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Biz bits: Buena Gente makes best places to dine list, King of Pops leasing space at headquarters

Business Decatur Food Metro ATL

Biz bits: Buena Gente makes best places to dine list, King of Pops leasing space at headquarters

Photo provided by Buena Gente

This story has been updated.

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

— Buena Gente, a Cuban Bakery in Decatur, made Yelp’s “100 Best Places to Dine in America” list. 

The bakery was also recently named a James Beard Award semifinalist. Buena Gente came in at No. 65 on Yelp’s list.

Buena Gente specializes in Cuban sweet and savory food, from pastelitos and desserts to empanadas and croquetas. Its Cuban coffee and tropical milkshakes are made with the same “exacting standards as the rest of our menu,” the bakery’s Yelp profile states.

“Established in 2016 in Atlanta, GA as a ‘rolling ventanita’ Buena Gente Cuban Bakery specializes in traditional and authentic Cuban delights. Buena Gente (hen-teh) means good people. It is a celebration of our culture and a mission to preserve the flavors we grew up on in Miami, Fla.,” the Buena Gente website says. “In August 2020 we realized our dream of opening a brick and mortar bakery. Follow your nose to our shop and you’ll find freshly baked pastelitos bursting with the tropical flavor of our signature guava preserves; handmade empanadas, croquetas, and Cuban sandwiches crafted with lechon marinated in our own mojo, then pressed on freshly baked Cuban bread. All of our desserts, like arroz con leche and tres leches cake, are lovingly made in small batches. Be sure to grab a Cuban coffee with hand spun espumita for a pick me up that pairs well with everything!”

To see the full list of “100 Best Places to Dine in America,” click here.

– King of Pops has three spaces available at its headquarters. 

Victoria Patterson and her daughter Caroline, 4, get a King of Pops from Madden Reagan during the grand opening of the Oakhurst Recreation Center in the city of Decatur on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Kings of Pops is looking for an operator for its restaurant space.

“Take advantage of a built-in customer base and help activate KOP HQ as the premier spot to relax with a drink, pop and delicious food,” an announcement from King of Pops states.

The company also has food truck space available and offers event space.

“We are looking for a food truck operator to compliment the bar and restaurant space as events and business continue to grow,” the announcement states.

Additionally, there are three office spaces available at the headquarters. Each office is about 100 square feet, and include access to a boardroom and utilities.

The King of Pops headquarters is located on Decatur Street in Intown Atlanta.

For more information, click here.

– Lenz, Inc. has named Mike Killeen as president and CEO and has announced a new leadership team. 

Mike Killeen will serve as president and CEO of Lenz, Inc. Photo provided to Decaturish.

Here is the full press release:

Lenz, Inc., has named Mike Killeen its new president and CEO. Mike joined Lenz in 2002 and previously served as Vice President of Marketing.

A new leadership team has also been announced, including Christine Mahin as Vice President, Ricky Pattillo as Engineering Director, Rachel Cushing as Media Director, and Scott Sanders as Associate Creative Director.

Richard J. Lenz, the founder of the company and president/CEO for the last 30 years, is stepping away from the daily operations of the company and will become a consultant to the business. John Lenz, who joined the company in 1992 and has served as a Vice President for more than 20 years, is departing the company to work with Viral Solutions, a Lenz client.

“It is a privilege and an honor to assume this new role and help lead Lenz towards a very bright future,” Killeen said. “Everything I know about business, and much of what I know about life, I learned from Richard and John. They will always be two of my very best friends, and I know they will continue to be there for me and the company when we need them. I am grateful that they took a chance on me 20 years ago, that they invested so much in my development, and for the actions they have taken during the last year to allow for a smooth transition and to set the company and myself up for continued success. They embody not only talent, vision, and hard work, but also generosity.”

Richard Lenz said, “The company is in great hands. Nobody is better suited to lead Lenz during its next phase than Mike, and I’m excited to see what comes next for the company, the staff, and our clients. Mike also has a very talented and veteran team to support his vision, and I’m sure under his leadership, he will lead the company to higher heights.”

John Lenz said, “Lenz has never been in a stronger position than it is now, and Mike helped make that happen.”

As part of the transition, Killeen has become the sole owner of the company.

Killeen has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia and a Master’s In Business Administration from Georgia College. He has taught healthcare marketing at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health since 2016.

Founded in 1992, Lenz is a strategic marketing agency specializing in healthcare marketing.

– Litner and Deganian has announced Dave Rohwedder is a new partner at the law firm. 

Dave Rohwedder has been promoted to partner at Litner and Degnian. Photo provided to Decaturish.

Here is the full press release:

ATLANTA –Druid Hills personal injury law firm Litner + Deganian is pleased to announce attorney Dave Rohwedder has been promoted to partner of the firm. Rohwedder, an alum of Cumberland School of Law, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Alabama at Birmingham, has been litigating complex matters at Litner + Deganian since 2019. His experience litigating complex personal injury matters and his dedication to the Georgia community, from Columbus to Atlanta, makes him an ideal fit at Litner + Deganian.

Dave will be the driving force behind Litner + Deganian’s Columbus office, bringing a neighborhood feel to a bustling city. Rohwedder’s expertise stems from prior work helping to secure, for example, multiple 8-figure wrongful death settlements arising out of a single tractor-trailer wreck and a $150 million verdict against Chrysler in a defective Jeep case. Most recently, Dave negotiated a $4,000,000.00 settlement for a client injured in a head-on wreck with a commercial motor vehicle.

“Dave has been an outstanding presence on our team and we are looking forward to seeing him grow as a partner alongside the firm,” says Arman Deganian, Partner of Litner + Deganian.

– Carlos del Rio will serve as the interim dean of the Emory University School of Medicine.

Here is the full press release:

Emory University has appointed Carlos del Rio, MD, an internationally known clinician and epidemiologist, as interim dean for the Emory University School of Medicine. He will also serve as interim chief academic officer for Emory Healthcare. He will begin his role on March 1, when Vikas Sukhatme, MD, ScD, steps down as dean to return to the Emory faculty.

“Dr. Carlos Del Rio is an eminent global leader in medicine and public health, and I look forward to his contributions at this time of transition for the Emory School of Medicine,” says Emory University President Gregory L. Fenves. “He understands the role of our School of Medicine, and will build on the accomplishments of Dean Sukhatme who set this school on a course for continued success in its tripartite mission of education, research and clinical care.”

Currently, del Rio is the Leon L. Haley, Jr. MD, Distinguished Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases for Emory School of Medicine and executive associate dean for Emory at Grady. He is also a professor of global health and professor of epidemiology in the Rollins School of Public Health. Del Rio is co-director of the Emory Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) and co-PI of the Emory-CDC HIV Clinical Trials Unit and the Emory Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit. He previously served as chief of the Emory Medical Service at Grady Memorial Hospital from 2001 to 2009 and chair of the Hubert Department of Global Health from 2009 to 2019.

“Dr. del Rio is a renowned physician, researcher and epidemiologist who is dedicated to educating and training future physicians and protecting the health of individuals around the world,” says Ravi Thadhani, MD, MPH, Emory’s executive vice president for health affairs, executive director for the Woodruff Health Sciences Center, and vice chair of the Emory Healthcare Board of Directors. “Under Dr. del Rio’s direction and leadership, Emory School of Medicine will continue to be a leader in academic medicine and further enhance the Woodruff Health Sciences Center’s mission to improve health outcomes, cure diseases and save lives.”

For more than two decades, del Rio has worked with marginalized populations to improve clinical care and outcomes in the U.S. and abroad and was recently recognized by the CDC Office of Minority Health and Health Equity as a Health Equity Champion. His work has focused on research, policy development and disseminating scientific findings regarding global public health crises such as COVID-19 and HIV prevention and the HIV continuum of care. Del Rio is currently the HIV/AIDS chief section editor for NEJM Journal Watch Infectious Diseases and member of the editorial board of Journal of AIDS, Vaccines and Global Public Health. He has co-authored 30 book chapters and over 500 scientific papers.

“Carlos del Rio is an outstanding scholar whose work has eased the global burden of HIV and other infectious diseases, as well as a passionate advocate for equitable health care for all,” says Ravi V. Bellamkonda, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Emory University. “With his deep knowledge of Emory and commitment to best-in-class medical education, research and patient care, we are fortunate to have him serve as the interim dean of the School of Medicine, and look forward to his advancing the ambitious goals and progress the school has made under the leadership of Dean Vikas Sukhatme.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, del Rio advised municipal, state and national leaders and was a frequent source for international media to educate and inform the public about the ongoing health crisis. He currently serves on the national advisory committee of the COVID Collaborative, which focuses on developing consensus recommendations and engaging with U.S. leaders on effective policy and coronavirus response. He was also a member of the WHO Influenza A(H1N1) Clinical Advisory Group and of the CDC Influenza A(H1N1) Task Force during the 2009 pandemic.

Del Rio currently serves as president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. He is also chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of PEPFAR and a member of the UNAIDS Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee. In 2022, del Rio was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was also elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2013 and elected as the International secretary of the National Academy of Medicine in 2020.

Among del Rio’s many honors are the James H. Nakano Citation received in 2001 and awarded by the CDC for an outstanding scientific paper published in 2000; the Emory University Marion V. Creekmore Achievement Award for Internationalization; the Thomas Jefferson Award from Emory University, the highest award conferred by Emory to a faculty or staff member who has significantly enriched the intellectual and civic life of the Emory community; the Ohtli Award from the Government of Mexico for work that benefits communities of Mexican origin living in the U.S.; the APHA Award for Excellence in Public Health; and the MAP International Bill Foege Global Health Award.

In 2021, he was recognized by the Carnegie Corporation of New York as a “Great Immigrant, Great American” and by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms with the Phoenix Award, the City of Atlanta’s highest honor, for his medical guidance and support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Del Rio is a member of the board of directors of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and of the Atlanta Opera.

“I am honored and humbled to serve as interim dean of Emory School of Medicine and want to thank Dr. Sukhatme for his leadership as dean since 2017,” says del Rio. “As a physician who first came to Emory as a visiting medical student in 1982 and joined the faculty in 1996, I am committed to the institution and to our students, trainees, faculty and staff.

“As a Hispanic physician, I am deeply committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and look forward to working with all stakeholders to continue to advance Emory’s role as a leading institution in education, biomedical research and patient care.”

A native of Mexico, del Rio attended medical school at Universidad La Salle and completed internal medicine and infectious diseases residencies at Emory University. Prior to rejoining Emory in 1996, he served as executive director of the National AIDS Council of Mexico (CONASIDA, the federal agency of the Mexican government responsible for AIDS Policy throughout Mexico). Del Rio’s spouse, Jeannette Guarner, MD, is also a physician and Emory School of Medicine professor who serves as vice chair for faculty affairs in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

– Outdoor Voices is opening a store this month in Atlanta.

Located in the Krog Street Market, 124 Krog Street, suite A110, the Atlanta location aims to pay homage to the 1996 Summer Olympics and features nods to track and field, with an indoor track and bleacher-style seating to display products, according to an announcement.

The new store will be located near the Atlanta BeltLine, which felt like an ideal place for Outdoor Voices to move into because of the community and proximity.  Outdoor Voices is excited to encourage #DoingThings by locating the store in a walkable area that is filled with historical landmarks.

Customers can find a list of upcoming programming here.

– CHRIS 180 has received a grant to expand its services to integrate physical and mental healthcare. 

Here is the full press release:

ATLANTA, GA (Feb. 1, 2022) – CHRIS 180 has been awarded a four-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to develop a Certified Community Behavioral Health Center (CCBHC). CHRIS 180 was one of five recipients in
Georgia, and the only private provider named.

CCBHCs were developed in 2014 to increase access to care for underserved and vulnerable populations by coordinating services to better integrate physical care services with substance use and mental health services.

“The federal government has committed to growing this transformative and innovative model of mental health services across the nation, and we are honored to be on the ground floor in Georgia,” said Kathy Colbenson, LMFT, President and Chief Executive Officer of CHRIS 180.
“Being designated a CCBHC is important as we seek to expand our mental health services in a sustainable way to help children and adults heal from trauma and change the direction of their lives.”

Georgia ranks nearly last for access to mental healthcare services and professionals, according to 2023 rankings released by Mental Health America. As a CCBHC, CHRIS 180 will target these gaps in service and work in tandem with other providers to ensure needs are met.

CHRIS 180 operates counseling centers in DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett Counties and provides school-based mental health services for more than 70 schools around Metro Atlanta. The organization will continue providing behavioral health assessments, psychiatric services, wraparound care, community services, residential services and substance use services.

“We will be focused on helping people navigate the landscape of behavioral healthcare, physical healthcare and social services so they don’t have to piece together the support they need,” shared Dr. Anne Cornell, LPC, Chief Clinical Officer of CHRIS 180. “The main goal is getting people the services they need, when they need them, and before it becomes a crisis. We can also better address the social determinants of health – things like housing and food insecurity – that have become much more visible in recent years.”

With the new funding, CHRIS 180 will directly provide, or contract with partner organizations to provide, nine types of services as outlined by SAMHSA with an emphasis on 24-hour crisis care, evidence-based practices, care coordination with local primary care and hospital partners, and integration with physical health care. The organization will expand its substance abuse programs and mental health services, in particular targeting veterans, while supporting national and state-level services like the 9-8-8 behavioral health crisis system.

As a recipient of this grant, CHRIS 180 must be certified within one year by the state of Georgia. The organization has already started forging partnerships to begin the process and meet the needs of people where they are with a focus on preventative care and other safety support services. CHRIS 180 is planning to begin outreach to communities in the metro area in March 2023. Admission to services will occur through CHRIS 180 and other health care providers at that time.

– Delta Community will award $25,000 in college scholarships. The credit union is accepting applications for its 18th annual scholarship program. 

Here is the full press release:

ATLANTA (Feb. 1, 2023) – Delta Community Credit Union started accepting entries for its annual scholarship program today, which awards $25,000 in total scholarships to five students to assist with tuition, housing, books and other education related expenses. With more than $9 billion in assets, Georgia’s largest credit union will award scholarships based on applicants’ academic achievements, community involvement and essays on the following topic:

Delta Community continues to keep a pulse on emerging trends to ensure we’re offering our members innovative options to help them reach their goals in an ever-changing financial environment. What emerging trends or technologies have most impacted your goals for the future and how?

“Our annual scholarship program is an investment in the next generation of community leaders,” Delta Community’s CEO Hank Halter said. “We consider it a real privilege and responsibility to help motivated students afford higher education, so they can acquire the knowledge and skill in their chosen fields of study to develop rewarding careers and contribute positively to society.”

Applicants must be Delta Community members seeking a first-time undergraduate degree and enrolled full-time at an accredited U.S. college or university during the 2023-2024 fall semester. Students must complete the Delta Community 2023 scholarship application online by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on March 1, 2023, in order to qualify, and the award recipients will be announced on April 5, 2023.

As part of its dedication to community education, Delta Community offers two scholarship programs, as well as hundreds of free classes in metro Atlanta through its award-winning Financial Education Center, school sponsorships and community organizations.

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