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524 Creative Launches Public Health Website Amidst COVID-19 Crisis

June 1, 2020

Marietta agency 524 Creative is pleased to announce the launch of District 4 Public Health’s new website. The site (www.district4health.org) was almost put on hold indefinitely due to the pandemic. However, District 4 and 524 Creative were committed to keeping the project on track so it could serve the district’s residents better.

Dr. Olugbenga Obasanjo, District 4 Health Director, said, “We started working on the site earlier this year, but then COVID-19 became our primary focus. We had to decide if we should put the website on hold. During our emergency response, we realized our responsibility to disseminate information was more important than ever, so we decided to continue with the project. It was the right decision.”

District 4 is one of the largest public health districts in Georgia, with a population of 850,000. It serves 12 metro counties south of Cobb & Douglas Public Health, another of 524 Creative’s clients. In 2015, the agency developed Cobb & Douglas Public Health’s website, a stepping-stone that helped the team tackle an even more extensive project.

District 4’s region is diverse—it includes rural and urban areas, speaks to multi-lingual communities, and spans economic classes. The new website addresses them all, highlighting the specific services available in each county. It includes more than 100 pages of fresh content and an expanded color palette. Its design is robust enough to touch on all facets of public health, yet clear enough to help visitors find what they need in minimum clicks. The goal of the site was to improve overall user experience, so 524 Creative ensured it is intuitive and mobile-friendly.

524 Creative Principal April Wright said, “As an agency, we pride ourselves on adapting to the needs of our clients. When COVID-19 hit, we prepared to put District 4’s website on hold until they could give the project more attention. But even as their team was pulled in a million directions, they made the website a priority. Their composed, flexible reaction inspired our work, resulting in a remarkable partnership.”

During the project, District 4 employees were working at full capacity, yet they remained dedicated to their collaboration with 524 Creative. The team knew the deadline and was responsive to each request. They even agreed to streamline the usual project management process that the agency provides for its clients. The final step to success was in the transition from the old site to the new, which they achieved with zero downtime.

About 524 Creative

524 Creative is an award-winning marketing agency located in Marietta, Georgia. For nearly 15 years, 524 Creative has recommended and implemented successful marketing strategies for clients ranging from entrepreneurial start-ups to multi-million-dollar entities. The agency combines the talent of proven marketing and branding professionals to create marketing

Local Small Business Owner Supports Public Safety, Hospitals during Crisis

June 1, 2020

The restaurant industry, more than any other industry has suffered in this time of the pandemic. The business and jobs lost is unfathomable because of the COVID-19.  More than 8 million restaurant employees have been laid off and/or furloughed and lost their jobs.  The total losses to date is believed to be in the vicinity of over $80 billion in sales.

Many small businesses especially the restaurants are believed not to survive at all, and will remain closed, and may never open again.

It is with a heavy heart to know that the small business owners who are the heart of America will suffer the fate that they face right now.

The fear and uncertainty is unbelievable. However, as a consolation we fight and give it our all. We dedicate our survival with ever faithful supporters who back us up and give the strong hope that we will continue and continue, and continue with all our might and surrender to the one above who is mightier and encourages us to stay strong.  It is an uncertain battle but we won’t give up. NO WAY, NO WAY and we are HERE TO STAY.

When the orders to close came last March, we thought that was the end. Again the scare is more than the reality.  We remember that tears were flowing down naturally without realizing that we were really crying.  I remember my father saying that we might be seeing the end of the many years of fighting for our business. He said, that if we can make it for a week or two, we might make it “maybe”. I remember seeing more and more small businesses closing more and more each day.   Very discouraging indeed, but we turned it around and instead made it an encouragement. We vowed to “stay and pray”.

We are very proud that we are still here. And we are doing the same as we did before the pre-pandemic time. Our commitment to the service men and the community is undeterred as always. The week of May 12 we gave away free meals to more than 200 public safety first responders. The following week we also partnered with Wellstar Hospital to provide about 160 meals to their employees and frontliners.  We also gave around 120 food baskets with fresh veggies canned goods and chicken to the community.

We feel very blessed and proud to be part of the small business community. God bless.

Blue Thanksgiving, Inc, presents award to Zaxby’s franchisee John Silvey

May 29, 2020

Blue Thanksgiving, Inc, a Marietta based 501(c)(3) nonprofit
corporation with a mission of advocacy for Cobb County law enforcement officers and their families, has recognized John Silvey, owner/franchisee of Zaxby’s Restaurant located at 591 South Marietta Parkway in Marietta.

Mr Silvey has been a strong supporter, not only of Blue Thanksgiving, Inc, but of the Cobb County community as a whole. His partnership with BTI has provided meals to Cobb County Sheriff’s Deputies and Police officers on multiple occasions. Additionally, he has partnered with the Cobb Chamber of Commerce on their “Operation Meal Plan” and has been actively providing meals to multiple nonprofits in the county to help those
in need.

In appreciation and recognition of his generosity and stellar community partnership, Blue Thanksgiving, Inc, has presented Mr Silvey with an engraved desk top award and wall plaque to be displayed in his restaurant.

Mauldin & Jenkins Expands Government Advisory Team

May 28, 2020

Atlanta-based accounting and business advisory firm Mauldin & Jenkins has announced the addition of Timothy (Tim) Evans to its expanding Governmental Advisory practice. With almost three decades of executive government leadership, Tim brings substantial experience and valuable niche knowledge to serve Mauldin & Jenkins’ governmental clients.
A Top 100 Accounting Firm with offices located throughout the Southeast, Mauldin & Jenkins has rapidly increased in service offerings as well as size over the past several years to meet growing demand. Adding Tim’s expertise to its popular specialty practice allows the firm to accept and serve additional clients in this niche. His insight and experience further strengthen the Governmental Advisory team’s already substantial depth, helping the practice group better meet the highly specialized needs of state, county and local governments; government agencies; and quasi-governmental organizations.
Tim’s background includes serving as the Chief Operating Officer and Human Resources Director at the Georgia Department of Labor. In his roles, Tim provided organizational oversight and strategic direction for departmental divisions consisting of approximately 4,000 employees.
Over the course of his career, Tim has amassed significant experience encompassing all aspects of governmental planning, management, and operations. Tim has significant experience managing and transforming large federally funded human service programs that help Georgians enter and excel in the workforce. Tim is well versed in human capital management, strategic planning, project management, and program execution, and will assist clients in meeting key goals around strategic planning, organizational transformation and reducing operational costs in government.
Governmental Advisory Services Practice Leader David Roberts welcomes Tim as a valuable addition to the practice group. “Tim’s intimate knowledge of government operations and people management serves as an invaluable resource to our Practice as we continue to positively transform government operations” he says. “Tim brings the necessary people skills and change management experience that are critical to achieving successful transformation goals.”
To learn more about Tim Evans or Mauldin & Jenkins’ Governmental Services practice, please visit the Mauldin & Jenkins website at http://www.mjcpa.com.

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Mauldin & Jenkins is recognized as one of Atlanta’s Top 25 Largest Firms by the Atlanta Business Journal and a Top 100 Certified Public Accounting firm by Inside Public Accounting. Since 1918, Mauldin & Jenkins has provided assurance, tax and advisory services. With eight offices located across the Southeast (including Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee), the Firm serves clients in a range of industries that include government, health care, construction, not-for-profit, financial services, film & entertainment, entrepreneurial, and higher education. For more information, please visit http://www.mjcpa.com. You can also contact Katie Cauley at 770-541-5461 or email kcauley@mjcpa.com with inquiries.

Marietta High parents honor 2020 Blue Devils with 500 faces decorating campus

May 28, 2020
052120_MDJ_Signs1.jpg

Though Marietta High School parents and staff won’t get to watch the Class of 2020 walk the stage this week, there’s still one place they can go to see the 500-plus faces of graduating seniors smiling back at them: Whitlock Avenue.

Early Wednesday morning, a group of Marietta mothers lined the sidewalk with signs depicting the faces of the about 500 seniors expected to graduate by July 24, the scheduled date for Marietta’s delayed in-person graduation ceremony.

The group said they plan to continue making the signs until each graduating senior is shown.

As they spoke with with the MDJ outside the school, motorists driving by the school admired the group’s work, honking in appreciation, waving or shouting their congratulations out their windows.

Former Marietta school board member and Blue Devil mom Jill Mutimer said she’d gathered a group of Marietta moms last month to brainstorm how they could honor a group of seniors who’d had so many once-in-a-lifetime events canceled or significantly altered by COVID-19.

That, she said, is when fellow mom Elizabeth Denney chimed in with the idea for the signs. Denney said the gesture seemed appropriate both for students and their families.

“It’s been harder I think for us as parents, in some ways, than for the kids, because I think for us there’s so much closure that comes when you have a senior who then graduates,” Denney said. “And not being able to have that closure is tough. All of this feels very surreal, and today is the first day that I have cried walking down seeing all these faces. … That’s when it really hits you, all that’s been missed, but also how amazing our town is and how amazing our school system is.”

The group said when they approached Marietta High Principal Keith Ball and Marietta schools Superintendent Grant Rivera with the proposal, the two excitedly offered to fund the $4,000 endeavor.

The next step was finding a business to make the signs on short notice. And that, Mutimer said, is where Minuteman Press Marietta stepped in.

The business, located just down the street from the school, creates business cards, flyers, stationery signs and other marketing products. Judith Hoefer, owner of the Marietta Minuteman franchise, agreed to not only create the signs within a single week of finalizing the designs but also reduced the price for the signs by about 30%, she told the MDJ.

Hoefer and Graphic Assistant Jordan Townsend said they wanted to do what they could to honor the city’s seniors who won’t get to celebrate their graduation the way they’d wanted.

“It’s a good feeling. It’ll be really exciting when they actually get to see all that, because, you know, they missed out on whole bunch of really cool events that seniors (normally) get to do,” Townsend said. “So hopefully, this will make them feel special and celebrated and like they’re still part of a community before they go off wherever they go.”

Ball said the idea for the signs aligned perfectly with the planned week of events honoring seniors and especially the Gem City Celebration that took place Wednesday. That celebration included decoration of Marietta mailboxes in honor of graduates, congratulatory messages on local business marquees and other recognitions.

The principal also said the signs were kept a secret from the high school’s seniors until the moment they were unveiled.

Thomas Lewis, a graduating Marietta senior bound for North Carolina’s Elon University in the fall, said his mother woke him up Wednesday morning to visit the school and look for his face after seeing the long line of graduates’ headshots blowing in the unseasonably chilly wind.

Lewis, sporting a Marietta High School T-shirt, paused to speak with the MDJ as his parents searched for his mug. He said the abrupt switch to remote learning left many seniors reeling, both because of the challenge it created to stay motivated to complete the semester and because many friends and acquaintances never got to properly say goodbye.

Lewis said the district’s week of senior events and the surprise of seeing the faces of his classmates along Whitlock Avenue have been much appreciated by the Class of 2020, who, like their parents, have been saddened by a lack of closure for their high school career.

“To the school district, I want to say, ‘Thank you for doing this for all of us,’” he said. “And to the other students: While we may not be able to graduate from school (this week), it’s been a really, really fun four years, and I want to thank everyone for being there and helping everyone else get through this.”

Zagster Announces Bike Share Closures in Cumberland and Town Center

May 28, 2020

On Wednesday, the Cumberland Community Improvement District (CID) and the Town Center CID received notice Zagster will no longer be providing services to their markets. Based in Boston, Zagster managed and operated both of the CIDs’ bike-share programs.

According to an email from Zagster, the closure is due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on business. Zagster will remove all bikes and stations from both areas between May 28 and June 12.  Zagster stated they plan to communicate more information to members via their app and social media platforms this week.  There are currently six stations in Cumberland and six stations in Town Center.

“We were surprised by this news and are exploring the implications of this decision for our bike-share users,” said Tracy Rathbone Styf, Executive Director of the Town Center CID. “At this time, Zagster has not responded to our requests for more information, but we know that this pandemic has hit many businesses hard. We plan to share additional information as it is becomes available.”

While Zagster’s decision is beyond the control of the CIDs, both organizations are committed to providing valuable mobility options for their communities. Thousands of members have recorded hundreds of rides every week in each CID bike-share program.

“Bike-share programs have been extremely successful in the Cumberland and Town Center communities,” said Kim Menefee, Executive Director of the Cumberland CID. “Our shared goal will always be to improve our communities as we continue to strengthen our partnerships and regional connectivity.”

For additional questions regarding Zagster’s closure plan, please contact partner_questions@zagster.com.

About Cumberland CID

The Cumberland Community Improvement District (CID), Georgia’s first CID, is a public-private assessment district in northwest Atlanta. It is an organization through which local commercial property owners can advance necessary public infrastructure projects that enhance property values as well as the greater community. Originally formed in 1988 by business leaders interested in improving highway access for the emerging Cumberland submarket, the CID went a step further and created a master road plan for the area. The Cumberland CID now represents 190 commercial property owners (residential excluded) and facilitates additional road and transit infrastructure improvements, streetscapes and beautification projects, bicycle and walking trails, alternate commute programs and services as well as community planning.

About Town Center CID

Founded in 1997, the Town CID is dedicated to the betterment of the Town Center area through transportation infrastructure, safety improvements, beautification and other projects that enhance property value by increasing interest and investment in the community. The Town Center CID utilizes funds from voluntary commercial real estate taxes to implement its projects. For more information, please visit www.towncentercid.com.

LGE Community Credit Union continues to support community amid pandemic

May 21, 2020

LGE Community Credit Union, driven by the mission of “people helping people,” recently completed several initiatives to support the community amid the pandemic. 

Lunches for Local Heroes

In an effort to both support local restaurants and show appreciation for front-line medical staff, LGE delivered more than 500 lunches to four local hospitals across the counties it serves. LGE delivered lunches from Four41 South Catering in Canton to Northside Hospital Cherokee, lunches from Cheeseburger Bobby’s in Hiram to Wellstar Paulding Hospital, lunches from Dave Poe’s BBQ in Marietta to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, and lunches from Lucky’s Burgers and Brew in Roswell to Wellstar North Fulton Hospital. 

LGE Employees Host Food Drive

LGE employees organized an internal food drive to support three local non-profit organizations supporting those in the community most affected by the pandemic: MUST Ministries in Marietta, Warehouse of Hope in Douglasville, and North Fulton Community Charities in Roswell.

Surprises for Scholarship Winners

Even though graduation ceremonies are being held virtually, LGE could not miss the opportunity to celebrate the winners of its annual service scholarship program. LGE worked with the school districts and principals to make a special surprise visit for each student. The winners of LGE’s 2020 Service Scholarships are:

  • General Scholarship Winner ($3,000): Anthony Minella, Milton High School
  • Cobb County School District Winner ($5,000): Samuel Luong, Wheeler High School
  • Cherokee County School District Winner ($5,000): Alanis “Laney” Broussard, Woodstock High School
  • Marietta City Schools Winner ($5,000): Kyle Brown, Marietta High School

About LGE Community Credit Union

LGE Community Credit Union provides full-service, federally insured banking to over 116,000 people in northwest Georgia, with better rates and lower fees than you will typically find in a big bank. LGE serves all residents and businesses within Bartow, Cherokee, Cobb, Fulton, and Paulding counties. Since 2010, LGE has given back over $1.2 million to local nonprofit organizations and individuals in need through the LGE Community Outreach Foundation. For more information about LGE, visit LGEccu.org.

Chattahoochee Technical College Announces Spring Semester 2020 Graduates

May 20, 2020

Despite the additional challenges they faced to complete their college education during a global coronavirus pandemic, 365 Chattahoochee Technical College students have graduated this spring semester. A commencement ceremony honoring their achievement has been postponed until December.

Many of these recent Chattahoochee Tech graduates will step right into vital roles as first responders in the community’s essential workforce. These graduates include students who trained to become paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT). “The demand for advanced-level health care providers is very high, and many of our graduates already have been working on an ambulance or in a hospital,” said Ryan Dehnert, the Chattahoochee Tech program director for Paramedicine and Emergency Medical Services Professions. “All of our graduates are ready to serve the health care needs of the public. We have a team dedicated to making sure that every student who enrolls in one of our programs is fully equipped to be successful in this career, and to care for the needs of the public in times of medical emergencies.”

When the college needed to suspend on-campus instruction in mid-March this semester due to the coronavirus pandemic, Chattahoochee Tech faculty and staff worked immediately to continue educating students in an online environment. Instructors used technology that included Blackboard Collaborate and WebEx video conferencing. The college also created an online tutoring initiative using Microsoft Teams to connect students with individual tutors online for free tutoring in numerous subjects. “This has proven to be a valuable tool, and I envision this online tutoring will continue even after we return to campus,” said Chattahoochee Tech Dean of Academic Support Julie Holland.

Toward the end of the spring semester, some programs were allowed to return to campus in a very controlled and careful way, in order for students to participate in the essential lab components of their classes. In the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program, for example, only eight students were allowed to be in a lab at the same time. They were required to distance themselves away from each other as much as possible in the lab, and they were required to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). “All students and faculty wore masks and gloves the entire time,” said Chattahoochee Tech PTA Program Director Stephanie Puffer. “All equipment was disinfected after each use, and the entire lab was cleaned and disinfected after each group by faculty. Students were further encouraged to change their clothes prior to entering their homes.”

Chattahoochee Tech plans to continue with a combination of online instruction and carefully controlled, on-campus instruction for essential labs during the summer semester. “I’m excited to say that we are expecting to graduate 21 Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) students this August,” said Chattahoochee Tech Dean of Nursing Quetina Pittman-Howell. Chattahoochee Tech students in the college’s Associate of Science in Nursing program who are training to become Registered Nurses (RN) will graduate in December.

“In the summer, we have identified some targeted days where faculty and students will come to campus for essential labs in the RN program,” said Pittman-Howell. “When faculty and students attend lab, they will be expected to implement social distancing and wear Personal Protective Equipment. The Practical Nursing program will be 100 percent online this summer, because they do not have a lab component in the summer.”

“This season of our lives has taken us by storm, and we’ve been exposed to situations and circumstances that we never thought we would see in our lifetime,” said Pittman-Howell. “But now is not the time to be afraid, timid, or discouraged. This is the time we demonstrate to our peers, our colleagues, our community, and our nation what we as nurses have the ability to do in times of crisis. It is truly an honor to be a nurse educator during this time.”

For more information, visit http://www.ChattahoocheeTech.edu.

About Chattahoochee Technical College:

Chattahoochee Technical College awards certificates, diplomas and associate degrees in more than 50 programs of study for students to become highly skilled professionals in some of the nation’s fastest-growing, high-demand career fields. A Unit of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), Chattahoochee Tech is the largest technical college in the state with eight campus locations serving the counties of Bartow, Cherokee, Cobb, Gilmer, Paulding, and Pickens. The college also offers customized workforce training, continuing education classes, and adult education programs that include free GED prep. More information is available at www.ChattahoocheeTech.edu.

Cobb Chamber to Host May 27 Webinar on Reopening Legal Guidance

May 20, 2020

Wednesday, May 27

11:00 a.m. to noon

Register here >>>

There are many factors to consider as you prepare to reopen, and we’re here to help you! Our panel of legal experts will guide you and answer any questions you may have. Thanks to the generous donation of our panelists for providing their time pro-bono, this event is free for you and the first 500 attendees to sign up. Panelists include:

  • Neera Bahl, Principal Attorney, Neera Bahl Legal Consulting
  • Dave Cole, Partner, Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP
  • Scott Gregory, Managing Member, Gregory, Doyle, Calhoun & Rogers, LLC
  • Christina Moore, Partner, Taylor English
  • Justin O’Dell, Partner, O’Dell & O’Neal
  • John Loud, 2020 Cobb Chamber Chairman & President of LOUD Security Systems

For more information, contact Rebecca Chadwick at rchadwick@cobbchamber.org.


Give COVID-19 the axe with American Axes, now open

May 19, 2020
American Axes floorplan, updated to show where the three throwing stations will be located during phase one.

During the current phase one of re-opening, American Axes has implemented the following safety measures:

  • All axe handles, surfaces and chairs are to be disinfected with hospital grade disinfectant before being used again.
  • Constant airflow by having our front and roll up door always open.
  • All American Axes employees are always to wear a face mask. 
  • There will be three (3) throwing areas with a minimum of six (6) feet to separate active throwing areas.
  • Floors will be taped to indicate six (6) feet of distance.
  • A single group size is not to exceed six (6) people.
  • Waivers must be filled out online before arrival or on personal devices.
  • Check-in and waiting area will be set-up outside the entrance.

Reserve your lane Wednesday-Sunday.