Why I Give
"Gwinnett Tech has come into its own and the school is stepping up and meeting the challenges of the 21st century. Bioscience education is hapenning in Gwinnett County, and it's at Gwinnett Tech. The school has a mission now to lead, not follow. And as an employer, I can tell you, I want to hire folks from Gwinnett Tech."
-Sean Murphy, Past Chair, Gwinnett Tech Foundation Board of Trustees
Donor Stories - Why I Give
Gwinnett Tech supporters come from many walks of life and backgrounds. Some were scholarship recipients themselves in their youth, and are committed to assisting today’s students who are striving to achieve their dreams. Gwinnett Tech Foundation donors not only invest their treasure in student success, but many are involved personally as mentors, classroom guest lecturers and serve on program advisory boards and other committees.
Honors & Awards
At the October 2017 State of the College Address, Dr. Cannon recognized the following individuals and groups for their dedication to supporting Gwinnett Tech and its students:
2017 Volunteer Of The Year: Mikhail Britt
Since 2015, Mikhail has served on Gwinnett Tech Foundation board of trustees, often leading fundraising, community and donor engagement opportunities. As a Trustee, he is an active member of the Development and Finance Committee. He is eager to engage and learn about new areas of the College, and about the Technical College System of Georgia, so he can continue to help remove barriers for students and ensure they receive the most relevant education.
As Chief Financial Officer at Shumate Air Conditioning and Heating, a Gwinnett County-based company serving Georgia, Mikhail has been instrumental in donating equipment to Gwinnett Tech’s Heating and Air Conditioning program, and donate a much-needed van to the College.
Shumate employees also serve on the Heating and Air Conditioning advisory board and assist in curriculum development, internship and employment opportunities for Gwinnett Tech students and graduates.
For the last several years, Mikhail has served as the host for Gwinnett Tech Foundation’s Scholarship Celebration, sharing his infectious smile, outgoing personality and passion for Gwinnett Tech and student success.
Mikhail has invested not only his treasure in Gwinnett Tech, but his time as a leader in the Foundation’s fundraising efforts. He opens doors for the Foundation to engage prospects and regional business and community leaders, to garner support for Gwinnett Tech. He opens his calendar to assist with donor calls, personal visits, and works to engage other members of the board of trustees in fundraising efforts. He, along with his fellow board members, secured resources totaling more than $3.4M during FY17, and established an aggressive goal to meet the future needs of the College.
2017 Benefactor of the Year: Mercedes-Benz USA
To prepare for their U.S. corporate headquarters’ move to Sandy Springs in 2015, Mercedes-Benz USA partnered with Georgia’s Quick Start program here at Gwinnett Tech. Gwinnett Tech created employee training to facilitate a seamless, efficient onboarding of several hundred new staff.
As the winning partnership with Gwinnett Tech evolved during 2016, conversations began to focus on their increasing need for highly skilled and work-ready technicians. Those discussions led to the creation of the first North American Mercedes-Benz Automotive Technician Training program in a college.
MBUSA donated funds to remodel a Gwinnett Tech Automotive lab and classroom; and delivered six vehicles, plus engines, diagnostic equipment and supplies, valued at more than $750,000. MBUSA has also sponsored faculty training, providing support for registration and travel expenses.
The new five-semester associate degree program launched in August of 2017 with a full class of 25 students pursuing the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of automotive repair with a focus on Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
MBUSA employees serve on the Automotive Advisory Board, assist with developing strategic and operational plans for the program, advise on industry needs, emerging technology and training essentials for technicians - all to ensure employability and success after graduation.
As part of the new MBUSA Automotive Technician Training program, regional Mercedes-Benz dealers regularly meet on campus to visit classrooms and labs, engaging students in internship, and ultimately, job opportunities.
2017 Alumni of the Year: Jan Webster
Jan Webster, a successful entrepreneur, graduated from Gwinnett Technical College in 2008 with a degree in Culinary Arts. After graduation, she opened a family catering business, Jan Webster Catering, in Duluth, which has grown into a profitable company, known throughout the region as providing excellent food and catering services. Jan is an important ambassador for Gwinnett Tech, and speaks highly of the College on her catering website and to is a huge proponent of technical education, and Gwinnett Tech.
Jan currently provides catering on a regular basis for several Gwinnett Tech events including Board of Directors meetings, Board of Trustees meetings, and the annual staff training and holiday luncheon, which serves over 350 faculty and staff members. Jan has served on Gwinnett Tech’s Culinary Advisory Board for more than ten years and participates as a judge during the interview process for the annual contest for culinary and hospitality students. She is often a guest speaker in the Culinary classroom providing students with priceless wisdom that can only be gained by experience.
Jan is also a valued citizen in Jackson County where she is Mayor of Nicholson and sits on the Board of Directors for the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce. To become worthy of those honors, she attended over 100 hours of training administered by the Georgia Municipal Association. She continues to give back to her community by furnishing all the pre-game meals to the Jefferson High School football team. Jan is the preferred caterer of many of North Atlanta’s largest corporations and has been known to serve over 3,000 employees in two days at corporate events and conferences.
Jan is known for being a hard worker, dependable, and accommodating. Her strong work ethic, advocacy of Gwinnett Tech and community leadership all attribute to her being an outstanding alumna.
2017 Advisory Board of the Year: Automotive
The Automotive Program Advisory Board members offer industry advice on program curriculum, suggests modifications to course offerings, provide meaningful internship opportunities and serve as speakers on industry topics. Each member is actively engaged, have hired Gwinnett Tech alumni and ensured students have the diagnostic equipment, training and in-lab experience to be successful.
This year, this advisory board was instrumental in obtaining new vehicles from Nissan, KIA, Fiat Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz USA. Also, diesel engines and equipment were donated. Support of the Automotive program has incredibly grown over the past few years!
The second annual GEAR HEADZ car show was hosted at the Lawrenceville campus, with over 70 participants. The Diesel program welcomed its first female student, training and recruitment, career fairs were held throughout the year. And, two students won silver and bronze in the SKILLS USA competition.
Congratulations to the 2017 Winners!