August 2021 Luncheon at the Mill on Etowah

Registration for this event closes at 4:00 pm on August 5, 2021.

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Monday, August 9, 2021
10:45 AM - 1:30 PM (EDT)
Timbers on Etowah
225 Reformation Parkway Suite 202
Canton, GA 30114
United States
Event Sold Out

Event Details


The Mill on Etowah is an adaptive re-use development in downtown Canton spearheaded by Penn Hodge and Grant Schmeelk, Partners/Developers of The Mill on Etowah. This project was awarded the Deal of the Year by the Georgia Economic Developers Association (GEDA) in the large community category in 2019.  At this luncheon, we will hear from Grant Schmeelk, one of the developers, Spencer Nix, Co-Founder & CEO, Reformation Brewery, which is headquartered here, and Misti Martin, CEcD, President of the Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED).

Come and hear about the project from several angles. Grant Schmeelk will share his experience and the current status of the project. Spencer Nix of Reformation Brewery, a Small Business Rock Star Award-Winner will share his experience as an anchor tenant before and after the redevelopment of The Mill. Also, Misti Martin will share COED's involvement with the project.  It has been a very unique, challenging, and successful project.

Also, there are a number of activities after the luncheon for members to participate in, from a tour of the facilities to beer and tequila tasting.  Make time in your schedule to enjoy some of the hospitality of Canton and Cherokee County. There is a nice Hampton Inn nearby for those wanting to stay overnight before and/or after the day’s events.

Click Speakers to see speaker photos and bios.

Grant Schmeelk is a native of Georgia and a graduate of Valdosta State 

University where he received his BBA in Finance. Schmeelk co-founded Community Business Bank in 2008 and sold it in 2016 to what is today, Bank of the Ozarks. He is currently President and CEO of Bagwell & Spears, Inc. a commercial real estate development company focused on the convenience store industry with holdings in Georgia and South Carolina. Bagwell & Spears was founded by his family in Canton, GA in 1922.  He is also a partner at Dime, a business services company with investments in software and operating companies focused on accounting and payment processing.  Schmeelk partnered with Penn Hodge in 2014 and began re-developing value add commercial buildings.  Most recently, the two repurposed The Mill on Etowah, a 250,000 square foot mixed-use development in Canton, GA.

Spencer Nix CEO & Co-Founder of Reformation Brewery is a Cherokee County native. A graduate of the University of North Georgia, his dedication and love of the North Georgia region is evident. Nix is a former pastor and founder/director of a non-profit ministry, Grace to the Nations. He started Reformation Brewery with Nick Downs in 2013. Nix and Downs have grown Reformation’s presence into three locations – one of which was the anchor tenant in The Mill on Etowah. The pair have received many accolades, including the Georgia Small Business Rock Star Award and Cherokee’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Spencer is an avid mountain biker and lifelong fan of Georgia Tech and Atlanta sports.

Misti Martin, CEcD, serves as President & CEO of the Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED). Early in her career, Martin worked for the Cherokee County Chamber & Development Authority and the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia (UGA). She was President & CEO of the Covington-Newton County Chamber before assuming her current role in 2004.

Misti graduated from the Terry College of Business at UGA and earned her MBA from Troy University. She is a former co-chair of the Atlanta Regional Marketing Alliance and serves as Director of the North Atlanta Venture Mentoring Service (NAV), Georgia’s first sister program to the MIT Venture Mentoring Service.  Martin and the COED team, with support of their public-private partnership, founded the Be Pro Be Proud Georgia Initiative.

Misti served as the 2012 Chair of the Georgia Economic Developers Association and is the 2020 recipient of the Rip Wiley Award for Professional Excellence. She was selected as one of the Top 50 Economic Developers in North America and has been featured as one of Georgia Trend’s 40 Under 40 and as a Notable Georgian.


Member Pricing - $45.00

Non-Member Pricing - $60.00

Optional Activities

Purchase 1 ticket when you register to participate.  These events run concurrently.

Beer Tasting at Reformation Brewery includes one beer flight for the tasting with up to 20 beers on tap to choose from. Begins at 2 pm. Price: $15.00 per person

CaliFino Tequila - Georgia tasting. Begins at 2 pm. Location to be announced. Price: $22.00 per person

Tour of the Mill at Etowah. Begins at 1:30 pm at the side of the stage after lunch.  Price: FREE, no registration needed.

Hotel Information

If you would like to book a hotel room for this event, the closest, best option is the Hampton Inn in Canton, Georgia.  The address is 710 Transit Ave., Canton, GA 30114.

Aida Roberts
Aida Roberts Economic Development Manager Development Authority of Walton County
Albert M. Hodge Jr
Albert M. Hodge Jr President Hodge Consulting Services
Alex Conarton
Alex Conarton Existing Industry Coordinator Effingham County Industrial Development Authority
Alexander Millard
Alexander Millard Project Manager - Region 8 Georgia Department of Economic Development
Amanda Fields
Amanda Fields Sr. Project Manager, Region 4 Georgia Department of Economic Development
Amanda Shailendra
Amanda Shailendra Managing Partner The Pendleton Group
Andrea Schruijer
Andrea Schruijer Executive Director Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority
Angie Gheesling
Angie Gheesling Executive Director Houston County Development Authority
Anna Chafin
Anna Chafin Chief Executive Officer Development Authority of Bryan County
Asher Dozier
Asher Dozier Vice President of Economic Development Newton County Industrial Development Authority
Barbara Grogan
Barbara Grogan Executive Director Moultrie-Colquitt County Development Authority
Beka Shiver
Beka Shiver Economic Development Southwest Georgia Regional Commission
Benjy Thompson
Benjy Thompson CEO Development Authority of Bulloch County
Betsy McGriff
Betsy McGriff Director of Business Development Dawson County Chamber of Commerce
Brad Campbell
Brad Campbell Business Development Pattillo Construction Corp.
Brandt Herndon
Brandt Herndon Chief Executive Officer Effingham County Industrial Development Authority
Breezy Straton
Breezy Straton Vice President Elevate Douglas Economic Partnership
Cal Wray
Cal Wray President Augusta Economic Development Authority
Chris Abree
Chris Abree Vice President United Consulting
Chris Chammoun
Chris Chammoun Director, AgTech - Georgia Centers of Innovation Georgia Department of Economic Development
Chris G. Pumphrey
Chris G. Pumphrey President Elevate Douglas Economic Partnership
Chris Webb
Chris Webb Senior Project Manager Hoar Program Management
Chris Wood
Chris Wood VP of Economic Development & External Affairs Snapping Shoals EMC
Christie Gribble
Christie Gribble Executive Director Fannin County Development Authority
Christopher McGahee
Christopher McGahee Economic Development Manager City of Duluth
Colin Chance
Colin Chance Industrial Project Manager Electric Cities of Georgia
Daniel Dobbins
Daniel Dobbins President & CEO Development Authority of Elbert County, Elberton, Bowman
Darrell Moore
Darrell Moore Executive Director Valdosta State University
Dorie Bacon
Dorie Bacon Executive Director Screven County Development Authority
EJane Caraway
EJane Caraway Director, Life Sciences Georgia Department of Economic Development
Fernanda Kirchner
Fernanda Kirchner Project Manager, International Investment Georgia Department of Economic Development
Grant C. Buckley
Grant C. Buckley Executive Director Cordele-Crisp County IDC
Green Suttles
Green Suttles President and CEO Development Authority of Pickens County
Heath Tippens
Heath Tippens Vice President Cherokee Office of Economic Development
Heather Seckman
Heather Seckman Project Manager Rome-Floyd County Development Authority
J. Maceo Rogers
J. Maceo Rogers Director of Economic Development City of East Point
J.R. Charles
J.R. Charles Carroll Tomorrow
Jamal Lewis
Jamal Lewis Economic Opportunity Manager Georgia Institute of Technology
James Blair
James Blair Founder & Managing Consultant Navigator Consulting
Janet Cochran
Janet Cochran Project Manager Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation
Jeff Hamling
Jeff Hamling Senior Vice President Cornerstone Government Affairs
Jessica Hood
Jessica Hood Director of Economic Development & Existing Ind. Effingham County Industrial Development Authority
John Gornall
John Gornall Partner Arnall Golden Gregory LLP
Joshua B. Stephens
Joshua B. Stephens Director, Policy and Government Affairs Georgia Department of Economic Development
Justin Farquhar
Justin Farquhar Director: Business Recruitment & Existing Industry Development Authority of Bryan County
Justin Strickland
Justin Strickland Director, Industrial Development OmniTRAX
Kaitlyn Redish
Kaitlyn Redish Economic Development and Marketing Specialist City of Duluth
Kasey Smith
Kasey Smith Project Manager - ADAM Georgia Department of Economic Development
Keith Adams
Keith Adams Member Relations Coordinator Snapping Shoals EMC
Keith Barclift
Keith Barclift Economic Development Director Catoosa County
Kelly Golden
Kelly Golden Director of Business Development Environmental Corporation of America
Kelly McLendon
Kelly McLendon Manager of Member Services Georgia Economic Developers Association
Kevin Dodson
Kevin Dodson Business Development Manager Jackson EMC
Kevin Shea
Kevin Shea President Georgia Economic Developers Association
Kristen Miller
Kristen Miller Sr. Regional Project Manager, Region 5 Georgia Department of Economic Development
Mark Goddard
Mark Goddard Director, Commercial Marketing Cobb EMC
Matt Colvin
Matt Colvin Director of Economic Development The University of Georgia
Megan Baker
Megan Baker President Fayette County Development Authority
Melissa Kendrick
Melissa Kendrick President/CEO Rome Floyd County Development Authority
Mellissa Takeuchi
Mellissa Takeuchi Project Manager, Global Commerce Georgia Department of Economic Development
Michelle Shaw
Michelle Shaw Director, Existing Industry & Regional Recruitment Georgia Department of Economic Development
Mill Graves
Mill Graves Director of Business Development Retail Strategies
Misti Martin
Misti Martin President & CEO Cherokee Office of Economic Development
Mitchell Griggs
Mitchell Griggs Executive Director Union County Development Authority
Pam Powers-Smith
Pam Powers-Smith Director of Business & Industry Services Rome Floyd Chamber
Pat Wilson
Pat Wilson Commissioner Georgia Department of Economic Development
Rebecca Jordan
Rebecca Jordan Director Metro Atlanta Chamber
Richard Blackwell
Richard Blackwell Vice President of Development Agracel
Richard Blackwell
Richard Blackwell Vice President of Development Agracel, Inc.
Robert Bennett
Robert Bennett Executive Director Development Authority of Columbia County
Rope Roberts
Rope Roberts Community & Economic Development Manager Georgia Power Company
Sam Young
Sam Young Director of Economic Development Greene County
Scott Evans
Scott Evans Senior Project Manager, Technology Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce
Serra Phillips Hall
Serra Phillips Hall Executive Director Newton County Industrial Development Authority
Seth Coker
Seth Coker Director or Government and External Relations Georgia Department of Community Affairs
Sherita Martin
Sherita Martin Economic Development Coordinator City of Smyrna
Taylor Kielty
Taylor Kielty Project Manager Georgia Department of Economic Development
Taylor Walden
Taylor Walden Project Manager Georgia Department of Economic Development
Thomas Croteau
Thomas Croteau Senior Managing Director, Project Management Maxis Advisors
Timothy Chason
Timothy Chason President THE CHASON GROUP
Tina Herring
Tina Herring Regional Project Manager Georgia Department of Economic Development
Tonya Jackson
Tonya Jackson Vice President of Sales and Marketing RA-LIN
Trisha Colpetzer
Trisha Colpetzer Manager of Established Industry Henry County Development Authority
Tyler Garrison
Tyler Garrison Client Development Manager Geotechnical & Environmental Consultants, Inc.
William Smith
William Smith Economic Development Manager City of Covington
21 Other Registered Attendees


August 9
10:45 AM - 12:00 PM Registration
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Networking Hour
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Luncheon with Program
1:45 PM - 4:00 PM Optional Activities

For More Information:

Kelly McLendon
Kelly McLendon
CAE Manager of Member Services Georgia Economic Developers Association (404)962-4110

Thank you to our sponsor:

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Cancellation and Refund Policy:

  • A registrant who does not submit a written cancellation, or attend the Annual Conference, is considered a "No Show.” No-Shows are not eligible for refunds or credits and are still liable for outstanding balances. 
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  • For those who have registered and choose the “bill me” or “pay by check” option, they are still subject to the refund policy.

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I acknowledge that I am voluntarily participating in an optional, outdoor recreational activity that has inherent risks, dangers, and hazards, and my participation in such activities and/or use of equipment is voluntary.

I, on behalf of myself, my representatives, and my heirs, hereby voluntarily agree to release, waive, discharge, and hold harmless the Georgia Economic Developers Association (GEDA) officers, board of directors, committee chairs, members, and employees from any claims, actions or losses for bodily injury, property damage, or wrongful death.


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