Leaders celebrated at Gwinnett Chamber event


By: Camie Young

Published: February 7, 2014

Gwinnett’s movers and shakers made merry Friday, at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner, toasting local leaders for contributions to the community.

Former Norcross Mayor Lillian Webb, whose decades of service included becoming the first woman to chair the Gwinnett Board of Commissioners, was honored as the Citizen of the Year, 65 years after she took home a public service award at the Chamber’s first dinner.

“I am so pleased,” said Webb, who pointed to her accomplishments — from the building of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center to the civic center where the festivities were held — to the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax created by the legislature. “Look at what the penny did for all of us.”

This year, some of the state’s highest ranked politicians joined the crowd, including Gov. Nathan Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Congressmen Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston.

“You are part of what is making Georgia grow,” Deal said to the nearly 1,000 business and civic leaders in attendance at the black-tie-optional affair.

The governor and lieutenant governor talked about the successes that are bringing jobs to the local economy and talked about increasing funding for education, from kindergarten to college, to help drive more economic development.

The message meant a lot on a night meant to celebrate public service, said Chamber President Dan Kaufman.

“It’s nice to know they know and appreciate the leaders we have in Gwinnett,” Kaufman said of the state leaders who joined the dinner at the Gwinnett Center’s ballroom.

“The Chamber’s Annual Dinner serves as a celebration of the people of Gwinnett who – by their service, volunteerism, and vision – contribute to our community’s ability to reach new heights and set goals to strive for in the future,” he added about the event. “Through the efforts of these esteemed leaders being honored, the Gwinnett Chamber and the thriving community it serves will continue to thrive and prosper.”

In addition to Webb’s award, public service awards were bestowed upon Marsha Anderson Bomar, ofStantec; Dr. Frances E. Davis of Gwinnett County Public Schools; Lawrenceville Mayor Judy Jordan Johnson; former Atlanta Falcon Chuck Smith, of Football 360; and Sidney H. Theus, of American Painting and Renovations, Inc.

The R. Wayne Shackelford Legacy Award, which honors the memory and legacy of an individual who played a role in the history and progress of Gwinnett County, was awarded posthumously to C. Earle Snell of E.R. Snell Contractor, Inc.

Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful received the D. Scott Hudgens Humanitarian Award, and Bob Lamp’l, owner of Business Plans & More, Inc., received the 2013 Ambassador of the Year Award.

Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating took home the James J. Maran International Award, which recognizes an international company that has chosen to locate in Gwinnett.

“The significance of the Annual Dinner is grounded in the event’s recognition of Gwinnett’s most visionary leaders,” said Carla Carraway, the president of Precision Planning who is serving as the Gwinnett Chamber’s 2014 chairwoman. “The Annual Dinner showcases the collaborative work of our leaders throughout the region which, in turn, comes back to benefit Gwinnett County.”