Category: press release

Enmarket Employees Get Pay Boost, Additional Safety Measures

(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.

Matt Clements
Vice President of Marketing

Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade Public Relations® Inc.

SafeCity Launches on Bull Street Local Security Company Offers Free CCTV to Savannah Business Community

(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

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
Cell: 571-499-0409

DIRTTbags Donate to Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society for World Down Syndrome Day

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) is pleased to announce, along with long-time community partner, DIRTT Environmental Solutions, DIRTT’s donation of more than $4,500 to the organization as we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day – March 21, 2020.

Local Savannah DIRTTbags chose LDSS as their 2019 Annual Partner and raised the funds through raffles and events, along with a shared vision to champion and celebrate acceptance and inclusion. LDSS has honored two DIRTTbags in the Savannah plant in recent years at their annual Night of Champions event – William Greene in 2015 and Chris Maynor in 2019.

“The DIRTTBags embody a beautiful message that if you can look beyond a label you might find unexpected blessings,” said John Bogardus, LDSS president and co-founder. “When we peeked inside the ‘bag’ we found our shining stars. Their example is a reminder that by looking beyond the label of disability, you can discover unexpected potential.”

DIRTT, which stands for Doing It Right This Time, uses technology-driven advanced manufacturing and a sustainable, prefab approach to interior construction that creates cost, schedule and quality certainty and long-term adaptability. Founded and headquartered in Calgary, DIRTT opened its Savannah facility in 2009 that now employs more than 100 DIRTTbags, as they all themselves. DIRTT’s culture is based on excellence, innovation and collaboration.

“It is our privilege to continue to partner with the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society as part of our progressive approach to corporate responsibility and philanthropy,” said Laura Lee Bocade, based in DIRTT’s Savannah plant. “We couldn’t agree or align more with the mission of LDSS – inclusion of a segment of our community that make for OUTSTANDING employees – and we couldn’t ask for a better group of leaders to make this vision a reality than our LDSS colleagues. I’m continually amazed at the wisdom of DIRTTbags to select the best community partners, year after year.”

During raffles, contests and events held over the past 6 months, Savannah DIRTTBags $4,666 in support of the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society and are excited to present the funds to LDSS on the occasion of World Down Syndrome Day. A check presentation ‘ceremony’ and luncheon in DIRTT’s plant and Café with LDSS and DIRTT teams and local individuals and families but plans changed due to the current social-distancing protocol.

World Down Syndrome Day will be celebrated on March 21. This global awareness day has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. Its purpose is to raise understanding of what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome, and how people with Down syndrome play a vital role in our lives and communities.

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

Whitney Lowery
Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society

DIRTT is a building process powered by technology. The company uses its proprietary ICE® software to design, manufacture and install fully customized interior environments. The technology drives DIRTT’s advanced manufacturing and provides certainty on cost, schedule and the final built solution. Complete interior spaces are constructed faster, cleaner and more sustainably. DIRTT’s manufacturing facilities are located in Savannah, Phoenix and Calgary. DIRTT works with nearly 100 sales partners globally. For more information visit

Laura Lee Bocade
DIRTT Environmental Solutions

Carriage Trade Public Relations® Marks 25th Anniversary

(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.

Marjorie Young, Founder

Marjorie Young, Founder

“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.

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 912-844-9990

Peacock Ford Opens Renovated Spaces in Orlando Dealership

Peacock Ford Opens Renovated Spaces in Orlando Dealership

(ORLANDO, FL) Peacock Automotive is pleased to announce the completion of Phase One of renovations on Peacock Ford, and has now reopened its showroom, service and parts departments, sales and support offices and customer lounge.

Peacock Automotive acquired the Ford dealership in 2017, expanding its established markets in Georgia and South Carolina to Florida. The company has undertaken this full remodel with the goal of bringing the building into the 21st century with state-of-the-art modern amenities.

Peacock Ford is located at 1875 S. Orlando Avenue in Maitland and sits on a 10-acre lot that displays nearly 350 vehicles.

The dealership has been operating out of temporary offices since renovations began in the spring. This will be a stark contrast with the sleek new design of the current showroom, which will better serve customers while the renovated lounge will enable patrons to relax in comfort while their cars are serviced.

“We saw the need for upgrade immediately upon moving in, and we’re excited to be able to welcome not only the community into our beautiful, improved space, but also our employees, to whom we have been so grateful throughout this process,” said Warner Peacock, chairman and CEO of Peacock Automotive. “We’re looking forward to continuing onto Phase Two, and we’re confident that during the project we will continue to deliver on the efficient, quality service our customers expect.”

Peacock Automotive plans to celebrate the dealership’s updates with a grand re-opening party when it completes renovations on the service shop in the fall.

Peacock Automotive owns and operates 12 automotive dealerships representing 21 brands in Ga., S.C. and Fla., 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, Jaguar Land Rover Hilton Head, Peacock Hyundai Hilton Head, Genesis of Hilton Head, and Hilton Head Volkswagen. Additionally, the company owns Peacock Hyundai Savannah, Genesis of Savannah and Savannah Volkswagen in Savannah, Ga. Other holdings include Jaguar Land Rover Columbia, Peacock Hyundai Columbia and Hyundai Genesis of Columbia. Its subsidiary, Peacock-Griffey Automotive, owns Peacock Ford in the Orlando area of Fla. Peacock Automotive also owns and operates the Peacock Collision Center in Bluffton, S.C., and Peacock Insurance in Ga., S.C. and Fla. For more information about Peacock Automotive, call (843) 208-1258 or visit

Jill Jauch
Peacock Automotive
265 Drivers Way
Hardeeville, SC 29927
Office: 843-208-1217

Leadership Southeast Georgia Launches 2020 Program in Glynn County with Study of Natural Resources

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

CONTACT Brynn Grant Chair Leadership Southeast Georgia

MEDIA CONTACT Cynthia Cradduck Cecilia Russo Marketing 912.856.9075

Regional Leaders for the 2020 Class of Leadership Southeast Georgia Announced

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.

LSEGA Class of 2020

LSEGA Class of 2020

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:

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

Brynn Grant
Leadership Southeast Georgia

Cynthia Cradduck
Cecilia Russo Marketing