Wednesday, January 30, 2008

You're invited to the Grand Opening of Smart Energy Stuff

The public is invited to join Smart Energy Stuff in celebrating their new location in Peachtree City. Smart Energy Stuff, "Your Alternative Energy Source", is located at 101 Crossings East, Suite 1. They offer solar powered golf carts, solar hot water heaters and many other innovative energy saving devices!

Grand Opening
Date: Friday, February 8, 2008
Time: 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Refreshment will be served.


Kumho Tire to Locate First U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Macon

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that Korean tire manufacturer Kumho Tire Co., Inc. will locate its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Macon. The new plant will create 450 jobs and $225 million in investment, including a second phase expansion.

“Georgia’s ability to attract Kumho Tire shows the strength of our workforce and our unparalleled transportation network,” said Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue. “Georgia is perfectly positioned to allow an industry leader such as Kumho to thrive and succeed, creating hundreds of new jobs for our citizens.”

Governor Perdue met with Kumho executives in Korea during his Asian trade mission last October just weeks after hosting company officials in Atlanta in August. The company, based in Gwangju, Korea, plans to build its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Sofkee Industrial Park in south Bibb County. The building will be 1.3 million square feet on 127 acres at the industrial park. Kumho Tire will start construction in May 2008, and production will begin in October 2009.

This new facility will enable Kumho Tire to increase supply to U.S. automotive manufacturing sectors and further penetrate the North American market.

“The U.S. is the home of automobile industry and is the largest tire market in the world,” said Sae Chul Oh, Ph.D., CEO and President of Kumho Tires Co. “Kumho Tire can reduce its freight costs and increase market share in the U.S. by having a manufacturing plant here in Georgia.”

“Kumho Tire’s decision to locate their first U.S. manufacturing facility in Bibb County is a testament to the Central Georgia workforce. The Bibb County Board of Commissioners would like to thank Kumho Tire for the confidence they have shown in our citizens by locating in Bibb County,” said Charlie Bishop, chairman of the Bibb County Board of Commissioners. “This project would not have been possible if not for the collaboration between the state, our organization, the Bibb County Board of Education, the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority and the Macon Water Authority.”

Kumho Tire opened a new distribution center in Henry County in the spring of 2007. The strategic location just off of I-75 south of Atlanta helps Kumho efficiently serve their large network of independent tire distributors and installers across Georgia and the southeast.

Kumho Tire was founded in 1960 and has grown to become one of the top 10 tire manufacturers in the world. Its products include ultra high performance tires for the automotive market and for motor sports. Kumho’s focus on technology and providing excellent customer service has made it a top brand in the world of automotive tires.

Mark Lytle was project manager for Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Foreign Films Translate Into Growing Revenue Stream

Foreign film admissions revenue increased 18.7 percent to $216 million in 2006, according to new data released from the U.S. Census Bureau.

This information is from the 2006 Service Annual Survey: Information Sector Services, a series of tables that are part of a larger package on economic activity in several service industries. It includes companies that produce and distribute information and cultural products, as well as the companies that provide the means to transmit or distribute these products.

Some other establishments in this survey are publishers of newspapers, books and periodicals; motion picture companies; broadcast companies; telecommunications companies; and Internet service providers.

Total movie theater operating revenue in the United States was $11.1 billion in 2006, with ticket sales making up 66 percent of the total. Domestic feature films provided the lion’s share of box office receipts, amounting to $7.1 billion of the $7.3 billion sold, while admission to foreign films made up 3 percent of that revenue at $216 million. Foreign films include such titles as “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “The Lives of Others,” the latter winning an Oscar as best foreign language film.

Revenue from admission to domestic feature films remained flat in 2006 after a 4.9 percent decline in 2005.

Twenty-nine percent of movie theater operating revenue came from the sale of food and beverages.

Other details about the information sector include the following:

-- Broadcast television revenue was up 5.6 percent, achieving a level of $38.3 billion while revenue for cable television (and other subscription programming) gained 8.0 percent to a total of $38.4 billion.

-- Music publishers showed a 22 percent increase in revenue to $5.1 billion.

-- Sound-recording industries saw a 13 percent increase to $869 million.

-- Revenue for newspaper publishers showed a 1.7 percent decline, falling to $48.9 billion.

-- Revenue for radio networks showed growth, up 33.7 percent to $4.4 billion, while radio stations revenue remained flat at $13.7 billion.

-- Revenue was down 9.4 percent for greeting card publishers. Greeting cards made up $2.9 billion, or 70 percent, of the $4.1 billion greeting card publisher revenue.

More detailed statistics in this information sector, such as revenue, type of revenue and revenue by type of customer, operating expenses and inventories, can be found in the tables of this report at <>.

Other Census Bureau data on the information sector: For 2005
estimates from County Business Patterns on number of employees, payroll,
and number of establishments, and by state, see <>.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Dillard's Celebrates Long Standing Partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities

Dillard's, Inc. (DDS-NYSE) ("Dillard's or "the Company") announced today that it will make a significant contribution of over $76,000 to Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC(R)). This donation was made possible through the sale of Dillard's exclusive holiday CDs entitled Give a Little, Get a Lot.

In recognition of the varied musical tastes of its customers, the retailer produced two versions of the CD; one version featured country artists such as LeAnn Rimes and Randy Travis and another CD had renditions of Christmas favorites by contemporary artists such as Jewel and Tyler Hilton. Profits from those sales were earmarked to benefit Ronald McDonald Houses serving local communities in which Dillard's operates.

With this year's contribution, Dillard's has now donated over $3.8 million to Ronald McDonald Houses over the past 14 years. Denise Mahaffy, Vice President of Advertising for Dillard's, said, "Our long-standing commitment to Ronald McDonald House Charities and the support we lend to the good work the Houses do in our communities continues to be a source of pride for everyone at Dillard's."

Marty Coyne, Vice-President of Ronald McDonald House Charities, said, "Once again we are thankful to Dillard's for its steadfast support of Ronald McDonald House Charities over these many years. It is corporate sponsors like Dillard's that provide the invaluable help we need to fund our work helping families during those difficult days and nights when their seriously ill children are receiving medical care in hospitals away from home."

About Ronald McDonald House Charities

Ronald McDonald House Charities, a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation, creates, funds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well being of children. Its programs are grassroots-driven to enable the Charity to offer help where children need it most - right in their own communities. RMHC makes an immediate, positive impact on children's lives through its global network of local Chapters in nearly 50 countries and its three core programs: the Ronald McDonald House(R), Ronald McDonald Family Room and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile. RMHC and its global network of local Chapters have awarded more than $440 million in grants and program services to children's programs around the world. For more information, visit

About Dillard's

Dillard's, Inc. ranks among the nation's largest fashion apparel and home furnishings retailers with annual revenues exceeding $7.8 billion. The Company focuses on delivering maximum fashion and value to its shoppers by offering compelling apparel and home selections complemented by exceptional customer care. Dillard's stores offer a broad selection of merchandise and feature products from both national and exclusive brand sources. The Company operates approximately 330 Dillard's locations spanning 29 states, all with one nameplate - Dillard's. For more information, visit

Monday, January 28, 2008

Chambliss Statement on Economic Stimulus Package

U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., made the following statement regarding the push for an economic stimulus package.

“I am in support of a stimulus plan to jump start our now sluggish economy. I will support a plan that makes a real effort to reach those who are struggling the most, and at the same time I want to make certain that we do not implement a plan that will simply stimulate retail sales and support the economies of trading partners. We should seek to enact policies that will promote American manufacturing. We must also enact measures that will benefit the small business community in this country as that is where the majority of the jobs in this country come from. I look forward to a quick, bipartisan solution, but whatever package surfaces should not raise taxes or increase the size of government.”

Westmoreland: Stimulus Requires Pro-Growth Policies

U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland expressed his support last week for the Republican Study Committee’s pro-growth economic package as the best means to stimulate our nation’s sagging economy.

“Our economy has suffered some serious shocks, from the housing market problems to drops in the stock markets, at the same time that the dollar isn’t going as far for American families at the gas pump or the grocery store,” Westmoreland said. “Now is a great time for this series of targeted tax cuts that will spur consumer spending and encourage businesses to continue to invest, expand and create new jobs.”

Highlights: The Economic Growth Act contains four main provisions, as follows:

1) Full, Immediate Expensing. The bill would allow all businesses to immediately expense — or fully deduct on their tax returns — the costs of assets (including buildings) they purchase for their business in the year that they buy such assets (“Section 179” expensing). Under current law, businesses can only take limited deductions in pieces, over several years. By uncapping and accelerating the expensing, this provision would encourage the purchase of assets with which to grow a business.

2) Significant Reduction in the Top Corporate Tax Rate. The bill would immediately cut the top corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent, aligning it with the average rate in the European Union. By allowing businesses to keep more of the money they earn, this provision would encourage the expansion of businesses, the hiring of more workers and an acceleration of investment, while making American companies more competitive internationally.

3) End the Capital Gains Tax on Inflation. The bill would index for inflation the cost basis used when calculating the capital gains tax on assets acquired before the end of 2008. Under current law, the capital gains tax is based on the difference in the original purchase price of the asset and the sale price of the asset. However, some of this difference, or “gain,” can be attributed to inflation. By effectively reducing the amount of a gain that is taxable, this provision would encourage the movement of capital in 2008 and spur voluminous economic investment.

4) Simplify the Capital Gains Rate Structure. The bill would allow corporations to benefit from the 15 percent capital gains rate. Under current law, individuals pay a top capital gains rate of 15 percent, but corporations are subject to a 35 percent top rate. By encouraging corporations to sell unwanted assets, this provision would unleash funds and materials with which to create jobs and grow the economy.

“We all like to think that Washington can flip a switch and help our nation avoid an economic downtown,” Westmoreland said. “Fact is, we have a strong, dynamic economy that doesn’t turn on a dime. I’m sure that in coming weeks, Congress is going to take act to kick start the economy as much as possible but our best hope is too strengthen the fundamentals of our economy even more to assure steady, long-term growth. That’s what the Republican Study Committee’s Economic Growth Act provides and I hope that we’ll be able to incorporate these ideas into any stimulus package.”

The Republican Study Committee is the caucus for House conservatives. The RSC’s pro-growth plan mirrors proposals put forth by Americans for Tax Reform.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Georgians See Higher Education as Key to Success

Almost all Georgia residents (98 percent) say that a college education is either very important (83 percent) or somewhat important (15 percent) for an individual to succeed in life today, according to the latest Peach State Poll. When considering the importance of higher education, quality is the most important concern. A majority of Georgians (55 percent) said that they would not compromise quality for wider access to Georgia’s colleges and universities.

At the same time, Georgians have a very high opinion of the institutions of higher education in the state. Twenty-one percent of the public rate Georgia’s colleges and universities as excellent, and another 57 percent rate them as good. In addition, 27 percent rate the colleges and universities in the Atlanta/Athens area as excellent, and 48 percent rate them as good. Only 3 percent rated the colleges and universities in both Georgia and those in the Atlanta/Athens area as poor.

Consistent with their support for higher education, a majority of Georgians’ with children who have not yet completed high school (61 percent) have started saving for their children’s college education. Household income is a factor. While 67 percent of those with household incomes exceeding $30,000 have started saving, only 38 percent of those with incomes lower than $30,000 have.

The Peach State Poll is a periodic survey of public opinion conducted by the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government.

Other Peach State Poll results:

Household income is a factor in saving for college. While 67 percent of those with household incomes exceeding $30,000 have started saving, only 38 percent of those with incomes lower than $30,000 have.

For those with household incomes below $30,000 and for those with no college degree, access is more important than quality.

Commensurate with their belief in the importance of education, 80 percent of those with children say that the eldest is very likely to attend a four-year college or university, and another 12 percent say that it is somewhat likely.

Without the Hope Scholarship, only 33 percent of Georgia residents think that a college education in Georgia is either very affordable (4 percent) or somewhat affordable (29 percent).

These data were taken from a Peach State Poll survey conducted between November 19 and December 2, 2007. The poll included 800 telephone interviews of randomly selected adults in Georgia. For a sample of this size, the margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level is +/-3.5 percent.

The Carl Vinson Institute of Government, a public service and outreach unit of the University of Georgia, has as part of its mission to provide policymakers with systematic, objective research to inform policy decisions. In accordance with that mission, the Peach State Poll aims to give voice to the public on important policy matters and issues pertaining to political, social and economic life in Georgia.

For more information on this survey or other Peach State Poll results, see

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ultimate Fitness Celebrates with Fayette Chamber of Commerce

Ultimate Fitness in Peachtree City was the spot to be for member's of the Chamber of Commerce! Ultimate celebrated their newest location with a Ribbon Cutting ceremony this week.

General Manager Chris Babb told the crowd the club has between 1500-1600 members. The spacious fitness center was filled with people working off those extra Christmas cookies.

Plans are underway to open another site in south Fayetteville in the near future.

Ultimate Fitness is located at 220 Northlake Drive in Peachtree City. For more information call 770) 631-3000.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Books-A-Million Signs Agreement to Open in Statesboro, GA

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Books-A-Million, Inc. (NASDAQ/NM:BAMM) announced today that it will soon be bringing its tradition of selling great books at low prices to Statesboro, Georgia. The company is opening a location in Statesboro Crossing, which is managed and developed by CBL & Associates Properties and Ewing Southeast Realty.

"The addition of Books-A-Million to the Statesboro Crossing project further demonstrates our commitment to deliver an exceptional selection of national, regional and local retailers to the marketplace," said Steve Tingle, senior vice president - development for CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. "Books-A-Million has had a great deal of experience and success operating in cities similar to Statesboro. Their focus on the community, coupled with a great selection of quality books and merchandise creates a positive impact on the market and will help to further the success of the Statesboro Crossing project."

Books-A-Million selected the Statesboro location based on its knowledge of this growing market and community. Books-A-Million has 15 other locations in Georgia.

Like the more than 200 locations throughout the United States, Books-A-Million’s Statesboro store will offer residents an expansive selection of books, magazines, collectibles, gifts and much more. Books-A-Million Millionaire’s Club members save 40% off bestsellers, 20% off of hundreds of items throughout the store, and 10% off everything, everyday.

Books-A-Million’s own Joe Muggs Café, a full line coffee and espresso bar, will provide customers with a warm and inviting place to relax. With fresh roasted coffee and a wonderful selection of coffee drinks, Joe Muggs is sure to become a favorite destination for the coffee lover.

Lufthansa and JetBlue Complete Stock Purchase Transaction

(PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- JetBlue Airways Corporation (Nasdaq:JBLU) and Deutsche Lufthansa AG (Xetra:WKN823212) today completed their stock purchase agreement transaction in which Lufthansa now holds a 19 percent stake in JetBlue.

With the conclusion of the financial transaction, Lufthansa and JetBlue will begin exploring innovative commercial arrangements designed to benefit both airlines and their customers.
New York-based JetBlue Airways has created a new airline category based on value, service and style. Known for its award-winning service and free TV as much as its low fares, JetBlue is now pleased to offer customers the most legroom throughout coach (based on average fleet-wide seat pitch for U.S. airlines). JetBlue introduced complimentary in-flight e-mail and instant messaging services on aircraft "BetaBlue," a first among U.S. domestic airlines. JetBlue is also America's first and only airline to offer its own Customer Bill of Rights, with meaningful and specific compensation for customers inconvenienced by service disruptions within JetBlue's control. Visit for details. JetBlue serves 53 cities with 550 daily flights. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all travel is ticketless, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. For information or reservations call 1-800-JETBLUE (1-800-538-2583) or visit

DIRECTV(r) service is not available on flights outside the continental United States; however, where applicable FOX InFlight(tm) is offered complimentary on these routes. FOX InFlight(tm) is a trademark of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. JetBlue's in-flight entertainment service is provided by LiveTV, a wholly owned subsidiary of JetBlue.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

GamePlan Financial Marketing Selects McRae

GamePlan Financial Marketing, an industry-leading field marketing organization for independent life insurance agents and financial advisors, has retained McRae as its integrated marketing agency of record. McRae will develop a comprehensive communications program that includes significant advertising, public relations, and interactive components.

GamePlan Financial Marketing ( is one of the world's leading field marketing organizations (FMOs) for independent life insurance agents and financial advisors. More than 20,000 agents and advisors nationwide use GamePlan Financial to write more than $1 billion in life insurance, long-term care, and fixed index annuity premiums each year. GamePlan is the nation’s leading FMO for Allianz, the world’s largest insurance carrier, and one of ING’s top ten National Marketing Organizations (NMOs). Founded in 1992, GamePlan Financial is headquartered in Atlanta and was listed on the Inc. 500 list of the country’s fastest growing companies in 2003, 2004 and 2005.

McRae ( is one of the southeast’s largest integrated marketing agencies and one of the only firms in the region to provide comprehensive advertising, public relations and interactive services on an in-house basis. McRae is a member of the Worldcom Public Relations Group, the world’s largest network of independent public relations firms, the American Association of Advertising Agencies, and the Technology Association of Georgia.

Demand for Digital Skyrockets, Says U.S. Census Bureau

Factory sales of MP3 players will rise from $424 million in 2003 to nearly $6 billion in 2007, according to projected sales. Additionally, sales of digital television sets and monitors for the same period are estimated to increase from $8.7 billion to $26.3 billion.

The transition in consumer electronics from analog to digital format is just one of the many changes taking place in American life that can be tracked in the U.S. Census Bureau's Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008. Published 1878, it is the authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on everything from the number of public school teachers to hotel accommodations, from online shipping to marital status.

Products are not the only things going digital; the process for acquiring them is as well. Of the $3.7 trillion in retail sales in 2005, $93 billion (2.5 percent) were recorded as e-commerce sales (Table 1019).

In 2005, electronic shopping and mail-order houses accounted for 70 percent ($65 billion) of e-commerce sales, most notably from computer hardware (14 percent), clothing (12 percent), and drugs and beauty aids (10 percent). Motor vehicle and parts dealers made up another 18 percent of e-commerce sales (Table 1019 and 1020).

Between 2004 and 2005, Internet publishing and broadcasting operating revenue increased by 19 percent. Revenue from online advertising space increased by 29 percent (Table 1116). Meanwhile, the number of daily newspapers continued to decline, from 1,611 in 1990 to 1,437 in 2006. Circulation fell from 62.3 million subscribers to 52.3 million (Table 1102).

The 2008 Statistical Abstract may be obtained by calling the U.S.Government Printing Office at 202-512-1800 (ISBN No. 978-0-16-079581-7, $35for the soft cover edition; and No. 978-0-16-079584-8, $39 for the hardcover edition <>).

It also may be obtained by calling the National Technical InformationService at 800-553-6847 (PB2008965801, $35 for the softbound edition; andPB2008965301, $39 for the hardbound edition <>).

Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Morris Resigns to Join Ahmann as an Advisor to the Atlanta Committee for Progress

Joe Morris III, the deputy chief of staff for the City of Atlanta announced he will leave his current position at the end of this month to take a position with the Atlanta consulting firm, Ahmann. Morris will be an advisor to the Atlanta Committee for Progress (ACP), which has worked with the City on several key economic development initiatives like the BeltLine, the Peachtree Streetcar project and Brand Atlanta.

“Joe has been a dedicated member of my staff since I became mayor in 2002. His legal training and experience with government and business stakeholders, as well as constituents has been critical to me on some of the City’s more challenging projects, like the South Fulton annexation effort, Hurricane Katrina resettlement and the civilian review board. I have no doubt that the same commitment to public policy and thoughtful management that he brought to my administration will be an asset to Ahmann and the Atlanta Committee for Progress,” said Mayor Shirley Franklin.

As Mayor Franklin stated, Morris’ accomplishments as deputy chief of staff with the City have included his leadership on annexation of new residents from South Fulton into the City, as well as his oversight on the City’s Boards and Commissions, including the newly formed Atlanta Citizens Review Board.

Since 2002, Morris served as the Telecommunications Manager, where he was responsible for managing telephony franchise agreements and the franchise agreement with Comcast and the City of Atlanta. He has also served in the Chief Operating Office and the Office of Constituent Services. Prior to joining the City of Atlanta, Morris was a Senior Assistant Public Defender for the Atlanta City Court.

Morris said, “I have gained an enormous amount of insight and experience working for the Franklin administration and the City of Atlanta. I look forward to continuing to work for the residents of this great City in my position at Ahmann.”

Crescent Hotels & Resorts Adds the Georgian Terrace Hotel to its Portfolio

Officials of Crescent Hotel & Resorts today announced that the company has added the Georgian Terrace Hotel to its portfolio.

“This landmark luxury property is an Atlanta trophy and a prominent hotel in the southeast region of the United States,” said Michael George, Crescent president and CEO. “Crescent will identify opportunities to further enhance this all-suite hotel, amenities and service levels to bring it to its full potential. Atlanta remains one of the most dynamic hospitality markets in the United States, and this marks our fourth property in the city.”

Built in 1911, the Georgian Terrace Hotel, located at 659 Peachtree Street NE in midtown Atlanta and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has played host to some of Atlanta’s most pre-eminent events, including the 1939 premier of “Gone with the Wind.” Some of the hotel’s most celebrated guests include Calvin Coolidge, Warren G. Harding, Charles Lindbergh, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tallulah Bankhead and Rudolph Valentino.

Guest suites feature antique-style furnishings, large bathrooms, oversized windows, microwave oven, full-size refrigerator, and electric range/oven. Additionally, many of the suites provide walk-in closets and balconies with sliding glass doors. The hotel offers more than 16,000 square feet of meeting and Atlanta’s premiere social space, state-of-the-art business center, indoor pool and The Savoy, an upscale restaurant & terrace featuring contemporary Southern cuisine.

“In 2007, we enhanced our portfolio by adding 19 hotels and resorts nationwide, representing premium brands and independents, and we expect this trend to accelerate in 2008,” George said. “The Georgian Terrace perfectly represents the asset caliber with which Crescent will continue to align. Our pipeline is quite robust; we have the resources, size and infrastructure in place for strategic growth associated with sophisticated assets and to produce quality results.”

About Crescent Hotels & Resorts
Headquartered in Fairfax, Va., outside of Washington, D.C., Crescent Hotels & Resorts owns, manages and co-invests in hotel real estate, and is an independent, third-party operator of hotels and resorts. The company currently owns or operates approximately 40 hotels and resorts aggregating more than 7,000 rooms in 19 states. The company’s portfolio encompasses properties in the resort, upper upscale full-service, boutique, convention and premium select-service segments under the premier hotel brands of Marriott, Hilton, Starwood, InterContinental, Radisson, Preferred, and Wyndham, as well as independent hotels and resorts. Additional information about Crescent Hotel & Resorts may be found on the company’s Web site

Travelport makes Atlanta its North American GDS headquarters

Travel Conglomerate to add up to 300 jobs, invest $33 million in two metro area locations

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue announced recently that Travelport will make Atlanta its North American global distribution system (GDS) headquarters, adding up to 300 jobs and investing $33 million.

“Travelport’s decision to locate a division headquarters in Atlanta signals that our position as a hub in the travel and IT industries is second to none,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “The addition of these high-paying jobs will provide more opportunities for Georgia’s best and brightest to stay in the state and continue to grow our economy.”

Travelport acquired Atlanta-based Worldspan in August 2007. Travelport will make the former Worldspan location in Cobb County at 300 Galleria Parkway N.W. its North American GDS headquarters, adding up to 200 jobs. The company will consolidate operations across its current North American locations of Rosemont, IL; Parsippany, NJ and Denver, CO. Travelport is also expanding its data center in Hapeville and plans to add up to 100 jobs to that facility. In addition to the new jobs created, the company will retain the existing 325 metro Atlanta based jobs.

Travelport is a world leader in the provision of automated travel reservations for airlines, hotels, car rental companies, cruise lines and rail operators, providing service to on-line and off-line travel agencies in over 145 countries. It also runs most of the internal reservations and related systems used by carriers such as Delta, Northwest and United Airlines, as well as more than 40 other airlines globally.

“The consolidation of our business into a North American GDS headquarters is a significant step in building upon synergies between our existing Galileo and recently acquired Worldspan GDS businesses,” said Gordon Wilson, CEO and president, Travelport GDS. “The State of Georgia, Cobb and Fulton counties and the city of Atlanta have demonstrated strong support for our move and we look forward to growing our business and serving our customers from our new North American GDS headquarters. Atlanta has an excellent geographic position, continually growing international direct airline services and a well educated, technologically literate work force.”

A number of agencies worked together on the Travelport project, including Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Development Authority of Fulton County, the Cobb County Office of Economic Development, the Cobb County Board of Commissioners, the Department of Revenue, QuickStart, ICAPP, Department of Labor and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

“We are proud to welcome Travelport’s GDS North American headquarters to a growing list of industry leaders headquartered in Cobb County,” said Cobb Commission Chairman Sam Olens. “Travelport will bring new jobs, new technologies and its broad global connections to Cobb County.”

“The City of Hapeville is excited to welcome Travelport to our town,” said Hapeville Mayor Alan Hallman. “Our city enjoys the luxury of being the front door to Hartsfield Jackson International Airport and we benefit greatly from the economic activity generated by the airport. We look forward to a long and bright future with Travelport.”

About Travelport GDS
Travelport GDS is one of the world’s largest global distribution system (GDS) providers operating both the Galileo and the Worldspan brands, providing real-time travel information and booking capabilities to online and offline travel agencies in over 145 countries. It also operates Travelport Business Intelligence providing marketing and other critical data to the global travel industry through Shepherd Systems and Travelport Airline IT Services and Solutions, which provides mission critical reservations and related software and services management to the world’s leading airlines. Travelport GDS is a convergence of traditional and online travel distribution services that empower airlines, travel suppliers, travel agencies, Web sites and corporations to provide informed choice to travelers on a global platform. Travelport GDS is a division of Travelport, one of the world’s largest service providers to the travel industry. More information is available at

About Travelport
Travelport is one of the world’s largest service providers to the travel industry. The company operates two primary businesses - a global distribution system business, which comprises the Galileo and Worldspan brands and a group travel and wholesale hotel business through its GTA brand. Travelport also owns a significant interest in Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE: OWW), a leading global online travel company. With 2006 revenues (including Worldspan) of approximately $3.4 billion, Travelport operates in 145 countries and has approximately 7,500 employees. Travelport is a private company owned by The Blackstone Group, Technology Crossover Ventures and One Equity Partners.

15 Residents Nominated for “Citizen of the Year”

Coweta residents have nominated 15 local community and business leaders to vie for the Citizen of the Year award, presented by the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce. This year’s nominees are recognized for their contributions in a wide variety of areas, including economic development, governmental and civic affairs, nonprofit programs, education, religion, and overall leadership. The nominees are: Don Chapman, Dee Crouch, Eleanor Goode, Dr. Joe Harless, Norma Haynes, Bette Hickman, David LaGuardia, Willie F. Pritchett, Jr., Derenda Rowe, Mayo Royal, Francis Smith, Sarah Thomas, Robin G. Tornow, Rev. Gary Vaughn, and Michael Yeager.

“The Citizen of the Year selection committee has a tough task in choosing a single winner from this very impressive group of nominees,” said Willie Boyd, community volunteer, Chamber board member and Citizen of the Year in 2006. “But the good news for everyone is that Coweta County has so many outstanding leaders and role models from which to choose. Our community is truly blessed to have people like these at work, whether behind the scenes or in the public eye, to make life better in Coweta for everyone.”

The winner will be announced at the Citizen of the Year award ceremony and dinner hosted by the Kiwanis Club, on January 17, 2008, at the Fairgrounds at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available through the Chamber until January 11, 2008 and are $ 25.

The Citizen of the Year Award was created by the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce in 1992 to recognize and thank those in the Coweta community who go out of their way to serve others and improve quality of life in our community. To learn more about the Citizen of the Year Award or to purchase tickets, contact the Chamber at 770-253-2270 or

With more than 700 members throughout Coweta County, the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing economic prosperity for all Coweta’s citizens. As the county’s largest business organization, the Chamber works to provide business leadership to foster an economic and cultural climate favorable to all business, in order to create a higher quality of life for all residents.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Water Saving Tips for Businesses

Georgia's Drought Response Unified Command (DRUC) encourages residential and non-residential users, such as businesses, to conserve as much water as possible on a daily basis. Conservation by all Georgians is the key element in statewide efforts to manage water resources during and after the current drought.

"By saving water in daily practices, businesses will also actively contribute to reducing demand on Georgia's water supply," said DRUC Chairperson Dr. Carol Couch, director of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources - Environmental Protection Division.

Here are a number of water saving tips most businesses can follow:

Educate employees and co-workers about water scarcity issues and how water conserving practices not only save water, but also money.

Incorporate water meter reading into existing maintenance, security or cleaning routines to establish baseline use.

Identify and fix leaks. Look for unexplained trends of increased usage, conduct regular inspections of areas where leaks could occur, check equipment and install monitoring or sub-meter systems.

Maximize cooling tower efficiency. High volumes of water can be lost as water vapor while performing the cooling function.

Install water-efficient equipment, such as ultra-low flow toilets (adjust flush valves or install dams on existing toilets); install faucet aerators and high efficiency shower heads; use water-conserving ice makers; and, replace worn out appliances and equipment with water-efficient models.

Minimize the use of water for indoor and outdoor cleaning.

DRUC comprises the directors of the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority, and the Georgia Division of Public Health. It was established by Governor Sonny Perdue to coordinate the state's role in mitigating the effects of Georgia's ongoing drought. For more information, visit and

Piedmont Fayette Hospital Names New Chief Operating Officer

Piedmont Fayette Hospital has promoted Michael Burnett to Chief Operating Officer. Burnett was promoted from his position as the former Vice President of Clinical Services.

Burnett began his career with Piedmont Hospital in May 1996 and came to Piedmont Fayette Hospital in December 2001. His new responsibilities include overseeing the principal operation areas of the hospital, including plant services, patient services and nursing services. Additionally, he will supervise human resources and special projects.

“I have worked with Michael for many years and take great pleasure in announcing his promotion to Chief Operating Officer,” said Darrell Cutts, president and chief executive officer of Piedmont Fayette Hospital. “Michael’s background, experience and education make him more than qualified for his new position.”

Burnett received his bachelor’s of science degree from the University of Georgia and continued his education with a dual master’s degree in Business Administration and Health Administration from Georgia State University. He is an American College of Healthcare Executives Fellow and has served as President of the Georgia Association of Healthcare Executives.

Burnett is a graduate of Fayette County High School and lives in Fayette County with his wife Amy and their three children.

House Seeks to Expand SBA Programs for Veterans

The House on Wednesday sent the Senate a revised version of legislation to expand Small Business Administration programs for veterans and military reservists.
By 406-2, the House accepted some of the changes the Senate made earlier to the bill while making some of its own.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jason Altmire , D-Pa., would reauthorize SBA programs for veterans and reservists for two years and include $4.4 million to support Veterans Business Outreach Centers. It also would allow the SBA to offer loans of up to $50,000 without requiring collateral from a loan applicant.

Secretary of State Handel Announces Implementation of Consumer Choice Television Act

Secretary of State Karen Handel today announced the implementation of the Consumer Choice Television Act (House Bill 227), which gives cable and/or video service providers the option to apply for a state-wide franchise license. The statute provides telecommunications companies a less restrictive process to offer cable and video services to Georgia counties and cities.

Under the previous franchising system, a cable provider had to negotiate franchise agreements with each municipality in which it sought to offer services. The new law creates a single statewide franchise authority through which a provider could serve any community. Though the statute gives the provider the option of applying for a statewide franchise license, the legislature wanted to ensure that customer service standards were not compromised. Therefore, each state franchise must comply with the customer service standards as set forth by federal standards. The Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs developed the rules and regulations for which a local governing authority could resolve subscriber complaints.

“Georgia’s new franchising system should increase television, phone and internet access options and lower costs for consumers,” said Handel.

Effective January 1, 2008, cable service providers and video service providers desiring to pursue a State Video Franchise Authority Certificate must submit a completed application packet to both the Office of Secretary of State – Corporations Division, and to each affected local governing authority in which it plans to provide service.

“We wanted to develop a process that was consistent with the Governor’s initiative to be a faster, friendlier, and easier state agency. When we designed the application process, we sought input from and worked with representatives from various municipalities, legislators, and various cable service providers to develop guidelines that met both the requirements of the law and our customer service standards,” said Chauncey R. Newsome, Corporations Division Director.

The estimated time frame to obtain a State Video Franchise Authority License is approximately 45 days. For more information please visit: This site contains information on the procedures and policies for applying for the State Video Franchise Authority Certificate, including printable forms and filing instructions.

Inquiries regarding this process can be addressed by calling the Secretary of State’s Corporations Call Center at 404-656-2817.

Customer complaints should be directed to the Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs at 404-651-8600 or 800-869-1123.

Hating Free Enterprise

Why are so many people so hostile to free markets?
Markets provide miracles that we take for granted. Clean, well-lighted supermarkets sell 30,000 products. Starvation has largely vanished from countries where private property and economic freedom are permitted. Free markets have rescued more people from poverty than government ever has.

Economic worries put Americans in sour mood

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Deepening worries about the economy and their personal finances put Americans in a sour mood this month, with more voters fearing a recession, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday.

Apple bets on online movie rentals

SAN FRANCISCO - Apple Inc. has redoubled its effort to distribute movies online, gaining a foothold in a promising but unproven business that could eventually bolster its other core products.

Stocks set to plunge on Intel shortfall

NEW YORK - Wall Street readied for a second straight day of losses Wednesday after technology leader Intel Corp. announced disappointing earnings and a dim outlook.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

GM, UAW negotiating more buyouts

DETROIT - General Motors Corp. is close to an agreement with the United Auto Workers on another round of buyout and early retirement offers to cut the number of workers in jobs banks and clear openings for workers hired at lower-tier wages, a top company official said Sunday.

UPS Freight Announces 2008 Rate Adjustment

UPS Freight (NYSE:UPS), the nation’s fourth-largest less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier, today announced a general rate increase averaging 5.4 percent covering non-contractual shipments in the United States and Canada.

The increase goes into effect on Feb. 4, 2008, and applies to minimum charge, LTL and truckload (TL) rates.

“We are continuing to improve service to our customers and to provide the latest technology,” said UPS Freight President Jack Holmes. “On Jan. 1, UPS began offering on-time guarantees at no additional charge to customers on the current base UPS Freight tariff for shipments moving within the continental United States.”

Also beginning this month, customers can process both package and LTL shipments in the UPS WorldShip® system, an enhancement that’s already exciting customers, Holmes added. In addition to being able to create a Bill of Lading (BOL) for LTL shipments, UPS WorldShip users can send e-mail notifications, save BOL’s for later completion, import commodities and view their negotiated rates.

"I have worked with many freight and transportation companies, and I’ve filled out hundreds of forms and freight bills,” says Richard Rohde, who handles shipping for Independent Electric Supply in San Francisco. "In my opinion, this version is by far the easiest to use and the fastest.”

Netflix expands Internet viewing option

SAN FRANCISCO - Girding for a potential threat from Apple Inc., online DVD rental service Netflix Inc. is lifting its limits on how long most subscribers can watch movies and television shows over high-speed Internet connections.

Dillard's, Inc. Reports December Sales Results

Little Rock, Arkansas, January 10, 2008 -- Dillard's, Inc. (DDS: NYSE) ("Dillard's" or the "Company") announced today that sales for the five weeks ended January 5, 2008 were $1,167,314,000 compared to sales for the five weeks ended December 30, 2006 of $1,223,755,000. Sales declined 5% for the five-week period in both total and comparable stores.
Sales for the combined November and December period, the nine weeks ended January 5, 2008, were $1,726,586,000 compared to sales for the nine weeks ended December 30, 2006 of $1,773,807,000. Sales declined 3% for the nine-week period in both total and comparable stores.

Sales for the 48 weeks ended January 5, 2008 were $6,769,660,000 compared to sales for
the 48 weeks ended December 30, 2006 of $7,012,382,000. Total sales declined 3% for the 48-week period. Sales in comparable stores declined 4% for the 48-week period.

During the five weeks ended January 5, 2008, sales in the Central region were above the Company's average sales performance trend for period. Sales were slightly above trend in the Western region and below trend in the Eastern region.

During the five weeks ended January 5, 2008, sales in shoes were significantly above trend. The sales trend in the juniors' and children's apparel category and cosmetics was significantly below trend.

Dillard's, Inc. is one of the nation's largest fashion apparel and home furnishing retailers.

The Company's stores operate with one name, Dillard's, and span 29 states. Dillard's stores offer a broad selection of merchandise, including products sourced and marketed under Dillard's exclusive brand names.

Odds are growing for economic recession

WASHINGTON - The unemployment rate leaps to a two-year high, record numbers of people are forced from their homes and Wall Street nose-dives again. Such is the fallout from a housing meltdown that threatens to slingshot the country into a recession.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Northwest CEO addresses merger rumors

MINNEAPOLIS - The chief executive of Northwest Airlines says his carrier could benefit from a merger — if it's the right deal.

As the Delta Air Lines Inc. board met to discuss the issue, Northwest Airlines Corp. chief Doug Steenland sent an internal memo to employees Friday saying his airline's board and management team would analyze any deal carefully.

Friday, January 11, 2008

US trade deficit soared in November

WASHINGTON - The U.S. trade deficit in November rose to the highest level in 14 months, reflecting record foreign crude oil prices. The deficit with China declined slightly while the weak dollar boosted exports to another record high.

Study Deals a Blow to Independent Pharmacies

Independent pharmacists complaining they don’t make enough money from Medicare’s new prescription drug benefit have gained the ear of Congress and expect to see an increase in their payments this year.
But a new study by the Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general suggests that those pharmacies may not be doing as badly as some lawmakers have been led to believe.

Hillary: $70 Billion Needed to Stop Recession

Hillary Clinton wants voters to believe the country is entering a recession and a $70 billion subsidy package for low-income Americans is needed to keep the economy afloat.
Clinton laid out the details of this plan at the IBEW Hall in Commerce, California Friday—a state with significant “Tsunami Tuesday” clout that will send 441 delegates to the Democratic nominating convention. "This economy may be working for some people, but it sure isn't working for everybody," Clinton said.$70_billion_needed_to_stop_recession

GOP Candidates Go Supply-Side

The New Hampshire primary may not have confirmed who’s going to win the GOP nomination (or the Democratic nomination for that matter). But it just may have told us where voting Republicans stand on the economy and supply-side policy.

Bank of America to buy Countrywide for $4 billion

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp said on Friday it would buy mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp for $4 billion in a move that could avert one of the biggest collapses in the U.S. housing crisis.

Stocks slammed by bad credit fears

NEW YORK - Wall Street plunged again Friday amid renewed fears that the financial sector's troubles with bad credit won't soon end and that some consumers are buckling under the weight of a slowing economy. The major indexes each lost more than 1 percent, including the Dow Jones industrials, which finished down nearly 250 points.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bernanke signals bold rate action to lift growth

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Thursday said the U.S. central bank was ready to act aggressively to counter a deep housing slump and credit market strains that were putting economic growth at risk.

Fed is ready to cut interest rates again

WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke pledged Thursday to slash interest rates as needed to prevent housing and credit problems from plunging the country into a recession.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Take an Eye-Opening Virtual Tour of the 755 Club

The 755 Club at Turner Field, Atlanta’s most unique meeting and event facility, recently debuted a virtual tour showcasing the club’s most spectacular assets and characteristics. The eye-opening virtual tour appears on the 755 Club’s website as a portal to experience all the facility has to offer.

A stunning grand lobby featuring cherry wood and brushed stainless steel welcomes customers to the Club, ushering them into the contemporary, cool atmosphere of the venue. Viewers are able to access the facility’s floor plan and observe the unrivalled views of Turner Field from the 755 Club. The virtual tour displays the numerous venue options available for functions within the 755 Club. Focusing on the club’s special atmosphere, the interactive online tour is the perfect introduction to the 755 Club’s unique ambience. The 755 Club will beckon you to experience the sublime, again and again.

Fernando Saenz, Sales Manager at the 755 Club, states, “The new virtual tour shows customers the elegant décor of the 755 Club, and demonstrates the breathtaking skyline and stadium views through floor-to-ceiling windows. With the world’s largest high-definition video screen, an onsite, state-of-the-art kitchen staffed with award winning chefs, a wine list to rival any in the city and access to the entire Turner Field Stadium, from Scout’s Alley to the Braves Museum, the 755 Club truly offers the ultimate experience.”

The 755 Club accommodates meeting for 75 to 500 guests and consists of five expansive rooms totaling over 24,000 square-feet. In addition to meeting space, the 755 Club offers event planning for trade shows and corporate events, team building activities, over 70 custom TV monitors, custom menus, wedding/reception planning and reception space for 75 to 3000. The 755 Club delivers the excitement of Turner Field and the storied history of the Braves with service and amenities to rival the finest venues in the city.

For more information, visit or Fernando Saenz, Sales Manager, may be reached at 404-614-2413.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Steve Bullard and Jim Fulton have announced the merger of Coldwell Banker Fulton Realty Associates with the Bullard Realty organization.

This is the second merger of companies with Coldwell Banker Bullard Realty in recent weeks. Earlier, it was announced that Jonesboro-based Coldwell Banker Joe T. Lane Realty had merged with the Bullard Realty organization.

Jim Fulton, who is now an associate broker with Bullard’s Peachtree City/Fayette County office, said, “Steve Bullard and I have known each other a long time, and we’ve discussed this possible merger previously. We both felt that now is the right time to do it.”

Bullard noted that merger will result in a much stronger operation serving the real estate needs and providing Coldwell Banker services to the Peachtree City/Fayette County area. The office will be the largest in the Bullard organization and one of the largest real estate offices in Peachtree City. “We’re also extremely pleased to have someone of the caliber of Jim Fulton, who is a longtime community leader in Peachtree City and Fayette County, associated with our company,” he said.

Including Jim Fulton, 25 Realtors previously with Coldwell Banker Fulton Realty Associates are joining Bullard’s Peachtree City/Fayette County office as a result of the merger. They include Minka Fulton, Debbie Lowe, Pete Benson, Bruce Williams, Bruce Cole, Billy Simpson, Tracy Willis, Terry Hoffman, Reggie Johnson, Harrison Miller, Judy Powell, Martin Wise, Dianne Maney, Larry Moseley, Beverly Bryant, Tracey O’Brien, Carol Owen, Darlene Pearson, Jim Qualls, Cyndi Randolph, Marie Rich, Greg Schneider, Stephan Curcio and Cheryl Dunson.
The addition of the agents from Fulton Realty Associates increases the size of the Bullard Peachtree City/Fayette County office at 201 Prime Point to 82 agents. There are also three managers and support staff, headed by Managing Broker George Wiley.

The Fulton family’s activities in real estate go back to 1961, when Miriam Fulton, Jim Fulton’s mother, started selling homes and homesites for the developer of Peachtree City. This was just after the Fulton family had moved into one of the first new homes in Peachtree City.

Miriam Fulton founded Miriam Fulton Realty in 1971,and Jim Fulton joined her in 1972. When Jim Fulton received his broker’s license in 1975, he took over the operations of the company on a day-to-day basis. In January of 1991, the Fultons purchased a Coldwell Banker network-owned office in Peachtree City, merging it with their own office and becoming a Coldwell Banker affiliate. At that same time, the business name was changed from Miriam Fulton Realty to Coldwell Banker Fulton Realty Associates.

Jim Fulton, who plans to concentrate his efforts for Bullard Realty in the commercial real estate area, is a former chairman of the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce and the Development Authority of Peachtree City. He served as president of the Fayette County Board of Realtors and the Home Builders Association of Midwest Georgia, and he has been named Fayette County Business Person of the Year and Realtor of the Year.

Coldwell Banker Bullard Realty is the oldest and largest real estate company headquartered in the Metro South area of Atlanta and was ranked #194 on RISMedia’s Real Estate 2007 Power Broker Report, which included 500 of the most successful real estate companies from throughout the nation. The company was ranked at No. 13 in the Atlanta Business Chronicle's most recent listing of “Atlanta's Top 25 Residential Real Estate Companies”, and it is the principal Cendant Mobility broker for the South and East Metro Atlanta areas, having the largest Relocation Department on the Southside. The company became a Coldwell Banker franchisee in early 1998 and is the largest Coldwell Banker franchise in Georgia.

The Bullard organization has its corporate headquarters and a local office in Jonesboro, branch offices of Bullard Realty in McDonough, Peachtree City, Jackson, Griffin, Newnan, and Conyers, and an affiliated company, American Land Mart in Conyers, which has a major share of the luxury home market in the Rockdale County area.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Paulson: no easy answer to mortgage woes

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration is working to combat the country's severe housing crisis but there is no simple solution, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Monday, adding that a correction in the housing market is "inevitable and necessary."

Stocks end mixed in shaky trading

NEW YORK - Wall Street ended an erratic session mixed Monday as investors grew more confident that the Federal Reserve will lower interest rates again to ward off recession and as they also wrestled with worries about the upcoming earnings season.

Travelport GDS to Relocate North American GDS Corporate Headquarters and Primary Data Center to Atlanta, Georgia

PRNewswire/ -- Travelport GDS, one of the world's largest global distribution systems (GDS) providers, which operates both the Galileo and Worldspan brands, today announced that it will consolidate operations across its current North American locations of Rosemont, IL; Parsippany, NJ and Denver, CO; and has selected Atlanta as the location for its new North American GDS headquarters and its primary data center.

"Travelport's acquisition of Worldspan and its integration of the Galileo and Worldspan GDS businesses represent our commitment to meeting the growing demands of our customers globally and to establishing even more efficient and effective travel distribution services," said Jeff Clarke, CEO and president of Travelport Ltd., parent company of Travelport GDS. "The relocation of the combined North American GDS headquarters to Atlanta underscores this commitment as well as our continued investment in the North American market."

"Travelport's decision to locate a division headquarters in Atlanta signals that our position as a hub in the travel and IT industries is second to none," said Governor Sonny Perdue. "The addition of these high-paying jobs will provide more opportunities for Georgia's best and brightest to stay in the state and continue to grow our economy."

"Atlanta has an excellent position geographically within North America which means that it is easy to do business with, has attracted and developed a well educated and technologically literate work force and has an ever expanding international network of air services which is crucial for a global business such as ours," said Gordon Wilson, CEO and president, Travelport GDS. "The consolidation of our business and primary data center into a North American GDS headquarters is a significant step in building upon synergies across our pre-existing Galileo business and the recently acquired Worldspan business. The State of Georgia, Cobb and Fulton Counties and the city of Atlanta have demonstrated strong support for our move which is appreciated. Our customers will benefit from an organization which is easier to do business with and which is within easy reach as well as from a state of the art Travelport managed central data centre serving the world for both the Galileo and the Worldspan GDS product lines."

Over time, Travelport plans to leverage the existing infrastructure and resources already located in Atlanta to expand its presence in the city.

Tamper Resistant Receptacles Help Protect Children from Electrical Injuries

PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Cooper Wiring Devices today announced a new line of Tamper Resistant receptacles designed specifically for dwelling units - residential homes, extended stay hotels, assisted living facilities, nursing homes and apartment buildings - anyplace electrical injuries to children could be a concern. The new receptacles resist the insertion of foreign objects, thereby providing protection for young children from electrical injuries, which is a frequent worry of parents.

This new line of receptacles continues the high quality and performance for which Cooper Wiring Devices' products are known. New safety features ensure a home or facility is offering superior protection against electrical injury. Tamper Resistant receptacles utilize a UL-Listed shutter system that resists the insertion of foreign objects, and provides significantly improved protection when compared to regular receptacles with plastic safety caps. Additional features include a patented built-in wire stripper for convenience, tri-combo screws for flexible installation, and a highly visible "TR" designation that makes the receptacles easy to identify.

In a recent study performed by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), it was estimated that from 1991 to 2001, more than 24,000 children 10 years old or younger were treated in emergency rooms for incidents related to electrical receptacles. On average, this translates to about seven children every day.

"Our new line of Tamper Resistant receptacles will help make homes and other dwellings safer for young children." says Cooper Wiring Devices' Michele Salimbeni, Product Manager for Residential Products.

The industry efforts to develop safer electrical receptacles is in large part the reason new requirements are being added to the 2008 National Electrical Code(R) (NEC)* under section 406.11, Tamper Resistant Receptacles in Dwelling Units. The new code states that effective January 1, 2008, all receptacles installed in new dwelling units must be tamper-resistant. Cooper Wiring Devices' new line of Tamper Resistant Receptacles is fully compliant with these new code changes.

For more information, call 866-853-4293 or visit

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Special Event Show to Attract Nation’s Leading Event Planners and Designers to Atlanta January 15-18

The Special Event 2008

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Penton Media’s The Special Event®, the leading trade show and conference for event producers, planners and designers, is expected to attract thousands of industry trendsetters to Atlanta, showcasing the talents of experts responsible for some of the nation’s most high-profile events. The Special Event 2008 conference will take place January 15-18, 2008, with exhibit halls open January 16-18 at the Georgia World Congress Center, in Atlanta. Full details on the conference agenda and activities are available at

Last year’s show in Los Angeles set new attendance records, hosting 9,000 professionals from around the world; attendance in 2008 is expected to surpass this number. The show will feature more than 100 educational sessions, six “showcase” events and a wide variety of exhibitions by more than 300 vendors, all organized by a distinguished group of the world’s leading event professionals.

Educational class tracks will cover all aspects of the event industry, including food services; event management; sales and marketing; design; wedding trends; business and professional development; and event tools & resources.

The six “showcase” events at The Special Event offer numerous ideas for professionals in décor, entertainment, catering and floral. Each showcase is organized and executed by committees comprised of the nation’s top designers. A detailed description of each showcase, with details on its organizing committee, can be found at

Event planners visiting the exhibit hall floor will see thousands of products and services, reflecting the latest trends in the industry. The hall will include a gallery offering displays in tabletop design; a performance stage with an ongoing showcase of entertainment and educational acts; and “Gala Boards,” displaying photos of some of the world’s top events in 2007. Winning entries from the Gala Boards will be announced at the Gala Awards and Celebration on Friday, January 18th.

For a press badge to attend the tradeshow or conference sessions, or for information on exhibition and other marketing opportunities at The Special Event 2008, contact Betsy Carballo, marketing manager at (913) 981-6140, email or visit

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan Elects Eight New Partners

ATLANTA & WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP announces the election of eight new partners effective January 1, 2008.

“All of these lawyers have been very significant contributors to the firm on many fronts, and we are certain they will be a large part of our continued growth and success in the years to come,” said Mark D. Wasserman, Sutherland’s Managing Partner.

The following three lawyers in the firm’s Atlanta office have been elected partner:

Michael C. Castellon is a member of the Litigation Practice and focuses his practice in the areas of construction law, contracts and all types of dispute resolution.

Joseph M. DePew is a member of the Tax Practice and specializes in tax litigation and controversy, corporate taxation and income tax, with a focus on federal tax controversy issues, including IRS procedures, dispute resolution, collection and tax litigation matters.

Jennifer R. Van Ness is a member of the Real Estate Practice and focuses her practice in the areas of acquisitions and dispositions, development, finance, leasing and joint venture work.

The following five lawyers in the firm’s Washington office have been elected partner:

Thomas E. Bisset is a member of the Financial Services Practice and concentrates his practice on investment management regulation, including advising mutual funds, insurance company issuers of fixed and variable insurance products and other financial entities on the establishment and operation of investment companies and novel financial instruments and on compliance with the Securities Act of 1933, the Investment Company Act of 1940 and other federal securities laws.

Thomas R. Bundy III is a member of the Litigation Practice who has a commercial practice focusing on labor and employment law, particularly worker classification issues.

John J. Mahon is a member of the Corporate Practice and focuses his practice in the areas of securities law and mergers and acquisitions, including advising clients on compliance with the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and handling matters relating to the establishment and operation of both public and private closed-end funds and business development companies.

Steven C. Sparling is a member of the Energy and Environmental Practice and devotes the majority of his practice to LNG, oil spill and emergency preparedness.

Carol P. Tello is a member of the Tax Practice and focuses primarily on international tax matters, including a broad range of cross-border tax planning and IRS controversy matters for both business entities and individuals.

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is an AmLaw 100 law firm known for solving challenging business problems and resolving unique legal issues for many of the world’s largest companies. Founded in 1924, the firm has grown to more than 500 lawyers with offices in Atlanta, Austin, Houston, New York, Tallahassee and Washington. For further information about the firm, please visit

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Challenges Create Opportunities that Can Improve Our Future

Most of the time, it takes a crisis or a near crisis situation to concentrate our thinking. It’s amazing what human beings are capable of when faced with big problems. All we know at the time is that we need answers. These answers may not be obvious, but, the industrious people that we are, we go right to work looking for them.

America has faced its share of catastrophes, both large and small, and will again in the future. Forgive me in this age of internationalism, but I believe that Americans have no peers when it comes to tackling big challenges.

The ones we are facing in Georgia as we move into 2008 are serious. Maybe not life threatening, but serious nonetheless. They cry out for answers. Left unsolved, they will limit growth, diminish employment opportunities and set our state back a decade or more. If you love this state as much as I do, you won’t let that happen.

One of the big agenda items in 2008 is water. How could something so benign, something we take for granted, cause such headaches?

The short answer is that we have grown as a state and the water supply has not. Thus, we find ourselves embroiled in mini-disputes: state against state, county against county, rural vs. urban and, our old nemesis, north Georgia vs. South Georgia, none of it the least bit productive.

A higher power controls the supply of water in the form of precipitation. As good stewards, our job is to use it wisely and to conserve, which we are doing, voluntarily and otherwise. Is it really a crisis? Not yet, maybe, but it is on the road to becoming one.

The Georgia Chamber is on that same path, committed to avoiding a crisis, working with state and local officials to stay one step ahead of the gloom and doom crowd. As the unified voice of the state’s business community, we knew that a water shortage was looming and that it had the potential to put small businesses at risk. And that a few good rain showers was not the answer.

We needed a strong plan, more of a strategy, if you will, agreed upon by all parties (and there are many), that was fair, equitable and effective. The state Department of Natural Resources produced the first one and I commend them for doing a thoughtful and thorough job.

Meanwhile, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, representing the state’s business community, was invited to be part of the discussion and we were ready. We had already secured the services of an eminent water professional with hands on experience in situations much ours in Georgia. Doug Meile, a native Australian, has been part of our team for six months and he has been deeply involved in the negotiations, as the representative of Georgia business.

I am confident that the plan that surfaces during the upcoming legislative session will be a good one. I expect business to be treated fairly and that the jobs of millions of Georgians will be protected.

One final note on how this happened. More than a year ago, we launched a major fund drive known as The Georgia Initiative, to enable the Georgia Chamber to become more involved in public policy issues. Water was the first project we launched and, though much remains to be done, I already see this as a solid return on our investment. Certainly not just for business, but for every citizen of Georgia.

by George Israel, President & CEO of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce