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Monday, March 28, 2011

Reynolds Plantation: The $45 million question  |

Reynolds Plantation: The $45 million question      April 29th is the day when the 2,000 Reynold's Plantation property owners will vote on whether to buy the six golf courses and all the luxury amenities.  Reynolds Plantation is located a little over an hour from Atlanta near Lake Oconee.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Kitchens Play Hide and Seek

Fifty-nine percent of consumers consider the kitchen the hub of the home. The new trend is to hide high end appliances in fancy cabinetry in the kitchen.   Large and small appliances seem to all have a specific hiding place.   Most families gravitate toward the kitchen whether eating dinner or entertaining.   We are seeing more keeping rooms or comfy places   This interesting article entitled "Kitchens Play Hide and Seek"  from the Wall Street Journal  shows several areas of the country and different styles of kitchens:   The trend in the new luxury kitchens is to have a significant item as a theme in the kitchen area; an antique piece of furniture, a special sink, high-end TV's or beautiful fireplaces. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

He Says Maine, She Says Florida.

Great article in the Wall Street Journal on retirement emphasizing how well you know your spouse.   The Baby Boomers are picking up and moving to different locations.   What will you do when you retire?  Stay in the same house?  Stay in the same town or state?   Travel?  Start a business?  Will your significant other be ready to move with you?

Read this and start talking to your significant other:   He Says Maine, She Says Florida

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Japan Earthquake & Tsnami Relief Fund

Friends of mine sent me this info on the relief fund for the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.   Reposted from the JAS of Georgia  flyer: 

Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Relief Fund

As you are undoubtedly aware, on Friday, March 11, 2011 at Japan Standard Time, an estimated magnitude 9.0 earthquake occurred offshore in the Sanriku region of Miyagi Prefecture in Japan. Waves of tsunami of up to more than 7 meters swept cities and villages of the Tohoku region off the Pacific Ocean, causing devastating human as well as physical damages. 

This is the largest scale earthquake to occur in recorded Japanese history and the tsunami has caused total devastation in the city of Sendai and other areas in the Tohoku region. As of March 13th, the number of those deceased and unaccounted for was more than 10,000. The Japan-America Society of Georgia extends its heartfelt sympathy and deepest condolences to the people of Japan who have been affected by Friday’s earthquake and tsunami. We know your prayers and thoughts are also with the people of Japan at this time of tragedy.

We ask that, in the spirit of peace, joy and charity, you please join us in making a contribution to help support the people in Japan who need our assistance more than ever. No contribution is too small, and we can assure you that 100% of your tax-deductible donation will go directly to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami. Donations can be made on-line at  or if you would like to mail a check, please make checks payable to the JASG and mark “Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Fund” on the memo line.
While JASG activities and programming will proceed as planned, we are currently making plans for specific projects to support relief efforts in Japan and will be making announcements with more details soon.

On behalf of the Society’s Executive Committee and the Board of Directors, we thank you for your contributions and for all of the heartfelt emails, phone calls, and kind messages of condolence. Your words are comforting, and we appreciate very much your support during this difficult time.

The Japan-America Society of Georgia

3121 Maple Drive, Suite 224
Atlanta, GA 30305
Phone: (404) 842-1400
Fax: (404) 842-1415


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Summary: 10 Real Estate Markets to Watch in 2011

The Inman News Special Report has targeted the 10 top real estate markets to watch in 2011:  Bismarck and Fargo, North Dakota; Des Moines, Iowa; Bloomington-Normal, Illinois.; Elmira and Buffalo-Niagara Falls, New York; Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, Maine; and Burlington-South Burlington, Vermont;  Kennewick-Richland-Pasco, Washingotn; and the Washington, D.C., metro area.    As you can see, the Mid West and North East dominated the markets to watch.   For details read the entire article:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Have We Turned the Corner on This Real Estate Market Yet?

Mortgage Bankers Association  announced that the percentage of delinquent mortgage holders  dropped to the lowest level in two years during the final quarter of last year.   Delinquency rate on mortgage loans three or more months past due went from 5.02% at the beginning of 2010 to 3.63% at the end of the fourth quarter of 2010.  That's 28%  decrease over the course of the year.  

If less homeowners are behind in payments, there should be less foreclosures. 

Read the entire Atlanta Journal Constitution article for more info:

ABWA Crabapple Chapter 03/08/11

On March 8th, the Crabapple Chapter of the American Business Women's Association held an informal meeting to  archive old files to the cloud, hand off books to the appropriate individual, create a historical picture record and purge unnecessary files. We talked about the Woman of the Year award, Business Associates night and fundraising.  

If you'd like more information about joining our chapter, please contact Heather at her twitter handle @detailedheather.

Linda Topp & Connie DeSanto

Pam Santoro & Debbie Huckeba
Linda Topp, Debbie Huckeba, Connie DeSanto
Sharon Steidle & Heather Herrig
Sherrin Thomas & Rachel Hillhouse
Sherrin Thomas, Debbie Huckeba & Tina Ojakian (front) Sharon Steidle & Ceillia Dutcher (doorway)
Rachel Hillhouse
Celia Dutcher & Sherrin Thomas
Celia Dutcher, Heather Herrig, & Sharon Steidle
Linda Topp, Sharon Steidle, Sherrin Thomas, Debbie Huckeba, Tina Ojakian

Monday, March 7, 2011

GNFCC Business Expo 03-04-11

Brandon Beach & GNFCC Business Expo Ribbon Cutting

Jan & Bob Kashey

Karen McRaed & Pam Santoro
Pam Santoro & Steve Slaughter

Steve Slaughter of Great Knight Tours & Pam Santoro

Pam Santoro & Judy Harper
Cathy Herbert & Pam Santoro
Korey Jones, Terry Klime & Kathy Herbert
The Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce put on a wonderful Business Expo 2001 on March 4th at the Alpharetta Marriott.   Six North Fulton cities:   Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton, Mountain Park, Roswell and Sandy Springs plus the Progress Partners of North Fulton Atlanta joined together with the GNFCC to produce a spectacular event with lots of exhibitors, sponsors, speakers, and good food.   After parking in one of the designated parking lots, we were shuttled by trolleys from the Great Knight Tours to the Marriott entrance.   Brandon Beach orchestrated the ribbon cutting event for this year’s Business Expo then the real fun began.   We walked around and talked to physicians, bankers, advertisers, restaurants, realtors, golf clubs, physical therapists, chiropractors, web designers, mobile phone companies, cable companies, and colleges to name a few.   Harry Norman Realtors was well represented at this great event:   I volunteered as an ambassador on the trolley plus worked as an entrance greeter with Judy Harper and Cathy Herbert; Jan Kashey, Bob Kashey and Karen McRae could be found at the Harry Norman Realtors Exhibit.    At the end of the day, everyone celebrated at the Business After Hours event.

GNFCC Eggs & Enterprise 03-04-11

Brandon Beach, Andy Macke, & Kendra Plotkin

Craig Dominey & Brandon Beach
Expo Eggs and Enterprise on March 4th was fantastic.  Kendra Plotkin and Brandon Beach both from the Greater North Fulton Chamber were in charge of this great event.  They thanked BB&T representative Stephen Moxley for sponsoring the delicious breakfast.  Brandon then introduced the guest speaker:    Craig Dominey with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Division promotes Georgia as Camera Ready. 
Did you know that North Fulton is a camera ready community?   Fulton County is divided into three sections in this program:   Atlanta, North Fulton, and South Fulton.   Craig’s department was created under Governor Carter in 1972.  Did you know that the first film produced with Georgia as a backdrop was Deliverance?  We’ve had numerous television shows produced in Georgia:  The Dukes of Hazzard,  Matlock, In the Heat of the Night, and the Vampire Diaries.  Here are some of the movies filmed in Georgia:   Driving Miss Daisy, Blind Side, Deliverance, Road Trip, Forrest Gump, Sharky’s Machine, My Cousin Vinny, Smokey and the Bandit II, Remember the Titans, Sweet Home Alabama, Glory, Fried Green Tomatoes, and The Crazies.   Tyler Perry put Atlanta on the map by producing so many shows and movies in the area.  Joyful Noise is being filmed soon with Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah.

The film industry’s economic impact to Georgia is great for the local economy and the film makers.   Film companies get a 20% tax rebate to produce a film in Georgia; however, if they use our Peach logo (Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Division logo) in the early part of a film’s credits, they get another 10% tax rebate.  That’s 30% in tax rebates.   Right now home builders are building sets in abandoned warehouses.  Film students are moving back to Georgia.   Unemployed individuals are working as extras in movies.   Vacant buildings, warehouses, offices have been used as sets.    People tour Georgia to see where their favorite films were made.  In two weeks, we will have 70 counties in Georgia in the Camera Ready Program. 
It was really and entertaining breakfast.

Craig Dominey spoke on Georgia's Camera Ready Program.

Stephen Moxley, BB& T Sponsor

Al Nash, Progress Partners
of North Fulton Atlanta
Andy Macke, GNFCC Board Chairman

Thursday, March 3, 2011

GNFCC Johns Creek Alliance Presentations

Today Ray Risner from DM Insurance Services and Crystal Newton from the Georgia Department of Labor spoke today at the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce Johns Creek Alliance meeting at Johns Creek Emory Hospital.   Ray explained that each state has its own auto insurance policy requirements.  Auto policies need to be done in the specific state the vehicle is registered in.   Crystal Newton detailed the Georgia Works Program that benefits employers by letting unemployed prospects work on a part-time basis to see if they fit a specific position.  The unemployed get a chance to work.  It's a Win/Win situation.   If you want more info on all the workshops, resources, job search techniques, training and education, please check out .

Tomorrow is the GNFCC Business Expo at the Alpharetta Marriott.   See you there.

Pam Santoro