Gwinnett Magazine’s 20th Anniversary Guide to Gwinnett

Gwinnett Magazine is kicking off it’s biggest birthday celebration with its biggest Guide to Gwinnett in our 20-year history.

Since the first issue was published in July 1997, Gwinnett Magazine has become a well-known face of the Gwinnett community. Our special issues, including The Guide to Gwinnett, Best of Gwinnett, and People to Know. are anxiously awaited by our readers… the biggest readership of any regional magazine in the area.Gwinnett Magazine was founded by Gwinnett native David Greer.

“It’s not that the idea of a magazine was rocket science, but the timing felt right to me on a gut level. I looked at it like more of a community-building project than a publication — and one that hit close to home since I’d been here all my life,” Greer says. “ Gwinnett County had this reputation of being a bedroom community outside of I-285, kind of way out there, but it was a powerful economy and it was growing. But it didn’t have a magazine.”

What Gwinnett did have at that time was plenty of naysayers who thought it too soon for the county to support a successful magazine publishing venture. After all, industry experts estimate that 80 percent of new magazines fail within the first two years of their launch.

Greer, on the other hand, had a clear vision, unfailing optimism, and a few key influential supporters.

“I admire Kelly and David for having the foresight to believe there was a strong enough customer presence to warrant the start-up of such a magazine,” said Bill McCargo, former vice president of community relations for Scientific Atlanta. “A lot of people would have looked at that and said the time is not here. A true leader is one who looks at something for what can be, develops a vision, and rallies a team around it — and that’s what Kelly and David have done.”

Also on board from the start was the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, led then by Richard Tucker.

“David is very creative, but there are a lot of starving artists out there,” Tucker said. “You have to be able to promote your ideas. You have to develop a network of people. It’s not really who you know, but who knows you, and David understands that.”

Gwinnett Center General Manager Preston Williams and Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau (GCVB) Executive Director Caryn McGarity also saw the potential value and synergy between the magazine and their organizations. The chamber, GCVB and Gwinnett Center gave Gwinnett Magazine an early boost by signing a multiple-year sponsorship deal.

In July 1997, with a cover featuring a couple on the greens at Sugarloaf Country Club, the inaugural issue of Gwinnett Magazine was released. Two decades later, we’re kicking off our birthday bash with an innovative Guide to Gwinnett, a print and digital publication that offers more — more circulation, more features, more ways for advertisers to reach out to potential customers — than even Greer could have foreseen in ‘97.

Originally published at Gwinnett Magazine.

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