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ATL Business Chronicle Maria's Metro

Column: Woodruff Arts Center taps Paul Garcia to lead campaign

By Maria Saporta
Published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on May 16, 2014

The Woodruff Arts Center has named Paul Garcia, chairman of Global Payments Inc., to step in as its 2014-2015 campaign chairman.

Last October, the Center announced that Steve Cahilane, then president of Coca-Cola Americas, was going to be heading up that annual campaign. But a couple of months later, Coca-Cola reorganized its leadership, and Cahillane left the company — creating an opening in the Woodruff campaign chair until the selection of Garcia.

Paul Garcia has been a tremendous supporter of the Woodruff Arts Center and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,” said Virginia Hepner, president and CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center. “He has raised significant dollars for the symphony, and he’s exactly what we love. He’s knowledgeable and passionate. He’s a worker, and he gets it done.”

Garcia could not have been more pleased to have been asked. The former CEO of Global Payments will be stepping down as chairman of one of the world’s leading payment processing companies at the end of May, and he is looking forward to devoting his time to raising money for the Arts Center in the coming year.

“It really is an honor,” Garcia said, adding that he was proud to have been asked to serve in that role by Doug Hertz. “It’s going to be hard work, but it’s an important year for the ASO as well as the other divisions. It’s an exciting time.”

A couple of years ago, Garcia teamed up with Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson to raise a couple of million dollars for the symphony, which was facing a shortfall.

“I’m a big fan of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,” Garcia said. “We have made a lot of progress, but we have a little more work to do.”

Garcia said he’s looking forward to raising money for all the divisions. In addition to the ASO, the Center includes the High Museum of Art, the Alliamce Theatre, and Arts for Learning (formerly known as Young Audiences).

“This is very much a noble calling,” Garcia said. “I’m going to work like hell. I now have the time and the inclination, and I certainly have the passion to do this. This is another way to stay engaged in a city I love so much.”

Meanwhile the Woodruff Arts Center is now just a few weeks away from wrapping up its 2013-2014 annual campaign, which has been led by SunTrust Banks CEO William Rogers.

The campaign is striving to reach the highest goal in the Center’s history — $9.5 million, and Hepner said it is on track thanks to support from Atlanta’s corporate and foundation community. But the final month is crucial given the ambitious goal. The annual campaign, with a team of more than 150 volunteers, is a major component of the $35 million that the entire Center and its divisions raise annually.

Atlanta Business League

At the 36th annual CEO Appreciation luncheon, the Atlanta Business League will give its top award — CEO of the Year — to Cynthia Day, president and CEO of Citizens Trust Bank.

The prestigious ABL recognition is presented to a CEO who has proven his or her commitment and fairness to people, while maximizing shareholder profits. During her tenure at Citizens Trust Bank, Cynthia Day has reached many milestones, including achieving record earning levels since the inception of the institution, and continuously growing acquisitions to an asset level of approximately $400 million.

Other honorees at the luncheon, which will be held on May 20 at the Marriott Marquis, include several other Atlanta leaders.

Bill Bolling, executive director of the Atlanta Community Food Bank, will receive the “Distinguished Service” award.

Dennis Boyden, regional director of external affairs for AT&T, will receive the “League Leadership” award.

Emanuel Jones, president of Legacy Ford, will receive the “Entrepreneur of the Year” award.

Ceasar Mitchell, president of the Atlanta City Council, will receive the “Catalyst” award.

And Doug Shipman, CEO of the Center for Civil and Human Rights, will receive the “Visions of Excellence” award.

“The Atlanta Business League is thrilled to honor these exceptional individuals who constantly uphold and embrace the mission of the Atlanta Business League,” said Leona Barr-Davenport, ABL’s president and CEO.

Terri Montague off to D.C.

The first president and CEO of the Atlanta BeltLine Inc., Terri Montague, has just graduated from Emory University with a joint degree in law and theological studies.

She won the top prize in her field. And now she’s headed to Washington, D.C., to work in the Obama administration.

Montague joined the administration of former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin to lead the city’s Atlanta Beltline effort — creating a separate agency to oversee the multi-dimensional project.

She left the city and enrolled at Emory University, where she just graduated on May 12 — winning the 2014 Eliza Ellison Prize for Leadership from the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University.

Montague also was one of four recipients of the Herman Dooeyweerd Prize for Excellence in Law and Religion, which honors graduates of Emory University School of Law’s challenging joint degree program.

In August, Montague will start a 2014-2015 National Legal Honors clerkship with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Montague was the first president and CEO of Atlanta’s $3 billion Beltline project from 2006-2009.

Hala Moddelmog and local chambers

While on the metro Atlanta LINK trip to Philadelphia from May 7-10, one person who was making regional friends was Hala Moddelmog, who became president and CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber in January.

Her counterparts around the region welcomed her and her team members on the trip, which focused on a regional economic development strategy that included closer cooperation among the various players.

As an example of that cooperation, Moddelmog will be the keynote speaker at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce’s General Membership luncheon meeting on May 21 at the 1818 Club.


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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