Articles by Maria Saporta

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter to receive Georgia Tech’s 2017 Ivan Allen Prize

The prestigious Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Social Courage will be awarded to Georgia’s own – Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter.

The prize was announced Friday by Georgia Tech President Bud Peterson.

It is the first time that the Ivan Allen Jr. Prize is being awarded to a couple rather than an individual. They are being recognized for their partnership, courage and collaboration to improve human rights and alleviate suffering around the world.

Morehouse President John Wilson: ‘Proud of what we’ve acheived’

This past Friday the 13th, the Center for Civil and Human Rights held a program titled: “Morehouse College and the Making of the Man” about Martin Luther King Jr.’s relationship with the institution.

Morehouse President John S. Wilson had committed to serve on the panel – a commitment he kept even though the College’s Board of Trustees was in town for a two-day meeting.

“I had gotten the decision I wouldn’t continue – about an hour before I got up there,” Wilson said Tuesday in an interview. “I knew then my contract had not been renewed.”

Morehouse trustees fail to renew President John Wilson’s contract

The Morehouse College Board of Trustees have decided to not renew contract of President John Wilson, who has been leading the prestigious institution for four years.

Wilson will serve until the completion of his current contract, which ends on June 30, 2017. And then “Dr. Wilson will pass the baton to a new President,” according to a release posted on the Morehouse website.

Morehouse President John Wilson’s future in question as board meets

The fate of Morehouse College President John Silvanus Wilson hangs in the balance as the institution’s board of trustees is meeting during the weekend honoring the birth of Martin Luther King Jr., a Morehouse Man.
Student representatives, however, were protesting the board meeting – saying they were being shut out of the discussions. The students held protests on Friday and Saturday, and they also sent out a petition through

Integral says $300 million investment underway for GM plant within six months

The developer of the former Doraville General Motors plant said Wednesday about $300 million in development is underway or poised to start over the next six months, as the massive transformation of the site cranks up.

The mixed-use development, which likely will total 10 million square feet over the next decade, is slated to rise on the site of the 165-acre GM plant, which has sat idle since it closed in 2008.


Underground developer asks Atlanta Mayor to ‘stick with us’

By Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Jan.6, 2017

For four years, South Carolina-based WRS Realty has been pursuing a deal to buy Underground Atlanta – becoming the sole bidder to buy the property from the City of Atlanta.

But now, WRS has until the end of January to close on the sale of Underground, a transaction that has been delayed several times because of the complexities involved in the deal.


Column: Task Force for Global Health takes No. 2 spot on Forbes charities list

By Maria Saporta As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Dec. 30, 2016 The Task Force for Global Health, based in downtown Decatur, is the second-largest nonprofit in the United States, according to Forbes Magazine’s 2016 list of the largest U.S. charities. The Task Force ranked second only to United Way Worldwide, which had […]

Sale of Turner Field closes – beginning a new chapter

The sale of Turner Field to Georgia State University and Carter closed today – one of the most visible transactions during Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration.

Georgia State,, along with the Carter, Oakwood Development and Healey Weatherholtz joint venture, plan to build a mix of housing, retail, and athletic and academic space on the 68-acre site. Georgia State plans to convert Turner Field into a new home Panthers football.

Mayor Reed: Underground Atlanta deal now faces deadline

South Carolina real estate company WRS Inc. has until the end of January to close on the sale of Underground Atlanta.

If the deal isn’t complete by the end of the month it will be time for the city to move on, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said in a phone interview on Wednesday. The sale is delayed because of new title and easement issues related to the abandonment of streets.


Talks turning lemons to lemonade at Turner Field

By Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Dec. 30, 2016

After decades of feeling burned by the false promise of new development, Turner Field community leaders have reason to be wary.

This time could be different.

With the sale of the Atlanta Braves’ former ballpark underway, community members say they are forging a closer relationship with the biggest players behind Turner Field’s planned redevelopment, Georgia State University and Atlanta developer Carter.


Column: Four regional organizations join to help region’s schools

By Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Dec. 16, 2016

A collaboration among Atlanta’s four regional organizations – Learn4Life – is going where no other group has gone in the region.

It is working with the eight school systems in the five-county region to figure how to have the most strategic impact on the educational outcomes among the region’s students.


Atlanta nonprofit First Step Staffing putting hundreds of homeless people to work

By Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Dec. 16, 2016

For Greg Block, finding jobs for the homeless has become the fight of his life — literally.

Block, 50, started First Step Staffing, a nonprofit employment agency, in 2006. After a career running businesses and a four-year stint with the CIA, Block wanted to dedicate himself to making life better for the least among us.

“When I first started First Step, I wanted to figure out how can you connect homeless men and women with income and get them out of homelessness,” Block said in a recent interview. The question he sought to answer was how one could build a sustainable organization that could fund itself through business revenue.


Column: Cox’s John Dyer takes helm of Atlanta Committee for Progress

By Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on De. 9, 2016

The highly influential Atlanta Committee for Progress has a new chairman – John Dyer, president and CEO of Cox Enterprises and a 38-year veteran of the privately-held company.

Dyer is succeeding Paul Bowers, president and CEO of the Georgia Power Co., who chaired his last ACP meeting on Dec. 1.

The organization, which includes many of the top business leaders in metro Atlanta, was formed to serve as a high-powered kitchen cabinet for former Mayor Shirley Franklin, and the ACP was embraced by Mayor Kasim Reed during his administration.

Task Force for Global Health buys Decatur building m with $10 million from Woodruff Foundation

The Task Force for Global Health, now on a side street in downtown Decatur, has bought a signature building on W. Ponce de Leon Avenue from DeKalb County for $12 million..

The purchase of the building in downtown Decatyre, which closed Thursday, was made possible by a recent $10 million grant from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation and a $2 million gift from the Conrad Hilton Foundation.