Meet Alex Gubbins. She may be the best thing to happen to small businesses in Forsyth County.
As the first director of the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce Small Business Services Center, Gubbins will be working to help launch small businesses from startups to successes.
She doesn't officially start until Aug. 11, but Gubbins has already begun learning about the small business programs she will oversee, including the full-scale launch of the Business Accelerator Initiative.
The program will offer discounted office space to five businesses at the McGinnis Village Place in south Forsyth, and assistance to help reach their goals.
Gubbins said her first priority is to select the five businesses, get them in the office space and start "mentoring them and helping them to succeed and grow to the point where they can continue to grow their business in Forsyth County."
Businesses have up to two years to expand from the facility, but Gubbins said her goal is to never reach the full two years.
"How will I know success? When they move out before two years," she said.
"I hope they don't stay two years. I hope that they, in six months, have taken off to the point that they need to go get their own space and hire 10 or 15 new people."
A resident for about a decade, Gubbins has never worked in Forsyth County. She has been involved with surrounding chambers through her work in corporate office suite management and business development.
The daughter of two small business owners, Gubbins always knew she would end up working in business.
"I've never thought of doing anything else," she said.
In addition to playing ice hockey in college, Gubbins earned her bachelor's degree in business from the Marymount College of Fordham University in Tarrytown, N.Y.
Gubbins and her husband, Nick, have been married for 10 years and have one son.
Brian Dill, vice president of economic development for the local chamber, said it was more than her experience that made Gubbins stand out among other candidates for the position.
"Knowing this was a hybrid position, we knew we needed somebody that understood the executive office market, but also someone that had a great personality, can really listen to clients needs and respond to their needs," Dill said.
"She really brought everything to the table."