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nne Cooper Top Attorney: LeA TATION AL REPRESEN


March/April 2014

The Crystal Coast of North Carolina’s s Southern Outer Bank

Willett Honda features Point Church ng rni Tu

Introducing the 2014

Top Attorneys

ZIMMERMANWOW Curtis and Carrie Innovators of

March/April 201 4


The Crystal Co

ast of North Carolina’s Southern Outer Banks


Willett Honda

features Turning Point Ch urch

Introducing th



Top Attorneys

ZIMMERMANWOW Curtis and Carrie Innovators of the

March/April 2014

The Crystal Coast of North Carolina’s Southern Outer Banks


Willett Honda features Turning Point Church

Introducing the 2014

Top Attorneys


March/April 2014

The Crystal Coast of North Carolina’s Southern Outer Banks

Willett Honda features Turning Point Church

Introducing the 2014

Top Attorneys

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features Crystal Coast Do you enjoy the beautiful sights of wild horses galloping on the banks of the sea shore, the smell of the ocean and the exquisite cuisine of the seaside? If so, you will certainly enjoy our feature on the Crystal Coast of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This article features activities, accommodations and dining that vacationers can experience on the Crystal Coast. The photographs provide you with a vivid picture of the scenes experienced during a stay at this unique and picturesque destination.


willett honda Scott Willett, friend of SJM, continues to extend benevolence and share local churches with the SJM readership. This issue provides a look into the Turning Point Church, a Christian church that is teaching the community how to live a “God First” life. The Pastor, Michael Turner, is at the helm of a church that is on fire for God and leading the community in sharing love and Christ to the local area and beyond. Certainly, our readers will enjoy reading about Pastor Turner’s testimony and his vision for helping others live life abundantly in Christ.


2014 Top Attorneys Even if you are not currently searching for an attorney to represent you in a legal matter, you will want to read the features on SJM’s top attorneys. Their practice areas span from Probate to Criminal Appeals and everything in between. You will read about dynamic legal minds and how they are impacting their clients, the community and the legal profession. The experience of these nine individuals is unmatched and certainly sets them apart as “Top Attorneys.” 4



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publisher’s letter


n my life, I have had to interact with and even retain attorneys for various reasons. I know from personal experience that when someone is looking to hire an attorney, outstanding service, knowledge, experience and the ability to help their client feel calm in the midst of what can be difficult circumstances are some of the many characteristics that may be considered. The top attorneys we are featuring in this issue of SJM all possess the expertise and professionalism that any client could vouch for. They are not only legal giants, but they also are involved in their communities. They have dedicated their lives to making others’ lives better and ultimately, that is what makes them “Top Attorneys.” Continuing in the same vein of celebrating those who are at that the top of their careers, I could hardly wait to feature the ama“Z”ing Curtis and Carrie Zimmerman, owners of The Zimmerman Agency. I spent a day and a half with the Zimmermans, owners of one of the top PR/advertising agencies in the country and the top PR firm in Florida. Their contagious energy and zeal for life and business make anyone in their presence rise to their level of expectation. The Zimmermans’ sheer will to win and dedication to their clients has propelled them to stardom in their industry. I know that you will enjoy reading about their accomplishments and business philosophy. The Zimmerman Agency represents the Crystal Coast on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. You will read about this very unique vacation destination and witness through photographs the breathtaking scenery that captivates visitors young and old. I have no doubt that once you read about this gem of the East Coast you will put the Crystal Coast on your list of destinations to visit.

So, as we say good-bye to winter and welcome in the spring, I hope that you are inspired by the stories of success that we share in this issue. My hope is that you are renewed by the passion and energy of each of our stories. As the Zimmerman Agency aims to “wow” each of its clients; I, too, hope that, after reading this issue of SJM, you are saying “wow” and are looking forward to the next issue.

Lisa Kinchen Publisher/Editorial Director

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Like us on

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AmaZing time with Carrie Zimmerman. #worldofsjm #Zlife 6

photo by: Picture This Studio

Henry County Day at the Capitol #worldofsjm


ZWOW Cole Zimmerman #worldofsjm #Zlife

We love Willet Honda. #willetthondastyle #worldofsjm

publisher/ editorial directoR Lisa Kinchen | Managing Editor Careshia Moore | editor Karina Timmel CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Beverly Van Gorder Valerie Baldowski Jessica Dauler Brent Hardgrave Ginny McCormack Lydia Pierre

Coming Next Issue...

Top SpaS

Kelsey Greene Vanecia Thompson Graphic design Michael Birchall Michelle Robb Maddie Fees Troika Studio, Inc. | photography Picture This Studio | This Is You by Mark & Tracy Englund |

Top OrthOdOntists

advertising Opportunity Lisa Kinchen | Web Design Seth Ferreira Troika Studio, Inc. | 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 is 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.


Visit our website to find out more information: WINNER MARCH / APRIL 2014 • SouthernJournalMAGazine.Com



departments 10 70






Publisher’s Letter


Chaplain’s Corner


Curtis and Carrie Zimmerman


Top Attorneys


Santana Flanigan


Mary House


Scott Key


Steven Lister


Melissa Malcom


Matthew McCord


Suesan Miller


Pandora Palmer


Terri Sutton


Leanne Cooper


Kate’s club gala


Turning Point Church


Travel: Crystal Coast, North Carolina


Strong Rock sports


From the Desk of Our First Lady


If These Walls Could Talk


Brent Hardgrave Experience


Editor’s Letter

chaplain’s corner

by: Beverly Van Gorder photo by: Picture This Studio


ime — passing with precision, never wavering in its persistence at marching onward, neither turning to the left nor to the right and certainly never retracing its steps. Sadly, no amount of wealth or prestige provides the ability to rewind hours spent. The truth of “once gone, gone forever” should incite a vicious respect for it; however, the unfortunate ironic reality — time is one of the most wasted commodities on Earth. Every individual is only given so much. We have no guaranteed tomorrow. Brother Ralph Easterwood suggests, “To be successful in the various roles we play, we must exercise control over our time. God’s word says in Ephesians 5:15-16, ‘See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.’ God has given us a challenge to use our time wisely because He is aware of all that can hinder our way. He knows unexpected interruptions will cripple our ability to seize opportunity.” Today, our society juggles a whirlwind of activities in pursuit of what we believe to be “the good life,” leaving us exhausted at the end of each day, barely having time to regroup for the next 24 hours. As a result of this “hustle-bustle” world, human nature is to take the path of least resistance — the intangibles, like nurture of relationships and encouragement of others, can easily get shuffled to the back burner as we struggle to accomplish the mechanics of getting through the next obligation. Brother Ralph shares, “Despite a fervent zeal to give our children so many of the things we didn’t have while growing up, we neglect to give them the things we did have. Generations are changing. As a whole, people are less able to extend help, have compassion, be of service and show respect simply because we are too busy.” He continues, “And a disheartening result of our busy ways is procrastination, one of our biggest faults. Since we never know what is headed our way, it is vital that we stop putting things off. In life, there are things that need to be done, and things that must be done.

Brother Ralph and Gwen Easterwood Pastor Emeritus — Glen Haven Baptist Church, McDonough

The things that need to be done are important — like putting gas in our automobiles, keeping a dental appointment or getting to work on time. But the things that must be done are essential, like nurturing your marriage relationship or parenting your children with vigilance. Procrastination of important things robs time for essential things and therein lays the downfall of our homes as relationships begin to suffer from lack of attention.” “When we can do something to take care of business ahead of time, we should do it even if it doesn’t have to be done now. By our constant effort to make tomorrow more pleasant, we reduce the struggle of things piling up on us. When things pile up, it creates depression, anxiety and tension, which, in turn, muddles our minds to the point of reduced comprehension. When we allow ourselves to get behind, to become overwhelmed with unaccomplished responsibility, we will fret over yesterday, worry about tomorrow and not enjoy today. “Taking care of things promptly allows us to get up each morning with a clear mind. We can honestly agree with the psalmist who declared in Psalm 118:24, ‘This is the day which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ “I am striving to grow old better, not bitter. And if we do not discipline our time, the weight of things left undone will cause us to grow bitter. Strive to order your day like someone you appreciate in the business world — those you can count on to show up on time and do what they say they will do when they say they will do it.” Even the time it has taken you to read this article is precious yet passing. Redeem the time and take to heart Brother Ralph’s admonitions. As James 4:14 says, “Whereas you know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.” Let us encourage each other to make every moment count by the example we set of disciplining our time — for time is fleeting, “Seize the Day!” MARCH / APRIL 2014 • SouthernJournalMAGazine.Com



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Tallahassee, Florida is the home of the current BCS National Football Champions... MARCH / APRIL 2014 • SouthernJournalMAGazine.Com


...but it is also the headquarters for one of the top public relations/advertising/digital agencies in the nation. In Florida’s Capital City sits a four-acre campus with two white buildings trimmed in Coca-Cola Company red with a huge grassy courtyard in the center. It is ground zero for revolutionary -thinking award-winning, The Zimmerman Agency. Husband and wife Curtis and Carrie Zimmerman established The Zimmerman Agency in 1987. They moved to Tallahassee from Atlanta, GA, where they were both thriving in public relations and advertising careers. The decision to move closer to Carrie’s family was the catalyst for creating The Zimmerman Agency, which now boasts annual billings exceeding $160 million and employs more than 164 professionals. The Zimmerman Agency touts two divisions — major brands and hospitality. National iconic brands include Party City, Firehouse Subs, Cooper Tire, Krystal, Pilot Pens, Wonder Bread, Nature’s Own and The firm also touts global hospitality clients, such as Hard Rock Hotels (nine countries), Club Med (seven countries) and destinations, including the countries of Aruba and The Islands of The Bahamas, as well as luxury resorts, like Little Palm Island in the Florida Keys, Riviera in Palm Springs and Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic. The company, known for its energetic ZDNA, is the largest hospitality public relations agency in the United States, the largest public relations firm in Florida (for 14 years in a row), and has the largest digital division within any agency in the Southeast. In 2005, the firm became part of the TBWA network of the Omnicom Group of powerhouse companies. Passion + Energy= WOW! One visit to the Zimmerman offices and it is evident this agency is more than just tag lines and creative imagery. The culture of The Zimmerman Agency is what distinguishes it from the other marketing firms throughout the world. The Zimmerman culture is defined by its energy, passion, integrity and never-say-die attitude. Curtis and Carrie never set out to create the Z culture. It just happened organically. “In the beginning, we tried to develop a specific elan. But, we quickly realized a great culture naturally evolves into something special on its own,” explains Curtis. If you spend any amount of time with the Zimmermans, you know that the Z culture is an extension of them. They are full of life, energy and are passionate about their business. Having met in college, Curtis states, “Some of the lessons I learned during the first six months of dating Carrie still resonate in the way we do business today. If you are not going to try to win at everything you do, why do it?” This mantra has been their guide for creating a platinum team of creative, businessminded people that power this successful, well-oiled machine.

If you are not going to try to win at everything you do, why do it?



The Z Team Who makes up the Z team? People of varying ages and talents who are intelligent, intuitive and impassioned about what they do. Carrie is proud to say that even the youngest team members are integral to the agency’s work. “Our millennials play a huge role in our culture and creativity. We love that they are fearless, as they haven’t experienced failure. Many employers loathe the attitude of working with youth, but we embrace the exuberance and enthusiasm, and work around the entitlement issues. Smart is smart regardless of age,” Carrie explains. Curtis and Carrie also cherish the experience and loyalty of team members who have been a part of the agency for two decades and are groomed to play significant roles in the agency. “Brilliant work derives from varying points of view,” shares Curtis emphatically. “It’s the people who are fearless thinkers and have the biggest ideas who make this agency great,” he further explains. The ideas that Curtis and Carrie speak of make their client’s say “WOW!” The Z team aims

Embracing the “New” The Z team employs many cutting edge methods to assist their clients, including their focus on data and social media. “We have done an incredible job of remaining ahead of the considerable evolution in the digital world. We created the first tourism website in the state of Florida when people did not even know how to access it,” shares Carrie. Zimmerman employs the latest in technology to provide up to 24 hour monitoring of their clients’ social media textual and visual trends. So, what is next for a company that is so accomplished and is “wowing” the industry each day? They will continue to provide their client’s a balance of strategy and creativity while leveraging the ability of relevant data, and new social channels to generate results for their clients; and remain thought leaders in their industry. “We recalibrate for relevancy – daily. While the rest of the marketing world is trying to move at the speed of light, our focus is on moving at the speed of culture,” explains Carrie. “The next big thing probably hasn’t even been created yet, but whatever it is, it has to make someone say WOW!” says Curtis.



to “make WOW!” every day. The mantra is painted boldly on their walls and its spirit is embedded in their culture. Curtis and Carrie challenge their team to “go out and create WOW!” Also scripted in massive lettering on walls is the question: “What did you do today to make the world say ‘WOW?” “WOW!” may be something as simple as completing a project under budget or as impressive as landing a front page, above the fold, story in the Wall Street Journal. “WOW!” emails are sent throughout the company and to clients to share great things that have been produced each day. “People skip every other email to get to their ‘WOW!’ emails,” emphasizes Curtis. When companies hire The Zimmerman Agency, they not only get “wow-makers” but they also get what Carrie affectionately refers to as “a band of pirates.” In fact, you will find pirate symbols on everything from flags and hallways to the popcorn machines and a golf cart throughout the Z agency campus. Curtis even wears socks with the skull and cross bones stitched into them. “Most companies have struggled with the economic downturn. When you hire us, you hire a band of pirates who work harder, are more nimble and are wildly relentless to maximize the potential of our clients’ brands. Our clients desire brand navigators who are aggressive to lead the attack,” explains Carrie. Mike McHargue, vice president and chief technology officer, who has been a Z team member for 13 years, says that Z pirates are smart, hungry and passionate. These traits permeate the spirit of The Zimmerman Agency team members. Kerry Anne Watson, president of public relations, describes the Z team: “The people here have unparalleled energy. Being surrounded by a team of great passion breeds even greater passion. We believe in each other and our clients. On Friday beer carts (a popular, early courtyard happy hour), most of us stay into the early evening, as we are truly friends.” The Zimmermans can recount endless stories of pitches they have made and how their team stands out among the competition and are successful in earning business from well-known brands, such as AFLAC, The Ritz-Carlton Company, Flowers Foods and other successful global brands. The Z team’s distinction starts with brilliance, but even includes an on-brand Z appearance. The team has a polished and professional look in an environment that has become excessively casual. For instance, the ladies wear The Zimmerman Agency signature ponytail and the industry standard of black attire is not allowed. Undoubtedly, Carrie’s resume as a U.S. Olympic gymnast gives her insight on how appearance impacts perception and, potentially, gives success. Creating and redefining brands are the end products of a collaborative and proven method that is the heart and soul of the Z agency. The Zimmermans have built a company that places the value of the relationship at the pinnacle of their success, whether with the clients or between employees. The environment is competitive and challenging, but the rewards are great and triumphs are celebrated. Andy Jorishie, executive vice president of ideas and innovation, sums up membership on the Z team: “It is quite an exhilarating adventure.”

What did

you do today to make the world say


S Southern Charm

by: Kelsey Greene photos: Picture This Studio

on the

red carpet



tunning, radiant and timeless are all words that come to mind when you meet Maxine Lovingood. She speaks with the grace of a sweet, Southern woman and laughs with the charm of a Hollywood actress. It’s no wonder she “accidently” became a model. Born and raised in Atlanta, Lovingood never thought modeling would be a part of her story. In her mid-30s, she was invited to a fashion show by a friend and reluctantly came along. After the show began, she noticed models coming through the aisle to look for prospective talent. She was surprised when someone told Lovingood that she was “spotted” as a person of interest for the modeling industry. They were looking for something different than the typical model look. Lovingood was older than most models, had graying hair, and did not fit the emblematic model mold. However, that is exactly what drew the spotters to her in the fashion show. Lovingood was refreshing and original. She went on to model for 30-plus years. While succeeding in the fashion world, Lovingood set out to conquer the business world. “I was a bored housewife and my husband said I had plenty to do,” Lovingood muses. However, she was not satisfied with that alone. One day, she opened a newspaper, closed her eyes and pointed to the first word on the page. Lovingood said, “Wherever this is, take me there and I will get a job.” The place she happened upon was Equifax, one of America’s largest credit agencies. Lovingood did what she set out to do and became an Equifax employee. A few years later, she was selected as the first African American, female manager of Human Resources at Equifax. At the end of her career, she was a highly accomplished assistant vice president of Human Resources. The woman was unstoppable. Based on her huge successes during her career, it is far from surprising that she would not be content to take it easy during her retirement. Mother of two and grandmother of eight, she is now one of the valued members of the Piedmont Henry Hospital Auxiliary. Along with 176 other amazing volunteers, Lovingood gives her time and service to bettering the community and the hospital in Henry County. The auxiliary spends 40,000 hours a year to provide services, such as couriers, greeters, gift shop workers and fundraisers. When a fashion show was suggested as a fundraising opportunity, Gail Hicklin, a friend and fellow volunteer, knew just who to call. “She made me do it,” Lovingood teased about her good friend, Hicklin. The dynamic duo, along with the many other volunteers, is currently working hard to put together the show of the season. The fashion show, which is appropriately titled A Red Carpet Affair, will be the definition of class and dignity. It is designed to look like a Paris runway show with four distinct scenes. There will be casual fashion to elegant dress and even a few surprises. Lovingood plans to “sell them on the sizzle.” She wants the audience “to leave saying, ‘we’ve got to go back next year!’” Tanger Outlets of Locust Grove is partnering with the Auxiliary to present the show on May 3rd at 11 a.m. at the Merle Manders Conference Center in Stockbridge. All clothing for the show is provided by Dress Barn and Brooks Brothers at Tanger Outlets. Sponsors for the show include the Henry County Council for Quality Growth, Piedmont Henry Hospital & Congressman Lynn Westmoreland. Sponsorships and tickets are available at $25 per person (lunch included) through Gail Hicklin at 678.289.9923. Maxine Lovingood is an example to all of the impact of service and volunteerism. If you would like to join the Auxiliary at Piedmont Henry Hospital, they are always looking for volunteers. It is a great way, “to make a lot of friends and feel good doing it!” Hicklin says. Like Maxine Lovingood, you too can let your light shine in this world. For more information on volunteering, call 678.604.1057 or visit

Mother of two and grandmother of eight, she is now one of the valued members of the Piedmont Henry Hospital Auxiliary.

MARCH / APRIL 2014 • SouthernJournalMAGazine.Com


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nyone who has slept next to a bedmate who snores knows how snoring can disturb everyone’s sleep. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, “snoring is caused by a narrowing or partial blockage of the airways at the back of your mouth, throat or nose. The obstruction results in increased air turbulence when breathing in, causing the soft tissues in your upper airways to vibrate. The end result is a noisy snore that can disrupt the sleep of your bed partner. Snoring also may lead to daytime sleepiness and impaired performance”. “People are walking around and driving sleepy, which can be a lot worse than even drinking and driving because you do not realize how being tired impairs you,” explains Dr. King. She further explains, “Snoring can interfere with the REM sleep, which is the time when the body’s healing hormones are released and memories are backed up. The body is trying to relax and shut off, but it continues to wake itself up because there is not enough oxygen flowing throughout the body.” Dr. King learned firsthand the discomfort that snoring can cause when her husband, Tim Kohl,

owner of McDonough’s Epic Bikes, suffered from snoring. “I was excessively tired. I felt a lot of unrest. I would roll around a lot during the evening, from side to side and flip over a lot. During the day, I also felt daytime sleepiness,” shares Kohl. Although Dr. King knew that Kohl’s snoring was not severe, she knew that he needed something that would provide him with relief. Kohl was the perfect candidate for Somnodent, a dental appliance that Dr. King recommends and customizes for patients who suffer from mild to moderate snoring or who are non-CPAP compliant. SomnoDent is a plastic device that moves the lower jaw forward to create a muscle splint so that air can get through the narrowed airway that causes the snoring. Dr. King explains SomnoDent essentially tightens the tissue to allow air to pass through.” SomnoDent can help to alleviate the health issues that can manifest as a result of snoring. Practically speaking, SomnoDent helps a snorer’s bedmate enjoy a peaceful night of rest. Kohl is a testament to the effectiveness of SomnoDent. “After SomnoDent, I wake up feeling very rested. I feel like I get solid REM sleep and I actually wake up remembering my dreams. I definitely

have less interruption from sleep,” he shares. SomnoDent is customized and molded to fit to the patient’s mouth. Dr. King makes a mold and it is then sent to a lab that creates the appliance to fit the patient’s mouth comfortably. “The appliance is actually very comfortable once I insert it and relax to lie down for the evening. Insertion and removal are very easy. The appliance is perfectly set to my dental profile and I feel no bothersome responses from the unit,” explains Kohl. Kohl even tried a popular brand device to stop the snoring; but he was uncomfortable and experienced no relief. “Comparatively, the SomnoDent is very detailed and you can tell a lot of technology went into its creation, unlike the popular brand device,” shares Kohl. In order to determine if the Somnodent is right for a patient, Dr. King provides a consultation where she assesses whether the patient is a candidate for the device. When asked if he would recommend SomnoDent to others who suffered from sleep deprivation due to sleep, Kohl replies: “The SomnoDent is a game changer for me. Guaranteed, if I wear it, I sleep peacefully and without snore incidents. I highly recommend the SomnoDent.”

MARCH / APRIL 2014 • SouthernJournalMAGazine.Com



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Our new website is here to serve you! Just a few things you can do: View the online version of our magazine Subscribe to SJM online Discover more information on featured articles Find out contact and advertising information



IN HENRY COUNTY MARCH / APRIL 2014 • SouthernJournalMAGazine.Com



! s u n i o j e s a e l Garden Party committee 2014 pictured clockwise:

Kathy Rutledge, Debbie Lorenzo, chair, Lynna Schmidt, Donna Braddy, Beth Evans, Jeff Cooper and Michelle Nunnally.

Cocktails at 6 p.m., Party 7 p.m. - 11 p.m. Eagle’s Landing Country Club 100 Eagle’s Landing Way, Stockbridge, Georgia 30281

Proceeds benefit Cancer Wellness Programs at Piedmont Henry Hospital. Individual tickets may be purchased for Limited Seating at a cost of $125 each. Sponsor Opportunity Levels

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The Piedmont Healthcare Foundation is a not-for-profit organization.

The Piedmont Healthcare Foundation is a 501(c) (3) charitable organization and as such all sponsorships are usually considered contributions and tax deductible. Consult your tax advisor for more information.

Women’s College


MARCH / APRIL 2014 • SouthernJournalMAGazine.Com



Helen Walker




by: Careshia Moore | photo by: Picture This Studio

The pain was so bad, there were times that I couldn’t even dress myself


s. Helen Walker of Stockbridge, GA was an independent woman who worked to support herself, her daughter and her foster children. She kept a meticulously clean home and loved to garden. One accident while at work changed Ms. Walker’s life as she knew it. She injured her back while working for an airline at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, where she was responsible for transporting VIPs to and from their flights. For over 15 years, Ms. Walker has suffered with severe back pain and has been deemed disabled. “The pain was so bad, there were times that I couldn’t even dress myself,” recalls Ms. Walker. Over the years, she has become a patient of neurologists and pain specialists. Once she was comfortable with doctors who were overseeing her care, her pain specialist moved to Florida. This change in her care left her scrambling to find another doctor. She seemed to only find specialists who were interested in prescribing medication and giving injections to manage her pain. Ms. Walker was not comfortable with the continual medication and suffered an adverse reaction from one particular medication; and so she began to research other pain specialists in her area. Her daughter, who assisted her in her search found Vincent Galan MD, founder and medical director of Pain Care in Stockbridge, GA. It has been six years since Ms. Walker first visited Dr. Galan and she could not be happier. “I am a woman of faith and I believe God sent me to Dr. Galan. It is amazing to find a physician who cares, and his staff is so wonderful,” shares Ms. Walker. Ms. Walker has been a chronic pain patient since the late 1990s. She declares that she has not experienced care like the care she receives from Dr. Galan. He provides medication or injections when necessary and he also refers her to other providers that will help treat her. Currently, Ms. Walker receives massage therapy as well as visits a pain specialist psychologist, Steven Marrinson PhD, all under Dr. Galan’s direction. She applauds Dr. Galan for thinking outside of the box. With the treatment plan and the referrals, all spearheaded by Dr. Galan, Ms. Walker is now able to manage her pain. “I have learned to live with the pain and not let it control me. The pain has to go with me now,” shares Ms. Walker. Her home was once a therapeutic foster home for children whom she enjoyed caring for. In 2011, she found herself in too much pain to do what she loved. With continued treatment, she is elated to begin regaining her independence. She uses a motorized scooter to get around at her favorite stores; she has someone to come into her home to assist with tasks that she is unable to do alone; and she even has someone to come assist her with pruning her 25 rose bushes. Ms. Walker knows that Dr. Galan is just the pain specialist she needed to continue living her life as fully as possible. The thought of him not being her doctor is too much for her to bear. In fact, she says, “If he ever moves to Florida, I am moving with him. I have to stay with Dr. Galan.” For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Galan at Pain Care 770.771.6580 |

MARCH / APRIL 2014 • SouthernJournalMAGazine.Com



SOUTHERNJOURNALMAGAZINE.COM • january MARCH / APRIL / february 2014 2014


Awards and Prizes for: - Best All Around Dog - Owner/Pet Look-alike - Best Costume - Best Personality - Best Team Spirit The Grove MARDI GROWL


Saturday, March 15th 11:00am - 2:00pm Join us for the 4th Annual Mardi Growl celebration! The parade will begin at 11:00am behind the Historic Downtown in Trailhead Park with festivities to follow! Vendors will also be set up in the park. Pet and vendor applications are available at City Hall or online at: or on the Locust Grove Main Street Facebook page.

Be sure to check out the recently opened Train View Platform & visit the Historic Downtown

Contact: Mallory Rich (Main Street Manager) • Phone: 770-692-2320 • E-mail: Visit: or The Locust Grove Main Street Facebook page for more info



Attorneys are often known for being zealous advocates for their clients. They argue their cases with conviction and support their clients through some of the most difficult circumstances. After years of study, practice and experience some attorneys rise to the top as stellar attorneys. | photos by: Picture This Studios |

2014 TOP ATTORNEY: Santana T. Flanigan


“Professional,” “Expert,” “Trailblazer” are all attributes that describe Attorney Santana T. Flanigan. If his name sounds familiar perhaps it is because in 2011, he was one of the attorneys that successfully argued to the Georgia Supreme Court that the 2008 Georgia Charter Schools Commission Act was unconstitutional. Additionally, in 2013, he was the first AfricanAmerican to be appointed to a judiciary position in Henry County. Flanigan is a manager at Smith, Welch, Webb & White, LLC, one of the most prestigious law firms south of the metro Atlanta area. He practices primarily in the areas of Business and Civil Litigation; Employment Law and Litigation; Landlord and Tenant; Local Governments and Public Sector Entities; and Workers’ Compensation. Flanigan practices locally in Henry County, but also represents clients in Butts, Clayton, Rockdale and Peach County. Because of Flanigan’s professionalism and ethics, he was recently appointed Chief Judge for the Municipal Court of Stockbridge. His expertise has been recognized in a variety of outlets, including his published articles in the Education Law and Policy Forum titled, Georgia Chart School Act of 1998: Staying True to the General Principles Embraced by the Charter School Movement. He has also lectured on a variety of topics, including, but not limited to employment and education law. In addition to maintaining his professional commitments, Flanigan is involved in the community through memberships in various organizations, such as Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Community Bible Church, Henry County Chamber of Commerce, Henry County High Schools Foundation and Oxford College of Emory University Alumni Board. His commitment to the community has not gone unnoticed as he was the recipient of the Stockbridge Citizen Award in 2013. When asked about his approach to his legal practice, Flanigan replied, “I assist clients as they navigate the complexity of the legal system. I do this by being prepared, using common sense and showing compassion towards my clients.” For more information or to schedule a consultation with Santana Flanigan: Smith, Welch, Webb & White 2200 Keys Ferry Court McDonough, GA 30253 770.957.3937



2014 TOP ATTORNEY: Mary House


With over 25 years of experience as an attorney, Mary M. House continues to provide her clients with the representation they desire in various practice areas including personal injury, business litigation, general civil litigation and select domestic and probate cases. She also is a certified arbiter and mediator in domestic relations and general civil litigation matters. After graduating in the top 20 percent of her law class from the Walter F. George School of Law of Mercer University in Macon, GA, she went to work with the Atlanta firm of Gorby, Reeves, Moraitakis and Whiteman. Her extensive experience helps to make her a well-respected professional in the legal field and a great asset to her clients. After practicing law in Atlanta for 10 years, House chose to focus her practice primarily in the Southern Crescent including Henry, Butts, Clayton, Fayette, Rockdale and Coweta Counties. “I have walked both sides of the fence. For the years I spent with an Atlanta firm, I primarily represented doctors, hospitals, large companies and insurance companies in catastrophic injury cases or business disputes. Since moving to the Southern Crescent, my previous experiences have helped me in representing individuals in personal injury, probate or business dispute cases,” explains House. She firmly believes in providing exceptional service to her clients. “Outstanding service has always been the cornerstone of my practice,” says House. In addition to running a thriving practice, House also gives back to the community by providing at least 40 hours of pro bono work to indigent residents in Henry County annually; serves on the Board of Directors for Hands of Hope; and serves in her church and her children’s school and extracurricular activities. For more information or to schedule a consultation with Mary White: Mary M. House, LLC 827 Fairways Court, Suite 100 Stockbridge, Georgia 30281 678.272.7774

MARCH / APRIL 2014 • SouthernJournalMAGazine.Com


2014 TOP ATTORNEY: Scott Key


Attorney Scott Key is an established, well-respected attorney in the legal community. His unique experience in criminal defense, criminal appeals, habeas corpus law and pardons and parole matters are unmatched. Key represents clients from a wide geographical area, including Henry, Dekalb, Douglas, Clayton, Spalding, Rockdale, Newton and Fayette Counties. Mr. Key is no stranger to the South metro area. He is a graduate of Henry County High School. And he has practiced in Henry County for twelve years. His education background reads like that of a law professor and it certainly crafts his approach to the practice of law. “I take a creative and scholarly approach, with as many viewpoints as possible to find not only the factual defense, but also to look at a case from as many angles as possible. I seek to find significant legal challenges, even when no one has tried that legal challenge before. I aim to be meticulous in my preparation and comprehensive in my strategy,” shares Key. Key has blazed many trails in his work as there are a list of notable cases that he has won or that have set legal precedent. Through his stellar appellate work, he has accomplished reversals of convictions and rulings, and his cases have made new law. Undoubtedly, Key’s work has earned him many accolades, including Super Lawyer On the Rise for four consecutive years; Legal Elite and Best Lawyer in the Appellate category by Georgia Trend Magazine; and the President Award by the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. In addition to representing clients, Key also maintains involvement in professional associations and the community. Some of his affiliations and roles include serving as the current parliamentarian for the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; Current Chair of the State Bar of Georgia, Appellate Practice Section; a current member of the State Bar of Georgia, Formal Advisory Opinion Committee; and the current Chair of the Amicus Committee Member Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Key also serves as the deacon chair at Griffin First Baptist Church. When it comes to his approach to practice, Key states, “I like to view my clients and their family as part of a larger legal team to work collaboratively towards the best possible solutions. I always aim to temper my duties to be a zealous advocate with the responsibility to be professional to opposing counsel.”

For more information or to schedule a consultation: Law Office of Miller and Key 79 Lawrenceville St. McDonough, GA 30253 770.515.0951




2014 TOP ATTORNEY: Steven Lister


Steven E. Lister has been a resident of Clayton County since 1968. He has practiced criminal law exclusively for over 30 years. Prior to entering the practice of law, Steve served as a police officer and detective with the Forest Park Police Department and as an investigator and assistant district attorney in the Clayton County District Attorney’s office. During his 30-plus-year tenure in practice, he has represented a number of individuals charged in high-profile criminal cases; he has served as pro hac solicitor in Clayton County, and as judge in several municipalities including Riverdale, Jonesboro, Morrow, Lake City and Forest Park. In addition to his private practice in which he handles a full caseload of retained cases, Lister is a managing partner of the Law Offices of Lister and Holt. This firm represents indigent persons charged in the State Courts of Clayton and Henry Counties. With over 20 criminal attorneys, including the three partners, Lister & Holt is one of the largest criminal defense law firms in Georgia. Steve Lister practices law in all of the Superior, State, Municipal and Appellate Courts in Georgia. He is also admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. He believes that the experience he has gained over the years has given him the wisdom, knowledge and insight to deal with people on a unique level and has given him a depth of understanding and compassion for his clients that enhances his abilities to reach favorable results for his clients. Steve never waivers in his commitment to the effective representation of his clients and to the practice of law. “I am fair and honest with all clients, prosecutors and judges. I am always prepared and a zealous advocate for my clients. I know that when I fight hard, my reputation will follow.” With all that Lister has accomplished, his reputation for providing top notch service to his clients is unsurpassed. Steve is a member of the Clayton County Bar Association, the Henry County Bar Association, Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and he is a past president of the Clayton County Bar Association and the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Arts Clayton, and having been appointed by the Georgia Supreme Court, serves as a mentor to newly licensed attorneys in the “Transition Into Law” program. He also is involved in other community projects and charitable endeavors and is responsible for producing an annual Continuing Legal Education seminar for all Georgia Bar members. For more information or to schedule a consultation: Steve E. Lister, Clayton County Office 102 South Main St. Jonesboro, GA 30236 770.471.9000 or Henry County Office 115 Atlanta St. McDonough, GA 30253 770.288.2558 MARCH / APRIL 2014 • SouthernJournalMAGazine.Com


2014 TOP ATTORNEY: Melissa Malcom


Melissa Malcom practices business and employment law in Butts, Henry, Newton, Rockdale and Spalding counties. Her firm motto, “We mean business,” explains exactly why Malcom is one of the top rated business and employment lawyers in the Southern Crescent. Not only does she mean business, but she also is an expert in helping business owners with legal matters. “My personal mission is supporting and defending Georgia’s business owners so they can do what they do best: growing their businesses. I focus on teaching business leaders how to make hiring and firing decisions, and all the decisions in between,” explains Malcom. Malcom opened her firm in 2010 and has experienced exponential growth since that time. In order to continue providing excellent service to her clients she hired an associate, Natasha Chrispin, a talented attorney with an Ivy League background and experience in trademark law. Together they work to educate, advocate and protect their clients. “Georgia’s businesses should require their employees to perform well and not be stifled by fear of lawsuits and investigations. This means teaching managers and supervisors how to comply with federal and state employment laws plus the best practices for setting expectations and disciplining employees. It also means defending these decisions – especially those made without legal counsel – if an employee or government agency brings a lawsuit,” shares Malcom. One of her clients, John Keasler, owner of Technology Air Logistics, headquartered in McDonough, GA, has been extremely pleased with Malcom’s representation and legal expertise. “She’s a bulldog. I won’t go to court without her,” he states candidly. The key to her success is also her involvement with the Henry County Chamber of Commerce and Society of Human Resource Managers, along with her membership in McDonough Presbyterian Church, several arts organizations and the Spalding County Chamber of Commerce. She is excited about her new venture,, whereby Malcom hopes to bring her unique knowledge to those beyond the Southern Crescent. After 13 years of practicing employment law, it is obvious that Malcom is passionate about helping business owners. “What I love about my career is that it places me in the role of improving civil rights in the workplace. If managers know the law and how to follow it without misconceptions, then everyone wins,” states Malcom. For more information or to schedule a consultation: Melissa P. Malcom, LLC P.O. Box 1630, 119 Griffin St. McDonough, GA 30253 Phone: 678.833.9178




2014 TOP ATTORNEY: Matt McCord


Matthew M. McCord is the owner of the Law Office of Matthew M. McCord, P.C. that is situated less than half mile from the Henry County Courthouse in McDonough Square. He represents clients in a wide variety of practice areas including, personal injury, DUI, criminal defense and general practice. Although he is located in the heart of McDonough, McCord practices in an array of counties, including Henry, Clayton, Fayette, Rockdale, Newton, Butts, Walton, Coweta and Monroe. In 2014, he was appointed as an Associate Judge for the City of Stockbridge Municipal Court. With 14 years of experience as an attorney, McCord has developed a client-centered approach to representing his clients. “This is a service industry. That means we answer the phone when our clients call. We help walk them through the storms of life. We fight to ensure that their rights are protected and that they recover from their injuries. At the end of the day, when we turn out the lights and close the door, we have to be able to say that we did the right thing for our clients and our community. If we can’t, then we need to find something else to do,” explains McCord. McCord is one attorney who takes his profession and his reputation seriously. “It has concerned me for a while now that lawyers have a bad reputation. When I was growing up, lawyers were my Sunday school teachers. They were some of the best people I knew. They made a difference in me for the better. I hope I live that way. I hope that when I walk away from this years from now, maybe folks won’t remember my name, but they will know that a lawyer in this town tried to do the right thing…and that there were lives that were better, richer and stronger because I was here,” shares McCord.

For more information or to schedule a consultation: Law Office of Matthew M. McCord, P.C. 124 Atlanta St. McDonough, GA 30253 Local: 678.369.9025 Toll Free: 877.645.3845

MARCH / APRIL 2014 • SouthernJournalMAGazine.Com


2014 TOP ATTORNEY: Suesan Miller


Attorney Suesan Ann Miller knows the reality of hard work in order to obtain results. As a law student and budding attorney, she worked two jobs in order to complete her education and establish herself professionally. Since moving to Henry County, Miller worked for an established criminal defense law firm in McDonough, Georgia where one of the first legal matters she handled was a death penalty case. After six years of experience there, she opened her own practice where she exclusively handles criminal and DUI matters. Although located in Henry County, Miller practices in Clayton, Fayette, Butts, Lamar and Monroe Counties. Miller’s firm touts itself as a client’s “Best Defense.” “Every person deserves the best defense no matter what they are accused of. The firm protects so much more than just someone’s rights,” she explains. As a member of the Henry County community, Miller provides so much more than just representation for her clients; she is also active in the surrounding and the Georgia legal communities. She is a member of several organizations, including, but not limited to, the Steering committee that is charged with establishing a homeless shelter in Henry County; the fundraising committee for the Veterans Memorial Wall at Heritage Park, for which she also donated free legal services to that project; the Henry Chamber of Commerce and she was one of the Mock Trial Coaches for Union Grove High School 2007 to 2013. Miller’s work and involvement have not gone unnoticed as she has received many accolades for her work. In 2013 and 2014, she was named to the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers; Who’s Who in American Law in 2011; and Current Regional Vice President for the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Certainly, Miller loves serving her clients and her community. She shares, “I’m truly grateful for every case and every client that walks through my door. I’m also really glad that I moved to this community who has taken me in and treats me like I have lived here my whole life. I just hope I can give the community as much as they have given me.” For more information or to schedule a consultation: Law Office of Miller and Key 79 Lawrenceville St. McDonough, GA 30253 770.515.0951




2014 TOP ATTORNEY: Pandora Palmer


Pandora E. Palmer is one of the most sought after attorneys in Henry County. Her name is synonymous with excellent representation and results. In 2012, Palmer, a former partner at Smith Welch Webb & White LLC, decided to open her own firm where she would focus on family law (including adoptions and guardian ad litem representation of children), criminal law, juvenile law, personal injury and select probate cases. Palmer has practiced law for 20 years and continues to enjoy representing her clients’ interests. “Even after this length of time, being a lawyer is still my passion — along with going to court and advocating on behalf of my clients,” shares Palmer. Palmer’s expertise has been acknowledged through many accomplishments, such as being named a Top 100 Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association in 2013 and being appointed by Governor Nathan Deal to the Flint Circuit Indigent Defense Supervising Panel in 2012 for a 4-year term. Her desire to assist others is also evident in her community involvement. Palmer currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Henry County Haven House; Secretary of the Henry County Bar Association and is a member of the Lawyers Club of Atlanta, the Clayton and Rockdale County Bar Associations, the Henry County Kiwanis Club and the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Palmer and her staff are dedicated to helping people who are going through a difficult time in their lives with compassion, understanding and empathy. They collaborate and utilize a team approach to provide the best service to the firm’s clients. Having worked with her team for a number of years, it is no wonder that Palmer promises her clients that they will receive: “Experience you can trust.” For more information or to schedule a consultation with Pandora Palmer: Pandora E. Palmer, P.C. 80 Macon St. McDonough, GA 30253 Ph: 678.432.9958

MARCH / APRIL 2014 • SouthernJournalMAGazine.Com


2014 TOP ATTORNEY: Terri Sutton


Terri S. Sutton is a partner at Meadows & Macie, P.C. and serves clients in Henry, Clayton, Fayette, Fulton, Dekalb, Cobb and Gwinnett Counties. Sutton practices in the area of family law and wills and probate. She is one of the few Henry County family law attorneys who received the highest rating from Martindale Hubbell (2013). The scope of her family law practice includes: prenuptial agreements, legitimation and paternity actions, separate maintenance, divorce, alimony, custody, child support, modification of alimony, custody; enforcement actions, adoption, grandparent visitation, domestic violence and deprivation actions. Sutton recently won an appeal which resulted in a same sex parent’s custody action of a child adopted with her former partner to proceed at the trial level. Meadows & Macie firmly believes that the most important member of the legal team is a well-informed, ethical client, who actively interacts with counsel to secure timely legal service. As a former family therapist of 10 years, Sutton’s approach to family law is unparalleled. “My philosophy is to professionally and effectively advocate for and protect my clients’ best interests without adding to the path of destruction which often comes with divorce and divorce related actions,” she explains. Sutton provides her clients top notch service and works with them to achieve the best outcome. Sutton’s clients describe her has experienced, knowledgeable, gentle, attentive and firm and unflinching in the courtroom. In addition to providing her expertise to her clients, Sutton is also extremely involved in community organizations in various capacities. She is an Advisory Board member for Henry County United Way, a member of McDonough United Methodist Church and a coach and evaluator in Georgia Mock Trial Competition.

For more information, client testimonials and to schedule a consultation with Terri: Meadows and Macie, P.C. Terri S. Sutton 101 Eagle’s Pointe Parkway Stockbridge, Georgia 30281 770.957.1199




2014 TOP ATTORNEY: LeAnne Cooper

For LeAnna Cooper, Giving 110 Percent For Her Clients Is the Norm.

| by: Valerie Baldowski photos by: Picture This Studios |


For some, the word “attorney” can create a perception of the typical flashy, big-city lawyer portrayed on popular prime time television shows. Not so with LeAnne Cooper, Attorney at Law. Far from the Hollywood stereotypes, LeAnne’s approachable demeanor and straightforward approach has a candid frankness that can put clients at ease when they sit down to chat with her about their legal troubles. LeAnne’s practice, located just off the McDonough Square in a charming historical home built in 1917, is affectionately called the “Snow White house” by many clients and radiates a welcoming, friendly environment matching her personality. Against one wall of her office is a sign that reads “My next husband will be normal.” Another sign declares “Attitude is everything – pick a good one.” An attorney since 1999, the Hahira, GA, native is a graduate of Valdosta State University and Mercer Law School. LeAnne’s interest in law began as a junior in high school when a teacher asked her what career she wanted to pursue. She initially voiced an interest in being a pharmacist, then a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent. At the teacher’s prompting, she decided to attend law school. Finding the right niche took some time. “When I first went into law school I came out thinking I was going to be an environmental lawyer,” LeAnne says. “[I thought] ‘that sounds great, I’m going to save the world,’ but those jobs are few and far between. I realized that it was going to require me to work in a government setting, and I thought that maybe that’s not what I wanted to do.” She tried condemnation law, which involves the declaration of eminent domain for the purpose of taking private property for government building projects. However, when LeAnne handled her first divorce client, she found her calling. “I said I would never be a divorce lawyer because I didn’t want to handle people’s pots and pans, and then it kind of blossomed from there,” she continues. “This is what I’m meant to do, and people came in droves. This is what I’m supposed to be doing.” “A lot of people come in and they’re scared to death, because they’ve never had to deal with a lawyer, they don’t know what to expect. Probably they’ve had some negative experience at some point, and they come here very nervous,” LeAnne says. “I think it’s a lot like a bedside manner. If you’ve got somebody who can talk to you in terms and language you understand, who can empathize with the situation you’re in, I think that gives a level of comfort.” “The best weapon a client has is education,” she continues. “They can be empowered by that. If you educate the client and give them choices, and they feel like they have participation in the process, you end up with a happier client.” LeAnne’s specialty areas include divorce, child support/custody and visitation, family law, civil litigation, and business and corporate law. The workload is heavy, but LeAnne finds the time to squeeze it all in. “That’s always a struggle. You end up working weekends, working nights, sometimes calling people at 6 or 7 p.m. because you need to make time for them,” she explains, adding that she relies heavily on her staff to help her. Divorce cases are difficult because clients are going through tough times emotionally. The couples are at their “absolute worst” and they feel

bad things are happening to them, she says. The process is stressful, and they may need time to work through some of their issues. When meeting with clients, LeAnne strives to help them visualize their life after divorce as a way of focusing on the future, instead of the past. Providing legal counsel to divorcing couples can be challenging as well as rewarding. “It’s sometimes difficult to find a light at the end of the tunnel with divorce clients, because it seems like everybody loses. But, I think it’s rewarding to see how people can progress from where they start and where they end up, and to give them peace of mind and hope for their life after divorce,” she continues. Legal issues can spill over into any facet of everyday life, and LeAnne and her staff have a number of clients with blended families and unmarried clients with children. The legal system generally is not equipped to handle these types of situations, she says, so the family dynamics of couples with children from a previous marriage is another challenge. Another issue is immigrants with limited English proficiency who may be unaware of their rights under the law. To serve some of them, LeAnne’s office works with an agency based in Decatur that caters to Spanish-speaking clients. The downside is that when she gets a call from the agency informing her of a client needing legal help, she has no interpreter on staff to communicate. She hopes to change that by eventually hiring a staff member who is bi-lingual. LeAnne’s clients give her rave reviews. “She handled my very difficult, contested divorce. She did an amazing job and became a very dear friend in the process. I wouldn’t let anyone else handle my legal work,” says one client. Another client, who used Leanne’s services for adoption and will preparation, gave her an excellent rating for her responsiveness, trustworthiness and knowledge of the law. LeAnne’s responsibilities include maintaining her membership in the State Bar of Georgia and her bar membership in the U.S. District Court North Georgia District, the Supreme Court of Georgia and the Georgia Court of Appeals. She is a Henry County Bar Association member and a Young Lawyers Division Mock Trial Committee member. She also assists the Ola High School students with their mock trials, designed to teach the teens the hands-on courtroom approach. “I have been involved with the High School Mock Trial for 10 years,” she says. “I began coaching with Luella, and then for the last several years I have been with Ola High School. It is really impressive to see how hard these teens work, and how well they are able to argue and present their cases. It is a wonderful tool for teaching them organizational skills, thinking on their feet, making clear and convincing arguments and getting them comfortable with public speaking. It really boosts their confidence.” The advice LeAnne has for students considering a law career is to be realistic as to what type of salary to expect. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in 2012 the median salary for attorneys was a little more than $113,500. The money is good, she says, but there’s plenty of hard work involved. The best strategy is for graduates to pursue that career field because of a love of solving problems, arguing cases and advocating for others.

MARCH / APRIL 2014 • SouthernJournalMAGazine.Com


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The influence LeAnne has on other people extends beyond just her legal office and the courtroom. She supports many local causes, volunteers with Shining Light Ministries, a Christian residential program for women recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, and with Haven House, a nonprofit domestic violence shelter for families in Henry, Butts and Jackson counties. She supports Haven House by sponsoring a family at Christmas, making donations for necessities and taking several cases each year for them on a pro bono basis. She has donated to Shining Light by providing them with appliances needed for their homes and sponsoring fundraisers they organized. The legal profession can be demanding, exhausting and emotionally draining, so LeAnne deliberately sets aside regular down time to rejuvenate and refresh mentally. “You have to make time for yourself and you have to make time for your family,” she says. “I take lunch every day, because I think it’s important to get away from your desk, get re-energized and come back with a fresh perspective. You have to have balance in your life.” Keeping a daily schedule that starts at 8 a.m. and sometimes extends past 5 p.m. can take its toll. To combat the burnout effect, LeAnne has learned to avoid the mistakes she made early in her career working six to seven days a week. Exercise, taking the weekends off and deliberately setting aside time during the week to socialize with friends not in the legal profession is a good way to escape the stress for awhile and maintain good mental health, she advises. When not meeting with clients or in the courtroom, she and her husband take regular vacations in their camper to the mountains, the beach or anywhere away from home. A favorite activity for the couple is attending “pirate festivals.” Each year they take a trip to Tybee Island, and another one to St. Augustine, Fla., to dress like pirates, participate in re-enactments, fight in mock battles and socialize with others. “It’s a complete escape from normal life,” LeAnne says. She dotes on her four beloved dogs, which include an Italian greyhound named Tewey and a Jack Russell terrier appropriately named Jack. She acquired them as rescues, and each one has a story behind how they joined the family. LeAnne adopted one dog from a neighbor because it couldn’t adjust to the other animals in the household, and another one after it refused to stop chasing her car. A former ballerina who performed with Valdosta Dance Theatre for a number of years, LeAnne taught advanced ballet classes while attending law school. After graduating and moving to McDonough, she taught dance classes in Jackson for two years. She practices yoga to stay limber, and admits that if paying the bills wasn’t an issue one of her dreams would be to open her own dance studio. “That’s a passion I have that a lot of people don’t know about,” she says with a smile. Amanda Passmore, LeAnne’s legal assistant, came on board when she was hired for accounting and billing help. “She’s a great boss,” says Amanda Passmore, LeAnne’s legal assistant. “She’s really good at what she does. She’s very honest – she will tell you from the beginning what she thinks, based on the law and her experience, which always ends up benefitting clients.”


SOUTHERNJOURNALMAGAZINE.COM • MARCH / APRIL 2014 give them peace of mind and hope for their life after divorce.

MARCH / APRIL 2014 • SouthernJournalMAGazine.Com


Kate’s Club empowers kids and teens facing life after the death of a parent or sibling.



Spirit of Kate’s Club Gala May 17, 2014 6:00pM until Midnight at the loews atlanta hotel live entertainment | seated dinner | dancing live and silent auction | cocktails

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Turning Point Church by: Beverly Van Gorder photo by: Picture This Studio


ichael Turner had the misfortune of growing up in the midst of a turbulent home environment. As a five-year-old boy with tears in his eyes he watched his dad drive away leaving him and his mother behind. His dad returned only to repeat the pattern of absenteeism in his son’s life in an “on again, off again” fashion over the next seven years, after which, Michael’s parents divorced and his dad made his final departure. Only one year after seemingly navigating the fallout of a broken home successfully, Michael was introduced to marijuana for the first time and in the ensuing nine years, alcohol, tobacco, increasingly heavier drugs, and promiscuity became the sources of temporary escapes from the pain of his life. In the wake of this barrage of self-chosen abuses, Michael failed to graduate from high school, went from job to job never developing a satisfactory work ethic, became a regular at night clubs, spent an evening in jail, and ended up in an emergency room after a three-day drug binge at which time he decided he was not ready to meet his maker and did not want to die at the young age of 24. January 1995 was his turning point. He entered a church and decided to follow Jesus Christ. He dug in and found God’s mercy instead of judgment; found grace for his guilt and forgiveness for his failures. He was surrounded by men of faith who believed in him and showed him that God could use him in a huge way if Michael was willing. By that fall, Michael enrolled in a Bible college to get a deeper understanding of God’s word and in 1996 he was invited to serve on staff as youth pastor at the same church he had begun attending the previous year. He also met his future wife Charla during this time. After four years as youth pastor, he was asked



to serve as his pastor’s associate. Shortly thereafter, God began speaking to him about starting a new church ministry. In his pastoral role, Michael was sent to an outreach conference in Florida. During one of the meetings, the Lord laid a very specific question on Michael’s heart: “If you started a church, what would it look like?” And a seed was planted. Upon his return, not knowing Michael’s thoughts had been directed in such a way, his senior pastor made a questioning statement, “Have you been thinking about starting a church because God has been talking to me about you starting one.” Now Michael was pressed to consider, “How is God leading me?” His answer came when he met a random missionary from India at a subsequent conference who approached him and in a prophetic way proclaimed, “The Lord was with you in the ‘80’s and He will use you to bring people from their hiding places. Jesus will change lives because of you.” Out of this prompting, Michael and Charla Turner set out to plant a new church in McDonough. In January 2003, eight years after he had found life again in Jesus, they along with seven other couples began meeting at home. Turning Point Church became an official nondenominational church plant in March 2003 with Eagles Landing Middle School as their meeting place for the next 18 months as their numbers grew to 125. They moved from there to an office park off of Highway 20/81 where an additional 475 individuals were attracted to their ministry over the ensuing seven years. In May 2012, they moved to their present McDonough location at 78 Old Jackson Road. And, as of the end of 2013, the number gathering to worship reached over 1400. Pastor Mike emphasizes, “It is not just about the numbers, but the numbers reflect lives changed through

Jesus Christ, and that is important. Over 2500 decisions were made by folks attending in 2013 either regarding first-time commitments or rededications to our Lord. “As the church, our purpose is to preach the gospel and to make disciples. We sum up our mission with this statement: ‘We want to reach people with the good news of Jesus Christ and help them experience a God-first life.’ Matthew 6:33 says, ‘Seek you first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all of these things shall be added to you.’ We know if people will simply get connected to God first, everything else will become right.” Pastor Mike has now been privileged to watch as God has brought many people “from their hiding places” during this ministry’s first 11 years. He extends a welcome to all who need a new beginning or a place to grow in their faith, “Through personal devotion, weekend services, classes helping individuals discover their spiritual gifts and personal passion and purpose, we plug folks into their God-given calling and thereby help them to live at the highest level of fulfillment in order to have the greatest positive effect on others. And last of all our small groups keep everyone connected with other Christ-centered believers where ‘iron sharpens iron.’ If we can raise up God-first families, we feel our community will be changed for the better.” Why not join Pastor Mike, Charla and their family of faith for worship next Sunday? You may just find you have reached a turning point. *Author’s Note: Michael Turner has authored a book entitled, Watch Me Daddy: The Cry of the Generations, addressing the issue of fatherlessness in our world today. For more information, go to watchmedaddybook. com or

Turning Point Church holds services on: Sundays at 9:00am, 10:30am, 12:00pm & 5:30pm Services are held at: 78 Old Jackson Rd. McDonough, GA 30252. For more information contact Turning Point Church: Phone: 770.898.5277 Email: Website: Facebook:

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A visit to The Crystal Coast, North Carolina’s Southern Outer Banks provides the authentic “coastal experience” featuring waters of crystalline purity bordering sandy, sparkling beaches. Vacationers will find eccentric history steeped in legendary tales of swashbuckling pirate adventures and ghostly encounters, to exotic wild horses roaming the same shores for centuries and generations reflecting southern tradition.

Dangling like a delicate strand travel

of pearls off the coast of North Carolina, the favored Atlantic

Places to Visit The “gems” of the Crystal Coast include Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Harker’s Island and Morehead City, each one as distinct and precious as the next. Atlantic Beach, part of the Bogue Banks, is the oldest of five resort towns. Visitors have the liberty to choose from a range of accommodations for all budgets and lifestyles, from a seven bedroom Victorian mansion to a “no frills” beach bungalow. Stepping onto the oak lined streets of historic Beaufort, recently named “America’s Coolest Small Town,” by Budget Travel, is like stepping into a time long forgotten. It is not uncommon while dining at a waterfront café to see wild horses running freely on Carrot Island, just across the glassy waters of Taylor’s Creek. Beaufort is the third oldest town in the state and serves as the county seat of the Crystal Coast. The wreckage of legendary pirate Blackbeard’s infamous ship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, rests in its watery grave just three miles off its sandy shores. Emerald Isle is known as the most prominent of the banks on the Crystal Coast. Named for the lush greenery that covers much of the area, Emerald Isle is located at the western end of the Bogue Banks. Visitors have the freedom to spend their days exploring un-crowded coastline, dining at casually elegant restaurants, shopping at fanciful boutiques filled with coastal treasures or setting sail on private chartered fishing excursions. The quintessential coastal North Carolina community and official headquarters for Cape Lookout National Seashore along with Cedar Island– Harkers Island–or “Down East” as the local colorful characters like to call it, is home to the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum. Morehead City is known for the most diverse fishing on the coast. Home to the annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, June 8 to 16, fishermen from all over the world compete for the top honor while supporting local charities that have received more than $2.3 million in donations from the tournament in the past 14 years. From its quaint shopping district comprised of art galleries intermixed with antique stores filled with generations of treasured relics, to the colorful, Bransonstyle musical extravaganza known as The Morehead Center for the Performing Arts, boredom is simply not a factor for visitors to the area. There is never a reason to miss any of the Coasts’ “gems” thanks to the Outer Banks Ferry Service in Beaufort. The ferry service is the closest, fastest and longest continuously operating ferry service in Beaufort that makes it easy to explore the hidden “gems” of the Crystal Coast. 60


beach destination of generations represents one of the only remaining natural barrier island systems in the World. The Islands are strung together with 85 miles of silken coastline along the southern Outer Banks– 56 miles of which are in the protected Cape Lookout National Seashore.


Fun to Experience The Cape Lookout National Seashore, with its famed lighthouse, offers escapists a 56-mile stretch of undeveloped shimmering beaches accessible only by boat. Sea boat-laced sand dunes and miles of large unbroken conch shells seem like they have been resting there for centuries. Navigate the intricately laced inlets and waterways zig-zagging through the Crystal Coast with guided kayaking and canoeing excursions available for every interest and schedule. There are paddling trails from Morehead City to Beaufort and ending in Harker’s Island, as well as a paddle trail from White Oak River in western Carteret County to Bear Island. Hot Wax Surf Shop of Emerald Isle provides equipment rentals and private lessons for all of your seaside adventures. Chartering a local fishing yacht or enjoying a wine and cheese cruise provided by Bill Collector and Sensation is the way to end a perfect day on the Crystal Coast. One of the two spots in North America where the warm waters of the Gulf Stream caress the coast creating what divers that flock to the Crystal Coast call a “wreck diver’s dream” with near-perfect conditions for an experience unlike anywhere else in the world. Known as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” and the No. 1 Dive Destination in North America, there are more than 2,000 vessels that have made their watery graves along the North Carolina coast. The Gulf Stream current graciously provides the Crystal Coast with the same warm translucent blue waters that have for so long blessed the Caribbean. These warm waters provide the Crystal Coast with the longest fishing season on the Atlantic coast. Forming a rainbow of colors in the sapphire blue water, the fish caught along the Crystal Coast include bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna and big red drum. There is a range of options for those wishing to try their hand at catching a “big one,” including private chartered fishing excursions or the more affordable, family friendly, head boat fishing trips that can take up to 100 people. In order to see Beaufort and to receive an insider’s look at the life of locals and 300 years of history, sightseers can take a Hungry Town Culinary Bike Tour around town. Alternatively, visitors can get on board a 1968 English double-decker bus for a historical look at Beaufort. In addition to the daytime, seaside activities, and walks around town, visitors can enjoy the nightlife by enjoying being transported by Diamond Limousine Service’s exquisite fleet limousine options. Accommodations to Enjoy Along with a wide range of experiential activities, the Crystal Coast offers a variety of accommodations to suit every lifestyle and budget. There are several realty agencies offering seaside cottages and 62



massive beach mansions for rent that are the perfect place for multi-generation escape, both small and large. Travelers wishing to live like millionaires on an “average Joe’s” budget have the opportunity to rent one of the many opulent homes dotting the coastline. These deluxe digs range from quaint beach cottages to mammoth beach houses known locally as “sand castles,” with grand names like Seas the Day and Camelot by the Sea. Visitors wishing to experience the ultimate in luxury can rent a sand castle weekly or monthly from any of the area realty companies, including Emerald Isle Realty, Bluewater Vacation Rentals and Atlantic Beach Realty. Groups of 15 or more can enjoy spacious outdoor decks on each level, a lavish pool and Jacuzzi, in-home theater, top-of-the-line technology, elegant bedrooms with en-suite master bathrooms, and more. Vacationers can reserve a stay with Emerald Isle Realty and prepare to let your imagination run wild. Hotel accommodations include the DoubleTree Atlantic Beach, the largest full-service hotel on the coast of North Carolina. Having opened in summer 2013, after completing a massive multi-million dollar renovation, the DoubleTree Atlantic Beach is known as the largest full-service hotel on the coast of North Carolina, touting 200 guestrooms all featuring private balconies and ocean views. The 300-foot pier allows guests to take in unparalleled views of sunrises and sunsets, enjoy sightings of dolphins that call the area home and also creates a perfect setting for intimate weddings and receptions. Quaint bed and breakfast cottages in Historic Beaufort allow visitors to immerse themselves in historic surroundings, with the ultimate in personalized comfort. No detail goes overlooked with handmade quilts adorning antique canopy beds and halls echoing with memories of the past. Their small stature allows staff the freedom to interact on a personal level greeting guests each morning with aromas of a hearty breakfast. The Anchorage House, an 1883 Gothic Revival Cottage, welcomes guests with the pleasant sights and smells associated with southern hospitality, almost as if the original residents had never left but continued to bustle around the house. It is no surprise that the Cedars by the Sea is one of Fodor’s 15 Great American Bed and Breakfasts and is on Condé Nast Johansens’ 2003 list of Recommended Hotels, Inns and Resorts. The inn encompasses 11 guest suites, each with charming Victorian furnishings and decorations. Built in 1866 as a Masonic Lodge, guests staying at the Pecan Tree Inn will find the quintessential southern inn experience with breezy 64


Budget-Friendly Attractions • • • • • •

Outer Banks Ferry Service (round-trip $10) allows beach-goers the 0pportunity to explore the uninhabited beaches along the Cape Lookout National Seashore, before finding a perfect spot to camp under the shadow of the famous diamond-patterned lighthouse. Cape Lookout Lighthouse ($8 adults) recently celebrated 150 years in operation, and visitors climb the 188 spiral staircase for amazing views from the top. Shackleford Banks (round-trip $15) is an uninhabited barrier island home to wild Shackleford horses that swam ashore after Spanish explorers ran aground near the island in the 1500s. North Carolina Maritime Museum (free) houses Blackbeard’s buried treasure excavated from his ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge that sank off the coast of Beaufort. North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores ($8) is the largest aquarium in the state. Double-decker bus tour and Beaufort Historic Site tours (each $8) take guests through the third oldest town in North Carolina.

wrap-around porches, a 5,000-foot English flower and herb garden and seven elegant guest rooms, including two suites with in-room Jacuzzis. Cuisine to Savor With more than 85 locally owned restaurants to choose from, finding the right taste to tame any appetite is an easy task. From elegant candlelit beachside dinners with she crab soup at Bistro by the Sea in Morehead City and casual bistros with light gourmet sandwiches, to drive-in cheeseburger stands and down-home yet delicious seafood shacks offering menu items as simple as merely “flounder” or “oysters” with all the fixings (including the inevitable basket of fried heaven known as the hushpuppy), visitors leave their diets at home and enjoy all the tastes that the Crystal Coast has to offer. While more than 80 percent of seafood served in the U.S. is imported, the Crystal Coast provides visitors the chance to dine “fish-to-fork” thanks to the Carteret Catch program, which is a joint venture between local restaurants, retailers and the fishing industry, guaranteeing fresh seasonal seafood caught by local fishermen off the Carolina Coast. Boasting no chain restaurants, for more than 400 years the program has supported the 85 privately owned restaurants that change their menus daily depending on the catch of the day. In Morehead City, you can dine at CIRCA 81 known for its eclectic and unexpected tapas and cocktaileria — boasting flavors that pack a punch — executive chef and owner, Clarke Merrell, created everything there is to sample and see, from the custom-built bar to the ever-popular Circa 81 martini. The mouthwatering menu features small plates, perfect for passing around the table in true tapas style, medium and large plate selections — delicious sandwiches, homemade soups, local seafood and fresh-made desserts — as well as more than 30 specialty drinks on the cocktaileria menu. For lighter fare, The Village Market of Emerald Isle is a locally owned gourmet deli and sandwich shop that uses Boarshead meats and cheese to form healthful breakfasts and lunches. For a waterfront, “outdoorsy” dining experience, Amos Mosquito’s Swampside Café in Atlantic Beach offers an eclectic selection of delicious seafood dishes and “flavors from the far reaches” daily for lunch and dinner, with the house specialty being “fish for two” with an assortment of Thai dipping sauces. Without a doubt, the Crystal Coast provides adventure, relaxation, history and fine dining: the perfect combination for a memorable vacation. For more information on the Crystal Coast, visit or For information on accommodations:

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MARCH / APRIL 2014 • SouthernJournalMAGazine.Com


Pasta Max Café

by: Lydia Pierre photo: Picture This Studio






n the last two decades there has been over a 600 percent increase of children diagnosed with autism, according to The increase is partly explained by improved diagnosis, but other factors have also contributed to this significant leap in children with this condition. PastaMax Café in McDonough, GA, believes that autism is widespread yet widely misunderstood and is joining the Light It Up Blue movement. This global initiative by Autism Speaks encourages businesses and individuals to get involved by “lighting it up” blue on April 2, World Autism Awareness Day, to help bring attention to the disorder. “This month our restaurant will Light it up Blue, along with many others,” says Barbara. “We want to raise awareness because [we feel that] so many people are uneducated about autism.” Pasta Max Cafe is on a mission to help increase the awareness for Autism in Henry County. Owners, Doug and Barbara Zitz, are hoping that this will not only raise awareness about this condition, but amount the limited resources in the McDonough area and its surrounding cities. Pasta Max Café is largely recognized for their fresh pasta, which is made in house. “Autism is not the only challenge in the world, but for the month of April, this will be our focus other than just fresh pasta,” says the couple. “It is a cause that is personal and very deep to our heart,” says Barbara. “We really need to understand the neurology differences these kids have. They are just kids who want to be kids, but don’t really know how. We need to give them some understanding, patience and a little help. That’s why it is so important to educate and raise awareness South of Atlanta.” According to data collected by CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities

Monitoring (ADDM) Network, one in every 110 children will be born autistic. Many do not realize how broad the spectrum is and how the symptoms vary depending which end of the spectrum the individual is on. For one, Asperger Syndrome (AS), which is also on the autism spectrum, is a disorder considered to be on the “high functioning” end of the spectrum. Many of these individuals are highly intelligent, along with many others on the spectrum. Individuals with AS may find it hard to understand conventional social rules. Their usage of gestures may appear either lacking or inappropriate, and eye contact may be very limited. The puzzle piece design has become the international symbol for the struggle against autism. Meanings for the autism awareness puzzle piece are interpreted differently by different people. To some, the symbol is simply a reflection of the idea that autism spectrum disorders are puzzles that have not yet been solved. To others, the autism puzzle piece, since it is not part of a larger puzzle, reflects that children who have autism are themselves pieces of the puzzle that do not fit in. To others still it represents the mechanical nature of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) individual’s thought process. For the second year in a row, Pasta Max Café will be donating 15 percent of their total sales from Friday, April 18 and Saturday, April 19, 2014, to Autism Speaks, which is the world’s leading autism and science advocacy organization. So why will Pasta Max Café “Light it up Blue”? “To shine a light on a condition that is largely overlooked and unrecognized in our world and in our local school systems,” shares the couple. “It’s showing support to thousands of people who are perfect in their own way.”


Southern States Welcomes Innovation by the Next Generation by: Valerie Baldowski photos by: Picture This Studio The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word innovation as “a new idea, device or method” or “the act or process of introducing new ideas, devices, or methods.” When it comes to thinking outside the box this way, Southern States LLC is ahead of the curve.

Zack Beecher is pictured with the 38kV CapSwitcher® he helped design



Supervisor Kelvin Bauswell watches as Patricia McCord and Karen Green inspect an LLS-2 interrupter


outhern States, located in Hampton, has been known as a manufacturer of high voltage switching equipment since its inception in 1916. What fewer people may know is the level of support it provides to college-bound students. Since 2012, the company has provided $1,000 scholarships to 10 high school seniors in the Henry County public school system through the Southern States Engineering, Science, & Arts Scholarship program. Now the scholarship program will expand to allow seniors in Henry County private schools to apply. Children of Southern States employees are also eligible to apply regardless of where they attend school. “[We want to] encourage them to apply for scholarships with the eventual purpose that we want to draw more and more of our professional employees from Henry County and around here,” says Raj Anand, Southern States’ chief executive officer. The company plans to choose five deserving students for a scholarship again this year. The goal is to increase awareness of the company as a strong supporter of education, and to integrate it into the community to a higher degree, Raj says, and to encourage students from Henry County to consider Southern States as a potential employer upon graduating college. Students applying for the scholarship must have been accepted (or expect to be accepted) by a four-year college or university, and their major must be engineering, science or the arts. They will also need to submit an essay telling about their interests and aspirations, the side of them that grades and SAT scores do not reveal, and other insights about themselves that set them apart. The essays will give students a chance to express themselves individually in their own unique ways. “It’s why they’re deserving of a scholarship. It’s

Agnes Ellis-Asberry assembles part of the Current Measuring Device

really intriguing to read the things these students write,” says Marlin Gilbert, vice president of human resources and community relations. Zack Beecher, a lifelong Henry County resident, is a Georgia Tech graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. Zack began working at Southern States in 2009 as a co-op Engineer. While still in school he received financial assistance, which helped greatly in defraying college expenses, so any financial support the Southern States scholarships provides for students is beneficial, he says. “It’s definitely a great opportunity for students in the county,” says the 26-year-old product design engineer. “Costs are going up, and it’s getting harder and harder to get the HOPE Scholarship. The more money that’s available, that’s going to open more doors for students who want to go into technology fields.” Joe Rostron, a graduate of Washington State University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, joined the company in 1998. Joe holds an MBA from University of Pittsburgh, and now owns more than 32 patents. He earned 20 of those for inventions in the area of high voltage systems since coming to Southern States. A keen sense of what the customer wants, coupled with a spirit of innovation, is critical for any company in today’s business environment, says Joe, senior vice president of technology development. “The world always changes, and we’d like to be on the leading edge of that change,” he explains. “One of the unique characteristics that we have at Southern States is that we talk to the customers not only in trying to sell them the products we have but we listen and say ‘What is it that you would like to have that you don’t have?’” Graduating seniors may pick up an application at their school, download a copy online at or request one by email from Courtney Rembert at

MARCH / APRIL 2014 • SouthernJournalMAGazine.Com




With a

Servant’s Heart Award by: Sandra Deal, First Lady of Georgia photo: by Picture This Studio


y personal view of a person with a servant’s heart is someone who is innately kind and thoughtful; a person who notices simple needs and moves to help; one who is unbiased regarding those who need assistance and is moved to assist without expectation of recognition or reward; one whose heart reaches out to others and the recipients feel and appreciate the genuineness of the effort. A person with a servant’s heart reacts selflessly for the good of others with acts of kindness, such as opening a door or actively planning an event to fulfill an observed need. The recent snowstorm in metro Atlanta revealed many acts of kindness from people with servant’s hearts. From managers of stores who opened their doors to people who were stranded, offering warmth, restrooms and often food, to a man, who while trying to untangle cars blocking passage, discovered a man with a fragile medical condition. He and others gave assistance and saved a life. Many people spoke of the kindness of strangers who offered assistance in myriad ways and often names were not even exchanged. To me, they are the purest example of people with servant hearts. They come from all walks of life, but they rise to the occasion with the purest of motives and they give what they have to offer with a servant’s heart.

What is the Servant’s Heart Award? It is an opportunity for communities to recognize young people whose quiet acts of kindness and concern on a daily basis favorably impact the lives of other people. “Recognition is important to elevate and energize youth who are committed to being an agent of change within their community. We want the state to be inspired by the power these young people have to make a difference and hope that it may motivate others to take action,” explains Katie Jo Ballard, executive director of the Governor’s Office for Children and Families. We humans are great imitators. From early childhood, we develop our patterns of behavior by observing people with whom we have contact and imitating them in word and deed. Our goal in honoring young people who are recommended by their county commissioners is to highlight outstanding service in the community which is voluntarily given in such a way that it is obviously from the heart. When the community acknowledges their efforts, we hope our children who are searching for role models will themselves imitate those good character traits. The goal of the Governor’s Office for Children and Families is to build stronger communities through strengthening our children and families. I believe that volunteerism and service will help us reach that goal.

MARCH / APRIL 2014 • SouthernJournalMAGazine.Com



If These Walls Could Talk

An Exclusive Look into Governor and First Lady Deal’s Private Living Quarters: The Twin Bedroom photos by: Picture This Studio


s we continue to make our way throughout the private living quarters of Governor and First Lady Deal, our next stop is the twin bedroom.

The Fine Arts Committee along with Zimmerman Design Associates Inc. were challenged with creating a bedroom durable enough for the Deals’ grandchildren yet sophisticated enough for other guests. The first decision was to move a rug, more suitable in size, into the bedroom. Traditional twin beds were taken from the attic and refurbished by molding and paneling specialists, Architectural Millwork. Designers Workroom was tasked with creating the coverlets in a beautiful paisley fabric and trim from Kravet Fabrics along with a complimenting textured fabric for the shams. They were matched with a Brunschwig & Fils, a company that



specializes in high-quality textiles, in woven rose check for the box pleated dust skirt. Furniture Works also used the woven rose check to reupholster the his and hers chairs and ottoman. As with the other rooms, window treatments were chosen to contribute to the overall décor of the room. Soft Roman shades were made from a stylized flower and diamond patterned Kravet fabric. One of the focal points of the room is the upper section of an existing secretary that is a showplace for objets d’art. The twin bedroom walls feature paintings of the Savannah area, including a watercolor on loan from Magnolia Art Gallery by Georgia artist Stan Strickland. The bedroom colors were carried into the bath via a beautiful Lee Jofa hummingbird wallpaper and a granite vanity top fabricated by Bella Maria replaced the dated laminated one.

MARCH / APRIL 2014 • SouthernJournalMAGazine.Com



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MARCH / APRIL 2014 • SouthernJournalMAGazine.Com



Brent Hardgrave What’s All the Fuss About the Frizz?


the World of

Keratin Treatments for Hair

by: Brent Hardgrave photo by: Kira-Marie Photography


an you have silky, smooth and straight hair in minutes? Yes. So much has gone on in the world of de-frizzing as it pertains to hair. The key to this happiness is keratin. This is a segment of the hair world that has grown by leaps and bounds. In this highly competitive market, what do you choose? I am here to help you through this. Do you need to whisper, talk or shout with your smoothness? You have choices. The goal is to have four months of easy, smooth hair and save you time when you are getting ready every morning. As a stylist, I see the fate of frizz daily. Living in the South, we have some humidity issues, don’t you agree? So, what is the best choice for your hair? Is it better to spend your morning trying to lay it down or is it better to use that time on other things? Keratin is a time-saver and a much-needed treatment for many. However, there are some treatments that might result in more harm than good. I would like to help you understand this high dollar service and why it costs what it does. First, it takes a stylist a substantial amount of time to properly apply Keratin to your hair. Secondly, the smoothing treatment choices are unlimited as there are so many to choose from. You should proceed with caution when choosing the type of smoothing treatment options. This is a service that I use myself, and I have it professionally applied and with an Occupational Safety & Health Administration-approved (OSHA) treatment. Keratin treatments are costly because of the quality of the product and the time spent applying it. I often see special deals on the treatments and I have to wonder how they can make it so cheap? I, unfortunately,

know the answer. I have seen what the bargain brings, usually tears. I am not trying to scare you — I am just trying to scare you! Buyer beware when you are looking to have this done. What are you looking for? Allow me to show you the way. Let’s first talk about the deal. Many salons offer coupons or specials to try to entice you into their clientele. Oftentimes, they have oversold their time and underpriced the service for the chemicals they are using. There is no other way to say this — you get what you pay for. Yes, what goes on and in your hair matters. Less expensive is not always the best. Before you get a keratin treatment, ask your stylist several questions: Do you apply keratin treatments? Are you certified by the company that supplies the keratin? Do you offer supportive products? The shampoo you use can make or break this treatment. After the smoothing has been done, it is important to cleanse your hair with the products that your stylist suggests. If you use a less-expensive shampoo, you can strip out all of the work that the stylist did. If your stylist does not apply keratin, ask for a referral to a stylist who is certified to apply the treatment. You are better to go with their recommendation than to try to find a stylist on your own. Remember that your hair can be your best accessory or your worst accessory. My hope is that you choose wisely and know what you are getting. Keratin treatments may seem a bit pricey, but you must look at the time you will save in your daily routine. Time is money and time is priceless — you are worth it.

Providing Individualized Care for Women

Specializing in Gynecology & Urogynecology Surgery

Dr. Stephanie Gordon

Lanie Vu, NP

Procedures We Provide:

• Davinci Robotics Gynecological Surgery • Traditional Abdominal Hysterectomy, Vaginal Hysterectomy, and Laparoscopic Assisted Hysterectomy • Myomectomy for Fibroid Tumors • In-office ESSURE Tubal Ligation • Laparoscopic Surgery for Ovarian Problems, Endometriosis, Tubal and Adhesive Diseases • Hysteroscopic Surgery • Colposcopies for Abnormal Pap Smears and LEEP Procedures • Repair of Pelvic Prolaspe, Relaxation and Surgery for Bladder Leakage • In-Office Endometrial Ablation for Excessive Menstrual Bleeding

Marcia Harmon, CNM

Maria Epling, CNP

• Well Women Health Care and Comprehensive Annual Exams • Pap Smears, Breast Exams, and In-Office Ultrasounds • Full range of Contraception Options • Menopausal Management - Traditional and Alternative • Adolescent and Pediatric Gynecology • Infertility Workups • Hormone Replacement Therapy (including pellets, injections and compounding cream) • Bladder Problems and Incontinence • Treatment for Fibroids, Endometriosis, Abnormal Bleeding, and Ovarian Cyst • Osteoporosis Screening and Treatment • Screening for Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Most MAjoR MedicAl insuRAnce And MedicARe AccePted

2750 Owens Drive, Suite A Conyers, GA 30094

140 Eagles Spring Court, Suite B Stockbridge, GA 30281


770.302.0878 Privileges At Rockdale & Piedmont Henry Hospitals

What is a Urogynecologist? By Stephanie Gordon, MD

A urogynecologist is a surgeon who has specialized in the care of women with pelvic floor disorders. The pelvic floor is a set of muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues in the lower part of the pelvis that provides support for a woman’s internal organs, including the bowel, bladder, uterus, vagina and rectum. Pelvic floor disorders can occur when women have weakened pelvic muscles or tears in the connective tissue due to excessive strain on the pelvis due to childbirth, repeated strenuous activity, menopause, chronic disease, or pelvic surgery. Other factors that can weaken the pelvic floor include repetitive heavy lifting, tobacco use, and genetics. Dr. Stephanie Gordon is one of only 10 Board Certified Urogynecologist in the State of Georgia. She is double Board Certified in the subspecialty of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery as well as General Gynecology. With this background, she is able to take care of the Well Woman as well as to give cutting edge medicine to the patient with complicated gynecology issues. What type of problems can Dr. Gordon manage and treat? Incontinence: loss of bladder or bowel control, leaking or urine or feces. Prolapse: descent of the pelvic organs, a bulge and /or pressure; dropped uterus, bladder, vagina or rectum. Pain: discomfort to the lower back, pelvic, bladder, or urethra- including Interstitial Cystitis (IC) or painful bladder syndrome, pain with sex. Overactive Bladder: frequent need to void, bladder pressure, urgency, leaking of urine on the way to the bathroom. How can Dr. Gordon treat these problems? With conservative (non-surgical) or surgical therapy depending on your wishes, the severity of your condition, or your general health. Conservative options include medications, pelvic exercises, behavioral and diet modifications, vaginal devices (pessaries), Pelvic Floor Therapy (including InTone), and Biofeedback and Electrical Stimulation. Safe and effective surgical procedures are also utilized to treat incontinence and prolapse. Dr. Gordon also provides advance gynecology care including: Well Woman Annual Exams, Contraception including hormonal and non-hormonal therapies, ESSURE tubal ligation in office, Nexplanon, Mirena and Paraguard IUDs, traditional tubal ligation. Treatment for heavy menstrual cycles-including endometrial ablation in office (Novasure, Thermachoice, and HTA. Myomectomy (fibroid removal) and Hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) –over 95% of these can be performed vaginally or thru a laparoscope (tiny incisions on abdomen)-can be performed with the Da Vinci Robotic system with only an outpatient admission to the hospital. Menopausal Management -including natural therapy, bio-identical hormones, compounded creams, injections, pellets, and traditional hormone replacement. Pediatric and adolescent gynecology-HPV vaccines, acne, heavy/painful cycles, endometriosis, STD testing, and chronic infections. Infertility work ups and therapies. For your convenience-In office Ultrasound, Bladder testing, surgical procedures with IV anesthesia available with anesthesiologist.

For more information, visit our website at

letter from the editor


his issue of SJM is especially personal to me. It seems as though the stories are glimpses of my life’s journey. This Top Attorney issue allowed me the opportunity to speak with colleagues that I had not spoken with since I left the practice of law. I must say that when you leave a phase in your life, sometimes you may feel unsure about the step you have taken. But there are also signs that manifest to show you that you have made the right step and that you should not doubt. That sign came for me in the form of an interview in Tallahassee, FL at The Zimmerman Agency. My visit to The Zimmerman Agency was a clear sign that, when you follow your passion, great things happen. Spending the day in an environment with creatives, who stay true to their calling and work in an amazing environment that fosters natural talents and is an incubater for success, left a lasting impression on me. In everything I do and with everyone I meet, I try to learn a lesson and really understand why my life journey has allowed me to experience a thing or come to know someone. I think life becomes richer when I do this. It really forces me to slow down and smell the roses. As spring approaches and flowers begin to bloom, I encourage you to take the time to attend to the garden of your life. Observe the beauty of the physical flowers growing all around you; destroy the weeds of negativity that surface; and allow wonderful experiences and people who spring up to leave an essence of positivity in your life.

photo by Picture This Studio

A day with “WOW” Leader Carrie Zimmerman. #ZLife #WorldofSJM 86


Careshia Moore Managing Editor

Capturing publishereditor Love. #WorldofSJM


Sharing SJM with UNL grad Vanecia Thompson. #WorldofSJM #UshersNewLook

Our Services

Our Locations

Preventive Cardiology

6507 Professional Place


Vascular Ultrasound Laboratory


1050 Eagles Landing Parkway Suite 101

Echocardiography Laboratory

Locust Grove

4899 Bill Gardner Parkway

Nuclear Cardiology Laboratory


Heart Rhythm Clinic

115 Sumner Road

Ronald Freireich, M.D., F.A.C.C. • Kenneth S.Gimbel, M.D. F.A.C.C. • Krishna B. Mohan, M.D., F.A.C.C. • Kandathil M. Mathew, M.D., F.A.C.C., • Kuchela Reddy, M.D., F.A.C.C., • Barry R. Dix, M.D., F.A.C.C. • Devendra R. Koganti, M.D., F.A.C.C.• Abiodun G. Olatidoye, M.D., F.A.C.C. • M.N.Inba-Vazhvu, M.D., F.A.C.C. • Vikram R. Mandadi, M.D., F.A.C.C. • Duminda Wickramasekera, M.D., F.A.C.C . • Siva Mohan, M.D. F.A.C.C • Minnette Williams, M.D. F.A.C.C. •

Southern Heart Specialists is accredited by both


(Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories) and (Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Nuclear Medicine Laboratories).

The laboratories are recognized for their commitment to high quality patient care and provision of quality diagnostic testing. Cardiovascular Diagnosis And Treatment for over 35 years

770 991-2100

Board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease



SPORTS MEDICINE. From repairing broken bones to rehabbing torn ligaments, Children’s Sports Medicine helps young athletes get back to full speed. For more information visit

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Southern Journal Magazine - Mar/Apr 2014  

Digital edition of Southern Journal Magazine for March-April 2014

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