Patty Ponder is the president of Aroundabout Local Media (ALM). She has responsibility for the day-to-day operations, strategic planning, marketing and sales for ALM. Patty joined ALM after a 20-year career with AT&T, where she spent most of her time as a program manager in various AT&T companies on many different projects and had responsibility for customer service training for small business, mid-market and large business sales. Her experience includes participation in a five-year leadership program, and extensive sales and customer service training that gives Patty the qualifications to drive our company’s philosophy of focusing on the customer, and going above and beyond to satisfy our customer’s needs. Patty has lived in Towne Lake since 1991 with her husband Mark, and children Ansley and Daniel. She is engaged in the community as an active member of the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce, a chair for a Downtown Woodstock committee and serves in her church. You will see her often in our community enjoying concerts, art festivals, dining in local restaurants and promoting our local businesses.
Kelly Black has a deep desire to be part of her community, so joining the staff of Aroundabout Local Media as chief strategist is a perfect fit. Her extensive experience in finance, operations, business development, international import, and small business consulting has prepared her to lead others to success. With her operational leadership and her entrepreneurial spirit, Kelly guides our company ‘s growth by developing and implementing strategies to position ALM to soar to the next levels.
Growing up in Wisconsin and Florida, Kelly has called Georgia home for the past 20 years but appreciates visiting the north and the south. She and her husband, Tim, along with their two children, Kyle and Kayden, love to travel, visit local restaurants and support small businesses. You probably will see her at networking events, farmers markets and listening to local bands, while also enjoying living the mountain life in Jasper. In 2020, Kelly founded a women’s networking organization that focuses on promoting and providing resources for women in business.
Executive Editor Candi Hannigan, a Cherokee County resident since 1987, has more than 30 years journalism experience as a page designer, copy editor and writer. After earning a journalism degree from the University of South Carolina, she worked at the St. Petersburg Times and Evening Independent, and The Charlotte Observer before moving to Atlanta to join the Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff. Candi spent more than a dozen years as a freelance writer covering the community of faith for the AJC, and started a monthly publication called The Cherokee Vine before joining the Aroundabout Local Media staff in 2012. In addition to her professional background, Candi volunteers in many capacities which led to her co-founding Give a Kid a Chance – Cherokee in 2006. She also serves on the board of Cherokee FOCUS. Candi and husband Glenn, a local United Methodist pastor, have three children.
Art Director Michelle McCulloch has worked for Aroundabout Local Media since 2004. She has a bachelor of fine arts in graphic design from Rochester Institute of Technology. Michelle enjoys working with local business owners to create effective ads that will help them gain new customers. She is married and a mother of two sons and two adorable Dachshunds. She attends St. Michael the Archangel Church, enjoys working out at a local gym, and boating and camping at Lake Allatoona.
Page designer Laura Latchford grew up in Clements, Maryland and studied design at the College of Southern Maryland. She was a graphic designer for 11 years before joining the staff at Aroundabout Local Media. Laura lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband James and their three children, Kira, Trey and Raelynn.
Katie Beall is the title editor of Around Acworth magazine. The Georgia native is a two-time graduate of Georgia College & State University with a bachelor’s in mass communication and a master’s in public administration. She’s worked in athletic media relations and corporate communications before joining ALM. In her spare time, she enjoys attending sporting events, reading and exploring the area. Katie and her husband David are also learning to enjoy the adventures of parenting their daughters Parker Grace and Maddie Beth.
Michelle Smith, marketing and advertising specialist, has been involved in publications and diverse support roles since 1991. Natives to Texas, Michelle, her husband Clint, and their three boys have been Georgia transplants since 2002. Her crowning achievement has been homeschooling their boys through graduation. They take joy in attending First Baptist Church of Woodstock. In her down time, Michelle enjoys hiking in the mountains, collecting and reading century-old books, and savoring these last moments with her boys at home.
Controller Denise Griffin has a background in public and private accounting that allows her to bring sound financial principles to our pricing structure to ensure our services are as affordable as possible while maintaining the financial integrity of our company. As a writer of continuing education exams and reviews for CPAs, she stays current on trends, standards and best practices. In her free time, Denise enjoys time spent with family and boating on Lake Allatoona, reading, and listening to country music.
Kat Holt, social media manager, has been in the digital marketing industry for six years. Before joining ALM, she worked closely with several different independently owned roller rinks and bowling alleys across the United States. Working with small businesses to help them grow their online following is her passion. She has lived in Georgia her whole life and is currently residing in Woodstock with her husband and two children, Mariah and RJ. When she isn’t working on social media platforms, you can find her outside soaking up the sunshine or on the lake enjoying quality time with her family and friends.
Jessica Forrester is the assistant editor of Aroundabout Local Media. She has an associate degree in business management from Chattahoochee Technical College and a bachelor’s in organizational leadership from Valdosta State University. While completing her degrees, the Canton native worked in the afterschool program at Holly Springs Elementary, where she attended school as a child. She discovered her passion for writing and editing when she joined the literary magazine at Sequoyah High School, and she continued to develop that skill set professionally and throughout college. Her experience in the mortgage industry helped her navigate purchasing her first home in Towne Lake in 2020, where she loves to read, walk the nearby park trails and try new recipes with her husband Andrew.
Graphic designer Savannah Winn is a Georgia native, she graduated from Kennesaw State University in 2020 with a bachelor’s of fine arts in graphic communications and a minor in marketing. When she is not working, Savannah enjoys other artistic pursuits, including ceramics and painting. She also loves swing dancing, and enjoys local events and traveling across the country.
Karen and Jon Flaig, owners of Aroundabout Local Media since 2009, have lived in Towne Lake for over 20 years and raised their four sons – Chase, Kyle, Jonathan and Colby – here. Jon, a Florida native and University of Florida graduate, is a serial entrepreneur, currently operating in the print publishing, digital marketing and residential real estate development industries. Karen, born and raised in Cobb County, graduated from Jacksonville State University. She left the corporate world in 1999 to raise her boys and started Everyday Angels. She spends her time identifying community needs, volunteering, serving on the Cherokee FOCUS board, and watching her sons play ball. You will find them often at grocery stores, church and school events.