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Business Link G r e a t e r H a l l C h a m b e r . c o m

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* Chairman's Column Page 2 Job Fair Highlights Page 4 Annual Ag Awards Page 5 Meetings & Events Page 6 Member Announcements Page 10 New Members Pages 12 Small Business of the Month Page 13 Partners in Education Page 14 Ribbon Cuttings Page 15


38th Annual Hackers 2Holiday Golf Tournament 017



The Greater Hall Chamber's 38th Annual Hackers Holiday Golf Tournament presented by Chattahoochee Bank of Georgia is Friday, April 28 at Legacy on Lanier Golf Club at Lanier Islands. A shotgun start at 10 a.m. kicks off the tournament that includes fun, fellowship and great prizes for scratch golfers and hackers alike. Entry Fee includes green fee, cart, breakfast, box lunch, snacks and drinks, and a reception following the tournament with awards and great door prizes. Cost is $175 per player; $650 team of four. Register yourself as an individual or register a team. Awards will be presented in three flights, along with a Hole-In-One prize, Closest to the Pin, Longest Drive and much more. AT&T's 19th Hole Reception with delicious complimentary food and drink follows the tournament at the clubhouse. Great Sponsorship Opportunities Available including Beverage Cart Sponsorships A($750); ($400); and Golf Hole Sponsorships ($250). Win a $1000 Cash Drawing! DVENPar TU5RGolf E • Hole DISCSponsorships O$20. VERDoY NOT Tickets: $10 each; 3 for have • LEIS URtoE be present to win. To register as a team, individual or inquire about sponsorships and tickets, contact Mandy Lathem, 770-532-6206 x 115. Email:

109th Annual Meeting and Gala is May 18 The Greater Hall Chamber's 109th Annual Meeting & Gala is Thursday, May 18 at the Chattahoochee Country Club in Gainesville. The evening begins at 6:00 p.m. with an outdoor reception. The dinner program begins at 7:00 p.m. and includes an overview of the year's success and annual award presentations including the 2016-2017 Small Business of the Year, Family Business of the Year, Silver Shovel Awards, the prestigious W.G. Mealor Chairman's Award, Distinguished Citizen Award and the Community Service Award. Sponsorships are now available. Table Sponsorships $1300 (seats 10) and includes promotion and recognition during the awards program. Individual tickets are $90; $160 Couple. Details: Mandy Lathem, 770-532-6206 x 115 or email: Online:

A publication

Business Awards Nominations The Chamber is seeking nominations for both the 2016-2017 Small Business of the Year and the Family Business of the Year. The small business award is presented to an outstanding business and Chamber member with 50 or less employees. The family business award is presented to a family-owned business that has operated for 25 or more years. A member may nominate their business or another member. Nominations must be received by Friday, April 21. 2015-2016 Award Recipients included Small Business of the Year: AB Aviation, Aaron Burkhart & Lillian Todd, Owners, and North Georgia Canopy Tours, Leah & Kirk Watkins, Owners. Family Business of the Year: Clipper Petroleum, Tom Bower III, President, and Chestnut Mountain Egg Farms, Tom Oliver, President & CEO. Award winners will be recognized at the Chamber's Annual Meeting & Gala on Thursday, May 18 at the Chattahoochee Country Club. For more information on award nominations, contact Amanda Lewis, 770532-6206 x 111. Email:

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Save the Date Tuesday, April 11 Small Business Seminar Thursday, April 13 Business After Hours Friday, April 28 Hackers Holiday Golf

APRIL 2017


Your news. Your Times.

A Publication of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce

April 4, 2017 • Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce

From the Chairman

Bridging our Past to the Future


“Blending Cultural Heritage and Business Growth” is my theme this year as Chairman of the Greater Hall Chamber. A fine line exists between promoting economic growth and development while preserving our landmarks and heritage that gives our community its diverse and unique identity. As a sixth generation Hall County native, I am dedicated to maintaining our quality of life and making an impact for future generations by focusing on agritourism, historic farming, and preserving and restoring historical structures that meant so much to those who came before us. As we celebrate the success of our current leaders in farming and agriculture (see 2017 Ag Award Recipients on page 5), I press forward in preserving those things that help us remember the past its importance to our future generations. Lee Hemmer The Simpson Company Healan’s-Head's Mill is a nearly 170-year-old gristmill located along the GA Chairman, Greater Hall 365 corridor that has been in grave disrepair. Built in the early 1850s, the mill Chamber of Commerce

served in many capacities throughout its 100 years in operation. A group of historical minded people have worked for over 20 years to save this property and are now making significant progress with their partnership with Hall County. Their goal is to implement a four phased plan to restore this mill, make it operational, and create a Visitor and Heritage Center that will consist of exhibits which illustrate what life was like for those who lived during the time when the water-powered mill was in its peak of operation. Projects like this are forging ways to bridge the past to the future. For inquiries regarding the Healan's-Head's Mill Project, please call Assistant Hall County Administrator Marty Nix or PR Officer Katie Crumley at 770-535-8295.

Already in place is the Greater Hall Chamber’s VISION 2030 initiative to preserve Green Space in hopes that Gainesville-Hall County will have the greatest amount of protected Green Space of any urban county in Georgia. The group is committed to a process of identifying land for permanent protection based upon its recreational, ecological, environmental, aesthetic, cultural, historic or agricultural value. Elachee Nature Science Center, Atlanta Botanical Gardens Gainesville, and Don Carter State Park are key anchors of the green space effort, and we anticipate that Healan’s-Head’s Mill Historic Site will soon join that list. Also highlighting this initiative is the Highlands to Islands Trail from Downtown Gainesville to South Hall County for walking and biking which opened last year. Highlands To Islands is a multiuse trail system connecting the many great cities together within Hall County with a paved path winding past businesses, scenic areas, college campuses and retail shops. The trail will eventually unite any existing green ways together under one-name/one trail for the maximum benefit to the community and its citizens. As we enjoy an environment of healthy economic growth in Gainesville-Hall County, let's be reminded that our ancestors and visionary leaders of the past helped build this wonderful community. As we surge ahead in constructing new roads, bridges, industries and businesses, we must keep an eye on the past and embrace our heritage and culture. We must teach our youth the significance of our forefathers work, the history of our land and the Rendering of the Healan's-Head's Mill Preservation Project that will include a importance of protecting it Heritage Center with exhibits to illustrate what life was like for those who lived for generations to come. during the time when the water-powered mill was in its peak of operation.

Business Link VOLUME 22 ISSUE 10 McKemie West, Editor • Email: Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce

2016-2017 Executive Committee Chairman Lee Hemmer The Simpson Company

Vice Chair, Marketing Tate O'Rouke University of North Georgia

Chairman Elect Perry Barnett, CPA Rushton

Vice Chair, Membership Development Katie Dubnik Forum Communications

Treasurer Jimbo Floyd, Turner Wood & Smith Insurance Vice Chair, Economic Development Brian Rochester Rochester & Associates Vice Chair, Education Deborah Mack, Volunteer Vice Chair, Government John Breakfield Breakfield & Associates

Co-Chairs, HALLmark Paul Chambers AT&T Randall Frost Stewart, Melvin & Frost David Lee Jackson EMC

Senior Advisor Vice Chair, South Hall Council Dixie Truelove Andy Kalinauskas Truelove Dairy Conditioned Air Systems Immediate Past Chairman Vice Chair, Community Brian Daniel Development Carroll Daniel Construction Co. Lila Weaver Westmoreland President & CEO Brenau University Kit Dunlap Chair, VISION 2030 Greater Hall Chamber of Melissa Tymchuk, Northeast Commerce Georgia Health System Elizabeth Higgins, Exec Director

Board of Directors 2016-2017 Phil Bonelli, Wells Fargo Jay Cooper, Chattahoochee Bank of Georgia Dr. Wanda Creel, Gainesville City Schools Stacey Dickson, Lake Lanier CVB Danny Dunagan, Mayor, City of Gainesville Sam Evans, Councilman, City of Oakwood Josh Everett, New Leaf Landscape Services Andi Farmer, Milton Martin Honda Brett Fowler, Turner Wood & Smith Insurance Tony Funari, Funari Realty Col. Bill Gallagher, Riverside Military Academy Joy Griffin, United Way of Hall County Kenitra Halyard, Georgia Power Emily Hayes, Milton Martin Toyota Richard Higgins, Chair, Hall Co. Commission Morgan House, Lake Lanier Olympic Park Anna Jacobs, Jacobs Media Lane Jones, Community Volunteer Jay Kelly, Signs By Tomorrow Dr. John Kennedy, Lakeview Academy Caroline Lewallen, Jaemor Farms David Lloyd, Liberty Utilities Mike McGraw, PrideStaff / Ranger Lock

Terry Merck, American Yazaki Mike Miller, Mayor, City of Flowery Branch Steve Naughton, Enterprising Solutions James Nix, Mayor, City of Clermont Dr. Richard Oates, University of North Georgia Bill Orr, Mayor, Town of Braselton Dr. Ray Perren, Lanier Technical College Larry Poole, Mayor, City of Gillsville Barbara Rambo, ProCare Rx Jeff Reinhardt, MD, The Longstreet Clinic Josh Schlieman, Sullivan & Schlieman Will Schofield, Hall County School System Dr. Ed Schrader, Brenau University Carol Shirley, South State Bank Louis Smith, Northeast Georgia Health System Jody Spain, Cotton Eyed Joe’s Kevin Strada, The Atlanta Falcons Grier Todd, Lanier Islands Milton Turner, Mayor, City of Lula Philip Wilheit, Wilheit Packaging Philip Wilheit, Jr., Wilheit Packaging Arrik Williams, Tatsumi Intermodal USA

Associate Directors 2016-2017 Irineu Bragante, Mugele Tara Carney, AEON Global Health Kate Cook, Cook Law Group Brad Gooch, Lawson Air & Plumbing Jim Grier, Champion Capital Alliance Andrew Joyner, The Simpson Company Shane Lazenby, Lazenby Law Group

Sarita Madera, Homestar Financial Corp Kingsley Peeples, NEGA Health System Steven Pettit, Peach State Bank & Trust Stacey Poole, McDonald's, NEGA Alan Schuetze, Carroll Daniel Construction Ahna Still, Halski Systems Darryl Workman, BrandBank

Staff Executive Kit Dunlap, President & CEO Gerri Collins, Executive Assistant Economic Development Tim Evans, Vice President Shelley Davis, Vice President Existing Industry Amanda Lewis, Project Manager Peyton Wilhoite, Project Manager Finance & Operations David Umberson, Vice President, Finance and Human Resources Membership Development Mandy Lathem, Vice President, Events Christen Wilbanks, Vice President, Sales

Education & Leadership Andi Harmon, Vice President Government Affairs Peyton Wilhoite, Project Manager South Hall Council Mandy Lathem, Vice President, Events Community Development Robin Halstead, Vice President VISION 2030 Elizabeth Higgins, Executive Director Marketing & Communications Kemie West, Business Link Editor/Consultant Greater Hall Chamber Welcome Center Robin Halstead, Manager

E c o no m ic D e ve lo pme n t


Healthcare Committee

Transportation Forum

The Chamber's Healthcare Committee recently hosted a forum on behavioral health with specialists in the field. (L-R): Adam J. Raulerson, Laurelwood; Vanessa Schaeffer, Psy.D.; Cindy Levi, Avita Community Partners; Kit Dunlap, Greater Hall Chamber; Kenneth Goolsby, MD; Dr. David Miller, Brenau University.

Nearly 200 people attended the Chamber's Annual Transportation Forum at the University of North Georgia Gainesville Campus (L-R): Srikanth Yamala, Director, Gainesville-Hall County MPO; Brian Rochester, Rochester & Associates (co-sponsor); David Voyles, Pinnacle Bank (co-sponsor); Kit Dunlap, Greater Hall Chamber, Terry Evans, Pinnacle Bank; Brent Cook, District 1 Engineer, Georgia Department of Transportation.

Georgia's Top Rated Hospital

Over 1,000 Attend Job Fair

Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC)continues to receive top state and national rankings for quality care and recently rated Georgia’s #1 Heart Hospital for 12 consecutive years, according to a study by an independent healthcare quality rating service. The 2017 Hospital Quality Ratings study by CareChex includes virtually all U.S. hospitals (general, acute, non-federal) and measures them across several categories including quality of medical care, outcomes of care and patient satisfaction. The study rates NGMC as:

April 4, 2017 • Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce

• Georgia’s #1 Heart Hospital (2006 – 2017) • Georgia’s #1 Pulmonary Care Hospital • Georgia’s #1 Hospital for Women’s Health • Top 9% in the Nation for Cancer Care • Top 10% in the Nation for Pneumonia Care, Stroke Care and Surgical Care


Northeast Georgia Health System cares for more than 800,000 people across the region through three hospitals and a variety of outpatient locations. Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) has three hospital campuses – NGMC Gainesville, NGMC Braselton and NGMC Barrow – with a total of 713 beds and medical staff members representing more than 50 specialties.

SCORE Chapter's year of success Last April, volunteers Robert Horne, Kurt Schuler, Charles White, Bill Sanders and Chamber Project Manager Amanda Lewis met with Art Slotkin, Georgia District Director for SCORE. Formed in 1964, SCORE is a non-profit volunteer organization and a resource partner of the SBA. SCORE is America’s premier source of free and confidential small business mentoring and advice service. Art Slotkin saw the commitment for a new chapter when Bill Sanders, Gainesville District Manager for Jackson EMC, offered an office, phone and use of a meeting room. The Northeast Georgia SCORE Chapter was formed! In this first year, the Chapter has recruited 25 volunteers to support the needs of our small business community, have served over 100 clients and led over 200 mentoring sessions. Meet SCORE volunteers at the Chamber's Lunch 'n Learn on April 19 at Sterling on the Lake. For more information, call 770-538-2522, or visit

The Chamber's Job Fair in March drew over 1,000 job seekers. Over 65 employers were on hand and hiring for hundreds of positions. The event was presented by Express Employment Professionals. (L-R): Heather Tyner, Express Employment Professionals; Kit Dunlap, Greater Hall Chamber; Mark Butler, Commissioner, Georgia Department of Labor; Tim and Hollie Christy, Express Employment Professionals. David Phillips and Athenee Pollard of King's Hawaiian (Gold Sponsor) were hiring on-site at the Job Fair. The event was coordinated by Lanier Technical College, the Gainesville Area Employers Committee and Georgia Department of Labor. Other Job Fair sponsors included Etcon Employment Solutions (Platinum Sponsor) and Spherion Staffing Services (Silver). Goods & Services: Highland Mountain Water, McDonald’s, McGarity’s, Milton Martin Honda, Panera Bread, Signs by Tomorrow. Media Sponsors: AccessWDUN and The Times.

Agribusiness Awards

Certified Small Business Partners • Certificate of Completion • Certified Small Business Door Decal • Recognition at a Chamber Board of Director's Meeting • Announcement in the Chamber's Business Link Newsletter

Upcoming Small Business Seminars

Recipients of the 2017 Agribusiness Awards (L-R): Friend of Agribusiness Tim Evans, Greater Hall Chamber; Farmer of the Year Jarl Echols, Jaemor Farms; Outstanding Agribusiness Steve Murray, New Leaf Landscaping Services; Bob Whitmire, Ag Hall of Fame. The awards were presented at a breakfast held in conjunction with National Ag Day. The Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce and Hall County Cooperative Extension annual agribusiness awards program increases recognition and appreciation of the agricultural community in Hall County. Friend of Agribusiness Tim Evans, Vice President, Economic Development, Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce As a part of his work with the Greater Hall Chamber, Tim is one of Hall County's greatest cheerleaders and fighters for jobs in our area. He encourages international delegations and visitors to experience agritourism and makes sure to spotlight Hall County's family farms when bringing international groups to visit the community. Agriculture and farm families are always on his mind!

Tuesday, April 11 7:45am - 9am at the Chamber "Avoiding Legal Land Mines" presented by Attorneys at Stewart, Melvin & Frost Tuesday, May 9 7:45am - 9am at the Chamber "Successful Selling" presented by the University of Georgia SBDC Tuesday, June 13 7:45am - 9am "Effectively Tracking a Multimedia Marketing Campaign" presented by Forum Communications Programs and presenters subject to change.

Chamber Small Business Seminars are free for Chamber Members. For text message reminders for small business events, text "BIZ" to 25324. Details: Amanda Lewis, Project Manager, 770-532-6206 x 111. Email: Online:

Outstanding Agribusiness New Leaf Landscape Services/Steve Murray, Founder & CEO Founded by Steve Murray, New Leaf is celebrating 25 years of outstanding residential and commercial landscape, design, installation and maintenance services. Steve has been in the industry for over 34 years and has a BS in Horticulture. Playing an active roll in the community, New Leaf most recently helped sponsor Arbor Day with a tree planting at Gainesville High School.

Ag Hall of Fame Bob Whitmire Long time North Hall Cattleman, Bob Whitmire owned Whitmire & Son’s Angus Farm, a progressive Purebred Angus operation. Highly regarded in the industry for his knowledge and dedication, Bob was nominated for the Georgia Purebred Producer of the Year. Community leadership included the Hall County Farm Bureau, Hall County Cattlemen Association and the Extension’s On-Farm Test Program. The Agribusiness Awards Breakfast was presented by Jackson EMC. For more information on this and other Greater Hall Chamber Community Development programs, contact Robin Halstead, VP Community Development, 770-532-6206 or email:


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April 4, 2017 • An Advertising Supplement to The Times

Farmer of the Year Jarl Echols, Jaemor Farms A 4th generation farmer, Jarl Echols has been farming his entire life. Jarl is a partner in his family's operation along with his brother, Judah Echols, and son, Drew. He is in charge of all pest management, equipment management, and irrigation at Jaemor Farms. His knowledge and history of agriculture in our area is quite extensive. Jarl is a visionary for where he'd like to grow his own family's 105 year old operation, and family has been and will always be a key part of that vision.

Economic Development

Consider becoming a Greater Hall Chamber CERTIFIED Small Business Partner! It's easy – just attend a minimum of six Small Business Success Seminars during the 2017 calendar year. CERTIFIED Small Business Partners Receive several benefits including:


Meetings & Events

APRIL 2017 Tuesday, April 4 South Hall Business Coalition Elachee Nature Science Center 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, April 5 Healthcare Committee 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. – Chamber Tuesday, April 11 Small Business Seminar "Avoiding Legal Land Mines" Presented by Stewart, Melvin & Frost 7:45 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. – Chamber Tuesday, April 11 Youth Leadership Hall 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. – Montara Farm Tuesday, April 11 Ambassadors Council 3:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. 2 Dog Restaurant in Gainesville Wednesday, April 12 Network Over Coffee 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Sweet Magnolia's on Gainesville Square Wednesday, April 12 Human Resources Council 11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. – Luna's Restaurant Thursday, April 13 Leadership Hall County 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

April 4, 2017 • Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce

Thursday, April 13 Business After Hours Sponsored by Homestar Financial 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Gym of '36 in Downtown Gainesville


Friday, April 14 Economic Development Council 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. – Chamber

Celebrating Gainesville Flooring

Tuesday, April 18 Vision 2030 Board of Directors 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. – Chamber Wednesday, April 19 Issues Committee 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. – Chamber Wednesday, April 19 Lunch 'n Learn 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Sterling on the Lake Thursday, April 20 Chamber Executive Committee 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. – Chamber Wednesday, April 26 Network Over Coffee 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Steak 'n Shake in Oakwood Thursday, April 27 Chamber Board of Directors Meeting 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Gainesville Civic Center Friday, April 28 Hackers Holiday Golf Tournament 10:00 a.m. Shotgun Start Legacy Golf Club at Lanier Islands

MAY 2017 Tuesday, May 16 Business After Hours at Atlanta Botanical Gardens Gainesville 5:00 p.m.. - 7:00 p.m. 1911 Sweetbay Drive in Gainesville Thursday, May 18 Chamber Annual Meeting & Gala 6:00 p.m. Chattahoochee Country Club

Thank you Gainesville Flooring for sponsoring Business After Hours in March and congratulations on 25 years of business success. Company Owner Jason Everett along with his children, Harper and Hudson, and Tim Evans, Chamber VP Economic Development, drew for outstanding door prizes. New Greater Hall Chamber members, Phil and Debbie Loveless, won the Cash Prize drawing!

Business After Hours on April 13 Don't miss great networking at Homestar Financial Corporation at the Gym of 36 in Downtown Gainesville as they host Business After Hours on Thursday, April 13 from 5-7pm. Homestar is a full-service mortgage banker controlling every aspect of the loan process with in-house processing, underwriting, closing and funding of each mortgage transaction. Headquartered in Gainesville, Homestar has held the title as Georgia’s #1 USDA Lender for seven years, and was awarded the “Outstanding Georgia Business” title by state dignitaries in 2016. Homestar is proud to announce the celebration of their 15th anniversary in April, and would love your attendance at this special event!

Small Business Seminar

Events Online:

Thank You Event Sponsors! AccessWDUN AT&T Ansley Communications Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County Caldwell Electrical Contractors Chattahoochee Bank of Georgia Conditioned Air Systems Elachee Nature Science Center Halski Systems Homestar Financial Corporation

Jackson EMC Lakeview Academy Lanier Technical College Liberty Utilities Milton Martin Honda Red Clay Interactive Signs by Tomorrow Store More Self Storage WSI Digital Rainmakers

(L-R): Jim and Marilyn Grier, Champion Capital Alliance; Michell McKeon, Combined Insurance; Program Presenter Dede Gossage, GetToItToday; Steve Naughton, Enterprising Solutions, at the program presented by DeDe Gossage. The next Small Business Seminar is Tuesday, April 11 at 7:45am at the Chamber.


Visitors will spend over $1 billion* dollars in North Georgia this year... Discover North Georgia travel and leisure guide is the premier advertising vehicle to attract Tourists to your business this year!

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Distribution will also include area Chambers of Commerce, Convention and Visitor's Bureau’s, destination visitor attraction sites, Resorts, Hotels, Parks / Recreation facilities, plus a wide variety of highly visible and high traffic retail outlets.

With a circulation of 30,000, the Discover North Georgia travel and leisure guide has been endorsed by State of Georgia Welcome Centers and will be distributed at all Georgia State Visitors Centers located throughout Georgia’s





A publication


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Your news. Your Times.



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April 4, 2017 • Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce

Member Announcements



• Hall County Fire Services is offering free monthly CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) classes to citizens interested in learning this life-saving skill. Classes are at 6 pm on the third Monday of every month at the Hall County Emergency Services Complex, 470 Crescent Drive in Gainesville. Space limited. To sign up, call 770-531-6838. • The Greater Hall Chamber has released the 2017 Industrial Directory with information on 295 manufacturers, processors and distributors located in Gainesville-Hall County. The directory can be purchased for $33 in PDF or bound book format. To order, contact Shelley Davis, VP Existing Industry, 770-532-6206. Email: • Zach Propes, Hall County Financial Services Director, announced that the Government Finance Officers Association of the U.S. & Canada awarded Hall County Government with the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award. Hall County 911 Center launched a new radio system, doubling operator capacity to communicate with first responders in the field, resulting in increased safety for Hall County citizens. The new radio system is one of several upgrades approved by Hall County voters with the passage of SPLOST VII in March 2015. • Challenged Child & Friends is partnering with Left Nut Brewing for the Annual Rock in the Spring on April 29. Enjoy live music from Mid Life Crisis and support Challenge Child! Gates open at 6pm, $40 lawn seats; table sponsorships available. Bring your picnic! Challenged Child currently enrolls 162 students in their integrated approach to childhood education. They serve 10 counties with a staff of 57. Details: Lindsay Addison, 770-535-8372 x 115 or email: • Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County's Rubber Duck Derby is May 5 at 5:30pm at Clarks Bridge Park in Gainesville. Duck Fest follows across the street at Lake Lanier Olympic Park until 10 pm with live music, food trucks and craft beer and wine distributed by Tap It! Details: Chelsea Clark, 770-532-8102 or • Chattahoochee Bank of Georgia announces Cooper Embry as Senior Vice President in Commercial Banking. Cooper has over 25 years of experience in the local banking market. He is involved in the community – as president of the Gainesville Athletic Club, vice chair of the Gainesville Parks & Recre-

ation Board, and is on the board of the Gainesville & Hall County Development Authority. • Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton earned certification as a LEED facility and is the first hospital in the state, and among the first 10 in the U.S. to receive Gold Certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Healthcare Rating System. LEED certification measures water and energy use, sustainability, indoor environment quality, material and resource use and more. • Road Atlanta hosts the Classic Motorsports Mitty (April 21-23) and MotoAmerica's Suzuki Championship (April 28-30). Experience vintage race cars restored to their original specs taking on tight turns at The Mitty and witness the high-speed superbike action at the 2nd round of the MotoAmerica Championship. • The In-Water Boat Show at Lanier Islands is April 21-23, bringing new, top-of-the-line boats to the docks at the Southern lakeside resort, along with food vendors, live music and a chance for attendees to feel the sand between their toes for one of the first times this season. • Edward Jones Financial Advisor Beth Baldwin recently attended a conference to recognize successful female agency advisors. The meeting provided networking, internationally recognized speakers, participation in elective sessions that explore performance excellence and interact with firm leadership. 770-534-1220. • After only 10 months of operations, iTNLanier, a senior adult transportation service founded through Vision 2030's Wisdom Keepers, completed their 1,000th Ride with Carol Burrell, CEO of Northeast Georgia Health System, providing the landmark drive. Consider volunteering for this important service. 678-696-0360. • The Academy Child Development Center's 11th Annual Pedalin' for Our Pals is April 20, 9:30am-1:00pm to benefit Challenged Child & Friends. The children at The Academy work hard to raise money, asking family and friends for donations as they ride their decorated trikes. Open to the public and lunch to supporters from 11-12! Details:

GOT NEWS? Email:

New Leaf Celebrates 25 Years Agribusiness of the Year, New Leaf Landscape Services and employees Josh Everett and Jai Means, recently planted a tree at Gainesville High School as part of Arbor Day. Since 1989, New Leaf has been faithfully serving customers across the entire North Georgia area. Founded by Steve Murray, the company offers complete maintenance, design, installation and pool services.

International Reps Visit Community (Right) Dr. Louise DufourZavala, Executive Director, Georgia Poultry Laboratory Network (GPLN) in Gainesville, addresses Georgia economic developers. Dr. Zavala is using the Poultry Lab's new diorama of Georgia's vast poultry industry to connect the mission of GPLN to quality food production and the more than 100,000 Georgia jobs that depend on poultry. The group, representing 11 countries, visited Gainesville-Hall County in March. In addition to the Poultry Lab, Georgia’s Economic Development Department's International Representatives met with Lanier Technical College, University of North Georgia and Kubota’s new facility in Gateway Industrial Centre. The group enjoyed lunch at Jaemor Farms and concluded their visit in Downtown Gainesville with a reception at Brenau's Downtown Center sponsored by Rushton.

Chamber Staff Spotlight Jefferson-native Tim Evans has worked in the Economic Development field since 1994 and as Chamber Vice President responsible for Economic Development since 2005. Tim serves as Executive Director of the Gainesville-Hall Economic Development Council and as the staff for the Gainesville & Hall County Development Authority. He is responsible for managing business recruitment, expansions and retention efforts by marketing and representing Gainesville-Hall County to key business decision makers in the U.S. and internationally. Evans worked for the Georgia Department of Economic Development for 11 years, is a Certified Economic Developer (International Economic Development Council), and past president Tim Evans of the Georgia Economic Developers Association. A Vice President, Economic graduate of Oglethorpe University, he has a Masters of Development, Greater Hall Business Administration (MBA) from the Terry College Chamber of Commerce of Business at the University of Georgia.

Chamber Membership Campaign Nets 90 New Members

For the second consecutive year, Terry Merk, plant manager of American Yazaki, won the top membership recruiter award. Terry signed up nine new members this year and led the winning team that brought in a total of 24 new members. A life-time resident of Hall County, Terry has a photography business and is a member of the Chamber's Board of Directors, Industry Roundtable and Human Resources Council. Members of Terry's team – named the Captains of Commerce – included Sarita Madera, Homestar Financial; Robin Halstead, Greater Hall Chamber; Bernadette Mastracchio, The Times and Philip Wilheit, Jr, Wilheit Packaging. As top recruiter, Terry won $1,000, and each member of the team won two season passes to Lanier Islands, a one night stay at the Legacy Lodge at Lanier Islands, and two Gwinnett Braves Tickets. Chamber/SCORE Volunteer Steve Naughton's team came in a close second with 21 new members. Other Chamber Volunteers that recruited new members include Lila Weaver Westmoreland, Brenau University; Brett Fowler, Turner, Wood & Smith; Richie Aitken, American Family Insurance; Tracy Hoeltke, Netchex; Tate O'Rouke, University of North Georgia; Janet Kettyle, Kettyle Cars; Darryl Workman, BrandBank. Many thanks to these Chamber supporters for making the 2017 campaign a success! Turn to page 12 for a listing of new members!

Choose Liberty. Choose Natural Gas. 2 columns 4.4167 x10"

175 John W. Morrow Jr. Parkway Gainesville,GA 30501 678-707-5205

April 4, 2017 • An Advertising Supplement to The Times

1/2 Page Ad

Membership Development

Greater Hall Chamber Membership Campaign Leaders (L-R, front): Sarita Madera, Homestar Financial; Misty Waldrop, HallCo Credit Union; Chamber Membership Vice Chair Katie Dubnik, Forum Communications, (L-R, 2nd row): Kathy Fauscett, Keller Williams; Christen Wilbanks, Chamber Vice President Membership Sales; Bernadette Mastracchio, The Times; Ana Eguiluz, United Way of Hall County. (L-R, back): Logan Jones, Jacobs Media; Nick Pruner, Edward Jones; Anna Jacobs, AccessWDUN; Mike Lancaster, Edward Jones; Terry Merck, American Yazaki Corporation; David Lloyd, Liberty Utilities; Steve Naughton, Chamber/SCORE Volunteer.


April 4, 2017 • Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce

Membership Development

Welcome New Chamber Members!


Absolute Climate Control Wendy Clackum 6471 Cleveland Highway Clermont GA 30527 –Heating/Air 706-865-2665

Elliott Equipment Matthew Elliott 4911 Cleveland Highway Gainesville GA 30506 –Agriculture 770-983-3533 Eric T. Owens Attorney at Law 7130 Thompson Bridge Rd Gainesville GA 30501 –Attorney 678-697-9754

Abstruse Pastry Company Holly Abbey 5516 Main Street Flowery Branch GA 30542 –Bakery 770-540-7722

Extreme Car Wash, LLC Judd Hughes 1238 Jesse Jewell Pkwy Gainesville GA 30501 –Car Wash 770-5330-0252

Alzheimer's Association Georgia Chapter Janeen Millsaps 41 Perimeter Center East Suite 550 Atlanta GA 30346 –Non-Profit 404-728-1181

First Baptist Church of Oakwood Myles Brown 3780 Old Oakwood Road Oakwood GA 30566 –Non-Profit 770-534-4193

Atlanta Central Vacuum Oreck Robert Calderman 821 Dawsonville Highway Gainesville GA 30501 –Retail 404-512-2262 Berkshire Hathaway Leah Provenson 200 West Academy Street Gainesville GA 30501 –Real Estate 404-310-7144 Caroline's Lucky Dog Salon Caroline Hill 1175 Thompson Bridge Rd Gainesville GA 30501 –Pet Grooming 470-290-8237

Over 90 organizations recently joined the Greater Hall Chamber! Learn why and how to grow your business, call Christen Wilbanks, 770532-6206. Join online:

Forrester Enterprises / Gainesville Jewelry Emily Forrester 1020 Jesse Jewell Pkwy Gainesville GA 30501 –Retail 770-532-2592 Georgia Gun Store Kellie Weeks 130 John W Morrow Jr Pkwy Gainesville GA 30501 –Retail 678-906-5821

HPI Direct Kirby Sims 2100 Atlanta Highway SW Building 1, Suite C Gainesville GA 30504 –Uniforms 678-942-1800 Jill Mansfield Interiors Jill Mansfield 2404 White Sulphur Road Gainesville GA 30501 –Interior Design 770-519-3869 Keller Williams Cindy Enzor 631 Dawsonville Highway Gainesville GA 30501 –Real Estate 678-617-5585

Merrill Lynch / Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc Heath Gayton 340 Jesse Jewell Pkwy Suite 410 Gainesville GA 30501 –Financial Institution 770-287-1800 Midgard Self Storage Tom Mikel 1405 McEver Road Gainesville GA 30504 –Storage 770-539-9988 N2 Publishing Mary Hines 3141 Lakecrest Drive Dacula GA 30019 –Advertising 770-595-0146

Keller Williams / Welcome Home Georgia Lila Westmoreland 5806 Silverthorn Drive Flowery Branch GA 30542 –Real Estate 770-540-6338

The Norton Agency Beverly Filson 434 Green Street Gainesville GA 30501 -Real Estate 678-897-9578

King Mailing Jan Borregard 5588 New Peachtree Road Atlanta GA 30341 –Advertising 770-614-7280

The Norton Agency Jaimie Harrison 434 Green Street Gainesville GA 30501 –Real Estate 678-316-2517

Lindsey Anderson Family Dentistry Lindsey Anderson 7316 Spout Springs Road Flowery Branch GA 30542 –Dentist 770-853-1890

Phil Loveless 2204 Colonial Circle NE Gainesville GA 30501 –Individual Member 770-561-7054

Benefits of Chamber Membership • Listing in the Chamber's Membership Directory • Listing in the Chamber's Online Business Directory • Subscription to Business Link newsletter • Access to Networking Opportunities and Events • Access to Forums, Seminars and Peer Groups • Volunteer Opportunities and Community Involvement • Advertising, Publicity, Sponsorship Opportunities • Business Referrals / Leads & Networking Groups • Gain in Exposure / Ribbon Cuttings • Make Business Connections

Richard Padgham Fine Custom Homes Richard Padgham

341 Oak Street Gainesville GA 30501 –Construction 770-503-1999


River Bend Clothing Dustin Railey 6018 Old Houser Mill Road Gainesville GA 30506 –Retail 478-662-2204 SBI Signs Evan Bartlett PO Box 573 Winder GA 30680 –Signs 678-963-0927

Smoke House BBQ & Catering Rae Vaughan 3205 Atlanta Highway Gainesville GA 30507 –Restaurant 770-536-7971 Sonic/PVG Restaurant Grp Roger Petefish 400 Pearl Nix Parkway Gainesville GA 30501 –Restaurant 770-534-2452 Stewart, Melvin & Frost Whitney Brown 200 Main Street Gainesville GA 30503 –Attorney 770-536-0101

Scribe Consulting, LLC Jessica Robinson 650 Ridgewood Avenue Gainesville GA 30501 –Business Services 470-252-5092

Tidal, LLC Richard Burton 6291 Green Oak Ridge Flowery Branch GA 30542 –Business Services 443-574-7697

Set Free at Sea Amberlee Hoagland 4852 Poplar Springs Gainesville GA 30507 –Funeral Services 318-308-0818 Shane's Rib Shack Alison Turner 5877 Spout Springs Road Flowery Branch GA 30542 –Restaurant 770-965-0123 The Simpson Company Russell Dye 425 Spring Street, Suite 200 Gainesville GA 30501 –Commercial Real Estate

Treadstone Construction Kevin Flack 1038 Green Street Gainesville GA 30501 –Construction 678-577-2498 Wash Rocket Barry Eng 550 Dawsonville Highway Gainesville GA 30501 –Car Wash 770-535-2588

ADDING YEARS TO LIFE & LIFE TO YEARS 984 Thompson Bridge Rd • Gainesville, GA

Biz Card Ad

770-532-1217 • Serving Northeast Georgia Since 1967

2 columns 4.4167 x2.0"

Dr. Denise Funk • Dr. Chris Potter

(L-R): Marvin (Bud) Whelchel, Lyssette Rojas, Juan Luna, Sara O’Kelley and Deann Dixon. Luna’s is celebrating their 20th anniversary this year with longtime employee, Bud Whelchel celebrating his 30th year (was with Café Julius before Luna’s). Juan Luna opened Luna’s Restaurant in February 1997 on the ground level of the Hunt Tower on the Square in Downtown Gainesville with the mission to offer the local community a restaurant serving the best American cuisine with a Continental flair. Each year, Luna’s has consistently increased its patronage and has become a leader in catering – serving some Gainesville’s most memorable events from art openings and Governor fund-raisers to the Chamber's 100th Anniversary Gala. In February of 2000, Luna’s opened Gainesville’s very first Piano Lounge. On Friday and Saturday nights, Luna’s features live musical acts varying from classic pianists, lively rock and roll, blues, country and monthly Jazz Jams. The Lounge offers luxuries unmatched in the area and makes for relaxed evenings in an intimate and warm setting. Luna’s, Hunt Tower, 200 Main Street, Suite 102, Gainesville, GA 30501. 770-531-0848.

Life insurance is an essential part of caring for your family. Your Edward Jones financial advisor can help you find a life insurance policy that best suits your family’s needs. Call today.

Small Business

Small Business of the Month Luna's Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Edward Jones operates as an insurance producer in California, New Mexico and Massachusetts through the following subsidiaries, respectively: Edward Jones Insurance Agency of California, L.L.C., Edward Jones Insurance Agency of New Mexico, L.L.C., and Edward Jones Insurance Agency of Massachusetts, L.L.C.

1/2 Page Ad 2 columns 4.4167 x10"

Reneigh Satterfield, AAMS®

Reneigh Satterfield, AAMS® Financial Advisor

Friday, April 28



Hackers Holiday

Financial Advisor 3630 Thompson Bridge Rd Ste 22 Gainesville, 3630 Thompson Bridge Rd Ste 22GA 30506 770-536-2031 Gainesville, GA 30506 770-536-2031

at Lanier Islands

Beth Baldwin

Financial Advisor

439 Green Street Northwest Gainesville, GA 30501 770-534-1220

Presented by

• Register as an individual or register a team • Awards will be presented in three flights • Hole-In-One Prize • Closest to the Pin & Longest Drive Awards • Putting Contest • 19th Hole Reception follows the tournament • Win a $1000 Cash Drawing • Tickets: $10 each; 3 for $20 • Do NOT have to be present to win Swing into Spring at Beautiful Details: Mandy Lathem, 770-532-6206 x 115. Email: Legacy on Lanier!

Rick Kimpling, AAMS®

Financial Advisor

64 North Brooks Street Unit B Cleveland, GA 30528 706-865-0933 Member SIPC

April 4, 2017 • An Advertising Supplement to The Times

10 am Shotgun Start Legacy on Lanier Golf Club


April 4, 2017 • Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce

Education & Leadership

Leadership Hall County


Partners in Education Spotlight

Leadership Hall County's Make a Difference Day included visits to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County and Challenged Child & Friends. Gateway Domestic Violence Center gave a presentation on domestic violence and safety followed by a presentation on community safety and sex trafficking led by the GBI and MANS Unit. United Way of Hall County led the group in an eye-opening, hands-on poverty simulation exercise. Habitat for Humanity of Hall County led the class on a tour of their subdivision of houses in various stages of construction, and the class finished the day by volunteering to sort food and merchandise at the Georgia Mountain Food Bank. Thank you program sponsors: Lakeview Academy, Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County and Conditioned Air Systems.

Youth Leadership Hall Kubota employees and volunteer mentors help Martin Technology Academy of Math & Science students improve engineering designs for an engineering design challenge.

Students from Martin Technology Academy of Math & Science enjoy a special relationship with Kubota employees who go above and beyond to make themselves available for the learning needs of students – spending quality time inside and outside of the classroom and readily responding by sending more volunteers than requested to work directly with students.

Youth Leadership Hall Students at Lake Lanier Olympic Park. The Etiquette and Lake Life program began with Ballroom Dance Lessons by Attorney Carla Walker, Whelchel, Dunlap, Jarrard & Walker. Juli Clay, Mass Communications Department Chair, Brenau University, taught Effective Communication and Correspondence. Connie Davis, Director of Tastefully Growing Up, instructed the students on social etiquette. Rope Roberts, Region Economic Development Manager with Georgia Power, presented The Basics of Economic Development. At Lake Lanier Olympic Park, Morgan House gave an overview of the venue and Renee Carden, Lake Lanier CVB, challenged the students with an Interactive Scavenger Hunt. Thank you Chattahoochee Country Club for sponsoring the program.

Kubota employees recently met with individual groups of students to help them improve their engineering designs for the 3rd Grade Engineering Design Contest, and then came back to help students participate in the final competition. They even provided rewards for the winning teams! "Kubota is always willing to help support our students in any way, and they are an amazing partner in education," said Dr. Ley Hathcock, Principal, Martin Technology Academy. Partners in Education Program welcomes new partners: East Hall Middle School and Homestar Financial Corporation; and Friendship Elementary and Legacy MMA Club. For info on Partners in Education and how your organization can get involved, call Andi Harmon, 770-532-6206 x 113. Email:

Academy of Innovation

The Wisdom Keepers

Vision 2030 Wisdom Project Graduates – Wisdom Keepers – pictured with Governor Nathan Deal on March 6 when, at Senator Butch Miller's invitation, they spent the day at the Capitol. For information on the senior leadership program, contact Kathy Amos, Center for Lifetime Study/BULLI, 770-538-4705.

Ava White, founder of Ava White Academy & Tutorials, cuts the ribbon with board members, students, teachers, staff and friends to celebrate the unveiling of their new name, Academy of Innovation (AOI). The new name and 501 (c)(3) status provide an opportunity to enhance the school’s learning environment, make its services available to more students in the community, and allows for grants, endowments, scholarships and gifts. “We were seeing a consistent flow of students applying for our program who would benefit from our unique and intensive learning environment, but did not have the means to afford private school tuition,” said White. “Coupled with the strategic program growth outlined by our board and a focus on creating an enhanced learning environment for our students, it was time to take the next step in our organization’s journey.” 1399 Thompson Bridge Road, Gainesville, GA 30501. 770-536-6898.

Greater Hall County Area Jobless Employment Rates

SBI Signs

Evan Bartlett (right) cuts a ribbon for SBI Signs, a full service company providing a wide variety of signs. From small yard signs to monument signs and LED signs and lighting, SBI can make it happen! A small shop with a big imagination, SBI provides quality you can trust. SBI Signs, 127 E. May Street, Winder, GA 30680. 678-963-0927.


4.1 4.5

Feb 2017




Gwinnett Jackson Ga Mountains State of Georgia

4.6 3.9 4.5 5.4

The Norton Agency Key Economic Retail Sales Indicators 2 columns $ 227,337,998 4.4167 x 10


Previous Month


Jan 2017



One Year Ago

Feb 2016
















Updated 03/28


Hall County

Latest Feb. 2017


Previous Month (available)

One Year Ago

Jan. 2017

Feb 2016






Hall County retail sales figures are estimated from the 1% sales tax collected for Hall. For example, $11 million in tax revenue represents F retail sales of approximately $100 million.











2017 Updated 03/28

Housing Permits Issued - Hall County


Feb. 2017 74 Previous Month

One Year Ago

2017 Total

Jan. 2017

Feb. 2016





2016 YTD

Area Permits County Barrow Dawson Gwinnett Forsyth Hall Jackson

Feb. 2017 22 0 201 161 74 22

Feb. 2016 14 12 199 195 70 30

Jan. 2017 24 10 158 166 70 21

Total 2016 252 195 2,229 2,335 872 313

2017 YTD 46 10 359 327 144 43

Avg Total Price 2017

Avg Price

Homes Sold and Closed and Average Price of Home Feb. 2017

Avg Price

Feb. 2016

Avg Price

Jan. 2017

Avg Price

Total 2016

























































Updated 03/28

April 4, 2017 • An Advertising Supplement to The Times

Donna and Scott Gibson cut a ribbon at their photography studio located just off the Square in Downtown Gainesville. Scott Gibson Studios specializes in creating custom portrait experiences for clients with a personalized, pre-session consultation. Each portrait session is entirely different, and hair, makeup and wardrobe styling are included. Whether you are looking for personal branding, family or a more intimate portraiture, Scott Gibson Studios can design the portrait session of your dreams. 723 Washington Street NW, Suite 3, Gainesville GA 30501. 706-809-0323.


Cherokee Dawson

100’s millions of dollars

Scott Gibson Studios



Gainesville City



Joy Griffin, executive director of United Way of Hall County, cuts a ribbon to launch The Compass Center, a new community outreach to better connect those in need with services such as shelter, food and medical services. Managed by Joshua Silavent, Compass Center is a one-stop community resource center located at 615 Oak Street, Suite A in Gainesville. The center is open daily and staffed by volunteers from Good News Clinics, Goodwill, Action Ministries and Hall County Family Connection. 678-989-5330.

Hall County

Ribbon Cuttings

Key Economic Indicators

The Compass Center

Data compiled by the Norton Agency. For additional information or other data products, please call: Tommy Howard 770-718-5204

The Norton Agency

The Power To Perform


2017 marks the beginning of a promising new era! We are YOUR hometown bank – drop by to see us today!

Meet Our Lenders and Mortgage Officers... Left to Right: Keith Brady, Terry Baker, Mickey Hyder, Heather Wilbanks, Ricky Pugh, Ron Quinn, Andy Stewart, Steve Sorrells, Carl Blackburn and Angela Drew-Morris

Back Page Ad 10 x 7.5

Upcoming Chamber Events Tuesday, April 4 South Hall Business Coalition 8:00 am - 9:00 am Elachee Nature Science Center Tuesday, April 11 Small Business Seminar "Avoiding Legal Land Mines" Presented by Attorneys from Stewart Melvin & Frost 7:45 am - 9:00 am – Chamber

Thursday, April 13 Business After Hours at Homestar Financial 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm Gym of '36 at 332 Washington Street in Gainesville Friday, April 28 Hackers Holiday Golf 10:00 a.m. Shotgun Start Lanier Islands


Thursday, May 18 109th Annual Meeting & Gala 6:00 pm Outdoor Reception 7:00 pm Dinner & Program Chattahoochee Country Club


Details & Register Online

This publication is printed on partially recycled paper.


Business Link; Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce; April Business Link Gainesville GA

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