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Suwanee recognizes outstanding residents, employees

SUWANEE -- City leaders took the opportunity Tuesday evening to shine the spotlight on city businesses, residents and employees for their contributions to Suwanee.

Mayor Dave Williams read a proclamation honoring the Dance Art Centre in Suwanee. The dance studio, with students ranging in age from five to 18, is ranked in the top 50 studios nationally and the top 10 in the southeast. Williams said that the dance studio is having a positive effect on children in Suwanee and neighboring cities.

Vickie Johnson, president of the North Gwinnett Arts Association, was next to be applauded at Tuesday's meetings.

"Vickie has been an incredible asset to our community," said Williams, referring to the many arts events and initiatives Johnson has spearheaded since the Association's inception just a year and a half ago. "She embodies the whole Suwanee way of life," Williams said.

Denise Brinson, Suwanee's Economic and Community Development Manager, has worked closely with Johnson since the Arts Association was just an idea. Since their initial meeting 4 years ago, Brinson said that Johnson has brought vitality and energy to the arts in Suwanee.

"From an economic development standpoint, that's invaluable to the city," Brinson said.

Accepting the plaque and standing ovation she received Tuesday, Johnson said, "This is a great community with a lot of people who are interested in the arts."

Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011, has been declared "North Gwinnett Arts Association" day in Suwanee.

Brinson was awarded the city's prestigious Silver Star Award on Tuesday, also.

City manager Marty Allen said, "She brings so much to the city," referring to her focused dedication to Suwanee.

Specifically, Allen mentioned Sculptour, a gathering of sculpture and artists whose work is displayed throughout the city.

"Our department is allowed to be different and unique," said Brinson, who added that she is grateful to city leaders for the freedom to be creative.