Established in 2005, The Coalition has been the clearinghouse of ideas, collateral and documentation.

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The Coalition was founded in 2006


By Jon Gillooly (Marietta Daily Journal Staff Writer)

VININGS - When manners maestro Barbara Hickey was recently asked if she interacted with other Cobb business associations in her capacity as president of the South Cobb Business Association, it got her thinking.

A few phone calls later, and she had the chiefs of most of Cobb's business associations lunching at the Vinings Club on Tuesday for the first Cobb County Business Associations meeting.

"I think there are lessons we can learn from other business associations," said Mrs. Hickey, who runs The Etiquette School of Atlanta. "I wanted everyone to share lessons learned. I wanted them to tell us what worked for them and what doesn't work."

Rosan Hall, president of the 45-member East Cobb Business Association, said she came out of the luncheon with renewed inspiration.

"I think the opportunity for each one of us to grow individually is going to be greater because collectively we are much more able to share ideas," Ms. Hall said. "I see so many opportunities here that I'm just amazed."

Besides south Cobb and east Cobb, other association chiefs in attendance included those from Powder Springs, Vinings, Smyrna, Canton Road and Marietta. Those from Kennesaw, Austell and Acworth didn't make it, but Mrs. Hickey said they, too, are on board with her vision.

Every group needs a project, and the Cobb association decided to tackle the Great American Cleanup from 9 to 11 p.m. May 20, picking up trash along the road. They also talked about a request from the families of Sept. 11, 2001, victims, who have asked people to volunteer their time Sept. 11 for a good cause, such as reading to school children or picking up litter.

Mrs. Hickey said Cobb needed to have a rally on that day, too.

"What a way to turn something so negative into a positive," said Bill Sterrett, past president of the East Cobb Business Association.

After deciding what projects to take on, the group exchanged tips on such things as finding guest speakers, writing newsletters and attracting new members.

Karen Denovich, president-elect of the 175-member Marietta Business Association, said exchanging ideas with other business leaders saves time.

"It helps us from reinventing the wheel," she said.

The group will meet quarterly, with the next meeting in June at the Marietta Square.

"We want to bring business to Cobb County," Mrs. Hickey said. "We want Cobb County to continue to grow and the group today showed me we can learn so much from each other."

jgillooly@mdjonline.com

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