Page 1

N O V E M B E R 2019

Annual Chamber Eggs & Issues Breakfast


Legislative Forum is December 12

Chairman’s Column page 2

Open to the Public

Meetings & Events page 4 Governor's Made in Georgia Tour page 6 Welcome New Members page 7 Member Announcements page 10

Senator Butch Miller 49th GA Senate District

Senator John Wilkinson 50th GA Senate District

Rep. Lee Hawkins

27th GA House District

Business Growth & Development page 11

Thursday, December 12

Small Business of the Month page 12 Ribbon Cuttings pages 14-15

save the date

Rep. Matt Dubnik

29th GA House District

Rep. Emory Dunahoo, Jr. 30th GA House District

Rep. Timothy Barr

103rd GA House District

$40 Chamber Members | $50 Non-Members | $400 Table (8) Reservations Required | Includes Full Buffet Breakfast 770-532-6206 • Email: • Online:

Small Business Seminar Business After Hours Wednesday, November 13

Industry Appreciation Lunch Friday, November 15

Business Before Hours

The Chamber's Leadership Hall County program was founded in 1983 and provides participants the opportunity to learn the economic, cultural, government and education issues and trends in our community. See more on page 13.

featured member

Tuesday, November 12

7:30 am - 9:30 am Lanier Technical College Ramsey Conference Center

2535 Lanier Tech Drive in Gainesville Presented by


from the chairman


McKemie West, Editor • Email:

Gratitude is the most important attitude. –Zig Ziglar

I was fortunate to take part in the Chamber's HealthSmart event last month and so enjoyed Eric Langshur's presentation, "Learning the Skill of Wellbeing." Eric is a New York Times best-selling author, an Brian Rochester Rochester & Associates accomplished CEO leading Chairman, Greater Hall a variety of corporations, Chamber of Commerce and an entrepreneur. Of the many takeaways from his presentation, I have to note his stance on GRATEFULNESS as most important. It's easy to get caught up in our daily tasks and neglect to take a moment to reflect upon all that we have been blessed with. From a solid economic climate to family and loved ones – we all have so much for which to be thankful. With Thanksgiving upon us, I will take this opportunity to list some of the things that I am grateful for, from our Chamber and our community: • Great opportunities for employment in our community • Continued job creation by new and existing businesses • First class healthcare provided by Northeast Georgia Health System, Longstreet Clinic, Northeast Georgia Diagnostic Clinic, and many other clinics and physicians • Chamber members, 90% being small businesses • Our top quality educators, dedicated to our youth

• A thriving business climate – #1 in Georgia for six years • Our workforce development team, focused on our needs today and skilled employees for tomorrow • Our Chamber leadership team, sacrificing time and talent to make Gainesville-Hall County the best place in the UNIVERSE to live and work • Kit Dunlap and her team that work tirelessly as our Voice for Business • Outstanding opportunities for students at Gainesville City and Hall County school systems and our many private schools and academies. • Further education opportunities at Brenau University, University of North Georgia, Lanier Technical College • Vision 2030 and the Big Ideas making our quality of life second to none – public art, greenspace, a trail system • The new Lanier Technical College campus • Highly recognized Leadership Programs – Leadership, Hall County, Youth Leadership, The Wisdom Project • Our elected officials on local, state and federal levels • Law enforcement and public safety officials • Partners in Education – businesses connecting with schools through mentoring, job fairs, and more • Chamber programs and resources helping businesses grow and prosper And, most of all, as your Chamber Chair, I am grateful for the many VOLUNTEERS who support our Greater Hall Chamber and the community and are our greatest asset.

AT&T Sponsors Chamber Board Meeting Thank you AT&T for sponsoring the Chamber's October Board of Directors Meeting. (L-R): Doug Carter, Don Carter Realty; Kit Dunlap, President & CEO, Greater Hall Chamber, and Paul Chambers, AT&T Regional Director. Paul has served on the Chamber Board for 18 years and is Co-Chair of the HALLmark Initiative with Mimi Collins, Longstreet Clinic, and Randall Frost, Stewart, Melvin & Frost. See page 3 for more on HALLmark. Chamber Board meetings are open to Chamber members. The next meeting is Thursday, November 21 at 12 pm at the Gainesville Civic Center. $15 , includes lunch. Reservations required, 770-532-6206. 2

November 2019 |

230 E.E. Butler Pkwy • Gainesville GA 30501 • 770-532-6206 • Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce

2019-2020 Executive Committee Chairman Brian Rochester Rochester & Associates Chairman-Elect Geoff Lee Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta Treasurer Glennis Barnes, Georgia Power

Vice Chair, Education Andi Farmer, Milton Martin Honda Co-Vice Chair, Education Tate O’Rouke, Jackson EMC

Co-Chairs, HALLmark 2015-2020 Paul Chambers, AT&T Mimi Collins, Longstreet Clinic Randall Frost, Stewart, Melvin & Frost

Vice Chair, Government Affairs Philip Wilheit, Jr., Wilheit Packaging

Vice Chair, Community Development Caroline Lewallen, Jaemor Farms

Vice Chair, Membership Brett Fowler, Turner, Wood & Vice Chair, Economic Development Smith Insurance Co-Vice Chair, Membership David Lee, Jackson EMC Phil Bonelli, Regions Bank Vice Chair, Marketing Chair, Vision 2030 Missy Burgess, Lanier Islands Phillippa Lewis Moss Community Service Center Vice Chair, South Hall Council Executive Director, Vision 2030 Terry Merck, American Yazaki Elizabeth Higgins

Senior Advisor Brian Daniel, Carroll Daniel Construction Company Immediate Past Chair Carol Burrell, Northeast Georgia Health System Greater Hall Chamber President & CEO Kit Dunlap

Board of Directors 2019-2020 Norman Baggs, The Times Haley Bower, Clipper Petroleum Chris Brown, Delta Community Credit Union Nick Bruner, Rushton Caitlin Collins, Mincey Marble Manufacturing Stacey Dickson, Lake Lanier CVB Danny Dunagan, Mayor, City of Gainesville Dr. Suzanne Erickson, Brenau University Jim Grier, Mayor, City of Lula Richard Higgins, Chairman, Hall County Commission Logan Jones, Wilheit Packaging Brooke Kalinauskas, Conditioned Air Systems Jay Kilroy, Willis Investment Counsel Jennifer Landers, Newland Communities David Lloyd, Liberty Utilities Mike McGraw, PrideStaff / Ranger Manufacturing J.D. Mealor, Regions Bank Mike Miller, Mayor, City of Flowery Branch Sheri Millwood, Oakwood City Council Terry Morrisey, Intelligent Energy 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 Michele Piucci, Peach State Bank Col. Stas Preczewski, Riverside Military Academy Sheila Sanchez, State Farm Insurance Will Schofield, Hall County School System Alan Schuetze, Carroll Daniel Construction Mulham Shbeib, Mar-Jac Poultry John Simpson, Lakeview Academy Dr. Anne Skleder, Brenau University Sarita Madera Smith, Homestar Financial Corp Terry Spicer, King's Hawaiian Ahna Still, Halski Systems Kevin Strada, The Atlanta Falcons John Turner, Northeast Georgia Health System Roy Turpin, Mayor, City of Gillsville Philip Wilheit, Wilheit Packaging Arrik Williams, Tatsumi Intermodal USA Dr. Jeremy Williams, Gainesville City Schools Darryl Workman, South State Bank Mike Zeiler, Bitzer US, Inc.

Associate Directors 2019-2020 Lauren Armour, Lanier Technical College Carin Booth, UGA Extension Hall County Whitney Brown, Stewart, Melvin & Frost Sean Couch, Northeast Georgia Health System Tracy Hoeltke, Netchex Ben Jarrard, University of North Georgia Ward McCamy, Bank of America

Chris Nish, Cottrell Todd Pennington, McGarity's Business Products Steve Rawl, SunTrust Bank Vanesa Sarazua, Hispanic Alliance Georgia Margaret Spratlin, Longstreet Clinic Nancy Jo Zimmer, JP Morgan Chase Bank

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 Madison Hopkins, Project Manager Finance & Operations David Umberson, Vice President, Finance & HR Membership Development Mandy Lathem, Vice President, Events Christen Wilbanks, Vice President, Sales Kara Tate, Vice President, Sales & Programs Education & Leadership Andi Harmon, Vice President

Government Affairs Madison Hopkins, Project Manager South Hall Council Kara Tate, Vice President, Sales & Programs 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


may be far off,

HALLmark Initiative

but the April 15 deadline for IRA contributions isn’t.

HALLmark is a Five-Year Community and Economic Development Initiative for the Gainesville-Hall County Area

Kit Dunlap

President & CEO Greater Hall Chamber

You have only so many years to prepare for retirement. That’s why contributing to your Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is so important. Fortunately, you still have time to maximize your 2015 IRA contribution before the April 15 deadline.

Some 25 years ago, Gainesville-Hall County leaders had the insight and boldness to invest in a groundbreaking economic and community development initiative called HALLTogether, now called HALLmark. The Greater Hall Chamber has been growing community prosperity ever since. The mission of HALLmark is to develop a collective vision for the continued success of our community by working in partnership with business, government, education and private citizens.

By contributing now, your retirement savings can have more opportunity to grow. Even if you already have an IRA elsewhere, it’s easy to transfer it to an Edward Jones IRA and begin receiving the face-to-face guidance you deserve.

The HALLmark Initiative has had much success over the past 25 years. • Jobs from existing industries and new industries • Growing our commercial tax base • Creating a Workforce Development Task Force • Developing new Business Parks • Developing a Small Business Program • Enhancing Health & Wellness Initiatives • Creation of VISION 2030 for our future • Facilitating an Education Consortium • Spearheading a Public Art Initiative • Senior leadership program – The Wisdom Project • Leadership Hall County and Youth Leadership Hall

To learn more about the advantages of an Edward Jones IRA, call or visit today.

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Beth Baldwin

Financial Advisor

2015-2020 HALLmark leaders and Chamber executives have developed the next phase of the successful initiative. The NEW HALLmark 2020-2025 Initiative kicked off in July and includes community and economic development programs such as workforce development, as well as new programs. For information, email Kit Dunlap:

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

NEW 2020-2025 Initiatives • Workforce Development • Creation of an inclusion effort – Hispanic Alliance Program • Develop a Healthcare Branding Initiative • Expand the Vision 2030 Public Art Program • Plan a Vision 2050 Initiative • Grow more visibility in South Hall County

Rick Kimpling, AAMS®

Financial Advisor

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

HALLmark 2020-2025 Budget Health & Wellness $100,000

Workforce Development Community & & Education Government Affairs $350,000 $250,000 VISION 2030 $350,000

Small Business & Retail Development $220,000 Capital Expenditures $230,000

TOTAL Five Year Budget: $2,300,000

Reneigh Satterfield, AAMS® Financial Advisor

3630 Thompson Bridge Rd Ste 22 Gainesville, GA 30506 770-536-2031 IRT-2046G-A

Economic Development $800,000 Member SIPC

November 2019 |





Community Healthcare Education

(L-R): Margaret Spratlin, Longstreet Clinic; Elizabeth Higgins, Vision 2030; Mimi Collins, CEO, Longstreet Clinic, at the Chamber's Healthcare Committee meeting in October where Mimi Collins presented a program on Healthcare Economics. At the November 6 meeting, the group learned about Lanier Technical College's health education programs and toured the new Walters Allied Health Building.


12:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. Holiday Inn Express | 1189 Dawsonville Hwy

Economic Development Council

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Gainesville Civic Center

Friday, November 8

7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. | Chamber Tuesday, November 12


Business After Hours

5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Brenau University | Jacobs Building 340 Green Street | Gainesville Wednesday, November 13

Network Over Coffee


Hall County Parks & Leisure Hall County Soil & Water Halski Systems Jackson EMC Jaemor Farms King's Hawaiian Lanier Technical College McDonald's of NEGA Milton Martin Honda Mountain Fresh Creamery

November 2019 |

Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton Peach State Bank Red Clay Interactive Rushton Signs by Tomorrow Store More Self Storage SYFAN Logistics United Community Bank Wilheit Packaging

Wednesday, November 27

Ambassadors Council

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Steak 'n Shake | Oakwood

Thursday, December 5

Business After Hours

5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Smile Doctors Braces Flowery Branch 7316 Spout Springs Road | Suite 101

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Chick-fil-A | Jesse Jewell Pkwy | Gainesville

Monday, December 9

Human Resource Council

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Lanier Technical College

11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Luna's | Gainesville

Industry Appreciation Luncheon

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Chattahoochee Country Club | Gainesville Thursday, November 14

Chamber Executive Committee 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. | Chamber Friday, November 15

Business Before Hours

7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Hulsey, Oliver & Mahar 200 E.E. Butler Parkway | Gainesville Tuesday, November 19

Ag Georgia Farm Credit AT&T Bagwell Insurance Caldwell Electrical Contractors Corporate Storage Electronic Sales Company Funari Realty Gainesville Mechanical Georgia Power Hall County Farm Bureau

Chamber Board of Directors

Network Over Coffee

3:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. | 2 Dog Cafe

Thank you Chamber Event Sponsors!

Thursday, November 21

Small Business Seminar

7:45 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. | Chamber

A VISION 2030 initiative, the Chamber's Healthcare Committee includes representatives from the hospital, physician practices, health services and business representatives. The committee has strong participation and meets monthly to address business related healthcare issues. Join us Wednesday, December 4 (8-9am at the Chamber) and hear from special guest speakers, Robert Rupard, CEO and Founder, and Brett Grauss, President, of Pro-GeneX Laboratories. VISION 2030 and health and wellness initiatives are funded through the Chamber’s HALLmark Initiative. Amanda Lewis, 770-532-6206 x 111.

Wednesday, November 20

Lunch 'n Learn

South Hall Business Coalition

8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Houndstooth Grill 6323 Grand Hickory Drive | Braselton

Lt. Governor's Business & Education Summit

Tuesday, December 10

Small Business Seminar

7:45 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. | Chamber Thursday, December 12

Eggs & Issues Breakfast

7:30 - 9:30 a.m. | Lanier Technical College Tuesday, December 17

South Hall Business Coalition 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Hall County Sheriff's Office South Hall Hall Precinct 7245 Cody Drive | Braselton

Note: The Chamber office will be closed November 28 & November 29 for Thanksgiving Holidays.

Vision 2030 Board of Directors 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Chamber Wednesday, November 20

Issues Committee

8:00 a.m. | Chamber

Get all the details and register for events online at

membership development Sponsorships for major Chamber 2020 events now available

Wednesday, February 26 Thursday, February 20 11:30 am - 6:00 pm Lanier Technical College

Ramsey Conference Center The Business EXPO is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC and creates great business exposure! Over 60 exhibitors will participate at the EXPO (1-6 pm) with outstanding networking and leads development. Business After Hours and A Taste of Gainesville (4-6 pm) features special menu items from area restaurants. Info: 770-532-6206.

11:30 am - 1:00 pm Brenau Downtown Center

301 Main Street in Gainesville The Chamber's Healthy Hall Awards Program seeks to spotlight those in the healthcare industry making a significant impact on our quality of life through excellence in health and wellness. 2020 Award Recipients in over a dozen categories will be recognized at an Awards Luncheon on February 26. To nominate a professional for an award or learn more about sponsorships, contact Amanda Lewis, 770-532-6206 x 111 or email Amanda at

Thursday, March 26

6:00 pm Riverside Military Academy Vision 2030's Chamber Chase 5K & Wellness Walk is one of the community’s most successful wellness programs with over 2,000 people participating. The goal of the event is to encourage businesses to create company-based wellness programs for employees. Mark your calendar for the 13th Annual Chamber Chase on March 26.

Choose Liberty. Choose Natural Gas.

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1766 Cleveland Highway Gainesville GA, 30501 678-707-5205

November 2019 |


Governor addresses Chamber Board

economic development Made in Georgia

Governor Kemp visits Kubota Manufacturing Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (left) and Phil Sutton, CEO, Kubota Manufacturing of America (KMA). Governor Kemp visited the Kubota Manufacturing plant in Gainesville on September 26 as part of his statewide “Georgia Made Tour”. Governor Kemp was greeted by Hiro Arai, President of KMA, and was taken on a tour of the plant. Kubota recently announced plans to invest $85-million to expand operations in Gainesville.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp addressed the Greater Hall Chamber Board of Directors at Lanier Technical College on September 26. (L-R): Chamber Chairman Brian Rochester, Rochester & Associates; Governor Brian Kemp; Kit Dunlap, President & CEO, Greater Hall Chamber; Georgia Senator Butch Miller, Senate President Pro Tempore; Dr. Ray Perren, President, Lanier Technical College. During his address, Kemp pointed out that Georgia has been named the "Best State in the Nation for Business" for a sixth consecutive year. He noted that in the most recent year, $7.4 billion was invested in new businesses in Georgia with 74% of the jobs created by that investment located outside the I-285 perimeter.

South Hall Business Coalition A Hall County Schools Update was presented at the recent South Hall Business Coalition meeting. (L-R) Andi Farmer, Milton Martin Honda (a SHBC sponsor); Superintendent Will Schofield and Rhonda Samples, Hall County School System; Kit Dunlap, Greater Hall Chamber. Join the Chamber's South Hall Business Coalition on Tuesday, November 19 (8-9am) at the Houndstooth Grill in Braselton for breakfast sponsored by Funari Realty and an Economic Development Review presented by Tim Evans, Chamber VP of Economic Development. Since 2015, over 100 new and expanded businesses have announced 5,500 jobs and $1.2 billion in capital investment in GainesvilleHall County. Details: Kara Tate, 770-532-6206 x 103 or 6

November 2019 |

Commercial Developers

The Chamber's Economic Development Division hosted a Commercial Real Estate Update at Atlanta Botanical Garden Gainesville on October 1. With over 65 in attendance, Gainesville City Manager Bryan Lackey reviewed development projects throughout the City of Gainesville. (L-R) Fred Roddy, Roddy Properties (developer of Doug & Kay Ivester's Downtown Square project); Chamber Commercial Real Estate Committee Chair Brent Hoffman, Berkshire Hathaway; Tate O’Rouke, Jackson EMC (Event Sponsor); Bryan Lackey, City of Gainesville; Tim Evans, Greater Hall Chamber.

Braselton Urgent Care Caleb Henson 2620 Old Winder Highway Suite 300 Braselton, GA 30517 - Medical / Urgent Care 678-821-2401 Built Tough Nutrition Caitlin Rodriquez 2420 Old Flowery Branch Rd Suite 104 Gainesville, GA 30504 - Health & Wellness 678-630-2691 Convene Kate StClair Flowery Branch, GA 30542 - Leadership Development 480-209-3485 Foot & Ankle Specialists of Northeast Georgia Dr. Zach Farley 1515 River Place Suite 390 Braselton, GA 30517 - Medical / Orthopedics 678-619-1270

Networking & Lead Development welcome new members Many thanks to Conditioned Air Systems for hosting the October Business After Hours.

J's Place Recovery Center Jordan Hussey 1362 Juanita Avenue Gainesville, GA 30501 - Non-Profit 678-316-0403 Barbara Johannaber Gainesville, GA 30501 - Individual Member 678-886-1931

Lennar Homes Melinda Raines 1000 Holcomb Woods Pkwy Roswell, GA 30076 - Active Adult Community 770-670-2740 Life Storage Joanne Liu 7366 Friendship Springs Blvd Flowery Branch, GA 30542 - Storage Facility 770-637-2034 Mr. Electric of Gainesville John Sefcik 6386 Aarons Way Flowery Branch, GA 30542 - Electrical Contractor 470-228-5600

How do I join the chamber?

Roddy Properties Fred Roddy 531 Pine Valley Road, SE Marietta, GA 30067 - Real Estate Developer 678-778-0256 Brad Rounds Clermont, GA 30527 - Individual Member 678-977-9377 Bill Sanders Gainesville, GA 30506 - Individual Member 770-654-3012

Southern Comfort Hospice Vickie Jumper 447 Bradford Street, NW Gainesville, GA 30501 - Medical / Hospice 470-354-3231 TownePlace Suites by Marriott Gainesville Kenneth Washington 1745 Browns Bridge Road Gainesville, GA 30501 - Hotel 678-971-4102

Contact Christen Wilbanks ( or Kara Tate ( 770-532-6206 or JOIN ONLINE:


ne & Be ages


Newly Published Wage & Benefit Report


port efit Re & Benunty, Georgia e g a Co 19 W all ille - H


The Greater Hall Chamber's 2019 WAGE & BENEFIT REPORT is now available. A resource prepared by the Chamber’s Economic Development Division, the publication is used by companies as a tool to ensure employers remain competitive in local compensation and benefits practices. The report includes data from 60 local employers in the areas of Office, Finance, Human Resources, Technology, Lab, Material, Fleet, Engineer, Maintenance and Production, along with sections on pay practices and benefits information. Available in PDF version and/or inbound book format. $30 for Chamber members; $50, NonMembers (+S&H). To order, call 770-532-6206.

ision. ent Div velopm nomic De es remain merce Eco yment practic er of Com emplo ll Chamb tool to ensure ater Ha a the Gre inesses with by ed ce prepar vides area bus and benefits. pro A resour lication pensation hambe This pub e in local com rHallC itiv Greate compet

Business After Hours and the Annual Tailgate Party with The Varsity was sponsored by Conditioned Air Systems (CAS). CAS Team Members (L-R): Andy Kalinauskas, President of Operations & Services; Baya Pruitt, Executive Vice President of Internal Operations; Doug Magnus, Founder & CEO with Tim Evans, VP, Economic Development, Greater Hall Chamber. Make the most of your Chamber membership by joining friends and associates for upcoming networking opportunities:

• Business After Hours on Tuesday, November 12 at Brenau University at the newly renovated Jacobs Building on Green Street in Gainesville.

• Business Before Hours on Friday, November 15 at Hulsey, Oliver & Mahar on E.E. Butler Parkway in Gainesville.

Benefits of Chamber Membership • Listing in the Membership Directory

• Advertising, Publicity, Sponsorships

• Listing in Online Business Directory

• Business Referrals

• Subscription to Business Link

• Leads & Networking Groups

• Entry to Networking Events

• Increased Business Exposure

• Access to Forums and Seminars

• Ribbon Cuttings

• Volunteer Opportunities

• Valuable Business Connections

• Visibility & Community Involvement

Join today today.


November 2019 |


24 CANCER PROGRAMS IN THE NATION AWARDED. ONLY ONE IN GEORGIA. Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s (NGMC) Cancer Services is the only program in Georgia to receive the 2018 Outstanding Achievement Award by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. As one of only 24 cancer programs in the nation to receive this award, NGMC offers cancer patients access to expert doctors, leading clinical trials and advanced treatments – right here at home. Learn more at l 770-219-8815

get out there. Give yourself the gift of a healthy, pain-free body so you can enjoy special moments like this. Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s Gainesville, Braselton and Barrow campuses provide expert orthopedic care – making it as easy as a walk in the park to get the care you need, close to home. Find your orthopedic expert today at l 770-462-5285

member news

Over 750 attend Job Fair

The Fall Job Fair hosted over 750 job seekers. Some 70 employers and hiring managers were on hand recruiting for open positions, including Mars Wrigley Confectionery that recently announced plans to invest $60 million for structural upgrades and new technology to their facilities in Flowery Branch. Mars will hire an additional 126 employees as part of the expansion. (L-R) Madison Carlson, Mike Gilliam, Darren Crowe and Damien Parker. The Chamber will host a Job Fair on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at the Gainesville Civic Center. Amanda Lewis, Project Manager, 770-532-6206 x 111 or

Arbor Day 2020

Mindy Wade, Master Gardeners of Gainesville, presents Robin Halstead, Chamber VP Community Development, with a check for sponsorship of Arbor Day 2020 festivities to be held at Atlanta Botanical Garden Gainesville on Friday, February 21. Tree City USA designation and Student Art and Essay Award Winners will be recognized. Details: 770-532-6206.

Lt. Governor's Summit is December 9 Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan's 2019 Business and Education Summit presented by Lanier College & Career Academy (LCCA) is Monday, December 9 (8am-5pm) at Lanier Technical College's Ramsey Conference Center. “Building the Tech Capitol of The East Coast” is the focus of the summit with discussion on the importance of creating a strong workforce and how businesses can influence and prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow. The program includes breakout sessions with industry partners and educators and provides an excellent opportunity for community leaders to learn more about workforce development. Following the summit, attendees are invited to join Lt. Governor Duncan (5-7pm, Sidney Lanier Room at the Ramsey Conference Center) to celebrate the successes of LCCA. $100 per person. To register, visit 10

November 2019 |

• Chamber Industry of the Year Awards will be presented at a luncheon on Wednesday, November 13 (11am-1pm) at the Chattahoochee Country Club with an Economic Forecast by Dr. Jeff Humphreys, UGA Terry College of Business. $40 Chamber Members; $50 guests. Space limited. Reservations: Amanda Lewis, 770-532-6206 x 111 or online at • Purple House Gallery, 226 West Academy Street in Gainesville, is hosting an exhibit through December 20 with works by Al Clayton and Lee Anne White. Clayton‘s photography focuses on the American South, and his work has appeared in Look Magazine, Life, Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report. Lee Anne White's art consists of black-and-white landscape and botanical photographs. • Andrew Reisman, M.D., a family physician with Longstreet Clinic, is president of the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG). With over 8,000 members, MAG is the leading voice for physicians in the state and serves as an advocate for physicians in every practice setting and specialty. • The Chamber's Economic Development Division recently released its 2020 Logistics Service Providers Study. Since 2015, the number of logistics firms in Hall County has increased and employment at logistics firms has increased from 1,900 to just over 4,800. See the full report at • Turner, Wood & Smith Insurance (TWS) announces Scotty Hall and Stuart Moore as new partners and shareholders. Both joined the firm in 2012. Scotty specializes in commercial property and casualty insurance. Stuart is a property casualty agent in the Commercial Division. In business for 114 years, TWS is Northeast Georgia's largest independent insurance agency with 41 employees. • Brenau University Center for the Arts & Design will host a Holiday Market on November 15 (4-8pm) and November 16 (10am -4pm) at the John S. Burd Center and will feature handmade pieces by Brenau students, faculty and staff. From jewelry and ceramics to original artwork and crafts, you are sure to find one-of-a-kind pieces for

yourself and your loved ones. Free and open to the public. Info: Allison Lauricella, 770534-6263 or email: • City of Gainesville Fire Chief Jerome Yarbrough was inducted in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Georgia Hall of Fame for his work contributions to inspiring and mentoring future generations. He has served on the Boys and Girls Clubs of Lanier for 20 years. • Julius Hulsey of Hulsey, Oliver & Mahar was honored with the Tradition of Excellence Award by the State Bar of Georgia for his great significance in the legal community. Recipients are chosen based on outstanding legal and personal characteristics, having at least 20 years of achievements and a record of community service and a personal commitment to excellence. • Governor Kemp's Office and the Georgia Department of Economic Development announced the new Alfrex North American headquarters, sales and manufacturing facility in Buford, Hall County. Alfrex is based in South Korea and manufactures architectural metal panels for commercial building exteriors and interiors. Alfrex will create 25 jobs at the new 85,000 square foot 985 Lanier Logistics development at Atlanta Highway and Lanier Islands. • City of Gainesville announces Christina Santee as the new Public Relations Manager, who will work to expand the city’s digital outreach. Former editor of The Northeast Georgian, a Cornelia-based newspaper, Santee will focus on communicating information via news outlets and enhanced online and social media efforts. • The Quinlan Visual Art Center's most popular tradition is the Annual Members' Exhibit and is showing now through November 30. In its 72nd year, the exhibit showcases the work of the myriad of member-artists from Gainesville and throughout the Southeast. See winners of the 72nd Annual Members' Exhibition online:

Got news?


economic development

O U r t e a m i s yo u r

team A key leader of Rushton’s Government and Nonprofit Audit division, Audit Manager Sam Latimer and team go beyond standard audit practice to provide recommendations that help strengthen and improve operating efficiencies. Here’s our edge: Brian Daniel, President & CEO, Carroll Daniel Construction, cuts a ribbon at the new corporate headquarters in Downtown Gainesville. The new four-story, 60,000-square foot building features amenities like a rooftop lounge, company gym and a 2,000-square foot training room for its 200+ employees. Carroll Daniel’s offices are on the top three floors of the building. The first floor has 15,000-square feet of space available for lease. Geoff Lee, President & General Manager, Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, cuts a ribbon to open the new Michelin Tower, located on the front stretch of the track. The 52,000-square-foot facility, four stories high with a viewing deck on top, houses three floors of hospitality and suite space as well as a media center and broadcast booths. The tower is available to host events year round – even when no cars are on track! The Atlanta Falcons and Emory Healthcare broke ground on a new sports medicine clinic, located on the Falcon's campus. The Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center at Flowery Branch will provide a new location for patients and access and treatment for Falcons onsite. Also being built is the Emory Sports Performance & Research Center, dedicated to exploring the science of injury prevention and recovery, particularly in high school students and younger athletes.

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770.287.7800 | November 2019 |


small business development The October Small Business Seminar, presented by longtime Chamber supporter Tony Paramore, focused on employee hiring techniques. (L-R): Program presenter Tony Paramore, Athens Printing; Kate StClair, Convene; Andrew Davenport, A Good Look Home Inspection; Stacey Reece, Spherion Staffing. The upcoming Small Business Seminar on Tuesday, November 12 (7:45-9:00am) at the Chamber and is presented by Joe Moon and Mike Denham of Velocity Technology Partners. Join us for an informative presentation that will cover the key components of good leadership – simplifying, delegation, predicting, systemization and structure. No charge for Chamber Members. Details: Amanda Lewis, 770-532-6206 x 111 or

Small Business of the Month

Master’s Apparel

Master’s Apparel is conveniently located at 611 Candler Street in Gainesville. Dario Perla moved his Custom Clothing business to Gainesville four years ago but has been a haberdasher for the past 29 years. His premium clothing line and fabric selections are perfect for those who want to dress their best in today’s business world. Dario is a student of the Cary Grant School of Style. With nearly three decades of expertise and his collections of the world’s finest fabrics, Dario has the ability to bring the height of style to his clients. The Candler Street office Dario L. Perla of Master's Apparel Custom Clothing. is suited with a full bar, humidor and lounging area for his clients to sit and relax while selecting pieces for their custom made wardrobe. Master’s Apparel/Dario Perla Collection, 611 Candler Street, Gainesville GA 30501. Contact Dario at 770-363-1636 or email:

Small Business Development Tuesday, November 12 Small Business Seminar

"Key Components of Quality Leadership"

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770-287-9605 •


November 2019 |

Presented by Joe Moon and Mike Denham of Velocity Technology Partners 7:45 am - 9:00 am | Chamber No Charge for Chamber Members $15 Non-Members

Tuesday, December 10 Small Business Seminar

"The Art of Sales: Mastering the Selling Process" Presented by Molly Knight UGA Small Business Development Center 7:45 am - 9:00 am | Chamber No Charge for Chamber Members $15 Non-Members


Chamber Small Business Seminars are held monthly on topics and issues of interest to small business. Amanda Lewis, 770-532-6206 x 111. Email:

Become a Chamber CERTIFIED Small Business Partner by simply attending six (6) Small Business Seminars in 2019. CERTIFIED Partners Receive

• Certificate of Completion • Certified Small Business Door Decal

• Recognition at a Chamber Board Meeting

• Announcement in the Business Link

Small Business Seminars are sponsored by AccessWDUN, Caldwell Electrical Contractors, Gainesville Mechanical and Signs by Tomorrow.



Staci Crane, Work Based Learning Coordinator at East Hall High School, instructs Youth Leadership Hall students, Luke England, East Hall High School, and Carragan Moody, Chestatee High School, on dining etiquette during lunch at the Chattahoochee Country Club.

Katie Parrish, Leadership Hall County's Education UNG Nursing, Program went from birthing a "baby" Director of at University of North Georgia (UNG) Simulation, under the direction of Katie Parrish to and Graham marching with the Gainesville High Williams, Band to finding the friendly lizard, Osleeper MFG Co., look on as Pancake, and the invasive Joro Spider Colby Merchant at Elachee Nature Science Center led (holding baby) by Amy Bradford. The day began at McGarity's Lakeview Academy with a delicious Business Products, breakfast and tour of the school. At and Shawn Rice, Simulation Hall County's Howard E. Ivester Early Technologist at College, Michele Hood provided an UNG, participate overview, and Christy Carter spoke in birthing a about the Work Based Learning simulated baby. Program. Madison Hopkins, Chamber, presented information on SPLOST VIII. UNG sponsored lunch at Fish Tales Lakeside Grille where Dr. Richard Oates was keynote speaker. Jim Hammond, Gainesville Theatre Alliance, closed out the day with a tour of the beautiful studios.

The Quality of Life Program for Youth Leadership Hall began with tips on how to dress to impress with Dario Perla, Master's Apparel, and Abby Hertweck Murray, Style Collectíf. At My Sister's Resale Boutique, Brandee Thomas showed the students how to shop on a budget. Staci Crain shared proper etiquette skills during lunch at Chattahoochee Country Club coordinated by Vaughan Smith. United Way of Hall County shared resources available to us in the community and Elevate Performing Arts Center Georgia taught the class the Rumba and Waltz, led by Danielle and Justin Holland! Dr. Juli Gesch Clay, Brenau University, taught the class how to write the perfect thank you notes. Thank you program sponsors: Chattahoochee Country Club and Georgia Power.


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ribbon cuttings

El Patron Family Mexican Restaurant

New Atlanta Rehabilitation Center

Brian Moore, DPT, ATC, Partner, and Blythe Nicholson, DPT, OCS, Clinic Director, cut the ribbon at Atlanta Rehabilitation & Performance Center’s new Gainesville office. Atlanta Rehab is a clinician-owned, outpatient therapy clinic specializing in orthopedics and sports medicine. The staff works hard to provide individualized care to patients in a family, friendly atmosphere where they focus on helping their patients reach their goals and return to maximum function. Atlanta Rehab takes pride in giving back to their community through involvement in the area high schools, as well as various other non-profit organizations. 1640 Jesse Jewell Pkwy, Suite 1-A, Gainesville, GA 30501. 770-536-9300.

Life Storage in Braselton

Joanne ‘JJ’ Liu, owner, and Tony Funari, president, Funari Realty and Town of Braselton council member, cut the ribbon for the new Life Storage in Braselton. Life Storage is a state of the art climate-controlled, indoor self-storage facility. Life Storage’s premier facilities offer convenient and easy access with high security in a safe environment for all storage needs. 7366 Friendship Springs Blvd, Flowery Branch, GA 30542. 770-637-2034.

Promote your company with a FREE Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. 14

November 2019 |

Co-Owners Robert Pulido and Ronnie Dunlap, employees, and family cut the ribbon for El Patron Family Mexican Restaurant in Gainesville. The business is built on fresh, quality food, good service and a comfortable atmosphere. With a friendly staff, the delicious menu uses the highest quality Mexican cuisine. Patrons are sure to come back again and again! 250 John Morrow Jr. Parkway, Gainesville, GA 30501. 678-971-1048.

Ward's Funeral Home Participating in a ribbon cutting at Ward's Funeral Home (L to R): Carl Owen, Maxey Ladd, John Wayne Abernathy, Jimmy Brewer, Wendi Abernathy, Lauren Abernathy, Bob Hamrick, Becky Brewer, Mark Russell. Ward’s Funeral Home offers funerals and cremation services with compassion, integrity and excellence. It is their goal to give a family a lasting tribute of their loved one in an upbeat and personal level. Ward's Funeral Home, 758 Main Street, SW, Gainesville, GA 30501. 770-534-5351. It's a free service if you're a member of the Chamber. Not a member? Join now, call 770-532-6206.

Alliance Prosthetics and Orthotics

ribbon cuttings The Original Mattress Factory

Photo by Renee Vanderwall Photography

Jason Auyer, Owner and Practitioner, and his family cut a ribbon at the new Alliance Prosthetics and Orthotics clinic in Gainesville. Alliance Prosthetics and Orthotics treats all types of patients with orthoses (braces) and prostheses (artificial limbs). They also specialize in the treatment of pediatric orthotic patients and dysvascular/ diabetic amputees. The team at Alliance Prosthetics and Orthotics prides themselves on their creativity and product quality. They believe in a mindset of goal setting and that achievements are valuable in their patients’ rehab, as well as in their life in general. 655 Jesse Jewell Parkway SE, Gainesville, GA 30501. 770-679-3090.

Pinnacle Bank opens New Holland Branch

Tiffany Ellis, Branch Manager, David Voyles, President, and Jackson McConnell, CEO, cut a ribbon for Pinnacle Bank’s new Gainesville location at New Holland. Pinnacle Bank, a locally owned community bank since 1934, specializes in meeting each customer's financial needs, now and into the future. Local decisions, quick responses and numerous locations are just a few of the reasons to choose Pinnacle Bank. “We are fortunate to be in communities like Gainesville, which provide us opportunity for continued growth and prosperity. We are excited about the future and value the relationships we share with our clients," said Jackson McConnell, CEO. 1948 Jesse Jewell Pkwy SE, Gainesville, GA 30501. 678-928-5368.

October Phillips and Dave Choppa cut a ribbon at The Original Mattress Factory in Gainesville. The Original Mattress Factory has been part of the Atlanta community since 1994 with 15 locations throughout the metro market. The Gainesville location is the newest addition, opening in October 2018. The company creates quality products in their own factory and sells directly to customers, eliminating the middle man and providing a real value. They carry an assortment of traditional two sided mattresses, as well as hybrid and foam mattresses, adjustable bed options, and can custom-size for RVs, campers and boats. 1110 Hwy 53, Gainesville, GA 30501.

James Wheeler Allstate Agency

Agent James Wheeler cuts a ribbon for James Wheeler Allstate Agency. The agency’s mission is to serve, engage and advocate for their customers and community. James Wheeler and his team believe in serving the community through volunteer work and ensuring that their customers have the information and/or the tools needed to properly protect what’s most important to them. James Wheeler Allstate Agency cherishes and appreciates each customer like family. 715 Queen City Parkway, Suite 103, Gainesville GA 30501. 678-841-8212. November 2019 |


2019 Most Fit Company Awards

Community Health Screenings The Greater Hall Chamber is committed to community and corporate wellness, some 250 individuals participated in free health screenings at the HealthSmart Expo on October 16th. Thank you CIGNA (title sponsor), Northeast Georgia Health System and Longstreet Clinic (platinum sponsors), BGW Dental and Northeast Georgia Diagnostic Clinic (gold sponsors).

Most Fit Company Awards were presented at the HealthSmart Expo on October 16th. As part of the Chamber and VISION 2030 HealthSmart Community Challenge, the awards recognize companies that provide outstanding wellness, nutrition and fitness opportunities for employees. The goal is to encourage employer wellness programs in an effort to improve the overall health of our community. Watkins Total Healthcare received the Most Fit Company Award in the small employer category (0-50 employees). Dr. Amanda Watson, Watkins Total Healthcare, and Elizabeth Higgins, Vision2030.

Carroll Daniel Construction received the Most Fit Company Award (51-250 employees). (L-R): Ashley Haynes, Joy Griffin, John Haynes, Sam Hausler, Lindsey Isbell, Angie Kennedy, Cassie Sherman. Mars Wrigley Confectionery received the Most Fit Company Award in the large employer category (251+ employees): (L-R): Gregory Harper, Laura Wright, Sue Brawner, Linda Jones, Samantha Husted.

The Chamber's 13th Annual HealthSmart Expo presented by CIGNA was October 16. (L-R): Chamber Chairman Brian Rochester, Rochester & Associates; Lauren Darr, CIGNA (presenting sponsor); Carol Burrell, Northeast Georgia Health System; Guest Speaker Eric Langshur, NY Times best selling author and entrepreneur; Kit Dunlap, Greater Hall Chamber. Over 60 health and wellness exhibitors participated in the event that was free and open to the public.



This publication is printed on partially recycled paper.

Profile for The Times

Business Link November 2019  

Business Link November 2019  

Profile for thetimes