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How The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival Comes to Life Virtually & In-Person



Learning to run a virtual film festival with drive-in movies too, for the first time isn’t easy? The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival is back and better than ever! Karl Barham and Rico Figliolini are joined by Sari Earl, the vice president of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival board. For years the AJFF has been bringing great films to Metro Atlanta and on this episode listen in to explore how they’re doing a film festival in a pandemic and socially distanced environment.

New Website: https://ajffrecommends.org
Social Media: @AJFFAtlanta

[00:00:30] – Intro
[00:03:17] – About Sari
[00:07:10] – Changing Perceptions
[00:13:20] – Going Virtual
[00:18:09] – Ideas to Take into the Future
[00:22:33] – How Films are Selected
[00:24:35] – Cost of Films
[00:26:53] – Getting Involved
[00:27:58] – Film Recommendations
[00:32:11] – Closing

“I have always been drawn to the mission of the film festival, which is the bridge building. Bringing people together, digging into a topic, and then unpacking it together with a guest speaker. To me that’s really exciting, but it’s the first time where I really think, art is more than art. Art is human and it’s a human connection. And it really spoke to me. It was great.”

Sari Earl

Podcast Transcript

Karl: [00:00:30] Welcome to the Capitalist Sage podcast. We’re here to bring you advice and
tips from seasoned pros and experts to help you improve your business. I’m Karl Barham with
Transworld Business Advisors, and my co-host is Rico Figliolini with Mighty Rockets Digital
Marketing, and the publisher of the Peachtree Corners magazine. Hey Rico, how are you
Rico: [00:00:48] Good, Karl. How are you?
Karl: [00:00:50] I’m doing well. I’m excited. This is one of my favorite times of years, film festival
time. And today we are going to have a great discussion with Sari Earl, the vice president of the
Atlanta Jewish film festival board. And we’re going to talk about some of the exciting things
that’s coming this year to Atlanta and the film festival. So I look forward to having that chat.
Sari: [00:01:15] Thanks for having me, Karl. Thanks Rico. I really appreciate you having me.
You have a great show and I’m glad to be here.
Karl: [00:01:21] Awesome. Why don’t we introduce our sponsor before we get into our
conversation with Sari today?
Rico: [00:01:27] Sure. Our sponsor is Hargray Fiber. They’ve been a sponsor of both Peachtree
Corners magazine, and for the family of podcasts that we do. And this year they are the, they
introduced the Hargray Economic Stimulus Plan. Just like the federal government has one,
Hargray has one. They’re an internet cable company that provides fiber optic, fast internet
connection and business solutions for not only small businesses, but enterprise sized
businesses. So the economic stimulus plan, real simple it’s one year free of business, internet,
and phone service for those that qualify. So check them out there at
Hargray.com/business/economic-stimulus, and find that website, check them out. Look at what
they’re doing. They’re here in Peachtree Corners. They’re all over the Southeast. They’re not
like the cable guy. They’re really committed to the communities that they’re in. So check them
out, Hargray Fiber.
Karl: [00:02:32] There isn’t a business today that should not have great internet speed, making
sure that their fiber optics is working and they’re able to communicate. Whether they’re working
from home or they want to keep that speed up at their place of work. So I’m really grateful to
Hargray Fiber for all they’re doing in the community and helping businesses with this great
stimulus package.
Rico: [00:02:53] Absolutely. So I just also want to say one other thing. We are a sponsor of the
Atlanta Jewish film festival with the Peachtree Corners magazine and the latest issue that came
out. So I just want to let everyone know that, you know. And I’ll tell them how great the website
is when we get to it. But it’s a great film festival. So I’m excited to have Sari on.
Karl: [00:03:17] Well today’s guest, Sari Earl is the vice president of the Atlanta Jewish Film
Festival board. And for years they’ve been bringing great films to the Metro Atlanta and beyond
community. And today we get to talk about this year’s film festival, some of the interesting things
they’re doing. And even get to explore how we’re doing this in this pandemic environment, this
socially distanced environment. Lots of great options for you to get out and see some films. So
we’d like to welcome Sari to the podcast. How are you doing today?
Sari: [00:03:52] I’m great. Thanks for having me.
Karl: [00:03:54] Why don’t you tell us a little bit, start off by telling us a little bit about yourself.
What do you do when you’re not enjoying great films and tell us how you made it to Atlanta?
Sari: [00:04:03] I’m originally from Brooklyn, just like Rico. And moved down here to attend
Emory law school. I stayed and got my master’s in laws and taxation. And then I worked at Delta
as in-house counsel. I worked for another trade association. And ultimately turned to writing.
And I’ve been a professional writer ever since. I’ve published about 10 books, some fiction,
some non-fiction. I love to try new ways of writing. I’ve written a screenplay and I got involved
with the festival a number of years ago. Mostly through the community building. The American
Jewish committee created the film festival originally, and they have a black Jewish dialogue, a
Baptist Jewish coalition. They have just amazing events and programming, but it’s really about
the interconnecting of our communities. And so the film festival was a program that was so
successful at bringing people together. That we kind of outgrew our founder and partner
American Jewish committee, and we became our own non-profit. And once we did that, like the
partnership with American Jewish committee is so strong and it’s a huge balance. Because yes,
we’re a film festival, but we are focused on our community and our wider community. We
conversed over Jewish films, but the topics are wide ranging and a large percentage of our
audience is not Jewish. And we love that. So typically on a typical year, non COVID year, I go to
the film festival with my friends. As an example, I have a friend who’s an atheist, one who’s in
Hindu and one who’s Catholic. I am Jewish. We all go together, we pick certain films and then
afterwards we debrief about how we process them. And it’s that kind of magical experience that
we’ve done year after year. We love it. As soon as the program guide comes out, people start
circling what they want. I get emails from people I’m going to this one, I’m going to that one. But
also the other thing that really gets me excited about it, are the Q and A’s. We bring in these
guests and we get guests that you’re really not going to hear somewhere else. One of my
earliest guests that I remember so clearly was, it was a film about a Mossad agent, an Israeli
spy who went to go work in Egypt to try to uncover nuclear ambitions in Egypt. And he had a
family in Israel and then he had a family for his undercover work. And the film was about what
happened to him. Great story. At the end of the film, we got to talk to his son about the impact of
his father being a Massad spy on his life. It was fascinating, fascinating. So we get really good
conversations going.
Karl: [00:07:10] I think in particular this past year, if there was a time where people needed to
one, be distracted from the day-to-day through film and through art. And at the same time, bring
people together through shared experiences and seeing artists’ stories and visions and seeing
how it’s received. It’s been this year. And I think, you know, I think many people I talk to have
missed films on a mass scale. And especially the independent ones that are story-driven plot
driven, performance driven stories. We all love the Marvel big, fantastic. But those quieter, that’s
where a lot of people learn about other cultures. And I think the work that you’re doing and the
film festival does to bring that together is amazing. So I’m curious, you know, and do you have a
favorite film that you’ve seen over the past few years that brought a different insight to
something that you may not have, the film fundamentally changed the way you perceived a
person or people or culture or something of significance?
Sari: [00:08:28] Absolutely. The first one that pops into my mind is why culture, why art? And I
remember watching, it was a documentary about the Warsaw Ghetto during the Holocaust and
how people were starving in the streets. People were suffering such indignities by the Nazis.
And during that time they chose to put on theater productions. And I’m thinking, this is the worst
of times, you’re in the worst of places. Who’s thinking about putting on a show? And something
clicked. What was happening is they wanted to keep their sense of joy and play and culture.
And so they put on Yiddish theater in the middle of a Holocaust. And for me, I have always been
drawn to the mission of the film festival, which is the bridge building. Bringing people together,
digging into a topic, and then unpacking it together with a guest speaker. To me that’s really
exciting, but it’s the first time where I really think, art is more than art. Art is human and it’s a
human connection. And it really spoke to me. It was great.
Karl: [00:09:46] Absolutely. I remember watching a film some years ago. And I think it was about
Indian culture, this particular one. Have you heard of the ones that follow water? I think earth,
fire. I remember watching them. They’re just great films and they’re based on books, great films.
But it gave you an insight into a culture that you didn’t see every day. But I remember it made
me reach out to people and want to get to know them and their culture and experience more of
that. And I think the film festivals like this that brings those types of elements together is going to
be the way that a lot of young people are going to really get to learn about people that are
different from them, or grew up differently from them which might make them curious to go meet
more people and get to understand more people. Which is a lot of what we could probably use
now after the past year. People got disconnected, socially distanced. And how do we start
bringing them back together.
Rico: [00:10:45] No, it’s interesting. Go ahead.
Sari: [00:10:48] Sorry Rico. It is really interesting. I mean, the film festival has a lot of films that
are international. We have films from Israel, you know, I have the list here, but it’s a huge list.
We usually have a German films, a lot of German films. Spanish films, Japanese films. So we’ve
had the directors come in. It’s been really exciting, but what I like about it is that I would not
otherwise watch a foreign film, just not my cup of tea. And here through the Atlanta Jewish film
festival, it’s been curated for me then I know it’s good. I know it’s interesting. I know it’s
something where I’m going to learn something about another culture and I love it. So during the
film festival, I’m watching international films. And you’re right, Karl, it makes me feel more
connected and understand these other countries and the people living in them so much better.
And I don’t know that I would do that otherwise.
Rico: [00:11:46] You know what’s more about that too, is that because it’s other countries and
people think Judaism or Jewish people are Israel or the United States. And they’re not
understanding there are Egyptians that are Jewish. There are Brazilians that are Jewish. There
are Japanese that are Jewish. And that culture of Judaism mixed in with the other culture that
they grew up in or country they grew up in, right? Just makes it so much different and it adds so
much to that fabric of what’s going on in their life because they might be Japanese, but they’re
also celebrating Judaism in that country, right?
Sari: [00:12:26] Yeah. That’s an interesting point. There’s a film this year in the film festival,
which I’m really excited about. I’m going to try to see if I can find the page in this beautiful
program guide, that we love. It’s our Bible for the festival. It’s called They Ain’t Ready For Me.
And it is about an African-American rabbinic student who decides to help save the people of
Chicago’s South side. I mean, it looks so exciting. And the fact that’s something else that’s been
really interesting is learning more about the, not everybody’s just one thing. One color, one
culture, one country. We’re all, you know, a mix of everything and to explore all the different
corners of how different people can intersect those different identities is really fun and opens us
Rico: [00:13:20] I noticed that you circled within that directory your movie. I’ve done the same
thing. But then I’ve gone to the website, which by the way, I’ve got to give you props for. That
website is phenomenal. It’s easy, you can register for the movies. You register yourself, you
register for the movies you want to see. You can go back and check the times and stuff. And as
you’re looking at the videos and actually you can look at trailers on the site too, or a description.
It’s rare that you see a website works so well. To be able to keep you informed and in the ease
of use. So it’s intuitive. You don’t see that even on corporate websites, they’d probably spend a
lot of money. So on a nonprofit side, I’m just totally impressed. So I’ve just got to tell you that.
Sari: [00:14:09] Thank you. I have to give kudos to the staff. Kenny Blank is a phenomenal
leader. The staff is amazing. They’ve worked so hard on the ease of use and I was also
impressed, like everything’s new this year. So going virtual, like we’re on Apple TV. We’re on
Roku. You can find us. You can find us on all of our Q and A’s are going to be posted on
YouTube so you don’t even have to buy tickets to the film. And yet you can access those
amazing question and answers where we have these phenomenal people talking about their
films and their journeys. And we’re really trying to make it as accessible as possible. And I’ve
got to tell you, the staff really has out done themselves.
Rico: [00:14:52] And as a former film production manager, when I was in school and I used to
publish a fanzine back in Brooklyn for movies. I went to the Star Wars premiere and sat next to
Rex Reed, who was wondering who these kids were. I was with my siblings reviewing the movie
for the fanzine. Just to be able to see the Q and A part and understand how that movie was
made. Where people think, Oh, that’s easy, or they have a predetermined a way that it was
done or something. And you realize, wow, that was an accident? That happened on set? That
was just improv when it looked like it was organic or something. So the sweet spots of seeing
how a movie is made.
Karl: [00:15:37] Today, they have all those extras on films. If you go on Netflix, you’ll be able to
see the extra director’s cut, directors comments, and so on. Well, you know, 20 years ago they
didn’t have those things. And if you went to a film festival, you get to hear some of those
insights, those questions. You know, was that luck or was that planned and how did they think
through making a film? Which I’m pretty sure that those folks ended up being this generation of
filmmakers. And so for young kids out there right now and their families, if they’ve enjoyed film,
going on that website, and I think doing, circle the films that you want to take a look at and sign
up, get tickets and enjoy with your family. Make it a family experience. And listen to the Q and A,
and then have that discussion with your family about what you interpreted from the film.
Whether it’s the technical, how it was made, or maybe it was the story of the plot, or questions.
That’s a great COVID socially distant activity to do with the family that, you know, in years past,
you may not have been able to do as easily if you had to go out. But I got a couple of kind of…
Sari: [00:16:47] Before we leave this topic, it’s a really good point. The things that are made
easier by going virtual in the past, you had to be in your seat for the seven o’clock showing, and
then wait afterwards for the setup to have the guests. This year, it’s seamless and you have a
window. So the film festival is February 17th to February 28th. And during that time period,
tickets are on sale now AJFF.org. Which is, thank you for complimenting our website, that was
great. But you have a window now, so you don’t have to watch it at a certain time at night. You
might be a morning person. You might want to watch it while you’re working out. You might want
to watch it, you know, with other people, as you were saying, Karl. So there’s a window within
which you can now screen it. And that really opens it up. And then the Q and A’s will be there for
Rico: [00:17:39] And not only that you can watch more than what you may have done before. So
last year before COVID, maybe you got to three of these movies, maybe you did the midnight
show. Which I’m going to watch that midnight horror movie, right? The Vigil. That’s going to be
cool. I’m going to watch that I’ve been dying because that’s the time to watch it. But this time I
can watch a half a dozen or a dozen if I want. I mean, it’s so different than before. It’s probably
opening it up to a wider audience than could otherwise have made the festival.
Karl: [00:18:09] And that was actually where, where I was going to ask, of the things that have
changed because of COVID. What are some of the things that just, you know, maybe might’ve
surprised the team and or blessings that, you know, things that you’d like to figure out and
incorporate and keep around, even beyond this period that everyone’s socially distant.
Sari: [00:18:30] That’s a great question. So when everything first hit, the real conundrum was,
do we hibernate or do we innovate? And we went with innovate. So we spent a lot of time
searching web platforms, figuring out what a virtual film festival would look like. Going to drive
ins, which was really fun. We got to test different drive-ins and for the first time ever, we’re
having drive-ins at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. They’re going to be at the Mercedes-Benz
stadium and the Home Depot backyard. And we’re going to have three films. Shivah baby,
Spaceballs, we always bring back some great films that we love, and Little Shop of Horrors. And
we’re having food trucks. We’re having a donut truck. We’re having giveaway bags. I mean,
we’re trying to really bring the festival and the festivity into this experience. So that’s definitely
something different than I really had fun with. But there’s something else that happened that we
realized during COVID. First, we have hundreds of volunteers and they really wanted us to stay
on track. They wanted us to keep our schedule. They wanted to keep working in the film
evaluation and get the films curated for this upcoming festival. And doing all of our meetings on
Zoom, we not only became more accessible to new volunteers who otherwise couldn’t have
gotten into our building. I never want to lose that voice at the table. Someone who maybe had
an accessibility issue or some kind of an issue that made it so that they could not be there in
person. Now they can participate. I never want to lose those voices. Those people who are
fresh to the table and let us see things from a different point of view. We’ve had a number of
new volunteers come on, who otherwise never could have been able to attend and participate.
And I don’t want that to ever go away. It’s been phenomenal. The other thing that we did is we
took our entire collection of every film that we’ve shown at the film festivals in years past. And
we uploaded it onto a platform on the internet. It’s at AJFFRecommends.org, brand new
website. I’m particularly excited for the educational pieces. We have a lot of school partners,
great schools that are exposing their students to, like you said, Karl, these different viewpoints,
different countries, different cultures and then want to unpack it. And so we can recommend
films to them that they can get off the platform and help them unpack and create a way to
connect these students to the story on the screen. And then the final thing, which I’m so excited
about, is we created a filmmaker fund to help filmmakers struggling to help them get their films
to audiences. And we have our first film ever that has benefited from the filmmaker fund. And it’s
premiering, it’s world premiere is that the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. And it’s about the city of
Atlanta. It’s called The City Too Busy to Hate. It’s a great film and it’s produced by three local
filmmakers who are phenomenal people and the film shows you things you would not have
otherwise seen. I got to see a few snippets of it and it was showing Holocaust survivors being
brought together during COVID, spatially distanced to listen to a concert. You know, the things
people did to really open their hearts and try to find ways for other people to be connected.
Because Atlanta is pretty awesome. The greater Atlanta is a pretty unique place and they, this
film explores different pockets of the community and how they tackled with COVID, but also how
they came together under COVID. Very exciting. And the filmmaker is going to keep going. I
love it.
Karl: [00:22:33] We always talk about innovating. When something external challenge is brought
in the organizations that thrive are the ones that figure out how to innovate. And some of the
best, you know, things that we see today comes out of hardship, where people have to figure
out a way. And I think you might’ve missed, you solved the one other really important challenge
that people have in enjoying film festival. You solved the babysitting challenge. Now today
instead of having to get that babysitter and go out there and see a film you could put the kids to
bed, you could put the kids in front of Disney. You can still enjoy the film in so many different
ways that’s going to be important. You mentioned volunteers, hundreds of volunteers. Why don’t
you give a little insight on the process to get the films selected and featured into the festival
each year.
Sari: [00:23:32] So I think this year we had about 500 films submitted. You can go on our
website if you want to submit a film. And then it goes to the film evaluation committee. And I
have served on the film evaluation committee and I did it one term and I was done. Because
you have to see a lot of really bad films to get to the good ones. And I want my film experience
to be curated. That’s why I like the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. These hundreds of volunteers
having thousands and thousands of reviews that they post online. And then they discuss them.
They come together and they discuss the films. And are they good enough as far as production
value? Is it a relevant story, is it timely, is it Jewish? That question comes up a lot. And then they
curate those films and they propose a list of films that they recommend for the festival. And then
that’s what we weed through to get you the best of the best. So you don’t have to be digging
through a bunch of different platforms. It’s curated for you.
Karl: [00:24:35] Then I’m curious, the other part is the cost now. So the traditional model where
you buy a ticket and you show up and so on. How would the cost of the film and what are the
options for people to enjoy these films this year?
Sari: [00:24:50] Well, the great thing about the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival this year is that
when you buy a ticket, it’s for whoever’s in your house. So the ticket could be for five people. It
could be for ten people. It’s whoever’s in your pod can get it. You get a code and the code gives
you entrance into the film. The drive-in, you pay per car. And once you pay per car, you can
have as many people in your car as you want. You can show up for that screening. So the
prices are actually pretty good. And then the Q and A’s are free. Anyone can watch a Q and A,
even if they haven’t seen the film.
Rico: [00:25:27] Let me ask you something on the drive in part. If someone comes in with a
pickup truck and lays down the back and puts the all the blankets down, is that a good, is that
Sari: [00:25:38] Don’t make me laugh. You’re making me laugh. That’s good. I think we said any
vehicle, any vehicle.
Karl: [00:25:50] I can see school buses rolling in, people in school buses.
Sari: [00:25:54] Hey there is a donut truck coming with hot cocoa. So a school bus would be
very appropriate. But, yeah, so we tried to make it accessible. And, but we’re also a nonprofit. I
mean, we’re not making a profit off this. We’re providing a service, we’re part of our community.
And that’s the thing that was amazing about this year. People wanted to support us. They said,
we don’t want you to just survive. We want you to thrive. And it’s been really beautiful to see
how many supporters came up and said, you’re important to our experience of living in Atlanta.
You’re important to our experience of being in Atlanta, Jewish and non-Jewish. And it’s been
really exciting. And heartwarming, I guess, is the best word heartwarming to have so many
sponsors and supporters really care about us and volunteers who are willing to give their time. I
mean, we’re a volunteer nonprofit and we have some of the most talented and amazing people
coming to help us. We’re very, very lucky and we really appreciate it.
Karl: [00:26:53] We want to help continue that. So if people are out there watching this and they
want to get involved, whether it’s through sponsorship and donations, whether it’s through
volunteering their time, what are the ways that people could get involved? How do they reach
the organization?
Sari: [00:27:09] Well we are on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. AJFF Atlanta is our hashtag,
AJFF Atlanta. So Atlanta Jewish films. But more importantly, I would go to the website. We have
one of our best committees is called community engagement. And it brings a cross section of
people, different religions, different races, different identities, different socioeconomic
backgrounds. And we come together to talk movies and how to bring people to films. I love that
committee, highly recommend it. We have a guest programming committee also, that’s really
fun. A lot of celebrities because we pick who gets to introduce films, who gets to do the Q and
A’s. So I would go to our website and check it out. Please volunteer, AJFF.org.
Karl: [00:27:58] That’s fabulous. Well, I mean, we could talk about films forever. Are there any
that you have on your watch list? For folks that are new, you might suggest that they take a look
at? Give me one or two recommendations that I can put on.
Sari: [00:28:14] Okay, alright. So we have some phenomenal guests. If you guys seen the show
Unorthodox on Netflix, the actress who stared in it is brilliant. And we have got her attending our
festival and speaking to us, she’s throwing in a film called Asia. And it’s ASIA, and I’ll see if I can
find it. But it’s a phenomenal film about a woman and her daughter and their relationship which
can be really challenging. The other films I’m really excited about, Howie Mendell is our closing
night. He is coming to our festival via Zoom. We’re interviewing him and he’s great, and funny,
fun, fantastic. Who else is fun? There are so many, I mean, the one I mentioned to you earlier
They Ain’t Ready for Me. Can’t wait to see this, very excited. Okay, the horror movie is called
the Vigil. And the Vigil is having a midnight showing. And then of course we have a window to
watch it afterwards. If midnight is not your cup of tea. And I heard it’s phenomenal. In Judaism,
when someone passes away, there’s a tradition to have someone sit with the body. And the film
takes that experience and creates a horror film out of it. And I heard it was fantastic. We have a
film critic who’s on our film, who chairs our film evaluation committee. He said this film was
fantastic. And Karl, to your point about the children and the babysitter problem, there’s a film I
don’t know if you can see it, it’s called the Crossing. And it’s about children who have to cross
over a wilderness during World War II in Norway, and it’s great. Great films. So there are films
that are child-friendly including the drive-ins. I mean, the drive-ins are a great opportunity to get
out with your kids in a safe space.
Karl: [00:30:16] Oh yeah, Spaceballs is a classic.
Sari: [00:30:19] Spaceballs is a classic. I mean, it’s the best and you know, our kids haven’t
seen these movies. Our kids haven’t seen Little Shop of Horrors and it’s an event and you’re out
and I’ve been to the Home Depot backyard at Mercedes Events theater. It’s phenomenal. It’s a
great space. It’s open, it’s, I felt really safe when I was there. I’m excited for the food trucks.
We’re doing giveaways. We’re making it festive because we want people to enjoy this and have
some fun.
Rico: [00:30:47] I think I would go for the food trucks too, you know? Kosher food, a couple of
knishes. I mean, it’s just like, I’m just missing a few things from New York.
Sari: [00:30:58] Oh yeah. I wish, but there’s no knish, but there are donuts. That’s another thing
that we’ve added for the festival this year. We have home delivery of some gourmet meals, with
your movies. So when you order your tickets, it’ll pop up and say, would you like a meal
delivered to your house? And if you buy opening night tickets, this is an insider tip. If you buy
tickets for opening night, you will get a free festival in a box delivered to your home. And inside
the box are treats, we want to support our restaurant partners who’ve been great to us for so
many years. I mean, we really want to make this fun and festive. So opening night festival in a
box drive in we’re going to have some giveaways and some swag and lots of food and fun. And
we’re really trying to make this an event. And so far, the audience is clamoring for this. We’ve
had an amazing response from our sponsors, amazing response from our audience saying, we
want you to, we want the show to go on. The show must go on. So AJFF this year has
reinvented, re-imagined. But we’ll be here February 17th till 28th, and it’s going to be a lot of fun.
So join us, please.
Karl: [00:32:11] Well I want to thank you so much for sharing about the Atlanta Jewish Film
Festival and all the ways that you bring people together through film and continuing the tradition
and innovating it in a lot of different ways. Sari, you have been excellent and a great
ambassador for the program that’s coming up. And again, why don’t you tell us the dates of the
film festival?
Sari: [00:32:38] Sure. It starts February 17th. Tickets are on sale now at our website, AJFF.org.
We are a nonprofit. And our closing night is February 28th. The opening night film Kiss Me
Kosher has gotten rave reviews, and we picked a comedy. We said, we must start with a
comedy this year. We need to lighten up. And then we end with a comedian, with Howie
Mendell. And he’s coming in as a guest for the Atlanta Jewish film festival. So it’s going to be
Karl: [00:33:11] Fabulous. Well, thank you so much. Sari Earl, vice president of the Atlanta
Jewish film festival board. And you know, this year we need laughs. We need distractions. We
need to get out. And the film festival is giving us all of that this year for folks to be able to enjoy.
And so I definitely want to give two notes that I made for myself. This sounds like the ideal
Valentine’s gift for folks. And the beauty of this is you could send this Valentine across the
country. People could enjoy it anywhere. So just through the realities of being virtual, people
could enjoy this from anywhere in the country, really. So really great idea for a gift. So thank you
so much for sharing everything you have today.
Sari: [00:34:00] Thanks for having me. Some of the films, just so you know, are geo blocked. So
they’re only available in Georgia. A lot of the films are available anywhere in the United States of
America. So you just have to go to the website and check it out. But there are plenty of films.
And like I said, they’ve been curated. Like someone else, hundreds of times have viewed this to
make sure it was good and worth my time. So it’s worth checking out.
Karl: [00:34:24] Fabulous. Well, thank you again. Thank you so much. Well I wanna say thanks.
Thanks everyone, the sponsor, Hargray Fiber for continuing to support the Capitalist Sage and
the other family of podcasts that we have. I’m Karl Barham with Transworld Business Advisors
of Atlanta Peachtree. Our business advisors are available to consult on your business, whether
you’re looking to improve it or grow it, whether you’re looking to exit your business. You can
contact myself or any one of our advisors to help to guide you through that path. Now’s a great
time. The SBA is offering great rates and programs for people acquiring businesses. So if you
want to be your own boss, so you can watch more films at the time that you want give us a call.
And we could help you find the right business that fits what you’re doing. Rico, why don’t you tell
us a little bit about what you’ve got coming up.
Rico: [00:35:18] Sure, we just got our latest issue out of Peachtree Corners magazine. I showed
you guys that before. Faith and sports is the cover story. Lots of stuff in here, a lot of good
stories. The roller hockey Ogden rink, and the association along with stories about, from
education to summer camp, to the new redevelopment authority that the city has started, to
aging well resource guide. So that there’s a bunch of good things in here. You can find all of it
almost online now at LivinginPeachtreeCorners.com. There’s an article in here, a short piece on
the on the film festival as well. And we’re going to be doing more of these types of stories
coming out over the next few weeks. If you want to find out a little bit more beyond what I do at
MightyRockets.com. That’s content, marketing, marketing social media, and creative work,
creative services. Check that out. If you need me, you can find me on LinkedIn, Rico Figliolini. If
you can’t spell that, just go to the website and you’ll see it and you can find me almost
anywhere. So yeah, and from, and it’s amazing that the three of us let’s put us back on here,
three of us are all from Brooklyn or New York.
Karl: [00:36:31] Yeah. Absolutely, Brooklyn spreads out all over the country, right? They seem
like 30 something percent of folks in the United States came through Brooklyn. So here we are
reunited in Georgia.
Rico: [00:36:44] Right. Good to have you on Sari. Oh well, hold on. Can’t hear you for some
Sari: [00:36:50] Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it. I had a lot of fun talking
with you guys. It was great. Really appreciate you hosting us and the Atlanta Jewish Film
Festival. Thank you.
Karl: [00:37:00] Our pleasure. Well everyone, go get your tickets. February 17 through 28, check
out the website. Get those tickets, send them out as gifts and support the local community and
just help bring people together. This is the Capitalist Sage podcast. Again, bringing you great
guests from the community here in all aspects of business, whether it’s for-profit or non-profit.
We do not discriminate. We want to talk to everyone and share what people are doing to help
innovate and bring value to the community. So thank you everybody. And thank you, Sari, for all
you are doing for the community
Rico: [00:37:36] Take care guys.

Continue Reading


ASHRAE: Changing the value of a building and setting standards for the world



ASHRAE, and the engineers that make up its society, are responsible for setting the standard of building in the United States and many countries. Today’s guest, Ginger Scoggins, is the current Treasurer and served as chair for the Building Headquarters Ad Hoc Committee at ASHRAE. In addition to her work there, she is also president and co-founder of Engineered Designs, Inc. In this episode, Karl and Rico talk with Ginger about the new ASHRAE Headquarters in Peachtree Corners and this society’s amazing work.

ASHRAE is a global professional society committed to serving humanity by advancing the arts and sciences of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration, and their allied fields.

Related Links

ASHRAE Website: https://www.ASHRAE.org
Ginger’s Email: GScoggins@EngineeredDesigns.com

“It’s just hyper important, especially right now in this world we’re in, to make sure that the standards that people need to adhere to when they’re designing buildings really help the occupants and the planet. And that we’re not contributing to the issues that we see today in terms of global warming and all of that.”

Ginger Scoggins

Podcast transcript:

[00:00:30] Karl: Hello. Today we’re speaking with ASHRAE and talking about advances in building technologies here in Peachtree Corners. Our guest will be Ginger Scoggins, ASHRAE Treasurer and Fellow, and the chair of the ASHRAE Building Headquarters Ad Hoc committee. And president of Engineered Designs Inc. I’d like to welcome everybody to the Capitalist Sage Podcast. We’re here to bring you advice and tips from seasoned pros and experts to help you improve your business. I’m Karl Barham with Transworld business advisors. And my co-host is Rico Figliolini with Mighty Rockets, Digital Marketing, and the publisher of the Peachtree Corners Magazine Rico, how are you doing today?

[00:01:08] Rico: Good, Karl. How are you? Ginger, good to see you.

[00:01:11] Ginger: Good to see you both.

[00:01:13] Karl: Excellent. Why don’t you tell us about our sponsor today?

[00:01:17] Rico: Sure. Peachtree Corners Magazine, which I publish six times a year is the publication that covers Peachtree Corners, not only in print, but online. And we cover it through podcasts, like the Capitalist Sage, Peachtree Corners Life, and even Prime Lunchtime with City Manager. So check us out, go to LivinginPeachtreeCorners.com and you’ll find out more information.

[00:01:37] Karl: Thank you so much for that. It is a pleasure to welcome Ginger Scoggins a member of ASHRAE and the current Treasurer. She’s also a Fellow with ASHRAE and the Chair of the building HQ Ad Hoc Committee for ASHRAE that helped build and design the new ASHRAE headquarters right here in Peachtree Corners. She’s also the President of Engineered Designs Inc. out of Raleigh, North Carolina. And a lifelong supporter of engineering buildings and design on the mechanical side. Hi, Ginger, how are you doing today?

[00:02:13] Ginger: Good. How are you Karl?

[00:02:15] Karl: I’m doing fabulous. As we get started in talking about the new headquarters. I’d probably like to just start with us learning a little bit about you and your journey in the business that you’re doing and with ASHRAE.

[00:02:27] Ginger: Sure. So I am a consulting engineer. I’m a mechanical engineer by training. Actually from Tennessee. I went to an engineering school called Tennessee Tech University. I’ve got about 30 years experience designing buildings. Started right out of college and worked for a consulting firm here in Raleigh. Worked for a couple of different firms for the first 10 years and then actually went out on my own about 24 years ago. So I’ve been running this business for 24 years, designing buildings in and around North Carolina, South Carolina area. So focusing on different types of buildings, we do a lot of university work. We do a lot of mission critical work, which is telecommunications or data center type work. And I’ve been an ASHRAE volunteer for almost that entire 30 years. Which ASHRAE is a volunteer driven organization. We have 56,000 plus members across the world. We work on designing and building sustainable buildings, promoting the industry. We write the standards for our industry. Most of the work I do is based on ASHRAE standards. We do write the standards that drive our industry and drive the building code when it comes to energy and indoor air quality. Which is especially important right now with the pandemic going on. The ASHRAE epidemic task force has been hugely instrumental in setting some standards and what to do with buildings. All different types of buildings in terms of outside air quality, how to deal with the pandemic, filtration levels. All of those items are hugely important right now. And always, but especially right now. And so ASHRAE works with all those standards and helps set the stage for how people like me do our job of designing healthy buildings.

[00:04:17] Karl: That’s fabulous. I noticed for folks that don’t know, ASHRAE stands for American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, Air Conditioning Engineer. Did I get that right?

[00:04:27] Ginger: You got that perfect.

[00:04:29] Karl: Oh, excellent. Why don’t you tell folks a little bit about the mission around ASHRAE? Why does such an organization exist and how does it help, you know, people, investors, building owners, build more sustainable, safe, and comfortable buildings.

[00:04:43] Ginger: Well, sure. So ASHRAE whether, you know or don’t know, most states in the country have an energy code. And that energy code is based on ASHRAE standard 90.1 in most instances. And so those standards like 90.1 and ASHRAE 62, which is an outside air requirement standard. Those help us make sure we’re building buildings that are healthy for the people in the building, as well as to conserve energy use, to help our planet. ASHRAE is working really hard right now in the decarbonisation world. And we have a task force for building decarbonisation. On how we can build buildings that use less carbon, reduce our carbon footprint. It’s just hyper important, especially right now in this world we’re in, to make sure that the standards that people need to adhere to when they’re designing buildings really help the occupants and the planet. And that we’re not contributing to the issues that we see today in terms of global warming and all of that.

[00:05:53] Rico: Yeah. It’s interesting. I think that the standards that you set don’t just affect, like what some people might think is just air conditioning, heating. It probably affects the standards of windows that are being installed in buildings, the double pane, the gas, installation of those. There’s a variety of industries actually that ASHRAE effects.

[00:06:12] Ginger: Well, exactly right. And when you’re designing a building, and it’s not just mechanical engineers, such as myself, but architects, electrical engineers. You know, ASHRAE sets those levels of the lighting, light power density that you can put in buildings so you know how much energy you’re using for those. We also set what the U values should be for your walls and your roof in order to meet the energy code and to be 90.1 compliant. In terms of the entire building, ASHRAE standard 90.1 is in our industry, what we use to make sure we have a building that is compliant with energy code.

[00:06:47] Karl: I’ve seen data that shows when you think about energy use in the country, buildings account for anywhere from 20 to 35% of energy use. People think of cars and pollution, or they might think of just industry. But if you think about how many commercial and residential buildings there are in the country, it’s a large contributor of energy use that affects the energy grid itself, as well as global warming. And I know that ASHRAE has been leading the challenge in education for engineers today and in the future on how to be more efficient in their designs, and were able to incorporate that right here in Peachtree Corners and in the headquarter building. How did that come about and how did you get involved in bringing some of that technology to the headquarter building in Peachtree Corners?

[00:07:42] Ginger: So we were actually down the road a little bit in Brookhaven, And had renovated our building in 2010 to be a lead platinum building. And were very happy there, but we started getting surrounded by the new CHOA campus that has gone there. And that’s taken over that entire block if not more right there.

[00:08:06] Karl: Children’s Hospital of Atlanta?

[00:08:08] Ginger: Children’s Hospital of Atlanta, yeah. So as ASHRAE does with anything, we set up a committee. And I was actually an ASHRAE Vice President at the time and was asked to lead that committee to study whether we should stay where we were or move. And wether we should build or renovate or lease. So we took about nine months, I think, to evaluate our building, see what we could get for it, whether it was worth moving. Should we lease, should we buy, should we renovate? We were very fortunate in that process that CHOA offered to buy our building and they offered to buy it at a very good rate. So we made that decision to move. And they also, as part of that deal, allowed us to stay there for a little bit over a year while we figured out where we were going to go and got that under control. Which was great. So we stayed there and we looked at a couple of different places for leasing and decided leasing wasn’t really us. We like to own our buildings because we stay in a long place for a long time. We had been in that building, I think since the 1980s. So we discussed building new and felt like really for our constituents, it’s better if we showed, we walked the walk. And we renovated because there’s been a lot of analysis that at least 50% of the building stock that’s going to be in use in 2050 has already been built. And much of it is not performing in a very energy efficient manner. So we wanted to make sure that we could show that you could renovate an older building to a net zero condition, a net zero energy condition. Which was our goal once we made that decision. So we looked around quite a bit. We found this building in Peachtree Corners, which if you saw it before and saw it after it looks a lot different, right?

[00:09:59] Rico: By a lot, yes.

[00:10:02] Ginger: So we took on a big challenge with this building. It was actually more of a challenge than we thought it was going to be when we started. But we ended up getting it done on time, even with the pandemic, which was a big concern during construction. Because we had a finite time to get out of our existing building before they threw us out. We ended up making it. We had a good team, a good design team and a good construction team. So we got it done.

[00:10:24] Karl: I’m curious about one thing. So you mentioned with the former building that you were able to sell it at a good price. Do you think being lead certified and some of the improvements you made in building, how does that impact the value of a building in your experience?

[00:10:41] Ginger: Well, if we’re selling it to a normal client, not like a CHOA, a normal client. I would think it would be of huge value, the energy efficiency of the building. The fact that the energy costs were lower than a normal building of its size and type. We had a geothermal system, we had a lot in that building. I think CHOA really wanted the land more than the building. Although my understanding is they’re going to use it for some office space for a short term duration, I’m not sure for how long. So they really were more interested in the land than the building. But the building itself had it been a normal client, would have I think because of its condition, done very well on its own even without CHOA involved.

[00:11:22] Karl: So many energy savings. If you think about operating costs of the building, when they value most buildings, it’s a function of profit. Net operating profit. And if you can lower the operating cost of a building that translates directly into increasing the value. Is that some of the economic analysis building owners make when choosing to implement technologies in buildings like the headquarters?

[00:11:47] Ginger: Absolutely. I think more informed owners that intend to own their buildings for long periods of time, always would like a life cycle cost analysis done. Which is what engineers in my role do a lot. To determine if I put this extra feature into my building to save energy, how long will it take before this extra feature pays me back? Is it a five-year payback, a ten-year payback? Like I said, we do a lot of university projects, and universities in particular keep their buildings forever. So you know, what you put in up front dictates when they’re going to see that payback. So lifecycle cost analysis is a huge component of making decisions on a lot of things in the building. The envelope, the lighting system, obviously the HVAC system, all of that. You can model through a lifecycle cost analysis.

[00:12:44] Rico: Also I would think that unlike homes, you know, if I’m only living in this house for another five years. Do I replace the windows? Or not replace the windows, for example. Different measurement, right on that? But when it comes to business, there are write-offs, there are government incentives also that are provided to businesses to be able to go down this road, to encourage that.

[00:13:03] Ginger: You know, I don’t do a lot of work with the government incentive aspect of it. I know that for ASHRAE we’re a nonprofit. So nonprofits don’t get the tax benefit of for-profit companies. So that was not a factor in our decision-making process. But I could see that a factor in others.

[00:13:20] Rico: I think that’s something that has to be added to the equation for a business. That’s looking to do this.

[00:13:26] Karl: Well, I’m wondering. So if we were talking to a business, a future building owner, or some current one, and they’re going through that decision process on renovating a building, building new, et cetera. What are some of the blind spots you see a lot of the less informed building owners? When it comes to making these kind of investments, are there areas that they’re not considering that you’d recommend them learning about and seeking out ASHRAE and other organizations to get educated on it?

[00:13:57] Ginger: Absolutely. I mean, I own a building myself. I own the building that my company is in. I think one of the things that you see when we do projects for one-off, if you will, building owners, is that it tends to be a more short term look at first costs, right? There’s not really a huge discussion on payback or long-term costs or energy savings. And I would think if they could engage their design team to at least have those conversations about what can we do to save energy? What can we do to reduce our carbon footprint? Then I think they would hear from their design teams, if they’re an informed design team, that there are a lot of options out there that you could do with very little cost impact that would save you a lot of money and headaches over the long term and be better for the environment. You know, I think you said earlier that buildings are 40% of energy use. Also buildings or the building industry is close to 40% of the carbon footprint in the world. And it’s getting worse with more developing countries. So the building industry plays a big part in the whole climate change situation.

[00:15:09] Karl: Well, I’m curious about some features in the headquarters that were incorporated. Can you share an example or two of some technologies that was featured in the buildings and how they help the building, for example?

[00:15:23] Ginger: Sure. So we have I don’t know if you’ve seen it right, we have our photovoltaic system that’s going on the roof and near the side of the building. We’re waiting on approval from Georgia power to make that live so we can create hopefully as much energy as we use, which will be fantastic. So we can verify that we are going to be in that zero operation, because that’s our goal. Net zero energy is when you create as much energy as you use. And so you’re net zero in terms of that situation. So that’s our goal. We’re waiting to find out if we’re going to make that we’re going to do a measurement and verification phase once we get that live so we can model that. So that’s outside the building. Inside the building, we have, and I don’t want to get into too detailed of a mechanical discussion here. But we got a pretty elaborate mechanical system with radiant panels and outdoor air units on the roof. We are once through air on our air side. So we don’t have a lot of concerns with recirculation of air for pandemic reasons. And we did that before the pandemic. So it luckily played out to help us a lot. When the pandemic started and we also have ceiling fans. So one of the really cool energy saving items is that you can raise your space temperature if you’ve got some air movement, by at least a couple of degrees. So we have some ceiling fans throughout the entire space that just keep the air moving. So with the design conditions for our space was at 78 degrees interior, which some people might say well, that’s way too hot. And others would be like, that’s way too cold. But if you keep the air moving, you can keep it a couple of degrees warmer, which really does help save the energy.

[00:17:07] Karl: And when you’re looking at implementing these kind of designs and so on, I know technology plays a role in capturing data, using data to make decisions. How are you integrating some of the sensor technologies and controller technologies and all of that in managing buildings and having it available to occupants, possibly, to control or monitor what’s going on.

[00:17:33] Ginger: So we have, as you can probably imagine, and I apologize somebody’s desperately trying to get in touch with me, it’s actually somebody from ASHRAE. So we have an amazing amount of analytics going on in our building. So we have at least three, if not four, different analytical programs running that are looking at fault issues in our systems, energy use in our systems. And a lot of these have been donated by different companies as a test prototype kind of situation. We have an amazingly smart building, when it comes to analytics. And we’re just getting that data in so we can really evaluate how our building is performing. And all of this is going to be open on our website because we want to be a living lab when it comes to building analytics, building operation, energy use, and all of that information.

[00:18:35] Rico: Someone can actually go to your website, see, verify. Transparently see all the data?

[00:18:42] Ginger: That’s the goal. So we’ll have a dashboard, it’s being constructed right now where you’ll be able to see how much energy we’re using, how much we’re producing, what our net zero, net positive net negative situation is throughout the year, how the systems are doing. We also have a digital twin that we’re building that is also a donated service that will be on the website where you can go through the building. You can look at the systems and how they’re operating. So it’s going to be a very transparent situation when we get all of this done.

[00:19:16] Rico: Do you think that at some point, everyone talks about AI, machine AI, the learning, the ability to let that system, that process work. Do you think that’s going to be part of this at some point?

[00:19:28] Ginger: So in terms of robots running around, probably not. In terms of the operation of the system, we already have a digital control system that’s controlling our mechanical. That’s pretty common in most large buildings these days where you have web based interface where you can see, you know, if you’ve got an alarm or if you’ve got something not working right and all of that. So that’s already, that’s a pretty common situation on larger buildings these days. Even on my small building, we have digital control. We can see if a tenant is hot or a tenant is cold, what’s going on with the system. So that’s pretty common. What’s interesting these days is that a lot of like lighting systems are going to start going power over ethernet. So instead of being 120 volt power, they’d be controlled basically through a digital control system on a low voltage basis. And if you think about now you can get plug in led lights that just have a USB plugin that are incredibly bright. And so I think that’s going to, you’re going to see more and more of that kind of growth in our industry, if you will. And inner connection between HVAC and lighting and occupancy. And walk in a room and the system comes on and the lights come on and that is already in the headquarters building.

[00:20:50] Rico: And I would think even with the process that you’re doing and all the data you’re collecting and the virtual walkthrough of the building, that at some point I can plug in my building and let’s say adjust based on your elements of your modules and say, can my building be modernized? Can it be LED certified? Can it be more, can it be net zero? That would be an interesting aspect to be able to even see that happen.

[00:21:17] Karl: I see the foundation of this digital connected building. I know some years ago I read and learned about, I think it’s called the Edge building in the Netherlands. A building that implements a lot of these technologies you’re talking about, but one of the interesting things is once you bring the lighting systems digitally you could incorporate sensors into the lights. Since lights are going to be where people are, you can use that to make adjustments. And then even with the ethernet run applications throughout the building for people. So I saw one example of something that looked like a Roomba that at the end of the day goes around and cleans the floors, which probably saves a little bit on cleaning labor, on one aspect of cleaning, and they go back home before people come in in the morning and you get a cleaner building. They’re doing things like that. They had another app where they can locate people in buildings. So if someone came to deliver food for lunch, instead of you having to go down an elevator and go to the door and pick up the food, the food can be delivered to that location, whether it’s by a person or by robotics. So you could see how buildings are the kind of backbone or the infrastructure of this more digitally engaged future.

[00:22:34] Rico: And I believe also the data you’re collecting, depending on where the sun is on the glass wall, depending on how many times the doors are opened to the outside and all that.

[00:22:45] Ginger: Yeah. The internet of things is pretty amazing in terms of what you can and can’t do. We evaluated a lot of different options for this building. And a lot of it came down to financial at the end because the opportunities are endless, right? There’s programs that we were looking at that, once you’re in the building, you can track where anybody is at any given time. So if any employee, if you need to find them, they’re in a conference room. If they’ve got their computer with them or their cell phone with them, you’ll know what conference room they’re in. And, while they’re in the building at any time and same thing for visitors. Visitor badges and they have, barcodes and once a visitor comes in and they get their badge, then you know where they are at any point of time in the building. So it’s all available now. It comes down to a matter of finances sometimes as to what you can and can’t do.

[00:23:30] Karl: Yeah. But being here in Peachtree Corners and you’re in Technology Park specifically, the Curiosity Lab, there’s great synergies of being in this high-technology environment, that’s bringing outdoor IOT, internet of things, solutions. Driverless shuttles and scooters that people could take back and forth to the building. And as the building stock here in Technology Park starts to turn over, there’s lots of opportunity to collaborate with those building owners. Sometimes they just need to be inspired. And taking a trip over and seeing some of the technology, the data, might inspire a building owner when they’re making that decision to renovate and implement some more of these technologies.

[00:24:15] Ginger: Absolutely. That’s our goal, is to try to show that you can take an older building and make it energy efficient and make it a place that you want to be. And if you are in Peachtree Corners, ASHRAE’s building once the pandemic is over, is a great place to go tour and see what you can do with an older building and make it a newer situation. And also we have screens throughout the building where you can see the dashboard, you can see how we’re producing energy, what we’re using in terms of energy. So it’s gonna be pretty transparent, both on the web and also in person.

[00:24:54] Rico: That’s cool.

[00:24:54] Karl: I’m curious about just, speaking to the future generation of engineers. If you were to speak to young high school students or college students that are thinking about the many careers and fields they can go into, what would you tell them about engineering and building engineering, consulting engineering that they may not have thought of as a career?

[00:25:17] Ginger: I think that’s a challenge in our industry because engineers graduating these days have a multitude of opportunities in a multitude of different environments. And the building sciences is one of those opportunities that I think gets overlooked sometimes. Because I don’t know how many people out there know that to build these buildings, not only do you need an architect, but you need a whole host of engineers. You’ve got civil, environmental, structural, electrical mechanical. And all of them work together to build a building that people want to be in. And that, meet all the goals and the codes and all the requirements. My kids give me a hard time because every time we walk into a building, I’m always pointing out all the HVAC systems and the lighting systems and everything in them. And they’re like, we don’t really care, because people don’t. It’s just there. They think that it just shows up, but it doesn’t show up. It takes a lot of engineers that are making it happen. So I think if I could talk to high school students and tell them how exciting this industry is, because it really is a very interesting industry when it comes to different opportunities. I can be designing a library one day and a data center the next. It just, it doesn’t get boring in that aspect for me. And I’ve been doing it for 30 years. So I think that if people could see the different aspects of what it takes to do what we do, I think they would be a lot more interested going into our field and then maybe they would be, if they didn’t know.

[00:26:49] Rico: I think you’re right. I think that if kids understood that aspect, that there’s a challenge every day, depending on the environment you’re in. And it could be a hospital, could be a research, medical research facility that has to be done in a certain way. It could even be the space station, it could be any of those things. It’s all environmentally driven. So they can be doing space engineering at some point, dealing with the insides of the environment of those places. We’re moving decades into the future and they have to start somewhere.

[00:27:21] Ginger: I like to say that, you can build the prettiest building on the planet, but unless you have lighting or HVAC or plumbing in it, you’re not going to get much use out of it. It is vitally important that we do what we do. And you talk about hospitals. My daughter is a emergency room nurse and she talks about their negative pressure rooms. And I’m like, you know who writes the standards for those right? ASHRAE.

[00:27:43] Karl: There you go. I’ll tell you here in Peachtree Corners with at least seven or eight schools, Paul Duke, just down the road, Wesleyan and Norcross high and the middle schools. Here’s an opportunity to get kids more exposure because in our backyard here, we’ve got one of the premier organizations that set the standards and walks the walk when it comes to building a sustainable building. To help us with not just emissions, but global warming and all of these other things. So hopefully there’s partnerships that can continue to start inspiring the next generation of engineers and architects in our country. I’d be curious about just things that you have going on. So for ASHRAE is there things that are coming up or how do people learn more about ASHRAE and some of the projects that they work on?

[00:28:32] Ginger: So we have a very involved website that people can go to ASHRAE.org that talks about what our mission is and what our vision is and what we’re doing. And we have in that website, connections to our decarbonisation task force and our epidemic task force, dIfferent areas that ASHRAE is working in at the moment. We have our big conference coming up in Las Vegas in January. It’s our big show all the vendors for all the different types of equipment that our industry uses show at that show. It’s a huge aspect of what we do and it’s every year and it’s in conjunction with AHRI which is the heating refrigerating Institute. So that is a big component of what we do every year. And this year coming up in January in Las Vegas is at the end of January. There’s just all kinds of information out there on the website that you could spend days going through to understand that all of the fingers in all the pies that ASHRAE has.

[00:29:32] Karl: And Ginger, if someone wanted to reach out to you for your services and just learning more about what you do, what’s the best way to reach you?

[00:29:41] Ginger: Always the best way to reach me is email, which is a GScoggins@EngineeredDesigns.com in Raleigh. Or obviously LinkedIn, I think everybody’s on LinkedIn these days. So, I am as well.

[00:29:54] Karl: I just want to thank you so much for being a guest today on the Capitalist Sage Podcast. Ginger Scoggins again, ASHRAE Treasurer and Chair of the Building HQ Ad Hoc community to help build and design and build this beautiful building here in Peachtree Corners. I want to thank you for sharing with us about the organization. And how building owners can leap forward into the future and implement technology both big and small to help improve the environment for the occupants. There’s operating costs as well as help the environment in general. So thank you for that.

[00:30:29] Ginger: Thank you.

[00:30:30] Karl: I’d like to also thank Atlanta Tech Park for hosting the Capitalist Sage Podcast. We get to do it virtually and as well as in person. And we really appreciate that. And I want to also introduce myself again, Karl Barham with Transworld Business Advisors of Atlanta Peachtree. Our business advisors are able to help you consult on, whether you’re looking to improve and grow your business, whether you’re looking to exit your business. Feel free to schedule a consultation. Like ginger, I can be reached by email KBarham@TWorld.com or you can visit our website, www.TWorld.com/AtlantaPeachtree. Rico, why don’t you tell us a little bit about what you’ve got going on.

[00:31:08] Rico: Sure. So I publish Peachtree Corners Magazine. That’s one of the things I do. I’m also a creative director for a couple of other publications. And I operate Mighty Rockets, which is basically a company that does social media marketing and online content management. So if you need to reach me, you can go on LinkedIn. I’m the only Rico Figliolini I think that’s listed, to spell it Figliolini and you’ll find me. Actually, if you Google me, probably like page one or something on there. Check me out if you need any work in the digital environment or video. Actually we’re beginning to do some mini documentaries on some businesses. Check me out and go online. Otherwise go to LivingInPeachtreeCorners.com and find out more about the city and now Capitalist Sage Podcast.

[00:31:55] Karl: Absolutely. Follow us on Facebook and on LinkedIn and on YouTube, as well as all of the other iTunes and other streaming platforms. Leave us a comment, like us, subscribe, and you’ll hear more about some of the other guests we have coming in in the near future. So thank you all for joining the Capitalist Sage podcast and I look forward to sharing some more business leaders and business owners out there telling a little bit about what they do. Take care.

[00:32:23] Rico: Thanks you ginger.

[00:32:24] Ginger: Thanks guys.

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SWGC Volunteer Day: Gwinnett Junior Achievement Discovery Center



October 13. 8 a.m-2:30 p.m.

Location: Discovery Center at Gwinnett
1333 Old Norcross Road
Lawrenceville, GA

Volunteer with The Southwest Gwinnett Chamber!  Help support Summerour Middle School for a JA BIZTOWN DAY at the Junior Achievement Discovery Center of Georgia!

JA BizTown creates an opportunity for students to interact within a simulated economy and take on the role of citizen, consumer and employee. During the visit to JA BizTown, students work in teams of 6-8 to manage their assigned business with the goal of generating a profit. Students also earn paychecks that they can use to purchase products and services from the different stores to practice basic personal financial management. 

Volunteer Role: Volunteers serve as business consultants for the day, coaching a group of students through the decisions and tasks they need to complete to successfully operate their businesses.


8:00 AM: Volunteer Check-in Begins (Coffee provided!)
8:30 AM: Volunteer Welcome, Tour & Training 
10:00 AM: Student Arrival
11:30 AM: Lunch Break (Chicken sandwich, side and water provided!)
2:30 PM: Student Departure
2:45 PM: Volunteer Departure

To RegisterClick here and you will be directed to the registration page where you can enter your contact information and submit your registration directly to Junior Achievement of Georgia. Thank you for your support of Junior Achievement and the students of Gwinnett County Public Schools!

Help inspire Gwinnett’s youth today! Make an individual donation to JA!

Watch the JA Discovery Center Video to see it in action

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Behind the Scenes Tour with CarMax- Southwest Gwinnett Chamber Event



Carmax Peachtree Corners Ribbon Cutting

September 21, 8:30 A.M- 9:30 P.M.

In 2019 CarMax opened its first free-standing Customer Experience Center here in Peachtree Corners.  The center offers a new concept in purchasing a car, completely from home, in-store, or a combination.  The company employs 300 in the three-story building (5707 Peachtree Pkwy.) to assist car buyers in finding their ideal vehicle, navigate financing, and provide other specialized assistance. 

Come join in on a behind-the-scenes tour with Regional Vice President, Bryant Spann.  There is no charge to participate, but spaces are limited, so registration is required.  

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