Articles from the Atlanta Business Chronicle

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Column: Citizens Trust evolving with the banking industry

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

Citizens Trust Bank closed two of its branches on June 30 including the one at its historic Piedmont Avenue building and its branch in Lithonia.

But Cynthia Day, Citizens Trust’s CEO, said the moves represent a transition in the banking industry rather than any financial issues with the bank — which is the largest African-American owned bank in the Southeast as well as the fifth largest in the country.

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Delta savors success at its annual meeting

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

When Delta Air Lines held its annual meeting in New York City at 7:30 a.m. on June 29, former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin was not there.

Franklin had just spent the better part of two days attending events and meetings for Delta directors including a dinner June 27 to bid her farewell from the board. She, along with fellow director Kenneth Woodrow, had reached the mandatory retirement age of 72.

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Column: Through wave of change, Coke says it’s still committed to Atlanta

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on June 30, 2017

As The Coca-Cola Co. undergoes a transformation of its business and scales down by 1,200 positions — mainly at its corporate headquarters, there has been concern about the company’s commitment to Atlanta.

Never fear.

That’s according to the key individuals who head the company’s civic efforts: Bea Perez, chief public affairs, communications and sustainability officer who also chairs the Coca-Cola Foundation; and Helen Smith Price, vice president of global community affairs and president of the Coca-Cola Foundation.

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New Atlanta Fed president brings fresh background, perspective

By Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on June 30, 2017

The new president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta — Raphael Bostic — could title his new post after Monty Python’s 1971 comedy film — And Now for Something Completely Different.

Bostic is the first African-American to ever be named as president of one of the 12 regional Fed banks. In addition to that, he also is an openly gay man who is well aware of the symbolism and reality of both positions.

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Column: Friendship Force launches 40th anniversary campaign

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on June 23, 2017

Atlanta-based Friendship Force International is celebrating its 40th anniversary by launching a $1 million fundraising campaign.

Friendship Force is a pioneer in promoting global understanding through the citizen homestay experience. Its 40th anniversary campaign will seek to develop new initiatives to involve more people to travel with a purpose to create a more peaceful world.

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Historic transformation underway at Atlanta History Center 

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on June 23, 2017

History is being remade at the Atlanta History Center.

The Battle of Atlanta Cyclorama painting and the locomotive Texas now are anchored in the new Lloyd and Mary Ann Whitaker building — still under construction — on the Atlanta History Center’s Buckhead campus.

The move caps the extraordinary five-year tenure Sheffield Hale has held as president and CEO of the Atlanta History Center.

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Column: Two nonprofits win awards from Community Foundation

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on June 16, 2017

The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta has named Literacy Action and Trees Atlanta as the recipients of its 33rd annual “Managing for Excellence” awards.

The recognition is one of the most sought-after awards among Atlanta’s nonprofit organizations. The Community Foundation rewards nonprofits that are exceptionally well-run with outstanding management and governance practices combined with innovative thinking.

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Rotary convention boosts city’s global health image

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on June 16, 2017

Atlanta’s role as a leading hub for global health held center-stage during the 2017 Rotary International convention – an event where nearly 36,000 Rotarians, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and numerous other partners committed another $1.2 billion towards the efforts of eradicating polio over the next three years.

Atlanta was the perfect venue for that announcement. It was here where Rotary first launched its foundation 100 years ago – a centennial celebrated at the culmination of the convention with birthday parties on June 14.

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Column: Wilton Looney gives Children’s Healthcare $1 million for pediatrics center

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on June 9, 2017

Retired Genuine Parts Co. executive and philanthropist Wilton Looney has given $1 million to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in honor of his late wife Martha Looney. “Fortunately we talked about it just before she died [in October 2016], and she agreed,” Looney said in a telephone interview June 6. “It’s just something we wanted to do.”

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Atlanta companies double down on clean energy following Trump announcement

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on June 9, 2017

Atlanta-based corporate giants and major companies with an Atlanta presence stopped short of joining the chorus of criticism Democrats and environmentalists heaped on President Donald Trump’s decision June 1 to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement.

But The Coca-Cola Co., Delta Air Lines Inc., The Home Depot Inc., and others firmly renewed their commitments to pursuing energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, goals set forth by the 2015 Paris accord.

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Column: Nearly 40,000 Rotarians from around world coming to Atlanta

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on June 2, 2017

Don’t be surprised if from June 5 to June 14, Atlanta looks more international than usual.

Rotary International will be holding its 108th annual convention in Atlanta — commemorating the 100th anniversary of the launch of the Rotary Foundation — which happened at the Rotary convention held in Atlanta in 1917. That’s when Arch Klumph proposed creating an endowment with a purpose of “doing good in the world.” The foundation began with a war chest of $26.50, but today it has assets of more than $1 billion, and that’s after it has invested more than $3 billion in philanthropic causes in virtually every corner of the world.

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Doug Shipman named CEO of Woodruff Arts Center

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on June 2, 2017

Doug Shipman will be the new president and CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center, succeeding Virginia Hepner, who has held the post for the past five years.

Shipman, 44, is the CEO of BrightHouse — a global creative consultancy that is part of BCG (Boston Consulting Group). But Shipman is best known for the nine years he spent exploring the feasibility, developing and opening Atlanta’s Center for Civil and Human Rights. He left the center after its first full year in business.

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Column: Cousins family helps Oglethorpe University be an ‘important institution’ to Atlanta

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on May 26, 2017

Oglethorpe University has friends and family to thank for launching a new building effort on the heels of completing the most ambitious fundraising campaign in its history.

Among its closest friends are Tom and Ann Cousins, who have given Oglethorpe a $2.5 million lead gift for the university’s new Center for Science and Innovation, the largest single gift the institution has ever received from an individual family.

The new $20 million center will be built on the university’s historic quadrangle, and it will include new science labs as well as an innovation component that will distinguish Oglethorpe among its peers — connecting liberal arts to experiential learning.

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Column: Gov. Nathan Deal to receive 2017 Four Pillar award

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on May 19, 2017

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal will be honored by the Council for Quality Growth with its 28th annual Four Pillar Award on Oct. 5 at the Georgia World Congress Center.

It is the first time the Council has presented the Four Pillar Award to a sitting governor.

The Council said Deal was being honored for his contributions to economic prosperity, education and transportation in Georgia. The Council’s Four Pillars of leadership – quality, responsibility, vision and integrity – exemplify the organization’s mission of promoting balanced and responsible growth.

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Atlanta leaders see what drives Motor City during 2017 LINK trip

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on May 19, 2017

Note to readers: The 2017 LINK trip was the 21st annual trip, which began in 1997. Hundreds of regional leaders have been invited to participate on the LINK trips, which have visited Denver (twice), Dallas (twice), Seattle (twice), Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Houston, Toronto, Vancouver, San Diego, Portland, Miami, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, D.C.

DETROIT — Metro Atlanta’s problems seem miniscule when compared to the challenges Michigan’s largest city has faced in recent years.

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With roots in the past, new CEO of Cox Enterprises faces future

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on May 12, 2017

The fourth generation of the Cox family soon will be leading Cox Enterprises Inc., the largest privately-owned company in Georgia.

Alex Taylor, 42, the great-grandson of the company’s founder, will become the company’s CEO on Jan. 1, succeeding John Dyer, who has been with the company for 40 years.

Taylor and Dyer sat down with Atlanta Business Chronicle on May 8 at the headquarters of Cox Enterprises to talk about the transition in leadership and the future of the business.

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Column: Atlanta nonprofit group Literacy Action begins a new chapter

By Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on May 5, 2017

A change of leadership is underway at Literacy Action, a 50-year old Atlanta nonprofit that focuses on the issues related to adult literacy.

Austin Dickson, executive director of Literacy Action since October, 2012, is resigning effective May 12 to move back to Texas so he can be closer to his family.

Dickson, a Texas native, is moving to the San Antonio area where he will serve as the executive director of the Community Foundation of the Texas Hill Country, the principal grant-maker in four Central Texas counties.

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Atlanta hotel launched modern Hyatt brand

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on May 5, 2017

The Hyatt Regency Atlanta, with its iconic blue-domed revolving restaurant, has long defined the downtown skyline.

But the city’s second-largest hotel also turned the tide for what today is a giant hotel brand.

The 1,260-room hotel on Peachtree Street this week celebrated its 50th anniversary. Top hotel executives were in town to mark the occasion with two days of events, including Mark Hoplamazian, president and CEO of Hyatt Hotels Corp.

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Mattress-maker Serta Simmons may tuck its headquarters into Assembly

By Dougals Sams and Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on May 5, 2017

Mattress maker Serta Simmons Bedding LLC will move into a new consolidated Atlanta headquarters in 2019.

The company, which has been exploring options for a new campus for the past year, did not name the site in a statement released May 2 to Atlanta Business Chronicle. But, the Serta Simmons headquarters is widely expected to help launch the first phase of Assembly, the proposed $2 billion redevelopment of the former Doraville General Motors plant.