OUR VIEW: Gwinnettians get noticed for leading

Georgia Trend magazine kicked off the new year with it's annual 100 Most Influential Georgians list, and Gwinnett County again showed it is a major player on the state level, with four locals making the cut.

Charles Bannister, chairman of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners, made the list, which includes men and women from business and industry, politics and government, science and education and the health care industry along with philanthropists.

Bannister was cited as the top elected official in Gwinnett, who serves on the executive committee of the Atlanta Regional Commission and chairs the Georgia Bioscience Joint Developmental Authority.

Lilburn's Todd Long, planning director of the Georgia Department of Transportation, was tapped for his duties, including the challenge of putting together a cohesive transportation plan during these tough economic times.

Jim Maran, president and CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, also made the cut. The magazine cited his leadership in helping land what it called the "deal of the year" by recruiting NCR's corporate headquarters to Gwinnett and the fact that the American Chamber of Commerce has named Gwinnett one of the top three metro chambers in the country.

Also making the list — which includes Gov. Sonny Perdue, U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss, University of Georgia president Michael Adams and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank — is developer Emory Morsberger.

The magazine cited Morsberger's work in revitalizing declining neighborhoods and ambitious projects like the redevelopment of the old City Hall East in Atlanta.

As we move forward with a new year and new decade, the inclusion of these Gwinnettians on this list shows that Gwinnett will continue to play a big role in state politics and business.

To see the full list, go to www.georgiatrend.com.

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