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IBMSECU Hosts Marietta Branch Grand Re-Opening and Ribbon Cutting Celebration

August 14, 2018

IBM Southeast Employees’ Credit Union (IBMSECU) hosted a Grand Re-Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to celebrate the redesign of their Marietta, Georgia Branch on Wednesday, August 8th, 2018.

The Grand Re-Opening Celebration was held at 647 Roswell Street, NE, Marietta, GA 30060 from 2 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was held at 2:15 p.m. The Cobb County Chamber of Commerce facilitated the ribbon cutting.

Members of the community along with IBMSECU Members had the opportunity to meet and talk with branch staff, learn about money-saving products and services as well as enjoy free refreshments.

IBMSECU is a Member-owned financial institution that has provided financial services to families for more than 48 years. To be eligible for Membership, you must work for or be retired from a Member Company, live in an approved county, including Cobb County, worship or attend school in an approved county, or be an immediate family member of/live in the same household as an existing Member. Only $5 is needed to open a savings account and begin your lifetime Membership with IBMSECU. To join, use their secure Online Membership Application or call 800.873.5100.

Nicole Heffelfinger, VP of Operations at IBMSECU stated that “We were thrilled about the upcoming Grand Re-Opening Ceremony and Ribbon Cutting at our Marietta branch located in beautiful Cobb County, Georgia! This location will allow us to provide our Members and the community with a more modern, easily-accessible, tech-savvy approach to traditional banking. We value all of our Members and everyone in the Cobb County community and want them to come experience one or more of our money-saving IBMSECU services.  We’re excited and confident Members will find the new, upgraded Marietta branch to be a better banking experience. We are proud to better serve our Members and the Cobb County community.”

For more details about the Marietta Branch hours, services and features please visit:


IBMSECU, established in 1969, is a growing and dynamic Credit Union, with more than 82,000 Members worldwide and $1.10 billion in assets. A Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial institution that is owned by its Members. Credit Unions generally offer high-yield deposits, low interest-rate loans and low fee structures. IBMSECU offers a complete range of products and services including: Checking and Savings accounts, Money Market accounts, Certificates, IRAs, First and Second Mortgages, Car Loans, Visa® Credit Cards, Business Services, and much more.


Mall of Georgia and Town Center at Cobb to Host American Red Cross Blood Drives on September 1-3

August 14, 2018

Metro Atlanta shopping centers invite community to donate blood on Labor Day weekend.

Donate blood, save lives!

The American Red Cross will host blood drives at Mall of Georgia and Town Center at Cobb over Labor Day weekend, September 1-3. Supporters who donate blood at either center will receive a complimentary gift from the American Red Cross (while supplies last)!

Why get involved? Here are some quick facts, courtesy of the American Red Cross:

  • Someone needs blood every two seconds in the U.S.
  • Just one donation can save up to three lives!
  • Blood cannot be manufactured – it can only come from generous donors
  • Shortages of all blood types usually occur during the summer and winter holidays, making it crucial to donate now!
  • The American Red Cross supplies approximately 45 percent of the nation’s blood supplyTown Center at Cobb
    400 Barrett Pkwy, Kennesaw, GA 30144 (Lower Level Sears Court)
    September 1-3 from noon – 5 p.m.
    September 3 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
    *All donors at Town Center at Cobb will receive a Red Cross branded aluminum water bottle, while supplies lastFor more information on these events at Mall of Georgia and Town Center at Cobb, visit and
  • For more blood donation facts, visit the American Red Cross online at
  • HOW:
    Visit to schedule an appointment in advance. Enter code ‘moga’ for Mall of Georgia or ‘tcac’ for Town Center at Cobb.
    Mall of Georgia
    3333 Buford Drive, Buford, GA 30519 (Upper Level near Dick’s Sporting Goods)
    September 1-2 from noon – 5 p.m.
    September 3 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
    *All donors at Mall of Georgia will receive a Red Cross branded aluminum water bottle, while supplies last

Simpson & Simpson Accounting Donates to Local Combat Vets

August 9, 2018

SSG Wright

Simpson & Simpson Accounting, a local CPA firm, recently gave back to two local veterans who served combat tours in Afghanistan and continue to serve in the military. Sergeant First Class Darrell Shelnut and Staff Sergeant Trey Wright each received a $500 gift from Simpson & Simpson.

“I love the military and this country,” said Josh Simpson, CPA, who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom III before earning his accounting degree from Kennesaw State University (KSU). “Even though I’m not in the military anymore, I want to give back to those who are currently serving and to display my continued support. It takes an incredible amount of courage and I want these warriors to know they are appreciated.”

Both sergeants who received gifts served in active duty combat units. After leaving active duty service, they transitioned into the Army National Guard of Canton, Georgia.

  • SFC Darrell Shelnut thrived as an infantryman in the Marine Corps with the 3rd battalion 6th Marines, deployed twice to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, received the Governors Twenty Tab, Air Assault Badge, and many other awards.
  • SSG Trey “Billy” Wright excelled as an Army cavalry scout in the 25th Infantry Division, earned the Army’s Parachutist Badge in Airborne School, performed various counter-insurgency operations in Afghanistan, and gained many achievements.

Simpson pledged to donate 2% of proceeds to honor local veterans or active military throughout the year to thank them for their service. He especially enjoys working with entrepreneurial-minded veterans when they launch their own businesses.

“Starting a business can be really complicated,” he said. “We look at making adjustments to help companies be as profitable as soon as possible. My mission is to be everybody’s favorite CPA.”

Simpson himself returned from active duty to start accounting school at KSU, where he met his wife, Monica Simpson. She’s the other half in the Simpson & Simpson name. They launched their firm in 2010, which has grown to include two CPAs and three accountants.

 About Simpson & Simpson
Simpson & Simpson is a veteran-owned business with Fortune 500 CPA experience for families and small to medium-sized companies. Their team serves clients in Woodstock, Cobb, Fulton and Cherokee counties with CPA/accounting services that increase profits and reduce business risk. Their services include business/personal tax, bookkeeping, auditing, business planning and financial consulting. For more information, visit or call 678-925-5151.


The UPS Store Local Owner Recognized for Achievement

August 9, 2018

headshot 2Joseph Malbrough, who owns The UPS Store® located at 2690 Cobb Parkway, was recently awarded the “2018 Small Business Person of the Year Award” by Smyrna Business Association (SBA).

The award recognizes Malbrough for his leadership and volunteer service  in the Smyrna community. “I am honored to have won this award,” said Malbrough. “I have worked hard not only to build my business, but also to be a responsible member of my community.”

In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for The Smyrna Business Association, where he is the Past President, he also founded the Smyrna Business Expo which supports the SBA’s annual Scholarship Awards program. Malbrough also is an Ambassador for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and a Team Captain for Atlanta Super Bowl 53 volunteer program.

Malbrough’s a native of Beaumont, Texas and graduate of Lamar University has owned and operated The UPS Store on Cobb Parkway, since 2004. He and his wife Cara reside in Smyrna with their two sons Evan and Jared.

In addition to domestic and international shipping, The UPS Store offers full-service packaging; digital printing services (business cards, letterhead, rubber stamps, etc.); document finishing (binding, laminating, etc.); notary; custom crating and shipping for large items (furniture, artwork, motorcycles, etc.); mailbox and postal services; office and packaging supplies; and more.

The UPS Store is open Monday-Friday 8:00-6:30, Saturday 10:00-3:30. For more information, visit or call 770-433-1031.

 About The UPS Store
With approximately 5,000 locations across North America, The UPS Store® network comprises the nation’s largest franchise system of retail shipping, postal, print and business service centers. The UPS Store locations in the U.S. are independently owned and operated by licensed franchisees of The UPS Store, Inc., a subsidiary of UPS (NYSE: UPS). Services, products, pricing and hours of operation may vary by location. For additional information on The UPS Store, visit For information on franchise opportunities for opening a The UPS Store location, visit Follow The UPS Store on Twitter at @TheUPSStore and like The UPS Store on Facebook at

“Hummingbird Whisperer” to Visit Smith-Gilbert Gardens

August 9, 2018

Close up with Bird and Julia (002)

Kennesaw’s Smith-Gilbert Gardens will hold its eighth annual hummingbird banding event on Saturday, September 8 from 8- 11 am, hosted by “Hummingbird Whisperer” Julia Elliott of Bird Watcher Supply Company. Executive Director, Ann Parsons says, “We are so pleased to work with Julia Elliott and Bird Watcher Supply Company to host this annual event. It is fascinating to watch the banding process and discover just how amazing these tiny birds are! This is a great program for the whole family.”

Elliott received her federal Master Permit to band hummingbirds in 2010. She is one of only about 150 persons from across the United States and Canada authorized to band these tiny birds. The process of banding, recapture, and recovery provides valuable information about bird history, especially migratory details and the relative abundance of a given bird species from year to year. When a bird is banded, the bander collects important data about the bird’s age, sex, condition, and plumage characteristics. All the information is recorded and the birds can be tracked across the United States, if they are captured again. Hummingbird delight 2

“TreeMendous Play Houses” will also be open during this event. Experience fun outdoor play structures (appropriate for all ages) showcasing creative design and innovations in sustainability, while establishing an interactive connection with nature.

Children will be invited to make hummingbird craft projects in the Rose Garden, enjoy a scavenger hunt, play yard games, and visit the bubble ponds.

The banding is a rain or shine event. Special thanks to presenting sponsor Bird Watcher Supply Company. Visit or call 770-919-0248 for complete details.

Smith-Gilbert Gardens
Smith-Gilbert Gardens, 2382 Pine Mountain Rd, Kennesaw, GA 30152, houses more than 3,000 species of plants on 16 acres in Kennesaw, GA. United by woodland paths, the gardens consist of separate groupings with individual elements of fascination. These include the Bonsai Exhibit, Paladino Camellia Garden, largest crevice garden in Georgia, Dale Gillett Rose Garden, and American Conifer Society Reference Garden. The gardens are open Tuesdays through Saturdays 9 AM to 4 PM. For more information, please go to

Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour 2018 With Special Guests Mindi Abair, Jonathan Butler and Keiko Matsui

August 7, 2018


In a career that spans more than three decades, legendary and Grammy nominated saxophonist Dave Koz returns to the road this Holiday Season for his 21st annual “Dave Koz Christmas Tour 2018″. Special Guests joining Dave this year will be: Mindi Abair, pop/blues saxophonist/singer who will be making her first Christmas Tour appearance; South African guitarist/singer, Jonathan Butler, who returns for another wonderful time with Dave; and Japanese keyboard sensation Keiko Matsui.

The tour, now in its 21st year, has received nationwide critical acclaim since its 1997 inception. After last year’s highly successful 20-year Christmas Tour, Koz’s 2018 Christmas Tour promises to bring fresh renditions of Christmas classics – as well as a Chanukah medley! – and hits from his respective catalog. Koz has logged nine No. 1 albums on Billboard’s Current Contemporary Jazz Album chart, including 2015’s Collaborations: 25th Anniversary Collection (Concord Records), and received nine GRAMMY nominations. His five holiday albums include 2017’s Dave Koz and Friends 20th Anniversary Christmas and 2014’s The 25th of December.

By all rights, smooth jazz should own the holiday season, and the saxophonist Dave Koz is better positioned than anyone to make it so,” -The New York Times

This year’s lineup marks just the latest in a long list of artists with whom Koz has collaborated over the years, including Burt Bacharach, Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan, Luther Vandross, Shelby Lynne, Kenny Loggins, U2, Michael McDonald, Rod Stewart and The Foo Fighters.

“Some might say it wouldn’t be Christmas without Santa, but (here), it’s not Christmas until Dave Koz comes to town.” -The El Paso Times

A New Yoga Studio Opens Aug. 18 in Smyrna

August 7, 2018

Located in the heart of Smyrna at The Smyrna Market Village, 1295 W. Spring Street Suite 120, Giving Tree Yoga will celebrate its opening on August 18th with a full day of FREE Yoga for the community.

“We are beyond excited to be here and to be part of the Smyrna community. This is such a wonderful opportunity to share the gift of yoga and bring the healthy benefits of a yoga practice to the people of Smyrna.” said Melissa Lopez, Giving Tree Yoga founder and owner. “My vision is to create a welcoming and inclusive environment. Our core belief is that yoga is for EVERYONE! We believe in unifying our community by injecting a positive and up-lifting experience into every class we teach with an approachable, loving environment to honor your mind, body & spirit.”

Opening Day will include Free Yoga classes all day with top instructors as well as healthy, locally sourced bites and refreshments. Kick-off begins at 9:00 am and concludes with our Sound Journey from 5:30 – 7:00 pm.   Class Reservations are recommended and can be booked by following this link Opening Day Schedule & Classes Sound Journey Sign-up for Sound Journey

Giving Tree Yoga Studio is focused on bringing balance, harmony and intention to people’s lives. With an easy and inviting sensibility, students of the studio experience a true yoga-focused practice. No distractions. No latest trends. No fads. Just yoga! Our classes are perfect for both beginner and advanced students, and offer a balance for the physical and mental stresses of our modern-day lives. Our friendly teachers will guide you through your practice and offer modifications and variations for all levels of experience. We offer Vinyasa Flow, Gentle Flow, Basics of Yoga, Posture Progressions and Yin/Restorative Yoga classes.

For more information on Giving Tree Yoga and our opening event please email Melissa at or visit