Gwinnett Tech President Named Chamber's 2009 Citizen of the Year
Sharon Bartels Honored at Gwinnett Chamber's Annual Dinner
Sharon Bartels, president of Gwinnett Technical College, has been named the Gwinnett Chamber's 2009 Citizen of the Year. Bartels was presented the prestigious award at the chamber's 61st Annual Dinner last week.
Jim Maran, Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, told the capacity crowd, "The Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce's 61st Annual Dinner is a time of reflection, celebration, and most importantly, a time of recognition of those who keep Gwinnett's future shining bright."
"It was a great surprise and honor to be recognized for doing what I love – helping further the growth and prosperity of our county, reaching out to those who need our support, and advocating the value of life-long education," said Bartels. "I'm very lucky to be a part of this special community."
Under Bartels' leadership, Gwinnett Tech has become one of the fastest growing public two-year colleges in the country, ranking 20th among the top 50. Gwinnett Tech is now Georgia's largest technical college. Bartels joined Gwinnett Tech's leadership team in 1986 and was named president in 1996. She directed the institution's initial accredidation visit from the Commission of Colleges and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. As a result of that visit, Gwinnett Tech gained accreditation, making it one of a handful of technical schools that are accredited.
Another of Bartels' achievements was the creation of the Gwinnett Tech Foundation. The Foundation's first capital campaign funded approximately one-third of the cost for the George Busbee International Center for Workforce Development. In July 2006, Gwinnett Tech celebrated the opening of the D. Scott Hudgens, Jr., Early Education Center, the college's latest live learning lab which also provides the community with child care and preschool instruction.
Long recognized for her leadership in the community, Bartels served as co-chair of the Gwinnett Chamber's Partnership Gwinnett Initiative. She was Chamber Chairman in 2001 and has also served as vice chair for the Chamber's economic development, education and regional issues committees. In 2008, Bartels was named a Gwinnett United Way Women's Legacy Award winner, honored in the legacy category. She has also been named one of Georgia Trend's 100 Most Powerful and Influential Georgians.
Gwinnett Tech offers more than 45 degree, diploma and certificate program options. For more information, visit www.GwinnettTech.edu.
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