HVAC family finds knack for giving back

In the tiny Iowa farming community where Matthew Holtkamp grew up, folks tended to their own crops. When illness or catastrophe struck any of the 100 residents of St. Paul everyone rallied to help. Today he and his wife Suzanne, who is from Ohio, are trying to pitch in on a much larger scale in Gwinnett County (population nearly 850,000).

The Holtkamps own a Suwanee-based heating and air-conditioning company, so they know how important basic systems are to family comfort and stability. In their county, many families lacked basic needs—even food. So the Holtkamps decided during the depths of the Great Recession to create a charity through their company.

New airport business alliance similar to successful economic development program in Gwinnett County

The newly formed Atlanta Aerotropolis Alliance bears a striking resemblance to Partnership Gwinnett, a public-private initiative that has created a strong record of economic development in Gwinnett County.

Each entity was formed to attract jobs and investments to their respective areas. One distinguishing point is that the aerotropolis alliance was convened by the Atlanta Regional Commission, whereas Partnership Gwinnett is based at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.

Faith moves mom to reject then defend lesbian daughter’s way of life

At 77, Yvonne Howell of Snellville transformed her belief that her youngest child, Dana Worsham, faced possible damnation for being a lesbian. On Friday she lifted a sign proclaiming, “God loves my gay daughter!” Her journey is one that her daughter and others hope that the Methodist church will follow. They reject the anti-homosexual stance of the denomination and those who lobby to keep it.

That’s why mother and daughter were among 30 protesters last week at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. Through their major disagreements, what mother and daughter always have had in common is passion for what they believe is right. “My mom’s not a pistol,” Worsham says. “She’s a nuclear bomb.”

State of Gwinnett : Chairman Charlotte Nash addresses past woes, bright future; promotes citizenship

Gwinnett County commission Chairman Charlotte Nash laid her cards on the table Wednesday in her “State of the County” address.

The speech presented some challenges – the economy is harsh, the county budget is lean and getting leaner. Fresh allegations of public corruption in DeKalb County are reminders of Gwinnett’s recent and continuing problems.

Nash met it all head-on in her opening remarks: “Gwinnett’s story has been filled with ups and downs and plots twists along the way. The last few chapters were painful at times, and a few characters have been removed. But overall, Gwinnett’s story is a tale of success and a testament to those who made it happen.”