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

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.


Massey joins Peach State Bank’s development board

William H. House, chairman of the board of Peach State Bank & Trust, announces that Abit Massey has joined the bank to serve as chairman of the community development board. Massey, a well-known, veteran banker to many in Gainesville and Northeast Georgia, served as chairman of the board of directors of Gainesville Bank & Trust from its organization in 1987 to 2002. He also was chair of the board of GB&T Bancshares from its creation in 1998 until 2002.

In making the announcement, House noted: "Mr. Massey brings a wealth of wisdom and experience to the bank and our customers. We are extremely excited to have Mr. Massey associated with the bank and invite you to call or come by the bank and welcome him to his new banking home."

Massey’s other past affiliations include leadership positions with American Society of Association Executives, Gainesville Board of Education, Gainesville Rotary Club, Lanier Park Hospital, First Baptist Church and University of Georgia Alumni Association.

Massey and his wife, Kayanne, reside in Gainesville and are the parents of Lewis and Camille Massey and the grandparents of Chandler, Mary Cameryn, Christian and Lucia Kai. The Masseys are active members of First Baptist Church of Gainesville.

Key, Sheppard complete internships with CVB

Brenau University students Nicole Key and Mandy Sheppard have served as interns at the Lake Lanier Convention and Visitors Bureau, formerly the Gainesville-Hall County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"Having two interns at the bureau was a win-win," said bureau president Stacey Dickson."They’ve been able to see the business and marketing world first-hand and experience the many projects we handle and we’re able to have extra staffing and resources for our events."

Key, an early childhood education major at Brenau, began her internship at the bureau last fall, working on several projects including the Riverside Academy Alumni promotion and the grand re-opening of the regional welcome center on Interstate 985.

"I fell in love with the work and the people here," she said. "I’m so fortunate to have been able to work in such a positive atmosphere and help market Gainesville and Hall County."

Sheppard, a marketing major at Brenau, graduated from West Hall High School. Before joining the CVB as an intern, she worked for Brenau University in the special events department, Georgia Tech Conference Services and Interactive Neighborhood for Kids.

"Working in the convention and visitors bureau on special projects has been very rewarding," said the 20-year-old who is also active in campus life.

She’s a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, Golden Star, Themed Weeks Coordinator for the Student Activities Board and the upcoming director, as well as Journey, a campus bible study.

"I interned at the CVB because of my aspirations of being an event planner, working in the corporate sector planning conventions and tradeshows," she said.

At the bureau, Sheppard worked on Tour de Georgia, Ya’ll Magazine’s Sweet Tea Challenge and Winter Chautauqua tourism conference. This summer, she will return to Georgia Institute of Technology for her second summer working with residential camps such as Teach for America, RoboCup, and various athletic camps at the university.

"The CVB is a great hands-on opportunity to learn more about the meeting and planning industry and discover how a CVB can help a meeting planner in creating a successful event," Sheppard said.

Ellard named to McKibbon Hotel Group board

After more than 40 years of serving as an auditor and advisor to McKibbon Hotel Group, the company’s board of directors unanimously voted to appoint P. Martin Ellard of Gainesville as a voting member of the board.

Ellard is the former managing partner of P. Martin Ellard CPA, and served for many years following his retirement as a consultant for the firm. Because Ellard’s firm provided auditing services for McKibbon, he was previously unable to serve on the board due to a conflict of interest. Ellard has served in a variety of capacities in the community, including the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District Board, Gainesville Board of Education, Gainesville Kiwanis Club and the Greater Hall County Chamber of Commerce. He received a bachelors degree in business administration from the University of Georgia and a bachelor of law degree from the Atlanta Law School.

Swafford to serve on panel

Amanda Swafford, litigation manager for Harben, Hartley & Hawkins in Gainesville, was selected to serve a two-year term as national secretary on the board of directors for Women in eDiscovery, a 501(c)(3) pending organization.

Its mission is to bring together businesswomen interested in technology related to the legal industry and to provide opportunities for them to help themselves and other businesswomen grow personally and professionally through leadership, education, networking support and national recognition.

Swafford also recently completed her ABA Paralegal Certificate from Gainesville State College.

Regional events