Mark Howard to Present Retirement Tips at the Chamber’s Power Hour in October

Mark Howard to Present Retirement Tips at the Chamber’s Power Hour in October

(Savannah, GA) Mark Howard, President and founder of Howard Financial Group, will be the featured speaker at the Savannah Area Chamber’s Power Hour on Tuesday, Oct. 3, in the Savannah Morning News Auditorium, 1375 Chatham Parkway. Networking begins at 11:30 a.m., lunch and program begin at noon.

Howard will present “3 Retirement Income Strategies to Implement for You and Your Company” during the Chamber’s monthly gathering. Attendees will learn how to implement income planning strategies for their team’s retirement.

Howard has over 25 years experience in the financial services industry. He is recognized as an expert on Retirement Income Planning and has been featured many times on news outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta Business Chronicle, Barron’s Magazine, South Magazine, AM 750 WSB, AM 1290 WTKS and Savannah Morning News.

“I hope to share some timely information with chamber members who want to help their employees save for the future,” said Howard. “Providing employer-sponsored retirement plans are a great tool for retaining high-quality employees and at the same time providing excellent benefits back to the business.

In 2014, Howard founded Howard Financial Group, which is headquartered in Savannah. His firm focuses on strategies to grow their clients’ retirement dollars while taking less risk. “We specialize in protection of principle, providing a reasonable rate of return over time, and keeping things simple for our clients”, said Howard.

Howard Financial Group services clients from all over the country, many that are recognizable names from the world of sports, entertainment and politics.

Last year, Howard and his firm were chosen to be a part of Advisors Excel, an elite group of financial advisors nationwide that were recently highlighted in the New York Times bestseller Money: Master the Game, written by Tony Robbins.

Cost to attend the luncheon is $12 for chamber members only. For more info contact Stephanie Painter, Small Business and Events Manager, Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, 912.644.6458 or visit

For more information on Howard Financial Group, visit or call 912-777-6944.

Cecilia Russo
Cecilia Russo Marketing

Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade Public Relations, Inc.


Savannah Jaycees Celebrate 75th Anniversary

Savannah Jaycees Celebrate 75th Anniversary

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Savannah Jaycees have announced plans for their 75th Anniversary Gala set for Saturday, Oct. 21, in the ballroom in the Embassy Suites Hotel, 605 W. Oglethorpe Ave. Guests will enjoy live music, dinner and dancing.

As part of the event, the organization will present its Distinguished Service Award. This award was an annual tradition of the Savannah Jaycees for a number of years as a way to recognize a local resident who went above and beyond to embody the Jaycees creed “Service to Humanity is the Best Work of Life.”

Savannah Jaycees

Savannah Jaycees

“For the past 75 years, the Savannah Jaycees have played a role in building a stronger community through professional development, community service and educational efforts,” said Jaycees president Cynthia Wright. “We have a rich history and a long list of accomplishments to highlight during this anniversary celebration.”

In the 1950s, the Jaycees were one of the main supporters of the city council-city manager form of government that Savannah has today and played an integral role in the installation of voting booths throughout Chatham County.

In the ‘60s, the group spearheaded efforts to build the Savannah Civic Center and raised funds for the Kicklighter School and Chatham Nursing home among other projects. The group, along with the U.S. Marine Corps and the Savannah Fire Department also launched the local version of the Marines’ Toys for Tots program.

In the ’70s, they held the “Jaycees Forum” on local television, as well as a weekly “High School Quiz Bowl” telecast. In the ’80s, the Jaycees raised almost $50,000 for the renovation of the Forsyth Park fountain.

More recently, the organization initiated the Leadership NOW program, a lecture series featuring prominent members of Savannah sharing insights on leadership, management and professional skills. The Savannah Jaycees also organized the annual Charity Date Night Auction, the Mayoral Forum, the Surging Forward Community Picnic after Hurricane Matthew and “Done in a Day” projects. This year, they also launched the Junior Jaycees Program for area middle school students.

The public is invited to participate in the 75th Anniversary Gala to join the Jaycees in their celebration of past accomplishments.

“This is a way for us to honor our alumni’s efforts, brag on our current members’ projects and look forward to what the future will bring,” said Wright.

The gala will be held in the ballroom of the Embassy Suites at 6 p.m. This event is black tie optional. Tickets for the event are $40 and can be purchased at

Sponsorship opportunities are available to support the organization’s diamond anniversary and include tickets to the gala. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, email

For more information on the Savannah Jaycees or to become a sponsor of the gala, visit

The Savannah Jaycees is a nonprofit organization of young professionals, between the ages of 21 to 40, whose mission is to inspire leadership development through community involvement. The Savannah Jaycees have been an organization since 1942 and are celebrating their 75th anniversary this year. Among the Savannah Jaycees’ projects were the installation of voting booths throughout Chatham County, spearheading efforts to build the Civic Center, helping to build the Kicklighter School and Chatham Nursing Home, founding Toys for Tots with the Marines and the fire department, renovating the Forsyth Fountain and creating Jaycees Park on Tybee Island. The United States Jaycees was founded in 1920 with a vision to be the leading global network of active young citizens. To learn more, visit or

67th Annual Greek Festival to be Held Oct. 12-14

(SAVANNAH, GA) A Savannah tradition since 1950, the Annual Greek Festival, will be held Thursday, October 12, Friday, October 13 and Saturday, October 14 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily at the St. Paul’s Hellenic Center, 14 W. Anderson St.

The 67th annual celebration will feature homemade Greek food, desserts, drinks, dancing and music. Guests may also enjoy visiting the outdoor marketplace and taking guided church tours.

“There’s no experience required to get your Greek on,” said Tommy Danos, one of the 2017 Savannah Greek Festival chairs. “Our three-day event attracts thousands of visitors, who come out each year to enjoy the food, music, dancing and atmosphere of the Greek culture. Whether this is your 67th year or your first time here, we welcome you.”

The event will also be offering pick-up lunches Thursday, October 10, Friday, October 11 and Saturday, October 12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with online ordering at

Festival admission is free until 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday with a requested $2 donation after 4 p.m. A $2 donation also is requested all day Saturday. Tickets may be purchased at the door.

Greek music will be provided all day, every day along with Authentic Greek dancing and performances by various dance troupes. In addition, festival attendees can learn about the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church and see the interior of one of Savannah’s unique structures, St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church, which has been completely renovated. Guided tours will be held throughout the three days of the festival.

For many, the highlight of the festival is the opportunity to sample a variety of homemade Greek dishes. Family favorites include spanakopita, Greek meatballs, gyros and Greek salads. An assortment of Greek pastries will be available, such as kourabiedes (butter cookies topped with powdered sugar) and baklava (the traditional treat of pecans and spices baked in layers of filo).

For more information, visit or call 912-236-8256.

The Greek Festival, a Savannah tradition, is held annually in October at St. Paul’s Hellenic Center, 14 W. Anderson St. The celebration features homemade Greek food, desserts, drinks, dancing and music, along with a marketplace and church tours. For more information, visit https://www.savannahgreekfest. com/ or call 912-236-8256. Follow the Greek Festival on Facebook at SavannahGreekFest and Twitter at @SavGreekFest.

Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade Public Relations®
Cecilia Russo Marketing

Third Generation General Contracting Firm, The Strong Group, Expands Business by Partnering with Alair Homes in Savannah, Ga

Third Generation General Contracting Firm, The Strong Group, Expands Business by Partnering with Alair Homes in Savannah, Ga

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Strong Group, a general contracting residential construction firm based in Savannah, has announced a new partnership with Alair Homes, North America’s largest construction management contractor.

The partnership will give The Strong Group access to a consolidated back-office management system and a communications platform that gives homeowners access to real-time information on the progress being made on their projects. That allows The Strong Group to ensure homeowners are being updated on key factors such as cost and budget at every step of the process.

“I decided to partner with Alair to create a scalable business model that allows me more time to work on growing and improving my business,” said Walter Strong III, who owns The Strong Group. “Our trademarked pre-construction client control process gives clients certainty and transparency over their project. The traditional custom construction business model was broken. Clients were asked to buy a product before they know what the final cost was, and the contractors were asked to sell something before they knew the final cost. Our innovative and transparent process solves these issues for both parties.”

According to AVID Ratings, the average percentage of customer satisfaction for Alair clients was over 21 points higher than the industry average for residential construction. In 2017, two Alair Homes contractors took home AVID Awards, which are granted to North American home builders whose purchasers rated them the highest for customer experience and dedication. “That’s what I call fixing a broken model,” said Strong.

The Strong Group is a third-generation commercial general contracting firm founded in 1952 by Walter Strong, Sr. as the Walter H. Strong Co. Over the generations, the company’s services have expanded to include construction management and award-winning residential construction.

The Strong Group’s most notable construction projects include the original eight-building campus at Armstrong State University that was completed in 1962 and the Armstrong Fine Arts building that was finished in 1973. The firm also served as construction managers for the renovation of the former Chatham County Courthouse on Bull Street that was completed in 1991 and as construction administrators for the recently completed $70 million dollar expansion of the Chatham County Detention Center. They have also completed an estimated 70 custom residential construction projects since 2004.

Since its founding in 2007, Alair has been helping home builders, renovators and remodelers expand their reach as entrepreneurs. Alair’s system is designed to easily track projects and reports so contractors can be in the field and be interacting with their clients to ensure operations are running smoothly.

“Savannah and the surrounding region is a special and unique market and we are very proud to have Walter as our partner to help deliver the Alair difference to homeowners and other contractors alike,” said Rob Cecil, Alair’s chief development officer. “With nearly 90 offices open and many more offices slated to open in the summer and fall, we’re looking forward to bringing even more passionate contractors into our system as we expand into new markets.”

Through partnering with Alair, The Strong Group is projected to grow significantly. Currently, The Strong Group operates primarily within the greater Savannah, Ga., and Bluffton/Hilton Head Island, S.C., areas with a few projects as far away as Macon, Ga., and Columbia, S.C. In their new expansion phase, the company will extend its efforts throughout southeast Georgia.

By working closely with Alair, Strong said, he expects to add project managers who share his drive to push their limits.

“When you can offer applicants Alair’s proven and simple system, signing on top-tier project managers is a no brainer,” said Strong. “Alair isn’t changing my business; it’s adding a layer of strength to the foundation we already had.”

For more information, call 912.233.7690 or visit

The Strong Group in Savannah, Ga., is a third-generation commercial general contracting firm founded in 1952 as the Walter H. Strong Co. Services include construction management and award-winning residential construction. The Strong Group’s foundation was built on its commercial construction history. The Strong Group started to develop a reputation for residential Construction in 2004 when Walter Strong III began to build high-end homes around Savannah. Along with new construction, The Strong Group has earned a reputation as one of the area’s premier renovation contractors. They have received two historic preservation awards. For more information, call 912.233.7690 or visit

Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade Public Relations®
Cecilia Russo Marketing

Horizons Savannah Announces Grab a Bag for Kids Event, Charity Luncheon and Purse Auction

Horizons Savannah Announces Grab a Bag for Kids Event, Charity Luncheon and Purse Auction

(SAVANNAH, GA) Horizons Savannah announces the 5th annual charity luncheon and purse auction called, Grab a Bag for Kids, will take place on Friday, October 27 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Savannah Golf Club, located at 1661 E President St.

Featured at the auction, both silent and live, are designer handbags, from gently used to new, including premier brands such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, Saint Laurent, Kate Spade, and Michael Kors to name a few.

A silent auction will kick off the event at 11 a.m. with lunch being served at noon. The tickets are $35 per person or $350 for a table of 10.

“This event allows guests an opportunity to purchase high-end designer bags in an effort to support Horizons Savannah,” said Christy Edwards, Horizons Savannah Executive Director. “It’s a win-win for everyone. You’ll leave with a beautiful new purse, and know that your donation went to help the summer learning program for at-risk children in Savannah.”

Grab a Bag for Kids offers sponsorship opportunities for businesses as well. The different levels include Prada at $250, Dior at $500, Chanel at $1,000 and Hermes at $2,000. Donations are also still being accepted for the bag auction. For more information on sponsorship or donations, contact Alexis Shin at 912-665-3715 or

For more information on the Grab a Bag for Kids charity luncheon and purse auction, visit or call 961-8854.

Recognized as one of America’s best summer learning programs, Horizons Savannah at Savannah Country Day School, Bethesda Academy and St. Andrew’s School welcomes over 200 low-income students each summer to a six-week summer enrichment program that helps prevent “summer slide”: the loss-of-learning that occurs during the summer. By providing a safe and nurturing environment, recreational and cultural activities, nutritious meals and snacks, caring professional teachers and creative, challenging instruction, we unlock a student’s potential to achieve. During the program, students gain an average of two months’ growth in reading and three months’ growth in math. For more information, please contact Horizons Savannah Executive Director Christy Edwards at 912-961-8854 or You can also visit our website at, check out our Facebook page at

Christy Edwards, Executive Director

Media Contact:
Cecilia Russo
Cecilia Russo Marketing

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Announces Annual Buddy Walk To Be Held On October 7

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Announces Annual Buddy Walk To Be Held On October 7

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) will hold their 12th annual Buddy Walk in Forsyth Park. The event is open to all ages and abilities; LDSS encourages those in wheelchairs, carriages and strollers to attend. Pets are welcome too.


Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society

Last year’s event welcomed over 5,000 participants. This year, LDSS hopes to have even more of the community come out to raise awareness and support local programs that benefit people with Down syndrome and their families.

Tickets for the walk will be $15.00 per person or $50.00 for a family of four. Registration includes a T-shirt, lunch and admission to the family-fun festival.

The family-fun festival will take place in the park immediately following the walk. Participants can expect activities such as face painting, pumpkin painting, princess and pirate booths, bounce houses, games, music and refreshments.

“October is National Down Syndrome Awareness month,” said Candy Bogardus, President of LDSS. “Each year we celebrate by promoting acceptance and inclusion. Our mission with this walk is to positively influence local and national policies and practices towards people with Down syndrome.”

Proceeds from Savannah’s Buddy Walk help sponsor LDSS events such as the Night of Champions, Camp Buddy and many other services.

For more information, contact John or Candy Bogardus at 912-728-8505, or visit to register online.

The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) is a family support group to benefit people with Down syndrome and their families through local leadership, outreach, education, and advocacy to champion and celebrate acceptance and inclusion. Meetings are held every 4th Tuesday of the month, typically with a guest speaker and social time for families to meet and interact with one another. LDSS encourages people to bring their children. LDSS is an affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society. For more information about LDSS, visit

Candy Bogardus

Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade PR

(SAVANNAH, GA) COMMUNiTY HEADLiNES, September 18, 2017



The Local Newswire

(JASPER COUNTY, S.C.) In celebration of their 15th anniversary, Peacock Automotive has rebranded New River Auto Mall and is now doing business at Peacock Auto Mall:
Were you spotted at the unveiling event?


(JASPER COUNTY, S.C.) As the Legacy Sponsor, Audi Hilton Head, hosted the theme unveiling party for the American Heart Association – Southern Coast’s 2018 Heart Ball. View the announcement of the 2018 theme at:

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Savannah Area REALTORS® is pleased to announce the completion of a comprehensive upgrade of its corporate training and meeting facilities. Designed by Speros, a full-service technology company headquartered in Savannah, the upgrade has brought up-to-date technology and ease of functionality to multiple areas used for learning services and video conferencing. For more information, visit

(SAVANNAH, GA) The CFO Council of Savannah announces plans for their upcoming meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 20, at 7 a.m. at The Georgia Coastal Center, 305 Fahm St. Communications expert, author and career coach Mary Nestor will share practical tips and scripts from her new book “Say It Now! Say It Right!” that you can use to eliminate elephants, avoid bad decisions and transform fence-sitters into devoted followers. Free of charge for members. For more information or to reserve a spot, visit

(SAVANNAH, GA) Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Coastal Empire announces plans for their 3rd Annual Beer, Guys & Cigars at The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf & Spa Resort on Oct. 8 and 9Sunday evening is all about the brews, food, auction items and cigars. Monday is the annual golf tournament with a 10 a.m. shotgun start. All proceeds benefit critically ill children and their families. For more information or to buy tickets, visit

(SAVANNAH, GA) Join the owners of LaTerra Natural Oils at 1520 Bull St. on the evening of Friday, Oct. 6, as they host a tasting and art show to benefit not-for-profit Hospice Savannah, Inc. Enjoy appetizers and refreshments, taste premium olive oils and balsamic vinegars and view the exquisite paintings of Mary Ellen McLaughlin. A portion of all product and art sales as well as proceeds from the raffle of a gift basket will be donated. Find out more at

(PARK PLACE OUTREACH) The shelter at Park Place Outreach can hold 12 clients at any given time, with four beds reserved to guarantee no child in need of emergency shelter is ever turned away. Park Place also provides comprehensive outreach services designed to prevent runaways and homelessness. Through these outreach efforts, Park Place reaches approximately 2,600 kids and teenagers each year. For more information, visit

(SAVANNAH, GA) The UGA Small Business Development Center in Savannah and the UGA SBDC at Georgia Southern will present a class on Sept. 26 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Social media expert Lisa Kandra will presents her national program designed to teach business owners how they can leverage social media by implementing a strategy focused on goals and results. For more information, visit social-media- strategy-for- your-business/

(SANDFLY FAMILY DENTAL) Remember, whitening treatments can create a beautiful, confident smile, but they don’t result in healthy teeth. To prevent cavities, practice good dental hygiene at home and visit your dental hygienist regularly. For more information, visit

(SOUTH MAG) Coastal Capital Management, locally owned and operated, provides informed financial advice. If you were to ask Sam Hubbard to define “financial success” on his own terms, you might be surprised to learn that this Savannah native’s answer is actually quite simple – good news for those of us who still have trouble counting out the correct change for a slice at Vinnie’s.


(INC) Drone Companies Assessing Damage After Hurricanes Irma and Harvey

(SAVANNAH, GA) Enmarket is pleased to announce that its retail stores in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina will sell Light The Night paper icons from Sept. 5 – 3 to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Light The Night event. The paper icon, which represents the light of hope in the cure for blood cancers, sells for $1 and is personalized with the donor’s name. The icons will be displayed on surfaces inside enmarket stations. The company has set a goal to raise $90,000 in support of LLS’s mission to cure blood cancer and improve the lives of patients and their families. For more information, visit

(SAVANNAH, GA) Head-Up Guidance Service (HUGS) announces plans for their Halloween “Spooktackular” on Friday, Oct. 20 from 7 – 11 p.m. at Alee Temple, 100 Eisenberg Drive, 31406. $50 tickets include food & “spirits,” dancing, entertainment and a costume contest. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit or call 912-507-3662.

(SAVANNAH, GA) Due to Hurricane Irma, Savannah magazine has postponed the annual Best of Savannah Party, Thursday, Sept. 14, at the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa, 1 Resort Drive, Hutchinson Island. This event will honor winners of the annual readers’ poll in the categories of dining, nightlife, shopping, services and community. Carriage Trade Public Relations/Cecilia Russo Marketing were voted as one of the best public relations firms in Savannah, winning as runner-up in the category. For more information and updates on the reschedule or to buy tickets to the Best of Savannah Party, visit

(BUSINESS INSIDER) 13 Ways Your iPhone Will Change on September 19

(SAVANNAH, GA) On Thursday, Sept. 21, join Union Mission at Ghost Coast Distillery for food, music and fun to support an end to homelessness in Savannah. The event “Friends with Benefits” will benefit the work of Union Mission and offer guests a chance to learn more about how community support helps reduce homelessness. Doors will open at 5 p.m. with live music from Junkyard Angel followed by tunes spun by DJ Ob-1 Benobi. Chazitos and Little Diddles Sweetery will be cooking for the event, with signature cocktails created by Ghost Coast Distillery using their own spirits. Entry tickets are $12 and can be purchased at

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Savannah Sports Council will host its 2017 Georgia Power Golf Classic & Sports Awards Luncheon on Sept. 26 and 28, respectively. Register for both events at

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Savannah Area Chamber’s 3rd annual Taste of the Lowcountry Business Connection is set for Wednesday, Sept. 27, at the Savannah Bend Marina, 188 Old Tybee Road in Thunderbolt. For more information or to reserve a spot, visit

(SAVANNAH, GA) On Friday, Sept. 29, the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the South Carolina Lowcountry SCORE chapter will host the first THRIVE Lowcountry Women’s Conference. The conference will feature a series of thought-provoking keynote speakers and five breakout sessions that will cover 20 topics, including Cynthia Wright, with Carriage Trade Public Relations and Cecilia Russo Marketing, to discuss social media. For more information, please visit To register, please visit

(INC) Incredibly Common Grammar Mistakes

(SAVANNAH, GA) The 2017 Buddy Walk for the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society will be held on Saturday, Oct. 7, in Savannah’s Forsyth Park. The walk will begin at 10 a.m. and will be followed immediately by a Family Fun Festival. This one-mile fundraising event raises awareness and funds for local programs that benefit people with Down Syndrome and their families. To learn more about the Buddy Walk or to register, visit


(SAVANNAH, GA) A Savannah tradition, the Annual Greek Festival, will be held Thursday, Oct. 12 through Saturday, Oct. 14 at the St. Paul’s Hellenic Center, 14 W. Anderson St. The 67th annual celebration will feature homemade Greek food, desserts, drinks, dancing and live music, along with a marketplace and church tours. For more information, visit


(SAVANNAH, GA) Join the Savannah Area Chamber for networking with area professionals as bands play on the field at Historic Grayson Stadium on Thursday, Oct. 19. This is a casual musical and sports-themed business connection event. For more information or to make a reservation, visit


(SAVANNAH, GA) The Savannah Jaycees are seeking sponsors for their 75th Anniversary gala on Saturday, Oct. 21. For more information on sponsorship levels and needs, please contact Cynthia Wright at or 912-856-9075

(SAVANNAH, GA) Arts Resource Collective of Savannah (ARC) is partnering with Hospice Savannah, Inc. to present this year’s Arts and Artisans Tour on Thursday, Nov. 2. The tour features art and artists in several homes in the Historic District. Applications for the juried show can be found at For more information, contact


(SAVANNAH, GA) On Tuesday, Nov. 28, the annual Holiday Auction hosted by Coastal Georgia Council Boy Scouts of America will take place at 6 p.m. at the Landings Plantation Club. Your support of the Holiday Auction will help pay for inner city kids from low income homes to learn outdoor skills, have mentors and participate in the proven leadership and life skills development programs of the Boy Scouts of America. Call Angela Phillips at the Scout Office at 912-927-7272 x 204 to reserve your place or to sign up as a volunteer or sponsor.


(SAVANNAH, GA) Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter needs auction items for its gala on Friday, Feb. 2. Park Place is a temporary residential home for at-risk kids and teens ages 11-17 at 514 E. Henry St. Please call (912) 234-4048 to coordinate or visit

(SAVANNAH, GA) Freespirit is a 2 year old, female, American Staffordshire Terrier available for adoption. She does well in a crate and loves to play with her foster puppy siblings. Freespirit loves to cuddle and is good with other dogs and children. To view Freespirit and other pets available for adoption, visit: