Entries by Maria Saporta

Commerce Club Foundation donates $200,000 for GSU’s WomenLead program

The Commerce Club Foundation, the nonprofit arm of Atlanta’s historic business and civic club, has donated $200,000 to Georgia State University’s WomenLead program to expand and formalize its Atlanta Civic Leadership Initiative.

The Initiative is a program that connects students with influential civic leaders for educational and mentorship opportunities.

Kwame Johnson to become new CEO of Atlanta’s Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta has Kwame Johnson as its new president and CEO, succeeding Janice McKenzie-Crayton, who retired last fall after more than 25 years with the organization.

Johnson currently serves as the director of the Greater Atlanta Region for PowerMyLearning. Big Brothers Big Sisters is known for leveraging the power of mentors on behalf of metro Atlanta’s youth.

Roswell’s historic Mimosa Hall could become nation’s oldest ‘net zero’ home

History is being made in Roswell thanks to a cutting edge proposal to preserve the historic Mimosa Hall and Gardens.

The City of Roswell purchased Mimosa Hall, initially built around 1840, as well as its 9 acres of gardens and woods last August for $2.95 million – partly because of a citizen-led effort to save Mimosa Hall and its grounds from being redeveloped.

Column: Business leaders launch ‘goBeyondProfit’ to promote giving back

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Dec. 1, 2017

A new initiative by civic-minded business leaders is being launched Dec. 1 as a way to make corporate generosity more visible and encourage other companies to give back to communities.

The goBeyondProfit initiative was founded by Jackson Healthcare, and a dozen or more business ambassadors have joined the effort to encourage business owners and company leaders to sigh the goBeyondProfit pledge.

Georgia native Amy Sherald to receive High Museum’s 2018 Driskell Prize

The High Museum of Art has selected Georgia native Amy Sherald as the 2018 recipient of the prestigious David C. Driskell Prize in recognition of her contributions to the field of African-American art, the museum announced on Thursday.

Among her notable achievements, Sherald received the commission to paint former first lady Michelle Obama’s official portrait for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, which will be unveiled on Feb. 12.

Cristo Rey Atlanta’s new building dedicated during a morning of celebration

Cristo Rey Atlanta on Tuesday officially dedicated its signature building on the city’s skyline.

Top dignitaries – Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms among others – attended the “miracle” of Cristo Rey Atlanta – a Jesuit high school that will graduate its first class in May.

Proposed project on fragile BeltLine site at Monroe and 10th raises concerns

One of the most complicated intersections in Atlanta – where the BeltLine intersects with 10th Street and Monroe Drive – will face even more challenges with a new proposed development on an adjacent 4-acre site.

The plans for the redevelopment became public in December when the Invest Atlanta board approved a memo-of-understanding to sell a 1.47 acre strip of land along the BeltLine to a joint venture of Jim Kegley and Jeff Fuqua for $2.5 million.

City of Atlanta moves to protect the Patterson-Spring Hill funeral home in Midtown

Update: The Urban Design Commission, at its Jan. 24 meeting, deferred action on this designation until its meeting on Feb. 14 at the request of the owner. The protections will remain in place during this period.

An Atlanta landmark built to serve the dead will soon get a new lease on life.

The City of Atlanta is seeking to give the H.M. Patterson Funeral Home on Spring Street near 10th Street landmark status – a move that will protect the unique building from being demolished for new development.

Support for dreamers growing in Georgia

A placard at the Latin American Association on Buford Highway says it all.

“Help us rally support for legislation to protect DACA recipients!”

DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – an American immigration policy that has allowed individuals who entered the country illegally as minors to receive deferred action from deportation and be eligible to work.

Opening of new Chick-fil-A on the Westside brings together top CEOs and residents

The eve before the opening of the new Chick-fil-A restaurant on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive was a night unlike any other in Atlanta’s history.

The “haves” and the “have nots” huddled indoors and ate dinner in the warmth of a new Chick-fil-A restaurant on the Westside of downtown on Wednesday night braving below-freezing temperatures and ice-covered streets.

Agnes Scott’s Elizabeth Kiss to become first woman to head the Rhodes Trust

Agnes Scott College President Elizabeth Kiss has been selected to become the new warden and CEO of the Rhodes Trust, the first woman to ever head the organization.

In a telephone conversation on Wednesday, Kiss described what an impact the Rhodes Trust has had on her life and how this is a perfect next step for her career.

Mayor Bottoms and APS reach agreement on property deeds

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has forged a working relationship with Meria Carstarphen, superintendent of the Atlanta Public Schools.

During a speech before the Kiwanis Club of Atlanta on Tuesday, Bottoms said the Atlanta City Council at its meeting later in the day would be considering her proposal to transfer the deeds of 50 properties from the City to APS  without restriction or condition.

President David Thomas shares his big ambitions for Morehouse College

If he has his way, David Thomas will be president of Morehouse College for at least a decade.

Just two weeks ago, Thomas became the 12th president of Morehouse, a college steeped in 150 years of world-changing history.

The significance of the position was not lost on Thomas, who had a session with members of the press on Jan. 12.

Salute to Greatness dinner features San Juan Mayor Cruz and U.S. Sen. Booker

Although he didn’t attend the Salute to Greatness dinner on Jan. 13, President Donald Trump was certainly on the menu.

The Salute is the major fundraising event for the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (better known as the King Center), and it is held every year at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.

State Sen. Chuck Hufstelter questions financial plan for Plant Vogtle

At Friday morning’s Sustainable Atlanta Roundtable (SART), State Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome) strongly criticized the financial plan to pay for the two new nuclear power plants at Plant Vogtle.

Hufstetler, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, openily criticized Senate Bill 31 that passed in 2009 that approved the financial plan for Plant Vogtle. It was called the Georgia Nuclear Energy Financing Act, which permitted the utility to begin recovering the costs of financing the construction of the new nuclear plants from consumers before they came on line. 

Atlanta Mayor Bottoms names 38-member transition team

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.

King Center celebrates holiday week with the King District becoming a National Park

Bernice King, CEO of the King Center, on Tuesday evening kicked off the series of events honoring her late father – Martin Luther King Jr. – during his birthday week.

It is a most important week taking place during a most important year – the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination, which will be on April 4.