Entries by Maria Saporta

Metro Atlanta Chamber is shifting its future chairs because AT&T’s Glenn Lurie is moving to Dallas

Upon hearing that AT&T is moving some of its executives out of Atlanta, the Metro Atlanta Chamber has had to shuffle its plans for future leadership.

Glenn Lurie, president and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Operations, was in line to become chairman of the Metro Atlanta Chamber in 2018. But the chair-elect informed the chamber that he is moving to AT&T’s headquarters in Dallas as part of a decision to move about 300 key AT&T leadership personnel out of Atlanta.

Grant Park Gateway Project – a $48 million garage under a park – creates unity in area

The City of Atlanta Tuesday unveiled the plans for the Grant Park Gateway Project – a new parking garage that will be located on the footprint of the existing eight acre parking lot next to Zoo Atlanta along Boulevard Avenue.

The $48 million facility is a 1,000-space parking garage that will look more than a park than a structure for cars. It will address parking demands while reducing traffic congestion and improving overall safety in the area, according to the city’s Media Advisory.

Junior League of Atlanta celebrates its 100-year anniversary by giving away $1 million

The Junior League of Atlanta celebrated its Centennial Monday by giving away three grants worth a total of $1 million to local nonprofits in Atlanta.

“Today’s event was 100 years in the making and 10 years in planning,” said Deanna Anderson, this year’s JLA president, at the luncheon Monday held at the Piedmont Driving Club. “The million dollars represents 10 years of fundraising. We have finally arrived.”

Metro Atlanta leaders heading to a reviving Detroit for the annual LINK trip

Detroit, Michigan may sound as an unusual place for a group of metro Atlanta to visit to learn how another region has addressed similar issues.

But the top leaders of the Atlanta Regional Commission – Executive Director Doug Hooker and Chairman Kerry Armstrong – believed the lessons to be gained from Detroit would be enlightening for the 130 metro Atlantans who will be part of the 2017 LINK (Leadership. Involvement. Networking. Knowledge) trip.

State officials knew in February of possible Mercedes-Benz Stadium opening delays

The state agency overseeing the construction of the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium knew in February there were possible issues that could delay its opening.

That was when the Atlanta Falcons approached members of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA), the state agency that will own the project, to inform them of potential construction delays. The possible complications stemmed in part from the one-of-a-kind retractable roof, GWCCA executive director Frank Poe said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

Passing of Fulton County Commission Vice Chair Joan Garner a deep loss for the sisterhood

By Maria Saporta When I heard that Fulton County Commissioner Joan Garner passed away earlier today, it hit me hard. Joan was a fellow breast cancer survivor. We fought the good fight at almost the exact same time, and we knew we would be forever linked in that sisterhood none of us had ever wanted […]

Mercedes-Benz Stadium opening delayed until Aug. 26 for Falcons preseason game

The opening of the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium has been delayed again.

The new stadium is now scheduled to open with two Atlanta Falcons preseason games – one against Arizona on Saturday, Aug. 26, and the other versus Jacksonville on Thursday, Aug. 31.

The revised schedule will have the greatest impact on previously-scheduled matches in August of the Atlanta United soccer team. It is not known when or where those two games will be played.

Column: Lila and Doug Hertz to be honored for philanthropy

By Maria Saporta As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on April 7, 2017 Civic leaders Lila and Doug Hertz will be recognized as the Philanthropists of the Year on the 35th annual celebration of National Philanthropy Day on Nov. 9th at the Georgia Aquarium. The Greater Atlanta Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals […]

Operation HOPE convenes global leaders and the poor in Atlanta to promote financial literacy

For several years running, Atlanta has become the venue for addressing the problem of poverty in the United States while focusing on solutions.

The convener is Operation HOPE’s Global Forum, which just met in Atlanta at the Marriott Marquis from April 10 to April 12. This year’s theme was “Uplifting the Invisible Class” – focusing on the people who have fallen between the cracks.

Southern Co. facing ‘pivotal decision’ on Plant Vogtle

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on April 7, 2017

When Southern Co. turned 100 years old in 2011, the Atlanta-based energy giant commissioned a company history entitled “Big Bets: Decisions and Leaders that Shaped Southern Co.”

The printed synopsis on the book jacket puts it this way: “Big bets are pivotal decisions leaders make when the stakes are high — decisions that forge a successful path or retrieve a lost cause at a critical crossroads. Big bets can determine a company’s destiny or reshape its future.”

New leaders at Morehouse: ‘Time to turn the page’

A new leadership team is in place at Morehouse College as its Board of Trustees elected a new board chairman – Willie Woods; and named William “Bill” Taggart as the interim president.

The trustees, who met in Atlanta on Friday and Saturday, made the leadership changes after a host of reports revealed a fractionalized relationship between the board – in particular its Chairman Robert Davidson – and its president for the past four years – John S. Wilson.

Fernbank Museum’s Susan Neugent retiring after 20 years as CEO

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on March 31, 2017

After 20 years as president and CEO of the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Susan Neugent will be retiring at the end of May.

Neugent, the longest-serving CEO among Atlanta’s major arts and cultural attractions, will be passing the baton to Jennifer Grant Warner, who has been with Fernbank for 18 years – currently serving as its executive vice president and chief programming officer.

Top Atlanta mayoral candidates busy raising dollars, filings show

This story has been updated twice.

Two Atlanta city councilmembers are leading the race for fundraising to become the next mayor of Atlanta, according to the most recent filing of campaign fundraising.

Atlanta City Councilwoman Mary Norwood, the front-runner in the polls in this year’s race for mayor; and City Councilman Kwanza Hall were leading the pack with the most money raised during the last two months among the candidates.

Kasim Reed: City of Atlanta now has $175 million in reserves

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed held a press briefing Friday to reinforce what a good steward his administration has been with the city’s finances.

Reed had repeatedly said his goal was to leave the city with a “rainy day fund” of $175 million – the amount the city has in its reserves at the end of his second term as mayor (January, 2018).