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Georgia Symphony Orchestra Presents Sensory Friendly Concert

February 16, 2018


The Georgia Symphony Orchestra, in collaboration with Autism Speaks will present the third annual Sensory Friendly Concert at 2pm on Saturday, March 3, 2018 at the Marietta Performing Arts Center. This event is designed especially for persons with autism and their families. As a component of the GSO’s educational and outreach programs, this concert will provide audience members the ability to experience great orchestral music without any of the constraints of a standard performance.

During this 50 minute program, audience members are free to move about, dance, and make noise. Sensory sensitive listeners and family members will delight in the discovery of an orchestral experience that invites and welcomes the autistic into the world of classical music.  This performance features special guest cellist, Francisco Villa.

Musical program includes:

Elgar, Serenade for Strings
Tchaikovsky, Andante CantabileDvorak—Nocturne Op. 40

Boccherini, Cello Concerto No. 9
I. Allegro moderato
Bach, Prelude from Suite No. 1
Mozart—Eine Kleine Nacht Music
I. Allegro
II. Romanze: Andante

The concert is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Marietta Performing Arts Center is located at 1171Whitlock Avenue, adjacent to Marietta High School in Marietta. Tickets are $10.

To reserve tickets, call, (770) 429-2390 or visit

About the Georgia Symphony Orchestra
The Georgia Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1951, and brings music to over 15,000 people annually.  Its mission is to engage and enrich diverse audiences through the presentation of music at the highest artistic level and to provide programs and education that instill a lifelong appreciation for the arts. The GSO organization also includes the GSO Chorus, GSO Jazz! and the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra.


Drive Shack to Open First Location in Georgia on Marietta’s Franklin Gateway

February 16, 2018


The City of Marietta is pleased to announce that Drive Shack is the newest addition to the Franklin Gateway Corridor, joining other top brands like Atlanta United FC, The Home Depot Technology Center, and IKEA US.

Drive Shack is a year-round sports entertainment destination that combines golf, dining, competition and fun. The Franklin Gateway location will feature three levels with hitting bays housed within a building where people can enjoy tech-powered golf games. Visitors can also spectate from the restaurant area, event space, or complimentary game lounge. Drive Shack will curate and support a compelling, unforgettable customer experience that will keep golfers and non-golfers alike coming back to Marietta and Franklin Gateway area yearlong.

“We are thrilled that Drive Shack has chosen the City of Marietta and Franklin Gateway as its anchor in Georgia,” said Mayor Steve Tumlin. “I, along with all members of our City Council, would like to humbly thank the citizens of our great City for believing in the vision our leaders had in 2013 with the Redevelopment Bond. We look forward to the high volume of jobs this sports entertainment facility will bring to the City and Franklin Gateway!”

Drive Shack will be built on 17.18 acres which the City purchased through the 2013 Redevelopment Bond. The site purchased by the City of Marietta in 2013 originally consisted of 24.5 acres. The future Drive Shack location is expected to open in 2019 and will be a $20-25 million investment which will not only provide 450+ new jobs along the Franklin Gateway corridor but will also provide significant annual sales and property tax revenue for local governments and the school system.

About Drive Shack
Drive Shack is a subsidiary of Drive Shack Inc., which is a publicly traded owner and operator of golf-related leisure and entertainment businesses. Drive Shack is developing venues across the country that are reimagining the traditional concept of a golf course through blended, industry leading technology, design and service that creates the golf entertainment experience for every skill-level and interest. Its first venue in Orlando, Florida is expected to open in early 2018, with additional sites expected to open later in 2018. Unlike traditional driving ranges, Drive Shack’s golf entertainment complexes will feature technologically-enhanced, signature golf-based games using complementary TaylorMade clubs and are designed for players of all skill levels. Each venue will have full-service food and beverage areas as well as private event space that can accommodate groups from 10 up to 1,000 in size. Drive Shack Inc. also owns American Golf, one of the largest owners and operators of golf properties nationwide.

About the Marietta Redevelopment Bond
In November 2013, the Citizens of the City of Marietta passed a $68 million Redevelopment Bond of which $64 million was allocated towards the Franklin Gateway Redevelopment initiative.  Franklin Gateway bond funds have been invested to purchase four aging apartment complexes and a blighted retail center on Franklin Gateway leading to new private investment and the creation of thousands of jobs in the corridor.

Dr. Christie Kwon Appointed to Clinical Advisory Board at World’s Largest Chiropractic Research Funding Organization

February 15, 2018

Christie Kwon Headshot (002)Dr. Christie Kwon, Assistant Professor of Clinical Sciences in the College of Chiropractic at Life University (LIFE), has been appointed to the Clinical Advisory Panel of the Australian Spinal Research Foundation (ASRF).

The ASRF is the largest chiropractic research funding organization in the world. Since its founding in 1977, ASRF has awarded more than $1.6 million to support 183 research projects in the United States and globally. The Foundation’s mission is to “facilitate research that furthers the understanding and development of chiropractic care.”

As a member of the Foundation’s Clinical Advisory Panel, Dr. Kwon will become part of a global team charged with ensuring that the Foundation supports research that is relevant and focused on the chiropractic paradigm. This includes reviewing grant applications, making recommendations for grant awards and providing investigators with guidance on how to improve their research and scholarly work so that it helps to advance the profession.

Dr. Kwon is a 2011 Magna Cum Laude graduate of LIFE, where she completed her Doctor of Chiropractic degree with Pi Tau Delta honors. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science and Master of Science in Biotechnology degrees from Johns Hopkins University. She has also studied Health Policy at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Kwon’s extensive science and research background includes work at the former National Cancer Institute’s American Health Foundation, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine – Neurology Institute for Cell Engineering, and the JHU Engineering Research Center for Computer Integrated Surgical Systems and Technology. Dr. Kwon also helped conduct a public health study on adolescent risk behavior at the Johns Hopkins Hospital Harriet Lane Adolescent Clinic.

Dr. Kwon serves on the Board of Directors of the Academy of Chiropractic Family Practice and also devotes time to research publications for the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. She also serves as Executive Director of the Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation. Dr. Kwon’s current research interests are in subluxation-based chiropractic research studies pertaining to health outcomes of pregnant women and children, as well as pedagogy and educational methods.

About Life University
Founded in Marietta, Georgia in 1974, Life University is a health sciences institution most known for its chiropractic program, the largest single campus chiropractic program in the world. Life University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, master’s, and Doctor of Chiropractic degrees, and also has programmatic accreditation through the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE), the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) and the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic  Training Education (CAATE). The mission of Life University is to empower students with the education, skills and values necessary for career success and life fulfillment, based on a vitalistic philosophy.

2nd Annual Future Fest Invests in the Lives of the Next Generation

February 13, 2018

Last Wednesday, over 900 Cobb County and Marietta City students covered the exhibit floor of the Cobb Civic Center for the 2nd Annual Future Fest. This event, led by the Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) Division of Cobb County Schools, IMG_5037provided an opportunity for middle and high school students from across the two districts to engage with businesses from various industry sectors to explore what those careers could look like for them.

Students not only heard about the great opportunities in these fields—many of which they may never have considered or been exposed to—but they got to see, touch, and feel these experiences themselves, as each business brought with them something that helps students gain more practical context of what it is they do. JE Dunn, for example, brought a tablet experience where students explored a virtual pre-visualization of a construction project by turning their body and twisting their arms to see every bit of the space. Georgia Trade School brought a few items to display, such as a welder’s mask, and students were able to hop in a simulator of a Caterpillar excavator, courtesy of C.W. Matthews—these are a small sample of the many different experiences at the event.

This effort was about more than getting students out of the classroom for the day. It was about painting a picture in students’ minds of what careers actually look like. As the Cobb Workforce Partnership continues its effort to connect students with high demand career opportunities, it is clear that expIMG_5040osure is often the first step. Events like Future Fest provide a great opportunity for businesses to take that first step towards giving students a better idea of what they want to do for their career.

If you would like to learn more about Future Fest, please contact Angela Kovachi Sparks at Cobb County Schools. For more information on how to get more involved with workforce development efforts in Cobb County, please contact Austin Riley at

Stadium Walk Apartments in Cobb County Hosts Polar Plunge to Benefit Home of Hope Children’s Shelter

February 13, 2018

Stadium Walk Apartments, located near SunTrust Park in Cobb County, will host their first ever polar plunge to benefit Home of Hope in Gwinnett County.  Stadium Walk, a new apartment community in Cobb County chose this time of year to work with Home of Hope because of the downfall in charitable donations after the holiday season.  “Our event will not only be loads of fun for the participants but it is benefiting an amazing organization”, said Ellie Norton, Regional Manager for Stadium Walk Apartments.  Stadium Walk will donate $25 for each participant to Home of Hope.

The event will be on Saturday, February 24th from two until five in the afternoon.  The participants and those cheering them along will enjoy warm treats after along with plenty of prize drawings.  More information about the event and registration opportunities can be found on the Stadium Walk Facebook page.  or follow the link from the Stadium Walk website.

About Home of Hope
Home of Hope a nonprofit, 501C3 Corporation and a residential care facility, which provides services for homeless children from 0-17 years of age along with their young mothers.  The organization also provides care and services for homeless girls aging out of the foster care system at 18 years of age.  They provide customized “Life Plans” that are designed around the physical, emotional and educational needs of our kids, while helping Mom create a plan of action to get back on her feet.  The goal is not simply to be a place of refuge; they are the “NEXT STEP” towards independence.  Home of Hope takes guests from homeless, to hopeful, to a home of their own.  For more information, please visit

About Pegasus Residential
Pegasus Residential is a third-party Management Company, responsible for the management of Stadium Walk Apartments, which is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia managing 30,000 units in more than 40 metro markets.  Pegasus Residential provides expertise in acquisitions, new development, and re-development; and, also serves as consultants in building and construction services for their clients.  For more information, visit

American Kidney Services Teams Up with Cumberland Mall to Help Kidney Patients

February 12, 2018


American Kidney Services (AKS) and Cumberland Mall, have teamed-up to help kidney patients. Mall manager, Chris McCoy, welcomed AKS placing one of their trucks in the mall parking lot along Cumberland Boulevard, near the Sears Auto Center and the Marriott Courtyard hotel. Please drop-off your gently used clothes and household goods at the attended truck. The items are sold to thrift stores and the proceeds goes to American Kidney Fund, where 97 cents of every dollar goes to helping kidney patients with financial aid.

For more information, visit

KSU Continuing Education Graduate Transitions from Information Technology to Information Security

February 8, 2018

Abraham Okomanyi

Having worked for more than two decades in Information Technology, Abraham Okomanyi recognizes the significance of his profession in the digital age. His years of experience in the IT field led to a five-year opportunity overseas. It was during this time that he discovered his passion for Information Technology suddenly merged with Information Security. The knowledge and skills he acquired abroad drove Okomanyi to consider the Information Systems Security Professional (ISSP) Certificate at KSU’s College of Continuing and Professional Education. His goal: to obtain one of the most highly regarded information security certifications available, the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP®).

“I was the CISO [Chief Information Security Officer] at my last job and, as such, I underst[ood] the value of having the CISSP letters next to my name in terms of credibility and potential for career growth,” Okomanyi said.

He noted that the evolution of global ecommerce brought about many challenges and opportunities to the profession. “We are in a digital economy,” Okomanyi said. “With this growth come the challenges of cybercrime and the need for skilled professionals to ensure the critical assets of organizations are secured against attacks. [We] hear of data breaches almost on a daily basis, undermining the confidentiality of sensitive [information] with the attendant reputational damages and regulatory liabilities on the affected organization.”

His observation directly correlates with data from a recent study on the field. Juniper Research, one of the leading analyst firms in the mobile and digital technology sector, found that the average cost of a data breach will exceed $150 million by 2020. By 2019, cybercrime will cost businesses over $2 trillion. This figure, the study showed, is a four-fold increase from its report in 2015.

“Information security is a growing field with exponential growth,” said Rebecca Mattox, ISSP program manager. “Vulnerabilities exist, and trained professionals are part of the solution to a critical problem in this industry.”

Okomanyi said the certificate program at KSU’s College of Continuing and Professional Education created a collaborative learning environment where open-ended discussions led to thoughtful insight into the concepts of information security and their applications in real life.

“There [were] ample opportunities for the students to learn from each other as well as from the vast experience of the instructor,” Okomanyi said. “The real-life examples that were relayed to us by the instructor to further hone in the learning objectives of each domain…continue to resonate with me.”

With the notes from class lectures, help from the instructor and multiple practice tests, Okomanyi was able to pass the CISSP exam on the first try. “This is to further my success in information systems security,” he said. “It was like a heavy load was lifted off my shoulder with an associated sense of relief. I was excited and grateful.”
Having used his transition period as an opportunity to enhance his career, Okomanyi’s next plan is to “find the right information security role in the right company” where he can continue to grow his career and deepen his knowledge.

For more information on this program or other technology-related offerings, visit, call 470-578-6765 or email