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Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director resigns

LAWRENCEVILLE -- The executive director for the Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau, the county's official tourism organization, resigned last week.

Caryn McGarity, who had led the organization for the past decade and had worked for a total 23 years in the hospitality industry, left the GCVB on Wednesday.

"I have decided to take some time off over the holidays to reflect, recharge and look at other opportunities and challenges," McGarity said Tuesday. "My friends within the Gwinnett business and hospitality community have been incredibly supportive and I owe much of my success to them."

A strong supporter of the arts in Gwinnett, McGarity said she planned to continue her work with the annual Barefoot in the Park juried arts festival and the Hudgens Center for the Arts in Duluth. She will also continue as an executive board member with the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, representing Partnership Gwinnett, Leadership Gwinnett and Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful.

"Gwinnett's hospitality industry underwent tremendous growth and evolution (during her tenure,)" said Tommy Hughes, chairman of the GCVB's Board of Directors. "Caryn was a well-regarded and vocal hospitality industry advocate."

Preston Williams, managing director for the GCVB, the Gwinnett Center and the Arena, is now overseeing day-to-day operations of the GCVB and Gwinnett Sports Commission.

"I would like to thank the Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau, which is a wonderful organization and I believe we have accomplished much during my tenure as executive director," McGarity said. "I have the utmost respect for the Board of Directors and all the fabulous, hard working staff at the CVB and the Gwinnett Center. I expect great things to continue from that organization."