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Column: Atlanta’s CDC Foundation passes two major milestones

By Maria Saporta
Published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on November 22, 2013

The Atlanta-based CDC Foundation has just passed two major milestones.

Since its inception in 1995, the CDC Foundation has launched more than 700 programs and it has raised $400 million to advance the work of the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The foundation is the sole entity authorized by Congress to raise funds on behalf of the CDC, and it builds public-private partnerships between the CDC and corporations, foundations, organizations and individuals to advance the Center’s work to protect people from health and safety threats around the world.

“We are so grateful for our partners who have supported CDC’s work through the CDC Foundation since we opened our doors 18 years ago,” said Charles Stokes, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation. “As CDC’s nonprofit partner, we are positioned to help CDC secure crucial resources. Our fundraising success is an example of how public-private partnerships can make significant contributions to benefit public health.”

The CDC Foundation annually manages more than 200 programs in the United States and in 58 countries around the world.

Those programs include initiatives to reduce tobacco use, help prevent and treat infectious diseases, organize emergency preparedness and response programs as well as support CDC’s work on chronic diseases, including early assessment of childhood obesity.

“Partnering with the CDC Foundation offers benefits far beyond the dollars that are raised,” said Gary Cohen, chair of the CDC Foundation’s board, who also serves as executive vice president of business development and acting CEO of GBCHealth in New Jersey. “The support CDC needs most often is funding, but can also include expertise, information, leadership and connections.”

In addition to receiving contributions from generous individual donors the CDC Foundation’s partners include the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, GE, Kaiser Permanente, Amgen, Pfizer, Harvard University and the World Health Organization.

Previous board chairs include Atlantans Phil Jacobs, a partner with Pendleton Consulting Group (2005-2010); Kent C. “Oz” Nelson, retired CEO of United Parcel Service Inc. (2001-2005); and Bernie Marcus, co-founder of The Home Depot Inc. (1998-2001).

Nobel Peace Prize Laureates

Excitement is mounting with the official Nov. 22 announcement of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates gathering in Atlanta in 2015, first reported in Atlanta Business Chronicle on Oct. 11.

Ted Turner, the honorary chair of the 2015 Summit, who is also chairman of the United Nations Foundation, will be part of the Nov. 22 press conference, which will include professor Muhammad Yunus, winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.

A videotaped message from former President Jimmy Carter, winner of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, will be shown. Carter is in Nepal.

Advanced press materials show that UPS is a key sponsor of the summit. Scott Davis, chairman and CEO of UPS, will chair the 2015 Summit’s CEO Council; and Teri McClure, chief legal, communications and compliance officer for UPS, is serving on the Atlanta Host Committee.

Former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, who is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; and former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, CEO of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, are co-chairing the Georgia Senior Leaders for the 2015 Summit.

This is only the second time the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates will have gathered in the United States. It will feature more than 2,000 global leaders, and all living Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, will be invited with most expected to attend.

Home Depot community network

The Home Depot Foundation held its annual Building Community Network event Nov. 19 bringing together 150 nonprofit leaders to exchange ideas and collaborate on opportunities.

Twenty new nonprofits were invited into the network — receiving a special Home Depot gift as a welcome present.

“We gave $400,000 total to the 20 new Building Community Network members — $20,000 each,” said Lisa Pollack Walsh, senior manager of external communications for the foundation.

Jekyll Island

The Jekyll Island Foundation is getting more of an Atlanta presence. Terry Harps, chairman and CEO of Atlanta-based Global Concessions Inc., is one of two new members on the foundation’s board. The other new board member is Trey Cook, owner and chief operating officer of Savannah Tire, Brake and Alignment Centers.

Also, C.H. “Buff” Leavy IV of St. Simons Island was elected board chairman, and Danny Ross, founder and managing director of DDR Holdings LLC, an intellectual property firm based in Dunwoody, was elected vice chairman.

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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