• 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.

  • 23 Sep 2021 9:43 AM | Sandra Waldrop (Administrator)

    We had a great time at our Zoom LBA meeting yesterday interviewing Scott Mecredy of Music On Main Street or MOMS. The interview was recorded so you can enjoy the entire session (see link at the end of this post).

    Scott pays tribute to his own late mother not only in the naming of his and his wife's business (MOMS) but also in the charity Gracenote Foundation. The foundation promotes the role of music in child development, throughout adult life, and within communities in a variety of ways. Foundation support projects have included instrument donations, camp and lesson funding and even a benefit concert to help someone from the music community fighting cancer.

    In appreciation for being a positive influence on the business and extended Lilburn communities, LBA will be making a donation to the Gracenote Foundation in the amount of $100.

    Link to full interview:

  • 26 Aug 2021 4:40 PM | Sandra Waldrop (Administrator)

    Brian BurchikCommunity Development Administrator & PIO (Public Information Officer) for the City of Lilburn gave us lots of information on things happening behind the scenes at City Hall.  It is always interesting to hear the thoughts and efforts involved that are driving the changes in and around Old Town. The City has enlisted the help of Retail Strategies in finding more upscale businesses to open locations in our area.  A recent RFP involved development the Main Street property next to the Station Master's House.  The DDA is reviewing the submitted projects. The Steel Building on Railroad Ave is to be vacated Oct 1st and is slated to become a brewery and food hall. Stay informed on further developments on the Old Town Lilburn website and on Brian's podcast, The Burn podcast on the City of Lilburn Facebook page.

  • 16 Aug 2021 6:22 PM | Sandra Waldrop (Administrator)

    Meet husband and wife Associate Broker John Seay and REALTOR Susan Seay of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers!

    Susan was born in Atlanta, and John has lived here most of his life. Currently living in Lilburn, no one knows the neighborhoods like they do. Together, they have a wealth of real estate experience and knowledge of the metro area.

    John and Susan love helping others through the process of buying and selling real estate. They enjoy meeting new people, many of whom become life-long friends.

    John and Susan like working together, but they each have different strengths. John teaches the prelicense class which is a requirement toward becoming a real estate agent. Susan has an interior design background and is happy to give suggestions on staging your home to sell.

    In their spare time, they love travel and college football. They also enjoy finding new parks, hiking trails, restaurants, and hidden gems around Atlanta.

    Contact the Seay Team if you need some guidance selling your property or finding your next home. They would love to meet you!

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


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