0

Our view: Local leaders make Georgia's influential list

Gwinnett County is looked to for its leadership throughout Georgia. That's why it's always interesting to see what the other 158 counties think of the movers and shakers here.

The January issue of Georgia Trend magazine published its annual list of the 100 most influential Georgians. While the 2009 list is replete with the usual suspects from the city of Atlanta and those carrying official state titles, Gwinnett made a solid showing.

Charles Bannister, Emory Morsberger and Richard Tucker made the top 100. The three are very recognizable figures in their home county, but their inclusion on the list is evidence of how they are regarded across the state.

Commission Chairman Bannister, who is at the helm of what will one day be the largest county in the state, was cited for his work to reduce traffic, improve citizens' safety and create jobs. Bannister was also credited for the Gwinnett's progress in renovating "mature" parts of the county.

Morsberger is known in these parts for his work on the county's Community Improvement Districts and his redevelopment of downtown Lawrenceville. Gwinnett has become recognized as a state leader in its efforts to rejuvenate itself and the CIDs created by Morsberger are shining stars. The CEO of the Morsberger Group has plenty of irons in the fire outside Gwinnett, most notably the revitalization of City Hall East at Ponce Park.

Tucker led the Gwinnett Chamber during Gwinnett's super-growth years and now chairs the Board of Regents and the University System of Georgia Foundation. He continues on the board of the Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau, the group overseeing the arrival of the Gwinnett Braves and the construction of a new baseball stadium.

Also mentioned as "notables" by Georgia Trend were Jim Maran, Gwinnett Chamber president and Congressman John Linder whose 7th District includes much of Gwinnett. (Of course, many other deserving names could be added to that list.)

Gwinnett has long benefited from the leadership of these individuals. It's noteworthy that their abilities and contributions are recognized throughout the state as well. To make the Top 100 from among Georgia's 10 million people puts these gentlemen in high cotton, indeed.