Leading distributor of financial products celebrates “opening day” for its state-of-the-art 365,000-square-foot headquarters
John Addison and Rick Williams, Co-CEOs of Primerica, Inc. (NYSE: PRI), the largest independent financial services marketing company in North America, will be joined by Governor Nathan Deal, Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development, prominent community leaders, hundreds of employees, and top Primerica representatives to celebrate the opening of its global headquarters in Duluth, Gwinnett County. Located at #1 Primerica Parkway, the 365,000-square-foot facility is equipped to house 1,600 of the company’s 1,700 Gwinnett-based employees and has the capacity for an additional 200 people.
“Primerica is one of Georgia’s outstanding corporate citizens and its continued commitment to the state is deeply gratifying,” said Governor Nathan Deal. “The company’s growth over the past 36 years is a testament to their success in educating Main Street families across North America about a brighter financial future, and its decision to establish its global headquarters here in Georgia speaks volumes about our pro-business environment.”
John Addison, Chairman of Primerica Distribution and Co-Chief Executive Officer said, “Today’s Ribbon Cutting Ceremony is an historic moment in Primerica’s 36-year history and marks a new era for our 1,600 employees and more than 90,000 representatives. I’ve been with Primerica for more than 30 years and can’t express the pride I feel as I drive down our street – #1 Primerica Parkway – it daily reminds me of just how far we have come – together – as a team. It also shows that we are extremely confident in our future and it positions us for continued growth and excellence as the largest financial services marketing company in North America. Our new location is at the hub of the Gwinnett County business, sports and entertainment community. I want to give special thanks to our company’s founders, Art and Angela Williams were it not for their tenacity in changing the landscape of financial services, none of this would be possible. I also wish to thank Governor Nathan Deal for his constant support, as well as our partners at Duke Realty, Gwinnett County, Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development, and countless other government officials and business partners who were so helpful and supportive of our move.”
The newly constructed facility, located in the Duluth area, consolidates all of Primerica’s operations into a single, three-story building with connecting wings that support streamlined business operations and enhanced logistical efficiencies. The building boasts 58 conference rooms; a state-of-the-art theatre and adjoining TV studio; a 248-seat café; and an interactive tour dubbed “Imagine,” designed to showcase the new global headquarters to current and prospective representatives and employees. Thousands are expected to take the “Imagine” tour every year.
Primerica is Gwinnett’s fourth largest private employer. The company’s headquarters have been located in the County since 1985.
“With this expansion, we celebrate Primerica’s continued investment in Gwinnett County and its significant role in the success of our community,” stated Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash. “We are honored Primerica chose to remain and expand its global headquarters facility here—a testament to Gwinnett’s ability to help businesses remain competitive on a national and global scale.”
Rick Williams, Chairman of the Board and Co-Chief Executive Officer said, “Our new international headquarters is in many ways the culmination of our successful IPO in 2010. We are excited to be in one location, instead of ten separate buildings that we occupied previously. This will translate into increased efficiencies by providing a unified work place. Additionally, this move will be instrumental in improving our support and service to our sales force and clients.”
Chris Brown, Senior Vice President of Duke Realty’s Georgia Operations, commented, “It is an honor to have been a part of bringing Primerica’s corporate headquarters to life and to further accommodate its growth with this Class-A facility. We look forward to seeing more companies join Primerica at this location.”
Business relocation and expansion efforts in Gwinnett County, located in northeast metro Atlanta, are supported and cultivated by Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development, led by Nick Masino, Senior Vice President of Economic Development and the County’s community and economic development initiative, Partnership Gwinnett.
“We congratulate Primerica on the opening of its new global headquarters,” stated Masino. “With its more than 1,600 employees in Gwinnett, Primerica is a key partner in strengthening our community’s extraordinarily-dynamic growth and quality of life. Partnership Gwinnett is proud to partner with Primerica and other national and international companies in creating high-paying jobs, a skilled workforce, and economic prosperity for Gwinnett County.”
Primerica, Inc., headquartered in Duluth, GA, is a leading distributor of financial products to middle income households in North America. Primerica representatives educate their Main Street clients about how to better prepare for a more secure financial future by assessing their needs and providing appropriate solutions through term life insurance, which we underwrite, and mutual funds, annuities and other financial products, which we distribute primarily on behalf of third parties. In addition, Primerica provides an entrepreneurial full or part-time business opportunity for individuals seeking to earn income by distributing the company’s financial products. We insured more than 4.3 million lives and approximately 1.9 million clients maintained investment accounts with us at December 31, 2012. Primerica stock is included in the S&P MidCap 400 and the Russell 2000 stock indices and is traded on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PRI”.
In an effort to recognize Gwinnett’s small businesses and entrepreneurs as pivotal to America’s economic growth and stability, the Gwinnett Chamber and Presenting Sponsor The Atlanta Journal-Constitution hosted the 2013 Pinnacle Awardson April 26. The event, themed by growth, success and community engagement, named the Overall Small Business of the Year and honored dozens of successful small businesses and entrepreneurs for extraordinary achievement.
Bardi Heating and Air, Inc. Owner Alex Bardi received the 2013 Overall Gwinnett Small Business of the Year Award and was also the winner of Gwinnett’s Small Business of the Year for the 10 – 99 employee category. Additional Small Business of the Year Awards were presented to Walter Biscardi, Jr. with Biscardi Creative Media, LLC for the 1 – 9 employee category and Joe McCart with The McCart Group for the 100+ employee category. Twenty-two additional small businesses were awarded Pinnacle Awards and named among the prestigious “Pinnacle Top 25” for demonstrating unprecedented growth and contribution to the community.
“We are honored to celebrate and recognize Gwinnett’s top small business owners whose entrepreneurial achievements are a driving force behind our nation’s economic success,” said Philip R. Wolfe, Gwinnett Chamber Chairman. “These small businesses create significant job opportunity and are essential to sustaining economic growth and prosperity.”
In addition, Gwinnett’s top non-profit organizations, whose generous and inspiring efforts can be seen and felt throughout Gwinnett, were also recognized at the awards luncheon. The following organizations are the winners of the 2013 Pinnacle Non-Profit Awards: Covenant Counseling & Family Resource Center, Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett, Inc., and Operation One Voice.
Alex Bardi, owner of Bardi Heating & Air, could give numerous best practices that have allowed the family-owned business to become a recognized leader in commercial HVAC and a provider of award-winning home heating, cooling and plumbing services. But, Alex will be the first to tell you that this success would not have been possible without their company’s “moral compass” and mission to “always, always, always do the right thing.” This guiding principle has proven to be a successful one as Bradi doubled its revenues from 2011 and achieved 112 percent growth in 2012 in addition to being named a “Top Workplace” for three years running by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, receiving a five-star rating from their own customers on Kudzu.com along with earning Smart Business Magazine’s “World Class Customer Service Award.”
Biscardi Creative Media is a full-service script-to-screen creation company at the forefront of creative media production. Emmy-award winning broadcast programming, episodics, commercials, feature films and industrial productions are some of the projects their storytellers bring to the screen every day. Drawing on over 20 years of industry experience, Walter Biscardi Jr., pulls together a creative team that has amassed every major award and traveled to every country in pursuit of a single goal. The story.
The McCart Group is a Risk Management and Insurance agency that has been in continuous operation in the metro Atlanta area for over 40 years with 18 years in Gwinnett. In 1971, Joe McCart founded the agency as a property and casualty insurance provider. Since that time, The McCart Group has launched an employee benefits practice, a risk control practice along with several other specialized advisory services. The McCart Group is in the top one percent of independent insurance agents nationwide. The agency is also very involved in the community supporting over 15 community projects and charitable organizations.
Performing engine repair, maintenance and painting for tractor trailers is good business these days for Al Karnitz and Ace Truck Body and Trailer Repair of Norcross. In business for more than a quarter of a century, three generations of family stand behind their service guarantee and the fair prices and quick turn-around time that come with it. With a proud list of customers ranging from Pepsi, Federal Express to Eagle Rock and Miller High Life, this full-service repair facility will surely span many more years and many more generations of family.
ASK Staffing’s belief that innovation happens every day, and even more so in tough times, helped them through some of the worst years in the history of the staffing industry. Through their belief in innovations and past experiences, ASK Staffing made strategic plans to target government clients. With a handful of current state and local government clients, ASK Staffing assembled a team of experts allowing them to win nine additional state clients and several local government clients. This combined with efforts to position ASK staffing to assist with a few Fortune 500 companies has allowed for ongoing growth even in tough times.
Bella Fiore’ Salon, LLC
At Bella Fiore’ Salon, owners Marla Peoples and Jennifer Sewell work hard to set themselves apart from the competition by giving each of their guests an experience that will make them feel special and appreciated. From greeting each client by name, to offering new product promotions, to making follow-up calls to each new guest, Bella Fiore creates an experience that makes them stand out. This dedication has earned Bella Fiore’ a customer service rating of five stars and a 98.5 percent survey satisfaction score from their clients.
CablesAndKits is an online one-stop-shop specializing in pre-owned and new networking equipment and accessories. They sell top brand names, focusing on small- to medium-sized businesses, government entities, educational institutions and healthcare providers. With “Experts in Awesome” as their tagline, they strive to provide customers with a unique experience that is no less than awesome – going beyond the industry norm to provide a unique blend of exceptional customer service, timely delivery, product variety, and competitive prices.
Dexter’s Farm is a distributor of fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy and eggs. Based in Buford, Georgia they have been in business since 1983. Specializing in schools and restaurant chains, Dexter’s Farm services Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee. They are pleased to deliver to many school systems who participate in farm-to-school, which allows them to excel in their locally grown initiatives. In 2011, Dexter’s Farm became the Department of Defense fresh fruits and vegetable vendor for Georgia and they proudly supply to military troops.
Dynasty Jewelry and Loan has been a trusted name in the pawn industry for over 25 years. They have built a reputation for great customer service, great quality and great deals. At Dynasty, they strive to be different. Being different is an attitude, a better way of doing business. They are different by exceeding customer expectations with their inviting atmosphere, friendly attitude of their personnel and in the care in handling their customers’ valuables. The difference is about the value they place highly in their employees and customers. The difference brings everyone back time and time again.
While most of its competitors have closed their doors, FarraTech has experienced exponential growth and almost doubled revenues and employee size. As a manufacturer of toner for laser printers, FarraTech also sells and repairs printers, laptops and other hardware. In 2011, FarraTech bought two well-known Gwinnett companies that sold and serviced copiers allowing them to continue to grow their company and become more efficient. In addition, after developing programs specifically for its supply chain, FarraTech is able to go to market sooner, deliver faster, take excellent care of its customers, and compete with “big box retailers”.
Green Financial Resources, LLC
Roger Green, owner of Green Financial Resources, has been building his business one client at a time since 1987. During this time, Roger has serviced over 1,800 clients, as he has no minimum asset requirements and is willing to provide assistance to all who request it. With a focus on retirement planning, Green’s goal is to help as many people as possible through their retirement planning classes, the “Your Green” radio program, and complimentary consultations. In addition to helping people reach their retirement goals, Green is also a firm believer in sharing his company’s success by giving back to the community allowing him to touch people’s lives beyond just his financial scope.
Mobile Communications is the largest Motorola Solutions Premier Service Partner in the United States. They design, sell and maintain wireless communication solutions to the public safety sector, school systems, hospitals, military bases, retail locations, hospitality venues and transportation organizations. Their products and services include two-way radio systems, wireless connectivity, in-building cameras, vehicle outfitting for public safety departments, emergency call boxes, engineering and maintenance. They set themselves apart by offering a personal level of customer service.
Paradigm Security Services, Inc. Paradigm Security Services’s mission statement, “Superior Security Services Through Superior Training” has led them to a profitable business of providing professionally trained security officers and patrol services. In addition to this, over 80 years in law enforcement, private security and administrative services are combined to create a company that is fully experienced in the field of security. Paradigm provides their professionals with the best of equipment and a supportive workplace while ensuring clients maintain a safe and secure environment.
Established in 1973, PDI is the largest family-owned distributor of residential and commercial plumbing and lighting in Georgia. Dedicated to superior customer service, their knowledgeable and experienced associates are committed to meeting the project needs of customers with quality products for any budget. The creativity in their showroom does a fantastic job creating vignettes allowing customers to envision their dream kitchen or bath. Combining plumbing fixtures and lighting fixtures, in a unique way, sets them apart from their competition.
Prime Care Technologies is one of the nation’s leading providers of comprehensive cloud-based IT and data center services and solutions. With its managed IT services, data center solutions, and business intelligence tools, they help businesses reduce expenses, increase revenues, improve cash flow, and insure compliance. Their services include managed hosting; primeVIEW – Prime Care Technologies’ business intelligence and data mining digital dashboard reporting tool; hosted applicant tracking, time and attendance, HR, and payroll solutions; just to name a few. They listen to their customers and prospects discovering pain points and obstacles to success. From that information they look for ways to apply the strengths of cloud-based services to help customers. They are indeed where success and innovation connect.
As an experienced contract electronics manufacturer, Prime specializes in printed circuit board assembly and top-level box build. For 24 years, they have been known as a quality leader in high-mix, high-complexity work for moderate-volume products and customers. Today, they are continually finding new ways to increase speed-to-market and drive down costs while maintaining a high level of flexibility and responsiveness. Every aspect of the business- from investment, processes, systems, and training – has allowed them to deliver highly flexible service to their customers.
RD Direct partners with major telecom carriers as an independent network consultant and solutions partner to help businesses find ways to improve their bottom line and make communications work more effectively. RD Direct helps companies find ways to increase efficiencies through service price reductions and network analysis. They make sure their clients have the best prices and the best products that suit their needs. RD Direct assists businesses in all four corners of the country and has provided consulting services to over 10,000 customers and counting. Their customers see immediate results and are positioned with the right technologies to support flexibility and future growth.
Red Clay Interactive is a leading Interactive Marketing Agency specializing in Interactive strategy & planning, social media, website design & development, search engine optimization, online advertising campaigns and application development. For more than 12 years, Red Clay has delivered industry changing online strategies for clients ranging from local privately held companies to global corporations. Red Clay continues to be recognized for excellence by multiple organizations including Georgia Trend and Inc. Magazines, UGA Alumni Association, Web Marketing Association, American Institute of Graphic Arts and the International Academy of Visual Arts.
Shared Kitchens is Georgia’s first dually licensed “Food Business Incubator”. They provide a fully licensed facility for start-up and emerging entrepreneurs in the food industry. Their business is a home to a variety of catering and small food manufacturing companies. They also offer co-packing services for a variety of products. Shared Kitchens operates on a membership program with a variety of levels to meet the needs of its member companies. By choosing Shared Kitchens, their members are able to launch and grow their food related businesses without the obstacle of a large capital investment.
During a time when companies need branding and visibility more than ever before, Signarama Buford offers a vast array of products in commercial signage and promotional items to help increase awareness and sales for clients. Co-owned and operated by husband and wife team Gary and Nancy Rosenberg, Signarama Buford has taken a proactive stance to improve sales over the past couple of years through increased networking. This strategy has paid off as Signarama Buford is consistently one of the top performing Signaramas in the country.
Staging Directions, Inc. is a full service event staging company offering audio, lighting, and video equipment for corporate meetings and events as well as entertainment and concerts at area venues. They provide their services to venues across the country and around the world, from small hotel ballrooms for 200 people to large arenas for 30,000 attendees. Even in troubling times, Staging Directions has continued to move forward with the purchase of new state of the art equipment and engineers necessary to delight their clients with service above the rest.
With over 27 years in the staffing industry, The Davis Companies offers contract staffing, direct hire, payroll services, managed staffing, vendor management and contract-to-hire services. Focusing on administrative & clerical, finance & accounting, manufacturing & production, warehouse, professional and engineering & Information technology positions, Davis has set itself apart as a ground-breaking leader in developing workforce and staffing solutions. Because its teams are empowered to be creative problem solvers, they have brought that skill to solving their client’s problems. Davis has proven to be a creative, consultative business partner in how they work closely with clients. Its “work hard, play hard” mentality has allowed them to maintain their business and grow through three recessions.
Visix designs, develops and supports a suite of browser-based software applications that allows users to create, import and manage their organizational communications from anywhere and to deliver messages, media and alerts to virtually any endpoint. In 2012, Visix won the “Best of Show” award at the Infocomm trade show held in Las Vegas, NV. The company gifted the $10,000 award to the Hirsch Academy for children with learning differences. This community-oriented, award-winning company has grown by 377 percent since 2004 with no signs of stopping.
Waterman Resource Group, Inc. (WRG) is a one-stop shop for all things HR. WRG specializes in providing HR management services to mid-sized and smaller enterprises that have little or no internal HR resources, helping them to “power up their people engines” for improved competitive performance and success. In addition to providing character-driven HR services for the business community, founder and owner of WRG, Melissa Waterman has been active in the community throughout her career. Most recently, Melissa was selected to provide complimentary training services to the Gwinnett Village initiative, aimed at improving the quality of life for citizens of the Village and CID area.
Wealth Horizon is a boutique investment advisory firm specializing in working with women going through any of life’s transitions including divorce, death of a spouse, second careers, entrepreneurship and retirement. Owner Jerri Hewatt takes great pride in educating her clients while walking them through these major transitions to realizing their new life adventures. Nothing though, could make her more proud than her most recent endeavor of establishing the annual “Celebrating Wonderful Women” event. The 2012 event, benefiting Wellspring Living and featuring Aimee Copeland, not only raised awareness surrounding the beneficiaries’ mission of confronting childhood sexual abuse, it also raised over $20,000 for the cause.
The Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to caring for the indigent and working poor who do not have health insurance. Their mission is to demonstrate the love of Christ by providing affordable healthcare to those who otherwise may not have access to healthcare services. Through their diligent staff of 13 and over 180 volunteers, the Center provided 5860 medical visits – nearly 900 more than projected – to 2687 unique individuals in 2012. Their projections for 2013 are that they will see as many as 7,000 patients in the coming year.
Operation One Voice is a non-profit designed by local firefighters, police officers and business leaders providing financial support and assistance to fallen and wounded Special Operations Forces (military troops) involved in the war against terrorists. Operation One Voice works directly with the families, United States Special Operations Command Care Coalition and subordinate commands. This unique organization is like no other because of the partnerships formed between public safety professionals and the community in an effort to support the troops. In addition to this, the support Operation One Voice lends to the top tier of military personnel – a group of warriors that is often overlooked due to the nature of their work – makes it a truly unique organization.
Covenant Counseling & Family Resource Center is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote healing and wholeness in the community through pastoral counseling, psychotherapy, education and consultation. For 20 years the Center has provided services that enable individuals, couples, families, pastors, organizations and congregations to experience healing and wholeness in their individual and family living, their relationships and their organizational functioning. Most recently, in honor of Depression Awareness Month, Covenant Counseling & Family Resource Center held a spirit-lifting event – Shining a Light on Depression. The gathering was designed to raise awareness and funds to combat depression, the underlying cause of most client visits to Covenant.
Georgia’s largest local awards event for Manufacturing and Supply Chain companies, the Movers & Makers Awards are the County’s annual recognition of exceptional companies involved in the manufacture, processing, or distribution of tangible products. Eligible companies include those that have been in business for at least three years in Gwinnett County.
“Gwinnett County is a premier Manufacturing and Supply Chain hub in the Southeast. We are fortunate to sustain more than 37,000 high-quality jobs in these sectors,” stated Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash. “The Movers & Makers Awards recognize the contributions of these visionary companies and the role they play in the current success and future of this industry in Gwinnett and the nation.”
Local manufacturing companies honored at the event included:
Green Supply Chain of the Year Award Winner: Ryerson
The Most Valuable Provider (MVP) Award honored Gwinnett Technical College for its excellence in service to the manufacturing and supply chain industries in the county.
“It is our pleasure to partner in hosting these prestigious awards, shining a spotlight on the valuable contributions these businesses and their leaders make to the economic vibrancy of Gwinnett County,” commented David McCulloch, Vice President of Economic Development for Gwinnett Technical College. “We are also honored to be named the Most Valuable Provider, recognizing our support of businesses through a wide range of education and training initiatives. We work in close partnership with many manufacturing companies and serve as the primary link between a business and a skilled workforce.”
In addition to recognizing these innovative companies, the event featured Keynote Speaker Ed Bastian, President of Delta Air Lines. “As one of the world’s largest international airlines, Delta serves more than 160 million travelers each year and understands the vital importance of logistics to the success of a business,” stated Bastian. “I am pleased to help recognize these innovative companies and their impact on the local economy, commerce, and community.”
Companies were awarded based on the following criteria:
Economic Impact: The company’s economic impact in the community relative to its peers, its ability to overcome challenges, and the number of years they have been located in the county.
Corporate Responsibility: Company sponsored community involvement and civic efforts, educational partnerships, and environmental and safety initiatives.
Workforce Excellence: Company sponsored programs to enable employees to balance work and family life issues, support for employee education, and employee recognition programs.
For the two supply chain awards, nominees were additionally considered based on their performance in either supply chain innovation or supply chain sustainability.
Greg Mihalik, Suniva’s Vice President of Operations, commented, “We are honored to be the recipient of the Medium Manufacturer of the Year Award and recognized for our excellence in research, innovation and manufacturing. From our origins at Georgia Tech to becoming one of the world’s leading solar PV companies, we are a Georgia-grown company committed to delivering high-quality solar cells and solar modules to local, national, and international markets.”
Global workforce solutions provider, Manpower, was the Presenting Sponsor of the 2013 Movers & Makers Awards. “As a leader in workforce solutions, we assist many companies around the world,” stated Beth Herman, Manpower Regional Vice President, Atlanta Metro. “It is always a pleasure to honor best practices that move the manufacturing and supply chain industries forward, and that—though training and workforce excellence—positively contribute to the national labor force.”
“The Movers & Makers Awards are designed to honor Gwinnett’s outstanding Manufacturing and Supply Chain companies, highlighting best practices within these industries, and we congratulate these exceptional winners,” stated Troels Adrian, Project Manager for Advanced Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management for Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development and Partnership Gwinnett. “Every year, our terrific list of winners and nominees serves as a testament to the fact that Gwinnett County is home to some of the most innovative and competitive ‘movers and makers’ in the United States.”
Gwinnett County (METRO ATLANTA) GA – March 25 – Public safety professionals from across Gwinnett received much deserved praise at today’s Gwinnett Chamber Valor Awards presented by Mobile Communications of Gwinnett, Inc. and Motorola Solutions, Inc. More than half-a-dozen individuals and groups were awarded for acts of bravery and service in the community.
Awards were given to the men and women who have performed heroic and extraordinary acts to protect and serve the citizens of Gwinnett. Hear their incredible stories on the Gwinnett Chamber’s Vimeo channel.
Receiving the program’s highest award for bravery and heroism, Gwinnett County Police OfficerJoshua J. Smith was awarded the Gold Medal of Valor. Corporal Jason Ayers, Officer James Harkins, Officer Candler Horton, Sergeant Brad Ingalls, Officer Tom Novak, and Officer Todd Ramsey with the Gwinnett County Police Department received the Silver Medal of Valor and the Bronze Medal of Valor went to Lieutenant John Poe, Driver Engineer Lanny Britt, Firefighter Paul Thompson, Driver Engineer Eric Jensen, Firefighter Robert Atcheson, and Firefighter Alan Krieg with Gwinnett County Fire & Emergency Services.
The following public safety professionals were honored in the program’s subsequent award categories:
The Medal of Merit, awarded to an outstanding public safety program for the community; was given to the Juvenile Firesetter Prevention Program of the Gwinnett County Fire & Emergency Services;
Officer Neil Bullock with the Snellville Police Department received the Lifesaving Award, given to the public safety official/unit in recognition of acts taken in a life-threatening situation where an individual’s life is in jeopardy
Gwinnett County Police Department’s Central Precinct Day Watch was named the Public Safety Unit of the Year, awarded to the unit that has performed its job with exceptional skill, expertise, innovation and results;
Officer Sr. Richey with the Gwinnett County Police Department was named the Public Safety Person of the Year, awarded to the person who has performed their job with exceptional skill, expertise, innovation and results
Communications Officer Andrea Goins was named the Communications Officer of the Year, presented to the individual who has performed his/her job with exceptional skill, expertise, innovation and results.
In addition to these awards, Bill Stevens, recently retired from the City of Duluth Police Department, was given the Public Safety Leadership Award. This award is designed to honor senior public safety professionals (Lieutenant – Chief) who have performed their job(s) with exceptional skill and expertise having shown innovation in leadership and team building.
“Mobile Communications of Gwinnett is a proud supporter of the Valor Awards because of the recognition this program gives to men and women who, without hesitation, put their lives on the line for us, our homes, and our businesses,” said Cathy Nichols, CEO, Mobile Communications of Gwinnett. “The Valor Awards gives the community the opportunity to thank our public safety professionals for their ultimate sacrifice allowing us to live the wonderful life that we have in Gwinnett County.”
The Gwinnett Chamber’s Valor Awards program is part of the Gwinnett Chamber series of award programs designed to recognize those who contribute to Gwinnett’s strong quality of life creating a solid environment for business growth. For more information on the Valor Awards, visit www.valorawards.com. For upcoming information on the Gwinnett Chamber’s next awards program, the Pinnacle Awards, visit pinnaclesmallbusinessawards.com.
The Gwinnett Chamber celebrated a record-breaking year Friday evening in front of a sold-out crowd of over 1,000 business and community leaders from across Gwinnett and metro Atlanta at the 65th Annual Dinner Presented by Gwinnett Medical Center. The formal celebration was held at the Thomas P. Hughes Grand Ballroom at Gwinnett Center. Guests were welcomed and invited to take a stroll down the Gwinnett Daily Post Red Carpet at the event that is staged to highlight Gwinnett’s success and honor those who have made a difference in the community.
“The dinner serves as a celebration of the people of Gwinnett who – by their service, volunteerism and commitment – allow our community to reach new heights and set goals to strive for in the future,” said Raymer Sale, 2012 Gwinnett Chamber Chairman and E2E Resources, Inc. President. “Through the efforts of the leaders being honored, the Gwinnett Chamber and the community it serves will continue to thrive and prosper.”
In addition to reviewing the Gwinnett Chamber’s 2012 accolades and the achievements of the Gwinnett community by incoming Chair Philip R. Wolfe, President and CEO, Gwinnett Medical Center, the evening celebrated the exceptional accomplishments of the following honorees:
Barbara Howard, Suzanna’s Kitchen, is the recipient of the Citizen of the Year Award, which honors individuals whose services have had the greatest impact on the overall quality of life for Gwinnett County in recent years.
Public Service Awards are given to individuals who, over the years, have gone above and beyond in their service to the community and its residents. This year’s honorees included: Judge Stephen Franzen, Gwinnett County Juvenile Courts; Mayor Nancy Harris, City of Duluth; Paige Havens; Joe McCart, The McCart Group; David McCleskey, Gwinnett County Public Schools; and Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, Gwinnett County Public School Board.
The R. Wayne Shackelford Legacy Award, honoring the memory and legacy of an individual who has made a difference in the history and progress of Gwinnett County, was awarded posthumously to Barbara King.
The Jackson Jinright Charitable Foundation and Partnership Against Domestic Violence received the D. Scott Hudgens Humanitarian Award given in honor of Scott Hudgens, a respected developer and philanthropist who unselfishly gave of his time and talents to ensure that many others, especially those with limited means, would benefit from his treasure.
In addition, Nancy McGill, Owner, Cartridge World – Lawrenceville, received the 2012 Ambassador of the Year Award for her outstanding commitment, dedication and service to the Gwinnett Chamber.
Marking a unique event in Gwinnett Chamber history, Belk and Micromeritics Instrument Corporation were honored for their 50-year commitment to the Chamber and the local business community. As Gwinnett Chamber members for 50 years, Belk and Micromeritics are the first members to have reached this milestone.
Special recognition was also given by the Chamber and local community leaders to retired Gwinnett Chamber President & CEO Jim Maran for his nine years of service and dedication to Gwinnett. In recognition of Maran’s economic development efforts and his vision to bring diverse foreign-based business enterprises and principals to the Chamber, Gwinnett Chamber 2012 Chair Raymer Sale presented the inaugural James J. Maran International Award to WIKA Instrument, LP. The annual award was developed to recognize an international company that has chosen to locate in Gwinnett, taking advantage of Gwinnett’s pro-business mindset, and become an active member of the Chamber and the local community.
Gwinnett County Public Schools CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks announced the Jim Maran Scholarship for STEM Studies for his unwavering support for the school district, public education, and instructional initiatives in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM. Partnering with the Gwinnett Chamber Board of Directors, the Gwinnett County Board of Education established the scholarship within the Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation Fund, Inc. The scholarship will be awarded annually beginning this year to a Gwinnett high school graduate who intends to pursue a career in a STEM field.
U.S. Congressman Rob Woodall also recognized Maran for his many efforts in growing and strengthening the Gwinnett and metro Atlanta business community.
“The significance of the Annual Dinner is grounded in the event’s recognition of Gwinnett’s most visionary leaders,” said Philip R. Wolfe, Gwinnett Medical Center President and CEO and Gwinnett Chamber 2013 Chairman. “The Annual Dinner showcases the cooperative work of our leaders throughout the region which, in turn, comes back to benefit Gwinnett County.”
For more information on the Annual Dinner, contact Alicia Krogh at 770-232-8809 or email@example.com.
Gwinnett County (METRO ATLANTA) GA – December 5 – The Gwinnett Chamber’sHealthcare Excellence Awards honored more than 40 professionals and organizations for their contribution to the continued well-being of Gwinnett and metro Atlanta citizens. Of those nominated, nine winners were announced, receiving long-deserved recognition for outstanding effort and commitment to the healthcare industry.
“As a business that works intricately with companies in the healthcare industry to achieve HIPAA Regulatory Compliance, CompliancePoint is a proud supporter of Gwinnett and metro Atlanta’s thriving medical community,” said Jeff Brown, VP of Sales & Marketing, CompliancePoint, Inc. “The Gwinnett Chamber’s Healthcare Excellence Awards program offers a unique opportunity to thank the people and organizations of this vital industry.”
Through these awards, the Gwinnett Chamber saluted excellence, encouraged innovation, and offered examples of best practices for others to emulate. The program was designed to raise awareness in the community, enhance the quality of healthcare and, of course, recognize deserving individuals and organizations within the healthcare community.
Jim Maran, President &CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber, commented, “Healthcare is a vital component to our community’s long-term sustainability and growth. As citizens of Gwinnett, we can all take pride in and be thankful for our community’s solid reputation for quality healthcare that ensures our well-being and provides further opportunities to attract new business, create jobs and afford a strong and well-rounded place to live, work and raise a family.”
“These individuals are exemplary in their fields and to honor them at this celebratory event is truly our privilege as a community,” added Maran. “This is our night to say thank you, to show gratitude and demonstrate the respect we have for our healthcare heroes and all they do to contribute to Gwinnett’s overall success. Congratulations to all our winners!”
The Gwinnett Chamber Healthcare Excellence Awards is one example of several quality recognition and awards programs it produces throughout the year to honor the individuals and initiatives making an impact in the community. The Chamber’s next awards program, the heralded Gwinnett Chamber Annual Dinner, is scheduled for February 1, 2013. Please make plans to attend this once-a-year event attracting over 1,000 leaders from the metro Atlanta community for a gala and celebration of leadership and collaboration at the Gwinnett Center. For more information, visit www.gwinnettannualdinner.com.
Event focused on education, entrepreneurs, young professionals
(GWINNETT- METRO ATLANTA) November 16, 2012— Partnership Gwinnett and Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development held its annual Partnership Gwinnett Community and Economic Development Summit today at Gwinnett Technical College’s Busbee Center. Presented by T-Mobile, the event highlighted the initiative’s achievements over the past five quarters and was attended by more than 175 community and business leaders. Local and regional speakers presented on topics ranging from education to entrepreneurship, with the central theme of recruiting and retaining young professionals in Gwinnett County.
Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash, who delivered opening remarks, commented, “Gwinnett County has experienced yet another successful year, now celebrating 41 consecutive months with the lowest unemployment of the five core metro Atlanta counties. This is through the coordinated efforts of community individuals and businesses working together.”
Since July 2011, Partnership Gwinnett launched 116 new projects, conducted more than 130 existing industry visits, received the 2012 International Economic Development Council’s Gold Excellence Award for best Entrepreneurship program, and hosted inaugural programs including the Movers & Makers Awards, Redevelopment Bus Tour and Healthcare Summit.
“This annual Summit provides the perfect stage to showcase the commitment of Partnership Gwinnett and the community,” stated Philip R. Wolfe, CEO/President of Gwinnett Medical Center and 2012 Partnership Gwinnett Chairman. “These achievements represent the support and collaboration of Partnership Gwinnett’s many public and private partners, whose dedication is essential to the initiative’s continued success.”
The event also offered a platform for the release of two supporting publications: the Partnership Gwinnett Annual Report and the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Gwinnett Market Report. Both pieces highlight Gwinnett’s competitive edge in technology, entrepreneurship, education and global business, and spotlight the area’s quality of life offerings.
Summit sessions focused on growing trends and best practices in education, entrepreneurship and community development. Dr. Christopher Ray, Principal of the Gwinnett Online Campus, addressed participants from his virtual classroom during the education session that explored how education and business leaders are preparing students to be a part of the future workforce.
A panel of entrepreneurs and small business owners discussed innovations, trends and news in the evolution of entrepreneurship during the “Cultivating Entrepreneurs, Getting a ‘Jumpstart’ on the Future” session. Among the panelists was Sanjay Parekh, founder of Startup Riot, a networking event focused around startup pitches to an audience comprised of recent grads, technology investors and other startups.
The final session, “Community First, Job Second” focused on what Gwinnett communities are doing to address the fact that young professionals are increasingly choosing the place they want to live before the place they want to work.
Moderating this discussion was Joe Allen, Executive Director, Gwinnett Place CID. “It is vital for Gwinnett County to take action to ensure young professionals will still continue to live, work, and play in our community now and in the future. This includes putting in place policies and practices that attract, recruit and retain this demographic.”
The keynote address, “Our Community at a Crossroad—Where are Tomorrow’s Leaders Today?”, featured Brian Leary, the creative mind behind the redevelopment of the Atlantic Steel property, now known as Atlantic Station. The project, which has become a national model for smart growth, represents the creation of a complete live-work-play community. Leary discussed methods for cultivating the next generation of leaders in Gwinnett.
The much-anticipated event was possible thanks to generous sponsoring businesses and organizations, including presenting sponsor T-Mobile.
“T-Mobile is proud to be the presenting sponsor of the annual Partnership Gwinnett Summit for a fourth consecutive year,” stated Ann Brooks of T-Mobile Engineering, South Region. “Studies show that delivering broadband to a community can increase its per capita income by nearly four percent, as recently reported by FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel. To keep up with the growing demand and new wireless innovations, T-Mobile is making significant investments throughout the country, including upgrades in Gwinnett. By modernizing our network, metro Atlanta communities now enjoy faster data speeds, enhanced quality and better coverage to remain competitive and connected.”
Additional sponsors and supporters included the Atlanta Business Chronicle, City of Sugar Hill, Gwinnett Business Journal, Gwinnett Technical College, Gwinnett Village CID, Jackson EMC and Palmetto Grant Consulting.