Valdosta Daily Times

January 27, 2013

Register now for annual Gathering of Eagles

Kay Harris
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Every year, Wiregrass Technical College holds the Gathering of Eagles event, bringing incredible, well respected national leaders to the local community to share their business expertise.

The event is a fundraiser for the college, but it’s also a must-do for area business executives and managers. Each year features a central theme, and this year’s symposium’s theme is “Make Your Business Stand Out,” with Herschend Entertainment’s Joel Manby sharing his seven principles of effective leaders in the keynote address.

Herschend is the owner/operator of Wild Adventures and many other entertainment venues, and Manby wrote a book on his behind the scenes adventures at the company’s parks after appearing on Undercover Boss.

The lessons he learned and the ideas he addresses in his book, “Love Works,” came from that experience, and he will be presenting these principles at the Gathering of Eagles.

Manby will be joined by several area business executives sharing their perspectives on customer service, employee retention, creating a unique corporate culture, etc.

The event is Feb. 21 and I encourage everyone who is interested in improving their businesses and their personal management skills to attend.

Go online to and click on the Gathering of Eagles link to register. Hope to see you there!

Kay’s pies

Although I have a very public job, I am actually a pretty quiet individual, preferring to stay out of the spotlight for the most part. But sometimes friends like to have a little fun with me, usually at my expense, and when Pat O’Neal, restaurateur extraordinaire and owner of Mama June’s and many other establishments, called this week and said it was “my” day at Mama Junes, I thought he was joking. Alas, he was not.

I wrote a feature in the December Scene with dessert recipes that I prepared for the magazine, and Pat thought my recipes (not original) were good enough to feature on his dessert bar at Mama Junes. It was also National Pie Day, so he tied the two together. Apparently, his bakers did an excellent job preparing the pies and I had a number of compliments. So thank you Pat, especially for the offer to donate to my favorite charity. I will be taking you up on that offer soon!


Business Roundup

A new owner is taking over Rascals on Highway 41 S. and it should be reopening soon.

And down in Lake Park, the new YMCA location should also be opening soon, in the next two weeks.

The new Drury Inn hotel by Exit 18 at the Interstate is holding its grand opening this week.

The developers are  actively marketing the site and plan on adding more restaurants and retailers soon.

The new roadway beside the hotel had traffic a bit snarled by Starbucks this week, but intrepid coffee drinkers still found a way to get to their favorite hotspot. The light and the new street will really help relieve congestion in that area.

The new Chicken Salad Chick and Small Cakes are going in off North Oak Street Extension behind the Citgo. I should have more information on them next week.

The Merle Norman store in the mall has moved to a new location in the plaza on Gornto Road across from the theatres, and Natural Foods is going in there as well, by Pammy Cakes.

Unfortunately, it looks like Take Five is now closed. It was located on Hill Avenue next to Sisters and Heidi’s.

That’s it for this week, but if there’s something I missed, please let me know!

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