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Welcome to Leaders & Legends!

Gwinnett Magazine’s historic kickoff of the Leaders & Legends series begins. Sit back and strap in for some great reads! All year long, you’ll enjoy fascinating stories of success from those who faced unfavorable odds – and came out on top. You’ll read page-turning perspectives from those who met tough circumstances head on… and triumphed.

Check out all of our Leaders & Legends stories so far:

Beauty Baldwin

J. Alvin Wilbanks

Melvin Wilbanks

Wayne Mason

Dr. Calvin Watts

Nick Masino

Dr. William L. Sheals

Phillip Beard

What makes a great Leader?

What sets apart the Legends from the rest?

What common sense values do these Influencers share? 

The Leaders & Legends series from Gwinnett Magazine will set your soul on fire with answers to these questions and more! But first, why is it so important to learn about the successes and failures of those who have come before us?

Gwinnett Magazine Publisher David Greer says that, for starters, our country is in a season of unprecedented challenge. 

“The social media, soundbite, poll-pleasing criteria that drives communication and politics these days is not doing a lot to illuminate the true spirit of America,” Greer says. “The woke-culture ways and politics of communication often overshadow the good. The true stories of courage, common sense and optimism are glossed over by short-term gaslighting rhetoric.” 

Adds Greer: “We, us, our country, our people… are better than that. We deserve more.” 

Greer says Leaders & Legends will serve as a platform to capture the commonsense core values of successful people who have served with meaningful purpose. 

“We’re losing sight of the core values that built this country,” says Greer, who founded Gwinnett Magazine more than 25 years ago. “We’ve got to capture the spirit of these Leaders & Legends while we still have the opportunity – it’s something the youth of America and our culture is in desperate need of.” 

It’s the kind of spirit this country was built on: imagination, initiative and the desire to improve the community. Consider the eternal optimism of our forefathers, many of whom were farmers who knew when to chalk up a loss as a bad crop year, move on and try again. That’s the spirit of a Leader and Legend. 

By telling these stories, the Leaders & Legends series provides valuable lessons like these that can be applied in all facets of everyday life. 

Beyond that, it’s imperative to capture and protect the rich history of these key influencers while we can, so generations for years to come can benefit from their wisdom. 

“We’ve got to capture the stories of these people and their mindsets, philosophies and methodologies so the future of the country doesn’t get lost in a superficial, soundbite- driven world,” Greer says. “There are people right here who are doing real, substantial things that make life better for everyone. We want to illuminate their stories – not only to pay tribute and respect, but to show people, ‘This is how it’s done. Be like this.’” 

America was built on the backs of incredible people like these. Their stories can help inspire us to do everything we can to build upon their legacies. Chronicling these oral histories is essential. To lose this wealth of wisdom would be nothing short of tragic. 

“All of us have but a short time on this earth to make an impact, but the legacy of effort, influence and accomplishments of inspiring leaders can live on.” 

For all the moms, dads, students, businesspeople and anyone aspiring to make a difference, the Leaders & Legends series will serve as a treasure trove of inspiration
– a body of work rich with history that will serve our community for years to come. 

Join us as we honor those who demonstrate legendary leadership while modeling the true spirit of America. We hope you enjoy and embrace these stories, as well as the lessons learned by those who share them. 

In 2022, Gwinnett Magazine will tell these stories month to month across all mediums
– print and digital – because there’s nothing more important than learning from these Leaders & Legends. They illuminate and exemplify the American spirit. The lessons they learned over a lifetime are our gain if we listen closely enough to what they have to say. 

If there’s someone who’s impacted your life – whether it’s a schoolteacher, a pastor, a boss, a coworker, a friend – please let us know. Everybody has at one time or another met someone like this. Leaders and legends are everywhere, with shared traits like common sense, good judgement and possessing the heart of a servant. 

Know someone we should feature in Leaders & Legends next? Submit your suggestions at!