LOCAL SUCCESS STORY TO BE HONORED AS “GOLD MEDALIST FOR LIFE” BY THE YOUTH HOME THAT GAVE HIM A SECOND CHANCE

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Paul Anderson Youth Home in Vidalia, Ga. Celebrates its 60th Anniversary

(WEST CHICAGO, IL/ATLANTA, GA) Nathaniel Thompson of Kennesaw, Ga. never expected to be honored as a “Gold Medalist for Life.” The 33-year-old lives a relatively peaceful life with his wife and children in the West Chicago area now, where he works at Wheaton College as the Wheaton Passage Program Director. His life could have been the exact opposite of what he is experiencing now if not for Paul Anderson Youth Home (PAYH), a Christian residential program and on-campus school for young men between the ages of 16 and 21 struggling with behavioral problems and issues of discipline, anger and depression.

Paul Anderson, who was declared “the strongest man in the world” after the 1956 Melbourne Olympic games, was a gold medal winner and weightlifting legend. To this day, no one has exceeded or even matched his feat of lifting 6,270 lb. in a back lift. Anderson used his fame to promote youth physical fitness and his devotion to Jesus Christ. While touring the country as a goodwill ambassador, he developed a desire to help young people mired in bad behavior and poor choices who were throwing their lives away. Along with his wife Glenda, who still maintains quite a presence at the Home, the Paul Anderson Youth Home was founded in 1961.

PAYH celebrates its 60th anniversary this year with a specific goal in mind. The organization will be reaching out across the country to let parents and advocates know there is a place to find an alternative to jail for troubled young men and boys who need a second chance.

Thompson is one of six distinguished alumni who are being recognized by the youth home as true success stories, living productive and positive lives and named “Gold Medalists for Life.”

In tandem with the 60th anniversary and award, an awareness campaign encompassing print and digital channels will focus on stories like his, targeting prosecutors, law enforcement, legal aid, social services, parent groups, churches and other organizations who could intervene and keep a troubled boy or young man from prison and put them on track to change their lives.

Growing up in Kennesaw, Ga., Thompson fell in with the wrong crowd late in high school. Obsessive video gaming led to a serious drug problem. He was overwhelmed with feelings of hopelessness and despair and constantly arguing with his parents. The arguments turned violent, resulting in a stint in jail. Upon release, he attempted suicide. An aunt who worked at Chick-fil-A, a longtime PAYH sponsor, suggested it to him and his parents.

“I knew I needed help,” Thompson said. “I wasn’t very spiritual, but I had recently felt a powerful experience with Jesus Christ,” he added.

Each young man in PAYH’s care receives counseling, academic assistance to complete their education, job training, and substance abuse therapy, if necessary. Still, he had conflicting feelings about church and religion upon arriving at the Home.

“What meant the most to me was in class and in Bible study, learning about God’s grace. That we are loved despite our faults and mistakes. It made hard work mean more, because God’s grace was constant, even if the work wasn’t as perfect as I’d like it to be,” he added.

That turning point led to a desire for self-improvement in addition to what he was learning at the Home. He began reading self-help books and recalls how sitting at the large dining table with the rest of the young men allowed him to learn the art of conversation, asking meaningful questions, and learning by listening to others. Upon graduating in 2008, he returned home to his parents and mended their relationship.

“It was important to capitalize on all the lessons I had learned. It wasn’t easy, we had some critical conversations, but it was worth it,” he said.

While Thompson credits PAYH for instilling in him a work ethic and an understanding of community and connection, he says spiritual growth is what put his life on an upward trajectory.

The mission of PAYH has remained the same over the years, as has the need for alternatives to prison. “Rather than facing a life of crime, jail time, and poor adjustment, young people need continued support and counseling like the kind that our Home has provided for decades,” said Glenda Anderson. “Our boys who have completed the program are the living example of how this ministry turns lives around and helps make respectful men who are an asset to their communities.”

The success stories span decades, with graduates found all over the country. For more information about Paul Anderson Youth Home or to donate, call (912) 537-7237 or visit www.payh.org.

ABOUT PAUL ANDERSON YOUTH HOME
Founded in 1961 by weightlifting world champion and Olympic gold medalist Paul Anderson and his wife, Glenda, the Paul Anderson Youth Home (PAYH) is a Christian residential program and on-campus school for young men between the ages of 16 and 21 struggling with behavioral problems and issues of discipline, anger and depression. PAYH is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). In addition to counseling and character development, PAYH offers an accelerated learning program enabling residents to graduate with a high school diploma and technical certifications. To date, over 1,400 young men have attended the program. The Home is located at 1603 McIntosh St. in Vidalia, Ga. To learn more about PAYH, call (912) 537-7237 or visit www.payh.org.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@crussomarketing.com
912-856-9075

LOCAL SUCCESS STORY TO BE HONORED AS “GOLD MEDALIST FOR LIFE” BY THE YOUTH HOME THAT GAVE HIM A SECOND CHANCE

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Paul Anderson Youth Home in Vidalia, Ga. Celebrates its 60th Anniversary

(CHICAGO, IL) Nick Ewart of Lowell, Ind., never expected to be honored as a “Gold Medalist for Life.” The 27-year-old electrician and family man lives a relatively peaceful life. It could have been the exact opposite of what he is experiencing now if not for Paul Anderson Youth Home (PAYH), a Christian residential program and on-campus school for young men between the ages of 16 and 21 struggling with behavioral problems and issues of discipline, anger and depression.

Paul Anderson, who was declared “the strongest man in the world” after the 1956 Melbourne Olympic games, was a gold medal winner and weightlifting legend. To this day, no one has exceeded or even matched his feat of lifting 6,270 lb. in a back lift. Anderson used his fame to promote youth physical fitness and his devotion to Jesus Christ. While touring the country as a goodwill ambassador, he developed a desire to help young people mired in bad behavior and poor choices who were throwing their lives away. Along with his wife Glenda, who still maintains quite a presence at the Home, the Paul Anderson Youth Home was founded in 1961.

PAYH celebrates its 60th anniversary this year with a specific goal in mind. The organization will be reaching out across the country to let parents and advocates know there is a place to find an alternative to jail for troubled young men and boys who need a second chance.

Ewart is one of six distinguished alumni who are being recognized by the youth home as true success stories, living productive and positive lives and named “Gold Medalists for Life.”

In tandem with the 60th anniversary and the award, an awareness campaign encompassing print and digital channels will focus on stories like his, targeting prosecutors, law enforcement, legal aid, social services, parent groups, churches and other organizations who could intervene and keep a troubled boy or young man from prison and put them on track to change their lives.

At 18, Ewart’s poor attitude, anger issues and constant clashes with his parents led him to legal trouble. A family friend mentioned Paul Anderson Youth Home and the family decided it was the right place for him.

“I needed help,” Ewart said.

If necessary, each young man in PAYH’s care receives counseling, academic assistance to complete their education, job training, and substance abuse therapy. Adjusting was difficult at first. Given his problems with rebellion and anger, Ewart found following the rules and adhering to the strict discipline of PAYH was very challenging. The message broke through eventually, and he realized the Home was setting him up for success in life.

Ewart embraced the program, ultimately participating in the annual PAYH Bike Ride, a week-long, 500-mile bicycle marathon that raises much-needed support for the Home.

“It’s definitely one of my favorite memories of my two years there. The feeling of accomplishment meant a lot to me,” he added.

After graduation, Ewart spent some time in college but decided trade school was a better fit, and he pursued electrician training. After completion, he served two internships and is currently a lead maintenance technician, performing electrical and plumbing work.

He credits the spiritual lessons he learned at PAYH for strengthening his marriage and his relationship with his wife and son, who recently celebrated his first birthday.

The PAYH mission has remained the same, as has the need for alternatives to prison. “Rather than facing a life of crime, jail time, and poor adjustment, young people need continued support and counseling like the kind that our Home has provided for decades, said Glenda Anderson. “Our boys who have completed the program are the living example of how the ministry turns lives around and helps make respectful men who are an asset to their communities.”

For a troubled youth who might benefit from Paul Anderson Youth Home, Ewart offers some advice.

“Think about all the situations you were in, all the decisions you made, all the trouble you got yourself in, the common denominator is you. You are the one getting yourself in trouble, but you’re also the one who can get you out of it,” Ewart said.

The PAYH success stories span decades, with graduates found all over the country. For more information about Paul Anderson Youth Home or to donate, call (912) 537-7237 or visit www.payh.org.

ABOUT PAUL ANDERSON YOUTH HOME
Founded in 1961 by weightlifting world champion and Olympic gold medalist Paul Anderson and his wife, Glenda, the Paul Anderson Youth Home (PAYH) is a Christian residential program and on-campus school for young men between the ages of 16 and 21 struggling with behavioral problems and issues of discipline, anger and depression. PAYH is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). In addition to counseling and character development, PAYH offers an accelerated learning program enabling residents to graduate with a high school diploma and technical certifications. To date, over 1,400 young men have attended the program. The Home is located at 1603 McIntosh St. in Vidalia, Ga. To learn more about PAYH, call (912) 537-7237 or visit www.payh.org.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@crussomarketing.com
912-856-9075

LOCAL SUCCESS STORY TO BE FEATURED IN AD CAMPAIGN, RETURN FOR CELEBRATION OF YOUTH HOME THAT GAVE HIM A SECOND CHANCE

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Paul Anderson Youth Home in Vidalia, Ga., Welcoming Back Graduates for its 60th Anniversary.

(NASHVILLE, Tenn./HOPKINSVILLE, Ky.) As a teenager, Rhett Rhemann of Clarksville, Tenn., never expected to be honored as a “Gold Medalist for Life.” Today, reflecting on one of the most trying times in his life fuels him to be a better man for his family. Rhemann lives a happy and relatively peaceful life. It could have been the exact opposite of what he is experiencing now if not for Paul Anderson Youth Home (PAYH), a Christian residential program and on-campus school for young men between the ages of 16 and 21 struggling with behavioral problems and issues of discipline, anger and depression.

Paul Anderson, who was declared “the strongest man in the world” after the 1956 Melbourne Olympic games, was a gold medal winner and weightlifting legend. To this day, no one has exceeded or even matched his feat of lifting 6,270 lb. in a back lift. Anderson used his fame to promote youth physical fitness and his devotion to Jesus Christ. While touring the country as a goodwill ambassador, he developed a desire to help young people mired in bad behavior and poor choices which were throwing their lives away. Along with his wife Glenda, who still maintains quite a presence at the Home, the Paul Anderson Youth Home was founded in 1961.

PAYH celebrates its 60th Anniversary this year with a specific goal in mind. The organization will be reaching out across the country to let parents and advocates know there is a place to find an alternative to jail for troubled young men and boys who need a second chance.

Rhemann is one of six distinguished alumni recognized by the youth home as true success stories, living productive and positive lives and named “Gold Medalists for Life.”

In tandem with the 60th Anniversary and the award, an awareness campaign encompassing print and digital channels will focus on stories like his, targeting prosecutors, law enforcement, legal aid, social services, parent groups, churches and other organizations who could intervene and keep a troubled boy or young man from prison and put them on track to change their lives.

“I was kicked out of school in 10th grade and becoming unmanageable. Then, after some run-ins with the police, I ended up at Paul Anderson Youth Home,” Rhemann said. “The men there showed me who I could be and how to love myself.”

Typical of most young men at PAYH, Rhemann went through an adjustment period before his rebellious streak waned. Through Bible lessons, schoolwork and additional chores and responsibilities, Rhemann finally came around. What struck him was the unrelenting efforts of the staff.

“No matter how much of a pain in the butt I was, they still loved me. I learned a lot about how a Christian man should live,” he added.

Upon graduating from Paul Anderson Youth Home, Rhemann had to adjust once again. He made his share of mistakes but eventually landed a lucrative position as an army contractor. Determined to follow the example set for him, including a desire to serve, he joined the fire department. Responding to calls and helping people felt good, but the need to do more resulted in him working toward an EMT license. The work and the training had him going non-stop. He was serving his community but felt another calling of responsibility.

“I had to make a choice,” he says.

Working the hours he was, Rhemann felt he was missing too much of his son’s lives. He changed his job to a logistics position that allowed service, fatherhood, and the opportunity to be a more significant part of his sons’ lives and help them avoid the mistakes he made.

“I wanted to be more like the men who helped me at Paul Anderson Youth Home,” Rhemann explains.

The PAYH mission has remained the same, as has the need for alternatives to prison. “Rather than facing a life of crime, jail time, and poor adjustment, young people need continued support and counseling like the kind that our Home has provided for decades, said Glenda Anderson. “Our boys who have completed the program are the living example of how the ministry turns lives around and helps make respectful men who are an asset to their communities.”

Rhemann can certainly attest to that. He noted that Paul Anderson Youth Home not only helps the individual young man in crisis, but it does wonders for their grateful families, too.

“The boy who comes here comes out a different man,” he added.

The PAYH success stories span decades, with graduates found all over the country. For more information about Paul Anderson Youth Home or donate, call (912) 537-7237 or visit www.payh.org.

ABOUT PAUL ANDERSON YOUTH HOME
Founded in 1961 by weightlifting world champion and Olympic gold medalist Paul Anderson and his wife, Glenda, the Paul Anderson Youth Home (PAYH) is a Christian residential program and on-campus school for young men between the ages of 16 and 21 struggling with behavioral problems and issues of discipline, anger and depression. PAYH is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). In addition to counseling and character development, PAYH offers an accelerated learning program enabling residents to graduate with a high school diploma and technical certifications. To date, over 1,400 young men have attended the program. The Home is located at 1603 McIntosh St. in Vidalia, Ga. To learn more about PAYH, call (912) 537-7237 or visit www.payh.org.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@crussomarketing.com
912-856-9075

LOCAL SUCCESS STORY HONORED AS “GOLD MEDALIST OF LIFE” BY THE YOUTH HOME THAT GAVE HIM A SECOND CHANCE

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Paul Anderson Youth Home in Vidalia, Ga. Celebrates its 60th Anniversary

(SAVANNAH, Ga.) As a teenager, Paris Nelson of Savannah, Ga., never expected to be honored as a “Gold Medalist for Life.” Today, the 27-year old holds an advanced degree, manages a hotel resort, and lives a happy and relatively peaceful life. It could have been the exact opposite of what he is experiencing now if not for Paul Anderson Youth Home (PAYH), a Christian residential program and on-campus school for young men between the ages of 16 and 21 struggling with behavioral problems and issues of discipline, anger and depression.

Paul Anderson, who was declared “the strongest man in the world” after the 1956 Melbourne Olympic games, was a gold medal winner and weightlifting legend. To this day, no one has exceeded or even matched his feat of lifting 6,270 lb. in a back lift. Anderson used his fame to promote youth physical fitness and his devotion to Jesus Christ. While touring the country as a goodwill ambassador, he developed a desire to help young people mired in bad behavior and poor choices which were throwing their lives away. Along with his wife Glenda, who still maintains quite a presence at the Home, the Paul Anderson Youth Home was founded in 1961.

PAYH celebrates its 60th Anniversary this year with a specific goal in mind. The organization will be reaching out across the country to let parents and advocates know there is a place to find an alternative to jail for troubled young men and boys who need a second chance.

Nelson is one of six distinguished alumni recognized by the youth home as true success stories, living productive and positive lives and named “Gold Medalists for Life.”

In tandem with the 60th Anniversary and the award, an awareness campaign encompassing print and digital channels will focus on stories like his, targeting prosecutors, law enforcement, legal aid, social services, parent groups, churches and other organizations who could intervene and keep a troubled boy or young man from prison and put them on track to change their lives.

By the time he was 16, Nelson’s life was out of control. He was involved with drugs and theft and finally landed in jail. Luckily, his parents and lawyer found PAYH, and he was able to avoid prison.

“I needed hope and they were there to help me,” Nelson said.

Like most who are new to the program, he was resistant at first. If necessary, each young man in PAYH’s care receives counseling, academic assistance to complete their education, job training, and substance abuse therapy. Nelson cites the immediate integration with the other young men as a reason he quickly embraced his opportunity. Hearing the stories of those graduating soon and in his position already, he let go of his anger.

“I wasn’t happy there at first, but at that age in that situation, how could I be? It took a short time to figure out they could help me be the person I needed to be,” Nelson explains.

Upon successfully completing the program and graduating from PAYH, Nelson spent time studying France’s hospitality and tourism industry. The lessons in discipline and constant improvement gave him the drive to study, take on multiple internships, and eventually earn a master’s degree in the field. After more time working abroad, Nelson returned to Ga. to manage a property on Tybee Island.

Despite his career success, Nelson believes it’s not his most significant accomplishment since graduating from PAYH.

“Maintaining strong relationships and not hurting people I love and who love me is my greatest achievement. Paul Anderson Youth Home taught me to work every day to be a better person than I was yesterday. That’s their 60-year legacy that I try to live up to,” he said.

The PAYH mission has remained the same, as has the need for alternatives to prison. “Rather than facing a life of crime, jail time, and poor adjustment, young people need continued support and counseling like the kind that our Home has provided for decades, said Glenda Anderson. “Our boys who have completed the program are the living example of how the ministry turns lives around and helps make respectful men who are an asset to their communities.”

For a troubled youth who might benefit from PAYH, Nelson offers some advice.

“Don’t hesitate to get help. Paul Anderson Youth Home will show you who you are, who you want to be, and they give you the tools to become that person,” he said.

The PAYH success stories span decades, with graduates found all over the country. For more information about Paul Anderson Youth Home or to donate, call (912) 537-7237 or visit www.payh.org.

ABOUT PAUL ANDERSON YOUTH HOME
Founded in 1961 by weightlifting world champion and Olympic gold medalist Paul Anderson and his wife, Glenda, the Paul Anderson Youth Home (PAYH) is a Christian residential program and on-campus school for young men between the ages of 16 and 21 struggling with behavioral problems and issues of discipline, anger and depression. PAYH is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). In addition to counseling and character development, PAYH offers an accelerated learning program enabling residents to graduate with a high school diploma and technical certifications. To date, over 1,400 young men have attended the program. The Home -is located at 1603 McIntosh St. in Vidalia, Ga. To learn more about PAYH, call (912) 537-7237 or visit www.payh.org.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@crussomarketing.com
912-856-9075

Roto-Rooter Announces Promotion Of Two Team Members

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Plumbing firm promotes from within, offering two trusted employees higher-level positions with added responsibilities.

(SAVANNAH, Ga.) Roto-Rooter Plumbers of Savannah, the premier provider of plumbing and drain cleaning services in Savannah, Ga., announces the promotion of two team members. Shantina Waldburg has been named Business Manager for the company. Additionally, Tray Galbreath has been promoted to Field Services Manager.

“We are not just a team, we are a family,” said Sherry Daniel, local owner and CEO of Roto-Rooter Plumbers of Savannah. “Yes, we provide great service to our customers, but we also take care of each other, help each other, challenge each other and love each other. We’re so fortunate to have dedicated and talented people like Tina and Tray in leadership positions, and I’m thrilled to be able to recognize their talent and dedication. Their hard work continues to inspire me daily.”

As Business Manager, Waldburg has oversight of a number of departments including leadership, service development, operations, sales and marketing, finance, human resources and administration. She is responsible for acquiring new clients, managing customer service, creating bids and proposals, invoicing, scheduling, new hires, office meetings and creating strategies that improve productivity and morale. She is currently known as the company’s unofficial team support leader — often referred to as the “office mom” — lending an ear and a place to relax to her hardworking colleagues.

In the community, Waldburg has helped donate plumbing upgrades to Park Place Outreach, which supports youth in crisis, and she also participates in the annual radiothon for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She also helps organize the annual Roto-Rooter Royal Flush Casino Night, which raised $8,000 in 2020 to benefit the Coastal Empire Habitat for Humanity, and over $7,500 in 2019 to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Coastal Empire. Waldburg also works with needy seniors in the community, offering care packages and conversation.

As the new Field Services Manager, Tray Galbreath provides official support to technicians and bridges the gap between plumbers in the field and the team in the office. He welcomes the additional leadership and administration responsibilities and was prepared to step up when the decision was made.

“Tray has lifted the Roto-Rooter Plumbers of Savannah customer service response to a new level,” said Daniel. “He is always ready to respond to any emergency whether it be assisting administration, a quality-check on service in the field or filling in to help catch service calls. Tray is truly a capable negotiator who always leads with an aura of quiet authority. His belief in promoting personal growth, which he demonstrates in his own life, is what makes him a great leader to our team.” Galbreath, a native of Clarksville, TN, has lived in Savannah for four years. He comes from a family with unlimited musical talent, is a songwriter and is known for his ability to remain calm in every situation. 

“I’ve enjoyed working here since I started three years ago. It’s a well-run company that has made a real difference in my life,” Galbreath said. “If you want to progress in your career, Roto-Rooter can help you do that. I’m happy to be a part of this great team.”In his spare time, Galbreath serves as a coach to his son’s youth basketball team. 

ABOUT ROTO-ROOTER PLUMBERS OF SAVANNAH
Locally owned and operated for over 45 years, Roto-Rooter Plumbers of Savannah provides full-service plumbing maintenance and repairs and clogged drain cleaning. Roto-Rooter Plumbers of Savannah offers industrial, residential, and commercial plumbing services. Trusted and recommended since 1935, Roto-Rooter is the premier provider of plumbing and drain cleaning services in Savannah, GA. Roto-Rooter Plumbers stand by their estimates and guarantee their work. For more information, please call 912-303-8570 or visit www.rotosavannah.com/.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Cecilia Russo Marketing, LLC
cynthia@crussomarketing.com
912-856-9075

United Way of the Coastal Empire Names Cecilia Russo Turner as 2021 Campaign Chair & Announces Campaign Cabinet

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UNITED WAY OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE NAMES CECILIA RUSSO TURNER AS 2021 CAMPAIGN CHAIR & ANNOUNCES CAMPAIGN CABINET  

(SAVANNAH, GA) United Way of the Coastal Empire announces Cecilia Russo Turner, President and CEO of Cecilia Russo Marketing, as the 2021 Campaign Chair. In this one-year term, Russo Turner will lead the campaign fundraising efforts to reach a multi-million-dollar fundraising goal across four southeast Georgia counties: Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty. The campaign officially kicked off on Thursday, September 9. 

 “I have been involved with United Way for many years through volunteerism, advocacy, and as a donor, well before serving as a Board Member,” said Russo Turner. “I agreed to be the campaign Vice-Chair for 2020 in the winter months of 2019, long before our world changed as we know it. While there were many challenges in 2020, I came away from that campaign further prepared and inspired to take on this role for 2021.” 

United Way of the Coastal Empire is driven by hundreds of passionate community leaders who dedicate a significant amount of time and expertise to our mission, none more so than our courageous and dedicated 2021 Campaign Chair Cecilia Russo Turner,” said Jeff O’Connor, Senior Vice President with First Citizens Bank and Chairman of the United Way of the Coastal Empire Board of Directors.  “Cecilia’s love for this community is reflected in the incredible amount of time and commitment she has put into the campaign to help improve lives throughout our four-county region.” 

As Russo Turner takes the helm of this year’s campaign, she will strive to “cast a wider net” and she invites more people to become involved by increasing overall support and thus more positively impacting our community. 

“We will be focusing on raising awareness and contributions for the United Way Community Fund, which serves as a golden safety net for our four counties,” Russo Turner continued. “United Way is a safety net for our entire community, catching people when they fall and providing a path toward upward mobility. The Community Fund is what allows us to do this critical work.” 

Serving alongside Russo Turner, Cindy Robinett, a Partner of Sterling Seacrest Pritchard, has been named the 2021 Campaign Vice-Chair. 

“I am humbled and honored to be chosen for this important position, and I am so enthusiastic about working with this amazing team to make a real impact in so many people’s lives,” Russo Turner said. “The work of our community coming together is what is going to make the Coastal Empire and the grit we’ve been through become a beautiful pearl.” 

The Resource Development committee members include:

Michael Solomon was named the Ambassadors and Business Champions Team Leader. 

The Tocqueville Society Chairs include:

The Beacon Society Chairs include:

The Local Business & Always United Challenge cabinet members include:

The Service Sector cabinet members include:

The Supply Chain cabinet members include:

The Public Service cabinet members include:

The Professionals cabinet members include:

The Education cabinet members include:

The Effingham County cabinet members include:

The Bryan County cabinet members include:

The Liberty County cabinet member includes:

  • Chris Stacy (Chair)

About United Way of the Coastal Empire
The mission of United Way of the Coastal Empire is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community. United Way is a volunteer-driven organization serving Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty counties that involves hundreds of community leaders, professionals, and other volunteers in every aspect of our business including fundraising, marketing, and funding decisions, to ensure that donors’ donations are truly making a difference. Thanks to the Herschel V. Jenkins Trust Fund and other income, most of the operating expenses of the organization are covered, allowing more donor contributions to go where they’re most needed in service to the community.  For more information, please visit www.uwce.org.

CONTACT
Jaime Dailey-Vergara
Vice President of Marketing
United Way of the Coastal Empire
912.651.7706 (office) | 843.473.9829 (mobile)
Jdailey-vergara@uwce.org

Attorney: Employers are Urged to Proceed Cautiously with Vaccine Mandates

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There are a variety of legal and practical factors that must be addressed when an employer decides to implement a workplace vaccine mandate

by Bryan A. Schivera, Esq.

This is an op-ed by attorney Bryan A. Schivera, a partner in the tax and corporate department of Savannah law firm Oliver Maner. His primary areas of practice are business and tax law.

Bryan A. Schivera, Esq. Oliver Maner, Savannah Georgia, Lawyers, Law Firm
Bryan A. Schivera, Esq. Oliver Maner, Savannah Georgia, Lawyers, Law Firm

In light of the rapid spread of the Delta variant and full FDA approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, many employers are either now implementing or considering a vaccine mandate. Such a mandate takes the form of a requirement that employees become vaccinated or face termination. Corporate giants such as Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Facebook and Google have unveiled such measures. Governing this area is a complex mixture of federal and state law, with densely worded guidance from federal, state, and local health officials. With this in mind, employers planning on implementing a vaccine mandate should know the basics and consult an attorney in the creation of a written policy prior to implementation.

Pursuant to guidance issued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on May 28, 2021, there is no federal law which prevents an employer from requiring employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19. One of the earliest legal tests of such a mandate occurred in Texas, where 117 hospital workers sued to block the hospital’s vaccine mandate. In dismissing the case, Federal Judge Lynn Hughes concluded that rather than being coercive, the mandate was the employer’s attempt to keep its staff and patients safe. Notably, one of the plaintiffs’ arguments was based on the vaccine being “experimental”, as the lawsuit was filed prior to full FDA approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Exceptions to these rules do exist but require an analysis of federal law. While vaccination mandates are legal, they are subject to the reasonable accommodation provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under certain circumstances, these federal laws require an employer to provide reasonable accommodations for employees who, because of a disability (ADA) or a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance (Title VII), do not get vaccinated for COVID-19. Additional analysis must be performed on a case by case basis in evaluating specific accommodation requests. Such analysis involves the cost and hardship on the employer for granting such accommodations as well as workplace safety concerns.

On the state level, Governor Kemp signed an Executive Order on May 25, 2021 which, among other things, provides that no state agency can require proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment by the state, conducting business with the state or enjoying other rights provided by the state. Accordingly, Georgia law does not prevent private employers from mandating vaccines. In fact, only Montana has enacted such a ban on private employers to date.

There has also been confusion regarding an employer’s right to inquire about an employee’s vaccination status. An employer may ask without running afoul of the ADA’s prohibition on disability-related inquiries. However, additional questions as to their motivations or beliefs could be a violation of federal law. Thus, while employers are free to ask employees whether or not they have been vaccinated, they need to be careful about asking more probing questions or storing this information. With regard to HIPAA, the Act is not implicated because it generally does not apply to employers or employment records but only covered entities – health care providers, health plans, health care clearinghouses, and to a lesser extent, their business associates.

In addition to mandates, some private employers offer incentives to encourage employee vaccination. An employer rewarding employees who show proof of vaccination from a third party does not run afoul of federal law. However, if an employer is offering an incentive to employees for receiving a vaccination administered by the employer, additional analysis is required. In this instance, the incentive is only permitted if it is not “so substantial as to be coercive”. This is because a significant incentive could pressure employees to disclose protected medical information.

There are a variety of legal and practical factors that must be addressed when an employer decides to implement a workplace vaccine mandate. While there is a level of uncertainty in the legal landscape surrounding mandates, that is unfortunately unlikely to change any time soon. To avoid running afoul of the law, employers would be wise to consult an attorney to successfully implement its vaccine mandate.

Bryan A. Schivera is a partner in the Tax and Corporate department of Oliver Maner. His primary areas of practice are business and tax law. For more information, contact Bryan at 912-236-3311 or bschivera@olivermaner.com.

This article was published by Savannah Morning News: https://www.savannahnow.com/story/opinion/2021/09/01/many-legal-challenges-employers-considering-mandating-covid-19-vaccine-fda-pfizer-courts-law/5647611001/

Horizons Savannah Receives $10,000 Grant from Truist Foundation

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SAVANNAH, Ga. – Horizons Savannah was awarded a $10,000 grant from Truist Foundation to help continue the outstanding work done through Horizons at Savannah Country Day School.

“Funding from the Truist Foundation enabled us to provide much-needed in-person programming to students this summer,” said Christy Edwards, executive director of Horizons Savannah. “With their support, we were able to staff each of our sites with a full-time nurse to assist with COVID precautions that created a safe environment for our students and faculty so they could focus on teaching, learning and reconnecting with peers after so much virtual learning.” 

Horizons Savannah, an affiliate of Horizons National, provides six weeks of summer enrichment programming and additional year-round educational support to under-resourced families in the Savannah area. Horizons students participate in activities that boost literacy skills and encourage a love of reading. Through hands-on, project-based STEAM programming, students develop problem-solving skills and critical thinking. 

Additionally, more than 1 in 5 fatal drowning victims are younger than 14. In predominantly minority communities, the youth drowning rate is often 2-3 times the national average. Horizons provides every student with swimming lessons, and more importantly, the opportunity to build self-confidence through swimming. 

“At Truist we firmly believe that all people and communities should have an equal opportunity to thrive,” said Jenna Kelly, Truist’s Georgia regional president, on behalf of the Truist Foundation. “Through our partnership with innovative organizations such as Horizons Savannah, the communities we serve have a chance for a better quality of life. We’re proud to support their mission and help grow their impact.”

ABOUT HORIZONS SAVANNAH
Recognized as one of America’s best summer learning programs, Horizons Savannah at Savannah Country Day School, Savannah Christian Preparatory School, Bethesda Academy and St. Andrew’s School serves over 300 under-resourced students each summer. Since 2003, Horizons has been a transformative experience for young people in kindergarten through the 12th grade focused on helping students close the achievement gap through academic support and confidence building. For more information, please contact Horizons Savannah Executive Director Christy Edwards at 912-961-8854 or cedwards@savcds.org. You can also visit our website at http://horizonssavannah.org/, check out our Facebook page.

ABOUT TRUIST FOUNDATION
The Truist Foundation is committed to Truist Financial Corporation’s (NYSE: TFC) purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities. Established in 2020, the foundation makes strategic investments in nonprofit organizations to help ensure the communities it serves have more opportunities for a better quality of life. The Truist Foundation’s grants and activities focus on leadership development, economic mobility, thriving communities and educational equity. Learn more at Truist.com/Purpose/Truist-Foundation

CONTACT
Christy Edwards
Horizons Savannah Executive Director
912-961-8854
cedwards@savcds.org

MEDIA CONTACT
Cecilia Russo Turner
Cecilia Russo Marketing
912-665-0005
crusso@crussomarketing.com

Felder & Associates Expands Team with Three New Hires

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Architecture Company Growing to Meet Increased Demand

Felder & Associates Staff
Members of Felder & Associates, a distinguished and award-winning architecture firm in Savannah.

(SAVANNAH, GA) Felder & Associates, a distinguished and award-winning architecture firm in Savannah, announced the addition of a new team to support the recent upsurge in regional construction projects. Joining the staff are project manager Lauren Prefer, and two architecture interns, Christina Strough and Jacob Woods.

“Due to the expansion and strength of the construction market in our area, we’re essentially adding another whole team, which will increase our production capabilities by about 33%,” explained owner Brian Felder. “We’re very pleased to have three impressive young people join our firm. They bring a unique energy and fresh perspective, and we look forward to their contributions for years to come.”

Lauren Prefer, Felder and Associates, Architecture Firm, Savannah Georgia, Architects
Project Manager Lauren Prefer of Felder and Associates

Prefer arrives at Felder & Associates with more than five years of experience at Hussey Gay Bell with designing public and commercial spaces. Prefer is a 2014 graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Architecture. A native of Bellmore, N.Y., she will be responsible for managing projects from concept through construction.

Prefer’s design ethos is inspired by temples and ancient structures, and the influence meaningful buildings have on society and culture. She holds form and function in equal standing with a commitment to balancing beauty and utility.

“I’m very passionate about the impact buildings have on the world and try to reflect that in my work,” Prefer said.

Christina Strough, Felder and Associates, Architecture Firm, Savannah Georgia, Architectural Intern
Architectural Intern Christina Strough of Felder and Associates

Strough, from Cinnaminson, N.J., earned her B.Arch. in Architecture from Virginia Tech and worked for two years as an intern at Jay Reinert Architect in Haddonfield, N.J. At Felder & Associates, Strough will work on all aspects of architectural design and drafting.

“I enjoy the collaborative workspace and believe it is a key ingredient to great design,” Strough said.

Jacob Woods, Felder and Associates, Architecture Firm, Savannah Georgia, Architectural Intern
Intern Jacob Woods of Felder and Associates

Woods, a 2021 Penn State graduate, earned a B.Arch. in Architecture with a minor in landscape architecture and architectural history. He also served as an intern at FVHD Architects-Planners in Ewing, N.J. A native of Newtown, Pa., Woods will primarily work on design and construction documents using AutoCAD, Revit and other design and modeling software applications.

“I look forward to absorbing all I can learn from my team and engaging with design in new ways,” Woods said.

ABOUT FELDER & ASSOCIATES
Established in 2012, Felder & Associates specializes in historic preservation, commercial architecture, adaptive reuse architecture, corporate interior design, high-end residential design, green building and neo-traditional building. The firm has experienced a 10% yearly growth for the past three consecutive years, and holds memberships with the Historic Savannah Foundation, the American Institutes of Architects and the United States Green Building Council. Recognitions include historic preservation awards from the Historic Savannah Foundation, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s Excellence in Rehabilitation award, the Georgia Association of The American Institute of Architects Design Award in Renovation and a special judges’ award from Hospitality Design magazine. Felder & Associates is located at 2514 Abercorn Street, Suite 120, Savannah, GA 31401. For more information or to contact Felder & Associates, call 912-777-3979, or visit http://www.felderassociates.net.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@crussomarketing.com
912.856.9075

NLaws Produce Announces New Partnership, Formation Of New Venture

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NLaws Produce Announces New Partnership, Formation Of New Venture
Steve Kaplan and Jay Epstein of NLaws Produce with U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers King and Crowther

Company creates NLaws Refrigerated Port Services to help facilitate federally-mandated quality inspections of imported produce for the Port of Savannah.

(SAVANNAH, Ga.) NLaws Produce, Savannah’s leading, family-owned wholesale produce distribution company, announced a new relationship with the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA), the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

In May, an employee of GDA introduced NLaws to representatives of Georgia Fresh Pack (GFP). GFP repacks fruit for The Wonderful Company and knew of the need for a refrigerated container freight station. Meetings were then started with GPA and CBP.

As a result of this relationship, NLaws created a new venture, NLaws Refrigerated Port Services. Sharing space in the company’s current 50,000 square-foot refrigerated warehouse near the Port of Savannah, the new enterprise is a CBP authorized licensed container freight station.

Officer Crowther Examines Product at the New Refrigerated Facility
Officer Crowther Examines Product at the New Refrigerated Facility

The refrigerated facility allows CBP to perform required produce inspections without breaking the 34-degree cold chain, which otherwise would negatively affect the produce because it raises the storage temperature.

“We’re pleased to expand our business while contributing to the safety of produce shipped into the United States through our Savannah port,” said Steve Kaplan, who co-founded the business in 2003 with his business partner and brother-in-law Jay Epstein. “It’s really an extension of what we already do. We are thrilled that the Georgia Ports Authority supported us for this venture.”

NLaws was the ideal company to handle the new service with its expertise in refrigerated produce and other perishable goods warehousing and distribution. All of the CBP inspections are performed in a bonded warehouse space, which is critical to ensuring proper inspections.

Chris Logan, Senior Director Trade Development, BCO Sales of Georgia Ports Authority, said, “This is another positive development that offers both perishable and temperature-control shippers another site for CBP/AG inspections that maintains the cold chain during the inspections. The location is also ideal in that it is in close proximity to both Garden City and Ocean Terminals. We look forward to their success as it will promote continued growth in perishable imports via the Port of Savannah.”

The first company to utilize the new service will be The Wonderful Company, which owns several popular consumer brands, including Wonderful Halos, Wonderful Pistachios, POM Wonderful and more. NLaws expects to receive 17 containers from Los Angeles-based Wonderful within the next two weeks.

Initially, it will be citrus coming through the facility, starting with mandarin oranges from Peru. It will then shift to blueberries and avocados.

ABOUT NLAWS PRODUCE
NLaws Produce formed in 2003 when brothers-in-law Jay Epstein and Steve Kaplan recognized a need in Savannah: a wholesale produce distributor offering outstanding customer service. The pair spent much of their career in the produce industry and wanted to form a company that focused on keeping customers happy. That effort on helping the customer not only includes ensuring customers get the products they need in a timely manner, but also employing chefs to better ensure their needs are being met. After starting with one refrigerated truck and a small walk-in cooler, the company now runs a fleet of a dozen refrigerated custom delivery vehicles from a 50,000 square-foot refrigerated warehouse and over 40 employees.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@crussomarketing.com
912.856.9075