Summer 2016


July 23

INDIE Film Loop

July 23
Platinum Real Esate

July 24-25
The COBB Show

July 29-31
Southeast Homeschool Expo

July 31
The Georgia Bridal Show

August 11
Atlanta Board of Realtors Showcase 2016

Click here for more events!


George Brown, Housekeeper

Demetrius Dawkins, Set Up Attendant

Alberda Fulce, Accountant

Shawn Grady, Utility Maintenance

Raphael Jackson, Utility Maintenance

Greonda Johns, Steward

Olga Komoko-Rekobozou, Banquet Server

Nicolas Madonna, Banquet Server

Brent Moise, Banquet Server

Tatiana Nechyparenka, Banquet Server

Thomas Nickson, Purchasing Assistant

Mikeyia Raybon, Security Officer

Tiffany Smith, Accountant

Jessica Still, Human Resources Assistant

Martin Vargas, Banquet Server

Richard Webb, Set Up Attendant

Larmardia Wiggs, Set Up Attendant


Alemayehu Retta, Housekeeping Supervisor

Brittany Coley, Assistant Manager of Event Services

Jocelyn Munson, Senior Event Coordinator

Nancy Stoeppelwerth,  Operations Assistant




Tricia PridemoreThe Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority has appointed community volunteer and former marketing technology executive Tricia Pridemore to Post 7. Pridemore fills the unexpired term of Earl Smith, who retired earlier this year.

A Cobb County resident, Pridemore most recently was the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development from 2011-2013. Previously she was the Chief Marketing Officer and Principal of Accucast/Socketware, which was sold to Premiere Global Services (PGI) in 2006.

“Our search for a new Authority member quickly led us to Tricia Pridemore, who has built a reputation in Cobb County and Georgia as a loyal and hardworking advocate for our communities,” said Jerry Nix, Chairman of the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority, the governing body for Cobb Galleria Centre, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and ArtsBridge Foundation. “We are pleased to have her join our Authority, and we look forward to her future contributions to our mission of bringing economic impact and enhancing quality of life in Cobb County.”

Pridemore’s extensive community involvement includes being a member of the Georgia World Congress Center Board of Governors from 2011-2013, a member of the WellStar Hospital Foundation Board of Directors from 2008-2014, president of The Village at Barrett Green Homeowners Association, client services volunteer at MUST Ministries, co-chair of both of Governor Nathan Deal’s Inaugural Committees in 2011 and 2015, and a 2013-2014 candidate for United States Congress in Georgia’s 11th Congressional District.

The Authority is made up of seven members. The member representing Post 7 is appointed by a majority vote of the other members.


Michele SwannIn this issue of Centre Focus we have two exciting announcements to share with you. We are pleased to share Tricia Pridemore’s recent appointment to the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority board. In her new role on the Authority, Ms. Pridemore serves as Chairman of the Community Outreach Committee and is a member of the Real Estate Committee. Additionally, we are delighted to welcome Sandie Aaron as the new Managing Director of Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. I believe you will be impressed with her high expectations for quality programming, the continuation of our outstanding educational offerings and her leadership capacity for broadening community involvement.

The months of July and August are busy with multi-day conventions and trade shows - some of which have been with us since we opened in 1994 - Southeastern Accounting Show, Georgia Poultry Federation, Elite Events and Atlanta Board of Realtors. We are pleased to welcome back the Georgia Association for Career and Technical Education (GACTE) for their 69th Summer Leadership Conference. Under the leadership of Matthew Gambill, Executive Director, GACTE is a state affiliate of the National Association for Career & Technical Education.

We hope you take a moment to check out Cobb Galleria Centre’s new interactive floor plans and the new collaborative website and advertising campaign we launched with our hospitality partners at Our goal was to create a website that incorporates all that we offer as a destination and to illustrate why Cobb County is Atlanta’s Sweet Spot!

Best regards,
Michele Swann signature
Michele L. Swann
General Manager and CEO


Sandie Aaron

The Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority is pleased to announce the selection of Sandie Aaron, an industry veteran, to take the helm of Managing Director of the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

Aaron has an extensive and diverse career facilitating all aspects of venue management in performing arts centers, arenas, amphitheaters and convention centers. During her lengthy tenure with SMG, a world-wide entertainment and venue management company, Aaron served in the capacity of Regional Booking Director, Regional General Manager and Regional Vice President with responsibilities over 12 venues in the Midwest and Southeast.

Authority General Manager/CEO, Michele Swann said, “After a comprehensive national search, we are thrilled to have found Sandie Aaron. Her programming, financial, strategic and leadership experience will bring enormous value to Cobb Energy Centre and to the other organizations with whom we partner.”

Aaron, a native of Pensacola, Fla., and a 2009 Venues Today Woman of Influence, began her position on May 2.


Jerry Nix
Jerry Nix and John Jassmann, photo courtesy of the Atlanta Business Chronicle

Jerry Nix, Chairman of the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority, was honored with the 2016 Lifetime Achievement CFO Award on May 26. The award, presented by the Atlanta Business Chronicle in partnership with the Association for Corporate Growth Atlanta, was the highlight of the 2016 CFO of the Year Awards Breakfast.

Nix served as Genuine Parts Company's CFO from 1999-2013 and currently serves on a variety of boards throughout Cobb County and Georgia, including the ArtsBridge Foundation, Boy Scouts of America, Genuine Parts Company, John and Mary Franklin Foundation, Synovus Financial Corp., and Young Harris College.


Michele Swann, General Manager & CEO of the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority, will receive the Women of Influence 2016 Award from Venues Today magazine.

Swann has led the Cobb Galleria Centre, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, Galleria Specialty Shops, and ArtsBridge Foundation through tremendous growth in facilities, programs, and services. First hired in 1995 as assistant general manager, Swann was promoted to general manager/CEO of the Authority in 1999. Swann has worked in public venue management for more than 30 years. She is a past Trustee of the IAVM (International Association of Venue Managers) Foundation and past vice president of Region Five.

Venues Today is the leading source of original reporting for live entertainment and events, serving management, owners and suppliers to music, sports and meetings venues internationally. According to the magazine, Swann "exemplifies qualities of leadership, integrity, dedication, motivation, and teamwork, all while inspiring other women to achieve their own goals as well." Venues Today will present Swann with the award during the IAVM annual conference in Minneapolis, Minn. on July 24.


Floor PlanIf you’re looking to take a tour of the Cobb Galleria Centre from the convenience of your computer, smart phone or tablet, get ready to explore!

Cobb Galleria Centre is proud to debut a brand new interactive floor plan and virtual tour on You will find two ways to navigate the floorplans. First, the “browse” function allows you to explore our 320,000 square feet of event space, and second, the “room finder” function. This provides visitors with the ability search for the appropriate space, whether it is an exhibit hall, ballroom, meeting room or the Gallery, based on their event specifications.

Users can explore diagrams for each space, all combinations, and several different room setups. You will also find extensive photo galleries from real events, and you can dive into our Google Streetview Inside tour from just about any location throughout the tour.

Don’t hesitate to contact a sales manager at any point throughout your virtual tour with any questions and to research date availability.


Atlanta Magazine

We are honored to have Executive Chef Nicholas Walker featured among some of Cobb County’s best chefs, brewers and distillers in the June issue of Atlanta Magazine. Congratulations to Muss & Turner's, Local Three, Common Quarter, Heirloom Market BBQ, Lazy Guy Distillery, Red Hare Brewing Company, and Porch Light Latin Kitchen whose “makers” are also featured in the photo spread! Pick up a copy and turn to page 133 to see the full scoop.



Did you know there are more microorganisms in one teaspoon of soil than there are people on Earth? These fruitful microorganisms can be found in Cobb Galleria Centre’s backyard, where a three bed garden and a composting bin have become the centerpieces of the Centre’s sustainability program.

Coffee grounds, tea leaves, flour, sweet potatoes, lettuce, and other green, leafy vegetables are the core ingredients in the 65-gallon compost bin. Once the compost is ready, which is every 15-45 days if the bin is turned regularly and gets enough sun, it is used as soil for the garden. A fresh layer of top soil was added to the garden this May from compost product of food that was recycled at the Centre over two months ago! Stewarding Manager Michael Nelson oversees the program. “The staff has been well trained,” Nelson said. “Now, it’s automatic. The employees are excited about it.”

The Garden Committee is composed of staff ranging from Sales & Marketing to Food & Beverage Operations to Human Resources departments who work to refresh, trim, rake, weed, and replant some summer favorites. Fresh lavender, mint, basil, rosemary, tomatoes, and berries are what the garden has in store for this summer.

Check out more gardening photos on the Cobb Galleria Centre Flickr stream!


Sreto MirkovicVisitors may recognize Sreto Mirkovic as one of Cobb Galleria Centre’s Set Up Attendants, and ask him about his past and you will quickly realize that he has an interesting one. Mirkovic is from Vitez, Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he lived during the region's Civil War and religious conflict in the 1990s. Mirkovic moved to Georgia in 2002 at 19 years old and not knowing a word of English.

"Back home we have American movies, so you get used to how the language sounds," Mirkovic says about his move to the U.S. He cannot decide what the most difficult part was about learning English, although he can recall the most effective way he learned the language: "I always tell people to correct me when I speak." According to Mirkovic, his job is also helpful in refining his language skills, which explains why his favorite part of his job in Set Up is getting to be around people.

Mirkovic usually works with one other member of the Set Up department, where they move, put together, and break down chairs, tables, and various event sets. Every day is different for the crew, depending on what events are on the schedule. If you run into Mirkovic during a visit to the Centre, feel free to ask him about his work. “I have been at Cobb Galleria 11 years. I have a lot of great memories to share,” he said.



GACTE, the Georgia Association for Career and Technical Education, is kicking off its 69th Summer Leadership Conference July 10-12 at Cobb Galleria Centre and the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel. The statewide conference provides premier development opportunities for career, technical, and agricultural education professionals.

Matthew Gambill is the Executive Director for GACTE. He estimates 2,400 people will attend the conference, staying in 800 hotel rooms per night for the Sunday through Tuesday event. The GACTE conference has been in Cobb since 2000, but by 2006 the event outgrew its space. Gambill said that GACTE chose the Cobb Galleria Centre because of its size and proximity to hotel rooms. “The Centre is directly connected to the Waverly, and it was the perfect opportunity to accommodate for the extra people,” he said.

For more information on the GACTE Summer Leadership Conference, visit


The Atlanta Braves are welcoming eight new restaurant, retail and entertainment concepts to the lineup at The Battery Atlanta, with several first-to-market entrants including Wahlburgers, Kings Bowl and The Cordish Companies’ Live! concept.


All eight tenants are set to be completed by opening day in 2017. The commitments are from:

  • Wahlburgers, a fast growing, chef-driven burger concept from the Wahlberg brothers of TV and movie fame;
  • Kings Bowl, an upscale, retro bowling and entertainment destination;
  • Live!, an iconic dining/entertainment destination developed by The Cordish Companies and designed by Jeffrey Beers International;
  • Goldbergs Bagel Company & Deli, an Atlanta favorite for bagels and sandwiches;
  • Mountain High Outfitters, an outdoor specialty store;
  • Sugarboo Designs, an artsy boutique with household items and gifts;
  • DressUp, a women’s fashion boutique; and
  • Harley-Davidson, with a retail-only store.

The Battery Atlanta will have a vibrant food scene with the additional chef-driven restaurants announced last year, including Antico Pizza, CRÚ Food and Wine Bar, Tomahawk Taproom featuring Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q, El Felix from Chef Ford Fry and a steak house concept by Chef Linton Hopkins. The Coca-Cola Roxy Theatre, a music venue, and the Omni Hotel, also will open at the Braves’ mixed-use development at SunTrust Park.

Visitors can get a sneak peek of the development adjacent to SunTrust Park by viewing a fly-through video of The Battery Atlanta at



Cobb Galleria Centre and Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre are proud to collaborate with several hospitality partners to package our destination as Atlanta’s sweet spot for trade shows, conventions and meetings. Along with our partners at Cobb Travel and Tourism, the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel, the Sheraton Suites Galleria and the Embassy Suites Galleria, we have launched a website and advertising campaign to bring more multi-day conventions and trade shows to the Cobb Galleria Centre, increasing our economic impact on the area. Visit to learn more!

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