School Is Out…Summer Is Here!

Activities for Memorial Day weekend

School is out and a long weekend is in store. If you’re staying around there is plenty to keep you entertained.

The Yaarab Shrine Circus is taking place at Jim Miller Park in Marietta. This is the last weekend to see an old-fashioned circus. There is plenty for the whole family to do. Ride tickets are available and admission funds go to the great causes the Shriners support. For more info visit

Also in Marietta there is the Veterans Memorial 5k run on the square at 7:30am and the Marietta Square Military Appreciation Celebration on at 10:30am. This event has the presentation of the Colors, a POW/MIA Ceremony, performances by the Georgia Symphony Orchestra and Flag Retirement.

In Alpharetta there is the 13th Annual Alpharetta Arts Streetfest from 10am to 5pm in Downtown Alpharetta. This event has more than 90 artists, live music and activities for the kids. Of course there will be plenty of food as well.

On Memorial Day try the Chattahoochee Nature Center for a Memorial Day River Canoe trip. Hosted by the Chattahoochee Nature Center, CNC naturalists will take you on a morning paddle along the Chattahoochee River.

In Roswell there is the largest Memorial Day ceremony in Georgia at City Hall. This traditional ceremony will include the Presentation of the Colors, singing of the National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance, Invocation, POW/MIA presentation, Laying of the Wreath, special guest speakers, Benediction, a 21-Gun Salute and playing of Taps. For more info visit




Gold Recognized With Award

WellStar Health System’s physicians are tireless advocates for the health of our children. Because of a focus on saving lives through pediatric immunizations, a WellStar physician is being recognized by the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Sam Gold, M.D. has been named Georgia’s 2017 CDC Childhood Immunization Champion for his work to create immunization policies.

Team members and physicians with pediatric training have focused on saving kids’ lives through immunizations at WellStar Health System. Thanks in large part to WellStar pediatrician Sam Gold, M.D., the health system created immunization policies to screen children for vaccinations at every well visit. As a result of the program’s success, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) named Dr. Gold Georgia’s 2017 CDC Childhood Immunization Champion.

“Children are our future and our focus is to make sure they are happy, healthy and protected from harm,” said Avril Beckford, M.D., chief pediatrics officer of WellStar Health System. “Dr. Gold is an incredible pediatrician and has made it his mission to make sure families know the importance of keeping up with vaccinations as children grow.”

As the 2017 CDC Childhood Immunization Champion for the state of Georgia, Gold has shown action-driven leadership for advocating child immunizations by implementing critical immunization guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“Our Champions’ dedication is crucial to creating community partnerships, working towards policy advancements, finding creative solutions to immunization challenges, counseling parents and educating and raising awareness of the importance of childhood immunization,” said Nancy Messonnier, M.D., the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, in a letter notifying the Health System of the honor.

This isn’t the first time WellStar and Dr. Gold have been recognized for this work. The System was also awarded the Walt Orenstein Champions for Immunization Award for its Standards for Child Adolescent and Adult Immunization Practices award in 2015 by the Georgia Department of Public Health for demonstrating Standards for Child Adolescent and Adult Immunization Practices.

WellStar utilizes all clinical encounters to screen and immunize patients when appropriate and follows immunization guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics to protect America’s children against vaccine-preventable diseases.

Sunset Sips This Weekend

Experience the CNC in a whole new way.

Sunset Sips brings you evening hours at CNC with a side of sunset. Sunset Sips is a laid back, family friendly event and our grounds are open for you to explore. Grab a friend and head over for live local music, cash bar, and feel free to bring a picnic dinner! Whole Foods will also be available for you to purchase finger foods such as two varieties of tea sandwiches, a paleo snack pack, charcuterie plate and delicious desserts just for Sunset Sips.  The program continues 4th Thursday of each month, 6:30-9:30pm, April – September (except July), mark your calendars for the series. Sunset Sips is included with General Admission and FREE to CNC Members.

May 25, 6:30 pm — 9:30 pm
Heidi Pollyea
Heidi Pollyea, an Atlanta, Georgia based singer/songwriter, describes her special brand of music as “funky folk.” She performs on both piano and guitar and is influenced by jazz, gospel, pop, R&B and country.
The Sunset Sips concert series returns in 2017 to treat music lovers to an eclectic collection of local talent. This is a laid back, family friendly series and CNC’s grounds are open for you to explore. Grab a friend and head over for live local music, a cash bar and feel free to bring a picnic dinner! Sunset Sips will happen the 4th Thursday of every month from April to September (except July).


New beautification board calls on community to help improve and preserve the beauty and charm of Roswell’s Historic District

Roswell business owners and citizens have joined forces to create the Historic Roswell Beautification Project (HRBP), an organization dedicated to improving and preserving the beauty and charm of the Historic District through streetscape enhancements. The members of the newly developed group intend to improve civic pride and enhance the overall Historic Roswell experience for citizens and visitors alike.

The initial phase of the HRBP includes protecting and maintaining existing trees and removing and replacing dying trees; improving the appearance of the Heart of Roswell Park by pressure washing and landscaping; and installing up to 25 flowering baskets onto light posts.  More specific details on these first efforts and targeted locations can be found at .

Renee Shirley, a Roswell resident and business owner, was concerned that the beauty of the Historic District faded as necessary basic improvements and reinvestments went overlooked. “I feel that civic pride is measured by observing how citizens take care of and maintain their outside space. Our Historic District streetscape does not measure up.  It is in dire need of a face lift.”

She approached concerned citizens, city officials, and civic groups, such as the Historic Roswell Business Association, to create a coalition of like-minded activists determined to save the downtown’s charm and unique sense-of-place. “Visitors are drawn from all over the state to visit our historic downtown area,” contributes Ryan Pernice, owner of two restaurants, Table & Main and Osteria Mattone, in the heart of Canton Street. “We need to put our city’s ‘best foot forward.’”

The HRBP is working with the City of Roswell and calling on locals to assist in fundraising efforts to reach their goal of $100,000 to support Phase 1 efforts. Donations can be made through Friends of the Roswell Parks in the following ways:
– Online at (click the ‘Donate’ link)
– Mail a check to Friends of Roswell Park, c/o Recreation and Parks Dept., PO Box 1612, Roswell, GA 30077 (write “HRBP” in the check memo line”)
Following the completion of Phase 1, the HRBP will need volunteers to help water and maintain new plantings. Those interested are encouraged to follow the HRBP’s Facebook Page to stay up-to-date on progress and volunteer opportunities.

WellStar Makes $4.6 billion Annual Impact On Economy

Local Health System Facilities Had Over $2.5 Billion Effect

Beyond delivering world-class healthcare close to home WellStar Health System is positively impacting Georgians and their communities from an economic perspective. Annually, the not-for-profit health system generates more than a $4.6 billion economic impact on the economy according to a recent report by the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA).

As many of you know WellStar has become one of the largest and most integrated health systems in the country by bringing six hospitals and their affiliates into the system in April of 2016. One of those was Roswell’s own WellStar North Fulton Hospital, which made a whopping $346 million economic impact to the local economy.

Jon-Paul Croom, president of WellStar North Fulton Hospital.

“WellStar North Fulton is focused on providing patient-centered care,” said Jon-Paul Croom, president of WellStar North Fulton Hospital.  “As a not-for-profit, we are an integral part of the community and are proud to deliver on WellStar’s vision for world-class healthcare.”

Additionally, WellStar Kennestone, Windy Hill and Cobb hospitals had more than a $2.4 billion economic impact. Due to the fact that WellStar is a not-for-profit health system they reinvest revenue into new services, technology, and facilities such as the Vinings Health Park opening later this year. The community is also a vital part of the equation as $7 million has been invested in various local programs and last year WellStar provided $427 million in unreimbursed and charity care to Georgians.

Candice Saunders, president and chief executive officer of WellStar Health System

“At WellStar, our first commitment is to deliver high-quality, cost-effective healthcare services to our patients and consumers,” said Candice Saunders, president and CEO of WellStar Health System. “Beyond that, we strive to be partners in our communities by offering our team an environment to succeed professionally and personally. As an Employer of Choice, we have created a culture of trust and engagement that allows our team members to provide the high quality, patient- and family-centered care our patients expect.”

All this means you are surrounded by the largest health system in the state with 11 hospitals and more than 250 healthcare sites allowing physicians, caregivers and team members to collaborate across WellStar’s facilities to share best practices and improve the patient experience. For more information visit and for additional info on the GHA report visit

Park The Art

Alpharetta Art In The Park

On May 20th creativity hits the park in charming Downtown Alpharetta.  This outdoor artists market features handcrafted work by local artists who create masterpieces right before your eyes.  Come enjoy the pottery, woodwork, metal work, jewelry creations, handmade children’s clothing, photography, watercolor, oil, soaps and lotions, mosaic art and much more. This event is held one Saturday each month May through September. Other events are Jun. 24, Jul. 29, Aug. 26, and Sept. 23. It is held on Corner of Main Street & Milton Avenue in Alpharetta.

Celebrate The Hooch!

River Race Festival

On May 20th paddlers of all ages and skill levels will take to the water on Saturday, May 20, for the 15th Annual Back to the Chattahoochee River Race and Festival.  Organized and presented by Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (CRK) in partnership with the National Park Service, and the City of Roswell, the event is organized to celebrate the Chattahoochee and foster a sense of community around the river that serves 3.5 million Georgians and 70% of metro Atlantans. The race begins at Garrard Landing Park on Holcomb Bridge Road and includes competitive and recreational categories for Kayaks, Canoes and Stand Up Paddle Boards. This 8-mile course includes exciting Class I-II rapids and concludes at Riverside Park, the site of the free family-friendly festival, music and awards presentation. For additional info visit

Meaningful Conversations about Money

Finding Certainty in an Uncertain World

By Robert Fezza and Steve Siders

“…In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
Benjamin Franklin

Franklin’s words ring true, especially now in the current state of rising geopolitical uncertainty: Brexit; rising protectionist sentiment; political elections in the U.S., France, and Germany; missile strikes in Syria; North Korea’s sabre rattling, etc.  There is enough uncertainty in the world to shake even the most confident faith. In fact, a recent survey by the CFA Institute found that two-thirds of investors surveyed think that the current geopolitical events will negatively affect investment returns over the next 3-5 years, and 70% of respondents feel these events will impact market performance.

What history has shown us is that markets react to the “crisis of the moment.”  We don’t know how long these events will last—it could be one to six days or one to six months or longer. What we do know is that reacting to these crises du jour, by trying to change your investment strategy to protect yourself from the market’s fluctuations, more likely than not, will harm you in the long run.

Let’s review what history can teach us [these summaries are from Ben Carlson’s April 2017 article, “How Markets Overcame Past Geopolitical Crises” in BloombergView:
•    From the start of WWI until it ended, 1914-1918, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up more than 43%, 8.7% annualized.
•    Five days after Hitler invaded Poland and WWII began, the Dow rose almost 10% in a single day.
•    It only took one month after the attack on Pearl Harbor for the market to regain its losses of 2.9%.
•    From the start of the Korean War until it ended, 1950-1953, the Dow was up 60%, 16% annualized.
•    When the world was on the brink of nuclear disaster during the two weeks of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the market lost only 1.2% and gained more than 10% for the remainder of the year.
•    The market opened up 4.5% the day after President Kennedy’s assassination and the year 1964 ended up more than 15%.
•    Already in the middle of the tech bubble burst, stocks fell 15% in the two weeks following the attacks on September 11, 2001, but the market regained all its losses within a couple of months.
•    And who could forget the most recent crisis when the Dow futures fell 900 points that fateful Tuesday night in November 2016 only to soar 257 points the following day.
Over the long term, fundamentals still drive the stock market. When seeking certainty in an uncertain world, stay the course—keep steadfast to your goals and your financial plan.
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.

Big Changes In Coming To Alpharetta Hwy.

Roswell City Council Votes In Favor Of Development

If you live near the Houze Road area in Roswell you’ll be interested to know that Fuqua Development will be redeveloping the shopping center at 11060 Alpharetta Highway and Sun Valley Drive where an underused 18-acre shopping center now sits. The development will be a major overhaul and expansion with a new grocery store, shops, restaurants and apartments.

The Roswell City Council gave approval to the plan by a 4 to 2 vote. Ultimately the plan calls for 164,000 square feet of space with 300 apartment units that average about 950 square feet. Pollack Shores Real Estate would be over the apartments with the two entitles having recently collaborated on The Battery Atlanta project at Braves’ SunTrust Park.

This project will also connect to the recently approved Sun Valley Drive Extension. The extension is a new 1/4-mile stretch of road that will run from Highway 9 to Mansell Road.

Weekend Event Highlights

It’s Mom’s Weekend!

Sunday is Mother’s Day but before we get there here are some highlights of activities in events in the area.


The Zac Brown Band
Friday and Saturday @ Verizon Amphitheatre
For tickets click here.

R&B Drummer Lil’ John Roberts & Friends
@ The Velvet Note 4075 Old Milton Pkwy. in Alpharetta
One of the most sought after Jazz and R & B Drummers of his generation, John “Lil’ John” Roberts has maintained his status in the industry as the ultimate heartbeat. A native of Philadelphia, John quickly became noted as a child prodigy, playing along side Christian McBride and Joey Defrancesco at the age of 16. Collectively, the trio was also a part of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, a project created and directed by Wynton Marsalis, composed of 22 of the countries best young jazz musicians.



Mudcat in concert
8:30 @ Matilda’s Music Under the Pines (377 South Main Street) in Alpharetta.
The blues is a universal feeling that transcends languages, social status and the constraints of musical genre. Danny “Mudcat” Dudeck knows that feeling intimately. He travels the globe spreading his version of the blues gospel and regularly works with a number of international blues-preservation organizations.



Mother’s Day Free Open House
Sunday, May 14, 2017, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Roswell’s Southern Trilogy Historic House Museums will be open for free visits this Mother’s Day. Visitors are asked to bring a non-perishable item or canned good, which will be donated to North Fulton Charities. For additional information, please contact each historic house museum directly. For more info visit

Sundays at the River Concert
@ CNC 6:00 pm — 9:30 pm
Sundays at the River Concert featuring Bob BakertEnjoy a night out with families and friends and listen to the smooth jazz sounds of Bob Bakert and his six piece band.  This is the perfect way to wrap-up the weekend with family and friends at an outdoor concert at the Ben Brady Lakeside Pavilion.  Opening act John Cable, being a former member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, you’ll hear Americana, country and folk in his songs.  All Ages.