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New Gwinnett Young Professionals Leadership class kicks off the New Year

#YPLeadershipInstitute helps shape the local leaders of the future.

The inaugural class of Gwinnett Young Professionals Leadership Institute. Photo by Meredith Bailey.

Gwinnett Young Professionals is pleased to announce its inaugural Leadership Institute class, which kicked off Tuesday, January 5.The Gwinnett Young Professionals Leadership Institute is designed to be an interactive exploration of personal leadership development.

Active learning on the part of each individual is an essential component of this valuable experience and it involves more than just attending the Leadership Institute – it also requires participants to engage in critical reflection of readings and discussions, formulate individual perspectives on the issues raised in the Institute and actively participate in the exchange of ideas with other young professionals.

“By 2020, millennials will comprise 50 percent of the United States workforce,” said Sean George, Manager of Membership Services at the Gwinnett Chamber and Gwinnett Young Professionals program manager. “To accommodate this workforce shift, the Leadership Institute was created.” 

In partnership with Georgia Gwinnett College as well as supporting partner Porter Keadle Moore, the program features monthly gatherings and lectures at various locations around Gwinnett County and will conclude with a commencement ceremony in June. 

“Our mission is to attract millennials to the Chamber when they first enter the workforce and engage and empower them through community, professional and social opportunities,” said Vince DeSilva, Gwinnett Chamber’s Senior VP of Membership Services. “We are hoping this class of millennials will learn leadership attributes so we can help them strive for and achieve the next level in their careers.” 

The goal of the Gwinnett Young Professionals Leadership Institute is to contribute to the personal and professional development of young professionals in the Gwinnett community and prepare them for positions of increasing responsibility, both within their organizations and as citizens of Gwinnett. The next class will begin in July and applications will be available in March. To register or for more information, visit

The Spring 2016 Gwinnett Young Professionals Leadership Institute class includes: 

Instructor: Dr. Jim Fatzinger, Georgia Gwinnett College
Abby Wilkerson, City of Suwanee
Alicia Krogh, Gwinnett Chamber
Brooke Waters, Leadership Gwinnett
Craig Roberts, Jackson EMC
Deanthony Young, Lifetime Fitness
Geoff Stratton, BrandMortgage
Haley Tolbert, Partnership Gwinnett
Jaclyn Hofman, Aurora Theater/Georgia Gwinnett College
Jason Friedlander, Twist Six
John Maison, Georgia Gwinnett College
Jordan Shumate, Shuma, LLC
Justin Anderson, Aurora Theater / Kennesaw State University
Kareem Adekunle, Georgia Gwinnett College
Kevin Ford, Insperity
Macrae Cain, Blue Key Interactive
Megan Lesko, Gwinnett Chamber
Melissa Martin, Blue Key Interactive
Nick Reynolds, Hi-Hope Service Center
Olivia Mugenga, Georgia Gwinnett College
Sean George, Gwinnett Chamber
Shane M. Lanham, Mahaffey Pickens Tucker, LLP
Shannon Lambe , Porter Keadle Moore
Stacie Grayson, City of Sugar Hill
Stephanie Christopulos, Organized Chick
Stephanie Hannum, Gwinnett Chamber
Stephanie Moyer, Insperity
Tabitha Spillers, Precision Planning, Inc.
Tawny Abraham, Marlow’s
Zach Shumate, Shuma, LLC