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Cumming-Forsyth Chamber honors one of its own
Hailed for efforts to recruit businesses
Toussaint

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* Watch video from the banquet.

CUMMING — The Cumming-Forsyth Chamber of Commerce is usually bringing in outside business, but on Friday night the organization honored one of its own.

Randall Toussaint, the chamber’s vice president of economic development, received the Chairman’s Award for his efforts to attract industry and new jobs for the local economy.

“This was tremendous,” Toussaint said after accepting the award during the chamber’s 2014 Annual Dinner & Celebration at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center.

“I honestly haven’t really received an award of this magnitude before and to receive it from our community and from our chair is just incredible.”

Toussaint, who has been with the chamber since 2009, was presented the award by outgoing chair Ann-Margaret Johnston.

“We got Randall in 2009. We had no idea how lucky we were,” Johnston said. “Randall, in his time since then, has added more than 4,000 jobs to the county and more than $4 million in investments in our county.

“Randall works behind the scenes. You don’t really see him a lot. He’s out there doing deals. He’s making sure we’re getting businesses in this county.”

Toussaint was quick to praise his colleagues.  

“Ann-Margaret read some incredible numbers, and to be honest, I get a lot of credit for that,” he said. “But the truth of the matter is, I am a member of an incredible team. So I really want to thank our chamber staff for all that they do and allowing me to be part of really the most incredible team in the state of Georgia or the country for that matter.”

According to Toussaint, one of the toughest deals he had to close was convincing his parents to move to Forsyth County, where he plans to be for a long time.

“Honestly, I love Forsyth. I originally moved up here because it was a great place to raise my family,” Toussaint said. “I have a little guy who just started kindergarten, so I look forward to being in Forsyth for years to come.”

During his acceptance speech, Toussaint also thanked Chamber President James McCoy for his confidence in hiring him.

“James, I really just want to say thank you to you for five years ago taking a risk, to be honest, on a then much skinnier, 29-year-old African-American male to lead economic development in Forsyth County,” Toussaint  said. “That means a lot.”

During his closing speech, McCoy made it clear that Toussaint was more of an asset than a risk.

“He’s a remarkable, remarkable human being, and has done many great things, and he’s also very modest,” McCoy said.

“I want to make it clear to him and to everyone that we didn’t take a risk on a 29-year-old African-American young man, we took a risk on the best damn economic developer in the country.”