Atlanta Interfaith Prayer Speaker Announced


The Rotary Club of North Fulton is pleased to welcome Sandy Springs Chief of Police Kenneth DeSimone as the keynote speaker at its Fifteenth Annual North Atlanta Interfaith Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 7:30 a.m. at The Metropolitan Club in Alpharetta, Georgia.  Chief Kenneth DeSimone currently serves as Chief of the Sandy Springs Police Department, a position that he has held since 2013.  Chief DeSimone previously served as Deputy Chief of the Sandy Springs Police Department.

A 32 year veteran of the United States Marine Corp, having retired at the rank of Colonel, Chief DeSimone is a veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.  He has served as the Multi-National Forces-West coordinator for the Ministry of Interior Department of Border Enforcement, Iraqi Border Police, in the Anbar and Najaf Provinces, as Officer in Charge of the Second Marine Division Provincial Police Advisor Team, and advisor to the Helmand Province Afghanistan Chief of Police.

The North Atlanta Interfaith Prayer Breakfast is an event that involves several different faiths and is held on the National Day of Prayer, the first Thursday in May.  The purpose of the prayer breakfast is to provide a forum to celebrate and honor America’s National Day of Prayer.  Past keynote speakers have included Ambassador Andrew Young, Millard Fuller, Mark Richt, Bill Curry, Dr. Betty Siegel, Col. Michael Steele and Alana Shephard.  The Rotary Club of North Fulton welcomes members of the community to attend this event.

With more than 1.2 million members in more than 33,000 clubs worldwide, Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace and eradicate polio under the motto of “Service Above Self.”

The Rotary Club of North Fulton meets Tuesdays at 12:15 p.m. at The Diner at North Point.  For more information on how to purchase tickets or table sponsorships to the breakfast, please visit

Roswell Arts Fund Announces “Bucket Brigade”

Sculpture by Peter Reiquam Installed at Fire Station No. 4, Old Alabama Road

Opening Ceremonies and Ribbon Cutting April  27, 2017, 8:15 PM

The Roswell Arts Fund recently announced the installation of “Bucket Brigade,” a sculpture by Peter Reiquam, which will reside at Fire Station No. 4, on Old Alabama Road. Opening ceremonies and ribbon cutting will be on April 27, 2017, 8:15 PM, in the evening to allow “Bucket Brigade” to illuminate the event.

The new sculpture will welcome staff and visitors with a work of art that salutes and affirms the rich history of firefighters. The sculpture is based on the familiar, old-time method of fighting fires with a line of people passing water-filled buckets, one hand to the next.  “Bucket Brigade” illustrates this same tradition by using a series of buckets as individual frames in a sort of stop-motion animation, like pages of a flipbook.  A simulated splash molded from thermoplastic material will appear to spill from the first bucket in the line and a large volume of polymer water, illuminated by LED lights, will appear to be thrown from the largest bucket at the end of the line.

“Bucket Brigade” embodies a milestone for the City of Roswell. It was the outcome of the first official Public Art process in our city.  The Art Selection Panel, for the project, was comprised of  key stakeholders in Roswell, including Deputy Fire Chief Tony Papoutsis.  The deputy chief provided a voice for the firefighting professionals, who will actually “live” with the selected work of art, eloquently sharing his impressions of “Bucket Brigade” and what it would mean to him and his colleagues.

As summed up by the sculpture’s creator, Peter Reiquam, “Bucket Brigade describes, on a grand scale, the act of passing a bucket of water, hand to hand, neighbor to neighbor, and throwing it onto a raging fire.”  The sculpture represents an iconic symbol of how people once worked together, literally hand-and-hand, to resolve the sometimes dangerous challenges that confronted their community.  As such, the Art Selection Panel recommended “Bucket Brigade” as a meaningful contribution to the people of Roswell and the firefighters, who continue to keep that tradition alive.

Many of the people, who participated in the selection and installation of “Bucket Brigade,” were moved by the experience.  Said Anthony Turpin, a principal at Pieper, O’Brien & Herr Architects, in Alpharetta, “POH Architects is very honored to be involved on the City of Roswell’s inaugural project to integrate public art into a major, publicly-funded, building project. It has truly been a wonderfully collaborative process working with the City, Fire Department, Turner Construction and the artist, Peter Reiquam, to site this work of art in the most appropriate place. I, personally, cannot wait to see how the visiting kids react.”

Reflecting on her participation with the Art Selection Panel, Rochelle Mucha said, “It was a humbling experience.  The selection of “Bucket Brigade” is exactly what Public Art should do – tell a story; provoke learning and curiosity; brand a place or site; and serve as a source of pride for our residents.”

The Roswell Arts Fund is a local non-profit organization and the designated arts agency for the City of Roswell. The Roswell Arts Fund works with business and civic leaders to strengthen strategic investments in the arts. One mandate is to bring more public art to Roswell. Regardless of its type, public art tells a story, captures a human and social narrative to be shared with all and leaves each person to experience that narrative subjectively. Public Art, by definition, creates a museum without walls, and without tickets.

“Bucket Brigade” reminds us of the compelling need for shared missions and teamwork and collaboration. The Roswell Arts Fund encourages everyone to join them in wishing the occupants of Fire Station No. 4 congratulations and best of luck in their new home.

For more information about “Bucket Brigade” or the Roswell Arts Fund, please write to, or visit  Or connect with the Roswell Arts Fund on social media:


Atlanta Authors Presents…

Bret Witter May 20 at Roswell Library

New York Times best-selling author Bret Witter, who co-authored two #1 bestsellers, Monuments Men (the basis for the movie starring George Clooney) and Dewey: The Small Town Library Cat, will speak at the Roswell Library on Saturday, May 20 at 2 p.m as part of the Atlanta Authors series.

As a co-author, Witter works with people who have inspiring true stories and vast knowledge to bring their experience to life in print. His latest book, Pure Heart:  A Spirited Tale of Grace, Grit and Whiskey, for example, is the story of a woman who built traditional mountain moonshine into a unique and thriving business. He wrote the emotionally charged memoir with Troylyn Ball, who struggled to save her family by creating a new life and business in Asheville, North Carolina.

The Roswell Library is located at 115 Norcross Street. There is no charge for this event, but you must register to attend at, search word Atlanta Authors.  To be notified about this and future events, follow Atlanta Authors on Facebook, searchword Roswell Reads.

The Friends of the Roswell Library and the Roswell Library/Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System sponsor Atlanta Authors. The series gives library patrons a sample of local writing and gives local authors the opportunity to share their work.

Drive On Jones Road in Roswell?

Roswell to Host Public Meeting about Improvements

The City of Roswell will host a Public Information Open House to discuss the Jones Road Complete Street project on Thursday, April 27, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., in the Bill Johnson Community Activity Building at Roswell Area Park, 10495 Woodstock Road, Roswell.

All members of the public are invited to attend.

Residents along Jones Road, from Bowen Road to Woodstock Road, have expressed concerns about speeding issues and traffic volume along this corridor. The City of Roswell’s Department of Transportation (RDOT) has developed a concept design for a “complete street,” which will maintain traffic flow while also accommodating the safety needs of all users, including pedestrians and cyclists.

Similar to the City of Roswell’s complete street project on Eves Road, the Jones Road project incorporates four-foot bike lanes eastbound and westbound, sidewalks on one side of the street, and a multi-use trail on the other side. The multi-use trail is part of the Roswell Loop, connecting Leita Thompson Park to Roswell Area Park.

The concept will also show improvements to reduce driver speeds, improve sight distance access on side streets and driveways, and improve pedestrian and bicycle safety. In addition, the concept will also address requirements of Fire Station #3, which is located at the corner of Jones Road and Lake Charles Drive.

For more information, contact Darrell DeJean, Senior Transportation Engineer, at or 770-594-6274.

All Things Lavender

Barrington Hall Hosts 7th Annual  Festival

The 7th annual Lavender Festival will return to the historic grounds of Barrington Hall on Saturday, June 10 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Inspired by Evelyn Simpson, a descendant of Barrington, this celebration of all things lavender will feature the many uses associated with this ancient plant. This free event will allow festival-goers to experience classes and demonstrations, lavender food samples, arts and crafts, antiques, food vendors, children’s activities, and more:

•    Children’s activities – crafts & historic games
•    Lavender inspired crafts – create lavender wands, lavender bath salts, and watch demonstrations on cultivating lavender.
•    Enchanted Fairy Hollow – participants will create whimsical habitats with natural materials from the property.
•    Sample and purchase lavender infused foods and beverages from vendors.
•    The Zen Zone will be devoted to the healing properties of lavender, featuring crystal bowl therapy, reflexology and aromatherapy.
•    Massage sessions, guided meditation and outdoor yoga classes.
•    Live folk and independent music from local musicians Davin McCoy and Battlefield Collective.

Barrington Hall is located at 535 Barrington Drive. Parking is available at Roswell Presbyterian Church, with a trolley providing ongoing transportation between the parking lot and festival entrance. No festival parking is available at Barrington Hall. A small participation fee may be required for some demonstrations.
For additional information please visit The Roswell Lavender Festival Facebook page or

WellStar North Fulton Hospital Welcomes New President

Jon-Paul Croom Named To Post

WellStar recently named Jon-Paul Croom president of WellStar North Fulton Hospital. In his new role, Croom will oversee day-to-day operations at the hospital and work closely with the WellStar North Fulton team to grow services at the hospital and bring world-class healthcare to the North Fulton community.

“North Fulton is a diverse and thriving community,” said Carrie Owen Plietz, FACHE, executive vice president and chief operation officer of WellStar’s Hospital Division. “It is important that we continue to grow access to healthcare in the community, so North Fulton residents can stay close to home to receive their medical care. We are excited to welcome Jon-Paul Croom to WellStar North Fulton Hospital. He is the right person to take care of our patients and lead this hospital into the future.”

Croom (pictured) joins the hospital as it celebrates one year as part of WellStar Health System, the largest health system in Georgia. Upon joining WellStar, the hospital became a not-for-profit and has made improvements to better serve patients. Investments in the hospital include new physicians and procedures, new cutting-edge diagnostic imaging and renovation and expansion projects.

“I am excited to join the North Fulton community,” said Jon-Paul Croom. “WellStar North Fulton Hospital has done great work to care for our patients. The hospital has made great progress over the past year as part of WellStar. I look forward to continuing to improve the health of our patients and their community.”

Croom previously served as CEO for the 429-bed Central Mississippi Medical Center (CMMC) in Jackson, Miss. At CMMC, Croom was regarded as a team builder, using daily team huddles focused on delivering care that exceeded patient expectations while working to improve access to needed services. Croom opened the only burn center in Mississippi and increased the availability of inpatient psychiatric services at the facility.

Croom was also CEO for Merit Health Rankin in Brandon, Miss., chief operating officer for Clearview Regional Medical Center in Monroe, Ga., and chief operating officer for Roxborough Memorial Hospital in Philadelphia. Additionally, he served on the board of the Mississippi chapter of March of Dimes.

Croom received his bachelor’s degree from Mercer University, in Macon, Ga. and a master’s degree in both business administration and health administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  Croom has family in Roswell and will live in the city with his wife and three children.

Very Tasty

Taste Of Marietta is April 30

The 2017 Taste of Marietta takes place on Sunday Apr. 30, from 11am to 7pm. The annual event takes place in the historic Marietta Square featuring restaurants and caterers showcasing their best food. Over 75 restaurants highlighted by local favorites like; Seed Kitchen & Bar, Taqueria Tsunami, WR Social House and The Butcher The Baker just to name a few. Tastes range in price from just $1 to $5. In addition, there are five live music stages and a sunset concert on the main stage in Glover Park. The event also features games for the kids in the Kid’s Alley, a sports corner, more than 10 food trucks, and a cooking stage with celebrity chefs’ cooking demonstrations. The Taste of Marietta takes place rain or shine, and admission is free.

Cookin’ With Gas

Alpharetta Food Truck Alley begins April 13

It’s that time of year again… the food trucks will be out in full force every Thursday beginning Apr. 13 at Alpharetta’s Food Truck Alley. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Old Roswell Street through the summer. Enjoy a variety of 6-8 rotating food trucks and music each week. Stroll the streets, eat delicious food, listen to some great music and kick off the weekend a little early! Please note there will be no Food Truck Alley on May 4, due to Taste of Alpharetta.

Meaningful Conversations about Money

It’s not you; It’s Me… Signed, Big Brokerage

By Robert Fezza and Steve Siders

Dear Investor,
Your financial adviser can no longer provide you with investment guidance…
We will be moving your account to a self-directed platform…
We can no longer hold the products we recommended to you in your IRA…
It’s not you, it’s me.
Big Brokerage

Does the passage above look familiar? You may have read the news headlines or received a “Dear John” letter from your financial institution notifying you of changes to their services and your accounts. We’ve had clients ask us why big brokerage is just now realizing putting their clients’ interests first is best?!

Our answer: because the government said so.

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) so-called “Fiduciary Rule” is forcing most brokerage firms to change the way they deliver advice, along with the types of investments they recommend in retirement accounts and IRAs. Our firm, however, is able to stay the course, because we have operated under this higher standard the past 17 years, as our partners are both Certified Financial Planner professionals (CFP®).

The new DOL rule, as it is written, requires financial advisers, brokers, and insurance agents, who provide retirement advice, to act as a fiduciary for their clients. Being a fiduciary demands that financial professionals put the interests of their clients first and disclose any potential conflicts of interest. This sounds like the right way to do business, right? Of course!

Although the rule’s scheduled implementation is Apr. 10, the Trump administration asked the DOL to delay the implementation by 60 days to allow time to reevaluate some of the more controversial parts of the rule. This has led to a variety of headlines like “In Your Best Interests? Maybe, Maybe Not” (AJC Mar. 8, 2017) and “How to Protect Your Money Under Trump’s Financial Regulation Change” (AJC Feb. 7, 2017).

Even with the delay, many of the firms are proceeding to implement new internal procedures to change the way they do business, and you may be one of those clients who, all of a sudden, receives a letter or phone call from your adviser suggesting changes to your investments. The question you should ask your adviser is—why did you wait until the government forced a change to put my interests first? Shouldn’t you have been doing that all along?

Our question for you is this—isn’t it in your best interest to get a second opinion?

At Odyssey, we treat our clients as people in pursuit of their goals, not as portfolios with fees. It has been and will continue to be our intent to always put our clients’ interests first. It really is that simple.
Life’s a journey—navigate it wisely!

Robert Fezza and Steve Siders.

Robert Fezza, CFP® and Steve Siders, CFP® own Odyssey Personal Financial Advisors, 500 Sun Valley Drive, Suite A-6, Roswell, GA. Their firm specializes in working with people who are serious about making progress towards their financial goals. Odyssey manages portfolios greater than $250,000. 770-992-4444, Securities offered through Cetera Financial Specialists LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.­­­­­­

Alive in Roswell

Street Festival Returns April 20

Roswell’s much-loved monthly street festival, Alive in Roswell, returns to energize downtown Roswell on Thursday, April 20. Held every third Thursday of each month from April through October, the festival attracts thousands of people to downtown Historic Roswell to experience what’s become one of the City’s premier events. This year, Alive in Roswell is excited to announce Gate City Brewing Company at its presenting sponsor.

Gate City Brewing’s Alive in Roswell is a free, family-friendly festival held concurrently on Canton Street, at Historic Roswell Town Square, and at Roswell City Hall’s Faces of War Memorial. The festival features live bands, food trucks, hundreds of interactive vendors, and kids’ games and entertainment—and it enjoys participation from the surrounding boutiques, small businesses, and restaurants.

This year for the first time, an interactive zone will be hosted by several of Roswell’s fitness, sports, and other physical activity providers. The City’s Recreation, Parks, Historic, and Cultural Affairs Department will also offer a different program each month, and festival-goers will be invited to participate in activities and demonstrations.

This is also the first year that the festival has had a presenting sponsor to enhance this successful event.

“Gate City—whose brewhouse, taproom, and event space are always ‘Alive in Roswell’—is a perfect fit,” said Tom LaDow, executive director of Atlanta Plays It Forward, a not-for-profit organization that hosts the festival in conjunction with the City of Roswell.

To learn more about Gate City Brewing’s Alive in Roswell visit To learn more about presenting sponsor Gate City Brewing Company, visit