Council for Quality Growth Hosted Fireside Chat with Newly Elected County Chairs
Featuring Lisa Cupid of Cobb County, Carlotta Harrell of Henry County, Nicole Love Hendrickson of Gwinnett County and Cindy Jones Mills of Forsyth County. Moderated by Doug Jenkins, 2021 Council Chairman.
The Council for Quality Growth and their Board of Directors hosted guests at a socially distanced fireside chat featuring newly elected County Chairwomen, Lisa Cupid of Cobb County, Carlotta Harrell of Henry County, Nicole Hendrickson of Gwinnett County, and Cindy Mills of Forsyth County on Friday, January 22, 2021 at the Crowne Plaza at Ravinia.
The Council for Quality Growth’s historic event was the first to see the new Chairwoman collectively in public to discuss important issues and their visions for their respective counties during their tenure as Chairs. Council Board of Directors Chairman, Doug Jenkins, Metro North Region Director for Georgia Power, moderated the lively discussion that was simultaneously streamed to a virtual audience.
“It’s historic to have four women in these metro Atlanta leadership roles, and the Council is excited for the chance to work with them in their new roles,” said 2021 Council Chairman, Doug Jenkins.
When asked to describe what brought each into public service and, further, to the Chairmanship of their respective Counties, the answers were summed up in one word – “service”. Service and love of their communities and a heartfelt desire to see everyone succeed and to be a part in fostering an atmosphere for success no matter who you are. Chairwoman Harrell spoke to her upbringing as a daughter of a pastor heavily involved in the community, and how it directed her towards a life of public service, including her 20 years in law enforcement.
On transportation, everyone is in a somewhat different place, but what was clear is that each Chair believes transportation funding and improvement, including transit where appropriate, is key to economic success. Chairwoman Hendrickson pointed out that Gwinnett will add over 500,000 new residents over the next decade and “… we need to learn how to get people around the County, contribute to quality of life, and be competitive in the region.” A theme echoed by all Chairs.
Affordable housing is on everyone’s agenda. These challenges are region-wide and the lack of workforce housing for service workers, teachers, and public safety workers is top of mind with all four Chairwomen. “Getting there is tough,” as Chairwoman Cupid pointed out in that in Cobb “…as we work for the county’s success you drive up the value of property and that makes it challenging.”
As to short and long-term goals and visions for their counties, the response to the pandemic was top of mind for all in the immediate future. How to address the health and economic consequences is of vital importance. In the long term, it was clear that each has a passion for everyone’s success and providing a welcome mat to anyone who wants to live and do business in their county. As Chairwoman Mills said, “we want a label that we love having your business.”
The Chairwomen concluded the discussion with a collective feel for regionalism and sharing ideas between their roles, noting throughout the event that to succeed, metro Atlanta must work together to grow together. The Council congratulated each of their election, and looks forward to working with each Chair during their tenure.