THRiVE | Issue 15

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skills that pay bills

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Dr. Brendan Kelly, UWG President and Dr. Julie Post, WGTC President


Coweta’s award of the American Rescue Plan act bringing big things to local businesses.


Skills That Pay Bills

West Georgia Technical College and University of West Georgia: Articulating Innovation in Higher Education.


SMARTer, not Harder

Yamaha breaks ground on Smart Warehouse.


Chamber Highlights

The Chamber’s events of the last few months

A Quarterly Business Publication

Newnan-Coweta Chamber 23 Bullsboro Dr. | Newnan, GA 770.253.2270


Newnan-Coweta Chamber


Susan M. Kraut



Colleen D. Mitchell


Paul Lewis, Luz Design Nikki Rich, Rich Graphics, Inc.


Susan M. Kraut Russ Moore W. Winston Skinner

THRIVE is published quarterly. Neither the Newnan-Coweta Chamber nor THRIVE is responsible for unsolicited material. Such material will become the property of THRIVE and is subject to editing and digital use. Reproductions of this publication in part or whole is prohibited without the express consent of the publisher.


THRIVE welcomes your ideas. Please send queries to Susan M. Kraut at susan@ for consideration.

THRIVE is available at various locations throughout Coweta County. You can also email to request a copy.

COVER Content 8
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MISSION: Ensure competitive talent for current and future careers The Chamber Newna n - C o w e t a CENTRAL EDUCATIONAL CENTER A Charter College and Career Academy Mission: Ensure competitive talent for current and future careers. Soft Skills Focus | Driven by Industry | Charter Innovation | Dual Enrollment | Apprenticeship 160 Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. • Newnan, Georgia • (678) 423-2009 • A model that has garnered international attention, CEC represents a joint venture among business and industry, the Coweta County School System, and West Georgia Technical College. CEC’s unique blend of academic and technical courses prepares local youth with real-world knowledge and experience to become productive 21st century citizens and key contributors to a rapidly changing local economy. Learn more about the innovation of CEC at Celebating our 30t Anniversary Contemporary Catering, Inc. Foundedin 1992 by John Hanna and Jennifer Hanna, brother andsister team. 770.254.0117 After 30 wonderful years of business we are retiring in February of 2023! We would love to be of service to you in the meantime so please let us help you plan your next occasion!
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American Rescue Plan Act ARPA


ON MARCH 11, 2021, PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN SIGNED THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT INTO LAW. The law, intended to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, was signed exactly one year after the World Health Organization declared COVID to be a global pandemic.

ARPA is one example of a federal government program that provides aid to local communities. The law includes a wide range of provisions: sending checks to individual citizens to ease the financial burden many Americans experienced during the crisis, funding the distribution of COVID vaccines, providing financial assistance to renters, and creating programs to strengthen businesses, particularly small businesses.

Coweta County received more than $28 million in ARPA funds and established a committee to review applications for nonprofits to receive funding as subrecipients.

Ultimately, the review committee recommended six projects – totaling $1.539 million. The Newnan-Coweta Chamber was approved for two projects. Other awardees include Meals on Wheels of Coweta, the Pathways Center, the Coweta Community Foundation, and One Roof Ecumenical Outreach. The county commissioners unanimously approved the sub-awards at the September 20 meeting. Commissioner Tim Lassetter, who motioned to approve the grants, thanked the nonprofits for all they do for the community.

With the funding from ARPA, the Chamber will implement a microgrant program, which will enable Coweta businesses to improve digital capabilities and a workforce readiness program for local workers the pandemic has negatively impacted. These programs are estimated to begin in early 2023.

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Connecting Coweta

ARPA Award Promises to Boost Digital Development

The emphasis in the technician’s voice was decisively on the word “old.” Business owner Phyllis Graham was taken aback.

She counted back and realized that her Newnan storefront’s credit card processing system at Let Them Eat Toffee was old. Installed in 2017, the five-yearold system was obsolete – almost ancient in the rapidly-changing internet era.

Graham and her husband, Kerry, started their chocolate and toffee shop on Newnan’s historic court square in 2009 – and recently expanded into an adjacent storefront.

Recognizing that a digital presence is essential to running a profitable retail business in an increasingly connected world, Graham was glad to hear about the Newnan-Coweta Chamber’s recent grant award for implementing the Small Business Digital Aid program.

Graham shared that she has repeat customers outside of Newnan who order regularly – people throughout Georgia and as far away as Hawaii. Still, she is sure that Let Them Eat Toffee is missing out on

potential sales.

“The main thing would be to upgrade our system, as far as the website,” she said, thinking about the program. Graham said she could also use some expertise to market to people who love good candy to find the store’s site online.

“Something is missing that doesn’t guide people here,” she said. “We could be doing more online orders.”

Coweta businesses that need a website – or a better one – or want a less clunky online store or a more streamlined experience for internet customers can apply for digital aid through the Chamber’s program, beginning in early 2023.

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“You have an old system.”

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They can gain web development experience, learn search engine optimization skills and advance the use of social media for digital word of mouth,” said Susan Kraut, vice president of the Chamber.

The program will offer between $2,400 and $18,000 to businesses with less than 25 full-time employees. All companies must hold an active business license in Coweta County.

The technology project is a partnership between the Chamber and the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center. The application process is anticipated to start in early 2023, running until December or the funds are exhausted.

Kraut drafted the grant proposal, looking at Small Business Administration programs, economic development authority projects, and similar efforts by other organizations, including Main Streets.

“We put together something we felt was right for our community based on our existing partnerships,” Kraut said.

The Chamber already hosts no-cost SBDC consultations for existing local business owners and startups. The digital aid program expands that partnership to address technology opportunities.

A business applying for digital aid will meet with program stakeholders and participate in an audit of their existing digital assets. The SBDC will assist in drafting a digital marketing plan to be approved by a committee comprised of no less than three local, unaffiliated subject matter experts.

Through this program, the Chamber expects to create a capacity for between 20 and 40 Coweta-based businesses to establish, increase, and/or market their digital presence to benefit their bottom line.

Qualified applicants will be required to report expenses, revenue, and outcomes per the guidelines established by the county and under the U.S. Treasury’s final rule.

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“Businesses use the internet in a variety of ways. Digital aid that does not have to be repaid can help business leaders do more.
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To be eligible, a business must have lost revenue or experienced increased cost because of the pandemic, not have had the capacity to weather hardships, experienced financial insecurity resulting from the public health emergency or experienced challenges covering payroll, rent, mortgage, or operating costs.

Most Coweta businesses have experienced at least one of these criteria since the onset of the public health emergency.

That the pandemic caused significant problems for brickand-mortar retailers “should not be news to anyone,” Kraut said.

“This is a game changer for digitally underrepresented businesses. Many couldn’t weather the financial hardships caused by the pandemic, experiencing lost revenue and economic insecurity. It was staggering to learn how many of them had little-to-no online presence. Working with the SBDC, we aim to get as many businesses online as possible… and plan to make it as easy as possible,” Kraut said.

The digital aid program can also build on what each company already offers.

“It’s not going to reinvent the business completely. It’s going to give them another pipeline, another outlet, another output,” Kraut said.

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creating buzz

ARPA Award Advances Career Readiness for Coweta Workers

ince COVID-19 began its sweep across the world, local businesses have faced challenges, and many workers have also experienced an economic blow.

The Newnan-Coweta Chamber recently received an American Rescue Program Act grant to help some of those workers through the county. The Chamber’s ultimate goal is to make the program permanent and expand it for students and the incumbent workforce.

The Career Readiness training program is a partnership between the Chamber, West Georgia Technical College, and the Georgia Tech Innovation Institute. The soft and technical skills training will include 40 hours of instruction, roughly 24 hours of soft skills education, and eight hours of customized interactive simulations. There will also be instruction in workplace safety, business acumen, basic math and measurement refreshers, and forklift operator safety training.

“This one is a heavy lift with many moving parts. We’re prepared, though. We’ve been planning this program for at least a year; the only missing element was the funding. To say that we’re grateful for the consideration is an understatement, as the projected impact on the eligible Coweta workforce is immeasurable,” said Susan Kraut, the Chamber’s vice president who drafted the grant request for the ARPA funds.

The Chamber aims to have a pilot program in place in the spring of 2023, with full implementation in the fall; participants must be Coweta residents who are unemployed or underemployed due to the pandemic.

Kraut said.

There will be around 20 participants for each session. Kraut plans to reach out to the Accountability Courts, organizations like Coweta FORCE, and others “to open this program to absolutely anyone who finds themselves unemployed or underemployed.”

The initial plan is to facilitate each round of training in one week – with 40 hours of participation, like a traditional work week. If needed, the program can be configured to accommodate evening and weekend availability.

“We can build it to fit the needs of our community, and there’s flexibility,” Kraut said.

Several years ago, the Chamber managed a smaller-scale Career Readiness program; Kraut began formulating the idea of an expanded program when presented with an opportunity for a similar grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration in 2021, but the window for submission was too short.

Still, Kraut had the basic outline for the program. When the ARPA funds became available, she was ready to apply.

Larry Alford, South Metro Atlanta region manager for Georgia Tech’s Georgia Manufacturing Extension Project, told Kraut about Buzz, a Georgia Tech Development Institute program.

Buzz brings teams together and provides participants with

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“We have to implement a major campaign, and there has to be significant outreach to populate the program,”

a hands-on kit in a tote. Participants use the kits to create a business operation with staff, shifts, and expenses, among other considerations. Following each hands-on round, there is a debrief to examine the approach and possible weaknesses before returning to the exercise with a refined process.

“It’s technical meets strategy meets soft skills,” Kraut said.


Kraut said Buzz being a hands-on experience is a real plus. She also said the kits could be adapted for healthcare and other workplace settings.

Alford said the name Buzz comes from Buzz Electronics, the faux company for which initial participants in the Georgia Tech program “worked.” Those participants worked through the simulation and created a working circuit board by the end of the process.

Alford said the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership teaches companies how to use lean principles - how to do more efficiently. When people are learning and not in an actual workplace, “we need a simulation,” he said.

A simulation allows people to practice skills in a way close to the

actual work environment.

The basic concept of Buzz can be “used to teach all kinds of skills,” Alford said. The Chamber’s grant project will use the simulation – in part – to teach soft skills, such as showing up on time and following directions – skills that are “universal to any business,” Alford said.

“It’s hard to teach work skills if you’re not working,” Alford said. The kits provided through the grant will help.

Other states have licensed the Buzz concept; and the simulation project has been adapted for a medical setting.

“At the end of the day, any process and any business can be improved with the technique we’re talking about, and the soft skills cut across every kind of organization, as well,” Alford said.

“The key is to give the students as close to a real-life experience as you can,” Alford said. Using the Buzz concept, participants are “put into an environment where they have to produce.” They run into problems, decide on the best way to solve them, and move continually forward – just like in the workplace.

The process includes several simulation rounds with training on specific subject areas sandwiched between the rounds.

“You’re going to see problems,” Alford said. “You’re going to build skills.”

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Mark Whitlock, CEO of Central Educational Center, said the need for strong soft skills at all company levels is growing.

Whitlock said companies now tend to have “lesser layers of management” than in the past. That means a worker who makes a product may now need to interact and communicate directly with the person in charge of the plant or company.

“There’s not going to be someone doing it for them,” Whitlock said. “There’s more technology and fewer people in the middle, and there’s more responsibility for the employee.”

Whitlock said he is familiar with Buzz but has never seen it demonstrated. Still, he said, “Anything we can do that provides a closer simulation of the workplace leads to better learning, retention, and a better transfer of knowledge and skills.”

Whitlock said the concept is not a new one. Airline pilots, he noted, have trained successfully on simulators for decades.

Applying the simulation concept to healthcare offers excellent opportunities for Coweta County workers and the local economy. Whitlock said that in the local area, the highest wages for the most significant number of employees are in healthcare.

“Medical care is a really critical industry for us,” Whitlock said. “We’re becoming that medical destination that at least some of us thought we could be.”

The fact that healthcare jobs pay so well means a more robust economy for the entire county.

“It has a great multiplier effect. Just the fact that we have a level of talent available in those areas is attractive to more investment — either from existing employers or employers looking to locate here,” Whitlock said.

Whitlock said the level of manufacturing in the county is less visible than healthcare to the community at large. There is, however, a lot of manufacturing done by companies “which largely fly under the radar,” he said.

“They produce a lot with a relatively small number of employees who are more skilled than ever,” Whitlock added. Rapidly escalating levels of mechanization and automation make workers more efficient.

West Georgia Technical College will be part of the Chamber’s Career Readiness project. WGTC has been working for months to gather information from area industries about their needs.

“We are so grateful to be a Chamber partner and look forward to serving adult workers in yet another avenue in the area,” said Dr. Julie Post, WGTC president. “This is another great way West Georgia Tech can support workforce development in Coweta County.”

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Post also thanked the Coweta County Commission and County Administrator Michael Fouts. The ARPA grants went to the county, which approved applications from local non-profits, including the Chamber.


The Chamber plans to amass additional funds in the near future by establishing an education and talent development foundation. A priority for that foundation is to continue the work getting started through the ARPA grant and expand the Career Readiness program to include school-age learners.

“If we could apply this to students, we’d start as young as the eighth grade. To get that kind of knowledge and skills to students as young as the eighth grade, you set them up for additional opportunities in high school,” Whitlock said.

Whitlock pointed to the advanced manufacturing technician program already in place at CEC. Weaving together German concepts and the Technical College of Georgia curriculum, the program trains students who – at 18 – graduate and go to work making $40,000-$50,000 annually.

They also have completed some college work should they pursue advanced education.

“Starting with a simulation as young as eighth grade, we could help more students get more unique skills earlier because they’d better understand how things work, how money is made in manufacturing,” Whitlock said.

“The more we can simulate the workplace inside of education,” he observed, “the more the students – at whatever age – are ready to go into that workplace.”

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skills that pay bills


In his mid-20s, Cody Ziegler felt like he might need a change. He had worked at his family’s furniture store since his teens, and the wear and tear on his back convinced him he needed a better plan for his future.

“I saw a billboard for West Georgia Technical College (WGTC) that said I could earn ‘Skills That Pay The Bills,’” he said, “and I thought to myself, ‘I could use that!’” Then unaware of the opportunities that policy leaders in higher education, the legislature, and Governor’s Office had created for just his situation – and for thousands of other Georgians – Ziegler enrolled in WGTC’s General Business Program because “I was interested in business and accounting.”

After three years and a few WGTC classes per semester, Ziegler still held his furniture job and an Associate’s Degree in Forensic Accounting. Also boasting several first-place awards and placement as sixth in the nation in Forensic Accounting, he earned and completed a seven-month business internship at Southwire Corporation in Carrollton.

On the advice of counselors from both WGTC and the neighboring University of West Georgia (UWG) Ziegler elected to continue his education, earning general core academic credits at WGTC and later transferring to UWG as part of an innovative “articulation agreement.” Because of this credit transfer agreement, he seamlessly transferred to UWG as a college junior, completing his four-year Bachelor of Arts in Business degree in as few as 12 months.

Today Ziegler is happily employed in only one job, with excellent prospects for promotion and even career progression anywhere in the world, thanks to his hard work and the collaborations and connections made for him by educators in the Coweta region and by policymakers at the state level.

Sonny Perdue currently serves as the Chancellor of the University System of Georgia.

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While Governor of Georgia in 2008, his administration partnered with the Georgia Board of Education to create a first-of-its-kind program. A new variety of the Flexibility Waiver Contract allowed districts to save money and provide sensible programs without as many bureaucratic burdens. For years, traditional school systems resisted the flexibility enjoyed by charter schools, for instance, while secretly coveting these same freedoms. Finally, they enjoyed an opportunity to embed Flexibility Performance Waivers into their operational contracts with the state at will.

First called the Innovation for Educational Excellence (IE2) Contracts, later amendments by the state legislature and Governor Purdue’s successors changed the name to today’s Strategic Waiver School System (SWSS) Performance Contracts.

The Perdue administration’s laser focus encouraged cooperation from various, often competing entities that offered college credits in Georgia: the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), a state agency overseen by a Commissioner, and the University System of Georgia (USG), directed by a Chancellor and a Board of Regents. It took years to develop, but today there is a list of 34 courses offered by TCSG colleges that seamlessly connect to courses provided by USG institutions. A student who earns credits in any of these 34 courses must have their credit accepted for transfer by any USG college or university, saving families and students thousands of dollars and giving students added options to access the college or university of their choice.

Inspired by partner-driven, student-centered best practices from the state’s college and career academies, USG Chancellor Perdue and TCSG Commissioner Greg Dozier encouraged college and university presidents to innovate in meeting workforce development needs, enhancing local economies, and serving students individually.

sport,” said UWG’s president, Dr. Brendan Kelly, “and partnerships between technical colleges and universities are about finding innovative ways to ensure that students learn certain types of skills, abilities, and knowledge so they can produce different results for themselves, for industry, and their communities. That’s not done by one person and certainly not done by one institution,” he added.

“If our focus is really on the students, then folks in my position or Dr. Julie Post’s (President, West Georgia Technical College) are going to ensure that we best leverage our resources, serve students to the maximum

degree possible, and create the workforce that our communities need to work with employers and make them most successful.”

“We have several programs and agreements between WGTC and UWG,” said WGTC’s President post. “Our overarching goal is that no matter where a student begins, WGTC or UWG, students should be able to move back and forth seamlessly, to garner whatever educational experiences and credentials they wish to earn, and meet their self-defined plans for success.”

The most recent articulation agreement the presidents signed solidified two significant programs.

The first is Wolf-Bound, in which students enroll at WGTC and then move to UWG. Students are paired with advisors from both institutions to ensure a seamless transition from WGTC to UWG. The student’s WGTC advisor meets with the student, with the UWG advisor participating virtually.

In the second articulation program, West in 30, students initially apply with UWG and study at WGTC only if they don’t make the required admission score. Students may transfer to UWG once they have earned 30 hours of core course credits from the state-approved list. UWG recommends earning WGTC Associate Degrees in General Studies or General Business first. As currently structured, West in 30 students may earn the following general studies specializations at WGTC: Biology, Criminal Justice, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.

Newnan-Coweta Chamber 21
“Education is a team
WGTC President Dr. Julie Post and UWG President Dr. Brendan Kelly recently signed a new articulation agreement that will better enable students to transition between the institutions.

Cody Ziegler earned his Associates Degree in Forensic Accounting under General Business at WGTC and transferred to UWG in 2019. “I had worked hard, and there was no culture shock going from a technical college to the next level; I was very well prepared for the academic rigor of a four-year university”

Part of that preparation came from a long-standing best practice that is unbeknownst or undervalued by laypersons: the Technical College System of Georgia’s focus on teaching “work ethic” in every class – whether in academic or technical courses.

“In my case, WGTC made sure I understood the importance of character, attendance, punctuality, appearance, and other ‘soft skills’ coveted by employers. These skills helped me excel as a student, secure a highly competitive internship, enroll in and succeed at a four-year university, and earn a job I love.”

And the best is yet to come. “Dr. Kelly and I have been discussing future partnership opportunities that are really exciting and offer so much potential in lifelong learning pathways,” said Post. “We are constantly talking about ways in which we can make pathways smoother, make access to our institutions easier, make the intermingling of our institutions something that creates value for others,” said UWG’s Brendan Kelly. “That spirit of partnership does not exist everywhere,” he emphasized. “Dr. Post and I both serve on the Board of Directors of the NewnanCoweta Chamber, and at those meetings and others, we are constantly looking at ways to innovate and improve.

“In fact,” Dr. Kelly concluded, “the day Dr. Post took her job at WGTC, we sat down and had lunch and signed an articulation agreement. It is one of many. And the first thing I said was, ‘You and I are partners, and we are not competitors.’ We have lived that every day since.”

In their interviews for this article, Dr. Kelly and Dr. Post said the same thing: “As we work together, we evaluate every idea by answering this question: ‘Does this make sense for our students? Would this idea help them help themselves and their communities?’”

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Mark Whitlock, CEO of Central Educational Center (one of the instructional sites for WGTC and a charter college and career academy in Newnan), says our community needs and deserves these connections. He sees a specific, additional benefit for CEC’s students.

“Articulation agreements deliver a seamless transfer between WGTC and UWG that is vital for CEC’s students as well as for adults and businesses,” Whitlock said. “The highly technical skillsets provided by WGTC allow CEC students to gain earlier economic success in great local careers, earning higher wages at younger ages, because of the value added by collegelevel technical skills they receive in high school.” Whitlock emphasized, “The three, CEC + WGTC + UWG, working in tandem, maximize the value of public education for CEC and adult students in our community’s local talent development pipeline. We all benefit from this kind of innovation.

Here we GROW again!

Welcome Dr. Michael Webber

Michael Webber, M.D., is a fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon with specialty training in Hand, Upper Extremity, and Microsurgery.

Meredith Brunen, vice president for University Advancement and CEO of UWG Foundations recently gathered to sign a new articulation agreement between the institutions that will better enable students to transition between the institutions

Dr. Webber specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of hand and upper extremity conditions in all age groups. He treats many conditions including carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, nerve and tendon injuries, fractures, and arthritis. One of his particular interests includes endoscopic carpal tunnel release. Dr. Webber graduated from the University of Georgia and subsequently completed medical training at the Medical College of Georgia. Fayetteville 1755 Highway 34 East Suite 2200 Newnan,
30265 (770) 502-2175 Newnan 125 Grand Oak Drive Fayetteville,
30214 (770) 626-5340
Griffin 670 South 8th Street Griffin, GA 30224 (770) 502-2175
(L-R) Dr. Tonya Whitlock, West Georgia Technical College’s vice president for Student Affairs; WGTC President Dr. Julie Post; University of West Georgia President Brendan Kelly; UWG Provost Dr. Jon Preston; André L. Fortune, UWG’s vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management; and Dr.

SMARTer, not harder

Yamaha Breaks Ground on SMART Warehouse

he Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation is moving forward with plans for a $45 million SMART Warehouse operation at its Coweta County plant.

A groundbreaking for the SMART Warehouse on June 10th introduced the new 200,000-square-foot facility, boasting state-of-the-art automated storage and retrieval system that will enable the plant to more efficiently fill orders for Yamaha WaveRunners, golf carts, ATVs, and side-by-sides.

SMART is an acronym for Sequenced Material and Reduced Transportation. The SMART Warehouse’s automated storage and retrieval system for the medium parts will be capable of retrieving and putting away 240 containers per hour, compared to the current rate of 170 containers per hour. The small-part automated system will handle 2,400 containers per hour, compared to the current capability of 550 containers per day.

The SMART Warehouse has been compared to a vending machine – one seven stories high. The highspeed automation system will be able to send Yamaha team members the parts they need quickly, making the process more efficient.

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Ready to turn shovels of dirt at the SMART Warehouse groundbreaking in June are, from left, Taka Imanishi, YMMC president; Wayne Pierce, YMMC supply chain vice president; Mike Chrzanowski, president and CEO, Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA; Newnan Mayor Keith Brady; and State Sen. Matt Brass.

The new systems will enable Yamaha to reduce forklifts by 50% by using automatic conveyors and tuggers to move parts through the SMART center to production areas. The SMART center will also reduce tractor-trailers in and out of Yamaha.

“The new Yamaha SMART Warehouse will improve our overall operational efficiency and the velocity of material flow to our factory assembly lines, allowing us to ultimately get products in the hands of our dealers and customers faster,” said Mike Chrzanowski, president, and CEO of Yamaha Motor Corporation.

By contrast, a recent study showed some parts were handled as many as 17 times before leaving the facility on a finished product; the SMART Warehouse is a technological innovation that has dovetailed with a need in the industry.

“The demand for all our outdoor recreational products produced at this factory continues to exceed supply,” Chrzanowski said. The company wants to bring the new warehouse facility online as soon as possible.

Chrzanowski also said that implementing the SMART Warehouse “will bring higher paid and more skilled jobs into Coweta County, including robotics experts, software developers, and systems engineers.”

Designed by SSI SCHAEFER, the new Yamaha SMART Warehouse will also include an observation platform for groups (such as students from local schools) to learn more about manufacturing and automated processes.

Yamaha has consistently demonstrated their commitment to local education—most notably, after the March 2021 tornado destroyed the band room at Newnan High School; Yamaha officials worked to help the school obtain instruments quickly to continue their music program. In June, Newnan High’s band played “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the SMART groundbreaking ceremony, which many local leaders attended, including State Sen. Matt Brass.

“There’s no better example of a great corporate partnership we’ve got with Yamaha,” Brass said. “Yamaha has invested in this community since 1988.”

Chrzanowski said the company’s investment in the new technology “underscores the company’s long-term commitment to our YMCC employees as well as the City of Newnan and Coweta County.” The project is slated for completion in 2024.

Left: Mike Chrzanowski, president, and CEO of Yamaha Motor Corporation.

Below: The Newnan High School ban performs at the SMART groundbreaking ceremony.

Newnan-Coweta Chamber


The annual Bowling Adventure is one of the Chamber’s most popular events, and this year’s “It’s Tiki Time” adventure was no exception. Presented in partnership with Junction Lanes Family Entertainment Center and Nissan of Newnan, participants enjoyed friendly competition and an outstanding opportunity to connect and team-build, while recognizing VIP customers and clients.

Nissan of Newnan was this year’s top scorer, while Piedmont Newnan came in last place. We still love you, Piedmont Newnan!

Shout out to the Synovus team for winning Most Enthusiastic Bowlers!

We applaud all of our lava-ly sponsors who made this year’s Bowling Adventure a success: Junction Lanes, Nissan of Newnan, Bonnell Aluminum, Crossroad Fitness, Dogwood Veterinary Hospital & Laser Center, E.G.O. North America, Hammond Services, Newnan Utilities, and Truffles Vein Specialists.

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Photographs by Jimmy D Images
40 LANES 141 Newnan Station Dr. • Newnan, GA 770-683-2695 • MON–THURS 10am –10pm • FRI/SAT 9am – midnight • SUN 9am – 11pm 8,000 sq. ft. Arcade Spin Zone Bumper Cars COME CELEBRATE FUN TIMES FOR ALL Cosmic Bowling - Fri-Sat-Sun 3D Jurassic Glow Golf Food , Fun, Bowling, and more in a safe, friendly enviroment Depot Grill Cold beers on tap including local craft beers Pizza • Wings • Burgers • Dogs • Signature Wraps & Sandwiches • Appetizers • Salads • ICEEs Corporate Events Birthday Parties Bowling Leagues Pro Shop Gift Cards Available Online Reservations guarantee no waiting Recently Remodeledgreat place to celebrate and have fun!


The Breakfast Club, formerly known as Coffee Call, is a great way for members to jumpstart their mornings with the Newnan-Coweta Chamber and a selection of co-sponsors! Attendees enjoy coffee, light breakfast fare, and egg-cellent conversation at this early morning event. Bring plenty of business cards and rehearse your elevator pitch for our popular “Beat the Buzzer” one-minute challenge.

28 Issue 15


Three times a year, existing and prospective Chamber members gather at a local member business during happy hour to enjoy connecting with peers while establishing and renewing relationships. We are grateful for this year’s Business-After-Hours hosts for opening their doors to Chamber members who were eager to learn more about their businesses and services.


Photos by Pork Pie Pictures


Connections in the Courtyard, presented by WOW!, is our newest Member Engagement opportunity and the brainchild of our Chamber Champions Alliance. As the weather allows, participants gather in the Chamber’s newly renovated courtyard to mix and mingle in a relaxed, open-air setting with food provided by member eateries.

This event is open to current and future Chamber members, and attendees are encouraged to invite a guest.

Each of these gatherings would not be possible without our hosts and eateries

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BUFFALO ROCK IS YOUR ONE STOP SHOP FOR Snacks, Drinks, 5Gal Water, Office Coffee, Food, Catering Enhance Your Associates Day With A Micro Market Adam Gibbs premise franchise sales manager Cell: 770-550-4386 We Look Forward To Hearing From You! Contact Us
Presenting Sponsor

Getting Better Starts Here.


more than 30 years of vein-care experience in Newnan and Coweta County, Dr. Garnet Craddock, Coweta’s only board-certified vascular surgeon, is a leader in his field. While he has developed a reputation as one of the premier vein specialists, not only in Coweta and Fayette counties, but throughout the Southeast, Dr. Craddock never stops striving to provide the best possible patient care and stays up to date with current, cutting-edge techniques.

Dr. Craddock performs every vein procedure himself in the Southern Vein Care offices, and consistently receives 5-Star ratings from his patients.

Dr. Craddock is the absolute BEST around! He goes above and beyond for his patients. I will never trust anyone but him with my vein care!!

—Ginger Johnson

“Dr. Craddock is a physician who listens, is patient, and is a very good communicator. I am sincerely glad that he is my doctor.” Charles A.

7 months ago 2022-01-09 2021-09-15

“Dr. Craddock and his staff treated me with respect, and went above and beyond to provide good care to me.” Misty L.

CITY OFFICE 1975 Highway 54 West, Suite 110
GA 30269
Peachtree City,
770-683-8346 DR. GARNET CRADDOCK
The Southern Credit Union May 19, 2022 HOTWORX May 20, 2022 Healthy Vibe Nutrition June 7, 2022 Newnan Utilities Foundation Customers Supporting Local Charities CORRAL • Mission: Provides therapeutic horseback riding facilities and instruction for the mentally and physically challenged One Roof • Mission: Provides food, clothing, and financial assistance to those in need, as well as shelter to women and children at The Lodge Sisters for Society • Mission: Committed to helping individuals and families undergoing unforeseen life situations and hardships by providing food, clothing, and financial education Enroll in monthly giving or make a one-time donation. Your tax-deductible donation supports nonprofits right here in Coweta County. View a video from some of the nonprofit organizations supported by Caring Customers. Newnan Utilities Foundation | 70 Sewell Road | Newnan, GA 30263 | 770-683-5516 | NewnanUtilitiesGA @NewnanUtilities NewnanUtilities NewnanUtilities
Pool Scouts of Newnan
May 5, 2022 Kay Shell
Montessori May 11, 2022 Foundation Christian Church May 12, 2022

June 14, 2022

Meals on Wheels of Coweta June 14, 2022

Hero Roofing June 16, 2022

GloSmart Spa August 23, 2022

Crust & Craft September 15, 2022

Dream Wings ‘N Things September 22, 2022


September 27, 2022

Crumbl Cookies September 29, 2022

Newnan-Coweta Chamber 35
Coweta Community Foundation F.O.R.C.E.


This year, the Newnan-Coweta Chamber contracted Hight Performance Group to conduct a comprehensive membership survey. Feedback from the survey is intended to identify business and community challenges and how the Chamber can help to address them, as well as evaluate how well the organization meets stakeholders’ needs.

The survey began with questions regarding member demographics. Out of the 222 members who responded, just over 49% (110) of member organizations have 10 or fewer employees, followed by 29% (64) that have 11 – 99 employees, and just over 17% (39) have 50 or more employees. Most members (36.5%) represent a locallyowned business; about 21% are non-profit organizations and about 15% of members have a branch office in Coweta County.


Based on aggregate responses. Percentages shown are weighted averages.

Top four organization concerns over the next 18 months:

· Economic Climate (3.12)

· Talent Attraction and Retention (3.09) Government Regulations and Business Legislation (2.92) Taxes (local, state, federal) (2.85)

Top Workforce concerns over the next 18 months:

Employee retention (3.03) Employee attraction full-time (2.99)

Hardest positions to fill and retain:

· Trade

· Sales and Marketing

· Office and Customer Service

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We Mean Business. 2245 Highway 34 (770) 567–7211 61 Bullsboro Drive (770) 251–4311 TWO CONVENIENT LOCATIONS: NOW OFFERING GOVERNMENT GUARANTEED LOANS JOE BORCHARDT NMLS# 1743683 YETTA RICHARDSON NMLS# 1480751 HAROLD MCCOY NMLS# 713337 SAM GIDDENS NMLS# 1165521

Most valuable member engagement opportunities:

· Member Connect (2.54)

· Business-After-Hours (2.49)

· Leadership Coweta Alliance (2.47)

Most valuable Chamber signature events and business, talent and leadership development opportunities:

· Leadership Coweta (2.76)

· State of the Chamber Annual Meeting (2.74)

· Business Expo (2.67)

Most valuable member savings and opportunities:

· Ribbon Cutting

· Milestone Celebrations

Reason for personal engagement with the Chamber:

· To support the Chamber’s mission (67%)

· Engage with like-minded professionals with similar values or interests (65%)

· To stay informed about issues that may impact our business organization (64%)


Common community challenges and how they’ll impact Coweta County over the next few years:

· Attract qualified employees (3.51)

· Attract young professionals in the area (3.31)

· Retain qualified employees (3.29)

· Retain young professionals in the area (3.23)

· Housing availability, affordability and diversity of options (3.19)

Suggested areas of focus for the Chamber’s 20232026 Strategic Plan:

· Economic Development

· Workforce Development

· Advocacy

· Housing

· Chamber Services and Support

· Community Development

After filtering responses by employee size, it was found that the top mentioned initiatives for the Chamber for each segment were similar, with medium and large employers citing talent development more often.


■ 24-hour access to trained, friendly associates ■ Assistance with medication and personalized resident service plans

■ Linen and housekeeping services ■ Fun and meaningful activities ■ Scheduled transportation ■ Day Service and Respite available ■ Beautiful courtyards and spacious porches

Newnan-Coweta Chamber 37
A Senior community nestled on a beautiful setting, offering gracious hospitality in a comfortable and elegant atmosphere. Call to schedule your personal tour of our community. Jodi Falany Executive Director
■ Specialized services for those with Alzheimer’s disease or related memory impairment Restaurant-style dining program 27 Belt Rd | Newnan GA 30263 | 770.251.6639


Chamber Champions are goodwill partners who serve as the volunteer public relations arm of the Chamber. Alliance members seize the opportunity to support Chamber growth and value while taking advantage of key benefits to expand their personal and professional networks and build new relationships.

Champions commit to attending monthly meetings and assisting at member events while receiving free and discounted registrations for Chamber events and more!

Participation in the Champions Alliance is application-based and open to members with at least one year membership.

I am THRIVING. I am WEST. Find your direction at Nursing | Information Technology | Education | Business | Film & Video Production | And More



40 Issue 15


Access Med MD-DPC

Adobe Aflac

Alta Ashley Park ActionCOACH Backstreet Community Arts Bee Moore Real Estate BeneSource

Johnson Construction Group

Kay Shell Montessori

Kevin Buckley Realty Kitchen Tune-Up

Kool Bean Coffee Lendio Metro Atlanta Life of the South Catering Linda Dixon


Big Joe’s Bar and Grille Book Love the bookshop of Senoia Brittian Chiropractic Burn Boot Camp Business Women of Fayette and Coweta

o m e N e w M e m b e r s

Carbon Recall Newnan Caring Hearts of Georgia Health Services

Live Oak Exteriors Mariah Caitlin Events Matt’s Exteriors Mobility Plus-Newnan, GA More Music Foundation Mr. Clean Car Wash


Newk’s Eatery Paychex

Not yet a member? Don’t just join the Chamber. Belong. Visit for more info.

2nd Quarter 2019 has welcomed 30 new or reengaging members and we're thrilled to introduce them to #chamberlife! Please join us in welcoming these businesses across the threshold of prosperity's front door Absolute Weight Loss and Wellness Atlanta Oral & Facial Surgery

CleanBathroomsRUS Clean Juice CommunityMD Crimson Therapy Services Criscillis Electric Crumbl Cookies Coweta County Crust & Craft Sharpsburg David Keller David Skadeland CHPC Different Is Beautiful

Donna Pollard Agency Dr. Tracey Huffman, Chiropractor

Dream Wings N Things Edge Home Finance Corporation

Elevating Grace Foundation Emory Healthcare at Sharpsburg

ESP Fire Protection

Extended Stay America Hotels Newnan

Farmhouse Printing Co. Foundation Christian Church Gina Weathersby Glo Smart Spa

GoalPoint Behavior Group

Good Spiritual Vibrations

Green Earth Options Biofuel of GA

Hero Roofing Hilton Peachtree City Holy Zion Homestar Financial HOTWORX

Jaco Contracting Solutions

PBL Global Logistics PENCO Clean Piedmont Cancer Institute

Piedmont Physicians Medical Oncology

Pool Scouts of Newnan Prestige Grab N Go Vending

Reverse Mortgage Funding Richard Prange

RightAngle Roofing and Renovations

Rooftech Consulting & Construction

Rural America

S&S Helping Hands Scott Areman Photography Shop Sapodilla

Signarama of Newnan SIMDOG Motorsport Simulation

Southern Arc Dance Sovereign Bookkeeping

Talent Solutions Group The Mold Man

The Original Hot Dog Factory/Spice Wing

The UPS Store #7452 Senoia Thick Ash Cigar Thryv

Treasures Lost & Found Tv Mounting Pros

Unveiling Restoration Community Outreach Verre Flooring Vintech Industries

WW Homes and More /Keller Williams Atlanta Partners

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Please join us in welcoming these new or reengaging Member businesses across the threshold of Prosperity’s Front Door!
f T h l & E i en
an Loss & Wellne
pa Southside Family Chiropractic Newnan The Veggie Patch Trademaster Installations, LLC U. S. Business Products, Inc. Walk of Faith House Waterscape Nails & Spa Welcome Wagon Youth Unity in the Community, INC
Beltline Bariatric and Surgical Group Brightmoor Hospice Caduceus USA
tal LLC
145 Millard Farmer Industrial Blvd | Newnan, GA 770.683.6222 | Member FDIC Banking for what’s next.


The independent living residents of Wesley Woods Newnan have something inspiring in common. They greet each day… and the day after… and the day after that with energy and excitement. Why? Because they know (from experience) that you are never too old to have fun, make friends, learn something new, stay busy, give back. And we cheer them on every step of the way.

If that’s the kind of spirit that appeals to you, if you are someone who likes to look forward, we look forward to hearing from you.

HOME. 2280 North Highway 29 Newnan, GA 30265 770.683.6859 Wesley Woods is the only Life Plan Community in the Newnan area – offering independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing.
Newnan-Coweta Chamber 45

Access Med MD-DPC 31

American Family Insurance/Renee Horton Agency 2

Baptist Retirement Communities of GA/Palmetto Park

Senior Living 38

Buffalo Rock 32

C.M.I.T. Solutions 30

Cancer Treatments Centers of America 17

Central Educational Center 6

Contemporary Catering 6

Cornerstone Commercial Contractors/Newnan Views 29

Coweta-Fayette EMC 7

Dogwood Veterinary Hospital & Laser Center 11

Edward Jones 18

Encompass Health 19

Georgia Bone & Joint 23

Georgia Military College 25

Georgia Power Company 35

Heart and Vascular Care of Georgia 46 Honda of Newnan 3

Insignia Senior Living 37

Jason Hunter Design 16

Jersey Mike’s Subs 32

Jimmy D Images 41

Junction Lanes 27

Kemp’s Dalton West Carpet 19

Lynn Smith, State Representative 12 Mike Patton Auto 47

Monster Tree Service 28

Newnan Utilities 34

Odyssey Charter School 13 PhySlim 8

Piedmont Cancer Institute 40

Progressive Heating, Air and Plumbing 5 Promenade at Newnan Crossing 22

Resource Mfg. 48 Southern Vein Care 33 SouthState Bank 42 SouthTowne 9

The Venue at Murphy Lane 15 United Bank 36 University of West Georgia 39 Wesley Woods of Newnan 43

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PAY INVOICE PRICE ON ALL NEW VEHICLES! Invoice pricing available on new vehicle orders or reservations only. Not available on in-stock units. Valid on new vehicle orders placed after 10/5/22 only. Mike Patton Auto Group | 1406 Lafayette Pkwy, LaGrange, GA 30241 | 706-661-8828
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