Posted on November 7th, 2011

When Randy Sharp graduated from University of Denver, he had his choice of jobs in major cities, but he chose Valdosta. After years of working with a local telephone companies, Randy decided to go out on his own and start a full-service technology company.

Ten years later, Randy’s VisionQuest Technologies conducts business for Federal Government contracts and jobs for Fortune 500 companies—with much of the work done remotely from right here in our community.

VisionQuest is a licensed telecom contractor and can do cabling, fiber optics, telephone systems, voice-over IP and complete networks just to name a few. Because the majority of work for VisionQuest was tied to networking and wiring in new construction or remodeling, during this economic downturn Randy and his team have been creative in looking for new business. “Because we are a small company, we’re nimble. Our business model is flexible; we can adapt.” The company has taken on more jobs in the growing healthcare sector and has made its services more customizable for its customers.

Randy sees the value in the talent at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College. Bringing in students with fresh ideas helps VisionQuest, “stay a step ahead,” which keeps the excitement and challenge in the work for Randy. “We are always thinking three to four years ahead. We like to stay out in front,” he says.

Randy believes that technology can save businesses money. He even offers a free technology audit to assess how implementing current technology can increase your bottom line. Services offered include cabling, telephone system installation and service, VOIP, IT Deployment. If you are interested in this for your business, contact Randy at or visit his website at

Posted on October 27th, 2011

While finalizing his master’s degree at Kansas State University Bill Kent learned there was a need for a traffic engineer in Valdosta. Not sure about taking the position or moving all the way to Georgia, Bill came down for an interview. Stepping off the plane to Valdosta’s sunshine and barely winter climate after having boarded amidst feet of Kansas snow was enough to convince Bill to choose Valdosta—at least for a few years.

Well a few years became permanent after Bill became accustomed to southern hospitality and decided to open his own engineering firm here. Bill found himself in a supportive and encouraging community that had a “nice professional network” and in a “supportive business atmosphere.” Innovate! Engineering Solutions provides civil engineering services, surveying and environmental engineering. Innovate! is the winner of the 2010 Guardian Bank Business Plan Competition, which allowed Bill to take his firm to the next level.

Bill is active in the community, participating in Rotary, involved in the Chamber, serves on the Board of Directors for the South Georgia United (SGU) Soccer Club as the Executive Vice-President, supports high school sports and spending time with his family: his wife, Johnna, their 13 year-old-twin girls and 15-year-old son (who is a kicker for the Valdosta Wildcats).

So how does someone like Bill do it all? In his words, “I’ve learned that having the right people on your team is the key.” Although it’s difficult for Bill to “toot his own horn”, his team shares what a humble person he is with the ability to prioritize, manage his time well and balance time at home and time at work.

Innovate! has plans for growth in the future. In fact, the firm anticipates that it will double in size within the next five years—many of which will be knowledge-based positions. Wow!


Posted on October 25th, 2011

Valdosta, GA — October 25, 2011 — Azalea Health Innovations, Inc. is proud to announce the release of their cloud-based Electronic Health Records system, AzaleaSM EHR. AzaleaSM EHR is a suite of AzaleaSM Health systems that includes AzaleaSM EMR, AzaleaSM PM, Azalea LabHubSM, AzaleaSM PHR, AzaleaSM eRx, and AzaleaSM Pre-Cert. AzaleaSM EHR is the latest product developed by Azalea Health Innovations, proving themselves as a company that is continuously on the cutting-edge of medical technology. By using the ONC-Certified AzaleaSM EHR, physicians who are Eligible Providers can easily meet the guidelines for „Meaningful Use‟ and can benefit from the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.


by Shanti Danes, VSU Intern on October 18th, 2011

As the owner of a ceramics studio in Remerton, Barbara Hill found herself in need of a way to reinvent her business strategy when the country was in the midst of a recession. For 25 years she stayed with the studio because of the people that she had become connected with, but now something had to change. She got inspiration to harness her creativity and channel it into a new medium—web design. She enrolled at Valdosta Technical College (now Wiregrass Georgia Technical College) to obtain a web design degree at the ripe young age of 50 and to here surprise, she loved it! During her course work, she was inducted into National Vocational – Technical honor society and went on to win first place in the state web design competition.

After graduating, Barbara brought Valdosta Web Designs to life and it has been thriving since. When asked if she was ever scared about running her own business she replied “I’ve never worked for anyone in my life- and I don’t plan to. I’m going to make this work” And she has done just that, for ten years to date.

Her business meets a variety of web-based needs including: Web Design and development, hosting, e-commerce, Joomla (a content management system), search engine optimization, and maintenance. All this may seem like a lot for one person to do but as a self professed “workaholic,” Barbara enjoys it. Barbara stated that “Business has been exceptional” and she’s very optimistic about future business, noting that she receives a call for a new web site nearly everyday. Originally from Oxford, MS, she expressed that being based in Valdosta, where she’s called home since 1964, allows for a small town atmosphere but one that is also progressive.

While most of Barbara’s clients come from the South Georgia and North Florida area, Barbara also does work for clients from New York to South Florida. In fact, the very connection that kept her with her studio for so long has helped connect her with her much of the current business she has today.

To learn more about Barbara and Valdosta Web Designs, visit

Posted on October 17th, 2011

Click here to complete the survey.

The Five Points and Municipal Auditorium Steering Committee seeks community participation in a user survey concerning the design and development of the new municipal auditorium planned for the Five Points location.

The committee has met for the past several months to begin the master planning process for the Five Points property. The committee feels that an important part of the planning process is to solicit input from current users of Mathis Municipal Auditorium and other community stakeholders. The data collected from the survey will help committee members ensure that the new facility will meet the needs of our community and region for the next 50 years.

Completed surveys may be emailed to, FAXed to (229) 259-3539, or mailed to: Mara Register, Assistant to the City Manager, City of Valdosta, P.O. Box 1125, Valdosta, GA 31603.

For additional information or to receive a hard copy of the survey, contact Register at (229) 259-3571.

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