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Chamber welcomes new official
Mock to work with small businesses
Jason Mock
Jason Mock - photo by Submitted
He has worked with politicians like U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, Secretary of State Karen Handel and state Sen. Ross Tolleson.

But when his most recent candidate dropped out of the race, Jason Mock decided to tackle a different kind of campaign —helping Forsyth County’s small businesses.

“It’s a similar function, but doesn’t have the stress of the win-loss of a campaign, which is nice,” he said.

Mock, 28, began his new role as director of the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce Small Business Services Center on Monday.

The position was previously held by Alex Gubbins, who left for another opportunity.

“It was an enormous loss for us, to be honest,” said James McCoy, chamber president and CEO, of Gubbins’ departure. “She was great at what she did.”

But just a few days in, McCoy said Mock has done “exceptionally well” acclimating himself to the business community.

“We wanted someone that had great experience at managing large-scale projects, that was detail-oriented, very professional and really understood the value of how programming activity can promote an individual business,” McCoy said.

“Jason’s background in campaign managing lends itself really well to that kind of work.”

Mock, a county resident, most recently ran the congressional campaign for Forsyth’s Mike Evans.

On the campaign trail, Mock became familiar with the chamber and several of its leaders, including Evans’ friend and business partner John Kieffer.

Kieffer serves as volunteer chairman of the chamber’s Small Business Services Committee.

Mock said he is most looking forward to “working with small businesses, working with the leaders here in the community, growing the small
business services position and making sure that small businesses know they can count on the chamber.”

As he settles into the local business community, Mock will spend time getting to know the chamber’s small businesses and their priorities, McCoy said.

Gubbins created an action plan with help from the small business services center committee, but left before she had a chance to really put it in action.

“A lot of what he will be doing is taking that aggressive plan on and beginning to implement it,” McCoy said.

“What that plan is focused on is how we are working with small business people throughout Forsyth County to help them identify things that will help them become better business people and in turn create more jobs and capital investment.”

For Mock, being a political spectator during what promises to be an interesting 2010 election season is somewhat bittersweet, as politics will “always have a place” in his heart.

But his new role, he said, can have a lasting effect on the future of his community.

“We can grow something that can last not only a year, but can last a lifetime for businesses,” he said. “We can make this a place that people feel they can open up a business and start something fresh. This is a great time in our country to start something new.

“I hope we at the chamber and Small Business Services Center can give a platform that allows Cumming and Forsyth County to be the ground zero of growing a small business in the state of Georgia.”