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Southwest Gwinnett Chamber
2017 Board of Directors
Dorothy Parker Jarrett is starting her eigth year as principal of Summerour Middle School located in Norcross. The veteran educator joined Gwinnett County Public Schools in 2002 as a teacher at South Gwinnett High School after serving schools in DeKalb County and District 99 in Illinois. She also served South Gwinnett High as an assistant principal (2004-2009) before being named principal of Summerour Middle in 2009. A graduate of the school district’s 2007 Quality-Plus Leader Academy, Aspiring Principal Program, Mrs. Parker Jarrett holds certification in Leadership and Supervision from the University of Georgia. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Home Economic/Merchandising from Western Michigan University, and a master’s degree in Special Education from Benedictine University. Mrs. Parker Jarrett was named 2012 National Counseling Advocate of the Year by the American School Counselors Association. Summerour was recently named a Distinguished Breakout School by the Georgia Department of Education.
She and her husband, Kenneth, have two children. JR is married and lives with his wife, Sarah, in London with their four children. Parker is attending the University of Georgia.
Company: Summerour Middle School
Phone: (770) 448-3045
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Barry Adams is the president and owner of Peachtree Awnings (www.peachtreeawnings.com ) located in Norcross, GA and Tennessee Awnings (www.tennesseeawnings.com ) in Smyrna, TN. Barry has been a member of the Southwest Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce since its inception in 20XX. Peachtree Awnings is a manufacturer of custom commercial and residential awnings founded by Barry in 2005. Peachtree Awnings along with Tennessee Awnings serves a large portion of the southeastern United States. Prior to opening Peachtree Awnings, Barry got his engineering degree from Tulane University in New Orleans in 1985 and his MBA from Kennesaw State University in 2004.
Company: BAM! Investments LLC dba Peachtree Awnings (GA) & Tennessee Awnings (TN)
Phone: (770) 713-4929
Email Address: email@example.com
United Consulting is a multidiscipline engineering consulting firm based in Norcross, Georgia, specializing in environmental services, geotechnical engineering, geophysical services, materials testing, and special inspections. Incorporated in 1990 in Georgia, United Consulting has grown to more than 130 employees, including 21 professionally registered engineers and geologists, allowing the firm to successfully execute the biggest and most complex projects in the Southeast.
Because of our dedicated staff, we are able to provide experienced and professional engineering and environmental services and value engineering. Every project we approach is with the philosophy that the client’s needs and concerns are the reasons we are in business.
Jay Ashtiani has worked in sales for United Consulting since March 1992 and has had part ownership since 1996. As Executive Vice President and Director of Sales he is in charge of bringing in the total annual sales for United Consulting, which is currently at $15,000,000+. Additionally, he works with a team of six, which include Business Developers and a Marketing staff.
Jay is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, with a degree in industrial management. He has been an active member of the Council for Quality Growth in Gwinnett County, the National Association of Industrial and Office Property, the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors, Cobb County Chamber of Commerce, and the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on the Board of ACEC Georgia as a chairman of the National PAC. Recently, he was elected to the board of directors at the Southwest Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.
He has been married to his wife, Eileen, for over 30 years. They have one son, Justin, who is 19 years old and a sophomore at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
As for United Consulting’s philosophy, and the reasons for our continuing success as an engineering consulting business, it can all be summed up in a simple word: Service. From our beginning as a company over 25 years ago, we have continuously tried to emphasize the need to provide real value to our clients. We believe that it is imperative to listen carefully to their needs and to offer the best possible professional services and advice for a reasonable price. By putting the concerns of our clients above any desire for a fast profit, we’ve managed to maintain their loyalty over the years and continue to do so. We plan to continue putting our clients first and urge every other business to adopt this proven strategy.
Company: United Consulting
Phone: (770) 582-2855
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Margie Asef has enjoyed a variety of life experiences living in Ohio, Kentucky, California and Georgia. She currently serves as the Community Relations Manager for Greater Atlanta Christian School, with responsibilities for media & public relations, sponsorships, internships and large scale events. Her experience as a Certified Financial planner and in Advertising sparked the flame to utilize her business background into education. She finds the opportunity to influence the lives of the next generation of great leaders is a daily motivator Margie and her husband Keith are new empty nesters and share their home with a rescue pup and enjoy time with their family as often as they can.
Company: Greater Atlanta Christian School
Phone: (770) 243-2258
Email Address: email@example.com
Chairman - Operations Committee
After over 40 years in sales and marketing, Bill recently retired and turned his attention back to independent consulting projects and volunteer work. During his career, he worked at Nextel, Sprint, Apple Computer, several entrepreneurial startups, and for 14 years was Vice President, Marketing and Sales at a design firm specializing in creating corporate identity, corporate communications and customer relationship strategies for a variety of Fortune 1000 companies.
Bill grew up in a military family living in a variety of countries and cultures. After graduating from The University of Texas in Austin he joined a photographic equipment sales company and spent time in Chicago, Florida, and then settled in Norcross. Bill is married to Jill Swenson and along with their golden retriever, live in Norcross. He is actively involved with Lionheart Theater, acting and building sets. He and Jill are storytellers; he is on the Board of Directors of the Southern order of Storytellers; and he recently became a member of the International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas.
Company: Second Sun Marketing
Phone: (678) 895-1845
Email Address: bill@SecondSunMarketing.com
Chairman - Membership Committee
Steve Dorough has twenty-three years of professional fundraising experience for corporate driven non-profit organizations such as Chambers of Commerce, Economic Development Authorities and Downtown Revitalization Groups. In addition to fundraising, Steve has extensive skills in Strategic Planning and Feasibility Analysis. He began his career in Birmingham, Alabama, working for the Methodist Church and the Birmingham Area Chamber of Commerce before launching a commercial real estate business. In 1989, Steve moved to Atlanta where he began his career in fundraising, working first as a Senior Vice President with National Community Development Services before establishing his own company, First Community Development. Over the last twenty years, First Community Development has become a leader in innovative fundraising for corporate driven non-profit organizations in nine southeastern states. First Community has raised in excess of $250 Million for its non-profit clients.
Steve attended school in Birmingham and graduated from Birmingham-Southern College with a degree in Public Speaking. Steve is involved with the Georgia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, the Economic Developers Association of Alabama and the Mississippi Economic Development Council. Steve is a member of the Simpsonwood United Methodist Church and active with the Norcross Cooperative Ministry. Steve and his wife Kim have five children and seven grandchildren. They live with their two greyhounds, Dixie and Dash, in Peachtree Corners.
Company: First Community Development
Phone: (770) 448-7171
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
We specialize in solving visual communications challenges, of any size and across any industry, by providing the right mix of innovative marketing and graphic solutions, including wall, window and vehicle graphics, architectural signs, tradeshow displays, digital signage, mobile marketing and more. We consult with our customers to understand their specific needs and then our experts put together a solution to achieve their goals.
Email Address: Bart.Dorough@fastsigns.com
Dru Ferris is a full-time Keller Williams residential real estate agent focusing on buyers, sellers and investors in the North Atlanta area, and specializing in Peachtree Corners, Norcross, Duluth, Johns Creek and Berkeley Lake. Dru is a seasoned sales executive, with over twenty-eight years experience in the electrical equipment business before entering the real estate market in 2011. Dru combines proven systems, best-practices, analytical problem solving, effective technologies, and good old fashioned communication to ensure a great real estate transaction experience for his clients.
Chairman - Operations Committee
Originally from the Chicago, Illinois area, after graduating from the University of Illinois - Champaign Urbana with a degree in Electrical Engineering, Dru lived for a short time in St, Louis, MO, then Charlotte, NC, before settling in the Atlanta area in 1985. Dru has lived in Peachtree Corners since 1990, and has enjoyed seeing the area grow, prosper and become one of the top suburban locations to move to in the Atlanta area. In addition to his Southwest Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce duties, Dru is a member of Peachtree Corners Baptist Church, and also serves on the Board of Directors of Cornerstone Christian Academy. Dru and his wife Andrea have three daughters.
Company: Dru Ferris Realtor
Phone: (770) 331-7106
Email Address: email@example.com
In 2014, Tixie Fowler founded Gardens for Growing Community (G4GC), a nonprofit that helps Nature foster meaningful relationships with people. This includes teaching youth how to grow healthy food in a garden setting, and to be stewards of urban forests, watersheds, wildlife and other natural resources. Tixie currently manages the Environmental Education Centers at Summerour Middle School in Norcross, which includes over 10,000 square feet of gardening space, plus forest trails and a fruit orchard. She works with educators across Atlanta, coaching them on engaging students in outdoor classrooms and teaching standards-based curricula through the lens of environmental stewardship. In order to expand her nonprofit's outreach, Tixie is organizing a workforce development program that engages military veterans transitioning into civilian life. Apprenticeships will include job skill and leadership training, and job placement support, while engaging veterans as site managers for school gardens across metro Atlanta. In addition, veterans will help develop viable food production initiatives on public school campuses, providing a source of fresh food and urban gardening education to families in under-served communities.
Company: Gardens for a Growing Community
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chairman - Connect Committee
Weare Gratwick has over 30 years of banking experience and has served as a community leader in Peachtree Corners for the past 17 years.
Currently, Gratwick is the Regional President –Atlanta for Calumet Bank and serves as Mayor Pro Tem on the City Council for Peachtree Corners, Georgia.
Before joining Calumet Bank in September 2016, Gratwick served as a Principal Banker with Wells Fargo’s Gwinnett Business Banking Group from 2012 -2016 and Vice President of the Residential Real Estate Construction Division of SunTrust Bank from 2002-2011.
Gratwick began his banking career at SunTrust Bank in 1983, rising from trainee to branch manager to Vice President, Commercial/Retail Banking to Group Vice President, Residential Real Estate Construction Division during his tenure there. He served from 1985 to 2002 as a Relationship Manager for the bank’s Gwinnett Commercial Banking Commercial Division, working with local small-to-medium sized corporations.
He currently serves on the Board of the Norcross High School Foundation for Excellence and is Vice President of the Peachtree Corners Business Association.
He has previously served as Civic Chair of the Peachtree Station Homeowners Association and as a representative of the United Peachtree Corners Civic Association from 2010 to 2012, as Treasurer of the Norcross High School Foundation for Excellence from 2011 through 2014, President of Norcross Baseball from 2002 to 2004, and as Treasurer of the Norcross Soccer Academy from 2007 to 2010. He is a 2015 graduate of Leadership Gwinnett.
A native of Buffalo, New York, Weare grew up in Decatur, Alabama. He holds a M.B.A. in Finance from Georgia State University, and a B.B.A in Accounting from Emory University.
Company: Calumet Bank
Phone: (404) 7319220
Ranae Heaven has had her own accounting practice in the Norcross-Peachtree Corners area for 21 years, Heaven & Associates, PC. She has been in public accounting since 1984. She and her staff have worked with hundreds of business owners over the years doing tax planning, business consulting and accounting services.
Ranae is originally from Alabama and a graduate of the University of Alabama in Huntsville. In addition, she has a Master of Taxation from Georgia State University. She has lived in Gwinnett County since 1982. She has two sons Zachary and Jacob, who attended schools in Norcross and Duluth. She and her husband, Gene Ramsay, live in Norcross.
Ranae is a past president of the Georgia chapter of the American Women’s Society of CPA’s and is an active member of the Georgia Society of CPA’s and the American Society of CPA’s. She is on the board of the Norcross Cluster Schools Partnership and Norcross Business Association and a member of the Peachtree Corners Business Association. Ranae serves as Treasurer on the Board of the Southwest Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.
Company: Heaven and Associates, PC
Phone: (770) 849-0078
Email Address: email@example.com
Company: City of Norcross
Phone: (678) 457-3895
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Terri serves as the Associate Pastor at Norcross First United Methodist Church. She moved to Gwinnett County 29 years ago.
Chairman - Advocate Committee
She has been on staff at Norcross First for 26 years, serving first as Director of the Mother's Morning Out Program and Coordinator of the Children's Ministry before answering the call to pursue the candidacy program for the Local Pastor's License.
In 2009 she completed her courses of study from Emory University and received her license to preach. She serves on the Gwinnett County UNITE! Board, Norcross Cluster Schools Partnership and is active in Norcross schools and the community. Terri is married and has two children.
Company: Norcross first United Methodist Church
Phone: (770) 448-4142
Email Address: email@example.com
Company: Hilton Atlanta Northeast
Phone: (678) 533-3325
Email Address: Bruce.Johnson@hilton.com
Innovative executive with over 25 years’ experience building high performance sales and marketing teams while providing overall organizational leadership. Dave’s leadership philosophy is based on creating a shared vision with all stakeholders; executive teams, employees, investors and board of directors in defining and articulating an organization’s vision and executing same. Extensive background in marketing, promotion, human resources, service delivery, financial and risk management.
Company: Image Manufacturing Group LLC
Phone: (678) 580-3281
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Frank KellertFrank Kellert is an Allstate Insurance agent in the Brandon Peters agency in Duluth, Ga. He is a 5 year insurance professional, specializing in helping families with home, auto, life, and business insurance. The agency works with individuals and businesses to create policies that protect them from life’s unexpected events at an economical price.
Frank grew up in Hollywood, Fla, graduated from Mercer University with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Management and earned his MBA from the University of Miami. Frank moved to Atlanta to work for Delta Air Lines. At Delta he worked his way up from Ramp Operations to Market Analysis and Sales Support. Retiring from Delta after 28 years of service, he pursued his passion to help others using his financial knowledge and communication skills.
Frank and his wife, Cynthia live in Downtown Norcross, where they like to travel, and do home projects. They have two daughters who live in Vienna, Austria and Athens, Georgia.
Company: Allstate Insurance
Phone: (678) 417-8892
Email Address: email@example.com
Felicia J. LaPoole is a dynamic leader with a 20 year accomplished career with prestigious MNC’s and Fortune 500 companies and currently serving as Regional Business Sales Manager with Comcast Business. Comcast Business offers Internet, phone, and cable television to small- to medium-sized businesses and has been recognized as the fastest growing company based on the year’s carrier of Ethernet provisions.
As Regional Business Sales Manager, Felicia provides leadership and direction to a team of business professionals who are responsible for the overall sales growth of commercial business in South Gwinnett; as well Rockdale, East DeKalb, Barrow, Walton, and Jackson counties. She is responsible for achieving the Region’s goals and objectives with new business acquisitions and retention. She diligently works with sales leadership to develop and implement strategies on how to advance the knowledge of market and business presence to prepare the commercial market on “the internet of things”. Felicia demonstrates passion for continuous personal, professional, and organizational improvement. She is a decisive leader with proven ability to achieve best in class sales leadership to business results. She is experienced and proven ability in developing and leading high performance teams, being recognized Region-wide by Comcast Business senior & executive leadership as a 5-time award winner for record-breaking results within fiscal months in 2016. Felicia possesses strong communication skills to develop and lead a team of business professionals become the Region’s model hybrid team, as well as communicate effectively across multiple levels & departments within the organization. As a team builder, she possesses extensive experience in identifying, hiring, developing, and retaining high performing business professionals, maximizing employee potential to promotion, and creating an environment which significantly improves morale and reduces employee attrition. In addition to Comcast Business as a business sales leader, Felicia is a certified Project Management Professional and serves on various committees, both civic and business, and is a member of National Sales Network, SLMA, and was nominated to Leadership Georgia. She holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration with emphasis in Marketing from Texas Southern University and was accepted into the Executive MBA Program at Georgia State University. Felicia and her husband of 22 years, Dennis, Sr., have two children, daughter Desi who is currently studying Psychology in Ohio, and son Dennis II who is a senior in high school, preparing to attend college. Felicia enjoys travel, Nature, and independent films.
Company: Comcast Business
Phone: (770) 713-4355
Email Address: Felicia_LaPoole@cable.comcast.com
John grew up in Chattanooga where he earned a BS in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee. After college, John moved to Atlanta in 1978 and resides in Berkeley Lake after living in Stone Mountain, Lilburn and Norcross.
John worked in Corporate Sales and marketing for over 25 years with companies such as Penske and Hiab. His last Corporate position was with Waltco where he was SE Director of Sales responsible for the outside sales force and a regional Warehouse.
John is now a Realtor with Windsor Realty in Norcross where his wife Ginny is the owner and Qualifying Broker. John has been with Windsor for over 3 years and just completed the requirements to become licensed as a Broker. Windsor works with Homeowners and Buyers in Residential Real Estate and provides Property Management Services to owners of rental properties.
Company: Windsor Realty
Phone: (770) 856-5945
Email Address: John@windsoratlanta.com
Chuck moved to Gwinnett County in 1989 from Boston and lived in the Peachtree Corners area for over 20 years. In 2011 he moved to Historic downtown Norcross. Chuck’s background is in the hospitality industry where he spent 25 + years with companies such as Steak and Ale, Holiday Inn, Houlihan’s, and Grady’s American Grill.
In 1994, Chuck founded A Closer Look, Inc., a feedback (Mystery Shopping) company. www.a-closer-look.com ACL is hired by many of the most respected companies in the U.S. where ACL ‘measures’ the brands they represent. His company currently works with: The Buckhead Life Group, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Hard Rock Cafes, Seasons 52, Marlow’s Tavern, Hilton Hotels, and many others. ACL has over 200,000 qualified field agents who are ready to be the eyes and ears of the companies they represent.
Chuck was the President of the Norcross Business Association (2006-2008) and Chairman of the Norcross PDC (2009-2011). In 2011 Chuck completed the program at Sr. Leadership Gwinnett.
Company: A Closer Look, Inc.
Phone: (678) 209-0177
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ed Peterson is the Director of Sales for Elite Hotel Management Group, currently located at the Hampton Inn, Norcross GA. An Atlanta native who moved to Gwinnett County in 1979. Educated, Trained and Experienced in Sales & Marketing with a Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management Degree. I have 15+ years’ experience in the Hospitality Industry, including Area Director of Sales, Brand Sales Specialist and Task Force Sales Manager for Multi-Hotel Ownership and Management Groups. Currently residing in the Peachtree Corners area.
Company: Hampton Inn Atlanta Northeast
Phone: (404) 574-9872
Email Address: email@example.com
Betsy PickrenWhether coaching leaders, teaching managerial coaching skills or facilitating other leadership development processes, Betsy recognizes the energy it takes to lead. As the founder of WoodFire Leadership, LLC, an Executive Coaching and Leadership Development business, the Director of the Center for Leadership SWGC, and lead facilitator for The Leadership Challenge SWGC, she lives the passion she feels for creating better leaders. Betsy holds a Masters in Education, Adult Education Program Management from Georgia State University. She plays an active role in Christ Church Episcopal Norcross. Betsy is a Graduate of Gwinnett Senior Leadership and Member, Advisory Board for Women’s Leadership Program, Reinhardt University. Her diverse clientele consists of organizations such as ALSAC – St. Jude Children’s’ Hospital, HealthSouth, Centers for Disease Control, AGILE IT Staffing, Cox Automotive, First Community Development, and KSU, Coles College of Business, Executive Education. A native of Gwinnett County, Betsy lives in Peachtree Corners with her husband, Walt Thompson and Miss Princess Dawg, the resident smiling Havanese.
Company: WoodFire Leadership, LLC
Phone: (770) 263-7736
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Barry Robinson is the owner of Prism Screen Printing LLC, located in Peachtree Corners GA. The business was started in 2013 with the goal of providing customized apparel to businesses, teams, and groups that require these garments.
Barry graduated from Georgia State University (cum laude) in 1984 with a BBA degree specializing in accounting. Barry has worked in private industry in the metro Atlanta area since then and is a long time resident of Gwinnett County. Barry has held various positions including Staff Accountant, Assistant Controller and Controller in local area businesses.
In 1999 Barry took the position of Controller for Stone Connection, Inc, a wholesale distributor of Granite and Marble products based in Norcross. The company grew to serve the southeast and the mid-Atlantic region with multiple locations and Barry became the President of the company in 2003. In 2011 Barry left to start GBB Financial, a company that offered alternative financing solutions to small and mid- size companies. Barry and his wife Debbie are currently the owners of Prism Screen Printing.
Company: Prism Screen Printing
Phone: (770) 845-7194
Email Address: bwr@PrismScreenPrint.com
Rebeca SalmonRebeca E. Salmon received her Juris Doctorate from the University Of Georgia School Of Law. Following law school, Ms. Salmon worked for Catholic Charities Atlanta through an Equal Justice Works Fellowship (EJW). Through her EJW fellowship, Ms. Salmon established the Immigrant Children Advocacy Project (ICAP), a program that still continues educating children and sponsors. She returned to private practice in 2011, opening her own firm, A Salmon Firm, LLC.
And with her heart still in non profit services, Ms. Salmon began as the Executive Director of Access to Law, Inc. a nonprofit foundation dedicated to ensuring no vulnerable person goes without Access To Law based solely on inability to pay. She is an experienced litigator and serves as a mentor to many of her colleagues and has developed a reputation as a reliable and useful resource to DFCS agencies, Child Advocate offices, Guardian Ad Litem offices, schools and anyone interested in protecting our youth.
Ms. Salmon sits on the Board of The South West Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and The Barton Clinic at Emory University. She is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and sworn into practice in every State court of Georgia, Court of Appeals of Georgia, Supreme Court of Georgia, and the Supreme Court of the United States. She is an active member of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the local AILA-AL/GA chapter and the American Bar Association (ABA). She is also an active member of the National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC), Georgia Association of Counsel for Children (GACC), Immigrant Children’s Legal Network (ICLN) and is a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children in juvenile proceedings.
Rebeca is an adjunct professor at Brenau University and was awarded the 2010 Liberty Bell Award from DeKalb Bar Association. Ms. Salmon is fluent in English and Spanish and in 2014 earned the NACC law specialty distinction: Certified Child Welfare Law Specialist. In 2015 she was chosen by Georgia SuperLawyers as a Rising Star for excellence in practice, this is a distinction reserved for only 2.5% of Georgia attorneys.
Company: Access to Law
Phone: (770) 685-1499
Email Address: rsalmon@AccessToLawFoundation.org
As Communications Director for the CID, Joel is primarily charged with overseeing all marketing and public relations activities for the organization. Prior to joining the CID in 2010, Joel worked for A. Brown-Olmstead Associates, a boutique public relations firm in Buckhead. Joel also completed public relations internships at InterContinental Hotels Group and WellStar Health System. He is a graduate of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development and a member of a number of groups including the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Millennial Advisory Panel, the Council for Quality Growth’s Emerging Leaders and the board of directors for the Southwest Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.
Joel received his Bachelor’s degree, in Communication Studies, from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Joel lives in Smyrna with his wife, Anna Rose and three children.
Company: Gwinnett Village CID
Phone: (770) 449-6542
Email Address: Joel@gwinnettvillage.com
Tiffany WongTiffany Wong is currently the Branch Manager, Assistant Vice President of PNC Bank located in Berkeley Lake, serving the Southwest Gwinnett Area in banking for the past 5 years. Tiffany loves to build relationships business and personal clients, partnering with each client to achieve their financial goals. She has a tremendous passion for coaching and developing her team as well as serving the community. Tiffany grew up in New York and New Jersey and has lived in Georgia for the past 8 years. Tiffany graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Fine Arts (specializing in graphic design) and minored in Economics. She has also been the President and Founder of a real estate investment company that renovates and leases homes since 2009. In the process, Tiffany has learned to use various power tools and obtained her Georgia Real Estate Sales License.
Company: PNC BANK
Phone: (770) 447-2460
Email Address: email@example.com