Marietta Stories | Crazy cool stories from the community builders of Marietta, Georgia

What makes the town of Marietta, Georgia so welcoming, friendly and the center of Southern hospitality? Listen each week as veteran podcaster Bill Nowicki dives deep to tell the heartwarming, sad and funny stories from the people that make up the fabric of this historic city.
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Marietta Stories | Crazy cool stories from the community builders of Marietta, Georgia




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Mar 17, 2018

When Damien Daigle was filled with wonder the first time he opened a computer. The fan, the boards, the wires, everything he saw amazed him. 

But he needed to learn about life the hard way. A failed 3 month trip to Louisiana, where he was a Walmart greeter, a return home and eventually he found himself working on computers and learning to solve seemingly insurmountable problems.

Hear the rest of Damien’s amazing story, including his journey to owning and providing for his family through his Computer R Us small business. Hint: he provides terrific customer service at a fair price.


Computers R Us


Mar 11, 2018

Brandon Stiles is a long-time Marietta resident and entrepreneur.

From his early days of playing out in the metro area’s bustling live music scene to his current work consulting Atlanta businesses on their digital marketing strategy and implementation- Brandon has seen his share of ups and downs in small business.

In this episode, he shares his insights on how to grow and properly market your business.

You’ll learn things like: 

⁃How to stack your businesses value (instead of discounting your prices)

⁃The steps to building an online sales funnel in order to keep customers coming ‘through the doors’ (be it brick and mortar or online)

⁃The real reason most entrepreneurs start a business, and how to use that mentality to grow 

To learn more about Brandon and his services, check out:

Special thanks to Ignite HQ for the use of their studio.

Also thanks to our sponsor!

Johnny Walker Realty


Mar 4, 2018

Jen Starks and Christie Clarke met at the Marietta Library. They knew they were homeschoolers because their kids were about the same age. They connected like were like magnets. 

But their relationship had some bumps. They once went to Asheville during a ice storm and had the longest hug ever when they made it and knew each other was safe. 

Now they host a Saturday morning connections Meetup at Cool Beans in Marietta and help other entrepreneurs connect with influencers and build relationships. 

Jen's Leaning Local

Christie's Business 

Christie's Send Out Cards Link

Jen's Send Out Cards Link

Luly Rae Cleaning Service FaceBook Page



Feb 24, 2018

Raul Thomas was not prepared to open a theater. He is a chef by trade and when the opportunity presented itself, Raul leaned heavily on his youngest son, Emil to carry him through. 

But Emil was not going to make it easy. Emil felt that good theater made you uncomfortable and started a conversation. After three years, the theater is thriving and Raul has learned quite a bit from his son.

Thanks to this show’s sponsor, Johnny Walker Realty.


Feb 18, 2018

Luis starting selling mangos in Puerto Rico at the age of 12 to help his single mother supplement her factory income. He joined the Army and learned English in a few months. While in the military, he bought his first house.


Now he started a concrete business that puts the customer first and aligns with his priorities.


I hope you enjoy this inspirational episode!


John Forest, Director of Operations



Jay “Guards” Boudrie — Vice President & General Manager of PSI Security


Extreme Color


Feb 11, 2018

Missy Owen (sorry I said Owens in the intro!) lost her son Davis to the disease of addiction. Davis didn’t fit the mold of an addict; he was class president in high school and loved by everyone.


Everything changed when Davis decided to take something from the medicine cabinet when he was having trouble sleeping. That one moment changed everything for Davis and his family.


After Davis overdosed, his mom Missy realized that a big gap in recovery was not having anywhere to go after successful rehab. In fact, you are 32% more likely to die after rehab than if you just continued using!


She found a 21,000 foot facility for sale and got them to lease it to her. She called it The Zone and with a whole bunch of work, donations and love, it has been thriving.


Now she wants to go nationwide and Build Communities of Recovery and is holding a conference her in Marietta September 26-29, 2018.


Check it out!




The Zone and Davis Direction


Oct 20, 2017

As soon as he could reach the keys, Paul started piano lessons. He went on to the flute, then on to several other instruments (and singing). He also had an ear for music, he could hear a song and play it on several instruments.

Now he conducts several groups, teaches private lessons and sings on the choir on Sunday.

Busy man!

But he believes that classical music has a presentation problem…  So now he is conducting the Marietta Symphony Orchestra at Raul Thomas’s Theater on the Square on 10/28/17. He is going to treat classical music like other music forms. He going to tell the story of each piece he does. 

Sounds like a plan!

For tickets…


Oct 15, 2017

Some of Aaron Marino’s biggest impacts happened in a few brief moments. The first one was when his mom bought him a gym membership. Another was the moment his wife bought him a video camera in 2008. Both led to life altering decisions, the first to own a gym the second to do videos to help men with advice on grooming, dating and fashion.

Of course, there were problems along the way. Failed businesses, debt and selling beer from a golf cart. 

But each time, Aaron got up and started again. 

Now he runs a men’s fitness, grooming and men’s fashion Youtube channel called AlphaM and 6 businesses. He’s grown the Youtube channel to 3 million subscribers and continues putting out content weekly to help guys with stuff they need to know.

This week, internet star, online business master and Marietta resident, Aaron Marino!


Oct 14, 2017

It was a pouring down freezing rain day in December when the Marietta Blue Devils played in their second state championship game. They battled fierce weather and came together as a  team despite integrating with the Lemon Street school that very year. 

Hear from the players and one cheerleader that were there and what it was like to win one for Marietta High School.

Episode includes:

Bill Kelly, Bob and Jim Cagel, Mike Welsh, Ken Delk , Freddie Summerour , David White, 

Vickie Young, (cheerleader), Ralph Hudgins, Lori Hill and Mickey Brown!

Oct 13, 2017

Homecoming is a huge part of Marietta! The parade and the traditions that really makes Marietta unique. 

Hear from the current Marietta High School football players, cheerleaders, band members and the athletic director, Paul Hall!

Oct 11, 2017

What is Amber and the rest of the crew at Markay Gallery up to for October’s Art Walk? Well, she has a virtual reality simulation with Anthony Harris (, a new exhibit called Gem, artists Mary Jane Huegel and Don Kolberg and a podcast called Marietta Stories!


And it just so happens, Sally Macaulay shows up to give an update on the Chalktober Fest celebration that’s going on this weekend on the Square. Five countries represented!


I also speak with the assistant gallerist, Morgan Gillespie. She hasn’t been out of school that long, but she has some advice about the role of art in all of our lives.


Let’s explore a virtual world and Markay Gallery!

Oct 8, 2017

Anthony Bammer and his partner, Vincent Bracey know how to change bariatric people’s lives. For those who don’t know. bariatric is the part of medicine that uses dieting, exercise and behavioral therapy approaches to weight loss, as well as pharmacotherapy and surgery. 

Anthony’s and Vincent’s group trust them and enjoy working out and staying in touch over the week, even when they are not hanging out.  

Some of his clients share their experience and why they enjoy Anthony and Synovia Wellness so much. They use the app, GroupMe to hold one another accountable throughout the week. They also can get specific answers to their questions from Anthony and Vincent. 

This is a fun and educational episode, I know you will like.


Oct 7, 2017

What is the story behind Marietta's Northcutt Stadium?

Where did the rocks come from for the stone wall around the stadium?

Guy Northcutt's Dad was instrumental in the building of stadium. He thought to use klinkers from the hosiery factory to build up the field for proper drainage. (You'll have to listen to find out what a blinker is...)

Enjoy this Marietta High School Homecoming bonus episode!


Sep 30, 2017

I hung out with some kids at West Side Elementary School, Talented and Gifted (TAG) Academy, about their long term projects and the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program. Students at each grade level work on a year-long project that is based on an identified problem that the school/community is facing. Through the West Side TAG program, students are encouraged to use their talents and gifts (TAG) to solve those problems.  

The 5th graders and 2nd graders interviewed spoke about their experience with their projects last year in 4th and 1st grade. 4th graders collect and dump food scraps during K-5 lunch and maintain the compost bins, while the first graders use the compost in their pollinator gardens.  


Composting at West Side keeps more than 3,000 pounds food waste out of our landfill and helps improve the pollinator numbers in our area. We discussed the usefulness of compost, the creation of compost, and the way it is monitored---temperature, wetness and you guessed it, smell. The smell they used to describe the bottom of the compost bin was pretty interesting. 


Mike Rowe would be impressed!  One thing was clear, the students love their teachers and their projects even though they were full of creepy, crawly, dirty, smelly, rotten stuff. 


I also spoke with their teachers, Mrs. Throop, Ms. Greene and Mrs. Westlake, about their approach to learning. Gone are the days that teachers controlled the classroom. Teachers today expect collaboration, embrace “mistakes, and push the boundaries of the traditional classroom where they are no longer the sage on the stage. West Side classrooms are noisy, messy places where learning is based on solving real problems in our community. 


Seriously, it was a pleasure meeting the 5th and 2nd graders, and their teachers do a wonderful job. 

Sep 24, 2017

On May 30th, 2016 two sisters, Judy Willingham, 72, and Andra Pearce, 69 died in a house fire at 493 Church Street. Approved for demolition in December 2016, the house sat vacant until Sara and Jon Micheletto asked if they could fix it up. 

 Their journey to restore the house includes kicking the critters out, historical documents, 7 dumpsters of material and an indoor pool designed by an architect that built churches. 

Sep 19, 2017

I walked (marched?) in the East Cobber parade along with Linda Jivadi, Debra Howard and some other folks from NAMI Cobb! 


The National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) Cobb is all about helping families in crisis and connecting resources for your loved one. Linda and Debra talk about their situations and practical things you can do to support your loved one. 


Breaking the stigma associated with mental illness is the most important thing you can do. So let’s talk about it and see what happens!


You’ll also hear how we braved a very loud skate car behind us, a large crowd of parade people. Guarantee you’ll enjoy this!


Oh yeah, why don’t you give a to help meet their $11,000 goal!


NAMI Cobb Website (resources)


NAMI Cobb Walk Page (donate today!)


Sep 18, 2017

Cecilie and Brian Benefield took 10 folks and me on a 3 hour tour of Marietta. Of course it included great food I had not tried, but i also learned more abut the history of Marietta and the Square. 

Brian and Cecilie created a top notch experience that is rated the number one activity on trip advisor for Marietta Georgia. The whole tour was interactive and everyone had a great time, especially the ones I had on the show!


Check it out!!!

Sep 12, 2017

How did Johnny Pizza learn how to cook real Hoboken Italian food? From his family and his neighbors in Hoboken, of course. Not from written down recipes, but from asking questions and watching as the extended family prepared the meals on Sunday.

Johnny paid attention and learned the recipes and techniques that he applies everyday to his fresh mozzarella, sauce and famous meatballs. 



Sep 4, 2017

Paul Southern, a friend of the show (and former special agent for the department of homeland security), interviews Bill Nowicki about his life and what drives him. From a Friendly’s ice cream scooper to a nuclear submarine to nuclear plants.


But a lot changed back in 2013, when Bill hired Gary O’Malley as a coach. In that moment, many things changed in Bill’s life. 


Submarine Sea Stories Podcast


Nowicki Media


Marietta Community School Basic and Advanced Podcasting Classes

Aug 27, 2017

As a child, Betty Peardon’s Mom brought her to the Marietta City Cemetery and raked the magnolia leaves from her ancestor’s graves . Her Mom told her stories, some of whom fought in the Civil War. The most prominent is William Phillips, a Civil War General that was friends with the governor. Betty tells the story about Jefferson Davis (president of the confederacy) dislike of Phillips and the mysterious tie to a woman.  


Also, Betty described what happened to her ancestor’s home on Waterman Street and what they did to protect the silver and their 9 year son when the war came to their door.


Betty kept building her knowledge throughout her life and attended meetings with other genealogical enthusiasts called the “ancient broads” (her brother Bill’s term). 


This is a fascinating journey into one families life from before the Civil War. With all the controversy around Confederate symbols and the Civil War, maybe it good to just listen. Betty has some ideas and perspective that might help.

Aug 20, 2017

Everyone in Marietta needs to thank Matt Rooke. He put us on the national social media map and increased our cool factor by about 10,000! Did I mention he is the father of 3 boys under the age of 5 and until recently was a stay-at-home Dad?


How did Matt win the first America’s Most Chubbies Dad? 


It was not easy, competition was stiff. But Matt was confident. He posted every day and beat out 1800 other Dad’s.


What did he win, how did he beat out those folks and what was it like waiting to hear whether or not he won? You’ll get all that plus how he met his wife, manages to work out (he can lift 500 lbs), all the while making dinner.




Follow Matt on Instagram:



Aug 16, 2017

Ok, could you build a team, website, learn to aerodynamically build a balsa wood race car, find sponsors and compete in a national race? This week on Marietta Stories, I interview Arul Gupta and Poojan Mehta, 15 year old guys who were part of a team that, constructed a car from styrofoam, created a website, found sponsors, and competed nationally through F1 in schools. 


F1 in Schools is a worldwide competition consisting of several teams of kids aged 11-18. In this highly competitive league, teams of 3-6 develop cars utilizing computer aided design and other related tools. However, the complexity of what we do reaches beyond mere engineering and into business/marketing, graphic design, and possibly most importantly if considering real-world application, team management and cooperation. Then, each of these skill sets developed throughout the team process is put to the test at regional, national, and world level competitions. As a result, F1 in Schools has created a system which effectively develops and enhances students’ learning experience through their interests as well as by teaching necessary real-world situations/applications.


Arul is a rising junior at Wheeler High School and has chosen to partake in F1 in Schools to further his knowledge and experience with business communication/management skills. He is the Team Lead which entails a variety of tasks from team time management, to ensuring accuracy/value of all work, to constantly keeping the team organized and on task. He is able to bring to the team a background in a variety of areas through classes such as AP Chemistry, AP Physics 1, and an intro to Business/Tech class. Arul also has qualities of leadership and competitiveness which he adds to AeroFlow through his spot as Team Captain on the High School Varsity Tennis Team, as well as through national-level tournament competition.


Poojan is a rising junior at Wheeler High School and the Head Engineer on the F1 in Schools AeroFlow Racing team. He strives to accomplish CADing and building an F1 car that can exceed expectations. His decision to take on this role come from the valuable skills and knowledge he has attained in classes such as AP Physics 1 and 2, Engineering Concepts, and Intro to Drafting and Design. Poojan possesses the important characteristics of dedication, time management, and leadership abilities which he has utilized so successfully as a build member on BEST Robotics and the Wheeler Track and Field Team.

Aug 8, 2017

We took a stroll through Markay Gallery during this month’s Marietta Square Art Walk and had a fun time playing “Gallery Golf” with gallerist and hole-in-one extraordinaire, Amber Markay Byrd. We met up with gallery artists, their families and two very special gallery guests, Michael Shaffer professor at KSU and Carey Cox of Johnny Walker Realty. The highlight of the night was host, Bill Nowicki meeting Brooklyn, Eric Staveness’ 3 year old daughter. “Brookie” as they call her, sure had some sweet things to say about her father and all of the castles and playhouses he designs. Enjoy the show!

Aug 6, 2017

“Space. Capital. Community.”  These three words best describe IgniteHQ, one of the newest organizations to root itself near Marietta Square.

The resplendent, state-of-the-art coworking space outfitted with private offices, conference rooms, and lively communal areas is home to several startups and small businesses, but as COO Catherine Pearson explains, IgniteHQ is not just a coworking space, but an ecosystem of entrepreneurs, enterprises and investors influencing Georgia's entrepreneurial landscape.

Mark Deal, tagged along for the show. Here's what he had to say... 


"I have known Bill Nowicki and his podcasts for years. It was a pleasure to connect him with IgniteHQ for this story. Join us on this audio journey as we take a tour of the new coworking space in Marietta." 
~Mark Deal
Podcast Atlanta
Aug 5, 2017

Stephanie Coston of the Marietta Square Experience Branding Project and Philip Goldstein, one of the City Councilmen, talk Marietta strategy and future plans.


Connie Sutherland, the Director of the Museum talks about her experience with Gone with the Wind, her favorite scene and how jewelry from the movie made its way to Marietta.


I also speak with Martin Nolan, Executive Director/Chief Financial Officer of Julien’s Auction about the movie and the auction that is coming up in November 17 and 18. 


Finally, I speak with Christopher Sullivan , owner of the collection on how he became a collector and why he loved the book and the movie.

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