by Justine Petruska
You see it all the time – pro athletes win a Most Valuable Player award but thank other people for enabling them to triumph. A quarterback gives kudos to the offensive line that protected his life and limb. A shooting guard who lights up the scoreboard heralds the teammates who unselfishly fed him the ball.
The Gwinnett business community has its unsung heroes, too – the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce staff that labors to help local firms succeed. In today's ultra-competitive business environment, no discussion of all-stars could be complete without celebrating the role these business advocates play in boosting the local economy.
"The chamber staff is great for all of us," says Cathy Petty Nichols, president of Mobile Communications. "They”re professional, top-notch. They take the hassle out of things and carry the load to make us look good."
One of many ways the staff make members look good in the community is through special events, like the recently held Valor Awards honoring Gwinnett”s public safety officials, who are Nichols” customers.
"The teamwork is just so strong," Nichols says. "They really pull together as a group – you don”t find that level of coordination in other counties."
Another huge fan of the chamber staff is Jeff Langford, director of marketing and advertising for the Gwinnett Business Journal. "The chamber staff is one of the most talented staffs I”ve ever worked with. Not only are they well prepared, but they always go the extra mile to ensure their members are absolutely satisfied."
Chamber board president Wayne Shackelford, meanwhile, adds that the success of Gwinnett is based on strong leadership -and that the chamber is highly regarded for uniting the efforts of the county”s business, governmental and educational sectors.
The management and staff of the Gwinnett chamber are "behind-the-scenes-specialists" with backgrounds in economic development, marketing, and community problem solving.
Those skills come in handy with the schedule the staff keeps.
Says Langford, "I constantly hear business leaders talking about how helpful and capable the chamber staff is. The support the chamber provides is making a big impact on companies across the county, from high-tech to the service industries."
Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce All-Star Roster
President and CEO
- Patsy Rooks
Vice President of Special Operations
- Alicia Krogh
Manager of Executive Programs
- Abby Headrick
Manager of Special Operations
Administration and Finance
- Larry Johnson
Chief Financial Officer
- Allison Rowe
- Rhonda Bougas
Registration & Administrative Support Manager
- Melissa Britt
Customer Service Representative
Communication and Business Resources
- Demming Bass
Vice President of Communication and Business Resources
- Gail Macrenaris
Leadership and Community Projects Manager
- Delaine Snell
- Meghan Schroder
Senior Program Manager
- Laurie McKenzie
- Ken Rutherford
Manager of Publications and Online Operations
- Scott Morris