Column: Several local civic leaders preparing to retire

By Maria Saporta
Published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Friday, December 21, 2012

As this year comes to a close, several key Atlanta civic leaders will be retiring from positions that have permitted them to make an imprint on our community.

Although they might be retiring, it is expected that they will continue to contribute in their post-retirement.

One of the most enthusiastic civic players — Ann Cramer — is retiring as IBM’s director for corporate citizenship and corporate affairs for the Americas. Cramer has been involved in almost every major community initiative that has been underway in metro Atlanta and Georgia for decades — from education, economic development, the arts, social services and public policy.

“I know Ann will be as integral to this community as she has ever been,” said Alicia Philipp, president of the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta. “While the badge may not say IBM, she will be using her skills of persuasion and collaboration to make the region stronger.”

Earlier this month, Cramer received the first “Lifetime Achievement Award for Corporate Citizenship” from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s hard to think of anyone more deserving of this recognition than Ann Cramer,” said Stanley Litow, IBM’s vice president of corporate citizenship & corporate affairs, and president of IBM’s foundation. “Ann has been instrumental in helping to shape and execute not only IBM’s citizenship strategy across the U.S., but those of countless other organizations as well.”

One of the top leaders in the early education arena has been Elaine Draeger, who has just retired as president and CEO of Sheltering Arms.

She joined Sheltering Arms in 1982, helping it become the largest non-profit provider of early education in the metro area. Today there are 16 Sheltering Arms centers serving nearly 2,500 children in six metro counties.

“When I look back on the last three decades, I am humbled,” Draeger said. “Together, we have made a difference in the lives of more than 34,000 children at Sheltering Arms. My only hope is that as I begin my retirement, you will continue to support this work and bring hope to children, families and our entire community.”

On Dec. 28, Kay Scott will retire as president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast. She has been with the organization for 35 years.

“We’ve helped hundreds of thousands of women in the 30-plus years I’ve been here, and there’s a lot of satisfaction knowing that this organization and health centers made a difference,” Scott said. “The frustration is that I thought we’d be head and shoulders from where we are, that we would not be fighting the same battles year after year.”

Harold Bevis, the long-time vice president of public affairs at Delta Air Lines Inc., also has retired after a 40-year career with the airline.

But Bevis is not exiting the scene. In an email, he said that he will be starting “a new adventure” with Deloris Gallego, who served as Delta’s general manager of public affairs. They are opening a government and public affairs consulting business.

JA to honor Perry, Tomé

Junior Achievement of Georgia will induct two influential executives into its 2013 JA Atlanta Business Hall of Fame — Egbert L.J. Perry and Carol B. Tomé.

Perry, founder of The Integral Group real estate company in 1993, has been instrumental in building mixed-income communities — often replacing traditional public housing projects.

Perry has led the firm into a diversified, 300-person organization with projects throughout the Southeast, the Caribbean and even Africa. He is also part of the master developer teams for the proposed Georgia Multi-Modal Passenger Terminal and the Fort McPherson redevelopment.

Tomé is chief financial officer of The Home Depot Inc. Tomé also is a top leader in the Atlanta business community. She serves as chair of the audit committee of United Parcel Service Inc.’s board as well as board chair for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. She has just completed her year as chair of the Metro Atlanta Chamber.

She has been listed as one of the top CFOs in the country as well as part of Forbes Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women in the world.

This year’s gala will be held on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 at the InterContinental Hotel in Buckhead. Proceeds for the event will benefit JA of Georgia and their efforts to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in the global economy.

Grady Hospital

The Grady Health Foundation is getting closer to meeting its fundraising goal of $325 million. The campaign started off in 2008 with a record-setting $200 million gift from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation.

Since then, the foundation has been soliciting contributions from other foundations, corporations and individuals.

“We are at $319 million,” Grady Health Foundation President Lisa Borders told the Greater Atlanta Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals at a breakfast meeting Dec. 18. “That’s about 98 percent of goal.”

After the breakfast, Borders acknowledged the pace of giving has slowed down. “The tail end is the hardest,” she said.over for having done so.”

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