Category: BUSINESS

Chris Tilton of The Dewitt Tilton Group to Present at Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce’s August Power Hour Luncheon

(SAVANNAH, GA) Chris Tilton, co-principal of the Dewitt Tilton Group, will present “Metal Buildings: Modern Marvels? Businesses Turning to Budget-Friendly Options for State-of-the-Art Appearances” at the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce’s August Power Hour Luncheon on Tuesday, August 6.

Chris Tilton, Dewitt Tilton Group, a Commercial Construction Company

Chris Tilton, Dewitt Tilton Group, a Commercial Construction Company

The luncheon will take place from 11:15 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 6, at the Grand Lake Club located at 815 Southbridge Blvd in Savannah. The cost to attend for Chamber members is $12.00. The event is also open to prospective Chamber members who can contact Tina Mock at for more information.

“It’s a topic I believe our community will be interested and surprised to learn about,” said Tilton. “We used to think of metal buildings as being the ugly shed in our neighbor’s backyard, but they really have evolved into design-worthy and environmentally-friendly structures.”

To register for the luncheon, please visit

MORE INFORMATION ON DEWITT TILTON GROUP The Dewitt Tilton Group, a premier construction firm located in Savannah, Ga., specializes in commercial construction. The principals, Andrew Dewitt and Chris Tilton, have over 50 years of combined experience in the local construction industry. The firm manages every aspect of a commercial project from pre-construction to the final walk through. Known for using only highly reputable contractors, the Dewitt Tilton Group brings to the table design, engineering and construction capabilities which guarantees a smooth construction process for each client. The firm is located at 2807-A Roger Lacey Avenue, Savannah, GA 31404. For more information or to contact the Dewitt Tilton Group, please call 912.777.3404 or visit


Kim Thomas
Dewitt Tilton Group

Cynthia Cradduck
Carriage Trade Public Relations®, Inc.
Cecilia Russo Marketing


Savannah SCORE Offers Opportunity for Entrepreneurs to Win $10K to Launch Their New Business

(SAVANNAH, GA) Got an idea for a unique, exciting new product or service? Then consider entering Savannah SCORE’s “BizPitch Savannah™ 2019″ entrepreneurial competition. A kinder, gentler version of TV’s “Shark Tank”, aspiring Savannah area entrepreneurs will be able to pitch their new business ideas to a panel of judges for the chance to win over $10,000 in cash and professional business services to help launch their new business.

Proposed businesses must be new start-ups or, if you have an existing business, you must have obtained your Savannah/Chatham County business license after March 1, 2018. Winners must locate and operate their business within Chatham County and launch by January 1, 2021. Applicants must be at least 18 years old.

Complete Rules and the Online Application are available at Applications will be accepted through midnight, July 29, 2019, with a $25 non-refundable application fee payable at the time of submission.

Eight finalists will be chosen to pitch their business ideas to the panel of judges at Savannah SCORE’s “BizPitch Savannah™ 2019” event on Friday, Sept. 6, from 4-6:30 p.m. The event will be held at the Coastal Georgia Center at 305 Fahm Street, Savannah. It will be free and open to the public.

The five judges are:

“BizPitch Savannah™ 2019″ is presented by the Savannah Chapter of SCORE in partnership with the following sponsors and professional services donors:

The City of Savannah; Savannah Economic Development Authority; Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce; Small Business Assistance Corporation; UGA Small Business Development Center; The Creative Coast; MassMutual; Wells Fargo-The Private Bank; BB&T; Savannah Morning News/GateHouse Media; HunterMacLean; Kenkel Design; Carriage Trade Public Relations® Inc.;; Advertising Specialty Services; Habersham Beverage; and Sand Dollar Accounting.

The competition rules and online application are available at For more information, visit the website or contact Savannah SCORE at

About SCORE 

SCORE is the nation’s largest provider of business mentoring and educational services to aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners. Savannah SCORE has been named SCORE’s 2019 Mid–Market “Chapter of the Year”. To schedule a free business mentoring session with a Savannah SCORE mentor, go to or call 912-652-4335.

Aging in Place: Ways to Update a House for Staying Long Term

Aging in Place: Ways to Update a House for Staying Long Term
By Sherry Daniel

No one likes to bring up the dreaded move that many of us fear will face us in the future. What am I referring to? Retirement homes.

No matter how improved and comfortable retirement homes may be, there’s nothing quite like living in a home in which you’ve made memories and crafted to suit your personality and needs.

With this in mind, many of our elderly neighbors are choosing to remain in their family homes rather than move to a retirement facility. To make that work smoothly, however, renovations are needed to adjust for an aging individual’s changing needs.

As the CEO and owner of Roto-Rooter Plumbers of Savannah, I notice different trends when we see an influx of specific requests. Lately, we’ve had more and more of our older customers ask for services such as height adjustments, mobility assistance installations and easier methods of accessibility in bathrooms and kitchens.

If you’re considering selling your home and moving to a retirement community, you might want to think about repairs or renovations that could make your home accessible. Below are 10 home plumbing renovations that will improve the accessibility of different parts of your house and allow you to postpone or avoid moving to a retirement home altogether.

1. Install pressure-balanced valves to provide water at steady temperatures regardless of pressure fluctuations in your kitchen and bathrooms.

2. Install grips around the shower, the toilet and your bed. Strategically located grab bars can prevent life-threatening falls. Slip-prevention flooring can help you feel secure as well.

3. Install hand-held, adjustable height, shower heads with a six-foot hose to direct the water where it’s needed.

4. Add a fold-down seat or bench in the shower. Some come with padded backs for extra comfort. Others will have a structure that extends outside the tub for easy entrance and exit.

5. Keep your spaces wide. Keep entryways, hallways and bathroom spaces clear of obstacles and wide enough for a wheelchair or other assistance device.

6. Install a toilet with the necessary height. Having the toilet at the proper height can make an incredible difference in the comfort and safety of your bathroom. A toilet paper holder designed for one-handed changing might be an added bonus.

7. Depending on your needs, a toilet/bidet combination can significantly improve hygiene.

8. Walk-in tubs and roll-in showers are imperative for those with mobility inhibitors. A roll-in shower is a shower stall that has a curb-less entrance and the door (or opening) is a minimum of 36 inches wide.

9. Consider a wheelchair accessible sink that is hung on the wall to leave space for your knees (or wheelchair) beneath a pipe-covering panel to protect your legs. You can also install lever handle faucets or faucets that are pedal controlled.

10. Install adjustable height (or varying height) counter tops with provisions for roll-under access in front of the sink and main counter top.

Taking advantage of these 10 tips can make your bathrooms wheelchair or simply “aging” accessible. Making these renovations can extend the amount of time you can live safely in your family home.

Sherry Daniel is the owner and CEO of Roto-Rooter Plumbers of Savannah. Roto-Rooter Plumbers of Savannah is headquartered at 2016 E Broad St, Savannah, GA 31401. The main office line is 912-355-1287 and you may contact Sherry Daniel directly at 912-629-1646. The local website is

Sherry Daniel, Roto Rooter Plumbers of Savannah

Sherry Daniel, Roto Rooter Plumbers of Savannah



EquipmentShare Breaks Ground on New Rental Equipment Facility in Richmond Hill

EquipmentShare Breaks Ground on New Rental Equipment Facility in Richmond Hill

(RICHMOND HILL, GA) EquipmentShare, a national equipment rental business, broke ground on a new facility, located at 145 Thunderbird Dr., Richmond Hill, GA. This facility will be used as an equipment rental facility, as well as, one of their installation centers for their Tech company, Equipment Share Track. The Dewitt Tilton Group is the contractor for the project.

The Dewitt Tilton Group Breaks Ground on First GA Location for EquipmentShare

CAPTION: LEFT TO RIGHT: Jonathan Miller, Director of Construction (EquipmentShare); Billy Meadows, Territory Manager (EquipmentShare); David Brown, Director of Business Development (EquipmentShare); Matt Hicks, General Manager (EquipmentShare); Chris Tilton (The Dewitt Tilton Group); Kim Thomas (The Dewitt Tilton Group); Councilman Bill Donahue (Richmond Hill); Suzanne Meadows (The Trisha Cook Team of Keller Williams Realty)

“This is a build-to-suit project for our client, and it will be the first location in Georgia for EquipmentShare, where the closest existing locations are Charleston and Jacksonville,” said Chris Tilton, one of the principals of the Savannah-based construction firm.

EquipmentShare is a contractor-focused equipment rental business, giving contractors access to an extensive construction fleet. The company also offers technology solutions and other services to the contracting field. Founded in 2014, it operates 26 facilities in 11 states.

Construction is expected to be complete on EquipmentShare’s new building late this year or in January 2020. The facility will feature 20-foot eave heights, six 16’ tall garage doors, washing bay, office space and fully fenced equipment yard.

The Dewitt Tilton Group, a premier construction firm located in Savannah, Ga., specializes in commercial construction. The principals, Andrew Dewitt and Chris Tilton, have over 50 years of combined experience in the local construction industry. The firm manages every aspect of a commercial project from pre-construction to the final walk through. Known for using only highly reputable contractors, the Dewitt Tilton Group brings to the table design, engineering and construction capabilities which guarantees a smooth construction process for each client. The firm is located at 2807-A Roger Lacey Avenue, Savannah, GA 31404. For more information or to contact the Dewitt Tilton Group, please call 912.777.3404 or visit

Jon Miller
Director – Construction and Development
(423) 402-7270

Kim Thomas
Dewitt Tilton Group

Cynthia Cradduck
Carriage Trade Public Relations®, Inc.
Cecilia Russo Marketing

Metal Buildings as a Trend

Metal Buildings: Modern Marvels?

By Chris Tilton

Time was, when you heard the words “metal building,” your lip might well curl a bit. The best that could be said was that they were utilitarian. They may have gotten the job done, but they didn’t do it with any style or grace.

It was sort of like your reaction to your least favorite neighbor’s eyesore of a metal yard shed but on a larger scale.

But things change. Bag phones became smartphones. Black-and-white TV became color and then the high definition. Video rental stores became streaming services. And metal buildings became a trend, driven by innovation that drove up demand. Today, a metal building may be the proper option for your new build.

Don’t just take my word for it, look at the statistics. Over the past five years, the structural metal product manufacturing in the US industry has grown to reach revenue of $50 billion in 2019, according to IBISWorld.

Sustainability has a lot to do with this. “Green” building practices are a driving force in today’s construction industry, and it’s kind of hard to beat a material that can be assembled with recycled metal and then be recycled itself decades down the road.

Metal buildings are “green” in more ways than that. Insulated metal panels, or IMPs, are the building blocks for many metal buildings. IMPs sandwich insulating foam between two “skins” of metal panels. Some of this material boasts impressive R-values, which is how we measure the effectiveness of an insulating product. Given Savannah’s climate, that’s a big plus.

Want more eco-features? Some forms of metal roofing reflect the sun’s heat, rather than passing it along into the building beneath. You don’t have to air condition heat that doesn’t get inside in the first place.

Other positive factors are durability and the fact metal buildings are inherently resistant to fire.

Modern manufacturing processes make precise fabrication of IMPs and other components possible. That means when raw materials arrive on the construction site for an intelligently designed metal building, they really aren’t “raw.” They’re ready for the assembly that makes them part of the cohesive building process.

But what about the appearance?

Even with all the plus factors metal buildings have going for them, I’d like to think no one wants to build a homely building, and early generations of metal buildings were just that. The Quonset hut of the World War II era wasn’t a beauty to most of us (although that trademarked product still has its fans today), and its successor buildings tended to be grim metal boxes – sort of soulless filing cabinets for factories and people.

But that’s changed, too. Architects have learned how to work with the new materials, and metal building components come with a versatile selection of shapes, sizes and finishes.

And in color? Well, builders are no longer limited to the dust-colored options of the first generation of metal building components. You know, those vague variations on beige, gray and olive. Instead, the full-color palate is available to play a role in metal buildings making positive design statements.

Metal buildings entered the market as industrial properties, places where utilitarianism was an asset. Today, however, they’re finding their way into properties that house retail or office space, places that depend, to some degree, on the commercial equivalent of curb appeal.

Is metal my favorite? Well, I confess to a certain fondness for the new Livingood’s store in Pooler, Jeff’s Beverage in Richmond Hill and the Preciball USA headquarters, metal buildings that we built in the last two years. It’s the perfect choice for some projects and a good choice for others – but not for all. Any new build project requires careful consideration of all the options, and there’s no cookie-cutter solution.

That said, metal buildings are here to stay, having shed their initial major flaws and picked up numerous refinements.

Chris Tilton is president and co-founder of Dewitt Tilton Group, a Savannah-area commercial construction company.

Chris Tilton
Dewitt Tilton Group, a Commercial Construction Company

What it Takes to be a Successful Woman in the Field of Architecture

What it Takes to be a Successful Woman in the Field of Architecture
By Gretchen Callejas

Frank Lloyd Wright. I.M. Pei. Those are the familiar names of two of America’s best-known architects.

Wright’s distinct prairie-style homes dot the American landscape while Pei’s large but elegantly designed urban buildings and complexes are among the world’s most famous architectural works. Pei’s projects, among others, include the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the controversial glass pyramid in Paris’ Louvre Museum courtyard.

But have you heard of Julia Morgan, who designed California’s famous Hearst Castle? Or trailblazers such as Marion Mahony Griffin, the first woman to be officially licensed as an architect, and Zaha Hadid, the first woman to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize?

It isn’t surprising if you haven’t. According to a January 2019 article in ThoughtCo., which listed 20 famous female architects, the role that women have played in architecture and design often go under the radar.

While architecture has been a male-dominated field, that is not the case at Felder & Associates, where I have worked since its inception in 2012. We have four women and three men on staff. The forward-thinking leadership of the firm’s managing principal, Brian Felder, has played an extraordinary part in making our workplace a gender free oasis in an otherwise industry-wide testosterone-filled desert.

Why is architecture, like so many other professions, such a tough profession for women to crack?

According to a 2016 article in the Los Angeles Times, only 18 percent of licensed practitioners are women although they make up nearly half of U.S. architecture school graduates. This disparity sometimes is referred to as “the missing 32 percent.” Unfortunately, females leave the field in disturbingly high numbers after they’re confronted with lower salaries, given fewer career-building opportunities or find a lack of mentors, who champion for them.

Full-time female architects earn 20 percent less than their male counterparts, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Plus, architecture’s history as a male-dominated profession has contributed to an all-consuming workplace culture that leaves little flexibility for women expected to balance work and family. According to the Times article, 75 percent of female survey respondents had experienced sexual discrimination on the job, and 83 percent believed having a child would hurt their careers.

My personal observations and experiences have confirmed some of these disparities, but I consider myself lucky.

Fortunately, I’ve been able to maintain a successful professional career while balancing family because I have a husband who shares responsibilities and encouragement. Without his support, it would be more challenging to continue with a professional career.

And while I have quite a few female friends who are architects, I have never worked for a woman nor had a strong female mentor. Contractors and clients often assume I need to ask my male boss for help in understanding construction, codes or a design issue. When I approach a problem with the same assertiveness as a male architect, I’m sometimes labeled with the “B”-word.

Since I was a kid, I dreamed of designing buildings before I knew what that encompassed. And now as an adult would I encourage young girls to enter architecture? Absolutely. I would tell young women (and men) entering the field that determination and passion go a long way. You will be successful if you work hard, tune out the negativity and chase your goals with perseverance. If you want to be an Architect, then go be one.

I finally believe that I am in a position to give them a hand. I’ve been around enough to help guide them and try to be the mentor I never had. I’m pleased we have two young women working with us at Felder & Associates. Alma Johnson and Cathryn Sinclair graduated with architectural degrees from the Savannah College of Art and Design last year and are interning with us as project associates.

Sinclair says she believes the playing field is more level than ever before but there is always room for improvement.

“I hope to continue to see the gap close,” she says.

For Johnson, success is based on how hard you work.

“Now, the gender gap does exist, but I think that the world is evolving on a more modern idea of a woman in the workplace. I don’t see gender. I see what skill sets I need to acquire to be as successful as the candidate next to me,” Johnson says.

I hope their perspectives will remain true and their positivity high after spending 15 years or so in the industry. I suspect they will reflect on their early days as a time when they had to deal with an old and outdated set of standards.

One thing I know for certain. They are in a wonderful setting to avoid bias and discrimination working at Felder & Associates. We are, thankfully, treated equally regardless of our gender, and we treat one another with mutual respect and understanding.

My hope for young women in architecture is that they will continue to mentor the next generations of women architects, have equal opportunities and respect. One day we will be as well-known as Frank Lloyd Wright and I.M. Pei.

Gretchen Callejas is a project architect at Felder & Associates, where she specializes in historic preservation, adaptive reuse, small scale commercial architecture and high-end residential design. She is also LEED-accredited from the U.S. Green Building Council. Callejas earned Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design from Ball State University and a Master of Fine Arts in Historic Preservation from Savannah College of Art and Design.


Gretchen Callejas
Felder & Associates

Gretchen Callejas
Phone: 912-777-3979


1. Craven, Jackie (2019, January). 20 Famous Women Architects. ThoughtCo. Retrieved from:

2. Stratigakos, Despina (2016, April). Why is the world of architecture so male-dominated? LA Times. Retrieved from:

3. Newman, Caroline (2019, January). Three Generations Of Female Architects Seek To Bring More Women Into The Profession. UVA Today. Retrieved from:

Leadership Southeast Georgia Studies Economic Development With State Officials

Leadership Southeast Georgia Studies Economic Development With State Officials

(RICHMOND HILL / MIDWAY, GA) Leadership Southeast Georgia (LSEGA) members received a thorough grounding in economic development during the group’s fourth session, which took place in Bryan and Liberty Counties.

LSEGA Class of 2019

LSEGA Class of 2019

“We’re closing in on graduation for the LSEGA Class of 2019, and this was one of our most intense, informative sessions of the entire program,” said Lee Beckmann, chairman of the group. “We talked with everyone from state and local officials to real estate developers about the factors that drive a decision to locate or grow in our area.”

The session began in Richmond Hill with greetings from Assistant City Manager Scott Allison; City Councilwoman Tara Baraniak; and Bryan County Commission Chairman Carter Infinger.

From there, the group visited the Daniel Defense manufacturing facility in Black Creek, GA, where they heard from owner, Marty Daniel, about how the company wound up in the newest location of Daniel Defense and how the building is designed for future growth. Daniel was joined by Sean Register, vice chairman of the Development Authority of Bryan County, and Alyce Thornhill, now of the Georgia Lottery and previously with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, who focused on the factors associated with attracting businesses to build in the community.

Other highlights included:

  • Lunch with Bryan County Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul Brooksher, who discussed the relationship between the school district and growth in the housing market.
  • A meeting with Joel Smoker, CEO of YMCA of Coastal Georgia, to discuss the nonprofit perspective of economic development and the realities of poverty statistics in the region.
  • An overview of joint development efforts by officials from Bryan, Effingham, Bulloch and Chatham Counties including Anna Chafin, Benjy Thompson, Jessica Hood and regional economic development representatives from Georgia Power and the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Jason Coley and Mary-Kathryn Griffin respectively.
  • A discussion of the history of Richmond Hill and impact of tourism in Bryan County followed by a bus tour of the Ford Plantation.
  • A discussion on the impact of the film industry in coastal Georgia led by Brynn Grant of the Savannah Economic Development Authority.

The group began its second day hearing from Leah Poole, CEO of the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce and CVB, and Jennifer Darsey of the United Way of the Coastal Empire.

Morning sessions included Bill Cunningham of Raydient Places + Properties and Scott Allison from the city of Richmond Hill, who focused on public/private partnerships and their role in economic development, as well as, Ron Tolley, CEO of the Liberty County Development Authority, who led a case study on industrial park planning.

Other officials joined the group mid-morning to discuss economic development and public policy. On hand were Chris Nunn, Department of Community Affairs Commissioner; State Rep. Ron Stephens, chair of the Georgia House Economic Development and Tourism Committee; Joe Marinelli, president of Visit Savannah; along with Stacy Watson, director of economic and industrial development for the Georgia Ports Authority.

The 2019 LSEGA program sponsors include Evans General Contractors, Gulfstream Aerospace, Advanced Door Systems, The Sack Company, Georgia Power, Georgia Southern University, the Savannah Airport Commission, LS3P Associates, FirstPage Marketing, Sterling Seacrest Partners, Savannah Economic Development Authority, Thomas & Hutton, HunterMaclean, Hussey Gay Bell, Abshire Public Relations, Coastal Electric Cooperative, AT&T, The Waters Foundation, P.C. Simonton & Associates, Marchese Construction, Cecilia Russo Marketing and Carriage Trade Public Relations.

Leadership Southeast Georgia is a five-month region-wide program designed to equip, empower and connect community leaders to promote positive growth and improve the quality of life in the southeast Georgia region. The executive board and program participants represent a variety of industries across Bryan, Bulloch, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh and Screven counties. The class spends one weekend a month traveling to surrounding counties to learn about critical issues such as healthcare, education, economic development and transportation. For more information, visit

Lee Beckmann
Leadership Southeast Georgia

Cynthia Cradduck
Carriage Trade Public Relations®, Inc.
Cecilia Russo Marketing