Gwinnett Chamber celebrates annual dinner honoring community, business and state leaders

Duluth, February 6, 2017 – The Gwinnett Chamber celebrated the successes of 2016 and the successes to come in 2017 Friday evening in front of a crowd of 850 business and community leaders from across Gwinnett and metro Atlanta at the 69th Annual Dinner, presented by Gwinnett Medical Center.

“The Chamber’s Annual Dinner is a celebration of Gwinnett and a wonderful opportunity to honor those who have helped imagine and create the many successes of our great community,” said Dr. Dan Kaufman, President & CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber. “Through vision and service these distinguished leaders have played an integral part in Gwinnett’s growth and achievements, and the Chamber is honored to pay tribute to them.”

After taking a walk down the Mighty 8th Media Red Carpet during the cocktail hour, guests were welcomed into the Grand Ballroom at Infinite Energy Forum for dinner and the awards ceremony. The evening featured a look back at the Chamber’s 2016 accolades and community accomplishments, and celebrated the notable achievements of the following honorees:

Bill Russell, Russell Landscape Group, is the recipient of the Citizen of the Year Award, which honors individuals whose services have had the greatest impact on the overall quality of life for Gwinnett County in recent years.

Five Public Service Awards are given to individuals who, over the years, have gone above and beyond in their service to the community and its residents. This year’s honorees included: C. Norwood Davis, 12Stone® Church; Jayaprakash R. Desai, MD, Gwinnett Internal Medicine Associates, LLC; Dr. David Fincher, Greater Atlanta Christian School; Nicole Love Hendrickson, Gwinnett County Government; and Johnny Phelps, Harry Norman, REALTORS®.

The R. Wayne Shackelford Legacy Award, honoring the memory and legacy of an individual who has made a difference in the history and progress of Gwinnett County, was awarded posthumously to Joe Shafer and Lillian H. Webb.

Rotary Clubs of Gwinnett received the D. Scott Hudgens Humanitarian Award given in honor of Scott Hudgens, a respected developer and philanthropist who unselfishly gave of his time and talents to ensure that many others, especially those with limited means, would benefit from his treasure.

In addition, Ryan Bonilla, Rocket IT, received the 2016 Ambassador of the Year Award for his long-standing commitment, dedication and service to the Gwinnett Chamber.

Megan Lesko received Gwinnett Chamber’s 2016 Membership Development Manager of the Year Award.

The James J. Maran International Award, recognizing an international company that has chosen to locate in Gwinnett, taking advantage of Gwinnett’s pro-business mindset, and become an active member of the Chamber and the local community, went to Merial, a Boehringer Ingelheim company.