Business Link March/April 2023

Page 1



Chairman’s Column

page 2

Industry Awards

pages 4-5

Meetings & Events

page 7

Member News

pages 8-10

Small Business

pages 14-15

Leadership Hall County

page 16

Membership Drive

page 18

Business Expo Highlights

page 19

New Members page 21

save the date

Wednesday, March 15

Healthy Hall Awards

Lanier Technical College

Thursday, March 23

Chamber Chase 5K

Riverside Preparatory Academy

Friday, April 28

Hackers Holiday Golf Tourney

Legacy on Lanier Golf Club

Lanier Islands


April 13 | 10am - 2pm

Gainesville Civic Center


770-532-6206 to Register a Booth

Chamber Chase 5K & 2 Mile

Wellness Walk | March 23 | 6pm

Riverside Preparatory Academy


featured member

from the chairman

Get ahead by joining the Chamber

The Greater Hall Chamber's Annual Membership Drive kicked off on January 30 with dozens of volunteers working to recruit new members, NOW through March 31. Volunteers are seeking to develop new business relationships and recruit 100 new members.

With a membership base that is over 90% small businesses, the Chamber offers a variety of resources to grow small businesses. From marketing workshops to monthly seminars, the Chamber is a valuable resource to grow your business.

Join Now for Special Deals!

A Special Incentives Package is available when you join the Greater Hall Chamber NOW through MARCH 31.



McKemie West, Editor Email:

230 E.E. Butler Pkwy • Gainesville GA 30501 • 770-532-6206 •

Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce

2023-2024 Executive Committee

Senior Advisor


William Bagwell

Homestead Investments


Brett Fowler, Turner,

Wood & Smith Insurance


Perry Barnett, Rushton

Vice Chair

Economic Development

Glennis Barnes

Georgia Power

Vice Chair Marketing

Missy Burgess



Helping businesses succeed and fostering a thriving and vigorous business environment are the Chamber's primary goals. With over 2,300 business members, the Chamber continues to offer a full range of resources and business services.

The Chamber’s greatest benefits? Networking, relationships and lead development. Building relationships is the key to acquiring new business, growing existing business and solving problems. There’s no better place to form business relationships than through the Greater Hall Chamber. Businesses can get ahead by taking part in the many Chamber events to meet prospective clients and generate business leads. The Chamber only refers its member businesses through the in-house Welcome Center and staff referrals.

• Featured Member Listing & Logo on the Chamber’s website: (Value: $50)

• Complimentary Membership Directory (electronic) listing of Chamber Members (Value: $200)

• Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and coverage in the Chamber’s Business Link newsletter

• Promotional Discounts (AccessWDUN - Value $300)

• Advertising Discounts (The Times - Value $150)

• Business Information Listing in the Chamber’s Business Link newsletter

• Invitation to a New Member Breakfast and Orientation


Call 770-532-6206 and speak with Christen Wilbanks, VP Membership Sales, or Marissa Maynor, Membership Sales & Events. or

New Member Campaign

Anna Hester, executive director of Vision 2030 (left) signs up new member – Realtor Jessica Chambers of The Phillips Team – during the Chamber's new member campaign. Connect with Jessica at

The Membership Campaign is still underway, so if you're not a Chamber member, NOW is the time to join! Call 770-5326206 today for all the benefits of membership!

Vice Chair Government Affairs

Drew Echols

Jaemor Farms

Vice Chairs, Education

Andi Farmer

Milton Martin Honda

Lauren Armour Talley

Lanier Technical College

Vice Chair

South Hall Council

Mike Zeiler Marel

Vice Chair Community Development

Margaret Spratlin

Chair Vision 2030

Tate O’Rouke

Jackson EMC

Anna Hester

Executive Director

Vice Chairs Membership

Tammy Caudell, Carroll

Daniel Construction

Casey Ryals, Hall County

Farm Bureau Insurance

Co-Chairs HALLmark

Phil Bonelli

Regions Bank

Philip Wilheit, Jr

Wilheit Packaging

Brian Daniel

Carroll Daniel Construction

Immediate Past Chair

Phil Sutton

Kubota Manufacturing of America

President & CEO

Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce

Kit Dunlap

Lanier Islands

Longstreet Clinic

2023-2024 Board of Directors

Christa Andrews, Corporate Storage

Edward Asbridge, Mayor, City of Flowery Branch

Brian Barfield, AT&T

Neal Booth, Pinnacle Bank

Chris Braswell, The Norton Agency

Chris Brown, Delta Community Credit Union

Whitney Brown, Stewart, Melvin & Frost

Dan Carey, TRUIST

Kit Charest Marel

Mitch Clarke, AccessWDUN

Kay Cochran Cochran Brothers Electric

Sean Couch, Northeast Georgia Health System

Sam Couvillon, Mayor, City of Gainesville

Shanna Cronic, Northeast Georgia Diagnostic Clinic

S. Wade Dale, Mayor, City of Gillsville

Andrew Davenport, A New Veteran

Stacey Dickson, Lake Lanier CVB

Beth Downs Northeast Georgia Health System

Jessica Dudley, United Way of Hall County

Cody Elder Coca-Cola Bottling Gainesville/United

Michelle Moore Ellis, Moore's Wealth Management

Joy Griffin, Gainesville City Schools

Emily Hayes, Milton Martin Toyota

Richard Higgins, Chair, Hall County Commission

Sam Hulsey, United Community Bank

Rick Humphrey, Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta

Jordan Hussey J's Place Recovery Center

Carli Jones Jaemor Farms

Jay Kelly Signs by Tomorrow

Jay Kilroy, Willis Investment Counsel

Michael Lancaster, Edward Jones Investments

David Lee, Jackson EMC

Dr. Kate Maine, University of North Georgia

Megan Martin, North GA Community Foundation


Kit Dunlap, President & CEO

Gerri Collins, Executive Assistant

Economic Development

Tim Evans, Vice President

Ward McCamy, Bank of America

Tim McDonald, Lanier Technical College

Mike McGraw, Ranger Manufacturing

Terry Merck American Yazaki Corporation

Sheri Millwood, Oakwood City Council

Steve Naughton, Enterprise Solutions

Chris Nish Cottrell

James Nix, Mayor, City of Clermont

Matt Nix Duplicating Products

Ryan Owen, Kubota Manufacturing of America

Dr. Jeff Payne Capstone Property Group

Michele Piucci, Peach State Bank & Trust

Stacey Poole McDonald's NEGA

Col. Stas Preczewski Riverside Preparatory Academy

Brad Puryear, Mansfield Energy

Vanesa Sarazua, Hispanic Alliance Georgia

Britt Sawyer, Sawyer Media Group

Will Schofield Hall County School System

Mulham Shbeib, Mar-Jac Poultry

Jessica Shirley, The Times

John Simpson, Lakeview Academy

Dr. Anne Skleder, Brenau University

Jackie Walters Slaughter Walters Management Co

Terry Spicer King’s Hawaiian Bakery

Kevin Strada, The Atlanta Falcons

Joe Thomas Mayor, City of Lula

Kurt Ward Mayor, Town of Braselton

Layna Weldon, State Farm Insurance

Lila Westmoreland, Brenau University

Philip Wilheit, Sr., Wilheit Packaging

Jeff Williams Gee Heating & Air

Dr. Jeremy Williams, Gainesville City Schools

John Wright Fieldale Farms

Greater Hall Chamber Staff

Government Affairs

Kit Dunlap, President & CEO

Anna Hester

Membership Development

Nikki Chandler, VP Existing Industry

Savannah Garrick, Project Manager

Abby Greenwood Intern

Finance & Administration

Mark VanTassel, VP

Education & Leadership

Jason Pruitt VP

Christen Wilbanks, VP Membership


Ellie Parker, VP Membership Events

Marissa Maynor Membership Sales & Events

South Hall Council

Ellie Parker VP Membership Events

Community Development Robin Halstead, VP


Anna Hester, Executive Director

Marketing & Communications

Kemie West, Business Link Editor/ Consultant

Chamber Welcome Center

Robin Halstead, Manager

The mission of the Greater Hall Chamber is to improve the overall business climate for member growth, promote community development, facilitate political action, and enhance the quality of life.

March • April 2023 | 2
William Bagwell Investments Chairman, Greater Hall Chamber


economic development

The 14th Annual Industry Appreciation Luncheon was held February 3rd at Lanier Technical College and honored area existing industry leaders for economic impact, workforce excellence and corporate responsibility.


• Whitehead Die Casting (Small Employer Category)

• ALBAform (Medium Employer Category

• Mars Wrigley (Large Employer Category


Other industries receiving recognition awards included ATEX, Kubota, SKF and Sherwin Williams

(L-R) Nela, Monika, Jan and Lena Vintrlikova. Monika is CEO of ALBAform, a global, woman-owned manufacturing business with 30 years of experience in forming, welding, and assembling metal components for the automotive, agriculture, and e mobility sectors. Founded in 1992 in the Czech Republic, the company today celebrates 10 years of doing business in Oakwood-Hall County.

Whitehead Die Casting

(L-R) Brian

, Randall

, RK Whitehead and Troy Cain of Whitehead

Die Casting, a family-owned business with 38 associates working in the casting and finishing of aluminum and zinc products for industries including lighting, construction and recreational vehicles.

Mars Wrigley

Mars Wrigley Team Members (L-R) Rodney Helton, Blake Barron, Krystal Wiltz, Matt Arends, Steven Fuller, Kermit Stralow, Julie Bergess, Megan Betzel Wrigley located to Gainesville in 1971, and in 2019 completed a $60 million expansion. Today, the company employs more than 950 associates locally and is the sole source of sugar free gum for the Americas. Mars Wrigley’s Gainesville location is the largest vertically integrated chewing gum facility in the world producing iconic brands like EXTRA 5 and ORBIT, as well as its signature flavor, “Juicy Fruit.”

March • April 2023 | 4
INDUSTRY OF THE YEAR AWARDS Tim Evans (left), Chamber VP of Economic Development, presents John Wright, VP of Operations, Fieldale Farms, with an Industry Recognition Award for Corporate Patterson Bales

economic development Industry of the Year Awards

(L-R) Tim Evans, Chamber Vice President of Economic Development, and Tim McDonald, President, Lanier Technical College (event sponsor), with Industry Recognition Award Recipients (L-R) Phil Sutton, Kubota Manufacturing of America (Environmental Responsibility); Matt Blanchard, Sherwin Williams (Workforce Development); Stephen Lind, SKF (Safety Performance); John Wright, Fieldale Farms (Corporate Responsibility); Brent Snipes & Denise Jones, ATEX (Workforce Excellence); Nikki Chandler, Chamber Vice President, Existing Industry.

medmix healthcare to create 200 jobs

Swiss-owned medmix has expanded its manufacturing footprint in its healthcare business in the U.S. to Hall County and is located in Oakwood South Industrial Park. medmix is a global leader in high-precision delivery devices for the healthcare, consumer and industrial end-markets. Following its mission to provide innovative solutions to help millions of people live healthier lives, medmix opened its new facility to serve the brand’s healthcare segments – Drug Delivery, Surgery and Dental. medmix expects to initially invest $20 million to build and equip the 300,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing site in stages over the next five to seven years and will create in the excess of 200 jobs in Hall County.

Business leaders needed for career fairs

The Chamber and VISION 2030 continue to push student workforce development initiatives with 7th Grade Career Path Fairs and are collaborating again with the University of North Georgia (UNG) Gainesville, Lanier Technical College (LTC), and Brenau University to provide middle school students with an overview of the many career opportunities in Gainesville-Hall County. The Career Path Fair has more than doubled in size from previous years and will be accessible to all 2,600+ 7th Graders in the Gainesville City and Hall County School Systems. Industry and professional speakers are needed to lead career overviews to help students learn about various jobs and careers in our community. Consider volunteering for one or more of the programs to be held on March 7, 9, 16 and 17 at UNG, Brenau and LTC. Contact Shelley Logan at Workforce Strategies Group: 678-316-0792, or email:

Transportation Forum 2023


This important forum is open to the public and creates discussion with Chamber members, businesses and community leaders. Featuring Russell McMurry Commissioner Georgia Department of Transportation

March • April 2023 | 5
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
INFO $20 Chamber Members • $25 Guests Includes Lunch Gerri Collins, 770-532-6206 x 106 Email: Open to the Public Reservations Required
April 11
of North Georgia Gainesville Campus Performing Arts Center

economic development

Healthy Hall Awards on March 15

The Chamber's 6th Annual Healthy Hall Awards Luncheon, presented by Northeast Georgia Health System, is Wednesday, March 15 (11:30am - 1:00 pm) at Lanier Technical College, Ramsey Conference Center. Healthy Hall Awards honor those in the healthcare industry making a significant impact on our quality of life through excellence in health and wellness. Awards will be presented in 11 categories – from Nurse of the Year to Community Impact.


Corporate Achievement Recognition

Community Impact

Visionary Leader

Healthcare Education

Outstanding Achievement in Behavioral Health

Healthcare Worker of the Year

Advanced Practice Provider of the Year

Nurse of the Year

Dentist of the Year

Physician of the Year

Lifetime Achievement Award

Healthy Hall

Aw ards of Excellenc e

Presented by

• Reservations required

• $25 per person; Includes lunch

• Table Sponsor $500 (seats 8)

Jane & Frank Lake

Dr. Frank Lake, a retired radiation oncologist with the Northeast Georgia Physicians Group, received the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Info: Savannah Garrick, 770-532-6206



March • April 2023 | 6
• Listing in the Membership Directory • Listing in Online Business Directory • Subscription to Business Link • Entry to Networking Events • Access to Forums and Seminars • Volunteer Opportunities • Visibility & Community Involvement • Advertising, Publicity, Sponsorships • Business Referrals • Leads & Networking Groups • Increased Business Exposure • Ribbon Cuttings • Valuable Business Connections Benefits of Chamber Membership Join today. 770-532-6206

meetings events April

Tuesday, April 4

Chamber Chase

5K Run and 2 Mile Wellness Walk

Thursday, March 23

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Riverside Preparatory Academy

Sign up as an individual or register a company team. Registration is $30; $35 after March 19. Compete for the Fastest Corporate Team, the Fastest CEO or unite in a spirited 2 mile walk. Chip timing, commemorative t-shirts, and age group awards. Enjoy awards, food, drink and fun after the race. Register at Ellie Parker, 770-532-6206.

Transportation Forum

Open to the Public

Tuesday, April 11

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

University of North Georgia Gainesville | Performing Arts Center

Featuring Russell McMurry, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation

This important forum is open to the public and creates discussion with Chamber members, businesses and community leaders. $20 Chamber Members; $25 Guests. Registration required. Register at Gerri Collins, 770-532-6206.

Job Fair & Career Expo

Free & Open to the Public

Thursday, April 13

10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Gainesville Civic Center

Features 60+ employer booths and is a great opportunity for job seekers to meet local companies that are hiring. Employers recruit qualified employees. Booth space is limited. Register at Savannah Garrick, 770-532-6206.

Hackers Holiday Golf Tournament

Swing into Spring at Lanier Islands

Friday, April 28 10:00 a.m. Shotgun Start

Lanier Islands

$200 per Player; $700 for Team of 4 Players. Fee Includes: Green Fee, Cart Fee, Breakfast, Box Lunch, Snacks, Drinks and the 19th Hole Reception following the tournament. Space Limited. Register at Ellie Parker, 770-532-6206.


Wednesday, March 1

Healthcare Committee

9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. | Chamber

Wednesday, March 8

Human Resource Council

11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Friday, March 10

Economic Development Council

8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Tuesday, March 14

Small Business Seminar

8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

In person at the Chamber or via Zoom

Tuesday, March 14

Ambassadors Council

3:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Scott's Downtown | Gainesville

Wednesday, March 15

Healthy Hall Awards Luncheon

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Lanier Technical College

Ramsey Conference Center

Thursday, March 16

Chamber Executive Committee

12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. | Chamber

Tuesday, March 21

Vision 2030 Board Meeting

11:30 a.m. | Chamber

Wednesday, March 22

Issues Committee

9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. | Chamber

Thursday, March 23

Chamber Board of Directors

12:00 - 1:30 p.m. | Gainesville Civic Center

Thursday, March 23

Chamber Chase 5K & 2 Mile Walk

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Riverside Preparatory Academy

Thursday, March 30

South Hall Business Coalition

King's Hawaiian Bakery

9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Aloha Drive | Flowery Branch

Stay Up-to-Date:

Business After Hours

Humane Society of Northeast Georgia

5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

845 West Ridge Road | Gainesville

Wednesday, April 5

Healthcare Committee

9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. | Chamber

Tuesday, April 11

Small Business Seminar

8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

In person at the Chamber or via Zoom

Tuesday, April 11

Annual Transportation Forum

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

UNG Gainesville | Performing Arts Center

Tuesday, April 11

Ambassadors Council

3:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Break Water Grill | Flowery Branch

Wednesday, April 12

Human Resource Council

11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Thursday, April 13

Job Fair & Career Expo

10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Gainesville Civic Center

Friday, April 14

Economic Development Council

8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Tuesday, April 18

Annual AgriBusiness Awards

7:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Jaemor Farms | Alto

Tuesday, April 18

Vision 2030 Board Meeting

11:30 a.m | NGA Community Foundation

Wednesday, April 19

Issues Committee

9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. | Chamber

Thursday, April 20

Chamber Executive Committee

12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. | Chamber

Thursday, April 27

Chamber Board of Directors

12:00 - 1:30 p.m. | Gainesville Civic Center

Friday, April 28

Hackers Holiday Golf Tournament

10:00 a.m. Shotgun Start

Legacy on Lanier | Lanier Islands

March • April 2023 | 7

Hudginson joins University of North Georgia

Greg Hudgison has joined the University of North Georgia’s (UNG) Division of University Relations as associate vice president for communications and marketing. In this role, Greg oversees the areas of marketing, news and communications, web communications, photography and videography. Greg looks forward to working with UNG’s community partners and media representatives. Most recently, Greg served as director of strategic communications at Columbus State University for more than six years before coming to UNG. He brings extensive marketing, public relations and communication management experience from prior roles with Synovus Financial Corporation, Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Swift Textiles, and television news production.

Marissa Maynor joins Chamber Staff

Born and raised in Hall County, Marissa Maynor is a graduate of North Hall High School and received her Bachelor’s in Marketing from the University of North Georgia. She spent the last 10 years in the automotive industry, in positions ranging from sales to human resources. Marissa joins the Greater Hall Chamber team in Membership Sales and Events and is excited to help grow our small businesses and build new relationships with local professionals. Marissa and her husband, Doug, have two young boys.

New Alumni Director at Brenau University

A native of Habersham County, Emily Reid is the new Director of Alumni Engagement at Brenau University. With an undergraduate degree and MBA from Piedmont College, Reid most recently served as the Program Coordinator for Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving at Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut. For the last five years, Reid has worked with alumni from different walks of life and fields of interest and is excited to utilize her knowledge and experiences to engage, foster, and support Brenau's alumni body.

• The Greater Hall Chamber is seeking nominations for the Small Business of the Year Award, to recognize an outstanding small business Chamber member for 20222023, and the Family Business of the Year, to recognize a dynamic family-owned business. A member may nominate their business or another member. Nominations must be received by Friday, April 14. Awards will be presented at the Chamber's 115th Annual Meeting & Gala on Thursday, May 11 at the Chattahoochee Country Club. Details: Ellie Parker, 770-532-6206, or

• Georgia Trend recently featured a story on the University of North Georgia's (UNG) innovation and growth throughout its 150year history. The article discusses UNG's role as a senior military college, as well as its teacher preparation, business and language programs. The feature also covers expansions on the Blue Ridge and Cumming campuses and the new Cottrell Center for Business, Technology & Innovation. Read the story at

• Run the Ranch, a family-friendly 5K, Nature Walk and Fun Run returns to Eagle Ranch in Chestnut Mountain this year. Bring the entire family on Saturday, June 3 for a unique opportunity to see Eagle Ranch’s private 315acre campus while supporting their mission to help make life better for children, families, and the community. For information on the event, visit

• The Arts Council’s 2023 Evenings of Intimate Jazz upcoming performances include Duchess, a trio of vocal entertainers blending classics and contemporary, on March 17-18, and Karla Harris, a powerful jazz vocalist, on April 21-22. Individual tickets for Duchess and Karla Harris are $38; table for 6 is $228. Order tickets online at

• Braselton’s town manager, Jennifer H. Scott, has been appointed to the prestigious National League of Cities (NLC) Finance, Administration and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee. Scott will serve a oneyear term to provide strategic direction for NLC’s federal advocacy agenda and policies. Founded 100 years ago, NLC is comprised of city, town and village leaders that are focused on improving the quality of life for their current and future constituents.

• Matt Nix, president of Duplicating Products, announced the company was named a Ricoh/Savin Circle of Excellence Dealer for the 9th year in a row for outstanding service and support. For over 40 years, Duplicating Products has offered high-performance office equipment and unmatched customer service to organizations across North Georgia with solutions to meet all business printing and copying needs. In 2021, they were named the 18th Canon Dealer in U.S. and the 8th Canon dealer in the South.

• Win $1,000 CASH! The Chamber's Annual Hackers Holiday Golf Tournament Raffle Tickets are now on sale. Do not have to be present to win. The $1,000 cash prize drawing takes place at the tournament on Friday, April 28 at Lanier Islands. Cost: 1 for $10, or 3 for $20. Call Ellie Parker for your tickets, 770-532-6206, or

• Malia H. Bolt, a Master Certified Picture Framer and owner of Purple House Gallery, announces several new artist to the gallery. Purple House represents local artists as well as artist from all over the country. The gallery is a one-stop-shop for custom framing, art, photo restoration and art consulting. View art and shop collections at


The NEW Gainesville-Hall County Wage & Benefit Report is now available. Prepared by the Chamber's Economic Development team, this annual report includes information on average wages for 70+ job listings from companies located in Gainesville-Hall County. The report also includes 20 Pay Practice questions and 60 Benefits questions. Available in PDF or bound-book format. Cost is $53. For your copy of the Wage & Benefit Report or for information on other available reports and publications, contact Nikki Chandler, Chamber VP Existing Industry, at 770-532-6206, or email

• The UGA Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Gainesville is offering StartSMART, the SBDC’s signature program for entrepreneurs who seek to launch pre-venture business concepts or basic businesses who need to establish foundational processes & operations. The course is held virtually, with classes offered twice weekly, to provide convenient access regardless of location. Call 770-531-5681 or visit

• The Georgia Mountains YMCA named Lane Walberg as new president and CEO. Formerly Senior VP of operations for the YMCA of Memphis & the Mid South, Walberg oversee programs for families and children through its after-school program, early learning centers and the J.A. Walters Family YMCA.

March • April 2023 | 8 member news Got news? Email:
Emily Reid Brenau University Marissa Maynor Greater Hall Chamber
Greg Hudgison

Junior Achievement Awards

Junior Achievement (JA) of Georgia inducted Mimi Collins (left), CEO, Longstreet Clinic, and Frank & Nancy Norton, Partners, The Norton Agency, into the JA Northeast Georgia Business Hall of Fame. They join the group of area leaders honored for outstanding business accomplishments and community support. Melissa Tymchuk, Northeast Georgia Health System, and Drew Echols, Jaemor Farms, were recognized with JA Rising Star Awards. JA of Georgia is a business-integrated education partner that develops key mindsets and skills for students. JA’s high impact programs foster the

Candler Real Estate opens in Gainesville

(L-R) Brian Hughs, David Griffin, Beverly Filson and Lee Hemmer, four leaders synonymous with real estate in North Georgia, have joined forces to launched Candler Real Estate. Based in Gainesville, the group aims to help clients locate, obtain, manage, develop, or build the perfect property. Encompassing land, residential, commercial, industrial, and investment ventures, the Candler team offers an unparalleled degree of knowledge and customer service.

“Everyone involved with Candler Real Estate is an expert in their field, and we all work seamlessly together to produce a service that will deliver exactly what you need,” said Lee Hemmer, Candler Real Estate principal and managing broker. “We’re ready to assist sellers, buyers, tenants, and landlords in every aspect of real estate. So, whether you have commercial or residential needs, seek advisory services, property management assistance, or appraisal requirements, we can do it all for you.” Candler Real Estate, 135 Maple Street NW in Gainesville. 770-988-6383.

Kristin Kole Bloodworth Joins the Firm’s Leadership

One of northeast Georgia’s largest law firms, Stewart Melvin & Frost is pleased to announce Kristin Kole Bloodworth as its newest partner. Since joining the firm in September 2021, she has become an invaluable member of the firm’s emerging leadership. Kristin began her legal career as a Superior Court Law Clerk in the Augusta Judicial Circuit before entering private practice with a civil litigation firm. After a family move to Texas, Kristin served as a Judicial Law Clerk for the United States Magistrate Court for the Western District of Texas. Kristin then transitioned to government civil defense litigation as a Bexar County Assistant District Attorney (Civil Division) before serving as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Texas.

Kristin’s practice areas include:

• General Civil Litigation

• County/Municipal Government

March • April 2023 | 9 1/2 Page Ad 4 columns x 4.75" – Morton Vardeman Carlson –Stewart Melvin & Frost
member news SMF 0178 Biz Link ad_10x4.75.pdf 1 1/26/23 9:46 AM

Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier recently announced Jaiyah Stringer as the Youth of the Year for the second year in a row. Jaiyah Stringer was awarded a $2,500 scholarship from the Duane Hinshaw Scholarship Fund for having demonstrated determination and excellence as a Club member. Locally, the Youth of the Year program is supported by the Clipper Petroleum Foundation. Jaiyah was enrolled at Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier when she was eight years old and has been a loyal member since. She is an AP & Honors student at Gainesville High School, dual enrolled in her senior year. She serves in leadership roles at school, volunteers at Meals On Wheels, and serves 10 hours a week at a local shelter for battered and abused women. Jaiyah is passionate about mental health awareness and plans to attend Fort Valley State University and pursue a career as a Social Worker.

UNG Celebrates 150 Years

The University of North Georgia's (UNG) Sesquicentennial Celebration, is in full swing and runs throughout the 2022-23 academic year. The celebration involves all of UNG's five campuses and focuses on the university's impact on scholarship, leadership and service.

"The determined spirit that led to the creation of then-North Georgia Agricultural College, sustains us still today. We have unwavering commitments to student success and service to our region and state, and, for nearly 150 years, we have produced civic, professional and military leaders who make a positive impact in their communities and beyond," UNG President Dr. Bonita Jacobs said. "Our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members are an invaluable part of our legacy, and we are eager to celebrate this milestone with them."

UNG began as North Georgia Agricultural College in 1873, and today is one of only six federally designated senior military colleges. With 20,000 students, UNG is one of the state's largest public universities. Positioned in the fastest-growing region of the state, UNG comprises five campuses and is focused on academic excellence and programs that develop students into leaders for a diverse and global society. Sesquicentennial Info:

First Annual Waterfest on April 22

The City of Gainesville Water Department and Gainesville Parks & Recreation are partnering with Chattahoochee Riverkeeper for the 1st Annual Waterfest on Saturday, April 22 (Earth Day). The all day event is free, open to the public and will be held at the beautiful Midland Greenway in Gainesville. Waterfest includes an Environmental Expo with local organizations highlighting their good work; youth and adult bands; online auctions with North Georgia adventure packages; fun, family-friendly educational activities, including informational booths from water quality experts; food and drink vendors, and so much more! For details or exhibitor information, contact Mallory Pendleton, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, 205-434-0252, or email,

Rotary Club Celebrates a Century of Service

The Rotary Club of Gainesville was officially chartered on February 3, 1923. Today, the Club is 200+ members strong and maintains its mission of sharing ideas and connections with the single purpose of making the community better. Club President Mike McGraw, Ranger Manufacturing, and President-Elect Ron Quinn, Peach State Bank, recently presented annual awards. Frank Norton Jr., The Norton Agency, was named Man of the Year, and community volunteer Lee Highsmith, Woman of the Year. Tommy Howard, The Norton Agency, was awarded the Sidney O. Smith Fellowship Award; Dr. Martha T. Nesbitt, former president of University of North Georgia, was presented the Guardian of Ethics Award; Dr. Pierpont “Pepper” Brown III was awarded the W. Lee Arrendale Award; community volunteer Carol Colon was named Rotarian of the Year.

March • April 2023 | 10 member news
Photo: Donnell Suggs, The Times

economic development

Job Fair on April 13

Employers: The Chamber's Job Fair is a great opportunity to recruit qualified employees and typically draws some 800 job seekers. Booth space is limited. Call 770-532-6206 to REGISTER!

Job Seekers: The Spring Job Fair on Thursday, April 13 at the Gainesville Civic Center (10am-2pm) will feature 70+ employer booths and is a great opportunity to learn about local companies that are hiring. Be prepared to meet employers face-to-face and complete job applications on site. This event is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, and there is NO ADMISSION FEE

Job Fairs are held bi-annually and are a partnership of the Greater Hall Chamber, Georgia Department of Labor and Lanier Technical College. Exhibit & Sponsorship Info: Savannah Garrick, 770-532-6206. Email: Register online at

South Hall Business Coalition

(L-R) Layna

Weldon, Layna

Weldon State Farm; Kit Dunlap, Chamber; Dr. Steven Smith, UNG; Jeff Williams, Gee Heating & Air; Jennifer Herring, UNG, at the South Hall Business Coalition program at the University of North Georgia (UNG) Gainesville Campus where the group heard from Dr. Steven Smith, VP of Regional Campuses.

The South Hall Business Coalition meets monthly and is sponsored by AccessWDUN, Milton Martin Honda, Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton, Signs by Tomorrow, South Hall Rotary and Store More Self Storage

Join the South Hall Business Coalition for an update/tour of the King's Hawaiian Bakery on March 30 (9-10am). The family-owned food company is investing over $85 million to expand its facility in Oakwood South Industrial Park, creating more than 160 new jobs. King's Hawaiian opened in Oakwood in 2010, and today provides over 800 jobs for the Hall County community. Space limited. Reservations required. Includes Light Breakfast. $5 Chamber Member; $15 Non-Member. Register online at GHCC. com/events or contact Ellie Parker, 770-532-6206, or

Seminar focuses on Tax Trend Outlook

small business development

Small Business Spotlight The Stag Chophouse & Club

Formally known as ChopBLOCK, the newly rebranded restaurant – The Stag – is located on the Square in Downtown Gainesville. The official launch of the rebranding and new menu was initiated in February. The new menu features a variety of steaks, chops and seafood. Whether you're grabbing a quick lunch, having a private afternoon meeting, or unwinding after work, The Stag has what you're looking for and is the place to be. The Stag team is excited for this rebranding opportunity and look forward to serving the visitors of Downtown Gainesville! The Stag, 110 Main Street SW, Gainesville Georgia, 30501. 470 -252-5016.

Upcoming Small Business Success Seminar: How Modern Marketers Focus on Business Goals to Drive Results is Tuesday,March 14 (8:30-9:30 am) with marketing experts Katie Dubnik, Nick Kastner and Callie


March • April 2023 | 14
At the recent Small Business Success Seminar, Chamber members heard from CPA's Hannah Hughes and Adam Greene from Rushton on tax trends and recent policy changes, best practices, common pitfalls, and how to master your taxes. (L-R) Stacey Reese, Spherion Staffing; David Stewart, Lanier QuickBooks; Hannah Hughes, Rushton; Adam Greene, Rushton; Michele Piucci, Peach State Bank; Tommy Edge, Mobile Fleet Solutions. Flack of Forum Communications

small business development

Certified Small Business Partners

Small Business Seminar

Tuesday, March 14

8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

In Person at the Chamber or via Zoom

Start with Strategy: How Modern Marketers Focus on Business Goals to Drive Results

Join members of Forum Communications strategy team to learn how you can refocus on your goals and use modern marketing strategies and tactics to drive success for your organization.

Katie Dubnik, founder and president, is Forum’s visionary and connector. Katie not only helps lead numerous client engagements, but also guides and enables the team to build around the company’s core value and dedication to helping others find their voice in a crowded marketplace.

Nick Kastner, director of brand and digital strategy, leads strategies for Forum’s clients that positively impact every area of their business. He builds consistent and meaningful brand messaging and leverages the digital marketplace to drive real results.

Callie Flack, account director, builds and manages creative marketing strategies and solid execution plans and oversees daily activity across multiple client accounts.

No charge for Chamber Members. Register to attend IN PERSON or via ZOOM online at Savannah Garrick, 770-532-6206.

Congratulations to the 30 business professionals recognized as Certified Small Business Partners at the Chamber's January Board meeting. Front, L-R: David Robertson, DBR Associates; Linda Kostura, Keller Williams; Marsha Hopkins, Hopkins Associates; Andrew Davenport, A New Veteran. 2nd Row: Shawnette Good, Joshua’s Voice; Chris Arrington, DoubleCakes by Chris; Angela Horne, Overdrive Logistics; Kari Leigh Kelley, Cochran Brothers Electric; Elaine Hortman, Center Point. 3rd Row: Lane Jones, Volunteer; Laurie Galucki, DBR Associates;Stephanie Loggins, Overdrive Logistics; Selena Singh, Cochran Brothers Electric; Angela Banks, Notary Pros; Mary Bolin, JuicePlus+; Robbie Parks, UGA SBDC. 4th Row: Margret Spratlin, Longstreet Clinic; Michelle Piucci, Peach State Bank; Roger Dixon, SCR Consulting Services; Debbie Davis, Lawson Air Conditioning & Plumbing; Carly Larsen, Gainesville Mechanical; Angela Middleton, A New Veteran; Manny Castro, Georgia Farm Bureau. Back: Steve Naughton, Enterprising Solutions; Terry Merck, American Yazaki. Not pictured: Lila Westmoreland, Brenau University; Michael Lancaster, Edward Jones; Tammy Rauch, Georgia Department of Labor; Lori Burgess, Hometown Heating & Air; Layna Weldon, State Farm Insurance; Jennifer Lloyd, Living Art Landscape; Brandon Kirby, Vertical Earth; Shelley Logan, Workforce Strategies Group.

Upcoming Seminar Info

Roger Dixon of SCP Consulting Services will discuss small business security and privacy along with trends, preparedness, regulatory environments, common security frameworks and resources for small business.

Small Business programs are held monthly on topics of interest to small business. Visit EVENTS for up-to-date info, or contact Savannah Garrick, 770-532-6206. Email:

March • April 2023 | 15 Become a Chamber 2023 CERTIFIED Small Business Partner by participating in six (6) Small Business Seminars in a year.
Partners Receive
Certificate of Completion
Certified Small Business Door Decal
Recognition at a Chamber Board Meeting
Announcement in the Business Link
Tuesday, April 11
Managing Security
8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. |

Shay Lewis-Hartley, Director of Program Development, Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier, speaks to the Leadership Hall County Class during the "Make a Difference" program. At Eagle Ranch, the class toured the campus and the new Wings Center and also heard presentations from the Gainesville Police Department’s Mental Health Co-Responder Program, United Way of Hall County and the Hispanic Alliance of Georgia. Thank you to the program sponsors: Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier, Eagle Ranch and Deep Roots Landscape

Leadership Hall County

The Leadership Hall Class at the Georgia State Capitol with Hall County Legislators (front) Shelley Echols, Lee Hawkins and Matt Dubnik. As part of Capitol tour, the class viewed the Senate in action from the gallery and had lunch with several legislators and staffers with ties to Hall County. The class heard from Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tyler Harper, as well as Rep. Lee Hawkins, Rep. Emory Dunahoo, and Senator Shelly Echols. The class ended their time at the Capitol by touring the Senate Chamber and spending some time on the Senate Floor. Thank you, sponsors: Jackson EMC, Chick-fil-A at Robson Crossing and Mar-Jac Poultry

Strong leadership is a key ingredient in the continuing development of a thriving community. The Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Hall County program educates emerging and existing leaders on how to be integral players in the future of our community. Since its inception in 1982, 1,000 men and women representing our community's diversity have completed this program and taken their place as leaders.

Nominations are open for the 2023-2024 Class of Leadership Hall County. Participants develop an understanding of our community through a series of sessions on economic development, quality of life, education, healthcare, social services, governments and judicial services. Individuals must be nominated for the program by March 10. Once nominated, the nominee will complete a detailed application. Applicants are reviewed by a selection committee, and final participants are selected from all applications submitted. The class is named in May 2023. Applicants must work or live in Hall County. Nominate yourself or a business associate at GHCC./education/leadership-hall-county, or contact Jason Pruitt, Chamber VP of Education, 770-532-6206, or

March • April 2023 | 16 education leadership
Serving Northeast Georgia Since 1993 770 - 287- 9605 WE HAVE A SOLUTION FOR EVERY DATA NEED!
Nominations for
Class 2023-24

The dynamic team of Zach and Liz Webber, Webber + Co, with Lila Westmoreland, Brenau University, at the Chamber's Marketing Workshop in January. The Webbers updated some 100 members on the social media strategies and the newest changes in the ever-changing world of digital marketing.

Local Understanding + Industry Expertise

1/2 Page Ad

4.91" x 10"

Built on years of experience and relationships, we’re putting North Georgia first. We’re committed to unmatched customer service and look forward to being your local team of real estate experts.

The NoFo Brew Co. team (L-R) Bree Sanders, Eliana Barnard and Christopher Phillips, discuss social media strategies at the Marketing Workshop. A new Chamber member, NoFo Brew recently opened at 434 High Street in Gainesville. Learn more about marketing at the Small Business Seminar on March 14 (8:30am) with presenters Katie Dubnik and Nick Kastner of Forum Communications, a full service strategic marketing agency. Sign up:

Thank You Chamber Sponsors!

membership development Signs by Tomorrow South Hall Rotary Club Small Business Access Partners Spherion Staffing & Recruiting Store More Self Storage TD Automotive Compressor GA The Times ZF

Northeast Georgia Health System NEGA Medical Center Braselton Northside Hospital Pinnacle Bank ProCare Rx Riverside Preparatory Academy Rochester & Associates Sawyer Media Group

March • April 2023 | 17
Forum Communications–
Highlights: Marketing Workshop AccessWDUN Caldwell Electrical Contractors Delta Community Credit Union Express Employment Professionals Gainesville Mechanical Jackson EMC Lanier Technical College Milton Martin Honda
Our Services Include: COMMERCIAL | RESIDENTIAL LAND | INVESTMENT SALES COMMERCIAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT 770-988-6383 | 135 Maple Street NW | Gainesville, GA 30501

membership development

, New Member Campaign – NOW through March 31 –

Wilbanks heads up member involvement

Christen Wilbanks, an Iowa native by way of Houston, TX, arrived in Gainesville back in 2000 (it’s a long story involving a U.S. Marine, country music, and San Antonio) and has called the city home ever since. The doting mother of two nearly-grown boys and tolerant wife of the aforementioned Marine has been with the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce since 2016, where she serves as Vice President of Membership Sales. She loves getting out in the community to network with business owners and managers both big and small. She focuses on getting them plugged into the Chamber to expand their own networks, become truly involved in the local business scene, and help them thrive. Contact Christen to learn more about Chamber membership and how you can get involved at 770-532-6206, or

Membership Incentives

Join the Greater Hall Chamber NOW – March 31, and receive these special incentives!

• FREE featured Member Listing & Logo on (Value: $50)

• Complimentary Digital Membership Directory with over 3,000 Professionals (Value: $200)

• Promotional Discounts with AccessWDUN (Value: $300)

• Advertising Discounts with The Times (Value $150)

• FREE Business Information Listing & Promotion in the Business Link newsletter

• COMPLIMENTARY Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and FREE coverage in the Business Link

Why Join?

Being Chamber member is a great opportunity for a new or established business to network, learn about other businesses, and share growth paths and success strategies. It's incredible what you'll learn about how local businesses got started and where they're going. Being involved with the Greater Hall gives you a bigger perceptual map, and I am very excited to serve as a team captain."

"The Greater Hall Chamber is an advocate for businesses in our area. I find value in that as a Chamber member and as a local banker. A growing business community leads to a thriving local economy and job market. We can all reap benefits from a fiscally healthy community. I encourage you not only to join, but get involved. You will not regret it."

"The Chamber is a great environment for anyone trying to expand their reach within their industry. They host events where you can learn valuable information and meet high caliber people in our region. For anyone who is passionate about meeting new faces and learning skills that can be applied daily to their careers, the chamber is the place for you. I am excited for what my future holds being a part of the Greater County Chamber."

“As a “solo-prenuer,” it is refreshing to be viewed and respected the same way as larger companies. The Greater Hall Chamber has helped me develop and enhance significant community relationships. Members of the Chamber, along with the staff, educate and encourage us to grow our businesses collectively as well as individually.“

You're invited to join the Greater Hall Chamber during the New Member Campaign that is now underway and concludes March 31. Bring in 2023 on a path to success by joining the over 3,000 Chamber member representatives who already enjoy increased visibility, consumer credibility and involvement through networking opportunities. Joining may be THE BEST BUSINESS INVESTMENT you'll ever make. Great incentives if you JOIN NOW!

Meet the Membership Team Leaders

March • April 2023 | 18
Christen Wilbanks VP Membership Sales Greater Hall Chamber
Membership Directory Listing | Member Networking Events Forums, Seminars & Committees | Community Involvement Business Referrals & Connections | Valuable Exposure CALL 770-532-6206 JOIN ONLINE
Call the Chamber or one of these outstanding volunteers to join!
Jon Burkett Farm Bureau Insurance Lauren Talley Lanier Technical College Michele Piucci Peach State Bank Renee Sweeney Georgia Notary Pros Jose Romero Keller Williams Lanier Partners

membership development

Business Expo 2023

The Annual Small Business Luncheon kicked off the Business Expo with keynote speaker Amanda Wilbanks, entrepreneur and founder of Southern Baked Pie Company. (L-R) Kit Dunlap, Chamber; Alex and Amanda Wilbanks, Southern Baked Pie; Chris Brown, Delta Community Credit Union (lunch sponsor); Jennette Cox , HRASimple (speaker sponsor).

The Business Expo on February 16 was presented by AccessWDUN. (L-R) Joy Holmes, John Jacobs, Bill Maine and Craig Shoemaker. The AccessWDUN team provided digital business cards (a great idea!) for attendees and received the "Most Educational" exhibit award. Over 400 people enjoyed business-to-business networking, door prizes, giveaways and more.

Southern Baked Pie's Amanda Wilbanks (right) autographs her cookbook for Kay Cochran of Cochran Brothers Electric at the Small Business Luncheon at the Business Expo. Some 150 Chamber members attended the event that included a delicious meal catered by Southern Baked Pie Company

David Camalier, General Manager of Avocados and Hopscotch, brought several outstanding menu items to his exhibit for attendees to taste at the Business Expo. 60 exhibitors were on hand for the Expo on February 16 at the Ramsey Conference Center at Lanier Technical College.

Chick-fil-A Gainesville's Betsy Pruitt received the "Most Creative" Exhibit Award from Ellie Parker, Chamber VP Membership Events.

Chris Brown and Christy Wagner received the "Most Engaging" Exhibit Award at the Delta Community Credit Union booth.

(L-R) Shane Evans, Trey Chesser and Luis Carlos, Jr. of the Conditioned Air Systems Team. Conditioned Air was a Business Expo Gold Sponsor along with Millie's Drapery & Decorating and The Times. Silver Sponsors included Alliant Health Plans, BGW Dental Group, CocaCola Gainesville United, Gainesville Mechanical, KLS Chiropractic, Lanier Federal Credit Union, Milton Martin Honda, New Leaf Landscape and Wilson Orthodontics. Thank you, event sponsors!

March • April 2023 | 19

membership development

Mattress Town Ribbon Cutting

Lead Development & Networking

(L-R) Eneyda Montano, Farmers Insurance; Stacey Smith, The Times; Courtney Rucker, Courtney’s Crème de la Crème Creations; Nicki Martinez, NM Designs & Consultations, at Network Over Coffee at Dunkin' Donuts in Flowery Branch.

Mattress Town is a customer service driven retail mattress store that focuses on making mattresses affordable for every day, hard working people. Their pricing model is simple. All Kings are $999, and all Queens are $899! Customers no longer have to purchase based-off price and simply test out the mattresses and choose the one you want. There are 12 models on the floor to suit all needs. Mattress Town takes the stress of price out of the equation.

130 John W Morrow Pkwy, Suite F, Gainesville, GA 30501. 470-208-2965.


For over 20 years, the Greater Hall Chamber has partnered with the Gainesville Times to publish Business Link, a monthly newsletter for members. In 2023, the publication goes bi-monthly and expands to 20 pages full of news, events and happenings in our business community. Business Link is circulated in The Times on the first Wednesday of each month. It's also mailed to Chamber members. Now's the time to secure your advertising spot in the May/June issue. For advertising information email:

network over coffee Bimonthly | 9-10am

March 3 Panera Bread in Gainesville

March 24 Sam's Club in Oakwood

April 7 Chick-fil-A at Jesse Jewell Pkwy in Gainesville

April 21 Bistro at Lanier College & Career Academy

Hackers Holiday Golf Tournament

Friday, April 28 | 10am Shotgun Start

Legacy on Lanier at Lanier Islands

Swing into Spring at Lanier Islands at the 44th Annual Hackers Holiday Golf Tournament presented by Northside Hospital. Legacy on Lanier Golf Club hosts the event with awards, prizes and much more. AT&T's 19th Hole Reception follows the tournament at the clubhouse!

Scratch Golfers & Hackers!

$200 per player; $700 team (4-some)

Fee includes green fee, cart fee, box lunch and reception. Register yourself or a team.

Great sponsorships!

Awards include Hole-In-One prizes, along with closest to the pin, longest drive, putting contest. Outstanding door prizes and giveaways!

$1,000 Cash Prize Drawing!

Exciting Cash Prize Drawing at Hackers Holiday. Do not have to be present to win! $10 each, or 3 for $20. Player and Sponsor INFO: Ellie Parker, 770-532-6206, or email

March • April 2023 | 20
Jay Lawson, Avison Young, Rob Drake, Integricom and Greg Harper, Lakeshore Business Advisors. Meet professionals for networking and lead development at an upcoming Network Over Coffee event.
Chairman’sColumn page2 AnnualAwardHighlights pages2-5 CelebratingaYearofSuccess pages6-7 NewLeadershipTeam pages8-9 MemberNews page10 SmallBusinessSpotlight page11 Meetings&Events page18 NewMembers page21 RibbonCuttings pages22-23 contents save the date JUNE/JULY 2022 featured member Tuesday,June21 SouthHallBusinessCoalition DrivingClubatRoadAtlanta Tuesday,June28 BusinessAfterHours Pro-GeneXinGainesville Tuesday,July12 SmallBusinessSeminar Chamber&viaZoom Tuesday,July26 BusinessAfterHours GeorgiaMountainFoodBank Foundedin1983 theChamber'sprestigiousleadershipprogramisnow1,000alumnistrong MeettheNEW LeadershipHallCounty lassonpage SmallBusinessesoftheYear SkylineContracting SouthernBakedPieCo. FamilyBusinessesoftheYear MountainFreshCreamery WayneCapital CommunityServiceAward RhondaSamples HallCountySchools DistinguishedCitizenAward BobSwoszowski McDonald’sNEGA WGMealorAward PhilipWilheit,Sr. WilheitPackaging atOver400Chambermembersandguestsattendedthe114thAnnualMeeting&GalaonMay12 theChattahoocheeCountryClub. GreaterHallChamberincoming2022-2023ChamberChair WilliamBagwell KitDunlap President CEO,and2021-2022ChairmanPhil Sutton KubotaManufacturingofAmerica. SeealltheGalahighlightsinthisissueofBusinessLink! 2021-2022Annual BusinessAwards Business Link now published bimonthly Promote your company with a FREE Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. It's a free service if you're a member of the Greater Hall Chamber. Not a Chamber member? Join now, call 770-532-6206.

welcome new members membership development

Business After Hours

413 Insurance Services

Brad Wiehe

5505 Church Street, Suite 220 Flowery Branch GA 30542 Insurance | 770.865.6221

Accurate Roofing Pros

Jana Shimely 4931 Paterson Lane Gainesville GA 30506 Roofing | 678.687.6413

Adman Engineering & Field Services

Steven Creekmur 2311 East 28th Street Chattanooga, TN 37407 Engineering | 423.681.3278

Blossman Gas & Appliance

CertaPro Painters of NEGA

Brian Brown

2050 Buford Hwy NE, Suite 202A Buford GA 30518

Paint Contractor | 770.312.4579

Chastain Agency

Tracy Edwards

235 Pearl Nix Pkwy, Suite 8 Gainesville GA 30501

Insurance | 770.297.1166

Chattahoochee Riverkeepers

Headwaters Office

Mallory Pendleton

104 Washington Street NE Gainesville GA 30501

Non-Profit | 678.696.8866

Govolt-Peach Labs

Jan Hardman 2445 Hilton Drive, Suite 126 Gainesville GA 30501 Marketing | 770.616.3396

Hunter Recruitment Advisors Kathleen O'Neill 95 Idlegate Ct Johns Creek GA 30022 Employment Agy | 404.247.1631

Keller Williams Lanier Partners Dani Burns 631 Dawsonville Highway Gainesville GA 30501 Real Estate | 706.455.3076

Business After Hours at Brenau University. Many thanks to Brenau's College of Business and Communication for hosting the event. Don't miss the upcoming Business After Hours on Tuesday, April 4 (5-7pm) at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia. Celebrate their 110 year anniversary with a behind-the scene tour and amazing animal stories, food, drink, doorprizes and more. Details: Christen Wilbanks, 770-532-6206, or

115th Annual Meeting & Gala

Thursday, May 11, 2023 6:00 p.m.

Chattahoochee Country Club

Small Business of the Year | Family Business of the Year

W.G. Mealor Chairman's Award

Community Service Award | Distinguished Citizen Award Ambassador of the Year | Silver Shovel Awards

Sara Azepeitia 4319 Mundy Mill Road Oakwood GA 30566 Propane Gas | 770.532.1898

Candler Real Estate

– Brandi Barber

135 Maple Street NW Gainesville GA 30501 Real Estate | 770.988.6383

Candler Real Estate

– Heather Strickland

135 Maple Street NW Gainesville GA 30501 Real Estate | 770.988.6383

Candler Real Estate

– Meg Anderson 135 Maple Street NW Gainesville GA 30501 Real Estate | 770.988.6383


Todd Barton 3550 Lenox Road, Suite 2300 Atlanta GA 30326

Real Estate | 770.596.3182

Cedars of Gainesville

Joshua Potters 2000 Candler Road Gainesville GA 30507

Preschool | 770.535.7220

Cheez Entertainment Desenta Page 4205 Pear Haven Lane Gainesville GA 30504 Marketing | 762.235.5267 instagram@cheezentllc

Creative Global Entertainment

Melissa LeEllen 100 Main Street, Unit 117 Gainesville GA 30501 Marketing | 404.360.2900

Exit Realty Lake Country

– Anna Davis 4836 Thunder River Drive Gainesville GA 30506 Real Estate | 678.651.9902

exp Realty

– Itzel Wiley 4945 Cottonwood Trail Gainesville GA 30504 Real Estate | 214.797.1096

Flourish Ultrasound Studio Sybil Norwood 200 Main St SW Ste 302 Gainesville GA 30501 Entertainment | 678.975.0117

Funopolis Family Fun Center Mary Greenwood 40155 Highway 441 S Commerce GA 30529

Entertainment | 706.335.3866

Mattress Town Tyler Nash 130 John W Morrow Parkway Gainesville GA 30501

Retail-Mattresses | 470.208.2965

Patriot Pumpers Kristen Howard 2445 Hilton Drive, Suite 137 Gainesville GA 30501 Septic Services | 678.940.6582

Straight Street Ministries

Joel Rose 2145 Centennial Drive Gainesville GA 30504 Non-Profit | 678.989.0255

Sweet Segovia Delicacies Genesis Segovia Bakery | 678.677.9419 facebook/sweetsegoviadelicacies

Weaver Law Firm – Michael Weaver Jr. 310 EE Butler Pkwy Gainesville GA 30501 Attorney | 770.503.1582

You're Unique Stephen Brendel 1730 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Suite A8 Gainesville GA 30501 Retail-Furniture | 770.654.9532

March • April 2023 | 21
(L-R) Cindy Wilson, Norton Insurance; Zach Propes, Hall County Government; Andy Stewart, Peach State Bank; Kyle Hinnant, McGarity's Business Products; Michele Piucci, Peach State Bank, at
Parker | 770-532-6206 |

community development

Michael James Wins Beautification Award

Michael James had a vision when he purchased a residential home on the corner of Thompson Bridge and Ledan Road in Gainesville. The home was remodeled in 2020 to reflect the updated, classic look that it currently embraces. Now the office for Michael

James Remodeling, the building possesses reclaimed wood and ship-lap walls. To complete the farmhouse style, James used simplified landscaping and pressure treated wood beams on the front porch. On this picturesque property, Michael James Remodeling is ready to serve the Gainesville community with all their remodeling needs. Michael James Remodeling, 3473 Thompson Bridge Road, Gainesville 30506.

Nutrition: Fueling Georgia's Future

AgriBusiness Recognition Awards

The Greater Hall Chamber AgriBusiness awards program increases recognition and appreciation of the agribusiness and agricultural community in Hall County. AgriBusiness Recognition Awards will be presented at a breakfast on Tuesday, April 18 at 7:30 am at Jaemor Farms The breakfast and awards program is open to the public and presented by Jackson EMC. Sponsors include Bagwell Insurance, Cargill, Fieldale Farms, Jaemor Farms, Mountain Fresh Creamery, and United Community Bank.

2022 Award Recipients included Donna Ertzbergere, Friend of Agriculture; Green Box Mushrooms, AgriBusiness of the Year; Todd Chapman, Farmer of the Year; Bill Chandler, Agriculture Hall of Fame. The awards program is a partnership of the Greater Hall Chamber, the Hall County Farm Bureau and UGA Extension Hall County.

Make an award nomination for your favorite farmer or agribusiness by April 1 For award nomination information and breakfast reservations, contact Karen Davis, 770-535-8293, or email:

Chicken Boxes headed to the Capitol

Emily House, School Nutrition Coordinator, Gainesville City School System, and Jessica Brooks, Assistant Director of Nutrition Administration, Hall County Schools, presented "Fueling Georgia's Future" at the Chamber's recent Healthcare Committee meeting. The presentation covered the initiatives and programs the school systems have implemented to provide nutrition to the students of Hall County-Gainesville schools. The Healthcare Committee meets monthly on various wellness topics. Make your reservations for the 6th Annual Healthcare Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, March 15 (11:30am) at Lanier Technical College. Awards will be presented to those making an impact in our community. Reservations required. Call Savannah Garrick, 770-532-6206, or visit

Greater Hall Chamber volunteers and staff filled "Chicken Boxes" with goods from over 24 organizations and companies throughout Gainesville-Hall County. The Leadership Hall Class delivered 300 boxes to the Georgia legislature in February to thank them for "Making GEORGIA THE BEST PLACE to Visit to Work to Play and to Stay!"

The Chicken Boxes are a program of the City of Gainesville, Hall County, City of Flowery Branch City of Oakwood, City of Lula and the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce.

March • April 2023 | 22
Michael James was winner of the Chamber's 2023 Business Beautification Award for the remodeling of a property on Thompson Bridge Road.

community development

Arbor Day Celebration

Student Art & Essay Contest Winners

Student Art & Essay Contest Winners at Arbor Day at Elachee Nature Science Center on February 17. (L-R) Jynikka Robinson, Sardis Elementary; Isabelle Ayala, Myers Elementary; Vallie Williams, Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy; Mae McPeek, Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy; Star Millan, Riverbend Elementary; Banks Evans, Sardis Elementary; Esther Gomez, McEver Arts Academy. Coordinated by the Greater Hall Chamber and sponsored by the Hall County Master Gardeners, Keep Hall Beautiful and Georgia Power, festivities included student contest recognition and a joint City of Gainesville/Hall County proclamation with Tree City USA recognition.

The Greater Hall Chamber's Annual Arbor Day Celebration on February 17 at Elachee Nature Science Center was sponsored by the Hall County Master Gardeners, Keep Hall Beautiful and Georgia Power. Festivities included the annual student art and essay contest recognition. Over 100 student entries were submitted for the “I Speak for the Trees” Art & Essay Contest. Also on the agenda is a joint city/county Tree City USA proclamation.

Arbor Day

Winning Student Essay by Jynikka Robinson, a 5th grader at Sardis Elementary.

I am Jynikka. I speak for the trees. We should not cut the trees down. Because you’re basically cutting off their legs. They provide for us. The trees are important and should have the right to live. Please don’t cut trees.

To start, trees should not be cut because they provide oxygen. They do hard work processing sunlight into oxygen. They make fresh oxygen for us to breath. We would not be living without them. We give them carbon dioxide and they give us oxygen so it’s a win-win. Cutting is killing. They should not have to suffer from your hands.

Secondly, trees should not get cut down because they provide shade for us. They have lots of leaves that block the sunlight. If you wanted to go outside and read a book in the shade then a tree would be what you’re looking for. They are one of the things that make it possible for us to sit in peace and enjoy not having sun in our eyes. Trees keep you relaxed.

Lastly, they produce fresh fruit for us to eat. If you want to eat apples, bananas, pears, oranges, coconuts, peaches and other fruits that grow on trees you would have to get it from a tree. Animals need fruits too. You need trees of you want an apple pie from McDonald's. They give us healthy, nutritious and delicious food.

Representatives from the City of Gainesville were on and for Arbor Day. (L-R) Angela Sheppard, Assistant City Manager; George Wangemann, Gainesville City Council; Myrtle Figueras, former Gainesville City Councilwoman; Denise Jordan, Gainesville City Clerk.

All in all, trees give us air, food, shade and slow global warming. They keep the earth stable. They are important to animals and humans all around the world. We should be grateful for trees and all they do. Imagine a world without trees. Approximately 42 million trees are cut down everyday and that means all rainforests will be gone by 2100. For goodness sake don’t cut trees.

March • April 2023 | 23
Winning Arbor Day Student Art by Isabella Ayala, a 3rd grader at Myers Elementary. Winning Vision 2030 Art by Vallie Williams, a 3rd grader at Enota Multiple Intelligence Academy.



The Greater Hall Chamber's 15th Annual Chamber Chase 5K & 2 Mile Wellness Walk returns this Spring to Riverside Preparatory Academy. Join us for fun and fitness as 5K runners and spirit-filled walkers enjoy this popular race. Promote company wellness, and sign up as a team!

Race Time: 6:00 Runners | 6:10 Walkers

Registration: $30 | $35 after March 19

Awards: Age Group Awards, Fastest CEO, Team Spirit, Fastest Team & More Features: Refreshments | Chip Timing | Commemorative T-Shirts

Register Online:

Register at the Chamber: 230 E.E. Butler Parkway in Gainesville

, Wednesday, March 15 Healthy Hall Awards Luncheon 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lanier Technical College Ramsey Conference Center
Chamber Chase 5K
2 Mile Wellness Walk 6:00 p.m. - 5K Run 6:10 p.m. - 2 Mile Walk 7:00 p.m. - Awards Riverside Preparatory Academy Tuesday, April 4 Business After Hours Humane Society of NEGA 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. 845 West Ridge Rd | Gainesville
Thursday, March 23
Russell McMurry GDOT Commissioner 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. UNG Gainesville Open to the Public
13 Job Fair & Career Expo 10:00 a.m.
2:00 p.m. Gainesville
Center Open to the Public
Tuesday, April
Thursday, April
Golf Tournament 10:00 a.m. Shotgun Start Legacy on Lanier Golf
Lanier Islands Space Limited
Friday, April 28
Annual Hackers Holiday
Chase 5K & 2 Mile Wellness
March 23
6-8pm Riverside Preparatory Academy Register: Registration Fee Increase After March 19 Sign Up Now! Build Company Wellness • Support Employee Fitness Electronic Race Results • Race T-Shirt • Individual & Team Awards
Expo Thursday, April 13 10:00 am - 2:00 pm Gainesville Civic Center 830 Green Street in Gainesville Apply On-Site for Jobs No Entry Fee | Open to ALL Meet 70+ Employers Easy Location | Free Shuttle Exhibit Info Chamber Member $350 Non-Member $450 | Non-Profit $300 Info: Savannah Garrick, 770.532.6206 Open to the Public! B & M Metals | Live4It Alliant | Lee Towns State Farm | Gainesville Eye Associates Food • Networking • Cash Prize Drawing Business After Hours Tuesday, April 4 Humane Society of Northeast Georgia
Program of
College and the
of Labor See who's hiring: U.S. POSTAGE PAID PERMIT #92 GAINESVILLE, GA CAR-RT SORT This publication is printed on partially recycled paper.
JOB FAIR & Career
the Greater Hall Chamber, Lanier Technical
Georgia Department