Elizabeth Gordon, President of Flourishing Business and bestselling author of The Chic Entrepreneur: Put Your Business in Higher Heels, shined the Chic Spotlight on the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce with guests Nicole Wright, Renee Byrd-Lewis, Althea Lawton-Thompson and Cynthia Kaye
First up was Nicole Wright, Business Development Manager for Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and expert economic developer for Gwinnett County. Nicole serves as the business development manager targeting Information Technology and Advanced Communication industry growth in Gwinnett. Wright proactively recruits, retains and expands the technology industry and related business through various economic development strategic and tactical means.
From working on company expansion and recruitment projects in this industry sector to partnering with regional and statewide economic development professionals and managing the Chamberâ€™s high-profile Technology Forum, Wright works to elevate Gwinnettâ€™s presence in the Tech industry on a national and global platform.
Nicole talked about the vibrant business community in Gwinnett,Â Gwinnettâ€™s economic initiatives and wins as a result of implementing those initiatives – specifically, the support that businesswomen and owners give one another in Gwinnett.
To learn more visit:
6500 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth GA 30097
Twitter â€“ nicole_s_wright
Next Cynthia Kaye, President & CEO, Logical Choice Technologies, Inc. and â€œClassroom Technology Consultantâ€ talked about how her background in education and a healthy entrepreneurial spirit led her to develop Logical Choice Technologies in 1994 in the basement of her home in suburban Atlanta and focused squarely on the education IT market in her home state.Â Now after 16 years, Logical Choice Technologies is a national education technology company which has grown to over 250 employees.
The staff works out of the companyâ€™s 48,000 square foot headquarters based in Lawrenceville, Georgia plus regional offices in San Diego and New York. Logical Choiceâ€™s sales consultants and service teams are spread across the United States to locally support k12 schools and institutions of higher learning.
Recently, Logical Choice became a proud sponsor and education technology consultant to the new NBCâ€™s School Pride TV Series which premiers on Friday, October 15, 2010 -Â www.nbc.com/school-pride/
Cynthia graduated from the prestigious three-year Birthing of Giants program hosted by the world-renowned MIT Enterprise Forum, Inc. Magazine and the Young Entrepreneurs Organization (YEO). Â INC. Magazine named Logical Choice Technologies to the Inc. 500/5000, the magazineâ€™s list of the fastest growing private companies in America for the years 1999, 2000, 2007, 2008, and 2010.Â In 2008 and 2010, Logical Choice was named one of the top 50 fastest growing women-led companies in North America by the WPO. Cynthia and her company have also been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Fortune Small Business, and the Wall Street Journal.
Learn more about Logical Choice,Â a passionate company that wants to make a difference in the schools in America @ www.logicalchoice.com
Directing Ciscoâ€™s Community Relations initiatives in Georgia, Renee Byrd-Lewis was the next we talked to. Renee is responsible for ensuring that Cisco is actively involved in social, quality of life, talent and business issues affecting the region.Â She serves to position Cisco as a strategic business partner and aggregator for community issues, bringing civic leaders, business leaders and subject matter experts together to discuss opportunities and topics of local importance.
Renee talked about how she was in the right place at the right time when a career change opportunity came. With formal work experience in higher education and nonprofit management, the Cisco opportunity allowed her to leverage her experience and my skill set in a different and exciting way.
Cisco is a $40B global company with 70K employees and 400 offices in 165 countries. However, in communities where Cisco has a major employee and operational presence, there is interdependency between Cisco and key local community stakeholders in the education, non-profit, government and business sectors. Each has its own important and unique role in helping ensure a quality of life for all citizens.
Renee leverages Cisco resources, including thought leadership, employee volunteers and financial contributions, to effectively and efficiently meet local community needs. The end result benefits both the company and community. Alignment of our capabilities with local social and economic goals helps strengthen the business environment and the community overall.
When it comes to Community Relations, Renee primarily serves Gwinnett County due to Ciscoâ€™s operational presence and the nearly 2,000 employees who work there.Â However, there are also inextricable ties to the metro Atlanta region and the state of Georgia as a whole.Â Renee and Cisco understand the importance of a strong central city and state overall. From a financial investment perspective, Cisco invested nearly $2M in the local community through Foundation grants. More than $500K of that figure was generated by employees through Ciscoâ€™s matching gifts program.
Renee talked about how giving back to the community is at the core of Cisco culture both a business and philanthropic perspective.Â In honor of Ciscoâ€™s 25th Anniversary, CEO John Chambers initiated a global volunteer challenge for employees to contribute 200,000 volunteer hours by October 31st and they are at 87% and on track to achieve that goal.
You can find out more @
And finally, Althea Lawton-Thompson, Owner & Director, Aerobics, Yoga & More Studios is an established Entrepreneur and fitness, wellness, mind/body expert.
Althea is the owner and director of Aerobics, Yoga & More Fitness Studios in Lilburn, GA. She and her team of instructors provide health education classes for clients including Verizon, AT&T, and Johns Hopkins Hospital.
She has six (6) internationally popular fitness video series, Altheatized, and writes wellness articles that have been highlighted and published in magazines like Best Body, Essence, Parenting, and Oxygen.
In the community, Althea is President of the Lilburn Business Association, an active member of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, Parliamentarian of a local non-profit organization, and has served on a local Gwinnett School Council since 2007.
She has been married for 14 years and is the proud mother of two highly active sons.
Althea talked about how she got started in the business, how and why she left corporate to start her own business and what the main challenges are of having children and running a business.
Visit her online @ aymfitness.com or altheatized.com, or in the yoga studio @ 4051 Stone Mountain Hwy (Hwy 78) Suite G101B, Lilburn, GA 30047
They can be found on Facebook â€“ aerobics yoga more, and on twitter @altheatized