Fall 2015


January 3
The Georgia Bridal Show

January 10-11
The Cobb Show

January 15-17
Junior Theater Festival

January 23
Black College Expo

February 5-7
Magic the Gathering

Click here for more events!


Phillip Allen, Cook

Mariama Kaba Bah, Housekeeper

Melissa Chapman, Event Coordinator

Anteneh Desalegn, Banquet Server

Mohamad Alaa Eddine, Banquet Server

Gustavo Ellis, Housekeeping Manager

Jovada Garner, Housekeeping Manager

Hiakeim Hunt, Utility Maintenance

Gicel Ritter, Banquet Server

Melanie Sierra, Contract Billing Coordinator

Lilia Tierrablanca, Banquet Server

William Tucker, Banquet Server




Anime WeekendCobb Galleria Centre hosted the largest Anime gathering in the Southeast Sept. 24-27, with 26,000 fans of Japanese animation taking over the Cumberland Galleria area. Anime Weekend Atlanta attracted visitors from more than 40 states and nearly a dozen countries who stayed in 14 area hotels, resulting in more than 8,000 room nights and an economic impact of $4.3 million.

The convention provides Japanese anime (animation), manga (comics), and cosplay (costumes) fans with the opportunity to enjoy their favorite aspects of Japanese culture and occupies nearly all of the available space at the Cobb Galleria Centre and the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel.

"Anime Weekend Atlanta offers Japanese culture fans a wide variety of experiences, including an artist alley, a costume contest, gaming rooms, concerts, and a manga library,” said Faisal Ahmed, CEO, Anime Weekend Atlanta. “We need a facility that has the flexibility to accommodate these vastly different activities, and the Cobb Galleria Centre has consistently collaborated with us to meet our needs and exceed our expectations.”

"The Cobb Galleria Centre is thrilled to celebrate 10 years of partnership with Anime Weekend Atlanta,” said Michele Swann, general manager and CEO of the Cobb Galleria Centre. “Our dedicated team at the Cobb Galleria Centre is committed to helping our customers have successful events that achieve annual growth. Conventions and shows such as Anime Weekend Atlanta serve as economic drivers for our region and contribute to the development of the Cumberland area, which continues to add new dining, shopping, and entertainment.”

For more information about Anime Weekend Atlanta, visit


Michele SwannEconomic impact is a key metric for us and an essential part of our strategic goals. By all standards, Cobb Galleria Centre continues to achieve its mission. Through our operations, we bring visitors to the area, create and sustain jobs, impact direct and indirect spending and increase tax revenue. Among the more than 635 events that called our Centre their home during this past year, we were pleased to welcome back Anime Weekend Atlanta that for the first time generated international attendance during their four-day conference.

Our close partnerships with Cobb Travel & Tourism and the local business community strengthen our competitive edge and contribute to our success in attracting major, multi-day, overnight conventions and tradeshows. As we close out fiscal year 2015, we will advance our efforts to land the development of a headquarters hotel adjacent to the convention center. The planned site of the hotel would be strategically located at the entrance to the pedestrian bridge over I-285. The extraordinary development of SunTrust Park Stadium and The Battery, as well as the public infrastructure investments committed by Cobb County government and the Cumberland Community Improvement District, are transforming this area - making it one of the most unique tourist and entertainment destinations in the southeast.

As we celebrate this holiday season, we want to wish you and your families a joyous holiday season and express our sincere appreciation for your support this past year. We look forward to welcoming you back to the Centre in 2016!

Michele Swann signature
Michele L. Swann
General Manager and CEO


Rachel and Earl Smith Plaza
Rachel and Earl Smith (center) are joined by their family at the dedication ceremony.

The brick plaza outside of the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre has been dedicated to Rachel and Earl Smith.

Mr. Smith is a current member and former Chairman of the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority, former Chairman of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners and Chairman Emeritus and namesake of Friends of the Earl Smith Strand Theatre. Mr. and Mrs. Smith married in 1953 and together they founded E. Smith Heating and Air Conditioning in 1962.

“You both have given so generously to Cobb County,” said Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon, vice-chairman of the Authority and keynote speaker at the dedication. The expansion of the Cobb Galleria Centre, construction of the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and creation of the ArtsBridge Foundation are all attributable to the leadership of Mr. Smith, Bacon said.


Builder Remodeler ExpoThe Builder Remodeler Expo Southeast (BRE) will premiere at the Cobb Galleria Centre, March 8-9, 2016. The expo and conference will engage builders, designers, remodelers, and all those who sell and service the residential building industry.

The southeast region is becoming the fastest growing residential construction market in the United States. BRE will create the ideal opportunity to meet with manufacturers and suppliers and introduce innovative products and services to this rapidly expanding sector. With builder and remodeler activity at its highest point in six years and continued growth forecasted for the foreseeable future, the Southeast’s residential construction market is in need of a regional tradeshow.

“The Cobb Galleria Centre is the ideal size and location for the Builder Remodeler Expo,” said Verne Packer, Executive Director. “It provides easy access for both exhibitors and attendees, free parking and is close to many hotels and restaurants. We are very excited to be working with the Cobb Galleria Centre, as they provide superior service and reasonable costs for all involved.”

BRE will host a formal two-day conference program in advance of exhibits opening. BRE is working with supporting associations and sponsors to produce a world-class educational forum complete with CEU credits for specific industry sectors. Additional seminars will also be held during the expo.

For additional information on BRE, please visit


The Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority has ratified the awarding of the bonds to construct SunTrust Park, the new home of the Atlanta Braves. The Authority, which now holds the deed to SunTrust Park, ratified the bonds at its meeting on September 2nd. SunTrust Park is being built across Interstate 285 from Cobb Galleria Centre, with a scheduled completion date prior to opening of the 2017 baseball season. For more information, visit


Johnny GreshamJohnny Gresham, Secretary of the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority, has been appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to the state Judicial, District Attorney and Circuit Public Defender Compensation Commission. Gresham is a former state representative and previously served on the board of the Georgia Department of Transportation. He is a graduate and former football player at Georgia Tech and is a consultant for Gresham Real Estate Advisors, Inc. He has more than 40 years of commercial real estate experience.


Nicholas Walker Executive Chef Nicholas Walker and the Cobb Galleria Centre were recently selected to host members of the Association of Food Bloggers for a Chef’s Table in the kitchen. Chef Walker served a seven-course meal filled with eclectic delights including rabbit, quail, scallops and catfish.

The rave reviews from the bloggers:
The Front Porch Gourmet
Atlanta Restaurant Blog
The Cardigan Kitchen
Sweet Savant
Find My Rice

Check out Chef Walker in the November issue of Cobb Life Magazine! His decadent recipe for Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie was featured in the magazine’s cover story on Thanksgiving recipes from Cobb chefs.

Chef Walker also was recently featured along with some of Atlanta’s top restaurant chefs at the Atlanta Cheese Festival. He competed in the “Macdown,” a competition for the best Mac ‘n Cheese, with a recipe made from Taleggio, Fontina, and Sharp cheddar cheeses, Heritage Farms Cheshire Pork belly confit, Red Mule cornbread crumble and roasted red pepper harissa. The event was a benefit for The Giving Kitchen.


The Centre was recently awarded two admired industry designations.

For the sixth time, ConventionSouth, the national multimedia resource for planning events in the South, has presented Cobb Galleria Centre with a 2015 Readers’ Choice Award.

Reader's Choice AwardConventionSouth readers and fans have voted to decide the best meeting sites in the South, and it is no surprise to us that Cobb Galleria Centre has been selected to receive our annual Readers’ Choice Award,” said ConventionSouth Publisher J. Talty O’Connor. “The value in receiving this prestigious recognition is that it comes from the United States’ top meeting professionals who hold events in the South. These planners demand the highest level of customer service and quality facilities, and they have contributed in determining that Cobb Galleria Centre indeed displays the commitment to professionalism, creativity and service that they require.”

Art of the ShowFor the eighth time, a panel of judges from the largest association of the exhibitions and events industry has awarded first place to the Cobb Galleria Centre in the Art of the Show competition from the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE). Cobb Galleria Centre’s 2014 Annual Report won first place in the convention center promotion category. The Art of the Show contest recognizes excellence in promotional materials for the exhibitions and events industry, including venues and shows.

“The Art of the Show is one of the most prestigious competitions in the events industry, and we are extremely honored to once again receive this distinguished award in a very competitive category,” said Michele Swann, General Manager and CEO of the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority.


Jason WaltersYou may know Public Safety Officer Jason Walters as a soft-spoken gentleman who has worked at the Cobb Galleria Centre for more than 15 years. What you may not know is that Walters is a creative spirit at heart.

Walters describes his role at Cobb Galleria Centre as a front-line customer service position, ensuring the safety of guests and employees. He enjoys the diversity of events and guests hosted here, as well as seeing the entire life cycle of events from start to finish. While his commitment to security at the Centre is evident by his long tenure, Walters’ life outside of the venue is eclectic.

“I consider myself to be really creative,” Walters said. “I have so many ideas; I never run out of them.”

Walters is a certified upholsterer whose interests include designing his own furniture line, wall panel design, artwork for screen printing, sculpture, collecting art, and coin and currency collection. "I’m an aspiring entrepreneur,” he said. Walters rents a studio that houses his work, which includes modern furniture designs and upholstery work (chairs, benches, sofas), fabric wall panels, and bronze and plaster sculptures.

Walters has a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Denison University with a minor in Art. He started his career working as a restaurant cook and moved into security after a friend recommended the field. He is originally from Indiana and currently resides in Clarkston.


ADIThe ADI Expo recently celebrated its 21st annual show at the Cobb Galleria Centre. One of the Centre’s original clients, ADI is a leading distributor of security products. They produce their industry's largest one-day training and sales events in Atlanta and 44 other cities across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. More than 800 local dealers attend the Atlanta expo each year.

Eileen Southard, planner for ADI, said that her company chooses the Cobb Galleria Centre year after year because of the location, the space, and most of all the relationship they have built over the years with the people and staff. “The staff of the Cobb Galleria Centre makes our event so successful because of how organized they are. Year after year, they know our program and know how to work with us, which makes it a great relationship and easy for me.”

ADI is North America's leading wholesale distributor of security and low voltage products, including burglar alarms, fire alarms, CCTV, access control and more. For more information, visit


The Atlanta Braves recently announced The Battery Atlanta will be the name of their mixed-use development adjacent to SunTrust Park, the new home of the Braves.  In addition to revealing the development’s moniker, the Braves announced the first wave of restaurants that will be featured:  Antico Pizza, Cru Food and Wine Bar, Tomahawk Taproom featuring Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q, Superica and a steak house concept with chef Linton Hopkins. 

The Battery Atlanta and SunTrust Park will be located directly across I-285 from Cobb Galleria Centre. Visitors can get a sneak peek of the development adjacent to SunTrust Park by viewing a new fly-through video at In addition to restaurants and retail, The Battery Atlanta will be home to Comcast’s regional office headquarters, the Omni Hotel and The Roxy Theater.

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.

©2015 Cobb Galleria Centre. All rights reserved.

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