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Biz bits: Friends School announces new head of school, MARTA, Columbia Ventures receive award

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Biz bits: Friends School announces new head of school, MARTA, Columbia Ventures receive award

Dorothy (Dot) López will serve as the next head of school of the Friends School of Atlanta. Photo courtesy of FSA.

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

— The Friends School of Atlanta announced that Dorothy (Dot) López will serve as the next head of the school, succeeding the founding Head of the School Waman French in 2023.

Here is the press release:

Decatur, GA – On November 4, 2022, The Friends School of Atlanta (FSA) Board of Trustees and Head of School Search Committee announced to its faculty, staff, and students that Dorothy (Dot) López will be its next Head of School. Dot will officially assume the role effective July 1, 2023, and will succeed Waman French, founding Head of School, upon his retirement.

Dot’s experience spans both the private and non-profit sectors. She began her professional career as a software sales executive for IBM, where she worked directly with corporate clients and led teams on implementing computing solutions and later moved to the educational field where she launched her teaching career at George School, a Quaker co-educational boarding and day school for grades 9 through 12.

Dot comes to The Friends School of Atlanta from Moorestown Friends School (MFS),  a preschool through Grade 12 Quaker day school in Moorestown, New Jersey, with 622 students. With more than a decade of experience at MFS, Dot has served in several teaching and leadership roles since joining MFS in 2008. In addition to teaching mathematics, she developed and coordinated a wide-range of professional development opportunities for MFS employees, has served as a mentor for new teachers and has been a champion for issues around diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.

“We are delighted to be welcoming Dot to The Friends School of Atlanta,” said Sara Patenaude, Ph.D., FSA Clerk of the Board of Trustees. “As the Search Committee and community spent time getting to know Dot, her commitment to developing and empowering students to be confident in the world was clear. We believe that Dot’s experienced leadership in education and emphasis on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, grounded by Quaker values, will help guide our school into the next chapter of its story.”

At MFS, Dot also serves as the Director of the Camden Scholars Program, which has been in existence for over 40 years and provides nearly full-tuition scholarships for academically talented students with financial need from the city of Camden, New Jersey, to attend MFS.

“We are excited to leverage Dot’s experience to expand the diversity within our school and local community, said Waman French, current FSA Head of School. “Our goal is to provide a quality education within reach of every family that applies to our school and we don’t believe cost should be a barrier. The Friends School of Atlanta has been a model of diversity since its founding in 1991 and Dot’s leadership reinforces our commitment to diversity through increased inclusivity and accessibility.”

Dot’s appointment comes as a result of a highly competitive and selective process launched last spring by the FSA’s Board of Trustees and Head of School Search Committee. The Search Committee selected Dot after a national search that was advised by Carney Sandoe and Associates. Alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students and board members participated in the search process through a series of engaging interviews, community forums, campus visits and in-depth data gathering. Going forward, a transition committee will be appointed that will include representatives from across the school community to oversee all the tasks essential to a successful transition in staff leadership.

A native of New York, Dot received an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Spelman College and is also a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in industrial engineering.

MARTA and Columbia Ventures were awarded the Atlanta Regional Commission 2022 Regional Excellence Award for Innovative Development for the Edgewood/Candler Park transit-oriented development. Photo courtesy of MARTA.

— MARTA and Columbia Ventures received the Innovative Development Award from the Atlanta Regional Commission for the Edgewood/Candler Park transit-oriented development. 

Here is the press release:

ATLANTA – The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) and Columbia Ventures, LLC, have received the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) 2022 Regional Excellence Award for Innovative Development for the Edgewood/Candler Park transit-oriented development (TOD).

The ARC Regional Excellence Awards honor visionary projects that improve quality of life, transit accessibility, housing affordability, and economic development, while advancing social equity and community resiliency in metro Atlanta. In recognizing the Edgewood/Candler Park TOD as an innovative development, the ARC called the TOD a “vibrant, mixed-use community, created out of a former parking lot,” and noted that it “demonstrates how collaborative planning, bold ideas, and stellar execution can transform a community.”

“This award recognizes and celebrates MARTA’s ongoing efforts to repurpose underused space on our properties and Edgewood/Candler Park TOD is a perfect example of how developing near transit can transform and enrich a community,” said MARTA General Manager & CEO Collie Greenwood. “We are grateful to ARC, Columbia Ventures, Invest Atlanta, and the many partners who collaborated to create a TOD that fulfills MARTA’s affordable housing commitment, generates ridership, and promotes a sustainable, affordable, and growing future for the people of this region.”

Since its groundbreaking in 2016, the 6.4-acre Edgewood/Candler Park TOD has become home to the Spoke and Quill apartment communities, including 20 percent affordable housing units, Moving in the Spirit, a creative youth development program, office space, several retail businesses, and a small park. The final phase of the three-phase development features a new parking deck for MARTA customers and TOD residents and patrons, a redesigned bus loop that can accommodate standard and articulated buses, and two art pieces commissioned by MARTA’s public art program Artbound: The Great Migration by Deedee Morrison (Deedee Morrison Sculpture) and The Unseen by Christina Kwan (Christina Kwan (christinakwanart.com)).

“MARTA appreciates our partners’ dedication and shared vision of this development,” said MARTA Director of Transit-Oriented Development Debbie Frank. “Just a few short years ago, this was an underused space and now it’s a vibrant, amenity-rich community with affordable housing close to transit. We are thrilled to share this award with our development partner Columbia Ventures and honored by this recognition.”

To view time lapse video of the Edgewood/Candler Park TOD construction visit Grand Opening of Edgewood-Candler Park Transit-Oriented Development – YouTube

Mellow Mushroom has launched a new menu design. Photo courtesy of Mellow Mushroom.

— Mellow Mushroom has rolled out a newly designed menu and matching holiday apparel and is partnering with CORE to raise money for restaurant industry families. 

Mellow Mushroom has launched a newly designed menu at all 160 restaurants that is a colorful combination of ultramodern and retro. The menu cover art was created by Florida artist Joshua Noom and pays homage to previous design elements used by Mellow Mushroom on t-shirts, advertising, and menu design, according to a press release.

The new menu art inspired the Mellow Wonderland holiday merchandise, which is available for sale at theyellowroom.com. Purchases of Mellow Wonderland merchandise help to benefit CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees). The menu and merchandise promotion began on Nov. 1, and runs through Dec. 31.

Mellow Mushroom is donating a portion of all sales from the new menu-inspired Mellow Wonderland merchandise collection for a minimum donation of $10,000. CORE engages a national network of corporate partners, sponsors, and donors to provide financial support and lend their voice to aid food and beverage employees with children who face health, natural disaster, or other crises. Documentation is required, and an employee that may qualify can apply at www.coregives.org.

“During my time serving the food and beverage industry, I have met many restaurant employees with children that face adversity when a medical crisis hits or they lose their home or place of work due to a natural disaster,” said Sheila Bennett, CORE’s Executive Director. “We are grateful to partner with Mellow Mushroom to raise funds to help these families when life doesn’t go as planned and they face one of these crises.”

“The Mellow Mushroom menu-inspired merchandise collection timing aligned with the holidays and brings some fun and whimsy to theyellowroom.com. We are glad to be able to partner with CORE,” said Anne Mejia, VP Brand Development, Mellow Mushroom. “At Mellow Mushroom, we are passionate about the restaurant industry and its employees and CORE serves as a resource for our operators.”

Mellow Mushroom focused on a dynamic new menu with eye-catching typography to match the personality of the flavor profiles within the different sections of the menu. This “maximalism” style element – with extreme saturation of colors – enhances the menu’s combination vintage and futuristic feel. The design includes references to 1970s ultra-graphic concert-looking posters which share Mellow Mushroom’s passion for creativity, quality ingredients, and hand tossed stone baked pies.

“The design and typography of our menus convey our passion for food, alluring design, and a bit of playfulness,” said Elizabeth Brasch, Senior Brand Director at Mellow Mushroom. “Joshua Noom captured the spirit of Mellow Mushroom with his cover design.”

— Atlanta Women’s Affordable Housing Network is celebrating its 15th anniversary on Nov. 9. 

Here is the full press release:

Atlanta, GA – Atlanta Women’s Affordable Housing Network (Atlanta-WAHN) is hosting its 15th Anniversary celebration at St. Germain (1115 Howell Mill Rd NW, Suite 372, Atlanta 30318) on November 9, 2022, featuring awards given to notable women in the Atlanta affordable housing industry and a wellness presentation from Wellhouse powered by Bossi Retreats.

Started in 2007, Atlanta-WAHN has now grown into a 500-member 501(c)3 organization with sister chapters opening nationwide under the Women’s Affordable Housing Network umbrella. Atlanta-WAHN will be celebrating its 15th Anniversary with a VIP Happy Hour, awards presentation, and community networking with 200 attendees expected. This Celebration of Atlanta Trailblazers include:

  • WAHN Founders Richelle Patton (Collaborative Housing Solutions) and Ann Cone (CBRE)
  • Hyperion Award for a person who provides clarity of leadership in affordable housing presented to Althea Broughton (Arnold Golden & Gregory)
  • Georgian Award for exemplary public servant presented to Terri Lee (Atlanta Housing)

The event will also include a wellness presentation from Wellhouse powered by Bossi Retreats (www.bossiretreats.com) and its founder Dionne Edwards.

“I am so proud to celebrate 15 years of WAHN elevating and connecting women in the affordable housing industry,” said Grace Graszer, Co-Chair and Secretary of Atlanta WAHN. “We look forward to shining a light on Atlanta affordable housing leaders positively influencing the industry. This event will recognize all that our membership has accomplished over the past 15 years and look ahead to the increased impact and growth that Atlanta WAHN and our members are sure to achieve in the next 15 years and beyond.”

The event is generously sponsored by: Dominium, Sugar Creek Capital, Columbia Residential, Georgia Affordable Housing Coalition, OneStreet Residential, and National Church Residences. 50% of ticket sale proceeds will be donated to Neighbor in Need (www.neighborinneed.org) for urgently needed repairs to ensure a low-income Atlanta legacy resident is able to safely stay in her home.

The Atlanta Women’s Affordable Housing Network (Atlanta-WAHN) is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to elevating and connecting women who are making a positive impact on the affordable housing industry within Metro Atlanta and the surrounding area. We strive to be a place where women involved with all aspects of affordable housing can come together to learn, network, advocate and empower others that are working towards affordable housing for all.

— Dr. Ravi I. Thadhani has been appointed executive vice president for health affairs at Emory University.

Here is the press release:

Following an extensive international search, Emory University announced today that Ravi I. Thadhani, MD, MPH, has been appointed executive vice president for health affairs (EVPHA). Thadhani also will serve as executive director of Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center and vice chair of the Emory Healthcare Board of Directors. He will begin his tenure at Emory on Jan. 1, 2023.

“Dr. Thadhani is a dynamic and innovative leader for Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center,” says Emory President Gregory L. Fenves. “He has deep experience in delivering the highest-quality health care, advancing biomedical research, training health professionals and serving the public to improve the health of all. He will inspire Emory’s talented doctors, nurses, frontline staff, faculty and researchers to reach new heights of excellence. In his many years of academic health system leadership, he has never stopped his research and clinical work, which is a testament to his lifelong commitment to serving patients and improving community health. I can’t wait for him to get started at Emory.”

Thadhani currently serves as chief academic officer and dean for faculty affairs for Mass General Brigham and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, both in Boston, Massachusetts. At Mass General Brigham, he is a member of the executive leadership team and oversees graduate medical education, professional development and a $2.3 billion research enterprise. Previously, he served as vice dean of research and graduate research education at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles (2017-2019), associate director of research at Mass General Brigham (2012-2017) and chief of nephrology at Massachusetts General Hospital (2013-2017).

“I am excited to be coming to Emory University and honored to be joining its outstanding leadership team,” says Thadhani. “Emory’s commitment to serving the Georgia community is impressive and is the driver for its international reputation as a leader in health care delivery and health sciences research, discovery and innovation.”

As EVPHA, Thadhani will oversee Emory’s academic health sciences center, the Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC), and in this position will shape the next era of research, training and health-care delivery innovation. Founded in 1966, WHSC includes Emory’s schools of medicine, public health and nursing, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory National Primate Research Center, Emory Global Health Institute, Goizueta Institute @ Emory Brain Health, Emory Global Diabetes Research Center and Emory Healthcare.

Emory Healthcare, with more than 24,000 employees, 11 hospital campuses and 425 locations, is the most comprehensive academic health system in Georgia. As EVPHA and vice chair of the Emory Healthcare Board, Thadhani will provide oversight of Emory Healthcare’s CEO and leadership team, ensuring the delivery of high-quality, patient-centered care focused on supporting the health and well-being of patients around the state.

“As a physician leader and researcher, Dr. Thadhani understands the needs of patients and how those needs translate to the mission of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center, including Emory Healthcare,” says John Rice, chair of the WHSC Committee of Emory’s Board of Trustees and chair of the Emory Healthcare Board of Directors. “He has a vision for the future that will support our community to address complex health care needs not only in Atlanta and Georgia but around the world.”

With more than 30 years as a general and specialized internal medicine physician, Thadhani has extensive experience in patient care, research and clinical trials. He has led a successful research lab with continuous federal funding for more than 25 years, with a focus on kidney disease and developing diagnostics and therapeutics for patients with preeclampsia. Thadhani has performed several clinical trials focused on effective treatments and preventative measures for preeclampsia, which is one of the leading causes of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality.

He is the author or co-author of more than 300 scientific manuscripts and has published in top-tier journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet and Journal of the American Medical Association. Thadhani has been inducted into several honor societies, including the American Society for Clinical Investigation, Association of American Physicians, American Epidemiological Society and the American Clinical and Climatological Association. He also serves as a board member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, a research organization that convenes a community of researchers from across many disciplines and partner institutions — MIT, Harvard and Harvard-affiliated hospitals.

A recipient of several distinguished national awards, Thadhani has an extensive track record of recruiting and mentoring women and underrepresented staff, trainees and faculty. He has been honored with the Harold Amos Faculty Diversity Award from Harvard Medical School, the Alumni Award of Merit from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the John P. Peters Award from the American Society of Nephrology.

Thadhani earned his doctor of medicine degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1991. He received a master of public health degree from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame. He also completed the LEAD Innovation Certificate Program in 2020 at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

“This is an exciting time at Emory, and I look forward to supporting the tripartite mission of education, research and clinical care of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center and advancing its commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and justice,” says Thadhani. “There is no limit to what we can accomplish with the remarkable faculty, staff and students at Emory.”

— Goodwill of North Georgia is encouraging people to prepare donations for Black Friday. 

The organization is asking for the community to consider giving back this holiday season by donating items they no longer need to Goodwill of North Georgia. Those donations will also help people prepare for and find work throughout the community, according to a press release.

The nonprofit uses funds raised from the resale of your donated items to help fund job training programs and employment services at its 14 career centers and on careerconnector.org.

“At the core of what we do, we are focused on connecting people with skills and work,” said Elaine Armstrong, vice president of marketing. “This is possible due to the generosity of our donors. Without your contributions, we could not provide job training resources to job seekers across North Georgia.”

Black Friday is known to have major sales on retail prices, some as high as 37% on savings. Now is the time to replace used items such as televisions, toasters, shoes, blankets, clothing, and toys to clear space before personally upgrading or receiving through gifts from friends and family. Goodwill collects donations at more than 100 locations across North Georgia.

— Atlanta-based pickleball gear maker, PCKL, launched with a line of paddles and balls for beginners and professionals. 

Here is the full press release:

ATLANTA (October 19, 2022) – PCKL, LLC (pronounced [ˈpik(ə)l/]), an Atlanta-based company behind high-performance pickleball gear, announces the launch of its lineup of USA Pickleball compliant pickleball paddles and balls along with a $2 million dollar funding round led by BLH Venture Partners. The innovative pickleball brand brings Launch, Power and Pro Paddles as well as Optic™ Indoor and Outdoor Pickleballs to pckl.com and Amazon.com.

PCKL™ prides itself on being an approachable brand that is focused on community first, from local leagues to the growing digital community. Its focus extends from beginners to competitive players, with a mission to show consumers that pickleball is more than just an active pastime.

The premium pickleball gear company is ensuring that they support the Atlanta community through an array of partnerships:

PCKL is donating several of their Optic™ Outdoor Balls to Atlanta’s new Pickleball Center off Ellsworth Blvd for players to utilize when booking rounds onsite
The company is providing the winners of Live Life Fun’s Pickleball League with end-of-season gifts for the fall season, in combination with other local brands
PCKL will supply the Painted Pickle with custom branded PCKL Launch Series Paddles, and their lineup of paddles and balls will be available for purchase in Painted Pickle’s future Pro Shop

“Pickleball has taken the city of Atlanta by storm, and we are so ready to see what Painted Pickle brings to the community. Our strategic partnership with PCKL will allow us to bring in the most premium gear, enhancing the experience of everyone who visits Painted Pickle.” – Justin Amick, Founder of Painted Hospitality Group.

PCKL sets forth its mission to:

Create and support on/offline pickleball communities donating 1% of yearly company profits to non-profits focused on accessibility, education and expansion of pickleball
Partner with local organizations, starting in Atlanta, to introduce the game of pickleball to their facilities where not currently present
Provide consumers with robust digital content that not only educates on the game but fosters community building

The PCKL product lineup includes a series of paddles that range from beginner to competitive level – Launch, Power and Pro and a collection of Optic™ Outdoor and Indoor Pickleballs in five unique colors. Prices range from $64.99-$119.99 for paddles and $11.99-$12.99 for four pickleballs.

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