digital sm630 East Main Street
Canton, GA 30114
Phone: 770-213-7095
Fax: 770-213-7106

 icon-fb.png Instagram Twitter

CAIRE, Inc. Gains New Owner

CAIRE, Inc., a leading global manufacturer of oxygen supply equipment, is now officially a wholly-owned subsidiary of NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD. News of the acquisition followed the previous announcement from Chart Industries, Inc. of the planned divesture of its oxygen-related products business from its BioMedical division to the comprehensive ceramics processing manufacturer for $133.5 million.

“For more than 80 years, NGK SPARK PLUG has shared its innovation and commitment to quality around the globe as a leader in the spark plug market. Over the last 15 years, NGK SPARK PLUG has been utilizing its unique sensing and ceramic technologies to develop leading solutions for the health care market. Their sense of vision and planning to meet the health care needs of the future makes the acquisition of CAIRE a natural fit. CAIRE brings a legacy of 50 years in developing oxygen delivery systems, and our goal is to be the manufacturer of choice for the providers and people everywhere who depend on us,” said Earl Lawson, president of CAIRE, Inc.

In addition to the manufacturing headquarters in Ball Ground, CAIRE’s global locations include Anjo, Japan; Buffalo, NY; Chengdu, China; Padova, Italy; Wokingham, U.K.; and Wuppertal, Germany.

For more information about CAIRE, Inc., please call 1-800-482-2473, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Chamber Announces Cherokee Challenge Winners

The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce recently held their 4th Annual Cherokee Challenge. Fifteen two-person teams participated in this Amazing Race-style event that involved teamwork, physical skill, mental toughness, networking, and fun! “The teams solved clues in order to travel to various destinations in the county where they participated in a variety of events that required both mental and physical aptitude. I had the opportunity to volunteer at one of the destinations where it was evident that the competitive spirit was alive and well,” said Chamber Board Chair Julianne Rivera.

Local Medical Professional Makes Georgia Trend’s Top 40 Under 40 List

For 22 years, Georgia Trend has celebrated the state’s rising stars under the age of forty. This year’s group of inspiring young leaders represents government, small and large businesses, nonprofits, education, healthcare, banking, and professional sports. They were nominated by readers throughout the state who know them well. From more than 300 nominations, the Georgia Trend staff made the final selections, and Cherokee County’s Jennifer Puckett made the list.

Jennifer Puckett, 38, is the owner of Therabeat Inc. and co-owner of In Harmony Pediatric Therapy in Canton. As owner of music therapy clinic Therabeat Inc., Puckett knows how transformative music therapy can be. She’s seen it in her own family through a grandmother with Alzheimer’s, and she sees it in the faces of her clients every day.

“When you have a baby that has special needs, your whole world changes,” she says. “[New moms are] overwhelmed. They don’t know what to expect. They’ve only heard what their child can’t do. In music therapy, we try to show them everything they can do.”

Puckett also co-owns In Harmony Pediatric Therapy, a clinic for children with developmental delays, and is serving her second term on the Georgia Music Therapy Advisory Committee.

Chamber Announces 2018 Leadership Cherokee Graduates

Leadership Cherokee, a program of the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce, graduated its 30th Anniversary Class during a recent ceremony. With the completion of this year’s class, the alumni count now totals over 600 graduates.  

Members of the Leadership Cherokee Class of 2018 selected two of their peers to receive special recognition. The Cristal Stancil Leadership Award honoree was Viktoriya Dubovis with Chart, Inc. The Bob Frongillo Magic Spark Plug Award was presented to Kristi Estes with In Harmony Pediatric Therapy. Outgoing 2018 Leadership Cherokee Chair, Jennifer Stanley with the Northside Hospital Cherokee, was commended for her leadership by incoming chair, Neil Blackman with Corblu Ecology Group.

Over the course of the nine-month period, Leadership Cherokee exposed the group of existing and emerging leaders to a broad range of sessions that focused on topics such as economic development, infrastructure, government, justice, arts, education, recreation, tourism, public safety, healthcare, and social/human services.

LGE Community Credit Union Gives Back

LGE Community Credit Union recently presented a total of $170,000 to fourteen local, nonprofit organizations through the LGE Community Outreach Foundation. The fourteen organizations that received donations were Warehouse of Hope, Safepath Children’s Advocacy Center, City of Refuge, Next Step Ministries, McKenna Farms, Racheal’s Rest, CASA of Paulding County, Calvary Children’s Home, The Drake House, Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta - Cobb County, Shepherd Center, MUST Ministries, Angels Among Us Pet Rescue, and Mostly Mutts.

Each year, LGE employees nominate and select the organizations that will be supported. The LGE Foundation then organizes and conducts fundraisers throughout the year to raise money to contribute to those nonprofit organizations. Every dollar raised by the LGE Foundation is matched by LGE Community Credit Union. Not only is there a monetary contribution, but LGE staff members volunteer over 2600 hours in the community each year.

R & D Mechanical Reaches Goal for Haiti Shoebox Drive

2016 was R & D Mechanical’s first year doing the Haiti Shoebox Drive as a company and involving the community. They packed over 100 shoeboxes, and their goal for 2017 was 1000 shoeboxes, which seemed impossible. However, with help from community partners, they were able to reach that goal. They reached out to their partners early in the year to start collecting items for the shoeboxes, and they were completely overwhelmed by the response they received. For their shoebox packing party, they had 72 volunteers to help get the 1000 shoeboxes packed.

Interested in contributing to the next Shoebox Drive event? Call R & D Mechanical at 770-917-1795 to learn more.

WellStar Charity Care

WellStar Health System, the largest not-for-profit health system in Georgia, provided more than $648 million in charity and unreimbursed care as well as community programs during the 2017 fiscal year.

As a community-based health system, WellStar’s physicians, nurses, advanced practice professionals, and team members are committed to helping patients and communities live healthier lives. Currently, ten percent of WellStar’s patients do not have insurance. As part of its mission, WellStar cares for these patients, regardless of their ability to pay.

Through eleven hospitals and 250 medical office locations, WellStar provided more than $250 million in charity care and more than $117 million in care for those who were unable to pay for services but did not apply for charity care. Additionally, community and outreach programs are important tools to help patients and families meet their health goals and understand their options, and WellStar funded $10 million in community programs during fiscal year 2017.

The amount of charity and unreimbursed care dramatically increased in 2017 due to WellStar’s recent expansion. In 2016, WellStar grew to an 11-hopsital system when WellStar Atlanta Medical Center, WellStar Atlanta Medical Center South, WellStar North Fulton Hospital, WellStar Spalding Regional Hospital, WellStar Sylvan Grove Hospital and WellStar West Georgia Medical Center joined the health system.

In Harmony Pediatric Therapy to Open a New Facility

In Harmony Pediatric Therapy is a multi-disciplinary, pediatric, outpatient clinic that has proudly served children with special needs and assisted families throughout Cherokee, Cobb, Pickens, and north Fulton counties since opening its doors in 2008. Their experienced pediatric therapy team offers occupational, physical, speech-language, and music therapies.

In January 2018, In Harmony Pediatric Therapy is moving from their current location in Hickory Flat to a larger, completely remodeled, 11,000-square-foot facility on Highway 140 on the Woodstock/Milton/Canton border. Their new address will be 9880 Hickory Flat Highway in Woodstock. Visit for more information about their new facility, their services, or their hours of operation.

Cherokee Breast Care Opens Practice in Holly Springs

A highly-trained oncology breast surgeon has opened her practice in Cherokee County. Dr. Karen Buhariwalla, a fellowship-trained breast surgeon who specializes in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of breast cancer and all breast-related disorders, opened her practice at 684 Sixes Road, Suite 230 in Holly Springs. She has medical privileges at the new Northside Hospital Cherokee. For more information, visit

Welcome Dr. Depew!

Please join Plastic Surgery Center of the South in welcoming Dr. James Depew to its team of plastic surgeons.

Dr. Depew is certified in general surgery by the American Board of Surgery. His training includes a wide range of cosmetic, traumatic, and cancer reconstruction surgery, and research in facial reanimation and surgical quality care improvements. Dr. Depew was inducted as a member of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation for dedication and commitment to compassionate and humanistic care.

Horizon Training Center Moves to Downtown Canton

Horizon Training Center is excited to be moving to downtown Canton! Their new location will be at 182 North Street, next to the new Local on North restaurant and Stout’s Growlers.

Horizon Training Center is a small fitness studio, owned and operated by local families. They provide a variety of Yoga, fitness and martial arts classes. For more information, visit or call 678-631-8797.

Cherokee County Entrepreneurship

Fresh Start Cherokee is a new initiative created by the Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED) to create a culture of entrepreneurship in Cherokee. The COED team has seen some early success with the launch of its first official program, The Lunch Circuit.

The Lunch Circuit is an exclusive lunch gathering for local entrepreneurs to share food, be part of a community and hear stories of entrepreneurship from a featured Cherokee entrepreneur each month. The team pulls unique stories of diverse entrepreneurs from all over Cherokee County. The Lunch Circuit is powered by Fresh Start Cherokee, sponsored by COED and located at The Circuit Woodstock, the brand new and first official co-working collaboration space in Cherokee.

This event is helping create a culture of entrepreneurship by forming a community around entrepreneurial principles, offering exclusive access to local entrepreneurs, and sharing powerful lessons from personal wins and losses.

Northside Cherokee Continues Award-Winning, Quality Heart Care

When someone is having a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular event, every second matters. In Cherokee County, patients transported to the emergency department at Northside Hospital Cherokee have received life-saving care in the cardiac catheterization laboratory faster than most other hospitals in the Atlanta region.

In 2017, Northside Hospital Cherokee was again recognized for providing high-quality cardiovascular and stroke care with several prestigious national health organization awards:

> The American College of Cardiology’s NCDR ACTION Registry Gold Performance Achievement Award for heart attack care. Northside Hospital Cherokee is one of only thirty hospitals nationwide to receive this honor.
> The American Heart Association (AHA) Mission - Lifeline® Heart Attack Receiving Center Gold Level Recognition Award
> The AHA Get With The Guidelines® (GWTG) Gold Plus Achievement Award for heart failure
> The AHA GWTG Gold Plus Achievement Award with Target - StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite
> The AHA GWTG Gold Quality Achievement Award for Resuscitation. Northside is one of just five hospitals in Georgia, and two in metro Atlanta (the other is Northside Hospital Forsyth), to receive this award.

Northside Hospital Cherokee has the expertise, equipment, facilities and other resources needed to diagnose and treat heart attacks, coronary artery blockages, congenital heart defects, heart failure, stroke and other cardiovascular problems. The hospital offers the full cycle of cardiac care including PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) for STEMI (ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction) and cardiac rehabilitation.

When the new Northside Hospital Cherokee was built, special attention was paid to how patients would be transported between the emergency department and cath lab and how each department would be designed to prevent barriers to care.

For more information about heart and vascular services at Northside Hospital Cherokee, visit

AT&T Foundation

For nearly thirty years, business and community leaders have been showing their dedication to Reinhardt University students, and the AT&T Foundation is one of those continued supporters.

“AT&T Georgia is a strong supporter of K-12 and higher education, and we are thrilled to be able to help support deserving Cherokee County high school students attending Reinhardt University. This support will enable many students to continue their education,” said Don Barbour, regional director of external affairs.

ADay for Reinhardt is an annual community initiative that generates grants for Cherokee County students attending Reinhardt University. ADay for Reinhardt underwrites the University’s Cherokee County Grant Program, which provides eligible students with as much as $8,000 during their four years at Reinhardt. Since 1988, ADay for Reinhardt has raised nearly five-million dollars in financial assistance for local students.

Nor-Ral Inc.

Lockheed Martin’s Aeronautics business has named Cherokee’s own Nor-Ral Inc. as an Elite Supplier for 2016. Lockheed recently designated 26 other small and large businesses as top-performing suppliers for the last year, representing the top 2% of a supply base of 1,400 suppliers worldwide.

“This award recognizes suppliers holding a 98% on-time delivery rating with a 98% quality rating. Their role with us makes an impact
far beyond performance — it ensures the ability to offer safety and security to customers across the globe,” said Janet Duffey, VP,
Aeronautics Supply Chain Management.

Nor-Ral just celebrated twelve consecutive months of 100% delivery and quality, surpassing the already stringent elite requirements. Nor-Ral was one of only fourteen small businesses named to the list. The Holly Springs-based company provides plastic and composite panel assemblies, fairings, skins and absorbers in support of the C-130 and F-35 programs.

WellStar Health System

Nurses play a critical role in helping patients heal both physically and emotionally. Across WellStar Health System, nurses are at the center of the not-for-profit’s mission to deliver world-class healthcare to patients. Nurses and physicians who work to elevate the field of nursing were recently recognized at the annual Excellence in Nursing award ceremony presented by WellStar.

“As nurses, we’re privileged to work in one of the greatest professions,” said Jill Case-Wirth, chief nurse executive for WellStar Health System. “Nurses are given the opportunity to serve and impact others on a daily basis. Our focus on nurses helps us deliver compassionate care that puts patients first and makes a real impact on their lives.”

Four nurses received the System’s top honors in 2017:
• Cindy Newman, RN received the Administrative Leadership and Management award for her work in the Community Education and Outreach department at WellStar Health System.
• Susan Owens, RN was awarded the 5-Star Nurse award for her work in the Mother/Baby unit at WellStar Atlanta Medical Center.
• Alicia Burke, RN was recognized with the Rising Star in Nursing award for her work at WellStar West Georgia Medical Center.
• Nona Harris, RN was awarded the Nightingale Nurse award for her work at WellStar Paulding Hospital.

Perched Clothing & Gifts

The owner of Woodstock’s Fashion Cupcake is opening a new boutique called Perched in historic Ball Ground this month. The store will feature trendy clothing, gifts and small home décor items. They will also carry birthday, wedding and baby shower gifts.

The store got its name from a petite wild bird that visited the owner after her beloved twenty-year-old cat passed away. The bird sat “perched” on the railing of the front porch without any fear, as he didn’t move when approached. The bird has become a repeat visitor. She took this as a sign that her beloved cat was in a good place.

Perched is located at 275 Gilmer Ferry Road, Ball Ground. For more information, visit, or call

Georgia Cancer Specialists

The sixth annual Stand Up for Stand Down toiletry drive for Georgia’s homeless veterans is ongoing through August 11th. Sponsored by the Georgia District Pilot International Clubs and Georgia Cancer Specialists, affiliated with Northside Hospital Cancer Institute, the drive collects much-needed toiletry and personal-care items to fill “comfort bags” for veterans who attend Stand Down events throughout north and central Georgia.

“Stand down” is a military term that refers to the time when troops are brought back from the battlefield for rest and recuperation. Each year, Stand Down events across the country provide health care and other services to help thousands of homeless veterans get back on their feet. The 2016 Stand Up for Stand Down drive collected more than 10,000 pounds of toiletry items to fill more than 2,000 comfort bags for homeless vets in Georgia.

Travel/sample-size toiletry and personal-care items are needed. Donations can be dropped off at any of the 26 Georgia Cancer Specialists locations in Georgia. For a list of locations, visit For more information or to volunteer, call 770-864-5347, or visit


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.

Academy of Dance Arts

The Academy of Dance Arts (ADA) will soon have a new director. After 37 years of teaching, directing and owning Academy of Dance Arts and The Dance Pointe retail shop, Christi B. Hinkley (pictured) recently turned over her business to her daughter-in-law, Angela Kook (Miss Angie).

Miss Christi is so grateful for the opportunity she had to share her love of dance with the Canton community. She considers her greatest rewards to be the amazing and successful young moms and professional ladies who were once her dance students. Many former students now bring in their own children.

As former ADA dance students have now enrolled their children and entrusted them to ADA’s staff and studio for a second generation, it is with great appreciation that Miss Christi moves into a new chapter of her life and passes this honor to Miss Angie. Miss Angie has been an instructor for sixteen years at ADA, and is a former ADA student herself. She will carry on the same family friendly tradition that has served Canton
since 1979.