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LADIES Newcomer gives Cobb Board of Commissioners a majority of women

Canton Road makeover

Airport expansion fuels G ROW T H B U Z Z





Marietta Daily Journal/SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013

Untroubled waters

Staff/Todd Hull

Members of the Acworth-based U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary’s Flotilla 22 are, from left: ViceFlotilla Commander Larry Cook, Vessel Safety Staff Officer Paul Grenier, Flotilla Comander Jim Farley and Vessel Examiner Luis Cribeiro. Staff/Emily Barnes

Acworth Mayor Tommy Allegood displays a rendering of the $21.5 million Dogwood Forrest assisted living center that will open in April.

‘Lucky 2013’

Mayor counting on year to be real charm By Noreen Cochran /

f 2013 is going to be “lucky 13” for the city of Acworth, as Mayor Tommy Allegood said, economic development — the addition of desirable new businesses — will be its charm. “As we continue our vision to build a great quality of life, economic development supports our mission,” he said.


“The department directors, staff Allegood said it’s a natural byand community volunteers assess and product of being a popular place, measure the economic impact that becoming the fastest-growing city in every event and program has on our Cobb County. community,” he said about benchDuring 12 years in office, he has marks like increased property values. seen the number of inhabitants zoom A city section about to get a bump 220 percent, from 9,000 residents to in its net worth is its historic downmore than 20,000, with a correspondtown, which three years ago celebrating doubling of the city’s Africaned its 150th anniversary. American and Hispanic populations. “The completion “It is population of the new School growth and demoStreet project in our graphics that have downtown redevelbrought every ACWORTH CITY HALL opment district will major retailer in the 4415 Senator Russell Ave., pave the way for a nation to the city Acworth, 30101. new residential profor business,” Alle(770) 974-3112 ject,” Allegood said good said about about a $1.5 million chains such as Walroad-widening and mart, Home Depot THE BOARD of Aldermen beautification effort and Staples. meets at 7 p.m. the first and funded by the 2005 It’s a process third Thursday of every SPLOST. that began in 2003, month at City Hall, in the Another redevelAllegood said, with council chambers. opment project a campaign bringTOMMY ALLEGOOD causing great ing together Mayor excitement, Alleschools, churches (770) 974-3112 good said, is the and city transformation of a ments. former downtown “These are some GENE PUGLIESE car dealership into of the many reaAlderman the future Dogwood sons residents and (678) 801-4004 Forest of Acworth businesses want to assisted-living cencall Acworth their BOB WEATHERFORD ter. home — educationAlderman Owner Dan Neeal excellence, com(770) 974-3533 dle of midtown munity church Atlanta-based Neeleadership, great dle Development is city services, ALBERT (BUTCH) PRICE building a $21.5 embraced diversity, Alderman million, 85,000the best recreation (770) 974-4321 square-foot facility and a safe place to to complement live,” he said. TIM RICHARDSON Alpharetta-based Acworth comAlderman Dogwood Forest’s pounds those (770) 974-5259 other properties in assets, Allegood Dunwoody, Bucksaid, with a streamhead and other localined path for comTIM HOUSTON tions. panies looking to Alderman “That’s someopen up shop. (770) 917-1883 “The city’s ecothing really, really nomic development exciting to see that WAYNE DENNARD mission has created piece of property Chief of Police 770-974-1232 transformed,” Allethe most good said about the ness-friendly envi7-acre patch. “It’s ronment that makes one of our gateways.” it easy for businesses to relocate, start Many enter through those gateup and thrive,” he said. ways, he said, for several reasons. Allegood said everyone from “Acworth was voted an All Ameriadministration to tourism pitches in to ca City in 2010 because of city proencourage prosperity. grams that were recognized to change “Every department and employee people’s lives,” Allegood said. “The understands that the city government most important component of these is in the economic development busiand all the city programs is the fact ness,” he said. Understanding translates into that they are volunteer-driven, making the city the most giving and caring action, Allegood said, for a staff not place to live. Citizens tell me all the content merely to observe general time, ‘there’s no place like home.’” trends.



Competitors soar through the turns during a race and ski demonstrations that are part of the annual Love the Lake Acworth Festival.

Acworth-based flotilla keeps Lake Allatoona safe By Geoff Folsom

ACWORTH — Walking into the Roberts School Community Center, you might think them men wearing blue uniforms are part of a group of military retirees. But when the members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary’s Flotilla 22 hit the water, they are on duty. The Acworth-based flotilla, which has 63 members who meet in Acworth regularly, is responsible for teaching boating safety to the public, inspecting boats and patrolling on Lake Allatoona. Though members provide their own boats, which must meet Coast Guard inspection, the vessels are considered to be under Coast Guard operations. “These days, Auxiliarists do virtually everything with the Coast Guard with the exception of combat and direct law enforcement,” said Flotilla 22 Commander Jim Farley, who joined the Coast Guard Auxiliary in 2004 after retiring from the city of Smyrna’s civil defense, emergency management and disaster planning operations. The all-volunteer Flotilla 22, which was chartered in 1958, has an operations center in a mobile hometype building at Allatoona Landing, where its boats are required to report to at least every half hour when they are patrolling. “If they see somebody in trouble, maybe we can assist them,” Farley said. District Captain David Fuller of Acworth, a Flotilla 22 member who oversees 35 flotillas in Georgia, South Carolina and northern Florida, said boating safety is the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s primary function. This includes teaching classes and providing free boat inspections, as well as getting word out at events like the Atlanta Boat Show. The organization emphasizes that people should avoid intoxication while boating and wear life jackets. “We want them to have fun, but we want them to do it safely,” he said. Jonathan Dawe of east Cobb, who works as an instructor with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, advises the public to take advantage

of the lessons the group offers. “All of our instructors are highly capable, highly knowledgeable, and they can really teach people how

to be safe on the water,” he said. “Whether it’s a large boat, a small boat, a sailboat or a personal water craft like a Jet Ski, there’s a lot of things we can teach.”

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SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013/Marietta Daily Journal





MAKEOVER Staff/Emily Barnes

Staff/Laura Moon

Austell Mayor Joe Jerkins stands at the entrance to the Louise Suggs Memorial Community Recreation Area, which consists of a walking trail, and will later have a disc golf course and more picnic areas.

Frank Wigington, president of Canton Road Redevelopment Foundation Inc., talks to Cobb Commissioner JoAnn Birrell in front of the Wash Barn, which is under construction along Canton Road and is part of the redevelopment project that hopefully will rekindle business.

Officials hoping project will lure new business By Noreen Cochran

Park pride A bright spot in wake of woeful economy By Noreen Cochran /

oming in 2013 is another feature at Austell’s 50-acre Louise Suggs Memorial Park, named for the famed golfer and Ladies Professional Golf Association cofounder. It will be an $8,000 amenity financed by interest from the city’s $5 million Norfolk Southern railroad fund.


— the economy, he said the city is a “We’re going to build the Frisbee good place for business. golf course,” Austell Mayor Joe “We have pretty low business Jerkins said about a nine-hole disc license fees, about $95 for most,” he golf fairway at the former Lithia said. “City taxes are low. They’re 4 Springs Golf Course. “It probably mills. You get 3 mills off from Cobb won’t take too long to do it. Probably County’s taxes if you live in the city. in the spring.” Cobb deducts that off their taxes Springs are another feature of the city, where at a historic site containing because we own our own fire department.” both ancient artiThe 1 percent of facts and a fountain the city within Doudedicated to Suggs, glas County limits the Lithia Springs is not charged tax Water Co. bottles a AUSTELL CITY HALL because it has a 1product containing 2716 Broad St., Austell, 30106 cent sales tax. the elements “It provides us um, potassium and City Council meets at 7 p.m. with funds to lower calcium. the first Monday of every the property tax,” It will take more month in the council chamJerkins said. than a health elixir, bers of City Hall. The disc golf though, to correct course, he said, is the effects of the Joseph L. Jerkins going to be in the economy, Jerkins Mayor pocket of the city said. Martin Standard near Sweetwater “I don’t see that Ward 3 Creek. it’s going to get (678) 458-3600 It will become a better here,” he gathering place for said. “Health care Virginia A. Reagan families, one of the has doubled the last advantages of living four or five years. Ward 4 in Austell, Jerkins The gasoline cost (770) 948-7303 said. has doubled. Food’s almost dou“We’re a small Trudie A. Causey ble. It’s taken a lot city where everyAt-Large, Post 1 of money out of body knows most (678) 458-4186 people’s lifestyles.” everybody. We The 6,500-resihave low taxes. We Suzanne A. Thomason dent city’s revenue don’t have a city At-Large, Post 2 stream from the manager. I look Austell Gas System (678) 665-4964 after that, so I’m has been depressed, more involved with said Jerkins, affectmore people than R. G. Starrett ing the city’s nearly most mayors are,” Police Chief $6 million budget. he said. (770) 944-4329 “Natural gas prices came way son International Timothy J. Williams down and we had a Airport is 20 minFire Chief mild winter last utes away down (770) 944-6133 year,” he said. “So Thornton Road, we lost about $1.5 Jerkins said, and million out of our WellStar Cobb Hosbudget because of pital is 10 minutes from the Threadthat.” mill Complex that houses City Hall The city used grant money for offices. those improvements, he said, while In addition, hundreds of residents another grant, $5.7 million, will comwork minutes from their houses at plete the purchase and demolition of 75 properties found to be in flood haz- places like the gas company, City Hall and cardboard box maker Caraustar ard areas after the 2009 storms. Industries. “We’re going to continue to work “There’s a lot of work here, close on the FEMA buyouts,” Jerkins said. by,” Jerkins said. “A lot of jobs.” Despite — or perhaps because of


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MARIETTA — With the help of Cobb County government, Canton Road businesses are trying to reverse 25 years of competition from a shopping area anchored by Macy’s, Belk and Sears. “Interstate 575 opened in 1980 and Town Center Mall opened in 1986,” Commissioner JoAnn Birrell of northeast Cobb said. “These events caused business and investment to migrate from Canton Road to the area around the new mall.” Counteracting the migration, the county conducted a study of the commercial corridor in 2005, the same year the Canton Road Business Association was formed. Now called the Northeast Cobb Business Association, the group is headed by landscaper Frank Wigington. In 2012, Wigington Landscaping, Bay

Breeze, Elon Salon, Columbia Properties, Canton Road Neighbors, Blackwell Elementary School, Community Bank of the South and Arylessence each put up $125 to incorporate the Canton Road Redevelopment Foundation as a nonprofit. According to Wigington, the purpose of the foundation, formally a committee recruited by Birrell, is to play middleman in the transformation of the 4.5-mile road between Marietta and Cherokee County. “Our sole purpose is to be matchmakers,” he said. “We want to hook people up that have property to sell, rent, fix up, rezone or lease with people who want to lease it, buy it or start a business.” Birrell is spearheading the effort, which also includes input from the Board of Commissioners, the Cobb Office of Economic Development, the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and the Development Authority of Cobb County.

OTHER CANTON ROAD REDEVELOPMENT PROJECTS Name Wigley Curtis Petroleum Realty Silk Gardens La CoSina Latina Blackwell Square Jiffy Lube The Summit Bar/Lounge Whitfield Smith



2200 Canton Road 2347 Canton Road 2410 Canton Road 2755 Canton Road 3372 Canton Road 3418 Canton Road 3920 Canton Road 4797 Canton Road 4939 Canton Road

Residence OK’d for commercial use; 1 acre Convenience store on 1 acre. Vacant. Warehouse on 1 acre. Vacant. Restaurant on half-acre lot. Vacant. Strip mall on 12 acres. Automotive shop on half-acre lot. Vacant. Strip mall on nearly 2 acres. On 2/3 acre lot. Vacant. Office building on 1 acre. Vacant.



Marietta Daily Journal/SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013/Marietta Daily Journal





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Marietta Daily Journal/SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013


Friendly skies Airport expansion can only help city By Noreen Cochran /

ith railroad roots, an aerodynamic present and a skateboard future, the city of Kennesaw is ready to move forward. While the city had milestones in 2012 such as celebrating the 125th anniversary of the city’s charter and the 150th year since the Great Locomotive Chase, it also ushered in a new era of air travel for the one-runway airstrip at Cobb County Airport on McCollum Parkway.


importance, “Our city Mathews is adjacent to said, with McCollum communities Field, which like West 22 in 2012 leading the added subcharge. stantial new “South hangar space City Partners to accommoidentified a date the cor24-acre site porate needs fronting of clients like Cherokee NCR and Street and many others,” proposed a Mayor Mark mixed-use Mathews project said. including stu“Between the dent housing county and and retail,” the (fixedhe said. “It’s based operaquite a step tors), they up from the invested this old college past year over dorm room.” $75 million Redevelin improveopment in the ments. That’s Cherokee huge.” Street corriIt also dor, anchored celebrated the at one end at groundbreaking of a new Staff/Emily Barnes the Southern skate park at West 22 is among the new communities that Museum of SwiftMayor Mark Mathews says makes Kennesaw Civil War and LocomoCantrell Park more attractive to new residents. tive History in January. and the other at Interstate 75, Math“The facility will be the first ever ews said, will encourage health and permanent skate park to feature elements modeled on a competitive street wellness. “We recently partnered with the skate park design,” Mathews said. (Atlanta Regional Commission) and “It’s funded by the 2011 SPLOST, AARP on a walkability assessment augmented by corporate or private donations or grants, not the city’s gen- that focuses on options like improving sidewalks and adding bike paths so eral fund.” people can get around without necesMathews said his vision for the sarily driving,” he said. future is a “forward-thinking commuThe corridor is one of 14 identified nity where sustainable development as critical to long-term goals and one and environmental friendliness is a priority, where a high quality of life is of five seeing activity. “Another way we’re helping clear valued and maintained, and where resthe way for business growth is idents and businesses thrive.” through strategic annexations,” MathHis vision for 2013 features ecoews said about resolving island situanomic development in which stores, health care providers, logistics compa- tions where Cobb County land is surrounded by city property. nies and light industrial firms will be All those parcels add up to a great encouraged. place to live, he said. “The more support we give to help “Kennesaw offers a unique blend businesses expand and grow, the more of past, present, and future,” Mathews jobs will be created, which then gensaid. “Our past gave us the foundation erates revenue for the local economy of a rich heritage with a history that is as well as the city,” Mathews said. respected and preserved. The KenneIncentives like opportunity zones saw of today is a vibrant, growing may be created, in which businesses community with exceptional ameniare rewarded for creating jobs in six ties, abundant educational options, and underserved locations. high quality business growth and job Its downtown and Kennesaw State opportunities.” University areas are also of prime

Staff/Laura Moon

Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin stands at Atherton Square, located near the Marietta Square. Atherton Square is on Tumlin’s renovation list.

Big city plans Mayor ready to get vision under way By Noreen Cochran /

obb County’s largest city has a big agenda for 2013, according to Marietta Mayor Steve “Thunder” Tumlin. His vision begins with deploying funds from the city’s $25 million parks bond and $45 million special purpose local option sales tax for projects such as roads and bridges


Booth will have its own approach. “I have a very pragmatic vision. “Improvement is different on the We’re in the fourth year of a parks west side,” Tumlin said. “It’s a little bond and the second year of a bit more stable overall, so we’re pushSPLOST,” he said. “I want to see the ing residential city make every growth on that positive step we can side.” to get those comIn the economic pleted. Especially development arena, the parks. We studMARIETTA CITY HALL the mayor said a ied it and kicked the 205 Lawrence St., Marietta, dedicated departball around. It’s 30060 ment works with time to get more 770-794-5506 the Georgia Champarks under way.” ber of Commerce. Tumlin said four CITY COUNCIL meets at 7 p.m. “Our role is like or five projects the second Wednesday of bread and butter,” should see signifievery month in the council Tumlin said. “We cant advancement chambers of City Hall. provide an infrathis year. structure — water “We’re beyond STEVE TUMLIN and sewer, supplythe ‘good start’ Mayor ing people with stage,” Tumlin said. 770-794-5501 reliable electricity, “It’s time to start fire and police sermaking those deciANNETTE P. LEWIS vices.” sions and getting Ward 1 He said the city those things out to 770-429-0963 is not looking for bid.” warehouse-sized Pocket park stores or heavy Atherton Square is GRIFFIN L. CHALFANT manufacturing. slated for a federalWard 2 “We attract ly funded $770,000 770-351-7035 small- to mediummakeover. size, white-collar, “We’re going to JOHNNY V. SINCLAIR non-manufacturing do a lot of work Ward 3 firms,” Tumlin said. there,” Tumlin said. 770-605-4755 “We’re going to Tourism is one restore the beautiful of the items in the railroad station.” city’s economic ANDY MORRIS Another area to development toolkWard 4 address in 2013 is it, bringing visitors 770-527-2785 recommitment to to town who may the city’s goal of decide to stay, he ANTHONY C. COLEMAN more owner-occusaid. pied housing, he Ward 5 “We want to said, by helping 770-794-5526 have a quality of builders navigate life that enhances the maze of appliour universities, our JIM W. KING cations, hearings parks, our trails, our Ward 6 and other adminisKennesaw Moun770-509-2521 trative procedures. tain, our Square, to “If there’s a attract them so they PHILIP M. GOLDSTEIN hitch, we help the say, ‘I’d like to live Ward 7 builders work there. I’d like to through it,” Tumlin 770-428-5322 move my business said. “You don’t there,’” he said. want to be too Daniel Flynn, Police Chief “We actually have loose, you don’t 770-794-5333 no mechanisms to want to be too tight. offer business So we’ll make sure incentives, so our we treat them fairly best shot is our first and expeditiously.” impression.” In the redevelopment sphere, TumTumlin, a lifelong Marietta resilin said Franklin and Booth roads need dent, said it is difficult for him to some work. “We’re doing all we can to get two summarize what makes the city a great place to live. hotels (on Franklin) going. There are “I tried to figure out where I could some nice office parks where we want to attract more business,” Tumlin said. start and where I could stop,” he said. “I love it, and I don’t just love it “We’re doing those with opportunity because I was born here.” zones and outright recruitment.”


CITY PROFILE KENNESAW CITY HALL 2529 J.O. Stephenson Ave., Kennesaw, 30144 770-424-8274 CITY COUNCIL meets at 6:30 p.m. the first and third Monday of every month in the council chambers of City Hall. MARK MATHEWS, Mayor 770-424-8274 CRIS EATON-WELSH Council Post 1, Mayor Pro Tem 678-266-0885 TIM KILLINGSWORTH Council Post 2 678-873-7146 tkillingsworth@

From left, displaying the new Visit Marietta Square application, are: Theresa Jenkins, executive director of the Marietta Welcome Center and Visitors Bureau; Tom Duke, vice president of sales of Populace, Inc.; Katie Peterson, marketing and public relations manager of the Marietta Welcome Center and Visitors Bureau; and Matt Greene, president and CEO of Populace, Inc.

BRUCE JENKINS Coucil Post 3 678-251-6381 BILL THRASH Council Post 4 404-392-3105 Jeff Duckett Coucil Post 5 678-480-1340 William Westenberger Chief of Police (770)-429-4535

How app-out that! Visitors Bureau introduces new app for Marietta Square From staff reports

Staff/Laura Moon

Information about Marietta is now at your fingertips. The Marietta Visitors Bureau has launched the new Visit Marietta Square App for iPhone, iPad, and Android users. The app is free to download and allows visitors and residents to explore Marietta including dining, attractions, lodging,

events and more. The Visit Marietta Square App makes it easy to enjoy all that Marietta has to offer. Turn your Smartphone or mobile device into a personal tour guide. Download the App on your iPhone or iPad through the App Store, or on Google Play for Android devices. The app’s Connect feature provides up-to-date information

on various events and happenings taking place in the area, and allows users to stay connected with the Marietta Visitors Bureau on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and online at Visit the Marietta Visitors Bureau at the Visitor Center, 4 Depot St., in Marietta (just off the Marietta Square) or call (770) 429-1115.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013/Marietta Daily Journal





Marietta Daily Journal/SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013/Marietta Daily Journal






Marietta Daily Journal/SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013




Staff/Emily Barnes

Powder Springs Mayor Pat Vaughn visits a popular attraction in the Metro area, the Silver Comet Trail.

Silver Comet Trail gets a ‘partner’ By Noreen Cochran /

ith its origins in the Cherokee Nation, a reputation as a gold rush town and possession of seven mineral springs that turned the soil gunpowder-black, Powder Springs established itself as an attraction long ago. According to Mayor Pat Vaughn, the coming year will enrich its residents’ quality of life with new reasons to visit city sights like the Silver Comet Trail.


A linear park next to the trail will include a snack bar and a “unique playground,” she said, while the Lewis Road extension will include a bike and walking path from the trail to downtown Powder Springs. “This road will further open our downtown corridor for

commercial and mixed-use development opportunities,” she said. “It will provide business development opportunities and transportation enhancements to our historic downtown business district.” A new theater will open in the downtown corridor in 2013

at the Coach George E. Ford Center on Atlanta Street. “The Cultural Arts Community Theater will have a multipurpose benefit for our citizens, allowing for dramatic, musical, dance and other entertaining performances, as well as a gathering place for social, commu-

MACLAND CHAPEL 3940 Macland Road Powder Springs, GA (near McEachern United Methodist Church)

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nity and other cultural events,” Vaughn said. Getting the word out about this and other projects, events and programs is going to be emphasized this year, she said. “We look forward to enhancing our ongoing communication with a monthly newsletter that can be distributed through utility billing and on the city’s website,” Vaughn said. “Speaking of the website, the city will be upgrading it.” Technology will be complemented by brick-and-mortar remediation when the city tackles its aging water and sewer infrastructure. “We have already begun making necessary repairs,” Vaughn said. Through the 2011 special purpose local option sales tax, sidewalks will be installed on streets like Brownsville Road and Austell-Powder Springs Road. Bridge rehabilitation projects will be completed on structures crossing Powder Springs Creek, Wildhorse Creek and the Silver Comet Trail. A never-ending task for any municipality seems to be repaving and road repair, and Powder Springs will start a new cycle in the spring, also courtesy of the 2011 SPLOST. With better roads, bridges and sidewalks come better traffic movement, and the city is looking to increase commercial traffic through more robust economic development. “The city will work even more closely with the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, South Cobb Business Association, Cobb County Government, South Cobb Development Authority and others,” Vaughn said, “to provide the best business environment for existing and new business alike.” Look for a newly reconstituted Development Authority, “to bring some of the more savvy business and development minds of our community together,” she said, to help the city attract high-quality commercial tenants.

CITY PROFILE POWDER SPRINGS CITY HALL 4484 Marietta St., Powder Springs, 30127 770-943-1666 CITY COUNCIL meets at 7 p.m. the first and third Monday of every month in the council chambers of City Hall. PATRICIA VAUGHN Mayor 770-943-1666 CHERYL SARVIS Ward 1 770-943-8001 ext. 322 AL THURMAN Ward 2 770-943-8001 ext. 323 NANCY HUDSON Ward 3 770-943-8001 ext. 324 ROSALYN G. NEAL Post 1 – At Large 770 943 8001 ext. 321 CHRIS WIZNER Post 2 – At Large 770-943-1666 CHARLIE SEWELL Chief of Police 770-943-1616

When companies move here, Vaughn said, they may find their employees delighted by their new surroundings. “Above all else, Powder Springs has wonderful and caring citizens,” she said. “Here, we take care of our neighbor. We like to say that ‘We are large enough to serve you and small enough to know you.’” Through many changes, one aspect remains constant, Vaughn said. “We have maintained the small town charm that makes Powder Springs a wonderful place to call home,” she said.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013/Marietta Daily Journal






Marietta Daily Journal/SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013

In Marietta, improving on progress in their districts is the goal of City Council


‘Proud of accomplishments’ with roads Ward 1 City Councilwoman Annette Lewis said SPLOST 2005 funds have been well spent on road improvements. “When I drive up Roswell Street, I feel so proud of all the accomplishments there and those on Fairground and Powder Springs Street, the entrances to our city,” she said. “I enjoy seeing the pocket park coming in and the alignment of the two Frazier streets.” Pedestrians, too, are getting the benefit, with a High Intensity Activated Crosswalk midblock on South Marietta Parkway. “At the new Cobb Community Transit shelters at Fairground and the Loop, there is a HAWK system going in so people can cross the street safely,” Lewis said about a long stretch of road between traffic signals. The system is operated by pushing a button, which activates lights that flash yellow, burn yellow then turn red. Lewis said she felt optimistic about the upcoming Marietta University Enhancement District, in which Life University, Southern Polytechnic State University and the surrounding business community will try to connect in more beneficial ways.

770-429-0963 She also anticipates new trails adding walkability to her ward’s neighborhoods and a better real estate market. “In my ward, we’ve had new homes built that sold within three days,” she said. “We have new product coming out of the ground. It’s staying on the market a very short time. I believe those are good indicators.” Marietta finally has a soccer complex at Custer Park, she said, and other parks and recreation projects will follow. “We’ll be working on Victory Park. A new area at Preston Chase Apartments was chosen for a $1.2 million complex. We have Tumlin Park coming online,” she said. A $25 million bond issue from 2009 is creating some urgency in the planning process. “We have to move on the parks this year,” Lewis said. “We have to start the expenditures on the bond. We have deadlines.”




Keeping busy with quality-of-life issues

Staff/Laura Moon

Marietta City Councilman Grif Chalfant would like to see a new tenant occupy the old grocery store in the shopping center on Whitlock Avenue.

Strides toward positive development City Councilman Grif Chalfant said the biggest strides Ward 2 made in 2012 included Powder Springs Road getting a “halo effect” from Cobb County’s purchase of an abandoned shopping center. “The new government annex now houses community development, property management, a newly opened senior center with a cafeteria, a theater and a fitness facility,” he said. Another positive development was the opening of a Walmart Neighborhood Market, revitalizing a vacant grocery store mall. Other economic development additions include new commercial tenants like the NCG Cinema, Chinese and Greek restaurants and a QuikTrip gas station in a former junkyard. This year will see the installation of a

multi-use trail connecting an old trail downtown with the city limits. Funds have been set aside for completing the Sandtown to Chestnut Hill landscape corridor with street lights, sidewalks and landscaping. A similar project will be funded, Chalfant said, from Kirkpatrick to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park along Whitlock Avenue, he said. Meanwhile, the hunt will be on for the economic development staff, headed by Beth Sessoms, to find an appropriate tenant for the old A&P grocery store on Whitlock Avenue. Momentum will be the watchword, Chalfant said, for his final 2013 project. “We’ll try to keep up the progress on Powder Springs Road,” he said.


Working with police on safety priority City Councilman Andy Morris said he is making Ward 4 safety his No. 1 priority. “By working with the Marietta Police Department and the Public Works Department, I hope to try to solve some of the problems on our public streets,” he said. Problems include 18-wheeler traffic at the industrial park at Kennesaw Avenue and Marble Mill Road. “I have a problem with trucks coming off that intersection,” Morris said in a public works committee meeting last month. “There’s a new subdivision right across the street. Those asphalt trucks are working night and day. The soot comes right over that brick wall.” Traffic calming measures might be the way to discourage trucks from traveling the residential lanes, he said. “We can’t have a police officer out there constantly. There’s no way we can keep those trucks from coming down that street. The only thought I had was, if they come out and take a left and they have to go over these speed humps, then maybe they’ll go straight on Marble Mill.” He said another problem, speeding, is compounded because the intersection lies in two jurisdictions — Marietta city limits and unincorporated Cobb. “The county speed limit is 40 mph right there. If you continue straight, it’s 35. We’re trying to get it changed to 35 on

770-527-2785 both sections. How can they put their 40 mph signs on our property and we can’t put our 35 on their property?” Morris said. “It’s frustrating for the people in that subdivision who want us to do something to help them out.” It’s his second time working for the constituents of Ward 4 since he served from 2002 to 2005. “My biggest accomplishment was winning the special election in July,” Morris said about the race to fill the unexpired term of former City Councilman Van Pearlberg, who resigned to run for Cobb Superior Court. Pearlberg’s wife, Patti, then ran against Morris, who reclaimed his seat with 1,465 votes to her 1,082, garnering 57 percent of the vote. “I have experience, so I’ll be able to start from Day One,” Morris told the Journal in August. “I know all the city employees, so I’ll work with them. I’ve had several people worried about cutthrough traffic cutting through the local streets, Kennesaw Avenue, St. Mary’s Lane and others that are in my ward. I want to sit down with the mayor and see what’s coming up and help him. I’ve known him since elementary school, so I know we’ll work well together.”

City Councilman Johnny Sinclair said 2013 will keep him busy with quality-oflife issues. “I want to work with people to help control both the volume and speed of traffic when it passes through our neighborhoods,” he said. “Ward 3 has become very attractive to young families and empty nesters who are drawn to our excellent schools and proximity to the Square, and I want them to feel safe on their own streets.” Also on deck are efforts to give pedestrians the chance to walk to the Square and parks from all parts of the ward. “I’d like to continue our sidwalk program and also explore a multi-use trail here,” he said. “I’d like to work with the city council

770-605-4755 to complete a streetscape project down Whitlock Avenue, adding sidewalks and design features along the entire street.” Sinclair’s biggest accomplishments in 2012 combined teamwork and individual efforts. They were: • Finding the land and working with the mayor and city council to create two parks; • Making decisions on controversial zoning cases that could have negatively affected the quality of life in the city; and • Being declared Cobb County Realtor of the Year by the Cobb Association of Realtors.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013/Marietta Daily Journal




Priorities: Home, road improvements Bordering fellow Councilman Andy 770-794-5526 Morris’ ward is that of City Councilman Anthony Coleman. • The 10th homeownership forum for Coleman said Ward 5 improvements citizens interested in owning a home in will be on several levels. Marietta “Planned activities will be to continue • The 12th annual jobs fair and employto improve the homes, infrastructure, ment expo that resulted in 200 persons gethomeownership and recreational opportuting jobs nities in my ward and, really, for our entire • Completion of the Fairground city,” he said. Street/North Loop intersection improveThe greatest accomplishments his ward ments enjoyed, Coleman said, included: • Completion of the Custer Park Soccer • Three new homes built through the Fields under the 2009 parks bond Marietta Initiative for Neighborhood • Senior housing completed at Dorsey Transformation program using federal Manor funds • First Landmark Bank developed on • Implementation of the city’s Commuthe North Loop nity Development Block Grant slum and • Historic Markers placed at Old Zion blight removal program Baptist Church and Lemon Street School.

Staff/Todd Hull

Ward 3 City Councilman Johnny Sinclair says he wants to continue work on renovating homes in his district.

Staff/Laura Moon

Councilman Anthony Coleman (gray suit) was instrumental in getting a new marker placed at the old former black Lemon Street High School.



Accomplishments eyed as ‘team effort’

Citing success ‘on quite a few fronts’

Fellow council members Annette 770-428-5322 Lewis, Chris Chalfant and City Councilman Philip Goldstein expressed similar Goldstein said he also looks forward to thoughts on their cooperative roles in past continuing to support programs that assist and future events. residents. “Items worked on or accomplished are a Looking back on 2012, he said the team effort,” Goldstein said. biggest accomplishments in his ward were: Ward 7 improvements he anticipates in Continuing constituent services; laying the 2013 include: groundwork for redevelopment; improve• More road improvements: Roswell Street between Gresham Road and U.S. 41; ments on Franklin Road at South Marietta Parkway, Delk Road and Roswell Street Roswell Road at U.S. 41; Franklin Road between Gresham Road and U.S. 41; travel lanes and sidewalk working on parks that serve Ward 7; and • Progress on parks: A new park on Franklin Road and enhancements to Victo- bringing forward ideas such as Marietta’s technology app. ry Park.

Ward 6 Councilman Jim King pointed to parks and road improvements as a top accomplishment for 2012. “From last year, No. 1 was continuing improvements on Whitaker and Merritt parks, No. 2 was the completion of Fairground and the roundabout at Allgood. No. 3., although it doesn’t seem big is a lot of small victories for homeowners who call me with problems,” King said. “Continuing the ability to solve problems for people is a big part of this job. I was successful on quite a few fronts. That’s always delightful.” Continuing work on projects will top

770-509-2521 the list for the next year, King said. “This year my priorities are completion of the improvements at Merritt Park. They have done trails. We got a bridge put in. We’ve still got to get the pathway up to it. There were two really old tennis courts we tore down. We’re replacing them with one new tennis court and a sand volleyball court. We got a lot requests from people for sand volleyball. “No. 2. is to work out all the right of way for the Roswell Street project, and No. 3 is to get some forward motion on our recreation center.”



Tim Lee, chairman: 770-528-3305 (see Page 4BB)

‘Women have different emotions and are more compassionate on certain things. Probably I think women are more doers, too, and get things done.’


McCollum Field expansion touted By Jon Gillooly

Commissioner JoAnn Birrell

Ladies rule! With addition of Cupid, women now hold 3-2 majority on Board of Commissioners

Staff/Emily Barnes

From left: Commissioners Lisa Cupid, Helen Goreham and JoAnn Birrell.

xpressing her approval of Lisa Cupid being sworn into office in January, Commissioner JoAnn Birrell said, “Now we have a 3-2 ‘women rule’ on the Board of Commissioners. We outnumber the men. Women rule.” Cupid’s joining Birrell and Helen Goreham on the board marks the first time the board had women in the majority, Goreham said.


While there are exceptions to the rule, Birrell says women and men tend to approach leadership from different perspectives. “Women have different emotions and are more compassionate on certain things,” Birrell said. “Probably I think women are more doers, too, and get things done. I just think women are more compassionate because that’s just kind of a woman’s trait. I think being able to listen and empathize and that kind of thing is more a woman thing.” With women in the majority, Birrell said she hopes to see more consensus building on the board. Overall, the message the new benchmark sends about Cobb County is a positive one, Birrell said. “There’s a first for everything, and this shows that Cobb County is progressive and willing to give women a chance,” she said. Holly Comer Tuchman, CEO and executive director the YWCA of Northwest Georgia, also sees it as a positive. “I just think it shows that the demographics are changing and that we have some really strong, incredible women in our community that are wanting to be public servants and are running for public office and run good campaigns, and it’s probably been a long time coming, some would say, but I think it just says a lot about the caliber of the women we have in our community that are running for office,” Tuchman said. Tuchman said she’s not suggesting that a board majority of men is not good as well. “I think it takes a lot for anyone to run for office today, but I think more women are wanting to run for office and make a difference in the political arena now, and that’s a very positive thing to see,” she said. “I think it takes all of us to make it work, so I think it’s exciting

Helen Goreham

Women have proven through the years that they can handle business and perform and react and make sound judgments just as well as a man can. The only difference may be in a wrestling ring or on the football field.

Marietta Daily Journal/SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013

I have had the good fortune of growing up with and serving alongside many strong women who care deeply for their families and their communities. Thus, I may take for granted that we serve as a majority on the Board of Commissioners. Lisa Cupid

to see women running.” Goreham said she doesn’t see a change in the way business is done on the county level. “A vote is a vote, no matter who presses that button, so I think it’s going to be business as usual,” Goreham said. “I think it comes down to a personal approach and a personal viewpoint, not a gender basis for that. “I think on the surface it looks great. “It’s a historical moment for Cobb County, but in actuality, I think it’s going to be business as usual, and it takes three votes, so you’re going to see those rolling coalitions, those coalitions that change with each subject matter, with each issue, you’re going to see a different three come forward.” If anything, such a majority is old news given how women are flourishing in every field, Goreham said. “Women have proven through the years that they can handle business and perform and react and make sound judgments just as well as a man can,” Goreham said. “The only difference may be in a wrestling ring or on the football field, but that’s due to other differences, but like I said, business as usual. You look for those three votes, and that combination of three will change dependent upon the issue at hand.” Cupid spoke less about the majority of women than the future of the board as a whole. “I have had the good fortune of growing up with and serving alongside many strong women who care deeply for their families and their communities,” Cupid said. “Thus, I may take for granted that we serve as a majority on the Board of Commissioners. I appreciate the relationships I have with everyone on the board and time will tell what role gender will play, if any. I do know this, the board will have many successes and I am pleased to be here to represent Southwest Cobb.”


WEST COBB — Cobb Commissioner Helen Goreham said things are looking up for the county’s transportation and public service needs. McCollum Field, an airport that contributes $112.4 million to the local economy each year, has 842 local jobs dependent on activity conducted there. Commissioners are planning to build a new $2.56 million control tower, which is expected to be in place by fall 2014. Another improvement is the new 100,000 square feet of hangar space under construction known as Corporate Row, which is being built by the airport’s fixed-based operators. The $7 million project will have space to house about 25 midsized corporate jets. There are about 225 aircraft based at McCollum Field and about 186 takeoffs and landings every day. The county is also opening a U.S. Customs and Border Protection office at the airport this fall, which will allow international aircraft to land at the airport rather than going to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Goreham said another point of pride is the $2.7 million Senior Wellness Center on Power Springs Street, which opened this summer. The center includes a gym facility for seniors, a cafeteria and food production for Meals on Wheels, and offers classes for seniors to learn how to cook healthy meals. On the transportation front, Goreham said she is a fan of the recommendation made by a $1.8 million Northwest Corridor Alternatives Analysis study spearheaded by Croy Engineering to build a $1.1 billion bus system from Kennesaw State University to Midtown Atlanta that uses both Interstate 75 and Cobb Parkway. The proposal is still in draft form while the county waits for KimleyHorn and Associates to finish a $3 million environmental study, which will be done in about 18 months. Goreham said she thinks the proposal can be funded through a combination of federal, state and local sales tax dollars. First elected in 2002, Goreham is in her third, four-year term. She is next up for election in 2014 and plans to run again for a fourth term.


$500M in development projects By Jon Gillooly


EAST COBB — With $500 million in development projects that are under way or completed over the last two years, Commissioner Bob Ott’s east Cobb district is flourishing in spite of economic malaise elsewhere. The three master plans Ott has developed for the Johnson Ferry Corridor, the Powers Ferry Corridor and Vinings, have helped spur east Cobb’s growth by showing developers exactly what the communities want, thereby eliminating uncertainty, he said. Revising the county’s development standards has been another ingredient to success by eliminating dated and hostile policies toward redevelopment, Ott said. A highlight of his district has been the new $22.5 million Sterling Estates Senior Living Community on Lower Roswell Road, which is the

first residential senior living project that the Board of Commissioners approved next to a neighborhood. The 1.5-mile stretch of Windy Hill Road between Cobb Parkway and Powers Ferry Road is undergoing a $25 million widening to six lanes. The Board of Commissioners is also expected to take action on a zoning request for one of the last large, undeveloped properties in the exclusive Walton High School district. The 32-acre property on Johnson Ferry Road, which sits between the Riverhill Subdivision and the Parkaire Shopping Center, is scheduled for a 125-home upscale subdivision. This year Ott also plans to work with Commissioner Lisa Cupid as they eye doing a master plan for the Cumberland area and for South Cobb Drive.


Canton Road revitalization is goal By Jon Gillooly


NORTHEAST COBB — Commissioner JoAnn Birrell of Northeast Cobb intends to focus her energies this year on the Canton Road area, an older, mostly commercial part of her district in need of revitalization. There are 13 sites the county government has identified along Canton Road that were either blighted or vacant and in need of redevelopment. To tackle the challenge, Birrell formed a committee composed of the area’s business and community leaders. The group has filed to become a nonprofit called the Canton Road Redevelopment Foundation, which will allow it to request grant money from the Development Authority of Cobb. That funding will serve as an

additional incentive for businesses to come to Canton Road, Birrell said. Birrell, who was elected in 2010, said her goal is to see the area revitalized in the next two to four years. Looking back over 2012, Birrell said it was a great year for northeast Cobb, with the opening of a popular roundabout at Holly Springs and Davis roads, along with the Big Shanty Connector, a four-lane road that tunnels under Interstate 75 to link Chastain Road to Chastain Meadows. Birrell said the residential housing market is beginning to recover with eight subdivisions under construction in her district, totaling more than $124.7 million in construction costs.


Focus is on raising district profile By Jon Gillooly


AUSTELL — For newly elected commissioner Lisa Cupid of Austell, the task for the coming year is simply raising her South Cobb community up to the level of “satisfactory.” Cupid was elected last year after ousting veteran commissioner Woody Thompson in the Democratic primary. On a recent tour of her district with another commissioner, one of the first things the commissioner pointed out was the trash and overall appearance of the district, she said. “It wasn’t until I went to other parts that I really started looking at the issue,” Cupid said. “I realize we really have a problem here, but it’s something I think we can tackle.” Another observation was the con-

dition of the roads in South Cobb, she said. “I started paying more attention and driving around and I did see that they’re pretty awful,” she said. “Potholes, paving, even there was one part of the road where it looked as if the road had been gathering up in some very strange manner, so we just have a lot of work to do to make sure that the quality of the area is not even welcoming, but just satisfactory for those who live here. “And I think if we can do that, then it will already start to make a significant difference. It’s not sexy to talk about, but it’s necessary to be able to move this area, so it can become a player in Cobb like the other areas.”

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013/Marietta Daily Journal





o f

Leap faith

Staff/Laura Moon

Mayor Max Bacon enjoys an afternoon at Taylor-Brawner Park, which includes a playground, amphitheater, the Taylor-Brawner House and Brawner Hall, right.

‘Wonderful place’ Mayor touts Taylor-Brawner park By Noreen Cochran /

he City of Jonquils got its moniker from yellow, daffodil-like flowers brought to the town by the Taylors, a pioneer family immortalized in Smyrna’s premier outdoor location, Taylor-Brawner Park. Mayor A. Max Bacon calls the land and its main structure “an example of creative and responsible adaptive reuse.”


“Formerly a psychiatric facility and ing hearing? Want to replay the proclamation presentation? There’s an grounds, this park is now on the app for that. National Historic Register, and it’s a “The meetings wonderful place to will be timehold a progressive stamped to the gathering,” he said. agenda, making it Events at the SMYRNA CITY HALL easier for citizens park such as the 2800 King St., Smyrna, 30080 to review topics “highly successful 770-434-6600 important to them,” and trend-setting” Bacon said. Smyrna Food Truck More interactive Tuesdays, Bacon CITY COUNCIL meets at 7:30 functions will said, are part of his p.m. the first and third Moninclude a virtual vision for 2013. day of every month in the suggestion box and “We have much council chambers of City Hall. on-demand video. to accomplish in MAX BACON Brick-and-mor2013, not the least of Mayor tar improvements which is continuing (770) 319-5302 will feed into the a tradition of citizen city’s economic focus,” he said. development plan, Another way to MELLENY PRITCHETT Bacon said, includserve the residents Mayor Pro-Tem/Ward 1 ing the continued is by devoting “seriCouncilwoman promotion of South ous attention” to (770) 319-5306 Cobb Drive and community Windy Hill Road as opment, in which ANDREA BLUSTEIN opportunity zone the city works with Ward 2 locations and ongoproperty owners to ing improvements (770) 319-5307 find their lands’ along Atlanta Road. highest and best He expects a TERI ANULEWICZ use, Bacon said. public information Ward 3 “We have session on the (770) 319-5308 already acquired southern portion of aging apartment the Atlanta Road complexes and are CHARLES WELCH project, a 2011 in the process of Ward 4 SPLOST initiative seeing both the (770) 319-5309 affected by personopportunity for — nel matters. and evidence of — “Smyrna had a SUSAN DEASE WILKINSON changing the future staffing change and Ward 5 use of said propernow has a new city (770) 319-5310 ties,” he said. engineer assigned to Redevelopment the project,” Bacon WADE LNENICKA said. “The new city plans are being Ward 6 engineer (Eric Ranmade for aging (770) 319-5311 dall) needed time to multifamily transition.” plexes such as Design work has Smyrna Commons, RON FENNEL been finished and Hickory Lake and Ward 7 plans are approved, Regency Apart(770) 319-5312 he said, and now ments. the baton passes to Beside apartJASON LANYON the city’s public ment space, cyberworks department. Fire Chief/Emergency Manspace is an area the “The difference agement Director city will address between this phase (770) 319-5365 this year, providing and the first phase access to new is that the conDAVID LEE online applications. struction will be “City Council Police Chief handled in-house meetings will begin (770) 434-9481 rather than through live streaming to an outside contracthe Internet in early tor,” Bacon said. 2013,” Bacon said. “This means that It’s all about “working hard to procitizens may watch meetings live on vide quality and progressive services,” just about any Internet-connected he said, in a municipality he considers device.” the ideal place “to invest one’s heart and finances.” Don’t want to sit through the zon-


Staff/Laura Moon

Gavin Nesz, 3, takes a spin on his bicycle at Taylor-Brawner Park as his dad, Greg Nesz of Smyrna, follows along with his 20-month-old sister, Payton.

Staff/Emily Barnes

Avid University of Texas fans Trey and Molly Holm say that since opening their faith-based business Glory Haus, it has been ‘growing exponentially.’

The Holms sank virtually their life’s savings into a faith-based gift business, and now it is paying off By Sheri Kell /

lory Haus husband and wife team Trey and Molly Holm have learned a lifetime of lessons in the short time since they launched their faith-based gift business. The native Texans met at the University of Texas prior to moving to Atlanta for Trey to attend seminary at Emory University. Molly, with a degree in interior design, landed a job as a designer for Home Depot’s first Expo Center.


Following seminary, Trey obtained a law degree and the two began a family. Retired from Home Depot, Molly was doing interior design on the side while caring for three young children. In 2008, Molly, with friends Marnie Tanner, Kimberly Brown and Angela Riess, embarked on an idea to take their friend Laura Kirkland’s whimsical pottery and artwork hobby to a broader market. “She and I were in her basement and she said, ‘I can’t keep doing this — you need to do the business and I need to do the art,’” recalls Molly. “I felt like I had a vision of how it would work out,” she said. “When the five of us started, our husbands thought it would be a hobby until our kids started preschool.” Using the Holms’ dining room table as their office, the team faced their first hurdle — how to manufacture the hand-painted pottery on a mass basis. Molly traveled to China and hired a manufacturer, but quality quickly proved to be a problem. The Holms took a life-altering risk — they cashed out their 401(k) accounts, sold their Home Depot stock and borrowed money to start their own manufacturing plant in China. Trey temporarily relocated to purchase equipment, set up and train workers how to hand-paint the items. Launching in the Atlanta Gift Mart with one 10-foot display for their first show, Molly said their goal was to sell $25,000 worth of product. “We walked away with $150,000 in orders,” she recalled. In 2010, Trey left his law practice and joined Molly in the business.

“We were growing exponentially,” he said. “We asked ourselves, what if we work together as a team.” Today, Glory Haus has a 14,000square-foot showroom in the Atlanta mart, and showrooms in Dallas, Chicago, Minneapolis and Denver. The company will open in Las Vegas later this year. The products are in 8,000 retail stores worldwide, and 2012 sales topped $7 million. The company is based in a 30,000-square-foot warehouse off of Webb Industrial Drive near Cobb Parkway. In 2011, the company launched a burlap line and partnered with “Daughters of Hope,” a fair-trade company in India that employs impoverished or exploited women. At a 6,000-square-foot factory, 45 women make pillows, tea towels, holiday banners and table runners. Day care for the employees’ children and lunch are provided. The Holms said that while their holiday line accounts for 60 to 70 percent of their sales; their collegiate line has grown tremendously and is now licensed with 30 schools. Marietta resident and entrepreneur Owen Prillaman said he is impressed with what the Holms have achieved in such a short time. “More important, is how they have treated their employees and supported their community … They have helped their friends when they could by providing jobs and support and have donated their time and money to improving Cobb County.” “We wanted to do something bigger than ourselves,” said Molly. “We have been blessed beyond measure.”



TITLE: Owner AGE: 44 EDUCATION: B.A., University of Texas; Masters of Divinity, Emory University; Juris Doctor, Georgia State University FIRST JOB: Middle school: Summer ranch hand at uncle’s ranch in Texas. BEST JOB: Serving and working with the big family at Glory Haus! Lesson Learned the Hard Way: Find joy and peace where you are each day. ADVICE TO THE NEXT GENERATION: When you have the occasion and opportunity to lead people, remember that leaders are primarily servants.

TITLE: Owner & Chief Creative Officer AGE: 43 Education: B.S. in Interior Design, University of Texas FIRST JOB: Age 16: Waitress at a dessert shop BEST JOB: My current job! I love what I do and who I do it with! LESSON LEARNED THE HARD WAY: There really is a reason for Silica gel packs — mold grows without them! ADVICE TO NEXT GENERATION: To be successful it takes a lot of hard work, willingness to take risks, and a supportive community!



Marietta Daily Journal/SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013


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modern facilities we are able to provide the best in services to fit your needs. We believe that a funeral is more than just a one step service, it should be designed to create an experience and environment for all the family and friends to celebrate the life of a loved one. When you call Mayes Ward-Dobbins there is always someone to answer your questions. With our new funeral home, we have the newest technology for cremation. We invite every family to visit our facility and ask about pre-arrangements.

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New Chamber Chair ready for business Initiative notches 25 years



Marietta Daily Journal/SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013


...Cost-saving actions we take over the next 12 to 18 months will position us to compete for new, major programs on the horizon in 2016 and beyond.

Shan Cooper, Lockheed general manager and vice president

Marietta plant making moves to offset cuts, economy By Jon Gillooly The watchword at Lockheed Martin’s Marietta facility — just as it is across the entire Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company — is affordability, according to Lockheed chief Shan Cooper. “We have been on a quest for more than a year reviewing our programs, processes and physical footprint — all in an effort to become more efficient, and reduce our overhead costs in an effort to keep the Marietta plant competitive for future aerospace and defense contracts and programs,” Cooper said. Cooper said she anticipates the current 6,800-person employee base dropping by several hundred more by year’s end, in the wake of the F22 program ending last year and the move from Georgia to Texas of most of the remaining F-22 jobs this year, and the C-130J production rate dropping from 36 annuThey’re contin- aircraft ally in 2012 to uing to draw 24 a year starting in down the 2013, coupled plant, and my with trimming the workforce concern is not in other areas so much with as Lockheed how good the implements people are out more efficient processes. there — “As the they’re just employee population great people drops and pro— but there’s grams change, just not we are consolidating our enough busiworkers in ness to go fewer locations, allowaround. ing us to close some buildMicky Blackwell, ings to reap former Lockeed the mainteMarietta president nance and utilities savings those actions afford,” she said. “No question, 2013 will be a challenging year for our Marietta operations, but we are confident the cost-saving actions we take over the next 12 to 18 months will position us to compete for new, major programs on the horizon in 2016 and beyond. We believe our short-term actions will pay long-term dividends for the Marietta plant.” Micky Blackwell, who was president of the Marietta Lockheed facility in the 1990s, said he’s concerned about Lockheed’s future. “They’re continuing to draw down the plant, and my concern is not so much with how good the people are out there — they’re just great people — but there’s just not enough business to go around,” Blackwell said. The Marietta facility has about half the employees it did when he was president, Blackwell said. “And so if you have the same number of facilities and you have half the people, it’s real obvious that you have to make some retrenchment, and I do think there are plans for them to retrench, but I don’t know any details.” See Lockheed, Page 15BB




Plant working on 4 aircraft

No. 195 took off, and it was all over

By Jon Gillooly /

ockheed Martin’s current work in Marietta includes four different assembly line aircraft programs: the C-130 Hercules Production Line, the C-5M Super Galaxy Modernization Line, the P-3 Orion Wing Line and the F-35 Lightning II Center Wing Assembly. The Marietta facility is currently producing the C-130J Super Hercules. That line has been in operation for almost 60 years and has the distinction of being the longest-running military production line in the world, said Lockheed spokeswoman Stephanie Sonnenfeld Stinn.


In 2012, Lockheed delivered 34 C-130Js. Stinn forecasts building 24 new “Super Herks” this year. Lockheed continues to support the C-5M Super Galaxy program that modernizes existing C-5 Galaxy aircraft, the largest airplane in the U.S. military fleet. The current work includes the “Reliability Enhance-

P-3 ORION ment and Re-Engining Program,” which adds new GE CF6-80C2 commercial engines with a military designation of F138-GE-100, plus 70 other enhancements to major components and subsystems. Lockheed Martin delivered four C-5Ms to the U.S. Air Force in 2011 and plans to deliver eight more this year. Lockheed is also building wings for existing fleets of P-3 Orion aircraft, which provides 20,000 additional flying hours or about 20 years of additional flying life to the multi-


mission aircraft. In 2012, Lockheed delivered 16 P-3 Orion wing kits to domestic and international customers. Marietta employees build the center wing assembly for all three variants of the F-35 Lightning II, which Stinn describes as the world’s most advanced multi-role fighter aircraft. Like the F-22 Raptor that was built in Marietta, the F35 is a fifthgeneration stealth aircraft. The F-35’s final production line is in Fort Worth. Last year, the Marietta F-35 team completed 21 F-35 center wing assemblies. A team of Marietta employees also applies stealth coatings to the F35 horizontal and vertical tails, Stinn said. Marietta was home to the final assembly line for the F-22 Raptor. In May 2012, the U.S. Air Force accepted delivery of the last F-22 Raptor. Lockheed Martin built and delivered 195 F-22 Raptors to the U.S. Air Force.

THE FINAL F-22 RAPTOR — the 195th — flew away in May of last year from the Lockheed Martin plant in Marietta where it and its predecessors had been assembled. It was a sad time for those who had originally hoped to see F-22s continue rolling out of the plant for years. The F-22 is the most capable fighter ever built. The Air Force originally expected to buy at least 650 F-22s back when the contract was awarded in 1991. But the Cold War had ended by the time the first F-22 flew in Marietta in 1997 and the plane’s high cost made it an easy target for congressional budget-cutters. It is an “air dominance” fighter designed to sweep enemy aircraft from the skies and was not used in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Obama administration finally pulled the plug on the program after just 195 were built. Lockheed built 187 F-22s since production began in 1991, as well as eight test airplanes. Lockheed won an $11 billion contract in 1991 and the maiden voyage of the first F-22 manufactured in Marietta rolled off the production line in September 1997 and was first flown out of Dobbins Air Reserve.

The C-130 has been in production at Lockheed for 60 years. Lockheed delivered 34 last year and expects to deliver 24 this year.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013/Marietta Daily Journal





Expert: New growth for Cobb to start in two years By Jon Gillooly

obb County and the metro region are seeing growth, but it likely won’t be until 2015 that it’s the kind of growth seen prior to the recession, economist Roger Tutterow predicts.


But Tutterow said even if it “So while we are making falls to what would be considprogress, we need to acknowlered a fairly healthy labor maredge it will be a full two years ket in the high fives or low more before things look normal sixes, consider the 2.2 percent again in terms of the labor rate, level it reached in the late and that assumes the economy does not get additional shocks,” 1990s. At that time, fast food restaurants had to offer bonuses he said. During the recession years of because they couldn’t find enough workers. 2008 to 2010, the country lost “We have to 8.8 million be realistic jobs and is We’re making progress, and understill down by stand that 4 million. but if you look at it year Atlanta’s ecoThe state lost over year, we’re up nomic story 340,000 and about 37,000 jobs, so if probably from is still down you’re still down 106,000 the late ’80s by 188,000, through much while metro even if you have some of the 2000s is Atlanta lost acceleration of job creunlikely to be 206,000 ation, it will likely be replicated,” he “from peak2015 before we get back said. to-trough” and is still In the past, to 2007 levels. down about metro Atlanta 106,000. So Roger Tutterow, was the only while there is place where economist a recovery, it companies is a timid wanted to move recovery, Tutterow said. when eyeing the Southeast, but “We’re making progress, but competition from places like if you look at it year over year, Charlotte and Nashville is much we’re up about 37,000 jobs, so higher now. if you’re still down 106,000 Cobb has also matured dureven if you have some acceleraing the last 10 to 15 years and is tion of job creation, it will likenot seeing quite the influx of ly be 2015 before we get back people as in the ’80s and ’90s. to 2007 levels,” he said. “As we’ve matured as a The unemployment rate, county, we’ve kind of built the which reached as high as 10 county out,” he said. “We still percent in Cobb during the see some real estate developrecession, fell to 7.6 percent in ment at the residential level, but December.

Cobb Chamber of Commerce Chairman Greg Martin and Sundial Plumbing owner and Cobb business leader Mitzi Moore. Staff/Laura Moon

what we don’t have is what we had in the ’80s and ’90s in terms of hundreds and hundreds of acres of farm land to be turned into subdivisions.” For the real estate development moving forward, the county is much more likely to see gentrification of areas built in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, as well as smaller infill construction. “The large volume of new home construction has moved to Paulding County, has moved to Cherokee County in the last decade and even there has moderated to some degree, so we

COBB BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS ACWORTH BUSINESS ASSOCIATION P.O. Box 448, Acworth, GA 30101 (770) 423-1330 President: Sheri Brante, Cobb Schools Foundation Meetings: Fourth Thursday 11:30 a.m., North Metro Technical College Membership: $75 per year

N.E. COBB BUSINESS ASSOCIATION P.O. Box 777, Kennesaw, GA 30156 President: Carrie Cox, Challise & Company Salon & Spa Meetings: Third Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Piedmont Church, 570 Piedmont Road, Marietta Membership: $85 per year

AUSTELL BUSINESS ASSOCIATION P.O. Box 975, Austell, GA 30168 President: Marla Miller, Suite Assets, LLC Meetings: Third Tuesday, 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Membership: $50 per year

SMYRNA BUSINESS ASSOCIATION P.O. Box 186, Smyrna, GA 30081 President: Ronnie Smith, Georgia Power Meetings: First Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Membership: $100 per year

EAST COBB BUSINESS ASSOCIATION 1050 E. Piedmont Road, Suite E-131, Marietta, GA 30062 President: Ed Fogarty, Classic Benefits Management Meetings: Third Tuesday, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Hollycrest Hall Membership: $75 per year

S. COBB BUSINESS ASSOCIATION P.O. Box 1383, Mableton, 30126 President: Ford Thigpen, WestSide Bank Meetings: First Wednesday, Presbyterian Village, Austell, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Membership: $80 per year and $120 per year for banks

KENNESAW BUSINESS ASSOCIATION P.O. Box 777, Kennesaw, GA 30156 770-423-1330 Meetings: Second Tuesday, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. President: Mike Everhart, Southern Office Machines Membership: $85 per year MARIETTA BUSINESS ASSOCIATION P.O. Box 2152, Marietta, GA 30061 678-995-3622 Meetings: Second Thursday, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., The Mansour Center, 995 Roswell St., Marietta President: Candice Medellin, Plan Ahead Events of Atlanta Northwest Membership: $95 per year

VININGS BUSINESS ASSOCIATION 4355 Cobb Pkwy, Suite J530, Atlanta, GA 30339 (770) 874-5629 President: Chris Heuser Meetings: First Tuesday, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Social Vinings, 3621 Vinings Slope Drive Membership: $95 per year WEST COBB BUSINESS ASSOCIATION

President: Mark Zangari, Dollar Wise Cartridge, LLC Meetings: Third Tuesday, 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m., Lost Mountain Baptist Church in Powder Springs Cost: $80 per year

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need to acknowledge going forward we’re not going to pull the same number of permits, we’re not going to have the large scale development that we had back in the ’80s and ’90s, and that’s OK,” he said. That change means the volume of services the county has had to provide will not have to grow as fast, because the population is growing at a more moderate rate. But the other side of the coin is that the Baby Boomers are reaching the retirement age and opting out of paying the school tax portion of

their property taxes. “So it’s going to be kind of interesting going forward about what kind of discussion we have about how we collect tax revenues,” he said. Mitzi Moore, owner of Marietta-based Sundial Plumbing, said she agreed with Tutterow that it would be 2015 before the economy was back to the level it was prior to the recession. “What I think that you’re seeing a lot now is activity, but I don’t think that there is getting See Growth, Page 15BB



Marietta Daily Journal/SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013

EDGE Cobb EDGE board co-chairs Dan Styf and Kim Menefee, center, listen as Brian Anderson with the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce gives a recent talk on his city’s economic initiative. Staff/Todd Hull

Economic development program ‘vitally important’ By Jon Gillooly

MARIETTA — Cobb Board of Commissioners Chairman Tim Lee recently highlighted the importance of the economic development program known as Cobb’s Competitive EDGE. “This program, EDGE, is the most important initiative we as a community can take on in 2013,” Lee said in his speech. “It is imperative that we all take part in its execution and its success. It is vitally

important to the long-term success of our great county.” In 2010, when Lee was transitioning from northeast Cobb commissioner to chairman, he and Chamber leaders looked around to see how they could bring more jobs to the county. Nearby Gwinnett County had created its own economic development program, and it was one that Lee saw as successful. That led to the formation of a nonprofit called the Cobb Competitive EDGE (Economic Development for a Growing

Economy), a five-year economic development program. Lee is co-chairing the EDGE program along with three other community leaders, including Shan Cooper, vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company and general manager of the company’s Marietta facility; Dan Styf, vice president of regional and marketing strategy with Kaiser Permanente of Georgia; and Kim Menefee, WellStar Health System’s senior vice president of public and government affairs.

Brooks Mathis, who was hired two years ago as the Chamber’s economic development vice president, has been named the program’s executive director. EDGE leaders say the program will succeed because it is a community-focused strategy, which was devised from the input of more than 2,000 county residents, including elected officials and community and business leaders. See Important, Page 5BB

‘This is exactly what’s needed — at exactly the right time — to propel Cobb County forward.’ —U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson

EDGE board BROOKS MATHIS executive director Company: Cobb Chamber of Commerce Position: Vice president, Economic Development / EDGE Executive Director College: B.A., Shorter College Residence: Atlanta Phone: (770) 9802000 Email: bmathis@cobb SHAN COOPER co-chair Company: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Position: Vice president and general manager-Marietta (since January 2011) / EDGE co-chair Family: Husband, Eddie; daughter, Chantel College: B.A. and M.B.A., Emory University; M.S., Rutgers University Residence: East Cobb Phone (770) 4945882 Email: Shan.cooper@lmco .com DAN STYF co-chair Company: Kaiser Permanente of Georgia Position: Vice president, Regional and Marketing Strategy / EDGE co-chair Family: wife, Sarah

College: Bachelor’s degree, Hope College, Holland, Mich.; Master’s, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, N.H. Residence: East Cobb Phone: (404) 3654285 Email: KIM MENEFEE co-chair Occupation: Senior vice president Public and Government Affairs / EDGE cochair Company: WellStar Health System Family: Husband, Chris, four children College: B.A., journalism, University of Georgia Residence: East Cobb Phone: (770) 7925032 Email: kim.menefee@well TIM LEE co-chair Elected: District 3 Commissioner, 2002; Chairman, 2010; 2012 Office: County chairman / EDGE co-chair Family: Wife, three children, six grandchildren College: Some college Residence: East Cobb Phone: (770) 5283305 Email:

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013/Marietta Daily Journal



EDGE priority: Creating new jobs By Jon Gillooly

MARIETTA — The county’s new economic development program known as Cobb’s Competitive EDGE has identified seven benchmarks to achieve by 2018. The first is creating 7,500 new jobs in Cobb County. Other benchmarks include increasing payroll earnings and income by $420 million and $7,000 per capita, reducing unemployment to 5.5 percent, increasing the pub-

lic school graduation rate by 4 percent and increasing the number of college-bound students by 7 percent. Other goals include increasing existing industry visits made by Cobb’s economic develop experts to businesses to ensure that they have what they need from 30 to 100 annually, and increasing quality of life as measured by Kennesaw State University’s Quality of Life survey. With the creation of 7,500 new jobs above and beyond normal

growth trends over the next five years, those jobs will pump more than $640 million in annual economic impact into the economy, increase personal disposable income by more than $512 million and increase consumer spending by $45 million, said Brooks Mathis, EDGE executive director. Mathis also outlined what the EDGE will do this year. In 2013, EDGE strategy will help boost Cobb’s competitiveness by creating 1,500 jobs this year, creating strong existing industry

relationships, creating targeted and initiative-specific industry councils, providing a more open environment for international companies through events, engaging young professionals, universities and corporations to become more involved with the community and to help make Cobb more attractive to young professionals, helping to build the product for new companies coming into Cobb by building a sense of place with community identities, and helping to spur redevelopment initiatives.

Brooks Mathis, EDGE executive director.


From farm to the firm

Incoming Chamber chair traded rural upbringing for accounting By Sheri Kell /


reg Morgan, CPA and partner-in-charge of the Atlanta office of accounting firm Mauldin & Jenkins, was sworn in earlier this year as the 2013 Chair of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce at the group’s annual gala at the Cobb Galleria Centre. 1985. In 1987, Mauldin & Jenkins’ In front of a ballroom full of busiacquired an Atlanta firm and asked ness and community leaders, Morgan Morgan to move. accepted the gavel and the great numThe firm has 220 employees in five ber of volunteer hours to come. The Cordele native grew up working offices in Georgia, Alabama and Florida; including 87 employees in the on his family’s 200-acre farm — so Atlanta office. In 2009, Morgan was rural, the home did not have indoor promoted to his curplumbing until a house rent position. fire forced a rebuild Morgan’s involvewhen Morgan was in THE MORGAN FILE ment with the Chamthird grade — about TITLE: Partner-in-Charge, ber began in 1994 the time he began driAtlanta Office when he went ving a tractor. AGE: 55 through its leadership “I was responsible for plowing the EDUCATION/Year Graduated: Cobb program. He has served as chairfields,” Morgan said. BBA Accounting — Georgia man of the finance “I usually got most Southern — June 1979 committee and the involved during plant- FAMILY: Wife, Ruth; Chilsmall business diviing season.” As an dren, Luci, Will, Ivy, Nick sion and is currently only child, the farm’s FIRST JOB: Anything I was a member of the future was in his told to do on the farm chairman’s club. hands. Morgan says his “When I went to BEST JOB: Current position. I predecessor, Tony college, my father work daily with highly motiBritton, “set the bar asked me if I wanted vated, very intelligent provery high,” but he to come back to the fessionals. plans to continue the farm, and I said, ‘no LESSON LEARNED the Hard Chamber’s strong sir,’” recalls Morgan. Way: My way may not focus on education, Following gradua- always be the best way. economic develoption, Morgan moved ADVICE TO the Next Generament, and entrepreto Valdosta and tion: Find a good mentor; neurial development attended Georgia one with a strong religious and training. Southern, where he foundation. “There are so began as a pre-law many good activities major and planned to that are going on that I want to see become a lawyer. His father sold the them carried forward and not farm during his freshman year. stalled,” he said. “The Cobb CompetA friend suggested he take an itive EDGE program kicks off this accounting class because he was good year — it is extremely important that in math. He found his fit, and he it is successful.” received a bachelor’s degree in Morgan says that the firm has spent accounting in June 1979. Later that year, he moved to Mauldin & Jenkins’ the last year preparing for his role as chairman and he is ready. “The supAlbany office, and began his long port that I have received here has been career with the accounting firm. great,” he said. “The firm is wellIn 1984, he moved to the firm’s structured.” Macon office and became a partner in

Continued from Page 4BB

The strategy also addresses the county’s most critical needs. EDGE is focused on helping local businesses expand, growing small business, protecting Dobbins Air Reserve Base, recruiting new businesses, creating a more educated workforce and revitalizing the community and its infrastructure. The partnership has already gained the support of key leaders, including U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-east Cobb).

Staff/Laura Moon

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Greg Morgan went through the Chamber’s Leadership Cobb program in 1994 and now is its new leader.

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“Over the years I’ve seen what Cobb’s leaders can do when they are determined to make good things happen,” Isakson said. “With this strategy that addresses so many critical needs and the momentum it’s already generated, this is exactly what’s needed — at exactly the right time — to propel Cobb County forward in today’s increasingly competitive global marketplace.” EDGE will have a $4 million budget over five years, funded mostly by businesses, with the possibility of some public dollars or in-kind donations. The group has set various goals to be met by 2018, including creating 7,500 new jobs.

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Marietta Daily Journal/SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013


Country boy

Former governor prefers to practice law in Marietta over downtown firms By Sheri Kell

t his desk, smoking a pipe, surrounded by fountain pens and vast collections of antique law books; Barnes Law Group founder Roy Barnes’ easy demeanor and silken southern drawl bespeaks small town lawyer much louder than former governor. After serving one term as the 80th governor of Georgia, Barnes didn’t entertain the many offers he received from big downtown law firms; instead, he came back to Marietta and set up Barnes Law Group to practice litigation his way.


Born and reared in Mableton by two generations of “farmers and peddlers” in Barnes’ words — his bucolic upbringing shaped both his character and work ethic — and still drives how he spends his days. Barnes’ grandfather opened Barnes’ Brothers general merchandise store in Mableton in 1929. Barnes’ father grew up in the store business and owned a dairy farm before opening a second store next to his father’s in the ’50s. “Daddy brought home the money from the store every night to count,” said Barnes. “He counted the paper money and I counted the change.” Growing up, Barnes didn’t dream of a different life. “I thought I would do like all of my family — farm and run a business,” he said. A family friend and mentor convinced Barnes otherwise. “He told me you don’t need to stay in that store the rest of your life, you need to go to law school,” he said. After law school, Barnes became a prosecutor in the Cobb County District Attorney’s office before opening his first law firm in downtown Marietta in 1975.

At age 26, he was elected as the youngest member of the Georgia State Senate, where he served eight terms. After an unsuccessful bid for governor in 1990, he won election to the State House of Representatives, serving for six years before becoming governor in 1998. Leaving office in 2002, he had a plan. “I don’t like big firms and I like to run my own business,” he said. He called two former partners, Charlie Tanksley and John Beavis, his daughter, Allison, and son-inlaw, John Salter, both also lawyers, and convinced them to start the boutique law firm. Barnes bought and completely remodeled a 35,000-square-foot building on Atlanta Street. The firm occupies the top floor and rents the first floor. The basement contains a mock trial courtroom; a trial preparation “war room” and a nursery for his grandchildren. The firm has five partners, two associates and six staff members. He says they “signed in blood” that they would never have more than 10 attorneys, so clients receive the attorney they hire.

I take my black pick-up truck and go. I learned a long time ago folks in every town will accept you if you drive a pick-up truck.

He says complex business litigation has been the firm’s fastest growing area. “Companies got tired of paying law firms that would put five lawyers on a case and run the bill up,” he said. “We have tried to develop a new business model, and it has worked very well.” Barnes says two-thirds of their work is outside of Cobb. “I take my black pick-up truck and go,” he said. “I learned a long time ago folks in every town will accept you if you drive a pick-up truck.” Barnes says he still gets to the office by 6:30 a.m. daily and doesn’t sleep or vacation much. “I was raised this way, you work every day,” he said. “It’s not drudgery to me.” Once a week, Barnes does carve out time to go to his 194-acre farm in

Roy Barnes

west Cobb and check on his 144 cows and three horses. Chuck Clay, attorney and founder of Brock Clay, located next door to Barnes’ firm, describes Barnes as “visionary”. “Roy Barnes is a man who has never forgotten his roots in Mableton and Cobb County,” Clay said. “He is one of the most notable of a truly visionary group of leaders who made Cobb County not only the envy of its Georgia neighbors but a role model for the nation at large.” Barnes says he remains addicted to the law. “When they come in and my head is on the desk, that is when I’ll quit practicing law,” he said. “When I tell you I am ready to retire, you better get ready to bury me.”

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013/Marietta Daily Journal



TOP 10 EMPLOYERS IN COBB 1. THE HOME DEPOT 20,000 The Home Depot was founded in 1978 by Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank. Along with investment banker Ken Langone and merchandising expert Pat Farrah, the founders’ vision of one-stop shopping for the do-it-yourselfer came to fruition when they opened the first two Home Depot stores in 1979 in Atlanta. According to the company, The Home Depot is the fastest growing retailer in U.S. history. In 1981, the company went public on NASDAQ and moved to the New York Stock Exchange in 1984. The 1980s and 1990s spawned tremendous growth for the company, with 1989 marking its 100th store opening. The company’s home office, national retail staffing center, national store support customer care center and regional store support center are all in Cobb County. The company has stores locally in Acworth, Kennesaw, Marietta, Powder Springs, and Austell.

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2. COBB SCHOOL DISTRICT 13,551 The Cobb County School District is the second largest employer in Cobb County. Among its 13,551 employees are 5,588 classroom teachers. There are 112 schools — 67 elementary schools, 25 middle schools and 16 high schools — in the system for 107,681 students. The Cobb district is the second largest school system in the state of Georgia.

3. WELLSTAR 11,785

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WellStar Health System is a nonprofit system with a national reputation in comprehensive care. The system serves a population of more than one million residents of northwest metropolitan Atlanta. Wellstar has earned industry awards ranging from Integrated Delivery Networks to Working Mother Magazine’s Best Places to Work. Specialists and primary care providers work in a multi-disciplinary environment with just under 12,000 team members throughout five hospitals and physician offices. The system says it works through a patient-centered model of care. WellStar’s senior leadership, Board of Trustees, Authority, Regional and Foundation Boards evaluate the community’s emerging needs to equip its facilities with the best new technology.

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4. LOCKHEED MARTIN 6,800 Lockheed Martin Aeronautics has called Marietta and Cobb County home for 62 years. Today it is home to 6,800 employees who design, build, fly, modernize and sustain some of the world’s most recognizable military aircraft. This year, Lockheed Martin’s Marietta employees will support existing contracted work on the C-130J Super Hercules production line, the P-3 Orion replacement wing line, the C-5M Super Galaxy modernization program and the F-35 Lightning II center wing assembly production line. The F-22 Raptor program is transitioning from Georgia to Texas, with 560 jobs moving from Marietta to Aeronautics’ Fort Worth headquarters, mostly in the first half of 2013, said Lockheed spokeswoman Stephanie Sonnenfeld Stinn. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics continues to be active in the Marietta, Cobb County and metro Atlanta communities through volunteer work and dedicated community partnerships. Last year, it donated about $2 million to local nonprofits, community groups and educational organizations that support a variety of causes including science, technology, engineering and mathematics educational initiatives, military customers, regional economic development, social services and health care programs.

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5. COBB GOVERNMENT 5,223 Cobb is made up of 344.51 miles and is ranked as the most educated county in Georgia and 12th among counties nationally. It also ranks among the top 100 most wealthiest counties in the country. As of 2011, there were 697,553 people, 248,303 households, and 169,178 families residing in the county.

6. KENNESAW STATE U. 3,400 Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia with more than 24,600 undergraduate and graduate students representing 132 countries. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, KSU offers 80 bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degree programs including undergraduate degrees in education, health, business, the humanities, the arts, science and math. The university’s graduate degree programs include nursing, business, information systems, conflict management, public administration, education and professional writing. Kennesaw State’s nursing program is the largest nursing program in Georgia. The University’s nursing students have one of the highest passing rates on the statewide licensing exam and are highly sought-after in the medical community. The College of Education is the second-largest preparer of teachers in the state. And the Executive MBA program, housed in the Michael J. Coles College of Business is recognized among the best in the world by CEO Magazine. Kennesaw State was originally established by the University System of Georgia in 1963 as Kennesaw Junior College serving 1,000 students. The college became a fouryear institution in 1976 and was named Kennesaw College in 1977. In 1988, it was named Kennesaw State College and in 1996 became Kennesaw State University.

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7. PUBLIX 2,973 Publix, a privately-held company operating stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee, was founded by George W. Jenkins in 1930 in Winter Haven, Florida. It has grown into a Fortune 500 company with more than 1,000 stores and is one of the fastest growing employee-owned companies in the United States. As one of the 10 largest-volume supermarket chains in the United States, it had 2011 retail sales of $27 billion and currently employs more than 157,000.

8. WALMART 2,750 Wal-Mart operates under 69 different banners in 27 countries. With fiscal year 2012 sales of approximately $444 billion, Wal-Mart employs 2.2 million associates worldwide. From the company’s beginnings as a small discount retailer in Rogers, Ark., during the 1950s, Wal-Mart has opened thousands of stores in the United States and expanded internationally. The company has expanded to become a world leader in retail sales.

9. SIX FLAGS 2,386 Located just off I-20 west of Atlanta, Six Flags Over Georgia is the largest regional theme park in the Southeast. Opened in 1967, Six Flags Over Georgia sits on 200 acres and employs nearly 2,500 seasonal employees during its March through October operation. The park boasts eleven roller coasters headlined by the hyper-coaster Goliath and a beyond-vertical coaster Dare Devil Dive. Also in Cobb County is Six Flags White Water, the Southeast’s largest water park and recently voted one of the top 10 water parks in the nation. Six Flags White Water is located off Interstate 75 in Marietta. The park boasts more than 30 slides, including three interactive children’s areas, a huge wave pool and lazy river.

10. KROGER CO. 2,150 The Kroger Co. is one of the worlds’s largest grocery retailers, with fiscal 2011 sales of $90.4 billion. Kroger’s Family of Stores spans many states with store formats that include grocery and multi-department stores, discount, convenience stores and jewelry stores. Food stores are the primary business and account for approximately 94 percent of total company sales. The company operates 2,422 grocery retail stores in 31 states under nearly two dozen banners. Kroger is the only major U.S. supermarket company to operate an economical three-tier distribution system.

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Marietta Daily Journal/SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013/Marietta Daily Journal



BUSINESS BOND Staff/Laura Moon

Members of the Marietta Merchants Association include, front row from left: Symphony on the Square violinist and DuPre's Antique Market Art Forum artist Shelley House; Marietta Museum of History Director Jan Galt Russell; ARTS of Cobb owner Lauren McBride; Ye Olde Christmas Candy Shoppe owner Dianne Murphy; back row from left: Marietta Wine Market owner Randall Heard; Avery Gallery office manager Nicholas Cole; Marietta City Councilman Philip Goldstein; Marietta Gone With The Wind Museum Director Connie Sutherland; and ARTS of Cobb back office manager Randy Bearden.

Merchants on Marietta Square band together for safety, to keep up with news By Noreen Cochran

MARIETTA — The Marietta Merchants Association doesn’t hang out a shingle, like most of its members do. Shops, boutiques, museums and restaurants lining Glover Park, a.k.a. Marietta Square, have their own signs bearing names like House of Lu, Christmas Shop, The Arts of Cobb, Kitchen Works, Go Fish, Australian Bakery and the Marietta Wine Market. Karen Heard of the wine market said

she cofounded the MERCHANT PROFILES 10BB newsletter listing memgroup in response to a bers’ phone numbers 2006 crime wave. and news about who “There was a series of break-ins “opened, closed, moved, changed their about six years ago. We were one of the name, expanded or downsized.” businesses that got broken into,” she said One month, she clocked seven moves, about the shop she owns with her husnine openings and five closings. band Randall. “We got together with the “The Square is constantly growing merchants and started meeting. I wanted and changing,” she said. us to talk. We were not communicating Heard’s primary goal paid off when a with each other.” reader realized something was amiss at Under the logo of the Marietta Welhis neighbor’s store. come Center’s “It’s Hip to be Square” “It happened that someone who had campaign, Heard began publishing a read the newsletter heard a crash and

saw a break-in in progress,” Heard said. “He alerted the police, and the smashand-grabber was caught.” The newsletter also lists upcoming events with the idea that merchants can capitalize on theater openings, concerts in the park and other events bringing customers to the Square. They have guest lecturers, too. “We have had guest speakers from code enforcement and the police on crime prevention. “That’s how it started initially,” Heard said.



Marietta Daily Journal/SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013


Randall Heard, owner of the Marietta Wine Market, leads an association meeting. Staff/Laura Moon




18 Powder Springs St. (770) 919-1574

130 S. Park Square (770) 421-2495

48 South Park Square (678) 797-6222

The Marietta Wine Market has expansive high ceilings, bare brick walls and art from local artists, providing a comfortable place to shop for wines, gourmet foods, gifts and home accessories. Comfort levels also include recommending the right vintage for the right customer. “We don’t want our guests to feel intimidated if they don’t know a lot about wines,” said co-owner Randall Heard. “We are there to help select the perfect wine for any occasion.” Twice weekly the store hosts wine tasting events — Wednesdays from 5 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 2 to 4 p.m. Guests can relax at the bar, on a couch or chair while they sip, munch on complimentary appetizers, learn about wine and meet new friends. Donations from the wine tastings go to local charities as part of the store’s philanthropy efforts. Looking ahead in 2013, the store will lead groups to the vineyards of Spain and Portugal in April and the pubs of Ireland in September. It also started its new Wine and Cheese Club, in which members will receive two bottles of wines from around the world and a cheese pairing. Source:

“We are not a Christian company,” founder Curt Coleman said. “We are a company that understands our call as Christians.” Coleman and his wife, Barbara, opened their first Go Fish store in Pensacola, Fla., in 1987 after a mission trip to Peru during which he saw tourists haggling in a marketplace. “At that moment, I sensed God was giving me a vision of a business that would glorify him and impact the lives of many,” he said. “We never argue a price or take advantage of the poor, but always give them the dignity and respect of buying these hand-crafted goods at their asking price.” In return, he said, the company gets consistently high-quality clothing and jewelry made by the indigenous people of developing nations and maintains “meaningful long-term relationships” with the artisans. “Through the efforts of Go Fish staff, store partners and customers, the lives of many of these people have changed for the better,” Coleman said. The company expanded in 2004 and has 11 stores in six states — Florida, New Jersey, Virginia, Indiana, Tennessee and Georgia — including the one on the Square, managed by Don and Susan Davis. Source:

Mark Allen, Neville Steel and Wendy Beyer, three friends from Australia, gave themselves a Christmas present n 2001 when they opened the first Australian bakery in the U.S. “The Australian Bakery Cafe at Marietta Square quickly drew the attention of locals and Australian and New Zealand expatriates through the Southeast,” Allen said. It specializes in traditional and modern interpretations of the “humble pie,” as meat pies are called in his native land. “Early on we decided our goal was not just to make the best meat pies here in America, but to make sure they rival anything back home in Australia, too,” Allen said. The bakery has become popular with Australian sport, music and movie stars, he said. “In fact, homesick Aussies all across America arrange travel plans just to receive a genuine taste of home,” Allen said. Demand led to a second store opening in East Atlanta in early 2004 and an online store, whose customers include the Australian Embassy in Washington. Steel, a third-generation master baker, grew up around the family trade and began an apprenticeship learning the traditional craft from his father. Source:


‘I love my community’ Business executive, philanthropist earns award


he Marietta Daily Journal honored S.A. White Oil Company President Kim Gresh as its 50th Citizen of the Year during the 71st Cobb Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner earlier this year.

Gresh, 57, was moved after receiving the surprise award from Journal publisher Otis A. Brumby III. “I love my community,” Gresh said in her brief acceptance speech. “I love my city, and anything I can do I always try to be there.” Brumby read off a list of Gresh’s deeds in business and philanthropy. When he read the name of the company, the audience of nearly 1,000 at the Cobb Galleria Centre applauded, sensing who the winner was. The cheering grew to a standing ovation when Gresh walked toward the stage. She is the third generation in

By Geoff Folsom

her family to run the petroleum business started by her mothers’ parents in 1926. S.A. White now has 50 employees and contracts with around 100 convenience stores selling branded fuel to Texaco, Citgo, Marathon and ConocoPhillips stations. It also delivers to large customers who use generators, such as WellStar Health System, Lockheed-Martin Aeronautics, C.W. Matthews contracting, the city of Atlanta’s public works department and Cobb County Fire. A separate business Gresh

Kim Gresh’s S.A. White company delivers fuel to more than 100 convenience stores.

started, Mobilized Fuels, grew from two to nine trucks in just two years. Gresh’s companies distribute 100 million gallons of fuel per year, with combined annual revenue of $350 million last year. She was the first woman to serve on the ConocoPhillips National Marketer Council and the Georgia Oilmen’s Association board. Brumby noted how Gresh starts each meeting of the Oilmen’s Association with a motion to change the name to represent both genders, but it goes nowhere. Among the causes Gresh supports are the boards of the WellStar Foundation, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia, Friends of the Strand and the Cobb Community Foundation. Previous awards include the Marietta Citizen of the Year, Rotarian of the Year, YWCA Woman of the Year, Siegel Institute’s Woman of the Year and Marietta Schools Alumnus of the Year. While she’s received other honors, Gresh said this one was special. “As Little O said, I was born bred, my mom was born here, it means the world to me,” she

Staff/Emily Barnes

Marietta Daily Journal Publisher Otis Brumby III presented Kim Gresh with the Cobb Citizen of the Year Award earlier this year. Among the philanthropic endeavors in which Gresh is currently involved are raising $1.5 million each for the YWCA and the Earl Smith Strand Theatre. said after the awards ceremony that highlighted the night’s program. “I’m all about community, my business is all about community and this is just like that cherry on top of that ice cream sundae.” Gresh said her work isn’t finished. She’s still trying to raise $1.5 million each for the YWCA and the Strand, while she still has a-year-and-a-half to go on her WellStar term. YWCA CEO and executive director Holly Tuchman said that no one has a better heart than Gresh.

“It’s not about the money, it’s about her friendship and her loyalty and who she is as a person,” Tuchman said. “Kim Gresh is good people.” S.A. White was founded by Gresh’s grandparents. Her mother, Suse Ann White Gresh, took over the business after S.A. White was killed in the 1963 natural gas explosion at Atherton’s Pharmacy on the Marietta Square. Kim Gresh was enticed to the company after college. She became president in 1999.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013/Marietta Daily Journal





Belle Ballet of the

Georgia Ballet executive director began as a dancer, igniting a passion By Sheri Kell

ormer professional ballerina and current Georgia Ballet executive director Michele Ziemann-DeVos is one of the fortunate few who can say her job “is a gift.” From a large, Chicago Catholic family of modest means, she did not have the resources to take ballet lessons as a child. But thanks to a strong arts program in her high school, a passion was ignited.


Ziemann-DeVos embarked on a insurance corporation. professional-level training schedule, A chance meeting with her husdancing six days a band-to-be at a week, several conference THE ZIEMANN-DEVOS FILE hours a day and moved her to TITLE: Executive Director/School earned a scholarWoodbury, Director ship to the UniConn., and to versity of Cincinfound a dance AGE: 50 nati Conservatory program at an EDUCATION: Studied at University of Music and arts school. “That of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music Dance. is where I found and Dance “I was lucky my calling to Family: Married to Zachary DeVos to find outstandenable others to FIRST JOB: Working in a bakery in ing teachers,” she pursue this joyful high school to help finance my ballet pursuit.” said. “When you tuition and pointe shoes start dancing in A job brought adolescence, it is the couple to BEST JOB: My current one; I enable hard on the body Cobb County, inspiring art, unparalleled dance … It is better to where Ziemanntraining and meaningful community condition from a DeVos began outreach. young age.” dancing and LESSON LEARNED the Hard Way: In the years teaching for Iris Don’t expect the truth to reveal that ensued, while Hensley, who itself. Sometimes one must go looktraining and dancfounded Georgia ing for it. ing professionally Ballet in 1960. ADVICE TO THE Next Generation: with the Pennsyl“I experienced Stay true to your principles, not to vania Ballet, Des the integrity of yourself. Moines Ballet how she ran the and the New business, the Haven Ballet, Zievision of the mission and the respect she had for the mann-DeVos also earned money and art,” she recalls. business experience by working at her In 1996, Hensley hired her as father’s company, and later at an

Michele Ziemann-DeVos has been executive director of the Georgia Ballet since 2003. Staff/Emily Barnes

school director. The school originated in a small studio on Cherokee Street, later moved Whitlock Avenue, then to 31 Atlanta Street, where it remained until Hensley died suddenly of cancer in 2003. With the organization in turmoil, the 17-member board of directors swiftly named Ziemann-DeVos executive director. In 2004, the school purchased a two-story, 13,500-square-foot building on Field Parkway, near Cobb Parkway and Bells Ferry Road. In the nine years since, it has grown 50 percent and now has 300 students dancing in five studios. Marietta resident Dot Dunaway, who taught ballet at the school for many years and has served on the board of trustees, said, “Through grit and determination, Michele has adjusted for the ballet company’s financial operations to fit funding available during economic downturn, sought new opportunities and still provide top quality performances.” “We are always fundraising,” said Ziemann-DeVos. “Expenses are much greater than the ticket price we can charge so it has to be subsidized. To really train children properly in the art

of classical dance is not a profit-making pursuit.” Under her leadership, fundraising levels have increased by 75 percent and individual giving by 350 percent. The school has 17 employees, plus 15 paid professionals who dance in 25 performances a year. The annual budget of $820,000 includes costumes, stage sets and rent to the Cobb Civic Center for productions. In addition, the school’s community outreach includes “arts in education” field trips; a 10-week, free training class in Title 1 schools; and “Dance-Ability,” a free class to children with special needs. Dunaway added, “Michele’s engaging personality and love of ballet have heightened the success of the Arts in Education school outreach program. She has certainly been a tribute to Iris Hensley’s founding success of The Georgia Ballet.” Ziemann-DeVos’ works long hours, frequently seven days a week, but does not complain. “I wouldn’t give away a minute of it. It’s a gift to me … The GAB changes lives every day, thousands every year – what more enjoyable endeavor can one pursue?”



Marietta Daily Journal/SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013

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Keeping ‘area vibrant’ Town Center CID, university help spur growth during hard economic times By Geoff Folsom

KENNESAW — The Town Center CID has long been among Cobb’s faster growing commercial areas. But 2012 was a particularly strong year for the community improvement district. Taylor & Mathis Inc. of Kennesaw was ranked among the top commercial developers in the Atlanta area during 2012, largely because of the work it did preparing a new $24 million Home Depot customer support center in the Chastain Meadows office park in the Town Center Community Improvement District. The 80,000-square-foot call center opened with an Oct. 8 “board cutting” ceremony featuring Gov. Nathan Deal and Home Depot Chief Executive Officer Frank Blake. It now employs 500 people and will house 700 jobs by early summer. Bill Hackett, Home Depot’s senior director of online customer operations, said he divides his time between Town Center, a similar facility in Ogden, Utah, that also opened last year and the company’s

Vinings headquarters. He said workers at the Kennesaw facility helps Home Depot’s web customers who contact them via telephone, email and live chat. “If customers have questions about products or they want to compare products, we provide that option to them,” Hackett said. Hackett praised Home Depot’s partnership with Cobb County government and the Cobb Chamber for landing the site. An economic development agreement with the county capped a number of Home Depot’s fees. Being located close to Kennesaw State University is also helpful. “We felt there was a really strong recruiting base here,” Hackett said. Along with Chastain Meadows, Kerry O’Brien, Taylor & Mathis senior vice president, said the company is actively developing nearby Town Park. That area saw the expansion of Kaiser Permanente’s health center, adding 78,000 square feet in 2012, along with 100 new jobs. The facility now has 500 total workers. “There’s been a lot of com-

Staff/Samantha M. Shal

Margaret Winston, Home Depot Kennesaw Online Contact Center site director, left, and Thomas Tonge, resolution specialist, show the Home Decorators Collection quadrant of the $24 million customer support center, which opened in October of 2012. mercial development here over the last couple years, when there’s been virtually none in other parts of Atlanta,” O’Brien said. In addition, Novelis, a global aluminum rolling and recycling company, moved a research and development facility from Canada to Town Center, bringing in 150 new jobs last year, said Town Center CID execu-


Mason Zimmerman chairman, Board of Directors

Lanie Shipp executive director

Mary Lou Stephens

Jennine Duelge

Robert Maddux

Communications director

Financial secretary

project manager

Lynn Rainey legal counsel

tive director Lanie Shipp. “That was a real coup to get that,” Shipp said. Travel into Town Center could be helped by the July reopening of a long-closed stretch of Big Shanty Road, which had been divided by construction of Interstate 75. The $27.4 million route provides an east-west alternative to the busy Barrett Parkway and Chastain Road. Several smaller stores also opened in the area in 2012, including the second Del Taco currently in Georgia and a Maddio’s Pizza. Shipp credits the CID and KSU with keeping the area vibrant during hard economic times. The CID, with help from county, state and federal governments, funds road and infrastructure projects, including more than 40 miles of sidewalks. Shipp said the university provides labor and customers for restaurants, while the area

has businesses that could serve their longer-term careers. Not to be outdone, new businesses are coming to Cumberland, Cobb’s other CID. In the past year, new Zoë’s Kitchen and Pollo Tropical restaurants have opened at the Akers Mill Shopping Center. And a five-story hotel is going up east of Interstate 75 that will include three restaurants. In addition, another Del Taco opened north of Interstate 285 on Cobb Parkway. Commissioner Bob Ott said other commercial development has gone on closer to east Cobb, where a new LA Fitness and a car wash opened close along Powers Ferry Road. And in the Merchants Walk development near Johnson Ferry and Roswell roads, the Seed Kitchen & Bar opened, and a wine bar will open soon. Another Zoë’s Kitchen recently opened nearby.

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Marietta Daily Journal/SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013

CUMBERLAND CID’S SILVER ANNIVERSARY Cumberland Community Improvement District Chairman Tad Leithead, left, Vice Chairman John Shern and Executive Director Malaika Rivers.

WHAT IT IS: The Cumberland Community Improvement District (CID) is a self-taxing district covering 5.5 square miles in southern Cobb that includes the intersections of I75, I-285 and U.S. Highway 41. The Cumberland CID, Georgia’s first CID, was formed by business leaders interested in improving access to the highways for Atlanta’s emerging northwest market, known as Cumberland. Commercial property owners within the Cumberland area fund the Cumberland CID by paying an additional five mils of property taxes. Cobb County collects the taxes and distributes those funds to the CID, which in turn provides funding to start the necessary planning process for roads, streetscapes, trails and other infrastructure improvements, while federal, state and county dollars pay for the bulk of project construction.


Completion of the $300 million Cumberland Boulevard loop road that connects all four quadrants of the district and includes the Kennedy Interchange, Cumberland Boulevard, Windy Ridge Parkway and Mill Green Parkway.  Construction of the $85 million Kennedy Interchange.  Formation and administration of Commuter Club, a commuter services program for area businesses and employees.  Completion of streetscapes and multi-use trails that connect to the regional network; more than $25 million in streetscape and landscape beautification projects in the center of the Cumberland community.  Reconstruction of the Paces Ferry Interchange and a portion of the East-West Connector.  Completion of the Silver Comet Cumberland Connector Trail  Completion of a transit study that launched the state’s current initiatives to bring transit and High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes to the I75 and I-285 corridors.



Georgia’s first community improvement district accounts for 5% of state’s economy, 33% of Cobb’s By Jon Gillooly /

he 5.5-square-mile section of the county around the Interstate75/Interstate-285 interchange known as the Cumberland Community Improvement District is celebrating its silver anniversary this year. Cobb Chamber of Commerce CEO David Connell said the district has good reason to celebrate, making up 5 percent of Georgia’s economy and 33 percent of Cobb’s economy.


“Think about that,” Connell said. “Five percent of Georgia’s entire economy.” The CID’s revenues are generated through selfimposed commercial property taxes on its 175 commercial property owners. It uses those dollars to leverage larger state and federal funds. The district represents $4.1 billion in total real estate assets with almost $3 billion in commercial real estate. “What they do is they build infrastructure in this area to make Cumberland an attractive place for people to locate and to stay here,” Connell said. “If there was no CID, the county would be spending a lot more money trying to do the same thing here, so what happens with Town Center and Cumberland CIDs is it is a way in which we leverage financial resources to do work, beautification, roads, etc., and it keeps the state and local DOT from having to do a lot of that kind of work, so Cumberland has made huge strides in making this a great place to be.” CID Chairman Tad Leithead, who joined the board a year after it formed in 1988, spoke of the advantages the commercial property owners receive in exchange for paying the extra 5 mill tax. “Our collections the first year were $2.5 million,” Leithead said. “Our collections now are $6.5 million annually. That’s a direct result of the investments that we’ve made and people have experienced a higher property value, which far outweighs the investment that

$18M bridge project The Cumberland Community Improvement District has led the way for a new $18 million U.S. Highway 41 bridge over the Chattahoochee River. The proposed six-lane bridge scheduled for completion in 2015 is replacing the existing four-lane bridge originally built in 1935. The old bridge will remain open while the new one is under construction. About 36,000 vehicles cross the bridge per day, a number that is expected to rise to about 47,000 by 2032. The six lanes will be separated by a four-foot raised median, with a 12-foot-wide multi-use trail added to the east side of Cobb Parkway and a six-foot-wide sidewalk to the west. Additional enhancements include a new dock for boaters and fishermen, as well as modern storm water management systems to minimize runoff into the Chattahoochee. The $767,000 bridge design by Moreland Altobelli was paid for by the CID as was $1 million for road widening. The county kicked in $212,000 for the project. U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta) helped secure $16 million in federal funding.

What they do is they build infrastructure in this area to make Cumberland an attractive place for people to locate and to stay here. If there was no CID, the county would be spending a lot more money trying to do the same thing here, so what happens with Town Center and Cumberland CIDs is it is a way in which we leverage financial resources to do work, beautification, roads, etc., and it keeps the state and local DOT from having to do a lot of that kind of work, so Cumberland has made huge strides in making this a great place to be.

David Connell, Cobb Chamber of Commerce CEO they make. Whether it’s a big property or a small property, it far outweighs the investment that we make.” Connell points out that the Cumberland CID was the first one to be created in Georgia.

“If you go around the state of Georgia and talk to people in South Georgia, over in Savannah, they have incredible praise for this CID because it is the model. It was the first one,” Connell said. “Some of our

older leaders, the Johnny Isaksons of the world, worked on creating the legislation for the CID, they structured the first CID, and now it’s become the model for economic development, and what it does it defers the taxpayer from having to pay for the kind of improvement that we do because not a dime of taxpayer dollars goes into the CID funds.” Leithead said his three proudest accomplishments for the CID are the $70 million Kennedy Interchange, the Transportation Management Association, and the system of trails the CID has helped to build. When it opened in the late 1990s, Leithead said the Kennedy Interchange at I-75 added an entirely new area to the CID market (the southeast part) that until then could only be reached by a four-wheel drive vehicle. That interchange, along with the five mile Cumberland Loop road that interconnects all four quadrants of the I-285 and I-75 intersections, allows access to the commercial districts without having to get on either interstate, Leithead said. Leithead said the No. 2 thing he’s most proud of is how it launched the state’s first Transportation Management Association, known as Commuter Club, in 1996 to engage companies and commuters in activities that reduce traffic congestion on Georgia’s roadways such as vanpools. To date, commuters have seen more than $17 million in travel expense savings and reduced more than 15 tons of harmful pollutants from the air. Third is the CID’s commitment to its trail system, Leithead said. “In a commercial environment as densely occupied as what we’re looking at to have a trail system that flows through the entire market and connects basically from Alabama to Savannah that allows access to the national park, Rottenwood Creek, the Akers Mill ruins, somebody can literally walk out of their office building and be on the trail system in the national park in five minutes,” Leithead said. “So on the one hand, we built a major interchange on 175,” he said. “At the other end of the spectrum, we’ve made a tremendous contribution to a trail system, and through the Transportation Management Association provided people with alternatives to the single occupancy vehicle, and I think to put those three accomplishments together really shows a broad focus on trying to improve the quality of life and at the same time improve accessibility and mobility, which is just vital to a business district.”


SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013/Marietta Daily Journal


Biotech firm moves HQs to Marietta By Jon Gillooly

MARIETTA — A biomaterials company based in Kennesaw is moving its corporate headquarters to an 80,000-square-foot building in Marietta, where it is expected to create a number of lucrative jobs. Mayor Steve Tumlin said it would “aid Marietta, the Sawyer Road area, and Canton Highway with a great business and attractive employment opportunities.” MiMedx Group Inc. is a manufacturer of regenerative biomaterial products physicians use to help the body heal. “They use amniotic tissue for wound healing,” said Beth Sessoms, the city’s economic development director. “They’re getting really good surgical results using amniotic tissue to help wound healing for surgeons.” The company has about 150 employees now and plans to grow to 190 by the end of year, she said. “Then they have plans to increase that each year over the next three years,” she said. Sessoms said the job opportunities will be for scientists and technicians. “I think the salaries, maybe the technician jobs are more in the 40s, but the scientist will be more in the hundreds of thousands of dollars,” she said. “These are the kind of jobs that we really need. We were really great to get Osmotica. I think MiMedx is another great company, and I think the fact that WellStar Kennestone’s here, and they’re growing, now they’re a regional medical center, all these things attract very intelligent people and good jobs and good research.” The company is expected to keep using at least one of the two 20,000-square-foot buildings it has in Kennesaw off Chastain Road, she said. The 80,000-square-foot Marietta facility is located in an industrial park at 1775 West Oak Commons. MiMedx entered a lease agreement with HUB Properties GA LLC on Jan. 31 to lease the Marietta facility, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The initial term of the lease is for 69 months with an option to renew for another five years. Rent is $15.50 per square foot minus certain discounts for the first 18 months.

Growth Continued from Page 3BB

to be a tremendous amount of improvement,” Moore said. “People are still basically afraid, and they’re not really wanting to spend money, and they have money. Case in point now: We have some of the lowest inventory for homes for sale. So if you are looking for a house, it’s going to be very difficult to find one, and I think there are a lot of people that want to sell, people are waiting, they just don’t want to get that depressed value. They’re waiting for things to get a little better. I think that things will, but the first part of that is activity, and I think that we’re seeing sort of the first phase of that recovering, so I’m very inspired by seeing that activity.” Cobb Chamber Chairman Greg Morgan said with existing businesses strengthening across all industry sectors and the creation of 1,773 new jobs in 2012,

Lockheed Continued from Page 2BB

The looming cutbacks to the defense budget do not bode well for defense in general, Blackwell said. “And however that shakes out here in Marietta, it can’t be good whatever it is, because spending is going down, not up, and they’re already at a minimum operating level,” he said. “They can’t continue to stay in the plant as it is and continue to operate, because it’s just too big, too much overhead.” Blackwell said Lockheed has done this before, back when it lost the C-5. Lockheed Marietta’s current headquarters in the building off South Cobb Drive used to be the C-5 building, he said. “So we pulled out of that and gave it back to the Air Force, and the Air Force used it for contract management and other DODrelated things, and it was not until I became president that we took it back again because we had that much business, but basically they can retrench … and close down facilities and put them in mothballs and reduce their overhead, and they’ll be fine for a while and

Staff/Todd Hull

The new small market Walmart concept sells only grocery items and is much smaller than a typical Walmart super center. Here, store manager Wanda Shack stands in the freshly stocked produce section.

Fresh thinking Grocery-centric Walmart store opens in Marietta By Sheri Kell

MARIETTA — The first of three Walmart Neighborhood Market concept stores coming to Cobb County opened recently at 1167 Powder Springs St. in Marietta near Bellemeade Drive, in the former Food Depot site. According to store manager Wanda Shack, 90 new full- and part-time jobs, including four assistant manager positions, have been filled. The 41,000-square-foot store will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Shack said the store — which is one-fourth the size of a typical Walmart Supercenter — includes produce, meat, deli, frozen, and beer and

all signs show that Cobb is on a healthy path. “One of the most encouraging trends in our community is that we’re seeing local entrepreneurs take their first steps toward leasing or purchasing office space, versus operating out of a home office,” Morgan said. “Also, our economic development team has seen a slight rise in e-Commerce and Information Technology prospect activity.” Two of the sectors that have held the region back from achieving 2007 levels of growth have been the construction and financial services sectors. Georgia led the nation in bank failures during the recession, for example. But this is the year Georgia will catch up, Tutterow predicted. “Before the end of 2013, metro Atlanta and Cobb County will experience employment growth higher than the national average for the first time since about 2006,” he said. Tutterow applauded the county’s relationship with the state’s economic development office,

just hopefully they can hang out for a better day,” he said. The issue is there are no more programs out there for which there is a need to build airplanes, Blackwell said. “They’re cutting back in Afghanistan, they’re cutting back in Iraq, so they’re downsizing again,” he said. Blackwell predicts the nation will undergo Base Realignment and Closure in the next few years. “It’s just going to be a smaller armed forces, high tech but smaller,” he said. The president and Congress made what Blackwell calls a tragic mistake in closing down the F22 line and not opting to sell overseas. They could have kept the F-22 in production by “dumbing it down” and selling it to U.S. allies, he said. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics has called Marietta and Cobb County home for 62 years. “This year is no different than any other year in the fact that we plan to continue and extend this tradition,” Cooper said. Today it is home to 6,800 employees who design, build, fly, modernize and sustain some of the world’s most recognizable military aircraft. This year, Lock-

wine departments, as well as a pharmacy, paper goods, pet products and a limited hardware department. “With our smaller format, our store is perfect for those on the go,” Shack said. Bill Wertz, divisional director east of community and media relations for Walmart, said last year that the company is responding to its customers’ needs. “We are becoming a more flexible company with larger and smaller formats,” he said. “We also try to make each store reflect the preferences of the customers in the area.” The new store includes a rice and bean walk-around area and a Hispanic doughnut case. “We will be meeting the needs of

this community, but we expect our demographic to be evenly split,” said Shack. Shack said that due to the smaller format, the fresh department will need to be restocked more frequently than supercenter stores. “Fresh produce and meat will be the key areas we give more focus to,” she said. Brooks Mathis, executive director vice president of Economic Development at the Cobb Chamber, said, “A wonderful sign of the economy is the growth in retail operations in our community. With the recruitment of new corporations to Cobb come new jobs, which provide more financial resources for our citizens to spend on goods and services.”

Staff/Laura Moon

Cobb Chamber of Commerce President David Connell, left, and Mercer University professor and noted economist Roger Tutterow meet after a speech in which Tutterow says he expects it to be 2015 before Cobb and the Atlanta area start to experience a resurgence in growth.

noting how critical it was to landing companies interested in the region. Cobb Chamber of Commerce CEO David Connell said having a single point of contact for the state in the form of Chamber vice

president of economic development Brooks Mathis, is essential for Cobb. “That means when a project comes in, then he brings together the people that should be brought together,” Connell said. “He real-

Staff/Samantha M. Shal

Lockheed Vice President and General Manager Shan Cooper was honored with a Martin Luther King Living the Dream Award during Cobb’s recent 27th King Celebration Day. Sammy Foster, president, Odyssey Productions, also received the same award.

heed Martin’s Marietta employees will support existing contracted work on the C-130J Super Hercules production line, the P-3 Orion replacement wing line, the C-5M Super Galaxy modernization program and the F-35 Lightning II center wing assembly production line. The F-22 Raptor program is

transitioning from Georgia to Texas, with 560 jobs moving from Marietta to Aeronautics’ Fort Worth headquarters, mostly in the first half of 2013, said Lockheed spokeswoman Stephanie Sonnenfeld Stinn. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics continues to be active in the Marietta, Cobb County and metro

ly brings together the people that are important to the decision. He doesn’t make the decision, he doesn’t get to decide where they go, but he gets to show Cobb County and what we do, and that’s going to help us because we’re positioning our self to grow.” Tutterow said for the county to have maintained its AAA bond rating through the recession is something to be proud of, because businesses view that as a sign of a fiscally responsible government. Cobb continues to have a good school system, a responsible government and one that invests in its infrastructure, he said. “We do need to acknowledge that the competition is intense,” he said. “The North Fulton Corridor, Gwinnett County, obviously Paulding and Cherokee, are counties that are also trying to be very aggressive with the same issues, but I do think we are still in a position to be the leader for metropolitan Atlanta over the next decade like we have been over the last two.”

Atlanta communities through volunteer work and dedicated community partnerships. Last year, it donated about $2 million to local nonprofits, community groups and educational organizations that support a variety of causes including science, technology, engineering and mathematics educational initiatives, military customers, regional economic development, social services and healthcare programs. “Our employees are essential to Lockheed Martin’s community outreach and continue to donate their time, talent, treasure and passion to area nonprofits, schools and the military-focused organizations through volunteer efforts,” Stinn said. In January 2011, Cooper was named vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company and general manager of the company’s Marietta facility. She is also responsible for the company’s subassembly sites in Meridian, Miss, and Clarksburg, W.Va. “Lockheed Martin has proudly called Cobb County home for the past 62 years, during which time our employees have designed, built, flown, delivered and maintained the world’s best military aircraft,” Cooper said.



Marietta Daily Journal/SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013


CLASS ACTS Fair Oaks Elementary and Marietta Sixth Grade Academy define success in schools

ALSO Star Students School Board Members Test Scores Colleges and Universities

Private schools offer nurturing environment



Marietta Daily Journal/SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013


Education trends

Stricter standards, shrinking funds

School leaders feel buried by myriad of rules, policies, directives from state, fed level By Lindsay Field /

s they look toward building a bright future, Cobb and Marietta school districts are finding themselves facing some of the same challenges experienced by other programs across the state and nation. Cobb Superintendent Michael Hinojosa and Marietta Superintendent Emily Lembeck said they are dealing with tighter regulations and a need for accountability from the state and federal governments, deteriorating funds for public education, teacher and leader evaluations, Common Core Standards, career pathways and security.


Both districts, and just “What seems to be a conabout every other system in tinuing trend is that more What seems to the country, are also dealand more is being pushed be a continuing ing with what could be down on school systems in severe budget cuts for fisterms of rules and policies trend is that cal year 2014. Budgets and directives from both more must be approved by each state and federal governboard of education by June ment levels,” Lembeck said, and 30 at the latest. pointing out that the 2006 more Hinojosa said they have edition of the Georgia to figure out how to continSchool Laws was 607 pages is ue delivering the high qualiand the 2012 version was being ty education they have in 730 pages. Something else that’s hitpushed down on Cobb but in a less expensive way. ting the federal government school systems in “Our budget is going to scene is a push from Texas be a huge challenge, and — approximately 850 of terms of rules it’s not going away,” he their 1,000 school districts to and policies and said. “I thought we would be exact — in regards to have to the end of the high stakes testing. directives from decade, but it’s 2013 now “They aren’t against both state and and we might not even have accountability, but this until the end of the midhigh-stakes testing has gone federal governpoint to do something.” too far and too much is at ment levels. He also said some disstake on a one-time, penciltricts have to consider propaper test,” Hinojosa said. Dr. Emily Lembeck, grams to cut, like the arts or He said this outcry from superintendent, athletics, but with these Texas districts is “catching Marietta schools being two of Cobb’s fire” in other states like strongest programs, HinoConnecticut and Missouri. josa is hoping that wouldn’t be the case. “There’s this coalition of people who “We’ve seen how the arts and athletics are asking, ‘is this what we signed up can impact a student’s life and we’re for?’” he asked. “No one is saying we spoiled and we want it all, but there are shouldn’t be held accountable, but there just so many resources out there, so at should be ways we can still hold schools, some point we’ll have to make some tough kids and teachers accountable, but this has decisions but we want to keep the best of gone a little overboard.”

They aren’t against accountability, but this high-stakes testing has gone too far and too much is at stake on a one-time, pencil-paper test.

Dr. Michael Hinojosa, superintendent, Cobb schools

what we have and make tough decisions on other areas,” he said. Lembeck said the changes shouldn’t be a last resort though for school districts because of budget concerns. “See this as an opportunity to study existing practices, programs and ways to deliver instruction to assure that we’re getting the best results for the resources that

we have and I think that’s really important,” she added. Lembeck also said Marietta City is working with Education Resource Strategies, through a two-year Race To The Top (RTTT) grant awarded from the state, to help take a closer look at the district’s See Standards, Page 15CC

• Scholarships • Caring Staff • ADHD & LD • Small Setting • SACS Accredited • Grades 5-12

In just six months, Georgia Trade School has been featured on Good Day Atlanta, 11 Alive, Marietta Daily Journal, Cobb In Focus, The Brightside, and Practical Welding Today.

- AND Formed a partnership with Huntington Ingalls, the Navy’s largest shipbuilder and filmed a national commercial for Kimberly Clark/Jackson Safety.




SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013/Marietta Daily Journal




game-changers in lives of our school children

CELIS HARTLEY-LEWIS: Marietta High School

She changed paths to be a teacher


Marietta High School science teacher decided to become an educator while applying for and waiting for admission into medical school. “I realized that I was only doing it to satisfy this sense of what I should be doing and not what I wanted to do,” said 39year-old Celis Hartley-Lewis. She was accepted into a Bridge Program, which helps future students get into medical school, and while going through that process, she started looking into teaching. “I literally thought that teaching was going to be my ‘holding’ place until I figured

out what I wanted to do,” she said. She has been teaching for 18 years, the last 11 of which have been at Marietta High. She is the school’s science department chair and 504 coordinator for her school. The children are what have kept her in the classroom for nearly 20 years. “The idea that in my little classroom, these four walls, I change someone’s life is wonderful,” she said. “I expose them to something phenomenal, and new every day, especially in science. I love to see that light turn on in their heads.” Hartley-Lewis said she is

proud that in some form or fashion, she and other teachers get to be a part in the development of a young person. “It’s like leaving little parts of myself in every generation,” she said. “You’re getting students ready to face the real world.” Another reason HartleyLewis has enjoyed teaching at Marietta High is because of the diversity of the student body. “It’s not just cultural but socio-economic diversity,” she said. The 39-year-old was born and raised in Panama and came to the United States in 1989. Her teaching career began in Seattle, Wash., where Hartley-

Lewis said everybody “has and can.” “In our school, we’re working in a building with a group of students who are incredibly bright, yet poor, sitting right

next to a student who is struggling academically, yet has it all,” she said. “An environment like this just prepares a student for the diversity that they will see in the world.”

The idea that in my little classroom, these four walls, I change someone’s life is wonderful.

TERRI PELLEGRINO: Sawyer Road Elementary School

LUZ MONTANEZ: Green Acres Elementary

She’s really into one of ‘hardest jobs you’ll ever love’

Labor of love: Teacher gives 100% to job uz Montanez learned the importance of a good education from her parents, which led her to become a teacher. “My dad only finished fourth grade and my mother did not finish high school, so ever since we were very little, my dad always was saying the good memories of childhood were his teachers and that stuck,” she said. “So, I just wanted always to teach and to help other students.” She began teaching at Green Acres Elementary School five years ago after transferring to Cobb from Miami. She has eight years experience in all in the classroom. The 37-year-old, who was born in Colombia but moved to the United States with her family at 17, said she continues to teach because of the way it makes her feel. “The students just make you laugh all day long, and they love learning and are so eager, and you’re just happy together,” she said. “I will be teaching until the very end, I am positive.” She has also learned that each year’s students have helped her to continue her education in the profession. “As a teacher, you have to change your practices for whichever groups of kids are coming your way,” she said. “What you did this year might not work for the next group. There are so many things you can do to continue learning. You have to be very open. You have different learners and children love learning, so you have to be a good teacher to help them learn.” Her passion for teaching has also led Montanez to be as involved as possible in her school community. “I’m all over the place,” she said laughing. “I’m the team leader for second grade, I have the lab classroom for the school and county to train our teachers and I tutor children in my spare time if they need extra help.” She is doing all this while studying to earn a master’s degree. “When you have a community that needs the support, you should be willing to give 100 percent,” she said. “They will receive it and appreciate it. The parents need a lot of support, especially if the parents speak another language. Plus, I enjoy it a lot!”



The students just make you laugh all day long, and they love learning and are so eager, and you’re just happy together.

KIM KUNST: Vaughan Elementary School

She helps pave way for young students to get an education


im Kunst said there wasn’t just one thing that led her into teaching but said she’s continued teaching at the elementary school level for the last 17 years because it “paves the way for years of learning.” Kunst, 39, has been a teacher at Vaughan Elementary School in Powder Springs for the last seven years, teaching second grade. She has been with Cobb Schools for nine. “Growing up, school was always a happy, successful place for me,” she said about her childhood school in Southold, N.Y. “I loved both the learning and the social aspect of it.” So, after graduating from high school, Kunst went to James Madison University in Virginia to earn her bachelors in English and Elementary Ed. “I did go ahead and major in English but changed my teaching focus to elementary shortly into the program,” she said. “I love the idea of getting children off to a positive, successful start. Elementary school teachers pave the way for years of learning.” Upon completing her undergraduate work, Kunst continued her education, earning her master’s in education in reading instruction from the University of Georgia and her education specialist in reading instruction from Georgia State University. “There are so many reasons why I continue to teach. I love the kids, their energy energizes me and they make every day different from the last,” she said. “I thrive on the daily challenge of meeting the needs of so many different ability levels and learning styles.

I love the idea of getting children off to a positive, successful start. Elementary school teachers pave the way for years of learning.

28-year educator at Sawyer Road Elementary School in Marietta says her love of reading is probably what led her to become a teacher. “I love reading, and it’s so important to me to instill that love of reading and learning in my students,” said Terri Pellegrino. The 58-year-old has taught at Sawyer Road since the school opened in 2005 and has been a teacher in Marietta City Schools for 23 years. “I really enjoy working with children, and I am passionate about my job,” she said. “I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.” Pellegrino also said teaching is “probably one of the hardest jobs you’ll ever love,” but definitely recommends the career option to anyone with the heart for helping young people. “If you’re committed, it’s something you can work on 24 hours a day,” she said, adding that she’s had an opportunity to develop strong bonds with many Marietta City Schools families. “When I walk in the door at Sawyer Road each morning, it feels like home,” she said. “I have a friend in business who always tells me how lucky I am because I really can make a difference in children’s lives. There is nothing more rewarding than watching a child go from ‘having to read’ to ‘wanting to read,’ so why wouldn’t I stay in teaching?” She also reminds future teachers to keep time management in mind and to make every minute count for students. Not all of her time is spent in the classroom, however. She also works with an organization called Change R Hearts, which was founded by a parent at Sawyer Road and delivers lunches to school families during the summers. “Several teachers and myself also distribute books to the children through our book mobile of donated books,” Pellegrino said. “It gives us the opportunity to keep in touch with the children during the summer and make sure our children are reading. This is always the highlight of my summer.”

I have a friend in business who always tells me how lucky I am because I really can make a difference in children’s lives.

MARIA AVITIA-FREEMAN: Hillgrove High School

‘No matter what I tried ... I can’t not teach’ o matter what routes in college Maria Avitia-Freeman attempted to take not to become a teacher, her heart always steered her in that direction. The 39-year-old is an on-level biology teacher at Hillgrove High School. She has been teaching at the school for seven years and an educator since 1997. “Everybody told me not to be a teacher because of the money and no respect,” she said. “No matter what I tried, I ended up in a classroom. I


can’t not teach. You either are or you aren’t, and that’s kind of my philosophy.” While she was working on her doctorate in molecular biology at the University of California in San Diego, Avitia-Freeman said her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She decided to return home to help her parents and decided to substitute teach at her old high school. “I fell in love!” she said. “I love the kids and I love feeling like I’m connected to my community in a positive way. You’re doing something more than yourself.” Avitia-Freeman is the first and only educator in her family, and she encourages future educators to be as

into their profession as she is. “Get involved in your school in as many aspects as you can,” she said. “I know it’s overwhelming, and it’s the hardest job you’ve ever done, but it’s worth it. Ask for help, but don’t recreate the wheel. “When students ask me if they should be a teacher, I always tell them it’s not ‘should’ you be a teacher but ‘are’ you a teacher?” she said. The freshman science teacher also serves as the school’s biology team leader, co-advisor of the Hillgrove National Honor Society and Student Government Association and teaches inclusion of special education students.

No matter what I tried, I ended up in a classroom.



Marietta Daily Journal/SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013

TOP ACHIEVING SCHOOL: COBB Fair Oaks Elementary School LOCATION: 407 Barber Road, Marietta ESTABLISHED: 1958 PRINCIPAL: Cindy Szwec STUDENTS: 830 TEACHERS/STAFF: 127 MASCOT: Eagle SCHOOL COLORS: blue and gold

90-90-90 — NICE! Fair Oaks Elementary hits winning combination By Lindsay Field /

he Cobb County School District has a lot to be proud of when it comes to what Fair Oaks Elementary School in Marietta offers its students, teachers, staff and community. The school, which was established in 1958, serves about 830 students, 127 full-time staff members and has recognized as a “90-90-90 School” for the 2012-2013 school year.


Staff/Laura Moon

Top: Fair Oaks kindergarten teacher Karen Berezin works with her class. Above: Fourth-graders Esmeralda Alcantara, 9, left, and Maria Pineda, 9, collaborate on solving a problem.

This means 98 percent of students receive free lunch, 95 percent of the students are minority and more than 90 percent of last year’s student body met or exceeded the standards in reading, English/Language Arts and math on the CriterionReferenced Competency Test. Principal Cindy Szwec, who has been an educator in Cobb for 22 years and at Fair Oaks for the last six years, said being deemed a 90-90-90 school is “huge.” “It was totally thrilling,” she said, but adding that working with a higher minority student population is challenging. “Very, very few of our kids have preschool experience, and 80 percent of our kids speak English and Spanish but the world is open to them,” she said. “If we can give them this solid foundation for learning and the ability to be successful, they can do anything they want.” Szwec said they also work very closely with two parent liaisons and have a bilingual registrar to help out. “The parents here are so incredibly supportive,” she said. “They want their children to learn, and they want them to be successful. They would do anything they can to help us. They send their kids to school, ready to learn every day.” See Fair Oaks, Page 6CC


SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013/Marietta Daily Journal


TOP ACHIEVING SCHOOL: MARIETTA The county’s only one-grade school continues to find ...


SUCCESS Staff/Laura Moon

Marietta Sixth Grade Academy Principal Gabe Carmona stands among the Renewable Energy grant program-funded solar panels the school has installed.

By Lindsay Field /

he 2012-2013 school year continues to be a mark of success for the county’s only single-grade school, the Marietta Sixth Grade Academy, which managed to pile up an array of impressive awards during the year.


The academy, which opened in 2002, received the Georgia Association of Middle School Principals Effective Middle School Program Award in November, in addition to Catherine Kacyvenski receiving the District 14 Georgia Outstanding Assistant Principal of the Year Award from the same organization. MSGA was also recently named a Georgia Lighthouse Schools to Watch by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, one of only

17 from Georgia in the last 10 years, and if this year’s students are a reflection of last year’s, parents should continue to see across-the-board increases on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test. “The main reason for our success the last several years is the wonderful, passionate, and dedicated staff of MSGA,” said Principal Gabe Carmona. “They work extremely hard to analyze data, programs, and processes to better educate all of our students.”

The school serves around 650 sixth graders and employs about 67 staff members. It is located off Aviation Road and is a transition academy between the eight elementary schools and Marietta Middle School for every student in the Marietta City Schools district. “I have eight elementary schools coming here,” said Carmona, who is in his second year as principal. “My job is to successfully transition those kids into secondary education.” He has previously worked in a traditional sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade middle school and said the elementaryto-middle-school transition can be drastic. “MSGA doesn’t eliminate problems, but it sure reduces it by having just a sixth-grade school,” Carmona said. “Students can do all these changes and learn about part of the secondary expectations, and not have to worry about seventh and eighth grade all in a single age group.”

Academically, Marietta Sixth Carmona Grade Academy said the school has LOCATION: 340 Aviation six teams Road, Marietta that are ESTABLISHED: 2002 “equal” with the PRINCIPAL: Gabe Carmona exception STUDENTS: 650 of one SciTEACHERS/STAFF: 67 ence, TechnoloMASCOT: Blue Devils gy, EngiSCHOOL COLORS: blue and neering white and Math magnet team. They have strong structures, processes and procedures in place to address student needs and analyze data to make necessary changes. “The hard part for us is that we’re a one-year school, which is great See Marietta, Page 6CC


Fair Oaks Continued from Page 4CC

As far as what they may be doing differently at Fair Oaks, Szwec said teachers are concentrating on “really” effective instructional strategies, they are bringing in content experts, they are offering lots of professional development and training, after school activities including tutoring are available for students and 10 teachers on campus are bilingual. She also said it has to do a lot with the teachers wanting to be there. “They love this community, they love these children and they go above and beyond every day to make sure their kids are learning,” she said. Fourth-grade teacher Denotra Henley has taught at Fair Oaks for six years and said she believes the work ethic of the staff and students play a “major” role in the school’s success. “I also believe that the continued success comes from the constant collaboration between staff and the researching of


Marietta Daily Journal/SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013

content,” she said. “Doing these things helps us to guarantee that the standards are being delivered to the best of our abilities. Collaborating and researching aids us in giving the students quality instruction.” Henley said she enjoys learning from her students, too. “Many that face challenges, whether it’s language or financial, continue to strive for the best, not letting those obstacles determine their outcomes,” she said. “In many ways, the students give me my drive and are my heroes.” One of those heroes is 9-year-old Giana Jackson, who, in turn, loves being one of Henley’s students. “All the great people here. It’s just like being loved, and it’s like one big happy family,” she said. Jackson has been a student at Fair Oaks since kindergarten and is in the drama club and a member of Girl Scout Troop 2084. She has been cast as one of the main characters in the spring play, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs of the Black Forest.” “I’m really excited about it!” she said.

Staff/Laura Moon

Nina Boyd, 11, and Ashanti Davis, 12, work together on their classwork in their Gifted Language Arts class.

Marietta Continued from Page 5CC

Staff/Laura Moon

Above: Fair Oaks Elementary kindergarten teacher Nancy Smith works with Catherine Lewis on her literacy skills. Left: Kindergartener Dulce Rodriguez raises her hand as she identifies a word as she works on her literacy skills.

also have to have our ‘A’ game every year,” he said. “We have to continually look at data, analyze data and adjust and keep looking at our practices.” Marlene Martin, who has 13 years of experience as an educator and been at MSGA for the last nine years teaching English/Language arts, described this year’s successes as “monumental.” “We sincerely focus on keeping that student in mind,” she said. “We are all on the same team. We will all work together, not only academically but even in fostering and nurturing a child to be successful.” She believes that family atmosphere is what makes her school unique. “We get them ready to transition into a secondary lifestyle, where they see about seven teachers a day,” Martin said.

Above: Gifted Language Arts teacher Dr. Matthew Forrester, left, answers a question from Camdyn Shelton, 11, as the class studies about subjects, predicates, direct and indirect objects and prepositional phrases at Marietta Sixth Grade Academy.

“We try to provide that one-on-one that they need and hopefully provide a little more of that foundation to be more successful on their own.” She also said she continues to hear from parents and former students about what their experiences were like at MSGA and how it has helped guide them to further successes. “It’s always comforting to know that not only have they taken something academically from you, but that they understood that we really cared about them,” Martin said. Sixth-grader Madison Burns described the school as “equal.” “It’s more challenging than I thought it was going to be, but it’s really fun,” she said, adding that she is also taking PE and French as her electives this semester. The 11-year-old went to West Side Elementary School. In moving forward, she also said she’s a little nervous about going to the middle school but also excited.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013/Marietta Daily Journal





Marietta Daily Journal/SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013/Marietta Daily Journal





‘One way or the other,’ Dr. Hinojosa assures 2013 is ‘going to be exciting.’

Staff/ Emily Barnes

uperintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa, who has been the Cobb County School District chief for a little over 18 months, said 2013 is going to be a productive, busy year. “It’s going to be exciting, there’s no doubt about it, one way or the other,” he said. The 56-year-old educator, with 34 years of experience in the field and nearly 20 years as a superintendent, came to Cobb from Texas and started July 1, 2011. Upon arrival, he hit the ground running, making sure the first order of business was for the district and board to get out from under its Southern Association of College and Schools advisement. “The board developed, implemented and approved protocols, and we haven’t seen a lot of controversy after that,” he said. “That was job No.1.”


Never a dull moment: With SACS scrutiny, calendar issues settled, he can tackle projected $80M FY14 budget, critical tax referendum By Lindsay Field / Step two was for the district to come up with some way of getting out of the “calendar mess,” as he referred to it. “Nine out of the 12 first

months I was here, there was an issue about the calendar on the agenda,” he said. “We got a plan, and whether you’re for the balanced or traditional cal-

Projected $80M deficit

endar, we have a process going forward on how we’re going to look at that for the following two years, so at least there is some stability on that.” He came up with the concept to put together a 21-member calendar committee that included staff, parents and community members, who advised Hinojosa on the type of calendar the district should have. They met in August and September and made their first recommendation to the board in October. Hinojosa said he also was very proud of the district’s approval of a reworked Strate-

‘ ’

It will be very difficult to deal with but also pretty exciting because we have to start introducing some new concepts and new ideas. We can’t keep coming every year with a $50-$100 million deficit.

gic Plan. “It involved a lot of people and is a one-page document that is pretty understandable,” he said. “It’s not too convoluted, which led right to the superintendent’s evaluation.” The evaluation, which was approved in the fall, allows the board and district to look a little more closely at Hinojosa’s, and any future superintendent’s, service, especially when it comes to student achievement. “There are a lot of parts to that that are all about whether the kids will be successful,” he said. He also created multiple advisory groups to get feedback from a variety of stakeholders in the school communities. “I have a lot of advisory groups, consisting of mayors, principals and teachers,” he said. “They bring stuff to us, and we try to address them.” Hinojosa referred to the principal advisory group as his “think tank.” “We get to know what makes them successful, and I’m proud that we’re able to do that and get a lot of feedback,” he added. The superintendent also has been proud of how smooth completing the SPLOST III initiative continues to be. “We’ve been pretty much on schedule and budget even though we had to cut 20 percent of it,” he said. “That’s almost over though … really without any major controversy and we’ve been able to develop a new one (SPLOST IV). That process has been very transparent.” The district, specifically the teachers, also has been See Exciting, Page 10CC

Ed-SPLOST referendum

The biggest thing that’s right in front of us is working the Ed-SPLOST IV because it will, depending on whether it fails or passes, determine a lot of other things that we have to do.




t’s not quite been two months since the two newest Cobb County School Board members, who are also the 2013 chair and vice chair, were sworn into office. But, so far, they both say their elected duties have been “exciting.” Randy Scamihorn and Brad Wheeler are both retired Cobb educators who were elected to their seats in 2012. Scamihorn represents northwest Cobb and replaces Lynnda Eagle after she decided not to run for re-election, and Wheeler beat out Alison Bartlett for the westcentral Cobb seat in November.


“It’s been real exciting,” said Scamihorn. The 63-year-old Kennesaw resident, who retired from Cobb Schools in 2010, was elected as chair in early January. “Everybody has been helping me along, By Lindsay Field giving me gestions,” he said about his colleagues on the board. “And if you notice, whenever I forget to ask something, someone will politely remind me. I would say that everybody is being helpful and cooperative.” Vice chair Wheeler is a 58-yearold Powder Springs resident, who retired as a Cobb teacher, administrator and coach in 2009 after 25 years. “I’ve enjoyed it. It’s quite busy. There’s a lot that goes into it,” he said about serving on the board. “I think the more you start voting on things though, the more you’ll start getting flak.” The men, who ran as Republican candidates last year, agree on many things the board will be looking deeply into throughout 2013, including the possibility of a nearly $80 million deficit in the FY14 budget and what may happen with the SPLOST IV election in mid-March. Scamihorn said he’d personally begin reaching out to area principals and staff department chairs in the March and April time frame with the help of Cobb Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa to see what potential ideas they have to resolve the deficit. “I do believe that we have probably exhausted our big umbrella budget cuts and we’re going to have to look for the more specific budget cuts, wherever they may be, whether it’s transportation, staff, textbooks,”

Marietta Daily Journal/SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013

Newly elected Randy Scamihorn, Brad Wheeler ascend to top two positions on Cobb School Board Staff/Emily Barnes

he said. “We have to find multiple savings so that it will add up to significant savings.” The budget must be approved by June 30. Wheeler said the task of finding alternative funding options or the possibility of making cuts to resolve the budget is “daunting.” “It’s a lot of money,” he said. Cobb Schools is currently looking at expenditures of around $887 million and revenues around $807.6 million in the FY14 budget. “There’s a lot of different things that you can do, or that are available, but it’s about being wise in trying to make the picks, where they go, and personally, I think that the classroom is essential and I’m going to try and

Scamihorn is the new chairman and Wheeler is vice chair.

protect that area,” Wheeler said. Last year the board approved a number of items to fix its $62.4 million deficit in FY13, including three furlough days, not allowing step increases, reducing the number of media paraprofessionals in middle and high schools and eventually discontinuing the SAT Project 2400 program. “It’s not a pretty picture, and there will need to be a lot of input in this to make good choices,” Wheeler continued. A fourth special purpose local option sales tax referendum will appear on the March 19 ballot. If approved, Cobb Schools could receive an additional $717 million to help pay for school upgrades, maintenance, transportation and technology purchases and construction costs. Wheeler said he is sifting through the information and has heard little from the community about it, but Scamihorn, who has attended a lot of community meetings since being named chair, said people are often coming up to him saying they will not vote for it. “I’ve challenged them to offer an alternative to funding our high quality education,” he said. “From my perspective, we have one of the best school systems in the nation. It’s been recognized as that in the past, and I am willing to work as diligently as possible to keep it there.”

Exciting Continued from Page 9CC

successful in implementing a series of technology programs, the flipped classroom concept and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), which he said could be something they will have to keep an eye on in the future as they look at how to shift the education model during budget crunches. In a BYOD class, students are encouraged to bring laptops, tablets or other electronic devices to class. In a flipped classroom, which the school board first discussed last spring, students watch lectures online at home and do what would typically be their homework during class time. “Despite all these things that come up, we always get a solution,” Hinojosa said. “I always tell people, ‘It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you respond.’ Something bad is going to happen when you have 100,000 kids and 15,000 staff members and all these parents, but it’s how you handle things that are unexpected. “People want the leader to be calm, measured and focused, to be enthusiastic and keep moving,” he said. “I think we’ve shown that over the last year and a half and while there are issues that pop up, we’re not afraid of the issues. “We’ll tackle them and although we may not come up with the best answer, we’ll come up with an answer and we’ll keep working with people until we find out how to move forward.” Hinojosa said the budget will be the biggest issue as the district moves ahead. Cobb is looking at a nearly $80 million deficit for FY14. “It will be very difficult to deal with but also pretty exciting because we have to start introducing some new concepts and new ideas,” he said. “We can’t keep coming every year with a $50-$100 million deficit. “That’s just impossible to continue to do business that way, so at some point we’ll have to look for some different solutions. It’ll be pretty exciting to talk and discuss about the possibilities.” The board must approve the budget by June 30. Cobb residents also will have an opportunity to approve or deny a $717 million SPLOST IV initiative on March 19. The vote will determine whether Cobb and Marietta, which is expected to receive about $54 million in collections if approved, will use the extra funding to maintain operations in the classroom, transportation and technology departments, and add needed construction. “The biggest thing that’s right in front of us is working the Ed-SPLOST IV because it will, depending on whether it fails or passes, determine a lot of other things that we have to do,” he said. Hinojosa said he’s learned a lot since joining the Cobb Schools staff, but recently he heard at a superintendent’s conference one of the most important pieces of advice he has been told in a while. “One of the best ‘ah-ha’ moments I’ve had in all the professional development I’ve done recently, I was told that we don’t really know for certain what will happen four years from now, but if we just get up and keep moving, it’ll become clearer as we get there, in that year window or 18month window,” he said.

Staff/Emily Barnes

Dr. Michael Hinojosa has now been on the job as Cobb’s superintendent of schools for just over 18 months.

Open House: March 7, 2013 | 2-4PM Dec. 8, 2013 | 2-4PM Jan. 26, 2014 | 2-4PM Feb. 11, 2014 | 9AM-12PM March 16, 2014 | 2-4PM

Celebrating 55 Years of Success in Classes for 2 Year Olds through 8th Grade

STRENGTHENING CHILDREN ACADEMICALLY IN A CHRIST-CENTERED ENVIRONMENT • National Accreditation • Small Teacher to Student Ratio • Now Offering Transitional Kindergarten • Physical Education & Athletics

• Music , Band, Choir, Handbells • Drama, Art and Spanish • Before and After School Care • Summer and Holiday Camps

GRACEPOINT School Serving students with dyslexia in a quality Christian environment We offer a comprehensive, high quality education program that combines remediation with enrichment and acceleration.


UNDERSTANDING DYSLEXIA Wednesday, March 13 | 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Led by Brenda Fitzgerald For more information visit:

NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS for: Adminstrative, teaching, substitute and paraprofessional positions for the 2013-2014 school year. Applications are available on the school’s website.

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SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013/Marietta Daily Journal


Rhetoric runs hot in run-up to ed tax vote By Lindsay Field

Ed-SPLOST glance

MARIETTA — In a little over a month, voters will head to the polls to decide whether Cobb Schools should receive nearly $718 million in new SPLOST funds. As the campaign heads toward the final push, some powerful interests are lining up on both sides of the sales-tax debate. Depending on who you talk to, SPLOST is either an essential building block for a school system struggling to keep its financial head above water, or it is an ill-conceived funding source lined with pork-barrel projects. If the renewal of the 1-cent sales tax is approved March 19, Cobb Schools is expected to bring in 93 percent of the collections, or about $717.8 million, between Jan. 1, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2018. The school board approved its multimillion dollar project list in November. Only north Cobb’s Kathleen Angelucci opposed the list. Cobb’s list includes spending about $175.5 million on new or replacement facilities, $10 million on land, $130.3 million on additions or modifications, $179 million on infrastructure and individual school needs, $97.9 million on safety and support and $125 million on curriculum, instruction and technology. The big-ticket items include a $39.9 million renovation at Walton High School, a $29.9 million Osborne High School replacement, a $29 million east Cobb area replacement middle school and two replacement elementary schools for $23 million each. Walton’s upgrades will include a $24.4 million classroom addition and a fine arts facility with theater and $9 million gymnasium. The school, originally built in 1975, is off Bill Murdock Road in east Cobb and serves the largest population of students in Cobb at 2,636. It is about 300 students over capacity. Osborne High School, which is the oldest high school in Cobb Schools and locat-

What’s at stake? $718 million in sales-tax revenue for Cobb County Schools over the next five years.

When can I vote? Early voting begins Feb. 25 and runs through March 15. Election day is March 19.

Who’s in favor of Ed-SPLOST? Chamber of Commerce, most of the education establishment.

Who’s against Ed-SPLOST? Cobb County Tax Payers Association, Georgia Tea Party. ed off Favor Road south of Marietta, will be built behind its existing facility. It serves 1,780 students. Chris Ragsdale, the district’s deputy superintendent of operations, said neither high school will be demolished from the ground up. Any recent additions or modifications will remain, much like with Wheeler High School’s rebuild. The east Cobb area middle school will be built to replace East Cobb Middle School off Holt Road, but the district was not sure if it would be able to build directly where the current school is located. There are 1,280 sixth- through eighthgraders at East Cobb Middle, which was built in 1963. The stand-alone career academy was proposed in light of the state’s recently adopted College and Career Ready Performance Index that replaces No Child Left Behind. It goes into effect the 2014-15 school year. It will require students to take collegeand career-preparedness classes before graduating from high school. The idea behind the school is to have a central location where students, preferably in 11th and 12th grades, can go to continue studies for 17 possible career pathways.

COBB SCHOOL BOARD Randy Scamihorn, chairman POST 1: Northwest Cobb AGE: 63 OCCUPATION: Retired Cobb Schools educator and administrator; retired military officer EDUCATION: M.A. in science, Central Michigan University; B.A. of science, electronics engineering, Indiana State University RESIDENCE: Kennesaw FAMILY: Wife, Debbie; two children; two grandsons

Brad Wheeler, vice chair POST 7: West-central Cobb AGE: 58 OCCUPATION: Retired school administrator/teacher/coach EDUCATION: B.S., Berry College, health/PE; Master’s, Jacksonville State in school administration RESIDENCE: Powder Springs FAMILY: Wife, Kathy; sons, Zach and Seth

Tim Stultz POST 2: Southeast Cobb AGE: 33 OCCUPATION: IT analyst EDUCATION: Georgia Tech RESIDENCE: Mableton FAMILY: Wife, Jodi; one daughter and one son

David Morgan POST 3: Southwest Cobb AGE: 41 OCCUPATION: Lobbyist with American Federation for Children EDUCATION: B.A. in political science, Grambling State University RESIDENCE: Austell FAMILY: Wife, Alisha; children, Lailah and Rashaan

Kathleen Angelucci POST 4: North Cobb AGE: 51 OCCUPATION: Event consultant EDUCATION: Early childhood education; hospitality leadership/management RESIDENCE: Marietta FAMILY: Married with three children, all graduates of Cobb County Schools

David Banks POST 5: Northeast Cobb AGE: 73 OCCUPATION: Formerly an IT consultant and former computer company owner EDUCATION: B.B.A., Georgia State College; M.B.A., Georgia State University RESIDENCE: East Cobb FAMILY: Wife, Kay; four children; five grandchildren

Scott Sweeney POST 6: East Cobb AGE: 55 OCCUPATION: Consultant EDUCATION: B.A., economics, UCLA RESIDENCE: Marietta FAMILY: Wife; two children who attend Cobb County schools




Marietta Daily Journal/SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013




Staff/Laura Moon

arietta City Schools Superintendent Dr. Emily Lembeck said it has been a blessing to have worked in the local school system for the last 25 years, in addition to serving as the district’s chief for the last eight years. “I just feel blessed being given the opportunity to lead this school system, and to work with the level of educators that are found in all aspects of the Marietta City Schools,” she said. Lembeck moved to Georgia in 1987 and accepted a job teaching first grade at West Side Elementary in 1988. Roughly 13 years later she was named assistant superintendent, and in 2005 she was hired on as the superintendent of the 11-


City education leader: ‘Blessed’ for opportunity By Lindsay Field / school district. While attending Brooklyn College in New York, she knew education would be in her future. “When put in the situation of actually working with a child in the classroom, in the earliest experience in college, I knew

that first day that’s what I was going to do,” she said. That love for educating young people has continued over the last 20-plus years, while she worked closely with teachers, administrators, district staff and board members, but

Lembeck doesn’t attribute the school system’s success solely to her. “The accomplishments are not mine alone,” she said. “It is about the people at every level in our organization, including our board. Everybody is pulling in the same direction and that’s really, really important. When you have everybody focused and working on student achievement, you’re going to see results.” One specific thing she continues to be proud of is the district’s ability to improve student achievement for more children.

“Although the graduation rate doesn’t reflect it, we actually are graduating more students from Marietta High School and on the old graduation rate we did close that graduation rate between AfricanAmericans and our white students,” she said. Beginning in 2012, the Georgia Department of Education implemented a new method of calculating the number of students who graduate from public high schools. The new method considers what percentage of students start in the ninth grade at a school and graduate within a four-year time period. Last year, Marietta High School reported a 56.0 percent graduation rate, compared to the year before when it received an 85.8 percent rate, based on just the number of students who began as seniors and graduated on time that same year. “Our graduation rate and improving that will be an ongoing focus,” Lembeck said. That work will start at the ninth-grade level. “Some of the benefits will not be realized for a few years, but in the interim, we are working hard on the graduation rate,” she said. Lembeck also said she is proud of Marietta Center for Advanced Academics becoming the first, state-certified Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) school in the state, in addition to the Marietta Sixth Grade Academy being named a Georgia Lighthouse School to Watch and a Georgia Association of Middle School Principals Effective Middle School Program Award recipient. “I’m very proud of the employees that we have in See ‘Blessed,’ Page 15CC

The accomplishments are not mine alone. It is about the people at every level in our organization, including our board. Everybody is pulling in the same direction and that’s really, really important. When you have everybody focused and working on student achievement, you’re going to see results / Dr. Emily Lembeck


SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013/Marietta Daily Journal


Cobb colleges and universities


Chattahoochee Technical College


980 S. Cobb Drive Marietta, 30060 (770) 528-4545 NUMBER OF STUDENTS: 11,500 IN-STATE TUITION by semester: Undergraduate: $1,020 (12 credit hours); graduate: n/a (two-year college) MOST POPULAR programs/ departments: business, health care

Kennesaw State University 1000 Chastain Road Kennesaw, 30144 (770) 423-6000 NUMBER OF STUDENTS: 24,600 IN-STATE TUITION by semester: Undergraduate: $3,243 (15 credit hours); graduate: $3,917 (12 credit hours) MOST POPULAR programs/ departments: early childhood education, management, communication, nursing, accounting

Jason and April Hardin with their fifth-grade son, Oliver, at Shiloh Hills Christian School.

Life University 1269 Barclay Circle Marietta, 30060 (770) 426-2600 NUMBER OF STUDENTS: 2,645 IN-STATE TUITION by quarter: Undergraduate: $2,500 to $3,000 (12 credit hours); graduate: $2,200 to $2,500 (nine credit hours); chiropractic $3,900 to $4,500 (12 credit hours) MOST POPULAR programs/ departments: chiropractic, nutrition, biology, exercise science, sports health science

Southern Polytechnic State University 1100 S. Marietta Parkway Marietta, 30060 (678) 915-7778 NUMBER OF STUDENTS: 6,200 IN-STATE TUITION by semester: Undergraduate: $2,103 (12 credit hours); graduate: $1,776 (eight credit hours) MOST POPULAR programs/ departments: architecture, information technology, mechanical engineering, computer science

Staff/Laura Moon

Parents laud Kennesaw school for individual attention, values, ethics By Lindsay Field /

ocal parents who chose to send their children to Shiloh Hills Christian School say they continue to do so because the school offers a “sweet, caring and nurturing” environment.


The school, which was established in 1980 and is located on Hawkins Store Road in Kennesaw, is home to about 275 students in 3year-old preschool through

12th grade. “That school just has a spirit and environment of nurturing,” said April Hardin, whose 10-year-old son, Oliver Hardin, is a

fifth-grader at the school. She and her husband, Jason, visited the school before her son’s kindergarten year, and after one visit with school administrator John Ward, she said they registered their son. “It couldn’t be a better fit for us as a little family,” she said, adding that she and Jason chose to put Oliver in a private school because they knew of the benefits from their own experiences. “We made a concerted effort to explore the private schools in Cobb County, finding and sticking with Shiloh Hills,” Hardin said. They also recommend the school to others who are fortunate enough to afford to the private school route. “Absolutely we would

recommend it!” Hardin said. “We don’t push private school because it’s not for everyone though.” The average tuition is between $3,135 and $7,945. Another happy Shiloh Hills Christian School family is Mark and Becky McRorie of Marietta, whose 12-year-old son, Harper, is a seventh-grader at the school. “I love our school — the academics, the character of the other students, the Christian values of the other students and the teachers’ morals, values and Christian ethics,” said Becky McRorie. Harper has been a student there for six years. Becky McRorie and her husband chose Shiloh Hills after realizing they wanted their only child to be enrolled in a Christian school. “I work full time and so does my husband, so we wanted Harper somewhere that was safe and nurturing to him, especially when he was younger,” she said. “We also wanted him taught by someone with values and morals like ours, and we got it here, and we’re thrilled with it!” McRorie also bragged about the middle school supervisor, Kimberly Johnson, saying she is “world class and superb,” and they continue to be very impressed with what the school can provide its entire student body. “They do so much with so little,” she said in reference to the low tuition. “They are very creative and do amazing things on limited resources, which everyone else is also doing in this economy.” Ward said families like the Hardins and McRories are what have kept him at Shiloh Hills for the last 16 years. “This is a ministry that I feel God is calling me to,” he said about deciding to move to Georgia from Oxford, Ala. “My wife and I have really enjoyed it here.”



Marietta Daily Journal/SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013

MARIETTA SCHOOL BOARD Randy Weiner, chairman

Irene Berens

WARD 3 AGE: 45 OCCUPATION: Small business owner, What a Pane! Window Cleaning EDUCATION: B.A. in finance, KSU, 1990 RESIDENCE: Marietta FAMILY: Wife, Kelley; daughters, Grace, 14, and Libbie, 10

WARD 7 OCCUPATION: Ballet teacher EDUCATION: B.S. in management, Georgia Tech RESIDENCE: Marietta FAMILY: Husband, Bob; three children, Lauren (Todd) Hughes, Ryan (Carmen) Berens, David (Laura) Berens; two grandchildren, Claire Nicole Berens and Hudson Thomas Hughes

Tom Cheater, vice chair WARD 6 AGE: 52 OCCUPATION: General manager, Telecom Partner Channels EDUCATION: B.S.M.E. and post graduate in finance RESIDENCE: Marietta FAMILY: Wife, Lisa; children, Nicholas and Jordan

Ed-SPLOST project list tops $55M for Marietta schools

By Lindsay Field

Brett Bittner WARD 1 AGE: 33 OCCUPATION: Consultant RESIDENCE: Marietta FAMILY: Three dogs

Tony Fasola WARD 2 AGE: 57 OCCUPATION: Senior vice president, Entertainment Studios EDUCATION: B.A. communications, California State University at Chico RESIDENCE: Marietta FAMILY: Two daughters at Marietta High School

Jill Mutimer WARD 4 AGE: 46 OCCUPATION: Owner of Strategic Consulting Group Inc., a financial consulting firm EDUCATION: Marietta High School, B.B.A. from University of Georgia RESIDENCE: Marietta FAMILY: Husband, Jim; two daughters, Grace and Kate

Stuart Fleming WARD 5 AGE: 36 OCCUPATION: Strategy/operations management EDUCATION: B.S. U.S. Air Force Academy; M.Phil. University of Cambridge, Selwyn College RESIDENCE: Marietta FAMILY: Wife, Kim; daughter, Lillian; son, James Parker

MARIETTA — If Cobb voters approve SPLOST IV on March 19, Marietta City Schools should see a payoff of the district’s $15.2 million debt, along with more than $5 million in upgrades to Northcutt Stadium. Marietta’s School Board approved putting its $55 million project list before voters in November with a 6-1 vote. Newcomer Brett Bittner opposed it. The city school district will receive approximately 7 percent of the overall collections in the 1-cent sales tax between Jan. 1, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2018, if voters give a thumbs up in March. Early voting starts on Feb. 25. Aside from renovating the football stadium and wiping out the debt, $3 million of which is a bond for the Marietta High School auditorium still under construction, Marietta’s SPLOST IV notebook includes:  Upgrades to technology at a cost of $16.3 million;  About $14 million in other construction, modifications, renovations and equipment; and  $2 million for student transportation. More specifically, the

district is looking to buy $407,000 worth of Drivers Education cars and putting $532,000 toward the food and nutrition program, $250,000 for audits, legal and professional reviews and $460,000 for copy machines.

Board Chair Randy Weiner said upgrades to Northcutt Stadium, which opened in 1940, will include adding seating to the home and visitor sides and parking, installing new plumbing, a PA system and electrical and lighting projects.

The little red school house at the corner of North Main and Wood Street in Historic Downtown Acworth Personalized Education Experience for students with Learning Differences in Reading and Math CREATIVE • NURTURING • UNPRETENTIOUS


SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013/Marietta Daily Journal



STAR students, teachers shone brightly By Lindsay Field

MARIETTA — Among Cobb’s 30 STAR students and teachers who were recognized in mid-February, four seniors were selected to move on and participate in the regional competition in a few weeks in Cumming. The Kiwanis Club of Metropolitan Marietta held the 46th annual STAR Student and Teacher banquet recently at First United Methodist Church in Marietta. Andrea Cooper at Campbell High, Alex Wu and Catherine Niu from Walton High and Ian Cossentino from The Walker School are this year’s STAR students and were among 30 students from 25 Cobb public and private schools who were selected by their schools for the highly touted honor. STAR students are recognized as having the highest scores on

Staff/Todd Hull

The Kiwanis Club of Metropolitan Marietta held their 46th annual STAR Awards Banquet recently honoring the best and brightest in Cobb County. Of the 25 schools represented, four students were chosen as the STAR award winners. Above: The STAR students with their STAR teachers, from left, Campbell High teacher Melyn Roberson and student Andrea Cooper; Walton High teacher Kelly Bryan and student Catherine Niu; Walton High student Alex Wu and teacher Tina Link; and Walker School student Ian Cossentino and teacher Matt Eisenman.

any single date of the three-part SAT taken through November and are also in the top 10 percent or top 10 students of their class based on grade point average. In being selected, each STAR student is asked to nominate his or her STAR teacher, and they were

Standards Continued from Page 2CC

finances, scheduling, personnel policies and practices. Another thing being funded by RTTT in Marietta City is the Teacher and Leader Keys Evaluation System. Lembeck said all Marietta City principals and 10 percent of all teachers are participating in these. “The next year they will be implemented fully,” she said, “And we’ll have some experts in each school that have already been through it.” This is important because Lembeck said it will allow them to take a different look at how to recognize and reward education professionals who are getting “outstanding” results as well as hold them accountable. Implementing career pathways at the high school level countywide is also something for both districts to look forward to, specifically in regard to the state’s College and Career Ready Performance Index, which will go into effect in 2014. “We want to focus on preparing those students that may not be going to a fouryear college and educating parents and the community that going to a technical college, rather than a four-year college, is

honored at the program as well. Cooper’s STAR teacher is Campbell Spanish teacher Melyn Roberson, whom she said has taught her all four years and is the reason she’s chosen to pursue a career in foreign language in the military.

not a bad thing,” Lembeck said. Her district is partnering with Chattahoochee Technical College and developing promotional material and updating the website about the more than 15 possible pathways. Another issue both districts are facing, along with every other public school district in the state, is implementing the Common Core Standards, which will require students to not just bubble in an answer but go through a process to determine right or wrong answers. Lembeck said it’s going to be a “very big” shift in the way that teachers are teaching. “You have to realize that there are at least two generations of students who have done nothing but bubble in multiple choice questions,” she said. “That replaced when you had a more Socratic method of teaching. ‘How’ and ‘Why’ are now the questions of the day.” Cobb and Marietta has offered extensive training for teachers in preparation for this during professional development days. Security also will continue to be an issue, especially in light of the December shooting deaths at a Connecticut elementary school. “It is a hot topic and a lot of people are reacting, and overreacting in some cases, but you can’t blame them,” Hinojosa said. “It’s such a big issue!”

The senior is undecided on where she’d like to attend college but said she has received an ROTC scholarship. Walton High’s Wu is also undecided on where he’d like to attend college but plans to study economics.

‘Blessed’ Continued from Page 12CC

Marietta City Schools,” she said. “They have always been strong, and I have to say that those that stay with us in MCS truly are committed. They’re skilled, they’re committed and more and more collaborative in what their work entails and that’s very, very important.” A part of that continued success has been based on the district’s ability to become more data driven, she added. “It’s how they make their decisions about what’s best for all students, regardless if they are struggling or need enrichment,” she said. “It’s about providing the appropriate experiences for them.” This year also holds a lot of promise for Marietta City Schools, she said. Like Cobb Schools, they are anticipating the March 19 SPLOST IV vote, which could determine whether the city district receives around $54 million in collections for school maintenance, technology, transportation and construction. “It is important to the future progress of Marietta City Schools,” she said. The city school district is also anticipating the completion of the Marietta High School auditorium. “I think that’s going to be a place for many, many celebrations of student talent,

His STAR teacher was Biology teacher Dr. Tina Link, who was selected as the state teacher in 2012. Another Walton student also selected for the STAR recognition was Niu. She too is undecided on where she’d like to attend college but said she selected Kelly Bryan, a two-time STAR teacher that teachers AP English at Walton, because is the “most inspiring” person she’s ever known. “She taught me that learning is a lifelong experience. … And, she tells the best stories and is hilarious!” Niu said. Walker’s Cossentino, who will be attending Brown University in the fall, said he chose his STAR teacher, Matt Eisenman, because he’s mentored him in so many areas, including track, classroom and the school’s Academic Team.

as well as for our community,” she said. The College and Career Ready Performance Index also is on the horizon, and Lembeck anticipates eventually seeing what that looks like in its entirety by the end of this school year. “It replaces AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) under No Child Left Behind, so we’ll be seeing where our baseline is in that and where we have to work as well,” she added. Lembeck looks forward to implementing the district’s recently approved 20132016 Strategic Plan, which will allow them to focus on “excellence in academics, school culture and workforce,” and the five-year Charter System Renewal they anticipate approval of from the state sometime in early spring. “(The charter renewal) holds promise for more innovation in the way we use time, talent, resources and partnerships, to meet both student achievement and economic challenges,” she said. It is the second charter the district is seeking. “We remain future focused,” she said, lastly adding that they have the implementation of Common Core Standards right around the corner as well. “There’s a great possibility that we will have a dip in achievement, but that gives us the focus to improve on our new baseline,” she said.



Marietta Daily Journal/SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013

Marietta Daily Journal Progress 2013 Pt 1