Olive Garden employee trains in Italy

BUFORD - Melissa Blackmon, a server and certified trainer at the Buford Olive Garden, was one of 28 certified trainers from across the country who recently spent the week experiencing Italian culture as part of Olive Garden's ongoing Italian immersion initiative.

Each year, Olive Garden selects certified trainers to travel to and explore Italy, bringing the genuine Italian dining experience alive for these servers, and upon their return, to their restaurant teams and guests. As service leaders within Olive Garden, certified trainers are responsible for training new team members in their restaurant and at newly opened locations throughout the U.S.

Blackmon was recommended by her manager. Final selection was determined by Blackmon's director of operations and senior vice president.

Woman honored by magazine

LAWRENCEVILLE - Local businesswoman and Gwinnett resident Lisa Cloud has been named one of the year's most powerful and influential women by Women Looking Ahead magazine.

Cloud is the vice president of 5Linx Platinum and CEO of Elite Marketing Strategies Inc. and was recognized at an awards luncheon held earlier this year at the Intercontinental Hotel in Buckhead.

Entaire renews contract with

ex-astronaut

DULUTH - Entaire Global Companies has announced it has renewed its contract with former astronaut Buzz Aldrin as its national spokesperson and special adviser through 2010.

"I am very pleased to extend this relationship with Entaire," said Aldrin, who piloted NASA's first manned mission to land on the moon and was the second person to set foot on its surface. "Innovation is something I am very passionate about and Entaire's programs are an excellent example of innovation being applied to retirement planning and wealth building."

Entaire Global Companies Inc., which was founded in 1997, is headquartered in Duluth and provides leveraged wealth creation plan design, distribution, implementation and administration services in support of its financial planning programs.

"We're thrilled to continue our association with Buzz," said Frederick Apple, Entaire's president. "Buzz is an excellent fit for Entaire. He has been at the forefront of exploration and innovation and brings and reflects the entrepreneurial spirit of Entaire's programs and clients."

For more information on Entaire Global Companies, visit www.entaire.com or call 770-923-2000.

Kohl's accepting Kids Who Care scholarship nominations

LAWRENCEVILLE - This year, through the Kohl's Kids Who Care Scholarship Program, Kohl's Department Stores plans to award nearly $350,000 in scholarships and prizes to recognize the selfless acts of more than 2,000 youth ages 6 through 18 who are making a difference in their communities.

Since the program's inception in 2001, more than 9,000 scholarships and prizes totaling more than $1.8 million have been awarded to young volunteers nationwide.

To nominate a young volunteer for a Kohl's Kids Who Care scholarship, visit www.kohlskids.com. Nominations are accepted through March 15.

Two nominees from each of Kohl's 1,004 stores nationwide will win a $50 Kohl's gift card, and more than 190 of them will win regional scholarships worth $1,000 toward post-secondary education. Ten national winners will be recognized with $5,000 scholarships toward their post-secondary education. Kohl's will also contribute $1,000 to a nonprofit organization on behalf of each national winner.

Gwinnett Gab appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post. To submit an item to Gwinnett Gab,

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