(SAVANNAH, GA) As an essential business selling fuel, grocery items and prepared foods, Enmarket’s stores across a three-state region continue to remain open to serve the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, those employees are receiving a temporary pay boost of $2.50 an hour, reflecting the importance of their role during this crisis, and the chain also will install plexiglass shields at its checkout counters as further protection for employees and customers.
The installation of the plexiglass shields, also known as “sneeze guards,” is expected to begin Monday and will include all of Enmarket’s stores, which are located in Georgia and the Carolinas.
The measures come in addition to health and safety measures already implemented throughout the chain, which is the 49th largest in the country. Those measures include the suspension of the sale of self-service food, like hotdogs and frozen yogurt, along with increased cleaning and sanitizing. The Eatery, Enmarket’s in-store food preparation operation, continues to prepare food under controlled sanitary conditions, but service is now limited to to-go orders, with use of dining tables on premises suspended.
“We wanted some tangible way to express to our employees how much we — and the shopping public —appreciate their efforts during this extraordinary time,” said Brett Giesick, president of Enmarket, which is based in Savannah. “Nothing is more tangible to an employee than their paycheck, so for the next three weeks, each hourly employee’s wage will be increased by $2.50 an hour.”
Salaried employees, who are eligible for bonuses as part of their compensation package, will be guaranteed 100% payout of their March and April bonuses.
Hourly Enmarket employees will receive a one-time check equivalent to $2.50 per hour for all hours worked from March 26 through April 15. This will include field technicians and other hourly team members that work in the field to support multiple stores.
The plexiglass shields will become a new icon of the current pandemic. Walmart, Kroger and other major retailers who are open for essential services during the crisis have begun to install the barriers to limit exposure between customers and cashiers during the check-out process. Enmarket is one of the first convenience store chains that has committed to installing them at every location.
“These shields will provide an additional level of safety for our employees,” Giesick said. “We will be moving as quickly as possible to get them in place at each of our checkout locations.”
Meanwhile, Enmarket’s adoption of self-checkout technology in 2019 is proving its value during the current pandemic. For example, Skip Frictionless Checkout enables users to check out on their phones, without direct interaction with a cashier.
Enmarket is Savannah’s largest convenience store chain, employing more than 1,300 people and operating 124 convenience stores, 14 quick-serve restaurants, and a fast casual restaurant as the 49th largest convenience store operator in the country. Founded as Interstate Stations by Robert Demere in 1963, the retailer operates convenience stores in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina and was noted as the industry’s “Biggest Mover” in store count ranking by Convenience Store News in 2018. The company is committed to giving back to the community through many charitable contributions and volunteer efforts, offering fresh food, healthy snacks, and competitively priced quality fuel as part of its mission to enrich life. www.enmarket.com
Carriage Trade Public Relations® Inc.
(Savannah, Georgia) scDataCom is launching an early release of their newest initiative, “SafeCity”. SafeCity is a community focused program dedicated to fostering the safety, revitalization and continued growth of local business corridors by implementing security and technology tools designed to protect our community in a time of crisis. High quality cameras are placed in strategic locations throughout local business corridors in order to provide as many businesses as possible clear coverage of their facilities. During the Covid-19 Health Crisis, access to this footage is FREE and made available to participants in order to provide peace of mind to one of our city’s most valuable resource – it’s community of entrepreneurs.
“This is a beta version of the system we were planning to install but things have accelerated due to the current crisis. We are in a position to implement a solution, now, that will allow businesses a way to protect and to personally keep eyes on their facilities through the duration of this shut down” says Alaina Ford, Founder of scDataCom. “Our business is considered Critical Infrastructure – we are lucky that, as of now, our trucks are still rolling. The equipment we are installing is state of the art and costs us the exact same amount sitting in inventory as it does deployed where it could do some good. My hope is that the added security brings other small businesses some level of peace of mind while they’re forced to close their doors – we have to band together to get through this.”
scDataCom has been in Savannah for the past 7 years, and owner Alaina Ford lives in the Starland district, where the first SafeCity cameras will be installed. “This neighborhood has my heart”, she says. “I chose to live here because I loved the energy that all of these fun new businesses brought in, I’m lucky that some are friends and customers. And, living here, I know that there have been issues with burglary and property damage and that it has caused some concern, especially now. I’m hopeful that SafeCity will help ease their minds.”
Based on FBI crime data, Savannah has a higher crime rate than 68% of all other Georgia towns & cities (of all sizes). In 2019, the weekly average for property crimes in Savannah was 104 reported incidents/week and the weekly average for violent crime was 23 reported incidents/week. Studies show that surveillance programs have been especially successful in reducing the crime rate – potential criminals are much less likely to target a business if they know they are being watched and believe they are at a greater risk of apprehension. Highly visible cameras and signage are an especially effective crime reduction tool – similar programs in other cities, like Chicago, saw a 32% decrease in area crime within the first 3 months. A Detroit surveillance program, Project Greenlight, successfully decreased area crime by 40% in 2016, notably decreasing incidents of violent crime by 48%.
SafeCity camera installation will commence Monday and remote-viewing access is being granted to businesses for the next 30 days. For more information on SafeCity, or to register for access, please visit www.safecitysav.com
About scDataCom: Established in 2013, scDataCom has been delivering security integration solutions to both Savannah area businesses and Federal Agencies since 2013. Their client list includes the Department of Veterans Affairs, Georgia Ports Authority, St Joseph/Candler Hospitals, and many other small to enterprise level businesses.
Headquarters: 2700 Gregory St, Suite 180 Savannah, Georgia 31404
Phone: (912) 777-5721
Bethesda Academy Senior Nishan Roberson Signing Day with Savannah State University
Bethesda Academy hosted a Signing Day ceremony in honor of senior Nishan Roberson’s decision to accept a football scholarship with Savannah State University in the Diamond Dining Hall at Bethesda Academy.
Roberson has played on the Bethesda Academy football team as a lineman for three of his four years in high school, having missed his junior year due to a preseason knee injury. Highlights from his senior year include 64 tackles on defense and offensive blocks that accounted for 3,002 rushing yards and 2,017 passing yards. He will receive a full-ride scholarship to play at Savannah State.
ABOUT BETHESDA ACADEMY
Founded in 1740, Bethesda Academy is the oldest child-care institution in the United States. Now it is a private day and boarding school for young men in grades six through twelve and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The 650-acre campus features a variety of athletic teams, a wildlife management and organic farming program and college preparatory curriculum. Through its “Lead The Way” initiative, students have access to exclusive integrated learning and leadership opportunities. For more information, visit www.bethesdaacademy.org or call 912.644.4376.
(SAVANNAH, GA) Carriage Trade Public Relations®, Inc. observed its 25th anniversary on March 6, marking a quarter of a century of service to the region’s small business community.
As a lead-up to the anniversary, the company’s owner and president Marjorie Young will publish “Reputation Matrix,” a step-by-step guidebook to help small businesses increase their visibility, credibility and positive word-of-mouth in the community and online. Once released, the book will be available on Amazon.
“I started my own company after helping turn my father’s publishing and printing company around. I learned the power of public relations and wanted to make it accessible to other business owners,” said Young.
“Throughout the 25 years, it has been a mission of mine to help small business owners realize that PR creates powerful word of mouth in the community and online. According to Nielsen, Over 90% of referrals and new business comes from word of mouth, PR helps to create that positive buzz,” said Young.
“In 1998, Google launched, and that was a game-changer, realizing everything can go online,” Young said. “We were really the first in the region to understand you could put up a press release and have people find it and read it. You know, it’s easy to forget these tools weren’t always there and that even when they did become available, people had to learn how to use them.”
In addition to growing a company and pioneering the power of the internet, Young has been active in the community, having served as president of the Small Business Chamber, chair of the Small Business Council and chair of Savannah SCORE. Other past and present board involvement include Leadership Savannah, Hospice Savannah, Dawn’s Daughter Leadership Academy, Small Business Development Center Advisory Board and Rotary Club of Savannah.
She has also won numerous awards; Business Advocate of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year from the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, Small Business of the Year and Savannah Community Star Award from the Savannah Morning News and Buy Local Advocate of the Year from Buy Local Savannah.
She holds a certification in crisis communications from the Public Relations Society of America and hosts frequent PR boot camps and webinars to empower business owners and nonprofit organizations to take control of their reputation, brand and message. Community Headlines, the local NewsWire, was launched in 1997. Her online business education show, Open For Business was launched in 2000.
Carriage Trade is currently in a collaboration with Cecilia Russo Marketing, a work-share arrangement that enables both principals to improve their work/life balance. Cynthia Cradduck was named a junior partner to both firms three years ago.
Young is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in journalism and a minor in fine art. In her spare time, Marjorie enjoys hiking and painting, and in 2016 she hiked the Camino de Santiago in Spain, a 500-mile trek. Her daughter just graduated from Georgia Tech with a Ph.D. in Robotics Engineering.
ABOUT CARRIAGE TRADE PUBLIC RELATIONS®, INC.
Carriage Trade Public Relations®, Inc. is Savannah’s premier reputation management company founded in 1995 by Marjorie Young to help businesses increase their visibility, credibility and positive word-of-mouth in their community and globally online through its proprietary REPUTATION MATRIX method. For more information, contact www.carriagetradepr.com. 912-844-9990
Whitney Lowery Named Executive Director of the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society
(SAVANNAH, GA) The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) is pleased to announce that Whitney Lowery has joined its leadership team as executive director. Lowery brings a fresh perspective and 10 years’ experience working with people with different abilities to her new position with the nonprofit.
“It is such an honor to have the opportunity to work with this organization on account of the growing number of wonderful individuals and families it supports,” Lowery said. “The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society makes a positive difference in so many lives, and I’m excited to be part of that.”
As executive director, Lowery hopes to increase support services, educational opportunities and advocacy programs for the people, families and caregivers LDSS represents.
With a bachelor of science in special education, Lowery joins LDSS after seven years as the community employment specialist with EmployAbility (formerly known as the Coastal Center for Developmental Services). Previously, she was a special education teacher in both Savannah and Augusta.
Lowery has made her home in Savannah with her fiance, 16-month-old son and two dogs. She enjoys designing and creating event costumes, making jewelry and beadwork, painting and baking in her time off.
ABOUT THE LOWCOUNTRY DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY
The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) supports people with Down syndrome and their families through local leadership, support, outreach, education and advocacy. Meetings are held every fourth Tuesday of the month, typically with a guest speaker and social time for families to meet and interact. LDSS encourages the whole family to attend; children of all ages are welcome. LDSS is an affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society. For more information about LDSS, visit ldssga.org
Leadership Southeast Georgia Launches 2020 Program in Glynn County with Study of Natural Resources
(GLYNN COUNTY, GA) The 28 members of Leadership Southeast Georgia’s (LSEGA) class of 2020 launched their first session with a close look at the coastal region’s natural resources in Brunswick, Ga. and on Little St. Simons Island.
The leadership program draws together business and civic influencers from throughout Georgia’s 10-county coastal region to offer an in-depth look at the region’s challenges and assets. Members of the class also benefit from networking opportunities designed to boost collaboration and cooperation throughout the region.
Heard Galis, one of two principals at Galis/Stewart Insurance in Brunswick’s Historic District, was the session coordinator for the first of the five weekends. He graduated from the LSEGA program in 2017.
The session began with a shrimp boat excursion in the waters off Brunswick. Led by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staff, participants received a first-hand look at the fruits of Georgia’s traditional shrimp industry, as well as the barriers it faces. The class learned about the many ways our Georgia coastline is unique from the nationally recognized conservation efforts to the biology itself. Professionals at DNR also reviewed critical issues facing the region’s beloved coast and explored solutions such as rainwater capture, living shorelines and habitat restoration.
That afternoon, the group traveled by ferry to Little St. Simons Island, where the remainder of the three-day session was held. The class spent this time on the island between classroom sessions and outdoor activities that included a natural resources scavenger hunt.
“Little St. Simons Island is the perfect setting for the first session,” said Brynn Grant, chair of the LSEGA board of directors. “A bit of isolation on one of Georgia’s glorious barrier islands is a great backdrop for class members to get to know one another and begin developing the relationships that make the program so strong year after year.”
This session was supported by sponsorships from Coastal Outdoor Adventures, Galis/Stewart Insurance, J H Parker Company, Inc. and Pinova. The 2020 program is proudly sponsored by Evans General Contractors; Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation; FPC of Savannah; Georgia Power; Georgia Southern University; P.C. Simonton & Associates, Inc.; the Savannah Economic Development Authority; Thomas & Hutton; Coleman Company, Inc.; Hussey Gay Bell; AT&T; and IDS Alarm Services, Inc.
The next session will take place March 5-6, when the group will travel to Bulloch and Screven counties for programs on education and agriculture.
ABOUT LEADERSHIP SOUTHEAST GEORGIA Leadership Southeast Georgia is a five-month region-wide program designed to equip, empower and connect community leaders to most effectively advance 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. From February through May, the class spends two to three days a month traveling to surrounding counties exploring regional issues such as healthcare, education, natural resources, economic development and transportation. For more information, visit http://www.lsega.com/
Regional Leaders for the 2020 Class of Leadership Southeast Georgia Announced
(SOUTHEAST GA) Leadership Southeast Georgia (LSEGA) is pleased to announce the 28 participants who have been selected to join its 2020 class. These individuals live and work within Bryan, Bulloch, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh and Screven counties, which together are known as Georgia’s coastal region.
The participants have now embarked on a five-month leadership program designed to equip, empower and connect community leaders to help them promote positive growth and improve the quality of life in the region.
The LSEGA Class of 2020 includes:
Kelly Ambrose, Liberty County, with Ameris Bank Mortgage Services;
Evan Bennett, Bulloch County, with Hussey Gay Bell;
LaToya Brannen, Chatham County, with 9 to 5 Working Women;
Justin Callaway, Glynn County, with NewCity Brunswick;
Candace Carpenter, Bryan County, Savannah Airport Commission;
Doug Carroll, Chatham County, with Enmarket;
Matthew Coleman, Glynn County, Georgia Power;
Patrick Connell, Chatham County, Boyd & Jenerette;
Kristen Crawley, Chatham County, Clark Creative Communications;
Charles Ezelle, Glynn County, with Thomas & Hutton;
Brooke Childers, Chatham County, district director for U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter;
Petula Gomillion, Liberty County, Atlantic Area CASA;
Karen Guinn, Chatham County, Collective Marketing;
Hunter Hall, Chatham County, External Relations Professional;
Mitchell Hill, Bulloch County, Lee Hill and Johnston Insurers;
Stephanie Johnson, Effingham County, Effingham County Board of Commissioners;
Catherine Karwacki, McIntosh County, Seaboard Real Estate Inc.;
John Lester, Bulloch County, Georgia Southern University;
Taylor Mobbs, Camden County, St. Marys Economic Development/Main Street;
Ryan Moore, Glynn County, Brunswick & Glynn County Development Authority;
Erica Palmisano, Chatham County, FirstPage Marketing;
Cheryl Smith, Bryan County, Gulfstream Aerospace;
Christopher Smith, Chatham County, HunterMaclean;
Mark Sprosty, Chatham County, Savannah Economic Development Authority;
Maria Whitfield, Effingham County, DRT America Incorporated;
Melanie Wilson, Chatham County, Chatham-Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission;
Benjamin Wooditch, Chatham County, Evans General Contractors;
Paul Yarborough, Bryan County, Georgia Ports Authority.
By the time the fifth session concludes in June, this group will have spent five weekends studying issues ranging from healthcare to economic development. Participants in previous years have seen everything from military installations to working farms to university campuses.
“Visiting important but seldom toured sites vital to our region’s diverse economy is a major part of Leadership Southeast Georgia’s curriculum, and we invite top-notch speakers from the state and local levels,” said Brynn Grant, chair of the LSEGA Board of Directors. “The participants even have ‘homework’ in the form of a regional development proposal in an area of focus about which they are most passionate.”
“Maybe the most important aspect,” added Lee Beckmann, immediate past chairman of the Board, “is the opportunity to network with one’s peers while learning more about how interconnected and essential every county’s prosperity is in this region.”
To learn more about Leadership Southeast Georgia, visit: http://www.lsega.com/
ABOUT LEADERSHIP SOUTHEAST GEORGIA
Leadership Southeast Georgia is a five-month region-wide program designed to equip, empower and connect community leaders to most effectively advance 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. From February through May, the class spends two to three days a month traveling to surrounding counties exploring regional issues such as healthcare, education, natural resources, economic development and transportation. For more information, visit http://www.lsega.com/