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Winter Break Camps for Kids



ufa futbol
Photo from UFA Futbol

Making sure your kids stay happy, safe and active during the upcoming Winter Break can be a tough task to tackle. But this list of local camps has something for every kid to keep them entertained and to shake the snow out.

United Futbol Academy Norcross — Two Youth Soccer Camps

Photo from UFA Futbol

2020 High School Tryout Prep Camp (U15-U19)
Dates: December 15, 17, 19 and 20 and January 5, 7, 9 and 10
Times: Weekdays, 6:30-8 p.m.; weekends, 10-11:30 a.m.
Cost: $100 for all eight sessions
Registration deadline: December 11

UFA Norcross Academy coaches invite all players born from 2006-2002 to sign up for their 2020 High School Tryout Prep Camp, perfect for players wanting to prepare for high school tryouts.

This is a high school camp for all players wanting to make their Varsity or Junior Varsity teams. These sessions will cover conditioning, speed, agility and high intensity technical training for all positions on the field. Each session will be led by full time UFA staff who know what it takes to play at a high level.
All players will need to wear or bring their own ball and shin guards, as well as plenty of water.

Winter Ball Mastery Camp (U8-U14)
Dates: Tuesdays and Thursdays, January 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26 and 28
Time: 5-6:30 p.m.
Cost: $150 for all eight sessions
Registration deadline: December 31

UFA Norcross Academy coaches invite all players born from 2014-2007 to sign up for their Winter’s Ball Mastery Camp. This camp is a must for players who relish taking on defenders one-on-one, as well as twisting and turning to create scoring opportunities. This camp will work towards developing the confidence to be able to perform these skills in games.

The camp is designed to develop skills such as ball mastery and foot speed, one-on-one moves to beat players, stop and start moves to create space to pass, shoot and dribbles, as well as turns and disguise to speed away from defenders.

Location: Summerour Middle School, Norcross 30071
Info and registration: Contact Sam Helliwell at sam@unitedfa.org or visit norcross.unitedfa.org.

Scouts BSA Winter Camp Bert Adams Scout Camp

Scouts BSA and Venturers can attend Winter Camp with their Troop or Crew, or as individuals.
Dates: December 27-31
Cost: $200 for youth, $100 for adults. Troops/Crews of five or more youths will receive two adults at no cost. Youth attending without their Troop or an adult are $220. Camperships are available for scouts who cannot cover the full fee.

The Atlanta Area Council is proud to offer Winter Camp at for Scouts BSA Troops and Venturing Crews. For five days and four nights in December, Scouts BSA and Venturers will have the opportunity to camp and play at one of America’s premier camps.

Their winter camp will introduce unique programs and merit badges that are not available at either of their summer camps. They pulled together the best of their summer camp staffs for an all-star leadership team. Activities include over 40 Merit Badges, games, Cracker Barrels, an epic Klondike Derby, cold weather camping activities and campfires.

Location: Bert Adams Scout Camp, Covington 30016
Info and registration: Contact Veronica Bramlett, Camping and Program Assistant, at 770-956-5687 or check out campbertadams.org/wintercamp.

Alpharetta Recreation Parks & Cultural Services Winter Camps

Atlanta Entertainment Basketball League (AEBL) Camp

A fun basketball camp open to all skill levels for ages 5 to 16.

Dates: December 21-23 and December 28-31
Time: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: $125.00 for residents; $187.50 for non-residents
Location: Wills Park Recreation Center, Alpharetta 30009
Registration: bit.ly/AEBLWinterCamp

Gymnastics Camp

Explore bars, beam, trampoline and foam pit, as well as floor exercises. This camp is offered for kids ages 3 to 12.

Dates: December 21-23 and December 28-30
Time: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Cost: Priced per day
Location: Alpharetta Community Center, Alpharetta 30009
Registration: bit.ly/gymnasticswintercamp

Dance Camp
Campers ages 3 to 10 will enjoy learning new dances, playing games and doing crafts. Camp sessions vary in theme; see registration for details.

Dates: December 21-23 and December 28-30
Times: 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. or 1-4 p.m.
Cost: $80 for residents; $120 for non-residents
Location: Alpharetta Community Center, Alpharetta 30009
Registration: bit.ly/winterdancecamp

Zoo Atlanta School’s Out Virtual Sessions

When school is out, camp is in! Zoo Atlanta intends to engage and excite young learners ages 7 to 12 through interactive virtual camp sessions. These minds-on programs transport your children to the Zoo as we visit animals on grounds, explore biofacts and observe science experiments and demonstrations — all from the comfort and safety of your home.

Camp sessions are held on the Zoom platform, with engaging post-camp activities on Seesaw, an online learning management system. Each program includes an online parent meet-and-greet prior to the program. Internet access required.

Predators on the Prowl
From big cats to small invertebrates, predators are some of the most amazing creatures on the planet. Join in as Zoo Atlanta investigates the extraordinary hunting abilities of these animals, the reasons why they are critical to their environments, and ways we can protect them in their natural homes.

Dates: December 21-23
Time: 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m.
Cost: $25/day per family for members; $30/day per family for non-members
Info and registration: zooatlanta.org/program/schools-out-session/

To the Dismay of the Prey!
Watch out! While not always an easy job, being able to find food and avoid predators is essential for animals to survive. Young scientists will have a blast exploring the clever ways that prey animals outsmart predators.

Dates: December 28-30
Time: 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m.
Cost: $25/day per family for members; $30/day per family for non-members
Info and registration: zooatlanta.org/program/schools-out-session/

Winter Break Day Camps at Robert D. Fowler YMCA —Members Only

Spend your holidays at the YMCA! Holiday Camp offers a variety of activities for children 5 to 13 while they are off for the holiday break. Activities will be themed and consist of arts and crafts, swimming in a heated pool, cooperative games, sports and team building activities. Each camp day is individually priced, so a camper can come on selected days. Capacity is capped at 30 campers, so be sure to register early.

Dates: December 21-30 and January 4-5
Time: 7 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Cost: $40 early registration; $50 late registration.
Info and registration: ymcaatlanta.org/ymca-locations/norcross/

2020 Winter Fencing Camp with Dunwoody High School Wildcats Fencing Club

En garde! The Dunwoody Wildcats Fencing Team invites you to join in for some winter fencing fun! The camp is open to rising 6th grade to 12th grade students. Coaching is provided by Dr. Kathy Vail, Head Coach of the Dunwoody Fencing Club. No experience is necessary, and all equipment will be provided for use during camp. Experienced fencers will improve their techniques and beginning fencers will learn about an exciting, new sport.

Dates: December 28-30
Time: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Cost: $200, includes provided equipment, t-shirt and snack
Info and registration: dhsfencing.org/2020-winter-fencing-camp/. Email questions to dunwoodyhsfencing@gmail.com.

Winter Camp Sessions at Chattahoochee Nature Center — Camp Kingfisher

Get your kids outside and unplugged! Camp Kingfisher offers an outdoor camp experience filled with hiking adventures, animal encounters and outdoor play on a 127-acre riverside campus. Campers grades K-7 learn about nature and understand the ecosystem of the Chattahoochee River area with hands-on science education.

Age groups are broken up to: current K to 2nd grade — Broad Winged Hawk; current 3rd to 4th grade — Cooper’s Hawk; and current 5th to 7th grade — Red Tailed Hawk.

Dates: Winter Session 1 runs December 21-24. Winter Session 2 runs December 28-31.
Time: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Camp ends at 2 p.m. on final day.
Cost: $248.68 for members; $292.56 for non-members. For the oldest group (Red Tailed Hawk): $301.96 for members; $355.25 for non-members.
Info and registration: chattnaturecenter.org/education/camp/seasonal/

Winter Break Camps at Tumbles Johns Creek
Prevent your little polar bears from hibernating during winter break with cool Winter Break Camps. They’ll enjoy a four-hour camp filled with exciting activities for children aged 4 to 9 years old.

They will escape the cold weather with exciting specialties — Gym, Tumble Zone and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math). Campers will get to warm up in the Tumble Zone Indoor Playground, stimulate their brains with activities and experiments in our Santa STEAM room and then burn off their milk and cookies with fun exercises and obstacle courses in the gym. They’re invited to wear their best reindeer or elf ears and enjoy a magical wintertime at Tumbles.

Dates: Camp 1 — December 21-23; Camp 2 — December 28-January 1.
Time: 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
Cost: $50 for one child; $40 for each additional sibling.
Info and registration: johnscreek.tumbles.net/camp

Kelsey Asher is a proud graduate of the University of West Georgia with a Bachelor’s in Communications. She has held a variety of marketing leadership roles for several small, startup companies in a variety of industries including publishing, construction and technology.

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5 Best Business Strategies for 2024 



Peachtree Corners Business Association Speaker Series Panel Discuss Issues from AI to Leadership and Staffing

After 30 minutes of networking, light refreshments and ‘death by chocolate’ brownies courtesy of Marlow’s Tavern, the Peachtree Corners Business Association (PCBA) After Hours Speaker Series Panel commenced.

This panel of local business owners and consultants gathered at the Hilton Atlanta Northeast on Thursday, Oct. 26, to discuss strategies and opportunities for business success in 2024 and beyond.

Moderator Amanda Pearch Marmolejo, owner and President of Forsyth Business Radio X, kicked things off by introducing the panel participants, which included:

From left, Michael Pugh, Rico Figliolini, Lisa Anders, Amanda Pearch Marmolejo, Bill McDermott and Gentry Ganote (photos by Tracey Rice)

1. The importance of cybersecurity for businesses
Cybersecurity remains a top concern for small and medium-sized businesses. In fact, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center’s (ITRC) recently published Business Impact Report, 73% of 551 surveyed small business owners encountered a cyberattack this year.

As the leader of technology solutions provider Rijoli, Gentry Ganote knows first-hand where businesses are the most vulnerable.

“What we’re seeing is phishing attacks are really the number one nefarious act that’s going on that we deal with on a daily basis. We provide security services for our customers, and we have spam filters and email filters and all kinds of artificial intelligence,” said Ganote.

“But emails still get through, texts get through and people become susceptible to clicking on a link, putting their password in, changing bank records, giving money to the wrong people, and we see it every day,” he added.

“If any of you guys hire interns, you should educate them quickly about scams that are out there. They don’t know they’re new to the workforce,” Ganote explained emphatically.

2. Business succession and exit strategies
As some business owners head toward retirement or strive to preserve their legacy for future generations, transitioning both management and ownership is paramount.

As “The Profitability Coach,” Bill McDermott has consulted many business owners on best executing their succession strategies.

“The particular work for a business owner is number one, identifying that there’s value that can be transferred either to that seller, to the management team or to the outside buyer,” said McDermott.

“Secondly, there’s a growth plan that’s required. Typically, there’s a letter of intent or confidentiality agreement. There are asset purchase agreements, there are representations and warranties, and having an attorney is absolutely critical,” he further explained.

“Selling a business in some ways is also selling real estate, except the numbers are bigger. So, it takes a business broker … it’s a complex transaction, and there are a lot of moving parts, and there are a lot of important people that are part of that,” he added.

3. Leadership, training and staffing

Industries like hospitality are innovating through adversity, developing new training programs to address service staffing shortages exacerbated by the pandemic and aiming to empower front-line employees through direct and tailored instruction.

Lisa Anders, the Executive Director for Explore Gwinnett, Gwinnett County’s official tourism organization, shared her challenges and solutions in this area.

“We’ve been to a hotel recently.  There used to be 30 employees; now there’s 15 employees. And it is just a challenge.  Pre-COVID, we had a full-time education director who worked on training and hospitality training. We had a very robust program … and just now we are reinventing it, and we’re going to roll it out in 24,’ but it’s completely different,” said Anders.

 “We have a lot of research and a lot of conversations with our hotels and our other hospitality departments on the very frontline; the very front desk is the problem. People are under-trained and under motivated. It is just a problem,” she added.

Yet, Explore Gwinnett is taking positive steps forward with its training efforts.

“We’re instituting a new training program. We’re going to be going into every single hotel district … going directly into those hotel districts and doing training one-on-one with our hotel partners and with frontline employees. Our hotels are super excited because it’s not just customer service, it is learning how to de-escalate situations,” Anders explained.

4. Content creation and podcasting
Podcasts have emerged as a powerful tool for storytelling and marketing. Drawing inspiration from a family history in journalism, McDermott leveraged the power of narrative to create a successful podcast that not only celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit but also serves as a cornerstone in his marketing strategy.

“Marketing is the number one weakness in any broken firm,” McDermott said.

“I started a show, we just celebrated our 50th episode, and I was able to tell stories of business owners and professionals that advise them. Three years forward now, my podcast has become actually the linchpin in my marketing strategy. It is the number one thing that I do,” he went on.

“Podcasting is actually a great way to get to know and trust people and a lot of my guests have now become clients,” McDermott added.

Rico Figliolini, the founder of creative services company Mighty Rockets, echoed this sentiment.

“It’s a great way to soft open a prospect. … If you want to get a lead prospect in your industry, you should become that authority of that industry,” said Figliolini.

5. Artificial intelligence and technology

Increasing efficiency while maintaining the human element using AI applications is at the forefront of business strategy heading into 2024.

The legal realm is catching up with AI’s transformative impact. Tools that once seemed futuristic are becoming standard, reshaping how legal professionals approach their work while maintaining the essential human touch through client interactions.

Michael Pugh, an attorney at the law firm of Thompson O’Brien, is witnessing this transition first-hand.

“The legal industry is just starting to incorporate AI … There’s one program called LexisNexis where I can write a legal breach and upload it to Lexis, and it’ll check my cases. It’ll suggest other cases to incorporate; it’ll analyze my arguments and tell me what percentage I’m likely to succeed,” Pugh explained.

“That’s a bit scary, but sometimes it’s pretty cool. So, we’re definitely going to be using more AI, but at the same time, people want to see who they’re working with face-to-face. So, we do meet regularly with our clients,” he added.

The next PCBA Business After Hours Speaker Series will be held on Nov. 16, 2023, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Kathryn Stewart, owner of Performance Trucking, will discuss how she carved out her path as a female executive in a male-dominated industry.

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Gwinnett Chamber to Host Multi-Chamber Mixer



Join the Gwinnett Chamber on Nov. 1, for a global business mixer at Gas South Convention. Network and celebrate diversity.

The Gwinnett Chamber is set to host the 2023 Multi-Chamber Mixer at After Hours, an end-of-year event designed to celebrate Gwinnett’s inclusive business community.

The program will be held at the Gas South Convention Center on November 1, starting at 5 p.m.

This program brings organizations from around the world together to celebrate Gwinnett’s diverse and international business community.

Partners in this event have historically included business groups such as:

  • The Georgia Indo-American Chamber,
  • Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Georgia,
  • Korean American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia,
  • Latin American Chamber,
  • German American Chamber,
  • French American Chamber,
  • Georgia Hispanic Chamber,
  • Georgia Pakistan Business Council,
  • Liberian Community Association of Georgia,
  • Atlanta Chinese Entrepreneurs Club and
  • the Italy America Chamber Commerce Southeast, Georgia Chapter

“Collaboration with these organizations enables connection and a deeper understanding of business needs in our region,” added Gwinnett Chamber President and CEO Nick Masino. “We are pleased to partner with these entities in hosting an event designed to celebrate our collective success and ever-evolving growth opportunities.”

Registration is required to attend and includes international food tastings, drink tickets and networking with more than 300 business professionals. To register, please visit GwinnettChamber.org/Events.

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Insight Sourcing Unveils Refreshed Brand



The firm has updated its icon and font and is dropping “Group” from its brand name, previously Insight Sourcing Group.

Insight Sourcing, a North American consulting firm focused exclusively on strategic sourcing and procurement-related services, is marking 21 years of client commitment with a brand refresh.

The firm has updated its visual identity with a new icon and font and is dropping “Group” from its brand name, previously Insight Sourcing Group.

The decision to refresh the brand underscores Insight Sourcing’s dedication to the procurement and sourcing domain.

“Since day one, Insight Sourcing has remained innovative, agile and always ready to leverage market intelligence, and digital assets to meet the ambitious goals of our clients,” said Tom Beaty, CEO of Insight Sourcing.

“We never rest in our pursuit of excellence, and neither should our brand. It reflects our deep appreciation for our past as well as the dynamic nature of our future,” he added.

It’s important to note that this refresh signifies a renewed pledge to clients and their needs. It does not signify a change of ownership or operating structure.

For further details about Insight Sourcing, visit the organization’s website at www.insightsourcing.com.

Read more local business news here.

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