Partnership Gwinnett presented its annual awards to one leader and one company in the categories of Imagination, Innovation and Influence to honor local efforts supporting transformative concepts, community leadership, and economic progress in the County. This year, three of the six awards were given to education-oriented initiatives, a sign of Gwinnett’s strong commitment to the advancement and success of tomorrow’s workforce.
The 2015 Gwinnett Kids Count Campaign, formed to support the education SPLOST, a one-cent, voter-approved sales tax that provides supplemental funding for education in Gwinnett County, was awarded the Influence Award. The E-SPLOST is projected to raise $950 million that will go directly to the Gwinnett County and Buford City school systems. Funding is allocated to the two school systems based on enrollment. The results of the vote were a 75% approval.
The Junior Achievement Discovery Center at Gwinnett was recognized for its imaginative concept of bringing a 360-degree educational experience to more than 25,000 Gwinnett students. Students are able to interact within a simulated economy and take on the role of employee, tax payer and consumer.
Local entrepreneur Clyde L. Strickland was lauded for his work with creating The Clyde L. Strickland Entrepreneurship Program at Discovery High School, a program designed to immerse students in the experience of creating, designing and opening their own business. Strickland encourages local businesspeople to mentor the youths as they go through the process.
In the Influence category, community leader Taylor Anderson, chairman of Sugar Hill’s Downtown Development authority, received the individual award due to his role in revamping the downtown area and recreating Sugar Hill’s Main Street. Anderson has been involved in numerous projects including the $33 million multi-use EpiCenter; the $35 million high-end residential space “The Seven”; and the $50 million state-of-the-art retirement community known as The Holbrook.
Dr. Mark Bouzyk, chief scientific officer at Akesogen, Inc., was awarded the individual Innovation award for his expertise in the field on Genomics, while the company Innovation award went to The Gr8 Exchange on Transportation, a grassroots effort bringing the people of Gwinnett County together to discuss transportation.
The 2015 Partnership Gwinnett Annual Summit sponsors and supporters include:
Presenting Sponsor: Jackson EMC
Keynote Sponsor: Wells Fargo
Platinum Sponsors: Gwinnett Village CID, Primerica and City of Suwanee
Gold Sponsors: Pond & Company
Silver Sponsors: Atlanta Gas Light, CAB Incorporated, The Law Office of J. Michael Levengood and UGA Gwinnett Campus
Corporate Sponsors: Georgia Power and Sterling Rose Consulting
Community Partners: Leadercast