Tuesday, December 21, 2010

‘Stars and Strikes’ in Dacula, GA Hosts Family-Filled New Years Eve Celebration

On Friday, December 31, 2010, from 6 pm to 2 am, Stars and Strikes Family Entertainment Center in Dacula, located at 1700 Winder Highway, Building 100, Dacula, Ga. 30019, will host New Years Eve Celebrations with games, food and fun for all ages. Highlights of the celebrations include: games, bowling, food, door prizes, a champagne toast at midnight, and a special "Coaches Corner" festivities for adults, with karaoke and a DJ. Reservations are required and recommended be made by December 28, 2010.

More families are opting out of the traditional News Year's Eve party bash, and instead, are looking for ways to do something together with the family to ring in 2011. Stars and Strikes owners decided to "think outside the box," and offer some exciting, yet budget-friendly family packages that the local community can enjoy this year.

Stars and Strikes' first New Year's Eve package, "Make it a Family Night," runs from 6 p.m. – 1 a.m. on Dec. 31, 2010 and includes: bowling for the entire family, shoes, one session of lazer tag or bumper cars, snacks, pizza buffet, party favors, raffles and prizes – for only $140.00 per lane, for up to six guests. For groups larger than six it's only $15 for each additional person, according to Chris Ollila, general manager at Stars and Strikes Center in Dacula.

The second package, "Late Night Celebration" runs from 10 p.m. – 2 a.m., and includes the same perks as above with addition of a champagne toast at midnight. This package price runs $160 per lane for up to six guests and $15 for each additional person. For reservations, call 678-965-5707.

"Coaches Corner", a full service bar and restaurant, will run New Years Eve specials from 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. for adults to come and mingle while the kids enjoy bowling and other festivities. Coaches Corner will stay open until 2 am.

"This is a great alternative New Year's Eve celebration for families who want to spend great, quality time together and ring in 2011 with a fun and festive time," general manager Chris Ollila said. "But don't wait too late to make reservations … last year we sold out several days in advance but those who joined us enjoyed quite a fantastic, memorable New Year's celebration with family and friends."

MIS Solutions’ Fruitcakes Make Children Happy

In lieu of their customary holiday fruitcakes to clients, MIS Solutions Inc. made an impact by donating $1,440 to the Gwinnett Children's Shelter. Jennifer & Lliam Holmes, owners of MIS Solutions, pooled their annual fruitcake dollars for their Greenlight clients and made a donation on each client's behalf directly to the Gwinnett Children's Shelter.

"God's hand is in so much of what we do here at MIS Solutions and we truly believe that he is using MIS and the clients involved to impact kids here in our community," Jennifer Holmes noted.

MIS Solutions is a full service computer and network support company. They have been servicing business customers in the Atlanta Area for over 14 years and all of their technicians are full-time employees that hold the most up-to-date certifications and expertise in every area of networking.

The team at MIS serves as a strategic partner for business owners that are profit focused and want to have a responsive team in place to handle that 'computer stuff'. After all, no one person can do it all when it comes to computers, security and backups. MIS Solutions provides complete IT service programs to small to mid-sized companies (defined as companies with 15 or more computers on their network) throughout metropolitan Atlanta and the Southeastern US.

For more information on ways you can help the Gwinnett Children's Shelter this year go to http://www.gwinnettchildrenshelter.org.

Aurora Theatre Hires New Director of Education

Aurora Theatre is delighted to announce the newest member of its full-time staff. Larry Ruth has been hired as Aurora Theatre's Director of Education, having succeeded Susan Reid who established the department three years ago.

Larry Ruth brings extensive theatrical, academic, and corporate experience to Aurora Theatre. Mr. Ruth received his Master of Fine Arts degree in theatre directing at the University of Minnesota in 1988 and has directed theatrical productions across the nation. In addition to teaching, acting and directing at the university level, Mr. Ruth has also taught classes for middle school and high school students, and has coached many professional actors. As an educator, he has developed acting and directing curricula, started a radio theatre company, and created college orientation plays based on current student issues.

At Aurora Theatre, he will hit the ground running, directing Aurora's upcoming educational production of Gary Grinkle's Battles with Wrinkles and Other Troubles in Mudgeville. This production is geared for elementary school students and is a part of Aurora Theatre's acclaimed Learning Library Series. Gary Grinkle's will be seen by 5,000-10,000 local school children beginning in January of 2011.

In the corporate arena, Mr. Ruth used his theatrical background for success in the position of Director of Creative Services for M2Creative, a multi-million dollar events management firm located in nearby Duluth, GA. While there, he conceived, wrote and directed corporate theatrical events and created dynamic sales presentations for high profile clients.

On what the community can expect from him in his new position, Larry said, "I'm excited to draw upon my unique mix of experience to provide dynamic and enriching educational events to Aurora's students and to create vibrant and fascinating children's theatre that makes a real impact on its audiences."

"I am thrilled to have Larry Ruth on board," said Aurora Theatre Producing Artistic Director Anthony Rodriguez. "What Larry brings to the table is the ability to make every show we produce a learning experience"

"With the success of the GGC Lab Series, we need to expand our education outreach, in order to have the same critical impact on our community's elementary and middle school students that we are having on our university level students. One of our chief goals is to strengthen the relationships with our education partners. Gwinnett County Public Schools, Georgia Gwinnett College and AIU are creating our leaders of tomorrow and Larry will help guide us into the future."

Lisa Anders Promoted To Deputy Director of the Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau (GCVB) has announced the promotion of Lisa Anders to Deputy Director of the GCVB, effective January 1, 2011. Anders will lead day-to-day operations of the GCVB and she will continue to direct all Marketing and Communications for the organization.

The GCVB is Gwinnett County's official tourism organization and is dedicated to strengthening Gwinnett County's economy by marketing the county as a destination for conventions, sporting events, meetings and leisure travel through sales, marketing and promotion. GCVB represents 93 hotels within the county and the cities of Suwanee, Norcross and Buford.

Lisa is perfectly suited for this position because of her knowledge of, and passion for, the hospitality industry; hard-working management style and dedication to hoteliers needs," said Preston Williams, CEO of GCVB and Gwinnett Center. "Lisa has been instrumental to the success of the GCVB."

Anders has been with the GCVB for 13 years and has held various key positions in sales and marketing. Prior to joining the GCVB, Anders worked for the Cendant Corp. for 5 years and began her career in the hotel industry in suburban Atlanta in 1994.

"I am really looking forward to expanding my responsibilities. We have a great staff, strong board of directors and a supportive hospitality industry. We have already begun strategizing for a successful year in 2011."

Anders is active within the local and national tourism communities, serving as Georgia Association of Convention and Visitors Bureau Board member for 3 years, on Gwinnett Technical College's Hospitality Education Committee, Destination Management Association International Education Board and was a founding member of Duluth's Barefoot in the Park Fine Arts Festival committee.

Anders hails from Chattanooga, TN and moved to Atlanta in 1995 after graduating from University of Tennessee with a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and Communications. Anders began her career in the hotel industry in suburban Atlanta in 1994. She enjoys volunteering in the Atlanta community and spending time with her 13 year old son Ben.

For more information on GCVB and Gwinnett County go to

Duke Realty Sells Druid Chase Office Building

Duke Realty Corporation has sold 6 West Druid Hills, a seven-story, 81,857-square-foot office building in its Druid Chase office park, located at I-85 and North Druid Hills Rd. in the Northlake submarket of metropolitan Atlanta.

Wes Hardy and Chris Brown of Duke Realty represented ownership in the sale.

The buyer was Crawford
Media Services Inc., a provider of creative, turn-key electronic media solutions for television, film and archival clients. The firm was represented in the transaction by Peyton Wimberly, Dean McNaughton, and Peter Glover, all of Cushman & Wakefield of Ga. Inc.

The building was 100 percent vacant at the time of sale. The purchase price was undisclosed.

Owned, leased and managed by Duke Realty since 1968, 6 West Druid Hills was originally marketed for lease to prospective tenants, according to Brown.

"But we knew that with its superior highway access and high visibility, the building could also be ideal for an owner-occupant – so when Crawford expressed serious interest, we made the decision to sell the asset."

Emory Eastside and Eastside Heritage Center Spread Christmas Cheer With Toys For Tots Campaign

The 1,400 employees of Emory Eastside Medical Center are getting in the holiday spirit by joining with the United States Marine Corp in their annual Toys for Tots gift-giving tradition. Donation boxes are strategically placed throughout both campuses.

"This is so much fun! Buying gifts for the children really puts me in the holiday mood," says Teresa Scoggins, Director of Critical Care.

The objective of the Toys for Tots campaign is to help less fortunate children by experiencing the joy of Christmas, and to play an active role in the development of one of our nation's most valuable resources – our children.

"Our commitment to Gwinnett County goes on throughout the entire year, but this particular event is very special to us," said Kim Ryan, Emory Eastside CEO.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Officer Gregory Jacquet Named Code Enforcement Officer of the Year by Keep Georgia Beautiful

Code Enforcement Officer Gregory Jacquet was recently named Code Enforcement Officer of the Year by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs through the Keep Georgia Beautiful Awards Program.

The Code Enforcement Officer of the Year Award honors an individual who is directly employed as a code enforcement official and has shown ongoing dedication to his or her job. Doug Stacks, Director of Planning and Economic Development, nominated Officer Jacquet based upon the hard work and caring he demonstrated while coordinating the Centennial makeover of 256 Main Street in Lilburn.

Officer Jacquet partnered with Rebuilding Together Gwinnett to assemble a volunteer team of 113 people, 33 businesses and 5 church and religious groups to re-roof and renovate the exterior of an older home. Officer Jacquet began the project after meeting the home's 80-year-old owner, Katron Sosebee, while Katron was trying to secure a tarp on his failing roof. The project included a roof, rear deck and staircase, front porch, driveway, front walk, paint, landscaping and outdoor furnishings.

Jackson EMC Ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction

Jackson Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) has been ranked highest in customer satisfaction among midsize utilities in the South in a study by J.D. Power and Associates, marking the third year the electric cooperative has been included in the study and the second time it has received the award.

"This recognition is a great honor for our employees, who have met the challenge of doing more with fewer resources during this recession," said Randall Pugh, Jackson EMC president/CEO. "Our objective since we were chartered over 70 years ago has been to provide our members with high quality service and reliable, affordable power. We're especially proud that our members' response to this study affirms the strategic areas we have emphasized within the cooperative, which are price, reliability, member communications, customer service and stewardship."

Headquartered in Westlake Village, CA, J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors, including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, training and customer satisfaction. The firm's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of customers annually. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

Jackson EMC, a cooperative owned by the members it serves, provides electricity and related services to more than 205,000 meters in 10 Northeast Georgia counties, with offices in Jefferson, Lawrenceville, Gainesville and Neese. To learn more, visit

Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation Staff Recognized by Georgia Recreation & Park Association

Grant Guess, Division Director for Project Administration for Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation, was recently honored with the prestigious Distinguished Professional Award for his accomplishments and dedication to Gwinnett County Parks & Recreation. Grant has overseen the development of the Gwinnett County Parks & Recreation since its inception as a countywide department in 1987. Under his direction, Gwinnett County Parks & Recreation has flourished to the 44 current parks totaling 9,121 acres which has a dramatic impact on the quality of life in Gwinnett County.

Marci Diaz, Greenspace Planner with Gwinnett County Parks & Recreation, was awarded the Outdoor Section Professional of the Year by GRPA District 7. Marci has been instrumental in the development of the Greenway Comprehensive Master Plan for Gwinnett County; individual greenway master plans totaling over 50 miles of greenways in various stages of design and development.

Stacy Fowler, won the GRPA District 7, Programmer Section Professional. Stacy was recognized for his dedication and hard work, which has resulted in the increase in participation in GCPR's Adult Athletics program, through collaboration and partnerships that he has formed.

In addition, Jason Duncan was named GRPA District 7 Facilities & Grounds Professional of the Year for 2010. This award captures all of the hard work and dedication to GCPR, as well as to the citizens of Gwinnett County!

For more information on Gwinnett County Parks & Recreation, call 770.822.8840 or visit

Emory Eastside and Duke Realty Host Topping Out Ceremony

On November 29, Duke Realty hosted a topping out ceremony for Emory Eastside. This event was held to commemorate a major milestone in the construction process of the new 60,000 square foot medical office building.

The ceremony included placing a small cypress tree and an American flag upon the top of the structure to symbolize growth and bring good luck. The final beam was signed by all attendees and will be hoisted onto the building's structure.

This is the third medical office building on the Eastside campus and will include a spine center, neurology, general surgery and endocrinology specialties. Completion date is scheduled for May, 2011.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Everest Institute-Norcross Dedicates $1.5 Million Expansion

Criminal Justice, Paralegal Added to Program Offerings

Everest Institute-Norcross has opened a $1.5 million, 16,000 square foot expansion that nearly doubles the size of the campus. A dedication and ribbon-cutting for the new addition was held on Oct. 21 at the campus, 1750 Beaver Ruin Road in Norcross.

"Private education expansions, like the one we're celebrating at Everest Institute, enable students to secure good paying jobs, which is what this state needs now more than ever," said Georgia Assistant Labor Commissioner Linda T. Johnson, at the event.

The Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce was on hand to cut the ribbon for the new facility during the event that was also attended by several dignitaries including State Representative Pedro Marin (D-Duluth).

"We are proud of the contributions that this growing campus and the other Everest campuses in the Atlanta area make toward meeting the workforce needs of this state," said Crystal Celestine, president of Everest Institute-Norcross.

The campus can now serve approximately 1,800 students including new training in criminal justice and paralegal.

In addition to these two new areas, Everest Institute-Norcross offers job training in: dental assisting; massage therapy; medical insurance billing and coding; medical assisting; and medical administrative assisting.

Everest Institutes in Georgia are accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), authorized by the Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission (NPEC) and certified by the U.S. Department of Education.

Monday, November 8, 2010

redpepper Partner Accepts Business to Business Magazine’s Top 25 Entrepreneur Award Two Years Running

redpepper's Dave McMullen was named one of Atlanta's Top 25 Entrepreneurs of 2010 by Business to Business magazine at its annual awards dinner last Thursday. This event honored the top 25 entrepreneurs and six "Ones to Watch," nominated by the public – McMullen being among the top 25 two years running.

This annual event, held at the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center, was a celebration of the best entrepreneurs in Metro Atlanta as well as an indicator of the strength located within this distinguished entrepreneurial community.

"Being honored by Business to Business magazine is especially significant this year," said McMullen. "With the marketing arena being so hard hit by the economy, this recognition confirms that our integrated approach to marketing is not only leading the industry, but proven to work."

McMullen is partner and strategic planner at redpepper, a creative agency with offices in Atlanta and Nashville. His proudest accolades, demonstrating his continual success over the years, include American Marketing Association's 2009 Atlanta Marketer of the Year and the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce's 2008 Pinnacle Small Business Person of the Year. His company, redpepper, has been ranked on the Inc. 5,000 list of fastest growing companies every year since 2006.

McMullen also served as the 2009 president of Entrepreneurs Organization, a select group that serves and supports successful entrepreneurs with companies that achieve profits in excess of $1M annually.

Business to Business magazine took several factors into account during the selection process that led to the recognition of the 31 entrepreneurs that were honored during the event. These factors included company revenue, profitability and sustainability, in addition to their overall entrepreneurship, strategy, leadership style, innovation, people & culture, and response to today's economy.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Enjoy Chick-fil-A and Help the Duluth Co-Op at the same time!

Hey, you gotta eat – free sandwich with food donation

Chick-fil-A at the corner of Sugarloaf and Satellite invites you to join them in supporting the "Hands of Christ" Duluth Co-Op!

On Wednesday November 10th from 10:30 a.m. until 10:00 p.m., Chick-fil-A will offer a FREE Chick-fil-A Sandwich with any purchase to everyone that brings in to our store a non perishable "Thanksgiving" food item.

Thanksgiving food items include canned cranberry, sweet potatoes, corn, green beans, pumpkin, canned milk, dry mashed potatoes, gravy, biscuit mix, stuffing, brown sugar, etc.

All donations will support the Duluth Co Op in their efforts to feed all of our community families in need this Thanksgiving.

Please tell all of your co workers, then join us in making this a "Happy Holiday" for all of the families in our community!

Save Thousands by Having MRI, CT and Other Scans Performed at Outpatient Imaging Centers

Trident Medical Imaging – Gwinnett joins forces with independent imaging centers across Georgia

To ensure Georgians have access to the highest-quality scans without the inflated costs of many hospitals, Trident Medical Imaging – Gwinnett and other independent imaging centers from across the state have launched Outpatient Imaging Coalition (OIC).

Many Gwinnett County residents may not realize they can potentially save thousands of dollars and lower their co-pays by having MRI, CT and other scans performed at outpatient imaging centers instead of hospitals, helping to reduce overall healthcare spending.

"When a physician refers a patient to a hospital for an MRI, that cost can be as high as $2,500. That patient may not realize he can instead choose to go to an outpatient imaging center for, in some cases, five times less," says Laura Gallagher, spokesperson and creative marketing director for OIC. "However, not all outpatient medical imaging centers are created equal. That's why OIC developed a set of high standards that all participating centers will have to meet before being considered for membership."

OIC has launched a website (
www.GoOutpatient.com) where Georgians can easily search through OIC members who meet its high standards and locate the nearest center.

Health-insurance companies are also working to inform their customers about the cost discrepancies between centers and hospitals. United Healthcare Service LLC mailed a letter earlier this year asking customers to "check with your doctor to see if the scan can be performed at an imaging center which is usually less expensive than a hospital." The letter also highlighted that the company's copayment for hospital scans is $95, while the copayment for a "free-standing facility" is $25.

"The costs for medical imaging at hospitals are so much higher because of the high overhead," says Gallagher. "Georgians can play a part in lowering healthcare costs by simply telling their doctors to recommend imaging centers for their scans instead."

OIC centers all meet a long list of requirements and that any member is guaranteed to be a quality scan provider. All of OIC's members:
- Accept Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids (many hospitals don't)
- Feature the same quality scanning machines as the hospitals
- Are accredited by the American College of Radiology
- Have scans read by board certified physicians
- Pass scan results to board-certified physicians

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Put On Your Dancing Shoes and Get Ready for ‘Dance With the Stars of Atlanta’

American Cancer Society Gala Presented by Scana Energy

American Cancer Society's 36th Annual Crusaders' Ball to Feature Local Stars and Community Leaders in Dance Competition

What do a news anchor, a CEO, a former Atlanta Brave, and a community relations manager by day/R&B musician by night have in common? They're all dancing at 'Dance With the Stars of Atlanta'!

Th American Cancer Society will host the 36th Annual Crusaders' Ball - Dance with the Stars of Atlanta at the Thomas P. "Tommy" Hughes Grand Ballroom at the Gwinnett Center on October 30, 2010.

Alongside professionals from Academy Ballroom are this year's Stars:

  • JaQuitta Williams – Anchor, CBS Atlanta
  • Clyde Strickland – CEO, Metro Waterproofing
  • Brian Jordan – former outfielder, Atlanta Braves
  • Herman Pennamon – Community Relations Manager, Georgia Power, and R&B Musician

Proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society and its fight against cancer. The gala will once again feature live entertainment, silent and live auctions, an elegant dinner provided by Outback Steakhouse, and many opportunities to meet and greet the Who's Who of Atlanta.

For more information on Dance with the Stars of Atlanta- sponsorships, tickets, or to volunteer, please go to www.dancewithstarsatlanta.org or call your American Cancer Society at (770) 814-0123.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Atlanta area transportation consulting firm Street Smarts joins Stantec

North American design firm Stantec has acquired the assets of Street Smarts, a 60-person transportation and civil engineering company headquartered in Duluth. The addition of this well-respected Atlanta-area firm further develops Stantec's existing transportation practice in Georgia and the southeastern United States.

"Street Smarts is a very good fit for our transportation practice," says Bob Gomes, Stantec president and chief executive officer. "It has an impressive 20-year track record in Georgia spanning commercial development to statewide transportation projects and will help build our capabilities in this growing transportation market."

Street Smarts has worked on projects throughout Georgia, winning an ACEC Award for a guidebook it developed for the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and its role as a subconsultant on the 22-mile (35-kilometre) Atlanta Beltline, traffic engineering and analysis for the GDOT Transportation Management Center, the automated people mover system at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, and an addition to the Winn Army Community Hospital at Fort Stewart..

"Stantec's reputation in transportation and sustainable design connects us to a whole new system of resources for our clients," says Street Smarts president Marsha Anderson Bomar. "We'll be able to leverage its extensive design resources with our experience, weaving our networks together to branch into new areas and markets that we could not have reached on our own."

Over the years, Stantec has completed hundreds of transportation projects—from major expressway and rural highway assignments to bridge rehabilitation, public transit system, and airport assignments. Stantec is currently ranked #21 on Engineering News-Record's listing of top transportation design firms in the United States.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Toast of the Town

Suwanee's Toast of Town Center this Thursday, October 28, from 5-10 PM. This will be the last Toast of Town Center for the year….so don't miss out!

During the event, patrons will be able to bring drinks purchased at Town Center restaurants - coffee, sodas, beer, and wine - from shop to shop and within the park. An art walk will feature the work of local artists as well! And this month, Olde Towne Tavern has live entertainment planned. They will have a five man band playing in front of the restaurant. Enjoy good meals, good deals, and good times in the heart of downtown Suwanee!

For more information, please contact me at astarnes@suwanee.com or 770-265-2906.

Last Chance to Enjoy Lake Lanier’s Haunted Nights of Lights

Resort Gives Atlanta Families an Entirely New Reason NOT to be Afraid of the Dark This Halloween

During a month most commonly associated with fall leaves, pumpkins, Halloween, and the commemoration of all things frightening the world over, Lake Lanier Islands Resort is giving Atlanta families a whole new way to celebrate this October.

Well-known throughout the Southeast as the host to the animated holiday light extravaganza – The Magical Nights of Lights – for the past 17 years, the talented team of event planners at Lake Lanier Islands is setting the stage for its First Annual (not too scary) Haunted Nights of Lights. The month-long celebration features a three-mile drive through the biggest Halloween light display the South has ever seen.

As twinkling light replicas of Dracula, Frankenstein, Ghosts and Goblins give an eerie glow to the night, they light the way to a stop-over at The NEW Haunted Village. Designed to delight, rather than cause fright, this family-friendly theme park showcases a fun house, carnival amusement rides, pumpkin patch, pony rides, concessions, and enormous fire pits for roasting marshmallows. The Haunted Maze at the Village will rank high on the scare factor for small guests, and is the only venue recommended for big kids and adults only.

Tickets to Haunted Nights of Lights are just $20/car Monday through Thursday and $25/car Friday through Sunday. Admission for vans (10-19 passengers) is $40 and buses (20+ passengers) is $80. Admission is per vehicle and is based on vehicle capacity, not the number of passengers. Activities at the Haunted Village require additional charges. All-inclusive packages that combine vehicle pass to the Haunted Nights of Lights, admission to the Haunted Maze and FunHouse, and unlimited carnival and pony rides are also available for purchase. Discount coupons to Haunted Nights of Lights are obtainable through participating McDonalds and QuikTrip locations. Additional discounts offered by purchasing a combination of Haunted Nights of Lights and Magical Nights of Lights passes online (online transactions are subject to a $1.95 convenience charge). Special accommodation packages are available for those families wishing to extend their fun into an overnight stay at the resort.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Opportunity Knocks at Rocket IT

Chairman's Club member is hiring again

Founded in 1995, Rocket IT provides technology guidance, implementation, and support – empowering businesses and other organizations by making technology attainable, useful, and reliable.

Rocket IT CEO Matt Hyatt is searching for the perfect people for four positions:

Field Support Technician – responsible for providing support to clients and employees, setup and deploy computers, firewalls, network antivirus software, wireless access points and desktop applications

Sales Associate – business professionals with expert knowledge of Rocket IT services; rewarded for the ability to launch new client relationships

Marketing Specialist

Service Manager

Visit www.rocketit.com/careers for more information on these opportunities or to apply.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

2010 Broad Prize Awarded to Gwinnett County Public Schools

District Wins $1 Million in Scholarships

On October 19, 2010, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation announced that Gwinnett County Public Schools won the 2010 Broad Prize, honoring large urban school districts that demonstrate the strongest student achievement and improvement while narrowing achievement gaps between income and ethnic groups. The money goes directly to graduating high school seniors for college scholarships.

As the winner of the largest education award in the country, Gwinnett County Public Schools will receive $1 million in college scholarships for its high school students.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan joined philanthropist Eli Broad at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City to announce the winner, which was selected by a bipartisan jury of eight prominent leaders from government, education, business and public service, including three former U.S. secretaries of education.

"Gwinnett County has demonstrated that an unwavering focus across a school system – by every member of the district and the community – can lead to steady student improvement and achievement," said Secretary Arne Duncan. "Districts across the country should look to Gwinnett County as an example of what is possible when adults put their interests aside and focus on students."

More than half of Gwinnett's students are African-American or Hispanic, and half are eligible for subsidized lunches.

"Gwinnett County's stable leadership and singular commitment to ensuring every student has the skills and knowledge to be successful in college and in life makes it a model for other districts around the country," said Eli Broad, founder of The Broad Foundation.

Each year, 100 of the largest school districts in America that serve significant percentages of low-income and minority students are automatically eleigible
for The Broad Prize. Districts cannot apply for or be nominated for this award.

Gwinnett County was selected as a finalist this past spring by a review board of 18 prominent education researchers, policy leaders, practitioners and executives from leading universities, national education associations, think-tanks and foundations that evaluated publicly available student performance data.

Because Gwinnett County won this year's Broad Prize, its high school seniors who graduate in 2011 will be eligible for $1 million in college scholarships. Broad Prize scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate significant financial need and show a record of academic improvement during their high school career. Scholarship recipients who enroll in four-year colleges will receive up to $20,000 paid out over four years ($5,000 per year). Broad Prize scholars who enroll in two-year colleges will receive up to $5,000 scholarships paid out over two years ($2,500 per year).

Bring the 'Taste of Home' to Your Home

The Taste of Home Cooking School is coming to the Gwinnett Center on Thursday, October 28! This 21/2 hour show provides a stage demonstration of 10-12 recipes and offers valuable cooking tips.

Culinary specialists will provide step-by-step instructions on how to create satisfying and flavorful dishes. You'll also have the opportunity to register for door prizes, including the recipes created on stage that night!

Each student will receive a gift bag filled with great products and coupons, as well as a Taste of Home cookbook. In addition, attendees at the Gwinnett Center Taste of Home Cooking School will receive a free one-year subscription to Taste of Home or Taste of Home Holiday magazine.

The doors of the Gwinnett Center open at 4:00 p.m. for the vendor show, and the cooking demonstrations begin at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at www.gwinnettdailypost.com or by calling 770-963-9205 at extensions 1208 or 1100. Mention that you're a member of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and receive an exclusive member ticket rate of $12!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Celebrating a Decade

The 1818 Club Commemorates Ten Years in Gwinnett with Celebration

Duluth, GA – October 18, 2010 – Featuring champagne, caviar, live entertainment, and the usual movers and shakers who make up the membership, The 1818 Club is set to celebrate its 10th anniversary with an event members will be talking about for another decade.

Nearly 10 years ago, The 1818 Club opened its doors as Gwinnett's first private business and social dining club. On Wednesday, October 20, over 300 members and guests will enjoy first-class treatment with exquisite food stations throughout, generous door prizes, complimentary champagne and a wonderful reunion of the members in commemoration of ten very successful years.

"The 1818 Club continues to be the leading venue in the county to network with the decision makers of Gwinnett," said Bill Russell, President & CEO, Russell Landscape and 1818 Board Member. "The food is outstanding and the exceptional service is what you would expect from a fine private club."

Named for the year Gwinnett County received its charter, The 1818 Club is located on the third floor of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce headquarters building on Sugarloaf Parkway adjacent to the Gwinnett Center and Arena.

Over 700 members entertain important clients, hold business meetings in private rooms, network, and simply relax after hours at The 1818 Club. Over the last ten years, the club has become the focal point for local business and social networking events within Gwinnett County and surrounding areas.

For information about The 1818 Club or the 10th Anniversary Party, visit www.the1818club.org or contact Lisa Zaken at 678-584.2254 or lzaken@the1818club.org.

Finally – a chance to wear those old bridesmaids dresses!

California Dreaming to Host Rally for the Cure Event

California Dreaming will host a Rally for the Cure® 27 Dresses Style Party on October 22 at 7:00 pm at their location on Old Peachtree Road.

The evening's festivities will include a complimentary appetizer buffet with California Dreaming favorites, pink martinis, photographers, and prizes – not to mention the opportunity to wear that old bridesmaid's dress one more time! Guests will receive a goody bag filled with rally items, breast health information and subscriptions to Condé Nast magazines such as SELF, Golf Digest and Bon Appétit.

Rally for the Cure is a grassroots program to spread awareness about breast health and breast cancer in support of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® through volunteer organized golf, tennis and social events. More than 1.65 million people have participated in Rally for the Cure events across the nation since its inception in 1996. This year marks the premier year California Dreaming has rallied against breast cancer.

"The success of Rally is attributed to volunteer ambassadors like, Meghan Anderson, who have said 'Yes we can have a Rally at our restaurant. It is their enthusiasm, energy and support we value in our commitment to support Susan G. Komen," says Diane Perillo, Program Manager, Rally for the Cure.

Since 1996 Komen has received over $50 million from Rally events to support their mission. Rally for the Cure® is based in Wilton, Connecticut. For further information about the California Dreaming Rally event, contact Meghan Anderson, 770-813-9240 or to host a Rally event of your own call 800.327.6811 or visit the website: www.rallyforthecure.com.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Gwinnett Tech to Host Vince Dooley Book Signing and Workshops at Fall Plant Sale

Gardening enthusiasts and Bulldog fans alike will want to flock to Gwinnett Technical College on Friday, October 15. The college is hosting several gardening and horticulture events that day including:

Vince Dooley Book Signing – Avid gardener and former University of Georgia football coach Vince Dooley will be signing and discussing his new book, Vince Dooley's Garden: A Horticultural Journey of a Football Coach at 10:00 a.m. Signing is free and books will be for sale.

Planting Workshops – The Continuing Education Division will host two gardening workshops immediately following Dooley's presentation. The workshops – Kitchen Gardens–Vegetables in the Landscape and Flower Show Blue Ribbons Made Easy – will be held at 12:30 and 1:30 p.m., respectively. The registration fee for the workshops is $10 per session.

Fall Plant Sale – The Environmental Horticulture program will host its annual Fall Plant Sale from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Gwinnett Tech Greenhouse, adjacent to Building 600.

Those interested in attending the book signing for Dooley or the gardening classes must register by visiting www.GwinnettTech.edu/ce and selecting the Hobbies and Personal Enrichment class schedule, or by calling 770-995-9697.

Dooley's engagement will be the auditorium of The Busbee Center, Building 700, on the Gwinnett Tech campus, at 5150 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville, GA 30043. Please use the north entrance to campus.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Leading Education Child Care Company Hosts Franchise Expos in Atlanta as Part of National Expansion Plans

Children's Lighthouse Offers Look Inside Successful Business Model, Franchise Opportunities

Who: Children's Lighthouse Learning Centers (CLLC), a leading educational child care company, has announced franchise expansion plans in Atlanta as part of its national growth strategy. The company is seeking franchisees to develop 20-25 new educational child care centers in Atlanta and surrounding cities.

Franchise owners acquire many career and monetary benefits through their relationship with CLLC. These benefits include: professional development and ongoing support from a top performer in the child care industry, high enrollment rates at each school, nationally acclaimed curriculum that is a major selling point for parents, and a superb track record (no Children's Lighthouse franchise has ever closed).

What: To find potential new franchise owners, CLLC will be hosting Franchisee Expos, which provide attendees with insight into the business and the process of becoming an educational child care center owner. All entrepreneurs interested in learning more about this opportunity are encouraged to attend. Expos include:

  • A tour of the Children's Lighthouse center (evening Expo only)
  • An executive franchise presentation and personal stories from franchise owners
  • Real estate and financing resources
  • A Q&A session

Expos: Formal presentations will be held Oct. 6 at noon and 7 p.m., and CLLC representatives also will be available to meet one-on-one throughout the day to discuss opportunities and answer questions.

Wednesday, Oct. 6, 12 p.m.
Fidelity Bank
3 Corporate Square
Atlanta, GA 30329

Wednesday, Oct. 6, 7 p.m.
Children's Lighthouse
65 Peach Tree Industrial Blvd
Sugar Hill, GA 30518 / (770) 484-4047

RSVP: To register for the event, please contact Stephen Dixon at 888-338-4466, ext. 1 or sdixon@childrenslighthouse.com.

Media: Children's Lighthouse executives are available for interviews to discuss national and Atlanta market company growth, as well as industry topics.

For more details or to schedule an interview, contact Rupa Patel (rupa@vollmerpr.com), Vollmer Public Relations, 972-488-4790.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Make a Difference in Our Community by Participating in Gwinnett Great Days of Service

Friday, October 1 and Saturday, October 2

The Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services is planning its 11th annual Gwinnett Great Days of Service scheduled for Friday, October 1 and Saturday, October 2, 2010. This event engages thousands of volunteers in a day of community service projects all around Gwinnett. Last year we had over 80,000 volunteers, including large corporations, schools, small businesses, individuals, church groups, and families, completing 160 service projects which made it one of the largest volunteer initiatives in the country!!

We partner corporate and community teams with local agencies to work side-by-side to make a difference in the community and to learn from each other. The Great Days of Service addresses specific needs in the county through volunteers who complete much-needed service projects for local non-profits and schools. These projects held to build the community while educating citizens and leaders about the needs around them.

This event could not happen without the support of the community and our sponsors. Getting involved with Gwinnett's Great Days of Service is easy. We are currently in need of corporate sponsors and volunteer teams. There are several ways to get involved:

  • You can sponsor a volunteer team from your business to complete a service project in the community.
  • We have landscaping, painting, light construction, and other projects available.
  • Conduct a food, toy, or school supply drive at your business for a local agency or school.
  • Become a Great Days of Service Sponsor

Many local businesses such as Primerica, E.R. Snell Contractor, Inc. and the Community Foundation of Northeast Georgia have been involved with the Great Days of Service over the past few years.

Here's what some had to say about how their involvement has had an impact on the community:

Herman Melville once wrote, "We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand threads..our actions run as causes and return to us as results." This expression captures the volunteer experiences that are associated with the Great Days of Service. I'm not sure who gains the most from the day, the people receiving the service or those rendering the care?

"It's a great experience and opportunity to serve the Gwinnett Community" - Gary Kart, resident, Kart Enterprises, Inc d.b.a. Kart Landscaping Services and 2008 & 2009 Gwinnett Chamber Pinnacle Award Winner

"Gwinnett Medical Center initially became involved in the Great Days of Service in 2002 when the hospital labyrinth team enlisted volunteers from the community to help build a 50 foot, seven circuit, classical labyrinth on the hospital campus in Lawrenceville. It was the first labyrinth located in a hospital setting in metro Atlanta. Within two years the hospital was ready to construct another labyrinth on the campus of Glancy Rehabilitation Center in Duluth.

We could not have done this without the tremendous support from our Great Days of Service volunteers. We had donations of not only time and labor, but also materials needed to construct this ancient walking path. These labyrinths are a tool for wholeness and a place for meditation and peace. They are enjoyed daily by patients, visitors, staff and community members. In fact, the Glancy labyrinth was on the International Labyrinth Society's tour in 2009, because it was so unique in being handicap accessible.

Over the past eight years Gwinnett Medical Center has had countless donations from Gwinnett Great Days of Service volunteers providing beauty and unique services in Lawrenceville and Duluth, Thank You Gwinnett Coalition for developing this fantastic program in our community. " - Debbie Froehlich M. A. CCC-SLP Therapy Manager-Glancy Rehabilitation Center Gwinnett Medical Center

If you have any questions or want to sign up to participate in the largest volunteer event of the year, visit our Web site www.gwinnettgreatdaysofservice.org or contact Nicole Love at 770-995-3339 nicole@gwinnettcoalition.org or Susanne Thomas at 770-962-9862 stjthomas@att.net

Thursday, September 16, 2010

You’re invited to the 2nd Annual Korean Festival

The Korean community has made a tremendous impact on the Metro Atlanta community with their energy and passion. Now, the Korean community wants to express their appreciation and respect toward their fellow Americans and the community in a very unique way.

The Korean community would like to invite all of their friends to the 2nd Annual Korean Festival celebrating the traditional Korean version of Thanksgiving, called "Choosuk."

When: Sat., Sept. 25 & Sun., Sept. 26 at noon
Where: Suwanee Town Center Park
What will be going on: A lot!

  • Twelve performances including dance, different kinds of martial arts, orchestra, traditional Korean music, etc.
  • Lots of games that you can participate in (all participants will receive a little souvenir)
  • Many different kinds of Korean foods
  • Moonwalk, Euro-bungy, face painting, and cotton candy
  • Korean cultural exhibit
  • Many artists including portraitists and musicians
  • Several contests on stage
  • You will never get bored at the Korean Festival!

What is the admission: FREE!
Who is invited: Anyone and any family who loves to have fun and knows how to enjoy life!

Proud Sponsors of the Korean Festival: Consulate General of Republic of Korea in Atlanta; Atlanta Radio Korea; The Weekly Magazine W's; AirTran Airway; Korean Air; H-Mart; Namdaemoon Market; Assi Market; FIC Bank; MetroCity Bank; Noa Bank; Shinhan Bank; Numerous Korean Businesses

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fort Daniel Foundation to Hold Meeting on August 17

There will be a meeting of the Fort Daniel Foundation (www.thefortdanielfoundation.org), Tuesday evening, August 17, at 7:30 p.m. in Conference Room A of the Administration and Justice Center, 75 Langley Road in Lawrenceville. The public is welcome to attend. The program will include slideshows on the 2010 Frontier Faire and the archaeology of Fort Daniel, which will focus on new information about the Palisade wall trenches, corner blockhouse, and additions to our artifact assemblage. In addition to this retrospective, there will be an update on preservation efforts leading to the purchase the site property and creation of an archaeological park, as well as an announcement concerning the involvement of three local schools in an educational program being planned for the 2010-2011 academic year.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Nursing Positions Available with Gwinnett-based Dream House

Dream House has current full time and PRN opportunities for pediatric RNs at the Family for Keeps® Transition Care Home, a licensed Children's Transition Care Center in Lilburn, Ga.

Qualifications: Current Georgia license as a Registered Nurse, minimum 2 years experience; current CPR certification; Satisfactory criminal record background result.

Preferred Experience:
pediatrics, home care and hospital, caring for
medically fragile children, trach and vent care

Full Time Nights (7pm-7am) and PRN (day & night 12-hour shifts)

Submit cover letter with Job Code, resume, references, shift preference, and employment application by email to: info@dreamhouseforkids.org fax to: 770-923-0659.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New trash plan offers more recycling

On July 1, Gwinnett County implemented a new residential garbage and recycling program for unincorporated areas of the county. City residents are not affected by this new plan. Gwinnett County contracted with five private haulers to each serve a designated area, offering consistent solid waste service to all residents.

What are the benefits of the new plan?

  • Efficient and cost-effective solid waste service

  • Cleaner neighborhoods: less illegal dumping and reduced truck traffic and wear and tear on our streets

  • Environmental sustainability: greatly increased recycling opportunities and reduced air and noise pollution

  • Additionally, the State of Georgia requires all its counties to update solid waste disposal plans every 10 years and to work toward reducing the solid waste deposited in landfills; this plan will accomplish that goal.

What does the new base service include?

  • Weekly trash pickup of the following items is included in the base service

    • Household waste

    • Bulky items – old furniture, mattresses, etc. (contact your hauler to schedule pickup)

    • White goods – stoves, refrigerators, etc. (contact your hauler to schedule pickup)

    • 35 different kinds of recyclable items

What about yard waste?

  • Yard waste collection is elective

  • Subscribe directly through your hauler

  • $60 for six months of service (January – June, July – December)

How much will the new base service cost?

  • $17.86 per month for base service (no additional fees unless you contact your hauler to arrange for yard waste pickup or other additional services)

  • Base rate is guaranteed for 18 months, through 2011

  • Charges for the remainder of 2010 and all of 2011 will be billed with the property tax statement mailed this summer and due in the fall (total of $321.48)

Questions about the new garbage and recycling program?

  • Contact the Gwinnett County Solid Waste and Recycling Division Call Center at 770.822.7141 weekdays between 7:30am and 5:30pm

Questions about your pickup service?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Gwinnett Nonprofit Agency to Host Foreclosure Prevention Forum

Lawrenceville, GA – The Gwinnett-based IMPACT! Group will host a day-long community foreclosure prevention forum on June 7th at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center. The event will be open to the public and include speakers from the housing counseling, legal, and financial fields. There will also be a special continuing education seminar for realtors.

"This forum will be one of the largest public foreclosure events held in Gwinnett County to date," according to Tom Merkel, President of The IMPACT! Group. "We're expecting homeowners from throughout Gwinnett and the metro Atlanta area to attend, and we hope that by the end of the day attendees who are behind on their mortgages will understand their options and be able to begin taking the first steps in regaining stability."

The forum will begin at 8:30 am on June 7th with a three-hour continuing education credit seminar for realtors. Offered through instructors at O'Kelley and Sorohan, LLC, the seminar will focus on short-sales and foreclosures, with a special section on how to help clients avoid foreclosure prevention scams. Realtors who complete the session will receive three CE credits towards their re-certification.

Then, starting at 1 pm, the forum will host a presentation and discussion session for general homeowners. IMPACT! housing counselors and representatives of the lending and legal fields will discuss homeowners' options and there will be time for questions and answers as well as the chance for attendees to meet individually with IMPACT! housing counseling staff.

There will be limited space for both the morning and afternoon sessions, so interested homeowners and realtors are asked to register in advance at www.theimpactgroup.org.

This Foreclosure Prevention Forum is part of The IMPACT! Group's annual celebration of national NeighborWorks® Week from June 5 through 12, 2010. NeighborWorks America® is a congressionally-created housing and community-based agency that supports housing agencies nationwide. This year, the theme of NeighborWorks® Week is ending foreclosure prevention scams, which can cheat homeowners out of thousands of dollars. Because Georgia has consistently ranked among the top ten states in number of foreclosed homes, Georgians have been especially susceptible to foreclosure prevention scams. In 2009 alone, The IMPACT! Group provided housing counseling and education services to over 4,800 households and expects to increase that number in 2010.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Gwinnett Medical Center - Duluth Meets Hollywood

Duluth, GA – Gwinnett Medical Center – Duluth was transformed into Falmouth Medical Center for a Hollywood film this spring starring Owen Wilson and Jenna Fischer. Directed by the Farrelly brothers, 'Hall Pass', was one of two major Hollywood films that took place on the campuses of Gwinnett Medical Center in the last six months. ('Due Date', directed by Todd Phillips and starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr was filmed at Gwinnett Medical Center – Lawrenceville last fall)

At GMC's flagship campus in Lawrenceville, a patient room has been named after Warner Brothers for their donation to the hospital system.

"With the influx of filmmakers coming to Georgia over the last few years, GMC is enthusiastic about the opportunity to share our location and be a part of the rapidly growing business entertainment industry," said Andrea Wehrmann, hospital spokesperson.

Filmmakers have a 30 percent tax incentive to produce their work in Georgia, Senator Mitch Seabaugh, who led the effort in passing the tax incentive, has stated several times that the Governor has never seen a more thankful and appreciative industry group, so the support statewide is evident.

"Patients, visitors, physicians and staff all enjoyed getting the "behind the scenes" look of how a scene is filmed for a movie," said Lea Bay, administrator for GMC-Duluth."The film crew was great to work with and made it their priority to make sure the set up and filming did not negatively impact our primary mission here at GMC-Duluth which is high quality patient care."

"We looked at a many locations and decided on Gwinnett Medical Center - Duluth for its great look and the willingness to allow us to film under very careful and very cooperative guidelines," said Maida Morgan, location manager for Warner Brothers. "The staff's enthusiastic understanding and cooperation in guiding us through our work on the Duluth campus made for the ease of filming that the 'Hall Pass' crew experienced."

GMC's mission is to transform healthcare and provide the highest quality of care to treat our patients and serve the community. Anytime a major motion film comes to campus, specific safety protocols and HIPAA requirements must be followed to protect the patients and their families.

About Gwinnett Medical Center
Gwinnett Medical Center is a not-for-profit healthcare network providing award-winning healthcare services to the Gwinnett community and beyond. Campuses in both Duluth and Lawrenceville provide acute care, outpatient services, orthopedic and neuroscience specialty care as well as a full continuum of wellness services. Digital imaging is the standard of care at all GMC facilities including the newest imaging center in north Gwinnett's Hamilton Mill area. In 2009, GMC's 4,300 associates and 800 physicians served more than 400,000 patients. Gwinnett Medical Center's incredible vision for the future is to transform healthcare. To learn more, visit http://www.gwinnettmedicalcenter.org/.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Online Effort To Get Out-Of-Work Georgians Back On The Job

Liz Carter puts her professional experience to work for unemployed Adds "Jobs Board" to LizCarterforCongress.com

(ATLANTA)—While many in Washington just talk about getting out-of-work Americans back on the job, leading Republican Congressional candidate Liz Carter is actually doing something to help business owners and unemployed Georgians.

Carter is using her professional experience and business connections to create a new job posting database available to anyone with online access. The postings will be available at LizCarterForCongress.com.

Employers can create a free account to post details about available positions; the company name, position title, position type and job description will be made available on the site. Applicants can search the postings and apply online. Once resumes are received and reviewed, the applicant's details are sent to the employer.

"I am doing what I can to immediately connect employers with prospective employees. My only objectives are to help unemployed Georgians get back to supporting their families and provide a free service to business owners."

Carter is the only District 4 Congressional candidate with executive business management experience and is an accomplished entrepreneur and small business owner. She is a job creator who focuses on delivering best practices and thought leadership with those she works with. She's been noted for her skill in managing high dollar business units, effective cutting costs and increasing revenues.

"I've yet to discover a single Georgian – let alone an entire family – that can honestly say they feel better about the billions of their tax dollars Congress has given away," she said.

"There is simply too much at risk for the immediate and future needs of Georgians to simply wish for things to get better."

"My hope is that everyone will take the opportunity to visit our site, LizCarterforCongress.com, utilize a free posting service and find an employment opportunity that meets their needs," Carter added.

-- 30 --

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hands for Haiti

More than 30,000 pounds of food, clothing, medical supplies and generators were collected by independent contractors working for Primerica in Gwinnett, and shipped in 1,000 boxes to the International Faith Fellowship Ministry mission in Haiti in the wake of the disastrous earthquake there. The material donated and collected is valued at an estimated $100,000 according to Andy Young, senior director of national sales with Primerica, who organized the project. Duke Realty Corporation donated 2,200 square feet of space to the effort at its Crestwood Pointe office park in Duluth to serve as the collection and processing center. Pictured from left to right are Jarrin King (background), Peggee King (foreground), Cindy Costa-Bennett and Patty McHugh.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rocket IT Celebrates 15 Years of Business

Duluth, Ga- Rocket IT is pleased to announce that January marks the 15th anniversary of our corporate beginnings in 1995. Our award-winning firm has evolved rapidly over the past 15 years, empowering hundreds of businesses by making technology attainable, useful and reliable.

"Fifteen years is a long time and I'm proud of our past accomplishments, but what I'm really excited about is the future," said Matt Hyatt, Rocket IT founder and CEO. "I've never seen a time so rich with opportunity to help others and to make an impact. It's a great time to be an entrepreneur."

Rocket IT delivers mission critical technology support and management for businesses. New initiatives in 2010 include a ground-breaking money-back guarantee for new clients, numerous process improvements, and flexible paid-time-off benefits for employees.

"We're building the ultimate IT Service Company," said Hyatt, "and I've never had more fun doing it than right now."

For more information on Rocket IT, visit www.rocketit.com.

Announcing the Hudgens Prize Visual Arts Competition

The Jacqueline Casey Hudgens Center for the Arts is very pleased to announce The Hudgens Prize visual arts competition and juried show. Open to any artist living as a full time resident in the state of Georgia, aged 18 and up, the competition will bestow a $50,000 cash award and an invitation for a solo exhibit upon one selected artist.

The winning artist will be announced at an Award Celebration held in conjunction with the final juried show, which will run from November of 2010 until February, 2011.

The Hudgens Prize represents one of the largest art awards given in the nation. It is an unprecedented opportunity for an artist in Georgia to receive both the large cash prize and the opportunity for a solo exhibit, and the juried exhibit in November will provide great statewide exposure for all of the finalists.

"We are extremely excited to be able to offer such an important award competition to the artists of Georgia. Particularly in times of economic challenge, it is vital that we support the arts and artists, or we lose something that is literally irreplaceable in our culture and our state," said Teresa Osborn, Interim Executive Director at The Hudgens.

The Prize is sponsored by a private foundation that prefers to remain anonymous. "They were strongly interested in supporting the arts on a statewide basis, and also wanted to help increase the visibility and prestige of The Hudgens in the state," said Stan Hall, Chairman of the Board at The Hudgens.

"We are greatly honored that the foundation chose us to be the venue and facilitators for this exciting competition," stated Hall.

"It is our hope that by bringing more attention to The Hudgens, this competition will also result in more support from the community and the state, particularly in this current, very challenging, economic environment," added Osborn.

The Juror Panel for the competition consists of David Kiehl, Curator of Prints at The Whitney Museum of American Art; Sylvie Fortin, Editor-in-Chief of ART PAPERS Magazine; and Eungie Joo, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Exhibitions and Public Programs at the New Museum in New York.

"We are very pleased with the caliber of art professionals we have assembled to serve on the jury panel for The Hudgens Prize. We feel that this trio will serve us well in making some difficult decisions," states Angela Nichols, Director of Programs and Education at The Hudgens. "They are all well known nationally and internationally in the arts and we're thrilled to have such a well respected and impressive group of jurors."

Kiehl has organized many Whitney exhibitions, including: Memorials of War (2004); Political Nature (2004-05); Ellen Gallagher: DeLuxe (2005); and Two Years (2007-08). He was responsible for the exhibition installations of The Art of Richard Tuttle (2005-06), Kiki Smith: A Gathering (2006-07), and Jenny Holzer: Protect Protect (2009). Kiehl also serves on the editorial board of Print Quarterly; the Board of Directors for Printed Matter; and the advisory committee for the LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies at Columbia University.

Fortin is an independent curator, art historian, critic and editor who has worked internationally since 1991. She has been Curator of Contemporary Art at the Ottawa Art Gallery, Program Coordinator at la chambre blanche (Quebec), and a long-term collaborator with OBORO. Her critical essays have been published in Canadian, American and European catalogues, and her reviews have appeared in many periodicals including Art Press, C Magazine, Espace, Fuse (of which she is a contributing editor), NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art and Parachute. Fortin was named Lexus Leader of the Arts in December 2007.

Joo spearheads the New Museum's unique educational and public programs, including the pioneering 'Museum as Hub,' a curatorial/education hybrid with five international partner organizations. She was previously Director and Curator at the Gallery at REDCAT, Los Angeles. This year, Joo was commissioner for the Korean Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale, where she presented "Condensation: Haegue Yang." She recently organized Nikhil Chopra's performance and exhibition "Yog Raj Chitrikar: Memory Drawing IX," which is on
view at the New Museum through February 14.

Visual artwork of any medium will be considered for the Competition, but it must have been completed within the last two years and meet certain size and weight criteria. The entry fee is just $30 for members of The Hudgens and $50 for non-members (includes one Artist level membership), and entitles each artist to submit up to five entries. Entries are to be submitted via digital images burned onto a CD and mailed to The Hudgens.

The jury will select between five to ten artists to participate in the Finalist's Exhibition, which will run from November 30, 2010 through February 19, 2011. The $50,000 prize winner will be announced at an Award Celebration on November 30, and will have a solo exhibition at The Hudgens Center in December 2011.

Deadline for entry for the competition is June 4, 2010. The Hudgens Prize prospectus contains further details about the competition and information on how to enter, and is available on The Hudgens' website at www.thehudgens.org.

The Hudgens Center currently has three exhibits on view until May 15, 2010, including Herbert Creecy, featuring one of Georgia's most well-known abstract expressionist painters; Georgia Artists from the Permanent Collection and Tannery Row: Selected Works, which highlight some of the wonderful talent from the Buford artists' colony, Tannery Row, in another collection from Georgia-based artists.

The simultaneous presentation of these three exhibits represents a change in the focus and mission of The Hudgens. The center is committed to presenting coordinated exhibits that carry a theme throughout the facility, as these do in featuring Georgia artists, and will present three to four sets of similarly integrated exhibits per year.

The Jacqueline Casey Hudgens Center for the Arts is located at 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Bldg 300 in Duluth, at the end of the Gwinnett Center complex. The parking lot is located off of Satellite Boulevard, near the intersection of Satellite & Sugarloaf Parkway, and the main entrance is under the giant robot.

For more information about events and happenings at The Hudgens, please call 770-623-6002 or sign up to receive the monthly newsletter at www.thehudgens.org.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Gwinnett Police Employee Benevolent Funds (GPEBF) Announces First Guns and Hoses Calendar

Support your local heroes by purchasing the GPEBF Guns and Hoses calendar. The calendar is a full 18-months of police and fire professionals protecting and serving your community. The fund is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides assistance to Gwinnett Police Department employees who are experiencing financial difficulties due to unforeseen disasters, family illness, injury or death. Support Gwinnett's police and fire fighters by donating a minimum of $20 for the Guns and Hoses calendar. Order the calendar online at www.gpebf.com or contact Renee Everett at renee@gwinnettcounty.com or 770-338-4170 x5760