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Wednesday, January 22, 2020
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Jan. 17 - Nine Line Foundation begins 2nd Veteran's Village in Brunswick, GA

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

January 17, 2020 - Nine Line Foundation recently announced a partnership with the Golden Isles Veterans’ Village Initiative to build another Veterans Village, this one in Brunswick, Georgia.  The members of the Golden Isles Veterans Village initiative include

  • Cornell L Harvey, Chief Master Sergeant (CMS) USAF (Retired)
  • Nine Line Foundation
  • Rotary International District 6920, comprised of the Rotary Clubs of Brunswick, the Rotary Club of Jekyll Island, the Rotary Club of St. Simons’ Island and the Rotary Club of the Golden Isles
  • The SSG Dustin M. Wright Foundation

The initial vision to build a Veterans’ Village in Brunswick came from CMS Cornell L. Harvey, the owner of the property which is being donated for the project. Having benefitted from seeing the spirit of cooperation and community support that Nine Line Foundation generated in their Savannah project, CMS Harvey recognized that by partnering with other similarly minded organizations, the project would become a reality that much sooner.

Nine Line Foundation already has the interior and exterior walls and roofing components built for twenty tiny homes, ready to be relocated to the Brunswick site as soon as the sitework is completed.  Nine Line Foundation is also working with three schools in Illinois and anticipates that twenty more tiny home wall and roofing components will be built this Spring and transported down to Georgia.  The entire village will be comprised of between 36-40 tiny homes and a large community center, where the veterans can gather, not only to socialize, but also to participate in counseling and therapy sessions, and take classes in a number of topics. 

A key component of the success of the village will also be the Nine Line Foundation’s Aquaponics Training Center – a place where the veterans will not only learn the art and science of aquaponics, but become self-sufficient and self-sustaining and learn marketing skills as well as other valuable business skills. The goal is that, upon completion of the aquaponics training program, they will be ready to move on to a better life and permanent housing of their choosing.

By addressing the needs of the veterans, this transitional housing program, combined with the educational and job training opportunities made available, will give these veterans the hand up they deserve, to help them transition from the battlefield out of homelessness and on to a brighter future.

To learn more, visit:

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Jan. 15 - Byrd’s Famous Cookies Purchases Selma's Cookies

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

January 15, 2020 - Byrd’s Famous Cookies, one of America’s fastest growing cookie and snack companies, recently purchased Selma’s Cookies, a successful bakery based in Orlando, Fla., as part of a strategic expansion. The purchase makes Byrd’s Famous Cookies, owned by CEO Stephanie Lindley, one of the specialty food industry’s largest cookie companies and expands the company’s product line to include brownies, crispy rice treats and large soft-baked cookies.

Founded by Selma Sayin in 1990, Selma's Cookies provides popular private label sweets to major theme parks in Florida and California, Las Vegas casinos, top grocery chains, leading department stores and specialty coffee shops. The company’s production facilities strategically located near major theme parks in Orlando, Fla. and Anaheim, Calif. were included in the sale.

“We're excited about the future, about Byrd's expansion and about the opportunity to serve sweet treats to a fast-growing customer base at America's leading theme parks, grocery stores and department stores,” said Lindley. “I look forward to meeting with and welcoming all of the employees in Florida and California into the Byrd family.”  

Sayin added: “I'm confident that Selma's Cookies is in good hands and that our uncompromising commitment to quality, customer service and innovation will continue under Stephanie’s leadership. This new synergy will benefit all of our customers.”

Byrd Cookie Company provides bite-sized specialty cookies to a wide range of major retailers, high-end convenience stores, grocery chains, and inflight food service companies. Byrd currently operates 10 retail stores and plans to open new stores in Gatlinbug, Tenn. and Savannah, Ga. in the first quarter of 2020. The company’s current production facility, which bakes more than a billion cookies annually, is based in Savannah, Ga., where Byrd has been headquartered since 1924. 

Selma's Cookies has a 30-year legacy of success, which includes providing private label items for theme parks, Fresh Market, Target, Wawa and Books-A-Million. Originally founded in Orlando, Fla. in 1990, Selma’s also offers a wide range of customization options for corporate clients. 

“Stephanie and Selma share an uncompromising commitment to quality, so this merger is a natural fit,” said Geoff Repella, president of Byrd Cookie Company. “Byrd’s Famous Cookies and Selma’s Cookies are both women-owned companies with strong legacies and impressive track records of success.”

Byrd Cookie Company was originally founded in Savannah, Ga. in 1924, when Benjamin Tillman “Pop” Byrd, Sr. opened a small bakery and traveled to local markets in panel trucks. Today, the family-owned company – now in its fourth and fifth generation – has just completed a major expansion with the mission of putting more cookies in more mouths and making sure that cookie jars around the world are never empty.   

“It will be exciting to serve our customers from three distinct production facilities,” said Byrd’s Director of Operations Jamie Lindley. “We hope to offer new opportunities and improved economies of scale from all three states.” 

Byrd’s Famous Cookies and Selma’s Cookies will celebrate their merger at the upcoming Winter Fancy Food Show, which will take place Jan.19-21 in San Francisco, and will be exhibiting in booth #5563 and #1526. The companies will also be joining forces at the upcoming International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA), Sweets & Snacks and Summer Fancy Food Shows.

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Jan. 9 - Georgia Power earns EEI Emergency Recovery Award for restoration efforts following March tornado outbreak

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

January 9, 2020 - The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) recently presented Georgia Power with the association’s “Emergency Recovery Award” for its power restoration efforts after 14 tornadoes hit Georgia in March 2019.

The Emergency Recovery Award is given to select EEI member companies to recognize their efforts to restore power to customers after service disruptions caused by severe weather conditions or other natural events. The winners are chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process. Georgia Power received the award during EEI’s Winter Board and Chief Executives Meeting.

“It is an honor to once again receive EEI's Emergency Recovery Award recognizing Georgia Power's dedication to serving our customers following natural disasters like last year’s tornado outbreak,” said Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power. “This award recognizes that when storms strike, the men and women from Georgia Power and assisting utilities will work tirelessly to restore power as safely and quickly as possible.”

Georgia Power estimates that damage from the March tornado outbreak included:

  • Approximately 100 broken or damaged power poles
  • More than 16 miles of downed wire
  • Approximately 19,000 sustained outages at response peak

The EF4 tornado that struck Georgia’s Muscogee, Talbot and Harris counties devastated communities and caused significant damage to Georgia Power’s system. More than 600 personnel were mobilized as part of the company’s restoration effort, including support from other Southern Company operating companies. Responding personnel dedicated over 20,000 hours to the restoration, and service was safely restored to nearly all impacted customers three days after the storm.

“Georgia Power’s work to restore service safely and quickly to customers, often in dangerous conditions, makes them deserving of this award,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “Their efforts exemplify the high standards our industry seeks to uphold, and I applaud their commitment to their customers.”

Georgia Power has earned the Emergency Recovery Award eight times including as recently as 2019.


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Jan. 14 - Savannah Psychological Consultants Makes $30,000 Donation to Two Hundred Club

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

January 14, 2020 - Dr. William Dickinson and Dr. Joe Ann Brandt of Savannah Psychological Consultants, P.C., recently made a $30,000 donation to the Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire. The healthcare practitioners have been supporting the club since its inception in 2001.  

Club President Mark Dana accepted the check from Dickinson and Brandt, taking the opportunity to praise them for their longtime support and commitment to the nonprofit organization.

“We are so pleased and humbled that Dr. Bill Dickinson and Dr. Joe Ann Brandt have provided the club with such an enormously supportive gift for our surviving family members,” Dana said. “It’s caring and generous community members who continue to ensure that we’re able to help the families of fallen first responders when they most need the assistance and assurance.”

The Two Hundred Club is a nonprofit, independent organization that relies on its members’ annual dues and donations as well as fundraising events to provide substantial financial support to families of the fallen and injured first responders. The organization has donated over $3 million for the ongoing care and support of the families it serves in Georgia and South Carolina.

The Club’s next major event is the 2020 Tak Argentinis Valor Awards, which will serve to honor some of the area’s most courageous first responders at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27 at the Charles H. Morris Center. Valor Awards are presented annually to law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel from the Coastal Empire who have exhibited extreme valor while on duty.

For more information, go to, call 912-721-4418 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Jan. 8 - Chatham Emergency Services adds New Water Tender to its Emergency Response Fleet

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

January 8, 2020 - Chatham Emergency Services recently announced the addition of a fourth, large capacity, water tender to their emergency fleet. 

This tender has a capacity of 3,000 gallons of water. It is nearly identical to two other 3,000-gallon Tenders in the fleet. Chatham Emergency Services’ fourth tender carries 3,500 gallons of water. 

A water tender, which can also be referred to as a tanker, is a specialized apparatus used to transport water to a fire. The four Tenders are stationed strategically around the unincorporated area.

Chatham Emergency Services CEO Chuck Kearns notes, “The addition of this equipment will allow us to continuously improve our ability to fight fires in areas with low water pressure or where there are no hydrants at all. As always, our main goal is to keep our community safe and the acquisition of additional apparatus such as this allows us to do just that.” 

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