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(Lawrenceville, Ga., May 9, 2018) – For the first time in history, the Gwinnett County Human Relations Commission (HRC) has elected its first Hispanic chairman to serve an initial one-year term. Chairman Fernando Andrade has served on the HRC since 2015 as vice chairman and criminal justice committee chairman. Chairman Andrade was unanimously elected during the HRC’s first general meeting held in January. The position was previous held by Dan DeVore, who was successful in recruiting dedicated volunteers to serve on the commission, as well as revising the commission’s bylaws and handbook to clarify the commissioners’ responsibilities, duties and mission.  

Chairman Andrade will focus on efficiency and effectiveness. He has already implemented a strategic plan to carry out the HRC’s mission to encourage, promote and develop fair and equal treatment and opportunity for all citizens of Gwinnett County. Chairman Andrade has also restructured his executive committee to include: Dr. Nikki Hughes as vice chairman, Dr. Catrina Jones as advisor, Raven Fleming-Brannon as treasurer and John Grinder as secretary. The remaining commissioners include: DeVore, Saleem Hayat, Connie Jee, Kook-Ja Lee, Joseph McCarty, Noemi Puntier and Aizaz Shaikh. He describes the commission as "a diverse group of people working together to overcome differences and disagreements for the best interest of the community.” Collectively, commissioners will ensure standing committees have viable work plans that align with the HRC’s mission. Over the next few months, the HRC will issue communications regarding its complaint intake process, upcoming educational programs, forums, town hall meetings and other events geared toward fulfilling its mission.

Gwinnett County residents are invited to learn more about the HRC at their annual Open House on Wed., May 23 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Tacos & Tequilas Mexican Grill, 3480 Financial Center Way in Buford. The free event will feature appetizers and live music. Residents will have an opportunity to network with HRC commissioners, hear updates on their 2018 work plan and ask questions.

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