LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga., Feb. 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Rowen Foundation has tapped 20 Gwinnett leaders to serve on its Gwinnett Community Advisory Task Force. The task force is charged with identifying opportunities for Rowen to support, strengthen, and partner with surrounding public, private, and civic stakeholders, and is composed of leaders in business, education, health, faith and community service.

The Advisory Task Force will work with Rowen Foundation staff, governing board and others to ensure that broad community input is secured as the 2,000-acre knowledge community moves deeper into its planning phases.

Mason Ailstock, president of the Rowen Foundation, will serve as the convener of the group.

“A critical priority for the Rowen Foundation is ensuring deep and meaningful community engagement and input as we begin to get more specific in our planning,” said Ailstock. “This group of advisors will provide invaluable guidance as we begin the hard work in earnest.”

Task force members include: 

Nicole Love Hendrickson

Chairwoman, Gwinnett Board of Commissioners

Jasper Watkins

Gwinnett County District 3 Commissioner

Nikki Merritt

Georgia State Senator, District 9

Chuck Efstration

District 104 Representative, Georgia House of Representatives

Sam Park

State Representative, Georgia House District 101

Reverend Marlon Allen

Pastor at Victorious Living Church in Dacula

Ethel Andersen

Partner at Andersen, Tate & Carr, P.C.

Major Michelle Anglin

Commander of Community Affairs Section for Gwinnett County Police Department

Everton Blair, Jr.

District IV Representative, Chair of the Gwinnett County Board of Education

Valerie Cadet, PhD

Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Department of Bio-Medical Sciences – PCOM Georgia

Frederick Dawkins

Owner of Frederick C. Dawkins, Esq.

Melvin Everson

Vice President of Economic Development, Continuing Education Department, Gwinnett Technical College

Ashish Gandhi

Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer, OFS Fiber Optics

Doug Jenkins

2021 Chairman, Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and Regional Director, Metro North – Georgia Power

Santiago Marquez

CEO, Latin American Association

Beverly Paff

President, Gwinnett Historical Society

Jessica Stewart

Community Program Manager, Gwinnett County Government

Dr. Tyler Yu

Dean of School of Business, Georgia Gwinnett College

“Rowen offers the elements needed to generate unprecedented economic, educational and innovative impacts rooted in the history of the site and the state. But these elements are nothing without the leadership, creativity, rigor, and partnerships to put them to work,” said Sachin Shailendra, chairman of the board of directors of Rowen Foundation. “All aspects of Rowen’s development must be actively and equitably shaped, and we are excited to welcome the Task Force to help guide our approach to actualizing these benefits.”

The Task Force will meet monthly for the next six months, starting in March, to begin work on a final report, which they will share once complete with Rowen Foundation and the public via Rowen’s website. For more information about the Rowen Foundation and updates regarding the Task Force’s progress, please visit

Announced in August, Rowen is a knowledge community that will bring together entrepreneurs, researchers and innovators at the intersection of the Atlanta, Athens and Gainesville metropolitan statistical areas. Its programmatic focuses are agriculture, medicine and the environment.

About Rowen
Proposed for nearly 2,000 carefully preserved acres along Highway 316 in Gwinnett County, Ga., Rowen is a visionary knowledge community that will bring together entrepreneurs, researchers and innovators at the intersection of the Atlanta, Athens and Gainesville metropolitan statistical areas and more than 50 research and educational institutions. A new multi-use concept designed to foster discoveries in agricultural, medical and environmental sciences, Rowen will build on the land’s rich history of thoughtful environmental stewardship, while changing the economic and social trajectory of Gwinnett, Georgia and our nation for generations. For more information, please visit

About Rowen Foundation
Rowen Foundation is the independent, mission-driven, not-for-profit entity leading the planning and visioning of Rowen, a proposed innovation district in Gwinnett County, Ga. With its mission to be a catalyst for education, research, innovation and transformation, the foundation is responsible for project leadership and operations to ensure the long-term vision for Rowen is never compromised.

SOURCE Rowen Foundation

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