Monthly Archives

July 2007

(ATHENS / SAVANAH, GA) Rialto Property Partners In Joint Development partnership with Melaver, Inc.

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(ATHENS, GA – SAVANNAH, GA) – July 12, 2007 – Atlanta-based Rialto Property Partners, LLC has announced plans to develop IHG's (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON: IHG, NYSE: IHG (ADRs)], Hotel Indigo® in downtown Athens, Georgia. The Athens location will feature 100 luxury guestrooms. The Hotel Indigo in Athens will be managed by IHG's operations division, The Hotel Management Group, the fourth largest management company in North America.

Located at 500 College Avenue in downtown Athens, the future site of Hotel Indigo will encompass an entire city block and anchor the north end of the downtown district. Hotel guests will be able to access downtown shopping, restaurants and nightlife, as well as be within walking distance to the Classic Center, University of Georgia (UGA) campus and Sanford Stadium.

Because Hotel Indigo strives to reflect the cultural aspects of each city in which its franchises are located, the Athens location will embrace the rich music and arts scene for which the town is known. Works from local artists will be on display, and a music venue within the hotel will host local musicians. A future competition is planned for UGA Graphic Design students in the Lamar Dodd School of Art to design an Athens' music-themed mural for an exterior wall of the hotel.

"Hotel Indigo is a hotel experience like no other, as far as design, comfort and services," said Barry Rutherford of Rialto Property Partners. "We are very excited to introduce such a unique concept that will address the needs of the sophisticated traveler to Athens. We are also looking forward to incorporating in our hotel the distinctive attributes of a city that is considered by many to be at the center of modern musical innovation." 

Boutique hotels, known for their intimate, luxurious environments in addition to personalized accommodations and services, have gained increasing popularity throughout North America. Hotel Indigo is known as the industry's first branded boutique hotel, artfully combining the conveniences and consistencies of a brand hotel with the design cache and service personality of a boutique at an affordable price. The new Hotel Indigo Athens will feature signature design elements including oversized lobby chairs, which create a personal work or dining space within the public areas of the hotel; The Golden Bean, an on-site restaurant and bar; cozy, airy and inviting guestrooms with plush bedding, vivid wall murals, hardwood-style flooring and spa-style showers; and a fitness studio with cardio equipment and free weights. The Hotel Indigo brand is expanding throughout North America, with eight locations open and 50 more in the development pipeline. The first Hotel Ind igo opened in Atlanta in October 2004 and other openings have quickly followed in major cities including Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Ottawa and Scottsdale.

As past surveys have shown, a good number of our customers desire upscale properties, so Athens as a destination should become more attractive as our inventory of upscale rooms increases," said Chuck Jones, Director of the Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Many of these people should appreciate the amenities and unique flavor that this boutique property will offer. In addition, more high-end rooms in downtown Athens will make us more competitive in attracting larger conventions, as well as groups of all sizes that demand upscale accommodations

Rialto Property Partners is committed to building Hotel Indigo Athens in an environmentally responsible way and will work to achieve LEED (Leadership In Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, the nationally accepted green building rating system. In an effort to meet this goal, Rialto Property Partners has entered into a joint development partnership with Melaver, Inc., a third-generation family business based in Savannah, Georgia. 

Melaver, Inc. developed Abercorn Common in Savannah, the first all-retail LEED shopping center in the nation. The prestigious LEED certification is the internationally recognized standard for high performance, low water and energy use buildings. Melaver, Inc. is committed to energy efficient, sustainable development with each project they develop.

Often coined "Green Building," LEED-certified buildings increase water and energy efficiency, minimize waste, use building materials from sustainable and recycled sources, use environmentally friendly paints and varnishes, and maximize the number of windows to bring in natural daylight. LEED-certified buildings have reduced building operating costs and provide a healthier indoor environment, while cons erving natural resources. "The design and construction process we endeavor to put into place asserts the commitment that Rialto has to the future of our environment and to the Athens community," stated Frederick L. Fine of Rialto Property Partners.      

For more information or to be placed on an advanced reservation list for Hotel Indigo Athens, please visit Please address any other inquiries to Anna George at or call 404.437.6650.

About Hotel Indigo The newest member of the IHG family, Hotel Indigo is the industry's first branded boutique hotel experience. It is uniquely designed to appeal to guests who desire affordable luxury, personal service and an alternative to traditional hotels without sacrificing any of the businesses ameni ties they have come to expect. Renewal is the soul of Hotel Indigo's retail-inspired design concept Рthoughtful changes that are made throughout the year to keep the hotel fresh. Guestrooms feature signature murals, area rugs, fluffy duvets and slipcovers that will change periodically, while public spaces will be transformed seasonally through changing aromas, music, artwork, murals and directional signage. From relaxed caf̩ dining to high-style rooms РHotel Indigo creates an intriguing, warm and inviting environment for guests. For more information on Hotel Indigo, please visit

About The Hotel Management Group
IHG's The Hotel Management Group is the fourth largest management company in North America.  As of March 31, 2007, IHG's management portfolio consists of more than 200 hotels and nearly 44,000 rooms with another 17 hotels and over 4,000 rooms in the pipeline. Recently, The Hotel Management Group launched Performance Advantage, its proprietary hotel management program which allows for adaptation of its management services and contract terms based on the needs of each individual property investor.

Rialto Property Partners, LLC Rialto Property Partners, LLC specializes in bringing to market unique projects that are designed to take advantage of unaddressed opportunities in a variety of selected real estate m arkets. Rialto provides pre-development services, which include land acquisition, project conceptualization, and joint venture partner development. For more information, visit

Melaver, Inc.
Melaver, Inc. is a third-generation, family-owned business based in Savannah, Georgia. The sustainable real estate company developed one of the first LEED certified buildings in the U.S., which is also on the National Historic Register. It also developed the first all-retail LEED shopping center in the country, Abercorn Common, which includes the first LEED McDonald's worldwide. Melaver, Inc. owns and manages properties in Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah, Huntsville and Birmingham. For more information, visit

Channel 16 will air this special edition of OPEN FOR BUSINESS®

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(SAVANNAH, GA)  Is your company’s employee handbook up to date?  Does your company back up all of its employment records?  Is your company keeping up with Title VII and Civil Rights Act compliances?
If you answered no to one or more of these questions, your company may already be in danger of loosing hundreds of thousands of dollars in liabilities.
If you answered no to one or more of these questions, make sure to catch The Sullivan Group’s presentation on OPEN FOR BUSINESS®.
Channel 16 will air this special edition of OPEN FOR BUSINESS® Wednesday, July 11 and Wednesday, July 18 at 10:00 p.m.  Martin Sullivan, Kim Dobson, and Rob Jones give insight to some of the most costly mistakes a company can make when dealing with employees and human resources issues.
For more information on The Sullivan Group or the human resource services available to their clients, visit the website at
To catch OPEN FOR BUSINESS® online, visit

(SAVANNAH, GA) Barbara Treadwell Will Be Keynote Speaker at 8th Annual “A Working Woman In Need”

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(SAVANNAH, GA) Barbara Treadwell, President and CEO of Treadwell and Associates, LLC, will be the keynote speaker at the 8th Annual “A Working Women In Need” Awards Gala.Treadwell plans to focus her speech on empowering women through strategic financial planning. She knows how to do just that very well, as she has spentthe past 20 years building one of the Coastal Empire’s most successful and lucrative financial planning businesses. She runs offices in both Savannah and New York, with clients from across the surrounding states and country.

"Being chosen as the keynote speaker", Treadwell says, "is nothing short of an honor."

“I am humbled and awed by this invitation, and think it may be the most important public speaking forum in my career,” Treadwell says.

She continued, “If I can lift up, inspire, or give a little knowledge to just one of those women, then everything I have done will be worth it.”

In addition to Treadwell’s much anticipated keynote address, the awards gala will also feature Savannah’s “Top Ten Working Women of 2007.” They are chosen from a wide range of fields, including community service, the arts, sports, education, literature, women’s empowerment, government, business, medical, and entrepreneurship.

AWWIN, Inc. is a non-profit organization designed to assist the single working woman who has been displaced due to various reasons, such as divorce, illness or domestic violence.

It came about as a result of the hardships of its founder, Saralynn Argrow. As a divorced single parent and grandparent, she and her family faced many obstacles, including financial hardship. Since it’s creation in 2000, AWWIN, Inc. has served more than 400 families in the Coastal Empire.

The 8th Annual AWWIN Awards Gala is scheduled for Thursday, September 13, 2007. To purchase tickets or to learn more about AWWIN, Inc. log on to or call 912-659-0241. The office is located at 2203 Abercorn Street in Savannah.

Treadwell and Associates is located at 213-A East Gaston Street in Savannah. To learn more log on at or call (912) 236-1704.

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Green Movement in Savannah —Melaver | Mouchet

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(SAVANNAH) – The green movement in Savannah has its own sales force explaining the benefits of environmentally friendly development and nudging buyers and sellers alike into a green state of mind.

The help comes from an unlikely ally – Melaver | Mouchet, a commercial real estate brokerage firm. Melaver | Mouchet has to balance good business sense with what’s good for the environment as it strives to become a sustainable brokerage company – a new concept with few, if any, examples nationwide. Melaver | Mouchet wants to play a key role in the development process, yet they readily accept that they may not be able to impact all the buyers, sellers, developers and landlords with whom they work.

It’s a balancing act of making financial sense, serving clients’ interests, and moving closer toward the core values of Melaver | Mouchet. Each member of the Brokerage team enjoys being a frontrunner in what many see as the cool new trend of selling green, adding a certain cachet to residential land tracts as well as commercial buildings.

Melaver | Mouchet states that green building and developing is not just a trend – it’s the future of construction and new development. Some federal agencies, including the General Services Administration, the Department of Agriculture and NASA have required Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for all new construction, and many more encourage it. In addition, a growing number of state and lo cal governments, including Washington D.C., are requiring or encouraging green building. LEED certification, the standard for high performance, low water and low energy use buildings, is awarded by the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council.

Without a built-in database of environmentally conscious buyers and sellers, Melaver | Mouchet finds itself selling the value of green ideals to both buyers and sellers who may be either ambivalent or ignorant about sustainable development. Every day, the agents of Melaver | Mouchet speak with potential clients about the value of low impact development and LEED certification.

“We educate our existing clients as well as attract new clients that have a sincere interest in developing projects sustainably,” Rhett Mouchet said. “We want to educate, communicate and connect people in regard to sustainability. We are building a database of companies interested in green acquisition and developme nt, but because of the nature of our business, we cannot rely solely on those types. Service to our existing clients is a priority, and we’re trying to mesh all that into a sustainable brokerage company. We know our challenges, but we’re willing to face them head-on.”

One of the biggest stumbling blocks that developers face is change. Most have developed the same way for several years, have done well and see no reason to do it differently. And, unfortunately, many continue to view “green” as just a trend.

“They know their model works and they don’t want to change it – ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’” Mouchet said. Many developers haven’t looked into low impact development, building green and sustainability. “Nearly every day in our trade publications we’re reading case studies and reviewing data that our clients may not have readily available and through our partnership with Melaver, Inc. we’re hearing about success sto ries all across the country. We want to provide this material to interested parties in an effort to further educate and fascinate our current and prospective clients.”

“Some will say, ‘We’re not tree huggers,’ and I say, ‘Neither am I,’” Mouchet said. “I’m pretty conservative, but I think sustainable development is an excellent business choice and everyone needs to be concerned about our environment and the future.”

Planned neighborhoods that have maintained high property values, like Ardsley Park and downtown Savannah, have smaller lot sizes and shared green space. In neighborhoods where the homes are closer, the people are closer and part of a community.

“Despite what developers assume, people today don’t care as much about having a larger lot,” Mouchet said. They’d rather feel comfortable in their surroundings, know their neighbors, walk the trails or sidewalks and enjoy watching their kids play in the park acro ss the street.

“Some developers are beginning to realize that people will pay a higher price for green development that contains more common areas, open areas and parks,” Mouchet said. “People enjoy it. It’s more of a neighborhood, a community, than a development, and you’re doing your part to help the environment. A lot of people
think it is somebody else’s responsibility to protect and conserve our natural resources. It is everyone’s responsibility.”

Dave Odom, president of Sivica Communities headquartered in Alpharetta, incorpora ted sustainable design principles when he developed Rice Hope. As the principal broker, Rhett Mouchet recognized how the intrinsic benefits of a neighborhood-oriented plan with pocket parks, protected open space, community trails, diverse housing opportunities, and a pedestrian-oriented design would provide added value to the financial commitments made within the project. The Rice Hope builders recently won three first place awards in Savannah’s 2007 Parade of Homes.

In working alongside Odom and Lott + Barber Architects (a local firm strongly committed to sustainable design planning), wetlands were preserved and additional wetlands on the property that had been converted to timberland were restored. “We tried to make provisions for low-impact development where we could,” including natural areas for stormwater retention and buffers to protect the wetlands, Odom said.

Melaver | Mouchet has been instrumental in bringing the message of sustainable development to Savannah, says Denise Grabowski, who was involved with the Rice Hope development in her current job with Lott + Barber Architects.

“Our experience with Melaver | Mouchet demonstrates that they excel at recognizing opportunities, educating their clients and building relationships to promote sustainable design,” she said. “As a planner and designer, I can provide recommendations to my clients, but having the support of Melaver | Mouchet as the broker makes a tremendous difference.” This same principle applies to all kids of commercial and industrial development, explains Mouchet, a member of the Society of Office and Industrial Realtors.

“They have an excellent reputation so people listen,” Grabowski said. “Having the respect of your audience helps you get your message across.” That message of sustainable development is starting to take hold across the country and even in Savannah.

“It certainly is becoming more mainstream,” she said. “Within the past year there's been a tremendous increase in awareness. However, we have a ways to go. It can be difficult to bring about change.”

“It's a matter of awareness along with supply and demand – the more the public demands it, the more it will happen,” Grabowski explained. She especially hopes sustainable design catch es on more with residential development here.

Mouchet agrees that demand from the public is a key part of the green equation. “I think the developers are going to be driven by the consumers,” he said. “It’s going to become more and more economically viable so the developers will do it, and I think the volume of sustainable developments is going to get bigger. It’s getting popular.”

So far, he estimates, the majority of developers are still saying “no” to low impact development.

“Many developers think that ‘low impact’ means lower revenues,” he said. “I think there’s still mystery out there. … a lot of people have misconceptions that it will cost more, take longer and that returns will be less.” And this may well have been true until fairly recently. Costs of “green” products are decreasing as mainstream companies have introduced alternative goods to the marketplace – everything from porous concrete and reflective roof ing materials to sealants, paints and carpets that contain low levels of VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds).

“Sustainable design is showing that it is not only better for the community, but is typically better for the bottom line as well,” he said. “It just makes good business sense.” Another way of presenting “green” is to refer to such properties as high performance buildings, meaning they are not only environmentally friendly but also energy efficient. According to the USGBC, an average LEED project has seen a 30 percent reduction in energy use and a 30 to 50 percent reduction in water use. Even low-impact development projects that aren’t LEED certified have economic benefits: low-impact design can eliminate the need for artificial stormwater conveyance, saving the developer money. Also, people are willing to pay a premium if they are within a quarter mile of green

Mouchet has seen changes in attitudes through the reactions he’s received from colleagues about going to green building conferences.

“Two years ago brokers laughed at me (for going to the green conferences), now they ask what the new trends are,” Mouchet said. “A lot of developers said (low impact development) wouldn’t work in Savannah,” he said, but the new traditional neighborhood communities like Rice Hope are proving popular. “Those developments are catching on. … I think everybody is starting to realize that the environment and energy efficiency is important.”

Mouchet says his concern for “doing the right thing,” even before he heard the term “green,” is based on his plan to stay in Savannah. He doesn’t want to cringe when he’s driving with his kids past one of the projects that he brokered. When you take a community view, he says, it’s easy to realize that low-impact development is the way to go. The brokerage team – Broker-In-Charge Rhett Mouchet, Associate Br oker Lynn Beam, Sales Associates Anthony Wagner, Michael Bone, and Keith Fanelli, and Manager of Commercial Brokerage Services Julie Manley – sees that sustainable development makes Savannah a better place to live. Mouchet believes his Christian faith dictates that he be a good steward and act responsibly in regards to nature and our environment.

“Rhett, since day one, has been a champion of Savannah, a promoter of Savannah,” Odom said. “He is truly a believer and loves that city. With the growth of the sustainable movement, he has been able to see t hat that philosophy protects Savannah. His goal has been to make sure Savannah stays a place to thrive, where people want to be.”

Mouchet makes the analogy of the American with Disabilities Act; commercial office developers who chose to design handicap accessible before it was required by code were ahead of the game when it became a mandate. He thinks green building will becom e increasingly common and, in many municipalities, even required.

“Savannah is in the midst of a growth trend. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to say that Savannah has been involved in a sustainable design since 1733?” Mouchet said. He hopes more people decide to make green choices and take advantage of the opportunities available to them. “It’s the right thing to do.”

Melaver | Mouchet, a leader in the commercial real estate market in Savannah and throughout Southeast Georgia and the Low Country, is a division of Melaver, Inc., a third-ge neration, family-owned business based in Savannah, Georgia and with offices in Atlanta and Birmingham.

Melaver, Inc. recently received the Business of the Year award from Buy Local of Savannah for its local commitment to designing environmentally responsible projects. The company redeveloped one of the first LEED certified buildings in the U.S. that is also on th e National Historic Register and that is also home to the Melaver | Mouchet office. It has also developed the first all-retail LEED shopping center in the country, Abercorn Common, that also includes the first LEED McDonald's worldwide.

For more information, call (912) 238-5416 or visit the websites at:  

(SAVANNAH, GA) Wound Care Clinic – ESU, Inc. Introduces Crystal Height

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(Savannah) – Wound Care Clinic – ESU, Inc. introduces Crystal Height, Nurse Practitioner. Crystal is responsible for assessing patients and their wounds and evaluating treatment options. Each patient is treated on an individual basis by Crystal and the rest of the medical staff who work with them to heal their wounds. Mrs. Height describes herself as a dependable, flexible, team player who learns quickly and adapts to new situations. These skills have helped her easily adapt to the patient driven approach at the Wound Care Clinic – ESU.

Before coming to the Clinic, Crystal worked at the Community Healthcare Center as an Adult Nurse Practitioner. Prior to that, she worked as an Adult Nurse Practitioner at Emcare/Urgent One. Both positions provided Crystal the
opportunity to treat both acute illnesses and stabilize chronic illnesses. Crystal is married with three kids and lives with her family in Savannah.

At the Wound Care Clinic – ESU, Inc., Crystal works with a small staff and her patients know her name. She and the staff treat wounds ranging from traumatic to the common bed sores. The patients who come to them have tried other
treatments without success. Wound Care Clinic – ESU, Inc. uses cutting edge technologies combined with remedies used for hundreds of years.

Wound Care Clinic – ESU, Inc. specializes in healing wounds that will not heal by utilizing electrical stimulation and ultrasound. All appointments require a physician referral and Medicare and Medicaid is accepted. Wound Care
Clinic – ESU, Inc. is an independent facility located at 815 E. 68th Street. Call 912-691-2614.


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(SAVANNAH, BLUFFTON, GA) Celia Dunn of Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty recently participated in the 2nd Annual Sotheby’s International Realty® Global Networking Event, where she networked with other Sotheby’s real estate experts from around the world and learned about the latest innovative marketing practices.

This dynamic, three-day event provided a unique opportunity for all sales associates, managers and owners who are members of the Sotheby’s International Realty family to create valuable networking relationships designed to help build their businesses and drive new leads to their listings.

“The Global Networking Event provides enormous value to our firm,” said Celia Dunn of Cel ia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty. “Having the ability to share ideas and expertise with such an outstanding group of our professional peers highlights the true strength of the Sotheby’s International Realty network. We plan on utilizing many new strategies and concepts presented at this worthwhile event.” The networking event was held in May at The Phoenician, Scottsdale, Ariz..

Internationally acclaimed Irish tenor and physician Ronan Tynan was a keynote speaker. Dunn was inspired by his commitment despite difficulties such as a lower limb disability and amputations of both legs beneath the knee.

“The Annual Global Networking Event represents a wonderful opportunity for outstanding professionals to gather and share the finest collective insight and experience in the industry,” said Michael R. Good, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates, Inc. “Every individual attending this important conference truly is committed to helping us grow the Sotheby’s International Realty network, and we genuinely appreciate their ongoing dedication and enthusiasm.”

Known for its tradition of integrity, Celia Dunn Sotheby's International Realty specializes in fine luxury residential and commercial properties in Savannah and the Low Country of Georgia and South Carolina. Founded in 1981, Celia Dunn Sotheby's International Realty is noted for outstanding service to its clients, thorough knowledge of Savannah and the South Carolina Low Country, and excellent staff, in addition to having one of the region's top property management departments. The owners are natives of Savannah who have more than 60 years' combined experience in real estate. The offices are located at 9, 13, and 17 West Charlton Street on Madison Square in Savannah and 6 Bruin Street in Bluffton, S.C.

For more information, call Celia Dunn Sotheby's In ternational Realty at (912) 234-3323 or visit To contact the Bluffton office, call (843) 836-3900.

As a Sotheby’s International Realty affiliate, the firm also has the unique ability to refer its real estate clientele to the auction house for jewelry, art, unique furniture and collectible appraisal services. All property listings from Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty also are marketed on the global Web site, as well as on the firm’s local Web site,

4 Savannah Charities Chosen for Chef’s Fundraisers “Cooking For Charity”

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(SAVANNAH, GA)   Chef Matt Cohen announced today the 4 charities chosen for the next 4 months for the "Cooking for Charity' fundraising series.  "Our restaurant has been blessed and this is our way of giving back to local Savannah people in need." stated Chef Matt Cohen, 5th generation Savannah native and owner  of The New South Cafe & Catering.    Over 30 nonprofits applied for the Cooking for Charity fundraisers hosted at The New South Cafe.  All profits go directly to each charity.   Previous charities have included: AWWIN, Inc,  Old Savannah City Mission and the Horizons program of Savannah Country Day School.  Here is the Fall Calendar, please mark your calendars. 

Fall 2007 Calendar of Events
July 30    Greenbriar Orphanage — Shrimp & Grits 

Aug 27    Rambam School — Gourmet Kosher (JEA)        

Sept 24   Senior Citizens, Inc. — BBQ

Oct 29    USO — Stuffed Quail

DAY: All events are on MONDAY at 11 AM – 1 PM

WHERE: At the restaurant, 2601 Skidaway Rd, 1 block North of VIctory Dr. (except the Aug 27 event – being held at JEA on Abercorn at Derenne) 

COST: $100 tax deductible ticket per person, Includes Cooking Lesson & VIP Lunch

RSVP: Scott West 912-443-0977

FORMAT: Come into the classroom as Chef/Owner Matt Cohen & Executive Chef Scott Gordon share their experience and talent while cooking for a good cause.  Guests at the event for charity will receive private cooking instruction from top ranking Culinary Institute of America (CIA) grads:  Chef Matt Cohen & Chef Scott Gordon of The New South Cafe. Guests are treated to a full private VIP Lunch, ending with the signature dessert: "DeepFried Cheesecake ".    Unique recipes are taken straight from the chef’s kitchen while proper cooking techniques, & cooking basics are taught. 

ABOUT The New South Cafe & Catering:    " COME, LET US FEED YOU! "
The New South Café & Catering is located at 2601 Skidaway Road in Savannah, 1 block north of Victory Drive.  The restaurant features gourmet versions of classic southern cuisine.  The innovative menu uses  regional Georgia products such as Georgia Wild Shrimp, & Vidalia Onions to create signature dishes.  The restaurant is open Tue-Sat, 11Am – 10PM, for Lunch & Dinner, closed on Sunday and Monday.   Upscale catering services for corporate events, conventions, executive lunches, private parties, weddings, receptions and bar mitzvahs are also available   For more information visit or call 912-233-7558.

For complete PRESS KIT, biographies,  or to schedule Speaking Engagements, interviews with the Chefs or Charity officials, or to apply for  next year's "Cooking for Charity" series, please contact:;   Marjorie Young/ Scott West at 912-443-0977. 

(SAVANNAH, BLUFFTON) Closet Specialist won “Best Overall Booth” at the Southern Home Show This March

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(SAVANNAH, BLUFFTON) Closet Specialist is once again making marks in the local business industry. The company won "Best Overall Booth" at the Southern Home Show this past March. The event is sponsored by the Savannah Homebuilders Association.

The booth, that took weeks to construct, highlighted some of the company's best work when it comes to closet and storage space. Work, most unique to Closet Specialist. Owner, Jeff Klein, says the award is more along the lines of a reward.

"We were so honored to win this one, because there was a lot of stiff competition," he says.

"There were some amazing set ups at the show and I learned a lot just weaving in and out of them all. So, to get this award is like a pat on the back for me and my employees, because we all work extremely hard to make Closet Specialist a success."

The booth was a 20' by 20' island display and was quartered into four separate and distinct displays. These included a deluxe Wild Apple master closet, a Spiced fruitwood combination home office and Murphy wall-bed, a gray laminate garage and workbench, and a standard white wall hung closet system with a small section of antique white pantry display.

Closet Specialist LLC is located at 1204-A Highway 278 in Bluffton. There is also a Savannah showroom at 7701 Waters Ave and a Jacksonville store will be opening in the near future. For more information, call (843) 837-9944 or log onto

(SAVANNAH, GA) Paula Kreissler Traveled to Chicago for National Leadership Council Meeting of ADA

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(SAVANNAH, GA)   Paula Kreissler, the Leadership Chair for the Savannah Chapter of the American Diabetes Association, traveled to Chicago this month to attend the National Leadership Council Meeting for the ADA.  She was one of 16,000 people from all over the world at the “67th Scientific Sessions” sponsored by the ADA.

The three day event began Friday, June 22nd with an opening reception.  There, the more than 200 ADA leadership council members gathered to meet and greet one another.  It was also an opportunity for them to network.  The following day, Kreissler and the others heard from Stewart Perry, the Chair of the board-elect for the National Leadership Council.  They also received updates from the interim ADA CEO and heard from the ADA Secretary and Treasurer.

One of the highlights of the event, Kreissler says, was hearing from Dr. Richard Kahn, the Chief Scientific and Medical Affairs Officer for the ADA.  He talked about the advancements in diabetes research and gave an update on the possible treatments for diabetes.  He also talked of the staggering numbers in the research area.  So far this year, more than $24 million has been raised for research, compared to a total of $40 million last year.

“Those numbers are huge.  Research is so important when it comes to diabetes.  We’re learning more and more about it every day and those funds are crucial to learning more about the disease.” Kreissler says.

In addition to the updates, Kreissler also got some other important information.

“I think the biggest benefit was seeing how other chairs run their organization.  Now, I can take what I’ve learned and make suggestions to Savannah’s Leadership Council of the American Diabetes Association.”

In addition to her duties for the Savannah Chapter of the American Diabetes Association, Kreissler is also the President of Wound Care Clinic – ESU, Inc. in Savannah.  Many of Wound Care’s patients are diabetic.  Kreissler says her jobs of running Wound Care and being the Leadership Chair “just seem to go hand in hand.”

The American Diabetes Association is the nations leading non-profit health organization providing diabetes research, information and advocacy.  Founded in 1940, the ADA conducts programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, reaching hundreds of communities.   The mission of the association is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of the people affected by diabetes.   To learn more, log on to

Wound Care Clinic – ESU, Inc. is located at 815 East 68th Street, Suite 2 in Savannah. A second location is scheduled to open in Pooler this July.  The purpose of the clinic is to heal chronic and acute non-healing wounds utilizing electrical stimulation, ultrasound and standard therapies.   To learn more, call (912) 691-2614 or log on at

SCAD — LEED and Park Place Outreach, Inc.

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(SAVANNAH, GA)  The new building for Park Place Outreach, Inc., formerly The Savannah Runaway Home, is scheduled for completion February, 2008.  Helping in the efforts is the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).  The SCAD students took on the Park Place building as a project for an interior design course.

The $1.7 million building, located at 514 East Henry Street is certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.  LEED is a national standard for developing high performance sustainable buildings and is administered by the U.S. Green Building Council.  The certification means the building will have met the standards set by the USGBC.  It consists of: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere Materials & Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality.

The SCAD students had to do their interior design work according to LEED standards.  Their professor, Sam Cribbs, made sure they used products that were all environmentally friendly.  The woodwork, furniture, fixtures, paint and floors are all LEED certified.  The semester-long project often meant late nights, but the students stayed the course.

The idea to get SCAD involved came from Marolyn Overton, Vice President of the Board of Directors for Park Place.

“We needed their expertise in the interior design area,” says Overton.

“Plus, they went to the youth and asked for their input.  We wanted the building to have a professional feel for the employees, yet fresh and young feel the kids, and they did just that.  We couldn’t have asked for a better group to work with.”

Asking the SCAD students for their help was a move that played a key role in the completion of t he much needed new building.  The current Park Place home is 100+ years old, which is too old and too small to accommodate the organization’s needs.

The new Park Place home will be one of the first not-for-profit LEED buildings in the United States.  Such design and construction maximizes efficiency by conserving resources and using energy-efficient, cost-effective and low-maintenance products. Benefits of LEED certified buildings include reduced operating costs, healthier and therefore more productive occupants, conservation of natural resources and less waste sent to landfills.

J.T. Turner is the contractor and the arcitecht work is done by The Cowart Coleman Group.  Many others, including SCAD, have also do na ted their services to make the building a reality.

Park Place provides emergency shelter and street outreach for adolescents ages 11 through 17 and their families. It is the only agency located within Chatham County that serves youth at no charge who are accepted without a referral to receive help.  With 6000 square feet, the new shelter will accommodate our residents and give us valuable counseling space.  Park Place opened in 1984. There are approximately 15-30 youth residents served each month and up to 200 each year.  For more information on Park Place, call (912) 234-4048.