International Economic Development Council awards Gwinnett for ecosystem of entrepreneurial services and resources

(GWINNETT- METRO ATLANTA) October 2, 2012 – The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) awarded Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development with a Gold Excellence in Economic Development Award for their Gwinnett Entrepreneurship program in the category of Entrepreneurship for communities with populations greater than 500,000 (largest communities). Presented at IEDC’s Annual Conference in Houston, Texas, the award was accepted by Nick Masino, Senior Vice President, Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development and Partnership Gwinnett, and Mark Farmer, Director, Entrepreneurship and Information Services.

“We recognize Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development for creating innovative and successful strategies to promote economic development in this period of global recovery,” said Jay Moon, IEDC chair. “Our awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in communities. Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development demonstrates that they are at the forefront of the economic development profession and are using cutting-edge, effective practices that can be replicated in other communities.”

“Nearly 98 percent of Georgia companies are considered small businesses, so we remain firmly committed to being a front-line resource for this business community,” said Chris Cummiskey, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “We congratulate our Gwinnett partners on this prestigious award, and look forward to our continued partnership to provide small businesses and entrepreneurs with the opportunities necessary for them to remain competitive.”

“Gwinnett County is proud to be home to a vibrant entrepreneur community,” stated Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash. “This award signifies the excellent resources the area offers and its continued efforts to support startups and small businesses.”

Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development was recognized for the Award based on the extensive network of services and resources it provides to area entrepreneurs. Activities available include an Entrepreneurship Council, which brings together key institutions and individuals focused on small business development; “The Amazing Entrepreneur,” a business plan competition which will kick off its third year in early November; a printable Gwinnett Entrepreneur Resource Guide; an effort in progress to establish a local SCORE chapter; and collaboration with the Georgia Institute of Technology to establish a branch of its high-tech incubator, the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), in the County.

Phil Wolfe, Gwinnett Medical CenterPresident and CEO and 2012 Partnership Gwinnett Chairman stated, “Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development and Partnership Gwinnett continually strive to further the development of entrepreneurship and small business in Gwinnett. We look forward to seeing the growth of its Gwinnett Entrepreneur program to better serve Gwinnett and metro Atlanta.”

“We are pleased to accept this Award on behalf of our community partners and Entrepreneurship Council, which consists of government, non-profit and private sector representatives, who are all working to create the best possible ecosystem for business startup and growth,” stated Farmer. “The Gwinnett community has always come together to support and promote economic development. I think we’ve brought that spirit of collaboration to entrepreneurship, and I believe the IEDC recognized it.”

Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development recently launched a companion website to its Gwinnett Entrepreneur Resource Guide, The website, which categorically provides resources available to startups and small businesses in the metro Atlanta area, was designed to act as a central location for the numerous entrepreneurship-related resources available to the local community.

The IEDC is a membership organization dedicated to helping economic development teams create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities, and improve the quality of life in their regions. With more than 4,500 members, IEDC boasts the largest network of economic development professionals in the world. IEDC provides a range of services, including conferences, certification, professional development, publications, research, advisory services and legislative tracking.

For more information on the IEDC, please visit

For more information on the resources and services available to entrepreneurs in Gwinnett, please visit

For more information on Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development, please visit