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M A G A Z I N E

Georgia’s Best & Brightest

November/December 2013

Orlando World Center Marriott

Leaving a Legacy: We are Strong Rock

David Lum Cole Kinchen


M A G A Z I N E

Georgia’s Best & Brightest

November/December 2013

Orlando World Center Marriott

Leaving a Legacy: We are Strong Rock

David Lum Cole Kinchen


M A G A Z I N E

November/December 2013

Orlando World Center Marriott

14 UNDER 40 We are Strong Rock Georgia’s Best and Brightest Cole Kinchen


Contents nov/dec 2013

features

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One of the most important teen milestones, right up there with first dates and proms, is getting a driver’s license. 1st Stop Georgia Teen Driving Academy is ready to help your teen reach this important accomplishment without the frustration that often accompanies trying to meet state requirements. Inspired by their own son’s experience when he received his license, Freddie and Erin Briggs invite our readers to learn more about 1st Stop’s efforts to ensure safe driving practices for teens and adults.

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Sometimes the greatest heroes are those who never make headlines. They are the ones who go about their lives, unrenowned and often unrecognized. They are people like David Lum – a decorated war veteran, beloved family man and successful businessman. These are the ones who make such an impact on their own families that the influence ripples out through them to better the lives of more families and communities. And often the David Lums of the world have influence in unexpected places…such as Southern Journal Magazine. Read more about this amazing Hawaiian-born man who made it possible for you to be reading this issue.

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Orlando World Center Marriott is waiting to provide you a vacation – or business conference – you will never forget. A multimillion dollar transformation to this resort in America’s most-visited city has created a venue that has something for everyone whether you are closing that big business deal or wanting to enjoy a splash in the pool with your family before you go and meet the Mouse who made Orlando famous! Read more about this fabulous Marriott destination…

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SouthernJournalMAG.Com • november / december 2013


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Three coats of service. Four coats of craftsmanship. 1-855-MYCASTLE • CastleGA.com (404) 236-8948(692-2785) • www.CastleGA.com

4627 Roswell Road NE • Atlanta GA 30342


Contents NOV/DEC 2013

109 departments 53

103

71

6

publisher’s letter

8

contributors

11

14 under 40

57

business profile: 1st stop

61

business profile: piorra

67

tips for pain free holidays

69

city of morrow

71

from the desk of our first lady

75

united way luncheon

79

if these walls could talk

81

castle painting: casino night

83

david lum

89

Travel: orlando world center

97

brent hardgrave Experience

103

lifestyle: house to house

105

lifestyle: ginny cooks

107

Business Profile: dr. linda king

109

Gov 101

111

chaplain’s corner

november / december 2013 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com

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PUBLISHER’S LETTER NOV/DEC 2013

Be Inspired! S uccess is such as an elusive concept. What is it? How do you obtain it? At what point can you say the words, “I have succeeded”? I believe most business leaders, prominent people of influence and those who are truly making an impact on our society would agree that success is a personal journey. Each person has to decide his or her own definition of success. For some it’s staying home, raising children who will make their own indelible mark on the world – for others it’s setting up business empires or nonprofit organizations whose scope touches scores of lives. For some it’s combining the best of both of these worlds! 6

The motto “You have to crawl before you walk; walk before you run” most often sets the stage for true success - as does surrounding oneself with the right people. In this issue of Southern Journal Magazine we are proud to feature 14 influential people under 40. These are the often behind-the-scenes folks who allow Tyler Perry to be Tyler Perry – and who keep our first lady on schedule hour-by-hour, day-by-day. Who stays at the helm of Usher’s foundation so that he can continue to grow his own sphere of influence? And which former NFL Pro Bowl fullback is making strides in teaching kids to “go green”? Some of our 14 Under 40 are business leaders in their own right, who have taken personal journeys of sacrifice to be where they are today. As you read these stories, we believe you will be

SouthernJournalMAG.Com • november / december 2013

photo by Picture This Studio

inspired, encouraged and perhaps motivated to take that step, that leap of faith that has long been a vision in your own heart and mind. Also in this issue, I am pleased to allow you a personal glimpse into someone who has been one of the greatest influences on the road to my own success. So, as always, find yourself a cozy place to sit during this busy holiday season and take a moment to BE INSPIRED! From all of us at Southern Journal Magazine, may you have a blessed and glorious holiday season!

Lisa Kinchen Publisher/Editorial Director lisa@southernjournalmag.com


publisher/ editorial directoR Lisa Kinchen | lisa@southernjournalmag.com Managing Editor Diane Smith | diane.smith@southernjournalmag.com editor Melanie Wilson Graphic design Michael Birchall Jerry Carter Michelle Robb Troika Studio, Inc. | troikastudio.com photography Picture This Studio | darrellemory@bellsouth.net advertising Opportunity Lisa Kinchen | lisa@southernjournalmag.com Web Design Seth Ferreira Troika Studio, Inc. | troikastudio.com We welcome your company and community news. Please include digital photos with your press release and send to lisa@southernjournalmag.com. 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.

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

state zip email

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contributors

OUR CONTRIBUTORS

NOV/DEC 2013

Diane Smith is the managing editor of Southern Journal Magazine. A native of Ohio, she has enjoyed living in Georgia since 1999. She works on the University of Georgia Griffin campus and is the proud mother of a teenage son, Travis.

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

Careshia Moore is a resident of Henry County, attorney, blogger, wife and mother of two children. She is the founder of Compete to Succeed, Inc. and Girls of Ithaca mentoring program where she mentors girls at a local middle school.

Shavonia Frank is a recent graduate of Clayton State, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She has a special interest in journalism. Shavonia hones her writing skills as a frequent blogger on thecelebritycafe.com.

Brent Hardgrave is dedicated to celebrating the experience of beauty, style, and culture. An international stylist, educator and inventor, metro-Atlanta is his favorite place to make “Happy Happen.” From pampering to purpose, his fresh insights will unleash your inner happy.

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

Valerie Baldowski spent five years as a general assignment reporter writing for a chain of weekly metro Atlanta suburban newspapers, an additional year as a news editor, then two years as the government reporter for a daily newspaper in Henry County.

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feature

Southern Journal Magazine brings you...

The Very Best and Brightest

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SouthernJournalMAG.Com • november / december 2013


Inspirational...

...that’s the one word that threads its way through the following stories of our 14 Under 40. These are people who are making an impact on their communities and the world around us NOW, while they are still in their prime. We too often wait to recognize greatness in memorial services or retirement parties and perhaps lose the opportunity to encourage leaders to even higher planes of service and commitment through simple recognition of their contributions. Southern Journal Magazine is pleased to take this opportunity to introduce to you – and to recognize on these pages – just a small sampling of people who have set their goals, their aspirations and their life paths on a journey of greatness – a journey that looks to an even greater future. Some of them do it behind the scenes, enabling others to enjoy celebrity and accolades while they work quietly, keeping schedules organized and giving encouragement and counsel. Others are in the forefront in their chosen area of service, carving out paths for others to follow.

Please join us as we recognize and applaud these 14 under 40.

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feature

Shelly Anand Bilingual Staff Attorney at Georgia Legal Services Program

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ost of us are familiar with the Justice League of comic book fame – a group of super heroes with iconic symbols on their chests – bringing justice to the poor, the weak, and those in need. They fight their battles with special powers from laser vision to a lasso of truth. But the real heroes are never quite so flashy. Shelly Anand, of the Georgia Legal Services Program, does her fighting against social injustice armed with a brief case, a conviction to battle wrong, and a mighty pen (or laptop) in hand. Shelly’s awareness of the need to fight such battles came at an early age. She explains, “I’ve always wanted to do social justice and human rights work. My grandparents were refugees from the Partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. I grew up hearing about my grandparents’ struggle as refugees leaving their home and their community, confronting extreme violence, and eventually restarting their lives in refugee camps.” She continues, “Through all of this struggle my grandparents worked diligently to support their family, their children, and their communities. My paternal grandfather became a lawyer in India, and one of his cases involved securing housing for the refugees, including his own family. In turn, my parents worked hard at their studies, my mother became a doctor and my father an engineer. They immigrated to the United States in their 20s and created a wonderful life for our family. However, they faced challenges and discrimination here in the United States, especially after 9/11, and their experience also inspired me to do the work that I do.” She feels that these experiences in her own family inspired her to help those who are marginalized and ignored in today’s society. Her work ranges from helping victims of domestic violence obtain protective orders against their abusers, pulling students out of the schoolto-prison pipeline by representing kids who are wrongfully expelled from school, and advocating for language access from public institutions for Spanish and other non-English speaking communities. The desire to bring equality within communities led her to Wellesley College, where she majored in History and Spanish and graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She then went on to law school at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, where she made the Dean’s list all three years.

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by Diane Smith photos by Picture This Studio

While at Chapel Hill, Shelly quickly realized that many citizens in the United States live in third world conditions. “I worked one summer for Greater Boston Legal Services’ Latinas Know Your Rights project, where I assisted immigrant victims of domestic violence with filing U Visa applications. The degree of violence and turmoil experienced by these women was shocking to me. During my second year of law school, I traveled with other law students and lawyers to rural parts of North Carolina and drafted wills and health care directives for the indigent elderly. Seeing the poverty that exists in this country convinced me that I should dedicate myself to human and civil rights work in the U.S. and, specifically, in the South.” Shelly not only fights injustice herself, but she equips others to do so. She now trains other attorneys and advocates on cultural competency in working with people of color as well as LGBTQ individuals. She has trained them within the Georgia Legal Services Program and will give a presentation this fall in Los Angeles at the National Legal Aid and Defender Association conference to social justice attorneys and advocates from all over the country. This accomplished and caring attorney has also taken “pen in hand” and published an article in Harvard Kennedy School’s LGBTQ Policy Journal entitled “Civil Rights in Georgia Has A New Color: Rainbow” that comes out later this fall. Shelly Anand’s community involvement isn’t always about fighting injustice – she served as a trustee to the Wellesley College Board of Trustees for three years, and is involved with her father’s (Raj Anand) Henry County business, Southern States in Hampton. There she serves as chair of the Corporate Giving Committee and sits on the board of directors for Southern States and its sister companies, Egic and Coelme, in France and Italy respectively. But even super heroes have to step into the phone booth from time to time, change into their regular clothes and rest up for the next epic battle. How does Shelly Anand, every-day hero, unwind? “When I’m not fighting for people’s rights, I am riding my bike along the Atlanta Beltline with my husband, Eric, traveling to places like Peru, visiting my family in India, taking photographs, watching movies, and going to farmer’s markets to buy ingredients for the perfect salad.”


Seeing the poverty that exists in this country convinced me that I should dedicate myself to human and civil rights work in the U.S. and, specifically, in the South.  - Shelly Anand


I had a passion for helping kids who had gone through the same experience that I did. I had something to share and wanted them to know they weren’t alone.  - Kate Atwood


feature

Kate Atwood Executive Director at Arby’s Foundation

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eople often associate a creator with someone who creates some form of art or a structure. Kate Atwood, Executive Director of the Arby’s Foundation and Founder of Kate’s Club, is a creator of a different type. She is known throughout Atlanta and nationally as a creator of community. Her gift to make connections and bring people and causes together was born out of a loss she experienced at an early age. When Atwood was 12 years old, her mother passed away. It was then that she learned that “adversity comes with every life, but we are much better together than when facing it alone.” Intuitively, without her mom, Atwood knew that she would need to create a patchwork of people to help her become who she is. This experience was the genesis of how Atwood began creating community to support others. The community she created for herself supported her through her young teen years and throughout high school. Her community consisted of people like her older brother and her father, whom Atwood says is a believer in even her wildest dreams. When Atwood attended the University of Virginia for college, she had the opportunity to create and be a part of a community of friends who would support one another. While in college, she volunteered at a camp just outside of Richmond, Virginia. The camp was established to help support kids whose parents or siblings passed away. “Volunteering at this camp was my inspiration for Kate’s Club. I didn’t know it at the time, but that experience left a lasting impression that would ultimately guide my career.” This life-changing experience at the camp left Kate knowing that she carried a passion to create a community of her own for children who were in similar situations. After graduating college and working in the sports marketing industry for a few years, Kate knew it was time for her to create another community. That’s when Atwood created Kate’s Club to assist young people who were coping with the death of a parent or sibling. “I had a passion for helping kids who had gone through the same experience that I did. I had something to share and wanted them to know they weren’t alone,” explains Atwood. Atwood built a successful nonprofit organization that created community for this special group of young people

by Careshia Moore photos by Picture This Studio

who were in need of community. After running the day-to-day of Kate’s Club for seven years, Atwood decided to explore new ways that she could create community for others. She began speaking to groups, had her first book published and started consulting with corporations that were seeking to make a difference. “Our mission with Bcauz Marketing was to take a well-known brand and connect it with an opportunity to impact our world.” She further explains, “As consumers and as employees, people want to see a business have purpose beyond profit. What a great honor to bestow this on influential brands that touch millions of people every day.” This role directly correlated with Atwood’s personal mantra of “Living by Giving.” Atwood was excited about introducing others to “doing good.” As fate would have it, one of her agency’s clients, Arby’s, was looking to direct their attention towards eradicating childhood hunger. Who better to lead this effort than a proven creator of impact? From that time Atwood has been at the helm of Arby’s plan to be the catalyst to end childhood hunger in America. Every day she gets to help employees and franchisees play a role in ending childhood hunger. “I get to come to work to create a way to help 16 million kids who struggle with hunger in America. At Arby’s, I get to help thousands make a difference in the community. I also help a brand do more for the consumer by having purpose in their business and make the world a better place,” she explains. Atwood is a generational leader who aims to lead her peers and the next generation to understand that the best way to live is to give. In addition to her role at Arby’s, she has a personal mission to encourage others to stay committed to causes that speak to their spirit. She shares with others that making a change begins with just getting started. “You don’t have to save the world, just do something to make it better. “ In a world that often focuses on personal success, Atwood believes that “individuals can choose generosity and still have prosperity.” In creating community and connections for others, Atwood has created a brand for herself that is founded on her ability to live as a champion of generosity and to meet the physical and emotional needs of youth. She states that part of her purpose in life is to “nurture little souls.” november / december 2013 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com

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feature

Khalilah Birdsong Director of Corporate Relations and Development at Tyler Perry Studios / Artist

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halilah Birdsong clearly remembers a dream she had at the young age of 5, that one day she would work in the entertainment industry. This vision would prove to be a foreshadowing of things to come. Famed author, Denis Waitley, said “A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future.” This quote lends itself well to explain the opportunities that would come to create Birdsong’s very bright future. Khalilah began her quest to work in the entertainment industry in high school as an intern at LaFace Records in her native Atlanta and continued working in various facets of the industry throughout college. She went on to graduate from Howard University with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Minor in French. Following graduation, Birdsong joined a Fortune 500 company as an assistant brand manager. After three years in her position, Khalilah knew something was missing and began to reassess her career path. “I really began listening to my inner voice, and it was calling me back to the entertainment space, so I stepped out on faith, quit my job and I moved back to Atlanta to continue following that dream I had as a little girl. Scary? You bet, but I trusted my gut and followed.” Khalilah’s brief hiatus and time of introspection proved to be beneficial. She landed a job at the William Morris Agency (now, William Morris Endeavor) in Los Angeles, California as a talent agent trainee. After four years working at the agency with A-list actors, directors and writers, Birdsong knew that she needed a change in the entertainment landscape in order to continue to grow. “Again, I began hearing that inner voice urging me on to something else. Even though I had a wonderful job at a stellar company doing what I loved, I now understood what that voice was, so following it this time around was less confounding. I just flowed with it.” Once again, Birdsong’s ability to take stock of her career and remain open to where she was supposed to be brought her what would soon become a coveted position. Through a series of serendipitous events, Khalilah was headed back to Atlanta to be an assistant for Tyler Perry. As Perry’s entertainment empire has continued to grow, 16

SouthernJournalMAG.Com • november / december 2013

by Careshia Moore photos by Picture This Studio

Birdsong has also been able to grow professionally with the company over the past five years. In her current role as director of corporate relations and development, Birdsong has the responsibility to be the pulse on the corporate community and philanthropic landscape in Atlanta. She receives inspiration from the man behind the company. “Tyler Perry’s steadfast focus and work ethic are phenomenal. The way he balances his business and creative mind, while staying true to his personal brand, is simply remarkable.” While working tirelessly in her role with the studio, Khalilah has found a way to relax and express herself creatively. Birdsong has become an accomplished painter in her own right. Currently favoring large-scale canvases five to six feet tall, her paintings are tapestries of color. “When I paint, my spirit is completely unhindered. The only thoughts in my head are of how the paint moves across the canvas. It is these moments that not only do I get lost in the art of painting, but it’s also where I am the freest,” she explains. Khalilah allows whatever is in her to flow out onto the canvas and is often intrigued by what appears. “I sometimes get a better understanding of my emotions when I look at my paintings. It’s as if my soul is displayed right there on the canvas. It’s like, oh I get it, so that’s what I was going through when I painted that.” Birdsong is on a path to share the blessings that have been bestowed upon her. “What gives me the greatest fulfillment is using my platform to touch and inspire other people’s lives. If I’m not endeavoring to uplift and inspire someone else in my personal life or professional endeavors, then I’m not living on purpose.” She quotes Jackie Robinson: “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” This is precisely why Khalilah will continue to blaze trails and inspire others to be courageous in trusting. “Sometimes in life,” she explains, “you have to jump off a cliff and find your wings on the way down.” Undoubtedly, Birdsong will continue to have a profound impact on the world with her leadership in the entertainment industry, her ability to create connections in business and through her creative expression as an artist.


What gives me the greatest fulfillment is using my platform to touch and inspire other people’s lives.  -Khalilah Birdsong


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Ember Bishop Special Assistant to The First Lady of Georgia

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f you have ever had the pleasure of seeing first lady Sandra Deal at a public event, you can rest assured that Ember Bishop was standing in the shadows. In fact, if the first lady is participating in an event, it is most likely because Ember has arranged every detail necessary ahead of time. As the special assistant to the first lady, she comes with work and life experiences that taught her if a job is well done, promotion and position follow closely behind. Raised in White and Hall counties, Ember became enamored with politics at a young age – though that career would have to wait for a while. Her path to higher education began when she received a golf scholarship to Shorter College. During one summer break, she was interviewed by Chris Riley, chief of staff to then-Congressman Nathan Deal. Ember was invited to take on the role as an executive assistant at Deal’s Gainesville Congressional Office, and that job reassured her that a career in business and politics were a good fit for her life. During this time, she enrolled at North Georgia College and State University.  Following this experience, Ember easily transitioned into political talk radio. She worked for two years as a producer at Jacobs Media and for the Martha Zoller Show, serving as the liaison between the Gainesvillebased radio cluster and the national media networks.  Ember participated in radio days at the Pentagon, U.S. Treasury Department and the White House as well as momentous occasions such as the ABC Network 5th Anniversary at Ground Zero. “It was during this time I was inspired to really believe in my personal abilities,” Bishop said. “Having direct conversations with the who’s who of the political world helped me polish my delivery and honed by public relations skills. These experiences helped define me, kept me focused on a path and opened my eyes to amazing possibilities. I gained confidence; I learned to trust my instincts.” In the midst of gaining all this professional experience, Ember’s family and mentors quickly reminded her that she had unfinished business: she had to graduate college. Having tasted just a modicum of the success that she could experience, she returned to Shorter and obtained her

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by Careshia Moore photos by Picture This Studio

bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a minor in political science and marketing. Her determination to finish her education has paid dividends. As a newly minted college grad, she became the director of marketing and promotions for Rome Radio Partners. There, Ember managed the daily operations and spearheaded the long-term goals of the company’s marketing and promotions department. Ember developed unique community partnerships and used creative and compelling on-air strategies to increase audience size, advertiser participation and revenue streams. Ember worked to accomplish two goals simultaneously: provide a platform for small and large business owners in the community while also growing the company’s profits and expanding its media footprint in that market. But there was another big opportunity awaiting Ember. When Ember’s former boss, Congressman Deal, was elected to be Georgia’s 82nd Governor, Ember’s name came to the forefront, and Mrs. Deal offered her a job as the first lady’s special assistant. During the transition, Ember followed her instincts and accepted the honor of serving the first lady and once again becoming a part of the Deal team. “It is such an honor to serve Georgia’s finest first lady,” Ember said. “Her goodness is contagious and inspiring. She truly leads by example and embodies all that is the best of Georgia. Her compassion and selfless servant leadership are her gifts to all whom she meets. I am awed by her strength each day to leave a lasting footprint all across the state. She makes my job easy.” Mrs. Deal says, “Ember is a real treasure to me. Her integrity, passion, loyalty, vision, experience and work ethic command my respect. We strive together as partners to serve the people of Georgia.” Ember’s advice for other young people who desire to achieve success is: “Be aware that people are always observing your character and the choices you make. Some of them will remember you when opportunities arise. It is imperative to be kind and good to others; you never know when those people will weave into your life in the future. Above all, be true to yourself.”


These experiences helped define me, kept me focused on a path and opened my eyes to amazing possibilities. I gained confidence; I learned to trust my instincts.  - Ember Bishop


My brother and I were raised by a single mom who was a school teacher in Clayton County... I have a dad who taught me so much about life…about how to think about different points of view and how to appreciate those who don’t always agree with me.”  - Matthew McCord


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Matthew McCord

Personal Injury, DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyer at Matthew M. McCord, P.C.

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atthew McCord practices law. That’s not unusual. What is unusual is that his approach to law goes against all negative stereotypes of lawyers. “I am a general practitioner. In a small town, that means everything from just sitting down and listening to folks who have something they need to get off their chests, to trying cases up the street in Superior Court. I think most of the time my job is just to help folks clean up the messes in their lives, whether it involves giving legal advice or just listening.” Matt McCord believes that his vocation is also his calling. “I really think the Lord brought me to this. I kind of always had it in my heart that I might want to be a lawyer. Some of the best folks I ever knew were lawyers, and they had a big influence in my life. I was studying choral conducting at Georgia State University (my undergraduate degree was in music), and I kept walking by the law school. One day I just decided that I thought I could do it. I had considered ministry and had actually driven out to visit a seminary in Texas. Ultimately, this was my calling…and the great thing is, in so many ways, I still get to do everything I set out to do back then. This is a ministry.” His credo can be found in Matthew 25:35-40, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me…whatever you have done for the least of these, you have done for me.” Along with a gentleman’s approach to law, though, comes a tenacious and determined foundation. He began his career as a trial lawyer, prosecuting more than 2,000 cases in Clayton and Newton Counties – including a triple murder/arson death penalty case with the district attorney in Newton County. He then moved on to practice civil litigation and criminal defense in Atlanta. This “under 40” attorney has served as the treasurer, vice president, and president of the Henry Bar Association and has been named to the Rising Stars of Georgia’s young lawyers three times. In 2012, he was invited to speak at the State Bar

by Diane Smith photos by Picture This Studio

president’s leadership initiative. Moreover, he fights for his clients, and he and the members of his practice have settled more than $2,000,000 worth of personal injury cases and successfully represented several businesses and individuals in courtrooms across Atlanta. In addition to serving clients in the courtroom, Matthew McCord is a strong proponent of getting involved in his community in every aspect. His love for music is still fulfilled by teaching as a volunteer on the staff of the Fayette County High School marching band for almost 20 years. He has conducted leadership programs for students in Coweta, Fayette and Henry Counties, and at the University of Alabama, Georgia State University, and the City of Nashville Schools. Matt has also taught the mock trial team at Eagles Landing High School and was the Region Twelve Mock Trial coordinator in 2010 and 2011. This busy young lawyer also started a foundation, the Matthew Arts Foundation, to help provide music lessons, uniforms and instruments for youth who could not otherwise afford them. In addition, it has provided $4,000 in college scholarships over the last four years. In his spare time, he is a member of the local Kiwanis club and a trout fisherman. In addition to his faith, his family is a strong influence in his life. He and his wife, Alley, are newlyweds – having tied the knot in March of this year. And he shares from his past, “My brother and I were raised by a single mom who was a school teacher in Clayton County. She worked three jobs and went back to school to take care of us. She is a remarkable lady. Even so, I have a dad who taught me so much about life…about how to think about different points of view and how to appreciate those who don’t always agree with me.” What words of wisdom does Matthew McCord, attorney at law – man of faith – husband – music teacher – community influence – have for others under 40 who are taking steps to fulfill their own journey? Just one simple but profound sentence: “Be a finisher in a generation of starters.” Well said – and well lived, Matt McCord. november / december 2013 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com

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piedmonthenry.org

Š 2013 Piedmont Healthcare 03251-0513


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All youth should be afforded a quality education, exposure to rich experiences and the opportunity to succeed.  - Careshia Moore


Careshia Moore Founder of Girls of Ithaca

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hen Careshia Moore talks about her life’s work thus far, the passion in her voice and the words she chooses to articulate her vision and her work motivate and inspire. Careshia’s career path has wound from elementary school teacher to practicing attorney, but each step along that path has led her to providing hope and opportunity to youth. She developed her passion and realized her calling to empower youth when she worked as an elementary school teacher. “The ironic thing about my first teaching assignment was that although I taught in two schools in the same district, they were in two different zip codes and had vastly different resources. I realized then that all youth should be afforded a quality education, exposure to rich experiences and the opportunity to succeed.” After teaching for a few years, she transitioned into practicing law. She followed this course for several years; but, last year she took a bold step and walked away from the practice of law to pursue her calling and passion: empowering youth to compete to succeed. Through a series of divinely inspired events she began developing curriculum for Usher’s New Look (UNL) Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing global leaders by way of access, awareness and empowerment. “I am blessed to be able to work with an organization that aligns directly with my purpose,” Careshia explains. In addition to her work for UNL, Careshia continues her role as an education advocate and mentor for youth through other avenues. Her successful blog, Compete to Succeed (www.competetosucceed.com), offers real life advice and solutions to parents, teachers and others who endeavor to ensure that children succeed. She has also spearheaded a program for eighth grade girls called Girls of Ithaca. “The eighth grade – that final step before high school – is a crucial time for girls. I wanted to help them prepare for success by making good choices,” Careshia explains. She felt so strongly about this that seven years ago, she began to journal ideas about a program to help this particular group of youth find success. She discussed it with a friend, who put Careshia in touch with a guidance counselor at a Stockbridge middle school. After a brief meeting, the counselor asked, “Can you start next

by Diane Smith photos by Picture This Studio

month?” and the Girls of Ithaca (GOI) was born. “Girls of Ithaca seeks to contribute to the future of our youth and increase high school graduation rates through mentoring and empowering eighth grade girls to make sound decisions, improve self-esteem and value education.” A small group of girls were selected to participate in the first year – those who exhibited leadership potential – and they met twice a month. Speakers were brought in to address such topics as self esteem, having a vision for the future, the importance of reputation and other issues relevant to these students. Currently, Girls of Ithaca is in its third year and continues to impact the lives of young girls. Katherine Havens, counselor at Woodland Middle School, elaborates, “Girls of Ithaca is an impactful program that identifies leadership qualities, enhances self-worth and empowers young girls to make good choices. Careshia Moore and her vision have been wonderful assets to the social well being of our 8th grade girls for the past two years. The Woodland Middle School counseling department is excited to continue collaboration with Careshia and GOI.” While this successful teacher/attorney/advocate believes in developing good educational and supplemental programs to ensure that children become successful adults, she believes that the bedrock for this success lies with the parents. “We put a lot of the onus on teachers to make sure our kids succeed,” Careshia reflects. “The truth is the parents need to wrap their hands around their kids to ensure their future success. When I became an educator, I made sure I did everything I could to help children succeed in the classroom. We have to take this same approach with our own children.” And how does Careshia Moore define success? In her blog, Careshia tells of an encounter with a young man who planned to “just work” after high school. When he revealed this, she could tell he almost expected to be rebuked – that to “just work” might not be enough. In her insightful conclusion of her story, she made a profound discovery. The road to success isn’t always paved with the stones of others expectations. That road is best paved with your own ideals of success. Careshia Moore is doing her best to see that the children she influences – whether at work, in her own home or in a classroom – discover for themselves what those ideals are and how to achieve them. november / december 2013 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com

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I was not really connected to environmental issues, but I came to learn that the environment is not only about plants - it’s about people.  - Ovie Mughelli


Ovie Mughelli

Founder at Ovie Mughelli Foundation by Careshia Moore Environmental Activist / Sports Analyst / Former All Pro Fullback of the NFL

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vie Mughelli, NFL football veteran and environmental activist, says his life is about the four F’s: Faith, Family, Foundation and Football. These areas of Mughelli’s life are not mutually exclusive, but instead are interwoven to create a purpose-driven life. Mughelli played nine seasons in the NFL as a starting Pro Bowl fullback for the Atlanta Falcons and the Baltimore Ravens. One of three children born to Nigerian parents who moved to America to pursue higher education, he grew up in a home where education and faith were priorities. His parents, a gynecologist-obstetrician and medical practice manager, were supportive of Mughelli’s athletic endeavors, but they also emphasized that receiving education was paramount. Providing service to the community was also instilled in Mughelli from an early age. “At a young age while growing up in Charleston, my family would volunteer at the Boys & Girls Club and the soup kitchen.” These experiences sparked the desire in Mughelli to make sure that his life was worth something so that he could help others. NFL gave Mughelli just the opportunity he needed to make an impact on youth. “The NFL provided me with the platform to boost morale and be a role model that kids could look up to.” While attending a charity benefit, Mughelli was introduced to Laura Turner Seydel, media mogul Ted Turner’s daughter and chairperson of Captain Planet Foundation. The idea to choose environmental education as a focus for his foundation was born out of their conversation about protecting the environment. “Laura made me aware of environmental issues and solutions. I came to learn that the environment is not only about plants - it’s about people.” In 2008, Mughelli founded The Ovie Mughelli Foundation (OMF), a nonprofit organization that supports the overall development of youth. The foundation formulates and provides quality programs to creatively educate youth on environmental stewardship. Naturally, Mughelli’s foundation uses sports to teach youth about sustainability, recycling and practical ways to be stewards of the environment. Through the foundation, Mughelli is spreading the message of “Going Green” among youth in underserved communities. The foundation hosts a free camp annually, where youth have the opportunity to meet NFL players, become better at sports and learn to keep the earth safe.

The Foundation also hosts after-school clubs, incentive programs, green speaker series, and OMF’s trademarked activity, the Recycle on the Run - all aimed at sharing the message of environmental stewardship with youth. Through the efforts of the OMF team to create partnerships among community organizations, individuals and government agencies, OMF is now formally collaborating with the Environmental Protection Agency to support innovative environmental education programs designed to increase environmental stewardship among our nation’s youth. In 2011, Mughelli was recognized as the Number Two “eco-athlete” in the world as a result of his work through his foundation. Mughelli was also awarded the “Superhero for Earth” award by the Captain Planet Foundation for his efforts to promote sustainability. Additionally, in 2012, Mughelli addressed an audience of representatives from various sports leagues and government officials at the White House Event on Sports and Sustainability. At the event, he explained the power of sports and the impact it can have on educating youth on the environment. “Once the kids are at the football camps, I share with them about carbon footprint, water and air quality, composting and recycling,” shared Mughelli. Mughelli’s role as an environmental activist has been extremely impactful in just a short amount of time. The significance of the impact is a direct reflection of his sincere desire to educate youth and to do his part in helping to sustain our planet. His wife, Masika, the executive director of the foundation and also an advocate for sustainability, joins Mughelli in the mission to educate youth on protecting the environment. Mughelli views his role as a parent to provide his two daughters with the best environment possible. “We give our daughters the best of everything, why not give them the best environment?” asks Mughelli. Even though Mughelli has found a new passion, his love for sports remains. He still gets to immerse himself in the world of sports when he serves as a sports commentator and color analyst for both college and professional football games. Mughelli enjoys sharing his insights and opinion on the game just as he loves sharing the message of the importance of protecting the environment. OMF’s slogan is Our Future is Green. Undoubtedly, with the impact Mughelli has made in the lives of youth and the plans he has to continue to bring environmental awareness to youth world-wide, Mughelli’s future is extremely bright. november / december 2013 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com

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Roy A. Neill External Affairs & Marketing Director at State of Georgia Lieutenant Governor’s Office 

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atching Roy Neill interact with others is like watching an artist at work. He is a master at creating inroads, interacting with diverse groups and making introductions for those that need to be connected. Success did not happen overnight; for over a decade, Roy has honed his unique skillset with a blended career in the corporate and political settings. He’s a humble leader, supporter and creator of brands for high-profile individuals and political figures. One can say, “He was born with it.” Things seemed to fall in place early for Roy, but he will be the first one to tell you that there is always someone watching you that helped pave each new path. While matriculating at Florida State University, he was easy to spot but maybe not as easy to catch as he darted from one activity to the next. At no surprise to those around him (but perhaps to himself), Roy was invited to become one of three state directors for the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ campaign after interning a few short weeks his junior year. Nervous to delay graduation, Roy saw this as the perfect opportunity to test how well his campus leadership skills and knowledge gained in the classroom would translate into real world politics. Following a successful campaign and another feather in his cap, Roy returned to campus to finish his degree and graduate with honors. With his diploma in hand, Roy was on the move once again. After serving just one legislative session on Florida’s Capitol Hill with Rep. Mike Davis, several Sunshine State movers and shakers took notice of Roy’s political prowess and work ethic. In what he would categorize as a blink of an eye, Roy completed a United States Senate bid, managed another successful race for the Florida House of Representatives and spent time at a boutique lobbying firm in Tallahassee rounding out his work at the Florida Capitol. For Roy, risk is nothing new. After building a strong reputation as a rising leader in Florida politics, Roy put it all on the shelf to pursue a graduate degree in sports business. An avid athlete himself, Roy’s competitive

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by Careshia Moore photos by Picture This Studio

demeanor and solid foundation in the heavy hitting business of politics earned him a desk as a marketing consultant for one of Atlanta’s veteran sports and entertainment firms. Staying true to form, Roy continued to impress his senior colleagues by developing an impressive book of business, immersing himself in virtually every facet of the agency. While managing the Tour de Georgia account, Roy had the distinct opportunity to work alongside Georgia’s Lt. Governor Casey Cagle. Throughout the Tour project, Cagle took notice of Roy’s character and drive for success. Maintaining a three-year relationship with potential opportunities for the state of Georgia, Cagle, like so many other political figures before, asked Roy to join his staff. Recognizing the magnitude of the opportunity, Roy was back in the political saddle (kind of). Serving as an integral piece of Cagle’s staff, Roy focuses on external projects unbound by legislative agenda with programs that transcend the standard practices of a high profile public office. “I believe in the Lt. Governor’s passion, and when he offered me the opportunity to work with him, I jumped at the chance. He understands the significance of his position and its ability to impact our state by shifting the focus from politics to people. He is a great mentor and teammate,” says Roy. Without a doubt, Roy is a bridge builder and provides organizations with a clear voice and sharp vision. He connects corporations and agencies with a cause or with initiatives that originate in the Lt. Governor’s office and works tirelessly building new relationships, seeking new programs. He has an amazing ability to create brand strategies that are socially responsible and respectful with an infectious enthusiasm. It is without question why agencies, organizations and regional and global brands such as Coca-Cola, Dole Food Company, and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation look to Roy as a leader in his own right. “The process is actually pretty simple. No is not an option and perspective is paramount. Everyone wins when we collaborate, and I am blessed to be there to help move the chains,” he explained.


No is not an option and perspective is paramount. Everyone wins when we collaborate.  - Roy A. Neill


Brian O’Neill President at Com-Tech Communications

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rian O’Neill, President of Com-Tech Communications of Georgia, has done something few owners of communications/technology companies have done in the economic downturn – not only has Com-Tech survived, it has continued to grow at a steady pace, increasing its customer base while advancing in the ever-changing field of technology. Brian is hard-pressed to give a typical “elevator speech” describing Com-Tech because of the complexities of the services offered. He is driven every day to help companies integrate their communication platform to not only increase productivity but to also help build and enhance their existing infrastructure. “My innovation and desire to create real value for our customers has been the basis that has become our recipe for success and what will keep us on the cutting edge into tomorrow. I want to help make my customers successful. I need them to be successful. I always put them first. And our success has been built on that platform.” A visit to www.com-tech.com shows a list of services that include structured cabling, security and surveillance systems, access control, VoIP, and hosted PBX. Brian acknowledges that both technology and business models have changed drastically since the company started a quarter of a century ago. The one constant in the familyowned business is the desire to provide the best solutions at a cost savings to the customer. “In my opinion, this is the most exciting time to be involved in the technology industry. Communication technologies is no longer an industry of just products needed for your business to operate. Instead it has become an industry of integrated solutions to help your business operate better and more efficiently. Our customers find value in our solutions because we show them cost savings.” A lifetime of learning and experience enable Brian and his associates to provide answers to problems that many business owners don’t even know exist. He explains that Com-Tech can provide basic PBX phone equipment or replace it with a cloud-based system that requires no onsite maintenance or backup – or a customized hybrid of the two. “We have survived through offering diversity and by staying on top of current available solutions,” Brian expounds. “We are constantly looking at updates and the latest releases on technology.” 38

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by Diane Smith photos by Picture This Studio

Over 6,000 customers around the nation – from “mom and pop” businesses to major corporations– rely on Brian’s Stockbridge based Com-Tech to keep commerce flowing. And Com-Tech’s call center is there to assist on all levels of technical support to ensure that the flow continues with minimal interruptions. While many may experience a sense of burn out after being with a company for more than two decades, Brian still remains passionate about his work with Com-Tech. He is quick to tell you that he is not selling products. “When I meet with customers, I take a close look at what they have – and what they need – and then offer them the best solutions for their business and for their budget.” He shares anecdotes about surprising customers with some of the results. “We review some companies’ phone bills and bandwidth charges and sometimes can show thousands of dollars in savings by just upgrading their services and equipment with today’s technology.” Some of the technological solutions may have seemed like science fiction when Com-Tech began its journey. A push of buttons on a smart phone or tablet can remotely turn lights on and off; lock and unlock doors; provide a camera view of employees accessing doors within a business and sound alarms. Computerized systems in call centers can provide detailed information on length and number of calls made and provide valuable input on results of those calls. Cameras are used for more than just security – they may be used by service providers to monitor employee performance so that feedback and appropriate training can be implemented. Hotels can view the number of guests that come in and go out in any given evening – so that the proper amount of food can be prepared for breakfast the next morning. When not trouble-shooting for his customers, Brian spends time with his two wonderful sons, Jackson (13) and Colin (10). In addition, he might be found hiking, paddle boarding, and even enjoying a little relaxation in a casino from time to time. But it’s evident that with Brian, Com-Tech is more than just a job. “This is what I enjoy – it’s fun for me when I get to show someone ways to harness the technology and make it work for them.” And as one of SJM’s “under 40s,” Brian will tell you, “We’ve been here for 20 years…and we plan to be here for the next 20 years, finding the best answers for equipment and service needs for our customers.”


I want to help make my customers successful. I need them to be successful. I always put them first. And our success has been built on that platform. - Brian O’Neill


Trea Pipkin Solicitor General at Henry County Georgia

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aving already established himself as a strong force for the State of Georgia in the courtroom as an Assistant District Attorney, Trea Pipkin saw his opportunity to manage his own prosecutor office with his appointment to Solicitor General by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. As a lifelong Henry County resident, Trea was raised similarly to others who lived in this middle-Georgia community. Like a lot of other children in the county, Trea grew up on a small family farm where he was taught the value of hard work and learned the importance of personal responsibility. “In those days, we just didn’t think about crime or criminals. Those were Atlanta’s problems, not ours,” Pipkin says. In 2013, the Office of the Solicitor General (Trea Pipkin and his ten Assistant Solicitors General) prosecutes over 23,000 criminal misdemeanors per year in the State Court of Henry County. When asked about the ever-growing rate of crime in the metro Atlanta area, Pipkin responds, “One of the oddest things about a career in prosecution is looking back at the world you thought you knew and finding out the truth of it was completely different from what you had always believed.” Like all prosecutors, Trea has seen the very good and the very evil; the innocent and the guilty; the best and the worst of humanity. When asked how he is able to keep perspective on life and yet remain effective as a criminal prosecutor, his response is sobering: “Human beings are the only species on earth that will travel across continents, sometimes thousands of miles, to help a community of people they have never met.”

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by Lisa Kinchen photos by Picture This Studio

Pipkin adds: “That’s not to say that humans are perfect, we are not; humans are flawed, but the truth is, I am more idealistic now than I was the day before I walked through the doors of this courthouse. I have seen forgiveness and compassion at all levels of the criminal justice system and that is an inspiring thing.” Over the past decade Trea has developed a reputation as an aggressive and successful trial attorney with an aptitude for prosecuting criminals. We wanted to know if the work of a prosecutor has changed over the years; Pipkin responds: “It has become increasingly difficult to obtain favorable convictions when prosecuting outlaws. There is a growing trend all over the country that every time a law is broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. If we accomplish nothing else in the moments ahead, it is time to restore the American principle that each individual is accountable for his actions.” As Solicitor General, Mr. Pipkin’s office is responsible for prosecuting many of the local domestic violence cases. “What is surprising to many people is the very low rate of stranger-on-stranger violence in this country. Most violent attacks are perpetrated by people we know. I have always believed that the best homicide prevention plan a community can have is a strong domestic violence prosecution plan,” says Pipkin. In addition to being the top prosecutor for the State Court of Henry County, Pipkin is a local Rotarian, he serves on the board of directors for the Haven House, the board of directors for Speedway Children’s Charities at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and he is a member of Eagle’s Landing First Baptist Church.


I have seen forgiveness and compassion at all levels of the criminal justice system and that is an inspiring thing.  - Trea Pipkin


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Brian Strickland Associate at Smith, Welch, Webb, & White, LLC State Representative

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grew up on a farm in Henry County, raised by a father who worked every day of the week except for Sunday. He bred into me the belief that I do not lead a life of privilege, but that good things will come to those willing to work for it.” These are the words of Brian Strickland, a young man who has returned to his native county and hometown to give back to the source of his lifeblood and rich personal character. Brian, son of Bob and Lynne Strickland, graduated from Henry County High School in 2002. When he headed off to Valdosta State University the following fall, he may not have known he would end up with a degree in Economics by 2006 and then head to Florida Coastal School of Law to achieve the degree of Juris Doctor in 2009, but he did know he would do something to help people. “My parents were always serving others in some way. I was raised in Hampton First Baptist Church where I am still a member. I watched my mom and dad serve in many areas of church ministry through the years. And my dad coached team sports as well as helped in my Boy Scout endeavors. He poured into my sister Ashley and me the importance of always having the willingness to serve.” Listening to Brian makes it evident there is one character trait he can definitely credit his dad for consistently modeling … and that would be humility. “He always served without complaint, even though he had a huge burden of responsibility at home taking care of our farm.” But another great example of humility, his mom, was always by her husband’s side, working with him on their farm. “She didn’t have a career outside the home; I never knew her to work other than with my dad.” After completing law school, Brian knew he wanted to practice law “at home.” He simply felt he had an obligation to give back to the community which had meant so much to him during his upbringing. “I look forward to investing my whole life here, and one day raising kids here,” Brian shares. Brian currently works with the attorney firm of Smith, Welch, Webb and White in McDonough. “My goal in going

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by Beverly Van Gorder photos by Picture This Studio

to law school was to become someone who would find a solution when people have a problem. Not like thirsting for power, but having the power to help make change. I enjoy being able to make a difference in people’s lives when they don’t know where else to turn.” In 2012, Brian added another arena of responsibility and change-making possibilities to his plate when he was elected to the State House of Representatives. “I didn’t really expect to do something like this quite so early in my career, but the opportunity came up, people voted, and I was elected. I am a pretty straight-forward guy, I am who I am and you get what you see. So as people come to know me, they trust me, but it is really only God shining through and I take no credit for that. “I always want to be willing to follow the next step, and I truly believe God has called me to be where I am today. I will continue to do whatever will help me to serve others better. Christ is the best model we have of a servant, and I will always strive to follow His example as I go through life.” His willingness to follow God’s lead to the Capitol resulted in a personal bonus. He reconnected with a friend he had known only superficially during his Valdosta State days. Lindsay Perdue was working in Governor Deal’s office when he began his duties in the House of Representatives. The timing was now right for these two they had discovered their soul mate in each other. Recently engaged, they are looking forward to a wedding sometime in late spring 2014. Brian says through a smile, “I have found my lifelong companion. She comes from a family very similar to mine, and as a result we have the same goals and ideals for our future. I enjoy being around her parents as much as my own.” I am sure the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. Strickland will become an even stronger force for change in our community as they begin their new life together next year. Based on his heritage, undoubtedly Brian and Lindsay will continue their legacy of humbly seeking to meet the needs of those around them and prepare to raise up another generation of servant hearts.


My goal in going to law school was to become someone who would find a solution when people have a problem...I enjoy being able to make a difference in people’s lives when they don’t know where else to turn.  - Brian Strickland


I had to allow my passion to guide me to where I could have the greatest impact on underserved youth.  - Shawn Wilson


Shawn Wilson

President at Usher’s New Look Foundation

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n a world with many budding and accomplished social entrepreneurs like Blake Mycoske, founder of TOMS, and Jeffery Hollender, founder of Seventh Generation, many people are looking to create social good and a better world by applying sound business principles. Here in Atlanta, we have one of the most influential social entrepreneurs in the nation: Shawn H. Wilson. Wilson is currently the President of Usher’s New Look Foundation (UNL), a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing global youth leaders by way of access, awareness and empowerment. Leading the foundation since 2004, Wilson has combined his knowledge of nonprofit management with business principles to create a successful youth leadership program which bolsters a 100% graduation rate among its high school participants. He has recruited an international board of directors and built partnerships with the world’s most prominent education institutions and corporations. Under his leadership, the foundation has had a significant impact on 17,000 youth worldwide. The seeds for Wilson’s success in nonprofit management were planted 25 years ago when he began working at his local YMCA in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  By the time he was 19 years old, Wilson had earned a management position as the aquatic coordinator. At that time, Wilson showed considerable promise as a businessman. “I balanced the aquatics department’s budget for the first time in half a decade.“ How did he accomplish this feat? “I was able to see the revenue gaps by fulfilling the members’ needs and simply listening to them.” As a result of Wilson’s intuitive business acumen and love for the organization, he caught the attention of Jack Lund, then President and CEO of YMCA of Greater Milwaukee, who became his mentor in life and business. As he was experiencing success in leadership roles within the organization, Wilson began to desire more financial gain. He embarked upon a successful business venture with Northwestern Mutual Financial Network as a financial planner. This career change brought him to Atlanta, Georgia. His  pure “grit” and desire to succeed made him a top producer within a few years of relocating. Although his career as a financial planner was profitable, Wilson

by Careshia Moore photos by Picture This Studio

explains, “I quickly knew that financial planning was not my passion. I was a social entrepreneur at heart and needed to work in a field where I was helping youth directly. As I transitioned back into the world of nonprofit, I was able to apply ‘for-profit’ principles such as return on investment and positioning yourself and your product uniquely.” Utilizing the for-profit principles helped Wilson build a multimillion dollar consulting firm which enhanced the efficacy of foundations and initiatives targeting youth issues for celebrities and power players ranging from Dr. Toni Yancey, from UCLA School of Public Health, to professional athletes like Atlanta Falcons, DeAngelo Hall, T.J. Duckett and Allen Rossum. Wilson’s work was instrumental in moving the needle on issues such as gun violence, obesity and education. At a certain point, Wilson’s client list grew to 16; but once again he found himself doing some soul searching and ultimately decided to focus on one client: Usher’s New Look Foundation. “I had to allow my passion to guide me to where I could have the greatest impact on underserved youth. Passion is the core of any social entrepreneur,” Wilson explains. Ten years, five states, four continents and 17,000 youth served later, Wilson is focused on continuing the expansion of Usher’s New Look’s reach using technology to enhance their education. In true entrepreneurial form, Wilson looks at education through a business lens. “We have to create a demand for education from our students.” Wilson believes that embracing technology is essential to creating an educational product and environment that focuses on students by listening to them as consumers. “In order to better educate students, we have to listen to how they want education packaged and deliver it in a way that is most palatable by the consumer: the youth.” Wilson believes that schools should be the best at utilizing technology in order to get kids to embrace and excel in education. Inspired by his own four children, Wilson speaks of how he and his wife are working to provide the best educational experience for their children - but he aims to go beyond his own family and impact education for students worldwide by listening to them and catering to their needs as consumers of education. november / december 2013 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com

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Choose mentors who don’t look like you, those who have different life and work experiences. Set high expectations for yourself – if you don’t expect much, you won’t get much.  - Latanza Adjei


Latanza Adjei

Customer Care Center Director atby Diane Smith Georgia Power photos by Picture This Studio

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here have been books written and countless workshops taught on living a purpose-filled life. For Latanza Adjei, living with purpose comes naturally. It is her credo and has taken her to her current position as Customer Care Center Director at Georgia Power. Latanza laughs when asked if her career path was planned, evolved to where it is, or if it came about through a set of circumstances – almost serendipity. “Serendipity is the name of a place we used to go hang out years ago! My career path was very planned.” Latanza is “Georgia born and bred,” attended Atlanta public schools, then graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in industrial engineering. While at tech, she was a co-op student with Georgia Power for three years. The power company hired her upon graduation, and she has been climbing the ladder there ever since. “Georgia Power actively recruits from local universities and technical schools to build their talent pool,” Latanza explains. Her growth at Georgia Power has included working in and learning different aspects of the company, constantly looking for growth opportunities. Latanza’s first job was entry level, and she made it her business to learn about various operations and how all the “puzzles pieces fit together.” She has been helped along the way by strong mentors. “I’ve been groomed every step of the way,” she says. “Throughout my career I’ve gotten very honest feedback. My mentors have challenged me, broadened my perspectives. They’ve seen my talents and have groomed me to use them.” Latanza Adjei is proud of the part she plays in Georgia Power’s impact on the community. “Everything we do here is to serve the community,” she declares. “We are here 24/7/365 to ensure the citizens in our area have power in their homes.” In her role she helps serve Georgia Power customers all over the state, whether it’s getting power connected in a new home or assisting someone who has difficulty managing their monthly bill. She admits she has a somewhat unique skill set, in that in addition to her engineering background she also has very strong interpersonal and customer service skills. She believes that

in order for her team to live up to the company’s creed to “be a citizen wherever you serve,” individual employees should be enabled to connect with the community. Georgia Power also enables Latanza and others within the company to provide hours of volunteer service in the communities they serve. She explains that each year begins with a civic plan which outlines several fundraisers for local nonprofits. “We have the largest chapter in the state,” she says with some pride in her voice. “We give about 5,000 hours of volunteer community service to several nonprofits – in addition to the funds we raise.” Individually, Latanza especially enjoyed serving as a Loaned Executive for United Way in Rockdale where she supported the annual fundraising campaign across the county. She was also one of the first community coaches in the Governor’s Communities in Schools Program where she worked with the graduation coach in a local school, teaching students needed skills such as resume building, interview skills and building a professional image. As Latanza Adjei continues to look ahead to building her own future, what advice does she give to others “under 40,” including youth, for moving ahead in their own lives? “Be purposeful. Be intentional. Nine out of ten people succeed because they have worked hard, sacrificed.” She continues with passion. “Build and listen to a strong, diverse pool of mentors. Choose mentors who don’t look like you, those who have different life and work experiences. Set high expectations for yourself – if you don’t expect much, you won’t get much. Constantly ask yourself, ‘Is this the best I can do?’” She pauses and laughs, and admits that she does get herself in trouble from time to time with her husband, Solomon, when she throws that last one at him. Latanza gives one last word of advice before she concludes the interview, ready to get back to serving her customers – her community. “Take the collective wisdom you have gathered from your mentors and add it to your repertoire, use it when you make your decision.” Latanza Adjei – moving forward, living a planned, intentional life. Serendipity? “That’s just a place where we used to hang out…” november / december 2013 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com

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Billy Thompson General Manager/Operator at Truett’s Grill

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he course of a life can be set by one decision. For Billy Thompson, Jr. that decision was to give up a young man’s dream of buying a Jeep. The sacrifice resulted in a revisit to college, ending up on the Dean’s list, and being hand selected by Truett Cathy to operate one of the highest volume Chick-fil-As in the restaurant chain. Billy shares, “I believe God had a major part in my career with Chick-fil-A. After two years at Georgia Tech, not focusing, and struggling academically, I had to leave.” He continues, “I began working at the Dwarf House in Riverdale. While attending local colleges and working, I saved $3,000. At age 21, I wanted to be the cool guy in town. I had a Jeep picked out that I was going to buy.” At the same time, he had been praying for God to give him direction for his life. Billy considers Matthew 6:33 as his guiding scripture: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all of His righteousness, and all these things will be given unto you…” The same week Billy had planned to buy his dream car, he received a letter in the mail. He had received a halfpaid scholarship to Liberty University, a Christian college in Lynchburg, Virginia. Through a divine coincidence, Billy found the direction he needed – Liberty’s tuition was $6,000, and his part would be $3,000 – the down payment he had saved for the Jeep. “I had a choice to listen to God’s direction or choose the route I wanted to take. I gave up the dream of having a Jeep and was willing to give up my supervisor job at the Dwarf House to follow the Lord’s will for my life.” After one semester at Liberty University, Billy Thompson asked Georgia Tech to allow him to come back. They agreed. “I made the Dean’s list the first semester back, and the rest is history.” Billy continued his career with Chick-fil-A while finishing a bachelor’s degree in management and a certificate in marketing at Tech. At just 26 years old, he entered Chick-fil-A’s Operator Development Program. The Riverdale Dwarf House became available – it was the 4th

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by Diane Smith photos by Picture This Studio

highest volume restaurant in the chain of 1,000. At that time, the Cathy family (founders of Chick-fil-A) and the executive board voted on operator selection for the Dwarf House restaurants. The executive committee wanted a tenured operator for that high-profile restaurant. Billy reveals, “However, after interviewing with Bubba Cathy and Truett Cathy, Truett must have seen something in me. He stood up in the executive meeting and personally picked me for the opportunity. Truett Cathy believed in me.” In Billy Thompson’s case, Mr. Cathy’s hunch (or whisper from above) has certainly paid off. Following his time at the Riverdale restaurant, Billy became the general manager/ operator of Truett’s Grill in McDonough, leading the concept of an expanded diner in the Chick-fil-A family. He serves as an operator coach for the Truett’s Grill system, as well as working on the Dwarf House/Truett’s Grill Strategic Planning Committee. He has earned Chick-fil-A’s most prestigious award, the “Symbol of Success.” Operators are challenged to reach a huge sales goal each year. Winning operators are given a one-year lease on a Ford vehicle of their choice for achieving the goal. If the operator achieves the goal two years in a row, they get to keep the title. So while he didn’t get the Jeep, he did achieve the goal two years running to win a Ford F150 truck. His Truett’s Grill was also the first out of 1,500 restaurants nationally to achieve over $5 million in sales in one year. When not leading the helm at the restaurant, Billy is heavily involved in the South Metro Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), where he serves on the board. Billy Thompson will tell you that he has found success by following God-given direction. On this path, he has never forgotten the truly important things in life. He continues to serve his Lord faithfully, and he and his wife of 13 years, Debbie, pour their lives into raising their two young sons, Ty and Nolan. If there is one thing Billy could say to our readers, it would be to seek God’s guidance for your life…and, of course, “Eat more chicken!”


Truett must have seen something in me. He stood up in the executive meeting and personally picked me for the opportunity. Truett Cathy believed in me.  - Billy Thompson


business profile

Teaching young drivers

safety on the road by Shavonia Frank and Diane Smith photo by Picture This Studio

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hen Freddie and Erin Briggs’ oldest son, Justin, began his quest to get his driver’s license, the family found challenges in the process. This critical and life-changing milestone in a teenager’s life can also be unnecessarily stressful. The state of Georgia requires all first-time, young drivers to comply with Joshua’s Law, implemented in 2007. This law requires all 16 & 17-year-olds applying for a Class D license to complete an approved driver’s education course and a total of 40 hours supervised driving, 6 of which must occur at night. Freddie, a retired military pilot, and Erin, a kindergarten teacher, searched but did not find an affordable, conveniently-located program that would help Justin meet these requirements easily. In 2011, the Briggs used this frustrating experience as a basis to create a solution – 1st Stop Georgia Driving Academy. “No other program existed that had our current goal: an affordable service that is accessible to our community and its students,” Freddie explained. He continued, “Sometimes parents feel that they can take on the responsibility of driving instruction themselves, but 1st Stop provides the best instruction from patient teachers who are licensed experts in Georgia driving education.” By developing an affordable program that complies with state regulations, the Briggs and their staff help turn local residents into safe and knowledgeable drivers. 1st Stop Georgia Driving Academy is a licensed Department of Drivers Services (DDS) training school that combines supervised driving with classroom instruction to help teenage drivers satisfy all the requirements of Joshua’s Law. 1st Stop takes pride in catering to local residents. They offer one-on-one instruction, which ensures each student driver gets personal attention; they offer vehicles for students to use during behind the wheel instruction; they will pick-up and drop-off students at their residence or school for behind the wheel sessions; they will escort students to the DDS so they can take their tests; and they offer classes throughout the year including

summer vacations, school breaks, and holiday breaks to meet families’ needs. Furthermore, 1st Stop is one of the only programs certified to conduct the road skills test, which means students are taking the test with an instructor they know while enabling students to opt out of going to the DDS for the exam. 1st Stop Georgia Driving Academy has also teamed up with local schools to offer driving courses. 1st Stop provides everything needed, including vehicles, curriculum, certification and supervised driving with licensed instructors. Noel Pagan of McDonough’s Community Christian School shares her experience with 1st Stop’s school driving program. “I first met Freddie and was introduced to 1st Stop at the McDonough Geranium Festival over a year ago. Community Christian School had a booth next to his booth. Since that time, we have been fortunate to provide our students with on-campus drivers’ training through 1st Stop. Parents love the convenience of having the program at the school, and I appreciate the professionalism Freddie and his team use when working with students and parents.” 1st Stop Georgia Driving Academy offers adult driving education as well. Defensive driving courses are held on alternate Saturdays: a one-day, six-hour course for any age that can reduce points from a license if needed, as well as provide possible discounts in automobile insurance. On-site defensive driving classes are available for businesses, as well. With affordable rates and attentive instructors, 1st Stop Georgia Driving Academy makes the learning process simple and quick for any new driver. It can also help adult drivers navigate rebuilding a positive driving experience. Freddie and Erin encourage you to contact them today. “It could mean the difference in your future. By utilizing 1st Stop, you are investing in the safety of the community as well as the safety of your student driver.” Located in McDonough, Georgia, 1st Stop Georgia Driving Academy serves Henry and many other surrounding counties. For more information or to schedule driver’s training, call 678-432-1551 or visit www.1ststopgtda.com.

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Coming next issue...

A 10-year anniversary celebrating love, relationships and enrichment

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Southern Journal Magazine presents...

with

november / december 2013 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com

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business profile

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piorra mattress

ccording to a report published this year by the American Express Company, Georgia ranks sixth in the nation amongst states with the largest number of women-owned businesses. Currently, more than 308,000 companies in Georgia are owned by women. With Georgia ranking as a national leader, it’s no surprise that Atlanta is seventh in the nation among metropolitan areas with the largest number of women entrepreneurs. Behind these impressive statistics are women such as Julie O’Neill, owner of Piorra Mattress in Locust Grove. “Being a business owner gives me the power to be a positive force in the community while continuing to instill important values to my kids,” says O’Neill. “This is what makes me tick.”  In April, the wife and mother of four opened Piorra Mattress, a discount retail store. O’Neill is committed to offering low prices for high-quality products, and is proud that every mattress set costs less than $1,000. “I am very, very proud of the fact that we can offer a household staple that is affordable,” she says.“This idea that you’re only getting high-quality goods if you pay top dollar is ludicrous.”  For O’Neill, this is the third time that she has operated a business selling mattresses. However, now that her children are growing up and beginning to leave the nest, her store reflects the ambitions of a woman determined to make a long-term commitment at building a successful company and playing a leading role in her community. “Now that my children are older, it is important for me to leave something to them,” says O’Neill. “They may choose it or not, but it is important for me to leave something. This will be a company that will treat people with respect, give them fair prices, and offer something that my children can be proud of.” O’Neill’s devotion to family lies at the center of key decisions that she has made throughout her life. Even the name of her company reflects her love of family. “When I met with the attorney, he asked, ‘Do you have a name for the business?’” At that time, she did not. However, she liked the idea

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Offering affordable quality in The Grove by Brian J. Williams photos by Picture This Studio

of using the name PEAR because it would serve as an acronym for her children – Paul, Emily, Abigail and Robert. O’Neill’s attorney researched and discovered that Pear, LLC was taken. Then her husband pointed out that Piorra was Irish for pear, and a new business was born. Both Julie and her husband are of Irish descent. The name was perfect. “The most exciting moments have been getting the business license, signing the lease, designing the logo, and decorating the building,” says O’Neill. “It’s actually all pretty fun!” According to the study commissioned by American Express, “The 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report,” between 1997 and 2013, the number of women-owned firms has grown at one-and-ahalf times the national average. Those statistics reflect similar reports published by other organizations on the subject. In addition, the report also states that since the depth of the U.S. economic recession, only large publicly traded corporations and privately held women-owned companies have provided a net increase in employment. For O’Neill, statistics like that are encouraging. Currently, she is the company’s only full-time employee. However, she doesn’t hesitate to utilize her children as the need arises. “All of the kids work in the store,” says O’Neill. “But do they get paid? Well, that depends,” she laughs. “I want them to learn something, and I don’t care what it is. Some of them are better at working with customers than others. But they all bring something unique to the store.” Although the business just opened its doors six months ago, O’Neill is pleased with sales so far. “We’re still brand new and are doing the best we can to keep our overhead down and prices low,” she says. “Based on the direction that we are heading, and the sales that we are having, I think the business is growing at a nice, healthy pace. I am getting a lot of personal referrals, and I think that is a good sign. It just takes time but I feel good about it.”


This will be a company that will treat people with respect, give them fair prices, and offer something that my children can be proud of.  - Julie O’Neill

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Subway Owners Ken & Margie Lynn: Living the Dream

by Careshia Moore photo by Picture This Studio

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ubway store #14921 on Highway 155 North in McDonough is owned by a dream team that consists of a married couple full of faith, “grit” and a dream realized. Ken and Margie’s success began when the two entrepreneurial soul mates met. Ken was born and raised in Atlanta and Margie moved to Atlanta from Delaware at the age of 25 with $50 in her pocket and a dream. Margie had always dreamed of owning her own business and she thought Atlanta would be just the place to do it. Ken and Margie knew they were destined to own their own businesses and work for themselves. After becoming successful in the real estate industry, the couple decided to try their hand at a franchise. One day while at a Subway they frequented, they inquired about purchasing a franchise and the rest is history. In 2004 the couple opened a Subway in McDonough, Georgia. After 2 ½ years and a dramatic decline in customers due to other closing businesses in the area and a failing economy, the Lynns made the decision to close their business. During that time they both worked odd jobs to maintain their living expenses but they knew they would be business owners again. “We had customers from our previous store praying for us. We also knew that we could get another store someday because once you are a Subway franchisee, you are a part of the family,” explains Margie. The Lynns did not give into people who told them they should just “get a regular job.” Instead they held on to their dream and in 2008 they opened the doors to their Union Grove Subway location and have been there since. It is clear that the Lynns take pride in their business. They are grateful to be a part of a brand that is the world’s largest submarine sandwich chain with more than 37,000 locations around the world. “To be able to say that I am a part of a global brand has opened many doors for us,” shares Ken. So what’s their secret? The Lynns maintain a customer-centered business.

“Everyone who walks through the door is our boss,” explains Ken. “We provide service with a smile,” adds Margie excitedly with her contagious smile. The Lynns also support the community by participating as a business in Partner in Education at East Lake Elementary and Union Grove Middle. They are also members of the Union Grove High School Boosters. The Lynns ensure that their team delivers world-class customer service. “We tell employees that customer service is number one. We know that our reputation in the community is important. Without customers, we would not have a business,” says Margie. One of the most important ingredients

Let us cater your next event! (770) 914-6595 2135 Hwy. 155 North, McDonough, GA 30252

to their success derived from a conversation during a chance meeting at a local store with Truett Cathy where he told Ken: “Always put God first.” The Lynns have never forgotten this sage piece of advice and they put God first in their business and in their family. The Lynns are the parents of three adult daughters, one of whom manages the store for them. The Lynns are, without a doubt, living the dream. Ken says, “I’ve done a lot of backbreaking work in my life and I knew I had to do something differently.” One conversation with Margie and you know that she is living her dream. She says, “I love my business. I want everyone to know that owning a business is possible.”


We’ve become a Stronger Rock for your children and families. Become a part of the Strong Rock Family. .


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business profile

Tips to stay

pain free during the holidays by Diane Smith photo by Picture This Studio

SJM: What are some of the extra challenges that chronic pain suffers experience during the holidays? Pain Care: During the holiday season, the majority of us see an increase in our activity level. For chronic pain sufferers, activities such as standing for long periods of time and traveling can cause increased back strain and pain. This increase in pain levels has been shown to negatively affect a person’s mood and limit their ability to participate in holiday activities. SJM: Can good planning/scheduling of multiple holiday events – with built in rest periods – make a difference to the one who suffers chronic pain? If so, please give some ideas on how best to accomplish this. Pain Care: Yes, a chronic pain sufferer should take time to allow their body to rest. Additionally, they should monitor how much they lift, wear comfortable clothing and shoes, and use mobility aids such as a wheelchair, walker, or a scooter. SJM: What is the best way to prepare for holiday travels, such as flights and long car rides? Pain Care: Bring aids to help in comfort such as neck pillows, seat cushions, and compression stockings to keep blood from pooling in the legs and feet. SJM: If the pain flares up while away from home, what are the best alternatives for treatment/relief? Pain Care: It a good idea to apply an ice pack or other form of cold compression to the afflicted areas. It is best to use a 20 minutes-on and 20 minutes-off rotation. Furthermore, it is good to rest and stretch affected areas as much as possible. SJM: Please provide recommendations concerning the repetitive movements and sometimes heavy lifting that often accompany holiday preparations. Pain Care: First, don’t be embarrassed to ask for help from others. We all experience pain at one time or another. If you feel well enough to do some lifting, ensure that you do so using proper lifting techniques such as bending at the knees and not bending at the waist. Also, do not lift an object and twist at the waist, it is always best to pivot at the feet.

SJM: Can maintaining a healthy weight during the holidays affect pain management? Pain Care: Absolutely. There is a high correlation between your weight and pain. Overweight individuals experience more overall stress on their joints and muscles. SJM: Can simple holiday tasks like sitting in the floor wrapping gifts, reaching to hang holiday lights, and wrestling with setting up the tree be pain triggers? If so, what are your recommendations for limiting risk of injury and/or preventing pain flare ups? Pain Care: Sure. When wrapping gifts, sit at a table and take frequent breaks to rest and stretch. For hanging lights, use ladders or stools so that over-reaching can be avoided. For the tree, consider using a smaller, lighter tree or an artificial tree. SJM: If somebody experiences a minor fall (say, while hanging lights) followed by pain - or begins to notice a repetitive-movement injury during the holidays – should they seek immediate treatment, or adopt a “wait until after the holidays and I’ll get it checked out” mentality? Could such a delay increase the possibility of future complications? Pain Care: Even minor falls can result in serious injuries, so it is always a good idea to have it checked. There may be a chance that there is a bone fracture some place which can lead to a more serious injury if not addressed earlier. SJM: When pain prevents participation in holiday festivities, what recommendations do you have to keep the chronic pain sufferer from experiencing depression or a feeling of being “left out”? Pain Care: For chronic pain sufferers, it’s important to plan ahead. Meet with a reputable pain specialist who can customize a treatment plan for your specific condition. As part of your treatment, a physician may prescribe medication to help reduce your pain which can allow you to do more. That being said, your body does have limits so plan ahead to take breaks giving your body the time it needs to rest. From Southern Journal Magazine and Pain Care, have a safe, happy and pain-free holiday Season!

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the magic of the morrow center by Diane Smith photos by Picture This Studio

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ucked away in south metro Atlanta in the city of Morrow is a hidden gem – the Morrow Center, one of Georgia’s newest conference and special event centers. This lavish, high-tech 28,000 square-foot Center is conveniently located just six minutes from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and 14 minutes from downtown Atlanta. It is central not only to transportation, but also to hotels, shopping and many local attractions. Mike Sakowitz Twomey, Director of the Morrow Business and Tourism Association, considers this Center competitive with any other in the metro Atlanta area in elegance and appointments. “Whenever a prospective client comes to see the Center, the reaction is always ‘Wow,’” Mike proclaims. “I believe that the 68

finishes, decor, technology and service rival anything around,” he concludes. The Morrow Center serves as a business conference center, offering flexible space and state-of-the-art technology. It is built to International Association of Conference Center and Marriott standards. The Center has three secure meeting rooms and a main ballroom that can be set up in different configurations – it will seat 350 banquet style; 400 theater style and 320 classroom style. Conference amenities include a drop down screen and projector; a raised stage for presentations; a built-in sound system complete with wired or wireless microphones; portable work screens and white boards; and reception and networking areas; breakout rooms and much more to ensure a

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seamless conference experience. A delicious array of refreshments will help make the conferences memorable for those who attend. The Center is also heavily utilized for social and special events and caters to a diverse audience for Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, proms, anniversary celebrations, reunions, and, of course, weddings. The Morrow Center has been recognized for two years running with the Wedding Wire’s Bride’s Choice Award. It is listed there in the top five percent of wedding professionals in the local vendor community, comprised of over 200,000 of these professionals throughout the U.S. and Canada. This award recognizes 20 areas of service, from venue to photographers.


In addition to offering an exciting and beautiful event venue, the Morrow Center also provides complete concierge service. Mike explains, “Event planning options range from you supplying your own vendors to a total care package coordinated fully by our professional staff or referrals.â€? The wide array of services include arranging for catering and bar services, centerpiece designs (floral, lighting, linens, etc.), entertainment, transportation, event and wedding consultations and even printing of stationery and promotional materials. For more information or to make reservations, call 678-489-5161 or visit www.morrowcenter.com. november / december 2013 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com

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From the Desk of

Our First Lady by Careshia Moore photo by Picture This Studio

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anuary 2013 was the launch of the Governor’s Office for Children and Families’ new grant program to support military families throughout the state of Georgia. GOCF recognizes that while our military families selflessly support our country, they are sometimes in need of special services to address various needs. The grants aim to increase family support, assist with youth school achievement and implement teen intervention programs. The grants were awarded to Kings Bay Naval Base, Marine Corps Logistics Base, Reach Out and Read, and Safe Homes of Augusta. Grant awards totaled $195,018 through the year 2014. The grantees were selected because they provide family support programs specific to military families that aim to achieve outcomes in the area. Kings Bay Naval Base The Kings Bay Youth Sponsorship Program’s primary objective is to lessen the social, emotional and academic impact of the relocation experience for military children in grades 3-12. Central to that objective is the establishment of the Connections Club in seven of Camden County’s 12 public schools. The Connections Club assists military youth with the demands of transition and improving military family cohesion.

During the 2012-2013 school year, Kings Bay Youth Sponsorship Program held four training camps for students from elementary to high school, training 72 Ambassadors to act as trained representatives for incoming youth who have just relocated to the new school and community. Marine Corps Logistics Base The program increases educational attainments and career development by serving spouses and youth of military families. Spouses have access to quarterly meet-and-greets with local businesses, continuing education opportunities through educational fairs, as well as career advancement trainings (resume building, interview skills, etc.) Youth are afforded the opportunities to participate in job fairs, along with quarterly trainings related to certifications in areas such as babysitting, lifeguarding, and customer service. During the past year, Marine Corps Logistics Base provided trainings for military youth and family including: CPR and first aid training; workshops that educate spouses regarding the Marine Corps structure, services and benefits available; and scholarship research and letter writing workshop for high school youth.

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Reach Out and Read The goal of Reach Out and Read is to increase the percentage of children reading at grade level by the completion of third grade. As a result of GOCF funding, Reach Out and Read has partnered with on-base pediatricians at Fort Benning, Robins Air Force Base, Fort Gordon, Moody Air Force Base and Fort Stewart to provide ageappropriate books to children 0-5 years old and their families at each well care checkup visit. Trained pediatricians use a portion of the checkup visit to engage with the parents to promote the importance of literacy development and encourage the parents to spend time reading to their child. During this past year, GOCF funds have allowed pediatricians to deliver books to over 4,000 children of military families. SafeHomes of Augusta SafeHomes of Augusta’s Teen Dating Violence Program endeavors to decrease incidents of family violence and establish new supports and services that center on dating violence for teens at the military base. SafeHomes of Augusta develops dating violence brochures, information cards, handouts and presentation materials; organizes and facilitates topical, open-session teen dating violence support and focus groups; and establishes family violence awareness events and activities. SafeHomes utilizes a holistic approach to providing awareness to the severity of teen dating violence by incorporating the whole family in their efforts. During this first year of implementation, SafeHomes was able to provide the Teen Intervention Program to more than 112 teens, hold 7 support groups, and host 10 awareness activities on base. SafeHomes will continue to provide prevention and awareness activities to the military families at Fort Gordon, and will be expanding this program to include support groups for teen males of military families. As the Governor’s Office for Children and Families continues to support the communities of Georgia, they are developing innovative ways to ensure that all families and children in Georgia are provided with the opportunity to achieve success. With 106,000 military personnel residing in Georgia, expanding the GOCF’s reach to include our military families demonstrates its commitment to its mission to reach, support and empower communities to serve Georgia’s children and families.


Truett’s Grill McDonough Manager: Billy Thompson

Food is essential to life; therefore, make it good. Truett Cathy - Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chick-fil-A.

1785 Jonesboro Rd. McDonough, GA 30253 • (678) 432-2221 • www.cfarestaurant.com/truettsgrill-mcdonough


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Many thanks to Del Frisco’s Grille ...For their amazing in-kind sponsorship of our United Way luncheon. With special guests, our first lady of Georgia, Mrs. Sandra Deal, and Marlon Allen. Pictured (right): Lisa Kinchen, Publisher SJM Mrs. Sandra Deal, Our First Lady of Georgia Betsy Brown, United Way Milton Little, United Way President Pictured (below): Glennda Baker, Lisa Kinchen, Cindy Shepard, Mrs. Sandra Deal, Miguel Castillo, Khalilah Birdsong, Ember Bishop.

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Pictured (top): Lisa Kinchen, Marlon Allen, Mrs. Sandra Deal, Glennda Baker, Laura Castillo Pictured (left): Manager of Del Frisco’s Grille, Michael Clark, Mrs. Sandra Deal

Thank you to our sponsor:

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feature

An Exclusive Look into Governor & First Lady Deal’s Private Living Quarters: The Family Room

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s we journey further into the private living quarters of the governor’s mansion, our next stop is the family room. The family room is used not only by Governor Deal’s family, but also provides a space for casual meetings, overnight guests, and for friends to enjoy. Designers Richard and Vicki Zimmerman of Zimmerman Design Agency (ZDA) used the coral, blue and white rug as a centerpiece and a foundation for designing the remainder of the room. Prior to the use of the rug, “The entire room was centered around the old-style television that protruded two feet into the room. We moved it to the corner and added a desk and side chair for Mrs. Deal,” explain the Zimmermans. Books from the main library can be seen in a glass-enclosed hutch. As usual, ZDA began with the existing 78

furniture and then scoured the furniture in the attic to make the room comfortable for the Deals and guests. “We realized that the white sofa, chair, and poof ottoman were not very inviting, and the leather recliner from the Deal’s home was the only really comfortable place to sit.” The designers further explain, “In the attic we located the desk, an oval coffee table, a large wing chair in a huge floral print and a couple of ottomans. The coffee table was refinished, and all of the furniture except the recliner was reupholstered.” Richard & Vicki chose a deep coral fabric for the club chair and ottoman and a coral and off-white paisley for the sofa from Kravet Fabrics. Throw pillows with trim from Samuel & Sons were added. The Scalamandre fabric for the wing chair and the Lee Jofa fabric for the drapes (both with coral and blue) bring the

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by Careshia Moore photos by Picture This Studio room together in a cohesive fashion. With exquisite yet cozy selections, there exist a few more details that personalize this room for the Deal Family. Upon entering the room a faint ticking sound may be heard from an antique-style clock that belonged to Mrs. Deal’s grandmother. In the far corner of the room hangs a landscape painting painted by Governor Deal’s mother, Mary Mallard Deal. In close proximity to the painting stands an 8 ½ x 11 photo of Governor Deal’s father, Noah. On the opposite end of the room is yet another painting by Governor Deal’s talented mother depicting elk on the open range. On a wall leading out of the family room hangs a sketched portrait of Ida Lou Dunagan, Mrs. Deal’s mother, playing the accordion, as she was known to do in her community. The portrait was beautifully


sketched by the Deals’ daughter, Katie. In addition to the art and family portraits, a few historical pieces are also focal points in the room. A convex mirror from the federal period hangs above the fireplace. (Federal period furniture was created during the late 18th century.) The Georgia governor’s mansion houses one of the nation’s finest collections of federal period furnishings. The decorative mantle of the fireplace is the original mantle from the home that was on the site of the mansion’s current location. Certainly, the family room was designed as a comfortable place for the Deals to decompress after long and busy days of serving the people of Georgia. Great care has been placed into making it a place that looks and feels like home where they can relax, reminisce and make new memories. november / december 2013 • SouthernJournalMAG.Com

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Than k

Yo u !

Presented a Night of Giving

Casino NighT Benefiting Bert’s Big Adventure Honorary Chairpersons Stacey and Bert Weiss Founders of Bert’s Big Adventure


Becau se Of Yo u O ur E vent Was A Hu g e Su ccess ! Contributions totaling $5,000.00 or more: Monte Carlo Productions InterContinental Hotel Buckhead Jim Ellis Maserati Southern Journal Magazine Troika Studio Contributions totaling $1,000.00 or more: Mirko Pasta Buckhead Cibo e Beve Savi Provisions Hal’s Steakhouse Tin Lizzy’s

4627 Roswell Road NE • Atlanta, GA 30342 Office: 404.236.948 Mobile: 404.434.4622 www.CastleGA.com


I have had the privilege and pleasure of sharing with you, our readers, incredible stories of the successes and triumphs of many, including politicians, celebrities and national icons; but for me, this is the greatest article ever written. I count it my greatest privilege and honor to share it with you. - Lisa Kinchen

David

Lum:

A Story of Family, Love and Success... by Careshia Moore photos by Picture This Studio

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avid Lum’s story is one of bravery, family values and sacrifice. He is a man who is successful by all accounts; however, after one conversation with him, it is evident that he considers his loving family as his greatest success to date. David Lum was born in Ewa, Hawaii on a sugar plantation to two loving parents, Allen and Lucy Miranda Lum, who placed a strong emphasis on family. Lum’s fondest memories of life in Hawaii with his family include his dad hosting a luau for friends and families or for first birthdays; celebrating holidays like the Chinese New Year and hula dancing. He recalls the close knit community of 2,500-3,000 residents where everyone was friends and lived in harmony. He also recalls the diversity of the community and how the people embraced the various cultures. Lum himself is a descendant of diverse ancestry, as his father is of Hawaiian and Chinese ancestry and his mother’s family is from Portugal. His parents placed a high value on education - so much so that Lum and his sister traveled outside of the city to attend the best schools. “In high school, my bus ride to school was an hour each way to Catholic High School in Honolulu,” he explains. During high school, Lum knew he wanted to be a pilot in the Air Force; however, he later decided to attend Seattle University near his sister, who was a student at a University in Spokane, Washington. Although going to college was a foregone conclusion for his family, Lum still had the desire to fly in the Air Force. “When I went to college, it was mandatory to enroll in the Army ROTC program during your first two years as a student. I decided to remain in the ROTC program and completed a flight program during my senior year.” Albeit not in the Air Force, it seemed that Lum would have the opportunity to serve his country and fly after all. After graduating college he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army followed by his role as a Transportation Officer. He later enrolled in flight school and became an Army Aviator flying both Rotary and Fixed Wing Aircrafts. cont’d next page.

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“Ever since I can remember, every summer I fly to be with grandparents for a week in the summer. I love flying out to see them by myself, I love when I land and they are waiting, because when I am there they cook my favorite meals and they plan a lot of fun things for me to do. The best time is getting to zip line with my Papa. My mom says he is almost 70 years old but I think he acts like he is only 20 years old. I am really proud of my Papa Lum…he flew helicopters in the Army for over 20 years and was a pretty big deal. In our family, we love to cut up and have fun and we are all important but I think it is because my Papa is a great man that we all take care of each other…he shows us how. My mom says that’s what leaders do, they show you how because they are great and do it themselves.” Grandson Cole Kinchen-age 14

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In 1967, Lum served his first tour in Vietnam where he served as an Armor Officer. Upon returning to the United States, Lum was stationed in Virginia at Fort Eustis in 1968. He met and married his wife, Pat, before he returned to Vietnam for his second tour, this time as an Army Aviator. Lum describes himself as being a carefree guy who was very young during his Vietnam tours. “I was a young 2nd Lieutenant. I really didn’t even know what to expect,” he shares. “I had about 40 soldiers under my command and I thought about them and the mission more than myself.” Upon completion of his second tour, Lum returned to Hawaii to reunite with his wife and newborn son. Lum speaks fondly of his wife’s dedication to him during his military career. “I met Pat in 1968, and she has been by my side through all the moves and adventures.” Lum and his wife are the parents to three successful children, Michael, Malia, and Lisa (Yes, that is Lisa Kinchen, the publisher of Southern Journal Magazine). The family would come to travel all over the world together as a result of Lum’s 22 ½ year military career. His military service afforded the Lums the opportunity to live in 25 different locations such as: Washington, Germany, Kansas, Virginia and Alabama. “During our times away, Pat would plan weekend and day trips to other places like Paris, Vienna and Holland. We always had good times and experiences,” recalls Lum. Before retiring from the Army in 1988, Lum received a master’s degree from the Florida Institute of Technology. He also received countless awards and accolades including: The Legion of Merit, two Bronze Medals, six Air Medals, three Army Commendation Medals and several service medals. After retiring from the military, Lum joined IBM in Owego, New York as a system engineer and later as a marketing/ business development manager. After IBM merged with Lockheed Martin, Lum moved to Hampton, Virginia where he worked as the corporate business development manager for Army Aviation and NASA Aeronautics programs. Lum worked for Lockheed for 24 years before retiring in 2011. cont’d next page.

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Pictured (from left to right) Back Row: Graham Sans, Malia Sans, Gavin Sans, Cole Kinchen Front Row: David Lum, Pat Lum, Carter Sans, Lisa Kinchen Not Pictured: Michael Lum 86

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David

Lum:

A Story of Family, Love and Success...

Although Lum’s career required him to travel and at times to be away from his family, his family always felt his love through the distance. “During his travels he would make a special effort to be there. He never wanted to miss special occasions. He always called to check in on his family,” shares Pat. Pat supported Lum throughout his military career. “My role was to keep the home fires burning,” she explains. She also recalls the families she connected with during Lum’s time in the military. “All the military wives are your family when your family is not there. There is a special bond between the military families. We are all in the same situation.” The Lums still have friends that they met 45 years ago because of their military service. Pat is clear that she would not trade her life with Lum for the world. She said he has not changed from when she initially met him. She tells the story that when she first met him he was a young soldier stationed in Virginia. “I saw him one day and he was writing a letter to his mom. I thought that was very telling and I was so impressed. “ Lum has made just as much of an impression on his children. He has been an influence in all of their lives. “My dad contributed to my success by being the family leader. He is successful in many ways, and his own success has shown me what it means to be a leader, whether it’s the leader of my own family, at my job or in any other way,” explains daughter Malia. Michael recalls some of the many lessons he has learned from his dad. “My dad taught me to be patient, understanding, caring, loyal, a gentleman and considerate of others.” Similarly, daughter Lisa expresses how much her dad’s support has impacted her life. “His greatest gift to me is his unwavering belief in me to succeed in life as a professional and as a mother.” Perhaps even the success of SJM is connected to Mr. Lum’s support and faith in his daughter.

Now that the Lums have shared amazing successes, experienced a myriad of wonderful opportunities and provided for and raised extremely accomplished children, they now spend time together enjoying life. One of their favorite hobbies is playing golf. Although Lum plays three days a week, they always leave Sundays to play together. Additionally, they also continue to travel around the world together to far-away places like China, Greece, Prague and Egypt. The Lums also are sure to spend time with their children and three grandsons in Atlanta and family that is in Hawaii. “While my dad is now retired, he continues to influence me through my kids. It is great to see the way he loves them, and teaches them lessons like how to make the right choices, to respect others and also how to play golf,” shares Malia. Needless to say, the sacrifices Lum made have been well worth it. When Lum thinks about the life he has lived, the adversity he has overcome and the sacrifices he has made, his family has been by his side the entire time. He’s accomplished his goals of ensuring that his family was provided for and that his children received what he received as a child and more. With over forty years of marriage, Lum and his wife are still in love. What is the secret to their love? “We treat each other right, sacrifice for each other, communicate and give of ourselves,” explains Lum. Undoubtedly, Lum’s greatest legacy will be the love he shared and sacrifices he made for his family. Lisa proudly boasts: “The greatest gift my dad gave me was the privilege of being raised in a family that held values higher than any other standard. Things’ were never honored, values were.” Needless to say, Lum’s legacy will continue to live on with those who come after him, and they will all know that a military hero who demonstrated love and selflessness ensured that putting family first is a value that must be carried on for generations to come.

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lifestyle

WorldCenterMarriott.com

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The next time Orlando beckons, come and experience a premier vacation or business conference in true Marriott style. Just a 20-minute drive from the Orlando International Airport, the Orlando World Center Marriott awaits you in the world’s mostvisited city. Fresh from a multimillion dollar transformation, this newly re-imagined resort offers a stunningly stylish, energetic and contemporary vibe. It is the Florida location to engage, relax, retreat, work and play. Orlando World Center Marriott is conveniently close to destination attractions, located only 1.5 miles

from Walt Disney World® and a few miles from Orlando Premium Outlets®, SeaWorld® and Discovery Cove®, Aquatica™ and Universal Studios® Orlando. The 28-floor Orlando World Center Marriott features more than 2,000 guestrooms and 120 newly renovated suites. Each is fitted with the incredible luxury of Marriott Revive® signature bedding (rich down comforters, custom duvets and cotton-rich linens along

with feather and foam pillows); efficient, well-designed desks; high-speed wired and wireless internet; individual climate control; satellite television; and service bars for a fee. Most guestrooms and all suites offer spacious patios and oversized outdoor balconies which overlook the pool areas and golf course. In addition to being in an ideal location for area attractions, this Marriott’s amenities offer the best in relaxation and rejuvenation.


Golfers will be the envy of friends back home when they play the Robert E. Cupp III 18-hole championship course. This par-71 golf course winds around 200 acres of lushly-landscaped grounds and includes water play on 15 holes. The on-site Bill Madonna Golf Academy offers PGA level instruction in golf training and education and is consistently ranked among the “Top 100 teachers in America” by Golf Magazine. Other sports enthusiasts can break a sweat on four lighted tennis courts, two sand volleyball courts and a basketball court. For those wishing to continue – or start – fitness routines, a complimentary state-ofthe-art, 4,000 square-foot fitness center is available to guests, 24-hours a day. Poolside fun and relaxation can be found at one of the “world’s coolest hotel pools,” according to Forbe’s magazine. The Falls Pool Oasis features two 200-foot winding waterslides and a 90-foot speed waterslide (among the tallest and fastest resort slides in Florida) – which were ranked among the

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top 10 “world’s coolest hotel waterslides” by ABC News. A poolside bar and grill offers convenient refreshment. And for the kids, a splash zone offers a zero-entry pool and playground, as well as a kid’s activity center that features everything from Legoland® themed events and Gatorland animal appearances, to fun and festive arts-and-crafts, face painting, pool games and more. If shopping until you drop is your idea of vacationing at its best, the Orlando World Center Marriott is less than five miles from the Premium Outlets which features 150 stores – and less than 15 minutes away from the Mall at Millenia that includes 1.2 million square feet of upscale retail shops. When you can shop no more, head back to your Marriott resort and treat yourself to the fullservice boutique spa. Indulge in a massage, such as the signature Around the World in Eighty Minutes, which allows guests to experience a tour of various relaxation-induced techniques. Hungry diners may choose from casual options such as the Mangrove Emporium Food Court or Solaris (which offers family-style dining away from home); or High Velocity, one of the largest sports bars in Orlando, featuring 28 flat-panel HDTV’s. Those looking to treat their palates to more upscale dining will enjoy Hawk’s Landing Steakhouse, which offers diners the finest cuts of Harris Ranch prime dry-aged beef, fresh local seafood and a top selection of wines from around the world. And those seeking more cultural cuisine can find it at the Siro: Urban Italian Kitchen or Mikado Japanese Steakhouse. Orlando World Center Marriott offers something for everyone – from dream family vacations to conferences that will be remembered and talked about for years. For more information and to book your ultimate travel experience, visit: www.worldcentermarriott.com or call 1-800-380-7931.

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Brent Hardgrave

solutions for thinning hair by Diane Smith photos by Kira-Marie

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woman’s visit to a hair salon is about so much more than vanity. In most women, appearance is directly tied to self-esteem. A visit to the right stylist is often all it takes to make a woman glow! Finding the right hair specialist can make all the difference to a woman who is dealing with hair loss. Celebrity hair stylist Brent Hardgrave specializes in providing real solutions to women who have suffered hair loss due to thyroid issues. Brent’s innovative work in extensions has even gained him a place in the book “Beautiful Inside and Out: Conquering Thyroid Disease with a Healthy, Happy, ‘Thyroid Sexy’ Life” by Baywatch star Gena Lee Nolin and best-selling author Mary Shomon. Brent explains, “Included in the book are some of my tips on how to get fast, easy, and natural looking extensions. Thyroid patients are a particular group of women who are often struggling with thinning hair, so I’m thrilled to be able to help.” And what do this hair magician’s clients have to say about him? “Tina” gives this testimonial of her experience with Brent Hardgrave: 96

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I just want to say thank you to Brent Hardgrave for changing my life! He took my hair loss situation from despair to joy.  After significant weight loss, I began noticing that the hair on my crown had thinned dramatically. No matter where I parted it, my scalp showed. I began my search for a solution and initially only found wigs. I felt the wigs just didn’t look like real hair. Then I ran across a clip-in partial hair piece for my crown and decided to try it. At first I was happy with the result because it seemed to hide my hair thinning problem and looked more natural than a wig. However, I soon noticed the clips were ripping out sections of the little hair that I have left, leaving small round bald areas.  Then I learned about the Volumizer. It is a crown topper that integrates your own hair into a hair piece and has no clips. I searched for stylists in the Atlanta area who provided the Volumizer. Brent was the first one to answer my email. He was so enthusiastic to help with my situation, and I began to have a glimmer of hope. I can honestly say I have never met anyone like Brent before. He greeted me with a hug and a big smile. His personality is larger than life, and his optimism is contagious. He believes that no one should have to settle for their circumstances when it comes to their hair. He met with me for the initial consultation and told me about the vision he had for my hair.

The most surprising thing has been how easy it is to care for my new hair. It is permanent and just needs a little maintenance every four weeks. I am able to do everything from boating to working out, and it feels, moves, and looks like my own hair. I absolutely love it! My husband and children have also been amazed by the transformation. I find that I carry myself more confidently, and it has positively affected all areas of my life. I teach customer service courses for two universities. I can attest to the fact that Brent provides superior customer service to his clients. They drive from all over the city for his hair artistry. Many have been with him for decades. Thinning hair is an emotional issue for many women in our society. It is something we don’t like to talk about or want people to know about, because we feel embarrassed or ashamed. My hope is that other women struggling with the same problem will read my testimony and will call Brent. It is not inexpensive, but Brent helped me put the cost into perspective. He told me that over the course of a year, it costs about the same as buying a cup of Starbucks coffee each day. I would much rather have incredible hair, so giving up a cup of coffee each day is an easy sacrifice. Ladies, you are worth every penny, and I know you will love Brent as much as I do!”


678-777-1099


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Is your favorite brush ruining your extensions?! PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT- EXTEND YOUR STYLE.

The newest innovation from inventor and style icon, Brent Hardgrave, mentioned in Gena Lee Nolin & Mary Shomon's "Beautiful Inside & Out."

The Brent Brush is your best tool in protecting and extending the life of your hair extensions.

For more information please visit WWW.THEBRENTBRUSH.COM


Happy Holidays W I S H I N G Y O U & Y O U R FA M I LY

Subscribe today at www.southernjournalmag.com


lifestyle

Before

After

Style A Reflection of

by Diane Smith photos by Picture This Studio

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K

eith Sweat knows interior design. He has an innate sense of how to take the ordinary and make it “pop” with personality and style. He is known in Henry County for his framing magic – most recently sharing a shop on the McDonough Square with Scott Evans, the Image Doctor (see Southern Journal Magazine, July/August 2013 issue). Keith’s latest venture combines interior design and his beloved framing in a transformation that will turn your bathroom into the jewel of your home. It’s as simple as framing a plate-glass mirror in the bath, turning it into art. Everyone knows that mirrors add depth and light to a room, in addition to being functional. Adding a decorative frame is like

SouthernJournalMAG.Com • november / december 2013

“putting a beautiful necklace around your neck – it takes the caliber of your environment up ten notches,” Keith effuses. Keith garnered inspiration from a website - www.mirrormate.com. He carries over 50 samples of the Mirror Mate frames in his shop on the Square, G Gallery Custom Framing – dark wood, light wood; contemporary and traditional; gold and silver – something for every taste. “This enables my clients to come in and see the subtleties in the designs, feel the textures, and get a real feel for the transformation these frames can make in their bathrooms.” Once the frame is chosen, Keith does his magic – he comes to your home, measures and installs the frames himself – no


After

Before

After

Before

Before

After mess, no fuss, just perfection. “And it’s all done for less than half the price of customframed beveled mirrors,” he shares. Keith’s history in design and decorative services has followed him throughout his career. The bath mirrors are just one of the many ways he can help transform your house into a show piece. He can be heard on Thursday evenings from 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. on Simple Things about Style with Sweet Danni J on www. blogtalkradio.com/mysweetdannij. Or better yet, just stop by the Image Doctor at 10 Macon Street in McDonough to visit Keith. He’ll help you bring the visions you have for turning your home into a decorator’s dream into reality, be it through framing…interior design…or both!

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lifestyle

y a d i l o h f o p A Cu by Ginny McCormack photos by Noah Maier

Cheer!

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C o r m ac kC o o

ks .c o m


A

g us begin lookin r cools, most of he at we e th d n an e s the days shorte ats that mark th vorite holiday tre fa r ou e in g in lg us this glorio tim forward to indu After all, what’s . ds bu e st ta e ht th ther season and delig apple cider? Whe olate or spiced oc ch t ho of p ll cu l glasses fu of out a steaming th trays of crysta wi of the year with rty pa ay lid ur ho ile sipping the guests at yo ening for two wh ev t ie qu a r you’re greeting fo e time up by the fir ecial about this ions, or curled mething extra sp so celebratory libat s e’ er th ow all kn preparing ay cocktail, we d the holidays by an s on as se a favorite holid e th y ve honoring with some of m the south we lo ghts this season ni of year. Here in ld co e th up rming recipes. Try wa own. Cheers! our most-loved tradition of your w ne a t ar st ay verages. You m best holiday be

Mocha Hot Chocolate 3 cups non-fat dry milk powder 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder 2/3 cup instant coffee crystals 1/4 T. salt 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate morsels whipped cream

“Gather ‘round, the holidays are here. Light the fire and pour a cup of cheer!”



author unknown

Carolina Milk Punch

Hot Spiced Apple Cider

To make cocoa mix: Combine the milk powder, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, coffee crystals, salt and chocolate morsels. The mix may be stored in an airtight container for 3 months.

3 cups good quality vanilla ice cream, slightly softened 1/2 cup bourbon 1 T. pure vanilla extract freshly grated nutmeg

2 quarts apple cider 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 T. whole allspice 1 T. whole cloves 2 cinnamon sticks 1/4 T. ground nutmeg

To prepare each serving of hot chocolate: Place 1/3 cup mix in a mug, add 1 cup boiling water and stir until the chocolate melts. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings if desired.

In a blender, combine ice cream, bourbon and vanilla. Blend until smooth. Pour the milk punch into glasses and sprinkle each serving with nutmeg. Add a cinnamon stick if desired.

Place all ingredients in a large saucepan or stock pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Continue simmering for 30-40 minutes. Serve hot.

Makes 12 servings

Makes 4 servings

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business profile

Dr. Linda King, DDS: Helping clients make informed choices about their dental health by Careshia Moore The City of Locust Grove is lucky to have a professional dentistry practice headed by Dr. Linda King, DDS. With almost 20 years of practice experience, Dr. King has been a dentistry professional in Locust Grove since 1997. Through her experience, collaborative method and customized treatment plans, Dr. King provides worldclass service to her patients. “With my work, I look to transform lives and lack of confidence,” explains Dr. King. “I know that appearance affects a person’s level of productivity, so I am accepting and understand my patients.”

Dr. King shares what she believes are the top five reasons that people neglect their dental health and how her practice overcomes each of them. #1- “I don’t have dental insurance.” According to Dr. King, dental insurance merely covers basic dental costs. Dr. King shares that dental insurance does not take care of all of your needs. “Dental insurance is just there to offset basic costs.” She points out that “Lack of dental insurance should not be a barrier to receiving dental care.” She further explains, “You aren’t missing out on a huge benefit by not having dental insurance.” She encourages persons without dental insurance to save the money they would pay for dental insurance to pay for basic, preventative care. #2- “I am ashamed of how I have neglected my dental health.” Dr. King acknowledges that some people are ashamed of how they have neglected the care of their teeth. “They just may be plain embarrassed or are afraid of being judged.” Dr. King lauds her practice as being non-judgmental and compassionate. “I understand that it takes courage to pick up the telephone, to schedule an appointment, show up and walk through the doors.” #3- “Going to the dentist is too painful.” Dr. King understands that there may be discomfort associated with receiving dental treatment. That is why her hygienists are well trained in comfort management. “We use numbing gel to provide comfort.” Dr. King shares that it is easier and less expensive to treat an issue in the beginning stages. “Pain may keep patients away but pain will also eventually bring them to me; and typically it’s much worse than anything I can do to them.” Out of sincere concern, Dr. King also shares that some dental conditions such as certain abscesses can actually cause death which is why she speaks out against delaying dental treatment out of fear of pain.

#4- “I’ve had bad experiences with dentists.” Dr. King cares about her patients’ experiences. “I am careful to listen to the patient describe previous experiences.” Dr. King’s office puts forth a major effort to alleviate anxiety by offering music, blankets, sedation and an overall relaxing atmosphere. First time patients can count on a thorough initial consultation that includes photographs of teeth and customization of short and long term treatment plans to address specific issues. During the consultation, Dr. King shares her expertise in order to develop the most appropriate plan for each patient; however she empowers the patient to make the final choice. #5- “Dentist office visits are too expensive.” Dr. King overcomes the myth that dentist office visits are too expensive by reviewing each patient’s budget during the initial consultation. Dr. King works to prioritize treatment based upon the patient’s budget; but she also informs patients that attending to dental health is an investment. “Having your teeth cleaned a few times each year is not as expensive as getting your hair done,” explains Dr. King. “I want to help patients develop a plan that works for them so that they will have a confident smile.” Obviously, Dr. King dedicates her practice to creating a positive experience for her patients. She truly cares about her patients feeling better and believes that the choices her patients make to receive the services she provides can transform lives. What does Dr. King tell people who are looking for a dentist or who can relate to one of the top five reasons for not going to the dentist? With a smile, she says, “Make the choice to come to see me and you will feel better after you have come.”

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GEORGIAPOLITICS

with

Careshia Moore

photos by Picture This Studio

Lieutenant Governor

Casey Cagle

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f you ask anyone, “What is the role of the Lieutenant Governor?“ the response may range from “President of the State Senate” to “Stepping in for the Governor if he is unable to serve.” These responses are correct; however, one conversation with Georgia’s Lieutenant Governor, Casey Cagle, and you will know that he sees his role as a public servant to serve and leave Georgia better than he found it. As a result, he has implemented initiatives that relate directly to his passions for education and health. Lt. Gov. Cagle, one of two children raised by a single mother in Hall County Georgia, began his professional career as an entrepreneur and business leader. It was not long before friends and community members began to persuade Cagle to run for the State Senate. “I was hesitant and resistant but I could not shake the idea,” he recalls. After seeking the counsel of trusted friends, he felt it was the right time to launch his campaign for public office. His feeling was confirmed when he won the election in 1994. After 12 years in the Senate, Cagle ran for Lieutenant Governor and won. Since that day, Cagle has succeeded in making a positive impact on the state of Georgia, particularly in the areas of education and health. Cagle’s passion for reforming the educational landscape in Georgia grew out of his desire to improve the dropout rate in our

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state. “The number one reason that students drop out of school is because they do not see the relevance in what they are learning,” he explains. “Students should be fighting to get in to school instead of fighting to get out.” These observations prompted Cagle to launch the Georgia College and Career Academy Network. The premise of this initiative is to create a network of community leaders, school systems and the Georgia technical colleges that prepare highly skilled students for the 21st Century workplace. The College and Career Academy provides an avenue for communities to pool and leverage finances and business relationships and provide a seamless track for students to become employed. “Our goal is that by 2020, every student in Georgia has access to a college and career academy,” Cagle highlights. Currently there are 27 college and career academies statewide that serve more than 14,000 students. Through the well-designed curriculum, students are making real life connections between what they are learning and the real world. “Students are learning math as they would see it in the business world,” shares Cagle. The impact of the program creates success stories like the eight former students of the College and Career Academy Network who graduated this past spring with Associate degrees and high school diplomas as a result of the dual enrollment program. Cagle beams with excitement when he shares, “Just earning

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an industry certificate can double the earning potential of our students.” He recognizes the potential this has on not just the students, but on their families also. The core of this initiative hinges on the fact that “Education drives the economy. Where there is a superior work force and industry, the economy and ultimately the state will thrive.” In addition to his crusade for more high skill education, Cagle’s concern for childhood obesity prompted the launch of Healthy Kids Georgia. “Childhood obesity is truly an epidemic for the state of Georgia,” states Cagle. “More than one-third of our children are suffering from obesity which yields long-term consequences.” As a seventh generation Georgian, Cagle fully understands the cuisine that is a part of the southern heritage. With Healthy Kids Georgia, Cagle seeks to alter the culture by instilling the power to make healthy nutritional choices. As a life-long athlete who maintains a healthy lifestyle, Cagle admits, “This program is not about stereotyping. It’s not about looking at the mainstream idea of what healthy looks like.” In fact, the programs motto is: Be Healthy, Be Fit, Be You. Healthy Kids Georgia creates partnerships with entities that endeavor to eradicate childhood obesity. Recognizing the need to start with Georgia schools, the Lt. Governor formed a relationship with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program in 2007. Cagle issued a challenge


“Education drives the economy. Where there is a superior work force and industry, the economy and ultimately the state will thrive.” to all of Georgia’s schools, and in less than 3 months of the launch of the program, 50 new schools were enrolled with the Alliance. Currently, there are more than 750 Georgia schools which participate in the Healthy Schools Program; with 17 schools having met national recognition this past year. The initiative provides access to an environment that encourages healthy lifestyle decisions by educating students on improving nutritional choices and ways to increase exercise. Cagle recounts a few of the benefits of the program: “These students perform better in school just by moving through the day and even having an exercise routine in class. They begin to feel better about themselves.” Cagle uses his office to address critical issues that directly impact the quality of life for Georgia residents. For example, his Charter Systems Initiative aims to improve the state dropout rate, SAT scores and overall impact of the education system by empowering teachers, community, parents and administrators to design a system that meets the needs of the local community. “One size fits all does not work. Our education system has not seen significant reform, and the 1960s educational model will not be effective in a 21st century economy.” Additionally, Cagle works to bring about change in the areas of transportation, healthcare, government spending and economic development. Needless to say, this father of three sons and husband to his high school sweetheart takes his role as a public servant seriously. Cagle’s dedication is evident in his conversation, actions and most importantly in the powerful impact he is making in the lives of Georgia residents. His commitment to and passion for the state of Georgia propels him to work tirelessly on issues that matter. Cagle says, “Life is about service to others, not about self.” It seems that his decision almost 20 years ago to serve the people of Georgia has proven to be a tremendous blessing for our state.

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CHAplainsCorner

let there be peace on earth by Beverly Van Gorder photo by Picture This Studio

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly Host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.’”  Luke 2:13-14

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s we enter the season of the year in which we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas, we find ourselves taking pause to reflect. Reflect on the things with which we have been blessed throughout the year and to reflect on the gift of Jesus Christ as Savior for any who will receive Him. Just as the scripture above speaks of peace on earth, most people long to have true peace in our world---an end to war; an end to wickedness and destruction; an end to sickness and disease. Just last year in the midst of “the most wonderful time of the year,” our nation stood shocked as we witnessed all joy stripped from the lives of those affected by the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. What exactly is real peace and can we find it? Brother Ralph Easterwood cites several definitions of peace: “a state of calm and quiet; public security under law; freedom from disturbing thoughts and emotions; an agreement to end hostilities.” However, he is quick to note that these are definitions written by man and he adds, “We should seek our peace in God’s Word, after all there are over 400 references to peace in The Bible.” John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Brother Ralph emphasizes, “This world will not give us peace. Only eight percent of the time since the beginning of recorded history has the world been entirely at peace. In over 3,100 years, only 286 years have been lived without war; and over 8,000 treaties have been broken in this time. “But we should not despair. The Bible promises a peace for us which surpasses anything the world could possibly offer. Biblical peace has a three-fold nature. First we can have peace with God through

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salvation: ‘Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Romans 5:1) Secondly, we can have peace of God by sanctification: ‘And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Philippians 4:7) And thirdly, we have peace from God, which is our security: ‘Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.’ (I Corinthians 1:3) “Real peace does exist and can be found in the person of Jesus Christ. We have to seek him, but He will be found. And in Him you can know peace. Not peace as the world seeks (freedom from war, strife, sickness or calamity), though such is a noble aspiration; but peace to handle life no matter what may come our way. Peace is not the absence of problems, but it is the addition of power. It is not a peace that the world gives; therefore it is not a peace that the world can take away.” Brother Ralph shares an acrostic he wrote as a reminder of what true peace is: P stands for Providence (God’s purpose brought us here); E stands for Entreaty (Jesus’ prayers protect us here); A stands for Assurance (His presence comes to us here); C stands for Comfort (His power sustains us here); and E stands for Expectation (His promise assures us here). When despair comes our way because of circumstances, and it will, Brother Ralph’s message serves as an encouragement to lift our eyes above the trouble and set them on the hope we can know in Jesus Christ because of the peace He brings to every situation. The Bible says in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” At this time of year, let us all strive to be peacemakers as we point others to the One who brings real peace. And let there be peace on Earth!


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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

ICAEL and ICANL,

(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

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Board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease


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Southern Journal Magazine Nov/Dec 2013  

Digital edition of Southern Journal Magazine for November-December 2013

Southern Journal Magazine Nov/Dec 2013  

Digital edition of Southern Journal Magazine for November-December 2013

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