Column: Cooper Carry’s Cantley picked as new chair of ULI Atlanta

By Maria Saporta
Published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on July 10, 2015

This is where Kevin Cantley, president and CEO of the Cooper Carry architectural firm for the past 20 years, remembered the first time he became aware of the Urban Land Institute.

It was in the 1970s when he was at the College of Architecture at Georgia Tech working on land-use maps. He was told to use the ULI coloring system — residential was yellow; office was blue; retail was red; institutional was purple and park land was green.

“That pretty well established in my mind that ULI was important since they had control of the colors,” Cantley said. “I have come to know ULI as the recognized authority of responsible land-use planning.”

Cantley has been active in ULI Atlanta since 1995. On July 1, he became chair of ULI Atlanta, succeeding David Allman, founder and chairman of Regent Partners.

“Kevin has been involved in almost every program that ULI does,” said Sarah Kirsch, ULI Atlanta’s executive director. “Kevin has a thoughtful leadership style. He has a really unique perspective on the breadth of what ULI does. There is no learning curve. He brings a great background.”

The ULI Atlanta district, which covers Georgia, Alabama and eastern Tennessee, is part of the worldwide Urban Land Institute that is in 100 countries and serves a base of 35,000 members.

Cantley said it is more than a professional or a business organization because it seeks to educate both the public and professionals about responsible growth patterns — and it encompasses diverse fields — planning, architecture, development, project financing and community-building.

As the new two-year chairman of ULI Atlanta, Cantley said that he will have a few priorities during his tenure.

“Personally, I would like for us to improve the disconnect that separates where people live and where the jobs are,” Cantley said. “”That speaks to the incompleteness of our transit system.”

Cantley also expects to continue ULI’s focus on working with MARTA on transit-oriented-developments (TODs) and creating more walkable communities throughout the region.

Another area he would like to explore as chairman is to work with other ULI district councils on the growth of megaregions, such as the Charlotte-

Atlanta development corridor. “I believe we can have joint activities with other district councils,” Cantley said.

In addition to his involvement with ULI, Cantley is a member of AIA and NAIOP, for which he chairs its Urban Redevelopment Forum. He also serves on the executive advisory board for Georgia Tech’s College of Architecture; on the board of the Buckhead Coalition; as a trustee of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association; as a director for the Architects Foundation of Georgia and of NAIOP; and as a director and treasurer of AIA Georgia.

“ULI Atlanta is proud to announce Kevin as its choice for the next chair,” Allman said. “He has been a influential member for many years, served on boards and genuinely cares about ULI, its members and our community as a whole. I’m looking forward to seeing the positive impacts of Kevin’s leadership.”

Kiwanis honors UPS’ Abney

Although Greece only represents 2 percent of Europe’s economy, it will have a major impact if the relatively small nation leaves the eurozone.

That’s what Dave Abney, CEO of United Parcel Service Inc., told the Kiwanis Club of Atlanta during a talk on July 7.

“We hope they stay in the euro and the European Union,” Abney said of Greece. “From UPS’ standpoint, (the situation in Greece) has not had an immediate impact. Obviously it will start to have an effect on many of our customers if they don’t have the funds to do business.”

Abney also said he had hoped the situation would have been resolved by Greeks supporting an austerity plan proposed by the EU. But Greeks “spoke pretty loudly” against that plan in the recent referendum, Abney said. If he could “write the script,” a compromise between the Greeks and the European Union would be reached so that Greece could continue to use the euro as its currency, Abney said.

Before becoming CEO of UPS, Abney was president of UPS International ­— a position he held from 2002 to 2007, when he became the company’s chief operating officer. He became the company’s 11th CEO last September. UPS will turn 108 years old this year.

Kiwanis awarded Abney its annual International Committee Award. In addition to his role at UPS, Abney also serves as chairman of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta and as a member of the President’s Export Council, on the board of Johnson Controls, and on the Business Roundtable.

During his Kiwanis talk, Abney said UPS operates in 220 countries and territories.

“Our future business is the emerging markets,” Abney said. “During the next 15 years, three-quarters of the world’s increase in GDP (gross domestic product) will occur in these emerging markets. It shows how much our world is going to change. You can think about it as a challenge, or you can embrace it as an opportunity.”

Abney went on to say that by 2020, half of the consumption will be in those emerging markets. He said he was important to remember that the United States represents only 5 percent of the world’s consumers even though they do represent a much larger share of the world’s purchasing power.

UPS, which is based in Sandy Springs, currently ranks No. 47 among the nation’s Fortune 500 companies.

Usher’s New Look

Usher is turning “Sweet Sixteen.”

Actually Usher’s New Look nonprofit will be holding its 16th anniversary celebration on July 23 with a “United to Ignite” Awards luncheon at the St. Regis. Ludacris will serve as the emcee of the event.

Usher’s New Look develops global youth leaders by way of access, awareness and empowerment. The peer-to-peer model focuses on developing well-rounded, forward-thinking, socially conscious leaders.

The goal is to reduce the number of 1.3 million students who drop out of high school each year.

According to Usher’s nonprofit, 50 percent of adults on welfare are high school dropouts; and 75 percent of all crimes are committed by people who didn’t graduate from 12th grade. More than 80 percent of all prisoners in U.S. jails are high school dropouts.

Among the people who will be honored at Usher’s “Sweet 16” celebration will be Georgia’s Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle; Michele Lai, founder of Kids 4 Kids; and Elizabeth Williams, who joined Usher’s New Look Detroit as a struggling high school student. She currently is a senior at Grand Valley State University, and she is co-founder of Books IV Bonding.

Tucker launching nonprofit

Comedian Chris Tucker will launch his own nonprofit organization on July 18 at a celebration at the St. Regis Hotel.

The Chris Tucker Foundation is a nonprofit that will be dedicated to making a positive impact in youth and families locally, nationally and internationally through implementing innovative initiatives and funding life-changing programs.

Tucker’s vision is to make a positive global impact in young people by galvanizing community leaders and engaging a collective community to address critical needs affecting our future generations.

The July 18 event, which will evoke the “Harlem Renaissance” era, will be an evening of comedy, food and entertainment.

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?