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  • 23 Jun 2022 2:43 PM | Sandra Waldrop (Administrator)

    For June’s midday meeting, we took a field trip to Plaza Las Americas where we toured and then enjoyed lunch in the food court. Arturo Adonay, manager, and co-owner shared with us how the Plaza brings community members together for shopping, music, meals, sports, and celebrations. The idea was to recreate an authentic Latina Plaza experience with a place for people to gather and socialize.

    Plaza Las Americas is a multicultural destination featuring 136,000 sq ft of space with the largest Jalisco Supermarket in Georgia, a 26,000 sq ft event space, a soccer field, basketball courts, an automotive center, 11 restaurants, a children’s play area, a game room, hair salons, and a large variety of shops. The Plaza’s popularity has led to its being 100% leased with a waiting list.

    Upcoming events include La Guelaguetza celebration on July 24 with music, dancing, samples of food and drink, and handicraft exhibits and Tech Camp 101, a free computer camp for kids sponsored by Comcast.

    Arturo Adonay told us that the best time to visit is on the weekends when the Plaza is bustling with Mariachi bands and events for the family. Come see what the Plaza has to offer!


    733 Pleasant Hill Rd, Lilburn, GA 30047


    • Daily 11am - 8pm

    Contact Info (404) 838-6740


    ----- Susan Seay, Better Homes & Gardens Metro Brokers

  • 21 May 2022 12:21 PM | Sandra Waldrop (Administrator)

    Sharon Yun, solar consultant, Alternative Energy Southeast

    My name is Sharon Yun and I am a Solar Consultant and Project Administrator and Liaison for Alternative Energy Southeast.  Our owner, Montana Busch, is a Lilburn resident as well as me so I am writing this post on the behalf of our company and to let you know a little bit more about myself and what I have to offer this community.  You can reach me at 678-792-8848 and

     Alternative Energy Southeast, Inc is the Solar Company you can trust.  We’re committed to care, efficiency, and your satisfaction.  AES specializes in the design and installation of solar power electric energy systems, or photovoltaics (PV) for residential and commercial customers.  Our highly accredited team provides customers with exceptional customer service and workmanship for solar installations throughout Georgia and surrounding states.  What’s more, we’re driven by a real purpose to make the world a better place.  We were established in 2007 and have multiple 5 star reviews, hundreds of successful installations and most importantly, a large extended family of happy PV System owners.  To learn more about us please visit our website,

    Everyone’s situation is unique, so we need to evaluate your electric bill and property to come up with accurate numbers, but our typical customer has a return on investment of 9 to 15 years, which means that your system could pay for itself several times over.  That’s not something you can say for your electric bill.  If you own your house or business and your property has good solar potential, it just makes sense to also own your electric supply as well.  We have great loan options too so you can start investing in your photovoltaic system now.  We install roof mount and ground mount systems with or without energy storage.  No project is too small or too large for our skilled team of installers.

    We understand that the future for energy resiliency is distributed generation, which means electricity is being used where it is produced or it is used in a microgrid which can supply power to the surrounding neighborhood or campus.  This method as practiced around the world can be more economical and equitable than relying on large electric companies, which often place profits over people, to push electricity from huge power plants hundreds of miles away.  Also, having one’s own power supply means you can become a backup source of electricity for yourself and your neighborhood when the grid is down.  Much of Georgia Power’s electricity comes from coal and natural gas which are antiquated sources of electricity and currently polluting our air and water.  Providing your electricity with solar reduces our community’s dependency on these harmful energy sources.  Also, those electric cars are only emission free when their source of electricity is emission free.  There’s nothing like driving a car powered by sunshine.  Yes, there are some emissions involved in producing solar panels, but they become carbon neutral after only a few years of use.

      Montana Busch is very active in solar advocacy and environmental policy and is Co-Chair of Georgia Solar Energy Association’s Board of Directors.  GA Solar is a great organization where anyone who is interested in solar advocacy can participate.  There are educational workshops where you can learn more about solar policy and opportunities to be active in influencing and changing legislation and holding our Public Commissioners accountable to encourage more growth and equity in the Solar Energy sector. GA Power has a monopoly on the electric power supply in this state and it is up to us to let them know what we want by voting for Public Commissioners who represent our values and by telling our legislatures to vote for policy which moves us towards clean energy sources.

    Here is a link to GA Solar’s webpage with information regarding purchasing solar.  Unfortunately, there have been companies new to the state who are misinforming people in order to make a sale.  In order to help people make informed decisions regarding their energy portfolio, Montana Busch did a video explaining what you should be looking for when getting solar quotes.  Our Solar Consultants are committed to giving you accurate information about your solar potential and we back it up with a 25 year power production guarantee.  Our free consultations and detailed proposals show you how much you can save over 30 years.  As the panels are warrantied to lose less than .5% of their production every year, they will last much longer than 30 years.

    Now, a little more about me and what I have to offer.  I am an avid gardener, nature lover, cat lady, and dedicated cosmic citizen.  I have several mottos that I live by: “Embody your Niche”, “Bee Love,” “Leave it Better than you Found it,” “Be Kind” and “An it Harm None, Do What Ye Will.” 

    I am on a mission of Collective EmPowerment.  I seek to promote Justice, Equity, and Compassion in all my relations.  I also affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every living being and care for and respect the Interconnected Web of Life of which we are each a very small part.  I have a goal for World Community with Peace, Liberty, and Justice for all.  I affirm our right of conscience and the democratic process in our communities.  My principles can be summed up by the 7 Unitarian Universalist Principles which are listed here

    I am an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Gwinnett.  I lead a Women’s Group and soon hope to have a Non Violent Communication Practice Group.  I also serve Gong Fu tea at events on our property. 

    One day my husband and I would like to open a Wellness Center with a Gong Fu Tea Garden with live music and open mic nights.  We would host events throughout the week such as yoga, dance, kirtan, and other wellness practices.  It would also have rooms for practitioners of different healing modalities.  I used to have a similar place on Haight St., San Francisco called Eden Sauna and Tea Lounge.  I’m interested in finding collaborators for this endeavor.


    We are hosting a Benefit Concert on June 4 from 4-8pm on our property at 4335 Bending River Trail, Lilburn.  We will have live bands including Mixed Genes and Zephaniah Peterson.  My husband is an addiction psychiatrist at Mercy Care and the money raised at the Benefit will help their Street Medicine Team’s treatment-resistant patients get the care they need.  Click here for the Facebook invite.

    My husband Thomas Yun, I, and our 9 year old son Bodhi care for a 7 acre homestead with flower and vegetable gardens, chickens, bees, sheep, solar, and an outdoor venue on the Yellow River for community events and retreats.  I have a certificate as a Sustainability Ambassador from attending the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Resiliency Sustainability Ambassador program and for my graduation project I created a Community Composting program.  Please let me know if you want to join.  We have a free U-Pick Strawberry farm which I have been sharing with the community through the Buy Nothing Central Lilburn Facebook page and would also invite all LBA members to come pick some strawberries and take some plants home.  I have many herbs I can send home with you too.  I am always happy to give tours and share what I know about solar, permaculture, and sustainability.


    I am also an Executive Committee leader of the Greater Gwinnett Sierra Club Group and an Outings Leader.  You can find more information about our monthly meetings in the Georgia Sierran.  We are a nonprofit politically active environmental organization and are always looking for more engaged citizens to help us promote environmentally friendly policy and to participate in events and outings.  Our meetings are always informative about environmental issues that affect you and your local community.  Our next meeting on July 7 will feature Russell Edwards, a Public Commissioner for Athens-Clarke County.  More info will be posted on our Meetup and Facebook pages soon.

    I am also part of a grassroots citizen’s campaign called Gwinnett Ready for 100, with the ultimate goal of moving Gwinnett towards 100% Renewable Energy.  Our main initiative right now is to get an Office of Sustainability for Gwinnett County.  This position will pay for itself as having an Office of Sustainability is a prerequisite to be able to apply for grants which will fund efforts to move towards more renewable energy including installing solar, buying county electric vehicles and making buildings more efficient.  Also, the Office of Sustainability can reduce agency expenditures such as the cost of water, energy, and infrastructure development and maintenance.  More information is on page 11 of the Georgia Sierran.   Please fill out the petition here asking our County Commissioners to create an Office of Sustainability.

    Another organization I’d like to share about is Citizen’s Climate Lobby.  They have a single focus of passing a Carbon Fee and Dividend legislation which would move us to Net Zero Carbon by 2050.  For more information, click here.

    Our time on Earth is precious and short which is why I am taking every opportunity I can to educate, support, and thus emPower my community.  Please reach out to me at or 678-792-8848 if I can be of any assistance to help you or someone you know become more emPowered.  There is a $500 referral bonus for anyone you send my way who signs a contract with us. 

    “In the morning, in the rise up, there's a bridge from all that's been
    In the dawning, the vines are pushing through the pavement
    We were born of burning hearts
    We are tearing off the reigns
    From the ground up we will build it
    From the clouds above we'll rain it
    From the crowd up we will raise it
    From the ground up...”

    Ayla Nereo From The Ground Up

    Be sure to check out my video interview!

    --- Sharon Yun

  • 20 May 2022 11:37 AM | Sandra Waldrop (Administrator)

    We were delighted to catch up with Lilburn resident, Tom Mills, before he headed off to Poland to interview Ukrainian refugees. Tom is a member of the Lilburn DDA, developer of Multimedia products for various industries and has a passion for being green. Tom and his family were living in Grayson but coming to Lilburn 3-4 times a day for his children's private school and for church. They saw the changes happening in Lilburn and wanted to be a part of the action. They knew the owner of the parcel at the corner of Main St and Poplar St. When it went up for sale, they bought it and built a very green or sustainable home. In addition to his videographer career, Tom has 3 YouTube channels around his GreenShortz brand. His DIY channel has a whopping 107K followers.

    Check out Tom's videos and give them a "Like", so he gets credit on YouTube.

    -- Sandra Waldrop

  • 25 Feb 2022 12:59 PM | Sandra Waldrop (Administrator)

    Deacon Gregory Bailey of Salem Missionary Baptist Church shared with us a slide presentation originally prepared for the Historical Society. Salem, established in 1834, is the 2nd oldest church in Lilburn after Camp Creek Primitive Baptist, established in 1832. Salem is the oldest African American Church in Gwinnett County and 6th oldest in the state. The oldest African Baptist church in Georgia is First African Baptist in Savannah, established in 1773.

    Gwinnett did not have large plantations, but more so large farms. Georgia Law prohibited gatherings of over 6 slaves at a time. The Carroll family owned 1000 acres in Lilburn and had 4 to 45 slaves. John Carroll of the Carroll Plantation, established in 1820, was the nephew of a Jesuit Priest in Georgetown. John instructed his slaves to build a meeting place for his slaves and those of neighbors to worship. This was the beginning of what would become Salem Missionary Baptist Church.

    The church has a museum called Heritage Hall. This museum is getting a professional organization and update and will become the regional museum of African American history in Gwinnett.

    The church is located at the corner of Killian Hill Rd and Poplar St. Deacon Bailey is the community service director. 

  • 24 Feb 2022 1:26 PM | Sandra Waldrop (Administrator)

    Cristina Zakis an independent Wellness Advocate with doTerra. As a former teacher, she enjoys educating on the many natural health solutions doTerra provides as well as empowering families to consider the natural options for staying healthy.

    Check out her video interview.

  • 01 Feb 2022 1:22 PM | Sandra Waldrop (Administrator)

    Meet Brian Kinsey, owner of Polaris IT Services.  His company is a Lilburn based IT service provider for small and medium businesses in Gwinnett County and surrounding areas.  Brian is also in the first group selected to participate in the Gwinnett Entrepreneur Center which is a county-sponsored facility designed to support entrepreneurs and nurture small business startups.

    See his Video Interview.

  • 25 Jan 2022 1:21 PM | Sandra Waldrop (Administrator)

    At our recent LBA meeting, we explored hiring from the disability's community. Individuals from this community can have more difficulty finding employment. With the current labor shortages, employers may be curious about connecting with this pool of potential employees.

    Our speaker, Kimberle Monroe, M.S., CRC, Manager of Workforce Resources, and guest Julia Massey, Case Manager, Traditional Family Support with Bobby Dodd Institute, shared with us information on how businesses can connect with organizations to hire individuals with disabilities to create or expand an inclusive work environment. The Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA) and associated providers, such as Bobby Dodd Institute (BDI), facilitate and support employment for individuals with disabilities, such as Intellectual or Developmental, Mental Health, Physical, Vision, or Hearing.

    GVRA has several providers contracted with their agency to assist individuals in achieving employment goals through job training and placement supports, such as BDI, Tommy Nobis Center, and Goodwill Industries. BDI Institute provides many services, including Workforce Resources for job training and placement services. Other services offered at BDI include Family Support, Benefits Navigation, and Georgia Community Trust.

    In addition to the services BDI provides, they also employ individuals with disabilities. BDI has several businesses that support contracts (some federal) in facilities management, call centers and switchboards, administrative services, supply chain, and logistics.

    Where should you begin as a business open to hiring individuals with disabilities? Companies can get in touch with the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency. Information specific to businesses wanting to hire individuals with disabilities can be found on their website at: Companies can also contact non-profit agencies that provide placement support for individuals with disabilities, such as BDI. Companies can find information about BDI on their website: as well as obtain information on Disability Awareness: For inquiries regarding services, call 678.365.0071 or send an email to

    For an individual who receives government benefits such as Social Security, where should they learn how employment could impact their benefits? Individuals receiving SSI or SSDI should speak with a Benefits Navigator Representative by calling the Social Security Administration Ticket to Work helpline at 1.866.968.7842 and request a referral to a Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Agency (WIPA). The helpline will prescreen and then connect the individual with an appropriate WIPA. BDI is an approved WIPA for the Social Security Administration. Additional information regarding employment support services for Social Security Disability Beneficiaries who want to work can be found on the Ticket to Work website’s page at:

    -----Sandra Waldrop, PhD, LBA and Kimberle Monroe, M.S., CRC, Manager of Workforce Resources at BDI

  • 10 Jan 2022 3:57 PM | Sandra Waldrop (Administrator)

    LBA meets during the breakfast hour, 8-9 am, the first Friday of each month usually at the Lilburn IHOP. Donna Hill of E2E is bringing us business topics with new concepts and concepts worth a review. 

    Our Jan 7th meeting covered 10 Tips to Make the Most of a Networking event. Here is the list:

    1. Be Personable. As in don't hide behind your phone, don't lead with your elevator speech and seek to make a friend first and client second.
    2. Be passionate. Strangers are trying to connect with you, so make it easier by showing interest in them.
    3. Be Memorable. Think of one thing to say that will make them remember you such as a sincere, detailed compliment.
    4. Prepare.  Have business cards handy, know your audience, customize your elevator speech and take notes after each conversation. You may even review the membership or attendance list beforehand if available.
    5. Don't Hang with People You Know. Pick the table or group with strangers or as a leader shuffle the groups periodically.
    6. Stand in a Line. Lines are a great place to chat as you have one person in front and one in back of you.
    7. Mind Your Appearance. Err on the side of being overdressed, don't slump, keep your hand open/visable,, and SMILE.
    8. Repeat Their Name. People love to hear their names so include it in the conversation and as you part.
    9. Learn to Enjoy Networking. If you are enjoying yourself, you will be more approachable. Think about who might be the most interesting person, most fun, smartest, most unusual you might meet tonight.
    10. Follow Up. That night or the next morning connect on LInkedin with a note referencing your conversation. Possibly set up a coffee or lunch date and even periodically follow up.
  • 27 Oct 2021 1:19 PM | Sandra Waldrop (Administrator)

    Many of our LBA members are enjoying their second careers. Bob Atwater is one of those. Previously an award winning executive in human resources recruiting and staffing, the circumstances of life, to include parent care, were leading him to step back from those endeavors.  

    He now runs Atwater Partners a residential repair and renovation LLC. The changing regulations to obtain a General Contractor license have become increasingly daunting, complex and costly. Bob has found that certification is not necessary to his trade effectiveness or career success.

    Atwater Partners, LLC marketing is entirely word of mouth and referrals based on excellent service. He does not use paid advertising.  The best way to contact him is via the company Facebook page, Atwater Partners, LLC. In fact, Bob’s use of Facebook to showcase the day-to-day activities of his crews is the best advertising strategy for his business sector I’ve seen. He ends each post with “Who’s next for a contractor crew or handyman for any interior or exterior project?”

    As an avid entrepreneur, Bob is one who sees opportunities and solutions where others see problems or inconvenience.  His journey to successful contractor began while caring for his aging father. Bob needed work with a more independent schedule and got creative offering small handyman jobs where he could bring dad along.  Over the years, Bob had developed a large network of friends who knew him to be responsible and honest from as far back as elementary school. Bob was also an athlete at Lakeside HS, he is friendly and enjoys talking and listening to all he meets, he receives favor wherever he goes.

    His two sons participated in sports and he further extended his friend network to include coaches who have access to much needed manpower in an industry that typically has a high turnover and is further impacted by the unionized film industry construction. Bob’s experience in recruiting and vetting has garnered him loyal employees that have worked with him for years.  Bob starts recruits on cleanup/moving tasks and later as apprentices matched with seasoned tradesmen. These young people often continue working with Bob through their college years as well as recruiting their friends. He typically has up to 8 crews working at a given time, leaving a trail of satisfied clients in his wake.

    So…Who’s next for a contractor crew or handyman for any interior or exterior project?”

    ---- Sandra Waldrop and Nancy Tawes

  • 25 Oct 2021 4:27 PM | Sandra Waldrop (Administrator)

    When Anthony Manetta and Taylor Bennett of Brookside Stone Mountain Senior Living reached out to the LBA, we were very happy to accept an invitation to visit. As a business sector, senior living has been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and was the subject of a series of articles in the AJC at that time. The LBA is all about helping our local business community thrive and looked forward to our visit.

    Brookside has been at its West Park Place location for many years and does not have the glitz and glamour you find at premier newer assisted living communities around Atlanta but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Brookside came under new ownership and management in 2018. What we found on our visit was a warm home-like environment including a beautiful garden area.  

    Brookside has 45 rooms including some that are for double occupancy such as for couples and even has a memory care unit They provide assisted living care at affordable all inclusive rates, rather than the more complicated fee structure found in many communities. For clients with VA benefits, they are able to facilitate access to those funds. There are no move-in fees or long-term contracts. Respite care is also available.

    Because I had recently visited Brookside, it came to mind during a discussion with a friend on the increasing care needs of a family member. Her wish was to have her mother-in-law nearby rather than in Cumming which can be a long drive to help with doctor visits and errands. I suggested she look at Brookside, a short drive from her home.

    Her family member had recently spent time for rehab in a newer community with a higher end environment. She is much happier in the smaller homey environment at Brookside and enjoys frequent visits with her family. She is relieved that the monthly cost of Brookside is mostly covered by her Social Security plus VA benefits.

    I’m not sure if my friend would have thought to look at Brookside if I had not suggested it. The holidays are often a time to observe and discuss the care needs of loved ones. Should that be the case, consider a visit to nearby Brookside Stone Mountain Senior Living.

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Mailing Address: Lilburn Business Association, P.O. Box 1537, Lilburn, GA 30048


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