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Newsmakers in business, Jan. 1
John Early

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.

Stovall to manage Norton's Commercial Mountain area

Norton Commercial has appointed David Stovall as Director of Development for Norton's Commercial Mountain Region.

Stovall will be responsible for expanding Norton's commercial reach in Georgia's northern counties and into bordering counties of Tennessee, North and South Carolina.

Stovall was previously president and CEO of Habersham Bancorp. He is a graduate of North Georgia College.

"We are excited about adding David to our powerful Commercial Team. His business background, mountain roots and deep personal contacts will help Norton strengthen its Georgia, Tennessee and Carolinas mountain commercial presence," said Frank K. Norton Jr., president and CEO.

In addition, The Norton Agency has added Brian Shaw to its insurance sales staff as a personal and commercial producer.

Fockele Garden honored for Medical Center project

The Fockele Garden Co. has been awarded a Grand Award for Anne's Garden at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in the 2011 Annual Environmental Improvement Awards Program sponsored by the Professional Landcare Network.

The garden was one of only 29 projects nationwide to earn the top level designation.

The Fockele Garden Company joined with The Medical Center Foundation on the project, which was made possible by longtime NGMC supporters and Foundation donors, Anne and George Thomas of Gainesville.

"We enjoyed collaborating with The Medical Center Foundation on Anne's Garden," Fockele Garden Co. Vice President Julie Evans said. "It is a garden that can be enjoyed year-round and provides respite for patients, families, visitors and hospital staff."

The awards program is designed to reward independent landscape professionals who execute projects that increase public awareness of environmental improvement through landscaping.

"Time and again, we witness the positive change in mood that the garden facilitates, because people go out of their way to let us know what a difference Anne's Garden makes in their experience while visiting the hospital," said Nancy Colston, executive director of The Medical Center Foundation.

The Professional Landcare Network has more than 3,500 member companies and affiliates representing more than 100,000 green industry professionals.

Gainesville-based Fockele Garden Co. serves clients throughout the Southeast; contact 770-532-7117,

D-Jay's Smallwood named to state oilmen's board

Donald J. Smallwood of D-Jay Petroleum Inc. in Gainesville was elected to serve a three-year team as junior director of the board of directors for the Georgia Oilmen's Association.

The election took place Dec. 3 at the organization's annual business meeting in Atlanta.

The Georgia Oilmen's Association represents some 300 wholesale petroleum distributors in Georgia.

Early named lead counsel at Hasty Pope law firm

Hasty Pope has named John Andrew Early as new lead counsel for the firm's workers' compensation division.

Early, an associate attorney, manages workers' compensation claims to help clients secure replaced wages, compensation for past and future losses, reimbursement for medical expenses and benefits for families and dependents of workers killed on the job.

"John brings considerable practical experience in the area of workers' compensation to our firm," said Tom Pope III, Hasty Pope partner.

"John has unique insights he can offer our clients as he helps them navigate through claim procedures."

Prior to joining Hasty Pope, Early was an associate attorney for Eric A. Ballinger P.C. in Canton.

Canton-based Hasty Pope operates offices at 1370 Thompson Bridge Road in Gainesville and in Atlanta;

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