All Posts By

Beckie Hawkins

October 2016 Highlights

By | News | No Comments

Take a look back at Roswell Inc’s highlights for October, 2016   

Quick Stats:

Roswell New Businesses & Job Creation

30 New Businesses
64 New Jobs Created

42,888 Commercial SqFt Occupied



Preliminary September 2016


Preliminary September 2016

Roswell Leadership Focus Explores and Learns from Franklin, Tennesseerlf_logo_full_color

ROSWELL, GA – Earlier in October, over 60 of Roswell’s community leaders and volunteers loaded a bus and drove to Franklin, Tennessee. These movers and shakers were participants of Roswell Leadership Focus (RLF), a program presented by Roswell Inc. The mission of the program is to experience and learn about new ways to implement citywide collaboration and further prioritize the needs of Roswell as a growing community situated outside of a major city.

Why Franklin? As it turns out, Roswell and Franklin have quite a lot in common, but with enough differentials to compare and learn from. As a hub of Nashville, Franklin is rapidly becoming one of the most prominent cities in the Southeast. Franklin is home to corporate headquarters, a historic district in the midst of redevelopment and a compelling story surrounding their history, drawing tourists from all over the world.

RLF participants used the trip as a means to further scope out what Roswell is and can be. Presentations focused on public private partnerships, historical site management, tourism, city communication and branding, historic redevelopment, economic development initiatives, preservation and beautification.

The presenters were Franklin’s community leaders, including representatives from City of Franklin, Heritage Foundation, Convention and Visitors Bureau, Chamber of Commerce and Battle of Franklin Trust.

Brainstorming, prioritizing and open dialogue were a constant during the trip. The participants, who come from diverse backgrounds, were able to collaborate about the possibilities for Roswell. Through meeting Franklin’s leaders and experiencing the unique atmosphere that is Franklin, the participants could discuss the next steps to further expand and instill Roswell’s unique identity.

Franklin provided a host of not just new ideas, but brought together people who are energized to implement plans and laid the foundation for relationships to further develop. Most of all, it set the stage for collaboration, open conversation and has already brought ideas into action.

Previous trips included Asheville, North Carolina in 2014 and Greenville, South Carolina in 2011.

Roswell Inc promotes economic development through a public-private partnership with the City of Roswell. Learn more at


2017 Dates Announced – Registration Opens Soon!

2017 coffeeconnectlogo4eventbriteCoffee Connect Dates

Friday, February 10
Friday, April 14
Friday, July 14
Friday, August 11
Friday, October 27

2017 Roswell Business Academy

Thursday, January 19 business_academy_logo_4_eventbrite
Thursday, February 16
Thursday, March 23
Thursday, April 27
Tuesday, May 23 



September 2016 Highlights

By | News | No Comments

Take a look back at Roswell Inc’s highlights for September, 2016   

Quick Stats:

Roswell New Businesses & Job Creation

30 New Businesses
44 New Jobs Created
12,225 Commercial SqFt Occupied



Revised July 2016


Revised July 2016

North Fulton Opportunity Outlook 

Roswell Inc partnered with Council for Quality Growth, Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce and the cities of Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton and Sandy Springs for the second annual North Fulton Opportunity Outlook at the Computer Museum of America on Thursday, September 15. This was a half-day forum with stakeholders, developers, economists, and leadership from local and state agencies to explore North Fulton’s development opportunities.

This year’s theme was The Next Generation with topics such as technology, healthcare, education/workforce development, “Millennials”, etc. Speakers and panelists provided insight into what it takes to take a community from being good to great. This informative event will help define the impact of the ongoing projects, emerging areas for growth and what is next for North Fulton.


Check out the video introduction for the event here: 

Last Coffee Connect of 2016coffeeconnectlogo4eventbrite

We held the last Coffee Connect of 2016 on Friday the 9th at The Mill Kitchen and Bar.

We had more than 70 people in attendance – the highest attendance of the year!
We are excited to continue to grow this morning networking opportunity for Roswell businesses in 2017.

See future dates below!

Thank You to Our Coffee Connect Sponsors

Associated Insurance Group
Edge Business Systems
Herbert Legal Group
Keller-Williams the Martino Group
Northwestern Mutual

2017 Coffee Connect Dates

Friday, February 10
Friday, April 14
Friday, July 14
Friday, August 11
Friday, October 27


August in Review – 2016

By | Business News | No Comments

Take a look back at Roswell Inc’s highlights for August, 2016   

Quick Stats:

Roswell New Businesses & Job Creation

36 New Businesses
84 New Jobs Created
45,791 Commercial SqFt Occupied



Preliminary July 2016


Preliminary July 2016

Summer Sippin’ Roswell – Winner Announced!

Summer Sippin’ Roswell came to an end on August 15th.  Summer went by fast, but all the creative concoctions of participating restaurants helped keep us chill.

Want to know which finely crafted cocktail claimed the Best Sip of Roswell 2016? Check out the top 5 (really 6 – there was a tie for 2nd) below:

Celebrating 25celebrating_25_logo

On August 25, Roswell Inc, Visit Roswell GA and the Conventions and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors celebrated 25 years of partnership with the City of Roswell with over 250 attendees.

Over the past 25 years, RCVB’s Board of Directors has successfully implemented and provided oversight for Roswell’s tourism program, Visit Roswell GA, and more recently the economic development program, Roswell Inc, through a public-private partnership with the City of Roswell.

Thank you to the community, business and civic leaders for a wonderful evening that celebrated 25 successful years of collaboration, partnership and success.

Be sure to view the photos of the event here:

We were proud to recognize regional partnerships as well.  Visit Roswell GA presented the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Tourism division with the Tourism Partner award while Roswell Inc presented the Economic Development Partner Award to the Small Business division.

Ending the evening, Dotty Etris was presented with the History Maker Award – for her 25 years of service to Roswell as the Executive Director of Visit Roswell GA.

We would not have been able to celebrate without the support of all our sponsors:

Silver Signature:

Malon D. Mimms Company
Bank of North Georgia
Carl Black Roswell
Georgia Power
Gas South
Renasant Bank
WellStar North Fulton Hospital

Silver Select:

Ferrari Maserati of Roswell
Verizon Wireless

Silver Reserve:

Aesthetic Specialy Centre
Alpha Office Products
Chipper Gronholm at Coldwell Banker
Comcast Cable
Duke Land Group
Frontdoor Communities
Kaufman & Forman P.C.
LGE Community Credit Union
Tolbert Yilmaz School of Dance
Randall-Paulson Architects
Schmit & Associates
Scroggin & Company, PC
Sterling Healthcare
Talk of the Town Catering

Revealing of Roswell P3

The following was announced at
Celebrating 25 Dinner and Awards
on August 25, 2016:Print

For approximately 20 of its 25 years, the CVB’s sole purpose was to address revitalization
of the Historic District and promotetourism in the City of Roswell.

Under the direction and leadership of Executive Director Dotty Etris, Roswell’s tourism program has enjoyed great success. According to an independent study, for every $1 invested in advertising, marketing and promotions of tourism, the City of Roswell reaps $365 in tourism related economic activity.  The success of our program was recognized at the State level when Dotty Etris was recognized by Governor Nathan Deal with the Lifetime Achievement Award in Tourism.

In 2011, the Roswell CVB Board of Directors expanded its partnership with the City of Roswell.  Our partnership would not only include promoting tourism in the City, but it would also include promoting economic development in our City.  This new program was charged with retaining and
expanding current businesses in Roswell as well as building awareness of Roswell as a great place to do business.

Under the direction and leadership of Executive Director Steve Stroud, Roswell’s economic development program has enjoyed great success as well.  The number of Roswell businesses increased to 5,070 in 2015; an increase of 609 businesses or 14% over 2014 levels.  In addition, the number of new business licenses increased to 649 in 2015 creating 2,409 jobs.

We would all agree that the City or Roswell is a great place for our family and friends to visit, to live, and to do business.  As proud as I am of the past 25 years, I am even more excited about the next 25 years as our tourism and economic development initiatives continue to grow and bring success to Roswell.  To celebrate our history and to best position and align our programs for the years to come, I am pleased to announce the renaming of our executive committee and board. The purpose of this realignment is to better define our Board of Directors responsibilities while at the same time more strongly and accurately positioning both programs we govern.  Moving into the future, we will be known as Roswell P3 -Supporting Community Initiatives & Partnerships Since 1991.  Roswell P3 better represents the two distinct programs under the Board’s responsibility and helps bring clarity as we continue as a public, private partnership with the City of Roswell.  Reporting to our community led Board of Directors, Dotty Etris will continue to lead our tourism initiatives with the Visit Roswell GA Convention & Visitors Bureau.  Steve Stroud will continue to lead our economic development initiatives with Roswell Inc. Learn more at


The Economic Boom of Alive After 5

By | News | No Comments

The following is a statement from Roswell Inc Executive Director Steve Stroud. This article can be found in the Aug. 12 edition of the Roswell Neighbor.

Steve Stroud Neighbor Image

Since Alive After 5 in Roswell began, nearly a decade ago, it has become a staple event in the metro area. In the early years, when many of the Canton St. businesses closed by 5 PM on weekdays, this event offered Roswell residents the opportunity to gather and enjoy this historic part of town after normal business hours in a casual, walkable setting. Those in attendance were likely families with Roswell mailing addresses. Within the first few years, we saw a few hundred people at each event. It was like a big block party for the city that drew attention to some of the lesser known restaurants and retail on Canton St.

Now, Canton St. is one of the most popular neighborhoods in the entire Atlanta area and Alive After 5 is the hottest ticket in town. Thousands upon thousands of people come in from all over the city, the state and even the Southeast. Roswell Inc conducted a survey a couple of years ago that suggested more than half of the visitors at Alive After 5 were from outside of the city. Now, I’m willing to bet that number is even greater. Keep in mind that this growth occurred with relatively little in the way of advertising. Alive After 5 has largely been a word-of-mouth phenomenon. It didn’t take long to realize we had hit on something really special.  

Prior to Alive After 5, Canton St. had only a few restaurants and a handful of retail shops and galleries. Successful businesses such as The Chandlery, Raiford Gallery, Go With the Flow and The Fickle Pickle helped to anchor the street during the economic downturn and set a tone for the businesses that would follow. Canton St. today boasts an ever increasing number of independent gourmet restaurants, unique artisan boutiques and a wide variety of fine art galleries. Lately, it is also becoming a hub for alternative health providers such as Gallery Spa, Chill & Body and Sacred Mother Healing Center.

In recent years, we have been able to utilize the impact of Alive After 5 to generate traffic for Roswell businesses in other districts. Local vendors have been able to set up tables and distribute samples of their wares to a wider, more diverse audience than they would be able to reach otherwise. Roswell Inc has introduced a “Restaurant Corner” on the main part of the street, which is now closed off to vehicle traffic during the event, and has seen great success in bringing recognition to Roswell restaurants that reside off of Canton St. Participants in the restaurant corner include Taqueria Tsunami, Slope’s, Public House, The Counter, Pure, Brickhouse and Lucky’s. These restaurants are different concepts in different parts of town. When visitors see them and try their food at Alive After 5, they realize that the restaurant scene extends way beyond the perimeter and help Roswell continue to make a name for itself as one of the foodie capitals of the Southeast.

As the crowds at Alive After 5 continued to grow exponentially, community leaders recognized the need to add an additional venue. Thus, Alive at the Square was created to help maintain balance.

Alive at the Square has always been popular and well attended,” event manager Tom LaDow said. “Because of the neighborhood demographics and physical characteristics of the Square, ‘Alive at the Square‘ has always had a very strong appeal to families with younger children. Entertainment, sponsors, vendors and merchants are oriented toward the young family market. In addition to the popular amenities (food trucks, bands, kids games, face painting, etc) we have added children’s theater, dance exhibitions, photo booths, charitable donations, and more games and food.”

The event at the square has been an invaluable addition that allows families with young kids to enjoy the event without having to worry about the somewhat more adult atmosphere among the bars on Canton St. Roswell Inc sponsors two trolleys that circulate between Canton St., the Square, City Hall and other parking lots in the area so that everyone can get the full experience without having to spend too much time walking. We have also teamed up with American Family Care to provide a First Aid Station to help keep everyone safe and well.

From an economic development standpoint, Alive After 5 has been a tremendous asset. It provides good, organic PR for Roswell businesses and encourages visitors to stay and spend money. Many of them come back, even outside of the event, to see what else Roswell has to offer. Major local companies such as GM, Yardi, TechniPower and AirWatch use the event as a recruiting tool for new employees. The energy of it helps to draw talent to the area. The Fulton County Development Authority even used footage of an Alive After 5 event to represent economic development in Roswell.

An event like Alive After 5 serves to showcase the Roswell culture as it is today. We celebrate our historic roots and we enjoy the charm of our suburban lifestyle. Yet, we keep both eyes on the future when it comes to supporting our business community and promoting innovation in economic development. We are a forward thinking community with abundant opportunity and this event has helped us put the word out to the rest of the state and beyond.


Roswell Restaurateurs Chosen as Finalists for Georgia Restaurant Association Crystal of Excellence Award

By | Business News, News | No Comments

Roswell restaurateurs Ryan Pernice and Ted Lahey of Table & Main and Osteria Mattone are being recognized by the Georgia Restaurant Association as finalists for “Restaurateur of the Year” for small, independent restaurants in Georgia! Finalists for the Georgia Restaurant Association Crystal of Excellence Awards are peer nominated and then decided by the official GRACE Academy. Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 9.24.58 PMThe winners for each category will be announced at the gala on Nov. 1.

A portion of proceeds from the event will benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank, an organization that fights hunger by engaging, educating and empowering the community.

“In celebration of the 9th Annual GRACE Awards Gala, we are delighted to continue the tradition of recognizing our industry for their excellence and achievement,” said Karen Bremer, Executive Director of the Georgia Restaurant Association.

Congratulations, Ryan and Ted! To learn more about the awards and to view the other GRACE finalists, click <a href=”” target=”_blank”>here</a>.

Roswell Inc Announces New Partnership Format

By | Business News, News | No Comments

In order to further serve Roswell businesses and allocate resources towards economic development initiatives, Roswell Inc has launched a new partnership and programming format.

Roswell Inc will no longer collect partnership dues. Instead, every Roswell business will be considered a Roswell Inc partner and be able to use the tools and support of Roswell Inc when needed.

This change allows Roswell businesses to choose what is beneficial for their success. These opportunities include attending a networking event, registering for an educational series, assistance with expansion, leveraging business promotions, or further understanding Roswell’s business climate. The new structure also allows the Roswell Inc team to better support business needs and community outreach.

Programs and events presented by Roswell Inc , which were previously free for Roswell Inc partners, will now have a nominal registration fee or tickets available for purchase.

In addition to the fee structure change, Roswell Inc will be launching additional programs and events in the Fall of 2015. These will include direct outreach campaigns welcoming new businesses to the Roswell community, a focus on local and independent businesses, as well as further industry focused alliances, business recognition and the formation of Roswell’s Economic Development Council.

Roswell Inc is excited for the new ventures and initiatives being implemented over the next year. Through strategic alliances, including the City of Roswell, Roswell Inc will continue to connect, build and support Roswell’s business community while concentrating on Roswell’s overall economic competitiveness and maintaining the city’s authentic quality of life.
For Roswell Inc partners who are still current, the new registration fees will be waived and partnership benefits will be honored until the annual partnership expires.

If a business partner would like to know when their partnership expires, please contact:

Beckie Hawkins at

Please send any questions or comments to this email address as well.

The Drake House Officially Opens New Expansion

By | Business News, Events, News | No Comments

drake houseOn July 23, The Drake House cut the ribbon on its latest expansion. This 1,100 sq. ft. space includes new classrooms, offices and a teen center. After nine months of effort, a large amount of donated labor, money and materials, as well as the overwhelming support of organizations like Home Aid Atlanta, the non-profit is prepared and eager to serve more families than ever before.

“This project was a lot of fun,” said Vincent Longo of Vincent Longo Custom Homes, a major contributor to the expansion. “The project reminded me of all the good in the world.”

The Drake House is a Roswell based non-profit that provides short-term housing, education and empowerment programs for homeless mothers and children in North Fulton. It’s success to date has led to an increase in demand for its services. The expansion will allow for this needed growth.

“This building is the hub of activities for families,” said Dave Hammond, The Drake House board president. “It has offices, a food pantry, laundry facilities and classrooms.”

“This has truly been a journey,” said Executive Director Kathy Swahn, “one of love.”

Read the full article in the Review & News here. To learn more about The Drake House, click here.

Roswell’s First Brewery Finds a Home

By | Business News, News | No Comments

gate cityGate City Brewery, founded in 2013, is making a new home for itself on the south end of Canton St. in the old Roswell Autocare Garage building. The space is one of the few industrial style spaces in Roswell and provides a unique opportunity for the local brewers.

“There is a lot of work to be done to get it where it needs to be, but we’re not afraid of hard work,” said Brian Borngesser, one of the three founders.

Gate City believes that the spirit of Roswell, particularly on Canton St., fits their brand perfectly and they have received plenty of support for the project. The tap room is expected to open early next year. Read the full article here in the Forsyth Herald. To learn more about the brewery, check out the Gate City website.

North Fulton Hospital Recognized for Partnership in Education

By | Business News, News | No Comments

North Fulton Hospital was awarded the 2015 Partnership in Education Award by the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce in recognition of the hospital’s partnership with Gwinnett Technical College.

For more than five years, students of the Radiologic Technology, ComputedChamber Awards North Fulton Hospital Partnership In Education Award Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Echocardiography, and Cardiac Catheterization programs have been performing their clinical rotations at North Fulton and working under experienced healthcare professionals. Many of these supervising professionals take on mentorship roles and help the students to gain thorough, hands-on experience.

“At the same time, while the North Fulton Hospital imaging services staff is helping the students gain experience and skills, that staff is also being challenged by the student to be engaged with learning. Our relationship is a win-win for both partners,” Dean of Health Imaging and Informatics Jim Sass said.

Additionally, members of the hospital’s imaging services staff now serve on the Gwinnett Tech Imaging Sciences Advisory Committee, providing input on curriculum, best practices and career development to help advance the program.

To learn more about this partnership, read the full article here.

Fortune Magazine Has Georgia On It’s Mind

By | Business News, News | No Comments

Georgia was recognized in Fortune’s Special Economic Development Feature this June as an ideal place to do business. Georgia is currently home to 20 Fortune 500 headquarters and 33 Fortune 1000 headquarters.

Fortune Magazine credits Georgia’s success to the low cost of doing business, the availability of skilled labor and the global supply chain. Fortune 500 companies operating in Georgia include Home Depot, Coca-Cola, Aflac, United Parcel Service (UPS) and Delta Airlines among many other well-known brand names.

Georgia is also home to a rapidly developing film industry.  The new industry brought in over $5 Billion for Georgia this past year alone.

Representatives from AT&T, the Georgia’s economic development team, AT&T, Atlanta Beltline, Atlanta Gas Light, Coca Cola, Emory, Georgia Aquarium, Georgia Pacific, Global Payments, Kia Motors, Porsche and Suntrust joined Fortune, as well as Gov. Deal and his wife, in celebrating Fortune’s most successful special issue in 10 years.

Read the full story here!