Plans for Business Booster Forum Discussed in April Meeting

Minutes  — Description of Progress to date, plans for Economic Development Forum, Marketing, and Streetscape

Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation (GHHCDC) Meeting
Mainstreet Community Center, April 26, 2014, 10 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Board Members Attending: Nadine Rivers-Johnson, Charlene Taylor, Joyce Russell, Jan Costello
Absent: Phyllis Frierson

Streetscape committee member Larry Coles joined us at 11.

Minutes prepared by Jan Costello


1. Welcome
In anticipation of Mother’s Day, Nadine shared her original song, Momma, recorded with the Godfather of Crunk, Carl Newsom. Great song. Readers of these minutes may view it on YouTube at:

Jan shared the news story about the Fair Food Program, which has resulted in tomato pickers in Florida earning more money and getting better working conditions – all as the result of a campaign that began 15 years ago! Now, many major tomato buyers, such as Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Whole Foods, and Walmart (just signed on), are paying a penny per pound more so that the tomato pickers are treated more fairly. Ninety percent of the tomato growers in Florida are participating in the program. The campaign is now branching out to other states. The point – progress takes time but it is achievable.

2. Update from Committees

Marketing and Communication (chaired by Nadine Rivers-Johnson) – Nadine printed 200 copies of the brochure on the paper donated by Charlene. Looks good!

No response on the request for the county grant. We are going to re-draft the request to reflect the Economic Summit (details below).

We plan to retool our newsletter effort and produce an economic development report for the CDC, distributed online and in print. We will sell ads. We’ll start small. The effort is still in the discussion mode.

Finance and Budget (chaired by Secretary-Treasurer Phyllis Frierson) – no change in accounts.

Discuss proposed budget prepared by Joyce Russell. Will finalize it after we consult with the accountant.

Streetscape Committee (chaired by Charlene Taylor). After several requests for information, Charlene learned that the development near LA Fitness on Covington Highway did get a land use permit. Trees were cleared to allow the day care center to get off a septic system and connect to the county sewer line. A driveway will also be installed. The county planner told Nadine that all the clearing was within the guidelines, but that trees would be replanted.

Char continues to make progress on the ClickItFixIt site. This will be a tool for reporting to specific county departments any problems in the community.

Membership Development (chaired by Joyce Russell)

We reviewed the membership form and suggested minor changes. Joyce did a great job. It will go on letterhead that is being prepared by Jan.


We discussed putting together a half-day workshop to nurture economic development in the community. We would have a motivational speaker. We would offer five or six short workshops for attendees. The offerings could include 1) social media marketing; 2) customer service trends; 3) getting small craft/handmade business off the ground using online shopping sites; 4) building business with appealing storefronts; 5) raising residential property values.

We also discussed adding a school topic – perhaps something from Junior Achievement. Or, we might give an award to a student group that is engaged in business learning.

Tasks: Jan will call the Small Business Administration, DeKalb Extension Service, SunTrust, and DeKalb Economic Development for speaker ideas. Phyllis Frierson said (after the meeting) that she would reach out to Etsy (an ecommerce site) to see if they have speakers or successful vendors in the area. Joyce will contact Publix about the customer service topic. Need a volunteer to check with Redan about business clubs and to contact Junior Achievement.

Target date: October.

Joyce will contact Berean about using rooms in the big facility.

Nadine will revise the grant request.

3. Priorities for this year:

Get corporation filing fees up to date.

Raise money so that we can file for the 501(c)(3)

Give to the community a successful, well attended, useful business workshop.

4. Old Business. Jan reports that the letterhead and transparency/succession documents are in production.

5. The next meeting will be May 31, 10 a.m., Mainstreet Community Center.