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Atlanta Mayor Bottoms names 38-member transition team

transition team

From Left to Right: Vicki Palmer, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Larry Gellerstedt and Marva Lewis (Photo by Maria Saporta)

By Maria Saporta

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Thursday announced a 38-member transition team that includes the CEOs of Delta Air Lines and UPS as well as Killer Mike and rapper T.I.

“The 38-strong transition team represents a tremendous amount of diversity and depth,” said Bottoms, who was flanked by her two transition co-chairs – Vicki Palmer, a retired executive from CCE; and Larry Gellerstedt III, CEO of Cousins Properties.

Bottoms said the team will be divided into subgroups – working on searches for key members of her cabinet. The transition team also will work on several initiatives that Bottoms has already identified, such as affordable housing, education and public safety.

transition team

From Left to Right: Vicki Palmer, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Larry Gellerstedt and Marva Lewis (Photo by Maria Saporta)

“It’s very exciting that we will be able to put some meat to these initiative,” Bottoms said. Other people likely will be invited to work with the sub-committees on targeted efforts or searches.

“I really want them to come up with fresh ideas and recommendations for best practices,” the Mayor said. “We are seeking to make sure we attract the best talent in this city.”

Bottoms then made her first major announcement to her team – Marva Lewis – who had worked on her campaign and who now will be her chief of staff. Lewis, who also worked as head of human resources for Cousins Properties, will replace Candace Byrd, who has been closely aligned with former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

Other immediate efforts for the City will include the search for a new director of human resources and a new fire chief.

Bottoms also said another priority will be to find a permanent head of the City’s Procurement Office.

“We know that procurement is top of mind,” Bottoms said. “We will have to deal with our procurement issues in the City of Atlanta. There are so many people who don’t have confidence in the way we are operating right now.”

Bottoms also mentioned that the City will likely launch a search for a new general manager of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, but she did not exclude the possibility that Roosevelt Council would stay in that position.

“I’m taking a fresh look at every department,” she said. But she add that she has promised each department head that they won’t learn their fate from the news, and that she already has had meetings with existing cabinet members. “Those conversations have gone well.”

Now that the transition team has been named, the hard work can now begin.

“We have pull together this group of 38 pretty great, phenomenal people,” Palmer said. “I’m very proud to say we made 38 calls and we got 38 yesses.”

Gellerstedt said they had spent the last few weeks better getting to know Bottoms and her team.

“As Mayor Bottoms said, we are open for business, and we are looking for ways to make the City better,” Gellerstedt said.

When asked about her top priority, Bottoms said “the biggest challenge we are facing is our affordability issue.” She said she was looking forward to having a “conversation about equity and affordability.”

Bottoms also gave Palmer and Gellerstedt a heads up that “this is likely not a short-term proposition. I don’t want to scare them off.”

The Bottoms Administration transition team includes:

  • David Abney, Chairman & CEO, UPS
  • John Ahmann, Executive Director, Westside Future Fund
  • Byron Amos, Atlanta Public Schools Board Member, District 2
  • Claire Lewis “Yum” Arnold, CEO, Leapfrog Services
  • Ed Bastian, CEO, Delta
  • Randy Beall, Business Manager, Atlanta and North Georgia Building and Construction Trades
  • Raphael Bostic, President & CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
  • Matt Bronfman, CEO, Jamestown
  • Cassius F. Butts, Former Obama Appointee and CEO, Capital Fortitude Business Advisors
  • Senator Jason Carter, Partner, Bondurant Mixson & Elmore LLP
  • Ron Clark, Founder, The Ron Clark Academy
  • Shan Cooper, Chief Transformation Officer, WestRock
  • David Cummings, CEO, Atlanta Ventures
  • Mawuli Mel Davis, Attorney & Co-Founder, The Davis Bozeman Law Firm
  • Rene Diaz, President & CEO, The Diaz Group
  • Christopher R. Edwards, MD, Fellowship Trained Spine Surgeon, Atlanta Neuro Spine Institute, LLC
  • David H. Eidson, President & CEO, Coxe Curry & Associates
  • Sloane Evans, Vice President, Human Resources, Georgia Power Company
  • Marty Flanagan, President & CEO, Invesco Ltd.
  • Clifford “TI” Harris, Grammy Award Winning Rapper, Actor, Entrepreneur & Activist
  • Virginia Hepner, Former Corporate Executive & Arts Leader
  • Douglas J. Hertz, Chairman & CEO, United Distributors, Inc.
  • Nancy Flake Johnson, President & CEO, Urban League of Greater Atlanta, Inc.
  • Noel Khalil, Chairman & CEO, Columbia Ventures LLC
  • Allegra Lawrence-Hardy, Founding Partner, Lawrence & Bundy LLC
  • Kenny Leon, Tony Award Winning Director & Founder, True Colors Theatre Company
  • Milton J. Little, Jr. President & CEO, United Way of Greater Atlanta
  • Amol Naik, Director of Special Projects, MailChimp
  • Keith T. Parker, President & CEO, Goodwill of North Georgia
  • Beatriz Perez, Senior Vice President, Chief Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability Officer, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Cecil Phillips, Chairman & CEO, Place Properties
  • Helen Smith Price, Vice President, Global Community Affairs, The Coca-Cola Company and President, The Coca-Cola Foundation
  • Michael “Killer Mike” Render, Artist, Activist, & Businessman
  • A.J. Robinson, President, Central Atlanta Progress, Inc./Atlanta Downtown Improvement District
  • Bill Rogers, Chairman & CEO, SunTrust Banks, Inc.
  • Dr. Catherine Ross, Professor of City Planning and Civil Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Carol Tomé, CFO & Executive Vice President, The Home Depot, Inc.
  • Reverend Raphael G. Warnock, Senior Pastor, Ebenezer Baptist Church



Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.


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1 Comment

  1. Belinda Mckisic January 13, 2018 11:24 am

    I want to be a part of the mayors atkanta transition team 770 873 5364Report


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