Survival in a fast paced world

Atlanta’s business history is filled with the records of companies that did not stand the test of time. Evidence of that fact is all around but, to put a positive spin on things, where would all of the hip offices, trendy loft condos and tech startups turn for space if Atlanta’s large warehouses and manufacturing […]

Former Coca-Cola CEO Neville Isdell launches 'Epic Ireland'

By Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on May 13, 2016

Former Coca-Cola CEO Neville Isdell has embarked on a major venture in Ireland, the country of his birth.

Isdell, who left The Coca-Cola Co. in 2008, has bought an historic warehouse building near the Port of Dublin and turned it into a multi-faceted project – a business incubator, stores and the project’s centerpiece, a major tourist attraction called Epic Ireland. So far, he has invested $27 million of his own money into the development.

Column: Global Ministries begins HQ move from New York to Atlanta

By Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on April 29, 2016

Global Ministries, the philanthropic arm of the United Methodist Church, has received a $1.5 million grant from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation to move its headquarters from New York to Atlanta.

Thomas Kemper, general secretary of Global Ministries, said in a telephone conversation April 26 the organization has already started moving people to Atlanta. The move should be completed by October when a total of 168 staff members will be located in Atlanta. About 40 percent of them will be moving here from New York.

Global Ministries has worked out a partnership to co-locate with Grace United Methodist Church at the corner of Ponce de Leon Avenue and Charles Allen Drive. A building for the global nonprofit is being reconstructed for the headquarters.

Kasim Reed Richard Anderson

An emotional Mayor Kasim Reed signs lease to keep Delta here for 20 years

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was overcome with emotion during the public signing of the city’s 20-year lease agreement with Delta Air Lines – a lease that also includes a 10-year optional extension.

The mayor’s voice quivered as he fought back tears talking about one of his closest confidants and friends in Atlanta’s business community – Delta CEO Richard Anderson.

Muhtar Kent WOC annual meeting

Coca-Cola welcomes shareholders into its Atlanta home

For the first year ever, the Coca-Cola Co. invited its shareowners to its own turf for its 2016 annual meeting – the World of Coca-Cola at Pemberton Place across from Centennial Olympic Park.

The new location had a strange impact on shareowners. Even the company’s harshest critics seemed subdued in the environment. It didn’t hurt that the company was opening up the attraction for a special first-ever Coca-Cola Shareowner Day so the owners of the company could get their fill of the house that soda built.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon visits Atlanta

By Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on April 15, 2016

When Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co., came to Atlanta April 8 to speak to members of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, he was on familiar turf.

There was a time when Dimon, who had been ousted by CitiGroup CEO Sandy Weill, considered moving to Atlanta to become CEO of The Home Depot Inc.


Iconic Coca Cola sign at Atlanta's Five Points

Commentary: Coca-Cola promotes foundation leader from within

Original story on WABE by Maria Saporta.


One of the most important civic roles in Atlanta is the person who heads the Coca-Cola Foundation. The Coca-Cola Co. just named Helen Smith Price as the new president of its foundation – succeeding Lisa Borders, who left in March to become president of the WNBA.

The Coca-Cola Company looked internally to find the newest president of the Coca-Cola Foundation. Read more

Bill Pulte and Richard Dugas

Bill Pulte III, grandson of founder, says PulteGroup is staying in Atlanta

The Pulte family wanted to send Atlanta a message Tuesday morning.

The company that Bill Pulte Sr. founded in 1950 is not moving its headquarters out of Atlanta. That’s what Bill Pulte III said in a phone interview Tuesday morning.

The younger Pulte even said he will be spending a lot more time in Atlanta seeking to fill the void left by the future departure of Richard Dugas, the CEO of PulteGroup.

Gov. Nathan Deal

Business leaders thank Gov. Nathan Deal for vetoing HB 757

Business leaders Monday were quick to applaud Gov. Nathan Deal’s decision to veto of HB 757, even though many expressed concern that the controversy over “religious freedom” legislation would not be going away.

“The Georgia Chamber agrees with Governor Deal’s thoughtful reasoning to veto HB757,” according to a statement from Hank Linginfelter, an executive with AGL Resources who is the 2016 chair of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.

Column: Sage Group making a philanthropic imprint in Atlanta

By Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on March 18, 2016

After deciding to establish its North American headquarters in Atlanta last year, Sage Group is now making a philanthropic imprint in the community.

The accounting software company, located in Atlantic Station, launched the Sage Foundation’s North American giving in Atlanta on March 15.

Rick Smith is proud of Equifax's transformation

By Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on March 18, 2016

After a decade as CEO of Equifax, Rick Smith has turned the credit reporting company into an information technology powerhouse operating in 27 countries around the world.

It’s a transformation easily overlooked by the general consumer, who still connects Equifax with credit scores and credit information.

But in the business-to-business world, Equifax is becoming recognized as a one-of-a-kind technology firm that can compile, analyze and fuse multiple databases so that other companies can better understand their customers as well as strategically identify prospective customers.

Richard Dugas Pulte Homes

Georgia business groups urge governor to veto HB 757

Top Georgia business leaders now are looking toward Gov. Nathan Deal to continue his stance against discrimination – as it relates to HB 757 – also known as the religious freedom bill.

Richard Dugas, president and CEO of the Pulte Group who chairs the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s Public Policy Advisory Board, spoke out strongly against the the bill, which has now passed both the Georgia House and Senate and will rest on the governor’s desk.

United Way HQ sale could cause waves for nonprofits

By Maria Saporta and Doug Sams
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on March 11, 2016

United Way of Greater Atlanta has selected real estate services firm Colliers International to market its 4-acre downtown campus for a possible sale.

Colliers beat out three other firms, after pitching a proposal to United Way that included the possibility of selling the 18-story tower on the campus and converting it to student housing.