Engineer Tim Lowe named new chairman of GWCC Authority

By Maria Saporta

The Georgia World Congress Center Authority board has named a new chairman — Tim Lowe, chairman and managing partner of Lowe Engineers.

Lowe succeeds Robert Prather, CEO of Gray Communications, who has been on the GWCC board for 18 years — eight of them as chairman.

“It’s been three years this time,” said Prather, who helped chair the board during the transition from its founding executive director Dan Graveline to the current executive director Frank Poe.

“It’s impossible to replace Dan, but Frank is fantastic,” Prather said. “We haven’t missed a beat.”

Prather said that Lowe, who has been on the board since 2008, will do a great job as the new chairman. Prather will remain on the board.

Lowe and the GWCC Authority board have one major issue looming over the center — the desire by the Atlanta Falcons to move to a new open air stadium once the bonds on the current Georgia Dome are repaid, which could be as early as 2017.

The GWCC board also named other new officers to serve two-year terms.

Lee Hunter, owner of Midtown Vending, a distributor of coin-operated amusement equipment, was appointed as vice chair. He has been on the board since 2006.

Anne Hennessy, founding principal of Hennessy Investments, an Atlanta-based investment firm focused on early-stage technology companies, will serve as secretary. She has been on the board since 2003.

And Doug Tollett, a commercial real estate developer and property manager, will serve as treasurer. He joined the board in 2008.

The GWCC Authority oversees the Georgia World Congress Center, the Georgia Dome and Centennial Olympic Park. The governor-appointed group has 15 board members.

During the 2010 fiscal year, the GWCC authority generated a direct profit of $69 million and contributed $2.3 billion in total economic impact in the local economy.

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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