Business News

Published on January 13th, 2017 |


Kazoo Toys named Buckhead Business of the Year at BBA Annual Luncheon

Kazoo Toys was named Buckhead Business of the Year for 2016 at the Buckhead Business Association’s (BBA) Annual Luncheon Jan. 12—an event that annually pays homage to Buckhead’s

Kazoo Toys co-owner Whitney Novak accepts the Business of the Year award from 2017 BBA President Barry Hundley.

businesses and business leaders and marks the organization’s passing of the gavel.

Whitney Novak, who co-owns Kazoo along with her husband Joe, accepted the award, which recognizes Buckhead businesses that are at least one year old, are growing and are known for charitable contributions to the neighborhood. Kazoo is located at 3718 Roswell Road in the Powers Ferry Square shopping center.

Kazoo won out over Business of the Year nominees that included the Ahlers & Ogletree Auction Gallery, Buckhead location of Florida-based Japanese restaurant group Doraku,  the Shops Around Lenox location of the Texas-based accessories retailer Kendra Scott and Woo Skincare & Cosmetics, which has two Buckhead locations.

Business of the Year was just one of the four awards presented at the annual event, which this year attended by hundreds of business and community leaders at the Atlanta Marriott Buckhead Hotel & Conference Center.

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award went to Chris Hadermann and John Piemonte of Southern Proper Hospitality restaurant group, which several Buckhead restaurants, including the Big Ketch, Southern Gentleman, Gypsy Kitchen and Smokebelly BBQ.

Jesse Itzler delivers an emotional and challenging keynote speech at the BBA Annual Luncheon.

The Buckhead Beautification Award was presented to the redesigned Charlie Loudermilk Park at the triangle where Roswell and Peachtree roads meet. Jim Durrett, executive director of the Buckhead Community Improvement District, accepted the award. The BCID spearheaded the redevelopment of the park.

The Sam Massell Bullish on Buckhead Award was presented to Legendary Events owner Tony Conway, who is known for his service to local organizations and charitable contributions to community causes, as well as his operation of two Buckhead special events facilities.

Incoming BBA 2017 president Barry Hundley was presented the gavel during the meeting by outgoing 2016 president David Coxon. Hundley is development director at the Atlanta Children’s Shelter, based in the Old Fourth Ward in downtown Atlanta.

Keynote speaker for this year’s event was Jesse Itzler, entrepreneur, musician and author who is a co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks basketball team and the husband of Sara Blakely, founder of Atlanta-based apparel company Spanx.

Brookhaven resident and multimillionaire Itzler worked as a rapper under the name Jesse Jaymes in the 1990s. In 2001 he and Kenny Dichter co-founded Marquis Jet, one of the biggest private

BBA 2016 president David Coxon, left, hands over the gavel to 2017 president Barry Hundley.

jet card businesses in the world. It was sold to Berkshire Hathaway, parent company of NetJets, in 2009. That year he started The 100 Mile Group, a marketing brand incubator and accelerator.

In 2008 Itzler married Spanx founder and billionaire Blakely, and they have four children. The couple represent two of the new owners of the Atlanta Hawks, part of an ownership group led by billionaire Tony Ressler.

Itzler followed his wife Blakely by couple of years as the keynote speaker at the BBA’s Annual Luncheon and awards presentation.

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