Penny is a wife, mother sister and friend and daughter of loving parents. She loves God and is a follower of Christ.
She has been a community member of Gwinnett for 39 years. She is in love with her African American Heritage and is a Geechy Girl in her soul. She is passionate about loving and advocating for her Black Community. She has diligently worked for equity and the dismantling of white supremacy for an inclusive community especially at the local and state level.
She is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc, and has been awarded a B.A. in Political Science from the University of South Carolina. She is a licensed Real Estate Agent and has worn many hats. She lives in and loves Gwinnett and aspires for it to be a place of inclusivity and welcoming to all.
Chef Hank Reid Hank Reid is the Founder and Executive Director of Trinity Community Culinary Institutes, Inc. a non-profit organization purposed to establish an educational and creative learning program, offering classroom instruction, seminars, workshops and employment training to the local community in a recreational environment in the area of Culinary Arts. The foundation of TCCI is strengthened upon the desire to support the everyday challenges parents face to help their young adult sons and daughters transition into self-sufficient, productive adults.
In 1990 Chef Hank made the transition from the Architectural Engineering field to pursue his underlying passion for Culinary Arts. While studying Mathematics at Clark-Atlanta University as a Dual Degree Major he combined his entrepreneurial spirit and his culinary skills and starting a catering business from his dorm room. Armed with only a hot plate and a toaster oven Chef Hank realized he had the gift to do a lot with very little. A true Southerner from Griffin Georgia, a small town forty miles south of Atlanta, Chef Hank began to worry less about how he would fund his education in the engineering field and more about how he could explore his talent for cooking. Rather than totally abandoning a career in Engineering, Chef Hank transferred to Southern Polytechnic in Marietta, GA to pursue an Architectural degree while working in the Baking and Pastry department of the Atlanta Hilton and Towers in downtown Atlanta.
Unable to share his love for Culinary Arts with the pursuit of an Architectural degree, Chef Hank made a full commitment to his passion and enrolled in the Culinary Arts program at the Art Institute of Atlanta and accepted a part-time position at a prestigious fine dining establishment, Carbo s Café and a full-time position with Houston s as a lead production Chef. As Chef Hank excelled in and earned his degree at the Art Institute, he took an active handson learning approach to his training by working through the ranks of a popular string of Liberty House Restaurant Group establishments; OK Café, Blue Ridge Grill, Kudzu Café and Bones. In 1994, Hank was appointed the Executive chef of Lulu s Bait Shack Restaurant and Bar, specializing in Louisiana Creole cuisine, in the popular Buckhead community known for its active night-life and multitude of restaurant and bar options. From there continued his Cajun Cuisine tour as the Executive Chef at Comeuax s Louisiana Bar and Grill.
In 1999 Chef Hank would work his way into the dual role of Executive Chef and Assistant General Manager of Cripple Creek Taphouse and Grill, an upscale lodge theme casual dining concept in the fast growing suburbs of Gwinnett County located north of Atlanta. Throughout his culinary endeavors, Chef Hank always made time for kids in his community. As a volunteer baseball coach for the DeKalb County Recreation Department, Hank not only excelled as a Chef, husband and Father, he embraced the responsibility of mentoring young men and women in that community. In 2000 Chef Hank moved to Snellville, GA with his wife Rachael and two sons Davonta and Chace and immediately fell in love with the community. There was an instant desire to get involved as he did in DeKalb County so he repositioned himself in the culinary industry by accepting a position as General Manager of Woody s Barbeque located right in the heart of the Snellville Community. The blessings for Hank and his family continued. The convenience of a position at a restaurant very close to home was topped by the birth of Hank and Rachael s third, fourth and fifth children, triplet daughters; Niiah, Neeyah and Neenah. As his culinary career continued to thrive as Chef Hank remained focused on his efforts in the community.
As the founder of Trinity Athletics of Snellville, Hank established this non-profit organization to support the youth in the local community focused on programs for students addressing physical and social health deficiencies. It offered support in the areas of athletic camps, seminars and study groups relating to academics, personal finance, social interaction, peer pressure and physical health. Additionally, he served three terms on the W.C. Britt Elementary School Council and one term as P.T.A. Co-President. In 2006 Chef Hank was appointed to the City of Snellville s Parks and Recreation Board where he served for two terms. After a four year run with Woody s Barbeque, Chef Hank remained in the same location for another two years after the Woody s franchise left town and Ground Round, an American Cuisine concept from the north, came in. In 2006, Chef Hank began the most natural process for a person with his level of experience. He began the process of opening his own establishment. That establishment was to become the town favorite Trinity Bistro and Coffee Bar. Chef Hank and his family enjoyed two years of success until the harsh economy of 2008 claimed the small businesses of many including Trinity Bistro. The passion never left Hank as he vowed to be back in the fold of the Snellville community.
Forced to work outside the community, Hank spent two years with the growing Panera Bread Corporation and then the call came for Chef Hank from Sweet Georgia s Juke Joint, a popular Southern cuisine concept right in the middle of downtown Atlanta. He was appointed to the prestigious position of Executive Chef. Tailor-made for Hank s style of cooking, the Juke Joint quickly rose from average ratings to an internationally recognized downtown Atlanta eatery. Chef Hank enjoyed great success making one television appearance after another. He continued to grow the Juke Joint brand and stabilize the organization s cuisine with quality traditional recipe building and establishing concise cost-effective culinary procedures resulting in the increase of the company s bottom line. Seemingly the job of a life time, Chef Hank was still not content with his path. He embarked upon what would be the culmination of all his experiences, Trinity Community Culinary Institutes, Inc. This is Chef Hank s true dream, a community enrichment program taking all of his experiences and the greatest attributes of all of them, organizing them with the purpose of sharing and offering direction, helping kids and inviting the entire community to experience the joy of cooking by opening a recreational style culinary school. TCCI, short for Trinity Community Culinary Institute is purposed to provide community enrichment by offering a recreational Culinary Arts program designed to offer essential direction to community youth that will develop a population of young men and women better adapted to be contributors to society than detractors from it. Its goal is to be a resource for an alternative recreational outlet for families in the community by hosting activities accenting the fun, creative and competitive elements of Culinary Arts. Chef Hank declares an obligation to enhance the hospitality aspects of the community by establishing student-run dining and catering operations and supporting local dining establishments with quality human resources from the local community.
TCCI also positions itself to lead other organizations with similar ideas and encourage them to put some action behind your passion. Chef Hank opens the door and sets the table to unite a coalition of Cultural Arts innovators purposed to activate the creative nature in all young adults, nurturing their dreams into constructive, productive reality. Finally in a role Chef Hank has desired for years, his dedication and commitment has never been greater and the community has been very receptive and even excited about TCCI. He is currently serving the Snellville Community as an Executive Board member of both the Snellville Economic Development Council and Integrity Christian Academy of Snellville. Chef Hank is also a potential Mayoral appointee to the Snellville Board of Appeals. In addition, a number of political figures have endorsed Chef Hank s community enrichment program which will support TCCI s goals to establish the concept anywhere there is a need for support to young men and women starving for positive encouragement and realistic hope for their futures.
Political Curt Thompson Is My Guest Sharing Why You Should Vote For Him As Gwinnett County Commissioner Chairman
Who Is Curt Thompson & Why Should You Vote For Him?
Throughout my life, I’ve always been proud to call Gwinnett County home. I am a progressive raised by progressives. Thus, I’ve spent a lifetime embracing, and working for, change. My parents were politically active in the anti-Vietnam war effort in the late 1960’s and into the early 70’s. When I graduated from Shiloh High School, I pursued my college career at the American University. While in college, I started my own work in politics. This included volunteering on the 1988 Al Gore for President campaign and volunteering at the 1988 Democratic Convention in Atlanta. I received a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and international studies, and went on to receive my J.D. from Georgia State University.
Most recently, I served in the Georgia State Legislature for the last 16 years. My biggest legislative accomplishment that affects people locally is the bill I helped pass to create Community Improvement Districts (CID’s) in Gwinnett County. I served on the Gwinnett Village CID for 10 years (now the Gateway 85 CID) and I was the first, and founding, president. This work on CID’s gave me experience working on local government issues and local planning. Much of this experience focused on the transportation planning for mass transit that, along with the work of countless others, has ultimately grown into the Connect Gwinnett plan that is part of the 2019 Transit Referendum.
Throughout my career, I have continued to stand up for progressive causes. As a constant advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, I continuously opposed anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. In 2003 and 2004, I led the fight against the state constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. I also co-sponsored legislation to address hate crimes, bullying and voting rights.
As a legislator, I was the first in Georgia to propose a referendum that would allow Georgians to vote on the legalization of retail marijuana sales. Additionally, I was the first to propose full-spectrum medical marijuana legislation. Each year, I worked with the state legislature to expand Georgia’s medicinal cannabis CBD oil laws.
I am also proud to have been a co-sponsor of the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act – the bill that created the tax credits that have brought so much movie and television industry business to Georgia. Gwinnett County has specifically benefited from Eagle Rock Studios.
Over the years, I have had the opportunity to volunteer with, and serve on the boards of, AID Gwinnett, Gwinnett Sierra Club, Gwinnett Habitat for Humanity, and Norcross Cooperative Ministry. Currently, I am a member of the Sierra Club and the Peachtree Corners Rotary Club.
I continue to live and work in Gwinnett and want to ensure that we build a bridge to a bolder and brighter future for our county and all those in it. My values are to ensure that my fellow citizens are safe, treated with respect, have equal opportunity, and are free from discrimination of any kind. I hope you join me in our campaign for Gwinnett’s future.
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Nicole Love-Hendrickson Says She's Going To Shoot Her Shot & Win The Gwinnett County Commissioner Chairman Seat
My guest today was Nicole Love Hendrickson. She joined me at the Noise Factory to share with me and all of you why she has decided to jump in the crowed race for Gwinnett County Commissioner Chairman's seat. Below is what Nicole had to say in her own words.
Public service is and has always been my passion. I have dedicated my entire career as a social worker serving people, empowering communities, and giving a voice to those who have been historically underrepresented in the decision-making arena. As leaders, it is our responsibility to ensure that all citizens thrive. In order to do that, our decisions need to reflect the needs of all of our citizens. As the county's' founding director of the community outreach program, I have experienced first-hand the role citizens can play in promoting good governance. I want to continue building on that success while addressing the challenges that lie ahead. I have a vision for our future and the demonstrated leadership to move us forward.
Today on Good Morning Gwinnett I got a chance to sit down with Attorney Andy Morgan and we talked about his run for the Gwinnett County Commission Chairman seat. Right now there are 7 candidates running and I wanted to find out what Mr. Morgan has planned for Gwinnett County should he win this upcoming election.
Take a listen to this podcast episode to see what Andy had to say about his qualifications to be the Commission Chairman and his vision for the future.
More About Andy Morgan
Like many others who call Gwinnett home, I came here from somewhere else. I was attracted to this quickly growing Atlanta suburb by its vibrant economy, nationally recognized school system and good quality of life.
My origins are routed in a small Caribbean Island called Jamaica. At the age of 4, my industrious and very hard-working Jamaican parents brought me to New York City where I grew up. My parents exemplified for me the importance of hard work, perseverance and ambition. Starting out with little to nothing, they learned their trades and worked hard at their blue-collar jobs to provide for all of our needs and gave me and my siblings a good start in life.
Aside from their work ethic, my parents also instilled in me the importance of education. They regretted the fact that due to family circumstances they were not able to advance their education and wanted to make sure that I and my siblings took advantage of the opportunity that they never had. With the encouragement of mom and dad, my two forever role models, after graduating from New York city public schools, I went on to earn degrees in Electrical Engineering and Law.
After earning my engineering degree, I worked as a technology associate for a large bank writing code and helping with network design. Upon earning my law degree, I worked for a number of years as an Associate for an international law firm on large scale business transactions. After leaving the law firm, I served as Vice President and General Counsel for a privately held company. I presently have my own law practice in Lawrenceville, where I have provided legal services and advice to individuals, small business owners, corporations and entrepreneurs for the last 12 years.
I am not a politician and my decision to run for Gwinnett County Commission Chairman didn’t come lightly. I have never run for public office before. I am a regular citizen, but passionate about giving back to my community. It is this passion and my belief that I can make a positive difference that has driven me to take this step.
I have been actively involved in our county for many years as a small business owner and through public service activities, such as serving on the board of directors for Gwinnett County Habitat for Humanity and as an area manager for Gwinnett County Elections.
I believe that we are at a critical time in Gwinnett’s history. Our population is expected to grow significantly over the coming years, making Gwinnett the most populous county in the state. In light of this growth, our elected officials will be required to work together to implement forward looking strategies that will permit us to grow in a sustainable way while also leveraging the opportunities that will most likely come as a result of that growth.
The decisions our County Commissioners make (or fail to make) in the coming years will have repercussions for generations to come. I am looking forward to engaging in that dialogue and contributing to the decisions that will chart our future. That is why I am running for Gwinnett County Commission Chair and am asking for your support and your vote.
Until Next Time
Make It A Great Day!
About My Guest
Curtis was raised in the metro Atlanta area by his mother where the family eventually made DeKalb County their home. Raised from modest beginnings as the youngest of two brothers, Curtis was taught core values of hard work, treating people fairly, and giving back to the community. His parents fought in the Civil Rights Movement in Montgomery Alabama, and he comes from a long family history of military service, law enforcement, and strong Christian values. It was no surprise that Curtis enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served his country for six (6) years and received an Honorable Discharge.
In 1989, Curtis chose to serve his local community and became a Gwinnett County Deputy Sheriff. After five years at the Sheriff’s Office, Curtis left as a Sergeant, having served as a jailer, Inmate Transportation Supervisor, and a Warrants/Civil process server to become a Gwinnett Police Officer. In 1994, Curtis went to the Gwinnett Police Department where he completed GCPD 32nd Academy and served at all five police precincts.
Curtis holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and a master’s in Professional Business Leadership from Shorter University. Curtis is a graduate of Gwinnett County’s L.E.A.D. program (Leadership/Education and Development), and the FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Leadership program. Curtis has served several years as a mentor through the Gwinnett County Schools program and also as a mentor in the L.E.A.A.D.S. (Law Enforcement Agencies Assisting in the Development of Students) program in Snellville.
Curtis has been the recipient of the Most Distinguished Alumni Award from Shorter University for his work in the community, the Diversity Achievement Award, from Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, and the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Community Service Forum Award in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Curtis currently serves on the Board of Directors for the L.E.A.A.D.S. program in Snellville.
About This Episode
My guest today on the Good Morning Gwinnett show is Attorney Patsy Austin-Gatson is running for Gwinnett County District Attorney Seat in the 2020 Election. Patsy who has been a part of the just system for 30 years said that she feels like we could do things better and that we can not only reduce the number of people going to jail, but we can also reduce the number of offenders who return to jail for a second or third time. Listen to the full episode here.
Until Next Time
Make It A Great Day!
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