Board of Directors
Company: Calumet Bank
Phone: (404) 731-9220
Company: BAM! Investments LLC dba Peachtree Awnings (GA) & Tennessee Awnings (TN)
Phone: (770) 713-4929
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.
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 2013. 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: Greater Atlanta Christian School
Phone: (770) 243-2258
Company: United Consulting
Phone: (770) 582-2855
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.
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: Noble Fin Restaurant
Phone: (678) 488-9918
Company: City of Peachtree Corners
Phone: (678) 691-1200
With forty years of restaurant operations and hotel experience in casual, upscale, catering, and full service restaurant segments, Cliff has built restaurants from the ground up, retro-fitted restaurants, opened three new Marriott Hotels, owned a coffee house, and since 1995, has owned and operated successful independent multi-million dollar restaurants throughout Atlanta. His experience have included operating hotel restaurants, hotel room service areas, independent coffee houses, wine bars, casual , upscale, and full-service restaurants.
Cliff's background includes co-founding, owning and operating Rathbun's Restaurants in Atlanta, which include Rathbun's, Kevin Rathbun Steak, Krog Bar, and KR SteakBar.
Cliff also owns Noble Fin restaurant in Gwinnett County. Each of these restaurants have been recognized as some of the best in the state or county as well as best in the United States.
His prior experience with management included working with the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group where he opened NAVA, was the General Manager for the Buckhead Bread Company & Corner Cafe along with earlier hotel experience with Marriott Hotels throughout Southern California, where he opened and managed restaurants at the nationally acclaimed Desert Springs Marriott, opened the La Jolla Marriott, and opened the San Diego Marriott & Marina. He also managed the room service operations at the Rancho Mirage Marriott & Country Club. Cliff's additional background within commercial, residential, and vacation rental real estate allows him first hand knowledge in key areas of banking, loans, finance, development, real estate opportunities, leasing, and overall knowledge which can assist in all levels of restaurant, real estate or business operations.
Brandon Branham is the Assistant City Manager and Finance Director for Peachtree Corners; he has served the city since its opening in January of 2013. He brings almost a decade of local government experience in accounting, revenue, court services and administration.
Mr. Branham has a Bachelor’s of Business Administration Degree from Georgia Southwestern State University. As the Finance Director for the City of Peachtree Corners, he is responsible for the financial integrity of the city. The Finance Director supports the City Manager in budget development and long range financial planning.
Mr. Branham is an active member of Georgia Government Finance Officers Association and he lives in the city with his wife and two children.
Chairman - Operations Committee
Company: Second Sun Marketing
Phone: (678) 895-1845
Company: Gardens for a Growing Community
Phone: (770) 842.2551
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.
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: Heaven and Associates, PC
Phone: (770) 849-0078
Company: Brazilian Wood Depot
Phone: (678) 576-2142
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.
Sam is a Graduate of University of Georgia and before that, Norcross High School. After a three year stint as a Commercial Real Estate Broker, Sam began working for his family-owned company, Brazilian Wood Depot (BWD). BWD is the Southeast’s largest wholesaler of Brazilian Hardwoods for Decking, Siding and Flooring.
Sam’s role as Business Development Manager involves filling incoming orders, bringing awareness to the general public about Brazilian Hardwoods and providing continuing education presentations for Architects and Designers in Atlanta. Sam is recognized by The American Institute of Architects as an expert on Brazilian Hardwoods and is approved by AIA CES to provide courses on these topics.
Born and raised in Peachtree Corners, Sam has been consistently involved in the community over the years as a board member of The Norcross High School Foundation of Excellence (2015 -2016) and the Founder of Peachtree Corners Young Professionals.
Company: Summerour Middle School
Phone: (770) 448-3045
Company: Still A Soldier LLC
Phone: (678) 969-0357
Dorothy Parker Jarrett is starting her ninth 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.
LC Johnson has brought a world of experience to the county he calls home. After twenty-plus years learning how to manage goods, services, and, most importantly, people, LC retired an Air Force Master Sergeant. Following his military service, LC entered his next tour of duty - in education. Applying the principles of good management learned in the military, LC gained notoriety as a no-nonsense educational leader. He earned his doctorate in management while turning troubled schools around by engaging the surrounding communities to take ownership in the offerings and outcomes of the student body.
Showing no signs of “slowing down”, LC Johnson serves on a number of boards in Gwinnett County. Most notably, the Gwinnett Hospital Board and the Peachtree Corners Downtown Development Authority. He is also active in the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, Tuskegee Airmen, and the Salvation Army.
Company: Allstate Insurance
Phone: (678) 417-8892
Company: Comcast Business
Phone: (770) 713-4355
Frank 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.
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: City of Norcross
Phone: (678) 421-2023
Company: Windsor Realty
Phone: (770) 856-5945
Chris Moder joined the City of Norcross team in 2016 − serving the City and Downtown Development Authority as the director of economic development. He is focused on business recruitment and retention/expansion, in order to create jobs, generate capital investment, and generally grow and diversify the City’s tax base – while supporting other departments and services that enhance the area’s overall quality of life. Chris draws on over 30 years of experience in community and economic development, business development, marketing, and sales in both the public and private sectors. Most recently, this included 10 years with the University of Georgia and the Board of Regents in economic development as well as corporate and foundation relations. This followed a variety of economic development roles within the electric utility industry and the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to earning a Master’s degree of Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Tech and a Bachelor’s degree of Landscape Architecture, with honors, from the University of Georgia, programs of study were also completed in economic development at Georgia Tech and the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma.
Chris’ claim to fame is being the husband of his wife, Stephanie, and the father of his daughter, Allison (a graduate of Norcross High School and the University of Georgia). Chris serves as a Deacon at Perimeter Church. For recreation, if not in his Peachtree Corners home garden, he is most apt to be biking through area parks or hiking trails in the north Georgia mountains.
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: Gwinnett Medical Center - Duluth
Phone: (678) 312-7194
Betsy Corley Pickren
Company: Woodfire Leadership
Phone: (770) 263-7736
Nish Patel is the Vice President and Administrator of Gwinnett Medical Center-Duluth. His previous leadership roles included the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, and most recently Women’s Hospital in Qatar, which is one of the busiest maternity and multi-specialty women’s health hospitals in the world.
Nish earned a Doctorate in 2013 focusing on Global Health with his research being on spontaneous abortion among Arabic women. He is passionate about quality, patient safety and evidence based medicine. He has won awards at Arab Health (the largest health conference) and has been an invited speaker at national and international forums. He is Fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives.
Career highlights include securing Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation for Women’ s Hospital, leading the implementation of a clinical information system (CERNER), driving performance through the use of Six Sigma and Lean, establishing a full-service international center for the Mayo Clinic, increasing profit margins, leading program development and building strong brands.
He is married with one son who works in Boston.
Betsy recognizes the energy it takes to lead. She has been a teacher, manager, and executive. Her passion for supporting good people to exercise their own will to become great leaders comes out in her work.
Betsy holds an M.Ed, Adult Education Program Management from Georgia State University. Her credentials include Professional Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation,
As Board Member of the local chamber of commerce, member of the Advisory Board for Women’s Leadership Program in a University and Adjunct Faculty of The Coles College of Business, Executive Education, KSU with a focus on leadership and coaching skills, she serves others. Recently, she became a member of the Board of Graduate School Alliance for Education in Coaching (GSAEC).
Examples of her clientele are ALSAC – St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Encompass Health, Centers for Disease Control, Cox Automotive, First Community Development, and Synchrony Financial. Her clients also include small business owners who want systems and support to grow their profits.
Company: Prism Screen Printing
Phone: (770) 845-7194
Company: Thompson, O'Brien, Kemp & Nasuti, P.C.
Phone: (770) 925-0111
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.
Corrie Thrasher is a partner at Thompson, O'Brien, Kemp & Nasuti, P.C. whose practice focuses on corporate and general business transactions as well as commercial real estate, with an emphasis on government-guaranteed lending programs such as U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) 7(a) and 504 loans.
She routinely represents clients in negotiating and closing complex commercial transactions, including: business sales and acquisitions; real estate finance; loan participation; specialty finance; government-guaranteed lending, workouts, restructurings and forbearance arrangements; secured party sales; and loan purchases and sales.
Company: Tucker's Catering LLC
Phone: (770) 249-0686
Company: Summerour Middle School
Phone: (770) 448-3045
Rosalind Tucker began her incredible catering career 10+ years ago, and now runs her successful business in many parts of the country. She provides leadership for her growing staff through her phenomenal business. In addition, she serves and has served on various philanthropic initiatives.
What began as a hobby in Rosalind's kitchen, family and friends immediately recognized her love for cooking. Her natural talent for turning the most simple dish into culinary art is what captivated many. Years later, Tucker's Catering has skyrocketed beyond her wildest dreams.
Rosalind is passionate about creating an excellent experience by creating fresh and desirable food, and building lasting personal relationships with guest and clientele. Rosalind's vision is noticeable in the experience she delivers in Tucker's Catering every day. Her high quality and expectations of strategic thinking, disciplined execution, and amazing service make her company's vision a reality.
Rosalind's distinguished career and achievements have been recognized most recently by being named the best caterer in her headquarter’s location. Under her direction, Tucker's Catering has received several notable awards and accolades.
Toni Ross Weir currently serves as an assistant principal at Summerour Middle School. At the school, she works with students in the 8th grade and students in the Gear Up program, an accelerated course of study for over-age students. She also supports the language arts department. After teaching at Summerour for a number of years, Toni felt a special connection to the community and moved her family from Atlanta to Peachtree Corners where she currently resides.
Prior to working at Summerour, Toni served as an attorney for various firms in Atlanta, Georgia, and Houston, Texas. In her practice, Toni represented businesses in commercial disputes and litigation, with a specialization in representing insurance carriers in coverage and other disputes involving large losses.
Toni has served on the board of directors for Positive Impact, a non-profit organization that provides mental health services for people affected by HIV and AIDS. She also has worked with Girls on the Run, a non-profit organization that helps girls lead healthy lifestyles with a focus on running.
Toni received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Emory University in 1999 and her Doctor of Jurisprudence from The University of Texas School of Law in 2002. She received her Education Specialist degree in 2017 and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Georgia State University.
Phone: (770) 833-7732
A Native Georgian, Jim graduated from the University of West Georgia with a degree in Psychology. Jim immediately moved into sales spending the last 15 years in the financial products and services world. Jim has been able to leverage his extensive background in sales and transition from financial solutions to joining Sagegreenlife. Jim is an advocate for greener environments and has a passion for all things that are sustainable. Jim has significant experience calling on the Architect/Design industry and works extensively with those firms to educate and inform them on Sagegreenlife products