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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.

Thompson, Caldwell named
to posts at GB&T Bancshares

Tracy Thompson has joined GB&T Bancshares as assistant vice president and employee relations manager.

Prior to joining GB&T, Thompson was area human resources manager with United Auto Group. She is a graduate of Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., with a bachelor’s degree in organizational communications. Thompson and her husband, Jack, and daughter, Megan, live in Gwinnett County.

Beth Caldwell has been promoted to accounting officer for GB&T Bancshares.

Caldwell joined GB&T in April 2006. Previously, she was senior accountant for Ingersoll-Rand in North Carolina.

Caldwell received a business degree from Murray State University in Kentucky and her master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

She is a member of Buford Church of Christ and the University Christian Student Center, and lives in Flowery Branch with her husband, Michael.

State DOT promotes Kirby in Northeast Georgia district

Brandon Kirby has been named assistant district construction engineer for Northeast Georgia’s District 1, serving 21 counties in Northeast Georgia.

Kirby began his career with DOT in 1996 as a transportation engineer. For the past three years, he has served as area engineer overseeing construction and maintenance activities in Hall, Forsyth and Dawson Counties.

He graduated from Johnson High School, Gainesville College and the Georgia Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He earned his professional engineer’s accreditation in 2003.

Brandon and his wife, Laura, have three children.

Ex-ballplayer Chaney gives address at Retailer Retreat

Darrel Chaney, senior vice president and partner of Prime Retail Services of Gainesville, gave the keynote address to Retail Construction magazine’s 2007 Retailer Retreat earlier this month in Asheville, N.C.

Chaney’s remarks related business and business decisions to his on- and off-field career during his 14 years of professional baseball, which included 11 years in the major leagues, three World Series appearances and a 1975 world championship with the Cincinnati Reds. He also played for the Atlanta Braves.

Foster named sales director for three hotels

Hotel Equities has named Malinda Foster as director of sales for its SpringHill Suites and Hampton Inn hotels at the Mall of Georgia and for the Fairfield Inn & Suites hotel in Buckhead.

Prior to joining Hotel Equities, Foster served as sales manager for the Residence Inn by Marriott-Buckhead/Lenox Park.

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