Tapped by the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce to carry its leadership torch, Gwinnett Magazine delved a little deeper to learn what makes
Dan Kaufman tick and to learn his future vision for Gwinnett.
GM: How running a chamber of commerce will differ from running a college?
DK: “Both are important public service positions with organizational missions. At Georgia Gwinnett College, I was tasked with re-imagining the way higher education is delivered. Stepping into an established organization, recognized as one of the top in the U.S., the idea is to sustain its level of excellence and to define the vision for the Chamber”s role in a more mature Gwinnett.”#
GM: What leadership skills, gained from your military career and other professional experiences, will you apply to your Chamber role?
DK: “I”m a believer in vision, in knowing what you want to achieve. My job as a leader is to share a compelling vision with others and then inspire people to be involved with accomplishing it. Build a high performance team and then get out of their way!
GM: Has being a Gwinnett resident helped prepare you to be the Chamber president?
DK: “I”ve been impressed how engaged Gwinnett leaders are with the community. This level of sustained community engagement is uncommon. This legacy of selfless service, always asking how do we get better as a community, is a challenge I embrace.”#
GM: How do you unwind?
DK: “I”m a golfer of great enthusiasm, but no talent. Growing up in Brunswick, Ga., I was a good athlete and played baseball. I”m both an avid Braves fan and avid reader – a great lover of biographies and student of history.”#
GM: What drives you to succeed?
DK: “My army career has taught me how to be the right kind of leader and that people of great talent put it to use in service of others. From the day I arrived at West Point they talked about duty and aspiring to a lifetime of service to our nation. I”ve incorporated that into who I am today, as a result of 45 years in public service.”#
GM: Your vision for the Gwinnett Chamber.
DK: “Through strategic communications, I will articulate how special Gwinnett is, as a prototype community of tomorrow for the nation – a vibrant, diverse community of choice to live, learn, work and play. My vision is to ensure interaction of six key functions – business/industry, government, education, health care, arts/culture/entertainment and philanthropy/public service – to move Gwinnett forward and seize the opportunity to cultivate the next generation of County leaders.”#