FROM THE PRESIDENT/CEO
2016 was another year of continued growth for our community; and the collective efforts of the County, the cities, and the Chamber served to reinforce Gwinnett’s success and our region’s economic strength and vitality, as well as the quality of life for all citizens.
The Gwinnett Chamber remains committed to collaboration across the metro Atlanta region by working with our regional partners to leverage our assets, influence and resources to ensure continued progress. Toward that end, the Chamber continues its commitment to strengthen the community by helping businesses prosper and by doing our part to help facilitate economic prosperity. Signature events such as our Annual Dinner, State of the County Address, Small Business Summit, and numerous awards programs offered unparalleled networking opportunities and appropriate recognition of those who continue to foster innovation and economic growth across the region.
The Chamber is fortunate to have a talented staff, capable leadership, an active board and engaged members to support our mission of strengthening existing businesses, facilitating the growth of quality job opportunities and enriching the community’s quality of life. A shared community vision and sense of commitment means that together we will continue to ensure that “Success Lives Here.”
It was our pleasure throughout 2016 to serve you as our valued member. We appreciate your continued commitment to making the Gwinnett Chamber an integral part of the community team devoted to ensuring that Gwinnett continues to be a thriving community of choice in which to live, learn, work, and play.
The Gwinnett Chamber will be the forum for business, government, education, healthcare, arts/culture/entertainment, and philanthropic and public service communities to come together to advance our region’s economy and enrich Gwinnett’s quality of life.
The mission of the Gwinnett Chamber is to strengthen existing businesses, facilitate the growth of quality job opportunities and enrich the community’s quality of life.
OUR STRATEGIC PRIORITIES
Serve as the forum for all the major community constituents to discuss economic and quality of life opportunities and encourage action.
Advance the economic environment and quality of life for the broader community – business and general.
Provide value to all members, addressing the different needs of different types of members, to help them prosper and grow.
Further develop the Chamber into a smooth running, financially strong, collaborative organization.
Dr. Dan Kaufman, President & CEO
Anthony Rodriguez, Chairman
Sherwood McDuffie, Chair-Elect
Randy Dellinger, Past Chair
Norwood Davis, Treasurer
Craig Brown, Secretary
Perry Tindol, VC Programs
Pam Ledbetter, VC Marketing & Communications
Doug Jenkins, VC Economic Development
Sid Theus, VC Membership & CC
Terri Jondahl, VC Manufacturing
Tammy Shumate, VC Leadership
Mike Levengood, VC Education
Leticia Willis, VC Arts
Philip R. Wolfe, VC Healthcare & Life Science
Brad Carr, VC Special Events
Preston Williams, VC Sports & Entertainment
Matt Hyatt, VC Entrepreneurship & Small Business
Chuck Button, VC Community Relations
Dean Collins, VC Public Policy
Tom Andersen, Andersen Tate & Carr, P.C.
Carla Carraway, Precision Planning, Inc.
Craig Hudson, Merial, Ltd.
Gregory Jay, Chandler, Britt & Jay, LLC
Caryn McGarity, The McGarity Group, LLC
Bartow Morgan, BrandBank
Brand Morgan, Brand Properties, LLC
Sean Murphy, Procurri, LLC
Cathy Nichols, Mobile Communications of Gwinnett
Tony Powell, Webb, Tanner & Powell, P.C.
Trey Ragsdale, Kaiser Permanente
Bill Russell, Russell Landscape Companies
Raymer Sale, E2E Resources, Inc.
Dr. Manfred Sandler, CardioVascular Group, PC
Jeff Seebeck, CISCO
David Snell, E.R. Snell Contractor, Inc.
John D. Stephens, John D. Stephens, Inc.
Sidney H. Theus, American Painting & Renovations
Supt. J. Alvin Wilbanks, Gwinnett County Public Schools
Shiv Aggarwal, American Mgmt. Services, Inc.
Kerry Armstrong, Pope & Land
Chess Britt, Primerica Financial Services
Jim Brooks, Evermore CID
Dan Campbell, Hire Dynamics
Glen Cannon, Gwinnett Technical College
Steve Cannon, Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Ctr
Greg Cantrell, Living Stone Properties
Rick Chandler, Chandler, Britt & Jay, LLC
Bert Collins, West Rock
Gerald Davidson, Mahaffey Pickens Tucker, LLP
Bryan Ginn, GA Campus – PCOM
Michael Golden, Arnall Golden Gregory, LLP
Mark Goodman, Gas South
Mary Hester, LAN Systems
Stephen K. Hill, SKH Enterprises, Inc.
Jodie Huiet, Atlanta Gas Light Company
Jack Jessen, Clear Channel Outdoor
Mark Kidoo, Gwinnett Municipal Association
Trent Link, Eastside Medical Center
Bin Liu, CFS Corporation
Santiago Marquez, Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Tom Martin, Gwinnett Community Bank
Keith Mason, McKenna Long & Aldridge, LLP
Wayne Mason, Mason Family Management Company
Pat McDonough, CBO, LLC
Joy Mitchell, Office Creations, Inc.
Carol Morris, Wells Fargo
Chairman Charlotte Nash, Gwinnett Board of Commissioners
Kevin O’Brien, Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.
Representative BJ Pak, Gwinnett Legislative Delegation
Michael Paris, Council for Quality Growth
Puja Patel Lea, Troutman Sanders LLP
Dr. Stanley “Stas” Preczewski, Georgia Gwinnett College
Randy Redner, Community Foundation of NE Georgia
Bill Sloan, Pond & Company
Ontario Smith, AT&T
Adam Taussig, BB&T
Michael Tennant, Alston & Bird, LLP
Lee Tucker, Mahaffey Pickens Tucker, LLP
Richard Tucker, Arlington Capital, LLC
Senator Renee Unterman, Gwinnett Legislative Delegation
Annie Valenty, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Chuck Warbington, City of Lawrenceville
Marvin Willis, Smith & Howard CPA
SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENTS IN 2016
- Launched ‘Welcome New Business’ newsletters initiative mailed monthly to new businesses as they license within Gwinnett County.
- Gwinnett Young Professionals launched its inaugural cohort of the Leadership Institute at the Gwinnett Chamber. The inaugural cohort consisted of 30 young professionals from the metro Atlanta community.
- Atlanta Regional Commission Chairman Kerry Armstrong presented to a sold-out crowd at the first General Membership Meeting of the year.
- Membership and Sponsorship Campaign achieved highest goal of $1.225 million.
- 68th Annual Dinner celebrated the best and brightest in Gwinnett business and community leadership to more than 850 guests.
- Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash presented to more than 700 attendees at the annual State of the County Address.
- Kicked off half-day small business boot camps with Small Business Marketing Boot Camp.
- Gwinnett Young Professionals hosted its first CEO Panel at Gwinnett Technical College.
- Honored public safety professionals for bravery and service at 10th annual Valor Awards ceremony.
- Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners issued 4th annual Gwinnett Small Business Week proclamation.
- 28 businesses and community leaders from Gwinnett participated in the Washington, D.C. Fly-In and met with members of the Gwinnett congressional delegation, as well as other D.C. decision-makers to share views on federal legislation impacting businesses and the community.
- Chamber Staff and Gwinnett Young Professionals led cleanup, gardening and planting efforts at annual Chamber Gives Back Day at George Pierce Park.
- Small Business programs attendance surpasses previous year’s attendance.
- Gwinnett Leadership Organization for Women hosted its 3rd annual wine tasting and business connection at Duluth Town Green with more than 200 participants.
- Hosted 2nd annual IMPACT Regional Business Awards celebrating leading organizations in top industries with more than 550 attendees.
- Held first Tri-Chamber Lake & Luau networking event at Lanier Islands with a sold-out crowd of more than 500 members from the Cumming-Forsyth, Gwinnett and Greater Hall Chambers of Commerce.
- Celebrated the 3rd annual Gwinnett Small Business Week with targeted events and communications.
- Gwinnett Young Professionals hosts its first Day at the Capitol.
- Gwinnett Young Professionals Leadership Institute held its inaugural commencement exercises for a graduating class of 30, with C. Norwood Davis as the commencement speaker.
- Launched the first Executive Insights Series featuring Ed Bastian, CEO, Delta Airlines with more than 200 attendees.
- Ben Hames, Deputy Commissioner, Workforce, Georgia Department of Economic Development spoke to a sold-out crowd at the General Membership Meeting.
- The Gwinnett Chamber volunteer membership and sponsorship campaign kicked off its 11th year with a fundraising goal of $1.275 million.
- More than 900 participants loosened their ties, kicked off their wingtips and grabbed a co-worker for a low-risk, high-reward race down Sugarloaf Parkway at the 6th annual Button Down Dash 5K/10K.
- Hosted more than 300 attendees at the General Membership Meeting featuring Gwinnett’s Fortune 500 CEOs.
- Launched Gwinnett Small Business Resources Community Connections initiative with City of Sugar Hill.
- Gwinnett Young Professionals celebrated its one-year anniversary with a social at Eagle Rock Distributing Company.
- 70 attendees explored innovative ideas and initiatives during the Strategic Leadership Visit to Houston.
- Alvin Wilbanks, CEO & Superintendent, Gwinnett County Public Schools presented the State of the Schools Address to a sold-out crowd at the General Membership Meeting.
- Held 3rd annual Gwinnett Small Business Summit featuring the Pinnacle Small Business Awards with more than 500 in attendance.
- Gwinnett Young Professionals led service project in conjunction with Junior Achievement of Gwinnett.
- Honored key city, county, federal, state and school board officials at the annual Key Leadership Reception.
- Celebrated annual Small Business Saturday in the community.
- Griff Lynch, Executive Director, Georgia Ports Authority presented to more than 250 guests at the General Membership Meeting.
- The Gwinnett Young Professionals Leadership Institute held its Case Study Presentations at the Daniel J. Kaufman Library at Georgia Gwinnett College.
- Healthcare Awards recognized leading individuals and organizations making a significant in the region.
- The Gwinnett Leadership Organization for Women held its first Holiday Soirée at the River Club, connecting nearly 150 professionals.
MEMBERSHIP BY NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES
1-3 Employees – 30.7%
4-9 Employees – 20.2%
10-25 Employees – 18.7%
26-49 Employees – 10%
50-99 Employees – 8.8%
100-199 Employees – 6%
200+ Employees – 5.6%
MEMBERSHIP BY INDUSTRY
Manufacturing & Distribution – 6.2%
Construction & Contracting – 5.5%
Organizations – 4.8%
Health Products & Services – 4.7%
Real Estate – 4.6%
Financial Services – 4.2%
Restaurants – 4.0%
Education – 3.3%
Advertising & Marketing – 3.1%
Insurance – 3.1%
Retail – 3.0%
Automotive – 2.9%
Information Technology – 2.7%
Banks – 2.7%
Government Offices – 2.3%
Hospitality – 2.2%
Legal Services – 2.2%
Consulting – 2.0%
Physicians & Healthcare Providers – 1.9%
Employment & Human Resources – 1.8%
Accounting Services – 1.8%
Entertainment – 1.7%
Engineering – 1.6%
Other – 27.7%
MEMBERSHIP BY LOCATION
Inside Gwinnett – 78.6%
Outside Gwinnett – 21.4%
GWINNETT SMALL BUSINESS RESOURCES
Launched in 2014, Gwinnett Small Business Resources was developed to provide entrepreneurs and small business owners with a comprehensive collection of resources, education, programs and tools to: assist in properly starting, sustaining and continuing to succeed in business, raise awareness of resources available to aid in success, position the Chamber as a reliable starting point for finding business assistance, gain practical and functional education in topic-specific areas of business and deliver relevant programming to help businesses grow successfully.
EAT & EDUCATE WORKSHOPS
Monthly educational workshops and seminars focus on small business needs. The “Eat & Educate” series provided small business owners with in-person, topic-specific opportunities to gain the tools they need to be successful in business. Varying topics included marketing, surviving the first five years, finance and cash flow, legal and compliance, business plans, setting goals, minority assistance, networking, sales training, tradeshow tips and more.
A community effort enabling the chambers small business resource efforts to be more accessible to the business community, whereby the Chamber will begin to facilitate bi-monthly consultations, monthly workshops and group discussions with business owners, mentors and local entrepreneurs from Gwinnett city locations, beginning with the Suite Spot, a business incubator in downtown Sugar Hill.
SMALL BUSINESS ESSENTIALS ‘ON THE ROAD’
The quarterly “On The Road” program, hosted throughout Gwinnett County, introduced the many resources available to small businesses. This portable panel of real experts included the Small Business Development Center, SCORE, minority assistance experts, as well as local city and county representatives knowledgeable in licensing, planning, economic development and more. Attendees learned about the many free or low-cost resources available to help their business succeed.
SMALL BUSINESS SUMMIT
The Small Business Summit provided access to a full day of resources, tools, strategies and education for existing small businesses or those considering taking the leap into business ownership. Attendees participated in breakout sessions on topics such as funding, planning, marketing, networking, sales, service and enjoyed engaging keynote presentations and a resource fair/expo.
PINNACLE SMALL BUSINESS AWARDS
The Pinnacle Small Business Awards honored small businesses that dare to start, strive to sustain and persevere to succeed, playing an ongoing significant role in driving our business community and economic growth. Award categories included: Family-Owned Small Business of the Year, Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year, Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year, Home-Based Small Business of the Year, Small Business Rising Star of the Year, Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Small Business of the Year: 0 – 5 Employees, Small Business of the Year: 6 – 24 Employees, Small Business of the Year: 25+ Employees and Resource Champion of the Year.
IN ADDITION, WE:
- Provided small business half-day boot camp training sessions in the high demand topics of Marketing, Sales, Networking and Professional Development.
- Launched our ‘Welcome New Business’ newsletter which is mailed monthly to new businesses as they license in Gwinnett County. This publication congratulates them on their business launch and invites them to visit us for a consultation or to attend an upcoming small business workshop.
- Celebrated our 3rd annual Gwinnett Small Business Week.
- Held 3rd annual Gwinnett Small Business Summit featuring the Pinnacle Small Business Awards with nearly 500 in attendance.
- Received 578 Pinnacle Small Business Awards nominations and 486 Pinnacle Small Business Awards applications.
- Continued our partnership with SCORE to host multiple runs of their five-module training program, SimpleSTEPS™ for Starting a Business.
- Conducted 180 small business consultations to help entrepreneurs start or grow their business.
PROGRAMS & EVENTS
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
- 2016 Platinum Marcom Creative Award—2015 Year in Review (e-annual report category)
- 2016 Gold Marcom Creative Award—“Rumor Has It” promo video (nonprofit category)
- 2016 Platinum Hermes Award—“Rumor Has It” promo video (corporate image category and Nonprofit category)
- 2016 Gold Hermes Award—Gwinnett edge (magazine category)
- 2016 Videographer Award of Excellence—“Rumor Has It” promo video (promo video category)
- 2016 ACCE ACE (Award for Creative Excellence) Award—Gwinnett edge (publications category)
- 2016 PRSA Phoenix Award of Excellence—2015 Year in Review (annual report category for nonprofit organizations)
- 2016 APEX Award of Excellence—Gwinnett edge
1. COMPREHENSIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Optimize efforts aimed at the recruitment, retention and expansion of new and existing companies in Gwinnett’s five target sectors: Advanced Manufacturing, Professional & Corporate Services, Health Sciences & Services, Information & Technology Solutions and Supply Chain Management. Continue to encourage companies of all sizes to contribute to job growth and wealth creation, including entrepreneurs and small business, as well as international and minority-owned businesses.
2. WORLD CLASS TALENT
Promote the success of Pre-K through 12th grade educational systems while encouraging the expansion of higher education institutions. Support the enhancement of talent-development programs and resources to meet the needs of the growing Gwinnett community.
3. COMMUNITY AND LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Encourage mobility and competitive infrastructure within Gwinnett and throughout the region; promote redevelopment and more sustainable development patterns; enhance the arts, cultural and recreational resources of the County, as well as the development of dynamic public spaces and activity centers; maximize Gwinnett’s diversity to enhance community vitality; foster the next generation of leadership; and boost awareness of community assets.
PROJECTS TO NOTE
Kaiser Permanente expanded its operation in Gwinnett with the opening of a 150,000-square-foot facility representing a $55 million capital investment and 820 new jobs. Partnership Gwinnett provided the following assistance:
- Coordinated the project announcement in conjunction
with the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the State of Georgia and Governor Nathan Deal
- Facilitated fast-track permitting
- Facilitated a strategic partnership with Gwinnett Technical College and the ARC for training and recruitment
Hollis Cobb Associates, a leading accounts receivable management company, announced the expansion of its regional headquarters, which will add hundreds of news jobs to the Gwinnett Place CID. Partnership Gwinnett provided the following assistance:
- Facilitated a fast-track permitting process
- Partnered with the State of Georgia and Georgia Power to assist with press and marketing of company expansion
- Served as project liaison and assisted with site selection
UPS located a new state of the art training facility, UPS Integrad in Gwinnett County. The facility provides next-generation driver training to serve customers safely and efficiently. Partnership Gwinnett provided the following assistance:
- Introduced the company to community partners and resources
- Partnered with the Atlanta Regional Commission to facilitate on-the-job training resources and funding
- Arranged tour of local facility for workforce and education partners
Georgia Gwinnett College: The College saw a 5.1% increase in enrollment this year and was ranked the #10 Top Public School in the Southern Region by U.S. News & World Report (2017 College Compass). The college’s cumulative total economic impact, which includes capital outlays since the college was established, totals more than $2.3 billion.
Buford City Schools: Enrollment in Buford High School’s Career and Technical Education programs continues its year-over-year growth. In addition to a work-based learning program, BHS offers career and technical education pathways in marketing, graphic communications, nutrition and food science, healthcare science and education.
Georgia Campus – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine: The inaugural Class of 2018 Physician Assistant (PA) Studies commenced in June with 20 students. The Class of 2016 included nearly 300 students– 58 Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences, 98 Doctor of Pharmacy and 128 Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.
Greater Atlanta Christian School: As an extension to their “Finding Your Calling” curriculum, GACS has added a new Internship/Shadowing component to provide students with additional enrichment opportunities to shape their professional aspirations.
Gwinnett County Public Schools: The District’s scores on the Georgia College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI), which considers achievement, progress, and achievement gap closure, surpassed the state’s averages for elementary, middle and high schools.
Gwinnett Technical College: WalletHub, a personal finance website, has ranked GTC as the #1 Community College in Georgia, recognizing the college’s significant value and return on investment for its students. Gwinnett Tech ranked #33 nationally, putting it in the top 5% of all community colleges.
University of Georgia Gwinnett Campus: The campus provides graduate-level programs designed for working professionals. Professional academic fields include pharmaceutical regulatory affairs, information technology, higher education, non profit leadership, social work, public administration, sports management and business.
- 36 startup presentations
- 10 received funds from Gwinnett-based investors
- Three of those 10 companies are based in Gwinnett
- $600,000 — total Gwinnett Angel investment
- $300,000 of that has gone to Gwinnett startups