2023 Board of Directors
Thompson, O'Brien, Kemp & Nasuti
Bill obtained his Juris Doctorate, magna cum laude, from Georgia State University, College of Law. He began his legal career as Law Clerk to the Honorable John T. Laney III, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Georgia. It was during his time that Bill gained experience in and knowledge of the complex litigation issues. Bill now works for the law firm Thompson, O’Brien, Kemp & Nasuti, PC as an associate attorney. His practice primarily involves representation of financial institutions in litigation and compliance matters and representation of various stakeholders in local government and zoning disputes.
SWGC Former Chairman
Greater Atlanta Christian School
Margie Asef has enjoyed a variety of life experiences living in Ohio, Kentucky, California and Georgia. As a collaborative leader, she thrives in building effective teams that positively impact the community.
Margie is the Director for Community Relations for Greater Atlanta Christian School, and has responsibilities over media/public relations, student-internships, large-scale events, and international-students’ home-stays.
She and her husband share their home with a rescue pup, enjoy time with their family and are always looking forward to new culinary and travel adventures.
Heaven & Alvarez CPAs
Carlos is a CPA with over 10 years of experience in tax and accounting. He is a graduate of Georgia State University and has worked in a variety of industries with companies ranging in size from small businesses to Fortune 1000 and multinational corporations.
Carlos is also active in the community; He is a Board Member and Treasurer of the Langford Close Homeowners Association, member of the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and now board member of the Southwest Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.
Carlos is completely fluent in Spanish and offers a business tax and accounting course for Latino entrepreneurs at the Latino American Association. He additionally is a member of the Atlanta Track Club.
Transworld Business Advisors
Karl Barham is an experienced Business Executive, Coach, and Small Business Owner with expert knowledge to help business owner with valuations, business exit planning, and Business Sales transactions. Karl successfully launched and operated small and large businesses in industries ranging from manufacturing to healthcare to retail. Karl owns with his wife Ann, the local Transworld Business Advisors of Atlanta Peachtree, a global leader in business brokerage and Mergers & Acquisitions in the Metro Atlanta city of Peachtree Corners, GA where he lives with his wife, Ann and his two daughters.
Larry Benator is the Community Development Manager for Excel Federal Credit Union based in Peachtree Corners, GA. Larry has been with Excel since 2018, and as the Community Development Manager, Larry engages with the local communities of Gwinnett, Forsyth, Fulton, and Hall counties including involvement with local businesses, community organizations, and schools to promote positive economic growth and develop financial literacy programs to benefit the area residents.
City of Norcross
William Corbin is the Economic Development Director at the City of Norcross. He has more than ten years of professional experience in economic and community development.
William has familiarity with a wide variety of areas and disciplines in the field, from strategic industry research and analysis to residential development, mixed-use commercial development, and project management for both small business as well as larger corporate recruitment, retention and expansion.
William is passionate about the socioeconomic stability and well-being of towns, cities and regions, and he has a strong interest in how the policies of public and private organizations affect the daily lives of both residents and visitors.
Before coming to Norcross, William held the position of Senior Business Development Manager at the Development Authority of Clayton County. Prior to that, he spent several years in economic development roles at the City of Duluth, Georgia as well as The Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County’s economic development agency. William also spent time at Market Street Services, an economic development consulting firm in Atlanta, where he began his career.
Born and raised in the Greater New Haven, Connecticut area, William holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a minor in Journalism from Emory University as well as a Master of Public Administration degree from Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. As part of his graduate studies, William spent a semester abroad at Northumbria University in Newcastle, England, where he studied International Policy Analysis and Comparative Public Administration.
When he’s not busy being a cheerleader for the community he works in, William enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters. He loves a good sports debate and is an amateur food blogger.
Past SWGC Chairman
Weare Gratwick has over 35 years of banking experience and has served as a community leader in Peachtree Corners for over 20 years.
Currently, Gratwick is the Gwinnett Market President for Tandem Bank in Peachtree Corners and serves as the Mayor Pro Tem on the City Council.
Before helping launch Tandem Bank in September 2019, Gratwick served as the Atlanta Market President for Colony Bank from 2016-2019, as a Principal Banker with Wells Fargo’s Gwinnett Business Banking Group from 2012 -2016 and Vice President of the Residential Real Estate Construction Division of SunTrust Bank from 2002-2011.
Gratwick began his banking career at SunTrust Bank in 1983, rising from trainee to branch manager to Vice President, Commercial/Retail Banking to Group Vice President, Residential Real Estate Construction Division during his tenure there. He served from 1985 to 2002 as a Relationship Manager for the bank’s Gwinnett Commercial Banking Commercial Division, working with local small-to-medium sized corporations.
From 2002 through 2011, he served as both a Relationship Manager and Team Leader in the Homebuilder Division of the bank’s Commercial Real Estate group. During this time, he led the bank’s annual fundraiser for Home Aid, a non-profit organization that builds transitional housing for the homeless.
He served as Civic Chair of the Peachtree Station Homeowners Association and as a representative of the United Peachtree Corners Civic Association from 2010 to 2012. Previous civic engagements also include serving as Treasurer of the Norcross High School Foundation for Excellence from 2011 through 2014 and Board member since 2009, President of Norcross Baseball from 2002 to 2004, Treasurer of the Norcross Soccer Academy from 2007 to 2010 and Chairman of the Southwest Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce for 2019 and 2020.
Gratwick is an active member of the Peachtree Corners Rotary Club. He is currently serving as the Chair of the Steering Committee for Leadership Gwinnett and is a graduate of the Class of 2015. He is a 2019 graduate of Atlanta Regional Committee’s Regional Leadership Program. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Neighborhood Cooperative Ministry.
A native of Buffalo, New York, Weare grew up in Decatur, Alabama. He holds a M.B.A. in Finance from Georgia State University, and a B.B.A in Accounting from Emory University.
Derrick Grissom is a Corporate Executive that has worked in the telecommunications industry for the past 10 years and is currently the General Manager for Clearwave Fiber, located in Peachtree Corners Tech Park. He is
responsible for leading the growth and operations for Clearwave in the Atlanta metro markets, to include Peachtree Corners, Norcross, Lawrenceville, Conyers,and Covington, as well as the Macon metro market in central Georgia. In the fourth quarter of 2022, Clearwave Fiber spent millions on a massive expansion of their fiber network throughout Peachtree Corners that now provides an additional 12 miles of fiber to over 5,000 local businesses. Derrick has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, and holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Management from South University out of
Savannah. In addition, Derrick serves on several professional boards throughout
the metro Atlanta community and is a proud Toastmaster having earned his Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) award in 2021. A native of Atlanta, GA, Derrick enjoys world traveling, writing, and inspiring others to be the best version of themselves. He believes that strong work ethic, resilience, and perseverance are key principles to success and motivates others to each their full potential.
The Alliance of Norcross-Peachtree Corners
Terri has been actively a part of the Norcross-Peachtree Corners Communities for over 31 years. She spent 29 years serving on Norcross First United Methodist Church staff and two years as the Norcross-Peachtree Corners City Flourishing Catalyst for Unite before accepting her new position as the Director of The Alliance of Norcross-Peachtree Corners. Terri has a deep understanding of the community and the passion and commitment to help each member of our community have the opportunity to thrive in all areas of her life.
As the Director of The Alliance of NPC, she connects with Churches, Schools, Businesses, Non-Profits, City/County/State Government, and Stakeholders in the community - building relationships, listening, learning, and praying about where they might walk together towards helping each member of the community be able to thrive.
Neighborhood Cooperative Ministries
Ryan Jones currently serves as Director of Community Development for Neighborhood Cooperative Ministries. After spending 15 years in the banking industry providing support to Georgia companies of various sizes, Ryan decided to pursue his passion for serving others full time by helping families in crisis in Southwest Gwinnett County. In the community, Ryan serves as the Director of the Pantry @ HMUMC, a food pantry serving an average of 600 families every week. Ryan is the service chair for the Duluth Rotary Club, a mentor for Gwinnett County Schools, council member for the North GA Housing and Homeless Council of the Methodist Church and member of the Leadership Gwinnett Class of 2023. In his free time, Ryan enjoys coaching youth sports and chasing around his two young, active boys.
Explore Gwinnett - GCVB
Originally from Connecticut, Bruce & his wife Lisa have lived and worked in Gwinnett County for more than 30 years.
Almost all of Bruce’s career has been working in the hotel industry as Director of Sales & Marketing and General Manager. Among his many hotel experiences, he worked at the Hilton Atlanta Northeast in Peachtree Corners from 2013 – 2019. He was active in the SWGC during that time including his first time as a Board member.
In the Fall of 2019, Bruce left the Hilton and hotel industry but remained in the hospitality world when he joined Explore Gwinnett as Director of Sales (and continued to be active in the SWGC). Bruce and his team are responsible for bringing convention/group business to hotels throughout Gwinnett and at the Infinite Energy Center.
He has a passion for travel and photography and you have probably seen him taking photos at our events.
Good Samaritan Health Centers of Gwinnett
Over seventeen years in philanthropy serving local, national, and international non-profit ministries. Greg serves as Director of Development and Marketing at Good Samaritan Health Centers of Gwinnett since Dec. 2022. He's also a member of the Gwinnett Leadership Class of 2023, President-elect at Rotary Club of Lawrenceville, and Board of Directors at Hudgens Art Center and Learning. Married to Allison, 18-year-old twin girls and 8-month-old son reside in Lawrenceville, GA. It's a pleasure to serve on the Board of Directors and looking forward to building long-lasting relationships in the Peachtree Corners and Norcross Community.
WSB-TV/Cox Media Group
Mark Klafter currently serves in multiple career roles. He is a Senior Account Executive with WSB-TV/Cox Media Group where he focuses on providing customized marketing solutions to companies of various sizes in all business sectors. He has held this position for the past two years, but has worked in similar roles within the media industry for the past 30+ years.
His real passion is for his second career as co-owner of Social Fox Brewing, located in historic downtown Norcross. As one of the founding partners Mark has been involved in all areas of operations with a focus on Sales and Distribution. His involvement with Social Fox is what brought him to the Southwest Gwinnett Chamber.
Mark also currently serves as a member of the Norcross Development Authority, and has been involved in a number of other board positions including nine years with the Foundation for Ichthyosis and Related Skin Types; a passion project as his youngest child has a rare genetic form of ichthyosis.
When he finds himself with any free time, Mark is an avid runner, completing 5 marathons and over 20 half-marathons. He calls himself a “retired” triathlete after completing an Ironman Triathlon back in 2011. Traveling and skiing are also high on the list of personal pleasures. When at home you will most often find him cooking for friends and family.
Originally from the Chicago area, Mark attended Syracuse University where he received a degree in Television/Radio/Film Management. After graduating he relocated to the New York City area for a number of years before moving to Atlanta 23 years ago. While first in the Johns Creek area, he currently resides in Norcross.
City of Berkeley Lake
I am a Business Developer for United Consulting, an engineering firm that, for over 35 years, helped turn ambitious projects into reality. Before joining United Consulting, I worked at different levels of retail management and training, where I always tried to help my clients and team in any possible way. I am happy to call many of those colleagues my friend, and thanks to their support, I received many awards and recognitions for implementing new training methods, setting new sales records, and more. I spend my free time with my daughter and son, reading, enjoying music and photography, and now trying to enjoy life more after I heard this quote by Soren Kierkegaard, Life must be lived forward but can only be understood backward.
I am the Business Development & Marketing Director for Servpro of Norcross and Servpro of Duluth. As a First Priority Responder my goal is to ensure safety for disaster recovery of a commercial loss.
My passion is helping people during a crisis. Our mitigation team is specialized in water extraction and clean up while our reconstruction division completes the rebuild to look like the disaster never happened.
My specialty is completing an Emergency Readiness Plan application that is uploaded directly to an owner’s phone with a click of a button alerting our staff immediately saving money and time for any commercial building loss. Therefore, the tennant can resume living conditions as well as the business opening as soon as possible.
I am happy to offer a Service Master Agreement as this helps speed the process so work can begin quicker. Signatures and pre-approval can save money and time and in some cases an entire building.
Relationship building and helping others when a disaster strikes is a priority. I am proud to say with our experienced staff and robust equipment SERVPRO is faster to any disaster and we can remediate “like it never happened.”
Please contact me directly at 404-640-7831. I am just a phone call away from an assessment.
Betsy Corley Pickren
A native of Gwinnett County, Betsy shows her passion for supporting her community by her service as a Board Member of the SWGC over the last three years.
Her experiences in the roles of teacher (Gwinnett County Schools), manager, executive and entrepreneur give her credibility as a leadership coach and facilitator. Betsy guides good people to exercise their own wills and train their brains to become great leaders.
PBJ Media Holdings
Patty Thumann is the Managing Partner at PBJ Media Holdings, LLC, a minority woman owned small business boutique consulting firm offering an independent sounding board, business development and partnership growth to bring key stake holders together to drive positive results and grow business. Specializing in the energy management, sustainability & facility management industry, with an interest healthcare, security, technology, and emergency response. In addition, she assists with training, tradeshows and publishing technical papers in professional journals as well as book publishing on an international level. She has been in this industry for close to 30 years.
Patty serves on the Board of Directors and is the Response Director for MRC GEM, a Medical Reserve Corps, 501(c)(3) all-volunteer nonprofit organization that supports emergency managers and the largest health department in Georgia. She has served as Lead on the Covid-19 Respond since March 2020.
Patty was born in Cuba and came to the U.S. when she was seven years old. She has lived in Gwinnett County since the age of nine and resides with her husband and teenage son. She plays tennis year-round, scuba dives, enjoys water sports and snow skiing.
Northside Hospital Duluth
Tawny is the Director of Operations for Northside Hospital Duluth, a 122-bed acute care hospital with more than 1,000 employees. In this role, Tawny works with her clinical leader counterparts to ensure that Northside Hospital Duluth is ready to provide exceptional healthcare service to the Gwinnett community and beyond.
Tawny originally joined the Northside Hospital Gwinnett and Duluth team in 2019. She previously served as the Manager of Operations & Emergency Management and spent more than a year leading the hospital’s ever-evolving COVID response. Tawny is also a proud graduate of the Leadership Gwinnett Class of 2022!
Born and raised in Macon and a graduate of the University of Georgia’s prestigious Master of Public Administration program, Tawny is a Georgia girl through and through. When she’s not working, Tawny most enjoys reading a new novel, volunteering with her local animal rescue group, or planning her next travel adventure.