Fall 2016


December 9-11
Shoppe Artisan

December 10
Platinum Real Estate

December 10-11
Feed My Starving Children MobilePack Volunteer Event

January 8
The Georgia Bridal Show

January 8-9
The Cobb Show

January 20-22
The Georgia RV and Camper Show

January 24
Atlanta Career Expo

January 28-29
The Great American Motorcycle Show

Click here for more events!


Camilo Aguirre, Sous Chef

Denzel Amoabeng, Banquet Server

Nestor Barrios, Banquet Server   

Dennis Brown, Set Up Attendant

Rebecca Colbert, Sales Coordinator

Andre Gilliard, Stewarding Supervisor   

Enrique Hernandez, Stewarding Supervisor

Richard D. Johnson, Engineer

Frederick Kirby, Set Up Attendant

Warren Newton, Utility Maintenance

Marquis Owens, Set Up Attendant

Trent Rhodes,

Craig Stine,  

Annabel Thomas, Housekeeper  

Delois Wright, Housekeeper


Enrique Hernandez, Stewarding Manager

Mohammad Kashefi, Banquet Captain  

Joshua Pacheco, Sous Chef

Nicholas Panter, Chef de Cuisine

Nicholas Walker, Culinary Director/Executive Chef




Cobb Galleria Centre, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and ArtsBridge Foundation recently released their joint 2016 Annual Report, which reflects a mission of serving the community, guests and employees.

2016 Annual Report

Based on an economic impact study performed by an independent consulting firm, Cobb Galleria Centre and Cobb Energy Centre created 1,470 jobs in 2016 and generated approximately $155 million in overall economic impact for Cobb County and the State of Georgia. Approximately $8.1 million in sales, income, local option, hotel/motel and liquor by the drink taxes are directly attributable to events held at the Cobb Galleria Centre and Cobb Energy Centre. In 2016, the convention center produced a total of 669 events with attendance of 344,000. The performing arts center hosted a total of 270 events with attendance of 279,000.

ArtsBridge Foundation, the arts education outreach arm of the Cobb Energy Centre, reached 45,266 students and educators in 2016 through field trips, master classes, educational experiences and the Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards – The Shuler Awards. An impressive 223 schools participated in field trip programs, and a record-breaking 59 high schools were part of the Shulers. ArtsBridge doubled ticket and bus subsidies in 2016, reaching 93 Title 1 schools.

To read the report, click here.


Michele Swann

The feature story in this edition of Centre Focus is the release of our annual report.  The theme for FY 2016 is “On a Mission.” Since 1994, the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority’s long-standing commitment to excellence in customer service, professional development of employees, and financial stewardship has enabled us to live up to our corporate mission of enhancing the quality of life and providing economic benefit to Cobb County and the state of Georgia.

For the twenty-first consecutive year, we received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by our Accounting Department team.

This has been a successful year on many levels, and I am especially grateful for the visionary leadership on our Authority, our loyal clients and Cobb Galleria Centre's dedicated employees. As the holiday season begins, we wish everyone a happy and joyous holiday season and a healthy, prosperous New Year!

Best regards,
Michele Swann signature

Michele L. Swann

General Manager and CEO



The Cobb Galleria Centre recently completed a heating and air conditioning replacement project in its exhibition halls, estimated to reduce energy costs by up to 15 percent.

McKenney’s, Inc., one of the Southeast’s most trusted names in facility construction, operation and maintenance, installed 12 custom-built rooftop units to service the convention center’s A, B and C exhibit halls. The 105,000-square-foot space previously was outfitted by higher energy consuming units that were original to the building.

Initial engineering estimates forecast that the new HVAC units will reduce the facility’s energy consumption by 10-15 percent. In combination with the Centre’s other energy-savings programs, the HVAC units add to the Centre’s sustainable energy management program that includes:

  • Integrated “Building Management System” through Trillium Controls that reduced annual electricity costs/consumption by 12 percent and gas costs/consumption by 15 percent
  • Motion-censored lights (since 1994)
  • LED lighting throughout facility (to be completed in 2016)
  • Restricted use of HVAC during move-in/move-out days in the exhibit halls to eliminate the energy waste of operating HVAC systems when the loading dock doors are open)

“The HVAC replacement project is a significant long-term investment in our venue. We are committed to maintaining our asset and focused on enhancing the guest experience,” said Michele Swann, General Manager and CEO of the Cobb Galleria Centre.

The HVAC installation took 12 weeks and was undertaken during intense summer heat. The project culminated in an early morning helicopter lift to put the new units in place.


For the 21st consecutive year, the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA).

The Authority, which governs Cobb Galleria Centre, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, ArtsBridge Foundation and Galleria Specialty Shops, won the award for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). According to GFOA, the Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.

Accounting Department
The accounting team

The CAFR has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program including demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR.

The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving approximately 17,500 government finance professionals with offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C.


The Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority, owner and operator of Cobb Galleria Centre and Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, has streamlined culinary operations with key personnel moves and a focus on innovation.

Nicholas Walker

The Authority promoted several members of the culinary department and hired a new Sous Chef. Leading the way is Nicholas Walker, who has been promoted to Culinary Director/Executive Chef. Previously he was Executive Chef at Cobb Galleria Centre for six years. Walker has built a team of chefs with diverse backgrounds and abilities to produce just about any type of cuisine that a client desires.

“By focusing on the needs of our clients, using the highest quality of food and tapping the creativity and talents of our chefs, we are building stories through food that elevate the customer experience.” Walker said.

Walker’s team includes Chef de Cuisine Nicholas Panter and Sous Chefs Josh Pacheco and Camilo Aguirre. “We have grown our culinary talent from within,” Walker said. “This community offers top-notch resources such as the culinary education program at Kennesaw State University, local farms and manufacturers where we purchase our food, as well as non-profit organizations and community events that allow our chefs to give back.”

Chef Walker’s cuisine is inspired by his Georgia roots, with many of his dishes sourced from local and regional farms and small businesses. A Milledgeville native, Walker came to the Centre from the Intercontinental Hotel Buckhead, where he served as Sous Chef for Au Pied du Cochon and later Banquet Chef for the hotel. Walker is a graduate from the Art Institute of Atlanta’s Culinary Arts Management Program (magna cum laude / Bachelor of Science). Walker has worked in almost every kitchen setting including restaurants, country clubs, resorts, hotels and off-premise catering. Chef Walker currently is an instructor with Kennesaw State University’s Institute for Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality Management.

Panter joined the Cobb Galleria Centre in 2015 as Sous Chef. Prior to joining the Centre, Panter held the roles of Chef de Cuisine for Center Stage Catering, Sous Chef at both the Georgian Club and Waterfront Topside Restaurant, and most recently as Head Chef for Delish Bistro in Greensboro. He has been cooking professionally for 11 years.

Pacheco joined the Cobb Galleria Centre in 2011 as an intern and was then hired as a Line Cook. He is a graduate of Le Cordon Blue in Tucker.

Aguirre comes to the Authority from the Frederica Golf Club on St. Simons Island where he was the Executive Sous Chef. He has worked as the Sous Chef for the Montaluce Winery, Atlanta Athletic Club and several Buckhead Life restaurants.


Staff from the Cobb Galleria Centre and Cobb Energy Centre came together on October 21st to celebrate the retirement of Janice Ransbotham, Catering Coordinator.

Janice Ransbotham

Ransbotham has worked at the Centre for 22 years, starting a few months after the Centre opened as an employee of Masterpiece Creations, the in-house catering company at the time. When the Centre brought food and beverage services in house in 2001, Ransbotham made the transfer.

In her role as administrative assistant, Ransbotham oversees organizing and distributing banquet event orders, taking new catering sales inquiries and assisting the catering sales managers.

“It’s been a really good job,” Ransbotham said. “It was suited for me at this time in my life. It’s been an evolving job depending on what’s needed.”

Ransbotham has plans for a quiet retirement that will include time with husband, friends, her children and grandchildren. The Ransbothams will celebrate 50 years of marriage in July 2017.


What goes on behind the scenes of some of your favorite events at the  Cobb Galleria Centre? Here's a look at a time lapse inside our exhibit hall covering 10 events in one month, including the Atlanta Home Show, IT Roadmap: Atlanta, the Atlanta Foodservice Expo, The Franchise Expo  and Anime Weekend Atlanta.


ON Event Services, LLC, the in-house audiovisual company at Cobb Galleria Centre and Cobb Energy Centre, has been acquired as a wholly owned subsidiary of Viad.  One of Viad’s primary business groups is Global Experience Specialists, better known as GES.  ONsite's audio visual and event technology services perfectly complement GES' core live event services for corporate and consumer events, trade shows, conferences and exhibits. This change provides event planners with the benefit of GES' experienced team, its full-scale live event services and global resources.

ON Event Services will operate as ON Services, a GES Company. Operationally they will continue as a stand-alone division, with no ONsite management changes affecting the level of service our clients have come to expect.  Additionally, their new structure will have more than 85 offices around the globe to produce and support live events from start to finish!


Housekeeping Supervisor Alemneh Teshome literally won the lottery nine years ago when he moved from his native Ethiopia to Marietta, Georgia. He was chosen in the Diversity Visa Lottery, a program in Ethiopia which provides emigration visas to the United States.

While the move to Georgia was a dream, Teshome was alone.

Alemneh Teshome

"When I came, the only person I knew was my sponsor who lived in Atlanta. It was lonely," Teshome said, adding that while he has always spoken English, his first language is Amharic, and the intricacies of U.S. English are different from what he had known.

Shortly after his arrival, he found a job in housekeeping at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Nine years later, he has alternated back and forth between Cobb Galleria Centre and Cobb Energy Centre, although now he spends most of his time at Cobb Galleria Centre. His job entails monitoring the entire 320,000-square-foot facility for areas that need housekeeping attention, assigning daily duties for housekeepers, and preparing for the next day.

"I like busy," Teshome said. "I like to be very detailed in my cleaning, and I want things done right. I enjoy teamwork, and I like to learn new things."

Teshome lives in Marietta with his partner and two children. When he is not at work, he enjoys reading and plans to go back to school to earn his college degree.


Face & Body

Face & Body®, presented by trade publication Skin Inc. magazine and produced by Allured Business Media, recently made its Atlanta debut with a show at the Cobb Galleria Centre October 15-17.

Face & Body® strives to provide the highest quality education in the industry, which skin care, spa and wellness professionals can immediately implement in their businesses. Face & Body® Southeast’s supplier classes included 70 expo exhibitors as well as 55 advanced education classes.

Sandy Chapin, CEM, Group Show Director, said that Allured made the decision to add a show in Atlanta because the Southeast region was underserved, and most southeastern states require continuing education credits for licensed estheticians and cosmetologists. “We chose the Cobb Galleria Centre as the home of our Face & Body Southeast event because of its affordability based on the space we needed, accessibility to hotels, restaurants and, most importantly, our audience base."

The recent event at Cobb Galleria Centre attracted 1,500 attendees, filling 415 hotel rooms. Face & Body also produces similar shows in San Jose, Calif. and Chicago. For more information, visit


Embassy Suites

The 263 suite Embassy Suites by Hilton Atlanta Galleria has completed a 10 month, $12 million renovation of its entire hotel. Areas of renovation include the lobby, atrium, restaurant and bar, meeting rooms, in-door swimming pool, fitness center, guest laundry, suites, and hotel exterior. The hotel is owned and managed by Hospitality Ventures Management Group based in Atlanta.

“The extensive renovation at Embassy Suites by Hilton Atlanta Galleria provides guests with superior accommodations and a highly satisfying stay,” said Brian Clark, general manager. “Our spacious suites continue to appeal to business travelers by affording more space to work and relax than the average one-room hotel accommodations in the local market while families are able to spread out within the two separate rooms.”

Located at 2815 Akers Mill Road, the Embassy Suites is across the street from the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and three blocks from the Cobb Galleria Centre.

Centre Focus is the official newsletter of Cobb Galleria Centre. Centre Focus is a free service designed to inform our clients, business partners and the community about upcoming events and the latest news from the Centre. Cobb Galleria Centre does not share its e-mail list with any individual or organization.

©2016 Cobb Galleria Centre. All rights reserved.

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Cobb Galleria Centre · 2 Galleria Parkway · Atlanta, GA 30339 · USA