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GWINNETT GAB: Tom M. Wages workers certified

LAWRENCEVILLE — Tom M. Wages Funeral Home Lawrenceville location manager Alan H. Johnson and Snellville location manager Christopher S. Banks have earned the designation of certified funeral service practitioner from the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice.

These two licensed funeral directors have met and exceeded the defined criteria that is required annually to continue the use of this prestigious designation. To initially receive this award, the practitioner must complete a 180-hour program of continuing education activities and events. In addition, the practitioner is required to accumulate 20 hours per year to recertify.

There are only three people who have been designated as CFSP in the greater Gwinnett County area, and all three are associated with Tom M. Wages.

Exchange program seeks host families

LAWRENCEVILLE — For the 2010-11 school year, Nacel Open Door, a nonprofit international student exchange organization, will welcome nearly 500 international high school students from more than 25 countries to the United States.

Nacel Open Door is seeking families who are interested in hosting an international exchange student in their home for either five or 10 months.

During their stay, students attend high school in the local community. Host families provide a warm, nurturing environment, as well as room and board. Students have their own health insurance and spending money.

Nacel Open Door’s central mission is to promote international understanding and language education, based on the belief that it is essential for young people to develop a deeper awareness of their role as citizens of the world through direct experience with other cultures and language.

For more information about hosting an exchange student, call Nacel Open Door local representative Ed Forbach at 770-868-1835 or the National Office at 800-622-3553 or visit www.nacelopendoor.org.

IT co. certified minority-owned

SNELLVILLE — SMB Technology Solutions, a Snellville-based company, has received official designation as a certified Minority Owned Business Enterprise by the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council.

The certification acknowledges that SMB Technology Solutions qualifies as a minority-owned and operated company that has met the criteria established by the National Minority Supplier Development Council. To be eligible for certification, a business must be at least 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more socially or economically disadvantaged individuals.

SMB Technology Solutions is an information technology business specializing in server and desktop virtualization, cloud computing, green IT solutions and hardware procurement.

Anglicans found new diocese

LOGANVILLE — At its June meeting, the Provincial Council of the Anglican Church in North American unanimously recognized the Anglican Diocese of the South. More than 1,500 Anglicans from 20 churches in four states — Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee — have joined together to form the new regional diocese.

Following the Provincial Council’s meeting, the ACNA’s College of Bishops accepted the Anglican Diocese of the South’s election of the Rev. Foley Beach as its first bishop. Bishop-elect Beach is the rector of the Holy Cross Anglican Church in Loganville and is expected to be consecrated this fall.

Bank hosts PB&J food drive

LAWRENCEVILLE — Bank of North Georgia will host its third annual Back-to-School Peanut Butter and Jelly Food Drive from Monday through July 31 to benefit 27 local food pantries that are located near the bank’s 43 branches.

Community members are encouraged to visit any of the bank’s branches and drop off as much peanut butter and jelly as they can carry.

Bank of North Georgia has branches in Buford, Norcross and Suwanee. For more information about these locations and branch hours, visit www.bankofnorthgeorgia.com.

VA benefits workshop set

LAWRENCEVILLE — Retired veterans and their families are invited to attend an educational workshop about the Veterans Affairs Aid and Attendance benefit hosted by The Lloyd Group Inc., a retirement planning and asset preservation firm based in Suwanee.

The seminar will be offered at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Thursday at the Gwinnett Senior Center, located at 225 Bethesda Church Road in Lawrenceville.

Presenting the event will be Mark Lloyd, president and founder of The Lloyd Group and host of “Focus on Your Retirement,” a weekly radio program devoted to helping retirees in the greater Atlanta area protect their assets.

The presentation will focus on educating attendees on the Aid and Attendance benefit, a benefit that assists veterans and surviving spouses who may require assistance in care at home, independent living, assisted living or nursing home care. During the presentation, Lloyd will advise veterans and their families in determining eligibility for the Aid and Attendance benefit and discuss ways of obtaining it.

The seminar is free, but seating is limited. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 800-596-5580.

Gwinnett Gab appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post. To submit an item to Gwinnett Gab, e-mail gab@gwinnettdailypost.com.