Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Daniel Kaufman gives his inaugural speech to the membership on Thursday at the Gwinnett Center. (Staff Photo: Jason Braverman)
DULUTH — Daniel Kaufman sees economic development and community development as “essentially synonymous.”
So the new Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce president vowed Thursday to work on both in tandem to improve both the business environment and the quality of life for the county.
Kaufman, who took over the post about six weeks ago after coming to the community to open the Lawrenceville campus of Georgia Gwinnett College, spoke to the general membership of the Chamber for the first time Thursday, as a keynote address for the annual Expo and Job Fair.
Describing his vision for “a vibrant and diverse community of tomorrow,” Kaufman said the county already is one of the most diverse in the nation. And as one of only eight counties in the country where black, Hispanic and Asian business ownership is higher than 9 percent.
But frankly, he noted, the county needs to do a better job of incorporating all of the diverse groups together.
“We could, if we are not careful, end up with four communities of Gwinnett, white, black, Hispanic and Asian,” Kaufman said. “We can’t have those communities living side-by-side and not interacting. The Chamber is going to work hard to make sure all of these communities are engaged.”
The new leader hopes to bring together not just the business leaders of the county but also health care, education, government, arts and philanthropic officials to tackle the issues that not only help businesses grow but helps the quality of life thrive.
In the coming year, Kaufman told the largest attendance at a general membership luncheon he hopes to create a strategic plan, help entrepreneurs thrive and market the community internationally.
While noting that people will get out of the Chamber what they put into it, Kaufman said that with the collaboration of time, talent and money, “we will together craft a …. community of tomorrow that sings.”