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Newsmakers in business
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The Times wants to know about promotions, new management hires and other personnel news in your business. We’ll publish the information each Sunday on the Business page. Send information, including a photograph and contact information, to Harris Blackwood at You also may use regular mail at Newsmakers, The Times, P.O. Box 838, Gainesville, GA 30503.

Dawsonville resident earns trip to Beijing

Patricia Nichols-Ferrente has qualified for the 2008 Leading Producers Conference of Genworth Financial. This year’s conference will be held in Beijing, China. She is a representative of Genworth Life Insurance Co., which offers long-term care insurance.

Nichols-Ferrente, a resident of Dawsonville, has been with the company for 10 years.

Adams Transfer promotes Sheehan

Adams Transfer & Storage Co. has announced the promotion of Becky Sheehan as director of operations of the moving and storage company.

Sheehan joined Adams Transfer & Storage in 2006 as warehouse manager of both the Gainesville and Atlanta-Tucker locations.

"I am excited by this new position. My goal here at Adams Transfer & Storage is to rank as the best, highest-quality mover in Georgia," Sheehan said.

In her new position, she will oversee the company’s transportation and dispatch services as well as continuing to supervise the Gainesville and Atlanta warehouse divisions.

Sheehan was formerly vice president and chief operations officer for Cathcart Allied in Atlanta. A North Carolina native, she is experienced in retail management, operations, auditing and specializes in team building, organization and employee training.

Kelly joins staff of Willis Investment Counsel

Natalie R. Kelly has joined Willis Investment Counsel as a portfolio administrator, with responsibilities in the areas of client reporting, securities trading and client and broker relations.

Kelly, a resident of Atlanta, came to the firm after completing an accounting internship at Eagle Rock Distributing Co. in Stone Mountain and Rome, and a client services internship at the wealth management firm of Homrich & Berg in Atlanta.

"With her skill set, energy and enthusiasm, Natalie is ideally suited to assume immediate responsibility in the areas of portfolio administration and client services," said Bob Pennington, chief executive of Willis Investment Counsel.

Kelly is a 2007 graduate of the University of Georgia, holding a bachelor’s of business administration degree in banking and finance.

While at Georgia, she received dean’s list and presidential scholar honors, and was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority and the Delta Sigma Pi professional business fraternity.

Dykes named assistant area engineer at DOT

Jason Dykes has been named the Georgia Department of Transportation’s assistant area engineer for construction in Dawson, Forsyth and Hall counties.

Dykes has worked with DOT since 2002, starting as a civil engineering technologist in the district design office. He was promoted in November 2006 to construction project engineer and is currently overseeing the widening of Ga. 53.

Dykes graduated in 2001 from Georgia Southern University with a degree in civil engineering.

"Jason is an excellent employee. He knows how to work with contractors and strives for excellence in everything he does," said district engineer Russell McMurry. "Now he will focus not on just one project but on many projects under construction in Dawson, Forsyth and Hall counties."

Jason and his wife, Amy, live in Gainesville and have one son.