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Gwinnett Chamber Names 2016 IMPACT Regional Business Award Winners

Designed to be reflective and unique to Gwinnett and across the metro Atlanta area, the Gwinnett Chamber honored more than 100 finalist organizations, across nearly ten industry categories, on Wednesday, May 18, at the IMPACT Regional Business Awards, presented by BB&T.

“The IMPACT Regional Business Awards recognize premier organizations in critical industries that are driving economic development and job creation, while enhancing our quality of life,” said Dr. Dan Kaufman, President & CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber. “In 2015, we launched this pivotal program and received a great response with nearly 500 nominations. Bringing together leaders across these important industries is another example of how the Gwinnett Chamber can fulfill its mission to serve as a community forum.”

International Award winner Pond received the 2016 Overall IMPACT Regional Business Award. With humble roots, this company began in a basement more than 50 years ago and has grown to a nearly 400-person firm, which is headquartered in Gwinnett. It provides architecture, construction, engineering and planning services to private, public and federal government clients. In addition to its local commitment, it has three international locations, including Canada, Japan and its newest in Spain. In 2016, projects have already been completed in 13 different countries, expanding its global footprint.

Other winners include:

· Builder Award: Reeves Young For nearly 65 years, this company has been based in Gwinnett. It is a people first organization, with a passion for building. Everything it does from 30 feet below ground to 30 floors above is about the clients. With a project portfolio demonstrating a broad range of complex abilities, as well as some of the most important projects in the Southeast, its enterprising approach keeps it a step ahead. Due to continued growth, it will soon build a new headquarters facility on 10 acres in the City of Sugar Hill. The much needed space will allow for the company to further realize its potential by adding to the already 120 full-time employees.

· Education Award: Georgia Gwinnett College This college serves as an engine for the community, responsible for more than $1 billion in cumulative economic impact since it opened 10 years ago. In 2006, it began with 120 students and today enrolls nearly 12,000 and continues to lead the University System of Georgia in growth. It accomplished its mission to provide access that meets the economic development needs of the growing and diverse population of the northeast Atlanta metropolitan region, by having the lowest in-state tuition and fees among ranked Georgia public colleges and by having the fifth lowest student debt in the Southern region, according to U.S. News & World Report. This school is also the most ethnically diverse Southern regional college, both public and private, supporting the landscape of Gwinnett and metro Atlanta.

· Healthcare Award: Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta For more than 100 years, this organization, has been dedicated to making kids better today and healthier tomorrow. Managing more than 900,000 patient visits annually at three hospitals and 26 neighborhood locations, it is the largest healthcare provider for children in Georgia and one of the largest pediatric clinical care providers in the country. It employs almost 10,000 throughout the metro region with nearly 2,000 of those workers calling Gwinnett County home. Offering access to more than 60 pediatric specialties and programs, it is ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

· Hospitality Award: Explore Gwinnett This organization believes if you create a place people want to visit, then you create a place people want to live. As Gwinnett’s official Destination Marketing Organization, it is dedicated to strengthening the local economy by marketing the county as a top area for tourism. The community has seen great success through its leadership, with another record-breaking year of visitor expenditures reaching over $1 billion, $9 million collected and more than 12,000 jobs tied to tourism. Gwinnett’s hotel occupancy and average daily rate continue to increase, which are key indicators of market progress. Its Gwinnett Tourism Education Program was named the “Best Hospitality Marketing Program” in Georgia by Governor Nathan Deal last year.

· Information Technology Award: GDP Technologies Garnering best practices from its parent company Xerox, this company’s mission is to improve the overall Gross Domestic Product in its community, one client at a time. With thousands of satisfied clients over the past 40 years, its track record is strong in fulfilling that objective. Its only metric of determining success is growth. With goals of 50% revenue increase by the year 2020 and adding 50 employees to their headcount, big things are on the horizon for this organization.

· Nonprofit Award: Hi-Hope Service Center This organization began in 1960 when a group of concerned parents came together to start a school for their children with developmental disabilities, at a time in which these individuals had little hope for a non-institutionalized life. Its mission today is to cultivate a community for people with developmental disabilities, by connecting them with integrated opportunities for learning, work and leisure. It currently serves nearly 120 unduplicated individuals across its three programs, and has increased those reached by 12% since this time last year. A plan for campus and staff expansion is underway, ensuring it is fully able to support adults with developmental disabilities and their families well into the future. It is well positioned to not only support individuals in Gwinnett County, but to make a lasting impact on the field at large.

· Service Industry Award: Mobile Communications of Gwinnett This company is the largest Motorola Solutions Premier Service Partner and the third largest Motorola Solutions Channel Partner in the United States. It sets itself apart by offering a personal level of customer service, coupled with trained, knowledgeable employees for public safety personnel, first responders and other clients. Lives depend on its communications systems functioning properly. It has almost 300 employees in more than 20 locations in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina.

· Small Business Award: Office Creations Founded 15 years ago, this business is a full-service, 100% woman-owned office furniture dealership headquartered in Suwanee, with additional showrooms in Midtown Atlanta and Jacksonville, Florida. In March, it acquired Ivan Allen, the storied contract furniture dealer in Atlanta. In addition, this company created a new strategic partnership with Allsteel and the HNI family of products, bringing to bear one of the industry’s premiere manufacturers. This will allow the organization to continue gaining success within the greater southeastern region by providing enhanced offerings to major clients in corporate, hospitality, education, healthcare and other sectors with highly customized solutions and applications, thereby fueling its expansion and growth.

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