Cobb In Focus September October 2022

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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022

Frye Law Group

Protecting its clients’ futures

Town Center CID • SDS Wireless Consulting • Leading Edge Dentistry • Sheriff’s Jobs Program


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Culture & Spirit Festival SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8

FREE Concert on Atlanta Road!

Main stage at Atlanta Rd. & Church St.

Performances ALL Day Food & “Spirit” Around the Beer Garden 11:00 am

7:00 pm

Toad The Wet Sprocket

8:30 pm

Train

FIREWORKS SHOW AFTER THE CONCERT!

Festival Opens Blue Grass – King & Bank St. Violin Busker – W. Spring St./ Wine Bar area

12:00 – 12:45 pm Chinese Dance at City Hall 12:45 – 1:45 pm

Flamenco Music Guitar – King & Bank St.

1:45 – 2:30 pm

Belly Dancer – Fountain Area /Market Village

1:45 – 2:45 pm

Spanish “Flamenco” Dance - City Hall

2:30 – 3:30 pm

Fire Eater – W. Spring/ Wine Bar area

CITY OF SMYRNA

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Motown at the Market Village Fountain Stage 2:45 – 3:45 pm

20s Jazz – King & Bank St.

3:30 – 3:50 pm

Lunar Krew Dance – Fountain in Market Village

3:45 – 4:15 pm

Cuban Dance/Salsa – City Hall Steel Drum Trio – Fountain in Market Village

4:30 – 6:00 pm

Austin Webb (Country) Fountain in Market Village

4:15– 6:15 pm

ULA – Jimmy Buffet Tribute Band - King & Bank St. Stage

7:00 pm

Toad The Wet Sprocket

8:30 pm

Train Fireworks Show!

STAY UP TO DATE ON SMYRNA EVENTS AT:

PARK YOUR CHAIR AND WAIT FOR FIREWORKS!

BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

Exact locations will be announced via social + website.

SMYRNAGA.GOV Facebook.com/CityofSmyrnaGa Twitter.com/SmyrnaNews Instagram/CityofSmyrnaGa


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Contents Vol. XVIII, No. 5 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022

F E A T U R E

Taking on Goliath When teens and adults face legal trouble, the Frye Law Group is there to help prevent it from derailing their lives.

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6 SHARPER FOCUS

Find out what’s going on throughout Cobb County with our news updates and calendar of events.

8 BUSINESS

SDS Wireless Consulting is in the business of helping cut wireless costs for businesses, governments, nonprofits, and healthcare providers across the country.

12 HEALTH

A conversation with Leading Edge Dentistry about the importance of good oral hygiene.

16 EDUCATION

The Cobb Collaborative works to promote literacy in Cobb County through a community-wide reading initiative.

19 FALL FAMILY FUN

A glimpse at some of the fall festivities and Halloween events happening in Cobb in September and October.

28 IN YOUR COMMUNITY

Cobb County’s reentry initiative offers education, training, and preparation for employment to qualifying inmates.

30 ARTS AND RECREATION

The Marietta Business Association is hosting the 2nd Annual MBA Golf Tournament on Oct. 21, 2022, sponsored by Associated Credit Union.

32 FINAL FOCUS

Empty nesters can, and should, enjoy this new chapter in their lives.

26 IN YOUR COMMUNITY

Town Center Community’s landscape looks vastly different today with a variety of economic engines amidst burgeoning single family, multi-family, and active adult communities.

On the cover: Kim Keheley Frye, Managing Partner and Founder of Frye Law Group. Photo: LaRuche Photo 4

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022


foreSight

COBB

®

New South Publishing Inc. President Larry Lebovitz Vice President John Hanna Publisher Jamie Ryan Account Executive Sherry Gasaway Editor Cory Sekine-Pettite

Just prior to the final production of this issue, I went to my dentist for my biannual (two times per year) checkup and cleaning. As I have stated on this page previously, I have kept up with my regular dental appointments throughout the pandemic, which is something many Americans have not done. If you still haven’t returned to your dentist since the spring 2020, I strongly urge you to go. Good oral hygiene practices are a key factor in your overall health, and honestly, it doesn’t take much effort to take care of your teeth. To get these points across, I interviewed the dentists who own and operate Leading Edge Dentistry in Marietta. They explained the many benefits of proper oral hygiene. And as female business owners, they also discussed working in a male-dominated profession. This fascinating conversation begins on page 12. Speaking of women leaders, our cover story this month is on the Frye Law Group and its Founder, Kim Keheley Frye. Mrs. Frye is an accomplished criminal defense attorney who discusses with us how she helps clients — particularly younger clients — see that they can come back from legal trouble and get their lives on track. Read this informative story starting on page 20. In a similar vein, Cobb County Sheriff Craig Owens and the Cobb Sheriff’s Foundation, Inc., have implemented a jobs program for inmates that prepares them for employment. This program shows them that there are ways in which they can live more productive lives. After all, isn’t that the very intent of incarceration in the first place? Details of this commendable program can be found on page 28. There’s so much more in this magazine than I have space to discuss, but I hope you enjoy these articles mentioned above, as well as our features on Town Center CID’s 25th anniversary, the Cobb Collaborative, the Marietta Business Association’s golf tournament, and much more.

Photo by LaRuche Photo

Contact Cobb in Focus We want to hear from you! Share your story ideas and comments with our editor. Visit cobbinfocus.com or send your suggestions to: cory@newsouthpublishing.net or New South Publishing, Attn: Cory Sekine-Pettite 9040 Roswell Road, Suite 210 Atlanta, GA 30350

Associate Editor Amy Meadows Graphic Designer Jack Simonetta Contributors Lindsay Field Penticuff, Writer Alexandra McCray, Writer Jennifer Morrell, Writer LaRuche Photo, Photography Production Coordinator/Circulation Amy Fine Controller Marilyn Walker cobbinfocus.com @cobbinfocus facebook.com/cobbinfocus Cobb in Focus™ is published six times a year by New South Publishing Inc., 9040 Roswell Road, Suite 210, Atlanta, GA, 30350. Direct all editorial queries to (770) 650-1102, ext. 100. Direct all circulation queries to (770) 650-1102, ext. 130. Direct all advertising queries to (770) 650-1102, ext. 142. All information herein has been checked for accuracy to the best of the publisher’s ability. No responsibility is accepted for deletions, omissions, errors and/or inaccuracies. Material in this publication may not be reprinted without written permission from the publisher. Copyright 2022 by New South Publishing Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A. For address changes, email afine@cobbinfocus.com.

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022

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Sharper Focus Here’s a snapshot of what’s going on in your community. Cobb Chamber Announces 2022 Public Safety Award Nominees As part of the 23rd annual Public Safety Appreciation Week (Oct. 2-8), the Cobb Chamber will honor Cobb County’s finest during a special recognition program at the Public Safety Appreciation Breakfast at the CocaCola Roxy on October 3. The breakfast will kick off a week-long effort to celebrate public safety personnel in Cobb County. For the complete list of nominees, visit cobbchamber.org/public-safety-awards.html.

Cobb Mourns the Loss of James ‘Mack’ Henderson Former Cobb County Manager, James “Mack” Henderson, passed away in July at the age of 94. Henderson also was president of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce during a pivotal time and led the organization through a period of immense growth. “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Mack Henderson,” said Sharon Mason, current president and CEO of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce. “He was an instrumental leader for our county and our chamber, our community.” The chamber instituted the Mack Henderson Public Service Award in 1993.

Construction underway on Cobb Veterans Memorial In early July, the Cobb Veterans Memorial Foundation hosted the groundbreaking ceremony for the veterans memorial following many years of planning and fundraising. The Memorial Park, at Cobb Civic Center at 502 Fairground Street SE, in Marietta, will feature a 142-foot “Star Tower” monument and honors walls listing the names of veterans from each military branch. It also will have a plaza for events, two reflection pools, and a service hub providing information to veterans and their families. Construction is expected to be completed in 2024.

Three-Digit Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988 In early August, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) issued the following statement regarding the activation of the new Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number: 988. “Individuals suffering from mental health issues need a number to call in order to get the help they desperately need immediately, which is exactly why the 988 number was established after Congress passed the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act in 2020, during President Trump’s administration. This new number, officially activated last month, will allow those suffering from mental health issues to get help from trained mental health professionals instead of relying only on law enforcement. If you are struggling from a mental health issue, please text or call 988.”

New Senior Services Director Announced Cobb County has appointed Ioana Bovo-Nicolescu as Senior Services Director. She has an extensive background with more than 15 years of experience in non-profits, focusing on social services. She has coordinated and managed agency programs and operations as well as writing and managing grant programs. Bovo-Nicolescu joined Cobb Senior Services in 2016 as a budget specialist and grants manager before advancing to Human Services Division Manager in 2019.

Austell Names New Police Chief

The City of Austell has named Scott Hamilton the new chief of police. Austell Mayor Ollie Clemons said Hamilton is the first African American police chief in Cobb County history. Hamilton is a former Cobb County Deputy Police Chief, where he served for 27 years. He replaces Bob Starrett, the long-serving chief who resigned in December 2021 following a GBI investigation into discrepancies in paperwork tied both to the department’s K-9 unit and Starrett.

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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022

Cobb Chairwoman Hosts Second Dobbins ARB Stakeholders Meeting Chairwoman Lisa Cupid hosted a second roundtable meeting in early August to discuss the future of Dobbins Air Reserve Base and exchange ideas on how to ensure its continued success. Those in attendance received a briefing on all the activities and projects on the base contributing to its role as an economic powerhouse in Cobb. “The meeting allowed those in attendance to reaffirm our support for the base and each other’s interests. Working together, we can help ensure the success of Dobbins moving forward,” said Cupid.

Judges Appointed to Cobb Superior Court

Gov. Brian P. Kemp announced in July that he appointed GBI Director Vic Reynolds and Deputy Attorney General Julie Adams Jacobs to fill two vacancies on the Cobb Judicial Circuit Superior Court.

New Website for Senior Events

Cobb County has rolled out a new website for Senior Services to make it easier to find activities and to register for them. Visitors can see events, programs, classes and more by starting on the main page: cobbcounty.org/senior-services/ locations. Then, click on your favorite center’s name on the left. Next, click on the calendar icon “View All Activities.” You will be taken to My Active Center, where you can see all the activities offered at the center.

Powder Springs Business Group Awards Scholarships

Congratulations are in order for Powder Springs Business Group’s 2022 Workforce Scholarship recipients. This year’s scholarship was sponsored by Blades Lawnmower Shop. This year’s scholars are Skyler Williams of Hillgrove High School, Dexter Kotor, Jordan McCrary, and Lynda Floreal, all from McEachern High School. Each scholar will receive $500, and all are planning to attend Chattahoochee Tech.


SEPTEMBER

Editor’s note: Due to evolving community needs, these events are subject to change or cancellation.

9/10 Pizza, Pints & Pigskins The event takes place at Logan Farm Park and features pizzerias from all over Cobb County. More info: acworthtourism.org

9/10

Great Locomotive Chase 5K

Part of the KGP Race Series, proceeds from the Great Locomotive Chase benefit The Southern Museum. More info: kennesawgrandprix.com

9/10 Rivers Alive

9/10

Rivers Alive is an annual litter cleanup in Smyrna along the tributaries that run into the Chattahoochee River, which supplies drinking water for millions in the metro Atlanta area. More info: keepsmyrnabeautiful.com/rivers-alive

It’s Cobb on the River 2.0! Celebrating South Cobb’s outdoor and nature-based resources. Featuring live national and local bands, food trucks and tents, merchandise vendors, and a huge children’s area. More info: Welcometosouthcobb2.eventbrite.com

9/13-27 Food Truck Tuesday

9/17

Smyrna’s Food Truck Tuesdays at Taylor-Brawner Park conclude in September. Festivities begin at 5 p.m. More info: smyrnaga.gov

Welcome to South Cobb Festival

Taste of Smyrna

Experience a wide selection of foods and big helpings of entertainment, too. Taste all that Smyrna restaurants have to offer in one place! Admission is free. More info: smyrnaga.gov

9/22 - 10/2

North Georgia State Fair

The 2022 Superior Plumbing North Georgia State Fair returns to Jim R. Miller Park with fun rides, concerts, and great food. More info: northgeorgiastatefair.com

10/1 Autism Speaks Atlanta Walk The Autism Speaks Walk is back. It begins at 8 a.m. at The Battery Atlanta. Teams and individuals can register. More info: autismspeaks.org

10/8

Taste of Acworth

This annual event showcases many local restaurants. This event benefits numerous local schools and charities in our community. More info: acworth.org

10/15

Sensory Friendly Concert

The Georgia Symphony Orchestra will relax house rules and encourages the audience to respond to the music however they choose, whether that be moving around the concert hall, dancing, or vocalizing along with the music. More info: georgiasymphony.org

9/17 Pop-In For Family Fun Come and explore the Marietta History Museum on the 3rd Saturday of every month with family fun activities. September’s topic is Natural Wonders. More info: mariettahistory.org

9/24 Cystic Fibrosis Cycle for Life Join your fellow cyclists in downtown Powder Springs from 7 a.m. to noon for this charity ride. More info: cityofpowdersprings.org

10/4

OCTOBER

National Night Out

This free event at Thurman Springs Park in Powder Springs is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie. More info: cityofpowdersprings.org

10/8 Smyrna’s Birthday Celebration Smyrna is pulling out all the stops this year for its 150th birthday. Festivities begin in the Village Green at 11 a.m., and the concert featuring Train and Toad The Wet Sprocket starts at 6:30 p.m. More info: smyrnaga.gov

9/26

Sweetwater Mission Golf Tournament

Join sports celebrities in an exclusive event to benefit Sweetwater Mission in its ongoing efforts to stabilize families by providing basic needs, and transforming lives through education and job-readiness programs. More info: sweetwatermission.org/golf

10/6 Shepherd’s Men Dinner & Auction This is a fundraiser for veterans injured with TBI/ PTSD, featuring a fish fry, chipping contest, silent & live auctions, music & more. More info: shepherdsmen.com

10/15 Pop-In For Family Fun Come and explore the Marietta History Museum on the 3rd Saturday of every month with family fun activities. October’s topic is Ghosts & Ghouls. More info: mariettahistory.org

10/16

10/17 Chip In For Children’s

Aloha to Aging will celebrate its 13th anniversary by hosting their celebration and expo at Covenant Presbyterian Church. More info: alohatoaging.org/expo

Enjoy a crisp fall day on the golf course at Marietta City Club while supporting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. More info: choa.org

Generation to Generation

10/22

10/29 Classic Car Cruise

It’s the ultimate tailgate party! There will be BBQ cooked by professional teams, a beer tasting, live music, and a cornhole tournament. The funds go to LiveSafe Resources. More info: livesaferesources.org

Main Street in downtown Acworth will be lined with classic cars from days gone by. Event kicks off at 4 p.m. More info: acworth.org

‘Que & Brew

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022

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Business

Saving Time And Money SDS Wireless Consulting is in the business of helping cut wireless costs for businesses, governments, nonprofits, and healthcare providers across the country.

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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022


By Lindsay Field Penticuff

F

or Steven Small, president of SDS Wireless Consulting, his work is all about helping businesses, governments, nonprofits, and healthcare systems, save time and money. These services can indirectly help save taxpayers, and patients save money, as well. Mr. Small has been in the wireless industry since 2001 and has worked with all the major wireless providers, including Nextel Communications, Sprint Corporation, Verizon Wireless, and AT&T. “I was an investment adviser and was looking for something that didn’t have an end to it, and hopefully didn’t have the peaks and valleys that I was experiencing in the industry I was in,” Small recalls. “And I was right, because the wireless industry is ever expanding.” In 2012, he founded his own company, SDS Wireless Consulting. The business was initially headquartered in Cobb County before Small relocated to Summerville. However, his business colleague and brother, Earl Small, is a longtime Kennesaw resident who formerly worked as a CPA and then for Yamaha Motor Corp. He came out of retirement to help his brother operate SDS.

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Business Small says he started SDS because he learned from his experience in the wireless industry that customers are routinely overcharged for their wireless service. “I know that’s a strong statement, but it’s true,” he says. “So, we work with businesses, municipal governments, county governments, organizations, and medical centers to help them lower the cost of their wireless bills.” And they provide this service without any of these entities having to change their wireless provider. “We work with our customers to find the pricing that they should be getting by helping them choose the right plans, buy the appropriate data that matches their usage and cleaning up their accounts,” he says. When SDS reviewed a large Atlanta area county government’s administrative account, for example, it identified more than 30 percent in wireless savings. The company has worked with several county governments in Georgia, including Bartow, Walker, Fannin, and Chattooga, as well as audited municipal and businesses accounts from Florida to Washington state. SDS does not require a contract or any commitment to do an initial audit. “It’s about making sure the customer is comfortable going in and knowing what the potential savings are before we even move forward with a contract,” Small says. Their average savings? “We’ve never audited a bill that we couldn’t find as least 20 percent in savings,” he adds.

“We work with businesses, municipal governments, county governments and medical centers to significantly reduce the cost of their wireless billings.” –Steven Small, President, SDS Wireless Consulting

Since starting the business, Small has been most proud of two large savings he found for clients: Floyd Medical Center in Rome was able to lower their bill by about 43 percent, saving them approximately $60,000 annually in wireless costs. And with Davey Tree Expert Company, one of the largest tree services companies in the United States, SDS not only identified $150,000 a year in savings, but secured the company a $100,000 credit. “That was a major achievement, and the one that really got us going!” Small says. When SDS first launched, the focus was on saving clients money by looking at the minutes they used monthly. At that time, clients were buying minutes, based on the usage reports from their wireless carrier, which included on-peak and offpeak minutes, which were free. So, the customers were continually over-buying minutes. “We would go in and separate

the off-peak from the on-peak minutes and put them on the plans with the correct number of minutes,” says Small. Since then, it’s become all about the amount of data that clients are buying since people are using smartphones, tablets, and hotspot devices. Small has specifically noticed when working with law enforcement clients, for example, that the hotspot devices in their vehicles connected to their computer system, may only be using .001 gigabit of data per month. “If an officer is using that little data, they don’t need pay for an unlimited data plan like so many of our clients may have,” Small says. “There are data plans for as little as $12 a month that the client should be using.” As auditors of data and wireless usage, Small and his brother initially review 12 months of a client’s wireless usage, reviewing each line to see what the exact usage

REVIEWS “Floyd Medical Center has been using the wireless cost reduction services of SDS Wireless Consulting since January 2017. Since that time, SDS has lowered our Verizon bill by 43 percent ($60,000/year). Floyd Medical Center would not have received these savings on our wireless account if it had not been for Steven Small’s detailed work and dedicated efforts on our behalf. Steven and SDS have always been professional, detailed, and easy to work with. I enthusiastically recommend Steven and his team at SDS Wireless Consulting.” –Kim PlantDixon, Executive Assistant, IS&T, Floyd Medical Center

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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022

“As the Sole County Commissioner of Chattooga County, Georgia, I realize and appreciate the difficulty of raising revenue and managing our county’s budget. Steven and SDS Wireless Consulting performed their wireless cost reduction services as promised. I highly recommend Steven Small and SDS Wireless Consulting to any municipality or county government interested in procuring significant wireless savings. They are very professional, easy to work with, take a very small amount of your time, and are in no way disruptive to our wireless services.” –Jason Winters, Sole Commissioner, Chattooga County


is. Then, they will look even closer at the past six months to get a better reflection of the usage to make sure everyone is on the right wireless plan. Another important piece of the puzzle has been SDS’ relationship with carriers and understanding what plans are available. “Even though we are kind of taking money out of their pockets, we’ve built relationships because they know that we are also taking very good care of their customers, and they aren’t likely to leave if they are happy customers,” says Small. And Small adds that SDS is “carrier agnostic,” meaning they work with all the wireless carriers. However, he did add that most of his clients use Verizon or AT&T, especially first responders since both now offer discounted plans for them. “They are specially priced and get priority

“One of the nonprofits we work with was having significant reductions in the grants they receive to provide their services to underserved areas. SDS was able to help replace some of these funds through our wireless savings services.” –Steven Small, President, SDS Wireless Consulting

SDS Wireless Consulting 10366 N Commerce St. Summerville, GA 30747 770.722.9177 sdswirelessconsulting.com stevensmall@sdswirelessconsulting.com

connectivity if there’s an emergency,” he adds. “They will be able to get wireless service when no one else can.” Small also has had the pleasure of working with the Family Guidance Center in Alabama. They are a nonprofit outreach group that serves underserved, rural communities across the state, helping with prenatal care, children’s services, education, health and mental health services. “They were having major budget cuts, and we were able to help put money back in their pockets,” he says. “That allows SDS to indirectly help those in need.” There are benefits to the counties they

serve, too. SDS is helping clients save on costs that taxpayers would have to pay. “We give our customers back money, because we only get paid if they save money and then we receive a percent of that savings,” Small concludes. “We also save them time, because my brother, having worked in business account for 25 years, puts together a wireless reporting outline that helps their accounting personnel verify the savings. It’s typically an all-day process, but thanks to this process, they can help cut that down to about two hours. We truly do give organizations time and money.” n

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Health

An Ounce of Prevention…

A conversation with Leading Edge Dentistry about the importance of good oral hygiene. By Cory Sekine-Pettite

A

t the beginning of the COVID19 pandemic in the spring of 2020, when health officials didn’t know much about the virus, one of the recommendations issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) was for people to delay dental care. Well, we all soon learned that medical-grade personal protective equipment (PPE) would prevent transmission of COVID-19. So, if your dentist and dental hygienist wore masks, you could seek treatment safely and your dentist would be protected from possible exposure as well. Following that WHO suggestion, the American Dental Association’s (ADA) then-President, Chad P. Gehani, D.D.S., issued a statement strongly disagreeing with the WHO, declaring: “Dentistry is essential

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health care because of its role in evaluating, diagnosing, preventing or treating oral diseases, which can affect systemic health.” This statement holds true whether or not we are in the midst of a pandemic. It’s accepted knowledge that good oral hygiene is fundamental to overall health and wellness. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a growing body of evidence has linked oral health, particularly periodontal (gum) disease, to several chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. In pregnant women, poor oral health has also been associated with premature births and low birth weight. With this information, Cobb In Focus sought out local dentists to talk about how oral hygiene

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022

is a foundation for good health. Meet Dr. Dimple Patel, D.M.D., and Dr. Radha Patel, D.M.D. (no relation) who own and operate Leading Edge Dentistry in Marietta. Leading Edge Dentistry was founded by Dr. Michael L. Howard, D.D.S., more than 30 years ago. The practice offers full-service dentistry that utilizes the latest techniques and technology for patient care. Leading Edge is known for its warm, friendly environment, whether patients desire a simple check-up and cleaning, or more involved restorative and cosmetic procedures. The Drs. Patel bought into the practice in recent years and now operate the business while Dr. Howard has taken on a more diagnostic role. So, what else sets this practice apart?


While most dental professionals are aware that patient comfort is important, Leading Edge Dentistry makes it a priority. From high-tech laser dentistry to tension-reducing terry-cloth neck rolls to the caring smiles and personal attention patients receive at each appointment, a comfortable, stressfree dental visit is always the goal. “We love the demographics of people here [in Cobb],” said Dr. Dimple Patel. “They’re very friendly, extremely intelligent, and in tune with their health needs, which makes practicing dentistry very rewarding. We love building long-lasting relationships with the family-oriented people here. And it just helps us to ensure good, long-term dental health through having long-lasting relationships.” While Leading Edge Dentistry is known for its cosmetic work (restorations, whitening, veneers, cosmetic bonding, etc.) that can repair a patient’s smile and their

“Most of us think, ‘if it’s not hurting, it’ll kind of go away.’ But with dental health, once you start having pain, that’s when you know that things are on the severe spectrum.” –Dr. Radha Patel, D.M.D. confidence, the doctors aren’t focused on vanity. “The patients are able to see our skill and the changes in their smile,” Dr. Radha Patel said. “And it’s very rewarding when the patients can actually see [the changes].” “We can not only change the aesthetics,

but also provide help in so many different ways involving their overall health. So, it’s been very rewarding,” added Dr. Dimple Patel. Their reputation for improving smiles is but one differentiator. Another factor would

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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022

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Health be the amount of time they spend with their patients. “Healthcare is driven in so many different directions these days. Patients don’t necessarily always feel like they’re heard, or their voice gets lost,” Dr. Dimple Patel said. “What sets us apart is that we really listen to our patients to gain a better understanding of what will allow the patient to succeed in the whole treatment process.”

A women-owned business According to the ADA, among the 201,927

dentists working in the profession as of 2021, just 35.9 percent are female. But that number has been rising steadily since 2010 when female dentists made up just 24 percent of the profession. Diversity in the dental workforce is improving as well, the ADA reports, though most of the field — about 70 percent — is white. “When I was practicing at the VA hospital — I did my residency there — most of the patients had never been treated by a female dentist, especially one from a diverse

Meet the doctors Dr. Dimple Patel is a native of South Carolina. She attended Emory University in Atlanta, where she attained degrees in Psychology and Religion while also completing her science requirements for dental school. Upon graduation with honors in 2000, Dr. Patel returned home to attend dental school at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. When she completed dental school in 2005, Dr. Patel returned to Atlanta to pursue her career in general dentistry. She has been delivering excellent dental care to her community in the Greater Atlanta area for the last 17 years before joining Leading Edge Dentistry. So, why did she choose a career in dentistry? “I enjoy dentistry because I like working creatively with my hands and providing a service to patients that can change their smiles and outlook, while also providing a service that can really benefit their overall health as well,” she said. Dr. Radha Patel attended the University of Georgia for her undergraduate degree. During her time in Athens, she volunteered with and worked for numerous dental non-profit organizations. It was during this time that she realized her true passion for dentistry. After completing her undergraduate degree, Dr. Patel attained her Doctorate in Dental Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania and then went on to complete another year of advanced education in general dentistry from the Veteran’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. She has been practicing general dentistry in Atlanta for the past six years. So, why did she choose a career in dentistry? Dr. Patel finds dentistry to be rewarding as it allows her the opportunity to put a smile on the faces of her patients while also improving the quality of their oral health. “While in college, I worked as a nurse’s assistant and shadowed many different medical professionals. I have an artistic side, so dentistry felt the most natural to me. I found dentistry to not only be engaging, but also tremendously rewarding,” she said.

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background,” said Dr. Radha Patel. “It took patients time to get used to a female in this role. So, it’s not necessarily something that’s new, but it’s something that’s becoming more prevalent now. More and more women are entering the dental field and succeeding.”

Why you should practice good oral hygiene According to the doctors, about 80 percent of us have some level of gingival or gum inflammation or infection caused by the buildup of plaque in and around the gums. Generally speaking, that isn’t indicative of poor health or bad oral hygiene. There are many factors at play from diet to body chemistry. “It could be due to hygiene, but it could also be due to medications or underlying medical conditions in the body. So, there are various factors that can lead to gum disease.” said Dr. Dimple Patel. The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. The ADA reports that at this stage, the disease is reversible. Eliminating the infection can be as easy as a trip to the dentist’s office for a professional cleaning. And prevention can be as easy as daily brushing and flossing. Typically, gum disease is painless, so you wouldn’t even know you have it, which is why it is critical to see your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. “Every patient is different, and their dental needs vary as well,” Dr. Dimple Patel continued. “Some people require cleanings three to four times a year, while others may need cleanings twice a year. So, it’s really dependent on each individual’s dental and gingival health conditions.” “With the mouth, it’s not true that ‘if it doesn’t hurt, it’s not a problem,’” Dr. Radha Patel added. “But with dental health, once you start having pain, that’s when you know that things are more on the severe spectrum.” Additionally, you may be diligent about brushing and flossing, but did you know there are proper techniques? Consult with your dentist or dental hygienist on the best method for your situation. And for general guidelines, the ADA has brushing and flossing instructional videos on their website at mouthhealthy.org. Ignoring your oral hygiene for too long can lead to chronic or aggressive forms of


“What sets us apart is that we really listen to our patients to gain a better understanding of what will allow each patient to succeed in their whole treatment process.” —Dr. Dimple Patel, D.M.D. gum disease leading to gum loss, tooth decay, tooth loss, or worse. The ADA reports that research between systemic diseases and periodontal diseases is ongoing. While a link is not conclusive, some studies indicate that severe gum disease may be associated with several other health conditions such as diabetes or stroke. And the link to heart disease is being seen as a little more conclusive. According to the Harvard-affiliated Forsyth Institute, a notfor-profit research organization focused on oral health, chronic inflammation — including that of periodontal disease — is

a key contributor to many health problems, especially atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries around the heart). “There have been studies that show a lot of bacteria that are found in the mouth have [also] been found around the heart,” Dr. Radha Patel said. “So, there are a lot of correlations between your dental health and your overall health.” Bottom line: Don’t put off your oral checkups and don’t ignore any problems you may be having with your teeth or gums. You know the proverb: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. n

Leading Edge Dentistry 3475 Dallas Hwy #310, Marietta, GA 30064 770.425.2001 leadingedgedentistry.com

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Education

Nourishing Children’s Imaginations By Irene Barton, Executive Director of Cobb Collaborative

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s the local point of contact for the Get Georgia Reading Campaign, the Cobb Collaborative works to promote literacy in Cobb County through a community-wide reading initiative that unites families, educators, and community partners. Data reveals that children who read proficiently by the end of third grade are four times more likely to graduate from high school — paving the way to higher education, better employment opportunities, and improved health outcomes. As one of many solutions geared toward

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improving outcomes for children and families, proficient literacy and language skills have been proven to directly influence the opportunities and successes of their lives.

Early Learning Work: The Basics Incredibly, the human brain doubles in size in the first year. It keeps growing to about 80 percent of adult size by age 3 and 90 percent — nearly full grown — by age 5. That’s why the earliest years are critical to developing strong readers and engaged students. Our commitment to literacy begins with our youngest residents and their families

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and is anchored by The Basics. The Basics consists of five principles that were distilled from scientific literature by the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University to create equity across all backgrounds for every child. The framework uses a public health approach called socioecological saturation to achieve this. We know that parents and caregivers want the best for their children, yet all kids today are subject to stress and competing demands on their time and resources. We also acknowledge that parents give care and attention


within their own contexts, whether that is cultural or experiential. In the spring of 2021, the Cobb Collaborative was selected as one of only 10 sites across Georgia to bring The Basics collective impact model to our community. The five principles support social, emotional, and cognitive development of children up to 5 years old, helping to boost brain development and improving kindergarten readiness. The principles combine scientific rigor with a broad coverage of key domains of early-childhood development and are simple enough to commit to memory for efficient program implementation: 1. Maximize Love, Manage Stress 2. Count, Group and Compare 3. Talk, Sing and Point 4. Explore through Movement and Play 5. Read and Discuss Stories The Collaborative offers training to community partners and shares print and digital resources supporting The Basics. We also offer interactive and engaging parent/caregiver workshops and distribute Basics Bundles, which include tactile objects that support the

One of the most successful ways to improve the reading achievement of children is to increase access to books, especially at home. five principles along with a tip sheet. Our Basics resources are available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Little Free Libraries Driven by the motivation of increasing access to books, the Collaborative has helped to establish more than 25 Little Free Libraries across Cobb County in the last year. Little

Free Library (LFL) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to putting books in the hands of children and adults in communities around the world. These book-sharing boxes remove barriers to book access by being available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day with free accessibility. They operate under the “Take One, Leave One” theory which encourages readers to not only take a book, but to leave one for others when there is an ability to do so. Research tells us that starting from birth, frequent and interactive book reading is associated with cognitive and language development. One of the most successful ways to improve the reading achievement of children is to increase access to books, especially at home. This is a quintessential collaborative effort, with additional partners including the Cobb County School District, United Way of Greater Atlanta Northwest Region, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, businesses, civic associations and private foundations.

Literacy and Justice For All We are honored to work alongside Marietta City Schools to create a language-centered

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Education

ecosystem and learning environment for children from birth to third grade. The goal of the “Literacy and Justice for All” grant is to use a community-wide commitment to the Science of Reading to empower every child in Marietta to be a proficient reader by the end of third grade. This work is critically important as schools address both the significant learning loss resulting from the pandemic and the gaps in opportunity that often occur around literacy in our communities. Marietta-based investments from the United Way includes teaching resources, trauma-informed training, professional development, social-emotional learning, community programming, early learning opportunities, personnel, and evaluation. The collective goal is not to “beat the odds” for a small number of children, but to change the odds for every child. The

Cobb Collaborative leads “Literacy Ambassador” volunteers from each of Marietta City Schools elementary campus. Ambassadors share their unique perspectives as parents, family members, and caregivers of current students and are a “trusted voice” to their peers. Ambassadors are champions for their school, Marietta City Schools, and the Literacy & Justice For All initiative. They are an integral piece of the process of bringing educators and community leaders together to tackle the issue of literacy and helping every child be on a path of reading proficiency and ultimately to leading a life of self-determination.

“Pop Up” Book Giveaways We enjoy collecting gently loved books and distributing them at community events, restocking our Little Free Libraries and building classroom libraries for teachers.

The Collaborative distributed 4,880 books in 2021 and are on pace to exceed that number in 2022. We invite anyone who is cleaning out bookshelves to keep us in mind if you have children’s books. We’ll be happy to redeploy those! Many lowincome neighborhoods are “book deserts,” meaning that it is difficult to access children’s books. Books develop and nourish children’s imaginations, expanding their worlds. They create questions and provide answers. Books inspire us. n The Cobb Collaborative is a membership of nonprofit organizations, local government, businesses, faith-based organizations, educational institutions, professional organizations, associations, and residents who share ideas, expertise, and resources to improve outcomes for children and families in Cobb. Visit www.cobbcollaborative.org to learn more.

Credit Union of Georgia Teams Up with MUST Ministries Credit Union of Georgia teamed up recently with MUST Ministries to help bring in an abundance of school supplies for local students in need. Donations (school supplies and hygiene kits) were collected throughout the month of July at each Credit Union of Georgia branch location for the MUST Ministries Back to School Drive. MUST distributed these supplies in August at the South Cobb Rec Center. “MUST does so much good for individuals, families and children in our communities. By collecting school supplies and dental/hygiene kits in our branch locations we feel we are playing a small part in supporting MUST’s mission,” said Brian Albrecht, Credit Union of Georgia President/CEO.

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Fall Family Fun 10/8-9

10/22

This local favorite in Marietta Square returns with renowned artists, beer tents, and more! All proceeds go to the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art. More info: chalktoberfest.com

The Acworth Parks and Recreation Department is hosting the annual Acworth Jam-BOO-ree at Logan Farm Park. Yes, there will be a costume contest! More info: acworth.com

Chalktoberfest

Halloween Jam-BOO-ree

10/15

10/22

FALL-O-WEEN

Pumpkin Day

Celebrate the fall season at SwiftCantrell Park in Kennesaw from 4-9 p.m. More info: kennesaw-ga.gov

Pumpkin Day at Still Family Farm in Powder Springs returns on October 22. More info: stillfamilyfarm.com/ fall-fun

10/15

10/22

The festival includes the HarvestFest Arts & Crafts Show, Pie Eating Contest, Touch-A-Truck, Scarecrows In The Square, Costume Contest and Halloween Happenings kid’s festival. More info: marietta.gov

This 10k/5k race is celebrating its 14th year! The annual event is organized by Vision Rehabilitation Services of Georgia to raise funds for the visually impaired. Runners are encouraged to wear costumes. More info: spooktacularchase.com

HarvestFest

10/16

Truck Or Treat Kennesaw Parks & Recreation beckons area ghouls, ninjas, superheroes and for its annual evening of free carnival games, trick or treating, children’s amusements, and costumed family-fun. More info: kennesaw-ga.gov

Spooktacular Chase

10/29-30

Crafts & Drafts Fall Festival This growing fall festival in Smyrna is free to the public. The event begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday and noon on Sunday. More info: smyrnaga.gov

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Taking On Goliath 20

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When teens and adults face legal trouble, the Frye Law Group is there to help prevent it from derailing their lives. By Alexandra McCray

Pictured left to right: Executive Assistant Kera Hawks, Managing Partner Kim Keheley Frye, Attorney Chelsea Thomas, Legal Administrator Geurin McGovern, and Client Support Specialist Brittani Mazzeo. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022

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“A lot of people don’t realize that even one minor arrest can take months, sometimes years, depending on when you’re arrested, to get resolved.” —Kim Keheley Frye, Managing Partner and Founder of Frye Law Group

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here was once a time when, if the police caught a few teens drinking alcohol, they would pour out the containers, scold the youngsters, and make sure they got home safely, explains Kim Keheley Frye, managing partner and founder of Frye Law Group, a Marietta firm specializing in criminal defense. “That kind of stuff doesn’t really happen anymore, and you can’t depend on that to happen,” she says.

The landscape today Crimes of all classifications are taken seriously today, and technology makes it easier for people — especially teens and young adults who often use technology at high levels — to incriminate themselves. A message that may have been posted or sent as a joke or exaggeration can appear as prime evidence to law enforcement and prosecu-

Frye Law Group’s Kim Keheley Frye and Chelsea Thomas.

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tors. “Sometimes, kids will come to me, and they still don’t think it’s that big of a deal,” says Frye. She helps them understand that these choices are in fact a big deal to their future. Kids often will say to her, “‘Well, I didn’t really mean that.’” Current events mean the police are no longer likely to give someone the benefit of the doubt for lesser crimes like vandalism and pranks, explains Frye. She says that many times, her clients don’t understand the trail they’re leaving behind on social media and in messages. “Anything — pictures, threats, all kinds of things — that you put on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Kik, it’s not really going to disappear. Somebody’s going to have that, and that could cause a lot of problems,” Frye says. “Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, the authorities can get into pretty easily. So, if you’re taking a picture of yourself with a gun and putting it on Instagram, they’ll have that. These are the kinds of things that kids just don’t even realize.” What can be worse, she explains, is that, while it’s easy for the government to get ahold of these items as evidence against the poster/sender, it can be difficult for the poster/sender to retrieve items that have “disappeared” or been deleted for their defense. “That conversation might exonerate you in that situation, but we can’t get it. The government’s not going to try to get it, and they’re the only ones that can, really,” Frye says. And being suspected or accused of criminal activity can dramatically alter a young person’s future. “A lot of people don’t realize that even one minor arrest can take months, sometimes years, depending on when you’re arrested, to get resolved,” Frye says. “While that’s pending, that can have huge effects on where you go to school, what kind of jobs you get, whether you can have a job in another state. In some instances, whether you can go into another country. “Unfortunately, in our system, the only way to make it fast is to basically plead guilty and accept whatever the government wants to give you, and that’s again a situation where people can be taken advantage of.” Convictions, of course, also have consequences. Frye explains that it’s common for colleges and universities to ask applicants if they’ve been convicted of a crime, especially


for anything alcohol related. A 2009 survey by the Center for Community Alternatives found that having a criminal record can potentially derail an acceptance. Additionally, those who may want to join the military right out of high school, won’t be able to if they’re on probation, Frye says. When it comes to future career opportunities, she explains that convictions can potentially bar people from professions that require licenses — medicine, law, real estate, and insurance, for example. “I get tons of people wanting me to early terminate their probation or get their records cleared off because they find out later in life how much trouble something that they weren’t prosecuted on, that they just got arrested on, can cause them,” says Frye.

Knowing who’s on your side For all her clients, Frye stresses the importance of looking out for themselves and using their constitutional rights to pro-

tect themselves from the legal system when they’re suspected or accused of a crime. For parents especially, Frye says it’s vital to remember this. “If a police officer wants to

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The Frye Law Group team: Geurin McGovern, Kim Keheley Frye, Chelsea Thomas, Brittani Mazzeo, and Kera Hawks.

“We see some people who feel like there’s no future, there’s no hope, that they’ve messed up beyond reason. And we try to get them past that.” —Kim Keheley Frye, Managing Partner and Founder of Frye Law Group

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talk to their child, a parent should not waive their constitutional rights for them without talking to a lawyer,” she says. “I’ve had so many parents be brokenhearted because they thought the police officer or whoever they were talking to was trying to help their child, and they allow them to speak to their child. Their child makes incriminating statements, and they were the architect of them doing that. A parent might say, ‘Oh, well, just tell the officer the truth because that’ll go better for you.’ That’s not typically the case. And a lot of people ask police officers, ‘Do I need a lawyer now?’ Well, they’re not going to tell you that you need one.” She suggests not only getting an attorney right away, but finding one who specializes in criminal defense and is familiar with the area a person is facing charges in. “Knowing the ‘lay of the land’ is important. We’ve got 11 superior court judge positions. We have 12 state court positions. We have four juvenile court judges. We have multiple magistrate court judges. So, just right here in downtown Marietta, you’ve got 30-plus judges and all of them are a little bit different. And you’ve got prosecutors in the individual courtrooms, and all of

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them are a little bit different,” she explains. “So, knowing how they’re going to handle something or knowing some of the things that particular prosecutor’s office does like diversion or accountability court and things like that are helpful.” Frye says criminal defense is a common specialty for attorneys to dabble in and that people may be tempted to hire an attorney who does a little of everything but that’s not the way to go. “We specialize in only criminal defense and the reason we do that is because we’re really good at that. I’m not going to do your divorce. I’m probably not going to take your car wreck case. But I know a good attorney who can do it, so I’m happy to let you know who to call for that, but we really just want to help people who are in trouble,” she says. “We see some people who feel like there’s no future, there’s no hope, that they’ve messed up beyond reason. And we try to get them past that.”

Protecting futures Her firm commonly handles cases for people of all ages who’ve been accused of a crime for the first time. Frye says that people who come to her often never thought


they’d be in this kind of situation. “It’s been really empowering to fight the government and to stand up against them no matter what for your client,” she says. “People ask me all the time, ‘How do you represent guilty people?’ And I tell them every time, ‘I don’t represent guilty people. I represent people.’ Interest in guilt is for across the street. I’m not worried about that. I don’t want them to go this alone. I don’t want them to not be protected when the government’s coming for them.” Frye says it’s also rewarding to help people who may have been struggling with mental illness, substance abuse, or simply going down a bad path turn their lives around. She explains, “I always say this to people, ‘This can be your first arrest or your last, which one do you want it to be?’ Especially when it’s a young person. It’s just trying to get people to understand that these experiences are recoverable from and that we’ve just got to work through the system.” She knows the system well, and more importantly, how prosecutors think. Before she started Frye Law Group in 2008 so she’d have more freedom with her schedule to care for her oldest son, Frye was a prosecutor. You’ll find evidence of her tough reputation from day one in her office. “There’s a frying pan here that’s engraved with ‘Maximum Frye,’ and I think, actually, one of our current judges is the one who gave it to me when I left prosecution,” she says with a laugh. What started with Frye answering her own phone has now grown into a team of five, including herself, and helping more than 1,000 clients over the years. The firm offers criminal defense, pre-arrest criminal investigations, expungement and record restriction, Marietta academic misconduct defense, probation termination, and sex offender registration removal services. Frye says, “I know very few people who’ve never broken the law at all, you know, speeding or parking illegally or anything like that, but they just don’t think it can be as bad for them because they’re a good person. Well, good people get arrested all the time.” Because many of the cases the firm takes on rely heavily on scientific evidence, the team stays up to date on the latest field and

lab testing procedures. Additionally, Frye says the team prides itself on its creative solutions and works to get clients’ lives back to as close to normal as possible. “It doesn’t have to just be what the state says it is. We try to create different opportunities. We try to give the government an option to not put our clients in custody or to not give them strict probations. We try to be flexible and creative that way,” she explains. Frye understands how important that flexibility is and how those outcomes can help protect her clients’ futures. She also knows that an arrest or a conviction always

leaves a mark, she says, but she aims to mitigate that mark for her clients. “We’re all going to make a mistake,” she says. “But does that mistake have to ruin the rest of your life or change the trajectory of your life?” In 2021, she launched the Frye Law Group Onward Scholarship to provide one or more local high school seniors who’ll be first-generation college students but have had run-ins with the law and may not have the best academic record with $1,500 for school expenses. The scholarship is one Frye has a personal connection to since she was the first person in her family to graduate from college. She originally had her heart set on going into politics, and says, “I went to [The University of] Georgia as a psychology major but switched to criminal justice pretty quickly, and I relate it back to high school and middle school in that, I think, that’s where I really learned that people wouldn’t really stand up for me. …I realized that standing up for other people and protecting other people is so important. I represent a lot of young people and though parents love and take care of them, sometimes they don’t feel that. So, it really helps the kids sometimes to have somebody really go to bat for them that’s not a person that’s supposed to.” n

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In Your Community

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lot can change in 25 years. Cobb long-timers may remember Town Center as an up-andcoming retail area with a new mall surrounded by emergent neighborhoods. Folks might even recall the pastures and farms pre-dating the mall. Town Center Community’s landscape looks vastly different today with a variety of economic engines amidst burgeoning single family, multi-family, and active

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adult communities. Today, the district still nurtures a robust retail environment but is now home to manufacturing, industrial, freight & logistics, and fin-tech companies, an international airport, and several global and North American corporate headquarters. Importantly, Town Center also is the home of Kennesaw State University with more than 43,000 students, an expanding campus, state-ofthe-art facilities, championship winning

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athletics, and world-class academics. Growing communities do not happen overnight. They take vision, leadership, and investment. For 25 years, Town Center Community Improvement District (Town Center CID) has led with a vision to help make Town Center Community a vibrant place to grow a business, raise a family, shop and work, earn a degree, and enjoy the outdoors. Town Center CID has innovated throughout its history to meet the


needs of the community, helping deliver transformational projects that have made significant transportation, safety, and traffic improvements. These advancements help more parents and students get home quicker, reduce travel time for the region’s workforce, and increase access to parks and trails. As community infrastructure and placemaking leaders, the Town Center CID has completed numerous large-scale road projects, produced detailed corridor studies to inform smarter development, and beautified district landscaping. Large infrastructure projects include the Skip Spann Bridge, Big Shanty Connector, Noonday Creek Trail, South Barrett Reliever, Aviation Park, Bells Ferry Trailhead, and Founders Park. The CID’s non-profit placemaking partner, Town Center Alliance, has developed projects to compliment the extensive infrastructure investment such as public art and education exhibits at Aviation Park, a Chimney Swift Tower and bridge mural along Noonday Creek Trail, a bikeshare program, and community programming like Yoga in the Park. “We have so much to celebrate in Town Center and are excited to build on our 25-year legacy of impact,” says Town Center

CID Executive Director Tracy Styf. Now, we have an opportunity to focus our priorities to meet the future needs of our changing community. With our non-profit placemaking partner, we are engaging our community to create a shared vision for a

more prosperous future of Town Center that includes unique spaces, public art, expanded and connected trail systems, smart technologies and electric vehicle infrastructure, and forward-thinking transportation and roadway improvements.” n

Remembering a Change Maker: Lanie Shipp Hoover Lanie Shipp Hoover served as Executive Director of the Town Center CID from its inception in 1997 until her retirement in 2014. During her tenure, the organization launched transformational projects, such as the Big Shanty Connector, Noonday Creek Trail, and the Skip Spann Bridge, in addition to countless studies and beautification projects. Those who knew Lanie described her as the “epitome of elegance and Southern grace,” “hard working,” and someone who “always wanted what was best for Cobb and the community she served.” Her tireless commitment to Cobb and Town Center has positioned our organization to continue for the next 25 years. “The foundation, created by Lanie, our founding board members, and businesses that have shaped Town Center allows us to focus our passion for building community and lead with a shared vision for its next chapter,” said Kelly Keappler, CID Board Chair. The Town Center CID will honor Lanie Shipp Hoover at a 25th anniversary celebration and will announce an exciting new initiative in her memory.

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In Your Community

Sheriff Owens Helps Inmates Hit ‘Restart’ Cobb County’s reentry initiative offers education, training, and preparation for employment to qualifying inmates. By Jennifer Morrell Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by the Cobb Sheriff’s Foundation, Inc.

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obb County’s Sheriff, Craig Owens, and his command staff are changing the way qualifying inmates think about life after jail. Rather than releasing these inmates back into society both unprepared and unskilled, Sheriff Owens has chosen to focus on educating and training those who want to better themselves and to live a more productive life. “When Sheriff Owens took office in January of 2021, he wanted individuals to be better off than they were prior to incarceration,” says Col. Temetris Atkins, a law

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enforcement professional who joined the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office in 1990. He first served two years as a Deputy Sheriff in Fulton County. “The Cobb County Adult Detention Center was high on population, with over 2,000 inmates, but low on programming. Programming was virtually non-existent, so we developed programing. Our programs center around the notion that you can’t incarcerate your problems away.” Atkins says the approach was to develop a behavioral-based system that rewards compliance and good behavior. From this

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philosophy, “compliance dorms” were created. The compliance dorms are designated dorms within the facility that reward good behavior with heighted privileges and programs. After 30 days of incarceration with no disciplinary infractions and general compliance with the facility rules, an inmate is eligible to be selected to be placed in one of the 13 dorms. “The slots in this area are based on space availability,” Atkins says. “But if you don’t follow the elevated rules in the compliance dorm, you will be removed and sent back to general population. If the


waiting list to be placed in a compliance dorm becomes extensive, we open a new compliance dorm.” He adds that when an inmate enters the frame of mind to qualify for the compliance dorm, educational opportunities and employment become more possible when he or she is released. The goal is to have a minimum of 60 percent of the inmate population housed in compliance dorms. The heightened privileges and benefits of being housed in the compliance dorms are extensive. Though many of the benefits may seem basic and simplistic to the average person who is not incarcerated, inmates find great value in these little, seemingly trivial opportunities. Examples of such privileges and benefits include open-source television, which is valuable as no other areas in the facility have televisions; a more robust selection of various board and card games; and ice buckets issued twice per day. Compliance dorm inmates may individually purchase movies, music and video games through mobile kiosk systems. Messaging also is available as a text form of communication, also individually purchased and accessed through mobile kiosk systems. Another added benefit is an even safer environment. “We have had zero inmateon-inmate or inmate-on-staff physical alterations in a compliance dorm since opening the dorms about one year ago,” Atkins says. “Once an inmate has shown a willingness to be compliant and expressed a desire to be more productive, it is our opinion that he or she has demonstrated a mindset that suggests he or she could be successful in programming that benefits him or her personally.” The programs provided to compliance dorm inmates vary and are aligned with

“We can’t arrest our way out of the crisis of criminal activity. We also don’t want to turn people out being less prepared than when they came in. We want to prepare them to be integrated back into the world.” —Col. Temetris Atkins, Cobb County Sheriff’s Office

the inmates to best assist them. The “Anger Management Class,” which is taught by an in-house counselor but also recognized by the Cobb County Superior Court judges, has graduated more than 300 inmates in the last eight months. Another highly beneficial class, “How to Successfully Complete Probation,” is taught by an in-house counselor with prior experience as a Cobb County Probation Officer. This program has graduated more than 200 inmates in the last six months. “Homeless Help” is a program that assists and provides resources to inmates who have declared they are homeless. Services are offered through a partnership with The Extension, an organization that has helped hundreds of homeless men and women in Cobb County take control of their lives following drug and alcohol addiction. The participants gain the skills they need to recover and lead healthy, productive lives. Various groups have come into the facility to administer Parenting Classes. Recognizing inmates’ growth through this type of training, Sheriff Owens decided to create a more permanent program, which began in mid-August. The Parenting Classes are now taught by a newly hired part-time counselor. “Builders Trade Academy Classes” are taught by the Georgia Building Trades

Honor Dorm artwork shows art from inmates.

Academy Inc. The goal is to increase the number of qualified candidates for apprenticeship, improve the diversity of the construction workforce, and to increase retention rates among apprentices. This is accomplished through the provision of a deeper understanding of the industry and the role of craft unions in construction. Cobb Works is an organization that focuses on customers of all ages, experience levels, and backgrounds who can benefit from additional training to increase earning potential. The group facilitates the “RESTART Program” in the compliance dorms, which is an education and employment program for inmates. Additionally, to assist inmates with voting rights information, the Cobb County Charter of the NAACP provides voter registration applications and instructions to inmates. Through the “Facilities Upkeep Program,” select individuals from the compliance dorms may volunteer to be a part of a group that assists the maintenance team and custodial engineer teams with small projects throughout the facility. Sheriff Owens and his command staff believe many inmates enjoy participating in productive tasks and appreciate the opportunity to learn valuable skills. An inmate-led art class also is available in the compliance dorms and is highly popular. “We can’t arrest our way out of the crisis of criminal activity,” Atkins says. “We also don’t want to turn people out being less prepared than when they came in. We want to prepare them to be integrated back into the world.” Though mindful of security and keeping the primary mission at hand, Sheriff Owens and his command staff are bettering the futures of inmates, teaching them that it’s never too late to start again and to build a promising future. n SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022

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A rts & Recreation

2nd Annual MBA Golf Tournament Tees Off In October

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he Marietta Business Association (MBA) is hosting the 2nd Annual MBA Golf Tournament on Oct. 21, 2022, sponsored by Associated Credit Union. This is an excellent opportunity to promote business and community engagement in Marietta and the surrounding area, the MBA says. There will be great food from local vendors, beverages sponsored by Red Hare Brewing Co., and many businesses engaging with golfers throughout the tournament. This golf tournament is meant to be a fun and relaxing event with exciting twists and turns throughout the day. The MBA gives back to our community through collaborative efforts on projects in education and our local community in the City of Marietta, Cobb County, and the State of Georgia. The organization’s purpose is to promote the civic, social,

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Photos courtesy of Virtually in Focus | Nadja Cook

Dave Young

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022

MBA members and guests enjoying a day on the course. From left to right: Arthur Rush, Brandon Wilson, Steffan Nicholson, Alexandra Carpanzano, and Doug Sawyer.


MBA Annual Golf Tournament Friday, Oct. 21, 2022 Hosted by the City Club Marietta

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE **All sponsorships include promotional materials in player goodie bags. commercial, economic welfare, and business goals of members. Join them in their goal to build relationships, grow local businesses, and to add value to the economic welfare of our businesses and community. This tournament benefits the MBA’s various programs. Throughout the past year, the MBA has been involved with numerous organizations in the Marietta area to show support and build community relations. The organization has donated to and volunteered with the following groups: • Marietta City Schools •  Community and Schools (Georgia in Marietta/Cobb County) •  Glover Park Concert Series • 911 GROW Restoration Garden • SPLASH at White Water • Marietta Police/Fire/EMS

Without the support of the members of the MBA, its involvement in these programs would have been difficult, so the organization offers a big “thank you” to everyone who donated and volunteered. The funds raised from this golf tournament will continue to fund the MBA and these programs as it continues its Year of Growth. The tournament will be held at the Marietta City Club with registration starting at 7:30 a.m. on October 21. The MBA is looking for both golfers to play and sponsors who would like to promote their business. Whether you are the “ringer” for your team or the business leader to cheer them on, we look forward to seeing you there. Below are the details for the event so book your spot now while they still have room. n

Presenting Sponsor ($2,500) — Includes Presenting Sponsor rights, one foursome in the tournament, VIP on-course promotion at the hole of your choice, logo on all signage.

Schedule

Cost

City Club Marietta Ft. Lauderdale Scramble

$125 per player/$450 per foursome Registration includes:

T-Box Sponsor ($500) — Sponsor set-up on T-box with 10 x 10 tent, table and chairs.

7:30 a.m.   Registration & driving range opens. Silent auction & breakfast served.

• • • • • •

9:00 a.m.  Shotgun start 1:00 p.m.   Lunch & awards

Breakfast Lunch Greens fees Cart Goodie bag Lots of fun!

Gold Sponsor ($1,000) — Includes one foursome in the tournament, VIP on-course promotion at the hole of your choice, Sponsor of Awards/Silent Auction or Meal. Putting Contest Sponsor ($1,000) — Includes VIP promotion on putting green, corporate signage and foursome in the tournament. Cart Sponsor (2) ($500) — Sign on beverage cart during tournament and at drink station at awards.

Long Drive/ Closest to the Pin Sponsor ($500) — Includes VIP promotion on select holes and one player in the tournament. Tee/Hole Sponsor ($100) — Includes corporate signage on one hole or tee box.

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022

31


Final Focus

Empty Nesting

Surfing in Cobb County... We Make It Easy! No matter where you are, you can now access up-to-date information about what’s going on around the county. With local news, events calendars and the latest issue of Cobb In Focus, you can be instantly connected to your community.

Cobb In Focus magazine is now a partner with

For advertising opportunities in Cobb In Focus magazine and these Cobb County websites, contact Jamie Ryan at 770-650-1102, ext. 142 or jamie@cobbinfocus.com. 32

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022

By Cory Sekine-Pettite

T

his summer, most of my friends with children became so-called empty nesters. While not considered an actual clinical condition, empty nest syndrome is a feeling of grief and loneliness parents may feel when their children move out to live on their own or to attend a university. Since I do not have children, I cannot empathize with their predicament, but I can sympathize. These parents are grieving. Their primary role as adults — perhaps their entire identity — has been as a caregiver to their progeny. They are asking themselves “Who am I now, and what do I do with the rest of my life.?” For those who have sought advice or words of encouragement, my first suggestion has been to take pride in guiding their children into adulthood. The hard part is over, I say. Just be there for them now as they learn to live on their own (or with their college roommates) and discover who they are. Their kids’ journeys are just beginning, but my friends still have wisdom to share. If their child knows they can reach out for help or advice (but without judgement) then they will. Of course, my empty-nester friends now are embarking on a new journey of their own. So, I’ve begun reading about what they’re going through and I’ve looked for ways in which their new lives can be rewarding and fulfilling rather than anxious or restless. Fortunately, there’s a great deal of information out there. I suggest leaning into the more active ways of adjusting such as learning new skills or hobbies (cooking/baking, crafts, new languages, etc.). Additionally, I tell them they can travel more — and not just during the summer. They also can join a club or association that caters to their passion or interests. They can volunteer. And maybe they can sleep more! I encourage all empty nesters to enjoy this time in their lives when they are not responsible to or for anyone else, because the next chapter in their lives bring with it new challenges and obligations, i.e., grandchildren. n


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Three-13

Salon, Spa & Boutique

Celebrating 48 years!

exclusive New Guest $75 Offer! Use all today or save the other for later!

$25 $25 $25

Gift Certificate toward a Design, haircut & Finish Expires 12.31.2022

Gift Certificate toward ANY Facial Service

Expires 12.31.2022

Gift Certificate toward hair Color Services

Expires 12.31.2022 4601341

* Please mention these offers when reserving your experience. Must bring gift certificates to appointment to redeem. No cash value. Must be at least 18 years of age. New guests are guests who have never been to Three-13 or it has been over 3 years.

Call/Text 770.426.0313 l Open 7 days! 2663 Canton Road, Marietta, GA 30066 l Three-13.com l Follow us: