Skip to content

Atlanta Area Institution Poised to Flood the Region with Investment Capital

June 23, 2017


 IgniteHQ, an ecosystem of entrepreneurs, investors and enterprises that exists to transform the South’s entrepreneurial landscape by flooding its participants with the resources they need to thrive – on a scale never before pursued – is housing a radical multi-billion dollar investment initiative called CurateFor.Us (

CurateFor.Us, the vision of new IgniteHQ President and CEO Mark Hubbard, connects companies and founders in the South with smart, networked capital from other parts of the world.

“We have a beautiful new state-of-the-art facility on Marietta Square and unique, dynamic relationships with enterprise and academia and sources of capital,” says Mr. Hubbard. “We want to use these resources to serve the region in profound ways and to establish IgniteHQ as the keystone and center of gravity for funding and innovation.”

Though the strategy was launched in June of this year, CurateFor.Us has already attracted more than $3.5 billion of hedge fund, family office, venture capital and private equity fund capital.

“Financial partners require investments that match specific mandated criteria and the resources to perform due diligence and oversight of those potential portfolio holdings. Operators want investors who match their approach, style and customer focus,” explains Mr. Hubbard.

With research teams performing fundamental, technical and legal due diligence, CurateFor.Us eliminates the costs and complexity associated with locating and vetting potential investments. Simultaneously the initiative serves as a new and vibrant lifeline for businesses looking to launch, grow, scale or exit. The curation methodology is stage and industry agnostic, so companies and investors of all sizes and types can apply.

In recent years, Atlanta has become one of the nation’s most exciting hotbeds of startup activity, but access to capital has always been seen as a challenge.

“It is an open secret that Atlanta is incredibly soiled. I wanted to do something audacious that creates far more value than we could ever hope to capture ourselves. Ecosystems thrive when participants are willing to do things that are ‘leaky’ – that cause the advancement of the system as a whole. Our ultimate goal is the flourishing of all stakeholders,” says Hubbard.

IgniteHQ was developed in partnership with Kennesaw State University, the third-largest university in the State of Georgia with more than 35,000 students, and in collaboration with the Cobb Chamber, one of the top three chambers in the nation.

Companies looking for funding should visit

Investors looking for curation and due diligence should visit

For more information on IgniteHQ, including membership and sponsorship opportunities, visit or follow us @ignitehqga.

North Georgia Staffing: The Human Resource Hub

June 23, 2017

North GA Staffing

North Georgia Staffing is a Human Resource consulting and Staffing services firm in Kennesaw, led by Debbie and Larry Underkoffler. While many staffing firms conduct basic job placements, NGA Staffing goes beyond the average candidate screening and also performs a pre-placement job interest survey and value profile, designed for specific job requirements.

The company has 8 offices and 10 onsite offices, keeping them connected to both their clients and employees’ needs. North Georgia Staffing has received all of its new business through customer referrals—and that set them apart from any other staffing firm.\

North Georgia Staffing strives to continuously stay ahead of the curve by implementing social media as another avenue for job posting. In addition, the company aims to find the perfect fit for its clients and deliver excellent customer service. At its core, the company has a heart for helping others and a passion for putting the community to work.

Learn more about North Georgia Staffing

Owners: Debbie and Larry Underkoffler

Year Established: 2009

Location: Kennesaw

Number of Employees: 35 (full-time)

Rate of Growth of Sales in 2016: 25%


Did you know: Since its opening in 2009, North Georgia Staffing has seen such a rapid growth and resulted in an increase in revenue of four million dollars from 2015 to 2016.



WellStar Awards Nurses for Excellence

June 23, 2017

System Group - L-R Nona Cindy Alicia Susan

Nurses play a critical role in helping patients heal, both physically and emotionally. Across WellStar Health System, nurses are at the center of the not-for-profit’s mission to deliver world-class healthcare to patients. Nurses and physicians who work to elevate the field of nursing were recently recognized at the annual Excellence in Nursing award ceremony presented by WellStar.

“As nurses, we’re privileged to work in one of the greatest professions,” said Jill Case-Wirth, chief nurse executive for WellStar Health System. “Nurses are given the opportunity to serve and impact others on a daily basis. Our focus on nurses helps us deliver compassionate care that puts patients first and makes a real impact on their lives.”

Four nurses received the System’s top honors in 2017, including:

Cindy Newman, RN
Cindy received the Administrative Leadership and Management award for her work in the Community Education and Outreach department at WellStar Health System. She is instrumental in connecting the health needs of faith communities with health promotion and prevention services. She interacts seamlessly with team members throughout the community and Health System, representing the nursing profession and WellStar with pride and enthusiasm.

Susan Owens, RN
Susan was awarded the 5-Star Nurse award for her work in the Mother/Baby unit at WellStar Atlanta Medical Center. Susan is well-respected as a clinical perinatal nursing expert and shares the newest and best evidence-based practices with her team. She is an active member of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, both locally and nationally. Susan maintains a transparent, open, honest and respectful relationship with her patients, peers, students and physicians.

Alicia Burke, RN
Alicia was recognized with the Rising Star in Nursing award for her work at WellStar West Georgia Medical Center. Alicia is an enthusiastic and quick learner who is self-motivated and eager to assist others. She is always conscious of safety and offers a solution when she has concerns. Alicia displays excellent customer service skills and proves daily that she is a valuable and reliable member of the team.

Nona Harris, RN
Nona was awarded the Nightingale Nurse award for her work at WellStar Paulding Hospital. Nona has been at the bedside as a nurse for 28 years. She encourages and supports her colleagues to expand their horizons by furthering their education and joining unit initiatives. She uses a collaborative multi-disciplinary approach in her practice and shares her skills and experiences to ensure best care for patients.

An additional 55 awards were presented to nurses and physicians who actively support the nursing profession across WellStar Health System, including:

WellStar Atlanta Medical Center

  • Susan Owens, RN– 5-Star Nurse
  • Dorothy Hardigree,RN– Rising Star in Nursing
  • Katherine Hallowes, RN– Nightingale Nurse
  • Sherry White, RN– Administrative Leadership and Management
  • Lathan Overstreet, M.D.– Provider Partner in Excellence

WellStar Atlanta Medical Center South

  • Gheorghe Balan, RN– 5-Star Nurse
  • Brett Cansler, RN– Surgical Services
  • Angela Carter, RN– Nightingale Nurse
  • Amy Pitts, RN– Administrative Leadership and Management
  • Yvonne Maduka, M.D.– Provider Partner in Excellence

WellStar Cobb Hospital

  • Amy Rhoades, RN– 5-Star Nurse
  • Elma Okogba, RN– Rising Star in Nursing
  • Debbie O’Steen, RN– Nightingale Nurse
  • Elizabeth Peters, RN– Administrative Leadership and Management
  • Mrunalee Mehta, M.D.– Provider Partner in Excellence

WellStar Douglas Hospital

  • Bunny Albin, RN– 5-Star Nurse
  • Taylor Carpenter, RN– Rising Star in Nursing
  • Kyle King, RN– Nightingale Nurse
  • Mel Dewbre, RN– Administrative Leadership and Management
  • Tayari Mchezaji, M.D.– Provider Partner in Excellence

WellStar Kennestone Hospital

  • Jennifer Vogel, RN– 5-Star Nurse
  • Aven Jackson, RN– Rising Star in Nursing
  • Medina Franzen, RN– Nightingale Nurse
  • Jayne Petefish, RN– Administrative Leadership and Management
  • Shae Evans, M.D.– Provider Partner in Excellence

 WellStar North Fulton Hospital

  • Maggie Parkhouse, RN– 5-Star Nurse
  • Heather Childs, RN– Rising Star in Nursing
  • Ida Smith, RN- Nightingale Nurse
  • Linda Farrow, RN– Administrative Leadership and Management
  • Hunt Anderson, M.D.– Provider Partner in Excellence

 WellStar Paulding Hospital

  • Renee Smith, RN– 5-Star Nurse
  • Nic de Jong, RN– Rising Star in Nursing
  • Nona Harris, RN– Nightingale Nurse
  • Kendra Mathis, RN– Administrative Leadership and Management
  • Alan Cheng, M.D.– Provider Partner in Excellence

 WellStar Spalding Regional Hospital

  • Nikol Nalley, RN– 5-Star Nurse
  • Bailey Kimbell, RN– Rising Star in Nursing
  • Reba Gaston, RN– Nightingale Nurse
  • Sharissa Ray, RN– Administrative Leadership and Management
  • Jehangir Pirzada, M.D.– Provider Partner in Excellence

 WellStar Sylvan Grove Hospital

  • Tracylyn Browne, RN– 5-Star Nurse
  • Sharon Bankston, RN– Nightingale Nurse
  • Erica Fishell, RN– Administrative Leadership and Management

 WellStar West Georgia Medical Center

  • Alyssa Pittman, RN– 5-Star Nurse
  • Alicia Burke, RN– Rising Star in Nursing
  • Angie Weddle, RN– Nightingale Nurse
  • Julia Cox-Pearson, RN– Administrative Leadership and Management
  • John Pracht, PA– Provider Partner in Excellence

WellStar Windy Hill Hospital

  • Lissa Watson, RN– 5-Star Nurse
  • Tammy Sylvester, RN– Rising Star in Nursing
  • Jan Turner, RN– Nightingale Nurse
  • Denise Lindhardt, RN– Administrative Leadership and Management
  • Anedi Eme-Akwari, M.D.– Provider Partner in Excellence

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, 240 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

The Marietta Local: Good Eats with Good Intentions

June 22, 2017

The Marietta Local

The Marietta Local is an award-winning restaurant serving comfort food made from scratch using locally sourced ingredients. The Marietta Local is located on the historic Marietta Square and serves breakfast and lunch, Monday through Saturday. Jim Tidwell and his team have been awarded the “Big Chicken Award” for three years in a row at the Taste of Marietta for the best fried chicken in Marietta. The Marietta Local prides itself on giving guests an exceptional experience, serving memorable meals, one plate at a time!

The restaurant offers catering for all event types and uses only fresh, locally sourced products for ingredients. In addition, the restaurant operates under the idea of providing an exceptional experience for its guests by providing memorable meals, one plate at a time!

The Marietta Local has built a high customer satisfaction rating on Yelp and Trip Advisor, where the restaurant received the Certificate of Excellence honor in 2016.

Learn more about The Marietta Local

Owner: Jim Tidwell

Year Established: 2014

Location: Marietta

Number of Employees: 15 (full-time)

Rate of Growth of Sales in 2016: 30%


Did you know: The Marietta Local’s Nashville Hot Chicken has been proclaimed by our Customers as the best in Atlanta and better than most in Nashville.

John Mulaney Live at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on September 30

June 22, 2017

1000x1000JOHN MULANEY is an Emmy Award winning writer and comedian. He most recently starred in the Broadway hit, “Oh, Hello on Broadway” alongside Nick Kroll. In 2015 Mulaney released his 3rd hour stand up special a Netflix Original titled “THE COMEBACK KID” which the AV Club called “his best hour of his career.” Catch Mulaney at Cobb Energy Centre on Saturday, September 30. Tickets on sale Wednesday, June 21 at 10 AM ET at

Mulaney began his career in New York’s East Village and has since toured around the world. In 2008, he began writing at “Saturday Night Live” where he appeared as a “Weekend Update” correspondent and co-created characters such as “Stefon” with Bill Hader. He currently writes for IFC’s “Documentary Now” and for Netflix’s “Big Mouth” on which he voices the character of Andrew.

Mulaney’s first comedy album, “The Top Part,” was released in 2009. He released his second Comedy Central special and album “New In Town” in 2012, and upon review KenTucker of Entertainment Weekly hailed Mulaney as “one of the best stand-up comics alive.”

Elizabeth Gaston Award Winner of 2017 Georgia MPI Innovative Concept Award

June 21, 2017

Elizabeth GastonElizabeth Gaston, Event Operations Director of MeetingAdvice,  has received the 2017 Georgia MPI Innovative Concept Award.   This award is given to a GAMPI member or committee who has impacted the chapter through the development and execution of a creative concept or innovative idea.  Liz was instrumental in bringing the 2017 Tech Summit App and The Game of Techs to the recent Tech Summit held at Villa Christina and attended by meeting and event professionals. Liz previously served on the Board for the GAMPI and this year chaired the committee for the annual Tech Summit.

Liz was recently promoted to the position of Event Operations Director at MeetingAdvice with responsibility for mentoring team members and creating organizational procedures.  mpi2She has 17 years of industry experience including MeetingAdvice in addition to a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Environmental Science; Conventions and Tradeshow Management from the University of Alabama.  She is also a Certified Meeting Planner and an active member of the Georgia division of Meeting Planners International.”

Atlanta Braves and Northside Hospital Introduce Born a Brave Program for Newest Braves Fans

June 21, 2017

Reagan Whitley with her Braves beanie cap. Every baby born at Northside receives oneThe Atlanta Braves are welcoming every newborn at Northside Hospital with a cap monogrammed with the Braves script “A” as well as a Braves Country birth certificate. The Born a Brave beanie program kicks off on Father’s Day, June 18.

The Born a Brave program is part of the Atlanta Braves and Northside Hospital partnership at SunTrust Park.

“Northside Hospital delivers more babies than any other hospital in Georgia and in the heart of our community,” said Jim Allen, vice president of corporate partnerships.  “We are delighted that each newborn will become an instant member of Braves Country.”

The Braves commissioned 24,000 beanies for the Born a Brave program. Northside Hospital health care system delivered more than 20,000 babies in 2016 and that required a big order. Braves beanies will be given to all babies born at each of Northside’s three hospitals in Sandy Springs, Cumming and Canton.

“This is going to make all our newest and cutest future Atlanta Braves fans feel special, cozy and ready to do the Braves chop,” said Bessie Smith, operations manager of Family Centered Care at Northside Hospital. “A new baby is rewarding in itself, and this will certainly elevate that joy for families of all Northside babies.”

Hailey and Reece Whitley and their newborn Baby Braves Reagan.JPGFamilies who receive Braves beanies can support the team and Northside by posting photos on social media channels using the hashtags #BabyBraves and #NorthsideBaby.

The Born a Brave program is one of several initiatives scheduled this season:

  • Northside Hospital collaborates with the Atlanta Braves Foundation as an official community partner and will support two health awareness campaigns with the Braves during the season.
  • On Saturday, June 24, when the Braves play the Milwaukee Brewers, the Northside Hospital Foundation will again host a celebration for cancer survivors and their families.
  • On Friday, July 14, the Matt Kemp bobblehead night will be presented by Northside Hospital, with bobbleheads available to the first 20,000 fans.

For more information about Northside Hospital, including maternity tours, visit

About Atlanta Braves
Based in Atlanta since 1966, the Braves are the longest continuously operating franchise in Major League Baseball. Since 1991, Braves teams have earned two National League wild cards, 15 division championships, five National League pennants, and a World Series title. Atlanta Braves games are telecast on Fox Sports South and Fox Sports Southeast. Radio broadcasts can be heard in Atlanta on 680 the Fan (AM), WYAY-FM (106.7) and regionally on the Atlanta Braves Radio Network. Follow the Braves at,, and

About Northside Hospital (
The Northside Hospital health care system is a 905-bed, not-for-profit health care provider with more than 150 locations across Georgia, including three acute care, state-of-the-art hospitals in Atlanta, Cherokee County and Forsyth County. Northside Hospital leads the U.S. in newborn deliveries, diagnoses and treats the most cancer cases in Georgia and performs the most robotic surgeries in Georgia. Northside has more than 2,500 physicians and 15,000 employees who serve nearly 2 million patient visits annually across a full range of medical services.