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Saint Leo Earns Best Regional University, Best Value Honors from 2018 U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges

September 21, 2017

best-colleges-RU-Best Value_2018Saint Leo University was named as one of the best regional universities and best values in higher education in the 2018 U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges, which was released last week.

Saint Leo ranked 61st among regional universities in the South, which marks an uptick from its previous ranking of 62nd. In addition, the university was named as one of the Best Value Regional Universities–South.

“We at Saint Leo are proud of our mission as a welcoming, inclusive, student-centered university. Everyone at the university is committed to helping our students succeed—both in the classroom and in the real world,” said Dr. William J. Lennox Jr., university president. “We are pleased to be recognized by U.S. News & World Report. These rankings speak to the high-quality, high-value education that students and parents have come to expect at Saint Leo.”

The U.S. News & World Report rankings methodology focuses on academic excellence, with schools evaluated on hundreds of data points and up to 15 measures of academic quality.

Saint Leo prides itself on being selected as a best value school. These are schools that are above average academically and cost considerably less than many other schools when the financial aid that they dispense, in the form of need-based grants and scholarships, is taken into account, according to U.S. News.

Those schools included in the regional universities category offer a full range of undergraduate programs and offer graduate programs at the master’s level, according to U.S. News, although they offer few if any doctoral programs. Saint Leo offers a Doctor of Business Administration degree. Of the 659 regional universities ranked, 259 are public, 388 are private (including Saint Leo), and 12 are for-profit.

 U.S. News uses several criteria to measure academic quality and rank universities. These include freshman retention and graduation of students; peer assessment; faculty resources; student selectivity; financial resources; alumni giving; and graduation rate performance.

About Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University ( is a modern Catholic teaching university that is firmly grounded in the liberal arts tradition and the timeless Benedictine wisdom that seeks balanced growth of mind, body, and spirit. The Saint Leo University of today is a private, nonprofit institution that creates hospitable learning communities wherever students want to be or need to be, whether that is a campus classroom, a web-based environment, an employer’s worksite, a military base, or an office park. Saint Leo welcomes people of all faiths and of no religious affiliation, and encourages learners of all generations. The university is committed to providing educational opportunities to the nation’s armed forces, veterans, and their families. Saint Leo is regionally accredited to award degrees ranging from the associate to the doctorate, and the faculty and staff guide all students to develop their capacities for critical thinking, moral reflection, and lifelong learning and leadership.

The university remains the faithful steward of the beautiful lakeside University Campus in the Tampa Bay region of Florida, where its founding monks created the first Catholic college in the state in 1889. Serving nearly 15,000 students, Saint Leo has expanded to downtown Tampa, to other sites in Florida and beyond, and maintains a physical presence in seven states. The university provides highly respected online learning programs to students nationally and internationally. More than 85,000 alumni reside in all 50 states, in Washington, DC, in three U.S. territories, and in 76 countries.

Mary McCoy
University Writer & Media Relations


Annual Donation Made to WellStar Foundation on Behalf of Legendary High School Coach

September 20, 2017

Kell High school check presentation 17

Every year, the Kell High School football team makes a donation to the WellStar Foundation on behalf of the school’s namesake Carlton “Corky” Kell. For the 10th year, the team presented a check in support of early lung cancer screenings and preventative services at WellStar Health System, totaling $34,000 over the years.

Two decades ago, Kell lost a seven-month battle with lung cancer. Many throughout Cobb County still remember him as beloved football and girls basketball coach at Wheeler High School. Since his passing, he has been honored through the naming of Kell High School, as well as the football stadiums at Kell and Wheeler.

During the September 15 home game, Carole Kell, his widow, stood among the crowd of football players, cheerleaders, athletic staff and fans to receive the check honoring her husband, along with representatives from the WellStar Foundation.

“I wouldn’t miss this game for the world. It means that much to me,” said Carole Kell. “I can’t believe it’s been so long since Corky passed and the community still rallies behind him. It’s such a wonderful feeling knowing he continues to inspire and help others.”

Kell is also known as visionary and co-creator of the Corky Kell Classic, an annual high school football competition that, since its inception 26 years ago, has grown to a three-day, nine-game lineup. In 2014, Kell was posthumously inducted into the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame alongside some of Atlanta’s most talented, athletic influencers, including Atlanta Braves World Series Champion John Smoltz and former owner of the Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Hawks Ted Turner.

To join Kell High School in contributing to the WellStar Foundation’s Corky Kell early detection lung cancer screening fund, visit or call 770-956-GIVE (4483).

About WellStar Foundation
For more than 30 years, the WellStar Foundation has been at the forefront of securing life-saving resources for the WellStar Health System, the largest health system in Georgia. As a not-for profit, donations from individuals, businesses and community organizations are critical for WellStar to achieve world-class healthcare. The Foundation reinvests 100 percent of every dollar donated toward initiatives that advance the level of healthcare provided to WellStar communities through improved patient services and assistance for those in need. To learn more, visit or call 770-956-GIVE (4483).

Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC Expands South Carolina Presence with Merger to Derrick, Stubbs & Stith, LLP

September 19, 2017

DSSCPA Group PhotoOn August 28, 2017, Donny Luker, Managing Partner of Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC announced that the firm of Derrick, Stubbs and Stith, LLP, in Columbia, South Carolina will join Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC. With nearly 100 years of success, Mauldin & Jenkins welcomes the opportunity to better reach its already growing clientele within South Carolina through this merger.

“We are proud to have the partners and employees of Derrick, Stubbs and Stith, LLP join our team,” stated Luker. “South Carolina is a great market, and we are excited to welcome the people and clients of such a long-time successful firm to the M&J group. For almost 100 years, Mauldin & Jenkins has been successfully serving clients throughout the Southeast and through the addition of a quality firm like DSS that tradition continues.”

Along with six partners, Derrick, Stubbs & Stith, LLP brings more than 25 professional and administrative staff members to Mauldin & Jenkins. Partners include Charles R. Statler, Jr. (Managing Partner), Alan F. Grimsley, K. Todd Dailey, Timothy M. Monahan, David L. Splittgerber and Michelle Z. Chapman. By joining forces, M&J will have approximately 280 people and seven offices located in five states. The total revenues of the combined Firm will result in $50,000,000.

Mauldin & Jenkins, a Top 100 firm as ranked by Inside Public Accounting and Accounting Today, tailors services according to the many niche industries it serves including closely held businesses, financial institutions, governmental entities, long-term healthcare, non-profits, and entrepreneurial services. The combination is scheduled to close October 1, 2017.

About Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC
Mauldin & Jenkins has provided audit, accounting, and tax services since 1918. Our culture, from the beginning, has been to provide top quality service to every client. Since the firm’s inception in Albany, GA, we have added offices in Atlanta, GA, Macon, GA, Birmingham, AL, Bradenton, FL, Chattanooga, TN, and Columbia, SC. We have grown into one of the top 100 accounting firms in the nation. For more information, please visit

About Derrick, Stubbs & Stith, LLP
Derrick, Stubbs & Stith, LLP, was founded in 1950 on the principles of providing the highest-quality professional services, with a focus on personal attention to client goals. A member of the RSM Alliance of CPA Firms, Derrick Stubbs is committed to staying ahead of the ever-changing requirements of today’s business environment. Their strategic team is made of skilled and trusted advisors in accounting, auditing, taxation and consulting. Learn more at

Life University Well Represented on Top 25 Chiropractors of 2017 List

September 18, 2017

LifeUniversity_Brandmark[4]’s Top 25 Chiropractors of 2017 was published this week and included nine DCs with direct Life University  (LIFE) connections. According to the article, this list was “compiled through a set of criteria to determine which doctors were having the biggest global impact in both the chiropractic industry and healthcare overall.”

It is also noted that all members of the list have either a chiropractic license or
retired license, while emphasizing Chiropractic in their practice or teaching.
Below are the individuals with direct connections to LIFE who made the list.
• Dr. Guy Riekeman, LIFE Chancellor
• Dr. Gilles LaMarche, LIFE Vice President of Professional Relations
• Dr. Dan Sullivan, LIFE Adjunct Professor
• Dr. Cathy Wendland Colby, LIFE Alumna and Guest Lecturer
• Dr. Joel Bohemier, LIFE Alumnus
• Dr. Stephen Franson, LIFE Alumnus
• Dr. Patrick Gentempo, LIFE Alumnus
• Dr. Liam Schübel, LIFE Alumnus
• Dr. Michael Viscarelli, LIFE Alumnus

LIFE is proud of the individuals who made the list who are committed to spreading
principled Chiropractic to the masses. To see the full list, visit

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.

Ready. Set. Eat. During Cobb Restaurant Week Presented by Cobb Travel & Tourism

September 15, 2017

Billboard - Cobb Galleria Centre

Foodies rejoice, the 9th annual Cobb Restaurant Week returns September 16 – 23. This is the best time to eat your way around Cobb County. Gas South is the Executive Chef Sponsor. Throughout the week, participating restaurants will offer pre-selected three-course menus for $15, $25 or $35 per person, plus tip, plus tax.

There are no passes to buy, coupons to carry or cards to punch. Simply visit any of the participating restaurants during Sept. 16-23 and select from their special three-course menu. This is a great opportunity to try local restaurants and celebrate their culinary talents, tasteful cuisines and vibrant atmospheres. Diners are encouraged to explore new offerings from favorite restaurants or try dishes from somewhere new.

Participating Restaurants:

  • Andretti Grill
  • Aspens East Cobb
  • Aspens West Cobb
  • Chicago’s Restaurant
  • Chicken and the Egg
  • Cinco Mexican Cantina
  • Cremefina Parlour
  • Crispina Ristorante & Pizzeria
  • Douceur de France
  • Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar
  • Grub Burger Bar
  • Henry’s Louisiana Grill
  • Maggiano’s Little Italy
  • Meehan’s Public House
  • The Melting Pot
  • Murph’s
  • Old Vinings Inn
  • Piastra
  • The Rotisserie Shop
  • Seed Kitchen & Bar
  • Stem Wine Bar
  • Terrapin Taproom & Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q
  • Todd English Tavern

Visit the Cobb Restaurant Week website at to access the full list of restaurants and menus. Follow us on Twitter @TravelCobb for everything food in Cobb County and become our fans on our Facebook page, /cobbtravelandtourism, for even more foodie tips, photos and to win prizes. Be sure to use #COBBRW2017 or #COBBFOODIE when talking about Cobb Restaurant Week on social media!

Thank you to our sponsors, Gas South, KSU Sports and Entertainment Park, Clear Channel Outdoor, Marietta Daily Journal, and OpenTable.

We are confident that you will find Cobb Restaurant Week a great opportunity to support the local dining community by exploring the newest restaurants and hitting up old favorites.

For more information about Cobb Restaurant Week, visit

About Cobb Travel & Tourism
Cobb Travel & Tourism is a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization, working to bring visitors to Cobb County. CT&T is the only organization positioned to market Cobb County and all of its assets as a 365-day destination. As the leading industry in Cobb County, tourism has significant economic impact. Tourism represents a $2.8 billion economic impact and supports more than 30,000 jobs. Tourism in Cobb County created $71.2 million in state tax revenues and generated $44.9 million for Cobb and its cities in tax revenues.

WellStar Health System Opens Third Health Park

September 12, 2017

VHP - EXTERIOR 2_2017_FLAGWellStar Health System today announced the opening of its third health park in Cobb County. The WellStar Vinings Health Park, a three-level, 162,000 square-foot facility, will open Monday, September 11 and provide an array of outpatient services to residents of South Cobb, Smyrna and Vinings. 170907B_570_Ribbon Cutting PhotoA health park brings outpatient and physician services directly to the community. Residents no longer will have to endure long drive times, frustrating traffic congestion and multiple trips to different facilities to access health services.

“At WellStar, we are committed to delivering high quality care to our patients, at the right place and at the right time,” said Candice Saunders, president & CEO of WellStar Health System. “The WellStar Vinings Health Park, like our other two health parks, is an innovative approach that provides our communities with a convenient close to home option, for all their outpatient healthcare needs.”

WellStar Vinings Health Park is the third health park for WellStar. WellStar Acworth Health Park opened in 2012 and WellStar East Cobb Health Park opened in 2014. The community has embraced these facilities, which are expected to serve a combined 412,000 patients in 2017. WellStar will break ground on a fourth health park in Cherokee County soon.

“WellStar pioneered the concept of health parks in Georgia, where consumers can receive outpatient services close to home,” said Kem Mullins, executive vice president of Ambulatory Services and Business Development. “Our two existing health parks have experienced tremendous growth since opening, demonstrating the value of bringing convenient, high-quality care to the community.”

WellStar Vinings Health Park will bring 175 jobs to the community.  In all, WellStar’s three health parks have brought 600 jobs to Cobb County.

Vinings Health Park will offer the following services:

  • Comprehensive Diagnostic Center (Imaging, Women’s Imaging, Lab & Pre-Admission Testing)
  • Urgent Care Center
  • Cardiac Diagnostics
  • Sleep Center
  • Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine (OrthoSport WellStar)
  • Cardiac & Pulmonary Rehabilitation
  • Retail Pharmacy
  • Community Education & Wellness Center

These services will be integrated with a multi-specialty mix of physicians to include a strong foundation of primary care, internal medicine, pediatric and OB/GYN physicians.  Specialists will include: cardiologists, pulmonologists, ENT, gastroenterologists, vascular surgery, general surgery, allergy/asthma, endocrinology, urology, orthopedics, rheumatology, colon and rectal surgery.

WellStar Vinings Health Park will be located at 4441 Atlanta Rd. SE, in Smyrna near I-285 and Cumberland Parkway.

 About WellStar Health System
WellStar Health System, the largest health system in Georgia, is known nationally for its innovative care models, focused on improving quality and access to healthcare. WellStar consists of WellStar Medical Group, 250 medical office locations, outpatient centers, health parks, a pediatric center, nursing centers, hospice, homecare, as well as 11 hospitals: WellStar Atlanta Medical Center, WellStar Atlanta Medical Center South, WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center (anchored by WellStar Kennestone Hospital), WellStar West Georgia Medical Center, and WellStar Cobb, Douglas, North Fulton, Paulding, Spalding Regional, Sylvan Grove and Windy Hill hospitals. As a not-for-profit, WellStar continues to reinvest in the health of the communities it serves with new technologies and treatments.  For more information, visit

7th Annual Hammer Down 5K Presented by JE Dunn Will Benefit Local Charities

September 12, 2017

The 7th annual Hammer Down 5K presented by JE Dunn is coming up on Saturday, October 14th beginning at the offices of JE Dunn Construction, 2555 Cumberland Parkway SE in Atlanta. The 5K race will begin at 8:30 a.m., with registration opening at 7:30 a.m. A 1K Fun Run will start at 9:30 a.m. Proceeds from the race will benefit kidz2leaders’ Camp Hope, and Feeding the Homeless Project.  This year these charities will be joined by Orange Duffle Bag Initiative. In the history of the race over $225,000 has been donated to worthy charities. Last year’s race raised $30,000 for each non-profit, kidz2leaders and Feeding the Homeless Project.

The race course is USATF Certified and a Peachtree Road Race Qualifier.  In addition to awards in age categories, the race will also challenge runners to achieve the fastest time up the Quarter Mile King/Queen of the Hill, beginning on Bert Adams Drive and reaching the top of Mt Wilkerson Pkwy.

Registration fee for the 5K is $25, late registration is $30. The 1K Fun Run registration fee is $10.  Participants may register in advance at or on race day. Race packets will be available for pick up on Thursday, 12, 2017, 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. at West Stride located at 3517 Northside Parkway #11 Atlanta, GA 30327, or on race day beginning at 7:30 a.m.

The race is a family friendly event with activities for children.

 About kidz2leaders
Founded in 1999, kidz2leaders®, inc. exists to help change the lives of prisoners’ children and to break the vicious cycle of incarceration. kidz2leaders, inc. helps them rise above their circumstances, teaches them to become leaders and provides a life of hope through Christian programming and a fun environment. At the organization’s 15th anniversary, kidz2leaders had served over 500 children in the metro-Atlanta area. For additional information on both kidz2leaders and Camp Hope visit:

About Feeding The Homeless Project
Feeding the Homeless Project, Inc. (FTHP) has evolved from a grass roots organization of passionate volunteers to a functioning non-profit that is financially sustaining itself.  Our stated mission is to bring attention to the plight of the homeless in Atlanta and to provide an organization that allows volunteers to become directly involved in an effort to provide hot meals to the less fortunate.  We are proud to state that we are succeeding in these initial objectives of our mission statement. For additional information visit

About Orange Duffel Bag Initiative
The Orange Duffel Bag Initiative (ODBI) 501(c)(3) public charity provides high school and college students who are homeless, in foster care or experiencing high poverty, evidence-informed coaching programs to improve students’ education success, ongoing advocacy, support to their guardians and caring adults, and service to the community. Programs include the 12-Week After School Program, which offers executive level certified coaching to high school students, and Coaching for College Completion, which helps young adults with limited resources create an education plan and connects them to solutions for post-secondary success.

About JE Dunn
JE Dunn Construction, founded in 1924, is one of the largest general building contractors in the United States, providing construction management services through 20 offices nationwide, and self-perform services at select locations. JE Dunn’s Atlanta office, established in 1985 and recognized for leadership in both green and lean construction practices and for community philanthropy, services an array of market sectors, including healthcare, higher education, K-12, commercial, industrial, manufacturing, mission critical, and aviation. Atlanta is also headquarters for JE Dunn’s East Region. The Atlanta office’s portfolio includes repeat work for clients including Atlanta Public Schools, Gwinnett Medical Center, Georgia Institute of Technology and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The JE Dunn organization is employee and family owned, and today is represented by three generations of the Dunn family in its day-to-day operations.