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  • 06 Mar 2023 2:57 PM | Sandra Waldrop (Administrator)

    What is the Yellow River Water Trail ?

    The YRWT is one of 21 certified Water Trails in Georgia.  We are a 501c3 organization formed about 7 years ago.  Think Riverkeeper, with a larger scope. The YRWT is GA Water Trails Certified by the Georgia River Network, which has 18 more river trails in process for certification.

    Wow, I drive over it often, and never gave it a thought.

    Exactly, Awareness and Education is one of our core focuses.  The Yellow is a clean, beautiful, river suitable for paddling. People can paddle it 53 miles, through 4 Counties, to Lake Jackson.  A Water Trail maps and documents the river with GPS coordinates, river mileage, with access points where paddlers can enter and exit the river; along with descriptions of any features and hazards.

    So people can paddle it ?

    Yes, for most of it’s length it flowing flatwater, shady, peaceful, beautiful.  In a couple spots there is some challenging Whitewater, and we become a destination for those adventure paddlers when the water level is up.  For the paddler seeking a peaceful, pretty experience, the river moves at a steady jogging speed.

    Someone told me the river wasn’t clean ?

    Actually, the river is very clean.  The YWRT is an Adopt-a-Stream partner and we test monthly at more than half-a-dozen sites in Gwinnett and DeKalb.  We test Chemistry (pH, Conductivity, dissolved Oxygen); and for E.coli, our results have come in healthy for the last 7 years that we’ve been testing.

    Wow!... So, how is this good for Lilburn ?

    Gwinnett is blessed to have 2 recreationally active rivers, the Chattahoochee and the Yellow; most other Georgia Counties wish they had a river that can be paddled.   More and more the Yellow will be an outdoor destination, close to Lilburn, Mountain Park, Centerville, and Stone Mountain.  And there is a long-range plan for a Greenway along the river, linking river easements, utility easements, County land and parks.

    Increasingly the River and the Greenway will be a destination for families, and these people will spend money, and they want to live near quality outdoor recreation venue.  Good for business, good for home values.

    How can I help ?

    The YRWT needs volunteers to help with pushing the vision, water test, help and lead litter cleanups, paddle the river, and make contacts & relationships with the jurisdictions along the river.  For example, all the “Improved” river access points are in Newton Co; in Gwinnett, DeKalb & Rockdale, the access points are “Unimproved”, meaning “natural” we enter/exit at the bridges (Five Forks Trickum, Hwy-78), Yellow River Park, etc.  The Paddle Maps list all the access points and their conditions. 

    We need Gwinnett County to help with inexpensive access improvements, such as grading and gravel, and some parking area.

    Informative Links:

    LBA Presentation:

    All the river maps:

    Georgia River Network, Water Trails:

    Yellow River Water Trail:

    Yellow River Water Trail Facebook page:

    --Mark Wilson - Chairman of the Yellow River Water Trail

  • 21 Feb 2023 3:58 PM | Sandra Waldrop (Administrator)

    This Monday my day began with a number of LBA members letting me know I had been hacked. They had received a suspicious email from me representing the Lilburn Business Association asking for the purchase of gift cards for a veterans' charity project. After my initial panic, my analytical skills started to kick in as I investigated what was going on.

    From the notices, I could tell everyone contacting me were current LBA members. We use one product to manage our membership, events and website and another product to produce and email our newsletters. Neither one of these systems sent out that email. That left me with one conclusion. The scammers harvested the email addresses from the LBA website Directory page. A quick web search confirmed this is a typical practice.

    Using this email example, let's review a few simple things to keep in mind regarding email.

    Public Email Addresses

    As a business owner, we have to have our contact information in the public domain. It is important you use a dedicated business email address. You should keep your personal email address private.

    Red Flags

    Always look at the email address of the sender. Even though the name on the email looks familiar, the actual email address will look odd. It will be an address that is different from what you associate with the sender. It may even be a nonsensical looking address like “”.

    The language used in the email may be more formal than expected. The sender is asking for you to do something for them because they are away and can’t perform the task from their location. They ask for gift cards. There is an urgency in the request. The sums can be large $100+. They want you to send them the codes for the gift cards so they can be redeemed with the card not present.

    These scammers make some effort to make the emails and requests look real, but there are usually red flags. Additionally, the whole scheme with the gift cards is they are trying to get the cards sent to people that are already being scammed to develop more trust.

    Sandra Waldrop, PhD
    LBA President

  • 25 Jan 2023 9:54 AM | Sandra Waldrop (Administrator)

    I don't know many people who can honestly say they enjoy public speaking. However, if you have a business, there will be times you are expected to speak publicly in selling yourself, your products or your services.

    In January, Susie Corbett from the Gwinnett-Tucker Toastmasters Club #833 was our featured speaker.  Their mission statement is "To provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every member has the opportunity to develop communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth".

    If you have the sense you are not being effective when speaking publicly, there are ways to improve.

    • Check out the resources at Toastmasters International.
    • Linkedin Learning (free access through the Gwinnett Public Library Digital Resources) listed 49 courses when searching under "public speaking".
    • Do a Business Spotlight 5 minute presentation at an LBA meeting (including in your membership).
    • Practice your elevator speech with a friend who does not know details of your business. 

    We will be incorporating public speaking exercises into our meeetings this year. So add becoming Public Speaking Fit to your New Year's Resolutions.

  • 25 Jan 2023 9:43 AM | Sandra Waldrop (Administrator)

    Has your company website ever become broken or has stopped working? Have you ever needed a temporary page for your domain to show while your website is being redesigned. Is your business website on hold but you have a domain? Your LBA membership can help you with this problem. Your LBA Directory page can be used as your domain landing page. In addition to information about your business you can even display images on your directory page. Contact Sandra Waldrop for more information.

  • 09 Dec 2022 3:44 PM | Sandra Waldrop (Administrator)

    It was an honor representing the LBA at the Gwinnett Chamber Small Business Awards ceremony today where we were finalists for the category Support System Award. And the winner was .... not us, but congratulations to the Atlanta Chinese Entrepreneurs Club. The event was held at 12Stone in Lawrenceville. Chamber events are always a great opportunity to network and meet with friends made through the business community. There was a "Fireside Chat" with  Terri-Nichelle Bradley, Founder & CEO of Brown Toy Box. A truly inspiring story of a single mom in Snellville starting an educational toy company that focuses on bringing children in the black community into STEM. Her company is one of Oprah's Favorite things this year. I was able to speak with the Gwinnett Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Nicole Love Hendrickson of Lilburn. I think we can get her to drop in on one of our breakfast meetings in 2023. I also caught up with Cole Porter of Porter Steel and congratulated him on the final release of the movie, The Ark of Lilburn. Finally a big thank you to Tyeme Woods pictured with me. She is the Senior Membership Development Manager at the Chamber and regularly reaches out to the LBA with events of interest to our organization.

  • 08 Nov 2022 2:10 PM | Sandra Waldrop (Administrator)

    It was around this time last year that I went to my mother and told her I was thinking about opening my own law practice. After almost a decade of practicing law, and always working under others, I was at a point where I became frustrated that I wasn’t able to apply my legal skills to do…more. I wanted to volunteer more, I wanted to help others in more legal arenas, I wanted more from my career. I wanted more of a work-life balance.

    I expected more from my mother’s response, as well. All she said, after taking a few beats to sip from her cup of coffee (we’re a family of coffee drinkers), was this: “Megan, I love you and want you to be happy and I think you will do great things if you started your own firm.” There was no dreaded “but” to follow what she said. There was no criticism or disdain. I’ve taken that beautifully compassionate response, and I’m applying that compassion to my own business.

    Because here I am, a year later, actualizing the things that were mere ideas twelve months ago. I wanted to open a law firm that could help address the various needs of my community, understanding that legal wellness is a multi-faceted issue that impacts us all in different ways. Addressing legal wellness requires a holistic approach that not all lawyers are able to do, or even want to do. Let’s face it: the law isn’t known as being an especially “touchy feely” field. It provokes feelings of aggression, confrontation, elitism, negativity, and anxiety. 

    “Holistic” and “client-centered” are buzz words in the legal field right now but aren’t strangers to it. A holistic practice is one that seeks to help the client meet their legal needs by addressing other issues as well that could be exacerbating or contributing to the legal need. A classic example might be the alcoholic who comes to a lawyer for help with a pending D.U.I. The holistic lawyer will not only address the criminal case, but also help connect the client with treatment for their alcohol problem and maybe even assist with connecting that person to other resources in the community if needed. The thought is: if I can help address this person’s issue from not only the legal angle but other angles as well, I can help maximize this person’s overall wellness. 

    A “client-centered” law practice is one that takes into consideration the entire client experience, from start to finish, using that mindset to enhance that client’s overall journey through the legal process. You develop procedures to make clients feel comfortable with the process, respond to their questions and concerns promptly, use terms and wording that the client understands, and meet the client where they’re at.

    A client-centered, holistic law practice is one that puts the client at the center. Really, this is how the relationship should be anyway however there are still many lawyers out there whose own egos are at the forefront of their practice. Their social media or website may be nothing but sharing their own accomplishments, talking about themselves, or expensive headshots from their penthouse office in downtown Atlanta. And that’s completely fine! That’s their style, not mine. But is that the best match for you, when you’re looking for an attorney to help you with a family issue or to handle some simple estate planning?

    My goal when opening my law firm was to keep the clients first and make their experience as holistic as possible, being as authentic and true to myself as I could. I knew that for sure. But there was something else I knew for sure as well: I wanted to open my business in Lilburn. Why Lilburn? Is it because the people here are incredibly gracious and kind? Yep. Is it because the businesses here are tight-knit and supportive of one another? Yep. Is it because we have streets lined with big beautiful trees, and green parks packed with kids playing ball? Yep. Is it because the community is diverse and vibrant, with people from all walks of life? Yep. Yes to all the above.

    I moved to Lilburn in 2020 just before the pandemic shut us all down for a while. I watched this community come together, support each other, and continue to grow and thrive even when a global pandemic was raging. I saw the fortitude and endurance of this community and grew to not just admire it: I fell in love with it. And when I decided to make the move to open my law firm as a solo practitioner, I knew that this was the place to do it. I knew, and still know, that I have the type of background and experience that would benefit Lilburn and the wonderful people in it (and all around Georgia, too). 

    But starting a business from scratch in a new community was daunting to me. I have friends and neighbors here, but how would I get from point A to point B? I knew that I would need to make more connections if I truly wanted my business to succeed – I needed some roots. And joining the Lilburn Business Association was the absolute best choice I could have made to start planting, nurturing, and growing those connections into fruition. The breadth of knowledge and experience that this group has afforded me has been invaluable. 

    Through this group, I’ve gained confidence, made friends, received numerous client referrals, learned about all the ways Lilburn helps and encourages business growth, connected with other business owners, and even received constructive feedback on my marketing materials. I even met the woman who would go on to be my business banker! A focus of the LBA is how to help businesses grow, thrive, and help each other, and I have felt that from the minute I first walked awkwardly into my first LBA meeting. 

    For some of us, putting ourselves out there isn't easy to do. The LBA has given me the courage to do not only that, but the courage to be myself.


    Megan McClinton, Esq

  • 22 Aug 2022 4:50 PM | Sandra Waldrop (Administrator)

    Hi, I'm Barbie Klapp, the Founder and CEO of 2 Paws Up Inc Pet Sitting, Dog Walking, and Dog Training company since 2003.

    Let’s be honest, most of the time running a pet business is not a super serious job – it’s not a shirt and tie affair – it’s a lot of dog slobber, and being covered in hair and mud daily.

    But it’s also not all cupcakes, treats, and pet toys – the pet industry professionals are among the most educated, insured, caring, creative and hardworking people you’ll find ANYWHERE!

    First, we must ensure the people coming into your house are trustworthy, reliable, and have the right personality for working with pets. I typically advertise for employees using online job sites and can do an initial first screening from the questions included in my online application. During the interview process, we ask industry and attitude-specific questions. We also give potential employees an assessment which gives us a quick snapshot of their work-related attitudes that lean to on-the-job behavior...behaviors that can either boost or shrink profits. Furthermore, we perform criminal background checks on all potential new employees. We train new hires using online certifications and on-site job training (shadowing), as well as monitor their activities both during and after training.

    Second, we use industry-specific software. My clients have a login to their account (Time To Pet App) where they can make scheduling requests, update their personal information, pay invoices, and provide details on their pet's health. When my clients leave on vacation, they can be confident we are on the lookout for any developing health concerns their pets may have. Our clients enjoy receiving both text and email journals with pictures of their pets at each visit.

    Third, I am consistently working on my business and professional development. I have both an industry and non-industry-specific business coach I meet with regularly. I also provide coaching to individuals just starting their own pet sitting business.

    After years of success, I am proud of the growth of this extraordinary business. My job is both challenging and rewarding....After all, this is my "purrfect" dream job!

    Barbie Klapp, MBA Founder & CEO 2 Paws Up Inc

    Phone/Fax: 770-695-3096



    Pet Sitting & Dog Walking Service


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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

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


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