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Newsmakers in business Oct. 5, 2008
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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.



Quinn named to board of state bankers association

Ron Quinn, president of Peach State Bank & Trust, has been elected as a member at large to the board of directors for the Community Bankers Association of Georgia. The association is a nonprofit organization that has been dedicated to serving community banks throughout Georgia for more than 40 years to enhance their profitability and growth.

Founded in 1969 by a group of Georgia community bankers, the association was formed to protect the political interests of locally owned community banks. Representing more than 300 community banks and nearly 250 associate member companies, the association offers services in four distinct areas which include political affairs, education, products and services and networking.

Peach State Bank also announced the establishment of a Community Development Board to advise the bank. The board will be chaired by Abit Massey, who has served 20 years on various bank boards in Gainesville and North Georgia.

Steve McKibbon, Bob Rader and Jerry Rylee have also accepted seats on the board.

McKibbon spent seven years working for his family’s hotel business, McKibbon Brothers, before starting his own company specializing in telecommunications which was sold 10 years later in 1999. Currently, he is actively involved in commercial and residential real estate developments in Hall County.

Rader entered the banking industry in 1968 and his career has spanned for more than 40 years starting in a collection department to president. He is founder and chairman of Banxsource and has successfully opened more than 110 community banks in the last 25 years.

Rylee, a lifelong resident of Hall County, worked in the federal court system for 11 years and was a practicing attorney for five years before serving as Hall County state court solicitor for 17 years.

Obekpa joins The Longstreet Clinic

The Longstreet Clinic has announced that Adah Obekpa M.D. has joined Northeast Georgia Inpatient Services’ hospitalist program.

Obekpa earned his medical degree from the University of Ibadan College of Medicine and completed his residency in internal medicine at New York Methodist Hospital. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

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

Northeast Georgia Inpatient Services currently employs 17 physicians and three nurse practitioners.

Hensley named vice chairman of National Chicken Council

Thomas Hensley Jr., president of Fieldale Farms in Baldwin, has taken office as vice chairman of the National Chicken Council, the trade association for the chicken production and processing industry.

Michael Roberts, president of the food products business of Perdue Farms Inc., Salisbury, Md., was installed as chairman and Bernard Leonard, group vice president of food service, Tyson Foods Inc., Springdale, Ark., became secretary-treasurer.

The new officers were installed during the council’s annual conference held in Washington. Officers serve one-year terms.

Hensley has served on the council’s board since October 2001 and has worked for Fieldale Farms for 32 years. He became president of Fieldale following the death of Joe Hatfield earlier this year.

Hensley is also a member of the board of directors of Fieldale Farms. He has been involved in a wide variety of civic, business and professional organizations, including Salvation Army and the United Way.

George Watts of Alexandria, Va., was elected to another term as president of the council, a post he has held since 1972.

The National Chicken Council represents integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce, process and market chickens. Member companies of the council account for approximately 95 percent of the chicken sold in the U.S.

Gresham joins Edward Jones as financial adviser

Lance Gresham has been hired as an Edward Jones financial adviser, according to James D. Weddle, managing partner of the firm.

"I decided to enter the financial services industry because I like helping people achieve their long-term financial goals," Gresham said. "This is a fascinating business, and I hope I can pass my enthusiasm for my work on to my clients."

Gresham will take over the branch and continue the firm’s tradition of providing unparalleled customer service to local investors. "We carefully select the best of the best," Weddle said. "After being hired, our financial advisors go through one of the most rigorous training programs in the industry, involving three months of 10-hour days, six days a week."

Edward Jones provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliates, in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Bryson named to state commission

Gov. Sonny Perdue has announced the appointment of P. Homer Bryson of Flowery Branch to the State Indemnification Commission.

Bryson, 48, is a lieutenant colonel and assistant chief of law enforcement with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division. He is also a specialized Peace Officers Standards and Training instructor. He is the legislative chair and past president of the Peace Officers Association of Georgia. He was the state coordinator for water security for the 2004 Group of Eight Economic Summit in Sea Island.

He has received numerous honors such as the DNR Law Enforcement Supervisor of the Year and the Coastal Conservation Association of Georgia Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

He earned an associate’s degree from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, a bachelor’s degree from Valdosta State College and a master’s degree from Columbus State University.

He has two children.

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