Community. Culture. Lifestyle.
MAY / JUNE 16
76 7 6
2016 Suwanee American Craft Beer Fest Exclusive Pics
MAY / JUNE 16
PHOTO BY: Karl Lamb
may / june '16
Amanda Weir: Sights Set On Rio
Two-time Olympian prepares for Olympic trials in June
11 15 16 20
Best Mother in Suwanee Contest Winners
31 34 35 39
2016 Travel and Adventure Guide
Kelly's Fight Amanda Riley Foundation Emory University Reseach Study Summer Family Bonding
Restaurant Spotlight: CaffĂŠ Bene The Spirit of America: Bourbon
8 36 53 62 70 78
What to expect at the upcoming event on June 4th at Coolray Field
in every issue:
2016 Gwinnett Beer Fest Preview
Summer adventures and destinations for the whole family
Happy Hounds: Camp Bow Wow
MAY / JUNE 16
Letter Ask Henry Restaurant Guide City Buzz People & Places Event Calendar
a note from our managing editor
Managing Editor email@example.com
ne year ago, I was busy with lastminute wedding preparation for our May wedding. Now, I’m starting to prepare a nursery. Yep, baby girl coming in August! My husband and I are so excited for our first child and are so thankful that we get to raise her in a community like Suwanee. From an amazing school system to awardwinning festivals, beautiful parks, businesses of all types and friendly neighbors all around – we couldn’t ask for a better place to live. I know I’ll have a million questions and concerns as a first-time mom, but I’m confident in the support that surrounds us. It truly does take a village and
we live in a pretty great one! As we go to print each issue, I’m reminded even more of that through stories about people in our community, the heart and soul behind each small business, and the passion that lies behind local organizations and nonprofits. For this issue, I had the unique opportunity to meet one of the most driven and passionate individuals I’ve ever met: our cover model and twotime Olympian, Amanda Weir. Amanda has her sights set on her third Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro this summer and is currently preparing for the Olympic trials in June. Amanda was raised in Gwinnett County and grew up swimming at SwimAtlanta in Lawrenceville. Although a force to be reckoned with in the water, her humble roots are still apparent as she expresses graciousness for how far she has come. Read her story on page 24 as she shares her thoughts, goals, and an inside look at life as a professional swimmer. We are wishing her all the best and can’t wait to (hopefully!) cheer her on as she brings home a medal this summer. It’s hard to believe that summer is already here! It seems like we were just publishing our “back to school” issue. But, we know your kids are excited about all the adventures that await them this summer, so we’ve compiled a list of fun outings and destinations to look forward to. Check out our Travel & Adventure Guide on page 42 or a variety of ideas like zip lining, horseback riding and hot air balloon rides! For the craft beer lovers in the area, another type of adventure awaits! The team behind your favorite beer fest: Suwanee American Craft Beer Fest, is back at it again, bringing you the 2nd annual Gwinnett Beer Fest at Coolray Field on June 4th. This beer fest takes place at the home of the Gwinnett Braves, with unlimited samples of 150+ beers, live music and festivities filling the stadium. This is an event you don’t want to miss! We hope you enjoy flipping through this issue. As always, please feel free to send us your feedback – we love to hear from you! Cheers to summer adventuring!
WANT MORE? STAY CONNECTED WITH SUWANEE MAGAZINE. FOLLOW, TWEET, SHARE >
On the Cover
Amanda Weir photographed on April 8th at SwimAtlanta by PAUL PERDUE
Behind the Scenes
Amanda and Suwanee Magazine photographer, Paul Perdue in the pool at SwimAtlanta during our cover shoot.
MAY / JUNE 16
Visit suwaneemagazine.com for some great web only articles and frequent updates. In the March/April Festival Guide, Twisted Taco's phone number was incorrect. The correct number is 678-541-6675.
ANGELA VEUGELER President / Editor-in-Chief firstname.lastname@example.org RANDALL VEUGELER Vice President and Publisher RACHEL PILLOW Managing Editor email@example.com
Account Executives MICHELLE FASIG • NATALIE STUBBS firstname.lastname@example.org Creative Director RANDALL VEUGELER Art Director ERICA ABRAMS Production Manager LAURA PAYNE Web Editors WALT WOODEN • ROBERT WRIGHT Digital Marketing Manager PRISCILLA SALMASI Graphic Design APRIL MILLER • SHAY HARBAUGH BRIAN HASSINGER Photographers KARL LAMB • JULIE PERDUE BUNCH WALT WOODEN • PAUL PERDUE
Sales JULIE PERDUE BUNCH email@example.com
PUBLISHED BY VEUGELER DESIGN GROUP 554 W. Main Street, Suite 200, Buford, GA 30518 SuwaneeMagazine.com
For SUBSCRIPTION INQUIRIES or BACK ISSUE ORDERS, call 678-482-2270. For ADVERTISING INQUIRES, call 678-482-2270, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Suwanee Magazine is published bi-monthly 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. ©2016 Veugeler Design Group. The editors welcome unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. Please email submissions to Rachel Pillow at email@example.com.
MAY / JUNE 16
15 THE $$$$
suwanee business community news and info.
IMPACT OF THE ELECTION › DIMENSIONAL DESIGN 16
› MARKETING TIPS: HOW TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA EFFECTIVELY 20
With premier dog day care, in-home pet care and boarding, Camp Bow Wow's goal is to provide your pet with the nurturance, exercise and attention they need on a daily basis BY: RACHEL PILLOW / PHOTOS BY: KARL LAMB
Camp Bow Wow
Weimaraners hold a special place in Owner and Founder, Jeff Hahn’s heart, as he owns four that he rescued and now get to come to work every day with him.
ogs are a part of the family and with many people working 8-10 hour workdays it’s important to make sure these family members are not neglected as we tend to our busy schedules. Just as working parents would find an after-school program or sitter for their children, they should also find assistance in caring for their “fur-kids” too, if needed... With over 130 locations in the United States and Canada, Camp Bow Wow has become recognized as a national brand in pet care and dog boarding. Jeff Hahn, Owner and Founder of the Duluth location, opened the doors in November of 2006, knowing there was a great need for this service in Gwinnett and surrounding areas. With a background in IT sales, this business venture came as an unlikely turn of events for Hahn. With three dogs at home, he was a definite doglover, but hadn’t considered anything pet-related as a career until he saw an ad for the Camp Bow Wow franchise in a Delta Sky magazine. “It sounded like an interesting concept…I had three dogs and thought it would be fun to do something with dogs, but didn’t know what – and had no experience. I decided to just check it out to see if it was something viable.” And, indeed it was. Camp Bow Wow Duluth is now the largest location in the state. The larger location means that they are able to accommodate more dogs, as well as offer additional services such as full-service grooming and “Behavior Buddies”
MAY / JUNE 16
– Camp Bow Wow’s certified dogtraining program. Claire Welmering is their Professional Dog Trainer and Certified Behavior Modification Specialist, with the highest level of obedience training from the American Kennel Club. But, everyone on staff is also dog CPR and First Aid certified. Camp Bow Wow boasts large indoor and outdoor play yards that are divided by dog size. Dogs have freedom throughout the day to roam inside or out, and customers can rest assured knowing their dogs are carefully monitored by staff at a 1:15 ratio, in a safe environment. While many competitors in the industry use pea gravel in the play yards, Camp Bow Wow prides itself on using canine grass – made specifically to be safe, comfortable, non-toxic, climate-friendly and padded for dog’s fragile paws. “Dog safety is our first priority,” said Hahn. All dogs must be updated on their shots to be able to attend daycare or boarding, and each dog must go through an “interview process” and free trial, in order to enroll. “Last summer when canine influenza broke out in the area, I spent extra money and time on cleaning, and we never had an outbreak here,” he continued. “We pride ourselves on being very face
Dogs have freedom throughout the day to roam inside or out. Dogs are carefully monitored by staff at a 1:15 ratio
Camp Bow Wow's large outdoor play yard uses canine grass â€“ made specifically to be safe, comfortable, non-toxic, climate-friendly and padded for dogâ€™s fragile paws.
Large indoor and outdoor play yards are divided by dog size.
< Camp Bow Wow offers full-service grooming. Dogs can play at camp and then get a bath before they go home. Camper Cams give pet owners the ability to watch their dogs playing in the play yard at any time of day, from their desktop computer or a mobile app on their phone.
< A camper rides in style in the Camp Bow Wow Mobile.
value and transparent,” said Welmering. “We will always offer tours and one of our customers' favorite features is the Camper Cams,” she explained. The Camper Cams give pet owners the ability to watch their dogs playing in the play yard at any time of day, from their desktop computer or a mobile app on their phone. Camp Bow Wow is also dedicated to giving back to the community – on a corporate and local level. The national organizations they support are the Bow Wow Buddies Foundation and Scout’s Angels. According to the website, The Bow Wow Buddies Foundation provides urgent medical care funds to dogs who are either homeless or whose parents cannot afford to pay their veterinary bills.” Scout’s Angels provides healing and therapy services for people, through the use of registered therapy dogs and Canine
Claire Welmering is Camp Bow Wow's Certified Behavior Specialist. Good Citizens across North America. Local organizations supported by Camp Bow Wow in Duluth include the Georgia SPCA in Suwanee and Atlanta Weimaraner Club Rescue. Weimaraners hold a special place in Hahn’s heart, as he owns four that he rescued and that now get to come to work everyday with him. Acting as a foster home for the SPCA, they often house a couple dogs from the rescue that need extra attention, training and exercise before they are fit for adoption. As we sat in the lobby during the interview, it was evident how much their “campers” love coming to Camp Bow Wow. Customers could barely get a foot through the door without their dogs barreling in and pulling them excitedly inside. Camp Bow Wow also works to make the experience enjoyable for pet owners as well by incorporating special events throughout the year, such as “Yappy Hour” where people are invited to bring their pets for an evening of fun, light refreshments, beer and wine, special raffles and games – all to benefit charity. The overall environment of Camp Bow Wow is exceedingly friendly and fun. “Everyone here is an animal lover and many on our staff are training to become Veterinary Technicians,” said Hahn. “This is so different from my previous job. Coming from an IT sales position, there was no emotional investment in that product. Now I know that when someone walks through that door, they’re an animal lover, and I get the chance to build relationships with them and their dogs.” ✱
For more information about Camp Bow Wow, visit campbowwow.com/duluth
MAY / JUNE 16
BY: Bill and Cindi Porter, AILERON INVESTMENT ADVISORS
How will the presidential election affect my portfolio? First, it appears that it is rarely the candidates who determine the outcome of a presidential election. Instead it seems that it is the direction of the misery index – (unemployment rate + inflation). In the 13 presidential elections since 1960, the incumbent party was replaced all 5 times the misery index was on the rise and they retained the presidency 6 times when it was dropping and the economy was improving. There are only two exceptions. In 1976, Jimmy Carter replaced Gerald Ford who was rocked after issuing Richard Nixon a pardon for the Watergate fiasco. The second exception was in 1992, when George H. Bush was replaced by Bill Clinton. However, the economy in the late summer of 1992 had taken a brief but significant drop just prior to the election and thus further supports the theory that it is the economy – not the candidates – which will determine who will win the White House. The second surprise for many investors is that presidential outcomes have not affected the markets in any definable or predictable manner. Since 1960, the only two presidential terms that experienced overall negative market returns were George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter. The term of both Presidents Reagan and Clinton each enjoyed an overall market return of about 16%. Both parties have presided over similar scenarios in the stock market – good and bad. It is normally PROFITS, not presidents that affect our portfolios. While elections are important and sometimes amusing, they are generally not an event that should cause long-term investors to change their portfolio. However, it might be a good time to have a discussion with your trusted advisor about corporate profits, world events which could influence them, and how these factors may affect your portfolio. ✱
The term of both Presidents Reagan and Clinton each enjoyed an overall market return of about 16%.
Securities offered through Dempsey Lord Smith, LLC Member FINRA/SIPC Securities offered through Integrated Financial Planning Member FINRA/SIPC Advisory services offered through Dempsey Lord Smith, LLC
Send your investment questions to: submissions@SuwaneeMagazine.com All the information in this letter is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information is strictly at your own risk.
Designed with a Purpose Duluth industrial design company integrates marketing strategy, design and execution to create engaging consumer experiences BY: RACHEL PILLOW
PHOTOS BY: KARL LAMB
ood design is created with emotion and implemented with logic. This is the premise that Dimensional Design was built on and continues to live by today. Headquartered in Duluth, GA, Dimensional Design was founded in 1988 by Grant Perry, with the goal of building an industrial design firm capable of integrating four of the critical aspects of corporate and consumer marketing products: graphics, displays, exhibits and marketing interiors. Dimensional Design is one of the few design firms in the nation that combines graphic design, 3D design and manufacturing under the same roof; and not just for the sake of convenience, but also with a purpose. Rather than a company outsourcing their marketing needs to separate entities: an ad agency, industrial design firm, trade show exhibit manufacturer, etc. Perry decided to bring it all in one 42,000+ square foot production house. “There was too much disconnect between marketing strategy, design and execution,” he explained. With Dimensional Design being able to offer most core services, they are able to ensure that a company’s brand identity is consistent across all levels and that the customer is able to work with one core team. Perry stresses, that whether it’s a vendor-facing tradeshow exhibit, a client-facing retail display, or an employee-
< Grant Perry, Founder and President of Dimensional Design
MAY / JUNE 16
facing lobby structure, the design should speak to the company’s culture and all are equally important. “One of the things that sets us apart from other industrial design teams is that we have an extreme business understanding,” said Perry. “We apply a true logic to everything we do.” One such example is the Atlanta Motorsports Park (AMP), of which they had a hand in nearly every design element of the clubhouse. Working hand-in-hand with the General Contractor and Architect, Perry and his team of designers were able to execute the vision of AMP’s owner and executive team. “Every detail is meant to tell their story, to bring their brand to life,” said Perry. This is evident in elements such as the curvature of the reception desk in the lobby – designed to resemble each curve of the motorsports track; or the graphic display in the clubhouse which might look like a cool, modern piece from a distance, but is really a piece of art that mathematically depicts each level of elevation change throughout the race course. “What we build conveys a culture, conveys a story and is meant to be a conversation starter,” explained Perry. “All of our clients have a story, but
PHOTOS BY: DAVID FISHER
< The curvature of the reception desk in the lobby of Atlanta Motorsports Park was designed to resemble each curve of the motorsports track
The graphic display developed by Dimensional Design in the clubhouse at AMP mathematically depicts each level of elevation change throughout the race course. sometimes they have trouble telling it. Our job is to find the magic in the details and then make it pop – without them having to spend a fortune,” he continued. Dimensional Design was one of the top sponsors at the 6th Annual Suwanee American Craft Beer Fest this past March and was responsible for the addition of new signage, displays, entrance structures, VIP decor and the all-new Social Lounge. Sponsors, vendors and event attendees alike reported that this year’s beer festival was the best yet, and that the experience was truly
elevated to a new level. Event organizers attribute much of that success to Dimensional Design – for the way they were able to bring the brand to life and connect with attendees on a more personalized level through the design experience. Kevin Miskewicz, Senior Manager of Commercial Marketing at Mitsubishi Electric US Cooling & Heating, can attest to Dimensional Design’s expertise as well. “The first projects were small-scale product demonstrations and displays; but based on their expertise in design and construction, along with their excellent customer service and support, we expanded the scope of projects drastically over the last few years. They are a
< Bob Fry, Production Manager/ Craftsman, Grant Perry and Steffan Clousing, Senior Industrial Designer review specs for an upcoming project
PHOTO BY: KARL LAMB
Dimensional Design's 42,000+ production house in Duluth
very capable, multi-faceted firm and we have not had a project they could not handle, no matter the complexity level,” said Miskewicz. With 25 employees and 3 key designers, Dimensional Design’s team brings a wide variety of expertise, from craftsmanship to 3D design to marketing strategy. It’s hard to imagine that nearly 30 years ago, the fresh-outof-college, Auburn University graduate, Grant Perry, was building his company’s vision – all from the basement of his mother’s house. With a degree in Industrial Design and a minor in Graphics, Perry knew that he wanted to focus on synchronizing the two. His first big project was the renowned butterfly exhibit at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia. “From that point on the company grew naturally, each year, just like a company should,” said Perry. It wasn’t long before Perry hired a team of industrial designers and engineers into a Decatur office, which they soon outgrew into a downtown Atlanta space, again outgrowing that office several years later.
MAY / JUNE 16
With businesses only continuing to grow outside the Atlanta perimeter, it made sense to relocate headquarters to Gwinnett. “A lot of people didn’t realize how great this area was doing, businesswise,” said Perry, about his choice to headquarter in Duluth. “We travel all over the world for business, but love being tied into the community here,” said Grant. And with a handprint in many Atlanta-trademarks: Phillips Arena, Home Depot and “Taste of Speed Week” to name a few – there is a sense of local pride at the Dimensional Design offices and a buzz around their involvement with helping other metro Atlanta businesses succeed and tell their unique stories. ✱
For more information about Dimensional Design, visit DimensionalDesign.net
M A R K E T I N G
T I P S
social media How to use
more effectively for your business BY: Priscilla Salmasi, Digital Marketing Manager, Veugeler Design Group
f you’re new to social media for business, looking to communicate with your target audience or revamping your social strategy, incorporate a few of these tips to make the most out of the conversation with your customers...
Setting up company profiles.
Most social media platforms have specific guidelines for creating a profile or page for your business. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and even Snapchat are catering to a company's presence on social media. Always create a profile in the format of a business and not as a personal page. This crucial step affects how people find the business on social media, interact with your page, eliminates confusion and gives your company page credibility. Business social profiles share content publically. If your company page is set up as a person, depending on your settings, people may be unable to find your company or brand and see your posts.
Cross-posting on social media. If you have followers on more than one platform – it’s important to mix up the way you post content to these platforms, especially if you’re sending out the same message. Posting duplicate content across multiple platforms gives people little reason to follow your business on multiple channels. If you are sending the same message across multiple platforms; for example sharing an event, make sure to tailor each post to that particular audience or social platform.
The #Hashtag. The #hashtag was first introduced in 2007 on Twitter as a way for groups to communicate. Most social networks have now incorporated the use of hashtags – but learning how to properly use them can help to expand your audience and increase your reach with your posts. Create brand awareness by creating a hashtag that is associated with your company and include your branded hashtag with each post. Only include relevant hashtags to your social content or it will come across as spam.
Magazine Suwanee Magazine
MAR//JUNE APR 16 16 I MAY
Use social platforms that make sense for your business. With which social network does your audience primarily engage? Defining this will help your business in creating a social media strategy. Ask these questions to get started: Does this platform relate to the needs of my business? How much time must I devote to have an impact? Don’t stress if your business is not on every platform. Start with one you can regularly manage and go from there.
GROW YOUR BUSINESS' ONLINE COMMUNITY
Did you know Google has a social platform besides YouTube? Google My Business ties directly to Google Plus and serves as the primary place to control your company’s Google Maps Listing, Business Profile in Google and gives you a place to also share content. Add a business category, phone number, address, website URL as well as photos and posts to your business’ Google Plus Page.
We help you create and manage your social media profiles that give you an opportunity to have natural and relevant dialogue with your customers. We work with you to deliver interesting content, craft successful social campaigns and design online ads that reach and engage your target audience.
URL shorteners; an easy way to track link engagement. Ever wondered how many people actually click the link you shared on a social network? Use a URL shortener like bitly.com to find out. A URL shortener is an online application that converts a regular URL (http://) into a smaller format, typically 10 to 20 characters long. These links make it easier for you to manage links by making them more shareable, plus you have the ability to track the engagement your links have.
VDGatl.com 554 WEST MAIN STREET
BUFORD, GEORGIA 30518
Paid advertisements on social media networks.
Twitter â€“ Say it in photos. Twitter limits each tweet to 140 characters, but if you have more to say, you have the ability to attach up to four photos to any tweet. When you do so, it creates a separate link for that photo that is still included in the 140-character limit, but the photo will appear in the streams of your followers.
Scheduling Social Posts. Managing social media through tools such as Hootsuite is a great way to schedule time-sensitive posts across multiple social networks in advance. This leaves time for real-time posts and re-sharing content from other businesses. So you can get more out of social media, Hootsuite offers several packages â€“ free or paid â€“ to scale to the size of your business.
Advertising on social platforms is great for specifically targeting an audience by interest, location or even age. Facebook is the most popular social network available and there are many different objectives met when running Facebook ads, such as increasing clicks to your website, website conversions and increasing page likes just to name a few. Twitter focuses on promoting your tweets, a great tool for generating traffic to your company blog. If your target audiences are professionals or your industry is B2B, LinkedIn may be your best option for paid advertisements. Target your readers through LinkedIn Sponsored Update Ads by choosing a target audience by industry, company size, professional titles or location.
Social media has become a very powerful tool for businesses to both market themselves and interact with customers on a personal level. But because the digital climate is constantly changing it can be difficult to keep up with the latest trends, features and offerings across every social media platform. To ensure that your business is using social media effectively and the you are maximizing your budget, it is best to leave your online presence in the hands of a professional. Find a local marketing firm that can Share this article on social media by following help you come up with a custom digital marketing Suwanee Magazine on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! #SuwaneeMagazine. strategy to fit the unique needs of your business.
MAY / JUNE 16
Standing at an imposing 6’1” tall, 30-year-old AMANDA WEIR certainly attracts the attention of other swimmers at SwimAtlanta. Many of the young swimmers know her reputation and legacy and look up to her as a role model. “But they also still push me,” she said in regards to training with the high school senior boys' team. With the Olympic trials beginning June 26th, Weir’s training schedule is rigorous. But the twotime Olympic medalist took time out of her busy day for an exclusive interview with Suwanee Magazine at the pool that raised her. Story by: RACHEL PILLOW Photographs by: PAUL PERDUE
Amanda Weir started swimming at age 8. “I’ve loved being in the water for as long as I can remember,” she said. At age 10 she started swimming at SwimAtlanta, the nation’s largest swim club, in Lawrenceville. It didn’t take long for the coaches and staff to realize her potential. “At age 12 I broke the national age group record and things started to progress pretty quickly,” said Weir. She went on to help bring four consecutive Georgia Class 5A state championships to her Gwinnett school, Brookwood High School and then to compete at the collegiate level at University of Georgia, followed by University of Southern California. The summer before her freshman year of college, Weir brought home two silver medals from the 2004 Olympic games: in the 400m freestyle relay and the 400m medley relay. After one year at UGA, Weir transferred to USC, but in 2006 when she broke the national record in the 100m freestyle she decided to become a full-time professional swimmer. Missing the mark for the 2008 Olympics did not deter her vision and Weir was back in the water competing at the 2012 London games where she brought home a bronze in the 4x100m freestyle relay. Now, at age 30, Weir is one of the most seasoned swimmers whose sights are set on Rio de Janeiro this summer. Another Olympic-hopeful is her 24-year-old brother, Caleb Weir, also a freestyle swimmer, who swam for the Texas Longhorns. “Caleb has made incredible leaps and bounds in this sport and his determination, excitement and fearless attitude inspire me everyday! I never thought I’d be swimming long enough to be attending meets with him – and that might be the thing I’m most grateful for out of everything,” she said. But,
MAY / JUNE 16
by treating her body as a well-oiled machine, Weir has amazingly been able to extend her career far beyond what she imagined. “As an athlete, everything goes into training – not just the work, but also the rest, fuel and recovery. I work just as hard outside the water as I do in,” she explained. Weir is currently under an intense training schedule with former world-record holder and Olympian, Coach Doug Gjersten, at SwimAtlanta’s Georgia Tech location. “He [Gjersten] has pushed me further out of my comfort zone in training than I thought possible,” said Weir. So, what does a day in the life of an Olympian look like? Weir explained her crazy schedule - which starts with waking up at 4:45am for practice. With swim workouts from
5:30am – 7:30am and 4:30pm – 7:30pm, and cross training in the afternoon (weight training, Pilates or Yoga,) there is little time for much else than sleeping or eating in between. “And I can put down some calories!” she said. Her typical diet is full of lean meats, lots of vegetables, protein, whole grains and fruit. But on Sundays, her rest days - “it’s not a good weekend if I don’t have coffee and a pastry. I need a muffin or cinnamon roll,” she confessed. Other than indulging in a delicious pastry on her “rest day” she also enjoys spending time (out of the water) with her husband, SwimAtlanta coach, Chris Davis, and making renovations to their historic bungalow in Decatur, GA. Weir has taken a keen interest in interior design. When they purchased their 1925 home she handled almost all of the planning and design work
that went into the renovation project. Although it is hard to picture a career after swimming, she does have a passion for design that she hopes to utilize as well one day. “I can’t stand the thought of life without swimming, it breaks my heart to imagine,” Weir admitted. “It will always be a part of my life in some way: whether it be in coaching or speaking or visiting swim clubs and sharing my experiences,” she said. Weir has already started to “give back” to younger swimmers by coaching swimmers, ages 4-12, a few times a week. “My advice to young swimmers is to let swimming take them as far as they want to go! If you work hard, set goals and see yourself achieving them, there’s no limit to how far you can go! Also, I love to remind young swimmers to always have fun,” said Weir. She has spent a lifetime in the sport, has gone to the highest levels and back, and everything in between and hopes to be able to give back to the sport, with the knowledge she has accumulated over the years. Right now, though, Weir is steadfastly focused on the shortterm: making it to the 2016 Olympic
games. “I’m in it to win it for trials this summer,” she said. “My personal goal for this Olympics is to take advantage of every opportunity I’m given - in my preparation, in the races I will swim, and in being a teammate and an Olympian.” Weir has an amazing support system that includes her husband, Coach and family. She shared that her parents have maintained an unwavering belief in her abilities through all the
ups and downs of her swimming career. “And, no matter what happens this summer, being able to be on the pool deck alongside my brother at Olympic trials and sharing the same goal of representing the USA is something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.” ✱
Amanda had fun in the water taking selfies with the Suwanee Magazine GoPro! 29
39 SUMMER FAMILY BONDING
thrive your health,
wellness and happiness.
AMANDA RILEY FOUNDATION 34 › EMORY UNIVERSITY RESEARCH STUDY 35 › ASK HENRY: SUMMER FLEA & TICK ADVICE 36
Suwanee resident's road to recovery after brain surgery to halt the progression of Chiari Malformation, a structural defect in the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls balance...
You can’t go home until you have brain surgery. We’re going to remove a portion of your skull as well as your first and second vertebrae. hese are the shocking words that Suwanee resident, Kimberly Kelly (age 36) heard two years ago when she first learned that she has Chiari Malformation and Syringomyelia. “I had never even heard of Chiari before…I was in complete shock and so scared. I didn’t even know how to pronounce it. I had no idea what was going on,” Kelly said. Chiari malformations are structural defects in the cerebellum (the part of the brain that controls balance). Normally, the cerebellum and parts of the brain stem sit in an indented space at the lower rear of the skull, above the foramen magnum (the opening to the spinal canal). But, a Chiari malformation is when part of the cerebellum brain tissue has protruded through the foramen magnum and into the spinal canal, blocking the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. Syringomelia (SM) is a chronic disorder that occurs when cerebrospinal fluid enters the interior of the spinal cord, forming a fluid-filled cyst called a syrinx. In Kelly’s case, the syrinx was one of the worst that her doctors had seen, causing severe damage to her spinal cord. Most cases of Chiari malformation occur during fetal development, but are not diagnosed until later in life as symptoms progress. “For my entire life I had weird symptoms like headaches, my eyes bothered me, I would fall a lot...they used to call me “grace” as a joke when I was little because I was the opposite of graceful,” Kelly said. As a child, the symptoms were not severe and were just attributed to clumsiness and regular headaches from allergies or colds. But as she got older, her symptoms worsened. Her most common symptoms were: falling a lot, lack of balance, short-term memory problems, exhaustion, headaches, weight gain and numbness or tingling in her arm or extremities. “The symptoms were all just so weird. I knew something was wrong and went to so many doctors, but they just kept attributing it to allergies, chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, etc… but I knew it was more than that. I knew something was wrong with me!” Kelly said. Kelly’s diagnosis and emergency brain surgery took place in March of 2014 after she took a fall down the stairs in her home. She was walking down
MAY / JUNE 16
Cerebellum Spinal Cord
NORMAL BRAIN the stairs holding her new puppy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Cooper, when she stumbled and took the brunt of the fall so as to protect her dog. When her then-husband returned home from work he asked if she had been drinking. Kelly was slurring her words without even realizing it. What they also didn’t realize at the time was that she had had a stroke. Kelly went to the doctor for a regular appointment that Friday and told her about the fall. She also let her know about some other weird symptoms she had been experiencing that week such as numbness in her arm and difficulty breathing, like her throat was closing up. The doctor attributed the numbness in her arm to falling on it and her difficulty breathing to allergies and sent Kelly home. By Monday morning, Kelly’s arms, back and fingertips were numb, she couldn’t dress herself, lift her arms to fix her own hair, had difficulty breathing, talking and even walking. She went back to the same doctor who immediately said, “I’m triaging you to the emergency room!” It wasn’t until they did a complete spinal MRI with a contrast dye injection, that the longoverdue diagnosis came to light. The condition, even more common than ALS, is not necessarily rare, just very difficult to diagnose. The emergency brain surgery kept her in the hospital for a month and a half. “I made it the fun room though! I always had friends in there, they’d bring me flowers, we’d talk and play games,” she said. Kelly was trying to maintain some sense of normalcy in her life. After having to quit her job as a kindergarten teacher and with her husband leaving her amidst her recovery, it was difficult though. “Before all of this, I loved going out with friends, going shopping, getting pedicures, being outside, going to Suwanee Town Center Park,” she said. For someone that was used to an active and social lifestyle, her debilitating condition left her fighting for both her physical and mental health
BRAIN WITH CHIARI MALFORMATION again. “I didn’t want to let this turn me into a different person or change my outlook on life, because it could have been bad,” she said. A year after the emergency surgery, Kelly’s condition took a turn for the worse again and in December of 2015 she went to see a Chiari specialist in New York for a second (and hopefully her last) surgery. There had been some complications with the first surgery that needed to be corrected. Since then, Kelly’s condition has improved drastically and she is expected to get back to “99% normal.” It’s a process and it’s a fight – the condition will never go away, but the surgery should stop the progression and the therapy will continue to rehabilitate her. She visits ABove Physical Therapy in Suwanee four times a week where they help alleviate her neuropathic pain and taught her how to walk properly again. “Thank goodness for ABove Therapy! They are like my family,” Kelly said. The series of misdiagnoses and lack of knowledge were so frustrating to Kelly that she now wants to help bring awareness to Chiari and Syringomyelia and help others that might be going through what she experienced. “I’m trying to do something good with this. I could choose
to sit in my bed and cry or I can get up and do something with my life,” Kelly said. As the Northeast Georgia spokesperson of the Chiari & Syringomyelia Foundation she is getting that chance. Kelly was recently asked to be the “face of Chiari” and spokesperson at the Bobby Jones Classic on May 15-16th at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. “Bobby Jones died of Syringomyelia and this is an amazing opportunity to honor him and to help bring awareness,” she said. A member of 12Stone Church, Kelly’s faith has also helped keep her grounded. “I’ll admit, there were times where I was thinking, ‘God, did you get me mixed up with someone else? You know I’m not this strong.’ But now that I’ve been through it, I know for a fact that He has a plan for me. I might not have figured out exactly what that is yet, but things are starting to happen for me and it will bloom from there.” ✱
For more information about The Chiari & Syringomyelia Foundation, visit csfinfo.org
Kelly’s condition has improved drastically and she is expected to get back to “99% normal." 33
The Amanda Riley Foundation, a 501(c)(3), was established in September of 2010 to lend support to children and the families of children battling cancer. Founders Steve and Barbara Riley started the foundation to honor the memory of their daughter Amanda, who lost her life to cancer in April of 2010.
1000 reasons to
smile LOCAL GROUP'S GOAL IS TO GRANT A MINIMUM OF ONE “SMILE” OR WISH PER MONTH VALUED UP TO $1,000. BY: ANGELA VEUGELER
snack baskets for the children and their At the young age of 16, Amanda had a families, so they don’t have to leave contagious smile and vibrant personality. their room, give goody bags to inpatient She had a passion for running and children and toiletry care packages for basketball, leading by example and parents to use in emergency overnight giving 100% to everything she did. She hospital stays. At Christmas time they had a huge heart and great faith in God. sponsor around 100 children, providing In 2009, at the age of 16, Amanda gifts for the entire family. They also lend was diagnosed with stage IV direct support to families assigned by Rhabdomyosarcoma. Amanda fought Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta such as hard, staying positive and still attending periodic gifts, gift cards school and church and financial assistance. whenever possible. In 2015, the 405 days after being foundation worked with diagnosed, after 53 families and has numerous chemo and worked with close to 300 radiation treatments, since their inception. All blood transfusions and of the children they work surgery, Amanda lost with are diagnosed with her battle to cancer. solid tumor cancer, which When asked on average has about a what led the Rileys to 30% chance of survival. starting the foundation, When asked how she Barbara shared, handles getting close to “Before Amanda was so many families and diagnosed, we spent children, many of whom all of our time with lose their battle to cancer, her. She played travel Barbara shared, “My faith. basketball as well as Some days are tough. I just other sports. That was Barbara Riley with Lupita during her shopping spree provided by lost my favorite little boy our life. When she the Amanda Riley Foundation two weeks ago Monday. became sick, we spent We are very close with his all of our time at the family. We have some survivor stories too. hospital or in the clinic; that become our One girl attends all of our events and has life. We got to know the families. That’s been cancer free for several years.” very common in the cancer world. We This year, the foundation added a became a family. Once Amanda passed new initiative called “1,000 Reasons to away, I was like ‘What do I do with Smile.” Their goal is to grant a minimum my life?’ I can remember the sick kids of one “smile” or wish per month valued sitting in the chair with siblings running up to $1,000. They also recently funded around. That’s where my heart is - it their first Rhabdomyasarcoma research is at the hospital. I know that’s what grant. Amanda would have wanted.” The Amanda Riley Foundation’s 6th The goal of the Amanda Riley annual Miles 4 Smiles includes a 10k, 5k Foundation is to brighten the lives of and fun run and will take place on June children battling cancer, doing everything 11th at Tribble Mill Park in Lawrenceville. possible to put a smile on a child’s face The event has continued to grow each while they are in the midst of their year and includes a festival area for kids battle. They also lend support to family as well as a balloon release. ✱ members. Barbara shared, “I remember when we were there, the things that were important to us. Food was a big deal, everyone gets tired of eating hospital food.” The foundation provides meals every Monday at the AFLAC Cancer To learn more about the foundation, Center at Scottish Rite. They also provide
read Riley Warrior stories, or for more information on Miles 4 Smiles and other events or ways to help, visit
Suwanee Resident Participates in Emory University Research Study Suwanee resident Brittany Robinson spent eight days and nights at Emory University Hospital in a research study as a way to say thank you to the hospital that helped her son, Ethan. Ethan was diagnosed with the heart defect WolffParkinson-White (WPW) syndrome with Ebstein’s anomaly at birth, and was treated at Emory-Children’s Center and the Egleston cardiac ICU. About a year ago, Ethan had an ablation to cure the WPW. “My son was on medication from nine months old until last year. If there wasn’t someone who had gone through a similiar research trial for his heart medication, who knows what would have happened,” said Robinson. The medicine prescribed to her son went through the same process MBX-400 must go through now, the medicine being studied at Emory University. The in-patient research study is a Phase I Trial to Evaluate the Safety and Pharmacokinetics of Multiple Ascending Doses of MBX-400 in Healthy Volunteers, or clinical trial, testing the oral medication MBX-400 to treat cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection. CMV is a common virus that can infect the majority of the population but can cause severe eye, neurologic, and organ diseases in patients with a weakened immune system. Medications currently used to treat CMV have limitations and many scientists are stepping up to help find a new treatment. The study enrollment criteria mandates only healthy people can enroll. According to Robinson, “The experience has been wonderful. I was actually very nervous going into it. I’ve never been away from my family for this long before. But I feel better, because you have to do a fast, can have no alcohol or caffeine, and I’ve actually gotten sleep. I feel refreshed, like a paid vacation,” said Robinson. The inpatient trial provides all meals, a room with a view, and the quiet needed for adequate rest. Something Robinson says she has not had since her first son was born eight years ago. Robinson received a letter in the mail regarding the study. “I was going to throw it out, but for some reason I kept being drawn to it, and thinking this is my way to give back,” said Robinson. During the study, she was required to wake up and eat by a certain time, take a pill, fast for two hours, give blood, urine and stool samples and have EKG’s. The rest of the time was free time, with unrestricted visiting hours. Allison Beck, PA, Mari Hart, RN, Nadine Rouphael, MD, and a team of Research Coordinators with the Emory Hope Clinic have been recruiting for months to fully enroll this trial, which only has half the participants needed to complete the trial. “Without research, we do not have the treatments and cures that save our loved ones. New medicines and vaccines that work and are safe are only discovered when heroes like Robinson and her family are willing to give their time to research and enroll in a study,” said study PI Mark Mulligan, MD, distinguished professor, Department of Medicine and executive director, Hope Clinic of the Emory Vaccine Center, Emory University. Every medication, treatment, or medical device currently available was FDA mandated to go through this process to prove safety and efficacy.
< Brittany Robinson with her son during the clinical research study
“This was my first research experience and after this experience I would definitely participate again. My husband is interested in doing the next round of studies, so we can switch off, and he can be the one to give back. There is nothing to be scared of,” said Robinson. ✱
The Emory Hope Clinic needs more volunteer participants for this study and others. More information is available at hopeclinic.emory.edu and by calling 404-712-1371. The study is conducted by Emory’s Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit (VTEU) funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).
AskHenry at SugarHillAnimalHospital.com
SUMMER FLEA & TICK ADVICE
MAY / JUNE 16
Q: I live near a wooded area and find ticks on my dogs all the time. What is the best way to remove a tick? A: Since you live in an area where tick
Q: My dogs are outside a lot during the day and are current on their flea prevention, but my cats are indoors only. Do they need to be on flea prevention medicine as well? A: All animals in your home need to be on flea prevention in
order to avoid having a flea infestation. Most flea prevention is effective once the flea bites your pet and ingests the product that is circling in your pet’s bloodstream. However, the fleas that come into your home on your dog, or even on your clothing, can continue to survive on any pet not on flea prevention medicine.
Q: I have been noticing this black dust in my pet’s fur and my friend says it is flea dirt. What is flea dirt? A: Flea dirt appears as small, black specks on your
pet’s fur and is a surefire way to know that your pet has a flea infestation. In reality, flea dirt is the flea’s feces that consists of your pet’s digested blood. If you notice that your pet has flea dirt, visit your veterinarian to find out what flea prevention is recommended.
Helping Henry this month Is Dr. Johansen from Sugar Hill Animal Hospital Dr. Johansen received her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and Georgia Veterinary Medical Association. She has been the President of the Gwinnett County Veterinary Medical Association since 2014.
exposure is a risk, it is very important that your pets be on monthly tick prevention. Tick borne diseases can be transmitted within 24 hours of a tick bite, so prevention is key. Your veterinarian will know the best product for you and your pets.
If you find a tick, remove it as soon as possible using these steps:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Have someone hold your pet while you remove the tick. Using a pair of tweezers, grasp the tick at the level of your pet’s skin. Pull the tick straight out with a steady motion, and do not twist. Doing otherwise may result in leaving the tick’s mouthparts behind, which can cause irritation and infection. Place the tick in a jar with rubbing alcohol to kill it. This will also preserve the tick for testing in case your pet begins to show signs of disease. Spray the affected area with an antiseptic and watch for redness, pain or swelling, which are signs of infection. Visit your veterinarian if you are worried that you may have left part of the tick in your pet’s skin, or if you are worried about attempting the tick removal on your own. Monitor your pet for signs of a tickborne disease, which include: painful legs, fever, lethargy, and decreased appetite. Visit your veterinarian as soon as any of these symptoms occur.
Summer Family Bonding BY: LAURA LEBOVITZ LAMFT AT GROW COUNSELING
he sun is out more, the days are feeling longer, and children are getting antsy. Summer is right around the corner! One of the questions I get asked a lot this time of year is,“How do I make the most of summer as a family?” While the upcoming end of the school year seems like it should make for an easier schedule, it usually gets more hectic. Here are some ways families can make the most of this upcoming summer.
Find a schedule that works Kids, and even
teens, tend to feel less stressed when they are on a regular and predictable schedule. Summertime can be a challenging time for structure since the routine school day is gone. Try to find ways to make the day more predictable for your family. You may not be able to do the same thing every day but little moments can still have a large impact.
Always remember safety. More free time can also bring more time for distractions and temptations. Children and teens may be really excited to use the time off of school to devote to social media and their electronics. Limit unstructured use of electronics and talk to your children about healthy boundaries to have in social media. ✱
Connect on a daily basis One way to begin to build a routine is to make a pact as a family to connect every day. Set a few minutes aside each day to talk about what each other did. It can be in the morning or when the family comes back together at night. Explore what your children enjoyed the most during their day and reconnect without the daily drag of homework. Starting this practice during the summer can set up the family for a great start to the next school year. Get moving!
Make health and fun a priority for your children by finding time to get physically active in the summer. Studies have shown that regular physical activity can reduce stress. Kids will pick up their healthy habits from their parents. Get active as a family and enjoy the warmer weather!
Allow your children to have new experiences Summer is a great time to try new
activities and sports that you may not have time for during the school year. Research has shown that summer camp can help make children more resilient to the stress of life and improve their overall development. Trying new things is also a great way to build confidence and a sense of control. Camps are a perfect way to accomplish all of those things in a positive environment. 39
2016 Winners With 25 entries for this year’s Mother’s Day Contest it was hard to narrow it down to just three deserving moms. Everyone wrote in wonderful stories about their mothers, grandmothers or friends, and we believe every mom deserves recognition. Being a mother is simultaneously the most rewarding and difficult role in life, and we hope that every mom feels celebrated this Mother’s Day.
The winners received a spa day and makeover at Salon Greco European Salon & Spa in Suwanee.
Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for giving our winners the chance to have fun, relax, shop, dine, and be pampered! The winners each received their own gift basket with a variety of prizes from businesses in the community, including:
RESTAURANT GIFT CARDS
from Bare Bones Steakhouse, Rico’s World Kitchen and Tannery Row Ale House
SALON PRODUCTS AND GIFT CARDS from
Just B Hair Salon, Bio Salon And Hairllucinations
MAY / JUNE 16
GIFT CARD to shop at French Touch Boutique A ONE HOUR MASSAGE from Licensed Massage Therapist, Karen Krotz
TEETH WHITENING CERTIFICATE
a “brilliant white smile” from Jennifer L. McCoy DDS, Cosmetic & Family Dentistry.
Submitted by daughter, Valerie Donaldson: My mother, Patty, came to the US at the age of 23 from Peru. As an immigrant, she has risen to be one of the most respected individuals in her company. I remember her saying "If I can come to this country and make something of myself, then you as an American, born here, better make magic happen." She is a single mom, who works a 40-hour week; yet while we were growing up she never missed a single school event. She still does this with my younger brother: juggling between teleconferences and Cub Scout meetings. She is a loving daughter, who has cared for my grandparent for the last 19 years. She is a grandmother and part-time babysitter for my little boy - chasing him around the house, and teaching him to be bilingual. She is a sister who never stops supporting her siblings. She is a breast cancer survivor, who supports other women with their battle. She is a fitness queen who lost 80+ pounds and continues to push herself daily to keep it off. Finally, she is MY best friend, constantly supporting me. She is the woman I admire to be everyday. She is my MOTHER. The best mother ever!
Submitted by daughter, Ashley Barnard: My mom deserves to win "Best Mother" because she is everything I could ever hope to be. My mom followed her passion for interior design and was extremely successful, owning her own business for decades now. In December of 2013, my father passed away from cancer leaving my mom, my (now 15 year old) brother and I (now 21). When my These amazing dad was diagnosed, my mother leapt to his women have left a side, supporting and caring for him. For significant impact on two years she cared for him before he lost their children, friends his battle and she has been picking up and family. We hope the pieces of our family ever since. I have th ey enjoyed their day never met a more successful and strong of beauty & fun â€“ they woman as my mother, but I never knew deserve it! how incredible she really was until I watched her lose her husband and the father of her children. She handled his death with more grace than there are words for and she is an inspiration to all. My mom has experienced more loss and pain in her life than anyone, but she never let that be an excuse to give up or to be anything less than an incredible mother. I hope one day I will be half the woman and mother she is.
One of our winning moms was unable to be featured in the magazine. To read all of the entries submitted, visit SuwaneeMagazine.com. 41
With the coming of summer comes the urge for adventure, to share experiences with family and friends. Whether itâ€™s a weekend cabin in Blue Ridge, a fun-filled day of kayaking, horseback riding, zip-lining or laser tag, an unforgettable air balloon ride, or a week long beach vacation, our Travel & Adventure Guide offers a wide variety of ideas for all ages. Start making plans that will keep the whole family smiling and create memories that last a lifetime.
THERE'S LOTS OF THINGS TO DO AT THE MOONSPINNER HAVE A BALL... OR DO NOTHING AT ALL! The Moonspinner has amenities for everyone, regardless of what you want to do on vacation. 700 feet of beachfront, which is never crowded, yet so close to nature within walking distance to State Park jetties and pier.
Panama City Beach, Florida
MAY / JUNE 16
THE 33RD YEAR OF YORK, SOUTH CAROLINA'S CELEBRATION OF SUMMER IS FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY Over 120 craft/art and food vendors, classic car show, golf, tennis, 5K and Fun Runs, musical entertainment, BMX Stunt Team, Health Clinic for all, children’s activities, coloring contest, Robotics demonstrations, Monster Water Ball, Country Showdown Competition, giant scale model airplane fly-in, 4-H petting zoo, inflatables and climbing wall. Saturday, August 27 / 9:00am to 5:00pm
York, South Carolina
THE BROAD RIVER OUTPOST IS ON ONE OF GEORGIA’S BEST KAYAKING AND CANOEING RIVERS With scenic floats and beginner WhiteWater, the Broad has something for everyone. $20 per person Weekends or Holidays - $15 Weekdays for boat rental. Camping for groups or individuals - $1 per person donation to BRWA.org. Bring your Club, Class or Church Group for recreation, fellowship and education. Groups of 10 or more get a 10% discount. Two day rental also receive a 10% discount. Hiking is available at Broad River Natural Area. Helping to protect the Broad River since 1980.
HORSEBACK RIDING ADVENTURES FOR FIRST-TIME RIDERS THROUGH EXPERIENCED WRANGLERS Trail rides for anyone seven years old and older. Children under seven years old can take a pony ride. Trails offer beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and countryside. Located in the beautiful Cashes Valley, the guides will lead you to mountain views of Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina, all in one spot! Take a creekside picnic ride. Ask about romantic sunset rides and private rides. The River Fords ride is a 3 or 4 hour ride that fords the river a half dozen times!
Blue Ridge, Georgia
706.258.BARN (2276) AdventureTrailRides.com
VISIT THE MUSEUM THAT CELEBRATES THE GREATEST BASEBALL HITTER OF ALL TIME: TY COBB Experience Major League baseball at its foundation! Honoring Tyrus Raymond Cobb – the 1st inductee into baseball’s Hall of Fame. M-F from 9am-4pm, Sat 10am-4pm. Closed all major holidays. Group Tours by appointment. The museum provides art and memorabilia, film, video, books and historical archives allowing the legendary “Georgia Peach” to live on. Visit them at TyCobbMuseum.org and find them on Facebook and Twitter!
WITH SO MAY AMAZING ATTRACTIONS, THE FUN BEGINS AND NEVER ENDS AT FUNOPOLIS FAMILY FUN CENTER Inflatables, go karts, arcade games, mini golf, laser tag and more! Water attractions in the summer to keep you cool. In the fall, Funopolis transforms into haunted house and haunted zombie ride. Funopolis also hosts great birthday parties and group outings. Located near shopping and hotels at the Tanger Outlet Center and Banks Crossing located at exit 149 just a mile east of I-85 on Hwy. 441 in Commerce.
DROP A LINE AND MAKE SOME MEMORIES BY FISHING THE DAY AWAY FOR RAINBOW TROUT Nestled on 325 beautiful acres at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains in Northeast Georgia, Andy's offers a tranquil respite with lodging in their rustic cabins by the creek, fishing and hiking the trails with nature at your side, enjoying the quiet peace and relaxation away from the hustle and bustle of life. Cope Hall is the new mountain venue for church groups, family reunions and special events! Call for special group pricing! Email them at info@ andystroutfarm.com or on Facebook: facebook.com/andystroutfarm
ONE OF THE TOP 20 GUEST RANCHES IN THE US (ACCORDING TO TRAVEL + LEISURE MAGAZINE) IS A LITTLE MORE THAN AN HOUR’S DRIVE FROM SUWANEE! The Southern Cross Guest Ranch, just outside of historic Madison, welcomes guests from around the world to their 230-acre facility with 16 guest rooms and more than 200 horses. They offer horseback rides twice daily on their wooded trails, as well as delicious home-cooked meals. Come for the day, a few days, or a week (or more). It is truly a horse-lover’s paradise… a place to ride, relax, experience nature, and make new friends.
JOIN THE MARAUDING CREW AS YOU PILLAGE AND PLUNDER IN A TWO STORY PIRATE THEMED LASER TAG ARENA Equipped with laser and vest, your adventure begins. Test your skills through a maze of partitions, hidden rooms and gunpowder barrels. Take a break from piracy to enjoy a delicious meal from their very own cafe or continue the fun with their Laser Maze Challenge and complete arcade! Visit today or call ahead to book your very own pirate themed birthday event.
MAY / JUNE 16
SEE LAKE LANIER ISLANDS IN A WHOLE NEW FLIGHT
HAVE BOATLOADS OF FUN IN TWIN CITY
EXPERIENCE THE MOUNTAINS IN BLUE RIDGE GEORGIA
Want to know about zip lining? Google it. Want to know about Lake Lanier Canopy Tours? Go see them! They've got the World’s Longest Zip over Lake Lanier. They've got the World’s Largest collection of LLCT T-shirts at Lake Lanier. But seriously, they do have the WORLD’S GREATEST GUIDES anywhere.
Mill Pond Kayak of Twin City offers 2-1/2 hour guided tours on George L. Smith State Park's historic 412-acre mill pond. Row and relax in this beautiful natural setting. The calm black water trails are the perfect venue for novice paddlers of all ages. It's a boatload of FUN!
Southern Comfort Cabin Rentals believes that the perfect Blue Ridge experience begins with where you stay. View their diverse portfolio to select your dream vacation rental. No matter the reason, a visit to Blue Ridge is always in season. Let them help plan your perfect mountain adventure this summer!
Twin City, Georgia
Blue Ridge, Georgia
IMAGINE. CREATE. EXPLORE. A ONE-OF-A KIND UNIQUE, FUN DESTINATION FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY. Visit our hands-on learning environment at Interactive Neighborhood for Kids in Gainesville, Georgia! Museum admission is only $8/person and good for the entire day. Check out our Gift Shop and Pottery Studio! We offer scheduled group rates and birthday parties! Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 1pm-5pm.
EXPERIENCE A THRILLING NEW ADVENTURE IN THE HEART OF MOTHER NATURE Swing, jump and zip through the trees! With 7 obstacle courses, zip lines, a giant slide, and the nation’s first net obstacle course, Treetop Quest accommodates kids as young as 4 with more challenging adventures for teens and adults. Fun for the whole family! 30% OFF - enter code SUMMERFUN2016.
WHERE GEORGIA COMES TO FLY HIGH - OFFERING SCENIC HOT AIR BALLOON RIDES OVER GEORGIA If you’re looking for a special gift; something adventurous; a romantic time or a fun, family outing, a hot air balloon ride never disappoints! This ride provides spectacular views of North Georgia, while located close to home in Cumming, GA. Visit our website for complete details.
BALLOONS OVER GEORGIA
MAY / JUNE 16
local food. craft beer. wine trends.
GWINNETT BEER FEST PR EV I EW
SUWANEE AREA RESTAURANT GUIDE 53
THE SPIRIT OF AMERICA: BOURBON 56
Serving classically brewed European-style coffee, Caffé Bene also prepares authentic Korean pastries and desserts in-house using fresh ingredients...
BY: MICHELLE FASIG / PHOTOS BY: KARL LAMB
Caffé Bené Head Barista, Jay Choi
MAY / JUNE 16
affé Bene, a South Korean-based coffee chain has opened their doors at their first location in Georgia, right here in Suwanee. Tucked away in an unassuming corner off of Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road next to Office Depot lies the delightful little café. Serving classically brewed European-style coffee, Caffé Bene also prepares authentic Korean pastries and desserts in-house using fresh ingredients as well as additional breakfast and lunch items. Upon first entering Caffé Bene, it is immediately clear that you are no longer in the land of Starbucks. Gone is the line of people loudly chatting away on their cell phones, there is no barista shouting your name when your grande half-caff soy latte is up, and there is definitely no sad display case filled with an assortment of English muffins, bagels, and the lone cake pop. Instead, expect to be greeted with soft music, a case overflowing with cakes, waffles and French macaroons, and the sounds of laughter and conversation from the people relaxing in the lounge area inside the café. Fred Min and his wife/Coowner, Kim Miri, opened Caffé Bene inspired by their mutual passion for coffee and the sense of community a simple cup can bring when it is sipped and enjoyed. Taking note
Peach and Strawberry Snowflake Parfaits
from European coffee culture, Caffé Bene is designed to be a place that encourages customers to sit down, take their time, and enjoy a bite to eat. With offerings like the Snowflake Parfait, shaved ice topped with fresh fruit, sweet red bean paste and gelato, as well as decadent waffles topped with whipped cream, bananas and chocolate syrup, it is easy to see why this little café has quickly become a favorite stop within the community. Apart from the delicious food, the true highlight of the business is the coffee itself. Caffé Bene takes pride in using only the highest-quality equipment and sources the beans directly from Brazil, Bolivia and Papua New Guinea. Head Barista, Jay Choi, additionally hand-crafts all of the syrups to ensure quality and taste. “People are used to Starbucks,” Choi explained, “but there really is a difference in taste.” And if there is one person who would know, it would be Choi. Professionally trained in the culinary industry, Choi has
spent countless hours researching roasting techniques, bean quality, brewing methods, and flavor profiles. Caffé Bene uses roasting and blending techniques that while more time consuming, produce an exceptional tasting coffee. This is “not just a caffeine fix,” Choi said. “We want to bring the best coffee. There has been a lot of overnight taste testing.” Caffé Bene also hosts multiple events several times a month. From art showings to live musical performances, this café
continues to find creative ways to draw in the community. Both Min and Miri are accomplished musicians themselves, and enjoy taking the opportunity to get on stage too when time allows. “Fred loves to play the piano, lots of the baristas play too,” said Miri. With an atmosphere that is warm and inviting, coupled with delicious coffee and cuisine, it is easy to see why Miri described Caffé Bene as a place that was built on the love of good coffee, community and music. ✱
restaurant GUIDE BEST AREA DINING OPTIONS FROM FINE DINING TO FUN FAMILY FARE Dollar signs indicate the typical cost per person for meal, includes one non-alcoholic drink, tax and tip. $ UNDER $10 $$ $11 - $30 $$$ $31 - $50 $$$$ MORE THAN $50
Wild Wing Café
3265 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Rd. • Suwanee 770-945-9090 I WildWingCafe.com I $$
Wild Wing Café is a laid-back chain offering the best wings in the South in 33 different made from scratch flavors amid a sports bar atmosphere! While you might come for the wings, you will be tempted to try all the other delicious items they have to offer. From their hand battered, fried to order onion rings to creative combinations like the Bleu Cheese Basil burger, there is something on the menu for everyone. Throw in the Wild Child Menu for the little ones and you’ve got all your bases covered.
3294 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Ste. 1004 Duluth 678-878-4772 ValentinosBakeryInc.com I $ Chef Valentino is treating the US with his pastry talents brought all the way from Venezuela. With over 50 years of experience in the baking industry, Chef Valentino carefully crafts goodies not only full of flavor, but attractive in appearance. Stop by his bakery in Duluth to try his famous milhojas, flan, and fruit tart or any other decadently created pastry or dessert!
Bare Bones Steakhouse
115 E. Main St., Suite C-12 Buford I 470.266.1890 I BareBonesSteakhouse.com $$
Now open! Located in the Bona Allen building of downtown, historic Buford, Bare Bones Steakhouse provides an atmosphere of character and originality. This classically, traditional steakhouse restaurant and bar also offers a comfortable lounge and additional space to host your next party or event. Stop by Monday through Thursday to add a free cheesecake dessert to your dinner or Monday through Wednesday for $1 off beer and wine drafts! (Valid through 6/30/16). WANT MORE? STAY CONNECTED WITH SUWANEE MAGAZINE. FOLLOW, TWEET, SHARE >
Suwanee Pizza Tavern
1500 Peachtree Industrial Blvd • Suwanee 678-546-0823 I SPTavern.com I $$
1500 Peachtree • Industrial Blvd • Suite 100 Suwanee I 678-541-0645 CincoRestaurants.com I $$
Cinco is authentic, Latin-infused Mexican Cuisine served in a familyfriendly setting. With a unique menu, Cinco offers an upscale variety of Mexican dishes that are carefully prepared from scratch. Weekly specials include: Kids eat free Monday & Tuesday, daily drink specials, Sunday brunch and an adjoining After Five lounge that offers live music, fresh tapas and over 60 specialty martinis!
Suwanee Pizza Tavern is known for their made-from-scratch wood-fired pizza, garlic knots, wings, sandwiches, pastas, and friendly atmosphere. The open pizza pit showcases their woodfired oven where you can watch their pizza chef create your pizza. The dining area is perfect for a family outing, or you can head over to their signature bar with your friends to watch your favorite sports on the flat screen TV's. Visit Suwanee Pizza Tavern, your local upscale pizza tavern!
Tannery Row Ale House
554 West Main Street • Buford 678-765-8979 I TanneryRowAleHouse.com $$
Tannery Row Ale House is home of the best barbeque, pizza, sandwiches and libations on this side of the tracks! Located in the Historic Tannery Row building, their menu features modern comfort food inspired by the history and culture NEW of our surroundings. They also host a variety of events like trivia night, live performances and nighttime SANDWICHES entertainment- so grabSPECIALTY your friends a limited time only! and head over for a good For time!
2941 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Try one of our NEW Oven-BakedRd.Pastas. Suwanee 678-765-6336
I Schlotzskys.com I $ FREE Small Schlotzsky’s offers aSandwich wide variety of freshly
with purchase ofbread, 32oz. delicious fountain drink & bag of chips baked hot sandwiches,
Artisan flatbreads, specialty pizzas, toasted wraps, freshly tossed salads, gourmet soups, and more! Our taste remains true to our roots, we still use the highest quality ingredients to make the world’s best sandwich.
Valid only at Schlotzsky’s Restaurant located at 2941 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Rd., Suwanee, GA. Not valid with any other offer. One coupon per purchase. Offers valid on item of equal or lesser value only. Exclusive of tax and gratuity. Sale, resale and/or internet distribution strictly prohibited. Void where prohibited. Cash value 1/100¢. No cash back. Additional exclusions may apply. Valid through 03/31/15. ©2015 Schlotzsky’s Franchise LLC. CODE: 4290
3131 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Rd. • Suwanee 678-541-5201 CaffebeneUSA.com I $
Caffé Bene’s first Georgia location has opened in Suwanee! From quality coffee made from skilled baristas, to decadent sweet treats and delicious savory sandwiches, our menu full of flavor is guaranteed to make your day better. Modeled after the traditional European coffee houses, Caffé Bene is a destination for rest and relaxation amid the hectic scene of city living.
MAY / JUNE 16
he quintessential American whiskey is bourbon. Whiskeys are made all around the world, but Bourbon is ours. What makes this delicious, sweet, smoky spirt unique? First and foremost, bourbon must be made in the United States. They can’t make it in Canada, can’t make it in Japan, Scotland or Ireland. It’s all ours. The home of bourbon is Kentucky, and although bourbon is made in several different states these days, the vast majority (95%) is still produced in the bluegrass state.
The law requires a Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey to have a corn content of at least 51%. Further components of the mash bill are rye and malted barley, which each make up between 10% and 15%. Bourbon must be aged for a minimum of two years in a brand new charred oak barrel. The barrel is a major factor in the taste. The char on the inside allows greater interaction between the whiskey and the wood. Not only does this give it that nice smoky flavor, but it allows the whiskey to age faster. The new barrel ensures that there are no lingering flavors of another whiskey to corrupt the bourbon. Bourbon must be bottled at 80 proof or greater. It must not be distilled greater than 160 proof (80% alcohol by volume,) and no more than 125 proof (62.5% alcohol by volume) when barreled for aging. There are a great number of cocktails that can be crafted with bourbon, but today, we are going to focus on bourbons that can stand alone. Why? The only thing that I ever mix bourbon with is a couple of ice cubes, so I would not be the best one to inform you on cocktails. Now, if you like your whiskey neat, or on the rocks I’m your guy. Today, I’ve chosen four bourbons that I greatly enjoy, but there are plenty more to offer if you stop by your local beverage store.
Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon is 100 proof bourbon just like pre-prohibition whiskey.
MAY / JUNE 16
Widow Jane Believe it or not this 8- year Bourbon is from Brooklyn, New York, well kind of. The Whiskey is distilled in Kentucky then shipped to Brooklyn where it is cut with artisan spring water and aged. This is not a beginners Bourbon. It’s big and smoky, with a nutty sweetness and a finish that lingers on. The flavor profile has notes of fruit and wood, and a leather earthiness that dances back and forth on the palate. $79.99/ bottle and well worth it.
< Bourbon must be aged for a minimum of two years in a brand new charred oak barrel. J.R. Revelry Wathenâ€™s A single barrel Bourbon I discovered about eight years ago. I tried it at a tasting and had to put it on our shelves so I could buy it (one of the perks to being in the business). The mash bill is 70% corn, 10% rye, and 13% malted barley. They donâ€™t put an age statement on the bottle, but I would bet that it is over 6 years. The whiskey starts off with light smoke and a fruity taste, followed with a rich nutty flavor and a smooth gentle finish. $42.99/bottle
This bourbon is made in Nashville, but the owner lives right here in the Atlanta area. Owner, Rick Tapia is planning to open a distillery here in Georgia. This is a young bourbon, but still very enjoyable. The upfront taste is light fruit and caramel, with a nice smoky transition to a nutty, light spice finish. Not only do I like this one on the rocks, but it has a lot of promise as a cocktail bourbon. $29.99/bottle
Bib & Tucker
A 6-year-old Bourbon that is 70% corn, 26% rye, and 4% malted barley. This bourbon is aged in No.1 charred American white oak barrels for a minimum of six years (with an actual average age of 7.5 years.) Big and smoky, with some toffee and caramel notes that transition to a pleasant spicy flavor from the rye, with subtle hints of vanilla popping through on the finish. $54.99/bottle
THE GWINNETT JUNE BEER FEST 4TH RETURNS WHAT'S BREWING:
TICKETS ON SALE NOW!
Craft beer lovers rejoice! The 2nd annual Gwinnett Beer Fest is back for a day of good brews, a good time and a good cause. On June 4th Coolray Field will be transformed into a beer lover’s paradise with over 150 craft beers to sample, live entertainment, festival games, and exclusive merchandise and giveaways from hand-selected vendors. This is an event not to be missed! It’s time for #gwinnettbeerfest! BY:
With so many beer festivals popping up on the scene, the event organizers want to make sure the Gwinnett Beer Fest is a uniquely different experience. By offering a huge array of beer styles, an opportunity to mingle amongst some of the best brewers in the state, and providing all of this in an amazing backdrop- this beer festival definitely aims to set itself apart from the
rest. Georgia heavyweights like Monday Night, Sweetwater, Terrapin, Jailhouse and Jekyll will all be represented in fullforce that day to ensure the festival not only stays craft, but gives a true nod to the “local” movement. From sours to ciders to malts and hard-to-find brews, there will be something for every craft beer lover.
And, for those looking for an even more exclusive experience, a limited number of VIP tickets are available at $110 for premium festival access. With free parking and one-hour early entry to the festival, VIP ticketholders are granted the first opportunity to sample the amazing selection, as well as exclusive access to the 2nd level. The 2nd level of the stadium provides a full-catered premium food buffet, rare and exclusive beers, air-conditioned suites, flat screen televisions, and upper-level party deck access to overlook the festival from above. General admission beer revelers have plenty to be pumped about too. The stage at Gwinnett Beer Fest will play host to multiple sources of entertainment this year. For
the second year in a row, husband-wife country duo LAUGHLIN will rock the stage, followed up by Gwinnett’s first and possibly only wedding at a beer festival ever! That’s right, a Hawaiian themed wedding will be taking place right in the middle of the festival! Guy Beck and his beautiful bride-tobe, Kelly Smith, will be tying the knot and inviting all festival attendees to raise a glass to the start of their craft-beer loving lives together. So, grab your Hawaiian attire, be prepared to taste an exclusive “I DO” brew from Jekyll Brewing, and try your luck at catching one of the beer cap garter belts- it is going to get crazy. As if all of this wasn’t enough to get you excited, you can also be on the lookout for awesome festival games like cornhole, vendors serving up tasty samples, delicious food offerings at the concessions and much, much more! You can even try your hand at winning a 2016 GMC Canyon SLT Crew Cab from Jim Ellis Buick GMC! A portion of proceeds from the Gwinnett Beer Fest are benefitting local charity, Little Kings and Queens, which provides funds and scholarships for causes like educational development for at risk-youth. You can feel good knowing that you will be drinking beer for a worthy cause. Limited tickets are on sale now at gwinnettbeerfest.com. Come celebrate the 2nd annual Gwinnett Beer Fest and be prepared for a hopped-up, crazy, epic time! ✱
LIMIT ticke ED sale ts on now !
@ Coolray Field, Home of the Gwinnett Braves Brought to you by the team behind the Suwanee American Craft Beer Fest!
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM / VIP GATES OPEN AT NOON!
TICKETS ARE LIMITED! GET YOURS BEFORE THEY ARE SOLD-OUT! 2016 GWINNETT BEER FEST SPONSORED BY:
Live Music • Great Food • Exclusive Vendors & Merchandise • Festival Games & More!
after May 13th
day of event (if available)
and special 110 admission VIP area, exclusive beers
VIP includes 1 hour early and catered food.
A limited number of designated driver tickets will be available.
CORNHOLE & GAMES
The Latest from in and Around Suwanee
Suwanee’s Shadowbrook Church Welcomes New Pastor Shadowbrook Church in Suwanee welcomed Jerrod Rumley as their new Lead Pastor effective Easter Sunday. Jerrod and his family have been in ministry since 2002. Before Jerrod Rumley coming to Shadowbrook, Jerrod worked as a campus pastor and teaching pastor encouraging people to love Christ and His church. He desires for people to love God and love each other well, where they live, work and play. Come meet Jerrod any Sunday at either the 9:00 am or 10:30 am service.
Pink Ribbon Classic is #1! The American Cancer Society nationally recognizes Suwanee’s own Pink Ribbon Classic as the #1 Ladies Golf Tournament in the US! The Pink Ribbon Classic benefits various local and national cancer initiatives of the 10th Anniversary American Cancer Society including the Patient Navigator at Gwinnett Medical Center, Hope Lodge in Decatur, and cancer patient support in Gwinnett county as well as education and prevention programs around the country. Celebrating its tenth anniversary, The Pink Ribbon Classic has donated over one million dollars to the American Cancer Society initiatives to date. 128 women will take to the course at The River Club for the tenth annual event on Tuesday October 4 to enjoy a scramble format tournament with surprise celebrity guests, honor/memory balloon release, longest drive, closest to the pin, gross and net score awards. Ladies of all golfing abilities continue to make a difference in the fight against cancer one swing at a time. Hope is just one putt away! To register for the event, become a sponsor or donate visit pinkribbonclassic.org.
Ribbon Classic GOLF TOURNAMENT
Suwanee Student Recognized as All-Star Cast Member After winning the State Championship for Georgia One-Act Play competition at the Georgia Theatre Conference, Greater Atlanta Christian School’s cast of "John Lennon and Me" traveled to Greensboro, NC to represent Georgia in the 11-state Southeastern Theatre Conference Festival. The cast performed to a packed house at Greensboro College, receiving a standing ovation. Rachel Finazzo of Suwanee was recognized as an AllStar Cast member. The performance brought attention to the disease of Cystic Fibrosis and helped remind the audience to use each God-given day for His glory.
MAY / JUNE 16
Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton Celebrates First Anniversary
April 5th, 2016, marked one year since NGMC Braselton opened its doors. President Anthony Williamson shared, “We’re honored to provide advanced medical and surgical services, as well as emergency services, for the communities surrounding Greater Braselton during the past year.” The number of patients served surpassed projections, prompting provider and staff increases. Construction is underway for the addition of a $16 million dollar labor and delivery unit, set to open in October 2016.
The First Year – By the Numbers:
• 750 staff members • 100 providers • 30,000 visits to the Emergency Department • 26,000 cardiovascular tests and procedures • 4,300 visits to Cardiac Rehabilitation • 3,500 surgeries and procedures • 170 surgeries with the daVinci robotic surgical system • 4,100 inpatient stays • 165,000 customers at Café 1400 • 40,000 meals for hospital patients • 2,500 radiation therapy treatments • 1,600 units of blood transfused • 33,300 imaging procedures
For more information about NGMC Braselton – including maps, directions and services provided on the campus – visit nghs.com/braselton.
Congratulations 2-Time Champion, Jekyll Brewing!
For the second year in a row, Jekyll Brewing of Alpharetta, GA, took home the coveted golden trophy at the Suwanee Beer Fest Brew Battle powered by DraftServ Technologies. With 10 local breweries in the lineup, including fierce contenders such as Cherry Street’s Groovy Child Guava Ale, Monday Night Brewing’s Georgian Imperial with Hazelnut and Reformation’s Peach Rhubarb Saison, the competition was stiff. But, Jekyll pulled through with their Pear Infused Big Creek Kolsch keg finishing before the rest. Suwanee Beer Fest was the first time that Jekyll had released this beer to the public, however it will be available this summer in their tap room and in 6-packs.
GA's First Lady Visits Suwanee Elementary Wednesday, March 2nd was the 19th annual National Education Association (NEA) Read Across America Day. NEA’s Read Across America Day celebrates Dr. Seuss’s birthday and the joys of reading. For the event, Suwanee Elementary played host to Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal who visited the school and read Dr. Seuss books to students. The year-round program, Read Across America, focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships and reading resources. The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, college faculty, school administrators, education support professionals, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. For more information visit nea.org.
Tower in the Sky
Snap Suwanee Photo Contest Winners on Exhibit
The 2016 Snap Suwanee submissions illustrate the Suwanee community in a unique and beautiful way. From nature to public art; enjoying the fresh air at a festival, to taking photos from high in the air (via drone), the annual Snap Suwanee competition provides a means for participants to share images that communicate something telling about the Suwanee community. Sponsored by Suwanee’s Public Arts Commission, over 70 entries were received for this year’s annual community photo competition. The winning photographs will be on display in Suwanee City Hall until February 2017. For the first time, a Judges’ Choice Award was Can I Have a Bite? -Amanda Myers given, as well as a People’s Choice Award, which was chosen via voting on the City of Suwanee’s Facebook page.
The Drone -Anand Vyas The winning photographs will be on display in Suwanee City Hall until February 2017.
Foggy December Sunrise -Amanda Myers
Ice Castle -Dick Goodman Rock-n-Roll -Terri Lynn Bealle
Art in the Park -Steve White JUDGES’ CHOICE WINNER
Sims Lake Bench -Tiffany Kelly
Rainy October Morning -Glen Sharpe
Snow Unicorn -Andea Smith
Jar of Flowers -Amanda Myers MAY / JUNE 16
Arts in the Park continues the tradition of great art in Suwanee
The 6th Annual Arts in the Park will take place on Saturday, May 14th in Suwanee Town Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This juried festival showcases Pottery, Painting, Photography, Jewelry, Wood and Metal Pieces and much more! The family-friendly event will include a Chalk Walk Competition; designing Suwanee Park sidewalks with awards for Elementary, Middle & High School. Pollock Painting and Paint-A-Wreck will also be available for children and adults to participate in as well as food and music from Uptown Entertainment.
Georgia Expo Manufacturing Corporation Celebrates 30th Anniversary Suwanee based Georgia Expo Manufacturing is the largest U.S. manufacturer of pipe and drape and provides a variety of products that divide, define and design event spaces across a multitude of industries. The privately held corporation was established in 1986 when Philip DiTrolio saw a vision to pair his love for manufacturing with a need to grow the product offerings to the trade show and event industry. Operating as a one-man show for a year or two, once he made his first profits DiTrolio brought all manufacturing in-house. The first punch press was added, with drape and skirt sewing machines shortly after. In 1996, the company moved into a 10,000 square foot facility. In 2001, upgraded again to a 12,000-foot facility. Then in 2012, moved into their current home, a 90,000 square foot facility on Martin Farm Rd. in Suwanee, and added another 17,000 square foot facility for storage cart, table and welding production. While the company has grown in the past 30 years, the core values remain the same. They believe that American manufacturing ensures the highest quality products, the quickest turnaround time, the lowest prices and the best possible customer service. To quote Founder and CEO, Philip DiTrolio, “Our strength comes from the teamwork and our unwavering need to not only establish stellar customer service and satisfaction but to build relationships with each and every client. We’re always looking ahead for ways to further improve our exhibition equipment and the buying experience.” For more information, visit georgiaexpo.com.
MAY / JUNE 16
City of Suwanee Youth Leaders Program Wins Top Regional Award The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) recently awarded the Suwanee Youth Leaders program a 2015 CREATE Community Award in the category of Educational Excellence. The Suwanee Youth Leaders (SYL) program is an eight-month leadership program for high school sophomores and juniors who attend public, private or home-based schools and live within three Gwinnett County Public School districts. The program includes structured monthly educational programs, teambuilding activities and centers on civic involvement, leadership skills and volunteer opportunities. “The Suwanee Youth Leaders program allows the City to make a genuine commitment to the youth in our community,” said Adam Edge, Downtown & Business Development Manager. “While it’s an honor to win a CREATE Community Award, it’s an even greater reward to see kids becoming invested in their community through this initiative.” The CREATE Community Awards honors local government and community leadership excellence
and innovation in six categories. The category of Educational Excellence recognizes programs or processes that make education a priority in collaboration with city/ county policies and practices and educational institutions to affect positive change and quality of life in the community. Thanks to SYL, says City Assistant Manager Denise Brinson, “We now have a group of young people who have more knowledge of their community and how local government works and the work that goes into building community. The City wanted to develop a real connection with our schools and find a way to meaningfully encourage youth involvement as prescribed in our strategic plan – not just checking a box, but building sincere, authentic relationships.” For more information on the Suwanee Youth Leaders program, visit suwanee.com
NAMED Program Councils Presidential Candidates Dr. Keith Kantor, Suwanee resident and Founder of “Nutritional Addiction Mitigation Eating & Drinking” (NAMED), was called upon to brief presidential candidates on how his program can help lower relapse rates among recovering addicts and save taxpayers millions. Substance abuse and addiction recovery is a top priority for the presidential candidates this election cycle, and Dr. Kantor has been meeting with each candidate or members of their campaign staff, to discuss how NAMED can help this serious issue across our country. The mission of NAMED is to “increase the success rate of addiction withdrawal and lower the relapse rate of addicts in recovery through natural nutritional methods. The program was developed by Dr. Keith Kantor, who is known as a bestselling author, internationally renowned PhD in Nutritional Science, leading expert on using natural foods to mitigate disease in the U.S, and CEO of Named Program LLC. Through the NAMED program, precise nutritional plans and menus are created for recovering addicts, that are developed to keep the body functioning at its optimal level while reducing symptoms and complications of recovery. It is the only program that specifically targets the opiate receptors that cause the cravings of addiction, as well as targeting inflammation created by acidosis that causes large insulin fluctuations. The NAMED program offers an Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program as well as customized nutrition therapy and menus.
La Madeleine Country French Café Opens in Buford
On March 31, La Madeleine Country French Café opened its doors at 1795 Mall of Georgia Blvd. in Buford. Known for its French cuisine handcrafted daily with fresh, seasonally inspired ingredients and comfortable, welcoming atmosphere, the Buford café features custom built tables, a large outdoor patio and private dining room, also available for special events. Also known for its signature Tomato Basil soup and Chicken Caesar salade, la Madeleine serves freshly prepared menu items such as omelettes and quiche for breakfast, homemade soupes, salades and sandwiches for lunch, and dinner entrées, savory crêpes and pastas, as well as authentic French patisseries and viennoiserie. The café also offers catering service for local businesses, community gatherings, parties and events. Established in 1983, there are currently more than 75 cafes across the country. The Dallas based brand launched its franchising program in 2012, and R. Hakim Corp., a San Antonio-based ownership group, has plans to open another nine in Georgia. For more information on menu items and locations, visit laMadeleine.com. MAY / JUNE 16
Gwinnett County Teacher's Book Ten Years In The Making
Suwanee Father and Son Both Publish New Books Tommy Aaron, 12-year-old Suwanee resident has written and published a nearly 300-page sci-fi fantasy novel, Magyka: The Fifth Element. Tommy was inspired by his father, Rich Aaron, who just selfpublished a children’s book, If I Had a Giraf-aroo, and 16-year-old brother Alex, who is working to finish up his first novel. The book took Tommy nine months to write, with his parents helping to edit. Tommy created “Magyka” using his own interests and experiences. The 7th grade student has a love of reading, which his mother helped foster while homeschooling Tommy when he was in 2nd grade. “She made us read an hour every day, and I came to think of it not so much as being forced to read but having the time to read,” he said. Tommy enjoyed being able to read so many books. Tommy and Rich participated in a book signing at Barnes & Noble in March as a way to raise money for Saint Monica’s Mission trips. Tommy was also invited to promote his book at North Gwinnett Middle School for their “Celebrate North” and book fair. Writing a novel is an accomplishment Tommy says wouldn’t be possible without his parents support, and according to him, “Magyka: The Fifth Element” is only the beginning. Tommy has already started the second book and plans to write a third and possibly a fourth. Both books are available for purchase at barnesandnoble.com as well as amazon.com.
Gwinnett County Public Schools teacher and Suwanee resident, Mark James, publishes first book after ten years in the making. The Character ‘Cademy is a faith-based “handbook” written and designed for kids. It teaches kids about character traits in a fun, illustrative and interactive way. Readers embark on a “character ‘cademy course” with Professor Flyright as they learn about things that can be built, created, discovered or dreamed up using “character” in a metaphoric way. The book features and defines over 120 character traits such as: cooperative, steadfast, optimistic, generous, productive, joyful, and trusting, for example. James’ custom illustration draws readers in with fun, unique and kid-friendly designs on each page. As a full-time teacher, this has been another outlet for James to reach his students and others in a meaningful way. For more info or to order the book, go to character cademy.com.
The Char traits are sor Flyrig dreamed
I’ve been er progra been an i freelanci set up a l can print and can b e-book e
I’ve been various p brook Ba me to fam and spec Reviews page are
curtisma www.cha 404-4495295 Ove Suwanee
Buford based SafeCom Security Solutions Joins The Fast 50 SD&I (Security Dealer & Integrator) Magazine recently ranked SafeCom Security Solutions, Inc. among the top 50
fastest growing security integrators in the country, with their 3-year growth at 30%. Founded in 2009 by David Fuller, the company was also voted Best of Gwinnett. According to Fuller, "At SafeCom, we pride ourselves in providing quality customer care that always exceeds expectations." SafeCom has been involved in thousands of security & audio/video installations for homes & businesses across North Georgia.
ON THE SCENE
Big Cheesy Fest Saturday, April 16th TOWN CENTER PARK
PHOTOS BY: KARL LAMB
Spring Into Color 5K Dash Saturday, April 23rd TOWN CENTER PARK
PHOTOS BY: KARL LAMB
VIEW MORE PEOPLE & PLACES PICS @
MAY / JUNE 16
Jubilee Easter Egg Hunt
Sunday, March 20th JUBILEE SHOPPING CENTER
PHOTOS BY: KARL LAMB
Suwanee Cocktail pARTy Celebrated Public Art Initiative BY: ABBY WILKERSON
CITY OF SUWANEE PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
of Suwanee’s newest piece of art: a piece of the former infamous ‘Success Lives Here’ water tower. The LIVES portion of the tower is a 7-foot tall, 19-foot long piece of steel weighing just under 2,000 pounds. “This was just such a great event, and we are so honored to have been a part of it,” said Keith Nabb, Lead Educator at Affordable Medicare Solutions, a sponsor of the event. “One of the things that makes the City of Suwanee so unique is that it is a welcome center for creativity and diversity. Being a long-time resident of Suwanee has allowed me to witness that firsthand. Nearly 300 guests were welcomed to the event I’m thrilled to help support this initiative, as well as the by a literal fiddler on the roof: violinist Daniel Butman great work that the North Gwinnett Arts Association played on the City Hall awning, to the delight of is doing for our community. The past president of the attendees as well as patrons of Town Center Park. NGAA is Vickie Johnson, a prominent art educator. Horse-drawn carriage rides around the park showed Her decade-long vision has been achieved and her off several pieces of public art, both enthusiasm and leadership is a main permanent and temporary, as part of inspiration for our involvement.” the 2015-2017 SculpTour program. Suwanee created its Public Upon entering City Hall, guests Arts Commission in 2008 with the mingled with multiple artists, including goal of encouraging developers to Phil Proctor – creator of the popular incorporate artwork into their projects. goat herd at the corner of Buford At the same time, the city began its Highway and Lawrenceville-Suwanee own public arts programs, including Road – former NFL player and sculptor commissioned pieces for city hall and George Nock, actor Zane Stephens, city parks. Suwanee’s first Public Art filmmakers Scott and Sharon Sowers Master Plan, adopted by City Council and Bruce Downs, glass artist Hans in the August 2015 meeting, calls not for placing public art everywhere, Fräbel, authors Lee Martin and Harmon but rather for putting art where it Snipes, and Aurora Theatre artistic matters most. The plan suggests that director Anthony Rodriguez. Suwanee focus its efforts on public art Pop-up performances were given that is “engaging, fun, memorable, by violinist Roland Huthmaker, ballerina and distinctive;” helps strengthen Christina Leamon, performing artists community connections; and that, in Patty Etherton and Bernie Davis, and Sponsor Keith Nabb, Lead Educator at many cases, is temporary. the Royal Dance Academy. The event Affordable Medicare Solutions “There are numerous events, art also featured an Iron Chef-style cooking festivals, and talent here that need to competition that included former “Hell’s be not only celebrated, but supported Kitchen” contestant Chef T Gregoire. and preserved. Making the decision to become a Guests could follow a painted path down the patron of the public art initiative is going to do great street to tour the North Gwinnett Arts Association’s things for our company’s area and foundation. I am a new gallery and Suwanee Welcome Center and enjoy raving fan and cannot wait to see what the next ten desserts, music, and observe artists at work in their new years hold,” said Nabb. ✱ space. The culmination of the evening was the unveiling
Swanky, well-dressed art lovers descended upon Suwanee City Hall Saturday night, March 5, to celebrate the arts in Suwanee. A black-andwhite, black-tie optional event, ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Cocktails,’ served as a fund- and awareness-raiser for the City’s lauded public arts initiative.
One of the things that makes the City of Suwanee so unique is that it is a welcome center for creativity and diversity.
MAY / JUNE 16
Guess Who's Coming to Cocktails
Saturday, March 5th PHOTOS BY: KARL LAMB
people & places
Ansley's Easter Sunday, March 27th
FRIENDS AMERICAN GRILL
PHOTOS BY: JULIE BUNCH
Celebrity Server Night Monday, March 28th
BUFORD AND LANIER HIGH SCHOOLS @ TANNERY ROW ALE HOUSE / NORTH GWINNETT HIGH SCHOOL @ SUWANEE PIZZA TAVERN
PHOTOS BY: JULIE BUNCH, KARL LAMB
2016 Suwanee American Craft Beer Fest Saturday, March 19th TOWN CENTER PARK
PHOTOS BY: KARL LAMB he 6th annual Suwanee American Craft Beer Fest took place on March 19th, 2016. Thousands of craft beer lovers flocked to Suwanee Town Center Park to experience the two-time winner of “Best Festival in Gwinnett” (as named by Gwinnett Daily Post’s Readers Choice Awards) and to enjoy unlimited samples of premium craft beers. From bagpipers to Irish dancers and green costumes of all sorts, the St Paddy’s pride was out in full force. The event organizers were excited to announce that this year’s festival also benefitted two local charities. They donated a large portion of the proceeds to Kingdom Kids and Cooper’s Crew. Cooper’s Crew is a Suwanee-based nonprofit that was created in memory of North Gwinnett Middle Schooler, Cooper O’Brien, who lost his courageous fight to Clear Cell Sarcoma cancer in July of 2014. Today, Cooper’s Crew raises college scholarship funds for North Gwinnett High School students who have overcome unique hardships, as well as funds to go towards childhood cancer research. Kingdom Kids is a Forsyth and Gwinnett-based charity that helps grant wishes for children with chronic or terminal illnesses. The proceeds from this year’s event are going to grant the wish of Kailyn Croxall, a 7-year-old Cumming resident, who is currently undergoing treatment for Ewing's Sarcoma cancer. Her wish was to have a puppy. So, the funds from Suwanee Beer Fest are going towards getting her a new puppy as well as building a fence around their backyard! The team behind Suwanee Beer Fest is proud to bring another awesome craft beer experience to Gwinnett this year with the 2nd Annual Gwinnett Beer Fest at Coolray Field on June 4th, 2016. Tickets are on sale now at gwinnettbeerfest.com.
MAY / JUNE 16
Former Mayor, Dave Williams "busted" his father out of the hospital to attend the festival!
Kevin Ford accepts a check from the Suwanee Beer Fest Team and Bob Carlton of Brew Depot. Carlton organizes the festival's Home Brew Competition with all entry fees going to support Kingdom Kids.
Kevin and Donna O'Brien with the festival organizers.
people & places
Brian and Katrina are always decked out for the fest.
AREA EVENT CALENDAR
Arts in the Park
May 14 @ 10:00 am Town Center Park
Red, White, Bluegrass and Bach
May 27 @ 7:00 pm Town Center Park
Thursdays @ The Hill Thursdays in May and June Downtown Sugar Hill
6 7 14 I
Sweet Life ConcertThe Mavericks May 28 7:00 pm- 11:00 pm City of Sugar Hill
20 Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra Presents “Salute to Love!” May 14 @ 8:00 pm Theater at Johns Creek High School
Food Truck Friday May 6 @ 5:30 pm Town Center Park
Star 94’s Woofstock May 7 @ noon Town Center Park
MAY / JUNE 16
Gwinnett Braves vs. Charlotte May 20 @ 7:05 pm Coolray Field
25 Last Day of School Gwinnett County Schools May 25
Memorial Day May 30
Georgia Swarm Lacrosse May 30 @ 6:00 pm Infinite Energy Arena
Food Truck Friday June 3 @ 5:30 pm Town Center Park
2nd Annual Gwinnett Beer Fest
June 4 @ 1:00 pm, VIP opens @ noon Coolray Field Tickets on sale at gwinnettbeerfest.com
June 2016 (cont.)
Movies Under the Stars Double Feature June 4 @ 7:00 pm Town Center Park
Customer Appreciation Day
June 4 12:00 pm -3:00 pm Sugar Hill Animal Hospital
Ice cream trucks, free food, pet caricature portraits and more!
6th Annual Amanda Riley Foundation Miles-4-Smiles 5K, 10K and Fun Run benefiting children battling cancer June 11 @ 7:00 am Tribble Mill Park, Lawrenceville Register at amandarileyfoundation.org
Sweet Life Concert: Blues Traveler June 11th 7:00 pm- 11:00 pm City of Sugar Hill
Georgia Bridal Show June 6th 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm Infinite Energy Forum
MAY / JUNE 16
Suwanee Magazine May-June 2016 Featuring Amanda Weir Olympic Suwimmer. Suwanee Magazine is a magazine for Suwanee, Georgia and surrounding a...