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Column: How Woodruff Arts Center campaign reached its $9 million goal

By Maria Saporta
Published in the ABC on Friday, June 29, 2012

In mid-May, the annual corporate campaign for the Woodruff Arts Center was falling about $200,000 short of its $9 million goal. So leaders of the campaign went back to several key donors asking if they could stretch a little more so the campaign would have a successful close.

“I’m thrilled we reached the campaign goal this year,” said Brad Branch, Deloitte’s senior partner in Atlanta, who chaired the 2012 campaign. “With the changing business environment in Atlanta, it was quite an achievement.”

This was a particularly important year for the Woodruff Arts Center to reach its goal because two of its top leaders were retiring — Joe Bankoff, the Center’s CEO; and Beauchamp Carr, the executive vice president who has been coordinating the campaign for 35 years.

“This is a great tribute to Beauchamp Carr,” said Tommy Hills, who has stepped in as campaign director following Carr’s retirement. “We all feel good that we have been able to close out his career by reaching goal.”

The Woodruff Arts Center was able to retain its top three donors at the same level of last year — The Coca-Cola Co., the Georgia Power Foundation and United Parcel Service Inc. — each giving at least $500,000.

Other top donors — in the $300,000-plus range — were the Cox interests (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the James M. Cox Foundation, Cox Radio Group Atlanta, WSB-TV and Anne Cox Chambers); Deloitte; and Ernst & Young LLP.

Giving at least $200,000 were: AT&T Inc., the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta; Equifax Inc.; the Home Depot Foundation, the Jones Day Foundation; PricewaterhouseCoopers; and SunTrust Banks and the foundations it manages in trusts. At the $150,000 level were KPMG; the Sara Giles Moore Foundation; and the Rich Foundation.

The $100,000 donors were: Alston & Bird; Bank of America; Delta Air Lines; Goodwin Group; Kaiser Permanente; King & Spalding; the Klaus Family Foundation; the Marcus Foundation; Novelis Inc.; Southwest Airlines; Turner Broadcasting System; Wells Fargo; and the David, Helen & Marian Woodward Fund.

“Any campaign was tough this year,” said Larry Gellerstedt, CEO of Cousins Properties Inc., who is chairing the Woodruff Arts Center board. “We set a $9 million goal, and the fact that we made it is a real tribute to the quality of art that the Woodruff Arts Center is doing.”

Branch said he wanted to single out two people who contributed to the success of the campaign — Paul Bowers, CEO of Georgia Power, who chaired the Lead Gifts committee that raised 43 percent of the $9 million.

Bowers also will be chairing the campaign in 2013; and Kurt Kuehn, chief financial officer of UPS, who chaired the campaign in 2011.

The 2012 Woodruff campaign is the second year in a row in which the Center has been able to reach its goal. Last year, that goal was $8.8 million.

The funds raised go toward helping cover the operational costs of the four Woodruff divisions — the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum of Art, the Alliance Theatre and Young Audiences.

$1 million for Piedmont Hospital

Tom Chapman, the former chairman and CEO of Equifax Inc., and his wife, Karen, are donating more than $1 million to Piedmont Healthcare to help the hospital expand its Cancer Wellness services.

Those services offer free programs to cancer patients, even if they are not patients at Piedmont, including yoga classes, arts classes and nutrition workshops. Last year, the Wellness program served 1,800 people.

Chapman, who lost his first wife, Jane,to cancer in 2003, supported the initial development of the wellness program in memory of his wife. This latest gift will allow Piedmont to hire five new “navigators” to work with patients.

“Our family knows the benefits of navigation and cancer wellness programming, and wants to ensure that patients and families battling cancer have access to these vital services,” Chapman said in a statement. “We believe in giving back to the community and know that funding this initiative will improve the lives of thousands.”

A historic event

The Georgia Historical Society has elected its first African-American chair in its 173-year history, according to Todd Groce, president and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society.

The Society, at its recent annual meeting in Savannah, elected architect Robert Brown of R.L. Brown & Associates in Decatur, succeeding Bill Jones III of Sea Island. Brown is used to being a first.

He was the first (and only) African-American to chair the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.

Robert Jepson of Savannah was elected vice chairman; and Jackie Montag of A. Montag & Associates was elected secretary. John Helmken II of Savannah will serve another term as treasurer.

Dr. David Allen of Atlanta (also a former chair of the Georgia Chamber); and attorney Wyck Knox were elected to the board. Also, Bill Todd, professor of health-care management at Georgia Tech, was elected to another three-year term.

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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