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Newsmakers in business, Sept. 7
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Zegers to head Center of Innovation in Oakwood

Georgia’s Centers of Innovation program recently named John Zegers as director of the Centers of Innovation-Manufacturing, with offices at Lanier Technical College in Oakwood. Zegers’ expertise in the industry will enhance the center’s role as a critical resource for manufacturing in Georgia.

"John Zegers is well-qualified to serve as an advocate for our state’s manufacturing industry," said Ken Stewart, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, which houses the Centers of Innovation program. "The Centers of Innovation-Manufacturing is a key component of our strategy to reach out to Georgia’s core industries and give them the tools to succeed."

Zegers joins the center as an 18-year veteran in manufacturing, sales and consulting. He formerly was a statewide project manager with the Department of Economic Development, a manufacturer’s representative and served as president of a manufacturer’s representative agency.

Zegers received his bachelor of science from Florida State University while working summers in a steel coating, roll forming and assembly manufacturing plant as a production and quality control manager. He is a member of the Georgia Economic Developers Association.

The Centers of Innovation-Manufacturing is housed at Lanier Technical College in Oakwood.

Interactive Neighborhood for Kids’ board adds Shope

Anthony Shope of Rushton & Co., a Gainesville accounting firm, has been named to the board of Interactive Neighborhood for Kids.

"We look forward to working with Anthony as we continue our plans to reach out to the families and children in the Northeast Georgia region," said Phillippa Lewis Moss, board of directors chairwoman.

Shope holds a bachelor’s of business administration in management from North Georgia College & State University and is a member of National Group Management Corp. and the International Accounts Payable Professionals.

He and his wife, Shelley, have two children, Clay, 12, and Carlee, 10.

Three workers promoted at Bates, Carter & Co.

Three staff members have been named to new positions with Bates, Carter & Co., a Gainesville accounting firm.

Kristy Walker has been promoted to tax senior in the tax department; Kingsley Peeples has been promoted to audit senior in the commercial audit department; and Rachel Taylor has been promoted to audit senior in the government audit department. All three joined the staff of Bates, Carter & Co. in 2006.

Strickland will lead proposed Forsyth bank

North Metro Bank, a Forsyth County community bank in organization, has announced Spencer L. Strickland as its proposed president.

Strickland began his banking career in 1994 at First National Bank of Gainesville, starting in the bank’s management training program. He was later promoted through the retail bank to vice president and commercial lender for its successor institution, Regions Bank.

Strickland served most recently as president, chief executive officer and director of Mountain State Bank with branches located in Forsyth, Dawson and Lumpkin counties. Prior to being named to that position, he served as executive vice president for Mountain State Bank with responsibilities for all loans and lending-related functions.

"We are very pleased to land someone of Spencer’s caliber as president of North Metro Bank," said Rock Hunt, the proposed CEO of North Metro. "His integrity and character are of the highest standards, and he has developed a wide network of local contacts and extensive banking experience while serving in our market. He will be invaluable as we start operations and begin to grow."

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