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A Night with the Stars: Isakson keynote speaker at Johns Creek Chamber gala

Praises work chambers do for communities

Gwinnett Medical Center Duluth was the presenting sponsor for the gala. From left are Thomas Shepherd, Philip Wolfe, Sen. Johnny Isakson, Wayne Hill, Carolyn Hill, Mike Levengood and Peggy Levengood. Real Life Photography.

January 31, 2014
JOHNS CREEK Ga. — U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, the guest speaker Friday, Jan. 24, at the annual Johns Creek Chamber gala at the Atlanta Athletic Club, made special note of the role chambers of commerce play in Georgia's economy.

Isakson praised the JC Chamber for its success in bringing the community and businesses together.

A capacity crowd of more than 200 guests including several elected officials attended the gala.

Isakson said he wanted to pay tribute to the volunteers and people involved in the chamber for all they've done for the city.

"Volunteer work is not easy," he said. "But it's a labor of love and is the difference between an average community and a great community."

Chambers also serve the country as a bulwark against subversive agents who would destroy democracy.

"No country, no community, no county ever turned communist, socialist or fascist until three things happened," he said.

"First, the government got control of the means of communication. Second, the government got control of the means of education and its curriculum, and third, it got control of the trade associations that ran the businesses and promoted businesses in the community," Isakson said.

The unity of Johns Creek businesses and residents made the city strong, and the chamber plays a big role in that, he said.

Isakson encouraged the attendees to come together for the country and create a bipartisan government in the same way they came together for Johns Creek.

Chamber Chairman Craig McCoy, Emory Johns Creek Hospital chief executive officer, gave the state of the chamber address and thanked the members for their commitment to the chamber.

"We've had incredible growth not only within the chamber itself, but within the various events and programs we offer, too," he said.

McCoy said the first business expo in 2012 had about 54 exhibitors and in 2013, it grew to about 90.

"Over 1,200 people attended the 2013 expo, and it was a huge success," he said.

The chamber honored 11 members and two businesses for leadership and spirit.

Pat Quigley of Vail Dunlap and Associates, who received a Spirit Award, said the Johns Creek Chamber of Commerce is a boon to the city.

"I'm excited to be a part of the chamber," he said. "They are doing wonderful things for businesses in Johns Creek and it's an honor to be a part of it."

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