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Opinion: What makes Alpharetta ‘awesome’

Often during the “Cadillac Jack: My Second Act” podcast, and in this very space, you hear and read about Alpharetta’s mayor, The Honorable Jim Gilvin.

Jim would be the first to tell you that without the support of a competent City Council and the dedicated people who work behind the scenes within the city of Alpharetta, Georgia, his job would be impossible.

I think Jim would also be the first to tell you that the custody of Music City, Alpharetta, belongs to the Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau, also known as “Awesome Alpharetta.”

Seated at the head of the Awesome Alpharetta ambassadors table is Janet Rodgers.

I’ve lived in this area of North Fulton County for nearly 20 years, and during that time there has rarely been a week pass that I didn’t hear the name “Janet Rodgers” inserted into a conversation about something related to Alpharetta.

In March, I was asked to serve on a committee at City Hall, so I took the elevator to the third floor and walked into the executive conference room for our first meeting. I also walked into Janet Rodgers. I knew it was her because of her name tag. We had never met prior.

I did know before meeting, though, that Janet was one of the most powerful — and I have since learned passionate — individuals who work in city government within the 404, 770, 678 and 470 area codes that blanket the entire metro area.

I approached Janet with a smile, and with 8:30 in the morning bags under my eyes, extended my hand and said “Hello, Ms. Rodgers, I’m Cadillac Jack, I’ve heard about you for years and it’s truly my privilege to meet you.” She replied, with her trademark smile, “Hi, Caddy, it’s Janet, and same to you!”

We settled into neighboring chairs that hugged the executive conference room table overlooking downtown Alpharetta through pairs of doors that open to a porch space on top of the portico that frames City Hall as a visual and symbolic anchor for City Center.

We broke the ice by chatting briefly before the meeting began, and after it adjourned, we giggled like school girls while swapping stories about friends that we share, and we continued to confer about our mutual admiration of music.

We have become pretty close buddies.

Janet and her team plan, calendar, develop, pitch and host some of the most impressive events of any city our size in America.

Music festival set to return to downtown Alpharetta

This list is by no means exhaustive, but I wanted to share a sample of the happenings coordinated and executed by Awesome Alpharetta:

Home By Dark concert series, Alpharetta Food Truck Alley, the Atlanta Wedding Extravaganza, events under the “Push Play On An Alpharetta Music Getaway” banner, Alpharetta Restaurant Month, Alpharetta Art in the Park, the Fit LIfe Expo, Alpharetta Brew Moon Fest, the Farmers Market and the City of Alpharetta’s premiere event, the Wire and Wood Music Festival, which is next weekend!

Six stages. 30 musical artists. Two weekend nights. And, it’s free.

No, you don’t have a new- found crack on your screen. You read that correctly.

Free.

This event is worth the drive from wherever you are reading this column.

If you should spy one of the hard-working Awesome Alpharetta ambassadors next weekend, please take a moment to look them in the eye and thank them for all that they do to make Alpharetta… AWESOME!

Enjoy your weekend and I look forward to sharing mine with you at Wire and Wood.

Listen to Cadillac Jack: My Second Act on Apple Podcasts. Follow Caddy on Twitter @atlcadillac.