Convention & Visitors Bureau Honors Community Leaders for Tourism Support

Cartersville, Georgia.  September 14, 2013 – The Cartersville-Bartow County Convention & Visitors Bureau honored four community leaders Saturday for their allied support of the Cartersville community.  In addition, the CVB presented the prestigious honors of Best Restaurant, Best Shoppe, and Best Attraction in Bartow County, each chosen by public votes cast online throughout the summer.  The ceremony was emceed by CVB Treasurer Butch Emerson and was held during the 38th Annual Arts Festival at Rose Lawn.

“A vibrant performing arts community is a vital tourism product because it completes the visitor experience and provides memorable occasions for visitors to share with others,” said Ellen Archer, CVB executive director.  Chosen by the Cartersville-Bartow County Cultural Arts Alliance, The Kordecki Award for Contribution to the Arts was presented to Terri Kayser, artistic director of the Cartersville School of Ballet, home of the Cartersville City Ballet.  Kayser came to Cartersville almost two decades ago with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Dance from Georgia State University; professional performance experience, and choreography credits on the stages of the Alliance Theatre, Theatre Gael, the Academy Theatre of Atlanta and the Gainesville Theatre.  She has since choreographed numerous productions at Cartersville’s Grand Theatre, and has been at the helm of the Woodland High School Dance Program since it began.  She chaired of the Dance Division of the Governor’s Honors Program, served as the Dance Consultant for the Art Start project for the Georgia Council for the Arts, and co-authored a Quality Core Curriculum Guide in Dance for grades K-12 for the State of Georgia.  “Dance taught me discipline, perseverance, good health habits and confidence.” Kayser comments, “So now it has become my mission to pass on these lessons to others.”

Brothers Van and Michael Council were presented the Shining Star Award, given to honor those whose excellence in a positive endeavor has earned national recognition, thus generating a favorable light on our community.  In 1984, the brothers, along with Van’s wife Susie, launched the first Van Michael Salon, a full-service Aveda Concept Salon in Atlanta, Georgia. With business savvy and a keen eye for cutting edge style, this once 3-man operation is now a multi-million dollar operation with more than 350 employees in seven salons in Atlanta and Miami. Today, inspiration gained from seeing the 1975 film “Shampoo” on a Cartersville movie-screen, has the Council brothers styling a celebrity client list that’s bigger than many of its LA and NY counterparts.

            The Entwistle Award for Lifetime ServiceThis award is intended to honor someone who has gone out of their way to make their community a better place and this year is presented to Herschel Wisebram.  As a pioneer in broadcasting, Herschel began as a radio announcer at WBHF in 1952, advancing to station owner and also becoming director of local programming for Prestige Cable.  He served as Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman and has been honored on multiple occasions by state legislators for his commitment to Cartersville and Bartow County.  Through his service on the Etowah Foundation board of directors and his support of the community foundation of northwest Georgia, Herschel continues to shape future workforces through his commitment to education scholarships.

“Volunteers are truly priceless to many organizations, serving in ways sometimes unseen by day-to-day visitors,” Archer said.  The Distinguished Volunteer of the Year Award recognized both “longevity and a steadfast love for the community” when presented to 2013 recipient Roy Bethune.  At age 99, Bethune has volunteered at Rose Lawn Museum for the past 11 years, having “repaired and restored every piece of furniture in the Victorian house museum,” according to Museum Director and CVB Board Member Jane Drew. Working his way up from an entry level position to CEO at Goodyear, Bethune dedicated his life to wife Ruth Gaines, and three children, Bill, Beth and Ann.  He is a charter member of the Cartersville Kiwanis Club, having served as President and along with Art Munn, created the annual Kiddie Day Parade which is Cartersville’s oldest tradition.  In addition to serving as Chamber of Commerce Chairman, he also contributed to the community’s youth as a Boy Scout Leader and Little League Baseball Coach. Bethune served 8 years in the military and is a lifelong Presbyterian.  Today, he continues to enjoy playing tennis – his passion for 75 years.

In addition to contributions from community leaders, Emerson said that “memorable destinations have great places to shop and dine, plus world-class attractions.”   Each year the CVB host the People’s Choice Awards inviting residents and visitors to vote for the Best Attraction, Best Restaurant and Best Attraction in Bartow County.  Votes are collected through social media and online at

           The choice for the 2013 BEST ATTRACTION was Booth Western Art Museum.  The museum celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2013, hosts 50,000 visitors annually, and is one of two Smithsonian Affiliate museum’s in Bartow County.  The museum displays the largest permanent collection of Western Art in America and invites visitors to “See America’s Story” in its Presidential, Civil War and Native American galleries. Discover the story online at

            The Tellus Science Museum and Allatoona Lake received numerous votes as the second and third place attractions lauded by the public.

            Honored as BEST RESTAURANT was Swheat Market Deli.  This cornerstone restaurant in downtown Cartersville has repeatedly been tapped as a runner-up in the People’s Choice Awards.  The business opened in 2005, doubling as an organic market and sandwich shop.  To meet the desires of its faithful customers, “Swheat Market Deli is a restaurant that strives to serve fresh, all-natural foods of the highest quality,” said Tim Thompson, restaurant partner.  Their efforts have been featured in Southern Living magazine, and other honors include Best Sandwiches 2012 and The Golden Nail Award from Cartersville Downtown Development Authority.  Swheat Market Deli is located at 5 East Main Street in downtown Cartersville.  Visit them Monday-Thursday 11 AM-8 PM, Friday-Saturday 11 AM-9 PM, and Sunday 11 AM-3 PM. Get their menu online at

            Multi-year Best Restaurant winner Johnny Mitchell’s Smokehouse received second place honors, while longtime favorite Appalachian Grill was voted third.

            For the second consecutive year BEST SHOP honors went to Spring Place Pottery & Artists’ Gallery. This “dream business” was opened in 2010 by artist/owner Gail Freeman following 10 years on the arts and crafts festival circuit.  The gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday 10:30 AM-5:30 PM and features works by 40 artists from across the southeast.  Freeman is an instructor with the renowned John C. Campbell Folk School, and has been honored as a Best of Show Winner at The Arts Festival at Rose Lawn and was chosen as Cartersville DDA Merchant of the Month. She is a member of the American Potters Council and American Craft Council. 

Spring Place Pottery is a partner in the Empty Bowls Project, a pottery fundraiser to feed the needy in our local community through the Backpack Buddies program.  Tickets are $20 which gives contributors a handcrafted bowl and meal served at the Cartersville Civic Center on September 29, from Noon-3 PM.  The effort raised more than $10,000 in 2012.  Shoppers can expect a big celebration during American Craft Week October 4-12, with activities and artists demonstration on Saturday, October 12, and a free gift-with-purchase throughout the week.  The Spring Place Pottery & Artists’ Gallery is also a platinum sponsor for the annual North Georgia Art Ramble December 7-8, from 10 AM-6 PM.  Visit this great gallery at 15 East Main Street in downtown Cartersville or look online at

            The Cartersville-Bartow County Convention & Visitors Bureau congratulates these winners.  For more information on Cartersville and Bartow County, visit online at