Articles by Maria Saporta

Climate & Health meeting takes place at Carter Center after canceled by the CDC

Nearly 350 people attended the Climate & Health Meeting at the Carter Center – led by former Vice President Al Gore – to learn of the public health impacts of climate change.

Originally, the meeting was supposed to have been a three-day session held at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the CDC cancelled the event on the eve of Donald Trump being inaugurated into office, likely for pre-emptive political reasons.


Column: Kelly Dolan leaving Atlanta Women’s Foundation as Kari Brown Love to step up July 1

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Feb. 10, 2017

Kelly Dolan, a veteran nonprofit leader in Atlanta who has been executive director of the Atlanta Women’s Foundation for the past four years, is moving back to Chicago to be near her aging parents.

The foundation’s board has named Kari Brown Love, vice president of development and communications, as Dolan’s successor. The transition of leadership will occur at the beginning of the nonprofit’s fiscal year on July 1.

Atlanta to allocate $4.5 million to improve Proctor Creek, build trails

The City of Atlanta will allocate $3 million of a $4.5 million Proctor Creek initiative to build a seven-mile bicycle and pedestrian and bicycle trail, according to an announcement by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

Stephanie Stuckey, the city’s chief resilience officer at a Climate & Health meeting being held at the Carter Center Thursday, said the additional $1.5 million will be invested in a study to improve water quality in the Proctor Creek Corridor.

Bill Gates to keynote Rotary International meet in June in Atlanta

Atlanta is preparing to host Rotary’s 108th annual international convention from June 10 to 14 – with at least one super-star keynote speaker.

Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will be one among a lineup of world-class speakers. The Gates Foundation and Rotary International have an ongoing match of 2:1 to support polio eradication efforts up to $35 million a year.


Houston set high bar for Atlanta’s Super Bowl

By Maria Saporta and Amy Wenk
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Feb. 10, 2017

The pressure is on — not only on the Atlanta Falcons to make a return trip to the Super Bowl — next time bringing home a win.

The pressure also is on Atlanta — to deliver a successful 2019 Super Bowl — one at least as good as the one that Houston hosted the first weekend in February.


Column: CAP to honor Andrew Young, George Turner at March meeting

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Feb. 3, 2017

Central Atlanta Progress, the downtown business organization, will pay tribute to two distinguished Atlantans at its annual breakfast meeting on March 14 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.

Former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young will receive the prestigious Dan Sweat Award.

And retired Atlanta Police Chief George Turner will receive the annual Turner Downtown Community Leadership Award.

APD Chief Erika Shields to Jerome and Stephanie Russell: ‘Atlanta is not going to be a city of hate’

Stephanie and Jerome Russell were enjoying themselves at a Super Bowl party in Houston Saturday night when their 16-year-old daughter reached out to them.

Someone had vandalized one of her friend’s car parked in front of the Russell’s Ansley Park home by writing racist slurs – including “nigger”, “faggot”, “kyke”, “hollacauct” (sic) meaning holocaust, and “fag.”


Reed looks to secure his legacy in final year as mayor

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Feb. 3, 2017

As Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed faces his last year in office, he looks to continue the city’s growth by completing several deals and also hopes to secure his legacy as a fiscally-responsible city leader.

Reed sat down with the editorial staff of Atlanta Business Chronicle on Jan. 31 to preview his State of the City address scheduled for Feb. 2.

City of Atlanta releases 1.476 million pages on E.R. Mitchell bribery case

The old City Council Chambers at Atlanta City Hall were filled with 406 boxes containing 1.476 million documents related to the federal bribery investigation involving contractor E.R. Mitchell.

With a huge stack of boxes as a backdrop, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said the city was making the documents available to the media in an effort to be transparent. Information in the files had been redacted to protect the release of social security numbers and other personal data of people not directly related to the case.

Bernice King calls Sen. Elizabeth Warren the ‘soul of the Senate’

The words of Coretta Scott King are breathing new life after U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Ma.) was silenced by her colleagues Tuesday night while reading a 1986 letter from the civil rights leader objecting to Jeff Sessions becoming a federal judge.

For Warren, the words were especially meaningful at this moment in time when the U.S. Senate was preparing to vote on whether Sen. Sessions should become the nation’s next Attorney General.


Column: John Moeller named CEO of Lutheran Services of Georgia

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Jan. 27, 2017

Nonprofit leader John Moeller will be the new CEO of Lutheran Services of Georgia, a statewide organization serving vulnerable populations, beginning Feb. 15.

Moeller has been president and CEO of Action Ministries since 2011, and his last day with the Atlanta nonprofit will be Feb. 14.


Georgia entertainment venues fear impact of casinos

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Jan. 27, 2017

Some of Georgia’s top entertainment venues are banding together to speak out about the potential downside of casino gambling if it becomes legal in the state.

The Georgia Arts and Culture Venues Coalition, which includes 16 facilities such as the Fox Theatre and Woodruff Arts Center, says casino resorts could add unfair competition in the market when it comes to booking top musical performers, Broadway shows, comedians and other acts.

The coalition is vocalizing its concerns just as Georgia legislators, for the second year in a row, are proposing to legalize casino gambling in the state. Bills spelling out the details were expected to be introduced into the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate on Jan. 25.


Column: Gala event to salute Hank Aaron’s life and accomplishments

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Jan. 20, 2017

Atlanta will be throwing a spectacular party for one of its favorite sons – baseball legend Hank Aaron.

On the evening of Feb. 3, the Atlanta community – along with the region’s top companies – will be holding “A Salute to the Life and Times of Henry Aaron” at the Delta Flight Museum.


GE Energy’s Russell Stokes powers up in Atlanta

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Jan. 20, 2017

When it comes to General Electric Co. and Atlanta, history is repeating itself.

In October 2015, Russell Stokes became president and CEO of Atlanta-based GE Energy Connections– becoming the highest-ranking GE executive in the state.

After just a year being in town, Stokes got tapped to become future chairman of the Metro Atlanta Chamber– a position he will assume in 2019.