Tuesday, May 16, 2017

This time-lapse video of the I-85 collapse repair is pretty impressive

With the completion of the I-85 bridge this past weekend, Atlanta’s long traffic nightmare is finally over. Well, the traffic nightmare related to the bridge collapse, anyway—anyone who drove over the Connector this weekend likely noted that it was back to its usual, congested state. But the speed at which construction crews put the bridge back together—just six weeks from collapse to reopening—is impressive, and a new time-lapse video from Atlanta-based OxBlue, a construction site camera company that produces videos and photos for businesses, shows just how monumental the job was. Original article at: http://www.atlantamagazine.com/news-culture-articles/time-lapse-video-85-collapse-repair-pretty-impressive/

Monday, May 15, 2017

Meet Nathan Lewit of Nathan’s Driving School in Chamblee and Brookhaven

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nathan Lewit.
Nathan, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started my career as a driver’s education instructor back in the 1970’s. I had a passion for the work back then and still do today. I knew I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives, provide a service and run my own business. I took my passion for driver’s education and created the company I have today. What started out in my living room has grown into a well-known business that serves all of metro Atlanta. I have now been in the Driver’s Education business for more than 40 years. My motto is “Saving Lives…One Safe Driver at a Time”.
My business often relies on word of mouth by our customers and friends and family. I am often stopped in the store or on the walk path, greeted and told, “Hey you taught me to drive!” … It is exciting to me that I have taught more than one generation in a family now.
I look at my company as a family business. Most of our instructors started with us many years ago and I now have my own family members working for me and have become a second-generation business. I believe in treating everyone with respect and care including my employees along with my customers. We take what we do with great responsibility. We are a long-standing, respected local business and plan on continuing to grow and serve.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Nothing in life comes easy. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to succeed in any business. When it is your own company, your hardest boss is yourself and all of your employees depend on you. When I first started out, I had one car and taught classes in my living room. Along with running my own company, I also have a family, which is the most important part of my life.
Starting out, I was supporting a wife and two very young children. I remember budgeting down to the penny in order to start and run Nathan’s. The hard work and struggle paid off. From there I opened an office and starting hiring others and have continued to grow over the years. I have had to learn and adapt to all the changes in the industry and in our city which has grown tremendously. I work very closely with the state to stay in compliance with laws and regulations as this is a very regulated industry. I always operate with integrity, honesty and in an ethical manner, which I have found not all businesses do, and that can be a challenge.
So, let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Nathan’s Driving School, Inc. story. Tell us more about the business.
We provide a variety of services including private behind the wheel instruction, teenage driver’s education, defensive driving courses, risk reduction (DUI) courses, Alive@25, on-site third party road tests and medical evaluations. We teach in many local high schools both public and private.
We also work with non-profit organizations and other supportive services to help others. We believe in giving back to the community too through sponsorships, scholarships and donations. I also serve on a board for Chamblee Cares which helps students overcome the emotional challenges of high school.
One thing I am particularly proud of is the diversity of the clients who come to us. Over the years, we have taught students from all walks of life with a variety unique needs and now are known as the driving school in Atlanta to go to if you have any disabilities and/or exceptional needs. We have a licensed special education teacher on staff. I also have a unique need as I am completely deaf and use two cochlear implants to hear so I understand the need to be patient with others and provide compassion and empathy.
All of our employees are patient and knowledgeable and sincerely want to help others. Nathan’s Driving School is also the only school in Georgia that currently is and has been a member of the National Safety Council, the Driving School Association of the Americas, and licensed by the State of Georgia since 1986.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I consider myself a very lucky man, no matter what challenges happen. I am a husband, father, grandfather, cancer survivor, and successful entrepreneur. Everyone experiences difficult times. I work through them though and always say, “any day you are not in the ground is a great one”. I also tell my children and grandchildren, “the future’s so bright, I have to wear shades”. I am where I am in life today not so much because of luck, but because of hard work and dedication to everything I do.
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Which generation is the better driver?

When I taught behind the wheel, I would remind students that the future of our society rested upon their shoulders. I am sure that there was...