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JAN / FEB 13



NOAH LOMAX Suwanee Native Goes Hollywood

HY T L EA 13 ! H GETIN 20




PLAY experience!

3-D Dodgeball I SkyRobics™ Fitness Classes I Open Jump Corporate & Group Events I Birthday Parties I Foam Zone Burn up to


Calories/Hr. While Having


ring SkyRobics™ SKY Featu 29/mo FITNESS Unlimited Classes (Mon-Sat) 9am $

Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park 560 Old Peachtree Rd NW Suwanee, GA 30024 follow us on Facebook

Still the #1 place to celebrate a birthday A birthday. It’s a day we celebrate our entire lives. Northside would be proud to be part of your baby’s special day. No one is more prepared or has more experience. We’ll make the big day a celebration from day one. Visit us online at


A Note From Our Editor

Executive Editor Angela Veugeler

Managing Editors Laura Lane Darcy Seyller

Features Editor

Focus on Health

The new year is a time to reflect on the past and set goals for the future. Getting healthy in one way or another is the focus of most resolutions- whether it be losing weight, quitting smoking, getting organized, working on your relationship or getting out of debt. We turned to some area experts to bring you valuable tips and advice on how to get healthy in many of these areas.

Our Get Fit Suwanee Challenge came to a close in December. We were fortunate to have great people participating in the challenge and shared in a lot of great moments. They all had triumphs, lost weight and are living healthier lifestyles than when the challenge began in March. All good things must come to an end, but the contestants are not finished. They are going to continue to push toward their goals.

Tana Suggs or

Creative Director Randall Veugeler

Art Director

Erica Abrams

Graphic Design Laura Payne April Futey Shay Taylor Jon Rogers Brian Hassinger

Photographers Mary-Kate Laird Karl Lamb Julie Perdue

Web Editor Walt Wooden


Julie Perdue ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Angela Veugeler

Our cover story features Noah Lomax, an 11-year old actor from Suwanee who shares exciting news about recently released and upcoming movies he stars in and what he loves about Suwanee. We wish you a Happy New Year and much success in reaching your goals in 2013! Thank you for your support of Suwanee Magazine-we hope you enjoy this issue!

To advertise with

Angela Veugeler Executive Editor

please contact us at


Visit for some great web only articles and frequent updates.


Suwanee Magazine

I JAN / FEB 13

ON THE COVER: Jodi Ford, VP of PR/Communications Kingdom Kids


Randall Veugeler

Corporate Office 554 W. Main Street Suite 400 Buford, GA 30518 Phone: 678-482-2270 Fax: 678-730-0691 Suwanee Magazine is published bimonthly by Veugeler Design Group. Opinions expressed by the contributing writers and editors are not necessarily those of the publisher, editor or Suwanee Magazine. The publisher will not accept responsibility for submitted materials that are lost or stolen. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication. However, the publisher cannot assume responsibility for errors or ommissions. No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission. Š2013 Veugeler Design Group. The editors welcome unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. Please visit us online at for submission guidelines, or email us at

In this issue:


Features: 16 Healthy 2013 16 Healthy Eating 18 Healthy Relationships 20 Healthy Organization

22 Noah Lomax


Departments: 4 Business 4 SBA 5 Investment 6 9 Round

9 Fitness

Get Fit Challenge: The Results

28 Non-Profits Operation Taste of Home


30 City Buzz 34 Schools 37 Art Vicki Johnson

40 What's

Brewing 44 People & Places 50 Calendar



Suwanee Business Community News & Information


grow a healthy business

How to

BY: CJ Chun

Atlanta Insurance Consulting


eid Hoffman stated that the secret to successful business networking is with every professional you meet – you seek first to help, then to receive. He went on to become perhaps the most beloved and powerful networker in the west and perhaps the world. It is with this mantra he gave birth to the professional networking site called LinkedIn. At a micro level, different networking groups can serve as great venues to increase your visibility. If done well, you can grow a healthy business network. How do you make sure you don’t waste your time and effort? Here are some principles to keep in mind. First, plant the seeds…and be seen. At the Suwanee Business Alliance (SBA), for example, when you attend regularly, people remember you, and over time familiarity breeds trust. It is okay to be shy (like me). Hide behind a beverage, and people will naturally come to you to say “Hi.” A corollary to this is to avoid the shotgun method (pass out cards to every person without courtesy). More importantly, avoid the shotgun and the one-night-stand combo – show up once, pass out cards and disappear into the night. This is truly a waste of time. Better to go home and read a book to your child. Second, water the seeds… and build friendships. Make an effort to grab coffee or lunch with everyone you meet. The network meeting is for introductions, and simply passing out business cards does not work. You have to “water the seeds.” Do not pre-qualify people and reject meetings because “you

don’t have a sale.” I’ve often been surprised by friendships I’ve built and connections my newfound friends have made for me. In turn, I’ve made introductions for mortgage, banking, restaurant and catering services to neighbors and clients, simply introducing one friend to another! Third, prune and weed…and build trust. This is a natural outflow of the second principle. Over time, neglected friendships grow cold and get crowded “by weeds”—namely, your competition. Shoot an email, make a phone call, or have lunch again with those whom you’ve built rapport. When a friend mentions a service you provide, you’ll be at the forefront of their mind. The SBA is a unique place to build your business footprint with neighbors while helping to keep the community atmosphere that has made this city one of the Top 10 Places to Live. Here are some tips when visiting the SBA: 1) Laugh at all of President Ed Szczesniak’s jokes… even when they’re not funny. 2) Enjoy the food and libations. 3) Enter for a chance to win door prizes each month just for showing up. 4) Support fellow members of the SBA, and in turn, they’ll support you. For example, I met my optometrist (Dr. Gossan), my PnC insurance agent (John Blackstock), my favorite printer (Jim Anderson) and coffee shop (Dave and Rita Patel), among others. 5) Finally, make a friend or two before leaving! ■

At a micro level, different networking groups can serve as great venues to increase your visibility.


I Suwanee Magazine I

JAN / FEB 13

The SBA meets the 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at different business locations in town. For more info:

business with Aileron Investment Advisors

BY: Bill and Cindi Porter

Is this a good time to

Aileron Investment Advisors


in the stock market?

There are strong arguments for a rally in the stock market. For example, there is nearly two trillion of cash sitting in corporate checkbooks, and banks have nearly 1.5 trillion in cash over and above their reserve requirements. If those two mountains of money move into the economy it could The answer spark a very healthy rally. depends on your On the other hand, there are several risk tolerance and landmines hidden in the your financial road to a rally. We are just now finding out (little by priorities little) how expensive the (preservation of new mandated healthcare capital vs. growth) plan will be. There is a possibility in Europe, that because of years of mindless deficit spending, the Euro could implode as a currency. The fallout from such an event would be unprecedented and unpredictable – but not insignificant. Iran has vowed to eliminate Israel who is threatening to pre-empt any such attempt. China’s “miracle economy” has slowed significantly and North Korea is now shooting off long-range rockets. On the home-front, our government is spending trillions more than we have in revenue and has set a long-term spending course that will insure a continuation of this fiscal folly. In fact, it is much worse than the media and politicians will admit. If interest rates were allowed to be anywhere near “normal” or historic rates, the actual annual deficit would be more than doubled because the government would have to also borrow the interest charge as well. While there are strong reasons to assume the stock market may soon have a big rally, there are also strong reasons that may argue for trouble instead. Send us your Assessing your risk tolerance investment and financial priorities is a questions to conversation you and your answer: info@ financial advisor should discuss suwanee at length – before you invest. ■ The views expressed in this article are not necessarily that of Suwanee Magazine.



O K C O KN : 9 Round

Get A

Y D BO 9 Round offers a fun, challenging, results oriented workout in 30 minutes BY: Tana Christian Suggs

here’s no doubt that exercise contributes to one’s overall health and adds physical fitness to a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, many don’t look at exercise as fun, but something else they should fit into an already full day of work and daily activities. But now Suwanee has a new and unique workout experience. Started in Greenville, S.C., 9 Round opened its first facility in Georgia in Suwanee at the end of June. Owners, Nick and Debi Pettola, who live in Greenville, S.C., said opening a 9 Round in Georgia was a natural migration. Looking in Atlanta to open their new facility, they found Suwanee. “We liked the look and feel of Suwanee. It seemed like an active community and a great place to open our new and exciting fitness concept,” Nick Pettola said. He describes 9 Round as an alternative to a big box gym with an intimate 30 minute workout experience that is fun, fast-paced, and where a trainer is with you every step of the way. There are no classes and all memberships come with unlimited workouts and a 9 Round Nutrition Program. The first workout is always free.


Suwanee Magazine


JAN / FEB 13


: s t l u s e r e h t BY: Angela Veugeler

s 2012 came to an end, so did the Get Fit Suwanee Challenge. The Grand Prize winner, with the highest percentage of weight lost goes to… Michelle McShane! Congratulations Michelle! Erika Beckwith won the points challenge, with points being earned for documented workouts, blogging, group workouts, 5K’s and more. Both winners will enjoy prizes including a romantic getaway to Chateau Elan Winery & Resort located in nearby Braselton. Salon Greco also gave Beckwith and McShane an amazing makeover!

Michelle McShane ORIGINAL WEIGHT: ......200 CURRENT WEIGHT: .......166 POUNDS LOST: ........34 LBS % WEIGHT LOST:.........17%


Michelle McShane 9


the results:

It has been a great year! Although the contestants have not yet reached their final goals, they are still working toward them and have had many victories and accomplishments. McShane, Beckwith and Desai all did their very first 5k during the challenge. Bill King brought his old belt to the finale- it is much too big and cannot fit on the smallest hole! Beckwith shared that she loved Skyrobics at Sky Zone Trampoline Park and never would have tried it if it hadn’t been for the competition. McShane shared that she never would have gotten started if it had not been for this competition. She has learned so much and has slowly but surely changed her

lifestyle. All of the contestants agreed that the journey would not end here. They will continue to push toward their goals in 2013. We at Suwanee Magazine want all of the contestants to know that we believe in each one of you and know that if you continue to push toward your goals, you will reach them! The staff and I have very much enjoyed getting to know you and sharing in some of your accomplishments and struggles. We appreciate your hard work and are so proud of you all! Beckwith said it best in a recent blog, “Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go.”

Erika Beckwith

ORIGINAL WEIGHT: .......180 CURRENT WEIGHT: .......164 POUNDS LOST: ........ 16 LBS % WEIGHT LOST:..........9% ERIKA'S APEX HEALTHCARE FOLLOW UP: BY: Dr. Curtis Pierce

Erika Lost 14.5lbs and lost 13.5 total inches. Erika continues to work out 3-4 times a week and is dedicated to applying what she's learned from her trainers. She is currently eating 1200 calories a day evenly spread out over 6 balanced meals. Due to some food sensitivities she is currently trying a Gluten Free Diet. Gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye (and countless food products -- like bread and pasta -- that contain those grains), gradually damages the intestines of people with celiac disease, preventing the absorption of vitamins and minerals and setting off a slew of related health problems, which can include fatigue and bad skin. However, for most people (ones not officially diagnosed with Celiac Disease) who decide to try a Gluten Free diet, the science shows us that they typically are more likely to lose weight and feel better because they went from eating a diet heavy in refined, processed foods (ones that contain gluten) to eating more fresh, whole foods (that are naturally gluten-free).


Suwanee Magazine


JAN / FEB 13

get fit

Bill King


1) Don’t eat after 8pm 2) Don’t eat fried foods 3) Keep moving!

Divya Desai

One year went by, and I would be lying if I said I tried my best. I wish I could go back to the past to do many things differently.But there is no going back. I had my chance. However, in all adversities there lie the seeds of equivalent advantages. In every defeat there is a lesson that shows you how to win the next time. It's the present which changes our future. I can only live in the moment I am living now to change my next minutes, hour, days, and months. We can look for answers to weight loss and living healthy in many sources out there. However, none are useful until one shows dedication and determination. Each step toward a healthy lifestyle is a step closer to your goal. Nothing is easy, and yet nothing is impossible. Please don't let life, the "ultimate challenge" give you a reason to make an EXCUSE to change your personal health goals. A quote my husband shared with me, that I am using to change my path is, "Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering." That is why I will always face my fear, as I want to defeat it. In summary, even though I did not achieve my goals, this challenge changed my life in many ways. One of them is realizing that if you don't fall, how will you learn to rise? I met some amazing people, and I want to thank everyone who helped me in this challenge. I will keep striving each day to meet my goal because life, in and of itself, is a challenge that leads me to make excuses, and weight loss is a challenge and I choose not to make an excuse anymore. I will strive to reach my goal.

ORIGINAL WEIGHT: .......272 CURRENT WEIGHT: ...... 239 POUNDS LOST: ........33 LBS % WEIGHT LOST:.........12%


get fit


Based on our comparison from our initial evaluation with the final evaluation Michelle lost 34 lbs and lost 27.5 total inches. A review of her blood work showed that she dropped 42 points off of her cholesterol total and it is now 129 (normal is 125-200). Research suggests that being overweight disrupts the normal metabolism of dietary fat. So even though she may have been eating less fat, she probably truly saw the difference in her cholesterol profile when she started to unload the excess pounds. In fact, it has been suggested that shedding just 5 to 10 pounds may be enough to improve one’s cholesterol level. McShane also had a drastic improvement in her blood pressure. Her initial BP was 136/90 and on her final follow up visit it was 105/76. This is most likely because when she started exercising and dieting her heart started using the oxygen more efficiently and therefore her heart started not having to work as hard to pump the blood. Regular physical activity — at least 30 to 60 minutes 3-5 days a week— can lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). And it doesn't take long to see a difference. If someone has not been active, increasing their exercise level can lower their blood pressure within just a few weeks. We noticed a complete change in confidence with Michelle. She has an overly positive attitude and because of this journey provides encouragement to others. She is not as easily distracted from her goals of eating properly and getting healthier like she was when we first met. With the recommendations from her trainer and our weight loss workshop she is eating 6 balanced meals a day at 300 calories per meal. She generally feels better and has more energy. Whenever you exercise, your personal worth increases because it gives you a feeling that you have done something rather than sitting passively and brooding over issues. In addition, when you exercise, the body releases chemical substances known as endorphins which relieve stress and make you feel good psychologically. This boosts your confidence.


ld shorts er and her o Tracy Krieg


Suwanee Magazine

I JAN / FEB 13

Changing your lifestyle for the better is a decision that takes commitment and dedication. It’s a journey, not a sprint. Change little things for the better at first, slowly...get comfortable with the idea of change. Changing everything at once is too overwhelming and the risk of failure can be enormous. When you feel you're ready, maybe after a few months of small changes, then take the bull by the horns! My advice on weight loss goals is to focus on five pounds. at a time. This is what I have done throughout the Suwanee Get Fit Challenge and what I will continue to do until I have reached my ultimate weight loss goal. Not 20. Not 10... just 5. Once you hit the five pound mark, maintain it for a few days and then begin to focus on the next five creating small, achievable goals that will ultimately lead to significant success!

Just 18 months ago, Suwanee resident Tracy Krieger weighed 300lbs. Tracy shared her story with the Get Fit contestants at the end of October. During a routine doctor’s appointment, she learned that her blood pressure was very high and they were recommending medicine to bring it down. This news scared Tracy and she decided to put all she had into getting healthy. Tracy began eating healthy, limiting her food intake and exercising regularly. She has changed her lifestyle and over the course of 18 months has lost 150lbs. She attributes her continued success to her faith and the support she has had. Tracy can often be seen at the group classes at Gold’s Gym. Go Tracy!

get fit

ERIKA'S TIPS FOR GETTING 1) Get a physical - I'm FIT: talking about gett

ing checked out from work, heart, everyt the top to the bott hing. Also let your om; blood doctor know that workout regimen an you are planning on d get "an okay" from starting a him/her before doing so. 2) Losing weight is 90 percent what yo u eat and 10 percen Forward loves to sa t exercise. As Levi Le y, "you can't exercis e from Fit e your way out of the truth! If you ar a bad diet." And bo e trying to lose we y was he telling ight you HAVE to ch ange what you eat… pe riod. 3) If you put it in yo ur month, write it down! I didn't real (calorie wise) until ize just how much I started writing it I was eating down. That burger well that cost you , fries and milkshak a days worth of ca e you just ate... lories. Writing down better food choices what you eat will (healthier) which in help you make turn means losing tracking your food weight. Apps like Lo and exercise much se It! make easier and it's FREE !!! 4) Get lots of rest (at least 6-8 hours of sleep each night and lots of water. ) and drink lots 5) Surround yourse lf with people who will encourage and those who don't. So support you and ge metimes your supp t rid of ort system will tu a part of your inn rn out to be people er circle of friends wh o aren't and family. It may gym that become yo be those three wome ur support system n th at take the same sp . Sometimes friends loss plans by cook in class at the and family, althou ing those fatty comf gh th ey mean well, will ort foods we know which is overweigh lovingly sabotage aren't good for us t and out of shape. our weight , Or by telling us we A good support syst alternatives to th look good just the em will encourage ose fatty foods yo way we are, you to stay on the u love and motivat program, help you e you when you've hit find healthy a wall. 6) Last but not leas t, don't be too hard on yourself. Life ha your kids are drivi ppens, you have a ba ng you crazy. Stuff d day, get into an ar happens and when gument with your sp it does we sometim es find ourselves ma ouse, or king poor eating ch burger, fries and do oic es (en ter uble chocolate milk shake). When you fin yourself in this sit d uation (and trust me it will happen), yourself up. Just ch do n't beat alk it up to having a bad day and star next day fresh. t the Although I didn't re ach my goal weight, I am very happy wi progress I have ma th the de. I am making bett er food choices and with more regular exercise and I feel great! I still have to lose, but I am re a lot minded that weight loss is not a sprint, and slow and stea dy wins the race.

moving more weight it's a marathon

h a healthy lunch catered by We celebrated the finale wit g back about the journey and lookin Subway in Suwanee, talking events along the way. at photos from workouts and

We want to thank all of the sponsors and individuals who have given to the contestants and supported them throughout their journey!

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get fit

Sandra Desales – Color & Cut Jairo Menendez – Make up Cathie Fennell (Salon Owner) – Design & Finishing

Erika's Makeover by Salon Greco The European Day Spa To create a modern look for Erika we started with highlights at the crown using a medium ash/ brown tone. The chunky crown highlights accentuate the length of her face and add shine as well as dimension. Her cut was left long with square layers so she has the versatility of wearing it either curly or straight. Her side swept fringe brings attention to her beautiful eyes and a modern feminine touch to her overall look.


The colors chosen for Erica’s make up were complementary to her hair and eye color and contouring and highlighting were used to elongate her face shape. This sultry look is a perfect accessory to complete the total look and can be easily adjusted for day or evening wear. To see Michelle’s makeover photos, please visit us online at ■

healthy living

Eat vegetables at lunch and dinner Adding a salad or a medley of steamed veggies to lunch or dinner is a quick, healthy, and easy way to have your vegetables. Veggies add nutritional value, while they fill you up and help with digestion. The more colorful your plate the healthier it is, rich in vitamins that are better absorbed from the foods you eat than from a pill.


Suwanee Magazine


JAN / FEB 13

healthy living

Tips for


HEALTHY BY: Sara Kleinfeld

in 2013

ou know you need to change how your body looks and feels, and more importantly, you know you need to improve your health so you don’t have health issues down the road. You have decided 2013 will be the year you will take control of your health and changing what you eat is perhaps one thing that’s in your control. Here are a few healthy eating tips that can have a big impact in getting you eating healthier in 2013. Drink eight to 10 glasses of water a day You should be drinking one oz. of water per pound of body weight. Drinking water helps in digestion, improves one’s metabolism and improves skin texture. By drinking an eight oz. glass of water first thing in the morning, you help your body’s digestion system get off to a great start.

Eat a good breakfast, which has protein and is filling

One of the best breakfast foods you can have is oatmeal with fruit and nuts. A breakfast of egg whites with sautéed vegetables is also a healthy choice. Eating a good breakfast means you won’t grab the first thing you see when you’re starving, such as that tempting, sugar-filled donut that has no nutritional value.

Have fruit everyday Snack when you’re hungry Make sure to have healthy snacks such as fruits, vegetables or nuts on hand to grab when you’re hungry.

Fruit helps balance blood sugar. Fruit contains natural sugars the body absorbs slowly. So with fruit, there’s no blood sugar spike. And most fruits are packed with vitamin C that helps our immune system fight off germs and viruses, especially during flu season.

Most importantly, plan your day If you’re eating at your desk, make a healthy lunch. If you know you will be going out to eat, plan ahead. In a group, be the first to order so you will not be tempted to eat something someone else chooses. And when you make it home from a long day at the office, make sure there’s something you can easily grab to curb your hunger such as grapes, carrots or celery. A little planning ahead will make healthy eating a success. Keep in mind it takes six months for a change to become a habit, so don’t expect your healthy eating habits to change in a month. With a little time and effort, you will be eating healthier for 2013. ■

Sara Kleinfeld

has worked for seven years teaching clients how to plan, shop, and prepare healthy meals. She is a graduate of the Institute for Intergraded Nutrition, Suny University in New York. For more information, contact Sara at saramk@ or visit her website at


healthy living

Hey Suwanee...



BY: Jennifer Wilmoth , LAMFT

he beginning of a new year is a great time for Suwanee couples to reflect on where they have been and look forward to where they want to be. Many people evaluate their health, finances, and lifestyle habits, but few evaluate and set goals in their relationship. As a couple, the quality of your relationship impacts many areas of your life including your health and stress levels, so it is definitely an area worth looking at as you move into the new year. Here are five questions to discuss as a couple to help you reflect on your relationship and identify areas of improvement for the next year:

r? ular time togethe sily become rare in a couple’s g re g in d n e sp u 1) Are yo es, or friends can ea nnect with your out children, cell phon


with y to co Time spent together u miss the opportunit yo er th ge to e tim ed out undistract relationship, but with partner. ? issue for isagreementsor d y th al e h e fusing to talk about an av re h ing aw dr th Do you wi , iticism ent does not have cr ngs or thoughts. A healthy disagreem of your partner’s feeli al iss m dis or , ss ne ive ns days or weeks, defe er such

ge of your partn d le w o n k g in w gro fe? 3) Do you have a hievements, and concerns in li rld happening in their wo as their goals, ac relationship with your partner is to know what is fer support in stressful a close opportunity to of A large part of having . It also gives you the ds en fri d an , ily m fa gether. at work, with extended rate achievements to leb ce as ll we as es or difficult tim r concerns

tner about you ar p r u o y h it w g 4) Are you talkin a regular basis? tell them. respond to what you to y nit rtu and feelings on po op e th only have ad your mind, so they Your partner can’t re ? learn als as a couple o g n o m m ur partner while you co e 5) Do you havlp to create a sense of teamwork between you and yo Common goals he ugh life. r more as you go thro to count on each othe


Suwanee Magazine


JAN / FEB 13

healthy living

As you discuss these questions take note of areas you would like to see improvement while taking time to celebrate the areas of your relationship that are going well. Once you have pin-pointed areas of improvement, take it a step further and talk about how you and your partner would like the relationship to be and set goals for the next year. Sometimes relationship goals can be reached by increased effort while other goals will require additional resources such as a book, a seminar, or a therapist. Healthy and happy relationships don’t happen naturally, they require significant effort from each partner on a consistent basis. In other words, expecting your relationship to be without areas of improvement is like owning a home without doing regular maintenance. Couples are often amazed at the difference they see in their relationship from investing time and energy focusing on goals. So don’t let another year pass without setting goals for your relationship. ■

Jennifer Wilmoth, LAMFT Grow Counseling provides counseling for individuals, couples,

groups, career discovery, coaching, and development stress management and trauma recovery, life coaching relationship counseling, organizational and leadership development, strategy and vision coaching. Workshops are also available on stress, personality, team dynamics, boundaries, etc. For more information, visit

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healthy living



BY: Tana Christian Suggs

t’s a new year and perhaps a good starting point to make some positive changes in your life. Order is important to healthy living. It helps you to feel calm and in control, especially in a time of crisis. How many times have you been walking out the door at the last minute to an important business meeting and realize you can’t find your car keys? That five or 10 minutes it takes to look for your keys are not only making you late, but also leaves you feeling stressed and frazzled. But for many, getting organized and staying organized can be a challenge. So at Suwanee Magazine we sought out some help from a professional to help everyone get organized for 2013. Becky DeWitt, a Suwanee resident and owner of Organize All Your Stuff, said she has been passionate about organizing even as a child. “People feel out of control and burdened because of the lack of order in their lives,” she said. “I love to create order out of chaos; making a messy place look nice and neat and clean. It gives me a huge sense of accomplishment.” She added that when she saw the overwhelming need for people to get their time, schedules and possessions organized, she felt she could help others while doing something she loved. She became a professional organizer with a goal to help people feel less overwhelmed in their lives and environments so they can be free to pursue other passions. DeWitt said when it comes to organizing, people try to do too much at once which can be overwhelming and can cause one to give up. She recommends starting on a smaller scale, tackling an area of a room such as a desk or closet. Once the small area is organized, it gives you a sense of accomplishment and you’re ready to tackle the next area. She said when organizing, getting started is the hard part and it’s important to ask yourself why you want to get organized and what do you expect to feel like once it is accomplished. The answers will help you keep focused. “My dad taught me to create a space for everything and put everything in its place,” she said. This philosophy does two things. It allows you to find what you need when you need it. And it allows you to clean up clutter easily by being able to quickly put things back where they belong.”


Suwanee Magazine


JAN / FEB 13

healthy living


Order is important to healthy living. It helps you to feel calm and in control...

ANIZATION Tips to help make the process of organizing easier: 1. Begin with sorting:

Whether you are organizing your time or your stuff, the process is basically the same. First, begin with sorting. Put everything in one place and sort by like items.

2. Purge:

Get rid of things. It’s hard but necessary. We need to continually let go of things to create space for other things that come into our lives. If it is not serving a purpose or you don’t love it, then consider donating or giving it to someone else who may have a need for it. Give yourself permission to throw things away!

3. Assign homes: Find a place for all the items that remain. Put things where they are going to get used or stored. For instance, tools go in the workshop or garage not on the floor next to your desk. 4. Containerize: Things should not remain in piles you’ve created. While you are assigning each item a place, consider how to store them. Baskets are great for magazines, piles that need to go to the second floor and shoes when you first walk in the door. Files are good for paperwork. Use “To do lists” as you containerize your on going tasks, and consider a master list for everything that comes to mind and jot it down. Then as often as it makes sense, (every night or once a week) review that list and create a daily to do list.

For more informa tion about

Organize All Your Stuff, visit


5. Evaluate: Evaluating is important to see how you did during each step of the process. Ask yourself what was most difficult and are there containers or systems you put in place that are not working. Evaluating also helps to maintain the organization put into place. And accountability to a friend is extremely helpful. DeWitt added that one of the biggest joys is to hear people tell her how they feel like a new person with a new sense of freedom and extra time in their days and months. So instead of spending time hunting for keys or that important document that’s lost somewhere in the heap of paperwork on your desk, get organized and use that extra time to enjoy! ■

Becky DeWitt,

Owner of Organize All Your Stuff, lives in Suwanee with her husband and 1 year old Goldendoodle. She has two grown daughters and one amazing son-in-law.


: x a m o L Noah





PHOTOS BY: Julie Perdue


I Suwanee Magazine I JAN / FEB 13


! X A M


You may have seen him out and

BY: Tana Christian Suggs

about at one of the community events at

Suwanee’s Town Center Park. Or perhaps ran into him with his family at one of the local shops or restaurants in the community. You may have seen him

on the small screen in television shows such as

Army Wives, Mad Love, and in

the locally filmed and popular series,

The Walking Dead. But now he

can be seen on the big screen capturing the hearts of movie goers everywhere with his dark brown hair, dark eyes, freckled face, adorable impish grin, and full of personality to boot... 23

uwanee resident, 11-year old Noah Lomax is just like any other kid in the metro Atlanta suburb, except…he just had his movie debut in the film, “Playing for Keeps,” starring alongside an all-star cast of actors including Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Catherine Zeta- Jones, and Dennis Quaid that opened in theaters Dec. 7. In the movie, Noah plays Lewis, the son of Stacie, played by Biel, and George, who is a former soccer player hoping to re-establish a relationship with his son, played by Butler. But that’s not all. Come February Noah will be showing his acting chops again on the silver screen in Safe Haven, a movie adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name, in the company of actors Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough. Noah, whose sister is fellow actor Maddie Lomax, said he doesn’t usually get star struck when he meets other actors, but when he met Duhamel and Hough, it was a different story. “I actually knew who they were,” he said. “A little part of me was star struck. The only person I was kind of a little bit more star stuck by was Cobie Smulders because she’s from one of my favorite movies, The Avengers,” he said. In addition to the actors, Noah has also met Fergie and Ryan Seacrest. Ironically, with Noah’s character named Josh and Josh Duhamel in the same film, he said it could sometimes be a little confusing on the set, and when someone called Josh they both started walking in the same direction. “Most of the time they called me Noah, but sometimes they called me Josh. But they never called the real Josh by Alex (Duhamel’s character’s name),” he explained. Noah said he loves acting but the scenes aren’t always easy. He recalled an emotional scene in Safe Haven where his character slips into the water, hits his head, and his father, played by Duhamel, has to jump in and save him and he had to cry in front of a lot of people. “It was just really, really hard,” he said. But he nailed the scene and everyone on the set clapped afterward. Auditioning is a big and ongoing part of acting. When auditioning, Noah said he experiences some jitters, but once on the set he’s cool and at ease. “It’s easy (on the set) because it’s like doing it in front of my parent’s friends kind of,” he explained. And with his busy schedule he gets help and support from his family, his father Nick and his mother, Michelle. “A lot of help,” he said. “They drive me there and help me remember my lines.” Although Noah likes to travel, he said he’s always happy to get back home to his 3 year-old boxer, Romeo, and to Suwanee with Town Center Park and all the events. “I just really like it,” he said, talking about Town Center Park. “You get to run around and it’s like an open space…If I were to move I’d probably want to move to another neighborhood in Suwanee.” When he's home, he likes to hang out with his friends, play games outside, and he recently had a lot of fun at Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park. When hanging with his family, Noah said they like to go to movies and out to eat. A couple of his favorite restaurants around town are Twisted Taco and Cinco where he likes to order his favorite – cheese quesadillas.


Suwanee Magazine


JAN / FEB 13

cover story

“I just really like it,” he said, talking about Town Center Park. “You get to run around and it’s like an open space…If I were to move I’d probably want to move to another neighborhood in Suwanee.”


cover story

He also loves to play sports. During the recent football season he was on a North Gwinnett Bulldog youth team where he played defensive end and defensive tackle. He actually missed the first couple of weeks of practice because he was away filming Safe Haven. But Duhamel, who played ball in college, didn’t let him off the hook. Noah said Duhamel spent an entire day at the beach with him giving him some personal training. As for the experience in the acting world, Noah’s mother said they feel blessed and lucky, but they also want Noah to have a normal childhood. And so far, taking it day by day, they have been able to strike that balance. Noah says he loves acting, but what does he want to do when he gets older? Right now, Noah said he’s thinking he’d like to be a professional football player. Watch for Noah in "Safe Haven" in theaters in February. ■

26 14 I

Suwanee Magazine Magazine Suwanee




gift cards order online or call 678-425-0900

Château Élan | 100 Tour De France, Braselton, Georgia 30517 Located I-85 North, Exit 126 - 30 Minutes North of Downtown Atlanta

Organizations That Are Making A Difference In Our Community

giving back

Hugs for Soldiers send Girl Scout cookies to U.S. Military overseas BY: Tana Christian Suggs

ou look forward to them all year long. There’s just nothing like the taste of TagaLongs, Samoas, and Thin Mints. And then the time comes and there’s a knock on your door – it’s a Girl Scout and you realize it’s Girl Scout cookie time. For those serving in our military overseas, there is no knock on the door and opening it to find a Girl Scout selling her scrumptious baked goods. But one organization located in nearby Duluth is making sure some U.S. Soldiers abroad will get some. Hugs for Soldiers, a ministry of Duluth First United Methodist Church, will send Girl Scout cookies to military men and women who have signed up to be a part of the organization’s Adopt-A-Soldier program and who are serving in Afghanistan, Kuwait and a unit in Djibouti, Africa. Angie Doerlich, founder of Hugs for Soldiers, said it will be the organization’s tenth year for collecting cookies for the soldiers, a cookie drive that started when the group wanted to do something special for the first unit of adopted soldiers that had just returned from war in Iraq to Ft. Benning. The organization teamed up with the Duluth Girl Scout Service Unit, and as part of a community service project, the Girl Scouts


Suwanee Magazine


JAN / FEB 1 3

sold extra boxes of cookies for the soldiers. About 60 cases were donated for delivery to the 2-69 Armor Battalion. Over the past nine years, about 35,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies have been donated from all across the United States. The cookies, an item that cannot be purchased overseas, are shipped overseas, packed in welcome home bags for Soldiers returning home from war. “The Soldiers are in stressful situations, but when they receive a box of cookies from home, it sends a message to the troops that America is thinking of them and their safe return,” Doerlich said. After receiving the cookies, one Soldier wrote to Hugs for Soldiers: “The 988th Military Police Company Headquarters platoon out of Fort Benning, Georgia, would like to thank you for the Girl Scout Cookies. We have enjoyed getting a Taste of Home. Our platoon enjoys the cookies on our downtime after work or for

giving back

a snack during our long days. When we receive these gifts, we are grateful that people think about us and share with us the pleasures of the simple things, such as Girl Scout Cookies. We appreciate your support.  It is a wonderful morale boost when you take care of us. The platoon has enjoyed the cookies and we all thank you for all your support.” Doerlich said the cookies are shipped to specific units and locations, especially those on Forward Operating Bases far “The Soldiers away from the comforts enjoyed by are in stressful situations, larger bases, and Girl Scouts/donors are encouraged to write a note of but when they receive a appreciation to go along with each box of cookies. A return or email address box of cookies from home, of an adult may be included so that the it sends a message to the soldiers who receive the cookies have an opportunity to write back. troops that America is In addition to “Operation: Taste thinking of them and their of Home,” Hugs for Soldiers holds a Thanksgiving Food Drive, and this holiday safe return” more than 1,000 canned food and nonperishable food items were delivered for 90 military families of the 2-69 Armor Battalion at Ft. Benning. They will also collect Valentine cards to send the troops. The deadline for Valentine cards is Jan. 31. “Many of our Soldiers receive little or no support from home, so a care package or letter lets them know we are supporting and thinking about them,” Doerlich said. “Through our many programs, we hope to put a smile on a Soldier’s face when he hears his name during mail call.” For more information about Hugs for Soldiers and details on the many programs they hold throughout the year, visit ■


Caboose Lighting

Santa ushered in the holiday season with music, hot chocolate, and wish lists on Nov. 30 at Suwanee’s annual Caboose Lighting and Holiday Festival. Choral groups from Level Creek, Riverside, Roberts, and Suwanee elementary schools welcomed Santa with performances of holiday carols as Santa arrived aboard his tractor-pulled sleigh. Santa greeted and listened to the wishes of area children at the Burnette-Rogers Pavilion. Hot chocolate, cookies, and s'mores were served, and craft activities were available. The event was free and opened to the public.

For more pics go to suwanee magazine. com

Board of Education members sworn in Re-elected in Nov. 2012, Louise Radloff, Carole Boyce, and Dr. Mary Kay Murphy will serve through Dec. 2016. These members of the Board were sworn in for their new terms as part of the December work session. Congratulations to Dr. Murphy, Louise Radloff and Carole Boyce!

Annandale Village Kiss a Pig Campaign ends with a smooch

Annandale Village in Suwanee kicked off its Kiss a Pig (People Invested in Giving) Campaign in September that ended with a smooch in early November. About 15 candidates participated in the event, and in the end, Ed Szczesniak, president of Suwanee Business Alliance and owner of Georgian Landscape Design, puckered up for the pig after collecting more than $9,700. Overall, the campaign raised more than $50,000 for the award-winning nonprofit organization dedicated to providing progressive life assistance to adults with developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injuries. For more information about the organization, visit


Suwanee Magazine

I JAN / FEB 13

city buzz

Christmas in the Park

Family and friends experienced the reason for the season Dec. 7 and 8 at the 5th Annual Christmas in the Park, where Town Center Park was transformed into a Dickenslike Christmas village filled with children’s activities and a nativity. Visitors were taken back in time to experience the lights, sounds and the true meaning of Christmas. Canned food, coats and blankets were collected for the Caring Hearts Ministry. The event was a gift to the community from Shadowbrook Baptist Church.

NGAA holds first fall fundraiser The North Gwinnett Arts Association held its first fall fundraiser Nov 17 at Suwanee Town Center. The event, “Pre-Holiday Pamper,” started at the artists’ open studio and ended at Shear Elegances Hair Salon for mini massages, hair consultations, food and wine. Several local businesses participated in the event, and artwork from local artists was displayed and available for purchase at the open studio and the hair salon. Proceeds from the fundraiser went to benefit the Rosemary Benavides-Williams Scholarship Fund. For more information about NGAA, visit the organization’s website at

Gingerbread Festival & Nutcracker Tea Party Area residents showed their creative side at the Suwanee Performing Arts 8th Annual Gingerbread Festival held Dec. 1 at the Suwanee Academy of the Arts. The contest was open to individuals, families, groups, organizations, and businesses. The theme for the contest was “Songs of the Seasons.” Prizes were awarded for the best use of candy, most creative, most edible, best use of theme, and people’s choice ($100 prize) was determined by popular vote of the public. Suwanee Youth Ballet and Sounds of Suwanee performed during the festival, and the event also included a bake sale with proceeds benefiting the Suwanee Youth Ballet.

Park goers have it ‘made in the shade’

The city installed shade structures at the Sims Lake Park playground and plans to install additional shade sails around the Big Splash fountain area at Town Center Park early this year. The playground at Sims Lake Park, located at 4600 Suwanee Dam Road, was closed recently while the shade structures, which include metal poles and a polytex fabric in sail shapes, were installed. The project took about two weeks. The forest green shade structures erected at Sims Lake Park were purchased from Ocala, Florida-based Shade Systems, Inc., and were installed by 5 Guys Contracting of Lawrenceville. The city budgeted about $44,500 for shade at Sims Lake Park. Deas Construction of Suwanee will provide the shade structures for Town Center Park at an anticipated cost of about $55,500. The shade fabric, in aqua marine blue, will be installed over some of the benches surrounding the interactive fountain.


city buzz

Suwanee Elementary Celebrates Veteran's Day Major Bonds and ROTC students from North Gwinnett HS visited Suwanee Elementary’s Kindergarten classes on November 9th. They conducted a flag presentation, answered questions about the origin and history of the American flag and sang the national anthem in honor of Veterans Day.

Autumn Leaves At Sugarloaf Names Executive Director And Community Relations Director

Autumn Leaves of Sugarloaf, an Alzheimer’s and memory care community currently under construction in Suwanee, has named Matt Summerville executive director of the community. Summerville will assume responsibility for charting the company’s entry and growth in a new market, developing brand awareness, supervising community operations, and meeting the needs of seniors and their families. Autumn Leaves of Sugarloaf exclusively serves families living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. In addition, Autumn Leaves of Sugarloaf has also named Divine Taylor community relations Matt Summerville, Executive Director director. Taylor will expand her focus as the company develops an additional five or more Alzheimer’s and memory care communities in the Atlanta area. Taylor brings more than 10 years of experience in sales with effective relationship-building skills and a portfolio of success.

Autumn Leaves of Sugarloaf, a planned 26,000 square foot community designed for Alzheimer’s and dementia residents that will provide a compassionate home-like environment with the highest quality memory care available, is currently under construction and scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2013. For more than 12 years, Autumn Leaves has focused exclusively on caring for families with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Every Autumn Leaves community is designed and constructed with the unique needs of seniors in mind and uses the latest research to shape the care, nutrition and activities to improve Divine Taylor, Community Relations the residents’ quality of life. Autumn Director Leaves of Sugarloaf is the first community in the Atlanta area. For more information about Autumn Leaves of Sugarloaf, please visit the website at

Improvements to I-85 interchange Underway Work is underway in the city of Suwanee on a street-scaping project around the I-85 interstate interchange and along Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road from the new police substation to Sawmill Road. The project is designed to convey to travelers, visitors, and passersby a positive image of the Suwanee Gateway area – and the larger community. Eleven plazas, which will include benches and trash cans as well as landscaping, and two smaller seating areas are being created on each side of the interstate ramps and around the Sawmill/Lawrenceville-Suwanee intersection. In addition, the I-85 ramps will be re-landscaped. In all, the project includes 161 elm, maple, crepe myrtle, and magnolia trees; 6,146 holly, juniper, and rose bushes; 4,255 plugs of liriope; and more than an acre of sod. The Brickman Group, of Lawrenceville, was contracted to do the work at a cost of about $285,000. Funding is provided through the city’s general fund, the 2005 SPLOST, and a $50,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Transportation. The project, expected to be completed around the first of the year, also will include some re-striping of crosswalks and repair of broken sidewalks in the area.


Happenings In The Suwanee School Clusters


Gwinnett County Public Schools:

Striving to keep

students BY: Tana Christian Suggs


ccording to figures found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, approximately 17 percent (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents from ages 2 to 19 are obese, and since 1980, obesity prevalence among children and adolescents has almost tripled. This has been a growing concern among many in the health care industry and parents across the nation. We know, according to many health care professionals, that being overweight can perhaps be the cause of a number of health problems and issues. But what is the answer to childhood obesity? In short, experts agree that making sure children stay active and eat the right foods is paramount when it comes to helping children maintain a healthy weight. With many children attending school for the better part of the day, the Gwinnett County Public School System is also doing its part to help our children stay healthy and active.

Physical Education Charles Truett, director of Health and Physical Education, said the more active and healthy the child, the easier it is for the student to learn, so the school system promotes activities to enhance the learning environment. For elementary school, kindergarten through 5th grade, the state of Georgia mandates the number of hours students should get for physical activity or physical education, and Truett said Gwinnett County schools meet that requirement. The focus is on skill areas such as throwing and catching, striking with the body (such as soccer and volleyball), and striking with an instrument (such as baseball and tennis) promoting both hand-eye coordination and foot-eye coordination. For middle school, grades 6th, 7th and 8th, physical education and activities are offered, but there is no state mandated time for activities. Truett said in Gwinnett County schools, a large number of students have some kind of physical education in middle school. By high school, grades 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th, GCPS offers in its required curriculum, Introduction to Health and Introduction to Lifetime Fitness. Truett added that fitness includes areas such as cardiovascular with aerobic activity, strength and endurance of upper body strength, abdominal strength and leg strength or lower body strength, and flexibility. A large number of students in Gwinnett take part in organized sports through the school’s athletic programs and clubs, while many students participate in recreational sports offered through the county and other independently owned programs.


Suwanee Magazine

I JAN / FEB 13


Nutrition When it comes to healthy children, the other side of the equation is nutrition. In general, all children need a well-balanced diet filled with protein, fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy (think food pyramid), and a limited diet when it comes to solid fats and sugar. The GCPS strives to offer students nutritious meals to students. Last year GCPS served 21,607,762 student lunches and 10,671,375 student breakfasts with some of the more popular lunchroom foods being:

■ Whole Grain Pizza ■ 100% Orange Juice ■ Assorted Side Salads ■ Spring Water

■ Low Fat Strawberry Yogurt ■ Fresh Local Fruits and Vegetables: Apples, Watermelon, Bell Peppers, and Broccoli For the 2012-2013 school year, GCPS added these new food items to the lunch menu:

Asian Bowls with Lo Mein and Veggies Baked Sweet Potato Waffle Fries Banana Yogurt Bars with Fresh Fruit Toppings Whole Grain Biscuit Breakfast Sandwiches Cuban, Greek, and Hawaiian Specialty Sandwiches ■ Whole Grain Flat Bread Pizzas ■ Spicy Grilled Chicken Filet Sandwiches ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Just before the start of the 2012-2013 school year, Gwinnett County’s school nutrition professionals were recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture Southeast Regional Office for the partnership the school district established with the Georgia farmers to extend its offerings of healthy and nutritious meals to students called the Farm-to-School initiative and awarded the “USDA Best Practice Award.” Other initiatives include the school system’s vegetarian line, and the offering of all-natural products. For more information about GCPS, the nutrition program or health and physical education, visit the GCPS website at Statistics source: childhood.html


The Latest From The Suwanee Art World

ar arts with

Vickie Johnson BY: Tana Christian Suggs

rt has emerged as an important focus of the city of Suwanee that has enriched the lives of its residents, and many key figures, local artists and residents have played a major role contributing to the community’s growing awareness and appreciation of art. One of those people is Vickie Johnson, local artist, teacher, and co-founder of the North Gwinnett Arts Association. At Suwanee Magazine, we wanted to learn more about Johnson, her art and her involvement with the art community, so we asked her some questions and here is what she had to say...

37 43

the arts

Suwanee Magazine: How old were you when you first found your passion for art? Vickie Johnson: I remember making art as early as

kindergarten – my teacher told my mom I would be an artist! I remember that I once colored Smokey the Bear’s overalls a really dark black and my teacher fussed at me – I’ve been making dramatic art ever since!

SM: Did you take art lessons? VJ: I have taken art lessons at different times throughout

the years. My favorite teacher would sit and create a painting in front of the class – I learned the most from his style of teaching. I had another teacher who had the messiest house I’ve ever seen! You had to walk through her home on a small path because there was so much clutter, but she taught me one of my most important pieces about art – how to utilize colors to create black!

SM: Who was/is your inspiration? VJ: I don’t believe I can say there is one single person

or artist who inspires me more than any other. I enjoy creativity in any form, and have an admiration for all who share what I consider to be a part of their inner being. I will say, however, that were it not for the love, support, and encouragement (lots of it!) that my husband provides, I’m not sure if I would be producing art at the rate I do today! I have really blossomed and it’s all due to his support over the last few years. He is my number one critic, roadie, salesperson and promoter!

SM: Tell me about your teaching career. VJ: I taught at Collins Hill High School for 14

years, during which time I taught art to special needs students. I earned recognition as the Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year in 1998, as well as earning other awards locally and nationally, such as the AJC Honor Teacher Award, the Christa McAuliffe Fellows Award, the Learning Disabilities Association National Teacher Award, and a few others. I moved to Central Gwinnett High School four years ago to teach regular education Sims Lake Condo art to all students, by Vicki Johnson grades 9-12. I love art and I love teaching young people who enjoy learning what art can do for their world!

SM: Do your students inspire you? And if so, how? VJ: The answer is definitely yes. I am always

amazed at what young people can accomplish in more new and innovative ways than I could ever think of. This is a whole new world and each generation is advancing by leaps and bounds. For example, we no longer teach cursive writing – young people use a keyboard now. And, what is a 35mm camera? They only know the digital world and what you can do with a good digital camera and a good photo computer program. I love trying to keep up with them – it keeps me young and inspired!

SM: How does it feel, as an artist, to live in a community such as Suwanee that values art and local artists? VJ: Wow! What better place to live than in Suwanee’s

Town Center? I have a bit of urban life in a small town setting where I can look out and see a great sculpture in my “front yard” and enjoy walking downstairs on Saturdays to make art with other artists at the NGAA Open Studio. The city has been extremely supportive of what this organization is doing for our community, and it’s clear to see the arts are of value to the people in this area. Suwanee has been a piece of the puzzle coming together to make a great art composition!


the arts

“ The city has been extremely supportive of what this organization is doing for our community, and it’s clear to see the arts are of value to the people in this area.” SM: As one of the founders of the North Gwinnett Arts Association, how did the group come about? VJ: Suwanee was an undiscovered territory as far as an

art community goes – artists, creative folks of all forms, and art lovers have come out of the woodwork since the formation of the NGAA! I was tired of driving to Atlanta whenever I wanted to be with other artists, and Alan Zarter (the other co-founder) was tired of going to the North Georgia Mountains whenever he wanted to be with other artists. We decided the time was right to create an organization in this area, and we were right!

SM: How has starting the organization helped and/or impacted art/artists in the area? VJ: Artists and creatives have

“found” each other. It’s been a great source of support and encouragement for those who want to grow in their discipline, meet others who are in their same shoes, and experience some hope that they can do more with the gifts they have.

SM: What are your goals for the future, both personal with your own art and your career as an art teacher?

VJ: I’ve been thinking a lot about my future goals – my retirement from the public school system is not far down the road and I’m still not sure what I’ll be when I grow up! But I do know that I will continue to create my art, grow the North Gwinnett Arts Association, and teach young people through private lessons and small group settings. What more, who knows! For now, I look forward to each day and what it brings, and I thank God for the blessing of art in my life! For more of our Q and A with Vickie Johnson, visit the Suwanee Magazine website.

Vicki Johnson first moved to Suwanee in 2000 into one of the community’s subdivisions in a large and roomy home suitable for a growing family. But once her family grew up and moved on, she and her husband, Chris, decided it was time to downsize. “Town Center had just risen from the woods, and the coolest condos were being built above business spaces,” she said. “We loved it and made one our home.” Her personal art studio is now on a rooftop overlooking the park at Town Center.


What's New in the World of Craft Beer With Curtis Stockwell from the Beer Growler


brewing What exactly is



BY: Curtis Stockwell


Suwanee Magazine

I JAN / FEB 13

what's brewing

ou might be asking yourself, what exactly is craft beer? In order for a beer/brewery to be considered “craft” it needs to meet three requirements. The first being it must be small and produce no more than 6 million barrels of beer annually. Second, it must be independent and have no more than a 25% ownership by an entity that is not the brewer. Basically, it needs to be owned by the people actually running the brewery and not some larger organization that has no personal stake in the brewery. Lastly, the brews must be traditional, meaning that 50% or more of their volume comes from all malt beer. Essentially, the beers need to be brewed with high quality ingredients. Now we will bring you up to speed on the beginnings of American craft beer. The United States has been a prized location for brewers because we have no brewing traditions to adhere to, which allows for the introduction of unique flavors and typically more creative beers in general. In the late 19th century we had over 4000 breweries in our country! Unfortunately Prohibition marked the end to almost all of them. We are making our way back to those numbers with around 1900 breweries currently in operation as of 2011 and with many more opening each year. Most people can agree that craft beer as we know it got it’s start in 1965 when Fritz Maytag bought Anchor Brewing in San Francisco. California was conducive to the beginnings of craft beer because smaller companies were able to model themselves after the already existing winery infrastructure. One of the most notable American craft beers, the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, had

The United States has been a prized location for brewers because we have no brewing traditions to adhere to, which allows for the introduction of unique flavors and typically more creative beers in general.


what's brewing

its beginnings in 1980. It comes in a green can, and if you have ventured in the craft beer world you will have undoubtedly come across it. This beer was an instant classic and really started to open people’s eyes to the world of craft beer. Since then the craft beer explosion has headed east and is now starting to become a prevalent force in the beer industry with an overall market share of 9.1% of total beer sales in dollars. This number has been increasing each year.

Courtesy of the Brewers Association Georgia is starting to become a hot bed for breweries with over 20 breweries and brew pubs in operation with a handful more that will open in 2013. So do yourself a favor and next time you are about to purchase a beer, give something new a try and see what the buzz is all about! In the next issue, we will begin to dive into all of the different styles of beer so you can be a more educated consumer when you reach for a pint! â–


Suwanee Magazine

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people & places

Taste of the Holidays

November 2nd & 3rd, 2012 THE FRESH MARKET


North Gwinnett Youth Football Championship Game November 10th, 2012 COLLINS HILL PHOTOS I KARL LAMB


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Old Town Holiday Festival & Caboose Lightung November 30th, 2012 HISTORIC OLD TOWN SUWANEE



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people&places 8th Annual Gingerbread Festival & Nutcracker Tea Party

Christmas in the Park December 7th & 8th, 2012

December 1st, 2012







For more pics go to suwanee magazine. com

la Ti da Open House Nov 9th, 2012 PHOTOS I MK LAIRD

Suwanee Spine Open House December 6th, 2012 SUWANEE SPINE



Opening Tiger Tails 26 Grand Animal Hospital

1 New Years Day County 3 Gwinnett Back to School Business 9 Suwanee Alliance Meeting

Wednesday, Jan 9th 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. BB&T Town Center

21 22


calendar Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Saturday, Jan 26th 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

February 2013

January 2013

Upcoming Suwanee Area Events

National Polka Dot Day

Suwanee Magazine

I JAN / FEB 13

2 Groundhog Day Up and Livestrong 2 Lace Saturday, Feb 2nd

8:30 a.m. North Gwinnett Church


Suwanee Business Alliance Meeting

Wednesday, Feb 13th 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. TBD

13 Ash Wednesday County 15 & Gwinnett Student/ 18 SchoolsTeacher Holiday 14 Valentine's Day 18 President's Day for Life and 24 Relay American Cancer Society

Sunday, Feb 24th 3:00 p.m. Burnette Elementary

SuwaneeVISION CENTER Let Suwanee Vision Provide

Your Family

eye care

We Are Committed To Helping You!

Open 6 Days A Week including Saturday from 9-4


• Don’t forget to use your flex spending/ insurance benefits! • Computer Assisted Eye Exams • Diagnosis And Treatment Of Ocular Disease • Full Contact Lens Services • Frame Styling

We accept VSP Insurance and Care Credit!

*Some restrictions apply

Christina Reddy


991 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. #114 Suwanee, GA 30024





Confidence, Physical Fitness & Fun! Silver Kickers will improve your child’s level of confidence and instill a positive self-image through soccer. Our seasoned team of coaches are committed to developing your child’s existing talents and athletic abilities while emphasizing teamwork, sportsmanship and most importantly, having FUN!

Atlanta Silverbacks - Something For Everyone! ■ Youth & Adult Soccer ■ Kickers 18 months – 5 years ■ Strikers 5 years – 9 years ■ Youth 9 years +

■ After-school Programs ■ Youth & Adult ■ Summer Camps Flag Football ■ Adult Programs ■ Field Rentals & More!

ask about our birthday parties & field trips! Soccer • Flag Football • Kickball • Dodgeball • Capture the Flag • & more!

We do the Work - you have the fun!

4285 BrOgdON ExchaNgE | SUwaNEE, ga 30024 Please feel free to call or email for details on any of our Programs:


Come in for a

F R E E Trial Clas


plus a free Open Enrollm uniform! ent, Join Anyt ime (Pro-Rated) Hurry, Expires soon Call or visit us ! New students only. online for details .

Oooh, nice S!

Show your Suwanee Pride!

Get a magnet for your car at City Hall.

Suwanee Magazine Jan-Feb 2013  

A magazine for Suwanee Georgia and surrounding areas.

Suwanee Magazine Jan-Feb 2013  

A magazine for Suwanee Georgia and surrounding areas.