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A Quarterly Business Publication of the Newnan-Coweta Chamber

Issue 9 | Fall / Winter 2020


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F E AT U R E S C on t e n t 6 Letter from the Editor Adaptability: The New Competitive Advantage

10 Profiles in Adaptability Six Coweta Businesses Find Success Amidst Uncertainty


24 R.D. Cole Manufactuing Uncle Duke’s Lasting Legacy of Excellence in Manufacturing

34 Shadow Curve The Lesser-Known Side Effect of COVID-19

38 Reinventing the Wheel Invigorating your business practices may be as simple as inviting a younger colleague to mentor


an established executive.


42 Revisiting Marcus Aurelius UWG Students Ponder Positivity and the Human Condition

48 Encouraging Growth and Prosperity The Newnan-Coweta Chamber champions increased economic prosperity for our members


Marcus Aurelius, Stoic philosopher and Roman emperor from 161 to 180

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Fall / Winter2020




daptability: The New Competitive Advantage








As we’ve navigated the challenges associated

traditional approaches to pursuing business,

with the pandemic,

doing business, and preserving business no

trusted advocate for others, we’ve noticed

longer carry with a promise of stability and

a trend even more persistent than the virus.



Coweta is tough, innovative, and extraordinarily

those who seek a competitive advantage

resilient. Adaptability is an essential factor for

rapidly adjust – and adapt – to the current

economic success and, Coweta, you have it in

environment, as overwhelming as it may





both as a business and

seem. Instead of being really good at doing, producing, or selling that one thing, companies

We hope you enjoy reading just a handful of

need to get good at doing many new things.

the stories shared in this issue of how Chamber

PUBLISHER Newnan-Coweta Chamber EXECUTIVE EDITOR / CREATIVE DIRECTOR Susan M. Kraut susan@newnancowetachamber.org SALES & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Colleen D. Mitchell colleen@newnancowetachamber.org

GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Paul Lewis, Luz Design Nikki Rich, Rich Graphics, Inc. PUBLICATION LAYOUT Nikki Rich, Rich Graphics, Inc. CONTRIBUTORS Melissa Dickson Jackson Susan M. Kraut Larisa Mitchell Scott PHOTOGRAPHERS Susan M. Kraut

members have established their competitive Strategic adaptability reflects the ability –

advantage in remaining flexible, adaptable, and

and willingness - to react effectively when


business and environmental factors change unexpectedly. Many companies do a good job

Chin up, onward, and all the best in 2021.

planning how to operate when things work out

Hindsight is {finally} 2020!

as expected. The companies that survive in the long-run plan for flexibility in responding to the unexpected. Being adaptable isn’t just about embracing change, though. Adaptability requires perpetual optimism





marriage between attitude and action. The year 2020 nearly in the rearview mirror; we’ve reflected a lot on how greatly things have changed since March.

Our business

Susan Kraut

TO CONTRIBUTE: THRIVE welcomes your ideas. Please send inquiries to Susan M. Kraut at susan@newnancowetachamber.org for consideration. 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 is available at various locations throughout Coweta County. You can also email info@newnancowetachamber.org to request a copy.

plan transformed overnight, the exciting Dare to Dream Big initiative tabled, necessarily replaced by the robust Advancing Coweta Economic Resiliency and Recovery task force. Like many of Coweta’s businesses, we quickly pivoted - ready and eager to adapt.


A Quarterly Business Publication of the Newnan-Coweta Chamber 23 Bullsboro Dr. | Newnan | 770.253.2270 susan@newnancowetachamber.org

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Serving as a leading advocate for Coweta businesses big and small, we’re committed to ensuring a positive, productive, and collaborative environment wherein local businesses thrive. Please join us in welcoming these member-businesses across the threshold of prosperity’s front door!

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profiles in adaptability Six Coweta Businesses Find Success Amidst Uncertainty

In December, the Chamber’s Advancing Coweta Task Force small business committee set out to explore how local businesses fostered success in pivoting or reimagining their business models amid the challenges associated with lockdowns, social distancing, and significant threats to solvency and sustainability. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many changes upon society, several that we wish would go away. But these businesses and those at the helm serve as exemplary in teaching us how even the darkest of days can bring about lasting and impactful change, sometimes to the most significant benefit of both the business and the communities that they serve.

Committee members Cory Cook-Anderson (Cory Cook, LLC) and Sibyl Slade (LifePlan Financial Advisors) took to the streets with a Digital Collective production crew to capture the stories first-hand. As compelling as they are honest and vulnerable, the Chamber hopes to share these as evidence of our business community’s strength and as inspiration to those who may need it most.


714 Bar

Sibyl Slade interviews Nathan Brain, Owner

Photos courtesy of 714 Bar Facebook page.

SS: Tell us a little bit about how you pivoted or reimagined your business in navigating the pandemic complexities.

NB: The first thing we had to do was make sure that we were holding onto our money. Once we admitted we needed help, we reached out to our service providers – our vendors, the power company, Newnan Utilities – anybody that could help us withstand this as we tried to hang onto as much of our cash as possible. Then we reviewed our business model, and we realized that it wasn’t sustainable considering shelter-in-place orders and physical distancing measures. We had to pivot and turn to delivery and curbside services completely. We worked our social media in letting people know how they could support us; that we did need help, but, ultimately, we were here, available, and ready to serve them food in a safe way. Readying for in-person dining, we adapted new A/C units with a cool technology that uses unique filtration systems to clean the air of viruses like COVID-19. We’re happy about that. We had to make those changes. And I delivered food to downtown Newnan customers on a skateboard. I had people on their porches celebrating and cheering me on as I went up and down the streets wearing my mask. We just did whatever we could. We didn’t think there was anything out there that would be a stupid idea. And sure enough, people just surrounded us and had amazing compassion for what we were going through. It made me proud to be part of a town like this because when change happens and we have to adapt, Newnan adapts with us.

SS: Let me ask you a little bit about the critical functions. How did you prioritize when it came to your working capital, the technological improvements, staffing, and now meeting the new pandemic compliance? How were you able to prioritize all of these things?

NB: If you don’t have cash flow, you’re done. So that had to be the number one priority. We also knew there were expenses involved in remaining operational. We talked to vendors to see if we could save our cashflow and redefined our support structure. I was a dishwasher. I was a janitor. I was whatever I could be in the moment that it was needed. I would deliver to the local community, and then I’d get a call that we were getting slammed, and I’d have to run back to take orders, doing whatever I had to do.


49 Newnan Station Drive Suite D, Newnan, GA • 678-673-6161

Unfortunately, because we had just started our business, we had to lay some people off. The


to work, regardless of whether we could pay them. Instead of sitting home, they wanted to help.

flipside was that those people were eligible for benefits under the CARES Act. Many showed up

Fall / Winter 2020

I thought that was amazingly cool. It just shows the heart of people. When we’re doing this, we’re not business owners; not employees, not

you may not return to due to the ways you have pivoted?

competitors; we’re us. And we’re trying to do it together because we

NB: That’s an interesting question because we consider that all the

know that if we can do it, ultimately, we move forward together once

time. Do we go back to the old way of doing things, or do we remain

we come out of it.

on a new platform? And I think it’s a little bit of both. A lot of people say, “I just can’t wait to get back to normal.” And I don’t think that’s a good

SS: Did you try to differentiate yourself from your competitors, or did


you collaborate so that collectively you guys could serve the market as well as sustain one another?

We have to be available to customers; in whatever ways we can be. As a small business, we have to take everything we’ve learned and implement

NB: I would say, by far, we collaborated. I love competing, but I want

it moving forward to respond to anything that might impact us. As a

my town to succeed. It’s Newnan first, and then everything else. Many

result of an economic downturn or anything, we have to be ready and

of my friends in the downtown area are small business owners just like

willing to bend. We remember all of the things we’ve learned and use

me, and the amount of support they gave me was just overwhelming.

them as tools for growth and become better as a restaurant.

Ace Beer Growlers ordered lunch from us every day; we collaborated with Vinylite Records, Lori at Blue Fern, and Chad – who’s our closest competitor with us – at The Mad Mexican. Anything that he could do he was willing to do. We didn’t have to-go containers; we got them from Knife and Stone and The Mad Mexican. They didn’t have to do that. If they didn’t do that, we would be in a challenging position as a restaurant. It was cool to collaborate and to ask questions: “What are you doing? How’s that working for you?” And people called me, “Your social media’s going great; can you help us understand what to do?” I would have those conversations, and it was a powerful thing to see us come together that way.

SS: Are there things you have done in the past as a business owner that

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CONTEMPORARY CATERING Cory Cook-Anderson interviews Jennifer Hanna, Co-Owner CC: Tell us a little about your business model and what your thoughts

One of those things is our meals-to-go business. Once the stay-at-home

were when you found out that COVID would bear such a significant

order came into play, it was not only good for us but very good for the

impact on your business.

citizens of this community and surrounding areas, who could get curbside pickup of freshly prepared food for their family. These were meals that

JH: We’re an event business. We are a business of gatherings, so we were hit as strongly in our industry as any other sector was, and very

would go in their refrigerators and freezers and eat for days on end.

quickly. Within a matter of days, all of our business in the spring went

CC: When you realized you had to turn on a dime, what became the

away. We got one phone call after another - We’re canceling. We were


expecting it by this time, and it was very daunting and very frightening. But we dealt with it, and we learned to deal with it by doing things that


we had already been doing, but by emphasizing them more.


My brother John and I own the company, and we have the most

fantastic staff in our industry right here. And our management team - chef Caroline Carr and Teri Hill - the four of us, we just didn’t let the grass grow.

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6 Jefferson Pkwy Ste A Newnan, GA 30263

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Fall / Winter 2020

We put our heads together. We started thinking quickly. What can we do so we can survive after 28 years in business? This was not how we intended to go out of business, and we were going to fight.

JH: The biggest thing that I can’t emphasize enough is to be proactive and quick to respond. We are on a chat page with others in our industry, and what I noticed was a lot of waiting—waiting a little bit too long

We reached out to many corporations that we work with to let them know that we were still here and that we could successfully feed their folks in a very safe way, which turned out to be a great thing. A corporation up the road that’s been hiring us for years, they hired us twice a week to feed their entire plant for the next three months, and

to see what was going to happen. And again, this comes down to experience, I feel. Being proactive is critical.

CC: What other lessons have you learned? What advice would you give other businesses who are still, perhaps, struggling a little bit, still fighting to keep afloat?

it was extraordinary. What it did for us, in addition to keeping us going, was keeping our full-time employees here. These are people that are our family. They have worked hard for us for a long time, and they


It stands to reason that the more debt you have, the more debt

you have to overcome in a normal situation, so certainly in a crisis, the

deserved for us to continue giving them everything we could from this

more debt you have, the more critical your debt becomes. Attempting

company. I cannot begin to tell you the gratitude that we’ve had.

to keep your debt level down at all times, crisis or no crisis, is essential


for businesses to survive. Don’t over-extend yourself any more than Had your shifts ever been considered before the COVID-19

pandemic, or were they just in response to the challenges.


you need to. And any good business person knows that you surround yourself with smart people, smarter than you are, people with good

You know, it had been a consideration, and we had tried other

ways to promote our meals-to-go business. Not having a storefront, being in an industrial park, and people thinking of us as a full-service catering company, we couldn’t get that niche going. So not only has it helped us tremendously during COVID but now people know we do

ideas, and you listen to those ideas.

CC: What keeps you up at night? JH: Things don’t really keep me up at night. We are a business and a family that has been through some grave tragedies, and we understand

it. The community knows we do it, so it continues to be a strong focal

what is important. The state of the world is indeed very concerning. The

point in our business, and we feel like it always will.

state of the country can be very concerning. Those things can keep you


up at night, but we rely on our faith in God, and that’s the bottom line. What is the most important thing to remember when facing a

crisis like this?

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10/19/20 7:38 AM


A DESIGN COMMUNITY Cory Cook-Anderson interviews Lori Duncan, Owner CC: Business as usual, and then, suddenly, you realize that the pandemic will significantly impact your business. What was your thought process, and what happened?

LD: It was scary. You didn’t know what was happening. You didn’t know what you were supposed to be doing. It was just a complete blur of “How do I keep moving forward?” We tried to keep the store open as long as we could. Then we were completely shut down and started working from home thinking, “Okay, how do I move forward? What’s my next step?” I reworked the website, and my business became all about design. We weren’t selling much anyway, and I had plans to change the concept of Blue Fern, so we put the whole project together, and we knew what we wanted to do. We participated in a lot of Zoom calls for design consultations. We got to go back to work, and everything started picking back up again, which was great. People decided that it was time to do something. Sitting at home and working from home, customers wanted their spaces to look good. I thought, “What was I doing? This is brilliant! This is what we should be doing.” In August, I decided to renovate, and we initiated a complete change of concept, above and beyond design consultation. Now we’re Blue Fern, A Design Community. We have a design studio in the front and have opened the space to include event rentals and co-working space with complimentary Wi-Fi, printing, and coffee.

CC: Having had these plans on the back burner for some time pre-COVID, how long do you think it would have taken for you to have gone in that direction had it not been for the pandemic upset?


A while. We initially wanted to be bigger; take up more space; go

upstairs. It would be another 4,000 square feet, and we figured, “Why not just do it here?” We have space. People know we’re here. We’re not changing our name; we’re just adding to it. It was just the perfect concept. So far, people love it. Hopefully, it just gets bigger and bigger and better.

CC: What are some of the biggest lessons that you’ve learned from this whole process?

LD: Many people say to take baby steps; I just don’t do baby steps. I don’t know if there are any real lessons learned. I’m glad we did it the way we did it. We said, “Okay, we’re going to take this huge leap, and just see what happens.” And so far, people have just been great about it. I think we did the right thing. It was all worth it in the end.


Fall / Winter 2020


What kind of advice would you give to any other businesses

who might still be struggling a little bit or trying to stay afloat?


The biggest thing is to breathe. If it’s tiny steps you want

to take, then take those tiny steps, but always keep moving forward. Always figure out what that next best thing is, whether it’s changing a whole concept or just being better than what you were before. Social media is huge! I’m still learning social media. I don’t understand half of the stuff on there because there’s so much of it. So tiny steps or giant leaps, it doesn’t matter. It’s whatever your personality is. Just keep it going.


Would you prepare or plan any differently for any future

business disruption?


No. I think you just take it as it comes and process it. One

of the biggest things is that many small businesses don’t have the funds. I’m lucky enough to have gotten a small business loan,

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which is nice, through the SBA. I couldn’t have done it without that. If you can get a loan to keep going and move forward; if you have money in your savings account, you can use it to keep going on; you just don’t know what’s going to happen. As crazy as the pandemic has been, I feel like it came at the right time, and I feel like it is what I am supposed to be doing.

Blue Fern Celebrates Re-imagination with a Chamber Ribbon


Cutting. Photo courtesy of Jimmy D Images.

2C Jackson Street Newnan, GA 30263 Fall / Winter2020


GNC NEWNAN Sibyl Slade interviews Sharon Rogers, Proprietor SS: What was your greatest challenge when faced with the reality of the pandemic?

SR: Initially, it was just trying to figure out: Are we essential? Are we not? Can we stay open? Are we one of the ones that have to shelter in place and close?

healthcare people, is the next safest that we could find. We use that for our staff now. Also, trying to put up signage and little footprints along the floor to show people where the 6’ spacing would be. Things like that. Plexiglass when we were checking out. Initially, we would just let in one person at a time, so we put in a battery-operated doorbell. People would ring when they came up to the sidewalk, and then we would let them in, and we asked them not to touch anything. We pulled the product from the shelves for them, and then all they did at the checkout was use the PIN pad. Once we let them out, we would sanitize all their touchpoints. Then we’d let the next person in. We did that for probably a month, month and a half. Eventually, we brought in up to 8 people at a time, including staff. Now, we let in about ten at a time, and that’s pretty much how we process things currently. We shortened our hours also, so we had enough time to do the deep cleaning. We sanitize in the morning and throughout the day as well.


Considering all of the reimaginings and keeping your business

We were deemed essential, so, initially, it was just gathering the

clean and safe for everyone, will some of these new processes continue

information. What do we need to do? How do we keep customers safe?

going forward?

How do we keep the staff safe? And then from there, how do we get the supplies that we need?

SR: Most of them will continue. As long as the pandemic is around and

Eventually, we were able to find hand sanitizer for the customers. We

people limited in the store. But some of them, we’ll keep forever. We

found KN95 masks, which, other than the N95s for the hospitals and

have it set up where you can do curbside pickup now; you phone in.

COVID is an issue, they’ll continue, especially the sanitizing and keeping

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We have many people who will do that, and we pull the order for them ahead of time. Some people will just come in and quickly check out; others want to stay in their car. So, we offer both of those services. We


When you think about other small business owners who may

find themselves struggling to stay in business or facing continuing challenges, what advice would you give to them?

also do some local deliveries, so if people can’t get out, if they’re high risk and they would prefer to have something delivered, we do that as well.

still be of service to your customers or your clients? Also, how do you

SS: Let’s talk a little about your supplier or supply chain. Are you able to continue to get products as needed on demand?


SR: I would say, look at your cash flow. Where can you cut costs and

It’s still iffy right now. The supply chain was affected. We order

weekly from our GNC warehouse, and our shipments have only been fulfilled between 35-40%. They are improving slightly in the last month or so, but there is a supply chain issue. One of the things that helped us

keep your staff engaged and safe? These things are critical. Also, look at what you’re doing, and can you do it more efficiently? How can you maximize your marketing dollars? Make a plan for an interruption in the future due to something like this or another natural disaster. If we have high winds and it knocks out your electricity, for example, what do you do; what are your plans? Have those in place and ready so that you’re more prepared if something happens in the future.

keep our numbers up or build the numbers back is that we could find sources for some of the PPE. Initially, that was a hairy situation. We were ordering from suppliers we didn’t know, so we had thousands of dollars tied up in product we didn’t know if we’re going to get and when we’re going to get it. We lucked out; all but one turned out to be okay, and they’re now regular suppliers of ours. We found other places to buy things from, especially the immune products were very, very hot initially, of course. They still are. Right now, we’re doing okay with keeping everything in stock for the customers. If we can find sourcing elsewhere and don’t have it in the store, we can also ship it to the customer.


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THE VENUE AT MURPHY LANE Sibyl Slade interviews Hank and Kara Lane, Owners SS: What has been your greatest challenge? HL: There have been a lot of uncertainties along the way. Right off the


How did you prioritize as a business owner? Whether working

capital, vendor and supplier relationships, staffing, or the added element of pandemic compliance, where did you start?

bat, we had to make decisions. Since we host events here, it was a matter of moving dates to future dates, and there was a lot of uncertainty about


when we could open again, how many people could come. There was

because nothing specifically covered wedding venues. We were a cross

a lot of tension and a lack of knowledge about what the future held,

between dining and large gatherings in some of their categories. Once

which is impossible to predict. We reached out to some state offices

again, we reached out, but couldn’t find specific information, so we did

looking for information and never heard back, so we had to go with what

have to interpret initially. Eventually, they did add event venues to one of

we saw on the news. Like everyone else, we were watching the hourly

the lists. We had unambiguous guidelines at that point, but, once again,

reports, Governor Kemp’s press conferences, and the President’s press

there was a lack of information, but we wanted to comply to stay out of

conferences - just thirsty for information.


Compliance, but we had to interpret some of the guidelines

SS: How did you navigate through your contractual obligations? Were there issues around it? Were there concerns?


It’s a big, eye-opening moment if you’ve never read the force

majeure clause in your contracts. And we didn’t even have one, so it’s been an awaking for us in that area. Fortunately, we didn’t cancel any of the events we had scheduled. We were able to postpone things. All of the vendors we work with and our partnering businesses were able to maintain the deposits we had and apply them to the future dates we had re-signed with our clients. That not only helped us a lot, but it also helped our vendors and their financials as well.

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KL: I think a postponement is the answer versus a cancellation because everybody loses on a cancellation. We’d been working with some of these couples for a year, year-and-a-half, planning their best day ever, and we wanted to be able to stay with them. They needed answers. We needed to pull and rally with our vendor team to keep everybody in compliance and within our contract so we could pick a date, move to that date, and have that best day ever. It was a lot of work, and, once again, it was the communication that was important.

SS: Did you ever take a step back to do any reimagining for the venue? We know that weddings are your primary focus or emphasis, but did you

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brainstorm about any other opportunities you could take advantage of while waiting on the mandate clarity?

HA: We did. We tried to look at different ways. We didn’t find anything. We even looked into agriculture since we have 88 acres of farmland

Fall / Winter 2020

here. I’ve learned a lot about

than the smaller numbers. So, we kind of took a hiatus. We were out of

hay, cattle, crops. There’s

the wedding world for about 3 ½ months before we could start at least

nothing there that’s a quick

touring again. We were very thankful to get our feet wet again, even

answer. As far as our business

before we could even host events.

here, we sort of imagined that the future would hold much smaller events, fewer people,

SS: What are the lessons learned?

but when people started


coming to us again, their idea

for any of the government help, the PPP. We don’t have any full-time

of what they wanted for their

employees. We’re relatively small in the small business world. If we had

event had not changed. Our

not been able to carry ourselves through this time, we would have been

guess that things would be

shut down. We had no options other than to take care of ourselves. I’ve

smaller in the future hasn’t

always thought that way anyway. I don’t want to rely on someone else

matched the demand that we

for my responsibilities, but this highlighted that.

I’d say financially, you have to be prepared. We didn’t qualify

see when people come here. Some people realize that things do have to be scaled back, at least for now, but they haven’t really changed that much in their dream world.


I think moving ahead for us, I want to believe that the wedding

world will continue, but we also want to stretch out. We have this beautiful venue, this beautiful facility, and grounds. We can have other celebrations here. We want to reach out more to the corporate world,

KL: We did delve into micro-weddings and thought that this would be a great way to slowly come into it, feeling that people would want to be in more intimate numbers because of the smaller gatherings and the fear of COVID. We did try to promote that. We came up with a microwedding package. We had a little mini style shoot, so we could share it, show it, get excited about that a little bit. As Hank said, so many of our brides had their vision of a dream wedding that was more inclusive

have that beautiful dinner here, and host leadership meetings. We have had fundraisers, local fundraisers that we’re pleased to be a part of, but there are more than just weddings that can happen here. When we found the property four years ago, we knew that this was property to be shared. It’s here for people to come and enjoy. We’re going to look positively toward our future and find ways to get people out here to enjoy it.

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Fall / Winter2020


NISSAN OF NEWNAN Cory Cook-Anderson interviews Karen Kulinich, CFO CC: Tell us a little bit about your thought process when you found out that COVID-19 would impact not just our community at large but your business.

KK: I think my first thought was to kick into survival mode. I’ve been through hurricanes and bad snowstorms, but no one had ever been through anything like this, so my first thought was not to panic but survive for the business. Financially, of course, what is this going to mean if it’s a down-tick in revenue and for our team members, and to find out what we needed to do to help them continue to feel secure and safe, we all tried to navigate it.

CC: What would you say was your greatest challenge? KK:

The greatest challenge was communication. There was a barrage of

information coming at us from federal, state, local, hearsay, family members. There was information overload, and trying to navigate that and channel it to our customers and our employees.

Nissan of Newnan all-star team, pictured left-to-right: Nathan Hosey, Damarcus Parham, Karim Hassan, Marlon Colquitt, and Josh Cherman What’s going to happen? There was unemployment this and $600 checks there. All the things that were done federally and statewide were awesome, but our biggest challenge was maintaining the status quo for our people. I’m very proud to say that during that time, in the beginning, the May-April timeframe when everybody’s hair was on fire, we never laid anyone off, we never terminated anyone, and we never cut back anyone’s hours. We kept everybody on their strict 40 hours. We gave commissioned team members in sales and service a guarantee to carry them through.


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Fall / Winter 2020

CC: Thinking about all the different critical functions you might have – things like your working capital, technological improvements, vendor/

CC: What would you say are your biggest lessons learned?

supplier relationships, staffing – how did you even prioritize? What sort


of steps or methods did you go through?

because, without them, the lights may stay on, but not for long because

You can’t put a price on taking care of your team members

they won’t be here to do the business you need. One of the biggest

KK: I think you can liken it to a natural disaster. You go to the biggest

lessons was to take care of your people; take care of your people. They

fire. You go toward the biggest obstacle. At that point, the goal was to

will be there for you; you will get it back ten-fold.

prioritize cash to prioritize money. Keeping it; saving it; making more if we could, but not spending even a penny we didn’t have to. So, how

The other lesson was that no matter how lean you think you’re running,

do you do that? I have a theory that says that those who don’t ask don’t

there’s always a little more to save. It’s that old rainy day, keep it in the

get. Therefore, so many of our business partners and vendors were very

sock drawer or the dresser mentality – you always have to be prepared

helpful, giving us reduced monthly fees for any services we have on an

because you don’t know.

ongoing basis…when we asked. Those were the critical points to go after. All you can do is be your best every day. Have everything in place just

CC: Was anything that you put into practice already underway or in

as if it were a hurricane. You’ve got the water; you’ve got the supplies;

planning, or were there things that specifically happened in response

you’ve got the dry goods; you’ve got the flashlight batteries; we’re ready


to go. I think that it’s the same way now.

KK: I think the expense control is a big one. Any business is always on expense alert, but this sure helped us to dial it in. It enabled us to see some excess, things we won’t go back to having, subscribing to, or buying. You know, what we can do without. Not unlike our households – do we cut the cable bill; do we change phone providers at home? The same thing happened here. Is there one vendor who can do two jobs instead of just that one job and having two vendors? Those things will continue.

Fall / Winter2020







For nearly 200 years, Coweta shines as a powerhouse in global and domestic manufacturing. Setting Newnan-Coweta and surrounding areas apart from other “small town” communities in Georgia, the “can-do” spirit of entrepreneurship, craftsmanship, and work ethic are inherent to this ever-growing and evolving south-Metro Atlanta community. As the late Ellis Arnall, Newnan native and former Governor of Georgia, writes in The Shore Dimly Seen, “Every poignant paradox that is the South is there (in Newnan): the fierce pride and loyalty, the shivering gentility, the blundering paternalism combined with a graciousness that saves it…” Perhaps Arnall comes closer than most in identifying what is truly unique and special here.


The son of a Revolutionary War soldier, local pioneer Robert Duke Cole possessed the lifeforce that Arnall revered in Newnanites. He and his family were presumed to be Alabama-bound on a fateful day in 1830 when their wagon wheel broke. Not long before, the Coles lost a significant amount of property as part of a family lawsuit. Headed from Covington to the neighboring state for a fresh start, an otherwise mundane stalling in Newnan would catalyze Newnan-Coweta’s position as one of Georgia’s most prosperous and productive communities. Naturally skilled at making repairs and fashioning mechanical solutions, the family remained in Newnan to complete the necessary mends to their wagon, eventually casting aside their plans for relocation and settling into the convenient town that would ultimately grow to be known as a city, the City of Homes.


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Building a small shop for woodworking, hewing, general

commenced business on a one-horse scale, but the business

carpentry, and blacksmithing,

grew very fast.”

Robert “R.D.” Cole officially

set up shop as the R.D. Cole Manufacturing Company in 1854 across from what is now the Historic Train Depot at 57 E. Broad


Street in downtown Newnan, not long before the establishment




of the Atlanta and West Point Railroad.

production and machinery, persisting in his efforts to innovate,







and by

both personally and professionally. The first cookstove in A serendipitous occasion trademark to the Cole family found

Coweta County was in Cole’s private residence by 1855; the

R.D. in the train depot when an advertising flyer for machine

first steam ginnery in the county was owned and operated by

production of door and window sashes caught his attention.

the company, installed in 1867. By 1875, Cole completed a brick

Realizing that hand-production could never adequately meet

foundry construction on the growing industrial site just off

consumer demand and that his prices could never beat those

Salbide Avenue in Newnan.

of machine-made products, R.D. set out to acquire equipment and machinery.

Harkening back to its beginnings in 1930, the manufacturer also built wagons for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Over 100

With limited capital, R.D. attained enough cash to purchase a few

wagons were produced in the war effort’s service, one with the

woodworking machines, a steam engine, and a boiler, initially

capacity to haul 6,000 pounds of artillery, selling for $60, which

manufacturing doors and window sashes. The willingness to

was the equivalent of roughly $1,000 in 2020. A contract was

innovate during changing times would serve as the first of many

also agreed upon with the confederate government to employ

examples of R.D.’s dynamic spirit, as he intuitively parlayed

the use of the Cole gristmills to furnish ground cornmeal to the

early profits to the purchase of additional machinery, producing

families of soldiers fighting in the Civil War.

a variety of sought-after furnishings and products, including coffins, furniture, ornate woodwork, and barge board.

In 1892, the versatile Cole won a contract to install a new water system for Newnan, followed by an 1899 award from Baltimore

According to the Daughters of the American Revolution in

to produce a high-capacity water tank. By 1899, R.D. Cole

the 1928 publication, Coweta County Chronicles for 100 Years

Manufacturing was making upwards of 100 tanks annually.

(Chapter VI - The Prosperous Years), “R.D. Cole & Co. this year

Fall / Winter2020


By 1917, the R.D. Cole Manufacturing Co. joined the world market as an industry leader, distributing products to Brazil, India, and Japan, followed by China and Korea just two years later. According to W. Jeff Bishop in Images of America: Newnan, a 1919 article in a local newspaper expounds, “During the past week the R.D. Cole Manufacturing Company shipped a huge gasproducing machine to Shanghai, China, a large boiler and pneumatic tank to Korea and boiler to Tacoma, Washington. Verily, the world seems to be this company’s market.” The company that Cole built on East Broad Street was inextricably a force…and an example. Expanding and morphing to suit nearly every demand, the manufacturing giant has left an indelible mark on the region. All of the water tanks visible throughout Newnan, for example, are Cole products, built at the 180,000 square foot industrial site alongside the railroad tracks. Many other buildings and structures in Downtown



Newnan, including the courthouse, constructed in 1904, and several churches were either built or facilitated by R.D. Cole Manufacturing Co.


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hat’s more, is the impression that the industrial powerhouse made on the over 530 employees who worked there and their families, many of whom took residence in Cole Town, a mill village

just across the tracks from the industrial site. In a speech by his great-nephew during Robert Duke’s funeral in 1910, E.G. Cole says that “R.D. Cole himself would agree that the greatest achievement of the company lay in the development of the men who worked there.” Countless young men with low earning capacity accepted jobs within the company. The organization took great pride in employee development, enjoyed little turnover, and frequently celebrated employees with 50 years or more tenure.


A great many R.D. Cole employees and executives proactively engaged as industrial, civic, and religious leaders in NewnanCoweta, many finding themselves at the helm of derivative organizations like the Newnan Cotton Mills, McIntosh Mills, Arnco Hills, Newnan Banking Company, Manufacturers National Bank, Coweta Fertilizer Company, and the Coweta Cotton Oil Company. R.D., along with his brother and business partner, Mathew, set the standard of excellence for business and industry in NewnanCoweta. They acted proactively to keep their business relevant to the times, adapting, readapting, and pivoting as needed. They fostered, served, and supported others, leaving behind a legacy – one which serves as a foundation to those who know the Cole story – continuing to respect commerce and build community, with heartfelt gratitude for those who worked tirelessly to lay that foundation.


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Fall / Winter 2020


Now in its 4th year, this highly-attended annual business and career expo is going virtual, presenting an expanded opportunity for Coweta's businesses and industries to participate in shaping Coweta's future workforce, while reaching over 15,000 households throughout the county (and beyond). Learn more about how you can participate and showcase your business and services 24/7 for an entire year! EMAIL SUSAN@NEWNANCOWETACHAMBER.ORG OR CALL 770.253.2270

V irtua l

A collaboration between educators, business, and industry to create awareness about the exciting, high-demand career opportunities in Coweta County.

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

What is Branch & Vine? We’re a local premier Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar Tasting Bar AND your home’s extended pantry! Our products truly turn ordinary family meals into easy gourmet. We offer our customers high quality fresh EVOO’s, delicately aged balsamic vinegar and an unmatched variety of loose leaf tea, pasta, and spices. We’ve set the bar high! Come, visit us at one of our two stores for a unique personal tasting experience. You will be a repeat customer in no time. What is Branch & Vine’s vision? To be a key ingredient in every recipe, in every household. What are some of your goals as a local business woman? To grow our business with local corporations and businesses, alike. I would love to supply local restaurants with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and teas. As well as, provide gift sets and baskets to local industrial manufacturing companies, schools, churches, fitness centers and hospitals. I feel like now is the time for local large, medium and small businesses to collaborate more than ever. We need synergy in order to THRIVE.

What’s your favorite thing about Branch & Vine? The customers, hands down! We get to interact with people from all around the world with different backgrounds. We love getting to know our community. It’s a blessing! From small kids to adults, their smiling faces remind us why we must continue to be a mortar in the community. How has this year's pandemic affected Branch & Vine? Like many other businesses, Covid-19 has had a great impact on the way we conduct business. There were days we prayed to see our customers smiling faces and longed to know how they were doing. So, we began offering curbside assistance in March and in-store pick up. We launched a more interactive and visual website: www.branchandvinecooks. com. Customers are able to shop online and receive special discounts and sales. We discovered the joy of blogging, the art of newsletters and the greater need to interact with our customers through social media. All of our cooking classes are now virtual featuring different local chefs. And without a doubt, our cleaning and disinfect practices are even more stringent than ever.

What is a Branch & Vine Experience? Stepping inside our locations is the ultimate experience for your visual pleasure and taste buds. You’ll be surrounded by beautiful stainless steel containers (fustis) adorned with detailed descriptions of 68 varieties of olive oils and balsamic vinegars. All hand bottled by us! We love to demonstrate how to sample our olive oils and balsamic vinegars either by sipping or bread dippings and then the fun begins! Our staff has the expertise to expose you to a variety of flavors and suggested pairings based on your cooking desires. Custom mix an oil and vinegar together . . . The possibilities are endless! We love watching the “Wow!” expressions on the faces of our first-time tasters as they realize how deliciously irresistible our oils and balsamic vinegars are! It doesn’t stop there, customers are in for a beautiful treat when they discover our loose leaf teas, honey and spices. We strive to make the Branch and Vine experience unforgettable, and one that should be next on the list of places to go.



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Following the example of the goliath R. D. Cole Manufacturing Co. in Newnan, several smaller - but no less impactful - operations set out to manufacture commons goods, permanently transforming the small Coweta County communities they called home.


In 1896 the Grantville Hosiery Mills opened for business with Nathaniel O. Banks at the helm and, as the Newnan’s Herald and Advertiser reported, “the buzz of the spindles as they weave cotton into serviceable fabrics.” Years earlier, the Atlanta and LaGrange railroad sparked economic development in Grantville, initially referred to as Calico Corners, an early settlement around Newnan. While the 1928 Coweta County Chronicles historic publication noted that the town “took a start to grow into a good business town,”

Following a few early struggles, by the year 1899, the mill operated

the regional cotton industry, combined with the railroad,

38 steam-powered knitting machines. Soon the company was

presented industrialists with investment opportunities in the

turning out 450 pairs of hosiery per day with 75 knitting machines.

growing textile industry.

Produced goods made their way to several northern cities and as far away as Australia. Realizing success and ready to expand, in 1903, the mill contracted with Newnan’s R.D. Cole Manufacturing Co. to build a significant addition and a sizable water tower,

Let it storm. We’re ready.

growing the employee count to 125. Soon-to-follow was a yarn mill and mill village, housing foremen and employees. By 1905, the Grantville Hosiery Mills had 3,000 ring spindles producing yarn. As noted in Coweta County Chronicles, “business was good there.”

But, in 1908, the community mourned the loss of founder N.O. Banks at the age of 56. He was succeeded by his son William N. Banks, who guided the company through one of its largest and most successful expansions. Following his death in 1965, the mill was sold, eventually closing its doors in 1980 due to competition from imports, leading to the devastating loss of Grantville’s largest employer.

Learn more at georgiapower.com/reliability.


Fall / Winter 2020

Photo courtesy: Weaver Special Collections

WILCOXON MANUFACTURING – ARNCO SARGENT In the community of Sargent in 1866, Captain Harrison J. Sargent, George Sargent, and John B. Willcoxon collaborated to start a manufacturing house for the production of cotton rope, commonly used in window sashes throughout the region. Operating under the name Willcoxon Manufacturing Company, the fledgling company erected a four-story brick building on the site of an old grist mill, with “fifty operatives turning out 200 bunches of cotton yarn per day…a beehive of production,” notes a local paper. Within six years, the area flourished, embracing industrial manufacturing and turning attention away from farming. In many cases, farmland fell largely untilled as workers

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preferred the livelihood afforded by factory employment. Under the director of Wilcoxon, the company also thrived, realizing the addition of another building. In 1888, the manufacturer changed hands, purchase by another local trio Henry Clay Arnall and Thomas G. Farmer. Wilcoxon Manufacturing Company became Wahoo Manufacturing Company and continued the lucrative production of cotton rope and


yarn. By 1919, however, the company transitioned once again, this time as Arnall Mills with Alton W. Arnall as President, adding novelty yarns and cotton blankets to the production line. The company’s signature product, the American Cotton Blanket, was tremendously popular and in high demand throughout the nation. The nearby Central of Georgia rail line served as instrumental in delivering the product to households far and wide. A.W. Arnall died in the 1930s, leaving his son-in-law, Ellis Hardeman Peniston, as the mills’ owner and operator. He expanded and modernized, growing the company in size and stature until he passed in 1963. Macon’s Bibb Manufacturing, one of the region’s largest textile producers, purchased Arnall Mill, continuing its expansions and modernization. By 1986 Bibb Manufacturing closed Arnall Mills and moved all production to nearby Arnco Mills, making sheets, pillowcases, and other cotton household staples. In 1996 the company sold to Dan River Corporation, which ultimately ceased operations in 2001, bringing an end to over a century of relatively successful operations.

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Today in the Arnco-Sargent community, the old mill houses still stand, but the textile mills’ golden age is no longer.

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G R AYSO N S N EWN A N .CO M Fall / Winter2020




To combat the “shadow curve,” Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), a national network of hospitals and outpatient centers with a Newnan campus, has remained operational for patients during COVID-19 and has taken every precaution to limit exposure. CTCA® notes nearly 1.8 million cases of cancer are diagnosed each year, but people who have skipped appointments over the last several months are not getting diagnosed. If they wait, while an undiagnosed condition may worsen, they could face DR. JEFFREY METTS, CHIEF OF STAFF

dramatic consequences to their quality of life even if it remains treatable.


The Chamber’s Susan Kraut, Vice-President of Strategy and Operations, interviewed Newnan’s Dr. Jeffrey Metts, Chief of Staff and Chief of Medicine, Cancer Treatment Centers of America® in learning more about the impacts and implications of the “shadow curve” and the measures necessary to encourage screenings and timely care.


Fall / Winter 2020

SK: Can you explain the essence of what experts refer to as the “shadow curve?” JM: The simplest way to put this is that the “shadow curve” is cancer we know is out there, but we’re not capturing when we usually would. The concern is that we’re going to get a surge of more advanced diagnosed cancer. The real fear is, we don’t want to see a study five years down the road that notes cancer deaths surged after the pandemic because there was a delay in diagnoses. SK: On a relative note, there was an October 2020 article in the Newnan Times-Herald that indicated approximately 22 million postponed cancer screening tests nationwide, which, in their estimation, led to increased cancer risk for about 80,000 patients. Can you drill down on what’s happening in our region specifically? think that your sustainability also takes a hit, and then you’re not meeting JM: I think early in the pandemic, most hospitals came to a halt; all of us.

your mission and giving care to patients.

We had to get the safety mechanisms implemented. This pandemic was so rapidly evolving, and the fear was if patients came into a place where

SK: Compassionate human touch and interaction are essential aspects

there was COVID, they could get it.

of providing comfort to any patient who faces a health challenge, but even more so for patients who are nervous, scared, or devasted

We tried hard to understand better what would happen to patients from a

following a new diagnosis or turn of events. How is this addressed

mortality standpoint and what would happen to higher-risk patients. We

when the very nature of COVID transmission limits human interaction

recognized very quickly that cancer doesn’t wait for COVID or anything

across the healthcare spectrum?

else. Cancer patients don’t have the luxury of being able to wait it out. JM: Most hospitals and other places have a zero-visitor policy, and I get Once patients realized that we are a cancer center and not a community

it. It’s important. Patients go for surgery, and they don’t get to see their

or university hospital that treats lots of COVID patients, they have been

loved ones, and that’s a big deal. It’s a little bit different in the cancer

much more inclined to come to the cancer center.

world because even if somebody doesn’t have life-threatening or endstage cancer, the moment you have cancer, you start wrestling with

But, if you look at pap smears, mammograms, colonoscopies, and other

the concepts of your mortality. So, for us, we found out early that it’s

diagnostics., they’re all down 80-90%.

essential that cancer patients have support as they go through their journey, and the journeys are so personalized.

SK: What about staffing? Are you facing staffing shortages or fatigue? What does that landscape look like right now for your crew?

We have made changes. We have visiting hours, and we do have a single visitor that’s allowed in, and we make accommodations. If somebody is

JM: On the one side, we try to keep all non-patient-facing members and

facing the end of life and is a palliative patient, I think it would be cruel

stakeholders of our teams working remotely as much as we can to thin

not to allow people to say goodbye. If we have to have a team escort a

things out just from the standpoint of bringing less risk of COVID into

group of family members directly to a patient room and allow them to

our center.

have that interaction, we’ll do things like that because it’s the mother’s standard of care. That’s how you’d want your mother treated. Even the

Looking at the folks that are on the frontlines and their fatigue, in years

stories you hear from some of the hospitals in New York where people

past, if somebody had a runny nose and a little scratchy throat, they

have not gotten to say goodbye to their loved ones are heartbreaking.

probably ought not to come in, though most power through, but this is the time we can’t do that. We have to get creative at times and cross-

SK: How can the private business sector help? What can they do to

train staff to do multiple tasks as viable team members.

engage? What can they do to activate, whether in their communities or via their employee base? What is the call to action, Dr. Metts?

If you create a model that’s safer than safe, and there’s only one person left practicing, it’s not sustainable, so you have to have some balance in

JM: The call to action, number one, goes to screening. That’s where

how you interpret guidelines. They’re guidelines; they’re not absolutes.

it starts because that’s what’s down and where we can probably have

The mission is to give compassionate, holistic, comprehensive cancer

our most significant impact. Again, the big screenings are going to be

care that never quits the patients. To do that and continuously face that

mammography, pap smear, colonoscopy, and prostate. Those are your

mission, you want to minimize the interruptions patients get in their

big four, and then you’ve got lung screenings as well.

treatment. We have to wrestle with that, and at times I think you’ve got to marry science to both hope and commitment. Guidelines are beneficial,

The civics groups, business, and industry leaders often do an excellent

but we still have to have that human side to what we do. If you lose that, I

job of watching out for their people. I can’t tell you how many talks we’ve

Fall / Winter2020


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mindset that we want to get everyone to, and we’re very hopeful, so if any of your readers read this or hear this, this is number one. Talk about the fact that screenings are down 80-90% for colonoscopy, mammogram, and pap smears. That’s a huge deal and a huge opportunity to raise awareness. Patients should be able to get back and have these screenings safely. Continue to talk about it regularly, raise that awareness. For years, many have done that, but now is the time. This is the call, now more than ever, to be on heightened alert so that we all don’t have significant regrets after we get through the pandemic. SK: Dr. Metts, what keeps you up at night? JM: I think the mission, more than anything else. I believe the mission

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that I signed up for was to provide comprehensive, compassionate cancer care to patients while minimizing the interruptions they get in treatment. To me, it means putting to use everything you’ve trained to do. Granted, it’s been trying for some of our frontline healthcare workers. I’m hopeful, now more than anything, that having these vaccines on the horizon will motivate us to work harder. It’s difficult to keep asking someone to keep working hard with no end in sight. I want to raise awareness about that, as well. That this is the time for the healthcare industry to work extra hard because we know our reinforcements are coming. And it’s time for society to do everything they can to slow down the

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spread. Let’s not overwhelm the ICU beds. Let’s not overwhelm the healthcare system because that impacts your loved ones’ access when they have heart disease or cancer. If we all do our part, we really can be a team and be united on this.

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9/4/20 3:42 PM




Reverse Mentoring: Increase Efficiency, Retain Employees, Build Leaders

written by

M.D. Jackson



− W H E


Invigorating your business practices may be as simple as inviting a younger colleague to mentor an established executive.




Fall / Winter 2020

The technique called reverse mentoring is becoming more common among business leaders and has many advantages. Older employees learn from younger employees how to manage social media and how to navigate and drive cultural change; younger employees are introduced to soft and hidden skills and feel more valued, which has the long-term advantage of increasing retention and loyalty. The practice isn’t new. According to Harvard Business Review and Forbes, General Electric CEO Jack Welch pioneered the strategy in 1999 when he used reverse mentoring to teach senior executives about the internet. While technology and social media are still areas in which younger employees can instruct older employees, the benefits of reverse mentoring also include rethinking “strategic issues, leadership, and… mindset.”





millennials in a reverse mentorship model creates growth and development opportunities for





provider Insperity recommends reverse mentoring as part of their effort to “maximize…performance

Insperity lists five



key benefits to Reverse Mentoring Programs:


Give your company a fresh perspective by “bridging the gaps” in different approaches to work culture. Millennials are more comfortable with “collaborative,

inclusive work environments” that depend largely on digital exchange of information while older employees may still feel more comfortable relying on the paper-based systems they used in private offices and cubicles. By opening conversations about workplace norms and methods, millennial employees can nurture


create and develop new executive talent. According to Insperity,

Empower emerging leaders by investing in them as leaders at an early stage.

“reverse mentors often become ambassadors for improving

According to Insperity, Millennial workers are motivated

efficiency throughout [an] entire organization.”

by “how their work is valued.” Inviting them to share

more established employees through the transitions essential to

their expertise with established executives gives them the fulfilling engagement they need to feel valued. It also allows them to infuse the work culture with the ideas and practices they want to be long-term.

Fall / Winter2020


Insperity offers three specific guidelines for


establishing a reverse mentoring program.

Sharpen the saw and keep it sharp by

First, set specific standards and parameters.

engaging your established employees in new challenges

For example, will the process be formal or

that will push them beyond their comfort zone and create opportunities for growth and development. They can also “hone and refine” their practices in ways that help their younger mentors develop and practice leadership skills. In this sense, reverse mentorship is a symbiotic mentoring opportunity in which both parties grow and achieve.


that tie the work to a business need that has strategic value. Finally, meet regularly (once a week for an hour) and listen in a way that provides genuine opportunities for “meaningful dialogue.”

Teach new workers critical business survival skills.

Soft and hidden skills in the workplace generally aren’t addressed in college classrooms. Through the reverse mentorship model, older employees can “share their deeper understanding” of interpersonal and professional business practices. This might include terminology, inside information, or standard protocols that remain essential.


informal? Second, create measurable goals

Jason Wingard, a leadership strategist and senior






“prioritizing initiatives that focus on human capital” is one key to corporate success, efficiency,




mentoring provides that opportunity in a way that especially benefits organizations that rely on competitive advantages through the







individual relationships among employees. Generational stereotypes

“cross-pollination of ideas” and envisioning “new possibilities for success.”

can hinder and color employee relations. When members of different generations work as a team in a reverse mentoring partnership,

If your local organization has an established

those misconceptions begin to break down: “Each group begins

reverse mentoring program or plans to give it

to understand what motivates the other.”

a try, please let us know. THRIVE would love to cover your experience.



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Fall / Winter 2020

UWG STUDENTS PONDER POSITIVITY AND THE HUMAN CONDITION written by M.D. Jackson Nearly 2,000 years ago, Roman soldiers returned home from campaigns in the Arabian Peninsula, bringing a devastating plague. In his writings, the Greek physician Galen described it as a long disorder that featured fever, diarrhea, throat inflammation, and skin eruptions. It seems likely, in hindsight, that ancient Rome was suffering from an epidemic of Smallpox. At its peak, the Antonine Plague killed 2,000 people a day, devastated the Roman army, and ultimately resulted in an estimated five-million Romans’ deaths. Among those five million (many historians believe) was the philosopher-king Marcus Aurelius. Aurelius died at the age of 58, having led Rome successfully through many military conquests. Historians consider him the last of the good emperors of the period known as the Pax Romana. In contrast, his son Commodus, who succeeded him, ruled with a brutal narcissism, declaring himself a god and renaming both Rome and the months of the year

Fall / Winter2020

in his own honor. In the year 192, when Commodus was only 31, his mistress poisoned him. When he vomited up the poison, she and her co-conspirators hailed his wrestling partner to strangle him while he bathed. Fortunately, Aurelius left humanity a better legacy: his private scrolls documenting his efforts to maintain humility, and peace of mind in a world rife with troubles and genuinely horrible courtiers. In the fall of 2020, students at University of West Georgia Newnan read and discussed the 2003 Gregory Hays translation of Aurelius’ Meditations. Using Aurelius’ words as a basis for their own contemplations, the students completed the semester with papers that explored their own experience of life so far. The Chamber is honored to share two of the papers written by local, students as they thoughtfully ponder their life experiences and expectations, informed by the wisdom of Marcus Aurelius in Meditations.


CARPE DIEM HOW A 2,000-YEAR-OLD ROMAN EMPEROR AND A JUMP FROM 14,000 FEET CHANGED MY LIFE Written by Kayla Harris Fourteen-thousand feet. That is how high you jump from a plane when

I have almost come to terms with the idea that I could die. All I can

you skydive. Fourteen-thousand feet off the ground, and yet skydiving is

keep telling myself is “0.0007%”. That’s the chance I have of dying. In

supposed to be enjoyable.

hindsight, that is not bad; at least that’s what I tell myself. Everyone around me is smiling, laughing, and making jokes. Both of my friends

It is the middle of July, hot. I cannot tell if I am sweating from the weather

are happy, knowing this is just going to be another experience for

or that my life could be completely over in a few moments. At this point,

them. They do not seem fazed about the part where we could die, but I am. That is the only thing running through my mind. Everything and everyone is running around me like they are in fast forward; meanwhile, I stand here focused on all of the things I will never get to do before I die. I cannot concentrate on the steps the skydiving instructor gives me for jumping out of the plane; all I can keep thinking about is how I am definitely not surviving this. We board the plane; I am the first one on as if I am not nervous enough. I watch as my friends have a good time; they are nervous, but they know they will be fine. The plane takes off, and I watch out of the window as everything below me becomes more distant. Convinced that we are as high as we could possibly get: there is no way we could get any higher. The instructor informs me that we are only six-thousand feet in the air at this point. I am pale, quiet, staring off with a blank face, as both of my friends feel the need to point out. Why would I not be? I am about to die! I am going to miss out on so much. I regret everything; every opportunity I have declined, everything I have made myself miss out on because I was too scared. Because now I am not going to get the chance. So many firsts I will not have. I am going to die at eighteen. I am going to die before I get to live. I am pushed to the exit of the plane, from where I will have to jump. I can see the view; it’s incredible. I can’t die before I see more of this. Suddenly, we jump, and I fall toward the ground, feeling a wave of


Fall / Winter 2020

relief as the parachute opens. I am okay. I will be okay. I am alive. I did not die. I am still alive; I still get a chance to live. In the moments that follow, I find it important to remember how temporary everything truly is—how nothing is standing in my way except fear. This awareness changes my perspective on life, making it that much easier actually to live and fulfill my time while I can. Second-century Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius emphasizes how temporary life is through his writings in Meditations, including our mistakes. He explains that what we do while we are here does not significantly impact ourselves and society after we die as we might think. Everything we did slowly gets forgotten, and the people who remembered, they will die too and take their memories with them. He writes, “Or is it your reputation that is bothering you? But look at how soon we’re all forgotten.” Aurelius’s argument that nothing matters once we are gone relieves the weight and stress off of living. Not worrying about others’ opinions as intensely as our own allows us to let go of hesitation and

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live more fully without regret. Becoming aware that nothing is as we believe it makes it easier to not worry about judgment and what will happen “if this” or “if that.” Aurelius helped me to eliminate fear and anxiety from life. Anxiety — the feeling that rushes in and suddenly sparks fear of what others may think — can prevent us from doing many things. Aurelius’s Meditations illustrate that living with fear is pointless. By being afraid of others’ opinions, we allow life experience, wants, and goals to be cast aside. By not going after an opportunity out of fear,

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As Aurelius writes,

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“Forget everything else. Keep hold of this alone and remember it: Each of us lives only now, this brief instant. The rest has been lived already or is impossible to see.” Therefore it is pointless to live out of fear - a waste of time. Death is frightening because everything comes to an end, often without warning. Everything on hold will now never get done. So when

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Aurelius writes, “ask yourself: Am I afraid of death because I won’t be able to do this anymore?” The idea of dying without getting the chance to do what we hoped is much scarier than whatever reason might hold us back. That is why it is important to take risks and make

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the most out of the time given. If we can do that, it will not be something to fear when the time comes. Had I died jumping out of that plane, that would be it. No do-over, no more chances. To think, I walked away from an opportunity because I was too nervous at the time. How pointless it is to waste time worrying over what I’m wearing, my weight, or social anxiety and peer pressure! I don’t want to waste my life thinking like that. Aurelius writes,

“External things are not the problem. It’s your assessment of them. Which you can erase right now.” When I read Meditations, I understand Aurelius’s explanation that it is essential to live in the now because death could come at any time. Time will keep moving regardless of whether I stall, more concerned with how I look in my skydiving helmet.


Fall / Winter 2020

Fall / Winter2020


ALL YOUR POWER, HERE written by Andrew Gooch

At age seven and a half, a significant half at

a mountain, especially for someone who still

struck again. Crack! The board splintered in

that age, I enrolled in Taekwondo classes.

found it difficult to remember the left hand


I remember the gym with its smelly, plastic

from the right. However, unlike the Taekwando board, I

mats, and floor to ceiling mirrors. My parents perched on the few chairs in the lobby while I

One day after class, as I stood with my auburn

couldn’t master another seven and a half-year-

zoomed past those mirrors, admiring my crisp,

curls plastered to my forehead, waiting in line

old milestone – reading. It was then that my

white uniform. Loud, Korean pop music pulsed

to quench my thirst from the water cooler,

first-grade teacher diagnosed me with Dyslexia.

from the speakers as the instructors taught

the master handed me a form: belt testing.

After carefully monitoring my attempts to read,

us to count in Korean: hana, dul, set, net. I

My hands quivered as I signed up to take my

she correctly surmised that reading constituted

thrived in this new, exciting environment, for

first step up the black belt mountain. I breezed

a sizeable challenge for me. Unlike the board

it embodied a welcome relief from lackluster

the night of testing through the form, kick,

in Taekwondo, I could not crack the reading

stints at soccer and baseball. It’s no surprise

and blocking checks, and now only a piece


that after a few short weeks, I fixed my mind on

of wood stood between me and the yellow

earning my black belt, a feat akin to climbing

belt. Let me tell you, that was one formidable

Letters swirled on paper as if the printer failed

piece of wood. No matter how many times I

to fasten them down. I lost my place over and

chopped, it deflected my

over. Even if I managed to master a word, the


sentences confounded me.




from unsuccessful blows and my vision blurred by

Dyslexia is marked by the failure to decode

frustrated tears, I turned

words properly, difficulty reading, and lack of

to give up. The board had

reading comprehension. When one does not

defeated me.

read well, the future looks bleak; moreover, defeat seems inevitable. I most certainly felt

Sensing my surrender, the

like a failure in those early years of elementary

master knelt directly in


front of me. Raising my arm above my head, he

I recently encountered Malcolm Gladwell’s

gestured from my feet to

bestselling book, David and Goliath. Gladwell

the top of my hand and

proposes that some underdogs transform into



giants when faced with challenges, dedicating

power, here. Attack the

the entire fourth chapter of the book, “David

board!” He placed the

Boies,” to Dyslexia.


board in front of me, and I struck it with a mighty

Gladwell defines Dyslexia as a transformative

blow. Nothing happened.

challenge for the underdog, the thing that



makes them stronger. Reading this chapter


prompted me to contemplate my journey with

emphasizing each word.

Dyslexia. It also awakened fresh feelings of

Mustering all my mental

confusion and anxiety as I flashed back to the

and physical strength, I

years of struggling with schoolwork and falling




behind my peers.


Fall / Winter 2020

Gladwell defers to prominent Harvard dyslexia researcher, Dr. Nadine Gaab, to offer a glimpse into the compounding struggles facing people with Dyslexia. She explains, “It may take you a while to learn to read. You read really slowly, which then impairs your reading fluency, which then impairs your reading comprehension because you’re so slow that by the time you’re at the end of the sentence, you’ve forgotten the beginning. So, it leads to all these problems in middle school or high school. Then it starts affecting all other subjects in school. You can’t read. How are you going to do on math tests that have a lot of writing in them? Or how do you take an exam in social studies if it takes you two hours to read what they want from you?” Dr. Gaab hits the nail on the head. Dyslexia causes small daily breakdowns, which compound into much larger failures in all aspects of life. Good readers crack through a text like a black belt breaking a thin board. Dyslexic readers struggle with words like a white belt facing a cinder block, an immovable boulder on the path of learning. Yet, Gladwell ponders how some people with Dyslexia overcome the learning disorder and achieve great success in life. He suggests that those individuals “learned something” from struggling with Dyslexia that develops into an “enormous advantage,” adding that people with Dyslexia learn “how to deal with the possibility of failure.” To better illustrate his point, Gladwell shares the life story of Gary Cohn, the current president of Goldman Sachs, who struggled with Dyslexia throughout his school years. Cohn credits Dyslexia with forcing him to embrace and overcome failure, adding that “by the time we (dyslexics) got out of college, our ability to deal with failure was very highly developed. And so, we look at most situations and see much more of the upside than the downside. Because we’re accustomed to the downside, it doesn’t phase us.” Maybe, Gary Cohn struck the board enough times that he eventually broke through it. I also recently encountered Marcus Aurelius and Meditations, his handbook for a life well-lived. Aurelius postulates a similar perspective on facing and overcoming failure, striking a chord as it embodies my journey with Dyslexia. In Book 5 of Meditations, Aurelius reveals,

“The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” Aurelius proposes that the mind can adapt; moreover, it adjusts and strengthens itself in the face of an obstacle. Concurring with Aurelius, Gladwell presents David Boies, the title character in chapter four of David

Fall / Winter2020


and Goliath, as an example of adaptation. Like most dyslexics, Boies lacked good reading skills. So, he concentrated on strengthening his memorization and listening skills resulting in a highly successful career as a trial lawyer. Thinking back, I realize that I, too, mentally adapted to compensate for Dyslexia over time and with maturity. I slowly strengthened my reading and studying skills through intervention, repetition, and memorization. Aurelius goes on to state that the obstacle itself serves a purpose:

“The impediment to action advances action.” This idea closely resembles the Gladwell assertion that Dyslexia exemplifies a transformable challenge or obstacle. Both Aurelius and Gladwell encourage us to find purpose in the barrier. In other words, Dyslexia, like that rigid board from all those years ago, brings purpose. It forces you to answer, “Why am I here?” and “What am I going to do next?” Note that Aurelius stresses the word “action,” which represents constant effort. At seven and a half years old, my “action” in overcoming the difficulty of Dyslexia included crying into my books and ripping up my homework. It took time for me to grasp the necessity of steady, positive effort. I might have been a bit too young for Aurelius back then. Thankfully, however, my parents and teachers understood his advice to my great benefit. Through their positive actions of remediation, practice, and accommodations, I succeeded despite my impediment. Now, at age nineteen, I wholeheartedly agree with Aurelius and Gladwell that at some point in life, one must realize that an obstacle, such as Dyslexia, will remain. The choice between action or surrender is up to the individual. And I eventually did earn my black belt. Now, when I stumble due to Dyslexia or any one of life’s many obstacles, I remember the wise words of my Taekwondo master and shout, “All your power, here. Attack!”

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Fall / Winter2020

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GROWTH & PROSPERITY The mission of The Newnan-Coweta Chamber is to champion increased economic prosperity for our members, which includes providing valuable member benefits designed to save money and improve ease of access. Providing our members with value-added offerings such as these is just one of the ways in which we encourage growth and prosperity throughout our business community.

Are you taking advantage of all that your membership has to offer? DRUGS DON’T WORK: Members can increase productivity and reduce workers’ compensation premiums by 7.5% by participating in the Drugs Don’t Work program. This program educates employers about the prevention, intervention, and elimination of substance abuse in the workplace. As a drug-free workplace, you’ll increase productivity and reduce the cost of doing business.

• Free legal advice from our Drug-Free Workplace attorney • Drug-Free Workplace consultation from our drug- free workplace experts • Assistance in completing the application for certification To talk to your local Chamber member insurance professional to see if this plan is right for your business, contact us at 770.253.2270 or info@ newnancowetachamber.org. A $35 annual fee applies and will be collected separately by The State Board of Workers’ Compensation.

GEORGIA CHAMBER FEDERATION: Through the Georgia Chamber Federation, any business with ten or fewer full-time employees receives free membership into the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, focusing on empowering small businesses. Your Chamber Federation membership includes: •

Business Advocacy via a team of government affairs professionals aggressively and proactively representing your business’ needs at the State Capitol and in Washington, D.C.

The Chamber provides support for the program, at a discounted rate, to meet all five certification requirements of Georgia law and includes:

• Periodic information on savings, benefit programs, and business opportunities

• Twelve issues of the Drug-Free Workplace employee and supervisor training newsletter (meets your annual training education requirement)

• Reduced member pricing for Georgia Chamber signature events, such as Eggs and Issues, Congressional Luncheon, and D.C. Fly-In

• List of treatment and counseling centers in your area (meets treatment center list requirement) • Fill-in-the-blanks substance abuse policy (meets all requirements of Georgia law) • Drug-Free Workplace poster, window, and door stickers (required by Georgia law)


• Reduced member pricing for the Digital Education Webinar Series • Access to Georgia Center for Competitiveness events and other policy-based programs • Up to 34% off UPS shipping services

Summer / Fall 2020

• Waived fees and access to the capital needed to grow your business through your NOWaccount • 20% off access to Georgia and Federal Human Resources Library • Access to member-only resources and membership directory on the Georgia Chamber website

GEORGIA CHAMBER SMART PLAN: In partnership with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, we’ve teamed up with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield to administer the Georgia Chamber SMART Plan, a health coverage solution that offers rate stability and potential savings for groups with 2 to 50 eligible employees. This plan allows smaller employers to be part of a larger, self-funded pool, with financial protection backed by Anthem. In addition to financial protection, these innovative alternatives offer: • competitive rates • predictable, fixed monthly payments • flexibility in your choice of benefit plans • Anthem’s broad Open Access POS network and Essential Rx Formulary To talk to your local Chamber member insurance professional to see if this plan is right for your business, contact us at 770.253.2270 or info@newnancowetachamber.org.

GEORGIA TREND MAGAZINE: Chamber members receive a complimentary subscription to Georgia Trend magazine, a monthly publication that features business, politics, economic development, health care, education, CEOs, leadership, banking, energy, environment, travel and more.

LEGALSHIELD | IDSHIELD: Have you ever needed your will prepared or updated? Signed a contract? Received a moving traffic violation? Worried about becoming a victim of identity theft? Been concerned about your child’s identity? Lost your wallet? Chamber members and their employees receive a 25% -32% discount on LegalShield and IDShield. LegalShield’s membership plan provides affordable legal protection to individuals and small businesses. IDShield is an identity theft protection and restoration plan. For more information or to sign up, visit https://bit.ly/NCCShield or contact Maria Hall at 678-280-4054 or maria@ignitebusinesscoaching.com.

MEMBER INFORMATION CENTER (MIC): Membership in the Newnan-Coweta Chamber includes access to increased opportunities to market your business to consumers through our highly-trafficked website. Members control their home page content by adding pictures, text, and videos with the option to include “Hot Deals,” job openings, and events for member and public viewing. The average Chamber member completes only 42% of their online profile, resulting in a significant disadvantage in search engine results. The more information you include, the more hits you’ll get! Contact us at info@newnacowetachamber.org for additional information about accessing or updating your MIC profile.

OFFICE DEPOT: Chamber members qualify for exclusive discounts ranging from 5-55% on Office Depot products and services via a Store Purchasing Card or the mobile business app at all retail locations.

• Discounts on cleaning and breakroom products, copy and print, furniture, technology, and more Start saving today!

We’ve partnered with Office Depot to bring you exclusive discounts on office supplies, products, and services. Through the program, you will receive:

1. Link: http://bit.ly/NewnanCC_OD

• Up to 45% off items companies purchase most frequently: ink and toner, paper, and general supplies

https://drive.google.com/ open?id=1picAGyL_2NUGlGgyjH60p7Vhvg28lz4y

• Up to 10% off almost everything Office Depot stocks in stores and the Business Solutions Division annual catalog


• $0.025 black and white, and $0.024 color copies

2. Text NewnanChamberCard to 555888 3. Download and print Store Purchasing Card:

Purchasing Alliance Solutions (PAS) is an employee benefits firm founded in 1994 that specializes in value-added programs for Chamber members. Participants may improve business health and employee retention with innovative programs and money-saving essential benefits. The PAS team will listen to your needs and work with you on a customized plan for increasing productivity and cost-savings. Visit www.purchasingalliance.com for additional details.

TOOLS FOR BUSINESS: With one click on the Chamber website “Tools” tab, members can access free resources for businesses of all size and scope, with over 1500 links to articles and information which encourage business growth and development. New information is added monthly.

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


Fall / Winter 2020


2280 North Highway 29 Newnan, GA 30265 wesleywoods.org/newnan 770.683.6859

Fall / Winter2020



ENHANCED INVESTORS A VISION OF PROSPERITY Increasingly, a dedicated community of local leaders is coalescing around a vision of prosperity that serves the collective benefit of those who live, work, play, and THRIVE in Coweta. The Newnan-Coweta Chamber enjoys the participation of over 50 key stakeholders who, together, render a positive impact on the prosperity of one of the fastest-growing regions in the country. Now, more than ever, investment in the Chamber is essential as our greater business community endeavors to recover from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 crisis. Our continued work to ensure that Coweta’s small businesses – foundational to a diverse and prosperous environment – not only survive, but thrive, depends on the support of key stakeholders like you who share in a collaborative vision of recovery, both economically and in spirit. Learn more about enhanced investment and discover how you can become a part of the Coweta fabric. Do your part and help us do ours. For more information about Enhanced Investment Opportunities, call Susan Kraut, Vice-President of Strategy and Operations at 470-865-3718 or email susan@newnancowetachamber.org Members of the Enhanced Investors Alliance enjoy unprecedented access to key community leaders, information which informs the collaborative vision for increased economic prosperity, access to benefits and services, increased brand visibility, and more.








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Coweta-Fayette EMC....................................................................7 Downtown Sign Shop.................................................................17 Edward Jones...............................................................................14 ELEVATE Coweta Students.........................................................16 Encompass Health and Rehabilitation.....................................13 Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministry...........18 Georgia Bone & Joint................................................................. 36 Georgia Power............................................................................. 32 Grayson’s Steak & Seafood....................................................... 33 Green for Life Environmental................................................... 26 Honda of Newnan..........................................................................3 Insignia of Newnan..................................................................... 48

Boxed lunches for working lunches, meetings, parties and events.

Jersey Mike’s Subs...................................................................... 49 Junction Lanes.............................................................................41 Kemp’s Dalton West Flooring................................................... 54 Kimble’s Food by Design........................................................... 44 Lynn Smith, State House of Representatives......................... 33

DELIVERY AVAILABLE We cater to special dietary regimens that include gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, low carb, raw and super foods.

Monster Tree Service.................................................................. 46 Nephrology Consultants of Georgia....................................... 59 Newnan Utilities...........................................................................15 NuLink | WOW!...............................................................................5 Odyssey Charter School............................................................ 49 Peachtree City OB/GYN............................................................. 23 PhySlim.......................................................................................... 20 Popeye’s........................................................................................ 50 Promenade at Newnan Crossing............................................. 45 Resource Manufacturing...........................................................60


Roly Poly....................................................................................... 58 SouthTowne.................................................................................... 9 The Southern Credit Union.......................................................40

order online at rolypoly.com

Two Rivers ITAD Solutions......................................................... 28

300 Bullsboro Drive, Suite A Newnan, GA

Wesley Woods of Newnan........................................................ 55

United Bank...................................................................................19 Your CBD Store.............................................................................12


Nephrology Consultants of Georgia Serving the Community for Over 20 years We specialize in the treatment of many kidney disorders including HTN, Kidney Stones, Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Transplantation, Electrolytes Disorders, Edema

Kamyar Madani, M.D. • David Yoo, M.D. • Azeem Khan, M.D. • Sushma Reddycherla, M.D. David Bahrami, M.D. • Sheldon Shore, M.D. • Edrea Jones, M.D. • Jobira WoldeMichael, M.D.

Piedmont Newnan

Piedmont Fayette

(678) 817-5542

Camp Creek (Airport)


Piedmont Atlanta

MAKE YOUR MANUFACTURING WORKFORCE A POWERFUL ADVANTAGE. Don’t send a generalist to do a specialist’s job. At ResourceMFG, we make your business our business. See for yourself.

Industry focus - “Your Business is Our Business” Supply chain quality management Manufacturing education and experience training Industry trained internal staff (manufacturing specific) Industry validated tests - Detail-focus assessment - MFG baseline assessment - Verbal assessment - Assembly assessment - Standard work assessment



General scre ening adap ted to manufacturi ng workers

280 different manufacturing skills and qualifications Behavioral based interview by industry trained staff Customized Employee Orientation Onboarding (specific to each client) Field employee performance evaluation and exit interviews

Is your current staffing provider holding you back? Let us show you how we can make your company a force to be reckoned with. It’s our specialty.

CONTACT US TODAY. www.resourcemfg.com • 1485 Hwy 34 E. Ste. A-4, Newnan, GA 30265 • 770.502.3629

Profile for The Newnan-Coweta Chamber

THRIVE | Issue 9 | Fall - Winter 2020  

In this period of risk and uncertainty, traditional approaches to pursuing business, doing business, and preserving business no longer carry...

THRIVE | Issue 9 | Fall - Winter 2020  

In this period of risk and uncertainty, traditional approaches to pursuing business, doing business, and preserving business no longer carry...