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Column: Invesco’s Marty Flanagan to lead Woodruff Arts Center campaign

By Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on May 20, 2016

The Woodruff Arts Center has tapped Martin Flanagan, president and CEO of Invesco Ltd., to chair its annual corporate campaign for 2016-2017.

The annual corporate campaign has raised more than $10 million to support all the arts and education programming of the Woodruff Arts Center and its divisions: the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum of Art and the Alliance Theatre.

“We are thrilled that Marty has agreed to chair our 2016 – 17 Annual Corporate Campaign,” said Doug Hertz, board chairman of the Woodruff Arts Center. “Marty and Invesco have been tremendous supporters of the Arts Center for years. Now he is doing even more by continuing the tradition of Atlanta’s most respected CEOs leading our annual corporate campaign.”

Martin Flanagan

Martin Flanagan of Invesco

Flanagan has served as head of Atlanta-based global investment management firm Invesco since 2005.

“We are so fortunate that community leaders like Marty give their time and energy to support the arts,” said Virginia Hepner, president and CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center. “Because of their efforts, we can bring world-class art and education to our community and we are extraordinarily grateful for that support.”

Flanagan also is a trustee and vice chairman of the Invesco Funds, the company’s U.S. open and closed-end fund companies. He joined Invesco from Franklin Resources, where he was president and CEO from January 2004 to July 2005.

He earned a B.A. and B.B.A from Southern Methodist University (SMU). And he is a certified public accountant. He serves on the executive committee for the Investment Company Institute, and is a former chairperson.

Flanagan also serves as a member of the executive board at the SMU Cox School of Business. He also is a member of the Atlanta Committee for Progress and a former chairperson of that board.

The Woodruff Arts Center’s 2015-2016 annual corporate campaign is being chaired by Jim Hannan, CEO and president of Georgia-Pacific. That campaign, which closes out on May 31, is on track to raise a new all-time high, and the result will be announced in June.

The 2014-2015 campaign, chaired by Paul Garcia, the retired CEO of Global Payments Inc., raised $13.6 million.

According to the center, the annual campaign is critically important, given the limited public funding the arts receive in Georgia — ranking 48th among all states’ support for the arts on a per capita basis.

The campaign raises about a third of the more than $30 million the center raises annually along with its artistic divisions. The annual campaign supports the shared services across the organization — including human resources, information technology, treasury operations, financial reporting and compliance, and facility management.

In addition to the annual campaign, the Woodruff Arts Center also has been in the middle of a major capital expansion program — the $100 million Transformation Campaign.

That campaign was publicly launched in 2015, and it has raised $95.3 million to date. It is designed to dramatically increase endowments, renovate the center’s Alliance Theatre and Memorial Arts Building and to provide greater access to the arts for families.

Woodruff Arts Center board

Woodruff Arts Center also has announced the election of 10 new members to the organization’s board of trustees, according to WAC Chairman Doug Hertz and CEO Virginia Hepner. They are:

  • Betsy Camp, president and CEO of DF Management;
  • Beth Holder, community volunteer;
  • Amy Kenny, community volunteer;
  • Barry McCarthy, executive vice president of First Data Corp.;
  • Glenn W. Mitchell III, Atlanta managing partner of EY;
  • John F. O’Neill, managing principal of Cushman & Wakefield;
  • Ben Phelps, senior vice president and corporate banking manager of BB&T;
  • Alan J. Prince, Atlanta managing partner of King & Spalding;
  • Wendy H. Stewart, Atlanta market president and co-head of SE Global Commercial for Bank of America Merrill Lynch; and
  • Kathy N. Waller, executive vice president and CFO of The Coca-Cola Co.

“We are fortunate to have such distinguished individuals join us to contribute their leadership, time and resources to sustain the arts as a critical community asset,” Hertz said. “The individuals joining the Board are eager to help make the Center an even greater public resource for the future of our city.”

The Woodruff Arts Center’s Board of Trustees is drawn from a broad spectrum of Atlanta’s business and civic leadership. Trustees can serve for up to two three-year terms and may be re-elected following a one-year sabbatical.

The following trustees are being welcomed back to the Arts Center Board for a new term in 2016-17:

  • Ann Cramer, senior consultant for Coxe Curry & Associates;
  • Susan Bell, partner of National Power & Utilities Sector Financial Accounting & Advisory Services for EY;
  • Javier Goizueta, retired vice president of The Coca-Cola Co.;
  • Carolyn McClatchey, community volunteer; and
  • Margaret Reiser, senior director of BoardWalk Consulting LLC.

“We are thrilled to welcome this diverse group of accomplished leaders to the board,” said Hepner in a statement. “With their backgrounds and expertise, our new trustees will bring a wealth of experience and insight to the Center. We look forward to working with them in the years to come.”

Communities in Schools

The 12th Annual Choose Success Awards Dinner for Communities in Schools-Atlanta was a welcoming-home of the key leaders who started the organization more than 50 years ago.

The dinner, held at the Georgia Aquarium on May 17, reunited two founders — Neil Shorthouse and Bill Milliken. It also honored two of its most special benefactors — Anne Cox Chambers and George Johnson.

CIS Atlanta Miliken Chambers Johnson

Bill Miliken, Anne Cox Chambers and George Johnson at Communities in Schools events

Johnson was awarded the prestigious Anne Cox Chambers Champion for Kids Award for his 45 years of service to the organization, which was founded in Atlanta.

“It started in one school in Atlanta, and now it’s in 2,400 schools across the country,” said Milliken, who served as CEO of the national organization. “Our hearts are very much still in Atlanta even though we live in Washington, D.C.”

Anne Cox Chambers and her son Jim Chambers attended the dinner. She was one of Communities in Schools’ (formerly Exodus and Cities in Schools) earliest and ongoing benefactors. Her son now serves on the national board of the organization.

It was not long after — 45 years ago — when George Johnson, a real estate executive in Atlanta, became involved with Communities in Schools.

“No one has done more for Communities in Schools than Anne Chambers and her family,” Johnson said. “It is now serving 1.5 million students in 25 states and serving over 122,000 students in Georgia.”

Johnson remembered first meeting Shorthouse and Milliken decades ago. “I was wondering what two hippies from Pittsburgh were doing in Atlanta,” he joked.

But then he said the founders of the organization “changed the way I looked at the world forever.” Johnson said they really helped him understand the differences of his background — growing up in a stable home with resources versus all the students of single parents or no parents who grow up without the comforts of home.

CIS Atlanta

CIS Atlanta group at recent dinner – Standing: Frank Brown, CEO of Communities in Schools-Atlanta; Neil Shorthouse, a co-founder of the organization; Jodie Guest, board chair of CIS-Atlanta; Jim Chambers, on the national board of CIS; Sitting (L-R): Bill Milliken, a co-founder of CIS; Anne Cox Chambers; and George Johnson, the night’s top honoree – a real estate leader who has supported CIS for 45 years. (Photo by Maria Saporta)

Communities in Schools works with public school systems to help identify the students in need of support — if the water or electricity have been turned off preventing them from being able to be prepared for school — so that they can stay in school and graduate.

“Ninety percent of all CIS students in the country graduate from high school,” Johnson said. “All of us have an interest in them as individuals.”

Milliken said that a few years ago, he had an epiphany.

“We don’t have a youth problem; we have an adult problem,” he said. “We can’t tell kids to stay out of gangs or treat people with respect if we are not doing that. Every child needs a loving parent… Love and relationships and community are the game-changers.”

The CIS-Atlanta dinner was the most successful in the organization’s history. Frank Brown, CEO of CIS-Atlanta, and Zachary Brown, the development director of the Atlanta nonprofit, said the dinner raised nearly $500,000.

Lisa Borders and the WNBA

At 20 years old, the WNBA is still in its infancy, WNBA President Lisa Borders said May 18 at a Newsmaker’s lunch of the Atlanta Press Club.

“The NBA is 70 years old,” Borders said. “We are further along than our big brother — the NBA — was when it was 20 years old.”

Lisa Borders

Lisa Borders speaks to Atlanta Press Club (Photo by Maria Saporta)

Borders let her Atlanta colors shine during the lunch — calling out players of the Atlanta Dream as well as the team’s two owners — Kelly Loeffler and Mary Brock — among other long-time fans of the women’s basketball team.

Before joining the WNBA, Borders was chair of the Coca-Cola Foundation as well as the company’s vice president of Global Community Affairs. She also was president of the Grady Health Foundation. Previously she served as president of the Atlanta City Council, and she was a mayoral candidate in 2009. She also had worked with Cousins Properties Inc. when she served on the City Council.

Borders did share a story she had not told before.

“My maternal grandfather worked at The Coca-Cola Co. for 30 years as a chauffeur,” she said. “I always wanted to work at Coca-Cola. We moved from the chauffeur seat to the executive suite in just two generations.”

Borders, however, has embraced her new role with passion — reminding the crowd that more than half of the nation’s population is women.

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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