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All with Heart

What happens when you ring the doorbell of someone you have never met and introduce yourself? That’s exactly how long-time Snellville resident and City Councilmember, Dave Emanuel met his wife, Kathy, in 1975. Dave, a Southern California resident at that time, owned an advertising and public relations company. During a business trip to Chicago, Dave decided to take a weekend jaunt to visit friends in Boonville, Missouri.

Dave and Kathy Emanuel

 “Dave’s friends were friends of my parents,” recalled Kathy. “They called to ask if I would join them and their friend from California for dinner. I told them I don’t do blind dates and hung up the phone. I resumed working on a project and later my doorbell rang.”

Intrigued and with piqued interest, Dave drove over to Kathy’s home and rang her doorbell. “When Kathy opened the door, I introduced myself and said, ‘Well, it’s not a blind date anymore now that we have met!’” The couple laughed, enjoying a dinner date the following evening.

The two continued to stay in touch and Kathy, who had recently graduated from college, wanted to find work in the aviation business which was a male-dominated field at the time. Kathy’s interviews took her to Southern California where she landed a job with Beech aircraft. Dave had asked her to marry him a few times; however, Kathy wasn’t ready to settle down yet. Until one morning she awoke and said, “OK, I’m ready to get married!” The couple exchanged vows in 1977.

A few years later, Kathy decided to join Dave in the advertising and public relations business. While their business grew, so did California traffic, which they found abysmal. The Emanuels decided to relocate to Houston, Texas, where their daughter Nikki was born. However, Houston proved to be too hot, humid, and flat for their liking so, in 1983, Dave and Kathy Emanuel established their family’s forever home in Snellville. Their second daughter Shelly was born two years later.

“Atlanta had much to offer us. We compared Houston to Atlanta; it met our two major criteria. It had a major airport and was located below the Snowbelt. After driving in circles around Atlanta, Snellville gave us a sense of small-town community from the start,” said Kathy.

The Emaunel’s shortly after moving to Snellville in 1983.The Emaunel’s shortly after moving to Snellville in 1983.Founding Random Technology in 1994, a company that markets catalytic converters, and provides consulting and contracting R&D services, the Emanuels enjoy working together, each running their respective part of the business. “Kathy is a very detailed person. We learn to make the best use of each other’s strengths,” remarked Dave.

Volunteer work is also important for the Emanuels. Dave has been serving the citizens of Snellville on the City Council for the past seven years, saying, “There is a difference between having something to do versus wanting to do something.”

After seeing a line of people outside of a church on Highway 78 waiting for food on a drizzly, cold day in March, Dave and Kathy wanted to create awareness and organized the “Give Hunger the Boot” campaign in 2011. “To date, we have raised nearly $400,000 in food and financial assistance for the Southeast Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry. This February we are launching the “Have a heart, help a family’ campaign to help keep the co-op food pantry shelves stocked. January and February are the worst months for the co-op, but for some people, fighting hunger is a 24-hour/7-day a week proposition,” said Dave.

Kathy stays active in the family business, participates in the Snellville Citizens Police Academy, Snellville Tourism, and Trade, Snellville Farmers Market, Snellville Community Garden, and serves as President of the Summit Chase Tennis Association. “It feels good to give back to our community and we both find great satisfaction in doing that,” added Kathy.

Kathy recalled a saying her father used to tell her. “You have to earn a living, so do something you enjoy. Otherwise, it’s a long life.” The Emanuels live their lives, all with heart, and enjoy serving others in their community.

For more information about the Give Hunger the Boot campaign, visit their Facebook page at