NORTHSIDE MAN

June Northside Man: Justin Hawkins

By KATHLEEN STURGEON
Posted

June Northside Man: Justin Hawkins
City of residence: Cumming, GA
Hometown: Born in West Palm Beach, FL, moved to Cumming, GA in 2000.
Age: 25
Education: South Forsyth High School, Kennesaw State University where I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in political science and public policy
Occupation: Senior biopharmaceutical representative with Amgen, which is a biopharmaceutical company based in Thousand Oaks, Calif. My responsibility is to sell two biologic products with rheumatologists and primary care physicians managing a wide range territory in North Georgia. I am also the chairman of the Forsyth County Republican Party.

How do you balance your professional work with your other responsibilities, like being chairman of the Forsyth Republican Party?
I am in a unique circumstance as I'm one of the youngest leaders in the Republican Party nationwide. I have a full-time job and so this requires me to have major discipline. It requires me to wake up at 6 a.m. and work until 1 a.m. Some say I don't have the typical 20s lifestyle, but that is OK with me because I am doing what I love every day.

How has your young age played a part in your professional and volunteering worlds? Does it tend to positively or negatively impact your work?
My age plays a major role as I am most often judged first based on my appearance than substance. Through my professional and political life, age has played a major role. In both professions, I'm the youngest in my world. Therefore, people believe I'm overly ambitious and sometimes question my motives and wonder if I'm being genuine or calculated. I've learned that goes with the territory and the only thing I can do is be honest, reliable and work harder than anyone around me. Everything else will speak for itself.

What are the positives and challenges to living in such a high growth area like Forsyth County?
I genuinely believe Forsyth County is the greatest place to live and work in Georgia. Growing up in South Forsyth, I have seen my community transform. That growth brings challenges with overcrowded schools and congested roads. However, the fact that we have thousands wanting to reside here means we are doing something right. We have the best education system in the state. We are positioned to be the hub for high-tech corporations and regional offices. We are adjacent to Lake Lanier and 30 miles from Atlanta and the north Georgia mountains. Lastly, we are privileged to have two universities and colleges, University of North Georgia Cumming Campus and Lanier Technical College, which ensure we have an educated workforce for the future.

How did you get first involved in local politics?
The single greatest influence in my life is my faith in Christ and God. I would not be where I am today if it wasn't for leaders in my community who invested and gave me guidance and inspiration an 18-year-old kid needed at the time. Otherwise my life would have gone in an opposite direction. I was told early on in life that the one requirement of me is to pay it forward what they did for me onto someone else. That's the greatest gift a man can do. We have an obligation to look out for our fellow man and community. It's about what you can do with what you have.

What are you the proudest of the community?
I am proudest of our community unifying and coming together to fight addiction and the drug epidemic in Forsyth County. I have lost family members, friends and classmates to alcohol and heroin. Every day, I wake up praying I won't lose someone I know to this horrible disease. I am going to have the Forsyth County Republican Party go beyond its scope to join our elected officials and mothers, fathers and neighbors who have experienced this darkness in their life.

So, in your free time, where will we find you?
1. My therapy is the gym, every day
2. On the tennis court, I was trained and homeschooled during middle school and was top 10 in the state during my youth
3. On the lake, boating enjoying the water
4. On my deck listening to Eric Church with a Cuban cigar. ■

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