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