Barbara Howard of Peachtree Corners was honored as Citizen of the Year at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce’s 65th Annual Dinner. The award honors individuals who have had the greatest impact on the overall quality of life for Gwinnett County in recent years.
A sold-out crowd of 1,000 business and community leaders attended the Feb. 1 dinner at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth. The dinner was sponsored by Gwinnett Medical Center.
“The dinner serves as a celebration of the people of Gwinnett who – by their service, volunteerism and commitment – allow our community to reach new heights and set goals to strive for in the future,” said Raymer Sale, 2012 Gwinnett Chamber chairman and president of E2E Resources Inc, in a press release issued after the dinner. “Through the efforts of the leaders being honored, the Gwinnett Chamber and the community it serves will continue to thrive and prosper.”
Philip R. Wolfe of Duluth, president and CEO of Gwinnett Medical Center, is incoming president of the chamber.
Howard, founder of Suzanna’s Kitchen located in Duluth and Peachtree Corners, is well known for her philanthropy. Beneficiaries of her generosity include the Boys and Girls Club of America, Habitat for Humanity, the Hudgens Center for the Arts, the Aurora Theater, the American Cancer Society, and Gwinnett Medical Center. She is also a supporter of the Duluth Fall Festival.
She and her late husband, Henry, were the lead donors to the Legacy Campaign that helped build Gwinnett Medical Center-Duluth with a $250,000 donation. The atrium lobby of this facility is named in their honor. Over the past two years she has made a $25,000 personal gift to the Open Heart Campaign and has given $100,000 to create the Barbara Howard Cancer Care Endowment that benefits GMC cancer services. Most recently, Suzanna’s Kitchen made a $100,000 gift to the Open Heart campaign.
Public Service Awards were presented to Duluth Mayor Nancy Harris and Gwinnett Board of Education District 3 Member Dr. Mary Kay Murphy.
Harris is in her second term as mayor. She is active with the Duluth Fall Festival, Barefoot in the Park Fine Arts Festival, the Duluth Fine Arts League, and the Duluth Civitan Club. She also serves as president of the Gwinnett Municipal Association.
Dr. Murphy, who is serving her fifth term on the Gwinnett school board, represents Duluth Cluster schools, all or part of the Collins Hill, Lanier, Norcross, North Gwinnett, and Peachtree Ridge clusters, the Buice School, Monarch School, and New Life Academy of Excellence.
Other Public Service Award winners were Gwinnett Juvenile Court Judge Stephen Franzen; Paige Havens, founder of Gwinnett’s Great Days of Service; Joe McCart, chairman of the board of the McCart Group; and David McCleskey, governmental liaison and community ombudsman for Gwinnett County Public Schools.
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 Barbara King.
The Jackson Jinright Charitable Foundation and Partnership Against Domestic Violence received the D. Scott Hudgens Humanitarian Award given in honor of the late developer.
Nancy McGill, owner of Cartridge World in Lawrenceville, received the 2012 Ambassador of the Year Award for her outstanding service to the chamber.
Belk and Micromeritics Instrument Corp. were honored for their long-term commitment to the Gwinnett Chamber. As chamber members for 50 years, Belk and Micromeritics are the first members to have reached this milestone.
The inaugural James J. Maran International Award was presented to WIKA Instrument LP. This award recognizes an international company that located in Gwinnett and became active in the chamber and the local community. The award is named for retired Gwinnett Chamber president & CEO Jim Maran.
Gwinnett County Public Schools CEO/Supt. J. Alvin Wilbanks announced the Jim Maran Scholarship for STEM Studies. The scholarship will be awarded annually beginning this year to a Gwinnett high school graduate who intends to pursue a career in a STEM field.