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of our Most Outstanding Community Members

Pictured HCPD Deputy Chief Stoney Mathis

September/October 2012

SHRM The world’s largest association devoted to human resource management

The 1st Annual Henry County Person of the Year

Hands of Hope A Call To Serve

SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com


Contents Sept/Oct 2012

61 87




Hands of Hope

The success of Hands of Hope Clinic in Stockbridge lies with the volunteers who make it work. Since its inception, this community mission housed on the Piedmont Henry Medical Center campus has assisted over 3,000 Henry County residents who are uninsured and who cannot afford needed medical and dental treatments. Meet one dentist who has heeded the call to serve through Hands of Hope – and why he encourages other medical professionals to do the same. 3

SouthernJournalMAG.Com • SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012


Person of the Year

Southern Journal Magazine is pleased to announce the first annual Henry County Person of the Year Award ceremony. The choices were many – the decision was a tough one – but after careful deliberation and consideration, the winner will be honored at the Henry County Person of the Year Award banquet on November 7, 2012. So, mark your calendar…and read on to see who won this prestigious award!



Kevin Smith, Human Resource Manager of Toppan Interamerica, Inc. since 2002, also wears another important hat: he is the President of the Greater Henry chapter of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). Read how this chapter almost hit the rocks and made an impressive comeback – and why Kevin’s mission is to encourage all HR professionals to become actively involved in this dynamic organization.

photo by Picture This Studio

january/february SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 2012• SouthernJournalMAG.Com •


Contents Sept/Oct 2012

departments 7 publisher’s letter 9 contributors 10 letters to the editor 11 Henry’s Heroes: intro 13 Henry’s Heroes: Stoney Mathis 17 Henry’s Heroes: Trea Pipkin


19 Henry’s Heroes: Bro. Ralph


Easterwood 21 Business Profile: Edward Jones 25 Henry’s Heroes: Ken Swanson


29 Henry’s Heroes: Keith Mcbrayer 31 Henry’s Heroes: Dean Patterson 35 Henry’s Heroes: ALLAn Imes 41 Henry’s Heroes: Oliver Adams 43 Henry’s Heroes: Greg Lyons 45 Business Profile: Hands of Hope 47 Henry’s Heroes: Katie & Billy Mote


53 Henry’s Heroes: Fallen Heroes 55 business profile: Shane’s Rib Shack 59 Henry’s Heroes: Shannon Richter


65 Business Profile: Henry Oncology 69 A bright celebration for the cure 73 business profile: linda king 77 Business Profile: Correct Med 81 Business Profile: Peachtree Vascular 87 business profile: SHRM

93 5

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91 Georgia on my Mind 93 Business Profile: AAA Restoration 99 Subscribe Now

publisher/ editorial directoR Editor

Lisa Hunter

Diane Smith

Graphic design

Michael Birchall Amanda Fox Troika Studio, Inc.


Darrell Emory Picture This Studio

advertising/ advertising EXEC advertising/ advertising EXEC 678.278.9022

Debbie Swanson

Angie Dudley

P.O. Box 1390 McDonough, GA 30253

We welcome your company and community news. Please include digital photos with your press release and send to Forward product samples or press kits to the Publisher. We cannot be responsible for unsolicited product samples. Publisher does not assume liability for products or services advertised herein. Southern Journal Magazine is published bimonthly by Southern Journal Magazine, Inc. All content are copyrighted by Southern Journal Magazine and reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Southern Journal Magazine reserves liability in the event of an error to a printed correction.

SUBSCRIBE TO SOUTHERN JOURNAL A one-year subscription is $12 (6 issues). Mail a check or money order to: Southern Journal Magazine P.O. Box 1390 McDonough, GA 30253 or visit

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SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com




elcome to the inaugural issue of Southern Journal Magazine!

photo by Picture This Studio


t is said that no man is an island, and that is also true of communities. Henry County is an awesome community. Part of what makes it that way is our interaction with other metro Atlanta neighbors. We will highlight those connections in Southern Journal Magazine. We will share how Kay Pippin and our Henry County Chamber are collaborating with other area chambers to better serve Henry County businesses. Many of our area business and community leaders are also involved in collaborative efforts, and we will be able to tell these stories in our new, expanded format. You might even want to watch for 7

SouthernJournalMAG.Com • SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012

information about day trips and weekend getaway ideas into neighboring counties. The boundaries are limitless! In this maiden issue, we are proud to present to you twelve of Henry’s Heroes. While there are many, many people in the community with hero quality, we feel that these folks are exemplary examples. Many are first responders who put their lives on the line daily to protect and serve our community. And here’s some exciting news – you will soon be able to purchase your very own Henry’s Heroes 2013 Calendar! The calendar features one of these amazing hometown heroes each month. Look inside this issue or visit our web-

site ( for a list of places where you can purchase your copy. So, welcome to the new, expanded and improved version of Henry County’s premier magazine. Grab yourself a cold glass of sweet tea and a seat on the porch and take the first step of your journey through the Southern Journal Magazine. Enjoy!

Lisa Hunter Publisher/Editorial Director

january/february SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 2012• SouthernJournalMAG.Com •





Valerie Baldowski spent five years as a General Assignment Reporter writing for a chain of weekly metro Atlanta suburban newspapers, an additional year as a News Editor for that same newspaper chain, and two years as the Government Reporter for a daily newspaper in Henry County.

Brian Williams is a Program Development Specialist with Fulton County Health Services. He is a former television news reporter and producer. He also is a member of the Atlanta Writers Club and the National Public Health Information Coalition.

Louie Hunter a native of Marion, NC, is a contract lobbyist who has represented clients from multiple interests since 2007. Louie was elected to the Cobb Commission in 1999, and decided to return to politics as COO of InsiderAdvantage (political media) in 2005.

Salita Gray earned a Communications degree from GSU. Her mentor, late Author Alex Haley, encouraged her to study TV/Film. After freelance writing for two newspapers in Bermuda, she relocated to California for a career opportunity at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. Salita and her son, Channing, reside in Henry County.

Diane Ide is a long-time resident of Henry County. She is the Director of Communications for the Henry County Chamber of Commerce, utilizing her writing and editing skills on behalf of a number of organizations. Diane is a member of Stockbridge First United Methodist Church, mother of two sons and an involved grandmother who enjoys hosting family and friends, reading and travel.

Angel Maynard resides in Henry County and is the founder of RedPill Productions www. redpill-productions. com. She is a writer and producer whose work has been showcased at The New York Television Festival as well as California’s Indie Fest.

Beverly Van Gorder has lived in Henry County with her husband, Jim since 1994. They have five children: James, Seth (both of whom are U.S. Marines), Margaret, Noah and Gabriel. She is the writer of our Operation Overseas and Chaplain’s Corner features. She is a Director with Legal Shield, formerly known as Pre-Paid Legal Services.

Denese Rodgers is the former Director of Connecting Henry, Inc. After her sabbatical to Central & South America, she returned to Henry County where she currently works as a Business Development Coordinator for the Henry County Chamber of Commerce.

Shana Latimer earned her M.A. in English from Georgia State University. She teaches Composition and World Literature at Luther Rice Seminary and University. In her free time, she writes poetry and fiction, and she enjoys traveling the world with her husband and two children.

Shavonia Frank is also a recent graduate of Clayton State, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She has a special interest in journalism. Shavonia hones her writing skills as a frequent blogger on When she is not writing, Shavonia serves as a customer service representative at Publix.

SouthernJournalMAG.Com • SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012

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SouthernJournalMAG.Com • SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012

super powers

While Hollywood portrays heroes as having “super powers,” we know that real ones come in all shapes and sizes and may live next door. Some are bigger than life – and others go along quietly, making huge differences in the lives of those around them. As we look around us in our own county, there are many folks who qualify for “hero status.” But after much deliberation, we chose twelve people to depict in this 2012 Henry Heroes issue of Southern Journal Magazine who are exemplary examples of being true community heroes. Many are first responders who put their lives on the line daily…others carry military backgrounds into a civilian position that helps others build better lives. And some serve quietly behind a desk or at a bedside, giving strength and courage in difficult situations.

SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com


Stoney’s dedication shows through in his achievements as well as his education. He has received a number of awards, including: • The HCPD Award of Excellence in 2008 • The NAACP Officer of the Year Award in 2007 • The HCPD Command Staff Award in 2005 • The HCPD Leadership Award in 2000


SouthernJournalMAG.Com • SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012

By Valerie Baldowski Photo by Picture This Studio

The Rock Stoney Mathis

Blends Experience with Passion for the Job


The name “Stoney” brings to mind a stalwart, steady rock. After 19 years in law enforcement, Henry County Deputy Police Chief Stoney Mathis is the epitome of steadfast strength.


toney, 42, began his career in the Monroe Police Department in 1993. He joined the Henry County Police Department as a patrol officer in 1995, and worked his way up through the ranks as a narcotics investigator and narcotics sergeant. In 2002 he was promoted to captain of the Narcotics Division, and in 2005 he was promoted to major. In this capacity, he commanded the Uniform Patrol Division until being appointed Deputy Chief in November 2010. As a college student, Stoney chose his career not quite knowing what police work was really like. “I was introduced to law enforcement while doing an internship with the Comanche County Sheriff’s Department while attending Cameron University in Oklahoma,” he says. “The thrill and excitement was what led me into the career, but the opportunity to help people is what kept me in it. Like most young officers, I thought I was going to have the opportunity to drive fast and carry a gun. Unfortunately, that is not what the job is about. Policing is a full contact job, and the officers have to expect the unexpected.” He is a 1992 graduate of Cameron University in Lawton, OK, with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Criminal Justice. In 2004, he graduated from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Drug Unit Commander Academy in Quantico, VA. He is a 2007 graduate of the University of Louisville’s Southern Police Institute. In 2007, Stoney completed the Executive Chiefs Training Program. In 2011, Stoney earned his Masters in Public Administration from Columbus State University. In May of that same year, he

received his Command College Certificate from the school. A dedicated Christian, Stoney is a member of Glen Haven Baptist Church. He follows a family tradition of public service. His father and three brothers all served in the military, but he is the first one to become a police officer. For Stoney, open communication is the key to maintaining a safe environment for raising a family.“The most rewarding thing about my career is the ability to help the community,” he adds. “Law enforcement has changed over the past 20 years. Today, it is very technical and less personal. I have dedicated most of the past 10 years to developing programs to bring our community together. I feel that if the community and government can work together, things can get accomplished. I love this job, and I love each member of the Henry County family.” The kindness the deputy chief shows towards others is an example of a true leader, says Lt. Christy Nebel, who has worked under Stoney for more than 12 years. “Stoney leads by example. As a leader and supervisor, he would not ask one of his subordinates to do something that he himself would not do,” Christy says. “Throughout the time I have known and worked for him, he has always been willing to go out there and help in any way, shape or form needed.” Stoney has an innate knack for being able to connect with anyone and everyone. “His ability to relate to people regardless of their rank or social status within the department and community is inspiring,” adds Christy. “He has an uncanny ability to relate to everyone and make them feel like they are his best friend. I think this is largely in part to his upbringing and his work experience, as well as his education.” Hats off to Henry Hero Stoney Mathis for being a true “solid rock” in the Henry County community. SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com



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“We don’t have the luxury of only getting it right some of the time; we have to strive for perfect.”


SouthernJournalMAG.Com • SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012


Henry County’s

Humble servant: trea pipkin By Angel Maynard Photo by Picture This Studio


n early July of 2012, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal announced that Trea Pipkin, Assistant District Attorney of Henry County and lifelong Henry County resident, would be Henry County’s new Solicitor General. I met with Mr. Pipkin just 4 short days after being appointed to his new office. We talked about his past, his present and his future. As a lifelong Henry County resident Trea Pipkin grew up on his family farm in southeast McDonough, Georgia. He graduated from Eagles Landing Christian Academy and went on to Reinhardt College where he received an associate’s degree. Trea then graduated 2 years later from business school at The University of Georgia and then earned his law degree at Georgia State University’s School of Law in Atlanta. Following in his father’s footsteps, former Henry County Tax Commissioner Andy Pipkin, Trea is giving back to the community from which he came. Trea has served the people of this community for the past 7 years as an Assistant DA. In his time with the District Attorney’s Office Trea has tried hundreds of felony cases and has assisted with the prosecution of hundreds more. As a public servant and a seasoned prosecutor for the people of Henry County, I asked Mr. Pipkin about his win/loss record, as he is known as one of the more successful Assistant District Attorneys, both past and present. His humble answer says a lot about his commitment to our judicial system and the people it has put in place to serve and protect.

“It is not a prosecutor’s job to balance their record in terms of winning or losing. It is our job to do the right thing, prosecute and convict the right criminals, and at its most basic level to protect the people we serve. I try not to focus on winning or losing. The enormity of the job never leaves my mind. I spend every day of my life thinking about the cases we manage and how to bring justice to the victims of our county.” Pipkin adds: “A prosecutor can never forget the great responsibility he has for charging offenders with a crime. We don’t have the luxury of only getting it right some of the time; we have to strive for perfect.” Like most prosecutors, Trea has dealt with his share of horrific cases involving evil acts perpetrated by criminals against innocent people. When asked how he is able to keep perspective on life in the face of such abject conditions, Pipkin responds: “Human beings are flawed, but the truth is, I am more idealistic now than I was the day before I walked through the doors of this courthouse. I have seen forgiveness and compassion at all levels of the criminal justice system and that is an amazing thing.” The office of the Solicitor General is the chief prosecuting agency for the State Court of Henry County. When asked about his new role as the top prosecutor for that court, Pipkin responds: “I am committed to continuing the same level of service and dedication that the people of Henry County have enjoyed from our State Court for the past 10 years.”

SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com


“Our lives are the sum total of the choices we’ve made.

We can




but we cannot choose the consequences.”


SouthernJournalMAG.Com • SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012



By Beverly Van Gorder Photo by Picture This Studio


ay 1967 marked a new beginning in the life of Ralph Easterwood. He transitioned from being a lay leader in the work of Glen Haven Baptist Church to joining their staff as an associate pastor. Though the environment was familiar---he had attended this church from the age of twelve since its founding in 1947---the change required an act of deep faith. You see, Brother Ralph was enjoying the security which employment with the United States Postal Service was providing for his and wife Gwen’s family of five young children. Nonetheless, sensing God’s call on his life to preach, he accepted the invitation to serve in this new full-time capacity at Glen Haven. He trusted his Heavenly Father to supply the increase and meet all of his family’s needs. Now, 45 years later, Brother Ralph looks back and reflects on where that initial step of faith has taken him. Amazingly, he is still actively serving at Glen Haven. As Pastor Emeritus, he has an office on campus and continues to counsel with individuals and families. He also teaches an adult Sunday School Class of over 350 members. And his community service is predominately on behalf of the Henry County Police Department as he serves in the Chaplaincy Program for the officers. When asked where his ministry has had its greatest impact, he shares, “I have always focused heavily on couples. I started out teaching young couples in Bible study classes and have continued to teach couples over the years. There is a basic need in marriage for couples to build their relationship on the solid foundation of God’s scriptures. One particularly important verse is Ephesians 5:25 which reads, ‘Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it.’ Early

BROTHER RALPH EASTERWOOD on God spoke to me from this passage that I needed to recognize Gwen’s vital role as the ‘heart’ of our home. God has given us men the responsibility to be the pastor of our homes and the spiritual head, but without acknowledgement of the wife as its heartbeat, we will be ineffective in any ministry or vocation He calls us to outside the home. I value Gwen not just as my mate, but as my helpmeet. The literal meaning of ‘helpmeet’ is ‘one who completes’ and she certainly completes me.” Brother Ralph smiles and continues, “Although, I was not always the most considerate husband. Understand there was nothing too good when it came to what I could give her; but in the early years of our marriage I had a sharp tongue. I would often speak too harshly and hurt Gwen though I loved her. Unfortunately one of the greatest abuses in marriage is verbal abuse. It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it. I slowly learned I needed to be aware of how I expressed myself and began to communicate with more compassion and love. “As I became more involved with counseling couples, I found I myself needed to work at being a more attentive husband and father to my own wife and children. Pastors as well as secular workers can become so involved with what they feel they do best that they unconsciously neglect those at home. I realized that verbal abuse and neglect are the two greatest catalysts for causing a home to crumble. However, the responsibility does not fall to the husband alone. Marriage is a give and take---both partners must be aware of how they treat the other. Wives have to remember that even when children come along, they cannot become the focal point of the marriage. I have known too many couples who have nothing left when the last child

leaves home because the husband and wife have neglected each other for many years.” According to Brother Ralph, he has faith in God’s ability to heal any broken marriage, but God lets us choose. To have a good marriage you have to make choices. You have to choose to speak kindly; you have to choose to nurture; you have to choose to be attentive; you have to choose to put your mate first. He says, “Our lives are the sum total of the choices we’ve made. We can choose the choices, but we cannot choose the consequences. Those are too far reaching, affecting more than just ourselves. As a result, it is an extremely slow process to correct marriage problems. Again, it is a choice---will you choose to work to rebuild it?” Brother Ralph will celebrate his 60th wedding anniversary next year. However, such longevity of marriage eludes most couples. Among church folk, 50 plus percent of marriages end in divorce and in the law enforcement profession only 20 percent of marriages survive. These two alarming statistics keep him pursuing what he sees as his purpose during what would be for most folk the retirement phase of life. “I will keep teaching couples and singles, and counseling those trying to put their homes back together. And I will continue to serve our community’s law enforcement officers especially where they have needs for confidential counseling over marriage and other concerns.” Brother Ralph told me his life verse is Galatians 2:20. Throughout his ministry he seems to have been living it. “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com



Edward Jones


…neighbor helping neighbor

By Diane Smith | Photo by Picture This Studio

At Edward Jones, your financial advisor may also be your child’s soccer coach…or the friendly face you run into at the grocery store. This giant among investment firms has more than 10,000 branch offices worldwide and is designed to provide face-to-face, personal service. Almost 7 million investors sit down in an Edward Jones office to speak with their personal financial advisors on a day-to-day basis. Two of the local advisors are Gerry Simon and Paul Rippa. Gerry has been with Edward Jones for almost 13 years. A quiet man with an easy smile, Gerry enjoys getting to know a client. “We become friends.” He currently works with about 385 households of investors, and is licensed as an advisor in eight states. “Many folks start out working with me while they live here in town, and when they move they retain me as their advisor. I know their investment history, we’ve built a relationship – and they know I’m just a phone call away.” He is based in the Stockbridge office on Eagles Spring Court. Gerry’s life experiences are much like those of his clients, and he builds an easy rapport with them. He doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty and says with a smile, “I don’t always wear this tie.” A black and white photo taken many years ago shows him high atop a telephone pole in his past life when he was a lineman for the phone company. He served in the Marines as an aerial refueling navigator, training pilots over the desert…and is one of the founding members of the Marine Corp League in McDonough. He’s a member of St. James Catholic Church and does some of his own home remodeling. How does Gerry advise people to invest in this economy? “You have to take some risks in investments, but in an uncertain economy we keep those risks at a minimum.” And what about the small investor? Gerry shares the story 21

SouthernJournalMAG.Com • SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012

of a parent who brought in a 17-year old son to get him started on the right financial track at an early age. The young man was only able to invest $25-$50 per month. “When I told him it would eventually grow into a substantial amount, he didn’t believe me,” he recalls. Eight years later the young man’s small, regular investments have grown to an estimated $30,000. Paul Rippa, the newest member of the Henry County Edward Jones family of advisors, brings investment experience to the clients he serves at the Highway 155 location in McDonough. He and his wife, the “real” Kelly Rippa (not the actress!), have two sons: Garrison, age 9 and Tanner, age 7. They run together as a family. “The boys can outrun both of us. Kelly is a serious runner – she does marathons. Me, I’m the ‘Clydesdale’ runner – a big, steady plodder,” Paul says with a laugh. He enjoys the opportunity to teach individuals and families about investing. “When I sit down with potential investors and look at their finances and explain options, I want them to really understand what we are discussing,” he declares. “I don’t want the ‘deer in the headlights’ look and a nodding head. I have two rules when I meet with my clients. The first is, there are no silly questions. The second is, we will go over this until you truly understand it.” Paul Rippa is serious when he says he enjoys teaching. He holds seminars at local elementary schools to teach parents how to raise children who know how to save. In addition, he loves to teach people about budgets and planning for college for their children. He was recently appointed to Luella Elementary’s school council. This active dad also coaches soccer for the Henry County Soccer Academy and Upward basketball at McDonough First Methodist Church. Paul believes the key to his success at Ed-

ward Jones is a deep seated need to help people. “I served as a volunteer firefighter for eight years in New York. That experience shaped my life and instilled in me a desire to be of service to anyone I can.” He explains that most people make investments based on emotions and coaches them to look at the long term picture. “When a large company hits a bump and gets bad press, people have a tendency to sell off those investments based on how they feel.” Paul sees it as his job to teach them that: “When all others are fearful, look for opportunities. When people are greedy, make sure you are balanced.” As Paul Rippa looks around his newly acquired office space at Edward Jones, he sums up what’s really important when people are looking to invest. “We don’t look at how much money we make. We look at how rich we are in our lives.” That’s some pretty sage advice, no matter what your financial standing! To find the Edward Jones office nearest you, visit

Edward Jones financial advisors

serving Henry County:

John H. Dorminy(McDonough): Logan B. Lowrey(McDonough): David R. Dodd, Jr. (McDonough): Daniel L. Cash(McDonough): Lin Watts (McDonough): David Shofman (Stockbridge): Gerry Simon (Stockbridge): Jeremy Lange (Hampton): Vanessa Conwell (Locust Grove): Paul Rippa (McDonough):

770.957.0250 678.583.5090 770.898.1735 770.898.1735 678.583.1325 770.506.1994 770.389.8912 770.707.2390 678.583.5079 678.583.5090

pictured (l-r): Gerry Simon and Paul Rippa SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com



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SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com



ken swanson: hero I

f you ask a child who might be a hero, they will likely reply “a teacher, a policeman, a fireman or a soldier.” Ken Swanson is one of those. The 54-year-old Assistant Chief of the Locust Grove Police Department, served as a patrolman for 16 years before becoming Captain then Assistant Chief for the past 12-14 years. Ken knows his life is on the line every day, not as much because of his line of work as for the battle he’s in with a more formidable foe, cancer. When asked who his hero is, Ken responded: “God first; then my dad, who I respect tremendously. He started life as an orphan, but became a good family man who took great pride in taking care of his family. Then there’s my wife of three years, Debbie, who perseveres no matter what tragedy hits (and many have -- Debbie tragically lost her daughter a year ago, faced the potential of losing me to cancer, and lost relatives in the tornadoes that hit Alabama). And then there’s Dr. Gurinderjit Sidhu, my oncologist. She has the most wonderful bedside manner. She has cried with me and listens to me. You know that she really cares about you as a person, not just as a patient.” Ken was diagnosed with cancer of the portal artery leading to his liver in May 2011. And it was bad. His many friends set about organizing a benefit to help raise money for his medical bills soon after his diagnosis. The date for the benefit was set for September 17, 2011. The challenge, however, was for Ken to attend the benefit, since doctors predicted he had only three months or so.


SouthernJournalMAG.Com • SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012

That’s when God stepped in. Ken can tell you the story himself, but not without getting emotional. He saw the hand of God squeezing the 8 centimeter tumor going to his liver one day as he was sitting on his deck praying. Two weeks after his experience doctors performed tests and declared that what they found was medically impossible – 90% of the large tumor was dead and the smaller tumors were totally gone. Suffice it to say he made it to the benefit held in his honor last September and it looks like, while not exactly energetic and healthy, he is definitely busy going about the business of living. “I appreciate life more now, and the things that are truly important – and that’s family. Debbie and I have three children and four grandchildren, with another on the way. I’m so blessed to have them and the rest of my family,” he says. A graduate of Morrow High School, Ken is planning to attend a class reunion in October. He attended Clayton State University and is an avid golfer. He happily joins a group of friends that go to Florida every April for a week of golf. He is both a Mason and a Shriner. He no longer takes the chemotherapy that resulted in as many pains and problems as the cancer itself. He works five days a week when not suffering from occasional nausea, vomiting and fatigue and continues to be monitored to see if the remainder of the tumor changes. In his line of work Ken may again find himself needing to call for backup; however, these days he finds the backing of the One he needs – giving this hero a real testimony to share.

By Diane Ide Photo by Picture This Studio

When asked if there had been a specific incident during his law enforcement career that made him feel like a hero, Ken’s face lit up and he quickly responded, “there was this time when…”

“In 1995 or ’96 I was working night shift when we got a call around 2-3:00 am describing a man in a particular type of vehicle who pumped $6 in gas from a local filling station, hitting the curb hard as he left without paying. The station attendant said the man was seen heading toward I-75 going north. As I got on the interstate, I radioed for assistance in trying to locate the guy. I hadn’t gone very far at all when there was the exact make/model and color of vehicle the attendant described on the side of the interstate with flashers on. A male matching the description was beside the car with a tire tool in his hands. Again I radioed that I had the guy and to come quickly to assist in apprehending him. It was then that I decided to play it cool as though I had no clue that he had just stolen the gas. I got out and said “Hey, looks like you could use some help to change that tire…” He seemed taken aback that I didn’t know that he’d just busted the tire when he hit the curb leaving the gas station. So he played along and we began to change the tire. It was then that I noticed a young female in the passenger’s seat of the car. My backup arrived and when he approached, I signaled and grabbed the culprit and told him he was under arrest. He began fighting me like a mad man – way too vigorously to warrant $6 in gas. He bloodied my mouth and I admit to getting in a few punches in defense. When he was taken in was when I noticed the blood down the front of his sweatshirt and knew that I hadn’t done that much damage. When asked about the car he was driving, he first claimed that it was his sister’s car, when pressed further, he changed his story and divulged that he stole the car in Fort Valley, GA. So I made a call to authorities in Fort Valley who confirmed that, indeed, the make, model and serial number matched a car that had been stolen…..but they got so excited that I knew there was more to the story…… They shared with me that the 17-year-old male and his 15-year-old accomplice and traveling companion actually had escaped from a detention facility in south Georgia and made their way to a church in Fort Valley late in the evening just as an 84-year-old deacon was locking up the church after a meeting. The last to leave the church, his was the only car in the parking lot and the two used a knife to stab him to death before stealing his car. A friend later said of the deacon “He was the nicest old man; he would have GIVEN him the car…..” Within a span of six or so hours after a vicious crime was committed the people responsible were in police custody. Says Ken “Some patrolmen work a whole career and never get the chance to get the ‘bad guys.’ This is one time that I felt like a hero because I was instrumental in taking people like that off the street and helping to right a terrible wrong.”

SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com


We joined the Family…

because we don’t feel like a number.

The eidsons

Mcdonough, gA


• Primary and Preventative care • identification and Management of ongoing conditions • Fracture Management • Minor emergencies, such as stitches and broken bones

• Procedures, such as mole, cyst and skin cancer removal • school, sports and executive Physicals • Worker's compensation • onsite x-ray, labwork and pharmacy


MCDONOUGH LOCATION 1631 hwy. 20 W Mcdonough, gA 30253 Phone 770.288.2822 Fax 770.692.8177 hours: Mon.-Fri. 8am-8pm sat. 9am-7pm • sun. 10am-6pm


SouthernJournalMAG.Com • SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012


3334 hwy. 155 Locust grove, gA 30248 Phone 678.583.0241 Fax 678.538.0261 hours: Mon.-Fri. 8am-8pm sat. & sun. closed

McDonough so much.

so close.


Event Highlights Sept. 1 - 2


Advocare500 NASCAR Race

Sept. 14 - 16

12th Henry Co. Annual Rodeo

Sept. 29

Cinema on the Green

Sept. 30


Southern Square Bridal Show

Oct. 6

Haunted History Tour

Oct. 13

Hogs, Hotrods & Harleys Car/Bike Show, BBQ Cookoff & Fall Festival

Oct. 20

Spirits of McDonough Cemetery Tour

For complete event details call 770.898.3196 or visit

Oct. 26

Trick-or-Treat on the square SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com



meet the manbehind the badge F

irst elected in 2008, Henry County’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer, Sheriff Keith McBrayer, is only the 28th man chosen to hold his position since the early 1800s. He leads by example as he simultaneously manages two adult detention facilities and dedicates himself to multiple community improvement initiatives. In his professional capacity as Sheriff, McBrayer administers a 20 million dollar budget, and oversees 308 employees; which in turn serve over 32,000 civil papers and nearly 7,000 warrants per year. The 908-bed jail facilities provide care and custody to 750 inmates and serve 2,400 meals a day. The Sheriff’s Office also provides security for 14 courtrooms, and School Resource Officers (SROs) to the Board of Education. He also assigns Deputies to assist with Federal Law Enforcement Task Forces and the Flint Circuit Drug Task Force. To help achieve cost reductions, Sheriff McBrayer has renegotiated jail service contracts – increasing technological gains, scrutinizing contracted services, and using funds confiscated by our Drug Task Force Deputies to purchase equipment. The Sheriff’s Office is also helping the County by providing an inmate workforce to take over building cleaning and roadside trash pickup - all part of his stewardship effort to maintain appearances while reducing expenses. Being equally conscientious of the needs of his external constituents, Sheriff McBrayer’s Community Relations Division includes Church Security & Safety programs, as well as Workplace Violence and Senior Citizen’s Awareness. In addition to his full-time duties, Sheriff McBrayer donates his time to the Georgia Sheriff’s Youth Homes Foundation, Connecting Henry, Inc., the Boy Scouts Flint River Council, the Criminal justice Advisory Committee for Southern Crescent Technical College, the Henry County Chamber of Commerce, and Governor


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Deal’s Georgia Commission on Family Violence. He has served on various committees through the Chamber of Commerce, notably on the Boards of Directors for both the Adult and Youth Leadership Henry programs. Long-time Youth Leadership Board Member Susan Howington has served alongside the Sheriff on the youth board for over a decade. “Keith is a great asset in leading our youth to potential leaders and the board members value his opinion.” She continues, “He is always willing to fulfill his commitment and to make each year a great experience for our youth.” More on his youth initiatives…The Henry County Sheriff’s Office Youth Driver Education Program provides a 30-hour live and interactive teen driver program. The Christmas-time Shop with a Deputy, which began in the 90s helping 10 children, has now grown to serve some five dozen children. The most recent outreach is the Sheriff’s Summer Camp. In 2010, the Sheriff conducted one camp. By 2011 he had to expand to two camps in order to meet the demand. Now in its third year, the weeklong camps target kids between the ages of 12 and 14. Sheriff McBrayer emphasizes that it is not just for atrisk children. “It is just for kids. We give them one-on-one time and help them understand how the system works. They get to participate in a mock trial. It lets us emphasize actions and consequences.” The Sheriff goes on to explain, “If someone commits a crime, we will pursue them and bring them to justice. When they are convicted of that crime, we will confine them or transport them to a State facility.” He paused and added, “We make every effort to get the youth of Henry County to learn how to make the right decisions so they won’t be going to jail. I have seen too many families torn apart because of the bad decisions young people made.”

Sheriff Keith McBrayer by Denese Rodgers | photos by Picture This Studios

“ Keith is a great asset in leading our youth to potential leaders and the board members value his opinion.” – Youth Leadership Board Member

Susan Howington SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com



Dean Patterson By Shana Latimer | Photo by Picture This Studio


ix years ago, Henry County Police Department Sergeant Dean Patterson and his brother, Doug Patterson, bought out their father in the family business, Associated Fuel Systems, located in Conley, Georgia. Today, Dean and Doug continue to successfully run the business together. For most men, the challenge and responsibility of continuing the family business would be enough, but not for Dean Patterson. In the mid-80s, Patterson, who is married and has one daughter, worked for the Clayton County Police Department. He was with the Jonesboro Police Department for a few years, and in 2005, by invitation of Deputy Chief Stoney Mathis, he joined the reserve unit of the Henry County Police Department. In 2007, he was invited by Captain Keith Going to join the SWAT team. Patterson made it onto the SWAT team on his first attempt. Two years later, he was made team leader, an entry level leadership position. In 2010, he was promoted to assistant commander. In this position, Patterson, along with Commander Lieutenant Jeff Maddox, plans operations for drug search warrants, barricaded gunmen, missing children, and missing elderly persons. Patterson is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, never misses a callout, averages 80-100 hours a month with the department and, with Captain Butch Newkirk, is a SWAT instructor for basic level and advanced level SWAT tactics in Toccoa, Georgia. Incidentally, he isn’t paid for his work as a SWAT member with the Henry County Police Department. Patterson, who admits to being richly blessed by God, yearns to give back to his community and is thankful for the success of the family business that allows him to do so. He volunteers his time for SWAT because law enforcement is his passion, and he wants to make 31

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a difference in the lives of those around him. Among his memorable moments as a SWAT member was being asked by Captain Going to join the SWAT team, an honor because no reserve officer had ever been asked. Among his most difficult moments was being put as point guy, which means he was first in the door, on his first high felony drug search warrant with full knowledge that the target was armed with an AK-47. He says he thought about his family and worried briefly about the dangers of his job, but his training and teammates gave him confidence to do the job well. Patterson, along with Sergeant Dan Blythe, works on the gang task force for Henry County. Gang violence is a growing concern in Henry County, and Patterson frequently speaks to kids about the dangers of gangs. He asserts that if he makes a difference in even one child’s life he considers his efforts worthwhile. Patterson says he loves his family, God, and being able to give back to his community. Among his passions is cooking. Patterson, also the co-owner of CJ’s Hot Dogs, says that when he retires he plans to go to culinary school. CJ’s Hot Dogs serves gourmet hot dogs, hamburgers, Philly chicken and steak, and funnel cake fries. The original CJ’s Hot Dogs, located on Highway 81, was sold by Patterson to business partner, Darren Miller. Patterson and Miller currently co-own the CJ’s Hot Dogs located at 101 Eagles Landing Parkway in Stockbridge. The list of Dean Patterson’s professional influences is long. He remembers former Chief Russell Abernathy, now retired, telling him he loved him like a son. Patterson recalls that he believed him. It is this camaraderie and trust that unites the next generation of officers, led by current Chief of Police, Keith Nichols, to so bravely enter into danger so that we may live in peace.

and His Commitment to SWAT

Pattersons commitment to his community shows through the following efforts: - planning operations for drug search warrants, barricaded gunmen, missing children and missing elderly persons. - he is on call 24/7 - never misses a callout - averages 80-100 hours a month with the department - SWAT instructor for basic level and advanced level SWAT tactics

SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com



SouthernJournalMAG.Com • SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012

SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com


“Allan Imes has been caring for our family for years. We love Allan and Family Medical because we know we are getting total family care...” - beth taylor


SouthernJournalMAG.Com • SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012




A Hero’s HearT by Shavonia Frank | Photo by Picture This Studio


any residents of Henry County may know Allan Imes as one of their personal heroes - a dedicated physician assistant who welcomes them to be part of the family at Family Medical. What some of his patients might not know is that he is also a decorated soldier who served his country in Desert Storm. He is reticent to discuss this part of his life, but the commendations awarded him speak for themselves: Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medals - 2, National Service Medal, National Defense Medal, GA Active Duty Medal, GA Army Reserve Achievement Medal, GA Army National Guard Accommodation Medal, and GA Army Reserve Component to Federal Service Medal. Allan never had the intention of entering the medical field, wanting to follow in the footsteps of his 20-year veteran father and enlist in the military. In fact, he was offered a military scholarship for nursing school at North Georgia University and turned it down. He only wished to enter the armed services. So when he was called to serve in college for Operation Desert Storm during the Gulf War, Allan was anxious and proud to serve his country. He spent ten years in the military with the Army and National Guard both actively and with the reserves. His time in the armed services holds a significant place in his heart and his memories, but it was when he entered the medical field that Allan’s life changed dramatically. After returning home from the military, the former soldier was left struggling in a

period of indecision. He had a heart and mind to help people; it came naturally to him, but was unsure how to do it. After taking several classes and working jobs that he felt left him with no purpose, Allan was convinced by a friend to do the very thing that he turned down many years before: go to nursing school. Initially skeptical of the idea, it only took a month for Allan to fall in love. “It was the time of my life. It not only interested me but it lit a fire under me.” After six months of pursuing a nursing degree, Allan was offered an externship at Southern Regional Hospital as nurse/tech in labor and delivery. It was during this time that Allan knew that the decision he made was the right one because he had found his life’s true passion. After his externship he spent ten years as an emergency nurse at Spalding Regional hospital. “There were moments that you just cannot explain. People that work in ERs deserve halos. It’s really a hard job; they save lives every day.” After many years as a registered nurse, Allan felt a longing to further his career in the medical field and touch even more lives. He then decided to become a physician assistant, entering the Medical College of Georgia while still working full-time as an ER nurse. As a physician assistant, Allan was able to provide patients with the level of service that he wished to and help more on a personal level. However, he was aware that in the medical field there was a gap for providers with personable yet affordable care, a place where patients can feel comfortable like

members of a family. Allan wanted to fill this gap, so through hard-work, focus and a commitment to service, he built Family Medical of McDonough from the ground up. The clinic’s goal is to be a family practice that does urgent care at family practice prices and where everyone is like a member of the family - even Allan’s wife Lorrie who left her own job to become the practice director. According to Allan, she practically runs the practice, allowing him to focus on patients and “just show up to meetings,” he says with a smile. Even some of the walls are decorated with pictures of Allan and Lorries’ adorable daughter, Ava Grace. After seeing her bright smile on the wall, patients cannot help but to relax and smile even while in a doctor’s office. Patients love being a part of the family. Beth Taylor speaks highly of Allan and his entire staff: “Allan Imes has been caring for our family for years. We love Allan and Family Medical because we know we are getting total family care . . . and the care doesn’t stop when you leave. Allan and his staff follow up with us. They always call to check on us. That’s why we joined the family.” To get this level of service from a medical provider is something that most are not even aware that is available, but this experience is closer than people realize. To have a real-life hero working to save their lives is not only a treat, but a true blessing. For more information about Family Medical, visit

SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com


Regain Life Restore Function Renew Hope

Vincent Galan, MD Amit Patel, MD Doug Freiberger, MD

South Atlanta’s Premier Spine Care & Pain Management Practice

THE LEADERS IN MINIMALLY INVASIVE SPINE PROCEDURES FOR: - Neck & Back Pain - Arm & Leg Pain - Spinal Fractures

- Headaches - Cancer Pain - Other Painful Conditions

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SouthernJournalMAG.Com • SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012

SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com


Main Street M










Event Calendar Ladies Night Out

on the McDonough Square 2nd Thursday of Every Month, 6pm-9pm

Concert Series: McDonough Rhythm Section Saturday, September 15th on the Square 7pm-10pm

Cinema on the Green held on the McDonough Square Oct.

Saturday, September 29th last of the series: Dr. Seuss / The Lorax at 8pm

Hogs, Hotrods and Harleys

Saturday, October 13th at Alexander Park 11am-10pm. Sponsored by Main Street McDonough Program and Hospitality & Tourism Board, INC.

Thriller Parade

Saturday October 27th 6pm-10pm with Festival Ballet Dancers and “Michael Jackson”

For more information go to

SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com






more power when they are ta u g ht

ho w


f i sh , versus someone giving them a fish.”

A Hero In or Out of Uniform

Oliver Adams Teaches Others to Take Financial Control of Their Lives

By Valerie Baldowski | Photo by Picture This Studio


liver Adams is a man on a mission. Enlisting in the Army in 1982 as an Infantryman at Fort Benning, GA, Oliver strived for excellence to be the best at his craft. After numerous combat tours, overseas deployments and travelling the world, he realized early that money management would be key to a successful life. As a paratrooper at Fort Bragg, NC, serving with specialized units such as the XVIII Airborne Corps, 82nd Airborne Division and 35th Signal Brigade, Oliver learned strong Army values that guided him to be a professional in uniform and out. The 48-year old McDonough resident served for 23 years before retiring from Fort McPherson in 2005 as a First Sergeant 1SG. While in the military, one of his leadership responsibilities was to ensure soldiers stayed combat ready. Oliver regularly counseled soldiers under his command to take credit seriously, and recommended organizations such as Army Community Service to those who were overwhelmed and struggling with credit problems affecting their income. He noticed that deployed soldiers with financial issues had a hard time focusing on the mission, but credit counseling took the burden off their family members. “Credit counseling and coaching was equivalent to taking care of soldiers,” Oliver says. After retiring to civilian life, Oliver continued his efforts as a Credit and Debt Counselor. He earned accreditation by the Metro Atlanta Better Business Bureau and was reviewed by the Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection in 2006. He is now president


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and chief executive officer of Buyers Credit Coach, Inc., a do-it-yourself online credit coaching system designed to help clients take responsibility by improving their credit report and tracking disputes. From the perspective of an experienced professional who knows how paying debts and handling credit can affect an individual’s financial situation, Oliver takes a dim view of many bill collectors’ tactics that violate Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules. “The process of collecting on bad debts can become nothing short of mobsters,” he emphatically says. “All collection agencies are not the same. There are a few that follow the FTC guidelines, but there are those who are flat out degrading. The more I research, the more I find collection agencies can be very evil in their practices.” Oliver has been a real estate broker since 1996, and owns Oliver Adams Real Estate Brokerage Services, LLC. Upon returning from a tour of duty overseas, he noticed that the process of buying a home had become more complicated with stated income loans. He decided to become a credit coach to guide veterans and others through the maze of deciding on different options for purchasing a home. Individuals who have been affected by a financial crisis such as loss of job, downsizing, and corporate restructuring do not need to be harassed by aggressive bill collectors, says Oliver. However, people who are unaware of how to stop the phone calls should visit for help

and immediate assistance. Oliver created The Credit Coaching System to help with all credit concerns. “The system removes the intimidation from the consumer by taking easy steps,” he adds. Ever since Clyde Anderson, financial lifestyle coach and a contributing financial analyst for CNN, met Oliver five years ago he has always known the military veteran to be genuine and sincere. “We met while I was in the mortgage business. I was always looking for outsideof-the- box ways to assist my clients to achieve the dream of homeownership and was introduced to his credit program,” Clyde says. “Once we sat down and talked, I realized he was different from the many who were out there offering this type of service. He truly had a passion to help people improve their financial lives, and that to me was invaluable.” Buyer’s Credit Coach is not just a quick fix, but a comprehensive, all-inclusive program that teaches sound financial principles. “BCC doesn’t just take your credit and wave a magic wand over it to say it’s fixed,” he says. “Instead, they provide all the tools needed for an individual to rebuild their credit and repair old issues. “The majority of companies out there take the responsibility from the individual and do all the work, which has no long term benefit to the individual,” adds Clyde. “The individual has more power when they are taught how to fish, versus someone giving them a fish. BCC provides principles and tools that individuals can always use.”

SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com


about presko’s breed (Belgian malinois): • averages 2 ft. in height • weighs 55-75 lbs. • use worldwide for: police work, detection and search and rescue operations • assisted in the killing of osama bin laden • has at least 21 voice commands in dutch

K-9 unit 43

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Meet Officers Lyon and Presko

by Brian J. Williams | Photo by Picture This Studio


cDonough Police Officer Gregory Lyons becomes excited when talking about his work. Some of that is due to this elevenyear veteran officer being an integral part of the elite Flint Circuit Drug Task Force, a specialized drug suppression unit consisting of law enforcement officers from seven Henry County agencies. Yet, the enthusiasm in his voice really rises when discussing his area of specialty. Lyons is assigned to handle the Department’s only K9 officer, a six and a half year old Belgian Malinois named Presko. “This is my third police canine and each one has his own personality,” says Lyons. “This dog is so intelligent that when you go to school to learn how to handle this dog, this dog teaches you. You don’t teach him.” The Belgian Malinois, sometimes classified as a variety of the Belgian Shepherd, averages about two feet in height and weighs between 55 to 75 pounds. They are bred to be “working” dogs, and are used extensively by law enforcement agencies and militaries worldwide for police work, detection and, search and rescue operations. According to an August 2011 article written by Nicholas Schmidle in The New Yorker Magazine, a Belgian Malinois named Cairo accompanied twenty-three Navy SEALS on a covert night raid into Pakistan that resulted in the killing of Osama bin Laden. When President Barack Obama traveled to Fort Campbell, Kentucky to congratulate the team for a job well done, he was surprised to learn that a dog had actually participated in the raid, and made it a priority to meet him. Officer Lyons has worked with Presko for three years, and they are certified as a team by the National Police Canine Association. This means the dog cannot be assigned to anyone else in the Police Department. “When it’s time to go on vacation, I have to have somebody qualified that can handle dogs,” says Lyons. “I have to

find another canine handler or someone that has trained with me and this dog in the past.” Presko assists Officer Lyons in detecting narcotics, apprehending suspects, and tracking individuals. He has been specifically trained to detect heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, and marijuana by K9 Concepts, a Broussard, Louisiana based company that specializes in training dogs in all facets of patrol and narcotics detection. Like many Belgian Malinois used in law enforcement, Presko was imported to this country from the Netherlands. Therefore, Lyons, who was born and raised in Harlem, New York, is forced to communicate with the dog in Dutch! “There’s at least twenty-one commands that you have to know in Dutch,” he explains. Their biggest arrest occurred less than two years ago. One evening, Lyons flashed his patrol car lights on Jonesboro Road as the signal for a driver to pull over for committing a routine traffic violation. However, the driver stopped his Ford Harley Davidson pick-up truck in the middle of the highway, jumped out of the car, and started running into a wooded area. Officer Lyons hit a button that released Presko from the patrol car, who chased and ultimately apprehended the driver. According to Lyons, police found a kilo of cocaine worth about $27,000 and $16,000 in cash inside of the truck. The driver, who was already on parole, pled guilty to drug trafficking. Officer Lyons said this was Presko’s biggest narcotics seizure to date. In a few years, it will be time for Presko to retire. Depending on the dog’s health, he may be donated to another department to work a less strenuous duty; however, the handler often adopts the dog for one dollar. “You hate to see them go,” says Lyons. “On the other hand, when I donate them to another department it makes me feel good because they will be well taken care of.” SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com


Business Profile

A Steady Hand of By Diane Smith | Photos by Picture This Studio


hile the economy has taken a slight upturn, times are still tough. Unemployment still plagues the local community and the country at large. Thousands of people are uninsured or underinsured. There’s a lot of talk about national healthcare reform, but many people need help with basic medical and dental care NOW. Hands of Hope Clinic in Stockbridge stands ready to meet that need for hundreds of Henry residents. Founded in 1995 as a seed of a dream, Hands of Hope is the outcome of Stockbridge resident Janet Turner’s determination to give hope to the residents of Henry County. Janet participated in a food for the hungry program and as she delivered nutrition, she became acutely aware that these same people had no means to get needed medical and dental care. The idea took hold in her heart and in 2004 Hands of Hope Clinic saw its first patient at the McDonough Presbyterian Church. Hands of Hope moved to its current location on the Piedmont Henry Hospital campus in 2007. Since its inception, it has served 3,000 County residents. Its mission is simple: “Founded on Christian principles of helping others, Hands of Hope Clinic provides basic medical and dental care free of charge 45

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to uninsured Henry County residents who are unable to afford the health services they need.” Those served must meet measurable criteria based on income and need. How is this mission accomplished? Primarily through the help of volunteer health care professionals including doctors, nurses, and dentists. Gary Bartholomew, DMD, is one such vital volunteer. He is actually the original dental director for Hands of Hope and clearly remembers putting the dental program together along with then Executive Director Adam Stanfield. Dr. Bartholomew served in this capacity until Dr. Steven Rafeedi stepped into the role earlier this year. Dr. Bartholomew has a thriving practice on Country Club Drive in Stockbridge with a clientele who cover their costs of dental care either through insurance or private pay, or a combination of the two. He has been in practice since 1985 and has served Henry County since 1997. And while he enjoys his success, his heart has always encouraged him to give back. He’s done so in mission work in the Honduras…and right here in his own community through Hands of Hope Clinic. In the past, Dr. Bartholomew had done some work with the Hope Clinic in Griffin. So when he was approached about Hands of Hope he

HOPE replied, “I had a little experience and told them I was happy to help.” Such offers are seldom rejected, and he found himself in charge of the dental program for the Clinic. In his Eagles Landing office, this talented dentist does beautiful dental restorations which can be viewed in scrapbooks in the lobby. But he explains, “The people we serve at Hands of Hope are those who have no other means of getting emergency dental care they need. We get people out of pain who are suffering with a toothache.” Anyone who has experienced that affliction, can well appreciate what his volun-

teer service means to those who receive it. What, in his opinion, is the greatest need at the Clinic? “We need professional medical volunteers.” Dr. Bartholomew emphasizes the need for additional dentists to feel the call to donate their time and services to those who need it the most. (Patient criteria include having an income which falls at or below 200% of the federal poverty level). Most patients are treated on Friday – and there is a waiting list of over 200 people. “I cannot emphasize enough, the need is great, the waiting list is long – please come and

help us!” he unabashedly pleads. According to the website ( Hands of Hope Clinic is a 501(c)3 charitable organization and depends on financial donations for support. Piedmont Henry Hospital is a principal sponsor of Hands of Hope Clinic and provides a medical office for Clinic operations and diagnostic services to Clinic patients. Other support comes from grants, churches, civic organizations, the Henry County government and individual donations.

To make a real difference in the lives of those in the community who are less fortunate, make a donation of time and talents and/or a financial contribution. Donations may be made electronically at or by mailing a check to Hands of Hope Clinic Inc. at 1010 Hospital Drive, Building B, Stockbridge GA 30281. Medical professionals who wish to lend their own steady hand of hope should call 770-507-1344. (Please see page 34 concerning the upcoming Goblin Gallop fundraiser which will benefit Hands of Hope!) SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com




hen you first meet Billy and Katie Mote his persona might appear laid back and shy, while her persona is bubbly with a southern charm. What’s clear is the Mote’s personalities combined exude their love for each other, Christ, and passion to help people in their professions as a firefighter and nurse. Billy and Katie have been married for seventeen years and still have the same gleam in their eyes for each other today as the sparkle which brought them together when he returned from the Navy and she was a junior in college. While Katie’s father was repairing the air conditioner at the Mote’s home, her father met Billy when he had just arrived home from the Navy. When Katie’s father arrived home and told her about Billy, he said to his daughter: “You need to meet him.” Billy and Katie’s parents could not know when the couple first met in 1993 at Riverdale Church of God, that their plans to introduce the military son and the budding junior nursing assistant would manifest to a love story greater than they could ever imagine. By August 5, 1993 while Katie’s family was in Panama City, Florida on vacation, Mr. Mote, Billy, and a cousin came to Panama City and found the hotel where Katie and her family were staying. Katie recalls the fun she had with Billy. “We went riding on go carts that night.” The night of fun in Panama City ignited the fire for Billy and Katie to continue seeing each other when they returned home. The couple believes it was all in God’s timing. By March 5, 1994 Billy and Katie were engaged and dated a year longer for Katie to graduate from nursing school. By early June Katie graduated from college, and two weeks later Billy and Katie were married. Three months after Billy and Katie were dating, tragedy struck when her mother passed. Her father’s grieving was so overwhelming, he had a difficult time raising Katie’s younger sister. Then one day the newly married couple received a call from Katie’s father asking her,“Can your sister come live with y’all for a little while?” They agreed without hesitation. Quickly Billy and Katie’s role as brother-in-law 47

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and sister became parents to Katie’s teenage sister Amanda. Three years later Billy and Katie became parents to their baby girl Kaitlyn. Billy and Katie recall how Billy’s parents Randy and Pat Mote were always supportive of Katie, especially after the loss of her mother. Katie admits, “I have great in-laws and I am very blessed to call them Mom and Dad!” The Mote’s took Katie in like she was their own daughter by helping Katie cope with the loss of her mother. While Billy comforted Katie through the loss of her mother, he had no idea that God was preparing him to console Katie again when her father passed eleven years later. The loss of Katie’s parents strengthened Billy and Katie’s spiritual commitment to Christ, their marriage, and family. Billy first thought about a career as a firefighter when the couple first got married. The dilemma for him was leaving his nine years of employment with Federal Express. Billy admits being a firefighter “Is always something I had in the back of my mind; then I finally pursued it.” He first began thinking about being a firefighter while on a ship in the Navy, “because everyone has to know something about fighting a fire on a ship.” He attributes his ability to think quickly on his feet to his military background. Four years ago he passed a challenging Sergeant’s exam, and then was promoted from Firefighter to Sergeant with the 14th Station in Clayton County. “It is important to lead by example,” says Billy. “My ultimate responsibility is to make sure everyone goes home the next day.” Katie found her passion in nursing twenty-two years ago. She started training as a junior nurse assistant at Southern Regional (formerly Clayton General Hospital) while a senior in high school. By May 2003, she began working at Henry Medical while her second daughter Brennah was five months old. Katie has always been able to work twelve hour overnight shifts. This enables Billy’s and Katie’s schedules to rotate so that someone is always home with their daughters. What is certain about Billy and Katie Mote is their love for family and saving lives is a testimony only God could prophetically design.

A couple’s vow in marriage and saving lives by Salita Gray | Photo by Picture This Studio

“It is important to lead by example...My ultimate responsibility is to make sure everyone goes home the next day.” 

- billy mote

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The by Diane Smith


he sound of fifty state flags fluttering in the wind and the soft rustle of leaves serves as the musical backdrop for the Veteran’s Wall of Honor in Heritage Park in McDonough, Georgia. The wall itself is a 75-foot long granite tribute to those who fought our battles from the Revolutionary War to modern day skirmishes. A walkway of bricks leads visitors along a path engraved with the names and units of many who have served. Special Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day services at this National Military Monument allow community residents to pay homage to those who have served as soldiers for our nation and to those who have died serving. A short drive away, Hampton pays tribute to its veterans with more than 185 United States flags lining Main Street each Memorial and Veteran’s Day. Each flag has the name of a Veteran who has served in wars throughout the years. One flag is dedicated to the unknown soldiers whose names may not be known but whose sacrifice is not forgotten. To drive this gauntlet of tribute to those who have served and died for all of us is a humbling experience. Most Henry Countians remember recent years’ accounts given of three local servicemen who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the United States military. Today, Southern Journal Magazine and all of Henry County wish to take a moment to honor these young men as well as all of our servicemen and women who are, indeed, our Heroes:


SouthernJournalMAG.Com • SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012

PFC Brandon D. Goodine of McDonough was just 20 years old when he gave his life in service to the United States Army. He was killed on June 7, 2012 while on patrol in Afghanistan. He had been assigned to Bravo Troop, 73rd Cavalry of the 82nd Airborne. According to the Henry Herald’s June 15 edition, “PFC Goodine’s awards include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Afghan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terror Service Medal, NATO Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge.” He is survived by his wife, Nicole and a daughter, Katie. With hands on our hearts, we thank you, PFC Brandon D. Goodine for sacrificing your life in dedicated service to your family and your country. PFC Jeremy Faulkner of Stockbridge died at the age of 23 on March 29, 2011 in service to his country. He was serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan with the 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), when he and five other soldiers were killed during a firefight. A notation in the Unknown Soldiers Blog states that despite heavy casualties, the American forces won that battle: “We survived it,” Pfc. Faulkner’s company commander said, emphasizing the heroism of all his soldiers. “When it’s all said and done, Jeremy’s actions speak louder than (anything) we can do here.” The blog goes on to relate that almost 8 months after his death, his fellow paratroops flew by helicopter to present the family of

who gave THEIR all Pfc. Faulkner with a posthumous Bronze Star for Valor. This young man is survived by his parents, siblings and grandparents. We are pleased to salute this true American Hero and are grateful for his ultimate sacrifice. Sgt 1st Class John C. Beale of McDonough, age 39, died on June 4, 2009 as a result of an ambush in Kapisa, Afghanistan. Sgt. Beale served in Georgia National Guard’s 48th Brigade, 1st Battalion, 108th Reconnaissance platoon group. He was one of three National Guardsmen who lost their lives in the ambush. The others were Maj. Kevin Jenrette, of Lula, Georgia and Spc. Jeffrey William Jordan, of Rome, Georgia. Approximately a week after his death, his body was returned home. No one will soon forget the hero’s welcome shown by the Henry County community as streets along the funeral procession were lined with hundreds of people who just wished to say “thank you.” Sgt. Beale is survived by his wife, Crystal, and two children. In June of 2010, the anniversary of his death, a portion of Jonesboro Road in McDonough was dedicated in his memory. SFC John Beale Hero’s Highway stretches from McDonough Parkway to the railroad tracks near The Square. Thank you, Sgt 1st Class John C. Beale, for giving all. Perhaps President Harry S. Truman said it best: “Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.”

“Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom, and then lost it, have never known it again.”

– President Ronald Reagan

photo by Picture This Studio

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SouthernJournalMAG.Com • SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012

Business Profile

k c ha S Rib s ’ e n ha S is on the GROW By Diane Smith | Photo by Picture This Studio


he original Shane’s Rib Shack on the corner of 155 and East Lake Road in McDonough is a familiar Henry County landmark. Founded in 2002 by Shane and Stacey Thompson, the popular restaurant not only offers lip smacking, finger licking barbecue. It also offers a sense of community in a clean, inviting atmosphere. “Barbecue is communal,” Shane emphasizes. “For most people, it’s part of a fond memory, a fun family experience.” Naturally, the best part of any barbecue gathering is the food. And, of course, the sauce – the one used at Shane’s Rib Shack is a “secret family recipe” passed down to Shane from his grandfather, Big Dad. (Watch for more about that in a future issue of Southern Journal Magazine.) Big Dad also passed on a philosophy that guides the Thompson’s success: “Do what you love, and do it better than anyone else!” Along with great food and delicious sauce, Shane’s Rib Shack always strives to offer the best service to their customers. “This is the piece Stacey develops,” says Shane. “We have great employees who provide great customer service.” Visit the original Shane’s Rib Shack on any given evening and you’ll be lucky to find a seat. The place will be hopping. But perchance you don’t find a seat there, there are

seventy-four other locations scattered across nine states – with several more slated to open yet this year. For you see, Shane’s big idea grew from the one little shack to become the fastest growing BBQ restaurant concept in the nation! New Rib Shacks just opened in Huntsville, Alabama; Pooler, Georgia and Indian Land, South Carolina. One will soon open in the Atrium of the Hartsfield Jackson Airport. Coming soon are locations in Bethlehem, Macon and Douglasville, Georgia – and a second one in Warner Robbins; and in Pace, Florida, Slydel, Louisiana; Aiken, South Carolina; and Cullman, Alabama. “We are set on growing in the southeast, specifically Georgia and the Southern crescent,” Shane explains. He is eager to let potential business owners know that there are franchise opportunities available. “Now is the best time to open a restaurant – real estate is available, market share is available, second generation space is available – and the Shane’s Rib Shack brand is tried and true with ten years of success behind us.” He continues, “We have opened specific local market options for franchise ownership in Griffin, Fayetteville, Lovejoy, Conyers, Jackson, and there are more opportunities in Stockbridge. The barbecue segment has great growth opportunity.”

The outgoing, friendly medical equipment salesman turned barbecue entrepreneur doesn’t just “sell” a franchise. He and Stacey work closely with franchise owners. They supply operations support; purchasing and distribution; marketing, real estate, financial and legal support; store development…and sometimes just a shoulder to lean on and an encouraging word. “As a franchise owner you are your own boss. We have all systems in place to make you successful. It can be monetarily rewarding and also part of the American dream.” Shane’s fills a market niche that is fast growing. “Consumers have traded from ‘casual’ to ‘fast casual,’” says the founder. “That is what Shane’s Rib Shacks offer – high quality food at a lower price than your typical ‘sit down’ casual dining. And you can get quality meals to go, faster delivery of service – and there’s no tipping required to add cost.” To learn more about franchise opportunities with one of the South’s fastest growing business interests, go to www.Shanesribshack. com or email View video testimonials from other franchise owners on the “Own Your Own Shack” page. Then, get ready to succeed as the proud owner of a new Shane’s Rib Shack - after all, the world needs more good barbecue!

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SouthernJournalMAG.Com • SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012

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220 Jonesboro Rd Mcdonough, GA 30253 770-898-1735 SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com



Shannon Richter S

hannon Richter started off the conversation, “I always wanted to be a firefighter.” And that’s exactly what he became… Shannon grew up in Henry County, off of Chambers Road and graduated from Eagles Landing High School. As a senior member of the Golden Eagle Wrestling Team, he finished 4th in the Georgia State Championship for his weight class. The ELHS wrestling program, where he participated, encourages “academic success, sportsmanship, work-ethic, determination, and many other life lessons provided by the oldest sport known to man.” Shannon credits his former wrestling coach, Don Williams, as having “played a big part” during his formative years. After high school, he was accepted at West Virginia Tech, where he played football as a lineman for the Golden Bears. Returning home to Henry County he worked construction with his brother while attending EMT School. In 2004, Shannon married his high school sweetheart, Antoinette, and they now are the proud parents of two little boys, Crew and Colt. He thanks his Dad, Don Richter, for teaching him his work ethic and dedication. “He was always there. He was even best man at my wedding.” He joined the Henry County Fire Department as a Firefighter/Paramedic in October 2005, and is currently working out at Station 5 in Hampton. Firefighters work in teams, and Shannon’s partner for the last three years has been Danny Spohn, about whom he says, “I know what he’s going to do; he knows what I’m going to do – It makes the job easier.” Operations Chief Brad Johnson explained more about the dual discipline of the job.


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“Shannon is a certified firefighter and a licensed paramedic. He’s able to provide Advanced Life Support Care, which includes administering medications, or intubation if needed.” He went on to say, “The firefighter/ paramedics work one shift riding the fire truck, and then the next shift in the ambulance.” Shannon emphasized the importance of training – both as an individual and for the team. “Our call volume is increasing and (countywide) we’re up to about 22,000 calls annually.” Subsequently, the firefighters have to maximize their training time, “We train on every shift, it helps us immensely. When we train as a company, we work toward everybody’s strong points.” He also stressed the value of their ‘table top’ training, where scenarios are presented to the team for analysis and planning purposes. When asked to describe his job, Shannon shakes his head, “You see it all. The challenge,” he says, “is being on your toes at all times. You have to be prepared for the unknown.” With dual certification as a firefighter and a paramedic, he fills both roles. When asked about the difference in riding on the fire truck as opposed to the ambulance… He grins, “Once a situation is over, the ambulance goes to the hospital while the fire truck goes back to the station. Other than that, there’s not a lot of difference.” Shannon works as one of the 282 Henry County Fire Department Personnel. According to the Henry County website, “The fire department operates 13 fire stations, 13 engine companies, 3 ladder trucks, 10 advanced life-support medical units, and 2 heavy rescue units.”

Wrestling Fires, Saving Lives By Denese Rodgers Photo by Picture This Studio

“The challenge is being on your toes at all times. You have to be prepared for the unknown.” 

- Shannon richter

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Southern Journal Magazine Presents…

The Henry County Person of the Year by Diane Smith | Photo by Picture This Studio


For decades, magazines have introduced, promoted, honored and paid tribute to many of the communities finest businesses and individuals. We conferred with community leaders, with the “movers and shakers” of our time and have shared their collective wisdom with our readers. Now Southern Journal Magazine wishes to celebrate these cumulative efforts by holding our very first Henry County Person of the Year award banquet…and YOU are invited! “The Henry County Person of the Year Award was created to honor a person, group, concept or innovation that has done the most to influence the events of the year,” explains Lisa Hunter, Publisher of Southern Journal Magazine. “ This will be a huge event and we are so excited to present our inaugural award to Piedmont Henry Hospital for changing the face of our community in the past year.” The Henry County Person of the Year Award banquet will be on November 7, 2012. There will be a VIP reception for Governor Nathan Deal at 6:00 p.m. at the Eagles Landing Country Club. After the reception, the banquet will begin. “Having Governor Deal join us to present the award is a true honor for our county,” notes Lisa Hunter. Attire for the evening is formal and guests will enjoy dinner and dancing as part of the evening’s celebration. This special evening will surely sell out. For tickets, sponsorships and the VIP reception, please contact Lisa Hunter ( Beth Taylor of Southern Journal Magazine and Dee Dee McIntyre of Henry Council for Quality Growth are co-chairs for the event. Dee Dee explained her role in helping to plan this gala event: “As a Vice President and Commercial Lender for Fidelity Bank, it is an 61

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honor to serve our local community. I am an Executive Board Member for the Henry Council for Quality Growth; I chair the membership committee and co-chair Southern Journal Magazine’s ‘Person of the Year’ banquet. This organization provides a platform for business leaders, elected officials and government entities to work together with a common goal: a thriving, growing local economy. When we join together, everyone prospers. The Henry Council for Quality Growth is important to me because Henry County is my home; it’s where I live, work, worship and raise my family. It is a privilege to serve my community as we work to enhance quality of life and build a better tomorrow.” Family Medical Clinic is the Presenting sponsor for the Henry County Person of the Year Award, and practice director Lorrie Imes was emphatic about the reasons why: “When Lisa approached me about sponsoring this event, how could I say ‘no’? I told her I wanted to be the presenting sponsor for the following reasons: One, Lisa and her team at Southern Journal Magazine have been so supportive of our business and most importantly this community. She has proven her loyalty to us and this community over and over. Secondly, she told me she was partnering with the Henry Council for Quality Growth which is an outstanding organization that is essential for bringing quality businesses to Henry County … a topic that I know every citizen of Henry County is passionate about. “And thirdly, Henry County is full of so many individuals and businesses that deserve to be recognized and knowing that Lisa wanted to put a face to just one of these many deserving people was just too good to pass up. We Henry County citizens are so lucky to be a

member of such a wonderful community filled with those who give of themselves and their businesses every day to make our county a home in which we can flourish as individuals and business owners. “Family Medical is whole heartedly committed to the people and communities of Henry County and as such, feels obligated to help recognize any person or organization that adds value to the quality of life of the Henry County citizen. I am proud to call Henry County my home … there is no place I would rather plant my feet daily!” The selection committee based its selection on criteria that determined which individual or organization had impacted Henry County the most in the past year. After careful deliberation, the choice was Piedmont Henry Hospital. Upon learning of the recognition, Piedmont Henry Director of Marketing and P.R. Donna Braddy commented, “Piedmont Henry is honored to be selected as Southern Journal Magazine’s Person of the Year. This year marks a new beginning for our hospital through our affiliation with Piedmont Healthcare. This partnership will result in tremendous benefits for our hospital, our patients, our employees and our community. Piedmont is a successful, strong, progressive organization that has a great reputation for providing excellent patient care and outstanding service. Our hospital is an integral part of Henry County and the surrounding communities. Our community trusts us with their lives and the health. We are honored to be a part of this community.” A big Southern Journal Magazine hats off to Piedmont Henry Hospital for earning this prestigious award!

pictured (l-r): Lorrie Imes Family Medical Clinic, Presenting Sponsor Beth Taylor Southern Journal Magazine, Co-Chair Dee Dee McIntyre VP Fidelity Bank, Co-Chair SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com



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Business Profile

A Commitment against Cancer


im N. Vu, M.D., medical director of Henry Radiation Oncology Center, treats dozens of cancer patients each month, all with one goal in mind: Beating cancer. Even though the odds of surviving the disease continue to improve, cancer remains more prevalent than any of us would like to see. The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 48,000 Georgians, including those from Henry County, will face a battle with cancer in 2012. The treatment of cancer is complex, and while not all patients require radiation therapy, the majority of patients are indeed treated with radiation at some point during their battle. Henry Radiation Oncology Center, with the support of Piedmont Henry Hospital, is committed to every patient in need of radiation therapy in Henry and surrounding counties. The careful integration of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy is essential to successful cancer treatment. Area physicians have long supported this multi-modality model of cancer care. In fact, the cancer program at Piedmont Henry Hospital is approved by the American College of Surgeons, which establishes quality standards that ensure a multidisciplinary and comprehensive approach to the treatment of malignant diseases.

Radiation Oncology Services (ROS), a leader in radiation therapy in the Atlanta area since 1975, provides state-of-the-art radiation therapy at Henry Radiation Oncology Center on the campus of Piedmont Henry Hospital. ROS physician, Kim Vu, M.D., leads that effort as the center’s medical director. After careful coordination with the medical oncologist, surgeon and other physicians, Dr. Vu plans an exact course of action for each individual patient. That plan is then presented at ROS’ weekly Evidence Based Peer Review conference. The conference is a format for ROS’ 13 board-certified radiation oncologists to give their experienced opinions as to how best treat each patient. Patients and their families can take comfort that Dr. Vu has the full support of ROS in the well-coordinated delivery of the patient’s unique treatment plan. Under Dr. Vu’s leadership, the entire staff at Henry Radiation Oncology Center is committed to the well being of cancer patients. Helping patients beat the odds is the collective goal of all involved. The warm, friendly environment of the center provides the backdrop to help meet the complex challenges of each patient’s journey with cancer. To learn more about Henry Radiation Oncology Center, Dr. Vu, the staff or services, please visit or call 678-251-1099.

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and Tanger

presented by



by Diane Smith | Photo by Picture This Studios

re you ready to party with a purpose? Have you or someone dear to you had to battle for your life against breast cancer? Then join Tanger Outlet and Southern Journal Magazine in an evening open to the public of fun, food, drink and savings to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness month and the Tanger PinkSTYLE campaign with a Pink Partini on Tuesday, October 2nd, beginning at 5:30. A Bright Celebration for a Cure! “This will be an all out effort to raise funds


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to help battle this disease that has stolen so many lives,” states Lisa Hunter, Publisher of Southern Journal Magazine. “We are privileged to partner with Tanger’s annual effort to raise both awareness and funding to help find a cure for breast cancer.” The Pink Partini has something for everyone. It will be a family-friendly event held at the Locust Grove Tanger Outlet Center. Guests will enjoy free appetizers (including Henry

County’s own Shane’s Rib Shack), signature cocktails for a donation in the tent outside of Levi’s and swag bags and commemorative t-shirts will be distributed to the first 150 attendees. Guests will have an opportunity to capture memories of the evening’s fun in a PINK Fashion photo booth! Coordinating the event is Holly Duffy, General Manager of the Locust Grove Tanger Outlet, and her associates. Holly shares that one of the

“It is an honor to be part of bringing awareness to preventing and to curing breast cancer. Even though October is the month we emphasize awareness, I think we should remember all year to continue all efforts to finding a cure for this disease.” - Sheriff Keith McBrayer

keys to the fundraiser’s success will be the sale of 25% Pink Coupons. Cards will be sold at the Pink Partini event, Shopper Services and online at The discount coupons will also be sold in select retail partner stores for cash only. Also take advantage of the opportunity to purchase the annual 25% Off PinkSTYLE Cards for $1.00 each (for single item purchases). These can be used at Tanger Outlet Centers Wednesday, September 12 – Thursday, October 25. All proceeds from PinkSTYLE card sales will benefit The Georgia Breast Cancer Coalition Fund with a portion being donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Guests will also enjoy a breast cancer survivor fashion show highlighting the biggest fall trends and can register to win door prizes provided by national Tanger brands including Under Armour, Columbia, Brooks Brothers, Talbots, Jockey and more. No registration necessary. Raffles will also be held to win more valuable items such as a Coach handbag and designer sunglasses. One of the evening’s highlights will be a chance to meet the Henry’s Heroes featured in this issue and in an upcoming 2013 calendar. They will be available throughout the evening to autograph calendars and for photos. Hero Stoney Mathis, Henry County Deputy Police Chief, has a personal reason to join in

“I am honored to be a part of this group! I have a lot of friends that breast cancer has touched and I think we are all in a fight to combat this horrible disease.” - Dean Patterson, HCPD SWAT

the fight. “I am a firm believer that we should do all that we can to protect the women in our lives. My mother has had three different types of cancer over the past ten years and it’s a devastating disease, I will do everything that I can to help women prevent breast cancer. Self examination and regular mammograms is a great start, because early detection is the key. I would not be the person that I am today if it were not for my mom.” Holly explains, “The money raised by Tanger will be donated to the Georgia Breast Cancer Coalition Fund and The Breast Cancer Research Foundation through the Stanley K. Tanger Breast Cancer Fund.” She continues, “Cancer effects each of us in some way - either personally or a friend or family member in our life time will have to endure this horrible disease. It is our desire to help to find a cure in OUR

lifetime. Being a good corporate citizen and being active in helping make a difference in our communities is the root of our success.” This effort is not a new one for the Tanger family. Since 1994, Tanger Outlet Centers have contributed in excess of $10 million to help create awareness for the importance of early detection, to support educational programs to improve the quality of life for patients and families and most importantly to help fund research necessary to find prevention and a cure for breast cancer. “Tanger is proud to join with our retail partners and our customers in a team effort to put an end to breast cancer,” said Steven B. Tanger, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc. “Our goal is to help raise and donate the funds necessary for breast cancer research so that a cure and prevention can be found.”

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SouthernJournalMAG.Com • SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012

Business Profile

become a


HERO by Diane Smith | Photo by Picture This Studio


dmit it – as parents, we want to be heroes to our children. We want them to turn that wide eyed look of wonder on us – the one they usually reserve for Spiderman or Wonder Woman. And who is better qualified to be a true hero in the lives of our little ones than the Mom or Dad who has such influence on their daily lives? We mold them and shape them and pray for their futures. But what are we doing to help them preserve their smiles? That is a question that Dr. Linda King – the Beautiful Smile expert located in Locust Grove – often asks parents. Unfortunately, cavities and other dental problems can usually be traced directly to parents and how we handle our children’s nutrition and monitor daily oral care. Yikes! “Think about what your child puts in his or her mouth,” Dr. King relates. “Sipping apple juice all day long will soon take its toll


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on your child’s teeth. It has no nutritional value. Even bottled water can affect the PH balance in your mouth, and affect the acid in your saliva.” So what is the best thing for my child to drink, you may ask? “Tap water,” she says with a laugh. “Just tap water.” This well-studied expert explains that it takes two hours for the saliva in our mouths to neutralize excess acid. And what about those sugary rewards that are given out at daycares and classrooms – lollipops and other candy? “Cavities and tooth decay. If parents are aware of what causes problems with their children’s teeth, they can save lots of money at the dentist and prevent their child from having to undergo any uncomfortable procedures.” In an unusual but apt analogy, Dr. King likens children to race horses. “Like the horses, they are built for speed and power. If you owned a million dollar race horse, you wouldn’t feed it chips and cookies and soft drinks. You would feed it the things it

would eat naturally – grains and fruit and carrots.” The same principal applies to best practices for children. Another potential danger to children’s teeth is trauma. Dr. King recalls a time when a 9-year old child had an accident during field day at school. She received an emergency call, and when the child arrived she was accompanied by the school principal, teacher, parents – “The lobby was full!” When she assessed the damage, Dr. King found that one tooth had been knocked out completely and one had been pushed back. “At nine years old, these were permanent teeth,” she explains. Could the teeth be saved? “Yes! I was able to move the one tooth back in place and reattach the other one.” The child spent a few days in discomfort, but she kept her teeth! How best to handle such a crisis? “Get help immediately. Put the knocked out tooth in warm water or warm milk. Do not clean it first and do not put it in ice

water! Then bring your child in as quickly as possible.” That’s a definite step toward achieving hero status! To help prevent such trauma to the teeth, Dr. King emphasizes that all children in any contact sport need to wear mouth protection. Whether it’s karate or football, the mouth must be protected. Maybe we haven’t all been the dental heroes that our children have needed. But Dr. King and her staff are never about putting us fallible parents on a guilt trip. “Start now making the needed changes. Encourage your child to give up processed sugar for the natural sugars found in fruit. Tell the guy at the grocery store who is offering your child the cookie of the day, ‘No thank you!’” Dr. King, who is a mother herself, goes on to explain, “Just as we look at the general health of our adult patients – such as checking their blood pressure before

we begin work- we look at a child’s general wellbeing.” She continues, “For instance: if we notice that a child has very large tonsils, we let a parent know that this might trigger sleep apnea in the child. The symptoms of a sleep deprived child often mimic ADD or ADHD.” Okay, so your child still may not look at you like he looks at Spiderman. But one day when he looks in the mirror and sees a Beautiful Smile on his own face, perhaps he’ll appreciate the fact that you cared enough to help preserve it…with the help of the Beautiful Smile expert and her team in Locust Grove! For more information, visit or call 770-898-8872.

...One day when he looks in the mirror and sees a beautiful smile on his own face, perhaps he’ll appreciate the fact that you cared enough to help preserve it...

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Business Profile

Lab Achieves COLA Accreditation by Shana Latimer | Photos by Picture This Studio


orrectMed, founded by Dr. Carlo Musso and FNP-C Linda Faulkner, opened its doors in Locust Grove in October 2010 and provides Primary and Urgent Care. Their focus is on providing personalized, quality healthcare to patients three months old and older. CorrectMed provides traditional and holistic treatment options, mental health and counseling services, and advisement about weight loss.

children to more serious conditions in infants and those in certain high-risk groups.

The Locust Grove Primary Care facility is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. The Urgent Care facility, open seven days a week, is capable of taking care of many emergency conditions at less expense to the patient than most emergency room visits, and is equipped to take X-rays, and process lab work. Although no appointment is necessary for the Urgent Care facility, the hours vary, so be sure to call or check their website before visiting.

According to COLA’s website, www.cola. org, “COLA accredits almost 8,000 medical laboratories and provides the clinical laboratory with a program of education, consultation, and accreditation.” COLA’s mission statement, also found on their website, “is to promote excellence in laboratory medicine and patient care through a program of voluntary education, consultation, and accreditation.”

In November 2011, CorrectMed added an additional office in Decatur that specializes in Pediatric Primary and Urgent Care. It is similarly equipped to the Locust Grove location, although its focus is on pediatrics, and its lab also offers Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) testing, which is commonly found in children and can range from cold-like symptoms in older


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The Commission on Laboratory Accreditation, otherwise known as COLA, was founded in 1988 and serves as a “private alternative to help laboratories stay in compliance with Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA).” CorrectMed’s Locust Grove and Decatur labs recently achieved COLA accreditation.

CorrectMed’s lab manager at both the Locust Grove and Decatur locations, Lisa Garrett, states that COLA accreditation positions CorrectMed’s lab as a premiere lab and assures physicians that the lab produces quality results. COLA accreditation also assures physicians that CorrectMed is following CLIA regulations, which ensures the competency of all lab personnel, regular validation of lab instruments,

daily quality control, and continuing education for lab workers. Continuing education is an important aspect of the ever evolving world of medicine and helps keep medical personnel at the forefront of medical breakthroughs and testing, which helps lab managers like Lisa Garrett learn more efficient ways to run their labs. Garrett attended a COLA symposium held in Las Vegas, Nevada from April 18-21 of this year that focused on transforming and maintaining labs as centers of excellence. The symposium was geared toward lab managers and directors and offered lectures about increased competency, assessment, and quality assurance. Garrett has plans to attend upcoming COLA symposiums and locally sponsored workshops that focus more on managing labs in the most fiscally responsible ways possible. Future plans for CorrectMed include opening another location in the Fayetteville or Peachtree City area. To learn more about CorrectMed, visit their website at To schedule an appointment at the Locust Grove location, call (770) 626-5740, or to schedule an appointment at the Decatur location call (770) 626-5760.

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“The recovery was very quick – I was back to normal activities within a couple of days.”


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Getting a

Business Profile

leg up on pain by Diane Smith | Photo by Picture This Studio


t first, Lieutenant Tommy Lloyd of the Henry County Fire Department (HCFD) attributed the heaviness and pain in his legs to being past forty-years old. As time went on, however, he began to wonder if it wasn’t due to a medical condition. “My legs would ache after exercise or standing for long periods of time,” he relates. “They would swell and sometimes they bothered me so badly at night that it affected my sleep.” Lt. Lloyd is a Tech Rescue Lieutenant at Station 11 of the HCFD. With a trim, athletic physique, he is involved in special operations calls for the department – rope rescues, hazardous materials, someone caught in a dirt collapse in a trench. In spite of his build and active lifestyle, the problems with his legs arose and steadily worsened. “I never stopped being active – I play basketball and softball. But I finally knew I had to find out what was wrong with my legs.” When he decided to get a diagnosis for the pain, he contacted Peachtree Vascular Specialists. With offices in Stockbridge and Decatur, Peachtree Vascular cares for patients with venous and arterial vascular issues. This might include symptoms like Lt. Lloyd’s – painful, “heavy,” and swollen legs – as a result of varicose veins, venous stasis ulcerations, and lymphedema. Many of the procedures are done within the office and do not require hospitalization. Lt. Lloyd consulted with Dr. Alan Levy and learned that varicose veins were the source of the leg aches and swelling. The first step of treatment required wearing compression stockings to see if the legs would respond without surgery. In Tommy’s situation, they did not and laser surgery was scheduled. “They did one leg at a time, allowing one to heal before they did the other,” he recalls. “It

was a totally painless procedure and was done in about an hour and a half. The recovery was very quick – I was back to normal activities within a couple of days.” Peachtree Vascular Specialists has been performing this laser procedure in their office for nearly a decade. An ultrasound is used to identify the varicose vein. After just a local anesthesia and a needle stick, a laser is precisely placed at the top of the leg. The laser delivers heat energy to the vein, closing it off to circulation - removing it from circulation without removing it from the body. The actual procedure takes 30 minutes or less and patients exit with a BandAid and stockings and leave their pain behind! Alternatively, patients are admitted to the hospital for several days, undergo vein stripping surgery with weeks of recuperation. When asked about the results of the treatment, the native Henry County resident is emphatic: “It’s like night and day. I have no swelling, no achy pains in my legs. I’m sleeping better at night.” He is better able to enjoy time with his wife, Crystal and daughter Samantha, who made the varsity soccer team as a freshman this year. This firefighter/family man now has a “leg up” on life, thanks to taking the time to get a diagnosis and treatment from Peachtree Vascular Specialists. Peachtree Vascular Specialists, PC 1035 South Crest Drive, Suite 250 Stockbridge, GA 30281 770-996-9945 2675 North Decatur Road, Suite 210B Decatur, GA 30033 Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday 8 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.

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SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com



SouthernJournalMAG.Com • SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012

SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com


Society for Business Profile

Human Resource Management – Re-United in Henry: by Diane Smith


n 2009, the Greater Henry SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) Chapter was in total disarray. Only a handful of active members remained and came together to discuss the possibility of merging the dying chapter with the Southern Crescent one. Fortunately, there were some who believed it could be brought back to life. According to the SHRM website (www. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. The remaining loyal Greater Henry Chapter members first identified the key people needed to revitalize the chapter: David Johnson, President; Kevin Smith, Vice President; and Beverly Sanders, Membership Director. They began to work together, setting goals and working toward objectives to increase the membership and improve the programming. Their lofty goals included obtaining and maintaining 30 active members; create a solid speakers’ program; obtain HRCI re-certification credit for speaker topics (11 out of 12

meetings are accredited); joining the Henry County Chamber of Commerce; and developing membership packets. They rebranded the chapter with a new name and logo (Henry Human Resources) to let people know that the chapter was moving forward. Different payment options for membership were added. And then they climbed on the social media bandwagon by joining LinkedIn and Facebook. The hard work paid off – in 2010, the Greater Henry chapter was selected as the Chapter of the Year in the State of Georgia. The membership had grown by 200%! Meetings grew from 10 to 40+ participants. In 2011, this dedicated group was recognized by SHRM with a Gold EXEL Award designation. Kevin Smith, now president of the Greater Henry chapter, shares, “We were the only small chapter to receive a gold award – the other two golds went to Savannah and Augusta.” This chapter now boasts over 100 members and is still growing. “Our mission is not complete until every HR person in Henry County joins the network,” Kevin declares. “It’s a great opportunity for them to expand their network and professional development opportunities.” SHRM Atlanta currently has about 2,400 members and many of the Greater Henry members are also included in that group. The local chapter serves HR professionals outside Atlanta’s southern perimeter. Meetings focus

on professional development, education, networking and community service. They are held the 4th Thursday of each month at Mercer University in McDonough (the 2nd Thursday in November and December). Kevin expounds, “Most HR professionals are required to maintain certification. Eleven of our twelve meetings a year qualify for credits.” Each meeting features speakers who address critical human resources topics. Kevin Smith is only one cog in the wheel that turns the progress of the newly revitalized Greater Henry Chapter. Leadership is comprised of a volunteer board which also includes: Vice President Renee Lewis of Dealers Supply; Treasurer Cathy Raissle of the Georgia Department of Public Safety; Secretary Philippa Stanton of Clark Dietrich Building Systems: Membership Director Lisa King of The Reserves Network; Workforce Development Director Antiganee Constaste of DeWafelbakkers LLC; Diversity Director Mike Mills of Display America; Certification Chair Claudia Cooper of the Henry County Water Authority; Certification Co-chair Jacqueline Karr with Alpla; Governmental Affairs Director Melissa Malcom of Melissa P. Malcom, LLC; SHRM Foundation Director Kim Kincaid of Encadria Staffing; College Relations Director Kim Meredith of Mercer University; and Communications Director Shannon Springer of Hire Dynamics. Board members serve for a two-year term.

For information about becoming a member of this dynamic chapter of the SHRM, visit or email

We were the only small chapter to receive a gold award – the other two golds went to Savannah and Augusta.

SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com



SouthernJournalMAG.Com • SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012

SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com



One of the other neat things that we’ve done is implement an electronic ballot for our military overseas. Secretary Kemp


SouthernJournalMAG.Com • SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012

by Louie Hunter photo by Picture This Studio


rian Kemp, a UGA graduate, took office as the Secretary of State for Georgia in 2010. Secretary Kemp welcomed us into his office and sat for this interview for both Southern Journal Magazine and also for SCB-TV. This column is a partial transcript from the interview. (To see the full interview go to SCB-TV Channel 15) Louie Hunter - We’re here today to talk with Georgia’s Secretary of State Brian Kemp. He was kind enough to let us into his world - a very busy world. Mr. Secretary, I know that those closest to you – such as your wife and three children - know what you do on a daily basis - but we’re here today to let the people of Henry County get a glimpse of just what the Secretary of State does. In my opinion it’s probably the busiest job in state government - you travel throughout the state to various offices; please share your duties with our viewers. Secretary Kemp - It’s great to be with you; and yes, it is a busy office. I’d hate to say that I’m busier than the Governor. (laughter) I want to make sure that everybody knows that’s not the case . Unless they are directly affected by our office, I don’t think most people know just what we do. Obviously right now, being in the middle of all these elections, we’re very involved because we’re working with our counterparts at the county level on that. We also have our own police force that handles voter fraud complaints. In addition, we’re handling licensing and corporate registrations and renewals, and we’re in charge of the state archives. We also regulate securities, so we’re very busy! We touch as many people across the state as any agency in government. And, unfortunately, with the economy like it is, we have done a good bit of streamlining in our agency to help the legislature balance the budget without raising taxes - while the workload increases. Louie Hunter - One of the things that I think people should know about is the steps you have taken to achieve total transparency with every expenditure that this office makes. Secretary Kemp - Well, one of the things that I campaigned on was being accountable to the taxpayer; and I was bound and determined to do just that. One of the things I wanted to accomplish was to put

our budget up online. People can go to the Secretary’s home page and click on the ZBB button and look through every single line item of our budget: what our employee costs are, what our benefit costs are, office supplies - it’s all there. You can actually track each of our expenditures. This helps hold us accountable when we’re building our budget every year. We’ve reduced our budget 25% since 2008. We’ve reduced our personnel by somewhere in the 35% range, and our workload has increased by ten to thirteen percent. Louie Hunter - I think at this point we ought to talk about a couple of the initiatives that I know you’re proud of. The MVP program, for example - tell us about that. I think that our folks will appreciate that. Secretary Kemp - The MVP (My Voter Page) program is an E-government solution that we implemented to use technology to better serve the folks that use this office. Voters can go to the Secretary’s home page and click on the MVP button and put in their first initial, last name and the county where they reside - plus their date of birth - and it will show all the voter information for that person. It will list their voting precinct, directions if it’s new due to redistricting, absentee ballots, sample ballots; you can basically print out a ballot and know exactly where and how you’re going to vote. It gives the voter the ability to do some research and be prepared. One of the other neat things that we’ve done is to implement an electronic ballot for our military overseas. We were one of the first states to have this, and we did this at no cost to the taxpayer. Anyone out there in Henry County that has friends or family in the military, please let them know about this option. We’re also happy about our election night reporting. That’s another E-government solution that we have implemented to be able to report results faster, including online. We are really excited about it and have gotten a lot of good feedback on it. I think that now that the elections are over, people will find that there is a lot of information there that they can use to follow their candidates. The interview with Secretary Kemp went on to discuss other agency initiatives - and also who he thinks will be the SEC football champion! You can watch the entire interview on SCB-TV throughout the month. Learn how your government works, and then make it work better!

SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com




purpose in tragedy By Beth Webb


ome losses in life are so devastating offering condolences is not enough. When a family loses five loved ones in a plane crash or a fire destroys seven homes, words alone are not a proper expression of sympathy. Catastrophic losses such as these deserve a call to action by those in the community in a position to help. Nearly a dozen homes were damaged in the Flippen Woods Subdivision in Stockbridge on June 30. Flames jumped from attic to attic in eleven homes, leaving nearly two dozen people homeless. “When I saw my neighbors suffering, I knew we could help. Our staff immediately started a social media outreach to collect donations of food, clothing and gift cer-


SouthernJournalMAG.Com • SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012

tificates we gave directly to the families,” said Mandy Mode, Flippen Woods resident and Director of Marketing at AAA Restoration Company. Located in Stockbridge, Ga., AAA Restoration Company provides fire, smoke and water damage clean-up and restoration services to homeowners throughout Metro Atlanta. Inspired by the successful campaign to help Flippen Woods families, AAA Restoration Company formed a not-for-profit organization that collects and donates clothing, toiletry items and school supplies to families devastated by fire. “I lost my childhood home to fire so I understand the heartbreak homeowners feel. My own experience with loss drives us to offer superior restoration services to our customers and it motivated

us to form a charity to help families displaced by fire regardless of their financial situation,” said Marisa Robertson, owner and founder of AAA Restoration Company. After forming the charity, the next big milestone AAA Restoration Company reached was designating a name for its philanthropic endeavor. “Stewardship is a core value at AAA Restoration Company. Our most important stewardship initiative is supporting the Brooke Butler Memorial Scholarship Foundation. Christening our charity Brooke’s Closet is a reflection of our continued dedication to this worthy cause.” More information on AAA Restoration Company and its core values can be found on-line at Brooke, a freshman at Union Grove High

Pay it forward. Pass it on. Love thy neighbor. School, perished in a plane crash in December of 2011 along with four other members of her family. Friends in the community created the Brooke Butler Memorial Scholarship Foundation as a way to cherish her memory. The foundation awards scholarships to deserving seniors. “The foundation was conceived as way to use the tragedy of losing Brooke as a catalyst to improve our community. Brooke’s Closet is a wonderful progression of this vision,” said Chrissy Chapman, Office Manager at AAA Restoration Company and Director of Brooke Butler Memorial Scholarship Foundation. Additional information about BBMSF can be found on-line at Staffed entirely by teens, Brooke’s Closet encourages young people to use their time

and talents to strengthen their community. From washing and sorting clothing to organizing and stocking toiletries, volunteers prepare donations for neighbors in need. “Brooke had a giving heart, always wanting to help others. I thank our community for keeping her memory alive in such a meaningful way,” said Brooke’s mother, Alison Butler of McDonough. Brooke’s Closet helps anyone devastated by disaster. The charity depends on donations from schools, churches, civic groups and neighbors looking for a way to make a positive impact in the community. Find more information on Brooke’s Closet, including how to help or receive help, on-line at Pay it forward. Pass it on. Love thy neighbor. All are mantras to stewardship.

At AAA Restoration Company, stewardship means using resources and influence to support the neighborhoods where customers live and work and its mission is to help homeowners rebuild their homes and lives after a fire. Brooke’s Closet is a marriage of these ideals.

SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com



SouthernJournalMAG.Com • SEPTEMBER/OCTober 2012

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