Type to search

Biz bits: artistic director leaving Alliance Theatre, Drew Charter announces new board of directors members

Business Decatur Metro ATL Trending

Biz bits: artistic director leaving Alliance Theatre, Drew Charter announces new board of directors members

Shannon Longino is the newly elected chair of the Drew Charter School Board of Directors. Photo courtesy of Drew Charter School.

Atlanta, GA — Here’s a look at business news in our community.

– Susan V. Booth is leaving the Alliance Theatre after 21 years to join Goodman Theatre as the artistic director. 

Here is the full announcement:

After 21 years as the Alliance Theatre’s Jennings Hertz Artistic Director, Susan V. Booth will leave her role at the Alliance to join Chicago’s Goodman Theatre as Artistic Director. Booth will finish her tenure by co-directing the regional premiere of the acclaimed play, Everybody, which begins previews September 2. Her last day with the Alliance is September 16.

“Atlanta and The Alliance have been the most extraordinary artistic home,” said Booth. “Working with an intrepid and fearless board, a deeply invested philanthropic community, and on a campus with world class cultural partners has been a profound gift. I so look forward to watching The Alliance’s next big adventure and know my colleagues – quite simply the finest staff of theatre practitioners I know – will take the theatre to greater and greater heights of service, inclusion, and excellence.”

During her tenure, Booth championed new works and established programs to support emerging playwrights and artists, both locally and nationally, leading the Alliance to produce more than 85 world premieres including six musicals that transferred to Broadway. Booth has been a champion of education initiatives, developing family programming and in-school, theater-based curriculums designed to support teachers and enhance student learning, that have led the Alliance to become a national model for theater education. Booth also led the Alliance through its largest capital campaign to transform the theater’s main performance space, opening The Coca-Cola Stage at Alliance Theatre during its 50th anniversary season. During the renovation of the Coca-Cola Stage, Booth led the Alliance to produce an “On the Road” season, performing 12 productions in 14 different venues around the city of Atlanta, embedding the Alliance within several distinct communities. Booth worked to diversify the Alliance’s programming, staff, and board to best serve and reflect the diverse community of Atlanta, including creating leadership opportunities for BIPOC theater-makers.

“As the Alliance’s longest-serving Artistic Director, Susan has shaped the Alliance into the nationally-recognized standard of excellence in American theater that it is today,” said Hala Moddelmog, President and CEO of The Woodruff Arts Center. “We thank Susan for her visionary and courageous leadership over the past 21 years and wish her every success in her future tenure with The Goodman.”

Under Booth’s leadership, the Alliance received the 2007 Regional Theatre Tony Award for sustained excellence in programming, education, and community engagement. Over the past two decades, Booth directed over 40 productions and developed:

The Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition – a program that has supported the early careers of some of today’s most exciting playwrights and writers including Tarell Alvin McCraney, Mike Lew, Madhuri Shekar, Alix Sobler, and Jireh Breon Holder

The Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab – a program that provides developmental resources for three performance projects selected from the Atlanta artistic community each season

The Palefsky Collision Project – a summer program where Atlanta teens develop a new play under the direction of a professional playwright and director

The Spelman Leadership Fellowship – a partnership with Spelman College to address the lack of diversity in top leadership roles in major American theaters, giving three students annually artistic and executive leadership opportunities and experience

“Susan Booth and I first worked together when she directed my play The Nacirema Society…, which required us to spend a month together rehearsing and getting to know each other in Montgomery, Alabama,” said Pearl Cleage, Playwright, Novelist, and Alliance Theatre’s Distinguished Artist in Residence. “By the time the play opened we had bonded over early morning coffee, late night white wine, and conversations that covered not just the script, but race, feminism, family, and a deep love for the life we had chosen, a life in the theatre. In the afterglow of an opening night complete with a full house and a standing ovation, we made two promises to each other; to work together again soon and to always tell each other the truth. We’ve kept both of those promises for 21 years and counting. “Susan Booth’s impact will be felt for as long as there is an Alliance Theatre, but what I will miss most as a playwright, is her presence in the rehearsal hall where she is unfailingly generous with the many gifts she brings to each and every collaboration as an artist and as a human being. For that, my gratitude is boundless.”

“On behalf of the Alliance’s Board of Directors, we are deeply grateful to Susan for the dedication and artistry she brought to this role for so many years. Her legacy will always be felt here,” said Jocelyn Hunter, Alliance Theatre Board of Directors Chair. “As we look towards the next chapter at the Alliance, we remain dedicated to the theater’s mission of expanding hearts and minds, on stage and off.”

The Board of Directors will conduct a national search for the Alliance’s next Artistic Director. During the search, Associate Artistic Directors Christopher Moses and Tinashe Kajese-Bolden will manage artistic initiatives at the Alliance under the leadership of Managing Director, Mike Schleifer.

– Drew Charter School announced a new slate of officers and welcomed two new members to its board of directors in August. 

Here is the full press release:

ATLANTA, GA – Drew Charter School is pleased to announce that its board of directors recently elected a new slate of officers and welcomed two new members.

Leading the board is newly elected chair Shannon Longino, a Senior Vice President with Truist Bank, who works with their Affordable Housing Finance/Asset Management Division (Truist Community Capital). She has been in the industry for more than 29 years, has an extensive background in multi-family property management and asset management leadership, and has held several positions of increasing responsibility, including serving as Vice Chair on the Drew Charter School Board of Directors. Longino is a native of Atlanta and was the youngest member to serve on the Eastlake Planning Committee as she worked alongside her grandmother, Eva Davis, the original catalyst that initiated the redevelopment of the East Lake Meadows public housing project to The Village of East Lake mixed-income community that exists today as the core of the holistic revitalization of the East Lake community.

Longino has devoted her life to continuing her grandmother’s legacy of community service by advocating for low-income families, focusing on housing, education, health and wellness, and community revitalization/redevelopment. She was recently recognized as one of Atlanta’s top esteemed and influential community leaders selected for Atlanta’s distinguished Leadership Atlanta program. She was also recently responsible for advocating and coordinating with the PGA Tour Championship to become a Community Partner in low-income neighborhoods throughout the United States. This resulted in more than $100 million being donated to support racial equality, inclusion, and social injustices. Longino is a distinguished Honoree recently recognized by the East Lake Foundation for her commitment to community advocacy for low-income families in the East Lake Community and the Affordable Housing Industry abroad.

“I am deeply honored to have this opportunity to serve as Chair of Drew’s Board of Directors, and I look forward to working in collaboration with our board, staff, and community partners to continue our ongoing mission of educating, nurturing, and empowering all students to achieve their full potential,” said Longino. “With the support of our board of directors, Drew Charter School has continued to serve as a key component of the cradle-to-college and career continuum within the holistic East Lake neighborhood. I am grateful for the trust placed in me and know we will continue to thrive.”

Longino is joined by a slate of officers, including

– Vice Chair – Jonathan Tugman

– Treasurer – John Majors

– Secretary – Deirdra Glover

Drew Charter School’s new leadership slate comes on the heels of electing two new board members who bring diverse experience and expertise aligned with the school’s 2020-2025 strategic plan.

– Laura Bollman, Director of Strategy and Operations, Rollins Center for Language & Literacy

– S. Gordon Moore Jr., Executive Director, Student Diversity and Inclusion, Georgia Tech

Jeffrey M. Smythe has been named the new execuative director of the Atlanta Regional Collaborative for Health Improvement. Photo courtesy of ARCHI.

– The Atlanta Regional Collaborative for Health Improvement has announced that Jeffrey M. Smythe has been appointed as the new executive director.

He took over the role on Sept. 1, taking over for Kathryn Lawler, who left ARCHI in May to join St. Joseph’s Health System/Mercy Care as CEO, according to a press release.

Smythe has served mission-driven nonprofits providing housing and hunger relief, aging and chronic disease management, HIV prevention and support, international development, refugee and foster family support, youth development, and mental health access/support.

“One of the hallmarks of Jeff’s leadership has been stakeholder feedback and engagement processes. Whether for strategic planning, diversity equity and inclusion plans, or feasibility studies, Jeff has seen the power of engaging stakeholders in planning and ensuring those with lived experience have a central voice, a perfect fit for what we are trying to do here at ARCHI,” said Meredith Swartz, Interim Executive Director of ARCHI.

In his most recent leadership role with HOPE Atlanta, Smythe tackled systems change, leading several homeless-to-hotel-to-housed triage processes in partnership with ARCHI, Partners for HOME, DeKalb County, Fulton County and a broad collaboration of partners.  This collaboration permanently housed more than 500 formerly unsheltered individuals, even during the earliest days of the pandemic.  While leading Meals On Wheels Atlanta, Smythe introduced an innovative evidence-based chronic disease program that significantly improved health outcomes and empowerment of financially fragile older adults across Fulton County.

(Left to right) Dr. Lambda Msezane, Dr. Bert Chen and Dr. Michael Garcia-Roig. Photos courtesy of Georgia Urology.

– Twenty-three physicians from Georgia Urology ranked among Atlanta’s top doctors in Atlanta magazine’s July issue. 

This year those physicians are: Drs. John Abbott, Roosevelt Allen, Ronald Anglade, Emily Blum, Daniel Canter, Carl Capelouto, Wolfgang Cerwinka, Bert Chen, Shuvro De, Walter Falconer, Michael Garcia-Roig, Froylan Gonzalez, Mark Haber, Andrew Kirsch, Lewis Kriteman, Lambda Msezane, Warren Todd Oberle, Joel Rosenfeld, Hal Scherz, Edwin Smith, Shaya Taghechian, Jerry Yuan, and Barry Zisholtz. In fact, Georgia Urology physicians constitute most of the urology category on the 2022 Atlanta magazine Top Doctors list. according to a press release.

Atlanta magazine creates its list from a roster of doctors selected by Professional Research Service’s (PRS) database. A total of 1,098 physicians appear on the publication’s 2022 list. These doctors represent the following counties in Georgia: Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, and Rockdale. PRS creates its list by conducting an online peer-review survey of physicians in the metro Atlanta area.

Physicians are asked to nominate fellow physicians they deem the best in their field of practice. Many votes were cast honoring excellence in all fields of medicine. The featured doctors were screened and selected through the verification of licensing and review of any infractions through applicable boards, agencies, and rating services.

According to Dan Fellner, CEO of Georgia Urology, the honor aligns with the practice’s goal of attracting and developing outstanding urologists and thought leaders who provide the best care to patients.

“We appreciate the recognition of our doctors as they continuously work hard to offer excellent patient care,” says Dan Fellner. “At Georgia Urology, we’re fortunate to have many of the top urologists in the state. Patients who choose our practice can rest assured they will be treated with the utmost expertise and compassion.”

This year three physicians from Decatur made the list – Dr. Bert Chen, Dr. Michael Garcia-Roig, and Dr. Lambda Msezane.

Dr. Bert Chen practices at Georgia Urology’s Conyers and Decatur offices. In addition to general urology, Dr. Chen’s areas of expertise include laparoscopic and robotic surgery, stone disease, urinary incontinence, and urologic oncology. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Yale University. He earned his medical degree at Medical College of Georgia where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical school honor society. He completed his general surgery internship and urology residency at the University of Michigan. Dr. Chen is a diplomate of the American Board of Urology and a member of the American Urological Association.

Dr. Michael Garcia-Roig practices at Georgia Urology’s Decatur, Cumming, and Sandy Springs offices. Committed to improving patient outcomes, Dr. Garcia-Roig has continued to be involved in research, focusing on topics such as vesicoureteral reflux, kidney stones, and spina bifida related outcomes. He is an expert in pediatric urology, and robotic and laparoscopic surgery. His knowledge and expertise have led him to spearhead a variety of research projects. He has published extensively, serving as author or co- author of more than 60 publications, including peer-reviewed articles, reviews, and abstracts. He is board certified by the American Board of Urology, a diplomate of the American Board of Urology, and an active member of the American Urological Association. He also serves as the director of the HAWK Center, the co-director to the Differences of Sexual Differentiation (DSD) clinic, and a member of multiple subcommittees within Georgia Urology.

Dr. Lambda Msezane practices at Georgia Urology’s Decatur office. In addition to general urology, she treats prostate cancer, urinary incontinence, and overactive bladder. Dr. Msezane is an expert in robotic and laparoscopic surgery, women’s health, and urologic cancers. She earned her Doctor of Medicine degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, Penn. She completed her residency in surgery and in urology at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Msezane was awarded the American Urology Association’s Travel Urology Award, the Novecea Gerald M. Murphy Scholar Award, and the Schoenberg Research Scholar Award at the University of Chicago for her research on prostate, urothelial biology, and bladder cancer.

If you appreciate our work, please become a paying supporter. For as little as $6 a month, you can help us keep you in the loop about your community. To become a supporter, click here

Want Decaturish delivered to your inbox every day? Sign up for our free newsletter by clicking here.