10th Annual Night of Champions Honors Differently-Abled Individuals and Their Employers
The event recognized local businesses that hire and retain differently-abled people, including those with Down syndrome, and the contributions made by these employees who are designated as Champions.
The 2019 Champions include:
Effingham Health System
Glasford has worked in the operating room for almost three years now. He also mentors Project Search interns in the hospital.
Bubba Gumbo’s Seafood Restaraunt
Mayle has mastered each task presented to her and steadily adds to her responsibilities.
The Savannah Bananas
Horton is entering his fourth season as part of the game day staff and helps with stadium maintenance.
DIRTT Environmental Solutions
Maynor is responsible for everything from assembling walls to assisting freight partners, in addition to training and assessing.
Tybee Island YMCA
From the day Holt was hired, the YMCA has created a stronger team and community due to Holt’s enthusiasm and drive.
“Night of Champions is an inspiring event for professional recognition of those individuals who exceed expectations while overcoming perceived barriers to employment. It’s a lot of individuals’ favorite event of the year, and our sponsors allow us to host past Champions for free,” says Tom Kenkel, the 2019 Night of Champions chairman.
In addition to recognizing community Champions and their employers, the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society presented the 2019 President’s Award to Amy Wright, Founder and CEO of Bitty & Beau’s Coffee. Wright is an advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
The 2019 Night of Champions was presented by Grainger Honda and Grainger Nissan of Savannah. The event was sponsored by the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS), Coastal Electric of Georgia, Inc., Matson, Marchese Construction, Goodwill Southeast Georgia, Harris Lowry Manton LLP, Rise Biscuits & Donuts, Soto ALG, The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra & Equinox Entertainment, Dr. and Mrs. Ben Spitalnick, South State Bank, Paula Kreissler, Kenkel Design, Carriage Trade Public Relations, Savannah Convention Center, Stayce K Photography and Podcast On The Go.
For more information, visit https://ldssga.org
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
Savannah Attorney Charles Bowen to Discuss Film Industry at Buy Local Savannah May Meeting
(SAVANNAH, GA.) Charles “Bo” Bowen of the Bowen Law Group will discuss the Savannah area’s burgeoning film industry when Buy Local Savannah gathers for its May meeting Thursday, May 23, at Cohen’s Retreat, 5715 Skidaway Road.
Bowen will discuss film and television production in the area, including existing barriers to its continued expansion and the risks presented by potential boycotts. Bowen’s law firm specializes in commercial and entertainment law, and he has expanded his involvement to larger interests in the film industry.
He is a frequent commentator and writer on entertainment industry topics in local media. In 2015, Bowen founded the Savannah Film Alliance to promote the film community within Savannah and the greater Coastal Empire through advocacy and action via education, outreach and collaboration.
He also founded Southern Gateway Production Services to ensure a seamless experience for out-of-town producers coming to Savannah to film their projects.
Bowen attended Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, where he graduated with honors in psychology and political science. Upon graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1995, he moved to Savannah and established a corporate law practice. He has developed a reputation as one of Savannah’s most experienced attorneys in entertainment law.
The Buy Local meeting will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and lunch will be served. Reservations are required.
The local trade association boasts about 150 member businesses in varied fields. Buy Local Savannah’s mission is to support locally owned and operated, independent businesses in the greater Savannah area, to maintain the area’s unique community character, provide continuing opportunities for entrepreneurs, build community economic strength and prevent the displacement of community-based businesses by national and global entities.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE BOWEN LAW GROUP
Based out of Savannah, Charles Bowen is a business attorney who focuses on commercial and entertainment law and also offers comprehensive mediation services. Bowen attended Mercer University in Macon, Ga., where he graduated summa cum laude with honors in both psychology and political science. Upon graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1995, he moved to Savannah and established a corporate law practice. Bowen was named “Business Advocate of the Year” in 2015 by the Savannah Morning News. He won the “2016 Helen V. Head Business Leader of the Year Award” presented by the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce. He also chaired the 24th Annual Kiss-a-Pig campaign on behalf of the American Diabetes Association. Bowen has received the Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ rating, the highest rating based upon confidential surveys sent to other attorneys. He also has been selected by the members of the State Bar of Georgia as one of Georgia Trend’s 12th Annual Legal Elite in two categories: Business Law and Corporate Law. He is the author of three eBooks. With panoramic views of the city and the Savannah River, The Bowen Law Group is located on the top floor of the Manger Building at 7 East Congress Street. For more information, call 912.544.2050 or visit thebowenlawgroup.com. Follow The Bowen Law Group on Twitter at @bowenlawgroup.
Kole Management Sells Apartment Portfolio, Focuses Solely on Property Management
(Savannah, GA) Savannah-based Kole Management Co. is in the process of selling its portfolio of 13 apartment communities in two states to transition exclusively into property management. In its new form, the company will retain management of eleven of those properties.
“We have decided to devote all our time and expertise to third-party management and look forward to providing the same boutique, quality service to our clients and residents as we did when we were owner/operators,” said Kole ManagementCOO Khrista Villegas.
Kole Managementput its multifamily portfolio on the market in November, and all of its properties are under contract with closing expected in April and May. That portfolio consists of seven properties in Savannah, three in Macon and one each in Augusta and Canton, Georgia, and Charlotte, North Carolina.
”A number of factors, including historically low cap rates and broad investor interest in smaller market assets, came together to convince us that it was a good time to consider selling our portfolio,” said Kole Management Co.President, Jeff Kole. “Until recently, we had little interest in selling and were, in fact, building a robust and highly capable management company to oversee properties for ourselves and third parties. This sale provides us the opportunity to focus exclusively on offering boutique yet sophisticated property management for a wide range of apartments – from lease-ups to workforce housing – across the Southeast.”
The company expects to grow its multifamily property management portfolio with expansion into North Carolina and Florida, as well as additional properties in Macon. Details of those arrangements, as well as, the new positions brought on to support this growth, will be announced in the near future.
ABOUT KOLE MANAGEMENT COMPANY
Family owned since 1991, Kole Managementwas founded by Donald Kole, the former owner of the Builderama home supply store chain. In 1994, Donald’s son, Jeff Kole, joined KMCand currently serves as president. What started as a small investment firm based in Savannah, Georgia, is now a rapidly growing third-party management enterprise, overseeing apartment communities throughout the Southeast. In addition to that, KMChas four warehouse distribution facilities equaling approximately 600,000 square feet. For more information on Kole Management, visit Kolemc.com.
Leadership Southeast Georgia Tours Submarine Base, Studies Military Impact and Disaster Preparedness
(ST. MARYS, GA) Leadership Southeast Georgia(LSEGA) members toured Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay as part of their third session of the year, as they studied the impact of various military installations on the region’s economy and also took a look at disaster preparedness.
“There’s a certain ‘wow!’ factor involved in visiting a submarine base, and the information provided to the class gives everyone a close look at the huge impact this facility makes on the local economy,” said Lee Beckmann, Chairman of LSEGA. “It’s important that our region’s leaders understand the significance of all of our local installations to our area as well as for the defense of our nation.”
The session had three stated goals: to examine the impact of the region’s military installations on economic and workforce development; to explore the interconnectedness of our various military branches in the region; and to enhance participants’ awareness of personal leadership styles in order to explore strategies for development.
St. Marys Mayor John F. Morrissey welcomed the group at the opening breakfast, and the group also met site coordinator Terry Landreth of Camden Bikes.
After the tour of the submarine base, the group wound up its first day with a chance to bike to an evening cocktail reception, sponsored by Atlantic Salt Realtyin St. Marys’ historic district. Members had a chance to walk the waterfront to see first-hand the disaster recovery efforts there in the wake of the 2016 and 2017 hurricanes. Also available were self-directed tours of the St. Marys Submarine Museum. Dinner followed at Howard Gilman Waterfront Park.
For 20 years, representatives of business, government, education and nonprofit organizations in 10 southeast Georgia counties have taken part in LSEGA, exposing these leaders to the many facets of the region’s complex economy and helping them establish networks with their peers.
The 2019 Leadership Southeast Georgiaprogram sponsors include Evans General Contractors, Gulfstream Aerospace, Advanced Door Systems, The Sack Company, Georgia Power, Georgia Southern University, the Savannah Airport Commission, LS3P ASSOCIATES, LTD., FirstPage Marketing,Sterling Seacrest Partners, Savannah Economic Development Authority(SEDA), Thomas & Hutton, HunterMaclean, Hussey Gay Bell, Abshire Public Relations, Coastal Electric Cooperative, AT&T, The Waters Foundationand P.C. Simonton & Associates, Cecilia Russo Marketingand Carriage Trade Public Relations.
ABOUT LEADERSHIP SOUTHEAST GEORGIA
Leadership Southeast Georgiais 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 the impact of local issues such as healthcare, education, economic development and transportation. For more information, visit http://www.lsega.com/
How to Get into the Film Industry
By Charles “Bo” Bowen
So you want to be in pictures? Considering that Savannah is transforming into a thriving entry point for film and television careers, you are definitely in the right place.
Until fairly recently, almost all roads leading to the film and television screen started in Los Angeles or New York City. Over the past decade, however, advances in technology and financial incentives like those the state of Georgia adopted in 2008 have expanded the industry far beyond California and New York. Georgia has been the primary beneficiary of this expansion with Atlanta topping the list of current filming locations and significantly-smaller Savannah coming in second.
If you are interested in becoming a part of Georgia’s film industry, you should know one thing up front: no one starts at the top. The movie and television industry rewards experience and is merit-based. Anyone willing to work hard and maintain a positive attitude in the high-paced and stressful world of film production, however, will likely find themselves progressing quickly.
Granted, experience is crucial to success in almost all professions, but it is especially true in the entertainment industry. When a production begins filming, hundreds of strangers come together to work intensely on a single project — often for months at a time — and then immediately move on to the next opportunity. There may be a few stories of overnight success, but for the most part, those individuals worked hard for 20 years to earn that “overnight” success.
If you believe a career in movies might be a good fit, it is always a good idea to give your interests a thorough test drive. A great place to start is to work as an extra on one of the numerous productions in and around Savannah.
Working as an extra largely consists of waiting around for hours for a few minutes of work as a background player with no lines and minimal pay. But it is a prime opportunity to watch what film professionals are doing. Does it look interesting? Can you cope with the rigid top-down management and stressful environment? Does the reality look as appealing in person as it did in your imagination?
Casting calls are typically well covered in local media, thus finding an opportunity to work as an extra can be as simple as searching “casting in Savannah GA” on the internet. Casting calls are also often listed on the Savannah Regional Film Commission’s website, savannahfilm.org, or you can send a request to join www.facebook.com/groups/savannahextras.
If you still feel drawn to invest in a film-related future after being on a set, Savannah has you covered. Thanks to Savannah Technical College, our city hosts one of the 12 campuses of the Georgia Film Academy. This unique partnership of the University System of Georgiaand the Technical College System of Georgiaprovides a certification program of 18 credit hours, complete with internship opportunities.
Georgia Film Academystudents study a curriculum of on-set production, set construction and scenic painting, lighting and electric, grip and rigging, introduction to special makeup effects, post-production effects and, in the future, production accounting.
At $89.00 per credit hour (plus fees) at the technical college level, you can complete the entire course of study in just two semesters for a very affordable price. This can be a worthy investment to help break into a field where the Georgia Film Academyestimates an average salary is $84,000.00 a year (not to mention retirement benefits and health insurance coverage).
The required introductory course is currently on the schedule for Savannah Tech’s summer semester.
These types of jobs are on the production crew. There is a tremendous need for local crew in Savannah and once you receive the requisite training and experience, work should be easy to find. If you are more interested in the creative side of the process (directors, screenwriters, actors, etc.), there is still far more than just luck involved.
Savannah has a number of successful theater groups where you can audition for local productions to help you explore whether acting may be for you. There are also quite a few acting classes and workshops taught locally to help you hone your skills. Savannah offers college and university resources for those careers, as well. You can pursue theatrical performance degree programs at Georgia Southern University’s Armstrong and Statesboro campuses as well as Savannah State University. Savannah College of Art and Designoffers programs in almost every spectrum of the creative side of the entertainment industry from highly-skilled and respected professionals.
Most importantly, do not give up.
Almost everyone enters the film industry slowly for little pay to learn firsthand what the entertainment world is all about while gaining practical skills and making all-important contacts prior to finding success. If you are willing to put in the time and effort, Savannah’s film production boom ensures the opportunity is there for the taking.
Business and entertainment attorney Charles “Bo” Bowen is the founder of Southern Gateway Production Services. He started the production services company with the mission to ensure a seamless experience for out-of-town producers by providing them connections with local crew, vendors and service providers. Bowen is also recognized within the Savannah film community for his formation of the Savannah Film Alliancein 2015. As the founder of The Bowen Law Group, he has also developed a reputation as one of Georgia’s most experienced attorneys in entertainment law. http://www.thebowenlawgroup.com
Cynthia Cradduck Appointed to State Jaycees Executive Committee
(SAVANNAH, GA) Cynthia Cradduck, a Savannah-based marketing and public relations professional, has been elected to the Georgia Jaycees’ state executive committee, where she will serve as Vice President of Communications. She is joined on the executive committee by Danielle Fields, President; Katie Harris, Vice President of Community Development; Allen Farley, Vice President of Membership and Chad Brown, Chairman of the Board.
She is a junior partner at both Carriage Trade Public Relationsand Cecilia Russo Marketing, a collaborative arrangement in which she oversees operations for the two organizations. Her initiative took her from intern to junior partner in a three-year span, which was among the achievements that earned her a place on Georgia Trend’s 2018 “40 Under 40.”
Cradduck is a past president of the Savannah Jaycees, which she led during its 75th anniversary year. She also has been recognized with the Savannah Magazine/Savannah Morning Newsdesignation as a “Rising Star in Business.”
A graduate of Georgia Southern University, Cradduck was one of six students to earn L.E.A.P. certification, which recognizes public relations professionals who have gone through Leadership, Experience in Communication, Academics and Professionalism training.
She also has completed professional training courses offered by the Dale Carnegieprogram and Toastmasters International. In addition, Cradduck serves as the administrator for Leadership Southeast Georgiaand supports several nonprofit organizations in Savannah, including the Ronald McDonald House of the Coastal Empireand Girls on the Run.
In her new role, Cradduck will be responsible for the Georgia Jaycees’ internal and external communications, including its newsletter, website, press announcements and communications among its chapters. She will also be creating a chapter communications instruction guide which she will be presenting to the membership at their midyear convention.
The Jayceesis a leadership development organization that focuses on community involvement. This year, the state board held a major fundraiser to help provide financial resources for Out of the Darkness, a non-profit focused on battling human trafficking.
Jayceeschapters in Georgia include Athens, Atlanta, Columbus, Dahlonega, Gainesville, Gray, Milledgeville, Savannah, Statesboro, Swainsboro and Jesup.
“This is an exciting time to be involved with the Jaycees,” Cradduck said. “Young professionals are rediscovering the power, value and fun of face-to-face networking and community-building through this organization, and I’m delighted to be part of it.”
MORE ABOUT THE JAYCEES
Leadership development through community service has been the basis of the Jayceessince its inception in 1920. The mission of the not-for-profit organization is to provide development opportunities that empower young people ages 18-40 to create positive change. Members enhance a variety of leadership, management and communication skills as they work together to plan and run civic and individual development activities that bring about positive change in their home communities and through the world. To learn more about the Jaycees, visit www.georgiajaycees.comor http://www.jci.cc/usa.
Warner Peacock Named Jasper’s Business Person of the Year
The announcement came during the chamber’s March 28 banquet at the Chelsea Plantation. The event marked the 60th annual installation and awards banquet for the group, as well as the 29th annual Jasper on the Move Celebration.
Jill Jauch, advertising and marketing manager for Peacock Automotive, accepted the award on behalf of Peacock, who was in Florida on business.
“I am excited and humbled by this award,” said Peacock when informed of the honor. “Jasper County has always been a very welcoming environment for our dealerships, and we are excited to be part of a vibrant and growing business community. The location is absolutely perfect, easily accessed from Bluffton, Hilton Head Island and Savannah.”
The Jasper County Chamber of Commercepresents its business person of the year annual award to an individual judged to exhibit “the qualities of a model business person.” The award criteria call for the honoree to be an executive for an established business with a substantial history, one that exhibits growth in the number of employees and an increase in sales, responds effectively to adversity and contributes to community projects.
His business investments include, in addition to auto and motorcycle dealerships, casual dining restaurants, bank branches, residential communities, shopping centers and lifestyle properties. Peacock serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of The South Carolina Jobs and Economic Development Authorityand is a board member for the Southern Carolina Alliance.
He and his companies take an active role in community charities. Recently, Peacock was named an ambassador at the Congaree Club, a Jasper County-based national philanthropic organization.
ABOUT PEACOCK AUTOMOTIVE
Peacock Automotiveowns and operates 19 automotive dealerships representing 14 brands in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida, employing more than 700 individuals. The company’s headquarters are located at Peacock Auto Mall on U.S. 278, five miles east of I-95 at Exit 8 near Bluffton, S.C. The dealerships at the Auto Mall include Peacock Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat, Peacock Subaru, Porsche of Hilton Head, Audi Hilton Head, Peacock Hyundai Hilton Head, Genesis of Hilton Head, Hilton Head Volkswagen and Peacock Used Cars & Trucks. Additionally, the company owns Peacock Hyundai Brunswick, Genesis of Brunswick and Peacock Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Brunswick in Brunswick, Ga., and Peacock Hyundai Savannah, Genesis of Savannah and Savannah Volkswagen in Savannah, Ga. Other holdings include Jaguar Columbia, Land Rover Columbia, Peacock Hyundai Columbia and Hyundai Genesis of Columbia. Its subsidiary, Peacock-Griffey Automotive, owns Peacock Ford in the Orlando area of Florida. Peacock Automotivealso owns and operates the Peacock Collision Center and the Wellness Institute in Bluffton, S.C., and Peacock Insurance in Savannah and South Carolina. Peacock Automotivewas awarded Business of the Year in 2017 from the Greater Bluffton, S.C., Chamber of Commerce. For more information about Peacock Automotive, call (843) 208-1258 or visit https://www.peacockautomotive.com/