Existing Business & Industry Spotlight

Vizitech Mobilizes Classroom Learning

By Shannon Sneed
The Eatonton Messenger
March 23, 2017

With visual demonstrations key to understanding the scope of the technology involved in Vizitech USA’s learning program, the company will be taking their show on the road.

Rolling out April 1 in new buses designed with their logo and contact information displayed artistically on the sides, Vizitech representatives will travel across the United States honoring requests from school system officials interested in finding ways to upgrade their technology for a more hands-on approach in classrooms.

“We will be going from Florida to Texas to Colorado and back across to Washington, D.C.,” Vizitech President Stewart Rodeheaver said, noting they will introduce their technology to schools and businesses across America with a focus on helping improve education and training.

The buses will be stocked with samples of Vizitech’s virtual reality machine, augmented reality display, 3D printers and portable 3D theater, which also can be used to enhance learning at summer technology camps.

The East Sumter Street business, which opened in Eatonton in January 2014, now services over 1,000 school systems as well as corporations such as Georgia Power and Lockheed Martin.


Legacy Housing showcases larger designs

By Shannon Sneed
The Eatonton Messenger
March 16, 2017

Eatonton’s Legacy Housing Ltd. opened its doors to guests last week who are in the business of setting up communities for conventional families, giving tours of several newly designed display homes.

One of the display homes on the lot of Eatonton’s Legacy Housing looks ready to move into as the company showcases some of its newest designs. Legacy owner, Curtis Hodgson, announced they would be ramping up operations to begin placing many new Legacy home dealers across the Southeast.

After a weekend show of tiny houses at a festival at Ooh La La Lavender Farm March 3-5, Legacy conducted the week-long 2017 Legacy Georgia Home Show at its Eatonton facility, attracting the attention of dealers and park owners from across the southeastern states.

Community investors from Kentucky to Florida and a few curious buyers from some of the northern states were introduced to Legacy’s top-of-the line energy efficient and affordable homes for families of all sizes.

A tent is set up outside Eatonton’s Legacy Housing lot for the week-long 2017 Legacy Georgia Home Show. Community investors from across the southeast came for tours of several newly designed display homes.

Several Legacy staff members were on hand to assist the approximately 40 buyers a day who toured the lot, which held six multi-section and six single section homes, and one tiny house.

“We’ve had a really good turnout,” Ryan Burnett, Legacy Housing sales manager said. “We’ve been well received by both current and prospective dealers.”

According to Legacy owner and founder Curtis Hodgson, Legacy’s Eatonton plant is the biggest manufactured home plant in America with 325,000 square feet in one building and around 140 full-time employees.

Workers at the local facility are now also building the industry’s most affordable tiny houses, Burnett said.

Selling to the public at about $25,000 each, Legacy’s Tiny Hacienda has been a hot seller at retailer’s lots and state fair’s across the South, he noted.

Just recently, the Putnam County Board of Commissioner’s purchased four of the tiny houses for the county-owned Oconee Springs Park after the recreation site lost four cabins in a storm late last year.

“We have taken great measure to redesign our entire singlewide and doublewide product lines,” Hodgson said in a press release.

All Legacy homes are now 5- to 15-inches wider than their competitors, providing as much as 10 percent more interior square footage for a roomier and more furniture friendly home, he announced.


Spicy Southern Company Profile

Canvas portraits by Putnam County native artist Janice Irmgard Westfall line the base of the bar at Spicy Southern as owner Krystal Epps decorates the new downtown restaurant. Westfall’s eclectic artwork is on display at the North Jefferson Avenue eatery with an option to purchase.

New restaurant brings more variety to downtown Eatonton

By Shannon Sneed
The Eatonton Messenger
March 2, 2017

Opening the doors to Spicy Southern, a fiery new restaurant in downtown Eatonton, one could be drawn in by the sweet and spicy aromas coming from the kitchen while one’s eyes might feast on the décor.

A lamp post is the first object to catch the eye before moving on to a long, multi-color bar designed in rich earthy hues of red, blue, brown, green and yellow. Blending with the colors of the dining tables and the bar, hung upon the walls is an eclectic array of modern art by artist Janice Irmgard Westfall, showcased on deep, cherry-colored brick.

“Spicy Southern is a family affair,” Owner/ Operator Krystal Epps said in a recent interview. Epps’ husband and business partner, Cecil Epps, who is employed at Wilson Bryant Air Conditioning, helps on the weekends and her mother, Lisa Jones Hawk, assists during the week.

“A family affair,” Lisa Jones Hawk, left, joins daughter and Spicy Southern Owner/Operator Krystal Epps at the lamp post to greet patrons coming in for burgers, hotdogs, pizza and barbecue. “We are telling everyone to ‘#MeetMeAtTheLampPost,’” Epps said.

When Epps turned 18 years old, the Putnam County native set out to college and obtained a degree in restaurant management in 2003 from Johnson and Wales University.

Epps said she is comfortable in the service industry with a work history which includes a variety of experience ranging from chain restaurants such as Chili’s to high-end dining like Reynolds Plantation.

While in Charleston, she obtained experience working at Whitmore Mansion and Middleton Place.

Traveling around the U.S. after graduation, Epps spent a summer working at a pizzeria in the Glacier National Park in Montana; as well as restaurants in St. Louis and California’s South Coast region, San Diego County’s Oceanside, before moving back to Georgia.

After starting a family, the mother of three, Laci Epps, 11, Lilly Misa, 10 and Dylan Epps, 5, took a break from the restaurant business, but her passion for the industry drew her back in.

Trying to balance a full time career and small children can be a challenge; so Epps said she thought what better way to be able to spend the time she wanted with her children than by going into business for herself?

That’s when she brought her education and experience together to form Spicy Southern.

Epps’ motto is “Why cook when you don’t have to,” she said. The seasoned cook and restaurant manager initially planned on just catering and delivery, “sort of like a meals-on-wheels type service,” she said.

After calculating the amount of manpower it would take to do strictly catering and delivery, Epps determined it would be more beneficial to open up a facility offering a dine-in experience as well catering.

Some of the items offered on the menu include a cup of soup-of-the-day or pubstyle chili for less than five dollars; burgers, hotdogs and barbeque sandwiches; and barbeque chicken pizza and buffalo chicken pizza.

Located at 117 North Jefferson Avenue, Spicy Southern’s hours are currently 11:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Wednesday – Saturday, and 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Epps also is considering opening on Mondays and will be offering Wi-Fi capabilities to customers as well as a television for entertainment.

For information, call 706- 816-2322.


Risk Management Associates - Company Profile

Risk Management Associates is a security, loss prevention, and investigation firm specializing in customized security and protection programs. With over 50 years of experience in Law Enforcement and Security, we have a reputation for excellence and understand the importance of building trust, strong ethics, and dependability with our clients. We maintain the level of excellence our clients expect. Most of our security professionals at Risk Management Associates are current or former law enforcement officers. Many of our security professionals possess specialized training and certifications that qualify them for your unique security and protective service needs.

Risk Management Associates recognizes the benefit of utilizing technology to enhance the performance of our security professionals. We utilize state-of-the art technology and applications that stay ahead of the industry in security, loss prevention, and investigations. Because we invest in the technology, we are able to significantly improve your security and protection with video, GPS tracking, digital forms and reporting, wireless communication, client support systems, and more.

When it comes to assessing your risk and protective factors, we will assist you with investigations, background checks, polygraph exams, and more. We will also help you develop plans and procedures such as emergency response plans and business continuity development plans.

Trust Risk Management Associates to have the security professionals and advanced technological resources available to minimize your company’s risk and protect your assets. If you have a daily situation, a high profile event, or a one-time event needing security oversight and protective services, Risk Management Associates welcomes the opportunity to discuss security solutions and protective services that can be tailored specifically to your situation.

Risk Management Associates is located in Downtown Eatonton.

Ben E. Payne, CSA


For more information contact:

Ben E. Payne, CSA
Risk Management Associates
108 N. Jefferson Ave.
Eatonton, Ga. 31024


To have your company’s profile posted, please contact Terry Schwindler, Economic Development Director at:
706-816-8099 or tschwindler@putnamdevelopmentauthority.com .