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Newsmakers in business, June 8
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McCord, Pace named as partners at Norton Agency
The Norton Agency Commercial Division has announce that Matt McCord and John Pace have been named as partners of the firm. McCord joined Norton Commercial in the summer of 2003, selling commercial, acreage and investment property in an eight-county region concentrating on the Interstate 85 growth corridor.

Pace, a certified public accountant, joined Norton in 2005 as chief financial officer of Norton's affiliated business network.

Hall named business services director at N.E. Georgia Health System
Jill Hall has been named director of business services at Northeast Georgia Health System.
Hall will oversee all business services for the health system's primary care network, including billing and collections.

The primary care network is made up of 14 primary care physician offices throughout Northeast Georgia, including Quick Care in Gainesville and Urgent Care in Buford.

Hall comes to the health system from Jacksonville, Fla., where she worked for Optimal Billing Solutions.

"I am very excited to join the dynamic team at NGHS," Hall said. "I fell in love with the small town feel of Northeast Georgia and the people who make up this community."

Hall and her husband, Jim, have three daughters and one grandson.

Brown, Williams working as interns at Bates, Carter & Co.
Dena Brown and Blake Williams are currently participating in an internship with Bates, Carter & Co., a Gainesville accounting firm.

Brown received her Bachelor of business administration in accounting from the Mike Cottrell School of Business at North Georgia College and State University in May 2008. She was named to the president's list five semesters and was awarded the Fred Sanders Scholarship for four years. She will intern with the company through May 2009.

Williams is a graduate of Thomas County Central High School and a current student at the J.M. Tull School of Accounting at the University of Georgia. He will begin his studies toward a master's degree in August and will receive his bachelor's degree in December.

Westbrook, Myers honored by Georgia Poultry Federation
Tommy Myers was honored recently for his service as 2007-08 chairman of the Georgia Poultry Federation.

Myers is vice president of business improvement and meatblock management at Wayne Farms in Oakwood. He was presented with a plaque and a portrait commemorating his service.

He is succeeded by Charlie Westbrook, southeast territory manager for Cobb-Vantress, who will serve for 2008-09.

The Georgia Poultry Federation, based in Gainesville, represents all segments of Georgia's poultry industry. Poultry is the largest segment of agriculture and agribusiness in Georgia, the No. 1 poultry state in the nation.

Varkala joins hospitalist program
The Longstreet Clinic has announced that Dr. Sreelatha Varkala has joined Northeast Georgia Inpatient Services' hospitalist program.

A 2000 graduate of Osmania Medical College, she completed her residency in internal medicine at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Varkala is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is a member of the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians.

Inpatient physicians, or "hospitalists," focus on caring for hospitalized patients by dedicating their practice to the hospital.

Hospitalists ensure continuity of care as they consult with specialists, discuss diagnostic test results and answer questions about patient care.

Northeast Georgia Inpatient Services currently employs 16 physicians and two nurse practitioners.

Aiken, Buffington promoted by Gainesville Fire Department
Jerry Buffington and Mitch Aiken have been promoted to battalion chiefs by the Gainesville Fire Department, Chief Jon Canada has announced.

Aiken, a 24-year veteran of the department, will be assigned to C shift. Buffington, a 19-year veteran, will work with B shift.

"Both of these individuals have served at every level within the department from firefighter up to the rank of captain before being promoted to battalion chief," Canada said.

The department has three battalion chiefs, one for each shift. The battalion chief is responsible for the daily duties of all personnel at all stations on his particular shift.

Each serves as the incident commander at all major incidents involving fire or other emergencies, along with serving in other command staff roles.