popham says the hands-on approach is what makes the builder-developer relationship work well. “In all instances you hear the word team,” he says. “We never really let the builder walk away…There’s just a lot of things that we do that go above and beyond what you would find elsewhere.” In addition to gaining business in the neighborhood, Spears took the risk so he could give back to the community and to the school that afforded him the opportunities he has had since his graduation. “It was one way to give back,” he says of his decision to work with the Beall’s Hill Development Corporation. “I committed to Dr. Godsey in December that we would do this – we would make it happen.” 49

Moving In Veronica Foy is the first resident of Beall’s Hill. She moved from Atlanta to her duplex in the neighborhood in midJanuary after accepting a Medical Technologist position at the Medical Center of Central Georgia. “It’s really the perfect size for me,” Foy says of her new home. “It’s not over encumbering in terms of trying to furnish it or trying to keep it clean.” Her duplex is connected to the Beall’s Hill offices near the entrance of the community. After visiting MCCG in December, Foy decided to give herself a tour of downtown Macon to acclimate herself to her new home. “I literally stumbled upon it,” she says. “I had started scouting for a place to live so I was driving around, trying to get a feel for an area that would be close to the Medical Center, and I ended up coming towards the university. As I was leaving, I went over the railroad tracks and noticed the duplex there. It was so striking to me that I had to get out of my car.” What struck Foy the most was the neighborhood’s similarities to other projects done in the Atlanta area. “I

thought it was a very exciting adventure…they wanted to have a community that included people on different socio and economic levels and provide a beautiful place to live,” she says. Popham says several Mercer professors and other individuals working in or near the downtown area have also expressed interest in the neighborhood, and both Baker and Popham are confident that word of mouth will go far.

Back to the Future A major focus of the neighborhood is it’s historic appeal, which is inspired by the idealistic neighborhoods of years gone past. For this reason, several measures have taken place to ensure the neighborhoods antique flavor. Streets are narrower and sidewalks are wider. “All of that speaks to pedestrian friendliness,” Baker says. “It’s really not hard to believe that in the immediate future you might see people walking down the sidewalk, children riding around on a bicycle, and someone sitting on the porch, waving to them, talking to them, because they’ve gotten to know one another.”

Veronica Foy, the first resident of Beall’s Hill.


What about those lots that, for environmental reasons, cannot be built upon? Those vacant spaces are transformed into small parks, complete with benches and even playground equipment. Everything down to the classic street lamps to the large front porches is reminiscent of the good ole’ days. But one of the most impressive features of Beall’s Hill is the recently completed Hazel Street Bridge. What was once an almost impassable bridge for automobiles is now a pedestrian walk with benches at its peak. “The physical thing that I think really ties everything together is Hazel Street Bridge,” Popham says. “From workers to school kids, anyone we’ve seen over there has talked about how nice that amenity was. It physically ties that neighborhood to all of the components…pretty soon people are going to recognize Beall’s Hill and Hazel Street Bridge and the two will be synonymous.” Spears hopes that, upon its completion, the neighborhood will be a reminder of the past, but set a president for the future. “I want it to be a thriving neighborhood for today’s culture reminiscent of what most American’s think about when we say the word ‘neighborhood,’” Spears says. “So that’s what I hope it will be in 20 years. I think this can be the genesis of the models of neighborhoods that can happen in other parts of the city and other parts of the country.” So now, when driving near Mercer University, passersby will notice a familiar change, and Spears thinks it’s just the change Maconites are looking for. “If you reminisce about the past,” he says, “when most people say the word ‘neighborhood,’ they have a nice warm smile and a glow comes over their face, because whether they personally experienced it, and they probably did, the yearn for that feeling again, that lifestyle again, and I think it’s possible.” Jamie Caraway Photography by Ken Krakow

Retirees– Corporations and Non-Profits are taking advantage of the talent and brain trust of would-be retirees.


f you look at the roster of corporate or non-profit boards of directors in Macon, you will see a lot of names of men and women with whom you are familiar. You have known them as physician, banker, store owner or activist for various causes in Macon. Theirs are names that instill confidence and give affirmation that Macon’s business and social wellbeing is in competent hands. You will see these names on several corporate letterheads, for these leaders are much in demand for their substantial contributions of time, money and, most importantly, big ideas for solutions and growth of Macon’s economy and services to its citizenry. You are accustomed to seeing their names in print and their faces on television, for they are on the front lines of development, taking risks and advocating for the rest of us. Although it is necessary to bring new blood on the playing field, to maintain the momentum of an organization’s life, the invaluable experience and knowledge of more senior members of a board in facilitating new ideas gives legitimacy to marketing efforts, builds the coffers for non-profit corporations and attracts the attention of investors in our community. You will not find the word “retirement” in the lexicon of this assiduous group of would-be retirees. Their day-timers are full; they still maintain offices or take their business on the road, thanks to the electronic age and laptops. They comprise one of Macon’s treasured assets and have miles to go before they rest.



Dr. DeWitt Talmadge Walton, Jr. The Walton Building, located in the point where New Street and Cotton Avenue converge, has anchored the downtown section known as the heart of the social and business community for Macon’s black citizens since the beginning of the 20th century. Dr. DeWitt Talmadge Walton, Jr., local dentist, still goes to his office almost every day - the same office where his late father and namesake practiced dentistry before him. Despite the hum of activity in the examining rooms around him, Walton is preoccupied with the stack of papers on his desk. He may have scaled back his dental practice, but his philanthropic involvement in his community and fundraising for his alma mater, Howard University in Washington, D. C., have evolved into a fulltime second career. While discussing upcoming events in Macon, Walton stops to make himself a note to call for tickets for a concert featuring Ben E. King playing with the Macon Symphony Orchestra. “I want to buy a block of tickets for students at Southwest,” he explains, referring to his support of the high school’s music ensemble and its director Jimmy Mills. That sticky note set aside, Walton talks about his efforts focused on young people to help them realize educational goals and avoid destructive lifestyles, particularly those teenagers from marginal backgrounds. “June O’Neal has done a remarkable job with the Mentors Project, and I have enjoyed working with her,” he comments. O’Neal, the inexhaustible wonder woman who oversees her brainchild, the Mentors Project, is fortunate to have the dedication of Walton, a man with the insight and resources to promote positive intervention for at-risk children and teenagers. Walton’s support of the Boys and Girls Club of Central Georgia was recently honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Community Service from that organization. “I am encouraged to see more programs in the inner-city that get teens off the streets, such as this one.” First Presbyterian Church started for studying and recreation in their new facility on First Street,” he points out, 52

“and that one is teaching life skills, too, something these kids desperately need.” Walton’s own church, Washington Avenue Presbyterian Church, a church founded for blacks in 1838 by First Presbyterian, trusts Walton to guide them financially, electing him treasurer after his years serving as deacon, then elder of this historic institution. New Fellowship Baptist Church, under the leadership of the Reverend Ronald Terry, acknowledged Walton’s contributions to neighborhood youth with the Humanitarian Award this year.

pus each summer. One daughter serves as vice-president of Volunteers of America; another works in Atlanta in the housing department for the Georgia Department of Community Affairs; a third is a pharmacist in Maryland; and, the youngest is in graduate school in Washington, D. C. pursuing a degree in clinical social work while still working for the United States Information Service; she checks background information on new government employees. Despite their children’s comfortable upbringing, Walton says he and his wife

June O’Neal, the inexhaustible wonder woman who oversees her brainchild, the Mentors Project, is fortunate to have the dedication of Walton, a man with the insight and resources to promote positive intervention for at-risk children and teenagers. Walton follows the progress of many of the students he has helped, encouraging those who have excelled in high school to go on to college. The D.T. Walton Sr. and Jr. Endowed Scholarship Fund at Howard University aids dental students from Georgia who pledge to return to their home state to practice. He shakes his head and smiles when he discusses raising money for Howard. “The new graduates forget someone gave them a hand up, and are the most difficult to commit to a program of giving.” he says, with some weariness. “But I don’t give up – they need to share their success with those less fortunate.” Walton acknowledges that this is a universal problem for colleges and universities and for those responsible for fundraising. “How do they think these private colleges keep providing top notch programs?” he asks, chuckling over his own tireless efforts. Walton’s children have carried on their parents’ legacy of giving, working as professionals in the social service and ancillary medical fields. Joan Walton, wife of 44 years, serves on the board of Mid-Summer Macon, a program of performing and applied arts, sponsored by Wesleyan College and held on that

encouraged each child to set goals and be responsible members of their chosen communities. “My grandparents and, before them, my great-grandparents, owned Braswell’s Barber Shop,” Walton says, “and I remember the long hours they spent on their feet.” Walton’s grandparents would be proud to see the list of his accomplishments and the vision he had to become a charter member of the Community Foundation, an umbrella organization for non-profit groups’ investments and endowments. They didn’t live long enough to see his business acumen recognized with an appointment to the board of directors of Wachovia Bank.

Charles ‘Charlie’ Yates Charles Yates, known more familiarly as Charlie, has been a fixture in the banking business in Macon since he went to work for Family Federal Savings and Loan in 1965 after graduating from Emory University in Atlanta and earlier career in auto sales finance and insurance. Yates rose through the ranks to become president, in which position he served until a merger with Great Southern Federal in 1983. “About the

same time, I decided to become a certified financial planner because there were so many changes underway in the banking industry,” he states, commenting on the turbulence of interest rates in the recession of the 1980s. He opened Yates Financial Management in 1984, serving individual clients until his retirement from that business in 1999. “1987 began the most fun and exciting years of my life,” he says, “when I was one of the founders of First Macon Bank.” Organized that year, the bank opened for business in 1988 and


remained a locally owned, community bank until 1998 when it was purchased by Colonial Bank, based in Alabama. Yates served as First Macon’s non-executive chairman until its acquisition by Colonial and still serves on the local board of directors. Now officially retired from business he still maintains an office in the Wachovia building downtown. He says, laughing, “Mary Jean nor I could stand my being at home all the time,” referring to his wife, who is as involved as he in the non-profit arena in Macon. Yates can be counted on to offer his

counsel, based on years of service in several non-profit endeavors in Macon and Central Georgia. Having served Macon Symphony Orchestra as a board member for about 15 years and as president in from 1997 to 1998; he is now an emeritus board member. However, he is not just a name on the letterhead; he attends every meeting and willingly participates in committee work. Just don’t call him on a pretty Wednesday; the golf course beckons, and he has a longstanding tee time for his one passion away from work. He can be counted on to dish out the advice as well as a little old-fashioned guilt to encourage symphony board members and acquaintances to participate in what Yates considers a must for a city the size of Macon – a symphony orchestra. A member of Mulberry Street United Methodist Church from childhood, Yates is a member of the board of trustees where he is chairman of the investment committee, overseeing the property and budgetary items for one of Macon’s oldest and largest churches. He works with Macon Outreach, which ministers to the homeless, one day a month and supports other Methodist ministries, including the Methodist Home for Children and Youth. As a former member of the board of trustees for 18 years, Yates has watched the growth and evolution of Wesleyan College, another Methodist institution, from a women’s college best known for its fine arts programs, to a liberal arts school addressing more current needs for working women in today’s business world. Well known in banking circles throughout the state, Yates serves on Colonial’s State Loan Committee, which reviews all loans over a certain size originated in Georgia. He has served the Macon Rotary Club as president and still attends weekly meetings. “I need this office,” he says, “because there is no way I could handle all I am involved in from home,” he says with a sweeping gesture around the room. His well appointed suite of offices is as neat as its occupant a man as comfortable in a tuxedo as he is in a golfing shirt. Yates and his wife, a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, have three 53

grown daughters and four grandchildren who have been the recipients of fantastic trips in this country and abroad with their grandparents. “We have dragged them all over Europe, even losing one for a while in Lucerne,” Mary Jean laughs, “but we always take them to museums,” an interest she has had since her own children were old enough to walk. Interest in Macon’s Museum of Arts and Sciences may wane for some parents once their children leave home. Not so for Mary Jean, who has served as a Museum Guild member and president and now serves as president of the museum’s fine arts committee. “I want [The Museum of Arts and Sciences] to be as important to out-oftown visitors as museums are to my family when we travel,” Mary Jean explains as her reason for staying involved for so many years. She says with the zeal any board chairman would love to hear, “I just love that place!” Mary Jean was also the person responsible for establishing house tours as part of the Cherry Blossom Festival, an idea that was born of a suggestion from a tour visitor many years ago. “One particular woman on the tour couldn’t believe she couldn’t see the insides of some of the wonderful houses in Macon,” so Yates, a volunteer tour guide, took the idea to Carolyn Crayton, at that time general manager of Cherry Blossom Festival, Inc. The tour of homes is now an integral part of the success of the festival. With their proverbial plates full, the Yateses still find time to follow the career of their grandson, Robert McCormick, oldest son of daughter Avan, and music director and organist for four years at St. Mary’s the Virgin Church on Times Square in New York. His solo performances and Yates’ golf game might be the only two activities that would keep either of them away from a board meeting. This is a couple who have bright, innovative ideas. Macon is the beneficiary of their combined energy, which in no way resembles the definition of “retired.”

Nancy Briska Anderson Nancy Briska Anderson, executive director of the Museum of Arts and 54

Sciences from 1982 until 1999, led the museum from an annual budget of approximately 250 thousand dollars to 1.5 million, saw the plant size increase from 20,000 to 50,000 square feet of exhibit, archive and staffing space, and added close to 40 full and part-time employees. “There were consequent increases in collections, visitation, membership, endowment, etc…a general strengthening [of the museum’s efforts],” says the former director. “As the quality of programming increased the museum was accredited and reaccredited,” she adds. In looking over

Anderson’s resume’, one can understand why she might have felt “really tired and burned out,” after years of participation in volunteer projects followed by her tenure at the museum. Her volunteerism began when her three sons were underfoot. “I seem to have always wanted to address problems or seek solutions,” she says in explaining her “nosiness.” Beginning in the 1960s, Anderson was a “girl Friday” for Helen Frank who organized the Friends of the Library, helped Linda Lane and Freda Nadler with the Macon Council on World Affairs, studied issues for the League of Women


Voters and researched “hard core unemployment” for the Chamber of Commerce in Macon. The list is exhausting. “In the seventies, as a member of the Junior League, I organized a youth employment program called ‘Rent-a-Teen,’ and was involved in founding the Middle Georgia Council on Drugs and Volunteer Macon,” she cites as part of her quest to “make ours a better community.” In the late seventies, Anderson became involved with the Middle Georgia Historical Society (now absorbed by Historic Macon), Hay House and the Georgia Trust for Historic

write when I’ve stored enough,” she comments on her insatiable love of history – of people, places and events. With a BA in history from Wellesley in Massachusetts and MA in history, with a concentration on early American history, from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, Anderson has been steeped in history, which, she says, is the main motivation for her lifelong activism. “I am what I call a corporate migrant,” she laughs, “because my father worked in personnel and labor relations for a big firm and we moved, on average, every two years.” With no memory of traumat-

As executive director of the Museum of Arts and Sciences from 1982 until 1999, Anderson led the museum from an annual budget of 250 thousand dollars to 1.5 million, saw the plant size increase from 20,000 to 50,000 square feet of exhibit, archive and staffing space, and added close to 40 full and part-time employees. Preservation. This work attracted the attention of the board of the Museum of Arts and Sciences when, according to Anderson, “they must have been pretty desperate to take a chance on me,” despite her lack of professional credentials as a museum director. History has proven the museum filled the position with exactly the person they needed. Since her retirement from the museum in 1999, Anderson has resigned from boards and civic groups that require regular monthly attendance. Currently a member of the boards of the Community Foundation, the Lamar Lecture Series and the Medical Center of Central Georgia, Anderson enjoys visiting her children and grandchildren, all of whom live out of town, and accompanying her husband, Judge Lanier Anderson, on trips required of him as a circuit Federal Appeals Court judge. He retired as Chief Judge three years ago, but still hears cases, all of which are out of Macon. Never idle, even on the road, Anderson has a laptop that she uses for writing, some freelance articles, and more recently a biography of Macon resident, Dorothy Vix Lewis which will be released by Indigo Press for the Dorothy V. and N. Logan Lewis Foundation. “I like to read and write – read when I am storing up,

ic moves, she “loved every place” she lived from New England to the Midwest, but has enjoyed being “rooted” in one place, and adds, “I’m quite attached to the place.” Among Anderson’s heroes in history is Sam Adams, “a founding father and activist type for sure.” With “four and two-thirds” grandchildren, which will become five in June when her youngest son, Tosh, and his wife, Macon native Leslie Preston, have their second son, Anderson considers them her new avocation, adding, “I take photographs of them, write stories for them, and, of course, they are adorable in every way!” First son, R. Lanier Anderson, IV, is an associate professor of philosophy at Stanford University and married to a PhD plant ecologist; second son, Hil, is pursuing his PhD in classical Chinese poetry at Harvard and married, with three children, to an associate dean at the Yale Law School. “Tosh, who lives in New York City, is running a small non-profit agency that helps people claim unemployment insurance,” Anderson says. Reluctant to claim credit for the health of non-profits in which she was actively involved for at least 35 years, Anderson says she sees the community “as much more sophisticated and

cessful today.” Seeing Macon as more philanthropic than in the years she was raising money, she points out the success of United Way in meeting their campaign goal, “without Brown and Williamson – that is a huge plus.” Having worked on the 2005 Task Force and the now defunct Macon-Bibb Interracial Council, Anderson still sees racial issues that need resolution, but adds, “Our standards are also much higher than they were; we have made substantial progress.” As a strong advocate for public education, Anderson thinks her own children received a good education in Bibb schools that she says, “are good despite a reputation that lags behind their quality.” Honored by a myriad group of alliances, organizations and conferences for her achievements in volunteer and professional positions, Anderson’s contributions are indelibly imprinted in the history of non-profit agencies in Macon.

Bill Matthews Although his store, Belk-Matthews, was one of the original anchor department stores at Macon Mall when it opened in the early 1970s, Bill Matthews didn’t like watching the deterioration of the downtown retail district when “mega malls” were springing up in all major and mid-size cities in the nation. “I suppose it was a sign of the times, and some cities have dealt with it better than others,” he comments, sitting in his office overlooking the downtown area he left over 30 years ago. “I have confidence in Newtown Macon and other organizations which can be the catalyst in redeveloping the downtown area,” he adds, “for I am keenly aware of the issues facing downtown revitalization.” Matthews’ offices are in the SunTrust building, where he is chairman of the board of directors, a board on which he has served for 30 years. Matthews moved to Macon with his family as a two-year old in 1942 when his father opened the first Belk-Matthews on Third Street. In addition to his father, four of his uncles worked for Belk after graduation from college. “As business prospered, my father expanded to several markets, eventually operating 10 stores outside of Macon, and employing 55

over 1,000 people,” he remarks on the success of a family owned business competing with large retail chains. “The Belk and Matthews families were distantly related and were neighbors in Charlotte, North Carolina,” he explains as the reason for the close association of the two families over the years. “I was fortunate to work with a company that was respect-

ed for its quality sales staff and merchandise and for its customer focus,” he remembers, “and we were encouraged to involve ourselves in organizations that improved the quality of life of the people we served.”. Belk-Matthews set itself apart from other chain retail stores with its local touch, sponsoring for, 20 years, an

“I was fortunate to work with a company that was respected for its quality sales staff and merchandise and for its customer focus. And we were encouraged to involve ourselves in organizations that improved the quality of life of the people we served.”


annual fashion show to benefit the Museum of Arts and Sciences. Reflecting on that successful fundraiser, Matthews says, “In the 20 years Belk-Matthews sponsored the ‘Design’ fashion show, over 500 thousand dollars was raised for the museum, in turn, greatly enhancing the image of Belk-Matthews in the community.” Retired from retail since 2000, with 37 years associated with Belk, Matthews said he had mixed emotions about leaving. About his long tenure with the same business he says, “I tell people I loved every day I worked for Belk; and, now I love every day I don’t work for Belk,” smiling at his own conflicted emotions about retirement. The very word, “retirement,” seems foreign to a man who is now chairman of the board of a major banking institution and serves on several other boards. “I see similarities in SunTrust and the Belk stores,” he comments, “because, although this is a large bank, it has a common-sense business model that allows an approach to customers with the same local touch.” A lifetime member of the board of directors of the Museum of Arts and Sciences, Matthews was also founding chairman of the board of the Community Foundation in 1994, where he is still heavily involved. With his recent appointment to the board of directors of the Medical Center of Central Georgia, and his active involvement on the Medcen Foundation board, it is hard to imagine him sitting at an easel indulging his newest interest, oil painting. His art instructor is in Atlanta where Matthews regularly attends classes, and, he adds, “I am showing in a gallery in Cashiers, North Carolina,” not far from the vacation home he and wife Fran own in Highlands. Surprised by a request that he participate in 1996 in carrying the torch on its trip through Macon on its way to Atlanta for the summer Olympics, Matthews was a little panicky since he had never routinely exercised. Whipping himself into shape, he equipped himself well for his leg of the run and has since continued his regimen every day. “I enjoy early morning or sunset walks – absolutely breathtaking,” says the painter.

One of Matthews’ proudest moments was seeing plans for First Presbyterian Day School materialize in 1969, as a founding board member of one of Macon’s largest and most prestigious private K-12 schools and alma mater for all three of the Matthews children. “Our children live away from Macon, have successful careers and are carrying on the tradition of community volunteerism encouraged by my father and their father,” Matthews remarks.

Dr. Oscar Spivey Dr. Oscar Spivey says that, before he retired from practice in 1982, he was treating a second generation of children of now adult children he has treated during his 28 years of practice as a pediatrician in Macon. He may be retired from active practice, but Spivey has yet to

quit working. His proudest achievement, in 1982, was serving as the first chairman of the department of pediatrics in the new Mercer University School of Medicine. His efforts on behalf of children’s health care are legendary in medical circles throughout the Southeast. Having read about the concept of a hospital within a hospital, first implemented at Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, Spivey was intrigued with the concept but concerned that Macon’s Medical Center had limited space for pediatric care. An old pediatric ward of the hospital routinely served as overflow space for the general hospital population. It was antiquated and downright scary for the little patients who were admitted for care. “There were nurses at the hospital who specifically wanted to take care of chil-

dren,” Spivey said, “so I knew we had the staff on hand to devote to the care of children.” However, he knew he had to have the backing of all pediatricians who used the hospital before he could convince the board of the Medical Center that a pediatric hospital was needed. In 1986 Spivey sold the board of directors of the Medical Center on the idea, stressing that it was desperately needed. One caveat was that there must be 75 percent occupancy of the space at all times, but that was the least of Spivey’s worries. “The old cancer wing was designated as the space that would be renovated to house the new children’s hospital,” he said, “and I knew it was going to take a lot of money.” Under the leadership of Ethel Cullinan, director of the Medcen Foundation, a public fundraising effort was launched

Opening with a 35 bed facility, the Children’s Hospital now has 95 beds, including the neo-natal unit. One of the goals Spivey envisioned was offering a pediatric residency program. Beginning with three positions available, the Children’s Hospital now admits six pediatric residents each year.



with the Medical Center agreeing to take on the responsibility of renovations. The Community Health Foundation would be the umbrella for securing the funds for the Medical Center. The new Children’s Hospital opened in 1987 with Spivey as medical director. “It is now the only facility of its kind between Atlanta and Gainesville, Florida,” Spivey proudly reports. “That hospital serves an area that stretches all the way to Tifton in South Georgia,” he adds, commenting, “My passion for caring for the needs of children was the only encouragement I needed to lobby for a hospital dedicated to their care.” The benefits to the medical environment in Central Georgia have been phenomenal. According to Spivey, “We have attracted sub-specialties in pediatrics to the Medical Center because of the Children’s Hospital.” Opening with a 35 bed facility, the Children’s Hospital now has 95 beds, including the neo-natal unit. One of the goals Spivey envisioned was offering a pediatric residency program. Beginning with three positions available, the Children’s Hospital now admits six pediatric residents each year. Spivey served as professor and chairman emeritus of pediatrics at the Mercer University School of Medicine until stepping down from an active role in 1997. That same year he turned over the reins of Medical Director of the Children’s Hospital to Dr. Frank Bowyer, a pediatric endocrinologist, who also serves in the positions held by Spivey at the Medical School. Spivey adds, “I stayed at the Medical School until 2000,” 18 years after leaving a private practice for the luxuries of “retirement.” Bowyer has told Spivey, “We are just beginning to show what we can do,” echoing the sentiments of his predecessor, whose shoes he has filled with enthusiasm for his mission,

according to Spivey. An interest in medicine has been and continues to be part of the Spivey history. After the death of his father, a native of Eatonton and one of the first stockholders in the old Middle Georgia Hospital, his mother married Dr. Hall Farmer in Macon. Spivey left Lanier High School for Boys in the middle of his senior year to take advantage of the accelerated Navy College Training program. He attended Mercer University on the Navy’s V12 program, which did not require the completion of an undergraduate degree prior to entering medical school. To expose prospective medical students to real-life medical practice, the Navy sent Spivey to the hospital at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida. Another Macon physician, Waddell Barnes, was in the same class and stationed at NAS with Spivey. “The Navy wanted us to see what it was like to be a doctor, and there is no more graphic experience than serving in an armed forces hospital in wartime,” Spivey explains. After that first stint in the Navy, Spivey attended the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, rooming with Ralph Newton who would also come back to Macon to practice. He served his pediatric residency at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, marrying Rosa Schofield, a Wesleyan graduate and Macon native, before serving his second two year obligation to the U.S Navy. Returning to Macon, he opened his practice, becoming one of Macon’s most popular and well respected physicians. Spivey and his wife have four children. Gena, the oldest, holds a master of fine arts degree from Indiana University. Second child, Oscar, Jr., nicknamed Buzzy, is an urologist in McMinnville, Tennessee where he lives with his wife and two children. Daughter Rodie, a graduate of the University of North

Carolina at Chapel Hill, lives in West Virginia. John Spivey lives with his family in his mother’s childhood home, the first cottage built in Stanislaus Circle. His father is pleased that he has supported his vision for the Children’s Hospital where he is a past chairman of the board. One can only imagine the lively discussions when all of the family gets together. The senior Spiveys have as many stories to share as their children, about the activities in which they are involved. “Rosa never sits still – she is always on the go,” her husband says, enumerating the civic causes his wife considers her priorities, all having to do with the outdoors. Take notice of the well kept grounds of Riverside Cemetery, privately supported by the Riverside Cemetery Foundation. Rosa Spivey is on the board of trustees. She also serves on the board of the Keep Macon Beautiful initiative and on the Tree Commission for the city of Macon. Not shy about getting her hands dirty, literally, her latest project is a wildflower garden sponsored by her Town and Country Garden Club. Evidence of the Spiveys’ devotion to their hometown is a visible tribute to their diligence in making Macon a better place to live. On First Street, the Children’s Health Center stands as testament to one man’s determination to provide the best medical care available to children in middle Georgia. Non-profits, civic organizations and major corporations have tapped these would-be retirees before they’ve had time to purchase the getaway home, complete with rocking chairs, replenish their tackle boxes or pick up their knitting needles. The brain trust has been reclaimed to lead Macon forward with eagerness worthy of a new crop of college graduates. Katherine K. Walden Photography by Ken Krakow

Non-profits, civic organizations and major corporations have tapped these would-be retirees before they’ve had time to purchase the getaway home, complete with rocking chairs, replenish their tackle boxes or pick up their knitting needles. The brain trust has been reclaimed to lead Macon forward with eagerness worthy of a new crop of college graduates. 58

In the early 1900’s, the stretch of Vineville Avenue just south of Forest Hill Road was considered the outskirts of the town of Macon. Influential families of the early 20th century occupied the quiet, stately homes along the avenue, which were noted for their fine craftsmanship and exquisite gardens. Nearly 100 years later, this same stretch of Vineville has become a busy Macon thoroughfare, and three of these historic residences now boast a new kind of occupant. The law offices of Lovett, Cowart & Ayerbe, The Horne Group, and independent lawyers, Timothy K. Hall and John T. Mitchell now own and dwell in these notable homes, giving a new meaning to the phrase “home office.” The home styles are as diverse as the types of law practiced by the entrepreneurial spirits who purchased and renovated them. The expertise of these attorneys ranges from commercial and business proceedings to injury litigation. These practices are committed to their clients and to the Macon community at large. Their efforts to keep up these Vineville landmarks, which offer a comfortable atmosphere to all, benefits not only themselves, but the city of Macon and its heritage as well.

Legal Eagles and Their Vineville Nests


Lovett, Cowart and Ayerbe: The independent firm of Lovett, Cowart & Ayerbe purchased the beautiful Georgian red brick home at 3608 Vineville Avenue in 1999 from the Marbut family. The house was originally built in 1922 by the architectural firm of Elliot Dunwody as a duplex for Claire Johnson Walker and her aunt, Clara Bates Walker. The two duplexes created a perfectly symmetrical house, each duplex located off a central staircase. Lovett says, “The firm was very interested in maintaining the historical integrity of the house.” Beautiful plaster moldings crown the high ceilings and original oak flooring still graces the spacious rooms. Window treatments have been left intact, and the rear formal gardens give visitors a sense of the gracious Southern tradition that once marked Vineville Avenue. “It took six months of working on the house to convert it to a commercial building,” explains Lovett. In the end, the firm completed the remarkable job/task of adapting this former residence to a working environment while steadfastly leaving the vast majority of the historic interior details intact. The story of the firm of Lovett, Cowart & Ayerbe began in 1991, soon after Bob Lovett ventured out on his own to establish an independent practice. Shortly thereafter, Doug Cowart and Paul Ayerbe joined as partners. With good working relations as well as diverse legal expertise, “This group is able to meet at the coffee pot and solve any problem,” says Lovett, who credits the success of the firm to all of its members. “We are successful due to the hard work and different temperaments, talents and

convictions of our attorneys,” reflects Lovett. Their support staff of eight and young associate, Matthew Meyer, are a credited for the firm’s success. The firm’s tagline, “Big city results with small town personal attention,” is what clients of Lovett, Cowart & Ayerbe receive. The firm’s personal approach combined with their collective experience of over 53 years makes their firm unique. They boast a strong record of obtaining major verdicts from cases throughout the state. “Our group loves to solve problems, and no two clients

Law partners Paul Ayerbe, Doug Cowart, Bob Lovett and associate Matthew Meyer.


have the same issue, so there is always a different person to work with and a different solution to create,” Lovett explains. Lovett, a Statesboro native and selfprofessed baseball fanatic, says he choose to pursue law because he respected many attorneys in his hometown. He points out that “the legal profession is only one of three disciplines recognized as a doctorate. We’re held to a higher calling.” His professional convictions are strong, and Lovett stresses the two main focuses of the practice are upholding the tradition of the bar associ-

ation as well as maintaining client satisfaction. The integrity of the law profession and his practice is key to Lovett. Away from the office, family time with wife Carole and children Ruth Allen (22) and Robert (16), is always the goal, but major clients and endless work hours often pull Lovett away from his family. The firm tries anywhere from five to ten cases per year, and resolve an additional 25 to 30 cases through mediation or out of court settlement. “Alternative dispute resolution is now the order of the day, as attorneys work up most cases to present to mediation instead of a jury,” explains Lovett. In renovating a classic Macon landmark, Lovett, Cowart & Ayerbe have demonstrated their ongoing commitment to the community. “We are proud to be a part of this community, and we intend to stay in this location as long as we practice law.” Their successful track record certainly would indicate a long tenure ahead.

The house was built in 1922 by the architectural firm of Elliot Dunwody as a duplex for Claire Johnson Walker and her aunt, Clara Bates Walker.

The Horne Law Group, LLC: In March of 2005, Stebin Horne noticed a “for sale” sign at 3557 Vineville Avenue, the address of a classic revival house that would become home to the Horne family’s real estate law practice. This long-standing former residence of the Rader family is a historic gem. Constructed in 1923 by Whit Jackson, the limestone brick house resonates classic southern charm. Again, a lengthy renovation process was needed to convert the house into an office, but the Horne family intently focused on preserving the historical integrity of the house. To be sure, creating a functional office space with much of the original house unchanged proved a challenge. As a result, days gone by are echoed throughout the house, where even the original mailbox now whimsically adorns a present-day interior wall. The Horne Group is a family affair. Together, husband and wife team Stebin and Christi Horne, along with Stebin’s

father, Frank, facilitate and manage all the legal aspects of commercial and residential real estate transactions. The firm’s expertise includes contract negotiations, closings, title services and assistance with planning and zoning matters. All three attorneys gain personal pleasure in helping their clients achieve their dreams. “We get a lot out of it when people can’t get on the same page, but then the transaction takes place and you usually have happy people on both sides,” Christi says. Their partnership creates a strong team dynamic, and clients appreciate their drive for good results. Firm responsibilities are shared among the three family members. Stebin is a partner in the

Constructed in 1923 by Whit Jackson, the limestone brick house resonates classic southern charm.


business, Christi directs day-to-day operations as the managing partner, and Frank serves as the senior partner. Along with their staff of five employees, who

create an extended family of sorts, the firm works to close loans and handle business in all 159 Georgia Counties. The closeness of the firm is underscored by gatherings held to celebrate birthdays as well as an annual holiday dinner that brings everyone together outside of the office to celebrate the season. “We have the most loyal, hardworking people

here,” says Christi. “Without our dedicated employees, who are vested in the success of our firm, we could not be successful.” Clearly, teamwork is paramount to the firm. The Horne Law Group is proud to add Stebin Horne’s political involvement to the list of the many things the group does to contribute to the Macon

community. Stebin has served on the Macon City Council since 2002 and has been a board member of the Macon Water Authority for the past two years. He is currently running for the 137th state house seat in Georgia. “I want to help Macon reach its full potential and we are so far from that,” he says. Stebin’s vision about opening The Horne Law Group’s office to the community underscores his commitment to serving his community. The house will easily lend itself to use for area and non-profit events by providing a beautiful venue. While Stebin’s main drive comes from serving his community, his partners balance this. Christi serves as the organizational brains behind the business, and Frank’s 34 years’ experience serves as an invaluable resource. The interior space of The Horne Law Group’s refurbished office provides clients with four well-appointed private conference rooms, each offering handicap accessibility, all in an atmosphere of old world character. “Buying a home is stressful for most people,” says Christi. “Our firm focuses on providing a comfortable atmosphere for what is possibly the biggest transaction of people’s lives,” adds Stebin. The classic revival home provides the perfect environment for clients to relax in the capable hands of the Horne Law Group.

63 Frank, Stebin, and Christi Horne

John T. Mitchell and Timothy K. Hall While leasing office space together on Pierce Avenue, lawyers John T. Mitchell and Timothy K. Hall noticed that the quaint Medieval English brick home at 3646 Vineville Avenue was available for purchase. They became intrigued with the history of the residence and decided to purchase the home for their office in March of 2005. Built in 1925 by the Dessau family and later bequeathed to the Dessau’s daughter, Georgianne Bloom, the house was in great condition, but adjustments needed to be made to accommodate current office needs. The house had to be re-wired and it was necessary to replace the old steam radiators with central heating and air. A few other minor changes, including pouring a parking lot and posting a sign, were all that was needed to convert this historic attraction into an office. Georgianne Bloom’s decision to part with her family home was bittersweet, but she remains in contact with Hall and Mitchell, who are relieved that she approves of the changes they have made. Having occupied the house for just over a year, Hall and Mitchell appreciate being a part of its history and continue to search for additional business occupants to fill the house to its full, four-office capacity. Hall and Mitchell’s understated business sign facing Vineville Avenue captures their friendship and rapport. John T. Mitchell receives top billing on one side of the sign and Timothy K. Hall’s name graces the top of the other. While steeped in the tradition of the law, these entrepreneurial attorneys manage to keep their sense of humor and enjoy the challenge of answering only to themselves. “Although we have separate practices, it is great to have somebody to bounce ideas off of, somebody with whom I can share my experiences,” Mitchell says. Though Hall and Mitchell operate independently of one another, they offer counsel and support to each other when needed and are able to occasionally try cases together. Hall says that Mitchell’s insight along with his experi-

John T. Mitchell and Timothy K. Hall

ence as a defense attorney is invaluable to his business. As both are now plaintiff ’s attorneys, Mitchell’s knowledge of how the other side thinks helps them prepare a tight case. They provide clients with the best of both worlds: excellent, individualized service with personal attention as well as a team of lawyers consulting on a case. Tim Hall’s practice, Timothy K. Hall, LLC, focuses on personal injury and

worker’s compensation. Hall does not participate in any advertising; instead, he relies on referrals for his business. “I distinguish myself by giving personal attention to a low volume of cases,” says Hall. This Georgia native and soon-to-be father of three (Ansley, age 4, Hannah, 8 months, and Jake, due in June) goes on to say that though his wife (Laura) and family are the center of his life, he gets great satisfaction from helping people

Built in 1925 by the Dessau family, the home was later bequeathed to the Dessau’s daughter, Georgianne Bloom. 64

during their time of need. His recent client recoveries boast of great success, though Hall remains humble. His mission statement says it all: “My mission is to provide personal, caring attention to each and every injured claimant.” For those in need, Hall serves as a shepherd for the litigation process, helping them recover appropriate settlements. John Mitchell, known by most of his friends as Johnny, established a practice in his own name in 2002. John T. Mitchell, Jr., LLC concentrates on injury litigation and general litigation, such as business and contract disputes. This former VMI quarterback says, “I never thought I would practice law on my

own.” Clearly, the competitive drive he learned on the field continues to give him the edge needed to be successful. A provider for his family of five (wife Lisa and children John, 10, James, 8, and Mary Elaine, 4), Johnny humbly attributes his success to his faith, adding that he certainly isn’t the smartest. But his clients and his track record indicate otherwise. An experienced attorney, Mitchell delivers results and cites building a relationship with people as what he enjoys most about his occupation. “It is very rewarding to have people that need help, and to be able to provide that help to them,” he says. Like Hall, John

Mitchell provides support to his clients and guides them through the litigation process to success. Both Hall and Mitchell felt led to establish their own business in their beautiful Vineville Avenue home. The faith required to take the first steps in launching any business is tremendous. Like The Horne Group, and Lovett, Cowart & Ayerbe, their practice is committed to their clients and to the Macon community at large. The Vineville landmarks now bearing the names of these attorneys are certainly now a part of Macon’s heritage. Allyson Moody and James Fennell Photography by Ken Krakow



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Brandi Shreve

New CEO of Coliseum Psychiatric Center

SunTrust Promotes New Assistant to VP and Trust Advisor

Swift Joins SunTrust Bank

New SunTrust Bank Business Banker

Deborah Jones Smith

Amy W. O'Cain

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Wesleyan Names New Vice President

Capital City New Credit Administrator

Capital City Assistant VP

Nations Elected President of PTDA

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CMC Nurse Makes A Difference Award

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Atlantic Southern Bank Names New Board Member

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Macon's Intown Historic District

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