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Contracting and Education for Minority and Small Businesses

July 28, 2015

Balfour Beatty Infrastructure (BBII) is currently in a joint venture partnership with Skanska USA in pursuit of the I-285/GA 400 GDOT Design Build/Finance project. This is a $750 million, pursuit, located in Atlanta, which brings the opportunity for a large amount of subcontract work for small and disadvantaged businesses and for them to have the opportunity to work with two of the largest infrastructure companies in the world.

We will be hosting an outreach session in Atlanta on Aug. 4 from 6 – 8 p.m. for subcontractors interested in learning more about this project. Additionally we will be working with the USDOT Small Business Resource Center to bring a Bonding Education Program (BEP) to Atlanta starting on Aug. 4. DBE and SBE companies that attend the BEP with learn, among other things, how to attain bonding and if they have the ability to bond, they will learn how to increase their bonding capacity.

The event will be held at the Hyatt House Atlanta/Cobb Galleria located at 3595 Cumberland Blvd SE Atlanta, Georgia, 30339.

For more information or to RSVP please contact Kosal Sarou at or Nancy Huggins at by Aug. 2.

Navy Operational Support Center Atlanta Hosts Change of Command Ceremony

July 27, 2015

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DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. – Capt. Ralph F. DeWalt II assumed command of Navy Operational Support Center Atlanta from Capt. David T. Fritz on July 11 in a ceremony attended by members of the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce and other dignitaries, including the deputy regional commander of the Navy’s Reserve Component Command.

With 1,300 reservists assigned to nearly 30 units, and a full-time staff of 38 military members and civilians, NOSC Atlanta is the fifth-largest Navy facility of its kind.

“We couldn’t be more honored to be in this community, because Cobb County is committed to its sailors, Marines and guardsmen,” said Fritz, who had served as the commanding officer of NOSC Atlanta since April 2013.

DeWalt, of Fairfax, Virginia, graduated from the Naval Academy in 1993 and earned a master’s degree from the Naval War College in 2010.

Designated a naval aviator in 1996, he served with Patrol Squadron 4 in Hawaii, deploying three times, and with Training Squadron 28 in Texas before transitioning to full-time support status with the Navy Reserve in 2003. Since then, he served with Reconnaissance Squadron 46 in Georgia; with Fleet Reserve Squadron 1 in Maryland as a flag pilot for the secretary of the Navy; and with Reconnaissance Squadron 52 in New Jersey as its commanding officer.

He also served tours at the Pentagon and, most recently, at U.S. Pacific Command.

Describing Fritz as “the kind of person and leader we all strive to be,” DeWalt said he looked forward to carrying on his tradition of taking care of the people of NOSC Atlanta.

The change-of-command ceremony was followed by a retirement ceremony for Fritz, a Vero Beach, Florida, resident whose father served in the Navy during the Vietnam War and whose brother – an Equipment Operator with the Seabees – recently was selected for advancement to Chief Petty Officer.

Fritz was commissioned from the Navy ROTC program at Virginia Tech in 1989 and designated a naval aviator in 1992.

He served with Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121, completing multiple deployments aboard the carrier USS George Washington, and as an instructor pilot with VAW 120 before transitioning to full-time support status in 2002. He next served with VAW 77, earning the Navy Reserve’s Hawkeye of the Year award, and as officer in charge of VAW 78.  After serving on the staff of the chief of naval operations, he returned as commanding officer to VAW 77, which earned – among other honors – the McCampbell Trophy as the Naval Air Forces Reserve’s squadron of the year. Before reporting to NOSC Atlanta, he completed a tour with Navy Personnel Command.

Capt. Shawn Duane, the deputy commander of the Navy Reserve’s Region Southeast, presented Fritz with a Legion of Merit award during the retirement ceremony, and retired Cmdr. L. Michael Shetler, who was a midshipman with Fritz at Virginia Tech and remained a close friend throughout their careers, served as the guest speaker.

It would be impossible to exaggerate how committed Fritz was to his troops, Shetler said before inviting members of the NOSC Atlanta staff to share their own thoughts with him.

“You were an inspirational and outstanding leader from the moment you stepped on board,” Petty Officer 3rd Class Ricky Holbert, of NOSC Atlanta’s medical department, told Fritz.

“Remain calm and be kind,” said Chief Petty Officer Cornell Blanche, quoting from what he called “The 10 commandments of D.T. Fritz.”

“To command is to serve – nothing more, nothing less,” said Master Chief Petty Officer Calvin Crawford, who served as Fritz’s command master chief. Fritz, he said, was “hands down, the best.”

Career Coach John Long Offers Free Sessions at Upcoming Expo

July 23, 2015

John Long ksu blogBoard-certified career and life coach John Long will return to KSU Center on July 30 to offer free career coaching sessions as part of the College of Continuing and Professional Education’s Career Training Expo. This session will be offered three times during the event – 6:30 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 8 p.m. They are ideal for those seeking to change careers, start a new career or advance in their current position.

“These sessions are designed to provide a forum for individuals to ask direct questions regarding any issues that are personally meaningful to them,” Long said. “It’s a great opportunity to obtain answers concerning career transition, resume writing, interview skills, branding and job search strategies.” A specialist in administration and interpretation of career and personality assessments, Long brings more than a decade of experience in the Atlanta job market and a wealth of relevant knowledge to his presentations.

His sessions also cover LinkedIn networking tips and how to discover your true passion in the workplace. Additionally, the Expo will feature more than 50 professional certificate programs, allowing attendees to meet instructors and recent graduates at information sessions. “There is no such thing as job security anymore.” Long said. “This is why professional development is vital. You have to invest in yourself. Don’t underestimate the value of a professional certificate.”

Long is also scheduled to lead several one-day career development seminars this fall at KSU Center. Upcoming classes include, Professional Branding & Résumé Writing (Aug. 13), Launching & Refining Your LinkedIn Profile (Aug. 15) and Interview Coaching (Sept. 12). Each course costs $99 and students who have enrolled in a continuing education class in the past year will receive $50 discount. More information can be found at or by calling 470-578-6765.

Call Before You Go Program

July 20, 2015

The Smyrna Police Department is pleased to announce it has adopted the Stratified Model of Policing; and is incorporating various elements of The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing Concepts into its daily policing strategies.

As a result of the above initiatives, effective immediately, the Smyrna Police Department is implementing the “Call Before You Go” program. This program is geared towards businesses that have to make large cash deposits at local banks within the city limits of Smyrna, GA.

smyrna police poicChief David Lee and his command staff are encouraging business owners in the City of Smyrna to call the Smyrna Police Department’s non-emergency number (770-434-6666) and request an escort to their bank provided the bank is within the jurisdictional limits of the Smyrna Police Department.

The Smyrna Police Department is constantly striving to provide the business community and its citizen’s with exceptional services. This new and exciting program is designed to provide an extra layer of safety, security, and confidence for those businesses that are making cash deposits that may not be utilizing an armored car service.

While the “Call Before You Go” program is designed to assist the business community as much as possible, we ask that you keep in mind, the department is committed to answering priority and emergency calls for service first.

For additional information and/or to arrange an escort, please contact the Smyrna Police Department’s non-emergency number (770-434-6666) and speak to a Smyrna Police Department employee for details.

Atlanta Braves And Live Nation To Bring Back The Roxy Theatre

July 16, 2015




ATLANTA (July 16, 2015) — The Atlanta Braves are teaming up with Live Nation to develop and operate a 53,000 square-foot entertainment venue at its new mixed-use community adjacent to SunTrust Park. The venue will have the iconic Atlanta venue name – The Roxy Theatre.

This arrangement is yet another example of the Braves’ commitment to deliver the preeminent sports and entertainment venue in the country. The Roxy Theatre will have a standing room only capacity of 4,000 and will feature approximately 40 music or comedy shows a year, mostly on non-game days.  The space will also be used for private and special events throughout the year.

Live Nation will operate and book the venue as well as oversee ticketing and promotion for the concerts and special events.

“We want to bring fans and visitors to this new community 365-days a year for a variety of events, and partnering with the nation’s preeminent live entertainment company in Live Nation guarantees excitement year round,” said Mike Plant, Braves executive vice president of business operations.  “Peter Conlon and Live Nation have an incredible track record here in Atlanta managing top acts and putting on first-class events.”

Live Nation Atlanta’s President Peter Conlon is known for the many concerts he has brought to Atlanta and the Southeast. His name is synonymous with what music is in Atlanta.

“Live Nation is very excited to bring back an iconic venue such as the Roxy Theatre,”  Conlon said.

The Roxy Theatre will be situated at the north end of the plaza outside the gates of SunTrust Park.  The plaza is designed to help visitors transition from the surrounding development into the ballpark and will serve as an additional entertainment venue for events throughout the year.  Anchoring the southern end of the plaza will be the Omni Atlanta Hotel at SunTrust Park, which will feature approximately 260 finely appointed guest rooms and suites, as well as a nine-story office tower, which will house more than 1,000 Comcast employees. Surrounding the plaza will be a host of dining options, including chef-driven cuisine, a brewpub and additional fast casual options.

Live Nation is a subsidiary of Live Nation Entertainment, and is the world’s leading live entertainment company, producing more than 20,000 shows for more than 2,000 artists each year. Liberty Media, owner of the Atlanta Braves, holds a minority interest in Live Nation.

About SunTrust Park and Mixed-Use Development

SunTrust Park is being developed by the Atlanta Braves in partnership with Cobb County, the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority and the Cumberland CID, and will be completed by Opening Day 2017. SunTrust Park will be located in Atlanta at the intersection of I-75 and I-285 in the bustling Cumberland CID.  The project will be a first of its kind – a destination that will simultaneously build and integrate a state-of-the-art Major League Baseball ballpark with a multi-use development and community.  The privately-funded mixed-use development will create a vibrant atmosphere with unique shops, restaurants, offices, residences and entertainment venues that are accessible 365 days a year.

About Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves are the National League’s winningest franchise since 1991. During that time, Braves teams have earned two National League wild cards, 15 division championships, five National League pennants, and a World Series title. Based in Atlanta since 1966, the Braves franchise is the longest continuously operating franchise in Major League Baseball. Follow the Braves at,, and

About Live Nation Entertainment

Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV) is the world’s leading live entertainment company comprised of global market leaders: Ticketmaster, Live Nation Concerts, Live Nation Media & Sponsorship and Artist Nation Management. For additional information, visit

HGTV Host John Gidding to be Featured Speaker at Atlanta Home Show

July 15, 2015

Atlanta Home Show John Gidding 2015 photoArchitect and Designer John Gidding, host of HGTV’s popular “Curb Appeal – the Block”, will be the featured speaker at the 32nd Annual Fall Atlanta Home Show and Outdoor Living Expo, scheduled for Sept. 11-13, 2015 at the Cobb Galleria Centre.  He will join over 300 exhibitors showcasing the latest home and landscape products and services.  A native of Istanbul, Turkey, and graduate of both Harvard and Yale Universities, Gidding will speak Saturday, Sept. 12 at 1 and 3 p.m. on the Reliable Heating & Air Home Show Stage.

The charismatic Gidding first received national attention on HGTV’s “Designed to Sell”, where he made use of his international architecture, design and landscape architecture experience to transform average homes into showpieces.  His work redefines how people interact with and use their living spaces, and each design is unique, evocative and stylish, whether it is for a cozy New York apartment or a grand estate.  Gidding’s Atlanta office is located in the Old Fourth Ward, and he also maintains offices in New York and Los Angeles.

“John is extremely popular with our attendees, and because of his extensive background in all aspects of both interior and exterior home design, he’s the perfect speaker for the Fall Atlanta Home Show and Outdoor Living Expo,” said Michael Schoppenhorst, president of SEMCO and director of the Atlanta Home Show.  “John spends a lot of time in Atlanta, so he is very familiar with our city’s home styles, neighborhoods and ideal climate for outdoor living.  I’m sure he will give attendees wonderful ideas about integrating indoor and outdoor spaces, which they can then personalize by speaking with our exhibitors.  Throughout the Show, but especially in the Outdoor Living Expo area, our exhibitors will showcase the latest home and landscape products and services including kitchens, baths, porches, decks, pools, outdoor kitchens, landscaping, heating and air conditioning, insulation, fireplaces and so much more.”

Additional speakers throughout the three-day event include national and local experts such as Walter Reeves, Joe Washington and Dave Baker.  On Friday, Sept. 11, members of Atlanta’s housing industry (Realtors, contractors, interior designers, landscapers, etc.) will be admitted for free (with business card at the show entrance) courtesy of PMC Building Materials.  In addition to the onsite experts, there will be helpful tips and information posted regularly on the Show’s website and on the Atlanta Home Show’s Facebook page.  Sponsors and promotional partners include Reliable Heating & Air, Window World of Atlanta, PMC Building Materials, BSI – Builder Specialties, Inc., HOPE Atlanta, Red Hare Brewing Company and National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI).

Show hours are 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, and 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13.  General Admission tickets are $10 and may be purchased at the Show’s entrance and online at  Children age 12 and under and adults age 65 and older (with I.D.) are admitted free.  Military personnel and First Responders receive a free ticket with the purchase of one general admission ticket.

On-site parking is free.  The Cobb Galleria Centre is located at Two Galleria Pkwy., Atlanta, Ga., 30339.  The 2015 Fall Atlanta Home Show and Outdoor Living Expo’s 24-hour information line is 770-798-1997.

Leading Next Generation, Launches Area Students To A Successful Future

July 14, 2015

LNG pic blog

     Leading Next Generation is an innovative foundation that was formed in July 2015 by Founder and Entrepreneur Heather Pennington of Day Three Media and iSpeak Business. Leading Next Generation was created to provide area teens and college students with a training that prepares for independent life and a successful career as a business professional. The organization will be launching an academy in January 2016 as a yearlong program consisting of twelve modules that

will address key issues facing kids ranging from 14 through 20 years of age.

Heather Pennington conceived Leading Next Generation, after years of interviewing young people, speaking at High Schools, and lecturing at KSU, she saw a need not only from an employer’s standpoint but also from inspiration of wanting to help others. It has progressed after seeing first hand what are the biggest hurdles keeping new college grads from success in the professional world, but more importantly in lives on their own.

“I notice many times when I am speaking at high schools or colleges that many students just

seem lost and have no real idea of what is expected of them upon graduation“ said Heather Pennington. “They come into the room dressed completely wrong, speaking incorrectly and with a misguided vision of being an adult, let alone a business professional.”

In addition to Heather’s own observations many other professionals are echoing the same issues,

often citing having to spend valuable business time teaching “common sense” life skills and extra human resources searching for grads with the ethics to work their way up the corporate ladder rather than the expectation to be a vice president upon entry.

“Kids are graduating college with the highest debt in US history, most of them have no idea how

to dress for an interview let alone know how to write a resume or what a professional handshake

should look like,” said Heather. “They are perplexed with how to manage their finances, what etiquette looks like around the table in a business environment and the social communication that is such an important piece in life. In addition, self-­‐esteem is a constant struggle and the statistics are heading in a downward trend. “

The mission of Leading Next Generation is that all kids regardless of race, social economic status, or religion will have a chance to be the best version they can be and an asset to others and the business community. The goal of the academy is that by the end of the yearlong program, the students will have been equipped with the necessary skills to be confident, competent and successful as they enter into adulthood.

It is through equipping the next generation of young people for leadership through training in

practical life application where they are prepared for success upon graduation from college into independent living. For more information on Leading Next Generation or to reserve your spot for the Introduction Breakfast on Thursday, July 30 at the Marietta Country Club please contact Heather Pennington.

The Leading Next Generation Foundation is a non-­‐profit filed as a 501c3 in the State of Georgia and with the IRS.


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