Articles from the Atlanta Business Chronicle

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Column: ‘Something transformational’ happening at Atlanta Ballet

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on August 25, 2017

As the Atlanta Ballet experiences an artistic transformation, it is launching the public phase of its “The Time is Now” campaign. The $23.5 million campaign is focused on the company’s artistic programming as well as building its endowment. So far, $15.1 million has been raised towards the campaign.

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Column: Unprecedented effort underway to fight low literacy

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on August 18, 2017

Low literacy — whether it’s among youth or adults — hurts the state’s economic potential and is a leading cause of poverty.

Now an unprecedented collaboration is underway in Georgia to address low literacy with a multi-generational approach.

The Georgia Literacy Commission, which held its third public meeting in Tifton on Aug. 14, reflects that collaboration. Georgia’s First Lady Sandra Deal is one of the commission’s co-chairs along with Wendell Dallas of Atlanta Gas Light; Phil Jacobs, a retired AT&T Georgia president; and Teya Ryan of Georgia Public Broadcasting.

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Column: How Junior Achievement is changing education in Atlanta

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on August 4,, 2017

Don’t tell anybody, but Junior Achievement of Georgia is changing high school education in metro Atlanta.

It’s called the JA Academy, and as of the beginning of this school year, there are three up-and-running in three different school districts – each with hundreds of students being immersed in a new curriculum designed by JA of Georgia.

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New Auburn Avenue co-working space aims to foster big ideas

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on August 4, 2017

An Atlanta developer is planning an innovative co-working space along one of Atlanta’s most historic streets — a project that’s already lured high-profile investors including top Home Depot executives.

Gene Kansas Commercial Real Estate plans to open Constellations, a $2 million project that will offer “culturally-inspired” workspace with the hope of bringing together great minds who care about making a difference in the city.

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Column: TOUR Championship aims to become premier Atlanta sporting event

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on July 21, 2017

A concerted effort is underway to elevate the annual TOUR Championship as one of Atlanta’s premier sporting events.

As evidence, the TOUR Championship has hired Bob Williams, former president of the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena, as its executive chairman who will work on building stronger relationships between the TOUR and Atlanta’s business and hospitality community.

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Column: Mercedes-Benz USA going strong as it marks two years in Atlanta

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on July 14, 2017

Mercedes-Benz USA moved its headquarters to metro Atlanta exactly two years ago (in July, 2015), and the luxury car company has been going non-stop ever since.

“It feels like we’ve been here forever,” said Dietmar Exler, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA and the regional head of North America, which includes Canada and Mexico.

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South Downtown project moves forward

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on July 14, 2017

German real estate company Newport US RE is moving forward with ambitions to redevelop portions of eight blocks and up to 750,000 square feet of South Downtown’s historic buildings.

Newport has filed plans with the Eastside Tax Allocation District, where it will seek up to $12 million in public funding for the project — one of the largest ever proposed for downtown.

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Column: Citizens Trust evolving with the banking industry

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on July 7, 2017

Citizens Trust Bank closed two of its branches on June 30 including the one at its historic Piedmont Avenue building and its branch in Lithonia.

But Cynthia Day, Citizens Trust’s CEO, said the moves represent a transition in the banking industry rather than any financial issues with the bank — which is the largest African-American owned bank in the Southeast as well as the fifth largest in the country.

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Delta savors success at its annual meeting

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on July 7, 2017

When Delta Air Lines held its annual meeting in New York City at 7:30 a.m. on June 29, former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin was not there.

Franklin had just spent the better part of two days attending events and meetings for Delta directors including a dinner June 27 to bid her farewell from the board. She, along with fellow director Kenneth Woodrow, had reached the mandatory retirement age of 72.

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Column: Through wave of change, Coke says it’s still committed to Atlanta

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on June 30, 2017

As The Coca-Cola Co. undergoes a transformation of its business and scales down by 1,200 positions — mainly at its corporate headquarters, there has been concern about the company’s commitment to Atlanta.

Never fear.

That’s according to the key individuals who head the company’s civic efforts: Bea Perez, chief public affairs, communications and sustainability officer who also chairs the Coca-Cola Foundation; and Helen Smith Price, vice president of global community affairs and president of the Coca-Cola Foundation.

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New Atlanta Fed president brings fresh background, perspective

By Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on June 30, 2017

The new president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta — Raphael Bostic — could title his new post after Monty Python’s 1971 comedy film — And Now for Something Completely Different.

Bostic is the first African-American to ever be named as president of one of the 12 regional Fed banks. In addition to that, he also is an openly gay man who is well aware of the symbolism and reality of both positions.

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Column: Friendship Force launches 40th anniversary campaign

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on June 23, 2017

Atlanta-based Friendship Force International is celebrating its 40th anniversary by launching a $1 million fundraising campaign.

Friendship Force is a pioneer in promoting global understanding through the citizen homestay experience. Its 40th anniversary campaign will seek to develop new initiatives to involve more people to travel with a purpose to create a more peaceful world.

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Historic transformation underway at Atlanta History Center 

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on June 23, 2017

History is being remade at the Atlanta History Center.

The Battle of Atlanta Cyclorama painting and the locomotive Texas now are anchored in the new Lloyd and Mary Ann Whitaker building — still under construction — on the Atlanta History Center’s Buckhead campus.

The move caps the extraordinary five-year tenure Sheffield Hale has held as president and CEO of the Atlanta History Center.

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Column: Two nonprofits win awards from Community Foundation

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on June 16, 2017

The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta has named Literacy Action and Trees Atlanta as the recipients of its 33rd annual “Managing for Excellence” awards.

The recognition is one of the most sought-after awards among Atlanta’s nonprofit organizations. The Community Foundation rewards nonprofits that are exceptionally well-run with outstanding management and governance practices combined with innovative thinking.

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Rotary convention boosts city’s global health image

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on June 16, 2017

Atlanta’s role as a leading hub for global health held center-stage during the 2017 Rotary International convention – an event where nearly 36,000 Rotarians, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and numerous other partners committed another $1.2 billion towards the efforts of eradicating polio over the next three years.

Atlanta was the perfect venue for that announcement. It was here where Rotary first launched its foundation 100 years ago – a centennial celebrated at the culmination of the convention with birthday parties on June 14.

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Column: Wilton Looney gives Children’s Healthcare $1 million for pediatrics center

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on June 9, 2017

Retired Genuine Parts Co. executive and philanthropist Wilton Looney has given $1 million to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in honor of his late wife Martha Looney. “Fortunately we talked about it just before she died [in October 2016], and she agreed,” Looney said in a telephone interview June 6. “It’s just something we wanted to do.”

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Atlanta companies double down on clean energy following Trump announcement

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on June 9, 2017

Atlanta-based corporate giants and major companies with an Atlanta presence stopped short of joining the chorus of criticism Democrats and environmentalists heaped on President Donald Trump’s decision June 1 to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement.

But The Coca-Cola Co., Delta Air Lines Inc., The Home Depot Inc., and others firmly renewed their commitments to pursuing energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, goals set forth by the 2015 Paris accord.