Column: Local companies supporting Clinton Global Initiative’s Atlanta meeting

By Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on June 10, 2016

The sixth annual Clinton Global Initiative America will be held in Atlanta June 12 to 14, bringing together national leaders in business, philanthropy, government and nonprofits.

A highlight of this year’s meeting will be a special one-on-one conversation between two former U.S. presidents – Bill Clinton and Georgia’s own Jimmy Carter.

Among the people who will be in Atlanta for the summit are Carolyn Colvin, acting commissioner of the of the Social Security Administration; Marian Wright Edelman, president and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund; U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx; Robert Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television; West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin; Janet Murguía, president and CEO of the National Council of La Raza; and U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez.

Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter

Former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter exchange ideas at CGI America event (Photo by Maria Saporta)

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed will kick off the meeting on June 11 with a “Day of Action,” leading volunteers in service projects throughout the city. Among the partners will be the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Covenant House Georgia, Thomasville Recreation Center, Trees Atlanta and Truly Living Well Center.

In addition to Reed and Carter, other notable Atlantans who will be involved in the sessions include Sandy Douglas, president of Coca-Cola North America; Alex Taylor, executive vice president of Cox Enterprises; Georgia Power CEO Paul Bowers; and John Hope Bryant, founder and CEO of Operation HOPE.

Among the companies and entities supporting CGI America 2016 are The Coca-Cola Company; Cox Enterprises, Inc.; Delta Air Lines, Inc.; Southern Co.; The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation; and United Parcel Service. Media partners include Cox Enterprises Inc.

The Metro Atlanta Chamber will hold an invitation-only welcoming reception on Sunday evening to officially host the VIPs who will be in town.

Metro Atlanta Heart Association

The Metro Atlanta American Heart Association has a new executive director – Joy Holmes — who is being promoted to the position after most recently serving as vice president of the Atlanta Heart Walk.

Joy Holmes

Joy Holmes

“Joy has been an integral leader for the American Heart Association,” said Brad Alexander, board chairman of the Metro Atlanta American Heart Association. “She is uniquely qualified to continue and build upon the strong foundation that the organization has developed here in the Atlanta area. She knows well how heart disease has impacted our community and she is the right person to lead us in the effort to eradicate it.”

During her tenure at the American Heart Association, she has also served as the director of Go Red for Women movement and the Heart Ball campaign. Her previous positions include serving as an account manager at the Georgia Center for Non-Profits, a development director at Junior Achievement and associate executive director at the Hall County YMCA.

In her new role, she will work closely with the local board of directors and volunteer leadership to improve cardiovascular health in the metro Atlanta area. Her new position will officially begin June 13th.

Georgia Research Alliance

The Georgia Research Alliance raised a $100,000 more than its $1.5 million annual fund goal, the organization said at its quarterly board meeting on May 19.

The public-private Alliance, which promotes research and development opportunities in Georgia, relies on private donations and partner universities to fund its operations and management.

The development committee includes Larry Gellerstedt of Cousins Properties; Doug Hertz of United Distributing; Deloitte’s Ed Heys; builder Tommy Holder; Bill Linginfelter of Regions Bank; Pete McTier, formerly of the Woodruff Foundation; David Ratcliffe, who retired from Southern Co.; and The Coca-Cola Co.’s Clyde Tuggle.

Dr. David Allen, a former chair of the Georgia Chamber, was recognized for his recent pledge of $1 million to GRA to support cellular manufacturing research at Emory University, Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia. Allen, who said he hoped his gift inspired others, said he was so impressed to see the university presidents working together on the board of the Alliance.

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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