Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Young Professionals of hYPe hit a homerun with their Two Year Anniversary

With all the success that Gwinnett's young professionals have achieved since the inception of hYPe two years ago, one could say that the organization was a homerun for its members and the community. hYPe members celebrated their two-year anniversary on June 18th with hot dogs and cold beverages during a tailgate before a Gwinnett Braves baseball game. The 1,000-member strong organization had reason to celebrate with all that they accomplished in just two years, including holding 40 events, a Web site re-design, the launch of a Facebook page and Twitter account, partnering with multiple non-profit organizations, and developing three "work crews" to promote social networking, career development, and community involvement within the organization.

Abby Wilkerson who works for redpepper and leads hYPe's event management work crew, commented on a defining event that let her know hYPe was on the right track.

"I'm extremely proud that the hYPe leadership team was asked to sit on a panel during the lunch session of the Partnership Gwinnett Summit," said Wilkerson. "To be asked to speak in front of that crowd gave us some credibility and made me feel like we had created something legitimate. Almost like the first time you realize that the adults are taking you seriously."

First recommended in the Partnership Gwinnett Community and Economic Development Strategy, hYPe was developed to establish and cultivate young talent within the community and to build Gwinnett's next generation of community and business leaders. The main goals identified for the organization were to offer members the opportunity to interact on an informal level with business and community leaders; provide opportunity for networking with others of like interest and age on the weekends and weeknights; seek out areas for community involvement; and expose the young professionals in metro Atlanta to the hottest hangouts and cultural-rich attractions in Gwinnett.

With a goal in mind, hYPe's high impact, savvy group of diverse young professionals (ages 21-39) have worked diligently to showcase Gwinnett as a unique, fun, and cool place to work and live by holding events, recruiting new members and supporting the community.

hYPe events
The hYPe Event Management work crew, led by redpepper's Abby Wilkerson, worked hard this year locating venues, planning, volunteering their time and spreading the news about hYPe events. The Event Management work crew successfully held numerous events, with an average attendance of 150 people, throughout Gwinnett, including:

  • hYPe Quarterly event "Games & Gifts" at Dave & Buster's- August 2009
  • Not a Holiday 'Party' Party at The 1818 Club – December 2009
  • Thursday Schmooze Day held at Marlow's Tavern every first Thursday of each month
  • hYPe Two Year Anniversary with the Gwinnett Braves- June 2010

Membership Recruitment
During their first year, hYPe experienced unprecedented growth starting with just 90 members at the Encore Launch event in May 2008 to now over 650 members. Along with enrolling new members, the Membership Recruitment work team, led by Jared Burrell with Grimes Insurance and Financial Services Inc., was also responsible for career development. Thanks to the dedicated members of the membership recruitment work crew hYPe was able to achieve the following:

  • Held lunch and learns with a presentation on being "Healthy Young Professionals in June 2009 and "How to be an excellent Networker" in July 2009
  • Conducted college recruitment at Georgia Gwinnett College
  • Hosted booth at Gwinnett Technical College's "Graduates Networking Session"
  • Recruited over 300 members in one year
  • Held "Finding a Job in a Down Economy & Positioning for a Promotion" seminar on March 30th featuring Bill Mahoney from Career Builder

Community Involvement
Along with social networking and professional development, hYPe members also wanted to give back to the community. Thanks to the Community Involvement work crew, led by Trinity Hundredmark with Andersen, Tate & Carr, P.C., many lives were touched by the efforts of hYPe members to give back to community. For each event held, hYPe partnered with a local charity and requested that attendees provide a donation to the specific non-profit. The following charity drives were held at various hYPe events:

  • In December 2009 members participated in a toy drive for the Gwinnett Children's Shelter which helped give hundreds of presents to children in need
  • Partnered with Habitat for Humanity and Clark Howard to build homes for those in need
  • Donated books, paper, pencils, binders, etc to the Lilburn Co-Op at the August 2009 quarterly event
  • Presented hundreds of canned foods and items to the Lilburn Co-Op on November 3rd 2009
  • Volunteered at the SNS Golf Tournament in May 2010
  • Formed team with Gwinnett Chamber Board Members for the Great Days of Services and picked up trash on Highway-316

"hYPe is not only a great way to meet new people, but it's also a great way to get involved in the local community," said Trinity Hundredmark, who works for Andersen, Tate, & Carr and leads hYPe's community involvement work crew. "Most young professionals are coming from college or graduate school where getting involved was easy and sometimes even mandatory. In the real world, getting involved and giving back to the community can be overwhelming at first. Where does one start? hYPe has helped me to find answers to those questions. By always keeping me informed of the latest activities going on in Gwinnett County, I can always find a way to get involved and meet new people."

For more information on hYPe, visit www.hypegwinnett.com.

Monday, August 16, 2010

AN INTERVIEW WITH… Peter Andruszkiewicz, President of Kaiser Permanente Georgia

Kaiser Permanente is Georgia's largest not-for-profit health plan. With approximately 230,000 members in metro Atlanta and 8.6 million nationwide, Kaiser Permanente is recognized as one of America's leading health care providers. And its mission is clear: Provide high-quality, affordable health care to improve the health of its members and the communities it serves.

Guided by expert teams of physicians, specialists and health care providers with The Southeast Permanente Medical Group, Kaiser Permanente provides care focused on its members' total health and supported by industry-leading technology and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, as well as state-of-the art delivery. Providing a superior member experience is at the core of the organization's values.

At the helm of Kaiser Permanente Georgia is President Peter Andruszkiewicz. A seasoned health care executive, Andruszkiewicz spent 18 years at CIGNA HealthCare before joining Kaiser Permanente in 2005 as vice president, National Accounts. In 2006, he became senior vice president, Health Plan Operations for regions outside California. He was named President of Kaiser Permanente Georgia in late 2008.

In the local community, Andruszkiewicz serves as chair of the Henry W. Grady Health System Foundation board. He also sits on the boards of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Woodruff Arts Center, and the Metro Atlanta YMCA. He is a member of the Board of Councilors of The Carter Center and a member of the Buckhead Coalition. He is a graduate of Springfield College in Massachusetts and serves on its board of trustees.

Healthcare is one of five targeted industries in Partnership Gwinnett, the community and economic development initiative led by the Gwinnett Chamber to bring jobs and investment to the Greater Atlanta region. Andruszkiewicz shares Kaiser Permanente's expansion plans in metro Atlanta, which include new medical facilities as well as community involvement initiatives in Gwinnett.

Creating Jobs & Wealth

Q. Kaiser Permanente recently opened a new medical office in Lawrenceville, which was the third office to open this year in the metro Atlanta area. What are some of the factors that have led to these recent expansions in Gwinnett and metro Atlanta?

Our strategy is to provide members with more convenient access to Kaiser Permanente's high quality, coordinated health care system. By locating our new medical offices throughout metro Atlanta all of our members will be within a 20-minute drive of one of our facilities. Since announcing our expansion plans last year, we have opened four new medical offices, bringing our total to 23. Three additional medical offices are scheduled to open in the fall, including our fourth location in Gwinnett County in Snellville. We will add even more new facilities in 2011 as we continue to expand.

Growing Your Business

Q. Partnership Gwinnett research indicated that Gwinnett has significant potential for growth in the healthcare industry. How has Gwinnett's pro-business environment for healthcare businesses helped Kaiser Permanente expand in the local market?

Gwinnett is a thriving area. With an increasing number of our members living and working in Gwinnett, Kaiser Permanente wants to have a strong presence in the community. The tremendous support we have received from across the county has enabled us to expand and provide our members with convenient, high-quality coordinated care in difficult economic times.

Strengthening the Community

Q. As an investor in Partnership Gwinnett, why did Kaiser Permanente choose to support this community and economic development initiative? What are some of the other ways that Kaiser Permanente is involved in the local community?

We want to be a part of the community and we know that what is good for Gwinnett County is also good for Kaiser Permanente. Partnership Gwinnett is a great opportunity to provide support where we know it will have significant impact. We're also proud to sponsor the Gwinnett Chamber Chairman's Club Golf Tournament and the Lawrenceville Music Concert Series.

Kaiser Permanente is Georgia's largest non-profit health plan and one of our core values has always been to improve the health of communities, as well as the health of our members. For 25 years, we have invested millions of dollars back into communities as a part of our Community Benefit program. We partner with local non-profits, universities and local health departments to improve access to health care, train medical professionals and develop programs that promote healthy living. We work to address the root causes of poor health, and provide services to support healthier lifestyles, especially to under -served communities. This year we are investing nearly $30 million dollars in the community.

As part of our community benefit program, over the last two years, we've donated more than $260,000 to Gwinnett County organizations including Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministry, AID Gwinnett, the Hope Clinic, the Visiting Nurse Health System, and others.

Celebrate Success at the 2010 Chamber Challenge

The game of golf is a valuable business tool, not only because of the relationships formed and deals made on the course, but because of the many lessons that can be learned and applied to the business world.

As successful business and community leaders and golfers, the first place team at the 2009 Chamber Challenge, Georgia Gwinnett College President Dr. Daniel J. Kaufman, Vice President of Business and Finance Eddie Beauchamp, and Vice President of Institutional Advancement Dr. Gordon Harrison and Gwinnett Medical Center President Philip R. Wolfe share their tips on how to succeed on the golf course and in business.

According to Philip Wolfe, talented people will lead to success. "Whether it's a golf team or a business team, surround yourself with great talent."

Teamwork, talent, dedication, and attention to detail. These principles, according to Dr. Kaufman, facilitate success in business just as they do in golf.

"Avoid the bunkers, stay on the fairway, and learn from your mistakes." According to Eddie Beauchamp, concentrating on these three areas will help you to be successful on and off the course.

Dr. Gordon Harrison says that having team spirit gives the momentum you need to get ahead. "Golf is a great sport for bringing friends and business acquaintances together," said Harrison. "When you are bringing a team together, whether it is for golf or business, being encouraging and motivating can give you the competitive edge you need to win."

Gordon also added that the Chamber Challenge provides the perfect setting for building relationships and perfecting business skills. "It is always exciting and fun to be with the leadership of Gwinnett at this event each year. We are very appreciative of the Chamber's leadership in staging the Chamber Challenge."

The 2010 Chamber Challenge, held at Chateau Élan on October 12, offers the chance to promote your company while enjoying a relaxing day of golf on the fairways of a championship golf course. If golf isn't your game, you can participate in a heart-thumping tennis match and for those looking for a more relaxed setting, you may choose to dine on some down-home barbeque or sample award-winning wines. At the Chamber Challenge, the possibilities are endless when it comes to building strategic business relationships, turning your entrepreneurial dreams into a reality or just enjoying a picturesque day with your fellow colleagues and peers.

The Chamber Challenge is the perfect venue to build relationships with Gwinnett's top business leaders in a spectacular setting ideal for fostering business partnerships. We invite you to join us at the Chamber Challenge as we celebrate Gwinnett's business success while gaining valuable business advice and contacts.

Activities include:
Golf Extravaganza. Tournaments will be offered on all two of Chateau Élan's courses – Woodlands & Legends. Cost is $190/Legends Course and $170/ Woodlands Course per golfer—includes box lunch, drinks during the tournament, and BBQ dinner following event. Shotgun start at 11 a.m. Range opens at 10 a.m.

Tennis Tournament. A great mixed doubles Round Robin will allow for some fun competition among friends at the Chateau Élan Tennis Center. Warm up at noon and the tournament begins at 12:30 p.m. Cost is $80 per tennis player – includes tournament, box lunch, drinks during event and BBQ dinner following event.

Winery Tours. Enjoy touring the beautiful Chateau Élan winery and tasting their fine wines. Tour and tasting of the winery will start at 2:30 p.m. Cost is $40 per person – includes BBQ dinner following event.

Barbecue Mixer. At the end of the day enjoy dinner and networking at the Pavilion and cheer on tournament winners at the awards ceremony. The mixer will run approximately from 4:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Cost is $30 per person – includes BBQ dinner and drinks.

Members who would like to learn more about the Chamber Challenge should contact Alicia Krogh at 770-232-8809 or alicia@gwinnettchamber.org.

Friday, August 6, 2010

AN INTERVIEW WITH…Derek Schwerzler, Stephen Gould Corporation

Stephen Gould Corporation was founded in 1939 on the philosophical ideals and business visions of Stephen Gould and David Golden. They set out to create a corporate environment that would recognize the preeminent role of the customer within the processes of manufacturing and supply structure. Since this time Stephen Gould Corporation has grown to be a half billion dollar business with over 60 locations worldwide, still privately held by the same family. Stephen Gould has been designing and manufacturing a wide variety of packaging and custom kitting solutions for over half a century. They have long been recognized for consulting and implementing various systems of tool control, specialized packaging, distribution and integrated supply throughout the government and private sector.

Stephen Gould is GSA approved and serves a variety of industries from aerospace to retail. Many of our facilities are ISO-9001 certified and our Duluth location is a green facility. Stephen Gould is an industry leader and has won an award for their custom tool kitting solutions for Northrup Grumman.

Derek Schwerzler, who is a Gwinnett Chamber board member and co-chair for the 2010 Membership and Sponsorship Campaign, joined Stephen Gould 10 years ago after graduating from the University of Georgia. He chose Gwinnett County not only as a place to work, but a place to raise his family. His wife Shelly and their son make Duluth their home. Many of Derek's customers are also local Gwinnett businesses.

Derek initially joined the Chamber because he wanted to become more involved with his community and wanted to learn more about the county that he calls home. As it turned out for Derek, the Chamber has turned out to be so much more.

"My business has grown significantly through the business relationships and friendships I've made through the Chamber. Being involved with the Chamber has opened a referral stream I never thought possible," said Derek.

Involvement in the Chamber has also allowed Derek the opportunity to give back to the community in a variety of ways. He currently serves on the Chamber board, the Manufacturing and Logistics Council, the Gwinnett Student Leadership board, and The Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful board. Derek is also very involved with Partnership Gwinnett and a recent graduate of Leadership Gwinnett. And lastly, Derek is serving his community as a Rotarian and serves as President of the Rotary Club of Gwinnett Mosaic.

Creating Jobs & Wealth

Q. As the 2010 Co-Chair of the Chamber's Membership and Sponsorship volunteer-led Campaign, why is it beneficial for business executives to support the Chamber's mission of creating jobs and wealth through the campaign?

The campaign is a way for members of the Chamber to come together and support each other as well as the growth and strength of the Chamber. Through the campaign new members and potential members can see the power of our membership, the quality of referrals and the vast number of educational opportunities offered by the Chamber.

New businesses joining the Chamber are introduced to a multitude of opportunities to help their businesses grow and gain exposure not only in Gwinnett, but worldwide. Members have the opportunity to showcase their products and services through sponsorships, weekly networking events, ads and speaking engagements at Network Gwinnett. The funds raised through our membership campaign have allowed us to offer exceptional educational opportunities to all members.

Growing Your Business
Q. As a business executive, you have been very involved with the Chamber as a Chairman's Club member and have been actively involved in the Chamber's Membership and Sponsorship Campaign and many other chamber programs and events. How has being involved with these programs helped to grow your business?

The Gwinnett Chamber and specifically, the Chairman's Club, has given me the opportunity to speak with leaders in the community who have acted not only as mentors, but have been great referral sources, business partners and friends. Sponsoring events has allowed me to showcase my products and services, raise awareness of Stephen Gould Corporation and support the growth of the Chamber and the community. Through the Chamber, opportunities that would have never come my way with regard to business now occur on a daily basis.

Strengthening the Community

Q. Volunteers who join or start a team with the Campaign will have the satisfaction of knowing they are helping to strengthen the community by providing funds to sustain programs for business development, community improvement and member services. What are some of the other benefits of getting involved with the Campaign?

Being a part of the campaign has allowed me to network with likeminded professionals. It has allowed me to grow professionally as a leader. It has allowed me to build long term relationships and it has nurtured my competitive spirit. The Campaign Reward Sessions in particular are a great opportunity to get to know leaders in the community, learn more about the Chamber and its work, to improve the Gwinnett region, and to have fun! The opportunity to win a trip to Aruba is also a wonderful incentive. I would like to invite all Chamber members to join us in our efforts to help the Gwinnett Chamber become even stronger and more vital for the future.

For more information on Stephen Gould Corporation, contact Derek at 770-364-6202. Visit their Web site at www.stephengould.com; for industrial visit www.gouldsouthern.com.

Schools’ Success Equals Jobs Success

By: Jim Maran, President & CEO, Gwinnett Chamber

Last year, Gwinnett was the only community in the nation to successfully recruit two Fortune 500 Global Corporate Headquarters in less than 12 months. At the same time Gwinnett was receiving these global business accolades, Gwinnett County Public Schools was named a finalist for the 2009 Broad Prize for Urban Education, marking it as one of the nation's top five districts in improving student achievement for all students (and they're a finalist again this year).

I share this because it demonstrates a direct correlation between the success of business and job creation and the quality of students as they transition from K-12 education to postsecondary pathways and finally enter the workforce. It's also important to note this success does not happen by accident. For years, the Gwinnett Chamber has partnered in numerous ways with our education partners to provide ongoing two-way dialogue so that our teachers, principals and administrators know exactly what our employers need in terms of skills from their future workforce.

In numerous ways, Gwinnett County is the forerunner of what many would call tomorrow's prototypical successful U.S. community. We are home to top Fortune 500 global headquarters and have added more than 7,500 high-wage jobs and more than 130 major relocations and expansions in less than three years, precisely during the time the entire world has suffered from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Gwinnett is now home to one out of every six foreign-based businesses in Georgia, boasts economic development offices in China, and is the only U.S. Chamber to host a staffed office for the South Korean Small and Medium Business Corporation. We are a leader in technology, life science, and green energy clusters. And our entrepreneurial success stories include some of the biggest brands in the country.

This is exactly the business environment we must prepare our children for to ensure their future success in the workforce. Based on our conversations with thousands of employers, small and large, and my own 30-year career as a senior officer with Motorola tasked with opening up operations in Asia, Latin America, and more, I believe many of the strategies behind our local school systems' efforts to instill the critical "21st Century Survival Skills" in our students is the secret to our success. And I'm proud to report that our partners at Gwinnett County Public Schools, Buford City Schools, Gwinnett Tech, Georgia Gwinnett College, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine – Gwinnett Campus and others are all excelling in this area.

The benefits of a workforce with these skills are also exponential.

Tony Wagner, co-director of the Change Leadership Group at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education once told the State Education Technology Directors Association, "A lot of people think the skills that students need to learn for the workforce and the skills they need to learn to be good citizens are two separate sets. But they're not. What makes a student successful in the global workforce will make a person successful at life."

The role of educators – and our role as the business community – is to make sure tomorrow's graduates have solid foundations to excel in the 21st century job market. Doing so makes them not only a better future employee or employer, but a better citizen whose impact could change the course of history.

Membership & Sponsorship Campaign: Don’t Let What Happens at the Chamber Stay at the Chamber

With over 250 events each year designed to help local businesses grow their networks and leadership skills while also cutting expenses and business costs, "don't let what happens at the Chamber, stay at the Chamber." This is what the casino-themed 2010 Membership and Sponsorship Campaign, kicking off on August 12 at the Gwinnett Chamber to achieve our goal of $715,000, will encourage team members to do during this year's campaign. The Gwinnett Chamber invites you to become a part of the Campaign and "go all in" to help spread awareness about the Chamber and to raise the funds to sustain programs for business development, community improvement and member services.

Those participating in the campaign are invited to attend the Kick-off Celebration, held on August 12 from 5:30-8:00 p.m. for Casino Night, where guests will enjoy free martinis, hors d'oeuvres, and prizes. The campaign, which will encourage participants to "Go all in" and "Not let what happens at the Chamber, stay at the Chamber," will run from August 2010 to January 2011 generating new members, programs and event sponsorships, selling advertisements in Chamber publications and raising awareness of the Gwinnett Chamber throughout the region.

The campaign will be carried out by Campaign Co-Chairs Derek Schwerzler with Stephen Gould Corporation and David Seago with Georgia Power, five vice chairs, 25+ corporate teams, 150+ team members; Gwinnett Chamber Board of Directors and Chamber staff. The volunteers are responsible for selling memberships, sponsorships and securing budget trades.

The campaign will continue through the fall at Reward Sessions held every other Thursday at various locations around the county, until the Victory Celebration in January 2011. These sessions will celebrate successes, pay out top cash incentives, and recognize the top producers. When the winning hands are revealed, the volunteers who generate $11,000 or more will celebrate their victory at the winner's table with the grand prize, which is a trip to Aruba.

"The Chamber's drive for memberships and sponsorships is so much more than just a campaign," said Campaign Co-Chair Derek Schwerzler. "In addition to supporting the growth and strength of the Chamber, the Campaign is a way for Chamber members to come together and support each other."

As a past winner of the victory trip, Schwerzler also noted that the trip to Aruba is a wonderful incentive. "The fun atmosphere and the trip incentive makes the Campaign that much more worthwhile for Chamber members," said Schwerzler.

Volunteers, like Sherwood McDuffie with SunTrust Bank, Laurie Garrard with Office Creations, Inc., Brad Carr with Andersen, Tate, & Carr, PC, Dorsey Grist with United Community Bank, Matt Hyatt with Rocket IT and Andrea Wehrmann with Gwinnett Medical Center will be working hard not only to win at trip to Aruba, but to raise the funds to sustain programs for business development, community improvement and member services.

In addition to raising funds for the Chamber, the Campaign also provides volunteers an opportunity to grow professionally, expand business and community contacts, and help the Gwinnett Chamber become even stronger and more vital for business in the future.

"The 2010 Membership and Sponsorship Campaign is an opportunity to be a part of something big," said 2010 Co-Chair David Seago. "By participating in the Campaign, you will have the opportunity to meet the region's top business leaders who are volunteering their efforts to advance the Chamber's mission and goals by raising funds to sustain vital chamber programs for business development, community improvement and member services."

"Go all in!," join a team today and learn how you can help your community while earning cash incentives and/or a trip to Aruba. In addition, to heighten your company's exposure during the campaign, you can also sponsor a campaign reward session or donate gifts to be used as door prizes for the volunteers. For more information, please contact Donna McBee at donna@gwinnettchamber.org or 770-232-8810.

BIG Expo and Job Fair to Showcase Gwinnett’s Top Small Businesses

Gwinnett County is home to some of the best and brightest small businesses and entrepreneurs. This thriving entrepreneurial climate has made the area a regional leader in business development. With its location, infrastructure, workforce, school systems, and exceptional quality of life, it is no surprise that more than 30,000 small businesses call Gwinnett home.

Helping businesses succeed is the business of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, and when Gwinnett was named an "Entrepreneurial Friendly Community" by the Governor, the state identified the Gwinnett Chamber as the "one-stop shop" for starting and growing a business in Gwinnett.

From answering questions and providing a host of useful information to promoting growth in the county, there are people working everyday to help make Gwinnett a place where businesses thrive and success lives.

The 2010 BIG Expo and Job Fair held on August 19th is one of many ways the Gwinnett Chamber helps Gwinnett's small business and entrepreneurs to succeed. As the largest Chamber-sponsored business-to-business tradeshow and job fair of its kind in Georgia, the BIG Expo will showcase Gwinnett's top small business and entrepreneurs.

BIG Expo and Job Fair Presenting Sponsor Gwinnett Medical Center's President & CEO Phil Wolfe commented that as the leading hospital system in the region, they are proud to be serving as the presenting sponsor for the BIG Expo & Job Fair allowing Gwinnett Medical Center the opportunity to showcase this strong amenity for Gwinnett's small businesses and entrepreneurs.

"Gwinnett Medical Center is transforming healthcare in Gwinnett County and beyond by providing the highest quality care available," said Wolfe. "This quality healthcare is one of the many reasons why Gwinnett has an influx of businesses and entrepreneurs choosing to operate in Gwinnett."

After selling out last year, this year's show has expanded to feature more than 230 companies that will showcase everything today's business decision-maker needs to be successful in Gwinnett and around the globe. Gwinnett's top businesses will be looking for the best new employees. With the support of Presenting Sponsor Gwinnett Medical Center, this one-day event keeps participants on the competitive edge with networking and educational opportunities sure to make a positive difference in any business' bottom line.

Attendees will benefit from the best competitive shopping experience for their business and learn from some of the region's hottest business experts and authors. And best of all it's free and open to everyone.

Exhibit: An ideal way for Gwinnett companies to gain exposure for their company, exhibitors will have the unique opportunity to showcase their business to more than 7,500 potential clients and employees in special exhibition sections including technology, healthcare, education, hospitality, international, general business, and more.

Job Fair: Gwinnett's top companies will be in attendance to recruit qualified candidates for entry-level to upper-management positions. The BIG Expo gives recruiters and job seekers the perfect opportunity to connect.

Membership Luncheon: The day kicks off with a special General Membership Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. featuring Steve Penley, artist of the famous Ronald Reagan piece and author of "The Reconstruction of America."

Educational Solutions: Throughout the day, a series of seminars focus on the many aspects of doing business. In today's fast-paced competitive world, excellent business and personal skills are essential for survival. Learn proven strategies that will help you perform better on a daily basis by attending one or more of these interesting seminars.

Business After Hours: Held on the Exhibit Hall floor from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., this Business After Hours, sponsored by Proof of the Pudding, is one you do not want to miss. It's free, so come out, eat, drink and do business after hours.

Representing Gwinnett Medical Center at the BIG Expo & Job Fair, Gwinnett Medical Center Spokeswoman Andrea Wehrmann commented that as the presenting sponsor for the past three years, Gwinnett Medical Center is truly a testament for how a Gwinnett business is able to effectively promote community outreach, network and showcase their quality products and services to the business community face-to-face at the BIG Expo.

"This is more than an advertisement can buy you," said Wehrmann. "This is a chance not only for consumers to learn about the products and services in their backyard but a chance for your business to be part of the largest networking playing field during 2010."

As a past participant in the Expo Wehrmann conveyed that the overall atmosphere of the Expo when you walk through the doors is immediate high energy and business savvy enthusiasm. "This is the networking event of the year for local businesses and something you don't want to miss," said Wehrmann. "Please come join us at the 2010 BIG Expo, we look forward to seeing you there!"

For more information on the 2010 BIG Expo and Job Fair, visit www.bigexpoandjobfair.com.