Previous Speakers and Programs



Lobbyist Lindsey Scott. Lindsey works for Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgen as a Legislative Liaison. She helps keep legislators in check, lobbies for legislative issues impacting insurance and helps promote (or stop) specific legislation. She covered a number of interesting topics. Insurance Agents can get certified as health councilors and can charge a fee for this service in situations where there is no commission. "Surprise Billing" happens when you have an emergency visit to an out-of-network hospital or have a procedure at a network location but an out-of-network person participates and you get a bill. Instead of the consumer dealing with these type items, there is legislation that will let this be handled at the insurance level rather than placing the burden on the consumer.


Visit to BAPS Mandir

The BAPS Mandir in Lilburn a Hindu place of worship. The word "Mandir" stands for "mind at peace". The property is large (30 acres) and open with an infinity pool and 4 buildings. The temple is constructed of hand carved pieces of varying types of stone which took artisans 18 months to prepare followed by 18 months of assembly on the property. The temple was dedicated in August 2007 and included 1.3 million hours of volunteer service in its construction. Some individuals left their jobs to devote their entire effort to this cause. There are no signs giving credit to individuals or companies for sponsorship.


GA Senator PK Martin

State Senator (District 9) PK Martin's legislative duties focus on insurance, economic development and higher education. How insurance companies behave and how much health insurance costs are of concern at the state level. There is legislation related to provider directory accuracy. This is especially difficult in rural areas which often use "Rental Networks". Businesses that send workers out-of-state need to notify their agent, as states like Florida require a Florida workman's comp policy. Ask about work-based learning discounts (i.e, Drug-free workplace).


Author and columnist, Carole Townsend was a staff correspondent for 12 years with the Gwinnett Daily Post and the last 3 years with the Gwinnett Citizen where she writes a column (Not So) Common Sense. She published her 4th book in April, BLOOD IN THE SOIL, a departure from the Southern Humor of past 3 books to cover the investigation of the 1978 Gwinnett shooting of Hustler Publisher Larry Flynt . This case went unsolved for 5 years until the shooter devised a plan to be moved from a maximum security prison for a different crime. He contacted the Lawrenceville Police claiming to have information on the shooting. Good read my friends.

Monitization of Pokemon GO

We had a very informative discussion of how a retail store could use Pokemon Go to increase foot traffic. First there needs to be a "Pokestop" in proximity to your business. In the future there should be a way to purchase one if there are none in your vicinity. A "Lure" can be purchased which will place Pokemon for capture in your area. A "Lure" is good for 30 minutes and can be had for a minimal cost. Visitor Brian Sheffield of Legacy Station mentioned there was a Pokestop at the Firehouse Subs, 4145 Lawrenceville Hwy, near his business.


Lilburn Policeman Mike Johnson, How to Protect Your Business

Officer Mike Johnson, Community Outreach Liaison for the Lilburn Police Department, gave a very informative and well attended presentation on ways to improve the safety of our businesses. Businesses can request a Security Survey for existing businesses or those in the planning stages. The survey will result in a 5 to 6 page report which will address problems and suggest plans for correction. He covered concepts such as the use of hostile vegetation (bushes with thorns), placement of female bathrooms, lighting quality, dumpster placement, walkability, sustainability, law code versus advice and loss prevention. A property owner (ie a strip mall owner) may be held responsible for crimes made easier from their negligence.


David Turney, Digial Marketing and Analytics

The take home message was that measuring AND understanding the traffic to your website is essential for making the best marketing decisions. Even big companies don't always do a good job with this even though they spend the big bucks. There are many free tools and a great place to start is Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics Academy. See more at .

Nakia Sanford, Smartphones and Business Social Media

Nakia Sanford, LBA President, Primerica Rep and self-identified "Millennial" lead a discussion of smartphones and social media for business. Basically the meeting was a "safe space" for those of us past 40 to ask questions related to social media, such as the purpose of "#". The discussion focused on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LInkedin. She explained those accounts can be linked, but be carefully the posts are appropriate across platforms.


John Tronolone, Berkmar HS Career Academies and Community Involvement

John Tronolone, the Berkmar HS Academy Liason, was our May speaker. Berkmar HS is the 5th Gwinnett HS to move to a College and Career Model. By 10th grade, students are channeled into 1 of 5 academies. The entire curriculum will incorporate aspects of the individual academy and frequently uses project-based learning. For example, math in the Construction academy will include calculations involving concrete. Every student is expected to have a real world type experience before graduation. This can be accomplished a number of ways including internships, externships (where work is done at the school), shadowing, mentored projects, etc.

getsocial Gwinnett

Suzanne Najbrt, Ways to Use Social Media to Build Your Business

Suzanne Nijbrt of GetSocial Gwinnett lead our table top discussion on the use of Social Media to promote our businesses. She had great ideas on ways to use Facebook and LInkedin, free and paid options. She also teaches classes on this Social Media, so check out the schedule at her website.


Emory MorsburgerThe Lilburn Community Improvement District

Executive Director of the Lilburn CID, Emory Morsberger, was our April Luncheon speaker. When an area has the visual appearance of decline, this is often due to a few irresponsible landlords. A Community Improvement District is a State sanctioned method to impose a special tax on ALL businesses in the CID for the purpose of addressing goals agreed to by the businesses in the CID. It feels somewhat heavy handed, but if enough business in a district agree to the formation of the CID, all businesses in that district pay via taxation for the improvements.These improvements have the goal of reversing the visual decline and increasing the overall standard of living of the area. Also see .


Brian Burchik, Lilburn Future Plans to Help Small Businesses

Lilburn City Councilman Brian Burchik give an inspiring and hope filled vision for Lilburn's future. He already lives downtown and noted there were 7 young families with 13+ kids. The goal is to welcome particularly millennial entrepreneurship without pushing out other groups. Lilburn continues to develop many of the elements proven to be essential for a thriving small town, including a central gathering place, diversity, increasing "hipness", strong schools and community. It is a great place to raise a family, but also a great place for empty nesters.


Art Wood, How Networking Can Help Your Small Business

Art Wood who wears many hats including the one that started Fuse Networking explained the different strategies for business development including the advantages and disadvantages of each. "Closed networking" is a great way to build a sales team but had expenses and restrictions associated with it. You can "purchase" sales leads, but the final sales depends heavily on the bottom line and less on the personal relationship between the sales person and the purchaser. The effort can end up being more time intensive and risky lowering the ROI. Art particularly likes "open networking". He finds it to be cheaper, ends up with better clients and has a wider pool of individuals with which to get and give referrals. He encourages each person to audit how you are spending your networking time and evaluate if those efforts lead to the types of connections you want.


Chris McJunkin, What Small Businesses Should Be Doing in 2016

Chris McJunkin and Collin Berggreen of Advanced Benefit Solutions shared with us the concept of a PEO or Professional Employee Organization model for providing benefits to small and medium size businesses. Under a PEO model your business comes under the tax id of the benefits provider but the business retains operational independence. This gives your small business (typically 10+) access to Fortune 500 level benefits.



Mailing Address: Lilburn Business Association, P.O. Box 1537, Lilburn, GA 30047


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