Gwinnett Chamber 2015 Annual Report | A look back at the successes of 2015
home,page-template,page-template-full_width,page-template-full_width-php,page,page-id-14229,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-title-hidden,qode-theme-ver-8.0,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.6,vc_responsive
Slide background


Thanks to the extraordinary energy of the local business, education, government, healthcare, arts, and philanthropic and service communities, Gwinnett County and the Gwinnett Chamber continued to thrive and enhance the quality of life for all citizens in 2015. It was a year of continued growth for our community, and our collective efforts served to reinforce Gwinnett’s success and our region’s economy and overall prosperity.


Indeed, 2016 is off to a great start and promises shared opportunities to continue to build upon our achievements. The Chamber is committed to helping leverage our entire array of assets and resources to ensure continued progress and growth, working strategically and collaboratively with all sectors of our community to make sure Gwinnett remains the economic engine of growth for metro Atlanta.

Toward that end, it is essential that the Chamber continues to strengthen the community by helping businesses prosper and driving economic prosperity. This collective goal means implementing strategies and solutions designed to encourage investment and job creation.


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. With a shared community vision and sense of commitment, we will continue to ensure that “Success Lives Here.”



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.


  • 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
Randy Dellinger, Chairman
Anthony Rodriguez, Chair-Elect
Carla Carraway, Past Chair
Norwood Davis, Treasurer
Craig Brown, Secretary
Perry Tindol, VC Programs
Pam Ledbetter, VC Marketing & Communications
Doug Jenkins, VC Economic Development

Sherwood McDuffie, VC Membership & CC
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


Tom Andersen, Andersen Tate & Carr, P.C.
Delores Crowell, AT&T
Robert Dobbs, Wells Fargo
Ron Garrard, Garrard Group
Craig Hudson, Merial, Ltd.
Gregory Jay, Chandler, Britt & Jay, LLC
Terri Jondahl, CAB, Incorporated
Caryn McGarity, The McGarity Group, LLC
Bartow Morgan, BrandBank
Brand Morgan, Brand Properties, LLC
Sean Murphy, Procurri, LLC

Cathy Nichols, Mobile Communications of Gwinnett
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
Steve Williams, United Community Bank


Shiv Aggarwal, American Mgmt. Services, Inc.
Kerry Armstrong, Pope & Land
Chess Britt, Primerica Financial Services
Jim Brooks, Evermore CID
Glen Cannon, Gwinnett Technical College
Steve Cannon, Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Ctr
Greg Cantrell, Living Stone Properties
Rick Chandler, Chandler, Britt & Jay, LLC
Dean Collins, T.Y. Lin International Company
Bryan Ginn, GA Campus – PCOM
Michael Golden, Arnall Golden Gregory, LLP
Mary Hester, LAN Systems
Stephen K. Hill, SKH Enterprises, Inc.
David Jacobson, Direct Technologies, Inc.
Jack Jessen, Clear Channel Outdoor
Greg King, WestRock
Bin Liu, CFS Corporation
Jim Maran
Tom Martin, Gwinnett Community Bank
Keith Mason, McKenna Long & Aldridge, LLP
Wayne Mason, Mason Family Management Company
Bill McCargo, B Mac Associates
Pat McDonough, CBO, LLC

Mike McGarity, The McGarity Group, LLC
Chairman Charlotte Nash, Gwinnett Board of Commissioners
Prince Niyyar, Commdex Consulting
Representative BJ Pak, Gwinnett Legislative Delegation
Michael Paris, Council for Quality Growth
Dr. Stanley “Stas” Preczewski, Georgia Gwinnett College
Trey Ragsdale, Kaiser Permanente
Randy Redner, Community Foundation of NE Georgia
Harry Rice, Atkins North America
Scott Schmidly, Eastside Medical Center
Bruce Sharp, BB&T
Bill Sloan, Pond & Company
Jim Smith, The Atlanta Falcons
Michael Tennant, Alston & Bird, LLP
Lee Tucker, Mahaffey Pickens Tucker, LLP
Richard Tucker, Arlington Capital, LLC
Senator Renee Unterman, Gwinnett Legislative Delegation
Chuck Warbington, Gwinnett Village CID
Phil Weatherly, Gas South
Connie Wiggins, Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful
Mayor Allison Wilkerson, Gwinnett Municipal Association
Marvin Willis, Smith & Howard CPA


The Gwinnett Chamber saw many successes in 2015. Take a look at this small sampling of more than 250 events, launches, unveilings and accolades.


  • Kerry Armstrong presented to a sold-out crowd and projected Gwinnett County to be the most populous county by 2040 at the State of Region luncheon


  • Launched the Small Business SimpleSTEPS™ program in partnership with SCORE to help prepare entrepreneurs for small business ownership
  • Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash presented “The Big Picture” to more than 700 attendees at the annual State of the County Address
  • Gwinnett Leadership Organization for Women debuted its Public Service Power Panel
  • 67th Annual Dinner celebrated best and brightest in Gwinnett business and community leadership
  • Membership and Sponsorship Campaign achieved highest goal of $1.175 million


  • Launched Small Business Global Classroom which includes anytime-access of thousands of online courses and video tutorials for business owners and their employees
  • Honored public safety professionals for bravery and service at annual Valor Awards ceremony


  • Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners issued 2nd annual Gwinnett Small Business Week proclamation
  • Twenty-five 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


  • Hosted Gwinnett County Public Library Strategic Planning Committee and Retreat
  • Hosted White House Initiative for Asian and Pacific Islanders in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration
  • Hosted Gwinnett County Public Schools Student Entrepreneur Shark Tank Finals
  • Staff led cleanup, gardening and planting efforts at annual Chamber Gives Back Day at George Pierce Park
  • Gwinnett Leadership Organization for Women celebrated its anniversary with a wine tasting business connection at Duluth Town Green
  • Debuted inaugural IMPACT Regional Business Awards celebrating leading organizations in top industries with more than 550 in attendance


  • Signed Strategic Alliance Memorandum with U.S. Small Business Administration, contractually committing to partner in supporting small businesses
  • Celebrated the 2nd annual Gwinnett Small Business Week with targeted events and promotion communications


  • Gwinnett Leadership Organization for Women launched Quick Connections speed networking event in response to participant requests


  • Launched innovative text communications tool
  • 10-year anniversary campaign kick-off
  • More than 350 gathered at the General Membership Meeting to hear from United States Senator David Perdue
  • 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 annual Button Down Dash 5K/10K
  • Received accreditation from GACCE as a Georgia Certified Chamber
  • The Gwinnett Chamber volunteer membership and sponsorship campaign kicked off its 10-year anniversary with a fundraising goal of $1.225 million


  • Partnered with UGA Gwinnett Campus for Small Business Marketing Boot Camp
  • Gwinnett Young Professionals launched with a kick-off social at Eagle Rock Distributing Company
  • More than 65 attendees explored innovative ideas and initiatives during the Strategic Leadership Visit to Boston


  • Partnered in Gwinnett County Public Schools’ career connection event
  • Gwinnett Young Professionals held its inaugural leadership workshop at Greater Atlanta Christian School
  • Gwinnett Young Professionals demonstrated its community support with a service project with the Gwinnett Children’s Shelter
  • Dawn Ely, President of the World Trade Center Atlanta, presented to the Gwinnett Leadership Organization for Women
  • Honored key city, county, federal, state and school board officials at the renowned Key Leadership Reception


  • Held 2nd annual Gwinnett Small Business Summit featuring the Pinnacle Small Business Awards with a record crowd of nearly 500 in attendance
  • Celebrated annual Small Business Saturday in the community
  • Gwinnett Young Professionals led a service project with the Discovery Center of Gwinnett


  • Healthcare heroes honored at annual Healthcare Excellence Awards
  • Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle delivered a much-anticipated update to 250 at the Legislative Luncheon



Finance/Banking – 7.1%

Health Products/Healthcare – 6.7%

Manufacturing/Distributing – 6.1%

Hospitality/Restaurants – 6%

Construction/Contracting – 5.6%

Other Professional Services – 4.8%

Real Estate – 4.5%

Advertising/Marketing – 3.5%

Education – 3.2%

Information Technology – 3%

Retail – 2.8%

Government – 2.4%

Legal Services – 2.3%

Other – 7.5%

Membership by Number of Employees


1-3 employees – 29.7%

4-9 employees – 19.8%

10-25 employees – 19.9%

26-49 employees – 9.9%

50-99 employees – 8.9%

100-199 employees – 6%

200+ employees – 5.8%

Membership by Location


Inside Gwinnett – 75.5%

Outside Gwinnett – 24.5%


General Member – 81.8%

Chairman’s Club Member – 18.2%



Eat & Educate Workshops


Small Business Essentials Panels


Small Business Summit Attendees


Simple Steps to Starting a Business Training Sessions


Small Business Consultations


Pinnacle Small Business Awards Nominees


Small Business Resources & News Email Subscribers


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.



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, trade show tips and more.


The bi-monthly “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.


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 tabletop exhibit.


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.


We partnered with SCORE to host multiple runs of their five-module training program, SimpleSTEPS™ for Starting a Business. SimpleSTEPS™ for Starting Your Business is a multi-session training program developed and offered exclusively through SCORE, Counselors to America’s Small Businesses. This program was designed at a national level for people who have started, or are considering starting a small business, but need to do a little leg work, paperwork and feasibility research. Modules include: Start-Up Basics, Business Concept, Marketing Plans, Financial Projections and Funding Sources.

In Addition, We:

  • Added a continuing run of the SCORE SimpleSTEPS™ program during evening hours to help prepare entrepreneurs for business ownership.
  • Added Global Classroom to our resources, which provides a total education solution in business, technology and career readiness. The solution includes thousands of online courses and video tutorials for business owners and their employees to access anytime and from anywhere. The platform also includes a Learning Management System (LMS) for course management, course development and tracking course participation. Course content comes from a growing list of nationally-recognized and training companies such as SkillSoft, Microsoft, FranklinCovey, Emily Post and WIN Learning.
  • Celebrated our 2nd annual Gwinnett Small Business Week.
  • Signed Strategic Alliance Memorandum with U.S. Small Business Administration, contractually committing to work together to support small businesses.
  • Held 2nd annual Gwinnett Small Business Summit featuring the Pinnacle Small Business Awards with nearly 500 in attendance.
  • Received 285 Pinnacle Small Business Award nominations and 176 Pinnacle Small Business Award applicants.
  • Co-sponsored the U.S. Small Business Administration Emerging Leaders Program, a seven-month executive intensive entrepreneurship education series included approximately 100 hours of classroom time per participant and provides the opportunity for small business owners to work with experienced mentors, attend workshops and develop connections with their peers, city leaders and financial communities.



Programs Department Events

  • 1 Washington D.C. Fly-In
  • 9 General Membership Meeting
  • 1 Annual Dinner
  • 1 Button Down Dash 5K/10K
  • 1 Gwinnett Expo & Job Fair
  • 1 IMPACT Regional Business Awards
  • 6 HRMA
  • 1 State of the County Address
  • 1 Healthcare Excellence Awards
  • 1 Fall Golf & Tennis Classic
  • 6 Gwinnett Leadership Organization for Women
  • 1 Key Leadership Reception
  • 1 Strategic Leadership Visit
  • 1 Valor Awards
  • 1 STAR Student Luncheon
  • 2 Principal for a Day
  • 1 Special Event


Membership Department Events

  • 100 Gwinnettworking
  • 12 Business After Hours
  • 4 Chairman’s Club Receptions
  • 4 Chairman’s Club Breakfasts
  • 1 Chairman’s Club Meet & Greet
  • 1 Chairman’s Club Golf Tournament
  • 12 Member Orientations
  • 6 Small Business Essential Panels
  • 12 Small Business Eat & Educates
  • 1 Small Business Social
  • 1 Small Business Summit
  • 1 Pinnacle Small Business Awards Ceremony
  • 1 Co-Hosted Event with Gwinnett County
  • 25 Small Business ‘SCORE Simple Steps to Starting Your Business’ Training Sessions
  • 10 US Small Business Admin. Emerging Leaders Training Sessions
  • 28 Small Business Strategic Partner Events
  • 2 Half-Day Small Business Marketing Conferences
  • 1 Gwinnett Young Professionals Social
  • 1 Gwinnett Young Professionals Leadership Workshop


Partnership Gwinnett Events

  • 4 Manufacturing & Supply Chain Forums
  • 4 Gwinnett Technology Forums
  • 2 Economic Development Breakfasts
  • 1 Business Plan Workshop
  • 1 New Company Reception
  • 1 Movers & Makers Awards
  • 1 Global Trade Summit
  • 2 Broker Events
  • 1 Redevelopment Peer Tour
  • 1 Amazing Entrepreneur Contestant Reception
  • 1 Redevelopment Forum
  • 1 Partnership Gwinnett Summit


2015 Hermes Creative Platinum AwardGwinnett edge (Publications/Magazine Category)
2015 Hermes Creative Platinum AwardGwinnett edge (Design/Publication Overall Category)
2015 Hermes Creative Gold Award – From the President editorial series (Writing/Publication Column Category)
2015 Hermes Creative Honorable Mention – 2015 Promo Video, “I’m a Member” (Video/Nonprofit Category)
2015 APEX AwardGwinnett edge (Print media /Membership & Customer Materials category)
2015 Videographer Awards Award of Distinction – 2015 Promo Video, “I’m a Member”
2015 PRSA|GA Phoenix Award of Excellence for the Gwinnett edge iPad version



New Jobs


Project Wins


Active Projects


Retention Visits








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.


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.


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.


  • InComm announced its decision to expand operations in Gwinnett County resulting in the creation of 275 jobs, mostly in information technology, in Suwanee and Peachtree Corners, and a $20 million capital investment.


  • Comcast, the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider to residential customers, selected Peachtree Corners as the site of its new regional headquarters, adding 150 new jobs and relocating the company’s existing 532 full-time local employees to an 88,000-square-foot building in the 10-story Wells building on Corners Parkway in Peachtree Corners.


  • Level 3 Communications, a leading global telecommunications provider, expanded into Gwinnett bringing more than 350 jobs. Partnership Gwinnett assisted the company with PR and marketing for its grand opening event, provided connections with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, as well as local resources, and served as the project liaison.


  • Suniva announced that it will expand its operations in the City of Norcross, representing a $96 million capital investment for the community and the addition of 500 new jobs.


The Gwinnett Angels investment group launched in 2014 and by the end of 2015 had logged the following numbers:

  • 30 pre-screening meetings conducted
  • 28 companies have presented
  • 10 presenters were based in Gwinnett
  • 7 companies received funding from County investors
  • In December 2015, the Gwinnett Angels held a “speed-dating” event in collaboration with 22TechPark, an incubator in Peachtree Corners, which featured 16 companies and more than 75 attendees.