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Century 21 purchases
Waters Realty

Century 21 Community Realty of Clarkesville has acquired Waters Realty Group in Gainesville. The firm, with its main office at 332 Washington St., has begun operating as a Century 21 agency.

"As respected and innovated real estate brokerage companies in their own right, the coming together of these companies means a heightened level of service for area home buyers, sellers and owners," said Greg Guthrie, broker and general manager of Century 21 Community Realty.

Waters Realty Group had four locations in Gainesville, Dawsonville, Braselton and Habersham County. The combined companies now have a total of nine offices.

Yokohama named
official Road Atlanta tire

Yokohama Tire Corp. has announced that it will be the official tire for two U.S. racetracks: Sebring International Raceway and Road Atlanta. The three-year agreements are designed to reinforce Yokohama’s overall commitment to the American Le Mans Series, in which Yokohama currently supports Mazda’s BK Motorsports P2 team and the Panoz Esperante of Team PTG in GT2.

As part of the partnership, Yokohama signs will be placed in key areas of both tracks, including the crossover bridges and other camera-view areas. Additionally, Yokohama will incorporate dealer tie-ins in each local market prior to major events as well as entertain key VIP guests through hospitality programs.

Wrigley stick gums get makeover

The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. has unveiled a new look for its Extra and Wrigley’s brands: Juicy Fruit, Doublemint, Big Red, Winterfresh and Wrigley’s Spearmint.

The company, which has its largest factory in Flowery Branch, has introduced the Slim Pack, a sleek, 15-stick envelope package that is more durable and portable for today’s consumers. The new packaging is coupled with significant flavor improvements across both brands.

"We are bringing news and excitement to the Wrigley’s traditional brands and Extra — a portfolio that represents 30 percent of our overall gum business in the U.S.," President and CEO Bill Perez said at Wrigley’s annual stockholders’ meeting Wednesday in Chicago. "We’ve reformulated these brands to improve taste and flavor duration, and we are introducing new, category-changing packaging that has been two years in the making. This cool new pack will make these brands more contemporary and give them a great presence on the shelf."

The company also emphasized the importance of the rapidly growing fruit-flavored gum segment and announced it will launch a new Extra line, called Extra Fruit Sensations, along with three new Orbit fruit varieties.


Georgia’s Centers of Innovation join Department of Economic Development

The Georgia Department of Economic Development has announced that the Centers of Innovation, a program designed to accelerate the growth of technology-based companies in five strategic industries, is now a part of the Global Commerce division at the department.

"Bringing the Centers of Innovation into the department allows us to better align resources and initiatives around the strategic industries established by the Commission for a New Georgia," said Ken Stewart, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. "By providing direct support for people and companies in these industries with innovative ideas and new ways to apply technology, we already have one foot in the future."

The Centers of Innovation program, created in 2003 by Gov. Sonny Perdue, is made up of five centers for strategic industry growth and development: agriculture, aerospace, life sciences, logistics and manufacturing.

The manufacturing center is located on the campus of Lanier Technical College in Oakwood.

The others are in Tifton, Warner Robins, Augusta and Savannah.

The program, a partnership with the University System of Georgia, the Technical College System of Georgia, the OneGeorgia Authority and Georgia Research Alliance, was formerly managed by the Georgia Institute of Technology.