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  • 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

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


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