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Learn how to maximize company health benefits while minimizing cost [Podcast]



Health Insurance, for small business owners as well as individuals, can be difficult to navigate. There are tons of options in the market and outside of it, so where do you start? Our guest on this episode of the Capitalist Sage, is Erica Dumpel, founder of CDA, Inc., an insurance solution provider that helps both individuals and small businesses. She’s got over 40 years of experience in the healthcare insurance industry and she’s here to share some tips and information on how to make better decisions and start asking the right questions of your insurance providers.

With you hosts Karl Barham and Rico Figliolini

CDA Inc. Website: http://cdainc.net
Erica’s Email: Erica@CDAINC.net
Business Phone: (770) 449-7369


[00:00:30] – Intro
[00:02:11] – About Erica and Her Business
[00:02:58] – Group Coverage and How It Changes
[00:09:48] – Differences in Coverage Across the Country
[00:11:29] – The Affordable Care Act
[00:14:18] – How Employers are Handling Insurance
[00:17:18] – HMO vs. PPO
[00:19:15] – Physicians Outside of Networks

“If you sit down with a coffee cup on a Saturday morning and a yellow pad, and you go back and say, okay, last year, what did we use? What did we do? Pull up whatever checkbooks, credit cards, EOBs, whatever you have. Go back a year earlier, if it was different. Look forward. And I’ve told everybody, please ask your doctor what is on the horizon… We are saving people all kinds of money with a little bit of homework.”

Erica Dumpel

Podcast Transcript

[00:00:30] Karl: 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 doing today?

[00:00:47] Rico: Good Karl. I hope you’re well.

[00:00:49] Karl: I’m doing very well. We’ve got a rainy day out there today. It’s fall, it’s finally here. And why don’t you introduce our sponsor for today?

[00:00:59] Rico: Sure. Peachtree Corners Magazine, which we just put out our latest issue, is the sponsor of this podcast. Along with Peachtree Corners Life and Prime Lunchtime with the City Manager. So you can check us out on LivinginPeachtreeCorners.com or check out the Capitalist Sage website at TheCapitalistSage.com as well.

[00:01:18] Karl: Excellent. Well, today we are going to talk about health insurance and various options, especially for small business owners and individuals that are trying to navigate all these options in the market or with other plans. Today’s guest is Erica Dumpel. She is the founder of CDA, Inc., an insurance solution provider that helps both individuals and small businesses. She’s got over 40 years of experience in the healthcare insurance industry. And she’s here today to share some tips and information so that people that have to make decisions over the next you know, 90 odd days are informed with various options and at least start to asking the right questions of your insurance providers and the folks that help you with that. Hi Erica, how are you doing today?

[00:02:08] Erica: I am doing great. Thank you so much for inviting me.

[00:02:11] Karl: Oh, it’s my pleasure, my pleasure. Why don’t we jump right in and you share a little bit about yourself and what you do, and tell us a little bit about your business?

[00:02:19] Erica: We are a small business in Norcross, Georgia. We are a party of six, with a couple of dogs as extras, our security crew. Since 1975, we have had an agency that focuses on small companies, individuals, and seniors. So we work primarily with companies of less than 50 employees. Where sometimes individual products are appropriate, sometimes the group products are appropriate. And then we layer in there, all of the issues related to Medicare, because we have an increasing senior population that is continuing to work. So that has become an extra layer of conversation.

[00:02:58] Karl: Oh wow. I know that everyone this past 18 plus months, everyone’s health has become a critical point of discussion in family. And there are people that may not have had health insurance before, or had less health insurance, that are probably looking at the future differently than they have in the past. And so why don’t we start off with just talking about when you see individuals and small businesses, just high level, what are some of the options they have if they want to get better health insurance and healthcare?

[00:03:30] Erica: Let’s start with the groups, okay? So whether you are two people or 49 people, you are in a specific category called small group. You can do the guaranteed issue, affordable care act plans, which means they are cookie cutter. They are predetermined. The rates are the same, whether you are healthy or sick, whatever industry you are in. It’s a great starting point. Especially if someone has some medical issues in their group. If on the other hand, that same group of people can answer medical questions positively. There is an improvement in rates by going into medically underwritten coverage. The next level beyond that is, if you can do that and you can qualify for one of the programs that gives you an opportunity to get back any claims dollars that you haven’t used, that becomes even more attractive. And then there’s some other layers beyond that. But what we are finding now, and we have found it, the pendulum swings back and forth. What happens is, a couple of years ago, group rates were significantly less expensive than individual rates. Well, the pendulum has swung. And in the state of Georgia, individual rates are swinging more and more cost-effectively away from group. So all of a sudden we are talking to our employers, whether they are 49 or whether they are two and saying, does it make sense to unbundle the group product and look at an individual coverage, HRA? An ICHRA, you may have heard of that, or a QSEHRA is another one that’s out there. Does that make sense? Number one. Number two, does that get you away from some of the compliance issues? You put in a medical group plan and you have responsibilities that someone may not tell you about, or you may not be aware of how important this is. The penalties can be $110 a day times the number of employees, times the number of days since the infraction. These are real numbers. So we look at it from that side, then with some of our clients where some of the incomes are lower, and we’re talking the nonprofits and some of the nursery schools. What if we look at completely unbundling it? What happens if we help these people look at marketplace policies? Where suddenly now we have subsidies, which means we are able to reduce premiums based on income. If the incomes are low enough, you get that plus you get an improvement to a lower deductible, a lower out of pocket. And the employer rather than funding, or having to fund a portion of it, simply steps away. And says, Erica and her crew or whoever the broker is, is going to come in is going to do the guidance. Is going to do the education, is going to help with the enrollment. We are getting out of the group business right now because it is more cost-effective, it is better coverage for our employees. So that in a nutshell is what’s going on right now. And it is a busy time.

[00:06:22] Karl: Let me ask you some questions to see if I understand this correctly. If I’m an employer that have, maybe relatively low earning employees in my plan, and I want to offer some form of health coverage for them. Can you describe the name of that? The last one that you mentioned. And am I understanding it right where they can opt in? I can offer the plan, but I’m not required to contribute into it?

[00:06:50] Erica: You are not offering the plan, you are stepping away. You’re saying I have historically paid X dollars. I paid 200, $300 a month for everybody’s coverage. We either cannot afford to do that anymore. With COVID that has been a very common comment. Or we find that it’s not as cost effective. We have in particular a daycare center, the employee premium is going from four 40 to $480 a month for a $6,700 deductible. Okay? These folks are making very low income. If we take the employer out of the picture and say, we are dismantling the group. Okay, you are not going to pay anything. You are simply going to do steerage. We take the employees to the marketplace and determine as an example, Rico, you’ve got this age, this zip code, these doctors, these drugs, these family members. These plans make the most sense for you. Karl, you’re in a different zip code. You’ve got different needs. Everybody picks what they want. And it may be, Rico, you need a high deductible health plan. You don’t use this stuff much. Karl, you may have young kids running around. You may need co-pays. I don’t know. But you can finally fit the right product to the person instead of, and I’ve said for years, if I do my job right on a group product, everybody’s unhappy because I have to find the average. So here we finally have the opportunity to get the right fit for the employee.

[00:08:14] Karl: What changed to make that happen?

[00:08:16] Erica: It was the marketplace subsidies many years ago. Then those became less attractive. And now with the COVID, especially in the Atlanta market, we have more people looking for individual health coverage. We have carriers who’ve been here now, six carriers who have been here for a couple of years with good numbers. Good results. Four more carriers are coming into town and these are not small carriers. Aetna is coming in under the CVS banner. United Healthcare is coming in. Friday Health Plans is coming in from Colorado, they’re a good player. And Bright Health Plans is coming in, they’re already in North Carolina. So there’s an expansion of opportunity. But the biggest thing, so we focus on premiums, obviously the cost. We focus on the benefits, because if I can get you a lower deductible for the same or less money than you were paying before, you win. But the biggest change this year has been, these plans started as skinny HMO’s. So the reimbursement rate through the providers was very low. So doctors said, we’re not playing this game. We can’t afford to do that. So each of the plans had one or two hospital networks. So all of a sudden, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but a lot of doctor practices are selling out to hospital groups. The Laureate Group is now owned by someone else. So everybody’s being bought and the Piedmont Clinic is expanding and magically those are all now participating providers under the hospital system. So our network has blossomed. That’s been our concern, is if I can’t find you the right doctor, then everything else is meaningless.

[00:09:48] Rico: Doesn’t it get a little, I remember when the ACA came through. There were, I think only three, insurance companies in the state of Georgia at one point. Because they didn’t want to participate. They actually left. I forget if it was United Health Care, one of them decided, that’s it I’m not doing it anymore. So now you’re saying that, I mean, most people that are, have gone through the system, north of 50 years old, figured that group insurance would be cheaper. Because you’re taking advantage and leveraging people. But what you’re saying is that’s not the case anymore. That I can go out, buy my own individual insurance. Yes, customize it to me, but it would still be competitive in the marketplace. Even if I don’t have a group behind it.

[00:10:33] Erica: It depends where you are in the country. And I found this wonderful map that goes from dark blue to dark brown. And the dark blue is where the group products are more competitive. And the dark brown is where the individual is. So if you’re in Texas, it’s this shade of blue behind me, okay. Don’t go looking for individual contracts there. The Savannah area, Macon and south, is a dark tan. The Atlanta market is a gray going into a nice shade of tan telling us that right now, this is the place to be. You’ve got to be fleet of foot. You guys are paying health insurance premiums, this stuff is heinously expensive. You know, we spend more time pricing our groceries than we do our health insurance. And how much does this stuff cost us to use? That’s the other part. It’s great, I have a $6,700 deduction. That’s like having no insurance for most of America. That’s a problem.

[00:11:22] Rico: Yeah. And especially if you don’t have copay or you’re paying per doctor visit and stuff like that. Yeah. I could see that.

[00:11:29] Karl: So I’m going to take this moment to re-introduce Erica Dumpel with CDA Inc. Health Insurance. Helping people find health insurance solutions. I want to kind of start back and maybe you could help me with the history. When Obamacare, which the marketplace, these terms we’re using them interchangeably. When that became available early on, I know there were fewer options of insurance. People were unsure about it. And they also, to be able to participate, there were certain requirements that had to be met to qualify for a marketplace plan. Are you saying now that the marketplace, there’s more plans available in the marketplace and you can customize them to yourself, but they still meet those initial requirements?

[00:12:17] Erica: I’ve done this for 46 years. So we were back to the hospital surgical days, before there even were PPOs and networks. What happened when the Affordable Care Act came in was, a bunch of companies got very excited and said, oh, this is a great opportunity. And so they came into the market. The Humanas, the Aetnas, the United Healthcare. They all jumped in. The Affordable Care Act, qualified plans had to meet certain requirements. They had to have the federally mandated wellness and preventive guidelines. So there are all kinds of little things that were required. What happened was, you could qualify for a marketplace plan or you could qualify for an ACA plan, period. I mean, you were buying a cookie cutter plan from originally 6, 7, 8 companies. You would qualify for a subsidy based on income. So they look at the family size, they look at the income and they say that your premium cannot exceed X percentage of your income. If you are between 250 and 400% of the federal poverty level. There were different buy downs on and on. Fast forward to the COVID issue. The government realized we had a whole bunch of people running around with no insurance because they couldn’t afford it. So not only did there appear or does there appear to have been an increase in the subsidy amount that people are getting, but where everything seemed to stop at 400% of the federal poverty level, now it’s going beyond that. If you are above 400%, you are not going to have as big a help. But you’re still going to have some help, if the premiums exceed a certain percentage of your income. So it’s an effort by the government, in my opinion, to get as many people covered as possible. The more people we have who are not showing up at emergency rooms or at hospitals without a negotiated network, the less the rest of us are going to be paying for their costs that are being written off and passed onto the rest of us.

[00:14:18] Karl: Got it. So in the scenario that you described where employers don’t offer group plans, is it the idea that they can offer them some kind of cash bonus credit or something as they choose their own to help them offset their costs? What do you see employers doing? Or are they just stepping away from it completely?

[00:14:37] Erica: Many employers, I suspect are just going to step away completely. Our clients are not like that. Our clients are taking those dollars and saying, okay, rainy day. Because in two years, this all may shift the other way. So let’s kind of bank that for the moment. But let’s look at things that individuals cannot purchase cost effectively. Dental, vision, disability products. You cannot buy a cost-effective disability product. But on a group basis, it’s pennies. Life insurance, cancer, accident. All of those workplace products become an uninteresting thing. In some cases, some of our employers are saying we are not allowed to pay for the health insurance, but we can bump. This guy has been with me for 15 years, I’d like to give him $300 a month. This fellow is brand new, I’d like to give him a hundred dollars a month. I’m just going to raise the salary, and make it clear to them that it is because of this. At some point, we may need to take this money back, if we go back into the group business. Please don’t forget why you’re getting this money. Because that’s very easy to forget, unfortunately. A lot of companies right now are fighting to attract and retain their employees. So anything that improves a situation, maybe saves a little money for the employer for a rainy day. Maybe allows, I don’t know, a bigger Thanksgiving dinner or whatever. I don’t know. There are all kinds of things that can be done with those dollars.

[00:16:02] Rico: There’s a friend of mine. His company provides group insurance. But he’s also told his individual employees, if you don’t want to be on this group insurance, this agent that I use, this company to use, can provide options for other insurance that you can purchase separately. Now he’s not bumping salaries per se to cover that, but he’s giving options. Because he’s saying you may be able on your own to get it cheaper than what I’m able to give to you as a group. Because like you said, everyone’s a little different, right? It could be a 25 year old working for him versus a 40 year old with two kids.

[00:16:39] Erica: The thing to be careful of is, when the employer says, go work with this broker and go get a subsidy. Okay? So we have to be very careful. One of the kick outs is if you are eligible for coverage under a group plan through your employer or any other employer, to whom you are affiliated, spouse as an example, you cannot have a subsidy. And what’s happened is that people were not told that or are gaming the system. At some point, they’re going to get caught on that. And there will be certainly a return of that money. Certainly there’ll be some kind of penalty. Right now, not. But in the future, there’s going to be some kind of penalty for that.

[00:17:18] Karl: So I’ve got another question about the, in Georgia locally here, the options in the marketplace, ACA. Most of them in 2020, I remember seeing something. Over the last several years, they’ve mostly been HMO options. I don’t know if there was many PPOs and then there might’ve been a few HSA, high deductible HSA plans. In this coming, do you have any insight of is there any change in options for folks? And just generally your thoughts on the pros and cons of HMOs versus PPOs when people are trying to select what’s right for their particular situation.

[00:17:52] Erica: Everything on the individual market is an HMO. So that simply means that unless you have a life or limb threatening emergency, you need to stay in your network. And generally it is a hospital driven network because a carrier will have a relationship or a contract with North Side and Emory, as an example. So we do not have PPOs in this market and we have not in a very long time. There were point of service plans for awhile. They do not exist on the individual side right now. I don’t see them coming back. The big risk with the point of service that people, I don’t think really understand, is if I go to a non-participating provider. Yes, I have a separate deductible and yes, I have a higher co-insurance amount. I see that. What I don’t see is, what the accepted rate, the usual and customary, the negotiated, whatever you want to call it is. So if I go to a non-participating provider and that doctor runs up a thousand dollar bill, and my plan is going to pay 60% and I’m going to pay 40%. It’s not necessarily of that thousand dollars. If a participating provider would have accepted $150, I will get 60% of the 150. The rest of it is all on me. So that’s the big concern with the point of service plans.

[00:19:15] Rico: Is that because when you get explanation of benefits, the doctor’s bill is $1,500, but the contracted or agreed upon by the insurance could be a thousand dollars. And by the way, we’ll pay 60% of that. And you’re responsible for the other 40 of that discounted rates.

[00:19:31] Erica: That’s if you’re in network. If you go out of network, you now get a $10,000 bill negotiated down. And the in network would have paid, would have negotiated a thousand, but you’re getting 600 on a $10,000 bill. That’s the trick. And that’s where people get caught.

[00:19:49] Rico: Yeah. My daughter was in Berry college. She got hurt. She fell off a horse, equestrian rider. Had to go to Rome’s emergency hospital room out of network. I mean, had to go. That was the only hospital in the whole place. And then we get a bill like a month later, I think it was. And it was just horrendous. I mean, nothing happened with her. She just needed a scan to make sure everything was okay. But yeah, it was not good.

[00:20:13] Erica: But it should have been in network because it was life or limb threatening. So was it coded properly? I just joyfully walk into the Rome hospital cause I happened to be there, versus I just fell off a horse. That’s a whole different feeling, so that should have been treated in network, but that brings us to a whole different issue. There are, in the participating hospitals, physicians primarily radiologist, pathologist, and anesthesiologists, who are not participating. And those are the surprise bills. You may have had a surprise bill. That’s what all the legislation is discussing now, because what are you supposed to do? You can’t ask? I don’t know who’s the anesthesiologist, you know, when I’m getting my head cut open. I don’t know. So that’s going to be a real interesting discussion

[00:21:02] Rico: Because they’re individual like subcontract. This is the way I looked it. The hospitals, the shell, they like the hair salons. They have a chair and they need to make money. And that’s what they’re doing. And you’re right. And I think that was part of that issue was the, it was that part of it that really got us.

[00:21:17] Karl: If I could ask you then, what do people do about that? If you need to go for a procedure for something, are you supposed to ask? What’s best practice? Ask, is everybody that’s providing medical care to you during your surgery and post-surgery in this plan? Or how do ordinary people avoid getting those surprises?

[00:21:39] Erica: Most of it when you pre-certify a surgery, and if it’s an emergency obviously it’s a whole different story. But if I pre-certify a surgery, I’m going to the insurance company and saying, I’m having this done. And checking is the surgeon in, is the assistant surgeon? Because that’s where the problem is, the assistant surgeon. Is the hospital? You can’t really check the anesthesiologist. So that’s a big problem. But I have one client who delivered a baby. And it was about a month or so after a friend of hers that delivered a baby. And the husband took it upon himself to not have the same mistake that their friends had. He stood at the door, the entry to her room, and everybody who walked in, he asked, are you a participating provider? Because his, their friends had gotten hosed. Because every time a doctor sticks his or her head in, cha-ching, there’s a bill. So that’s the extreme, but they were so proud of themselves because they had no surprise bills.

[00:22:33] Karl: That’s fabulous. I could see someone making a shirt for that as they come in and have people sign in. I’m pretty sure that’s not how healthcare is supposed to be for most people. That’s the world that we live in. If I can come back to when you look at the options, you had mentioned new providers coming in? I don’t remember who was in last year, but there were, maybe there were more than the year before. Are there more options coming in this, do you have any insight into that yet?

[00:23:02] Erica: We had the core six, which was Ambetter, CareSource, Anthem Blue Cross, Kaiser. I’m blanking out. Oscar and somebody else. This year being added in, oh, Allied. This year, being added in are United Healthcare, Aetna as CVS. I don’t know who bought who, but they’re under CVS now. Bright Health Plans, and Friday Health Plans.

[00:23:24] Karl: Now, can I ask a question? How do people navigate, they change jobs or they move or change. They have a doctor that they like that’s in one plan. The kids have another doctor in another plan. Everyone has doctors. Either they’re dealing with chronic stuff or things that have been going on for awhile, and then they have to change insurance providers with different groups of these groups. How do people, how do you suggest people navigate that?

[00:23:54] Erica: It’s a difficult thing, especially when we have, call it skinny networks or call it limited doctors lists. In the old days, if you went from an employer plan with Aetna to an employer plan with Humana. Yeah, it was the same doctors. It was no big deal. What we’re finding now is if I’m in a plan that has a Piedmont base, it’s going to be a different set of doctors than a North Side base. So you have to be oh so careful. If someone is in the middle of something, very extensive cancer, heart condition, whatever. Many of the plans will allow that particular problem to finish with the existing doctor, as long as there’s notification. But then you do have to switch from one provider to another. And that’s a problem. So this year I’m with this pediatric group and the next year I’m with that pediatric group. And the lock-in to a doctor is a real problem. I got lucky. I found a doctor who takes everything and it’s just an incredibly wonderful old fashioned doctor. But when you’re in these practices that sell to or sell out to a hospital chain, they’re only going to be in one hospital. It’s a system. That is going to be a big problem.

[00:25:01] Karl: Got it. The other thing is in, when they’re looking at it, the different levels, gold and platinum and silver and blue and all the different levels that people have. Any thoughts on, differences between? Is it just about the dollars? Are they really worth that being distinct from each other?

[00:25:19] Erica: It depends on very specifically on what your needs are going to be for the next year. So a gold plan is going to have a higher reimbursement on your expenses than a silver or bronze or whatever. So those actuarial levels were all calculated. If you qualify for subsidy, start by looking in the silver plans. Because that’s where you may get your best bang for your buck. If you are below a certain level of the poverty level, you get that improvement in benefits, is what I call it. They have some other term, but your premium comes down. You’re out of pocket comes down, potentially. If you are very young and you never use this stuff, and there’s a young woman who called me and we’re working on her stuff right now as a Guinea pig, we have the opportunity to put in a catastrophic policy. And the thing is going to have an $8,500 deductible. This child is 26 years old, but she’ll have all of her preventative stuff covered and three primary care office visits. She doesn’t have anything. This is perfect. And the premium is $206 a month. She can afford that at that age. If I have a bunch of kids running around with antibiotics and tubes in their ears and constant this and that, I’m going to need to get a richer plan. But if you sit down with a coffee cup on a Saturday morning and a yellow pad, and you go back and say, okay, last year, what did we use? What did we do? Pull up whatever checkbooks, credit cards, EOBs, whatever you have. Lineup all the people in your family and figure out who did what. Go back a year earlier, if it was different. Look forward. And I’ve told everybody, please ask your doctor what is on the horizon. Sometimes people are just in denial, but if I’m carrying a lot of weight and I have blood pressure problems and I’m having trouble losing that weight, I’d better be aware that there’s something on the horizon for me. If I have diabetes and I don’t have it under control, what is the next level of insulin I’m going to? What does that cost? Nevermind, what can I do to push the time backwards? Bring it down to scale, but you need to be aware of how much you use it. The advantage is every year you can make a change. We are no longer medically underwritten. So the fact that you do get sick, next year, go ahead and change. And same thing with the Medicare folks, with their drug plans, oh my gosh. They need to every single year, look at their drug list and compare it in terms of what their plan is this year to what it could be next year. We are saving people all kinds of money with a little bit of homework.

[00:27:46] Rico: I mean, some insurance companies don’t want to cover certain medications. They might cover the generic. They might decide to cover the brand, but not the generic. I’ve seen that. I’m an individual business owner, right? Just me. I don’t have, I have 1099 employees, if you will. They’re subcontractors, freelancers and stuff. I would be looking at an individual policy then, versus a company policy or group policy, because there’s just me. So no different than anyone else that would be looking for themselves, pretty much. The way it used to be.

[00:28:16] Karl: What about outside of the marketplace? Who would you recommend look outside the marketplace? I understand if you have pre-existing conditions and so on, but when is that a good option for individuals, small business owners?

[00:28:31] Erica: The marketplace has all 10 carriers. In the Atlanta market, okay? Has a series of products with a pricing structure. If you are going to look for a subsidy, you have to enroll through that and get your subsidy there. On the other hand, if an employer is putting in an ICHRA, in individual coverage HRA, where they are more involved and they’re saying no, no, we still want to manage this. We just want everybody to have their own choice. There we have to be careful because standing alongside the 10 carrier marketplace plans, are 10 carrier non marketplace plans. So they’re going to be usually a little bit richer, a little bit less expensive because you can’t get the subsidy on it. But the trick now is if I put in an ICHRA, and I want my employees to be able to pre-tax their portion of the premium because now I’m paying a part of it, I have to make sure that the decisions and choices are made off the non marketplace policies. A lot of people don’t know that I’m just waiting to see what blows up next year on this, because they’re going to say Johnny went over to the marketplace and they signed up and it looks the same as off marketplace. Different coding, different rules. So it’s a little bit more complex than people realize, but the difference between the two is marginal. But it could be that the non marketplace plans could be a little richer and a little less expensive. They were this year for some carriers.

[00:29:56] Karl: So if you could share some of the dates that are coming up, I know enrollment periods are starting. Can you highlight some of the key dates people should pay attention to?

[00:30:04] Erica: Medicare open enrollment, which is for Medicare Part D Drug Plans and Medicare C, Medicare Advantage Plans, October 15th through December 7th. Unless you have a qualifying event, which means you’ve lost coverage or something else, that is your only window for a January one effective date. And you are locked in for 12 months, essentially. There are some parameters, but consider you are locked in for 12 months. The individual marketplace starts November one, next Monday. And for everybody who enrolls between Monday and the 15th of December, they will have a January one effective date. And that’s where it stopped last year. This year, the government is expanding it an extra 30 days going to January 15 for a February one effective date.

[00:30:51] Karl: Got it. Got it.

[00:30:51] Erica: Those are your key things. For many people who have group plans that seem to enroll, or it seemed to renew January one, which is a large proportion of the United States. Right about now is when everybody’s being handed their open enrollment packets and being told, make your decisions. So again, doing the little exercise, getting the yellow pads, sitting down and figuring out how do we use this stuff? In the past, you would want to get the richest plan you possibly could, because if you got sick, you could not make a change. Those days are gone. So now, what size shoe do I need this year? What size shoe do I need next year? And what size shoe did I have last year? So we really need to start paying attention to how we spend our money, premium wise and claims wise.

[00:31:36] Karl: Wow. Those dates are coming up quickly. But that’s some good tips as far as starting to look at your past spend and asking the questions of what your future spend may look like depending on your family situation, there’s pregnancies or dealing with knee surgeries or back surgeries and things of that nature. It’s the right time to make those decisions. I know there’s a lot more we can cover and talk about. And I’d love to have you back again and we can talk some more about different changes as things evolve. But if someone wanted to reach out to contact you, what’s the best way to reach Erica?

[00:32:11] Erica: Easiest, probably is my email. It’s Erica, Erica@CDAINC.net. And the office phone number is (770) 449-7369. There are six of us here, support staff and sales reps. Anybody can get the conversation started, whether it’s group or individual or Medicare, it doesn’t matter. We’re happy to help any way we can.

[00:32:37] Karl: Well, excellent. Well, it’s the fall season and going to fourth quarter, which I could imagine is a, busy time for you. Do you have anything coming up? What do you got keeping you busy this next few months?

[00:32:47] Erica: Exactly what I just discussed. Seeing a lot of clients and a number of folks who have been referred to us are coming with questions. Because there’s a lot to digest this year. More than in prior years, there are a lot of options. People really need to take a peek at what their options are because this stuff is incredibly expensive.

[00:33:08] Karl: I’d also like to add a shout out to the Southwest Gwinnett Chamber Friday coffees. You come there, you’ll meet folks like Erica. Several other folks that can help you through insurance issues and other issues for your business or for your individual self. Stop by on a Friday at 8:30 in the morning for Friday coffees with the Southwest. And Erica, I know you’re often there and that’s a good way to meet her and some of the other folks that work in this space. I want to thank you so much for joining us today and just helping with tips and helping people become more aware and every time Rico, we do this right, we learn something else.

[00:33:44] Rico: This was great. Thank you, Erica.

[00:33:46] Erica: You’re very welcome.

[00:33:46] Karl: We’re all just a little bit smarter about, just the options and the decisions that we have to face. Open enrollment is starting up soon. I think November 1st for most people. Do those exercises, talk with your families, talk with your employers about some of the plans that are outside the marketplace. And just try to do the best thing for your family. If anything, we learned over this last year is taking care of your health is really important. And you can’t plan for when you’re going to need health insurance and deal with it. All the people that got COVID, whether they have to get well at home or go out and go to a hospital. And there’s going to be some time before people recover from the health costs that were incurred. The costs to their livelihoods, their employers and so on. So it’s a smart time to think about what choices you’re making for next year. And Erica, thank you so much for helping us through that. Today we had Erica Dumpel with CDA Inc. Just sharing some of those insights on the healthcare options for folks that are out there. I’m Karl Barham with Transworld Business Advisors of Atlanta Peachtree. Our business advisors are available to help you consult on your business. Whether you’re looking to improve your business, to grow your business, or when you’re ready to exit your business. You can contact and schedule a consultation with us. My email is KBarham@TWorld.com. Or you can visit our website at www.TWorld.com/AtlantaPeachtree. Our goal is to help support the local business community in any way we can. Even if it is connecting them to experts in different areas that can help them with their business or when they’re ready to exit or sell their business, we can help them with that as well. Rico, why don’t you tell us about what you’ve got going on?

[00:35:31] Rico: Sure. We’re working on the next issue for Peachtree Corners Magazine. That actually comes out in December. But we just started working on editorial now. Lots of good stuff we’re planning on. And the latest issue is out now. You can go to LivinginPeachtreeCorners.com to check out the digital version of that. And doing the normal things that I always do. Mighty Rockets is my company. So if you’re looking for branding, marketing, social media, online management of your presence there. Just contact us and we’ll be more than happy to help you with managing your social media, video production, and podcasts even. So check us out at MightyRockets.com. So all good. It’s a great day. It stopped raining too I think.

[00:36:14] Karl: Yeah, it did. Well, thank you everybody for joining us on the Capitalist Sage Podcast, we’re going to continue to bring you local experts and business owners and just continue the conversation. So everyone have a great rest of the week. And for those get ready for Halloween this weekend. Be safe out there and watch out for the kids. Take care of everyone.

[00:36:33] Rico: Take care.

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Local Marketing Production Company Vox-Pop-Uli Finds Peachtree Corners Right for Business



Instead of asking what Peachtree Corners-based company Vox-Pop-Uli does, it may be quicker to ask what they don’t do.
Andrew Hajduk // Photos by George Hunter

When perusing the list of goods and services provided by Peachtree Corners-based company Vox-Pop-Uli, instead of asking what they do, it may be quicker to ask what they don’t do. When it comes to marketing production, it’s easy to see why the company motto is, “Yeah, we do that.”

A first-generation Ukrainian, Andrew Hajduk’s parents immigrated to the U.S. in 1949 after the Soviet Union took over Ukraine. They settled in the Chicago area and worked in the steel mills. A job transfer moved the family to metro Atlanta in 1975, where they’ve been ever since.

In 1996, Hajduk worked at a similar company, where he was inspired to branch out independently.

“I had a partner at the time, and we were out making sales calls in North Carolina and visiting customers,” he said. “We thought we were a whole lot smarter than our boss and decided to go and do it on our own.”


Where did the name Vox-Pop-Uli come from? 

“Neither one of us was smart enough nor creative enough to come up with something. The only challenge that we gave [the designer] was we wanted a name that didn’t tie us to anything specific to what we did. And we didn’t want a name that didn’t reflect either of our names,” Hajduk said. 

The literal Latin translation is “voice of the people.”

“We use that as we help our customers be the voice to their people. Through marketing, with flyers, signage, whatever it is, but letting their marketing be the voice to their people, their employees, their customers, whoever it is.”

At first, they worked out of their homes until securing office space a year later. After a few years, Hajduk’s partner left, so Hajduk continued the vision on his own.

 “We have grown and adapted. Our model has changed a little bit. But it’s always been about working with our customers. We do a lot of specialty retail with other B2B customers, and we’re just really providing a full marketing service for them and acting as their fulfillment center,” Hajduk said.

Even though printing is a major part of the company’s work, communication of the client’s brand is really its backbone.

“We started before digital print had become commercially acceptable. We had an opportunity to be very early adopters of digital print because we saw a need, and we had some customers that were willing to take a chance on it with us,” he said. 

“It’s evolved with that, and there continues to be a heavy print component to it, but now there’s all the swag, all the different things that people use to communicate their brand,” he added.

Technology is the key to success

One aspect that has kept Vox-Pop-Uli ahead of much of the competition is embracing technology.

“One of the things that it’s done to our internal processes is it’s made the timeframe a lot faster. It allows people to be way more responsive to an immediate need,” he said.

“If I want to do a last-minute campaign for Memorial Day weekend, which is in what two and a half weeks, I can do that. Whereas, with the traditional print or before the technology was there, there was no chance I would be able to do that,” he explained.

Sometimes, that makes things challenging because clients don’t build in time. They know that last-minute orders are generally no problem.

“The other thing it’s done is it’s given people the ultimate flexibility,” he said. 

With many national clients, a lot of materials need to be customized for different locations, different states and different markets.

“Everybody’s got legal disclaimers because of pricing, services or whatever. So, we can customize down to a state or local level, depending on the product,” said Hajduk. 

“We don’t print 10,000 of any one thing, but we might print 1,000, each of 10 different versions for a company because if you’re in Kentucky, you’ve got one disclaimer, one price package. And if you’re in Florida, you have something else.”

Creating online store for clients

“We’re maintaining stores where they can go in and order their products,” he said. “Whether it’s posters, business cards, whatever it is, but all the inventory exists virtually now. As a business, you’re not maintaining large inventory levels of anything. They can do everything on demand. … As opposed to printing or producing a whole bunch of something to last you, they can literally order it as they need it. And it exists virtually until it’s printed.”

Vox also helps customers create campaigns.

“People ask me all the time, ‘What form do you think works best?’” said Hajduk. 

“I believe you must be omnipresent. People have short attention spans today. We’re competing harder for that consumer dollar. I don’t think any one thing is going to work. It’s not about a single Facebook ad, a digital post, or a postcard; all things have to work together,” he explained.

Hajduk said the most successful campaigns involve print, storefront, digital and social media elements.

The right place for business

“We’ve always been in the Gwinnett County area,” Hajduk said. “We started out in Duluth on the other side of 85.”

Hajduk and his partner lived on opposite sides of the metro area, so Gwinnett County was a good middle ground. 

“The Interstate 85 corridor was always a good place for us. We started out off Steve Reynolds Blvd; then we’re in Duluth for a little bit. And then in 2005, we moved over here to the North Woods complex and watched it become Peachtree Corners,” he said. “Then, in 2019, we moved to this space. I just love the feel of the community. I love this location. I like being on Peachtree Industrial Blvd.”

Megan Hajduk, Andrew Hajduk, Cindy Hajduk, and Daniel Hajduk

City leadership

“I think Peachtree Corners has done a lot of things right. In terms of how they’re growing and things like that,” he said. “The location is good and central. My wife, Cindy, and I moved to Peachtree Corners in January. We were in Johns Creek till we became empty nesters. We wanted to be on the river, and we found a great house,” he said.

Even though the kids have moved out, Megan and Daniel are part of the Vox staff. Along with his wife, a stay-at-home mom until the children were older, the Hajduks are building a legacy of family and community. There’s room if younger son Steven also desires to join the family business.

“We see continued growth and scaling,” said Hajduk. “We’re excited about growing here. As technology has changed, it’s given us a broader mix of clients. Up until about five or six years ago, the company was very retail-based, meaning we had a lot of retail clients. We have a lot of clients outside of Georgia, and I spent way too much time traveling. But we have a great opportunity now with everything we do to grow here.”

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The Forum’s Transformation: A New Chapter in Peachtree Corners



Photos courtesy of The Forum

Led by North American Properties (NAP), The Forum is being reimagined as a mixed-use destination in the center of Peachtree Corners. This multi-phase project aims to enhance the already strong community connection between residents. It also seeks to attract new businesses, residents and visitors, while creating jobs and boosting tenant sales. 

Innovative rebranding and technology

Built in 2002, the Forum is an open-air shopping center featuring a variety of retail stores, restaurants and entertainment options. Following its acquisition by NAP, The Forum in Peachtree Corners has undergone a significant rebranding to update its visual and verbal identity and reflect its more modern persona. 

Early in redevelopment, NAP partnered with the city of Peachtree Corners to improve the connection between The Forum and the Town Center

“The overall goal of the project is to create a more cohesive ecosystem that embraces the city’s hometown charm. It also reduces the need for residents to venture outside the area to nearby destinations for in-demand experiences,” explained NAP Public Relations Director, Britni Johnson

The new branding is evident throughout the property with updated pole banners, property and directional signage and window graphics, along with digital enhancements to The Forum’s website and social media channels.

“One of the first things NAP completed upon taking over management at The Forum was a rebrand encompassing a new visual and verbal identity,” added Johnson.

In addition to aesthetic updates, The Forum is set to roll out several technological enhancements designed to improve the visitor experience. These include four new digital directories for wayfinding, event information and interactive features such as a “snap a selfie” function. 

“State-of-the-art stage lighting and A/V for the main stage in The Plaza, which is under construction and set for completion in late summer 2024, will transform the entertainment experience,” Johnson said. 

Moreover, additional Wi-Fi access points are being installed to enhance connectivity and support an outdoor workspace. 

Greenspaces for community gatherings

In terms of design, new community gathering spaces have replaced excess street parking, promoting longer visits and greater interaction among guests. These improvements are part of a broader effort to boost walkability and connectivity across the property.

To enhance the overall guest experience at The Forum, Phase I of the redevelopment focuses on expanding the public realm by adding new greenspaces that welcome casual gatherings. 

The first of these spaces, the 1,700-square-foot North Plaza, was introduced in October 2023 and is complemented by surrounding restaurants with inviting patios, including the soon-to-open Politan Row food hall.

Further enhancements are visible in the construction of The Plaza, situated near Pottery Barn. This development is set to include a 6,650-square-foot turfed event plaza equipped with a covered performance stage, a large LED screen and comfortable seating areas. Upon completion, The Plaza will host The Forum’s annual events. 

“We host over 100 annual events – many of which are held in partnership with or support local organizations, including Light Up The Corners with the Fowler YMCA, Restaurant Week with Peachtree Farm, and Santa at The Forum with Neighborhood Cooperative Ministries,” noted Charlotte Hinton, The Forum’s marketing manager.

Prioritizing guest safety

Rest assured, when you’re attending an event or stopping by for an afternoon visit, your safety is NAP’s top priority. 

Since taking over The Forum in March 2022, NAP has significantly increased security measures, boosting coverage by 35% as a key aspect of the property’s ongoing redevelopment. This enhancement includes round-the-clock protection provided by onsite security personnel and off-duty law enforcement officers.

The Forum’s security infrastructure has also been expanded, with the installation of nearly 30 new CCTV cameras across the property. Additionally, NAP formed a strategic partnership with Fusus by Axon, a local technology firm based in Peachtree Corners, to integrate a real-time public safety intelligence platform with the existing camera network. 

“This allows police to tap into the surveillance feed and gain critical intel during active investigations, ensuring a rapid and informed response to any security issues,” shared Johnson. The security team is directly accessible for immediate assistance.

NAP’s dynamic retail strategy

Understanding the evolving needs of the Peachtree Corners community, NAP is curating a diverse mix of retailers, including popular brands and local entrepreneurs.

Brooke Massey, NAP’s Director of Leasing, emphasized the strategic approach of their retail team. 

“NAP’s retail leasing team has strong relationships with an extensive collection of 300+ in-demand brands and is in constant communication with them about their needs,” she explained. 

This network has facilitated the introduction of both well-known brands and local entrepreneurs into the retail space, maintaining a dynamic balance that caters to the community’s desires. 

Moreover, Massey highlighted the vision behind their tenant selection. 

“Our strategy is very data-driven, and our marketing team even plays a role in the curation process by polling social media followers on what they want to see at The Forum,” she added. 

Since acquiring The Forum in March 2022, NAP has secured 39 deals with various tenants. 

Notable recent openings include Alloy Personal Training, Cookie Fix, Giulia, Kendra Scott, Lovesac and Stretchlab. Coming later in 2024 are Nando’s Peri-Peri, Sucre and The NOW Massage

“We look forward to becoming part of The Forum community by providing guests with a truly memorable part of their day. So much of our days are rushed, running one errand to another. Everyone deserves a moment to slow down and enjoy something delicious. We want to be the space where that happens for Peachtree Corners and all who visit,” shared a company spokesperson for Sucre.

Creating memorable moments

The Forum turned a somber anniversary into a moment of joy for a local family. 

Two days after the 2022 Holiday Tree Lighting, tragedy struck Peachtree Corners Councilman Joe Sawyer‘s family. His daughter was murdered while working as a Lyft driver, leaving behind three young children. 

A year later, on the first anniversary of her death, the Sawyer family was invited to The Forum’s 2023 Tree Lighting event. 

“We worked with Santa to surprise the kids, and when I took them backstage, they thought they were just going to get to meet and chat with him,” said Sue Storck, The Forum’s general manager.

Unbeknownst to them, a larger surprise awaited as they were brought on stage to help Santa light the tree, delighting the crowd of over 14,000 attendees. 

“The kids were surprised and delighted to be able to do this, and it was a fantastic memory for both the Sawyer and Forum families,” Storck added, reflecting on the community’s effort to support one of their own during a time of loss.

The team’s efforts continue throughout the year, planting seeds within the community. 

“We’re constantly seeking unique opportunities to engage with our neighbors. The Peachtree Corners Photography Club currently has an exhibit of photos shot by local residents on display in the Forum South office lobby,” shared Hinton. 

“Our team participated in the 2024 Career Exploration Night sponsored by the Norcross Rotary Club. We also recently supported Wesleyan Middle School students on their construction project challenge win,” she added.

Local investments from new tenants: Kendra Scott’s philanthropic engagement

New tenants are bringing their own philanthropic efforts to the community, too. Kendra Scott Peachtree Corners partnered with the Norcross High School Cheer Team on May 10, donating 20% of the proceeds. 

The next day, they partnered with Spectrum Autism Support Group, again donating 20% of the proceeds to the local organization.

“When Kendra Scott opens a store in a new community, we always lead with giving. Philanthropy is one of our core pillars, and we love to celebrate our grand openings by partnering with organizations that are already making a difference!” shared Amanda Young, Southeast Marketing and Philanthropic Manager for Kendra Scott.

By working with Norcross High School Cheer and Spectrum Autism Support Group, we’re able to introduce ourselves to Peachtree Corners residents as a true community partner,” she added. 

Kendra Scott is also dedicated to strengthening community ties through “Kendra Gives Back” events at its Forum location. 

These events are intended to support local causes and foster connections among community leaders and area supporters. 

“We are looking forward to being able to host these organizations in their own backyard!” said Young.

The company is committed to maintaining strong partnerships with neighboring businesses at The Forum, such as Cookie Fix, Peche, and Giulia-The Italian Bakery

“We are so excited to be a part of The Forum family and have already enjoyed working with their leadership,” Young exclaimed.

Looking ahead

The transformation of The Forum is more than a redevelopment project; it’s a vision for the future of Peachtree Corners. 

With plans for adding residential units and a boutique hotel, The Forum is poised to become a dynamic hub of activity. 

“Long-term, we’re working toward creating a place that’s activated 18 hours a day, seven days a week,” projected Johnson. 

Through thoughtful design, community engagement and a commitment to sustainability, The Forum’s transformation is set to enrich the lives of Peachtree Corners’ residents for generations to come.

Read more news about The Forum here.

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Best of Peachtree Corners 2024: Readers’ Choice Awards



Peachtree Corners residents have spoken, and the results are in. Here are this year’s winners of “The Best of Peachtree Corners.”

Peachtree Corners residents have spoken, and the results are in. Here are this year’s winners of “The Best of Peachtree Corners.” Over 1,400 of our readers and social media followers weighed in to help us compile this list of area favorites.

Thank you to all the participants, and congratulations to the winning businesses!

Best Mexican Food

1. Kiko’s Tacos & More is arelaxed strip mall eatery offering a menu of exciting Mexican fare, cocktails and lunch specials.

3435 Medlock Bridge Rd, Peachtree Corners

2. La Parilla

5131 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 1005, Peachtree Corners

3. Taqueria del Mar

5075 Peachtree Parkway Northwest, Suite 105A, Peachtree Corners

Best Place for a Business Lunch

1. Marlow’s Tavern features the “Best of the Best” in American tavern fare served in a modern atmosphere. The menu offers a diverse combination of classic dishes that are updated and elevated to a higher level.

5210 Town Center Blvd Suite 260, Peachtree Corners

2. J. Alexander’s Restaurant

5245 Peachtree Pkwy, Peachtree Corners

3. (tied) Firebirds Wood Fired Grill

5215 Town Center Blvd, Peachtree Corners

3. (tied) Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar

5224 Peachtree Pkwy, Peachtree Corners

Best Barbecue

1. Moe’s Original BBQ is a 2,000-square-foot fast-casual restaurant that is a great place for the community to enjoy a meal together, celebrate little league victories and birthdays and watch their favorite sports on TVs around the full premium bar or on the large outdoor patio.

5005 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 810, Peachtree Corners

2. Cue Barbecue

5260 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Peachtree Corners

3. JR’s Log House Restaurant

6601 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Peachtree Corners

Best Breakfast

1. Flying Biscuit Café has called Peachtree Corners home since 2008.Join them for breakfast, brunch and lunch in their dining room or patio.

5270 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 120, Peachtree Corners

2. JR’s Log House Restaurant

6601 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Peachtree Corners

3. Manhattan NY Deli & Bagels

5275 Peachtree Pkwy, Peachtree Corners

Best Steaks and Burgers

1. H&W Steakhouse strives to provide modern fine dining and an unforgettable steakhouse experience. H&W Steakhouse is the latest fine-dining concept from Norsan Restaurants, which has been in the restaurant business for over 35 years. The company also operates Pampas Steakhouse in Johns Creek and Frankie’s The Steakhouse in Duluth.

5242 Peachtree Pkwy, Peachtree Corners

2. Ted’s Montana Grill

5165 Peachtree Pkwy, Peachtree Corners

3. (tied) Uncle Jack’s Meat House

5222 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 920, Peachtree Corners

3. (tied) Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar

5224 Peachtree Pkwy, Peachtree Corners

Best Chinese Food

1. New Dragon serves the Peachtree Corners area with delicious Chinese cuisine, offering specialty dishes that have been well-crafted to create a delightful culinary experience.

5450 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 1B, Peachtree Corners

2. Panda Express

3200 Holcomb Bridge Rd, Norcross

3. Great Sichuan

10475 Medlock Bridge Rd Suite 116, John’s Creek

Best Desserts and Sweets

1. Peterbrooke Chocolatier transforms the art of fine European chocolate making into a truly American experience by combining the very best ingredients and old-world techniques with a variety of all-American treats.

5135 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 930, Peachtree Corners

2. Tiff’s Treats Cookie

5230 Town Center Blvd Suite 130, Peachtree Corners

3. (tied) Beard Papa’s

5215 Town Center Blvd Suite 620, Peachtree Corners

3. (tied) Cookie Fix

5143 Peachtree Pkwy Suite A, Peachtree Corners

Best Sushi

1. On the frontier of Japanese restaurants, Sushi Osawa is proud to present its unique and wonderful cuisine, created from the finest ingredients. 

5270 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 119, Peachtree Corners

2. Sushi Mito

6470 Spalding Dr Suite P, Peachtree Corners

3. (tied) Happy Sumo Sushi and Steak House

6135 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 610, Peachtree Corners

3. (tied) Aomi Japanese Restaurant

5145 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 470A, Peachtree Corners

Best Latin Food

1. Mojitos Cuban American Bistro is a family owned and operated restaurant, operating for over 15 years in Atlanta, Georgia, featuring the finest mojito cocktails as well as authentic family recipes passed down from generation to generation.

5161 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 630, Peachtree Corners

2. Tortugas Cuban Grill

3466 Holcomb Bridge Rd Suite AA, Peachtree Corners

Best Outdoor Dining

1. Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar is a classic American casual dining chain with locations spread throughout eight states.

5224 Peachtree Pkwy, Peachtree Corners

2. Fire & Stone Italian Pizza Kitchen

5215 Town Center Blvd Suite 610, Peachtree Corners

3. Pêche Modern Coastal

5155 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 320, Peachtree Corners

Best Pizza

1. Fire & Stone Italian Pizza Kitchen serves Neapolitan and NY-style pizzas, made with the freshest premium ingredients, prepared at 800° in wood-fired ovens.

5215 Town Center Blvd Suite 610, Peachtree Corners

2. Marco’s

5270 Peachtree Pkwy, Peachtree Corners

3. Cicis

6050 Peachtree Pkwy, Norcross

Best Seafood

1. Pêche Modern Coastal. Inspired by traditional flavors yet prepared with modern techniques, Pêche Modern Coastal offers a fresh, creative, and respectful interpretation of the ocean and earth.

5155 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 320, Peachtree Corners

2. J. Alexander’s Restaurant

5245 Peachtree Pkwy, Peachtree Corners

3. (tied) Firebirds Wood Fired Grill

5215 Town Center Blvd, Peachtree Corners

3. (tied) Marlow’s Tavern

5210 Town Center Blvd Suite 260, Peachtree Corners

Best Place for Salad

1. At Salata, every salad and wrap is crafted with the customer in mind, allowing diners to choose every topping that goes in it.

5210 Town Center Blvd Suite 210, Peachtree Corners

2. Chopt Creative Salad Co.

4880 Peachtree Corners Cir, Peachtree Corners

3. Newk’s Eatery

5185 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 105, Norcross

Best Vegetarian Food

1. Loving Hut is a beacon of light for an alternative way of living to achieve “World Vegan, World Peace.”

6385 Spalding Dr Suite E, Peachtree Corners

2. Royal Bistro Thai

6365 Spalding Dr Suite A, Peachtree Corners

3. Salata

5210 Town Center Blvd Suite 210, Peachtree Corners

Best Place for Happy Hour 

1. Marlow’s Tavern has earned another top spot on our list. The contemporary atmosphere and handcrafted cocktails complement a diverse menu of classic dishes with a modern flair.

5210 Town Center Blvd Suite 260, Peachtree Corners

2. Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar

5224 Peachtree Pkwy, Peachtree Corners

3. (tied) Firebirds Wood Fired Grill

5215 Town Center Blvd, Peachtree Corners

3. (tied) Tavern at Medlock

3230 Medlock Bridge Rd Suite 101, Peachtree Corners

Best Local Venue for Private Event

1. With free parking, prime access to I-85 and I-285, and just ten miles from the Ameris Bank Amphitheater, the Atlanta Marriott Peachtree Corners hotel is near the hustle of the city without the hassle.

475 Technology Pkwy NW, Peachtree Corners

2. Hilton Atlanta Northeast

5993 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Peachtree Corners

3. Atlanta Tech Park

107 Technology Pkwy, Peachtree Corners

Best Wings

1. Voted #1 Hot Wings and Best Sports Bar in Atlanta, Three Dollar Café, offers the best selection of beers, quality food and a family-friendly environment.

6050 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 100, Peachtree Corners

2. Wings 101

6135 Peachtree Pkwy, Peachtree Corners

3. Jolene’s Wings & Beer

5224 Peachtree Pkwy, Peachtree Corners

Best Barbershop

1. Grab a cold one, have a seat and get comfortable. Boardroom Styling Lounge is a place where clients can make real connections and staff strive to positively impact the lives of anyone who walks through the doors.

5200 Town Center Dr Suite 230, Peachtree Corners

2. Traditional Shave Masters

5260 Peachtree Industrial Blvd Suite 500, Peachtree Corners

3. Patrick’s Executive Grooming Salon For Men

5210 Town Center Blvd Suite 350, Peachtree Corners

Best MedSpa

1. Treat yourself at Dermani MEDSPA. The company offers laser hair removal, skin rejuvenation, Botox, Juvéderm, body contouring and skin tightening, microneedling and voluma services.

5165 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 230, Peachtree Corners

2. Suburban Med Spa

4989 Peachtree Pkwy, Peachtree Corners

3. Massage Envy

5270 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 109B, Peachtree Corners

Best Facial Spa

1. Whether you’re looking for smooth, hair-free skin, sagging skin solutions or a collagen boost, Suburban Med Spa has you covered.

4989 Peachtree Pkwy, Peachtree Corners

2. Dermani MEDSPA

5165 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 230, Peachtree Corners

3. Massage Envy

5270 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 109B, Peachtree Corners

Best Place for Fitness

1. Robert D. Fowler Family YMCA serves the Peachtree Corners and Norcross community with programs focused on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

5600 W Jones Bridge Rd, Peachtree Corners

2. Burn Boot Camp

5450 Peachtree Pkwy, Norcross

3. (tied) Orangetheory Fitness

5270 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 105, Peachtree Corners

3. (tied) LifeTime Fitness

6350 Courtside Dr NW, Peachtree Corners

Best Nail Salon

1. Sugarcoat Forum is a modern nail and beauty destination that provides an honest, healthy and clean beauty experience.

5131 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 451, Peachtree Corners

2. Tipsy Nail and Salon Bar

5230 Town Center Blvd Suite 120, Peachtree Corners

3. (tied) Urban Nail Salon

5270 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 112, Peachtree Corners,

3. (tied) Luxury Nails at Forum

4880 Peachtree Corners Cir Suite 1115, Peachtree Corners
(770) 687-2258

Best Hair Salon

1. Frost Salon is committed to delivering outstanding, genuine customer service and an artistically inspired, technically sound approach to hair, all while continuously staying educated on new trends.

5075 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 103, Peachtree Corners

2. Van Michael Salon

5161 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 606, Peachtree Corners

3. (tied) Yany’s Hair Salon

5450 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 1C, Norcross

3. (tied) Hair by Yare

5210 Town Center Blvd, Peachtree Corners

Best Yoga/Pilates Studio

1. Club Pilates believes that Pilates is for every type of body, upholding Joseph Pilates’ vision of helping all people feel great.

4880 Peachtree Corners Cir Suite 1130, Peachtree Corners

2. The Forum – Forum Fit

The North Plaza, 5155 Peachtree Pkwy, Peachtree Corners

3. Sun Dragon Yoga

5600 Spalding Dr, Norcross

Best Animal Hospital/Veterinarian

1. Spalding Animal Hospital strives to provide the highest level of care, compassion, and commitment to the health and well-being of your furry family members, from juvenile to geriatric.

105 Technology Pkwy, Peachtree Corners

2. Peachtree Corners Animal Clinic

4020 Holcomb Bridge Rd, Norcross

3. (tied) Peach Paws Animal Hospital

5075 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 101, Peachtree Corners

3. (tied) Medlock Bridge Animal Hospital

5155 S Old Peachtree Rd, Norcross

Best Pet Boarding

1. PetSuites Norcross
is the premiere boarding, daycare, grooming, and training facility, committed to providing exceptional service to pet guests and pet owners.

6865 Jimmy Carter Blvd, Norcross

2. Spalding Animal Hospital

105 Technology Pkwy, Peachtree Corners

3. (tied) Zen Dog Pet Care

4468 Parkspring Terrace NW, Peachtree Corners

3. (tied) Whiskers on Kittens Boarding and Dog Grooming

6579 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Peachtree Corners

Best Dental Practice

1. Innovative Smiles is a growing dental practice that delivers excellent customer service and an array of dental care offerings.

5185 Peachtree Pkwy NW Suite 201, Peachtree Corners

2. Linked Dental Care

6270 Smithpointe Dr, Norcross

3. (tied) Imagix Dental of Norcross

5270 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 101, Norcross

3. (tied) Agape Pediatric Dentistry

5185 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 325, Peachtree Corners

Best Physical Therapist

1. PT Solutions of Norcross is committed to delivering exceptional treatment to patients of all ages, including young middle school athletes and geriatric patients.

5270 Peachtree Pkwy, Norcross

2. Motion Stability Physical Therapy

5510 Spalding Dr Suite B, Peachtree Corners

3. Results Physiotherapy Peachtree Corners, Georgia

5450 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 1F, Peachtree Corners

Best Optometrist Practice

1. Ferdon Family Eye Care
offers quality vision care, staffed by courteous professionals who have the professional tools and experience necessary to help with all optometry needs.

5270 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 109A, Peachtree Corners

2. Peachtree Corners Eye Clinic

4005 Holcomb Bridge Rd, Peachtree Corners

3. Dr. John S. Yu & Associates P.C.

5151 Peachtree Pkwy Suite 700, Peachtree Corners
(770) 623-8564

Best Day Care

1. The Goddard School of Peachtree Corners
is a warm and nurturing space where extraordinary awaits students each and every day.

5055 Peachtree Pkwy, Peachtree Corners

2. Sunshine House of Peachtree Corners

5470 Spalding Dr, Peachtree Corners

3. (tied) Primrose School of Peachtree Corners

6325 Primrose Hill Ct, Peachtree Corners

3. (tied) Creme de la Crème

4785 Peachtree Corners Cir, Norcross

Best Real Estate Agent

1. With over 50 years of combined real estate experience, The Nancy Minor Team has the expertise to provide clients with the highest level of service in any market.

3930 E Jones Bridge Rd, Peachtree Corners

2. Alan Kaplan

1555 Peachtree Rd NE Suite 100, Atlanta

3. (tied) Kelly Kim

3035 Peachtree Rd Suite 202, Atlanta

3. (tied) Terri Hayes

4249 Allenhurst Drive, Peachtree Corners
770 374-7900

Best Bank/Credit Union

1. The Piedmont Bank delivers the financial products, personal connections and professional expertise that has helped build businesses throughout the southeast.

5100 Peachtree Pkwy, Peachtree Corners

2. Associated Credit Union

6251 Crooked Creek Rd NW, Norcross

3. Tandem Bank

2356 Main St, Tucker

Best Coworking Space

1. Second Story at Broadstone Peachtree Corners offers private offices for rent, perfect for professionals seeking a balance of privacy, community and inspiration. Fully furnished spaces, high-speed internet, and amenities let users work, relax and connect seamlessly.

5720 Peachtree Pkwy, Peachtree Corners

2. Atlanta Tech Park

107 Technology Pkwy, Peachtree Corners

3. Peachtree Corners Executive Suites

4015 Wetherburn Way NW Building A, Suite 100, Peachtree Corners

Best Senior Living Communities in and near Peachtree Corners

1. Village Park Peachtree Corners provides all of the comforts and services of premier senior living within minutes of The Forum and other local shopping, dining, and entertainment favorites.

5701 Spalding Dr, Peachtree Corners

2. The Mansions at Sandy Springs

3175 River Exchange Dr, Peachtree Corners

3. Parc at Duluth

3315 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Duluth

Best Apartment Complex

1. Unmatched in Peachtree Corners, Broadstone Peachtree Corners Apartments has built a world within a world—with captivating creature comforts and delightful details around every corner. 

5672 Peachtree Pkwy, Peachtree Corners

2. The Spoke at Peachtree Corners

450 Technology Pkwy NW, Norcross

3. Cortland Peachtree Corners

510 Guthridge Ct NW, Peachtree Corners

Best Family Doctor/Practice

1. Dr. Sunit Singhal has been practicing medicine for decades. In February 2001, he proudly opened Suburban Medical Center to provide healthcare for his community.

4989 Peachtree Pkwy, Peachtree Corners

2. Atlanta Urgent Care

5246 Peachtree Pkwy, Peachtree Corners

3. Northside Peachtree Corners Primary Care

5277 Peachtree Pkwy, Peachtree Corners

Best HVAC Service

1. With decades of collective HVAC experience on its team, Premier HVAC Mechanical Corporation strives to offer the latest in technology and efficiency in heating and cooling systems.

6669 Peachtree Industrial Blvd Suite N, Peachtree Corners

2. Spencer Heating & Air Conditioning

4708 S Old Peachtree Rd, Norcross

3. Bardi Heating, Cooling, Plumbing

2100 Norcross Pkwy Suite 100, Norcross

Best home Services (Electrician, Plumber, Etc.)

1. For 35 years, Bardi Heating, Cooling and Plumbing has called Georgia home. They know what it’s like to deal with hot Atlanta summers, plumbing emergencies and heating or water issues in the home.

2100 Norcross Pkwy Suite 100, Norcross

Best Home Contractor

1. EV Remodeling is here to translate your needs into a creative solution that remodels the space you already have into the one you’re perfectly dreaming of.

3906 Morris Ct. Peachtree Corners

2. Victoria Renovations

5051 Peachtree Corners Cir Suite 200, Norcross

Best Private School (K-8)

1. Cornerstone Christian Academy partners with parents to provide a quality academic education designed to develop students who will follow Christ, embrace biblical truth and live lives that glorify God.

5295 Triangle Pkwy NW, Peachtree Corners

2. International Charter Academy of Georgia

3705 Engineering Dr, Peachtree Corners

Best Private School (K-12)

1. Wesleyan School is a private college-preparatory nondenominational Christian school located 20 miles north of Atlanta in the suburban city of Peachtree Corners, Georgia, United States. It was founded in 1963 and has existed on its current grounds since 1996.

5405 Spalding Dr, Peachtree Corners

2. Greater Atlanta Christian School

1575 Indian Trail Lilburn Rd NW, Norcross

Best Youth Summer Camp

1. For over 25 years, Wesleyan School Summer Camps have made summers fun for all children ages 5-14. Camps range from arts to athletics, STEM to life skills, and we offer morning, afternoon, and full-day programming.

We’ve compiled a list of upcoming summer camps in the Peachtree Corners area at local schools, parks and museums,

5405 Spalding Dr, Peachtree Corners

2. Greater Atlanta Christian Summer Camps

1575 Indian Trail Lilburn Rd NW, Norcross, GA 30093

3. (tied) Fowler YMCA

5600 W Jones Bridge Rd, Peachtree Corners

3. (tied) Gwinnett Parks

75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville

Best Summer Camp (Kids Under 10)

1. On our list again are Wesleyan School Summer Camps. This summer, the fun runs from June 10-28 and July 8-19. These camps have everything from sports like soccer and lacrosse to creative pursuits like chess and sewing.

5405 Spalding Dr, Peachtree Corners

2. Greater Atlanta Christian Summer Camps

1575 Indian Trail Lilburn Rd NW, Norcross, GA 30093

3. (tied) Club SciKidz

500 Kedron Dr. Peachtree City

3. (tied) Gwinnett Parks

75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville

Best Place for the Kids to Play

1. Peachtree Corners Town Center Playground is located on a two-acre event lawn home to concerts, movies and other community events as well as children’s play areas.

Town enter Blvd, Peachtree Corners

2. Jones Bridge Park

4901 E Jones Bridge Rd, Peachtree Corners

3. Pinckneyville Park

4758 South Old Peachtree Road, Peachtree Corners

Best Museum to Visit in Metro Atlanta

1. Fernbank Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, is a museum that presents exhibitions and programming about natural history. Fernbank Museum has a number of permanent exhibitions and regularly hosts temporary exhibitions.

767 Clifton Rd, Atlanta

2. High Museum of Art

1280 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta

3. Fernbank Science Center

156 Heaton Park Dr, Atlanta

4. National Center for Civil and Human Rights

100 Ivan Allen Jr Blvd NW, Atlanta

5. Southeastern Railway Museum

3595 Buford Hwy., Duluth, GA 30096

6. The Hudgens Center for Art & Learning

6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Building #300, Duluth

7. Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center

2020 Clean Water Dr, Buford

Best Local Hotel for out of Town Guests

1. When looking for hotels in Peachtree corners, Hilton Atlanta Northeast, dubbed the “Castle on the Hill,” is not too far from Atlanta city limits.

5993 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Peachtree Corners

2. Atlanta Marriott Peachtree Corners

475 Technology Pkwy NW, Peachtree Corners

3. Hyatt Place Atlanta/Norcross/Peachtree

5600 Peachtree Pkwy, Norcross

Best Weekend Getaway (within a 2-hour drive of Peachtree Corners)

Château Élan Winery & Resort in Braselton, GA

100 Rue Charlemagne Dr, Braselton

Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge in Dawsonville, GA

418 Amicalola Falls State Park Rd, Dawsonville

The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee

1 Lake Oconee Trail, Greensboro

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

241 Depot St, Blue Ridge

Lake Lanier Islands Resort in Buford, GA

7000 Lanier Islands Pkwy, Buford

Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa in Young Harris, GA

6321 US-76, Young Harris

Callaway Resort & Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA

17617 US Hwy 27, Pine Mountain

Barnsley Resort in Adairsville, GA

597 Barnsley Gardens Rd NW, Adairsville

The Cloister at Sea Island on Sea Island, GA

100 Cloister Dr, Sea Island, GA 31561

Best Places to Work (over 50 employees)

Cornerstone Christian Academy

5295 Triangle Pkwy NW, Peachtree Corners

Wesleyan School

5405 Spalding Dr, Peachtree Corners

Siemens Industry Inc.

3617 Parkway Ln, Norcross

Crawford and Company

5335 Triangle Parkway NW, Peachtree Corners

Pond & Company

3500 Parkway Ln #500, Peachtree Corners

Werfen (formerly Immucor)

3150 Gateway Dr, Peachtree Corners

Gwinnett County Public Schools

437 Old Peachtree Rd. NW, Suwanee

Soliant Health, LLC

5550 Peachtree Parkway, Peachtree Corners

Capstone Logistics

30 Technology Pkwy South, Suite 200, Peachtree Corners
facebook.com/capstonelogisticssocial 770-414-1929

See the results of last year’s awards here.

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