It was delightful to interview someone like Nick Masino, who absolutely loves getting up for work every day and has realized the opportunities everyone can have when they get involved in their communities and discover the difference they can make.
What inspired you or led you to your current career?
I never planned to work for the Chamber of Commerce or get into economic development but was always drawn to business. My father was a corporate executive in hospitality and we moved often when he was promoted. I attended several hospitality events as a young man, and I thought, “This is business? I want to be in business!” So I knew that I wanted to be in sales. After graduating college with a degree in Interpersonal Organization Communications, I worked for a company where I had to make 40 cold calls a day and I loved it because I enjoyed talking to strangers and was eager to learn. I love business. Community has always been important to me. I went to my first city council meeting and then six more, and was then chosen to be on the Planning & Zoning Board taking David Pierce’s spot, and learned about economic development. I became mayor of Suwanee in 2001 for eight years while running a successful business. Working for the Gwinnett Chamber has been more amazing than I could ever imagine and now my role is President. I keep my foot in business and in community development, being involved in government and business every day. I never expected all of this and I couldn’t be happier with where it has taken me.
How long have you worked or lived in Suwanee?
23 years, since 1996.
What has kept you here?
The incredible community we have here. Living in Suwanee is like a storybook to us.
How big is your family?
My wife of 25 years, a son and two daughters. All three kids have been active in sports and we are deeply embedded here. We call it “Suwanee bubble.”
Who is the most interesting person you’ve met in Suwanee?
Dick Cunningham of Ippolito’s.
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
Greece because of the history and beauty.
What is the first movie you remember seeing in a theater?
The first Star Wars in 1978.
What advice would you give a crowd of people?
Get engaged in community and volunteer in civic organizations. It is shocking how showing up, even at the boring meetings sometimes, presents tremendous opportunity.
What is something on your bucket list?
Traveling to Spain.
If you could take anyone to lunch (dead or alive) who would that be and where would you go?
Conan O’Brien because he is incredibly smart and hysterically funny. I would take him to Fukulala restaurant in Suwanee.
What is your favorite music?
I enjoy “coffee shop,” easy listening-style music and prefer live theatre/musical stage productions to live music.
What local business makes you the most nostalgic about Suwanee?
Steve of Executive Barbers and his epic discussions about the lack of parking in Town Center.
What is your favorite thing about Suwanee?
The community feel and hundreds of acres of green space and trails, and the walkability of our town. And there is more to come!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Perhaps retiring from Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce. I will not be playing golf or sitting in a rocking chair.
What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
I am a true “gamer” and I love peanut butter (thank you, daughter Julia, for telling us this!).