Category: Education

Savannah Autism Conference Features Activist Temple Grandin as Keynote and Announces First Local Reverse Job Fair

Savannah Autism Conference Features Activist Temple Grandin as Keynote and Announces First Local Reverse Job Fair

(SAVANNAH, GA) Autism activist Temple Grandin, widely acknowledged as one of the world’s most accomplished and best-known autistic adults, will be the keynote speaker when the Matthew Reardon Center for Autismhosts its 2019 Autism ConferenceFeb. 28 and March 1 at the Savannah Convention Center. The conference comes as estimates indicate that one in 59 children born in the United States will be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

2019 Autism Conference


The Reardon Center’s fourth annual conference is organized for a diverse audience: professionals and academics who work with autistic people (with continuing education credits in many cases), families affected by autism, autistic people, potential employers and members of the general public who are interested in this growing social and medical challenge.

Grandin will discuss “Autism and My Path Through Life” the final afternoon of the conference as wrap up of the two-day conference, which also features presentations by 22 autism experts and includes a first-in-Savannah Reverse Job Fair to help people with autism find jobs.

General admission tickets for both days are $135, one-day tickets for Thursday or Friday are available for $100 or admission to Grandin’s lecture only is priced at $60. SCCPSSemployees are eligible for a specially-discounted, one day ticket, as well. To register and buy tickets, visit

Grandin, a best-selling author of multiple books and an internationally recognized expert in animal welfare and behavior, did not speak until she was four-years-old and was diagnosed with autism at a time when it was less well understood than it is today. Her family ignored advice to institutionalize her and she went on to earn a doctorate in animal science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She currently is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, and her research in the development of humane systems of handling animals in the meat-production industry is highly regarded and implemented internationally. Grandin is also the subject of a biographical movie and numerous television documentaries.

The 2019 Autism Conferencewill also feature numerous nationally-respected speakers, addressing topics such as educational strategies for teachers and parents, augmentative and assistive communication, guardianship and other legal issues, bullying and personal accounts from autistic people. A complete list of speakers can be found at

In addition to diverse workshops and Grandin’s keynote address, the conference will host a Reverse Job Fair, a setting which removes many of the barriers people with autism face when seeking employment.

How will this work? Registered job seekers with autism will prepare in workshops prior to the conference. At the conference fair, each job seeker will set up a table complete with posters and resumes. Potential employers then go from table to table, giving each job-seeker an opportunity to showcase their particular strengths. Interested employers should contact Jim Atkinson at

The 2019 Autism Conferenceis sponsored by Memorial University Medical Center, the Savannah Morning Newsand WTOC.

For more information, to register for the job fair or to purchase tickets, visit

MRCAoperates southeast Georgia’s only accredited year-round day school for children with autism. They have provided advocacy and outreach services to more than 870 families across southeast Georgia and have hosted professional training and instructional opportunities for more than 4,500 family members, educators, health professionals and self-advocates. The organization was incorporated in 2000 and currently serves 27 students through ADVANCE Academy. They have 14 full-time employees and operate in an 8,800 sq foot school building, formerly St. Francis Cabrini Catholic School, located at 11500 Middleground Road, Savannah, GA 31419. Website:

Cynthia Cradduck
Carriage Trade Public Relations

January Open for Business: The Value of Leadership Training

January Open for Business: The Value of Leadership Training

(SAVANNAH, GA) Join Carriage Trade Public Relations®, Inc. and Cecilia Russo Marketing, LLC for the January session of their monthly Open for Business® series. This month’s topic is the value of leadership training, and Lee Beckmann, Leadership Southeast Georgia’s 2019 chair, will be the featured guest.

Lee Beckmann Open for Business

Lee Beckmann

The conversation takes place via Facebook Live on Wednesday, January 30, at noon. Interested parties can find more information here:

Open for Business® is a monthly online social media article review series, where current marketing articles are discussed that will help your business become more competitive. It is held on the last Wednesday of every month at noon via Facebook Live.

Carriage Trade Public Relations, Inc. is Savannah’s premiere reputation management company. Founded in 1995 by Marjorie Young to help businesses increase their visibility in their community and globally online through its trademarked strategy, the REPUTATION MATRIX™ method.

Cecilia Russo Marketing, LLC was founded by Cecilia Russo Turner in 2008. The firm puts the power of publicity to work, helping organizations, businesses and individuals move the needle and achieve their specific communications objectives through key reputation management strategies. For more information, call 912.665.0005 or visit

Cynthia Cradduck

National Study Confirms Horizons Savannah’s Long-Term Approach to Student Success

National Study Confirms Horizons Savannah’s Long-Term Approach to Student Success

(SAVANNAH, GA) A recent national study confirms that students who participate in Horizonsprograms have better school attendance, higher academic outcomes, fewer disciplinary referrals and fewer grade retentions.

Horizons Savannah

The new study, conducted by Concentric Research & Evaluation (CRE) and funded by The New York Life Foundation and the Scripps Family Fund for Education and the Arts, validates that Horizonsprograms that focus on long-term engagement with children from low-income families produce strong academic outcomes.

“We know the impact this program has on Savannah’s youth. We see it each summer, as we watch our kids progress year after year,” said Christy Edwards, executive director of Horizons Savannah. “To have a national study confirm that this program makes tangible differences in the lives of our program’s children is awe inspiring. Over the long term, Horizonsis having a positive impact in our city and I praise the vision and leadership of our host schools, board of directors and donors that have always believed in our mission.”

When compared to their peers, students who have participated in the Horizonsprogram for at least four summers had the following in common:

Higher attendance rates and lower rates of chronic absenteeism
Higher scores on standardized assessments of elementary math and science
Higher GPAs in 9th grade, a critical transition year
More course credit earned in 9th and 10th grades
Fewer times repeating a grade
Fewer disciplinary referrals
Most research on summer learning has found that students from low-income families fall behind their wealthier peers over the course of the summer, either because they are losing knowledge and skills or gaining them at a slower pace.

“These summer learning student outcomes reflect Horizons’ long-standing commitment to quality data collection and offer a significant contribution to the growing body of evidence on the long-term effects of summer learning,” said Matthew Boulay, founder and CEO of the National Summer Learning Association. “Horizons’ exemplary standards in programming not only inspire a joy of learning during the critical summer months but, most importantly, set students up to thrive in the school year ahead.”

The study looked at fifteen Horizonsprogram sites in seven states, and, because it focused on long-term participants in the program, included only sites in operation for at least four years. Horizons Savannahhas been in operation since 2002. Each Horizonsstudent in the study was paired with a student who did not participate in Horizonsbut attended the same school or a school with similar demographics and achievement scores. Researchers used a variety of characteristics to match students, including gender, race and ethnicity.

Recognized as one of America’s best summer learning programs, Horizons Savannahat Savannah Country Day School, Savannah Christian Preparatory School, Bethesda Academy and St. Andrew’s School welcomes over 250 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 SavannahExecutive Director Christy Edwards at 912-961-8854 or You can also visit our website at, check out our Facebook page at

HorizonsNational is a growing, community-centered network of more than 50 affiliate sites nationwide that provides high-quality academic enrichment programs to children in need, from Pre-K through high school. Located on the campuses of independent schools, charter schools, colleges, and universities, Horizonsprograms offer a project-based curriculum, focused on reading, STEM, the arts, fitness, nutrition, and field trips.

Christy Edwards, Executive Director

Media Contact:
Elizabeth Poole
Cecilia Russo Marketing

Leadership Southeast Georgia Names 2019 Class Members

Leadership Southeast Georgia Names 2019 Class Members

(SOUTHEAST GEORGIA) Leadership Southeast Georgiais pleased to announce 29 people have been selected from 10 counties across the region for its class of 2019.

The five-month program, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, is designed to equip, empower and connect community leaders to help them promote positive growth and improve the quality of life in the southeast Georgia region.

Participants 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. Leadership Southeast Georgiaoffers a unique opportunity for leaders in this area to build close working relationships, promote positive growth and advance strategic goals to benefit our coast.

Members of the Leadership Southeast Georgiaclass of 2019 are:

Laura Lee Bocade, DIRTT Environmental Solutions(Chatham)
Stephanie Brown, WorkSource Georgia-Coastal(Camden)
C.J. Chance, P.E., Hussey Gay Bell(Bulloch)
Leia Dedic, Savannah Economic Development Authority(Chatham)
Dr. Robin K. Ellert, Department of the Army (Liberty)
Chris Ellison, The Heritage Bank(Long)
Justin Farquhar, Development Authority of Bryan County(Chatham)
Jenny Gentry, (Chatham)
Emily Goldman, Georgia Ports Authority(Effingham)
Gloria Goosby, Georgia Southern University(Bulloch)
Allyson Harvin, SERVPRO of Savannah(Chatham)
Staci Ignell, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation(Jasper)
Kimberly Iler, Coldwell Banker Commercial(Effingham)
Will Johnson, Evans General Contractors(Chatham)
Francesca Macchiaverna, HunterMaclean(Chatham)
Dawn Malin, McIntosh County Industrial Development Authority(McIntosh)
Ronald McGee, Comcast(Chatham)
Mark Miller (Glynn)
Tanya Milton, The Savannah Tribune(Chatham)
DJ Roberson, Daniel Defense, Inc.(Effingham)
Madison Roesel, The SACK Company(Chatham)
Matt Sawhill, Georgia Power – Southern Company(Bulloch)
Ryan Sewell, Sterling Seacrest Partners(Chatham)
David Simons, Simons Political Group(Chatham)
Kevin Smith, P.E., Thomas & Hutton(Chatham)
Ron Stalnaker, Georgia Southern University(Bulloch)
Mark Stovall, SunTrust Bank(Glynn)
Walter Strong III, The Strong Group / Alair Homes Savannah(Chatham)
Paul Teague, P.E., Atlanta Gas Light Company(Bryan)

“It’s an exceptionally powerful group of participants this year,” said Lee Beckmann, a graduate of the class of 2013 and chairman of the 2019 board of directors, who also is the manager of governmental affairs with the Georgia Ports Authority. “This group represents the strengths of our region well, and I’m confident that the next five months will further equip them to lead our region.”

Participants were nominated by alumni of the leadership program and by business leaders in the coastal region. They will spend one weekend a month in surrounding counties learning about topics that affect the region such as healthcare, education, economic development and transportation.

“Last year’s group developed ideas that made tangible differences in our communities, and I’m thrilled to see what impacts this class will make,” said Beckmann. “There is a tremendous amount of innovation and creativity between our selected class members.”

For more information, visit

Leadership Southeast Georgiais a five-month region-wide program designed to equip, empower and connect community leaders to help them 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 the impact of local issues such as healthcare, education, economic development and transportation. For more information, visit

Lee Beckmann
Leadership Southeast Georgia

Cynthia Cradduck
Cecilia Russo Marketing, LLC

Marjorie Young to speak in Atlanta about Public Relations strategies to the Georgia Association of Business Brokers

Marjorie Young to speak in Atlanta about Public Relations strategies to the Georgia Association of Business Brokers

Did you know that 74% of consumers cite “word-of-mouth” as a key influence in their decision making? But most businesses leave so much good news on the table!

Marjorie Young, an experienced public relations consultant and founder of Carriage Trade Public Relations® Inc., will share her ideas about creating positive word-of-mouth when she speaks on Jan. 22 to the Georgia Association of Business Brokers. The GABBmeets at the Georgia Association of Realtors building at 6065 Barfield Road, in Sandy Springs at 10:30 a.m., preceded at 9:45 a.m. by a free light breakfast and networking session.

The meeting is free and open to the public, but please fill out the form below to let us know you’re coming.

Young will discuss how small businesses can build a positive reputation simply by leveraging the great content that already exists in your business and in your marketing. Young founded Carriage Trade Public Relations® Inc. in 1995. Her firm creates positive word-of-mouth for businesses in the community and online by using reputation management strategies. She also does Crisis PR consulting and audits.

In 2017 the Savannah Chamber named Young Small Business Advocate of the Year. She currently sits on the Savannah Rotary, and Hospice Savannah board of directors. She is an avid hiker and walked Spain’s 500-mile Camino de Santiago in 2016.

The GABBis an organization of professionals who work with owners of Georgia businesses in important and complicated transactions: the sale of their businesses. GABBmembers help owners determine the asking price of their business, create marketing plans and strategies for selling their business, identify and qualify buyers, and have the knowledge, experience and skills needed to help maintain the confidential nature of the process. GABBmembers relentlessly pursue professional development so they can provide superior, ethical services for all customers and clients.

For more information on GABB, contact Diane Loupe at 404-374-3990 or georgiabusinessbrokers@gmail.comor Dean Burnette at dean@b3brokers.comor 912-247-3209.

Local Rotary Calls for Volunteers for Second Annual Savannah Rotary Read-In

Local Rotary Calls for Volunteers for Second Annual Savannah Rotary Read-In

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Rotary Club of Savannahis searching for volunteers to serve as community readers for the second annual Savannah Rotary Read-Inon Wednesday, March 13, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Last year’s inaugural event drew 526 volunteer readers who read to students in 566 classrooms. This year, Savannah-Chatham public schools plans to add pre-kindergarten to the list, which means Rotarians and volunteers will read to students in 600 pre-k through third-grade classrooms in 32 schools.

“We hope to promote literacy with nearly 15,000 local students at this event,” said Lowell Kronowitz, president of the Rotary Club of Savannah. “Our goal is to have around 600 volunteers join our Rotarians in giving back by reading for one hour on this special day to spark young imaginations and encourage the desire to read more.”

A report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation indicates children who aren’t reading at grade level by the end of third grade are four times as likely to drop out of high school.

Debra Larson, president & CEO of Hospice Savannah, and retired trucking company owner Frank Moore, Jr., who serves as a substitute teacher in the school system, are co-chairing the event. Moore introduced the idea when he moved to Savannah from California where his club there had run the program for 26 years.

“We are looking for volunteers to help just one day for one hour with just one book. The impact for the students is tremendous,” said Moore.

The club also is seeking 32 volunteers to serve as liaisons to handle communication with the schools’ personnel, confirm classrooms and identify books for the read-in.

E Shavers Booksellers is offering a discount to anyone who buys a children’s book to read during the event.

To register to read at the Savannah Rotary Read-In, please sign up here by March 7:

The Rotary Club of Savannahincludes 225 community leaders and volunteers. Over the past 103 years, the club has championed local and regional developments that include completing the road to Tybee Island, improving the Savannah River for commercial traffic, enhancing the Dixie Highway system in southeast Georgia and building bridges over the Savannah and Altamaha Rivers. Most recently in recognition of the 100th anniversary, the club raised funds and constructed an all-accessible playground in Forsyth Park. Meetings are held each Monday from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the DeSoto Hotel, 15 E. Liberty Street. For more information, visit

Frank Moore, Jr.