CUMMING – The man who has been at the helm of small business growth in Forsyth County for the last seven years has been placed at the head of one of the few cities in the nation growing at a faster rate.
Jason Mock, director of small business services for the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce, was selected as the new president and CEO of the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce in Texas.
“As you may know, San Marcos is one of the fastest growing cities in America and is located between Austin and San Antonio,” said James McCoy, president and CEO of the Forsyth Chamber, in an email to the group’s Board of Directors. “Jason told me early on that his professional goals included becoming a Chamber president.
“We have worked with one another over the last seven years to give him the opportunity to have experiences that would prepare him.”
McCoy said Mock built the Small Businesses Services Committee “into a meaningful and effective resource for over 3,000 small businesses in our community.”
“Serving over 3,000 businesses in my time is something my predecessor was not able to do, and hopefully the next person in this position can double that,” Mock said. “Seeing businesses’ success and come from the ground up and taking off and expanding has been some exciting times. I’ll miss that here, but hopefully I’ll have that same success [in San Marcos].”
Part of Mock’s duties, other than increasing opportunities in the county, has been to help individual small business owners overcome challenges of starting a company.
McCoy credited Mock for bringing in millions of dollars in new capital investment and hundreds of jobs into Forsyth.
“He also served as the first staff person for the Healthcare Association and grew the organization from a steering committee of 10 to the largest single industry segment of the Chamber with 154 members,” McCoy said. “In partnering with Northside Hospital-Forsyth and Bluegrass Materials, he also started and managed one of our community’s truly signature events – Boulder Dash.”
Mock recently received his Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute of Management.
Mock said his experience in Forsyth will afford him opportunities to continue to grow in San Marcos.
“A community doesn’t grow and isn’t successful unless everyone is in the same boat together and rowing at the same time,” he said. “We’ve been blessed here in Forsyth County to have that leadership in James and others.”
McCoy said he and Robert Long, vice president of economic development, are in the process of reaching out to stakeholders and elected officials to discuss the “evolving needs of our community as it relates to this position.”
Mock’s last day with the Chamber is August 31, and McCoy said the process of finding a replacement will begin in mid-August.
His move also leaves open a prominent political position.
He currently serves as chairman of the Forsyth County Republican Party, the one-year term for which he was to be up for re-election at the beginning of next year.
“My start in my career was in the political process. Politics will always be here. And I do think Chambers play a role in driving a community’s agenda,” Mock said. “And that’s somewhat political. You wear a little of both hats in your role.”
He said he “probably won’t be involved” in the local GOP – certainly not immediately as much as he has been in Forsyth.
“It’s a passion of mine and it always will be. But my opportunity for me to succeed [in San Marcos] is in business,” he said. “There are some good-working grassroots individuals [in Forsyth] who are working every day who are trying to move a platform forward for the party. I will miss it, but I feel that the future will be bright.”
Mock said he is set to officially resign from the Forsyth GOP on Thursday at the group’s monthly meeting.
Carolyn Hall Fisher – vice chair of the party who was selected as a delegate for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, this summer – will serve as acting chair until a called meeting takes place on Monday, Aug. 15.
Mock said an election process will then move forward to select the next party chair.