Renée Byrd-Lewis has served as Executive Director of Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services since October 2020. Past professional experience in private and public sector organizations fuels a diverse portfolio of capabilities in community development, public relations, and communications. Previous roles include Vice President of Advancement and Strategic Communications at Georgia Gwinnett College, Director of Community Relations at Cisco Systems and Scientific Atlanta, and senior consultant for nonprofits seeking to increase organizational capacity. Ms. Byrd-Lewis is adept at transcending industry and functional boundaries and leveraging an extensive network to achieve desired outcomes.
A Gwinnett County resident since 1995, Ms. Byrd-Lewis is an engaged leader with deep community knowledge. She currently serves as Board Chair of Leadership Gwinnett Foundation and as a Board member of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation. Ms. Byrd-Lewis earned a master’s degree from Georgia State University, dual bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology from Emory University and resides in Buford with her husband and two sons.
As Gwinnett Coalition’s Program Director, Suzy manages the various Coalition programs: Gwinnett Helpline, Gwinnett Great Days of Service, Gwinnett County Veterans Resource Center and the annual internship program. Suzy manages the Helpline and all its volunteers which includes their training and the maintenance of the extensive database of service providers. Suzy also provides support for a number of the Gwinnett Coalition’s committees and working groups and represents the Gwinnett Coalition at the homeless working team, community events as well as supporting numerous current projects supported by the Gwinnett Coalition. She provides administration support for the Emergency Food and Shelter Grant administered by the Gwinnett Coalition and is involved in the Gwinnett Point in Time Count every two years in Gwinnett County. Suzy has a BA honors degree from Lancaster University in England in Youth and Community Studies.
Rachael Holder serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for the Gwinnett Coalition and has been with the Gwinnett Coalition for many years. Her responsibilities include providing administrative support to internal functions of the Gwinnett Coalition, as well as assisting with special events and other community initiatives.
Rachael holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree and Master of Social Work degree from the University of Georgia.
Special Projects Coordinator
Planning & Evaluation Manager
Kimberly Thomas serves as the Planning and Evaluation Manager for the Gwinnett Coalition. Her responsibilities include coordinating planning efforts, evaluating planned initiatives and maintaining documentation of these results, and serving as a representative for community-wide collaboration on behalf of the Gwinnett Coalition.
Kim holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health with a concentration in Health Education and Promotion from Georgia Southern University. She also holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from Georgia Southern University, Institute of Public and Nonprofit Studies.
Lecia joined the Gwinnett Coalition team as the new Program Coordinator working closely with the Program Director. Her responsibilities include overseeing the G.R.E.A.T. Little Minds project, supporting and coordinating events and programs, and managing all social media accounts on behalf of the Gwinnett Coalition.
Lecia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a concentration in Educational Psychology from Georgia State University. She also holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from Georgia State University, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.
Founding Executive Director
Founder Ellen Gerstein served as the Gwinnett Coalition’s Executive Director from its inception in 1991 to 2020. A community-wide needs assessment initiated by a cross section of community leaders resulted in the idea of a coalition to help connect residents in need with services across the county. The Coalition was housed at the Gwinnett United Way until it became its own independent 501c3. On December 31, 2020 after serving the organization for nearly 30 years, Ellen retired. She still contributes to Gwinnett County through an adjunct faculty role at the Suwanee campus of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. In her spare time, she enjoys travel and writing, but spends much of her time with her twin grandsons.