,

Column: Community groups ULI-Atlanta and LCC will combine

By Maria Saporta
Published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Friday, May 17, 2013

ULI Atlanta and the Livable Communities Coalition have agreed to join forces — creating the ULI Atlanta Livable Communities Council.

The Council will be part of the Urban Land Institute’s Atlanta district and will assume the mission of the Livable Communities Coalition (LCC), the nonprofit metro Atlanta advocacy group formed in 2005 to promote smart urban growth.

David Allman,  who has served as LCC’s board chair and is the incoming board chair of ULI Atlanta, said combining both entities makes “perfect sense going forward.” Allman, founder of developer Regent Partners, said the two entities have common goals — walkable communities and transit-oriented development (TOD).

“This is a very logical step in the evolution of LCC,” Allman said. “The coalition has a great track record of accomplishments, but considering the growth and transportation challenges our region faces in the coming years, it made more sense for ULI Atlanta to take on this important mission.”

LCC was an outgrowth of the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s Quality Growth Task Force, which consisted of 50 diverse representatives from local governments, developers, universities, civic and environmental groups and was chaired by developer Tom Bell.

“We were like evangelists out there throwing our seed,” Bell said after being told about the LCC-ULI Atlanta combination.

“Now it’s like a mainstream religion. It’s perfectly natural that Livable Communities Coalition move to ULI. ULI is the perfect place for it.”

Jim Stokes, LCC’s executive director, said he is proud of the coalition’s track record, working with other organizations to include transit projects in last year’s regional transportation referendum.

But now LCC needs an organization like ULI Atlanta to take its work to the next level.

John Maximuk, LCC’s deputy director, will play an important role with the ULI Atlanta Council and continue to serve as co-convener of the recently formed Atlanta TOD Collaborative.

Jeff DuFresne, ULI Atlanta’s executive director, said the LCC board vote was “a logical step” to make the most of “scarce resources” among nonprofits. “Having the Council headquartered at ULI Atlanta will allow us to expand our regional leadership in the coming years,” he said.

Vietnam Memorial at the Atlanta History Center

Memorial Day will be extra special this year at the Atlanta History Center when its new Veteran’s Park will be dedicated at a ceremony at 5 p.m. on May 27.

The park will include a combination of stone and bronze memorials in honor of veterans who have served in Vietnam, the Korean War, World War I, World War II, Iraq and Afghanistan as well as other conflicts aimed at preserving peace throughout our nation’s history.

Gov. Nathan Deal; Georgia Commissioner of Veteran Affairs Pete Wheeler; Sheffield Hale, president and CEO of the Atlanta History Center; and the Honor Guard from Dobbins Air Reserve base, as well as metro Atlanta veterans, will be part of the event.

Heroes, Saints and Legends

Just as the 2013 Heroes Saints and Legends dinner came to a close May 9, Mike Watson, president and CEO of the Foundation of Wesley Woods, broke with tradition.

Watson told the hundreds of people at the Atlanta History Center that “2014 is going to be a special year for Wesley Woods. It will mark the 60th anniversary of Wesley Woods and the 25th anniversary of this event.”

To hit that point home, Watson announced the four people who will be honored at the 2014 dinner:

Ingrid Saunders Jones, retired senior vice president of Global Community Connections for The Coca-Cola Co.;

The Rev. Donald Harp, senior pastor emeritus of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church;

Dr. Linton Hopkins, author and Emory Healthcare neurologist; and

Yolanda “Lonnie” Ali, a prominent advocate for Parkinson’s caretakers and the wife of Muhammad Ali.

The honorees of the 2013 dinner were UGA sports legend Vince Dooley, longtime WSB-TV anchor Monica Pearson and Allan Levey, chairman of Emory University’s Department of Neurology.

One of the funniest moments of the evening was when Dooley took the stage and recounted a conversation with his wife, Barbara.

She told him: “You might be a hero to some but you ain’t no saint.”

“Some might say I’m a saint for living with you for 53 years,” Vince Dooley told her, and then added: “I’m in trouble now.”

The proceeds of the dinner go to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s research.

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.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

What are your thoughts?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.