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North Fulton Chamber Honors Volunteers

Brad Beisbier will lead the chamber in 2013, and won this year's Board Member of the Year award.

Neary 500 members of the gathered at the Ritz-Carlton in Buckhead Saturday night to honor leading members of the business group.

Awards handed out included:

Harry L. Rucker Junior Volunteer of the Year

Connie Woltz of State Bank was named Volunteer of the Year for her work as a chamber ambassador throughout the year, attending most events, ribbon cuttings and functions.

Board Member of the Year

Brad Beisbier, senior vice president of PNC Bank. Beisbeir has led the membership drive for the chamber now for the second year, with emphasis on the Chairman's Circle.

Pioneer Award

Liz Hausmann has been chairman of the North Fulton GOP, a Fulton School Board member, a member of Johns Creek's first City Council and now is on the Fulton County Commission. Those and other community efforts earned her the Pioneer Award.

Zach Henderson Award

Don Howard, chairman and regional CEO of Bank of North Georgia.

Special Honor

Joe Bankoff, president and CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center, was recognized by Beach for his efforts bringing the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre to Alpharetta. Bankoff is retiring soon after leading the organization since 2006.

Teddy Russell, the 2012 Chairman of the Board, said "in a short amount of time the chamber has come a long ways."

"Today we are fortunate to have the North Fulton CID continue to provide numerous benefits back to North Fulton," he said.

The North Fulton Community Improvement District, a self-taxing group of commercial property owners along the GA 400 corridor, has leveraged $10 million of its money for $50 million in state and federal funding for transportation since it formed with the chamber's help in 2003.

"We have Progress Partners that leverages the assets of North Fulton to promote its economic development. Through its efforts, over 2,000 jobs and $162 million worth of investments were created," Russell, head of Russell Landscaping, said.

"Just this week alone we have opened a north section of Westside Parkway and approved a $700 million investment in the Avalon development," he said.

Russell said recent efforts by the chamber helped secure $25 million for a new Gwinnett Technical school campus in North Fulton.

Some of the accomplishments chamber President and CEO Brandon Beach said have been made in 2011 and 2012 included:

Progress Partners

  • 44 active projects
  • 33 landed projects
  • 824,800 new square feet of office space
  • 2,890 new jobs
  • $162 million in new investments

Those new jobs included:

  • 300 at Graphic Packaging in Sandy Springs
  • 110 at ThyssenKrupp in Alpharetta
  • 35 at Corfire in Milton
  • 150 at Coyote Logistics in Alpharetta
  • 150 at State Farm in Johns Creek
  • 250 at TracFone Wireless in Sandy Springs
  • 100 at Genesis10 in Sandy Springs.

The T-5 Co-Lo Data Center in Alpharetta was a $75 million investment, with ThyssenKrupp investing $30 million and Coyote Logistics $11 million in the community.

Beach also touted the importance of the approval of the Avalon application that he said will bring a $700 million investment to Alpharetta, 1,000 construction jobs, 3,500 permanent jobs and $21 million in annual sales tax revenue.

Brian Davis April 30, 2012 at 05:42 AM
I wonder where all those folks questioning the Chambers involvement in Avalon are today. Keep up the good work!
Nick Ripostella April 30, 2012 at 05:01 PM
I am compelled to reflect on the figures cited in article concerning Avalon, $700 million investment, $21 million annual sales tax revenue, 3500 permanent jobs..... this is stunning. I think it is clear why the Chamber is an advocate.
No Name April 30, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Avalon wasn't the issue. The Chamber wasn't the issue in and of itself. Chamber is well within its right to support whatever projects they want as long as they aren't using my tax $ to do it. Get it?
Nick Ripostella April 30, 2012 at 10:08 PM
No, I don't get it. When I consider the myriad of things that my property and sales tax dollars are used for that I don't benefit much from I don't mind the Chamber being paid to advocate for economic development. I've lived in places where an economic development staff totally on the government payroll does the same thing. Utilizing the Chamber seems like a good approach to me.
No Name May 01, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Recruiting businesses is one thing. Lobbying for support is entirely different matter. I doubt an economic development staff member would be sending mail to a private email list asking them to lobby councilmen for a project. Chamber is trying to wear two hats at one time. That's a problem. Reporters at the AJC thought so too. And we didn't even get to the cronyism aspect.
Nick Ripostella May 01, 2012 at 03:35 AM
I am sorry -I just don't see anything sinister here. It's all pretty transparent to me. In general reporters at the AJC really don't influence me. You know what we should be concerned about - how is the estimated $21 million dollars in annual sales tax revenue etc. going to be spent?

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