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From the Chairman

Common Goals and United Action As we start our new year with the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, it is only fitting that we begin with the month celebrating Independence Day. We all recognize the 4th of July as our declaration of independence and the formation of our nation. This anniversary has grown into a holiday that is celebrated in many different ways with family and friends.

Perry Barnett, CPA Ruston Chairman, Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce

While it is important to stop and spend time with family and friends, let us not forget what this means date truly means. 241 years ago, a group of farmers, merchants and others bought into a common vision that became the American Revolution. To be sure, many probably had their doubts about the Revolution's success, as well as what would come after. What started out as an idea evolved into common goals and united action, and the end result was the founding of the greatest nation of all times.

You may be thinking, what does this have to do with local business? As we take a break in July to celebrate our nation's birthday, let us all remember for business we are truly living in revolutionary times. In recent years, we have seen how businesses large and small can develop an idea and become a disruptor in their industry. These businesses may have developed new a technology or used an outstanding business plan. With Hall County’s vibrant economy and strong Chamber of Commerce, there is no better place for an organization’s ideas to turn into action and success. So, as we pause to celebrate our nation’s birthday, let’s also consider the future of our own businesses and our markets. I challenge everyone to give some thought as to how we can make our own businesses revolutionary. With the Chamber’s strong economic development team, many small business seminars and member initiatives, your Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce is always available to assist you in moving your ideas into action. So, please spend some time in July celebrating our great nation, spending time with family and friends, and reflecting on the fact that we live the best environment for business.

Greater Hall Chamber's 6th Annual

July 4, 2017 • Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce

Healthcare Reform Seminar


Thursday, August 31

8:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Brenau Downtown Center Theatre Learn what the experts are saying about the state of healthcare and insurance industries. We will be focusing on compliance, how to prepare for an audit, and what triggers an audit with these keynote speakers: Brett Fowler, Vice President & Partner, Turner, Wood & Smith Insurance Jen Del Nero, Associate Regional Director Atlanta Office, U.S. Department of Labor Anne Tyler Hall, JD, Attorney & Principal, Hall Benefits Law Anna Hewell, Compliance Director, Turner, Wood & Smith Insurance

– OPEN TO THE PUBLIC – $15 Chamber Members; $20 Non-Members • Reservations Required • Includes Light Breakfast Reservations: Amanda Lewis, 770-532-6206 x 111. Email:

Business Link VOLUME 23 ISSUE 1 McKemie West, Editor • Email: Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce

2017-2018 Executive Committee Chairman Perry Barnett, CPA, Rushton Chair Elect Carol Burrell, Northeast Georgia Health System

Vice Chair, Government Philip Wilheit, Jr. Wilheit Packaging Vice Chair, Membership Katie Dubnik Forum Communications

Treasurer Jimbo Floyd, Turner, Wood & Smith Insurance Vice Chair, Economic Development David Lee, Jackson EMC Vice Chair, Education Andi Farmer, Milton Martin Honda Vice Chair, Marketing Tate O'Rouke, Jackson EMC

Vice Chair, South Hall Council Geoff Lee, Road Atlanta Vice Chair, Community Development Caroline Lewallen Jaemor Farms

Co-Chairs, HALLmark Paul Chambers, AT&T Mimi Collins, The Longstreet Clinic Randall Frost, Stewart, Melvin & Frost Senior Advisor John Vardeman, Morton, Vardeman & Carlson Immediate Past Chairman Lee Hemmer, The Simpson Company

President & CEO Kit Dunlap Chair, VISION 2030 Greater Hall Chamber of Melissa Tymchuk, Northeast Commerce Georgia Health System Elizabeth Higgins, Exec Director

Board of Directors 2017-2018 Norman Baggs, The Times Glennis Barnes, Georgia Power Phil Bonelli, Wells Fargo Nick Bruner, Rushton Stacey Dickson, Lake Lanier CVB Danny Dunagan, Mayor, City of Gainesville Sam Evans, Councilman, City of Oakwood Josh Everett, New Leaf Landscape Services Brett Fowler, Turner Wood & Smith Insurance Tony Funari, Funari Realty Col. Bill Gallagher, Riverside Military Academy Jim Grier, Champion Capital Alliance Joy Griffin, United Way of Hall County Richard Higgins, Chair, Hall Co. Commission Morgan House, Keller Williams Lanier Partners Dr. John Kennedy, Lakeview Academy David Lloyd, Liberty Utilities Sarita Madera, Homestar Financial Corp Mike McGraw, PrideStaff / Ranger Mfg Terry Merck, American Yazaki Mike Miller, Mayor, City of Flowery Branch Steve Naughton, Enterprising Solutions James Nix, Mayor, City of Clermont

Nancy Norton, The Norton Agency 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 Josh Schlieman, Sullivan & Schlieman Will Schofield, Hall County School System Dr. Ed Schrader, Brenau University Robert Schuetze, BB&T Carol Shirley, South State Bank Jody Spain, Cotton Eyed Joe’s Andy Stewart, Peach State Bank & Trust Ahna Still, Halski Systems Kevin Strada, The Atlanta Falcons Phil Sutton, Kubota Steve Syfan, Syfan Logistics Milton Turner, Mayor, City of Lula Philip Wilheit, Wilheit Packaging Arrik Williams, Tatsumi Intermodal USA Dr. Jeremy Williams, Gainesville City Schools Mike Williams, Lanier Islands Darryl Workman, BrandBank

Associate Directors 2017-2018 Lindsay Addison, Sisu Sues Alexander, Regions Bank Sharon Barrett, South State Bank Kay Blackstock, Georgia Mountain Food Bank Caitlin Collins, Mincey Marble Brook Davidson, Stewart, Melvin & Frost

Logan Jones, AccessWDUN Terry Morrisey, Caldwell Electrical Contractors Nick Pruner, Edward Jones Investments Misty Waldrop, HALLCO Credit Union John Wheeler, Bizzy Bee Exterminators Emily Wiley, J & J Foods / The Market Place

Greater Hall Chamber 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 Intern Savannah Romans, Brenau University


Business Link; Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce


Business Link; Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce