By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Newsmakers in business, Jan. 29
Placeholder Image

The Times wants to know about new management hires and promotions, major awards and other newsworthy accomplishments involving local businesses. We'll publish the information each Sunday on the Business page and Send information, including photos and contact information, to; please put Newsmakers in the subject line. You also may use regular mail at Newsmakers, The Times, P.O. Box 838, Gainesville, GA 30503.

Sheppard promoted by DOT to manage guardrails

Michael Sheppard has been promoted by the Georgia Department of Transportation to District Sign and Guardrail Manager for the 21 counties in Northeast Georgia that comprise District One.

Sheppard has worked with DOT since 1989. He began as a temporary maintenance employee and has served in the Maintenance Division throughout his career. He was named Highway Maintenance Foreman over all state routes and interstates in northern Hall County in 2003. Sheppard most recently served as Permits Engineer.

"Michael is the kind of hard working, conscientious employee that we need to ensure the safety of our roadways," Maintenance Engineer Bill Cantrell said. "Guardrail and signage are critical safety components of our work. I am sure Michael will do his job to the best of his ability. He is an asset to the Department and to the people of Georgia,"

Michael and his wife, Amy, and two daughters live in Banks County.

Retired judge Smith joins JAMS legal services

Retired Judge J.D. Smith of Gainesville has joined the panel of JAMS, a private provider of mediation and arbitration services.

Smith will be based in the JAMS Atlanta Resolution Center. He will serve as an arbitrator, mediator and special master for disputes in a variety of legal areas.

Smith served in the Georgia Judiciary for 27 years on the Court of Appeals and Superior Courts of the Northeastern Judicial District.

He authored nearly 2,000 published opinions, as well as hundreds of unpublished decisions.

"Judge Smith's deep and broad experience while serving on the Georgia bench makes him a tremendous addition to our Atlanta panel," said Chris Poole, JAMS president and CEO. "Additionally, his commitment to justice and swift resolution make him uniquely qualified to serve our clients."

"I've been honored to serve the Georgia community for so many years and this is a natural next step in my professional career," Smith said. "JAMS is the premiere ADR provider in the country, and I look forward to joining such a distinguished panel."

Smith graduated with his B.A. from University of Florida and received his J.D. from The University of Georgia School of Law.

Starting a Business class set Wednesday at SBDC

The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center's Gainesville Area Office will offer a free class, "Starting a Business: Q&A," from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday at Featherbone Communiversity, 999 Chestnut St., Gainesville.

Topics for discussion include market research, choices of legal structure for your business, startup cost estimates, cash flow estimation, financing alternatives, failure factors, and business planning. There will also be time allotted for specific questions from participants.

Pre-registration is required. Register online at or call 770-531-5681.