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committed to providing common-sense

lending in our community.”

With recent expansions at their

headquarters in Duluth, Ga with two floors

now covering 16,000 square feet of space and

in Cobb County with the opening of a 10,000

square foot facility, Brand Mortgage is ripe for

continued success. In addition to these recent

expansions, Brand Bank also recently received

a $200 million capital infusion.

According to Greg, this substantial

capital infusion will allow Brand Bank and

Brand Mortgage to go back to being bankers

and lenders. “This will give us the ability to

maintain our proactive strategy and make

good loans to good people.”

“Because of our common sense approach

to banking and lending, Brand Mortgage has

had the unique opportunity to take advantage

of the downfall,” said Greg. “We will continue

to bring on new employees and grow our

products and services as we expand in the

Southeast as long as we can maintain high

quality products and processes and uphold

our high degree of work ethics that our

customers expect.”

Along with giving a forecast of Brand

Mortgage’s future, Greg is quick to offer his

outlook for the mortgage industry, giving

some hope. “It is slowly getting better day

by day,” said Greg. “Rates are low, purchase

opportunities are available at record lows

and the Gwinnett and metro Atlanta area in

particular have a lot of upside potential.”

As a pacesetter in the metro Atlanta

region with their positive, common-sense

approach to doing business, expect more

to come fromGreg and his team at Brand

Mortgage with new opportunities for

customers, more jobs, continued expansion in

the Southeast and increased support for the

local community.

Russell Landscape Group President & CEO Bill Russell, PhD

Over the past couple of years, the landscape industry was hit

with increasingly high gas prices, employment challenges, and

traffic issues. With only one operational location

in Gwinnett, Russell Landscape Group - a 24

year old family-owned and managed commercial

landscape company – was at a crossroads with

large expenses in gas and labor sitting in trucks

slowly moving through metro Atlanta traffic.

While other companies were cutting back

expenses, Russell Landscape Group was busy

expanding to four different locations in metro

Atlanta to reduce gas and labor costs. This

strategy was proven successful with revenues over

$20 million and listed in the top three landscape

companies in metro Atlanta by the Atlanta

Business Chronicle. Most recently Russell Landscape Group

President & CEO Bill Russell, PhD, is exploring foreign trade

opportunity made possible in part by the Gwinnett Chamber

economic development’s Global Business Missions where he

discovered significant opportunity in the area of landscape

services and trade & development of his business in China.

Fellow Chairman’s Club member Dr. Daniel J. Kaufman,

president, Georgia Gwinnett College, had the opportunity to ask

Bill Russell a few questions on how Russell Landscape Group has

achieved such success and what the future holds for this long-

running, thriving landscape company.

Dan: What are some of the most significant strategies and

tactics that were put in place at Russell Landscape Group that

enabled your company to thrive in an economic downturn on

top of high gas prices, employment issues and traffic challenges?


The commercial landscape contractor industry has been

adversely affected during the past three years due to drought, the

down economy, double digit healthcare insurance

premiums increases, immigration reform legislation,

and astronomical increases in fuel costs.

Russell Landscape Group Inc. (RLG), a

24-year-old family-owned company and Georgia’s

largest independent landscape firm, has significantly

minimized the affects of high fuel costs among many

other adversities by strategically establishing three

new branch locations throughout the metro Atlanta

region. These new locations removed the variable

of company vehicles and employees being stuck in

congested traffic resulting in reduced travel distance

and time to and from client job sites while improving

landscape service quality.

Dan: How has this enabled you to think differently about

how you run your business?


The many recent local business challenges have forced

RLG’s ownership to evaluate and then pursue other southeastern

landscape markets — such as Nashville, Charleston, and

Birmingham— that have been less harshly affected by ‘The

Great Recession.” Additionally, our company leadership devotes

considerable time each week to evaluate each line item including

payables and receivables to ensure that each company branch

and division is successfully generating acceptable bottom-line

profit. As a result of these efforts, RLG has been successfully able

to afford its management team and workforce both raises and

bonuses each year of the down economy.