Gwinnett”s Unsung Heroes

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By Jim Maran

Each year the Gwinnett Chamber hosts a series of quality award programs that celebrate and recognize the individuals and initiatives that make a significant impact in the Gwinnett community. These everyday people – the small business owners and entrepreneurs, the healthcare professionals, the leaders of non-profits, and the public safety professionals – are the unsung heroes of Gwinnett that have more impact on our lives and quality of life than most of us realize.

In December, for the very first time, the Gwinnett Chamber honored our healthcare professionals at the inaugural Healthcare Excellence Awards. This unique program allows us to celebrate an industry that is a vital component to our community”s long-term sustainability and growth. The Healthcare Excellence awards also give us the opportunity to celebrate Gwinnett”s solid reputation for quality healthcare which enables the wellbeing of our citizens and provides further opportunity to attract new business, create jobs, and ultimately afford a strong and well-rounded quality of life in Gwinnett. But most importantly, the program allows us to celebrate the deserving individuals and organizations within the healthcare community. This is our night to say thank you, to show gratitude and demonstrate the respect we have for our healthcare heroes and all they do to contribute to Gwinnett”s overall success.

On March 27 at The Gwinnett Center, the Gwinnett Chamber will host our seventh annual Valor Awards Presented by Mobile Communications of Gwinnett. Awards are presented to fire, police, and emergency personnel and units from across our great cities and county. These are Gwinnett”s first responders and they are always there when we need them. Presenting Sponsor Mobile Communications of Gwinnett”s Cathy Nichols notes that without hesitation, these people go out day after day and put their lives on the line for us, for our homes, for our children, and for our businesses. This special program allows us the opportunity to pay tribute to these heroes and their families that support them.

Just one month later at the Atlanta Marriott – Gwinnett Place on April 27, the Chamber will hold its annual Pinnacle Awards Presented by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution honoring 50 of Gwinnett”s most successful, privately held businesses in Gwinnett as well as top non-profits. These honorees are a part of America”s network of small business owners who employ more than half the country”s private work force, create three out of every four jobs, and generate a majority of American innovations. While we know about the charitable works many of our nonprofits perform, most of us would be surprised at the hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact our nonprofits generate each year. The Pinnacle Awards is our chance to let these heroes know their day-to-day work behind the scenes never goes unnoticed.

While most of the Chamber”s programs throughout the year are designed for Chamber members only, the Healthcare Excellence Awards and the upcoming Valor and Pinnacle Awards are special – and often touching – opportunities that are open to the entire public. In fact, we encourage it. If you”ve ever wanted to show your thanks for our public safety officers, your favorite small business or non-profit, join us at these upcoming celebrations. It”s the least we can do to honor our unsung heroes.

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