Articles from the Atlanta Business Chronicle

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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.

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Column: Genuine Parts looks back on a year of big changes

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on April 28, 2017

What a year of change for Genuine Parts Co.

In the past year, the company has moved its corporate headquarters from 2999 Circle 75 Parkway – right next to the new Atlanta Braves Stadium at SunTrust Park — to a little more than one mile east to 2999 Wildwood Parkway where it built a new headquarters. It had been at its former location since 1979.

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Hundreds of AT&T executives leaving Atlanta

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on April 28, 2017

Big changes are underway for Atlanta’s fourth-largest employer.

AT&T plans to relocate hundreds of its executives from Atlanta to its operations hub in Dallas and its entertainment hub in Los Angeles. About 300 jobs will leave Atlanta, including most leadership in the entertainment division. Atlanta Business Chronicle first reported the news on April 25.

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New Coca-Cola CEO faces fast-changing world

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on April 28, 2017

As James Quincey becomes CEO of The Coca-Cola Co. on May 1, he faces a multitude of challenges — an embattled signature brand, stagnant growth of its market cap, consumers who want healthier beverages, and even the possibility that the company could be acquired by another global enterprise such as Belgium’s Anheuser Busch InBev NV.

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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.”

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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.

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Work to begin in May on $45 million Rodney Cook Sr. Park on Atlanta’s Westside

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

Work will soon begin on a grand new $45 million park on Atlanta’s Westside.

A final design for the 16-acre Rodney Cook Sr. Park in the historic Vine City community shows a park that will have something for everyone.

It will have a large pond that will be hold storm water in the event of a major flood. It will have a splash-pad, a playground, a great lawn with a natural amphitheater, a performance plaza, a picnic pavilion, courts for multi-use sports, a fitness area, a boardwalk, an overlook and terraced pools.

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Column: David Martin retiring from Georgia Council on Economic Education

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on March 24, 2017

David Martin, executive director of the Georgia Council on Economic Education since 1982, will be retire on June 30.

Mike Raymer, the associate director and chief program officer, has been tapped to succeed Martin starting July 1 – running the organization that has helped train tens of thousands of Georgia teachers by strengthening their ability to teach students economics since its founding in 1972.

The Georgia Council helps teachers at both public and independent schools across the state, and Martinhas been coordinating the efforts of 12 college and university-based Centers of Economic Education.

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Mayor Reed still pushing Atlanta arts tax

By Dave Williams and Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on March 24, 2017

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said he remains confident Georgia lawmakers will approve his plan for an arts tax in the city, even though time is running out on the 2017 legislative session.

Reed unveiled a proposal in late January asking Atlanta voters for a tenth-of-a-penny increase in the city sales tax to provide a dedicated stream of funding for the arts. But with just three days remaining in the session including March 24, no bill had been introduced and the deadline for doing so had come and gone.

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Column: Agnes Scott wins ACE ‘transformation’ award

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on March 17, 2017

Agnes Scott College received a prestigious honor on March 12 when the American Council on Education (ACE) gave it the 2017 Award for Institutional Transformation.

Agnes Scott received the award for institutions with student populations of 5,000 or less while Brandman University of Irving, Calif., received the award for institutions with more than 5,000 students. The award of $10,000 is given by ACE and Fidelity Investments.

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Health care bill could harm CDC, Atlanta

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on March 17, 2017

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could lose nearly $1 billion in annual funding under the Republican proposal to replace Obamacare.

Such a move would hit Georgia especially hard because it would translate into local job cuts as well as impact multiple relationships the CDC has with universities and public health organizations.