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New year: New face, new title, new boards

(Lawrenceville, Ga., Jan. 11, 2023) – The Board of Commissioners has had a busy start to the new year. As the new year kicked off, so did new changes. Here’s what you need to know in this week’s roundup:

Chairwoman Nicole Hendrickson appointed to tourism board

Chairwoman Nicole Hendrickson will continue to help shape the experience of people who want to visit or live in Gwinnett. She was recently appointed to the Board of Directors for the Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The position is non-paying and oversees Explore Gwinnett Tourism and Film as well as the Gas South District — the 118-acre campus is the hub for entertainment, arts, conventions and other celebrations in Gwinnett.

Commissioner Kirkland Carden hosts town halls

In a town hall held earlier this week, District 1 Commissioner Kirkland Carden introduced recently elected Commissioner Matthew Holtkamp to some of his former constituents. When the new commission district lines went into effect Jan. 1, a part of District 1 became District 4.

Meanwhile, Carden will meet with Duluth’s oldest Black community in another town hall tonight from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. The Hill’s Community will receive American Rescue Plan Act funds to begin the process of changing its septic system into a sewer system. That meeting will be held at Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church in Duluth.

Commissioner Ben Ku appointed vice chair for 2023

Newly re-elected District 2 Commissioner Ben Ku also has a new title — vice chair. Members of the board unanimously voted to name Ku commission vice chair for 2023. In this one-year role, he will preside over meetings when Chairwoman Hendrickson is unavailable.

Commissioner Jasper Watkins joins View Point Health board

He spearheaded the movement to create a streamlined process for veterans in Gwinnett and across Metro Atlanta. As a retired Lt. Col. in the army, Commissioner Jasper Watkins said it was a dream come true when the Veterans and Family Services office opened in Gwinnett late last year. Now, he wants to continue helping those in need.

Watkins is the newest member of the View Point Health Board of Directors. View Point Health is a community behavioral health center. Gwinnett Police partnered with View Point for its co-responder unit. The Police Mental Health Collaboration program pairs a trained officer with a clinical psychologist to answer calls when a person may be experiencing a mental health crisis.

Commissioner Matthew Holtkamp begins term

Residents will notice a new face on the board. Commissioner Matthew Holtkamp began his four-year term representing District 4 on Jan. 1. District 4 includes Buford, Sugar Hill, Braselton, Rest Haven, Auburn and parts of Suwanee and Lawrenceville.

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