Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Gwinnett Chamber Kicks Off 27th Class of Leadership Gwinnett

Class to Be Led by New Leadership and Education Director Lisa Zaken

Duluth, GA- The Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce recently kicked off the 27th class of Leadership Gwinnett which will train Gwinnett’s newest leaders in the business, civic, and cultural communities from August 2011 – May 2012. From the nearly 800 nominations received each year for the nine-month experience, Leadership Gwinnett alumni selected the final group of 40 based on work experience, accomplishments, community involvement, education and other information from their individual applications. The program year is comprised of two overnight retreats, seven one-day symposia covering world class community, infrastructure, economics, education, health & human services, justice and regional relations, as well as monthly study groups and other activities.

“Choosing the class requires balancing the occupations, qualifications and commitment of the candidates to insure a representation that reflects a cross section of the county. The caliber of these applicants makes selection more difficult. Since the class size is limited to 40, many excellent candidates are not chosen on their first nomination. For this reason, we strongly encourage candidates to apply again if not selected,” said Jann Moore, sr. director, public policy and education, Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.

“Leadership Gwinnett has been a tremendous success for our county. Since the program’s inception in 1985, over 800 alumni have taken their places in our community as decision makers and role models. Leadership graduates can be found in every aspect of Gwinnett business, civic and cultural life,” said Jim Maran, president and CEO, Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s Leadership Gwinnett Class will be led by the Gwinnett Chamber’s new Leadership and Education Director, Lisa Zaken. A 2005 graduate of Leadership Gwinnett, Zaken has devoted many volunteer hours to the Leadership Gwinnett program, including serving as the alumni chair of the communications committee since 2008. Lisa was also the event organizer for the Leadership Gwinnett World Class Community Committee in 2007, co-chair of the Education Day committee in 2006, as well as event organizer for the Education Day Committee in 2005. Zaken was instrumental in the success of the Leadership Gwinnett 25th Anniversary Party last year.

“I look forward to supporting the mission of Leadership Gwinnett – to educate, equip, and engage leaders to serve and strengthen Gwinnett County and the region,” said Zaken. “I am excited about working with the 2011-2012 class who represent a new set of modern leaders affecting positive change in Gwinnett and the region for decades to come.”
The 2011 – 2012 Leadership Gwinnett Class includes:

Ruth Bettandorff, University of Georgia, Gwinnett Campus
Susan Boland Butts, Hi-Hope Service Center, Inc.
Joy Bolt, Georgia Gwinnett College
Kyle Bowen, Development Planning & Engineering, Inc.
Cliff Bray, Westbrook, McGrath, Bridges, Orth & Bray
Melissa Burton, Annandale Village
Kevin Carmichael, Georgia Chamber of Commerce
Brian Carmony, Andersen Tate & Carr, P.C.
Jackson Chang, Golden Seed International Group
Jay Dennard, Gwinnett Medical Center
Samuel Donley, Fifth Third Bank
Dick Goodman, Suwanee City Council
Kristen Griffin, Merial
Stephanie Hills, Cisco Systems, Inc.
Beth Hilscher, Beth S. Hilscher, P.C.
Tom Jackson, Eastside Medical Center
Debbie Kalec, RBC Bank
Laurie Ann Kimbrell, American Red Cross
Dan Kniffen, Drew, Eckl & Farnham
Chris Earnest, E2E Benefit Services, Inc.
Greg Lahatte, Gwinnett County Public Schools
Tim Le, Exit Realty Platinum
P. K. Martin, Hood Insurance Agency, Inc.
Molly McAuliffe, Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
David McNeill, 4th Strand LLC
Steve Moyers, Gwinnett Technical College
Ron Osterloh, Pond & Company
Jaye Peabody, Covenant Counseling & Family Resource Center
Stephen Pereira, Thompson & Sweeney, P.C.
John Reidy, O’Brien & Gere Engineers, Inc.
Ken Rutherford, Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce
Ed Shaddix, North Gwinnett High School
Kelly Sloan, Georgia United Credit Union
Anne Soutter, Primerica
Richard Steele, Gwinnett County Office of the Tax Commissioner
Alex Villasana, Christos Community Church
Kendra Washington-Bass, Gwinnett County Public Schools
Mark Willis, Georgia School Boards Association
Lisa Winton, Winton Machine Company
Latabia Woodward, Southern Company

Leadership Gwinnett Sustaining Partners, whose generous financial support helps to make the program possible, include Andersen, Tate & Carr, PC; Brand Banking Company, Brand Mortgage Group, Cisco, Georgia Gwinnett College, Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation, Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation, King & Spalding, and McKenna Long & Aldridge, LLP.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Regional Transportation Projects to Transform Mobility for Metro Atlanta Receives Historic Approval

Gwinnett Chamber Applauds Efforts of Atlanta Regional Transportation Leaders

The Gwinnett Chamber is pleased to report that the Executive Committee of the Atlanta Regional Transportation Roundtable made history on Monday reaching a unanimous agreement on a draft list of transportation projects that will help to create jobs, increase quality of life, and give valued time back to citizens across the metro Atlanta region. The five-member committee - including mayors and county commissioners from across the Atlanta region - voted to approve a $6.14 billion draft list of transportation projects to be potentially funded by a penny sales tax to come before voters next year.

Gwinnett was well-represented during the process by Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash and City of Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson who received valuable input from Gwinnett County Transportation Director Brian Allen allowing for the needs of Gwinnett County to be met while keeping the best interest of the region in mind.

"Reaching a unanimous agreement on a draft transportation list is a huge positive step showcasing the solidarity of the region. The efforts of the elected officials involved in the process from the 10 county region who worked to select a list of projects with the greatest impact should be applauded and recognized," said Jim Maran, president & CEO, Gwinnett Chamber. "Realizing that residents don't stay within the boundaries of their respective counties, this effort will bring in a new era of transportation that will benefit the entire region."

The list - containing road, interchange improvement, bus, rail and bicycle path projects - must be approved by the full 21-member roundtable by October 15 and submitted to the Georgia Department of Transportation. Until then, residents of all 10 counties in the Atlanta region will have the opportunity to provide continued input to the final project list through a series of public meetings planned throughout the Atlanta region. Gwinnett residents are encouraged to attend the county's scheduled meeting on Monday, September 26 from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center.

In addition, the Gwinnett Chamber will host a "State of Transportation" forum on November 2 offering the chance to learn more about the future of mobility in metro Atlanta. In the meantime, more information on the Transportation Investment Act, including the approved constrained project list, can found at www.atlantaregionalroundtable.com.

Gwinnett Chamber Business Expo Showcases Business and Job Growth

Trade Show Exceeds Expectations with Attendance and More Than 150 Exhibitors


Duluth, GA - From educational seminars to one-on-one meetings at the Job Fair to a sold out General Membership Luncheon featuring Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens, the 2011 Gwinnett Business Expo & Job Fair Presented by Gwinnett Medical Center demonstrated once again the regional collaboration and leadership that Gwinnett has become known for in Metro Atlanta and why Gwinnett is leading the way in business growth and job creation. The Business Expo and Job Fair, held on August 18, 2011 at the Convention Center at Gwinnett Center, had a record attendance in the thousands and featured a variety of attractions designed to keep businesses abreast of the newest products and services in the Gwinnett business market from more than 150 exhibitors.

"I am pleased to provide Georgia citizens with the highest quality of legal representation as we uphold the laws and Constitution of Georgia," said Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens. "The Office of the Attorney General is a leader in helping the state government to operate openly, affording local communities like Gwinnett an optimal business environment and a superior quality of life."

The Expo, like the Gwinnett Chamber, focuses on growing businesses throughout Gwinnett County and Metro Atlanta. Programs such as the Expo help to create a pro-business environment for companies looking to grow and expand in Gwinnett resulting in more quality jobs and a better quality of life.

"The Business Expo & Job Fair does a fantastic job of showcasing the internal collaboration of business, education, and government along with the regional mindset that Gwinnett has become known for in Metro Atlanta," said Jim Maran, president & CEO, Gwinnett Chamber. "The business activity shown today is second to none giving a feel for Gwinnett's vibrant economy and its thriving business and economic environment."

Over 150 business exhibitors who help to make up Gwinnett's thriving business environment participated in this year's expo where they had the opportunity to cultivate new business and network with fellow business professionals. "The high-energy environment combined with unparalleled B2B face-to-face time made for a great day of generating quality leads and networking," said Michael Baldwin, sales manager of business accounts, Charter Business.

As a testament to the more than 12,000 jobs created since the launch of the award-winning community and economic development initiative, Partnership Gwinnet, the Job Fair featured over 35 exhibitors who were actively looking for qualified talent to fill open positions. "The Job Fair presented Mobile Communications with a unique opportunity to meet with a host of skilled candidates all in one day," said Cathy Nichols, president, Mobile Communications. "Events such as the Chamber's Job Fair helps our company to continue its path of success."

In addition to Presenting Sponsor Gwinnett Medical Center, sponsors include Silent Auction Sponsor: Delta Community Credit Union; Media Sponsor: Gwinnett Daily Post; Platinum Sponsors AT&T Real Yellow Pages, Talk 920, and Mundo Hispanico; Gold Sponsors Gwinnett Center, Gwinnett Convention & Visitors Bureau, Proof of the Pudding, Staples, Toshiba; and Silver Sponsors Allgood Pest Solutions, Beyond Signs, Charter Business, DeVry University, Purchasing Alliance Solutions, and The Sign Stop.

For more information on the Business Expo & Job Fair visit www.gwinnettbusinessexpo.com. In addition, for more information on Gwinnett's record-breaking business growth and job creation activity and the continuation of the award-winning community and economic development initiative, Partnership Gwinnett, register for the Partnership Gwinnett Summit on August 26 at www.pgsummit.com.