THE TWO HUNDRED CLUB TO HONOR SAVANNAH-AREA FIRST RESPONDERS WITH 2022 VALOR AWARDS

SAVANNAH, GA – January 20, 2022 – Two of Savannah’s exceptional first responders will be honored Thursday, Feb. 10, by the Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire. While one is a firefighter and the other a police officer, they both heroically risked their lives with no reluctance to keep others safe

During the annual Tak Argentinis Valor Awards ceremony at the Charles H. Morris Center in downtown Savannah, the club and its supporters will recognize Fire Engineer Jeremy Kemp of the Savannah Fire Department and Officer Peter Suppa of the Savannah Police Department.

Kemp was nominated by Fire Chief Derik Minard for his actions during a house fire that was set by a man in the midst of a psychotic episode who then refused to exit the burning structure. While crews worked to extinguish the blaze, Kemp made his way through thick smoke and found a despondent man sitting on a bed, rambling and seemingly confused. 

Despite the unpredictability of the situation, Kemp stayed and eventually convinced the man to leave the room with him. As they crawled through flames and stifling black smoke, though, the man collapsed and Kemp carried him the rest of the way. Once outside, Kemp tended to the medical needs of the  man, who survived.

Suppa was nominated by Police Chief Roy W. Minter for his actions during a March 2021 domestic violence incident in which a child and his grandmother were in danger. A 12-year-old child had called police and reported that he and his grandmother had barricaded themselves in a room because his grandfather was shooting at them and threatening to kill them. Suppa arrives on the scene first and took immediate action, fearing it would be too late if he waited for specialized units to arrive.

He entered the home to find the child and his grandmother peeking out from behind a door riddled with bullet holes. He instructed them to stay in the room as he continued on in search of the suspect. Suppa and another officer who had arrived by then found the man lying in another bedroom and took him into custody. He had a gun under his pillow and a live round in his pocket. Police later learned the man is a convicted felon who previously was incarcerated for shooting his wife. The child and his grandmother were unharmed.

The honorees were selected for the awards by a committee of law enforcement and fire command officers, according to Club President Mark Dana. Nominations were received from the 20 counties that comprise the Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire’s support area. The award recipients each will receive a plaque and a medal of valor.

“The 200 Club’s main mission is to support first responders and their families in case of death or critical injuries in the line of duty. Everything we do as an organization is to serve these local heroes who make sacrifices to keep our community safe,” Dana said. “That is why we must recognize first responders who display great acts of valor in the face of danger and put others’ safety before themselves. We hope this award is a symbol of our sincere appreciation for these brave individuals’ service.” 

Tickets to the Valor Awards are $25 and include entry to the awards ceremony and heavy appetizers. To reserve your seat, please visit https://twohundredclub.org/club-events/#.

The Two Hundred Club is a 501(c) (3) organization who “cares for those who care for us” by providing for the surviving spouses and dependents of first responders who have lost their lives or sustained critical injuries in the line of duty. The organization serves a 20-county area within Georgia and South Carolina. All proceeds from this event will directly support the families of fallen heroes. The Two Hundred Club provides a significant one-time financial contribution to the surviving family members and provides a fully paid college education – including tuition, room and board, textbooks, and a computer – to a fallen first responder’s children and spouse. To date, the organization has given over $3.5 million to families and have become a respected voice of the community’s appreciation for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. For more information, go to www.twohundredclub.org, call 912-721-4418 or email info@twohundredclub.org 

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651 or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377). 

HISTORIC SAVANNAH FOUNDATION OPENS NOMINATIONS FOR 2022 PRESERVATION AWARDS

JANUARY 20, 2022 – SAVANNAH, GA – Nominations are now being accepted for Historic Savannah Foundation’s 2022 Preservation Awards. Each May, HSF celebrates the area’s best preservation projects with a program that recognizes individuals, organizations, and companies who embody and practice excellence in preservation in Savannah and Chatham County.

Historic Savannah Foundation members who have completed a restoration project within the past three years, or who know of a restoration project that may be award-worthy are encouraged to submit a nomination. 

Projects must have been completed within the past three years, and entrants must have the consent of the property owner for a nomination. Self-nominations will be accepted. Nominations that were previously submitted but were not selected to receive an award may be revised, expanded, and resubmitted. To be eligible for an award, nominated projects must have adhered to the applicable Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. For more information on these standards, visit www.nps.gov/tps/standards.htm

The general evaluation criteria include:

1. Quality and degree of difficulty of the nominee’s project or effort.

2. Degree to which the nominee’s project or effort is unusual or pioneering or serves as an example that influences good preservation practices.

3. Demonstrable or measurable impact of nominee’s project on the community.

A jury of local professionals with representation from the fields of architecture, preservation, academia and planning is invited to review nominations for HSF’s Preservation Awards.  

Nominations should fall under at least one of the following categories: restoration, rehabilitation, new construction, stewardship, craftsmanship or archaeology. 

Plant Riverside before[70] Plant Riverside after[62]

Plant Riverside, shown here in “before” and “after” photos, won a 2021 Preservation Award.

The deadline for all award nominations is 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 1, 2022. Mailed entries must be postmarked or dropped off at HSF by this date. The application cost is $50 for HSF members. Non-members are asked to join HSF by visiting http://www.myhsf.org/giving/general-membership/ prior to submitting the application. Preservation Award recipients will be notified by the end of March. The nominator or primary contact will be notified for those not selected. Award announcements and presentation will be made at HSF’s Preservation Awards Ceremony in May. Nomination forms can be found at https://www.myhsf.org/what-we-do/preservation-awards/

Mail entries to
Hand-deliver entries to
Historic Savannah Foundation
Historic Savannah Foundation
Attn: Preservation Awards
Attn: Preservation Awards
P.O. Box 1733
321 East York Street
Savannah, GA 31402
Savannah, GA 31401

“Our jury panel looks forward to viewing a diverse selection of nominated projects. These projects all contribute to the preservation of Savannah’s historic resources and the understanding of our city’s history, so it’s an honor to get inside knowledge of how they took shape. Well-executed preservation efforts really do impact the entire community, and we’re grateful that so many in Savannah understand that and support it through their actions,” HSF President and CEO Sue Adler said.

Historic Savannah Foundation saves buildings, places and stories that define Savannah’s past, present, and future. Following its formation in 1955, HSF started a Revolving Fund to save endangered historic properties, now totaling more than 400 buildings throughout several of Savannah’s historic districts. HSF has grown into one of the most respected local preservation organizations in the country — emphasizing not only the protection of individual historic buildings but also the revitalization of blighted neighborhoods. HSF demonstrates the cultural, social and economic benefits of preservation as good public policy by proving that preservation and progress go hand-in-hand. 

For more information about the awards or Historic Savannah Foundation, please visit www.myHSF.org or contact Kimberly Newbold, Research & Education Associate, at 912-483-7294 or knewbold@myhsf.org. For sponsorship information, please contact Colleen Reynolds, Events & Development Associate, at 912-483-7190 or creynolds@myHSF.org.

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651 or Lesley Francis at lesley@francis.com or 912-429-3950 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM ANNOUNCES NEW 2022 EXHIBIT THAT DELVES INTO THE SIGNIFICANCE OF COWRIE SHELLS IN AFRICAN ART AND CULTURE

SAVANNAH, GA – January 19, 2022 – The Savannah African Art Museum (SAAM) has announced its new 2022 exhibit, “Culture, Currency and Continuity: The Significance of Cowrie Shells in African Art,” which will be replacing their 2021 hair exhibit, “ROOTS: Hair-Culture-History, Exploring the Hair & Cultures of West & Central Africa.” The new exhibit will officially open to the public on February 2 at the nonprofit museum, 201 East 37th Street, Savannah.

SAAM continually dedicates a room in the museum to rotating exhibits that are in place for a year to display different aspects of African civilization. Before the current 2021 hair exhibit, the room was devoted to African instruments and music. For 2022, SAAM wanted to demonstrate the relevance of cowrie shells as they have been intertwined with African art and culture for centuries. 

Although cowrie shells’ origin is the Indian and Pacific Ocean via the trade industry and not indigenous to Africa, they are mostly associated with African culture, and for good reason. The small, glossy shells were more than just fashionable, they had monetary value in Ancient African societies. For centuries, the beige shells were a symbol of wealth and were used as a form of currency due to their sturdy and light-weight character. They are thought to be the first pan-regional currency in West Africa. Apart from their economic value, the shells were also revered for their power to bring prosperity, fertility, healing, and spiritual connection to ancestors. Today, cowrie shells are often used in clothing, jewelry, crafts, and African braided hairstyles and headpieces. 

“Every year, we aim to host a new exhibit on something deeply rooted in African culture to broaden the awareness and appreciation for its impact and relevancy to African History. Cowrie shells have come to represent the African continent globally. They have taken root in pop culture, coming a long way since the startled looks and comments received by Venus and Serena Williams when they adorned their braided hair with them as a connection to their African roots during tennis competitions in the early days of their careers,” said SAAM Education Coordinator Lisa Jackson. “We want to share the history behind cowrie shells and why they are important to African societies. They were more than fashion; they were completely intertwined with the culture spiritually, emotionally, and financially. They were an important part of African life. We want to our visitors to walk away with more knowledge about these popular shells than what they walked in with and share it with others.”

The new exhibit coincides with SAAM’s participation in the 2022 Savannah Black Heritage Festival, which runs from February 1-20, 2022. As part of the festivities, SAAM is hosting a workshop that ties into the new exhibit, “Creating Wearable Art” on Feb. 12 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on the second floor of the museum’s Upbeat Village Terracotta Gallery. Participants will have the opportunity to create wearable art out of cowrie shells and other materials. Please note that the gallery is stair access only, no elevator or wheelchair access available. Also on Feb. 12, museum patrons can have their photographs taken for posting and downloading on the SAAM website. Each photo will have a border placed around it displaying the SAAM and SBHF logos and the date, making them great keepsakes of the SBHF and SAAM Experience.

Savannah news outlet WSAV also plans to air a segment on the launch of SAAM’s new Cowrie Shell exhibit. To learn more about the Savannah Black Heritage Festival and check out the WSAV viewing schedule, please visit https://savannahblackheritagefestival.org/. For more information about the new exhibit, please visit www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org/exhibits. For more information about the workshop, please visit www.savannahafricanart.org/workshops.

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651, or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, or the team at 912-417-5377.

DAVENPORT HOUSE MUSEUM TO HOLD ANNUAL VALENTINE’S DAY WEDDINGS IN THE GARDEN

SAVANNAH, GA – January 18, 2022 – Newly engaged and ready to say “I do” without all the months of prepping and planning? You’re in luck. The Davenport House Museum will provide couples with a stress-free and economical way to start their married life in one of historic downtown Savannah’s most beautiful gardens on the most romantic day of the year, Valentine’s Day – Monday, Feb. 14. 

These annual micro wedding ceremonies, conducted by a licensed officiant, will be offered every 10 minutes from 5 to 7 p.m. for a $100 donation to the museum.

Recommitment ceremonies as well as first weddings will be conducted. Those marrying for the first time should bring a valid Georgia marriage license to the ceremony. In the event of rain, ceremonies will be performed at another location on the Museum property. 

“Every year couples spend thousands of dollars on weddings and stress about things like what color their napkins will be,” Davenport House Director Jamie Credle said. “The Davenport House is honored to provide a beautiful, budget friendly venue for those ready to exchange their vows. Our garden is a lovely place for couples to make their commitment to each other.”

For information, particularly regarding safety protocol, please call 912-236-8097. Confirmed reservations are highly recommended as the event is popular and tends to fill up. To reserve a spot, please visit https://davenporthousemuseum.org/programs-events or call 912-236-8097. To learn more about the history and mission of the Davenport House Museum, please visit www.davenporthousemuseum.org. The Davenport House Museum is located at 324 E. State St. in downtown Savannah.

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651, Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, or the team at 912-417-5377.

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM ANNOUNCES NEW EDUCATIONAL WORKSHOPS FOR 2022

SAVANNAH, GA – January 18, 2022 – The Savannah African Art Museum (SAAM) has announced they are hosting two upcoming workshops, continuing with the popular series as the museum moves into the new year. The events are set for January 22 and February 12 at their Upbeat Village Terracotta Gallery, 201 East 37th Street, Savannah. Registration is required via: www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org.

  • January 22 – Hair Exhibit Tour and Film Viewing: To coincide with the January closing of the 2021 hair exhibit, “ROOTS: Hair-Culture-History, Exploring the Hair & Cultures of West & Central Africa,” workshop participants will be taken on a tour of the retiring exhibit and then will view the 2019 Academy Award-winning animated short film, “Hair Love” by Matthew A. Cherry and Bruce W. Smith. The event is from 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. and registered workshop participants must meet at the front entrance of the main SAAM building to commence the tour; the film viewing, and a brief discussion that will follow.
  • February 12 – Creating Wearable Art: To coincide with the Savannah Black Heritage Festival and the launch of SAAM’s new 2022 exhibit, “Culture, Currency and Continuity: The Significance of Cowrie Shells in African Art,” participants will have the opportunity to create wearable art out of cowrie shells and other materials from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

All workshops will be held on the second floor of the museum’s Upbeat Village Terracotta Gallery. Please note that it is stair access only, no elevator or wheelchair access is available.

“It’s a new year with new engaging experiences at SAAM for the community and tourists. February is Black History Month and February 1-20 is the 33rd Annual Savannah Black Heritage Festival whose theme is ‘Celebrating Culture, Celebrating Heritage, Celebrating You,’” SAAM Education Coordinator Lisa Jackson said. “We are so pleased to be a participating venue of the festival. We are launching our new exhibit, ‘Culture, Currency and Continuity: The Significance of Cowrie Shells in African Art’ and offer a coinciding workshop for the occasion, followed by our March Women’s History Month Workshop. We welcome all to come celebrate with us!”

To participate in these workshops, please visit www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org/workshops. To learn more about the museum, the new 2022 exhibit, and the museum’s newest collections, please visit www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org and follow SAAM on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @SavannahAfricanArtMuseum.

SAAM is a nonprofit institution that introduces all audiences to African art and culture. Its mission is to provide engaging experiences that educate and start conversations about the power, diversity, and spirituality of African art.

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651, or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950.

SAVANNAH CLASSICAL ACADEMY APPOINTS KERRY SAENGTHONG AS NEW SCHOOL NUTRITION PROGRAM MANAGER

SAVANNAH, GA. – January 17, 2022 – Savannah Classical Academy (SCA) has appointed Kerry Saengthong as the new nutrition program manager for the school. Her responsibilities are to create, implement and supervise the nutrition program for SCA students and faculty.

Saengthong has been very involved in SCA programs since her children enrolled by becoming the secretary of the parent organization in 2017. When the COVID-19 pandemic occurred, SCA was in need of volunteers to help with the school’s nutrition program. Saengthong was quick to respond and became involved as a part-time volunteer. Soon the school offered her a position as the full-time nutrition program manager, and she gladly accepted.

“One of the biggest influences in my decision to accept this job is to be more involved in not only my children’s lives but in the lives of all the students at SCA,” said Saengthong. “I wanted to have the opportunity to prepare and serve the children and staff of SCA nutritious and delicious meals that they could all enjoy.”

During the 2020-21 school year, SCA completed a total renovation of the school’s kitchen on the East Anderson Street campus and also implemented a new meal service by partnering with the talented chefs and cooks of Daniel Reed Hospitality Restaurant Group. Their meal service team has committed to preparing and providing nutritious breakfast and lunch services for students and faculty of SCA. SCA believes that nutrition is a top priority and balancing this with appetizing meals is why the charter school partnered with experienced restauranteurs and continue to hire committed employees like Saengthong.

It is the philosophy of Savannah Classical Academy that all students benefit from a rigorous, content-rich, educational program that develops academic potential and personal character. The school provides an environment that fosters academic excellence through the habits of thoroughness, the willingness to work, and the perseverance to complete difficult tasks. Through a defined traditional, Classical-Liberal curriculum, students are prepared to become active, responsible members of their community.

For more information about the nutritional program or the mission of Savannah Classical Academy, please visit www.savannahclassicalacademy.org

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For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Fielding at kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com or 229-393-6457, Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).  

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM PARTICIPATES IN GEORGIA HISTORY FESTIVAL’S SUPER MUSEUM SUNDAY

SAVANNAH, GA – January 14, 2022 – The Savannah African Art Museum (SAAM) is pleased to participate in the Georgia History Festival’s Super Museum Sunday once again from 12-4 p.m. on February 6, 2022. The museum will offer free self-guided tours around the museum with docents stationed at various points to answer questions and provide information as needed. COVID-19 precautions will be in place and masks are required. 

Super Museum Sunday is part of the annual Georgia History Festival, the statewide K-12 educational event sponsored by the Georgia Historical Society. SAAM will join over 100 historic sites, house museums, art museums, and other points of interest throughout Georgia opening their doors to the public, free of charge, and offering a variety of in-person and virtual experiences that encourage Georgians to experience the history, arts, and cultural opportunities in our own backyard.

“We’d love to welcome any interested community members and visitors to the Savannah African Art Museum as part of Super Museum Sunday. Throughout the year, we host free educational tours, workshops, and classes to present African art and culture to the wider community. We’re always eager to share our impressive collection with patrons, and there’s no shortage of things to see or do here,” SAAM Founding Director and Chief Curator Billie Stultz said. 

Super Museum Sunday is supported by Delta Air Lines. For more information and to see a full listing of Super Museum Sunday sites visit www.georgiahistoryfestival.org.

“We are excited to have so many wonderful sites from across our state participating this year and hope that everyone will take advantage of the opportunity to get out and experience all the wonderful things that make Georgia great,” said Dr. W. Todd Groce, President and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society. 

To learn more about SAAM, upcoming workshops, and the museum’s newest collections, please visit www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org and follow SAAM on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @SavannahAfricanArtMuseum.

SAAM is a nonprofit institution that introduces all audiences to African art and culture. Its mission is to provide engaging experiences that educate and start conversations about the power, diversity, and spirituality of African art. 

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For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Fielding at kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com or 229-393-6457, Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651, or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950.

SAVANNAH TOURISM LEADER ELECTED AS NEW PRESIDENT OF VISITOR INTERNATIONAL

SAVANNAH, GA – January 13, 2022 – The International Association of Visitor Information Providers announces the election of DeAnne Mitchell of Official Guides of Savannah as its President for 2022.Visitor International is a non-profit organization whose member companies around the world specialize in providing client information to visitors during their stay in their destination, to guide them to wonderful experiences.

As a lifelong Savannah resident, DeAnne Mitchell has a natural ability to customize traveler experiences, rendering her the premier source for local visitor information. She manages a team of over twenty people across two different entities, Official Guides of Savannah and Convention Consultants, which together provide a full menu of services to the local hospitality industry including the provision of tailored private tours to visitors to our region. In 1995 DeAnne began her entrepreneurial journey in event & destination management by joining her mother’s business. She has since grown her team and added unique and creative ways to provide her clients with distribution and display services for their printed collateral. Most recently, DeAnne developed two new client offerings by adding mobile marketing services and a virtual brochure rack accessible on the web.

Visitor International elected DeAnne Mitchell to the role of President at its recent annual meeting which gives members from all over the world the opportunity to discuss trends within the tourism industry and how to better serve that industry. The following slate of Officers and members of the Board of Directors were elected for 2022:

President: DeAnne Mitchell of Official Guides of Savannah, Southeast U.S.

Vice-President: Yiannis Yiannakakis of City Contact, Athens, Greece

Secretary: Kira Keon of Certified Folder Display Service, Canada

Treasurer: Tom Reiter of Brochures Unlimited, Northeast U.S.

Past President: James Morrison of Getaways On Display, Northeast U.S.

Member At Large-Europe: Sandra Mathieu of BHS Promotion-Nice, France

Member At Large-US: Peter Magaro of CTM Media Group, Eastern U.S. and Canada

Executive Director: Mark Kaufman

“I have dedicated my career to providing Savannah’s visitors with unforgettable memories and I am honored to now lead Visitor International on a global platform,”   said DeAnne Mitchell. “Visitor International members share a common interest in the practices, procedures, opportunities and challenges unique to our ‘visitor information’ industry. They are guided by a common code of standards and ethics with a mission to highlight the importance of providing quality visitor information to locations in a professional and courteous manner. Brochures have a vital role in tourism as they inform and influence visitors to enjoy great local experiences. This creates delighted visitors which then positively affects their connection with the hospitality and tourism providers as well as the destination itself.”

For more information about Official Guides of Savannah, please visit www.savguides.com for Convention Consultants www.savtours.com or for Visitor International  www.visitorinternational.com

 

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For media inquiries, please contact  Allie Robinson at allie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-547-3100, Crystal Vogel at crystal@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-509-1510 or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

ARIEL SAVANNAH ANGEL PARTNERS ANNOUNCES NEW BOARD CHAIRMAN CARL D. FRANCIS

SAVANNAH, GA – JANUARY 12, 2022 Ariel Savannah Angel Partners (ASAP), an angel investing group based in Savannah, GA, has named Carl D. Francis as its new board chairman. Francis, a seasoned entrepreneur and investor who has led a number of high-profile  technology companies from start-up to success, has been an ASAP member since 2006. He has served on the group’s board since 2017 and was appointed vice chair last year. Francis’ new role became effective this month as he takes the reins from former Chairman Beau Anders, a Landings-based retired Silicon Valley KPMG Managing Partner.

Angel investors provide capital to startup businesses, typically in exchange for a stake in the company or a debt security. ASAP, founded in 2005, has become one of the biggest angel investment groups in the Southeastern U.S. and currently has investments in 35 companies. ASAP’s portfolio includes a number of interesting and high-potential businesses that are developing high-tech medical devices, new surgical procedures, genetic engineering solutions, advanced breastfeeding technologies, agricultural technologies, the use of artificial intelligence in skin care and cancer detection, a high-end bourbon distillery, a manufacturer of ancient-grain-based vegan buttermilk products that just launched into Whole Foods, and more.

Francis recently retired as CEO of Eyoto, a European MedTech business based in Birmingham, England that specializes in the development of advanced engineering and AI software platforms for the optical and ophthalmic industries. Before joining and investing in Eyoto in 2017, he spent eight years as CEO of P2i, a nano-technology spin-out from the UK Ministry of Defense based in Oxford, England which he grew from a pre-revenue start up into the dominant global player in the functional nano-coating industry. Francis also spent three years as CEO acquiring, running, and successfully exiting Adria Ltd., Ireland’s largest textile business, in a leveraged buyout on behalf of a small private equity group in which he was a founding partner. 

Francis has also held several non-executive roles, including chairman of London-based HSD Communications Ltd. from 1998 to 2007. He started his career as a Certified Public Accountant, is a member of Mensa, and has a BSc from the University of Cincinnati. Francis and his British wife Lesley live in Richmond Hill.

Outgoing ASAP board chair Beau Anders commented, “I have always enjoyed working with exciting, early-stage businesses, and ASAP provides a great platform for that involvement. We have an excellent angel investing group here in Savannah, with a solid investment portfolio and an enthusiastic and active membership. I am proud of what our members have achieved over the past few years, and I have a lot of confidence that Carl will build on that positive momentum.”

Francis looks forward to leading the group into its next chapter. 

“I am delighted and honored to take on this new challenge,” Francis said. “Overall, ASAP members have invested about $15 million over past 17 years, and we pride ourselves on providing not only capital but mentoring, guidance  and industry expertise to enthusiastic young entrepreneurs.

When asked about the appeal of ASAP membership, he added, “Some of our members join in order to broaden their personal investment portfolios into privately held, early stage businesses, while others enjoy meeting and hearing from smart and passionate young entrepreneurs. Yet others enjoy the social aspect and camaraderie that comes from being part of our group and involvement on one of our investment teams. Over the years, I think I have been in each of those categories at one time or another.”

ASAP members come from a variety of backgrounds across a wide range of industries. Some are still building their careers, some are active retirees, and some are passive investors seeking a high return. ASAP’s mission is to provide opportunities for its members to potentially achieve outstanding financial returns through investment and involvement in early-stage companies with a focus on technology. For more information, please visit https://asap-invests.com/about/

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651 or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES ARTISTIC COLLABORATION IN SAVANNAH – JAN. 22-23

SAVANNAH, GA – January 10, 2022 Savannah VOICE Festival (SVF) has partnered with leading arts organizations in the city of Savannah including Historic Savannah Foundation/Davenport House Museum and Savannah African Art Museum for a weekend of artistic collaboration on January 22 and 23. The events will include new artists and the new Executive Director, Chad Sonka. They will be joined by presidents and co-founders Maria Zouves and Sherrill Milnes.

Responding to COVID safety needs, the weekend of collaboration will start with a free live-streamed event on the evening of Saturday, January 22. SVF has partnered with the Savannah African Art Museum (SAAM) to create a virtual live experience where SVF artists perform a repertoire of music interspersed with SAAM Chief Curator, Billie Stultz, introducing highlights from the museum’s extensive collection of African art. The concert will be streamed from 6-7 p.m. and will be available on SVF’s website, www.savannahvoicefestival.org and SAAM’s website, www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org. 

The next event, which is free and open to the public, takes place on Sunday, January 23 with the inaugural “Songs and Stories in the Squares”, a new partnership between SVF and Historic Savannah Foundation. The event will begin at 2 p.m. outside the Davenport House Museum, 324 E State St., Savannah, GA 31401, on Columbia Square. Docents and HSF supporters will give 10-minute lectures in Columbia, Greene, and Crawford Squares and SVF artists will perform selections, two songs in each square, that complement the theme of the lectures. Artists include Chad Sonka, Peter Lake, Kyaunnee Richardson, and Sara Zoe Budnik will present repertoire accompanied by Savannah VOICE Festival Composer-in-Residence, Michael Ching. Contingency plans have been put in place in case of bad weather.

“It is important for us at the Savannah VOICE Festival to support and promote all forms of art and to follow our mission of providing educational and creative programs not only during our August festival, but throughout the year,” said Executive Director Chad Sonka. “Even with the growing concerns of COVID-19 in our community, we are incredibly lucky that we have been able to continue these collaborative initiatives outdoors and virtually so we can continue to provide and support the arts in Savannah.” 

For more information about these events and how to get tickets and/or register, visit www.savannahvoicefestival.org. 

Savannah VOICE Festival is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit arts organization in the state of Georgia. The Festival brings classical vocal excellence to the Savannah area through a two-week celebration of concerts, events, and educational presentations during the month of August and throughout the year. Focusing on arts awareness and audience development in the performing arts, it offers music from opera, musical theatre, and popular song. The Savannah VOICE Festival is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly. GCA is a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Donations are tax-deductible.

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For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Fielding at 229-393-6457 or kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com, Allie Robinson at 912-547-3100 or allie@lesleyfrancispr.com,  or Lesley Francis at 912-429-3950 or lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com.