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Column: Top IBM Georgia executive, Pat Falotico, to lead United Way drive

By Maria Saporta
Published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on October 5, 2012

The United Way of Greater Atlanta has selected its 2013 campaign chair — Pat Falotico, senior state executive for IBM in Georgia.

Falotico has been serving on the United Way board for more than a year and has chaired IBM’s internal campaign for the past four years.
“I see this a great opportunity,” Falotico said. “I love United Way, and it also gives me an opportunity to represent IBM in the community. I’m really excited about it.”

Chairing the annual United Way is one of the most demanding civic jobs in town. The campaign chair heads up the effort that has been raising more than $80 million a year for the past several years.

“The campaign is very important because it provides the fuel for United Way to do the good work that they do,” Falotico said. “The work is the jewel in the crown. I’ve been involved with a number of not-for-profits. What appeals to me specifically about United Way is how they bring together many of these organizations so they can have more of an impact. Collaboration is the key.”

In an email, Milton Little, president and CEO of Atlanta’s United Way, said, “We could not do this work without caring volunteers and leaders, and Pat’s stepping in this role next year further shows the caring power we have in this region to ‘Be Greater Atlanta’.”

IBM has been a long time contributor to United Way. Retired IBM executive Tom Smith headed the campaign in 1994, and another IBM executive Lee Torrence chaired the United Way board during the 2007-2008 term.

Falotico, who also holds the title of IBM’s vice president of sales center transformation, said that IBM kicked off its 2012 United Way campaign on Oct. 2, and the goal for the company is to raise about $1.5 million from its metro Atlanta workforce.

At the IBM kick-off, a colleague observed to Falotico that “in Atlanta you feel the connection of community and you can see how you can make a difference.”

Falotico agreed. “I see the philanthropy community, the business community and others working together,” she said. “Everyone seems to be rallying around community themes. And you feel that network of being connected.”

Falotico is a native of New York. She moved to Atlanta just before the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. In addition to her work with United Way, Falotico is the past chair of Communities in Schools — Georgia; a past chair of the Girls Inc. board, and she serves on the boards of Leadership Atlanta and the Metro Atlanta Chamber.

Kevin Greiner, president and CEO of Gas South, is the 2012 campaign chair; Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson was the 2011 campaign chair; and AGL Resources CEO John Somerhalder chaired the campaign in 2009 and 2010.

Legacy giving for United Way

An anonymous $3 million “legacy” gift to the United Way of Greater Atlanta is a big boost to the organization’s desire to be a philanthropy of choice when people are making out their wills. T

he anonymous gift is the largest that the organization has ever received.

The United Way’s Planned Giving program is seeking potential donors who would be willing to leave a major legacy gift. So far, the initiative has generated about $10 million in pledges.

Bentley Marane, executive director of Planned Giving for United Way, said a committee has been working on the program for the past four years.

A $1 million endowment gift to United Way from Howell and Madeline Adams helped launch the planned giving effort.

Among the people who have been involved include Mary Ellen and Scott Garrett, Brad Currey and Peter Genz among others.

The Garretts were re-doing their wills in 2001, and they had not updated their plans for 10 years. In addition to wanting to leave gifts to their family members and favorite charities, they decided to leave a significant gift to United Way.

Peter Genz and his wife Gina have made a $1 million planned gift to United Way. He has been helping other United Way donors discover special ways to perpetuate their gifts to the organization.

2013 Final Four

The Atlanta Local Organizing Committee for the 2013 NCAA Men’s Final Four is in place — ready to help in the operation and execution of the tournament that will be held at the Georgia Dome on April 6. 2013.

The tournament is expected to attract 70,000 ticket holders and more than 100,000 visitors to events throughout the city.

It is the fourth time that Atlanta will be hosting the Men’s Final Four. Also the 2013 tournament is the 75th annual celebration of March Madness.

Sharon Goldmacher, president of PR firm Communications 21, is serving as the committee’s executive director; and she will be overseeing a team of 35 key volunteers who will do all they can to make sure residents and visitors enjoy the weekend.

“As a volunteer in 2007, I know the time commitment that is required and I am continually impressed by the number of volunteers willing to make that commitment,” Goldmacher said. “By bringing some of the most influential and successful professionals in Atlanta together on this committee, I hope we will execute one of the best Final Four tournaments to date.”

For a complete list of the committee and the volunteers, please go to www.c21pr.com website.

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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