Cottrell MBA Spotlight: James McCoy, CEO & President of the Cumming-Forsyth Chamber of Commerce

By Kylie Gibbs, marketing intern, Mike Cottrell College of Business

If you live in Forsyth County, you’ve probably met James McCoy, CEO & president of the Cumming-Forsyth Chamber of Commerce. He has a knack for making every conversation enjoyable and always telling a good joke. James graduated with his Cottrell MBA in 2014 and we’re glad to be able to call him a UNG alumnus.

For James, the decision to pursue an MBA wasn’t to further his career, but it was an important personal development opportunity. He sees an MBA as more than just a piece of paper, but an opportunity to change the way a manager things and operates.

James’ career began in political campaign management, working as a lobbyist for a Chamber of Commerce in North Carolina. There, he found a love for business development and regional job creation. So when the opportunity to work in a fast-growing and business-friendly area like Forsyth opened up he jumped at the chance.

After his move to Cumming, Georgia, he became familiar with the University of North Georgia through its activities in the regional community. After learning more, he chose to pursue the Cottrell MBA because of its AACSB accreditation, professors and convenient schedule with classes only two nights per week.

On the practical side of things, James said the topics that were most influential for him were his weakest areas: finance and accounting. He says the biggest benefits of the Cottrell MBA are that he uses the things he learned everyday to manage his organization.

Says James, “It completely changed the way I think through business decisions as a manager.  The tools that I learned in the program have saved the Chamber thousands of dollars and opened the doors to other lucrative projects that we may have overlooked.” On the personal side he did a lot of self-discovery, learning a lot about the areas he could work on for his own development, as well as built new relationships with regional business leaders who also have pursued their Cottrell MBA.

James told us he wouldn’t change a thing about his experience in the Cottrell MBA program. We asked James if he could go back in time knowing what he knows now, would he have completed his MBA? His answer was simple, “Absolutely. I met some of the most remarkable people I have ever known – both students and professors. It was a life changing experience in more ways than I can explain. I can say with all sincerity that the Cottrell MBA changed my life.” To learn more about the Cottrell MBA, visit our website.

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